Category Archives: News Center
By: Eli Love
According to the Pew Research Center, there are now effectively as many Millennial voters (69.2 million) as there are Baby Boomer voters (69.7 million). But you would never know it looking at how little attention the current Presidential campaigns are paying to the substantive concerns of our generation.
The closest a candidate has come to speaking to Millennials is Bernie Sanders who was willing to discuss things like free college education. But instead of viewing the enthusiasm around Sanders’ campaign as a sign of where the conversation needs to go, the media and the political establishment derided Sanders’ supporters as naïve and selfish — voters who would disengage from the political process once their candidate was out of the race.
That’s not who we are and it’s crucial that the remaining presidential candidates move beyond stereotypes and see our true potential.
To understand what’s at risk if politicians do not tap into our enthusiasm and our energy, just look at the recent Brexit situation. Almost 75% of voters between the agesof 18 and 24 voted to remain — expressing their belief in multiculturalism, inclusion and innovation. At the other end of the scale, 60% of voters over the age of 65 voted to leave — many succumbing to their anxiety about the profound changes happening in our world. Imagine how things would have turned out differently if the remain campaign had worked a little harder to reach more Millennial voters. Imagine if the voting public had heard from more Millennial voices who could have shared their aspirational vision for their country.
As our own election looms, it’s time for American politicians to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes.
The Millennials my organization works with every day are entrepreneurs, philanthropists and public servants who consistently defy Millennial stereotypes. And they’re not alone. We recently took a survey of 810 people between the ages of 18 and 44 to find out what my generation is really thinking. It turns out 70% of us plan to vote. Almost three-quarters of us believe that the election will have an impact on our lives but 58% say the media that is covering the election is not highlighting the issues Millennials care about the most.
By: Mike Montgomery
Pokémon GO has changed the game.
By that, I don’t just mean the world of video games. There’s no question that the mobile game, which at last count was being f you haven’t played, the game works with a GPS map that shows you where Pokémon are in the real world (you can tell a Pokémon is nearby via a virtual rustling of leaves). When they’re close enough, they appear as augmented reality on your phone and you try to catch them. The result is entertaining and adorable.
Although augmented reality has been around for years, this is by far the best use of the technology. Video game designers all over the world are probably scrambling to include augmented reality in whatever project they are currently working on.
But the impact of Pokémon GO is bigger than that. It’s even bigger than Nintendo’s 100% stock climb over the past few weeks. The game is also creating amazing opportunities for brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs.
Players don’t only try to catch Pokémon in the game. They also congregate at Pokéstops (where they can collect Pokéballs and other bonuses) and gyms (where they can battle other teams). Pokéstops and gyms are locations in the real world. Bookstores, churches, restaurants and murals that happen to be gyms or Pokéstops are suddenly being inundated by Pokémon GO players.
Businesses didn’t have a chance to sign up for this. The maps of key locations come from a previous game from Niantic (the studio behind Pokémon GO) called Ingress.
But they can take advantage of the business. For example, businesses can put out lures, which temporarily increase the number of Pokémon around that business. Inc calculated that lures only cost $1.19 per hour and they can drastically increase foot traffic. A friend who was playing Pokémon GO with her son noticed a lure at a local candy shop. Her son caught a bunch of Pokémon and she ended up buying him some candy.
By: Mike Montgomery
After more than two years of review, countless public comments and some professional mudslinging, the Department of Justice has decided that the best way to preserve competition and fairness in the music marketplace is to reject requests to inject anticompetitive behavior into music licensing consent decrees.
Preserving competition in music licensing will go a long way toward ensuring the continued growth of the music industry.
You wouldn’t know this was a promising development judging by the reaction of some within the industry. An article in Billboard breaking the news of the Justice Department’s decision quotes an unnamed music publishing executive mischaracterizing the decision, “This decision will create a clusterf—k of epic proportions for the U.S. music publishing industry.”
On the contrary, Justice’s action appears to clarify what the current consent decrees require. This is, in fact, a fantastic outcome for consumers and small businesses as well as broadcast and digital entities, because all DOJ did was reaffirm the existing rules that so-called “fractional licensing” isn’t lawful.
Nothing will change save for the hangover publishers and performance rights organizations will experience as they come to the harsh realization that the process they kick-started two years ago to further enrich themselves and freely wield and abuse their market power backfired. And for all the right reasons: the common-sense antitrust protections provided under these consent decrees are as modern and necessary today as they ever were.
The Curious Absence of Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission: An Agency in Search of a Mission
As the FCC examines and considers adopting new regulations related to privacy, CALinnovates, a coalition of technology leaders, startups and entrepreneurs, offers the Commission new analysis in the attached paper, “The Curious Absence of Economic Analysis at the Federal Communications Commission: An Agency In Search of a Mission,” Former FCC Chief Economist Gerald R. Faulhaber, PhD and Hal J. Singer, PhD reviews the agency’s proud history at the cutting edge of industrial economics and its recent divergence from policymaking grounded in facts and analysis.
