April 16, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Technology & Science Archive

Moving Forward on E-Waste Management | Commentary

Three years ago, a dozen leading consumer electronics companies collaborated to create the ďBillion Pound Challenge.Ē The goal: recycle one billion pounds of electronic devices annually, enough to fill an entire NFL stadium. As of last April, the industry was more than halfway to its original goal, with 585 million pounds responsibly recycled ó up from 300 million pounds in 2010. But now a patchwork of state rules mandating recycling is inadvertently complicating this effort to reach our billion-pound stretch goal.

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Groups Push Broadband Changes for Net Neutrality

As the Federal Communications Commission begins an effort to rewrite its net neutrality rules, some public interest groups want the agency to take a greater step to reclassify the way it regulates broadband services.

Timeline of the FCC and Broadband

Aug. 5, 2005 ó The Federal Communications Commission adopts a policy statement that consumers are entitled to: access their choice of legal Internet content, use services and run applications of their choosing, and have competition among network, application, service and content providers.

Realizing the Digital Future Means Letting Go of the Past | Commentary

Apparently some members of Congress think about more than re-election.

FTC's Data Security Grab Is Adjudication without Authority | Commentary

What happens when a government agency adjudicates without authority, assuming Congress will simply provide forgiveness, rather than ask for permission? That is the question that is being asked this week after the Federal Trade Commission petitioned Congress for powers it does not currently have regarding data breaches and cybersecurity while already exercising the very powers they seek.

President Grant and Funding Research for Oral Cancer | Commentary

This Presidents Day, please take a moment to reflect on Ulysses S. Grant, the only U.S. president to die of cancer. Pain from oral cancer left him mute and unable to eat solid food. A man whose voice had commanded the attention of kings and queens was left to communicate with his physician through penciled notes. These handwritten missives leave an intimate and harrowing account of Grantís debilitation and pain. Biographer Horace Green found the majority of these notes ďtoo pitiful for print.Ē

Congress' Airplane Cellphone Ban Should Be Grounded | Commentary

Congress has been unable to do anything about most of the important problems facing Americans, but itís having no trouble drumming up bipartisan support for needless regulations aimed at solving problems that donít yet exist. The House Transportation Committeeís latest coup is a proposed ban on cellphone calls on airplanes, which would effectively curb any extension of the Federal Communications Commissionís recent decision to allow in-flight phone usage after years of prohibition. Although many people may find other passengersí phone conversations to be annoying, so long as they do not present a safety threat, itís not the governmentís business to legislate them.

Cyberthreats Require Collaboration Not Confrontation | Commentary

As retailers, every day we seek to provide customers the goods and services they want at the best value. But retailers also know that consumers demand more than just a good deal, they expect to be treated fairly and honestly. Consumers also expect that their purchases are made in an environment where personal information is secure.

Modernized Telecom Policy Must Reflect That Change Is the Only Constant | Commentary

Eighteen years ago this month, when Congress last updated the regulation of telecommunications, it was both right on time and too soon.

Security Secrets Create Hurdles for Lawmakers

While lawmakers this week were looking to get to the bottom of the recent data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus and possibly craft legislation to respond to those attacks, they were faced with a stark reality from the investigations: They and the public wonít be getting solid answers anytime soon.

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Retailers Push Back on Proposed Banking Legislation Following Massive Data Security Breaches

Retailers including Target and Neiman Marcus made the rounds on Capitol Hill this week, testifying at three daysí worth of hearings with the dual mission of apologizing for recent large-scale data breaches and discouraging any new regulatory legislation.

Can the Right Technology End Distracted Driving? | Commentary

At any given moment during any given day, hundreds of thousands of drivers in the United States are using their phones while behind the wheel ó talking, texting or searching for information ó and endangering their lives and the lives of those around them. Technology may be part of our daily habits, but using these devices while driving is becoming a fatal vice that threatens to undo the remarkable progress we have made to improve highway safety. According to the National Safety Council, as many as a quarter of todayís automobile crashes involve drivers talking or texting on their phones, and there is no sign of the problem abating.

Wheeler Puts Digital Networks on Fast Track | Commentary

Off to a quick start, 2014 is sure to be an eventful year for national telecommunications policy. The leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has initiated a yearlong process to evaluate the need for comprehensive statutory telecommunications reform. Simultaneously, the Federal Communications Commission has started a groundbreaking project that will lead to the complete transition of communications users from outdated, single-purpose telephone technology to modern, multifunction Internet-based technologies.

As Data Meets Farm Fields, Concerns Begin to Grow

Farmers no longer just have to worry about whether it will rain too much or too little, or whether prices for their crops will be high enough to cover their costs. Now, growers increasingly are on edge about big data.

No Kidding: Science Offers a Bipartisan Path | Commentary

In December, just before House members left this town for their hometown holiday fetes, Speaker John A. Boehner lost his cool. He vented his exasperation with outside conservative agitators who were opposing the Ryan-Murray budget deal even before there was a deal. Noting they were the same fomenters of the October government shutdown who had later admitted they had no hope of winning, Boehner punctuated his disdain with a vituperative bellow: ďAre you kidding me?!Ē

Focusing on the Future with Progressive Telecom Policy | Commentary

In 2013, gridlock seemed to rule the day. Too often the policy making environment was stuck in neutral, impacting nearly every aspect of our economy, including the communications sector. Our nationís expert agency on communications policy was limited in its ability to function at full capacity, as the nominations of Tom Wheeler as chairman and Michael OíReilly as a commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a backseat to partisan squabbling in Congress for nearly six months. As one-sixth of our economy, the communications and information technology sector is critical to boosting growth, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Instead of bickering, itís time for policymakers in Washington to get to work on a busy 2014 communications agenda.

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Congress Considers the Balancing Act Between Security and Privacy

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowdenís disclosures about the agencyís surveillance programs have left Congress stuck between two hugely influential groups: a technology industry thatís long been unhappy about forced cooperation with intelligence operations and an intelligence community that says the work is vital to national security.

Telecoms Will Publish Online Privacy Reports

Thanks to federal restrictions, technology companies and communications providers largely have their hands tied when it comes to providing the public with information about how much customer data they turn over to intelligence agencies.

Native Alaskans Grapple With Global Warming

A group of Native Alaskans traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to plead for congressional action on climate change as they grapple with its dramatic impacts.

Time for Patent Trolls to Pay Their Toll | Commentary

After years of exacting payments from American businesses, the easy paydays for patent trolls may be about to end. In December, the House of Representatives took action to prevent frivolous patent lawsuits. Now itís up to the Senate to get on board and stop these trolls from sucking the lifeblood from our economy by leveling baseless charges against small businesses.

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