Category Archives for "Free Markets"

Apple, The FBI, and Individual Private Property Rights

Apple, the FBI, and Individual Private Property Rights

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. wrote a letter to all Apple customers. It was one of the best letters in modern times I have read regarding individual private property rights.  You can read the letter by clicking here.

Private property rights are one of the rights of a society which honors liberty. There are very few countries even today who honor private property rights. It is one of the things that made our nation unique and created so much prosperity.

Most of us take our right to private property for granted. A part of private property is privacy. Privacy is something we hold dear. We like our privacy. We also tend in most instances to honor the privacy of others.

I commend Tim Cook of Apple for taking the stand against this unprecedented demand by the U.S. government to force a private company to create a back door in order to break into a phone.

Among those who are coming to the support of Apple in this case are: Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Airbnb, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twellio, Ebay, AT&T  and many others, the list is long, and several trade groups like the Consumer Technology Association and others. You do know that Google and Apple are not exactly friends. However, we must all stand together to protect our individual rights.

The reasons this has everything to do with your privacy is as follows:

  1. Encryption is highly important to security. It is your personal security we are talking about. You store your photos, your personal information and now the Apple pay encrypted chip, and many other personal details on your smart phone.  The reason we have encryption is to protect our data from hackers, thieves, bad guys and anyone else we don't want messing in our business. Apple has always been at the forefront of protecting their customers with security for their data so much so that Apple does not even have access to your data.  They believe the content on your iPhone is not any of their business. They are correct.
  2. The FBI asked Apple for help. Apple helped in every way they could.  Apple even had their engineers available to help the FBI.  One of the FBI agents  tried to reset the password to the terrorist's phone and then got totally locked out. Apple can not get them back in.
  3. The FBI is requesting Apple to create a “back door” to the phone. This type of software does NOT even exist today. And thank goodness it does not exist. This could and most likely would get into the wrong hands. After all, how many times has information been in the wrong hands that was supposed to be secure? This is what Tim Cook said about this: “Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.” I certainly don't trust that it would only be used one time. It will be one time, then another time, and another…
  4. The government is saying that Apple can create the back door for just one phone. That is not true. Once a back door is created, you open a pandora's box. This would be just the tip of what could possibly happen in the future. It would be like “making a master key” that would open every door to every bank, restaurant, office building. Do you really want someone having the master key to your private data on your phone?
  5. Now, usually in these kinds of cases where the FBI is not getting what they want, the normal channel would be to go through congress to try to get something passed to force Apple to do something they are refusing to do. But that is not what is happening in this situation, The FBI is trying to use an very antiquated law, the All Writs Act of  1789 to force Apple into compliance.  Well, there were no computers in those days, no iPhones, no phones! The All Writs Act was created 50 years before the telegraph was invented and nearly 100 years before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone! Now the government wants to use this old writ to force a company to do what they want it to do.

This is what Tim Cook says about this forcing: “The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”

This is an overreach by the U.S. Government. Using “national security” as a reason or excuse to invade your personal space does not make it ethical or right.

Tim says it better than I could say it:  “While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.”

Now Apple is tied up in Congressional hearings over this matte and going to court again.  The majority of Congressmen and women are really not that well trained in encryption data and security. All of the techie companies that do know about encryption and keeping our data protected and private have ALL warned against the creation of a back door.

Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association  said the tech sector is very united in this case because the” FBI wants Apple to create weaker software or introduce “malware” to be able to crack the locked iPhone.”

He continued:

“…to give law enforcement access, Congress could in theory mandate that devices use automatic cloud backups that could not be disabled. But that would constitute a dramatic departure from current views about privacy.

“From an individual rights standpoint,” he said, “that would take away control by the user of their personal information.”

Briefs from:

From Airbnb, Atlassian, Automattic, CloudFlare, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Medium, Meetup, Reddit, Square, Squarespace, Twilio, Twitter and Wickr:

Dangerous precedent. “The government's demand here, at its core, is unbound by any legal limits. It would set a dangerous precedent, in which the government could sidestep established legal procedures authorized by thorough, nuanced statutes to obtain users' data in ways not contemplated by lawmakers.”

More important than ever. “The unprecedented scale of digital information used, stored and communicated on the Internet means that ‘privacy,' which ‘has been at the heart of our democracy from its inception,' is “needed now more than ever.”

And from:

From Amazon, Box, Cisco, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nest, Pinterest, Slack, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Yahoo:

Outdated rules. “The government seeks a dramatic extension of New York Telephone (a 1977 Supreme Court case) to cover ever-evolving technologies…It is dangerous to extend that limited endorsement of judicial power over third parties to situations the Supreme Court never could have envisioned.”

