Bitcoins for the Masses – Public Investment Opportunities Await Approval from SEC

Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, continues to move towards the mainstream. From ATMs in Manhattan bodegas, to Overstock.com, slowly bitcoins are appearing in our daily lives. Ever since Bitcoin launched, speculators have been able to buy and hold this cryptocurrency in search of profit from changes in its value over time. Using a variety of online services or software applications, technologically sophisticated individuals can easily convert bitcoins to US dollars (or other currencies) Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 24, 2017

Snapchat Goes Public Earlier this month, Snap Inc. filed the necessary disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take the social media giant, Snapchat, public.  The tech company is estimated to raise $3 billion in its initial public offering—an important indication for the value and viability of other technology and social media startups.  The IPO is expected to happen later next week.  The market valuation of the company is expected to be somewhere between Continue Reading →

A New Era for Privacy & Data Protection

On October 27, 2016, just days before a presidential election, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed new broadband consumer privacy rules.  The new rules were passed with a 3-2 vote—straight on party lines, with all the Democrats voting for the rules and the two Republicans voting against.  Now, however, the Republican commissioners have a majority and the new privacy rules could very well be overturned.  The new rules require internet service providers to obtain permission Continue Reading →

Open Source Software and Standards Development Organizations: Symbiotic Functions in the Innovation Equation

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor David J. Kappos, a current partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before heading up the USPTO, Mr. Kappos was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel (focusing on IP issues) for IBM. Two groups—industry standards development organizations (SDOs) and the open source software (OSS) community—have contributed enormously to the breathtaking technological achievements of recent Continue Reading →

Exclusive Rights in Vague Terms – Vantablack in the Arts

Background In the summer of 2014, British company Surrey NanoSystems (“SNS”) announced that it had created a new substance out of carbon nanotubes that would absorb up to 99.96% of light.[1] It is created by growing nanotubes on a surface heated to over 430 degrees Celsius, and is currently only produced by SNS. Intended for military and scientific use, Vantablack could increase stealth capacity and significantly decrease reflective interference in telescopes.   Exclusive License and Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 17, 2017

Oracle and Google, to be continued… The legal saga between Oracle and Google is stretching into the seventh year. The show started when Oracle stated that Google infringed its copyright by “borrowing” programming codes in building of its Android software platform. Last summer, a jury ruled in Google’s favor and stated that the use of Java API by Google falls under fair use policy. But Oracle promised that this wasn’t the end of the story. And Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 3, 2017

Uber Comes to a Standstill in Taiwan Following protests from local taxi drivers in Taiwan and orders by the government to pay millions in back taxes and fines, Uber Technologies Inc. said on February 2, 2017 its services have reached a standstill in Taiwan due to the escalating dispute with the government over the legality of its operations. On the same day, Taiwan’s Investment Commission stated the government requested the suspension of Uber’s business because, though Uber registered Continue Reading →

Link Roundup 2/11/17

NYSE: SNAP Snap Inc., best known for Snapchat, its overshare-facilitating mobile app, is going public. If current investor optimism holds, it could prove to be the most expensive tech IPO ever: its current valuation is $25,000,000,000. Skeptics are quick to note that Snap Inc. has never made a profit—it actually lost half a billion last year. Snap is also facing allegations of corporate sexism, being easily distracted by “toys,” and having a confusing interface. Nevertheless, Continue Reading →

Digital Afterlife and How to Tweet Post Mortem

Carrie Fisher passed away on December 27, 2016, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, after suffering a massive heart attack. Fisher, a famous actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, maintained a number of quite active social media accounts, primarily a twitter account with 1.25 million followers and a Facebook account with 523,845 Likes. Since her passing, no activity has been registered on these Continue Reading →

The FCC’s Latest Privacy Regulations: A New Stance on Private-Sector Protections?

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor Ido Sivan Sevilla, a Ph.D Candidate in Public Policy & Information Security at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Mr. Sevilla earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and served as a Legislative Fellow for Congressman Ami Bera of California’s 7th Congressional District. Mr. Sevilla’s research focuses on cyber security in national defense and the public sector. Continue Reading →