Google and Facebook have an effective duopoly on online advertising. For the average person, why is that a problem? Prices haven’t gone up. Why should we care?
By Luigi Zingales, Tyler Cowen – Most people don’t perceive that as a problem. The perceived price [for using Google or Facebook] is zero. It’s not really zero, because we are giving up our data in exchange. Google and Facebook’s market power in advertising increases the cost of advertising, which eventually will be reflected in the price of goods.
Antitrust in Europe is much more effective. Look at the price of cell phones and cell-phone services. They are a fraction of the price in the US, with better services. The EU is at the front end of enforcement of competition, while the US has become complacent. In the EU, they have a new directive requiring every bank to give customers access to their data at the customer’s request. That transfer creates competition because it reduces the friction and creates more opportunity for new entry. The monopoly that Facebook and Google have of our data, number one, prevents entry, and number two, gives them tremendous power. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, VIDEO
Tagged Broadband, Business, Capital, Chicago Booth, Congress Watch, Financial crisis, Government, Internet, Leadership
Powering Cable’s Future with Distributed Access
By Wayne Hickey – Legacy Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks, recently heralded as a blessing, are now stressed to keep up with demand; most head-ends and hubs have become saturated with racks and racks of Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) equipment. Analog infrastructure is expensive to operate, maintain, and simply won’t scale to future demands.
While HFC has been around for 20+ years, most traditional cable networks of today are based on Centralized Access Architecture (CAA), where the access network consists of a combination of analog optical and coaxial Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, and the core network (head-ends and hubs) consist of Cable Modem Termination Equipment (CMTS) and Edge Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (EQAM) equipment. EQAM helps deliver broadcast and narrowcast video, and CMTS provides broadband services.
In response to the afore mentioned market forces, cable operators are strategically extending fiber to digital fiber nodes, in a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). This involves removing coaxial RF active devices like amplifiers and power inserters, and adding more digital fiber nodes. more>
Posted in Broadband, Communication industry, Economy, Education, History, Net, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, DAA, Distributed Access Architecture, Internet, Technology
Many doctoral curricula aim to produce narrowly focused researchers rather than critical thinkers. That can and must change.
By Gundula Bosch – Under pressure to turn out productive lab members quickly, many PhD programs in the biomedical sciences have shortened their courses, squeezing out opportunities for putting research into its wider context. Consequently, most PhD curricula are unlikely to nurture the big thinkers and creative problem-solvers that society needs.
That means students are taught every detail of a microbe’s life cycle but little about the life scientific. They need to be taught to recognize how errors can occur. Trainees should evaluate case studies derived from flawed real research, or use interdisciplinary detective games to find logical fallacies in the literature.
Above all, students must be shown the scientific process as it is — with its limitations and potential pitfalls as well as its fun side, such as serendipitous discoveries and hilarious blunders.
This is exactly the gap that I am trying to fill at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where a new graduate science program is entering its second year. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Media, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Debt, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, Technology, Thinking
Engine Czech: This University Partnership Is Set To Propel Turboprop Engineering To New Heights
By Tomas Kellner – GE has spent the last 100 years building GE Aviation into a leading force in the aerospace industry. Since it was founded in 1918, the business unit, which brought in $27 billion in revenue last year, has introduced key innovations: It built the first jet engine in the United States and the largest and most powerful jet engines in the world; supplied engine parts for the largest commercial jetliner; and pioneered new materials and technologies like composites and 3D printing.
But it’s been only in the last decade that its Business and General Aviation unit, which is building engines and other technology for private and business planes, decided to pay close attention to the multibillion-dollar turboprop market.
“The turboprop segment has been underserved for decades,” says Brad Mottier, who runs the GE Aviation division. “Airframe customers and operators alike complained about the lack of innovation.”
This week, Mottier and his business said they are inviting the sharpest young engineers in the Czech Republic to help them transform the way we power small aircraft. The company will partner with Prague’s Czech Technical University (CVUT) to help bring up a new generation of aerospace engineers.
Why Prague? The Czech capital is the place where GE decided to jump into the turboprop engine market in 2008, when it took a bet on a storied but struggling turboprop manufacturer, Walter Engines.
Just like the Wright brothers, founder Josef Walter started out fixing and building bicycles before venturing into aviation. Established in 1911, his company ran aviation factories in Italy, Spain, Poland and elsewhere in Europe that produced record-breaking engines for planes used by 13 sovereign air forces. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Education, History, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business improvement, GE, History, skill development, Technology, Turboprop
By Alan Pentz – We are used to seeing innovators lauded for their brilliance. They are insightful geniuses who see around corners and live ahead of their times. In practice, most innovators stumble into success. Innovation is more about implementation and execution than it is about inspiration.
Don’t discount the importance of ideas. They are the starting point and the motivator to take action, just don’t stick to closely to those original ideas. As a government leader you should be careful to design your project planning to allow for adjustments and learning. Often the best insights come from ideas that occur during implementation. The original idea doesn’t always work but it leads you down a path to something that does. In other words don’t spend all your time planning up front.
Many leaders in government make two related mistakes. They demand too much validation of ideas before allowing them to go forward and once that validation has occurred they over-commit resources. Whatever you decide on most likely won’t work as advertised so why pretend like it will?
A few tips that can help you on the way are:
- Establish what success looks like
- Set the key performance indicators
- Set formal gates or project reviews that projects must pass through
Managing innovation is a dynamic and shifting process. It’s your job as the leader to create the space to allow innovation to happen. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Leadership, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Government, Innovation and Idea Management, Leadership, Productivity
Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, Author: Ian Bremmer.
By Ian Bremmer – In advanced economies, young adults are more likely than older people to prefer technocracy to democracy. The study found that in the U.S., 46 percent of those aged 18 to 29 would prefer to be governed by experts compared with 36 percent of respondents aged 50 and older.
Perhaps most alarming was the revelation than one quarter of millennials agreed that “choosing leaders through free elections is unimportant.” Just 14 percent of Baby Boomers and 10 percent of older Americans agreed.
In a world where even the Communists are no longer communists (China’s state-capitalism is a far cry from Marx, to be sure), there’s no competing ideology forcing those who live in democracies to consider what life might be like without it.
Or maybe it’s that democracy in America no longer seems to be working. During the 1930s, economic depression led many to look abroad for alternatives to democracy and free-market capitalism.
American millennials have never stood in a bread line, but they have experienced the most severe financial crisis since the 30s, a dramatic widening of the gap between richest and poorest, a hollowing out of the middle and working classes, and a level of dysfunction and petty partisan hostility in Washington that seems to get worse by the week.
Then there’s the Trump effect. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Capital, Congress Watch, Democracy, Donald Trump, Financial crisis, Government, Internet, Leadership