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Government Sponsors Truthy Study of Twitter

The debate over the National Science Foundation study of Twitter is getting off track. The sole issue at stake is whether it is appropriate for the government to fund Truthy — no matter how worthwhile it may be.

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3-D Printing: Challenges and Opportunities

With physical copying now approaching digital copying in terms of ease, cost, and convenience, how will the advent of this new technology affect intellectual property rights, be they patents, copyrights, or trademarks?

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Do the Locomotive

Fifty years after the first rapid train began its scheduled service, this comfortable, safe, and efficient mode of transport still has not caught on in North America.

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How Green Is Europe?

A superficial look might indicate great achievements. Yet a closer view reveals how far European renewables have to go, and what irrational choices are made to meet EU green energy quotas.

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The Sharing Economy Under Pressure

Uber, Lyft and Airbnb’s regulatory roadblocks continue.

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Scientists Sit Out Genetic Engineering Debate

If scientists cannot or will not explain the issue, then farmers have very little chance of protecting a technology that has immense value to consumers.

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The U-9 and the Realm of the Unexpected

Exactly 100 years ago the world was reminded yet again that war — declared or undeclared — is in many ways a chronicle of disastrous assumptions and unpleasant surprises.

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Flash Point: New Oil-by-Rail Rules

Proposed regulations of oil-bearing trains pose several challenges and divert us from more important safety questions.

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The Long-Hours Luxury

One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours. The rich now work more than the poor.

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Big Data: Here to Stay, but with Caveats

Criticism of big data is due to three paradoxes. For starters, it's ubiquitous but hard to define.

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Uber Upstarts: Technological Progress and Its Discontents

The battle between new smartphone-enabled 'transportation network companies' and legacy taxicabs largely mirrors the age-old war over productivity, a war that only ever has one outcome.

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The Refrigerator's Cool Century

The home refrigerator, a vital but modest technology, is 100 years old.

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The Genetics Revolution Challenge and How to Incentivize Biomedical Research

The genetics revolution poses challenges to the way that the FDA and patent system influence medical research. Prize-grants could be better suited to providing incentives for the sort of research becoming valuable.

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Aereo Decision a Boon, Not a Bane for Innovation

Aereo’s system was a case of legal engineering rather than technical ingenuity.

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The Natural Gas Boom: Questions and Complications

Complex changes do not bring unalloyed benefits, and rather than adhering to a simplistic infatuation with new riches, we should recognize a number of already obvious complications and ask a number of necessary questions.

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The Future Electric Grid

We hear increasingly that technology is making today’s electric utility model ‘obsolete’ and will put its companies into a ‘death spiral.’ Is it possible that so much has changed so quickly?

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California’s New Solar Plant: Burning Up Taxpayer Money, Land, and Wildlife

While the federal government receives net payments for electricity-related oil and gas production on federal land, the net subsidy for the new Ivanpah solar plant is almost 300 times greater.

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New FDA E-cigarette Regulations: Killing an Industry, Killing Smokers

If the FDA's proposed regulations go into force, the likely outcome is a severe reduction in consumer choice, and thus fewer smokers quitting and more dying needlessly.

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Crowdfunders' Losing Deal

Shouldn’t those who contribute the funds to launch successful startups also share in any profits?

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Could Computers Get Too Smart?

Some scientists and philosophers worry that artificial intelligence may someday make humanity superfluous.

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