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FTC Looks To the Future

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the crystal-balls dept.


netbuzz writes "The Federal Trade Commission will host three days of hearings starting Monday that are billed 'Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade' — a reprise of a similar FTC event held a decade ago that attendees still credit with having provided prescient guidance to regulators. You can judge for yourself whether they got things right."

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Protecting Consumers (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716209)

Which mean you're guilty if you don't repetitively pay for shite.
God fuxxorz the us and a !

Re:Protecting Consumers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16716239)

You're gay

Darwinism? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16716269)

Just what we need, the technically challenged US government protecting us by _committee_. Why don't I feel better about this???

Re:Darwinism? (1)

Qoroite (637807) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716597)

relax, committee's are the safest place to put stupid people.

Shouldn't it be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16716317)

From the article
"The Federal Trade Commission will host three days of hearings starting Monday that are billed 'Protecting Consumers in the Next Tech-ade' -- a reprise of a similar FTC event held a decade ago that attendees still credit with having provided prescient guidance to regulators."
netbuzz writes
"You can judge of that for yourself whether they got things right."

Re:Shouldn't it be... (1)

gartogg (317481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16721347)

RTFA. This is why I hate Slashdot - kneejerk reactions to anything government related, and stupid jokes.

They were spot on for almost all of the issues. They just couldn't do anything to prevent it.

He did invent the internet, after all (1)

dapsychous (1009353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716669)

Will Al Gore be on this committee? I can't think of anybody that would be more qualified.

Re:He did invent the internet, after all (1)

sirjoebob (1020743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717499)

senator ted stevens would be more qualified. if you dont know what i am talking about, click here: [] it is a very funny video involving ted stevens speech about the internet being a series of tubes ;)

Re:He did invent the internet, after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16717985)

It's a perfectly cromulent analogy.

Why is this article so slim? (1)

Alaria Phrozen (975601) | more than 7 years ago | (#16716829)

Ok, so a couple major things have happened in the past 10 years.

Cell phones. E-commerce. No-call lists. E-Marketing.

Now they're going to talk about HDTV, maybe a little internet regulation. If we're lucky they'll start the ball rolling for some serious anti-spam measures, but come on, technological trends are getting harder and harder to predict since things are changing at a faster and faster rate. Look at the difference in technological insertion between 1985 to 1995 and from 1995 to 2005. It's frickin' "cool" now to have a cell phone! Nerds rejoice! Things are getting crazy cool. Meeting people online isn't "psycho stalker" anymore.

Maybe I've been watching too much Back to the Future, but if you ask me an iPod nano would seem like magic to a person from 1985.

Good luck predicting what it'll be like in the next 10 years. I'm crossing my fingers for flying cars and Jaws 19.

Re:Why is this article so slim? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717067)

Meeting people online isn't "psycho stalker" anymore.

Speak for yourself.


Re:Why is this article so slim? (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717085)

I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head on this one... the pace of new technological developments is far too fast to make terribly useful predictions. They can look at big issues, but I daresay even then, they're going to be lucky to get even a small fraction of them right.

For instance, I'd say that Identity Theft is a huge problem today that wasn't on anyone's radar back then. I'm no expert in government, but it seems that the FTC would certainly be involved on some level. Dealing with current issues like that and other things such as DRM, fair use, corporate sponsored rootkits, and the like are excellent goals, but if they really want to take a pro-active role and try and get ahead of the ball on future issues, the first thing that needs to come out of this conference is a plan to hold similar ones more often.

Re:Why is this article so slim? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717227)

Where do you get Cell Phones from? They've been around like they are now since the pagers were popular, just more expensive. I've had them since the mid/late 80s. Then, you paid a per minute charge and it was like 22 cents off peak and 35 cents on peak. Batteries were huge and you paid roaming charges.

The ability to keep you cell number is new within 10 years and that is cool.

The concept of the iPod nano really isn't that far off either from 20 years ago.
Once you got the concept of the CD and that it's all 1s and 0s, sampled data(sounds and music) was pretty much commonplace for the musically literate in the 80s.
There was a Casio keyboard for $99 you could get that could record 20 seconds of audio and that was 1986/87. Take it up to the professional systhesizers with sampled data, it was everywhere.

I think the iPod would have been magic pre-Commodore computer era.

I can't wait until Jaws 19 and Rocky 6 either.

Forget about Rocky 6, that was a joke.

Re:Why is this article so slim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16720889)

but if you ask me an iPod nano would seem like magic to a person from 1985
wicked! A walkman with 10000 songs!

Many of the things that we have now are BUILT upon things that came out in the 50s/60s. Tech doesnt just 'happen' overnight. It isnt until recently that memory densities have been high enough, and chip sizes small enough (so as not to suck power), to pull off the iPod. The iPod is not the top of civilization. It is a 'neat' gadget. Think about this though. The mp3 that the iPod lives and breaths off of was invented in the late 80s. It is just the sound layer of mpeg 2 with some tweaks. All the pieces were there. No one had put them together quite in that way. In fact the original iPod was bought from another company with some tweaks. Apple did not want to risk too much into it.

My prediction? Apple iPod is gone as a brand in 10 years. Apple tends to 'lead the way' to mass market then sits by and lets someone else take their market away. With something that is equiv to what they have but at a lower price. It is already starting to happen. Apple is too full of themselves to realize that at any moment someone can take their toy away. That is why Microsoft trounced them marketing wise.