By: Mike Montgomery
When the U.S. Court of Appeals backed the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) so-called netneutrality rules this week, PC World nailed the problem with its headline: “The decision will be challenged, and the case could drag on for years.”
Regardless of how the court ruled, net neutrality was destined to play out in courtrooms for the next decade as policymakers, technologists and consumers grapple with how to ensure open access to the internet while not crushing innovation and discouraging investment that created the Web in the first place.
Today the battle is largely between ISPs and edge providers. But as we’ve seen with buyers’ remorse statements from companies such as Netflix and Cloudflare, as well as EFF’s John Perry Barlow, in the future these legal battles may become more muddled as tech titans realize that they could be captured by the rules designed to keep the internet accessible to all.
These battles would test the patience of Bill Murray’s character in “Groundhog Day,” which is why there is only one entity that can settle the issue once and for all: Congress. Critics of the FCC contend the agency overstepped its bounds and applied 20th Century rules to innovative and rapidly changing technologies. At the same time, everyone wants to ensure that the internet continues to remain open and that we don’t create fast lanes, ban blocking and enhance transparency.
Only Congress can solve this problem by rewriting the laws that the FCC uses to base its rules. However well meaning the FCC was with its approach, two obvious negatives exist. The first is that the uncertainty over a decade-long legal fight leads tech companies – both those that supply the pipes and those who rely upon them – to play wait and see on new investments or innovations. That’s bad news for consumers and really bad news for an economy that needs a tech jolt.
The second is that we risk accepting that the Web deserves to be treated no differently than our water or electrical utilities – plodding and innovation-free, devoid of competition. That harms consumers and innovators alike due to a lack competition, choice and investment.
By: Mike Montgomery
Justice Louis Brandeis said, “sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.” A ray of digital sunshine emerged last week as a new kind of disinfectant, one that may make sure our nation’s elected representatives keep cameras on.
Last Wednesday, a group of Democrats staged a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives to draw attention to the gun responsibility debate raging across the country in the wake of the Orlando shootings. Republicans blocked a piece of legislation that would have made it illegal for people on the no-fly list to purchase guns. In protest, Democrats vowed to “occupy” the floor until Republicans allowed a vote on the bill.
In retaliation, the Republican leadership sent the house into recess, which caused C-SPAN’s cameras to go dark. The public window to the Hill is only open when the House is actually in session. Without cameras to watch, Republicans assumed they were taking the wind out of the Democrats’ protest sails.
But a few tech-savvy staffers and representatives quickly realized there was a way to keep the protest on the air. Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., was the first to take out his phone and start broadcasting the protest on Twitter using Periscope. C-SPAN soon started broadcasting the feed, eventually switching back and forth between Peters’s feed and Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Facebook Live feed.
Needless to say, this was an historic use of technology driving government transparency, one that will mark a real turning point in how we see our elected officials in action. Both Periscope and Facebook Live, per Politico, have been trying to become bigger parts of this election year by forming debate-night partnerships. But Wednesday, both sites showed just how powerful livestreaming can be when users can work around traditional media blackouts without tripping the piracy alarm like Periscope did when it burst onto the scene during the the Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match.
By: Tim Sparapani
If you want to buy someone’s private data, it’s disturbingly easy to do. It’s all there for sale on the dark web, a completely anonymous twin of the web most of us use daily.
The dark web (or deep web, if you prefer) is “dark” because the sites on it cannot be indexed by a web crawling browser, such as Google. That makes it hard for ordinary people, and law enforcement, to find specific websites. This anonymity has the advantage of creating a zone of free speech where individuals can communicate, think and explore ideas without government interference.
But it also creates a haven for illicit activity, including the buying and selling of drugs, child pornography and individuals’ private information such as social security numbers, health records and passwords.
People who don’t closely follow privacy issues probably associate the dark web with Silk Road, the infamous illegal drug marketplace that did millions in business before the FBI managed to shut the site down in 2013.
But the death of Silk Road didn’t put an end to the dark web. This shady technological playground is still going strong, and many sites that thrive on the dark web are a daily threat to privacy and the economy.
Over the past three months, the website LeakedSource has uncovered huge caches of account data being sold on the dark web from eight websites including Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn. In some cases, those accounts came from privacy breaches at the web companies. In other cases, data thieves were able to steal information directly from users.
The way the account information was stolen matters less than the fact that so much of it is for sale. Need a Netflix password? They’re available for pennies on the dark web. You can also get stolen passwords for Hulu, HBO Go and Spotify.
The dark web has also become a haven for child pornography. According to an article on Wired, over 80% of dark web searches are related to pedophilia.