Not just one hack. “The government's motion reassures the court and the public that the request here is a one-time-only hack. But there are already strong indications that law enforcement will ask for broad authority under the All Writs Act on facts far different from the terrorism investigation at hand.”

A most personal device. “Cell phones are the way we organize and remember the things that are important to us; they are, in a very real way, an extension of our memories. And as a result, to access someone's cell phone is to access their innermost thoughts and their most private affairs.”

And from:

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 46 technologies, researchers and cryptographers:

Conflict of expression. “The Order is unconstitutional because it compels Apple to express itself in conflict with its stated beliefs. The Order forces Apple to say something it does not want to say and that it believes is ‘dangerous.' It then forces Apple to endorse code it does not want to endorse and thereby undermine the trust it has established in its digital signature.”

This is a serious matter before us. While most people are being entertained by the politics of the day, this hearing is going on. This is a very important hearing and we should be paying attention to it. When rivals in the technology come together and even file briefs in behalf of Apple or any company put in this position, we should be paying attention.

The government has no right to force any private company to create something for them.  The All Writs Act also does not put forth the right for government to do this either.

Twitter and Ebay wrote this in their brief:

The All Writs Act does not authorize the government to make an end-run around this important public debate and our nation’s legislative processes… This extraordinary and unprecedented effort to compel a private company to become the government’s investigative arm not only has no legal basis under the All Writs Act or any other law, but threatens the core principles of privacy, security, and transparency that underlie the fabric of the Internet.

You can write letters or email your congressional leaders about your interest in this case and why.

Apple and the FBI appear in court again on March 22, 2016.  Let Apple know you support them if you do.

 

 

How Can We Stop Patent Trolls- H.R.9 Won’t Stop Them

If you are a REALTOR® then you received one of the emails from NAR asking you to contact your Senators to pass H.R. 9 for the sake of your business. If NAR was really so concerned about our businesses then they must also understand that we are not all just REALTORS® but also innovators and some of us own technology we invented and some of us run small businesses. The bill is not what the email said it was. I am embarrassed to say that I fell for it. And now, I am going to try to make amends by educating myself and you on what this bill is really going to do. 

As always, there are 2 sides to every bill, 2 sides to every argument. The biggest problem with passing laws contained in bills is 1. there is always more to it than what the people interpreting the bill lead on and 2. there are always unintended consequences to every law. 

When we face a problem or issue there are those who immediately jump on it and develop some kind of bill and run to legislate. I think that the politicians we send to Washington think they have to keep writing and passing new laws in order to feel as though they are worthwhile, like if they are not passing bills and laws they are not doing their job. But there are way too many laws now. Imagine passing laws every single session. Can you even add up how many laws there are now?

The REALTOR® Party sent out a call to action about the patent trolls that are out there ready to destroy your small business. This article is for all small business owners and entrepreneurs not just REALTORS®. 

The REALTOR® Party is admonishing each member to contact their congressmen and women to pass H.R.9 which the REALTOR® Party says will stop this abusive practice of 'legal' extortion over simple uses of every day technology such as your scanner and your drop down menu on your website.

I read the REALTOR® Party's call to action and I did contact the representatives of our area to ask them to stop this practice by passing H.R. 9. I am sorry to say, I reacted too soon. That is not like me. I usually study an issue very closely before deciding which action to take.

I also should have known better because the NAR was all for the ACA ( Obamacare) and we are suffering horribly from the health care laws that allow the IRS to extort money from us in the name of more taxes. I digress....

The issue is the NPEs that are trolling the patents and then becoming like the ugly trolls in Billy Goat's Gruff extorting a fee for crossing the bridge. There are people who will come after you and sue you for patent infringements based on patents they themselves did not create or invent. 

A friend of mine who is in a mastermind group with me stated that he met a man who does this for his business. He explained to my friend how he does this and my friend wondered how he lives with himself doing this kind of business which is obvious extortion. It is nasty and dirty business.

Unfortunately it is not as simple as passing H.R 9 to stop these trolls without hurting the true NPE's as there are good reasons to allow NPE of the original intent of the patent laws. The bad NPEs have taken advantage of this loophole to which our Founding Fathers did not intend. H.R. 9's language is too vague.  ​

Let's have a bit of history about the United States Patent laws. ​

NPE stands for Non Practicing Entities.  These include universities, research departments and start up companies who don't actually product their inventions themselves for many reasons. For startups this is usually because they don't have enough money to manufacture their inventions. For universities, the reason is obvious.  These instances greatly add value to our economy. 

