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Global telecommunications markets have traditionally been closed to foreign trade and investment. Recent World Trade Organization negotiations resulted in a Basic Telecommunications agreement that sought to construct a multilateral framework to reverse that trend and begin opening telecom markets worldwide. Regrettably, this new WTO framework is quite ambiguous and open to pro-regulatory interpretations by member states.
In fact, during recent bilateral trade negotiations with Japan, U.S. government officials adopted the position that the new framework allowed them to demand that the Japanese government adopt very specific regulatory provisions regarding telecom network interconnection and pricing policies. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative argued that Japanese officials should require their domestic telecom providers to share their networks with rivals at a generously discounted price to encourage greater resale competition.
Those interconnection and line-sharing rules were borrowed directly from the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996, a piece of legislation that remains the subject of intense debate within the United States. Good evidence now exists that those rules generally retard net-work investment and innovation by encouraging infrastructure sharing over facilities-based investment. Consequently, the USTR has generated resentment on the part of Japan and other trading partners as it has attempted to force them to adopt heavy-handed telecommunications mandates that have very little to do with legitimate free-trade policy.
The USTR must discontinue efforts to impose American telecommunications regulations on other countries as part of free-trade negotiations and should instead focus on reforming or eliminating the most serious barriers to foreign direct investment both here and abroad.
According to the authors of Come on in. The water's fine. An exploration of Web 2.0 technology and its emerging impact on foundation communications, foundations that have adopted new and still emerging forms of digital communications -- interactive Web sites, blogs, wikis, and social networking applications -- are finding that they offer "opportunities for focused convenings and conversations, lend themselves to interactions with and among grantees, and are an effective story-telling medium." The report's authors, David Brotherton and Cynthia Scheiderer, of Brotherton Strategies, who spent nearly a year exploring how foundations are using new media, add that "electronic communications create an opportunity to connect people who are interested in an issue with each other and the grantees working on the issue."
The report also acknowledges that the new technologies raise skepticism and concern among foundations. They include the "worry of losing control over the foundation's message, allowing more staff members to represent the foundation in a more public way, opening the flood gates of grant requests or the headache of a forum gone bad with unwanted or inappropriate posts."
Still, the report urges foundations to put aside their worries and make even more forceful use of new media applications and tools. The report argues that whatever is "lost in message control will be more than made up for by the opportunity to engage audiences in new ways, with greater programmatic impact."
Acknowledging that adoption of new media tools will require some cultural and operational shifts in foundations, the report offers suggestions from Ernest James Wilson III, dean and Walter Annenberg chair in communication at the University of Southern California, for how to deal with these challenges. He says that for foundations to make the best use of what the technology offers, they should concentrate on three things:
Build up the individual "human capital" of their staffs and provide them the competencies they need to operate in the new digital world.Make internal institutional reforms to reward creativity and innovation in using these new media internally and among grantees.Build social networks that span sectors and institutions, to engage in ongoing dialogue among private, public, nonprofits and research stakeholders.As Wilson also says, "All of these steps first require leadership, arguably a new type of leadership, not only at the top but also from the 'bottom' up, since many of the people with the requisite skills, attitudes, substantive knowledge and experience are younger, newer employees, and occupy the low-status end of the organizational pyramid, and hence need strong allies at the top."
As we approach the 2008 general election, the structure of elections in the United States -- once reliant on local representatives accountable to the public -- has become almost wholly dependent on large corporations, which are not accountable to the public. Most local officials charged with running elections are now unable to administer elections without the equipment, services, and trade-secret software of a small number of corporations. If the vendors withdrew their support for elections now, our election structure would collapse. Case studies presented in this report give examples of the pervasive control voting system vendors now have over election administration in almost every state, and the consequences some jurisdictions are already experiencing.
However, some states and localities are recognizing the threat that vendor-dependency poses to elections. They are using ingenuity and determination to begin reversing the direction. This report examines the situation, how we got here, and steps we can take to limit corporate control of our elections in 2008 and reduce it even further in the future.
Virtual Worlds, immersive and collaborative environments on the Internet, also referred to as Web 3D, are likely to transform the global business environment. Developed out of online games, social networking, and Web services, Virtual Worlds benefit from several technologies that enhance their usefulness, including massively scaled games, avatars, cloud/on-demand/grid computing, on-demand storage, and next-generation networks.