Do not confuse 'tech' with 'fad'. The reason the iPod is possible is because 'everyone wants one'. It is a fad gadget.

Also there is always someone willing to do it cheaper than you. (sorry about going on about the iPod) MS is currently taking away the iPod market from Apple. They are pretty much giving spec designs away to anyone that will take it. Why? Apple does not want to play with *ANYONE* else. They have the worst case of not invented here I have ever seen. MS is willing to 'almost' give it away to get market share. If your customer sells 1 billion dollars in something and you make 1 million for them to do it, why NOT do it?

Also as for Cell phones you can thank Qualcomm for shaking it up a bit. 'The arrogant solution' If it was left up to Nokia and Motorola we would still have startac phones and nokia bricks with 0 bit rates and not even thinking about TV on demand. Qualcomm was willing to whore themselves out to ANYONE. Just to get market share.

Things are not changing as fast as you think.

"Tech-ade" (1)

Hoplite3 (671379) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717097)

That term makes me want to cry. At least it isn't the "Techade confrence on nettiquite". Maybe someone should "linkroll" that one. All these new words, but no new ideas.

Re:"Tech-ade" (1)

Digital Avatar (752673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718141)

I fail to see the problem here. It's a perfectly cromulent word.

Language Conspiracy (1)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717339)

Does anyone else suspect that the english language has run out of words? Our slash & burn marketing has almost completely exhausted the natural supply. We are cobbling new buzzwords together out of existing words at an alarming rate.

Tech-ade? Soloprenure? Fantabulous?

One recent study from a Canadian research group suggests that the meaning of of 28% of all naturally occuring English buzzwords have been reduced by as much as 90% through over-marketing. We need to act now. If we fail, none of our words will have any meaning anymore, and our children will be unable to communicate.

Re:Language Conspiracy (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16727089)

On occasion I find it necessary to interact with these "children" of which you speak. I suspect the inability to communicate has already overtaken that generation.

"Hello, I'm From The Government...." (1)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717459)

"Hello, I'm from the Government and I'm here to help. "

Is there any more frightening sentence? Ronald Reagan understood this.

Re:"Hello, I'm From The Government...." (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717625)

Is there any more frightening sentence? Ronald Reagan understood this.

Oh please. Reagan increased the size of the federal government and instituted the "war on drugs" (perfect example of "I'm from the government, and I'm hear to help" ideology).

Re:"Hello, I'm From The Government...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16717641)

yes "President Jeb Bush"

the future conan? (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717691)

yes mr T the future, all the way to the year 2000! in the year 2000... in the year 2000..

Now how about that spam? (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 7 years ago | (#16717815)

Okay, fine. Great. *Now* are you going to do something about the obvious pump and dump stock scams being perpetrated through spam? There should be enough counts of fraud there to put some people away for ever and ever.

Just Give Consumers More Rights (1)

kiljoy001 (809756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718203)

I personally believe that they should just give citizens & consumers more rights for fair use, wireless access (allowing companies & individuals or the local/state goverment to create MAN in cities without interferance from companies), and other rights. Perhaps set up DRM guidelines that allow for DRM compatiablity between competetors etc. I say it again, they need to give people more rights for the media and bandwith they purchase.

Persuasive technology at this hearing (1)

radicalinterpreter (979331) | more than 7 years ago | (#16718969)

A video from Dr. BJ Fogg and the Persuasive Technology Lab (at Stanford University) will be shown at these hearings. It warns of the negative sides of persuasive technology -- from credibility to games. There are a bunch more videos about persuasive technology at ahref= [] http:/ />.

What about US postal service? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16722439)

Can they do anything about the cubic yard of junk mail I have collected in my garrage in the last 6 months?

How about protecting our freedom? (1)

fmjrey (618827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16723935)

Protecting consumers? Could we please stop using this word and talk about protecting people's freedom in their exchanges over the internet? Freedom not to be called or spamed, freedom to choose privacy levels, freedom to share, and freedom to express our opinions. Today we are faced with the Internet being threatened by its appropriation from network owners who are starting to choose and select content (in France they are starting to filter out p2p software). That is number one threat to everyone and Lawrence Lessig has been screaming about this for years, and rightly so. In his 1999 book 'Code Is Law' ( [] ) he literally argued that the architecture we devise for our information systems are like laws that are directly enforceable. In the real world leniency is built in because full enforceability would be too difficult, expensive, unpractical, or unrealistic. This allows a certain degree of flexibility within which exceptions can have their space, thus avoiding suffocation by complete control over everything. However in the architecture of information systems we can ensure rules are followed whatever the situation. Such level of enforceability are not necessarily desirable, and an obvious example is in the domain of copyright and how computer systems can enforce them, leaving little or no space for fair use. This is why the model of the commons is so crucial, especially where technology inserts itself in-between people's relationships. Letting just private and commercial interests be solely in charge of the network is a fundamental mistake. A social network software which cannot be changed by its users is simply a new form of totalitarism (cybertotalitarism?). How about online marketplaces where participants can't have a say in how the market should be operated, or where they can be excluded arbitrarily, or where their personal information is used for deviated purposes? We need tools and platforms that give us choices. Not just skin(deep) choices, but real choice on how to play the games and what the rules are. How we architect the next version of the internet is the crucial point, and the FTC should better (re)read Lessig and make his concerns item number one on the agenda.
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