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Portents of World Cyberwar - WSJ
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
July 12, 2015

A new novel, “Ghost Fleet,” warns Americans about advances in cyberwarfare that could leave the U.S. as unprepared as Britain was against the U-boats. The title refers to mothballed warships and planes the U.S. recommissions because their pre-Internet technologies haven’t been hacked. (Disclosure: The publisher is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, on whose board I serve.)

Authors Peter Singer and August Cole are think-tank policy wonks inspired by Tom Clancy’s 1986 “Red Storm Rising.” Clancy’s descriptions of emerging technology, including still-secret stealth aircraft, were so accurate that he was accused of using classified material. The authors of “Ghost Fleet” call their genre “useful fiction.”
cyber_warfare  China  China_rising  fiction  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  U.S._Navy  books  security_&_intelligence  Asia_Pacific  Tom_Clancy  unprepared  stealth 
july 2015 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz: White Hats vs. Black Hats - WSJ.com
August 4, 2013 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.

The NSA says 42 terror-related plots have been disrupted, thanks to its surveillance program.

In the language of computer hacking, the good guys are "white hats," who identify weaknesses in systems so they can be fixed. "Black hats" are the ones who take advantage of weaknesses in systems.......A white-hat hacker would point out what happens when intelligence agencies fail to monitor communications data. Gen. Alexander pointed out that the 9/11 plots succeeded because of avoidable intelligence failures, citing the example of an intercept of a phone call from Yemen involving one of the 9/11 hijackers. "We didn't have the tools and capabilities to see that he was actually in California," Gen. Alexander said. "The intelligence community failed to connect those dots."
black_hats  NSA  security_&_intelligence  surveillance  9/11  privacy  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  terrorism  U.S._Cyber_Command  connecting_the_dots  white_hats 
august 2013 by jerryking
Crovitz: The Way the Digital Cookie Crumbles - WSJ.com
July 15, 2012, 6:02 p.m. ET

The Way the Digital Cookie Crumbles
If regulators and lawyers limit the use of data, advertising online will become less efficient.

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  cookies  advertising 
july 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: 'Spectrum Auctions'—There's an App for That - WSJ.com
July 18, 2011 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ

Spectrum Auctions? There's an App for That
It only took 50 years for the feds to realize that economist Ronald Coase was right.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  economists  auctions  wireless  wireless_networks  Ronald_Coase  wireless_spectrum  Coase's_Law 
july 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Cybersecurity 2.0 - WSJ.com
February 27, 2012

Cybersecurity 2.0
Encouraging companies and intelligence agencies to share information freely is a good first step.

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  cyber_security  security_&_intelligence 
april 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Justice Department Bites Apple - WSJ.com
April 22, 2012 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ

Justice Department Bites Apple
The 30% revenue-share model is the company's standard practice, not the product of a conspiracy.
Apple  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Department_of_Justice 
april 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Horror Show—Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 28, 2011

Horror Show: Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley
To protect copyright, the movie industry favors legislation that would strangle the Internet.

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
Like this columnist
Hollywood  Silicon_Valley  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  copyright 
december 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Steve Jobs's Advice for Obama - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 31, 2011

Steve Jobs's Advice for Obama
Apple's founder on Obama: "The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done. It infuriates me."

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
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Obama  Steve_Jobs  advice  L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
november 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Google Speaks Truth to Power - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 24, 2011

Google Speaks Truth to Power
About the growing regulatory state, even Google's Eric Schmidt—a big supporter of the Obama administration—now feels the need to tell it like it is.

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
Like this columnist
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Google  Washington_D.C.  regulation  Eric_Schmidt  truth-telling  speak_truth_to_power 
october 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Steve Jobs and the Future of Newspapers - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 9, 2011 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.