This is also not a new idea. The Founding Fathers over 200 years ago also understood the value of adding to our economy by way of regular and poor people being able to invent products and then allowing another person to produce it. Even Thomas Edison did this.  The Founding Fathers wanted to stimulate our poor economy and this was a way to do it since in England ONLY the wealthy could obtain patents. 

In England you had to be very very rich and be able to pay for a factory to be built and hire the workers and so forth in order to manufacture an invention. This keeps innovation inside of a tightly knit group of wealthy people.

Our country is the first country in the world to have a patent licensing law and the right to resell your patents.  In early America, over 70% of all the patent owners had very little schooling. Even Thomas Edison had to leave school in order to take care of his family. 

By the time of the Civil War the United States had three times more patents than England did when we had double in population. Then soon after we had five times as many patents as England had. Because most of the people were poor that were inventing products about 85% of these patents were licensed. These licensed patents were so important to our early industrial revolution and growth our country had. 

For more reading on this subject here is an article you can read to get more details on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/econostats/2015/05/29/who-are-patent-trolls-and-what-will-h-r-9-do-about-them/

In the last 30 years over 5,000 new products have been launched through this patent licensing known as NPEs. 

Stop H.R. 9 - new patents are more often licensed patents, save innovation 

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The patent trolls are nasty people who send you a demand letter telling you to pay up for infringing on their license fee by you not paying for the right to use the invention.  Some of these trolls buy these licenses in groups of a particular type of technology.  You get served this demand letter saying you have infringed. The letter warns you, you will get a declaratory judgment in court.  They extort money from you for what they call "license fees" to keep using said product. 

But the H.R. 9 bill does little to address the very issue that proponents are talking about. 

According to another opinion on Forbes: 

Under such proposals, if enacted, Congress would generally require more particularity in demand letters and lawsuits, shift both parties’ litigation fees to the losing side, limit often expensive and time-consuming discovery, require disclosure of all beneficial owners of asserted patents, and protect users and purchasers of alleged infringing products from suit unless the manufacturer had first been sued or if the manufacturer agreed to assume defense of the suit.

If the REALTOR® Party considers itself a party to represent the best interest of REALTORS®, it should be also foremost also should be proactive in protecting private property rights which is embedded in the NAR Preamble. Private property rights cover different areas and more than just land. Private property rights also entail the house you own, the production of your hands and brain, the material things you own, your own person and space around you. It also should include intellectual property rights as many REALTORS® have invented processes and systems for the real estate market and businesses. 

H.R. 9 passed the house by a big majority: 24- 8. 

To read the Judiciary Committee's press release on this passage click here: http://judiciary.house.gov/index.cfm/press-releases?id=00590462-03D1-414F-B266-2BBEEFC62074

Chairman Gootlatte said this: 

“At its core, abusive patent litigation is a drag on our economy and stifles innovation. It is a problem that impacts businesses and industries of all types and the jobs of the people who work for them, from the tech sector to the hospitality industry and even grocery stores. Everyone from independent inventors, to start-ups, to mid-and large-sized businesses face this constant threat. The tens of billions of dollars squandered on settlements and litigation expenses associated with abusive patent suits represent truly wasted capital – capital that could have been used to create new jobs, fund research and development, and create new innovations and technologies.

“The Innovation Act takes the necessary steps to address abusive patent litigation, while protecting legitimate property rights. Specifically, the legislation targets abusive behavior rather than specific entities, preserves valid patent enforcement tools, preserves patent property rights, promotes invention by independents and small businesses, and strengthens the overall patent system.”


The Bill now goes to the Senate. You can track the bill here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr9

The BIO tech industry organization is against H.R. 9 . 

Groups who are against this H.R. 9 bill say that this bill will stifle innovation by regular people and poor people. They are saying that this will undermine our patent industry and the patent laws which created the innovation we have been able to experience in our country. 

Will H.R. 9 Stifle innovation and small business patents?

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The biggest giveaways that something may be amiss with a bill is what they name the bill. If it something peachy and rosy and makes you feel good- it most likely is not. 

The Hill reported: 

H.R. 9, the ill-named “Innovation Act” will allow large, market-dominant firms to infringe with impunity, by making it much more difficult for small inventors to enforce their patents. Three years ago, the American Invents Act made it more difficult to get and keep patents. H.R. 9, purported to solve a patent troll problem, is instead the next step in crushing competition from new small firms, creating “Big Tech Patent Ogres” that can ignore smaller players and their patents. This new bill makes it almost impossible for small technology startups to enforce their patents.

​The Hill's has a very good article about the assault on small businesses this new so called innovation act is going to be: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/238973-hr-9-crushes-innovation-killing-the-american-dream

How much of the H.R. 9 bill did the REALTOR® Party  and the NAR read? Did they read the entire bill? Did they discuss the ramifications with their legal counsel? 

