4. August 2013
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Obama Administration Vetoes Ban on Sale of Some Apple iPhones, iPads
Concern Cited Over Patent Holders Gaining ‘Undue Leverage’
The Obama administration on Saturday vetoed a U.S. trade body’s ban on the import and sale of some Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads, a rare move that upends a legal victory for smartphone rival Samsung Electronics Co.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the decision to veto the ban on the Apple devices, citing concerns about patent holders gaining “undue leverage” as well as potential harm to consumers and competitive conditions in the U.S. economy.
He said Samsung could continue to pursue its patent rights through the courts.
The action marked the first time since 1987 that a presidential administration had vetoed an import ban ordered by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The ITC in June had ordered the import ban and an accompanying cease-and-desist order affecting some older-model Apple iPhones and iPads after finding the products infringed a Samsung patent.
The ban raised concerns among U.S. antitrust enforcers and touched off intense lobbying of the Obama administration by technology companies with opposing positions on the issue.
Critics of the ITC order questioned whether companies should be able to block rival products in cases involving patents that have been deemed to be essential to creating products based on key technologies overseen by industry standard-setting groups. Read the rest of this entry »
16. December 2012
Source: Technology Review
Subject: How President Obama’s campaign used big data to rally individual voters, part 1.
Why It Matters
The Obama 2012 campaign used data analytics and the experimental method to assemble a winning coalition vote by vote. In doing so, it overturned the long dominance of TV advertising in U.S. politics and created something new in the world: a national campaign run like a local ward election, where the interests of individual voters were known and addressed.
This is the first installment in a three-part series:
Part 1: The Scores
Part 2: The Experiments
Part 3: The Community
Two years after Barack Obama’s election as president, Democrats suffered their worst defeat in decades. The congressional majorities that had given Obama his legislative successes, reforming the health-insurance and financial markets, were swept away in the midterm elections; control of the House flipped and the Democrats’ lead in the Senate shrank to an ungovernably slim margin. Pundits struggled to explain the rise of the Tea Party. Voters’ disappointment with the Obama agenda was evident as independents broke right and Democrats stayed home. In 2010, the Democratic National Committee failed its first test of the Obama era: it had not kept the Obama coalition together.
But for Democrats, there was bleak consolation in all this: Dan Wagner had seen it coming. When Wagner was hired as the DNC’s targeting director, in January of 2009, he became responsible for collecting voter information and analyzing it to help the committee approach individual voters by direct mail and phone. But he appreciated that the raw material he was feeding into his statistical models amounted to a series of surveys on voters’ attitudes and preferences. He asked the DNC’s technology department to develop software that could turn that information into tables, and he called the result Survey Manager. Read the rest of this entry »