Steve Jobs and the Future of Newspapers
He loved the printed product but told me 'our lives are not like that anymore.'
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Steve_Jobs  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  future  newspapers 
october 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Unilateral Information Disarmament - WSJ.com
MAY 9, 2011
Unilateral Information Disarmament
Could Osama have been found under Obama's rules?
By L. GORDON CROVITZ

"The war on terror is an arms race for information. Terrorists must keep
their plans, weapons and sleeper cells secret. Prevention requires
knowing about plans before they are carried out....To his credit, CIA
Director Leon Panetta acknowledges that now-prohibited interrogations
played a key role. Mr. Panetta last week said that the agency had "used
these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these
detainees," adding that "whether we would have gotten the same
information through other approaches I think is always going to be an
open question." Mr. Panetta's immediate predecessor, Michael Hayden, has
estimated that half the agency's knowledge about al Qaeda came from
interrogations of several dozen terrorists.
arms_race  OBL  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information  Leon_Panetta  CIA  interrogations 
may 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Facebook's Dubious New Friends - WSJ.com
MAY 2, 2011 WSJ By L. GORDON CROVITZ. The company will
launch in China under Chinese rules.
Facebook has been banned in China since 2009. Its executives are annoyed
that Renren, a mainland knock-off, plans to go public in New York at a
$4 billion valuation. But as the trusted home to more than 500 million
users, how Facebook re-enters China will test the trust people have put
in its services—and in social media generally. By agreeing to operate
under Beijing's rules, Facebook is forcing this hard question: Will
people remain as relaxed about divulging personal information and
beliefs for the social-media benefits of connecting with others if those
others include representatives of police states?

Facebook reportedly will have a mainland partner such as search engine
Baidu. This partner would be the censorship cutout, enforcing domestic
laws and government mandates to turn over information about online users
that has led to many arrests for subversion.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Facebook  censorship  China  hard_questions  subversion 
may 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: How the U.S. Is Losing the Information War - WSJ.com
APRIL 18, 2011

The VOA Is Losing Its Voice
Hillary Clinton: 'We are in an information war, and we are losing.'

By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  soft_power  propaganda  information_warfare 
april 2011 by jerryking
Rumsfeld: Know the Unknowns - WSJ.com
APRIL 4, 2011| WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Before 9/11,
Rumsfeld distributed to colleagues a comment about Pearl Harbor by
economist Thomas Schelling: "There is a tendency in our planning to
confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Rumsfeld focuses on
unknown unknowns in order to encourage more "intellectual humility" ."It
is difficult to accept—to know—that there may be important unknowns."
"In the run-up to the war in Iraq, we heard a great deal about what our
intel community knew or thought they knew," he writes, "but not enough
about what they knew they didn't know." Policy makers can't afford to
be paralyzed by a lack of info., inaction by the world's superpower has
its own risks. Instead, Rumsfeld says the known known of info. gaps
should force a more robust give-and-take between policy makers &
intelligence analysts, allowing analysts to understand what policymakers
need to know & policymakers to understand what info. they can and
cannot get from intelligence.
Donald_Rumsfeld  superpowers  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  memoirs  decision_making  security_&_intelligence  information_gaps  humility  uncertainty  cost_of_inaction  unknowns  Thomas_Schelling  improbables  quotes  unfamiliarity  SecDef  policymakers  policymaking  intelligence_analysts 
april 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Tsunamis of Information - WSJ.com
MAR. 21, 2011 |WSJ| L. GORDON CROVITZ. Hayek spoke of the
'pretense of knowledge,' and why disasters are worse than expected. In
this information-saturated era, we expect no surprises. Yet we are
constantly surprised. We have huge amounts of data, so we assume that
risks can be calculated & avoided. But we also have exceedingly
complex systems. Just as weather is too hard to predict more than a few
days out because of how many variables interact, it's hard to predict
other complex systems. Consider credit instruments during the financial
crisis, the global warming debate, or global epidemics. Thus an
earthquake & tsunami, even in technologically advanced Japan, can
kill tens of thousands, wipe out entire villages, & re-open
questions about nuclear power....some physical systems turn out to be so
complex that they resemble unpredictable social sciences more than the
certainties of simpler physical science....We need to learn how to live
with both new technologies & new uncertainties.
disasters  complexity  Friedrich_Hayek  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  natural_calamities  information_overload  data  uncertainty  surprises  overconfidence  pretense_of_knowledge  earthquakes  tsunamis  social_sciences  certainty  psychology  unpredictability  compounded  risk-assessment  physical_systems  CDOs 
march 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: The 0.00002% Privacy Solution - WSJ.com
MARCH 28, 2011 | | By L. GORDON CROVITZ Most Web users are
comfortable sharing personal data in exchange for benefits. "Google Flu
Trends exemplifies why it is not possible to come to an objective,
prospective agreement on when data collection is sufficiently in the
public's interest and when it is not," writes Brooklyn Law School's Jane
Yakowitz in an academic paper, "Tragedy of the Data Commons." The
Google service uses just the sort of data that privacy advocates believe
should not be tracked, yet this kind of anonymized data is priceless
for research. "We are at great risk not of privacy threats," she writes,
"but of information obstruction." People are increasingly at ease with
sharing personal data in exchange for other benefits. They are happy to
provide information about themselves through social media so that they
can connect with friends and relatives on Facebook, look for new jobs on
LinkedIn, and stay on top of the news their colleagues are reading
through Twitter.
Facebook  Google  privacy  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  personal_data  Mydata 
march 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Exporting Wall Street - WSJ.com
* FEBRUARY 28, 2011

