2014

Adam Thierer on Permissionless Innovation

Thumbnail image for Adam Thierer on Permissionless Innovation

Adam Thierer, senior research fellow with the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, discusses his latest book Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom. Thierer discusses which types of policies promote technological discoveries as well as those that stifle the freedom to innovate. He also takes a look at new technologies — such as driverless cars, drones, big data, smartphone apps, and Google Glass — and how the American public will adapt to them.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

Patrick Byrne on online retailers accepting Bitcoin

Thumbnail image for Patrick Byrne on online retailers accepting Bitcoin

Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, discusses how Overstock.com became one of the first online retail stores to accept Bitcoin. Byrne provides insight into how Bitcoin lowers transaction costs, making it beneficial to both retailers and consumers, and how governments are attempting to limit access to Bitcoin. Byrne also discusses his project DeepCapture.com, which raises awareness for market manipulation and naked short selling, as well as his philanthropic work and support for education reform.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

Jeff Garzik on Bitcoin development

Thumbnail image for Jeff Garzik on Bitcoin development

Jeff Garzik, senior software engineer at Bitpay and one of Bitcoin’s core developers, discusses the future of Bitcoin. Garzik talks with us about what it’s like to be a developer for Bitcoin; how to make the cryptocurrency more secure; what Bitcoin developers have learned from the Mt. Gox crisis; new features that we’ll see from Bitcoin this year; and what we can expect from Bitcoin 2.0.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

Shane Greenstein on bias in Wikipedia articles

Thumbnail image for Shane Greenstein on bias in Wikipedia articles

Shane Greenstein, Kellogg Chair in Information Technology at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, discusses his recent paper, Collective Intelligence and Neutral Point of View: The Case of Wikipedia , coauthored by Harvard assistant professor Feng Zhu. Greenstein and Zhu’s paper takes a look at whether Linus’ Law applies to Wikipedia articles. Do Wikipedia articles have a slant or bias? If so, how can we measure it? And, do articles become less biased over time, as more contributors become involved? Greenstein explains his findings.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

Ladar Levison on Lavabit

Thumbnail image for Ladar Levison on Lavabit

Ladar Levison, founder of encrypted email service Lavabit, discusses recent government action that led him to shut down his firm. When it was suspected that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden used Lavabit’s email service, the FBI issued a National Security Letter ordering Levison to hand over SSL keys, jeopardizing the privacy of Lavabit’s 410,000 users. Levison discusses his inspiration for founding Lavabit and why he chose to suspend the service; how Lavabit was different from email services like Gmail; developments in his case and how the Fourth Amendment has come into play; and his involvement with the recently-formed Dark Mail Technical Alliance.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

Jack Schinasi on global privacy regulation

Thumbnail image for Jack Schinasi on global privacy regulation

Jack Schinasi discusses his recent working paper, Practicing Privacy Online: Examining Data Protection Regulations Through Google’s Global Expansion published in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. Schinasi takes an in-depth look at how online privacy laws differ across the world’s biggest Internet markets — specifically the United States, the European Union and China. Schinasi discusses how we exchange data for services and whether users are aware they’re making this exchange. And, if not, should intermediaries like Google be mandated to make its data tracking more apparent? Or should we better educate Internet users about data sharing and privacy? Schinasi also covers whether privacy laws currently in place in the US and EU are effective, what types of privacy concerns necessitate regulation in these markets, and whether we’ll see China take online privacy more seriously in the future.

Listen to and discuss this episode →

James Barrat on the future of Artificial Intelligence

Thumbnail image for James Barrat on the future of Artificial Intelligence

James Barrat, author of “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era,” discusses the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Barrat takes a look at how to create friendly AI with human characteristics, which other countries are developing AI, and what we could expect with the arrival of the Singularity. He also touches on the evolution of AI and how companies like Google and IBM and government entities like DARPA and the NSA are developing artificial general intelligence devices right now.

Listen to and discuss this episode →