Reasons For Optimism 65-68

65. Newegg scored a major victory against a patent troll. This has a positive externality that makes it less likely that other e-commerce stores will come under attack by similar trolls.

66. Like Google, Twitter is revealing records of requests for user information by governments and law enforcement. This “competition” for transparency increases user awareness of government requests, as well as government awareness about user awareness, both of which should help lead to less invasion of privacy by governments.

67. The Panama Canal is being widened to accommodate more trade. While the project will take at least until 2015 and has already seen some delays, its completion will shave several thousand miles off many more trade routes, lowering costs and time needed for transporting the traded goods (especially energy).

68. After sufficient protest, Seattle’s Police Department is canceling its fledgling drone program. While there are certainly positive use cases for such police drones, overall I am concerned about the risks of mistakes and abuse, and unconvinced of any pressing need for them, so it’s encouraging to see one of the first test cases successfully halted. Some things aren’t inevitable – at least for now.

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