Exporting Wall Street
An unfriendly U.S. regulatory climate put the NYSE at a disadvantage.

*
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Wall_Street  mergers_&_acquisitions  NYSE 
march 2011 by jerryking
Crovitz: Julian Assange, Information Anarchist - WSJ.com
* DECEMBER 6, 2010

Julian Assange, Information Anarchist
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hopes to hobble the U.S. government.

*
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  WikiLeaks 
december 2010 by jerryking
In China, Even the Premier Is Censored - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 18, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by L. Gordon Crovitz. In China, Even the Premier Is Censored.
censorship  China  L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
october 2010 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: The More Exciting Story of Facebook - WSJ.com
* OCTOBER 11, 2010

The More Exciting Story of Facebook
'The Social Network' misses that innovation arises from hunches and serendipity, not lawsuits.

*
By L. GORDON CROVIT
Facebook  Mark_Zuckerberg  L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
october 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Iran's Ahmadinejad, Information Pariah - WSJ.com
SEPT. 27, 2010 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. When a
dictator's lies are so easily unmasked, can his threats be ignored?
Sometimes the reasonable response to threats is to take them seriously.
In his history of WW II, Churchill identified the theme of the 1st vol.
("The Gathering Storm") as "how the English-speaking peoples through
their unwisdom, & carelessness allowed the wicked to return."
Churchill spent the 1930s in the political wilderness, warning that
Hitler meant what he wrote in "Mein Kampf". He wrote that German
"opportunities for concealment, camouflage, & treaty evasion are
numerous & varied." For an info. pariah who persecutes his own
people & threatens others, the presumption must be that his
rhetoric, no matter how extreme, reflects his policy...Today, a leader
who consistently mocks, lies & threatens deserves to be set apart.
We can`t plead misunderstanding & will have ourselves to blame if
Ahmadinejad achieves his ambition of a bomb to back up his threats.
Iran  Ahmadinejad  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Winston_Churchill  lying  political_wilderness  '30s  WWII  threats  nuclear  presumptions  naivete 
september 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Now the News Finds You - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. Now the News Finds You . A Pew study finds people spend an
average of 70 minutes a day accessing new and old media.
news  newspapers  L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
september 2010 by jerryking
Is Technology Good or Bad? Yes. - WSJ.com
AUGUST 23, 2010 | | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Surely information overload is better than information poverty.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
august 2010 by jerryking
Don't Shoot the Speculators - WSJ.com
JULY 14, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | L. GORDON CROVITZ. They predict prices, not set them.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  short_selling  speculation 
august 2010 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: The Railroad Precedent and the Web - WSJ.com
AUGUST 16, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | L. GORDON CROVITZ
.The FCC bids to become the ICC of the Internet. "net neutrality."....
The companies said that highly competitive wireless services, such as
smart phones, should be largely unregulated. Bandwidth-hogging games and
services could require added payments to Internet service providers.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Google  Verizon  FCC 
august 2010 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: Technology Predictions Are Mostly Bunk - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 27, 2009,| Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ
Bill Gates, 1981: 'No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a
personal computer.'

