The abundance of Moore’s law

On its 50th anniversary, some say Moore’s law is showing signs of age. But you’d never know it by looking at the spread of digital power to every corner of the globe. Global mobile subscriptions of 7.4 billion, according to Ericsson’s new Mobility Report, now outnumber the world’s total population of 7.3 billion. (This can be so because many individuals own multiple devices and single devices can, via multiple SIM cards, support multiple subscriptions.) Just a decade ago, the majority of Chinese had never made a phone call, but today China boasts more than a billion mobile users.

Internet speed: How fast is fast enough?

Much has been made of the apparently woeful average speeds of United States broadband connections. Despite evidence of large absolute increases in average Internet speeds, some advocates are concerned that the US is somehow "falling behind" smaller and more densely-populated countries such as Korea, Latvia, and the Netherlands. This supposed lag has been used to bolster calls for greater federal and municipal investment in local broadband infrastructure, particularly Fiber to the Home (FTTH) networks for the 20% of residences currently unable to access local networks at speeds meeting the FCC’s definition of broadband (25 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream). The argument is that it is somehow imperative that the US has the fastest Internet connections in the world, and that to deliver anything less is somehow a “failure” that necessitates government intervention. This line of reasoning is problematic for a number of reasons.

LabMD ruling should be a wake-up call for FTC data security enforcement

The big news last week in FTC- and Data Security-land was the FTC’s loss in its enforcement action against LabMD. This decision, announced at the very end of the previous week – the afternoon of Friday the 13th, in fact – was a major loss for the FTC and a major win for consumers and small businesses: FTC Chief Administrative Law Judge Chappell roundly rejected the FTC’s data security case against LabMD, a small cancer detection lab effectively put out of business as part of the commission’s imperious decade-long effort to establish itself as the nation’s chief cybersecurity regulator. The judge’s opinion calls into question the FTC’s underlying legal theory and enforcement-based approach to developing data security norms – an approach under which a majority of companies in the United States could be found guilty of violating the Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Ending the debate: Copyrights are property rights – Pt. 1

AEI just published my paper, “Can Economic and Historical Analyses End Copyright Law’s Property/Monopoly Disputes?” It rejects three claims asserting that copyrights are best understood as dangerous “government-granted monopolies” that should be tolerated only to the minimum extent necessary