Tuesday, November 22, 2016

They had better hurry with the autonomous vehicle rules

From Electrek
https://electrek.co/2016/11/11/teslaautopilotchipsupplierselfdrivinghardwareitsfiveyearsahead/


NVIDIA reported its financial results for the last quarter yesterday and surprised Wall Street. The chip maker, which is now becoming an “AI company” according to its leadership, reported revenue of $2 billion on expectations of $1.7 billion and they also surpassed earnings expectations by a similar margin. On a conference call with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang following the results, analysts were particularly interested in the company’s push in AI and the automotive industry, especially since Tesla’s started delivering every single one of its vehicles with NVIDIA’s Drive PX2 supercomputer. Huang offered some very interesting insights into how he sees Tesla’s self-driving program playing out.He says that by introducing the necessary hardware for full autonomy now, Tesla “sent a shock wave through the automotive industry”:


“And I think what Tesla has done by launching and having on the road in the very near-future here, a full autonomous driving capability using AI, that has sent a shock wave through the automotive industry. It’s basically five years ahead. Anybody who’s talking about 2021 and that’s just a non-starter anymore. And I think that that’s probably the most significant bit in the automotive industry. I just don’t – anybody who is talking about autonomous capabilities in 2020 and 2021 is at the moment re-evaluating in a very significant way.”


For a tiny insight into the regulators, but one that unfortunately does not not delve deep enough.

Policing Driverless Cars an interview with Christopher Hart, who heads the National Transportation Safety Board. MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, VOL. 119 | NO. 6 p 15. 

The ideal scenario that I talked about, saving the tens of thousands of lives a year, assumes complete automation with no human engagement whatsoever. I’m not confident that we will ever reach that point. I don’t see the ideal of complete automation coming anytime soon. Some people just like to drive. Some people don’t trust the automation, so they’re going to want to drive. [And] there’s no software designer in the world that’s ever going to be smart enough to anticipate all the potential circumstances this software is going to encounter. The challenge is that when you have not-so-complete automation, with still significant human engagement, complacency becomes an issue.




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

China's new cybersecurity rules

From MIT Technology Review Blog
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602812/chinas-new-cybersecurity-rules-may-block-western-innovation/



China has announced a new set of cybersecurity rules that could make it harder than ever for foreign technology companies to operate in the country.The rules, announced Monday, will provide central Chinese authorities with greater powers over the monitoring of data and hardware. Notably, the laws will open companies up to far greater scrutiny from the government, demanding that Internet firms co√∂perate with the state’s criminal investigations and provide full access to data if officials suspect them of wrongdoing. The law also demands that companies demonstrate that their systems are capable of withstanding hacks

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

European messiness

Court Decision 


A recent court decision in Germany has just made things even more messy in the European Union.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently announced its decision in Sony v McFadden with important consequences for open wireless in the European Union. The court held that providers of open wifi are not liable for copyright violations committed by others, but can be ordered to prevent further infringements by restricting access to registered users with passwords. EFF reported on the legal aspects of the case last year and collaborated on an open letter to the ECJ on the costs to economic growth, safety and innovation of a password lockdown.
Free wifi is rare in Germany compared with other EU countries due to legal uncertainty generated by the doctrine of St√∂rerhaftung, a form of indirect liability for the actions of others,which has deterred cafes, municipalities and others from offering free connectivity. Many in Germany hoped that the McFadden case would remove these doubts, but it is now clear that a legislative fix is needed instead. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/09/european-allows-copyright-owners-demand-open-wifi-networks-be-password-protected 

Google / Facebook tax

As the European Union reviews its copyright rules there appears to be the re-emergence of an idea that is twice tried and failed. The idea is to limit or tax or somehow force changes where uses upload a link of a news stories to the web and you get that that little picture and the headline of the article.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/european-copyright-leak-exposes-plans-force-internet-subsidize-publishers 

The idea will probably fail again because all it does it reduce the exposure of news stories to a wider audience.


 More here @BBC Click

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04955tn

Monday, August 15, 2016

Obama's regulatory legacy

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/14/us/politics/obama-era-legacy-regulation.html?xid=nl_daily&_r=0


From the New York Times.



WASHINGTON — In nearly eight years in office, President Obama has sought to reshape the nation with a sweeping assertion of executive authority and a canon of regulations that have inserted the United States government more deeply into American life.
Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power, Mr. Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.
Blocked for most of his presidency by Congress, Mr. Obama has sought to act however he could. In the process he created the kind of government neither he nor the Republicans wanted — one that depended on bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency. But once Mr. Obama got the taste for it, he pursued his executive power without apology, and in ways that will shape the presidency for decades to come.
The Obama administration in its first seven years finalized 560 major regulations — those classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having particularly significant economic or social impacts. That was nearly 50 percent more than the George W. Bush administration during the comparable period, according to data kept by the regulatory studies center at George Washington University.
An army of lawyers working under Mr. Obama’s authority has sought to restructure the nation’s health care and financial industries, limit pollution, bolster workplace protections and extend equal rights to minorities. Under Mr. Obama, the government has literally placed a higher value on human life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

a16z podcast - the sharing economy & Arun Sundararajan

From a16z


https://soundcloud.com/a16z/sharing-economy





In this podcast Arun Sundararajan discusses the economics of the sharing economy and his views on regulation as they change from no regulation to self regulating industries.

Monday, June 27, 2016

EU Robot 'persons' proposed law

Reuters
http://in.reuters.com/article/europe-robotics-lawmaking-idINKCN0Z72CW



Europe's growing army of robot workers could be classed as "electronic persons" and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution. Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests. Some robots are even taking on a human form. Visitors to the world's biggest travel show in March were greeted by a lifelike robot developed by Japan's Toshiba and were helped by another made by France's Aldebaran Robotics.
However, Germany's VDMA, which represents companies such as automation giant Siemens and robot maker Kuka, says the proposals are too complicated and too early. German robotics and automation turnover rose 7 percent to 12.2 billion euros ($13.8 billion) last year and the country is keen to keep its edge in the latest industrial technology. Kuka is the target of a takeover bid by China's Midea.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Regulating Energy Systems

Journal of Bioeconomics DOI 10.1007/s10818-016-9216-9

Redesigning a 20th century regulatory framework to deliver 21st century energy technology 
Tim Nelson
Abstract
Electricity systems are shifting from a once highly centralised regulated model to become more renewable, distributed and consumer-centric. Australia has some of the highest installation rates of embedded renewable electricity generation in the developed world. This has been driven by increasing grid-supplied energy prices, policy incentives and declining technology costs. The emergence of cost-effective distributed battery storage and energy management systems is likely to fundamentally alter the electricity industry—which has been largely unchanged for decades. Evolutionary economics indicates that firms must adapt to new technologies and market conditions or they will become extinct. Energy markets will only evolve, however, if regulatory frameworks continuously adapt to ensure that consumer preferences for reliability, control and environmental outcomes are able to be achieved at lowest cost. Most importantly, regulators will need to ensure that facilitating efficient consumer decision making is prioritised.