*
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  predictions  wisdom_of_crowds 
august 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Antitrust Laws Don’t Make Sense with 21st Century Technology - WSJ.com
AUGUST 3, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. The Antitrust Anachronism: When will technology’s ever faster
cycles of creative destruction spell the end of antitrust law? The
Sherman Act and later antitrust laws were supposed to protect consumer
interests. That’s not so easy when regulators have to deal with
industries as different as oil, with its cartels and long product
cycles, and technology, where fast change is a constant necessity for
survival....the traditional approach to antitrust makes no sense in an
industry like technology, in which new entrants routinely topple
seemingly invincible market leaders....Scale matters...The size of the
audience is important...The bottom line is that by the time regulators
can assess a technology market, the market has often moved on.

*
antitrust  competition  21st._century  product_cycles  creative_destruction  regulation  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  constant_change  scaling  new_entrants  accelerated_lifecycles  regulators  market_leadership  cartels  consumer_protection  consumer_interests  market_sizing 
august 2010 by jerryking
From Gutenberg to Zoobert - WSJ.com
AUG. 8, 2010 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ . "Barnes &
Noble, whose more than 700 stores make it the largest bricks-and-mortar
book chain, put itself up for sale. Its market capitalization is less
than $1 B vs. Amazon's $55 B. This reflects both the better economics of
Web sales of print books and the increasingly uncertain future of print
books in an e-book world...Technology has made the physical scale of
B&N a liability...the iPad, with color and Web access, is pointing
the way to a new genre of e-books--called enhanced, multimedia or
"transmedia" versions of books, with video, audio and
interactivity...Textbook publishers offer e-books with video,
interactive testing and built-in research links...it's important to note
the costs...Lower sales of print books pressure publishers, which
usually get lower profits on e-books --> fewer opportunities for
aspiring authors until new business models emerge...it will take time
for book publishers and authors to find new revenues.
Barnes_&_Noble  creative_destruction  Johan_Gutenberg  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  e-books  publishing  textbooks  business_models  authors  bricks-and-mortar 
august 2010 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: Government Drops the Ball on Patents - WSJ.com
JULY 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. Without guidance from Congress or the Supreme Court, industry
turns to self-help. "Patent law is a few years behind copyright when it
comes to self-help. Patents are at the tectonic plate shift between the
Industrial Age and the Information Age. That's because so much new
technology, especially software, becomes valuable only when combined
with other innovations. This is very different from protecting a new
plowshare or cotton gin."....The pharmaceutical industry, which must
invest fortunes to clear regulatory hurdles for new drugs, needs a
different approach to patents than do software companies. (See also
Larry Downes, author of "The Laws of Disruption.")
patents  patent_law  intellectual_property  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  copyright  DIY  books  seismic_shifts  industrial_age 
july 2010 by jerryking
Drilling for Better Information - WSJ.com
JUNE 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
The financial crisis and BP share a common attribute: regulatory
failure.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  risk-assessment  risk-management  oil_spills  BP 
july 2010 by jerryking
Even Technologists Can't Predict the Future - WSJ.com
JUNE 7, 2010 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Steve Jobs says
the era of personal computers may be ending. Steve Ballmer disagrees.

*
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  future  Facebook  Google  Microsoft  Steve_Ballmer 
june 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Privacy Isn't Everything on the Web - WSJ.com
MAY 24, 2010 | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. Online social norms eventually catch up with what the technology is capable of.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  privacy  Facebook 
may 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Is Internet Civility an Oxymoron? - WSJ.com
APRIL 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. Unmoderated, anonymous comments on Web sites create more noise
than wisdom. "For those of us tempted to hope that new technology
might improve human nature, the Web has proved a disappointment. The
latest online reality: comment sections so uncivilized and uninformative
that it's clear the free flow of anonymous comments has become way too
much of a good thing."..."The hope was that people would be civil.
Instead, many comment areas have become wastelands of attacks and
insults."...Part of the problem is that people who conceal their names
seem to feel free to say things they never would if their identities
were known. There are obvious cases—dissidents living in authoritarian
countries—where anonymity is needed. But ... message boards dominated by
anonymous comments often become "havens for a level of crudity,
bigotry, meanness and plain nastiness that shocks the tattered remnants
of our propriety."
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  civility  internet  commentators  anonymity  courtesies  incivility  disappointment 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Misguided Attack on Derivatives - WSJ.com
APRIL 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Short-selling warns markets that an asset bubble is about to burst.
Easy money, easy mortgages, and banks too big to fail were key causes of
the credit crisis. It was also Wall Street's greatest information
failure in many years. We need more trading, not less, and more signals
in the market faster that prices need to be adjusted. The last thing we
need is outlawing opportunities for people like Mr. Paulson to bring
vital information to market.
derivatives  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  John_Paulson  information_gaps  signals  information_flows  too_big_to_fail  short_selling  bubbles 
april 2010 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz: The Search for Serendipity as Web Readers Miss Editors - WSJ.com
APRIL 5, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
The Search for Serendipity. Believe it or not, some Web readers are
starting to miss editors. "While digital media have given us access to
endless information from diverse sources, many of us focus our news
habits on narrow topics and familiar points of view. We end up
discovering fewer new ideas or opinions. In short, we have more
information but less understanding.