What this paper describes is how corporations in this century will begin to use new technologies to transform the methods of production, the generation of services, and the management of people and processes. To make our case, this paper: Explains Virtual Worlds and how on-demand/utility/grid computing, on-demand storage, and next-generation networks support their commercialization.Explores how Virtual Worlds and the technologies that support them can change the nature of the firm and influence collaboration in business.Describes the changes that give rise to collaborative enterprise, including the two likely main forms of organization: the multi-industry conglomerate and the modern guild system. We also explore how enhanced collaboration has the power to extend and alter the ways in which today's firms create products and services and redefine relationships with suppliers and customers.Discusses how Virtual Worlds and supporting technologies will affect U.S. industrial competitiveness and provides policy recommendations in a number of areas, including deployment and adoption of Virtual Worlds, collaboration, skills development, and the ideal business environment needed for full and rapid adoption of these new technologies.
Alexandria Archive Institute, The;
More scholars are exploring forms of digital dissemination, including open access (OA) systems where content is made available free of charge. These include peer -reviewed e -journals as well as traditional journals that have an online presence. Besides SHA's Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology, the American Journal of Archaeology now offers open access to downloadable articles from their printed issues. Similarly, Evolutionary Anthropology offers many full -text articles free for download. More archaeologists are also taking advantage of easy Web publication to post copies of their publications on personal websites. Roughly 15% of all scholars participate in such "self -archiving." To encourage this practice, Science Commons (2006) and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) recently launched the Scholar Copyright Project, an initiative that will develop standard "Author Addenda" -- a suite of short amendments to attach to copyright agreements from publishers (http://sciencecommons. org/projects/publishing/index.html). These addenda make it easier for paper authors to retain and clarify their rights to self -archive their papers electronically. Several studies now clearly document that self -archiving and OA publication enhances uptake and citation rates (Hajjem et al. 2005). Researchers enhance their reputations and stature by opening up their scholarship.
Mounting pressure for greater public access also comes from many research stakeholders. Granting foundations interested in maximizing the return on their investment in basic research are often encouraging and sometimes even requiring some form of OA electronic dissemination. Interest in maximizing public access to publicly financed research is catching on in Congress. A new bipartisan bill, the Federal Research Public Access Act, would require OA for drafts of papers that pass peer review and result from federally funded research (U.S. Congress 2006). The bill would create government -funded digital repositories that would host and maintain these draft papers. University libraries are some of the most vocal advocates for OA research. Current publishing frameworks have seen dramatically escalated costs, sometimes four times higher than the general rate of inflation (Create Change 2003). Increasing costs have forced many libraries to cancel subscriptions and thereby hurt access and scholarship (Association for College and Research Libraries 2003; Suber 2004).
This article originally published in Technical Briefs In Historical Archaeology, 2007, 2: -11.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
This report provides a number of tangible examples of under-exploited areas of science and likely consequences in the form of an innovation deficit, including:
opportunities with high potential for big payoffs in health, energy, and high-tech industries;fields where we risk falling behind in critical strategic capabilities such as supercomputing, secure information systems, and national defense technologies;areas where national prestige is at stake, such as space exploration, or where a lack of specialized U.S research facilities is driving key scientific talent to work overseas.This introduction also cites examples of the benefits from basic research that have helped to shape and maintain U.S. economic power, as well as highlighting industry trends that have made university basic research even more critical to future national economic competitiveness.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
Summarizes an analysis of U.S. applications in the international Patent Cooperation Treaty database, with a focus on where innovation is occurring -- in which states, in which companies and universities, and in which technical areas.
Women's Campaign Forum Foundation;
Examines trends in women's online political giving; how they use Web 2.0 tools to engage in, donate for, and network for social change; the characteristics of online donors; and the potential impact on women's political clout among donors.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs;
Outlines the challenges of and recommendations for creating an effective interface between humanitarian groups and volunteer and technical communities aggregating, visualizing, and analyzing data on and from affected communities to support relief efforts.
Pew Research Center;
Fifty-one percent of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online. Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones.
These findings are based on nationally representative surveys by the Pew Research Center designed to track an activity that is often held up as a proxy for consumer trust in online transactions and as an example of how one industry has enabled data to flow among different institutions.
Both types of digital banking are on the rise. In 2010, 46% of U.S. adults, or 58% of internet users, said they bank online. In 2011, 18% of cell phone owners said they have used their phone to check their balance or transact business with a bank
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation;
A companion report to "Knight News Challenge: Casting the Net Wide for Innovation," describes Knight's fourth News Challenge winners, their media projects, and discussions and tweets from a June 2010 conference on trends in and potential for civic media.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;
Provides a chart of the clinical quality measures on which providers and hospitals eligible for incentives must report to demonstrate their meaningful use of health information technology under the 2010 healthcare reform law.