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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
Results 41-50 of 86

Why US Power Companies Don’t Want You Putting a Solar Panel on Your Roof

August 16, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The short answer: It will destroy their business model forever. In the US, electrical utilities are in a charged battle—complete with negative political ads—against solar panel distributors over rules that both sides say could put them out of business. Consumers are caught in the middle. A relatively new swathe of ...

Ten Billion Reasons Why the Government Should Make Life Easier for Homeowners

August 9, 2013 Fannie Mae, the nationalized US housing lender that US president Barack Obama would like to eliminate, will pay $10 billion back to the government this quarter—a boon to the deficit reduction project, but a problem for efforts to speed up the still-slow US economic recovery. The news comes in today’s ...

Is the US Government an IP Hypocrite or Just in Love With Apple?

August 6, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine for a moment that a US company owns a patent in a key market abroad. A rival there sells a product that infringes on that patent, so the company obtains an injunction from a technical commission to prevent the sales. Unexpectedly, the country’s president overrules the technocrats, allowing the ...

Sequester Budget Cuts Imperil America’s Fledgling Private Space Industry

July 26, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The budget impasse in Washington caused flight delays (until Congress fixed that) and cut million in funding for everything science research to pre-k teachers. Next up? The companies building spacecraft for NASA. Boeing, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada Corporation are competing to build the replacement the Space Shuttle to ferry astronauts ...

Who Is to Blame for Detroit’s Bankruptcy—China? Or Robots?

July 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow We know that, unlike most defeats, Detroit’s bankruptcy has a thousand fathers—everything from mismanaged pension funds to interest rate swaps gone the wrong way to years of racial animus that hollowed out the core of an already too-sprawling metropolis. But the fundamental problem of late has been the city’s depleted ...

3-D Printed Rocket Engines Could Make Space Travel Cheaper

July 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Even if 3-D printing doesn’t change the economy, it has the potential to change manufacturing—making it cheaper and capable of producing better parts and products. Now the NASA space agency and Aerojet Rocketdyne say they have successfully tested a rocket engine injector that was made using powerful lasers to “melt ...

Obama’s Case for the Benefits of Big Brother Government

July 9, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It was only seconds before US president Barack Obama mentioned Google when talking about how technology could transform government Monday morning. And indeed, the reinvention of government as a data mine was largely Obama’s point. While he didn’t refer to the government’s collaboration with Google and other tech companies to ...

China May Soon Peddle Discount Drones to the Developing World

June 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Want to buy a military-grade drone? That won’t be easy, unless you’ve got a good relationship with Beijing. This week’s Paris air show highlighted the trouble with the burgeoning drone economy: While the technology is better than ever, there still aren’t many people who can legally buy unmanned vehicles. Civilian ...

Bitcoin Lovers: This Is What It Looks Like When the US Wants to Destroy a Currency

June 14, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There’s a big difference between bringing down a currency and simply trying to regulate it. Today a top US financial crime official said digital currencies like bitcoin shouldn’t fear government plans to regulate them like regular old financial institutions. “Administrators or exchangers of virtual currencies have registration requirements and a ...

Drone Builders Prepare to Create Immigration Reform’s Lucrative Border Panopticon

June 12, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The immigration bill that aims to solve America’s unauthorized immigration problem and clogged visa system is almost through the Senate. The only thing left to do is hand out jobs and cash to the contractors who will secure the US-Mexican border with round-the-clock high-tech surveillance. Tuesday the bill overcame its ...