The challenge for modern information consumers becomes: How do you
discover what you don't know you want to know?

Old-time print journalists bemoan the absence of serendipity—the
accidental discovery of stories that readers didn't know they were
interested in reading."
curation  curiosity  digital_media  editors  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  print_journalism  serendipity  unknowns 
april 2010 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: Software for Digital Alteration of Textbooks Threatens the Relationship Between Author and Reader - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 28, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Software that blurs a writer's meaning is not progress....Technology
creates opportunities, and the genie shouldn't go back in the bottle.
Still, the integrity and authenticity that a single author provides
should not be lost. As Mr. Lanier reminds us, technological progress is
great, but we need to be sure it doesn't devalue our greatest growth
driver, individual creativity.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  textbooks  publishing  mashups 
march 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: From the Roman Codex to the iPad - WSJ.com
JANUARY 31, 2010, | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. " Apple's tablet reminds us there is a digital revolution
redefining the book. Books in their emerging forms make the best example
so far of using print for what it does best, digital for what it does
best, and both together for a dramatically new experience"...See also
Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard library, author of "The Case for
Books: Past, Present and Future" (Public Affairs, 2009)...."The history
of communication is that new technologies reinforce rather than
displace the old" ""Every age is an information age," Mr. Darnton says.
"It's just that information is organized in different ways." "
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  iPad  Apple  future  books  displacement  digital_revolution 
february 2010 by jerryking
China's Web Crackdown Continues
Jan. 11, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | L. Gordon Crovitz
China  censorship  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  copyright  dissension 
january 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Technology Is Stranger Than Fiction - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 23, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON
CROVITZ who comments on "Makers," the latest by best-selling writer Cory
Doctorow. This novel is set in a not-too distant future, when the
creative destruction of technological change has created an economy so
efficient, with profit margins so thin, that traditional companies can
hardly stay in business. "The system makes it hard to sell anything
above the marginal cost of goods, unless you have a really innovative
idea, which can't stay innovative for long, so you need continuous
invention and reinvention, too." This theme captures current anxieties.
Technology lets low-cost providers take market share away from
established companies, as Detroit auto makers and Paris fashion house
designers have seen.
storytelling  book_reviews  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Cory_Doctorow  creative_destruction  technological_change 
november 2009 by jerryking
Crovitz: The Supreme Court v. Patent Absurdity
NOVEMBER 16, 2009 | - WSJ.com | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Technological change is fast outpacing the ability of government to deal
with it. ...The bottom line [is] that business-process patents deserve
to be invalidated. The most telling moment in the Bilski argument was
when Justice Breyer asked how the balance should be struck between
granting patents for methods that applied to machines as opposed to
methods that apply to how information is used.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  U.S._Supreme_Court  patents  intellectual_property  technological_change 
november 2009 by jerryking
Gordon Crovitz: Diplomacy in the Age of No Secrets - WSJ.com
* AUGUST 30, 2009, 7:07 P.M. ET

Diplomacy in the Age of No Secrets
Today's quiet deal could be tomorrow's headline.

*
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  diplomacy 
september 2009 by jerryking
Information Overload? Relax
JULY 6, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ
information_overload  abundance  L._Gordon_Crovtiz 
july 2009 by jerryking
Obama and Cyber Defense - WSJ.com
JUNE 29, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON CROVITZ. The U.S. government should protect all e-infrastructure.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  cyber_warfare  cyber_security 
june 2009 by jerryking
Why Technologists Want Fewer Patents - WSJ.com
JUNE 15, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ. A
book on the U.S. approach to patents, "Jefferson vs. the Patent Trolls"
by Jeffrey Matsuura, makes the key point that "intellectual property
rights were not goals in and of themselves, but were instead a mechanism
through which society attempted to facilitate creative collaboration."
patents  innovation  law  intellectual_property  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  patent_law  patent_trolls  books 
june 2009 by jerryking
We Need an Immigration Stimulus - WSJ.com
APRIL 27, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.

Economic downturn is the right time to move on immigration, one of the
few policy tools that could clearly boost growth.Immigrants have had a
disproportionate role in innovation and technology. Companies founded by
immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google. Half of Silicon Valley
start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago. Some 40%
of patents in the U.S. are awarded to immigrants. A recent study by the
Kauffman Foundation found that immigrants are 50% likelier to start
businesses than natives. Immigrant-founded technology firms employ
450,000 workers in the U.S. And according to the National Venture
Capital Association, immigrants have started one quarter of all U.S.
venture-backed firms.
Silicon_Valley  start_ups  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Amar_Bhidé  immigrants  policy_tools  immigration  Kauffman_Foundation  disproportionality  economic_downturn 
may 2009 by jerryking
Easy Credit and the Depression - WSJ.com
MAY 5, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Judge Richard Posner's "A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and
the Descent into Depression". Explains behavior that looks irrational in
retrospect shows that it was logical, based on incentives at the time.
Prevention requires regulators with access to public and private
information to track systemic risk and clear, predictable rules for how
the Federal Reserve and other regulators would respond to various risk
situations.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  economic_downturn  Richard_A._Posner  risks  book_reviews  credit  predictability  failure  U.S._Federal_Reserve  regulators  incentives  information  information_flows  irrationality  systemic_risks  causality  public_information  private_information  hindsight  rules-based 
may 2009 by jerryking
Pandemics and Poor Information - WSJ.com
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Whenever there's a threat of epidemic, alongside early deaths comes the casualty of information. Asian governments at least learned from their recent experience of bird flu and SARS the importance of not covering up outbreaks. The still open question is how to assess warnings that health professionals make based on inadequate information. Almost by definition, the risk of an epidemic occurs when the one thing disease experts know for sure is that they don't know for sure what will happen.
"What new information would be sufficient to change your decision?"

Alexander's question (AKA 'Dr. Alexander's question') is a question used to uncover assumptions and associations that may be confusing your judgment. Asking what information would be needed to change your mind can help bring faulty reasoning to light, and it can also point out what facts you should be researching before committing yourself and others to a course of action.

The uncertainty about the longer-term threat of the current swine flu is a
reminder that nature is more complex than mathematical models.Scientific
hypotheses can then be tested, but this approach has limits when it
comes to predictions.
"Alexander's Question," named for a physician who had posed a canny
question of his fellow experts: What information might make the group
change its mind about the need for immunization? Focusing on it would
have led to more focus on uncertainties: the trade-off between side
effects and flu, the difference between the severity of the flu and its
spread, and the choice between mandatory vaccinations and stockpiling in
case of later need. Decision makers should ask themselves what new
"knowns" would change their views.
pandemics  epidemics  risk-assessment  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information_flows  information  decision_making  immunization  critical_thinking  uncertainty  assumptions  questions  Dr.Alexander's_Question  information_gaps  hidden  latent  facts  change_your_mind  problem_framing  tradeoffs  flu_outbreaks  side_effects  vaccines  stockpiles  information-poor  CDC  unknowns 
may 2009 by jerryking
Making Old Media New Again - WSJ.com
APRIL 13, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ

See Richard Tofel, "Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street
Journal and the Invention of Modern Journalism."

The Journal changed. Technology increasingly meant readers would know
the basic facts of news as it happened. Kilgore crafted the front page
"What's News -- " column to summarize what had happened, but focused on
explaining what the news meant, outline the implications for the
economy, industry and commodity and financial markets.
5_W’s  books  creative_renewal  digital_media  financial_markets  implications  journalism  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  news  newspapers  print_journalism  WSJ 
april 2009 by jerryking
Crovitz: In Finance, Too, Learning Entails Risk - WSJ.com
APRIL 20, 2009 |Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ

We know a lot about risk, information and probabilities, but not enough.
risk-taking  risk-management  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  cultural_change 
april 2009 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz Says Wikipedia Is Becoming the Best Encyclopedia - WSJ.com
* APRIL 6, 2009

Wikipedia's Old-Fashioned Revolution
The online encyclopedia is fast becoming the best.

*
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  wikipedia  Web_2.0  open_source 
april 2009 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz Says Venture Capitalists Are Too Market-Oriented for Bailout Money - WSJ.com
MARCH 2, 2009 WSJ column by L. GORDON CROVITZ opines on venture
capital, government bailouts and the problem of adverse selection. in
response to Tom Friedman piece in th NYT urging bailout funds for
venture capitalists.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  venture_capital  Tom_Friedman  bailouts  Fred_Wilson  moral_hazards  adverse_selection  industrial_policies  market_discipline 
march 2009 by jerryking
Information Wants to Be Expensive - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 23, 2009 WSJ op-ed by L. GORDON CROVITZ arguing that newspapers need to act like they're worth something.


Time magazine published a cover story earlier this month headlined "How to Save Your Newspaper." In it, former Time Managing Editor Walter Isaacson noted how odd it is to charge for subscriptions in print but not online. "Even an old print junkie like me has quit subscribing to the New York Times, because if it doesn't see fit to charge me for its content, I'd feel like a fool paying for it. This is not a business model that makes sense."......People are happy to pay for news and information however it's delivered, but only if it has real, differentiated value. Traders must have their Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters terminal. Lawyers wouldn't go to court without accessing the Lexis or West online service..........By 2007, the Journal's Web site had reached one million paying subscribers who value full access and convenient navigation to its unique business news. Another 20 million people each month read Journal articles made available free. Likewise, the Financial Times and ESPN generate significant online revenues from subscribers, along with free content. So do consumer services such as Consumer Reports and Zagat. Steve Jobs proved we'll pay up to $1 for digital songs on iTunes, and Amazon's Kindle established $10 as reasonable for a digital book. .........For years, publishers and editors have asked the wrong question: Will people pay to access my newspaper content on the Web? The right question is: What kind of journalism can my staff produce that is different and valuable enough that people will pay for it online?..........newspaper journalists still report the key local news. American Lawyer founder Steven Brill argues that "local newspapers are the best brands, and people will pay a small amount to get information -- whether it be a zoning board or a Little League game -- that they can't get anywhere else." A few local newspapers, such as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, charge for access online, knowing their news can't be found elsewhere...........When author Stewart Brand coined the expression "Information wants to be free," he focused on how technology makes it cheap and easy to communicate and share knowledge. But the rest of his quote is rarely noticed.

This says, "Information also wants to be expensive." The right information in today's complex economy and society can make a huge difference in our professional and personal lives. Not having this information can also make a big difference, especially if someone else does have it. And for valuable information, online is a great new way for it to be valued.
asking_the_right_questions  Bloomberg  brands  differentiation  digital_media  information  iTunes  journalism  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Lexis  local_journalism  newspapers  op_ed  questions  Steve_Jobs  Steven_Brill  Stewart_Brand  subscriptions  Thomson_Reuters  TIME_Inc.  traders  Walter_Isaacson 
february 2009 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz Says Technological Creativity Could Help Wall Street Make Sense of Data - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 9, 2009 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ reports on
the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. TED as an
antidote to recessionary pessimism. Reminder that other industries,
especially Wall Street, need to embrace the technologist ethos of
constant creativity and innovation. "Raw data, now!" Find new
relationships among data and new answers to problems in ways we haven't
been able to imagine
analytics  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Web  data  Wall_Street  TED  unimaginable  sense-making  pattern_recognition  patterns  data_mining  problems 
february 2009 by jerryking
Information Age: Bad News Is Better Than No News - WSJ.com
Jan. 26, 2009 WSJ column by L. Gordon Crovitz focuses on the
role that information gaps have played in fomenting the financial
crisis.
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  risks  news  VaR  crisis  information  uncertainty  information_gaps  bad_news 
january 2009 by jerryking
Inherently Risky Business
June 16, 2008 WSJ column by L. Gordon Crovtiz and the danger of
not knowing what you don't know. Dwells on risk vs. uncertainty. He
give an example of uncertainty as the unknowable relationships between
disparate variables, say, a falling dollar,a housing recession and
complex asset backed securities.
information_gaps  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  risk-taking  risks  uncertainty  unknowables  unknowns 
january 2009 by jerryking
Information Haves and Have-Nots - WSJ.com
Sept. 22, 2008 | Wall Street Journal | by L. Gordon Crovitz.
Piece on the ramifications of not having access to good information has
had on pricing securities. No one asks the right questions as research
analysts desert Wall Street.
======================================
...The credit crunch can be reduced to a single word. Not "greed," which also exists in stable markets. The word is "information," the absence of which has put taxpayers on the hook for billions, ruined Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and led to the fire sale of Merrill Lynch and AIG. The continuing absence of information about the true value of underlying securities means no one knows when the market has hit a new normal for the important purpose of rebuilding.

Why did so many smart people at so many top firms make dodgy investments? Why were there so many unknown unknowns, now at least becoming known unknowns? One explanation is the absence of warnings from research analysts. For decades, the large Wall Street brokerages had armies of analysts who, when they did their jobs right, asked the hard questions and issued tough reports that often alerted both company executives and public investors to market-moving issues.

There are now about half as many Wall Street analysts as in 2000......."Research analysts have gone the way of high-button shoes and buggy whips." Alas, unknown risks have not. The now-former senior executives at Bear Stearns, Lehman and Merrill must wish they had been able to retain all their star banking analysts. Those analysts just might have waved enough red flags -- in public or even in the hallways of the banks themselves -- to alert management to risks in their portfolios......a few of those analysts left these Wall Street firms for the "buy side," such as hedge funds, which keep their research proprietary, for their own trading. Predictably, it was well-informed short sellers at these firms who first alerted the market to the true value of credit derivatives and other mispriced instruments by driving down shares of firms such as Lehman.

At a time when real understanding is at a premium, we're increasingly in a world of information haves and have-nots......A corollary is that proprietary information will be more valuable than ever, giving well-informed traders an even bigger edge.

What's the solution? The temporary ban on short selling of financial firms will have the unintended effect of worsening the information gap. Professionals will perform the equivalent of short selling through nontransparent instruments and markets, leaving individual investors to be guided by public share prices that no longer reflect all known information......Part of the answer came in news earlier this month that Credit Suisse will make macroeconomic research from its analysts available to noninvestor clients of Gerson Lehrman Group, a powerful force in the world of independent research such as for hedge funds. Equity researchers from Credit Suisse joined the some 200,000 expert consultants that Gerson Lehrman has attracted to its network.......Clients of Gerson Lehrman pay hefty fees to tap this deep knowledge through one-on-one phone calls and meetings. Serving these clients will help Credit Suisse fund its 700-person research department.

When Gerson Lehrman launched a decade ago, it was to serve the deep information needs of investors in highly technical areas such as health and biotechnology. As Wall Street analysts began to leave the scene, it brought on experts in virtually every industry globally, with 150 research managers to help clients conduct more than 10,000 consultations monthly. These are often on arcane topics, such as the likely growth in salmon farming in Norway, or the odds of success for a particular drug trial. Perhaps some research was even done on, say, the proper pricing of derivatives.

Regulators can try to put genies back in bottles, but complex financial instruments that, when properly used, create value will only become more commonplace. Innovation will also be required for better-informed markets. By recruiting a huge number of experts and using online social-media tools to connect them to clients, firms like Gerson Lehrman can bring information, knowledge and insights to the people who most value and need it.
arcane  asking_the_right_questions  buy_side  equity_research  expert_networks  financial_instruments  Gerson_Lehrman  hedge_funds  information  information_gaps  information-poor  information-rich  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  market_intelligence  proprietary  regulators  research_analysts  selling_off  short_selling  uncertainty  unintended_consequences  unknowns  Wall_Street 
january 2009 by jerryking

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