And here is what Schmidt the  co-chair of the Small Business Technology Council has to say:


The U.S. patent system promotes innovation. H.R. 9 will retard innovation and cost America jobs and wealth. H.R. 9 is contrary to the Founding Fathers’ Constitutional intent, contrary to the policies of 220 years of patent law, and contrary to stated intention of the President and Congress to stimulate innovation. We urge the Congress, the White House and the SBA to oppose these potentially damaging changes, and instead support either the Troll Act in the House or the STRONG Patents Act in the Senate, both of which solve the troll issue, but do not hurt small inventors. If H.R. 9 becomes law as is, patent ogres will be a much worse problem than trolls could ever be.

"If H.R. 9 becomes law as is, patent ogres will be a much worse problem than trolls could ever be."

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Study the bills before you write your congress and representatives, study before you vote. Don't believe what you read. Explore, research, and most of all, read the bills! 

Jackson Hole Wyoming- A Bit of Heaven on Earth

Jackson Hole Wyoming is one of my favorite places in the world. It is a touch of heaven here on earth. After we stayed at Yellowstone we drove around, up and then through the Tetons into Jackson Hole. 

As we drove around the windy roads we stopped at this overlook. The views were outstanding. From the viewpoint I was able to take this photo looking into the valley of Jackson Hole. What an amazing vista, a feast for the eyes. 

Overlook into Jackson Hole Valley Wyoming Ranches for sale

There is this friendly western atmosphere when you drive into the town. I could hear the ‘awe's from our family members in the car as we entered into the town. It is one of those places where you want to stay a while. Like my dream is to be able to stay there through late spring after the snow is melted to the end of fall before the snow falls again one year and spend time soaking it all in and writing a book and doing a bunch of online marketing:). Tristan asked if we were going to stay for a week in Jackson :). 

Jackson Hole Wyoming homes ranches for sale real estate for sale land for sale

The locals are so friendly. I talked to shop owners all along the downtown area to find out where they were from, if they were seasonal, etc. Every person I spoke with lived in Jackson Hole full time and loved living there. The attrition rate of move outs is super low, like less than 6% per year. That means people don't leave. 

Jackson Hole Wyoming shopping retail retire in wyoming

We were there in October of this year but before that I had not been to Jackson Hole since 1988. The same shops were still there. The streets looked the same. There was some new build out towards the outskirts of the town, like a new Walmart and some other newer stores and shopping centers. But the downtown area looks like time has stood still. 

move to Jackson Hole Wyoming homes for sale

Parking downtown is free, no having to pay those meters which helps with the sense of a slower lifestyle. Across the street from where we parked was a local bakery and next door to the bakery I saw a Raw Juice shop. It was the first time on our road trip I found fresh beet juice:). These were old homes that were converted to businesses. I love to talk with entrepreneurs about their dreams and businesses so it was fun meeting the business owners. 

Jackson Hole Wyoming business for sale commercial real estate

Wort Hotel is a National Historic Landmark and you can stay at the hotel to get a great western feel of this part of the country. 

Wort Hotel Jackson Hole Wyoming- Move to Jackson Hole Wyoming

Life is easy to enjoy in Jackson Hole Wyoming. You can take a stroll through the town center park or rest on one of the benches as this couple is doing. The weather was awesome! The air was fresh and the water tasted like natural spring water. 

Retire in Jackson Hole Wyoming real estate for sale homes for sale townhomes for sale

Going shopping is the big event for tourists that come to Jackson Hole Wyoming but locals shop here as well. You can spend an entire day shopping the downtown area shops. You can find high quality leather goods, western hats and boots, belts, well, all things western. 

commercial properties for sale in Jackson Hole Wyoming

We stopped by this real estate office in the middle of the tourist area of the town square. I am sure that nearly everyone that visits Jackson Hole wants to know how much it would be to buy their dream home there. Since land is very scare the properties, ranches and homes are on the higher end of the market. Most of all the land is National Forests so private land is not easy to come by. Only 3% of the land in the area is privately owned. 

real estate for sale in Jackson Hole Wyoming homes for sale

The population of Jackson Hole is around 9,500 full time residents. 

Jackson Hole is a business friendly town. If you are thinking of starting a business Jackson Hole may be worth considering. While retail and tourist services have been popular in Jackson Hole, a new breed of entrepreneurs are moving to Jackson Hole – website developers and internet marketers because they can easily work from home. The following is a list of reasons that Jackson Hole might make the list of most friendly to businesses and entrepreneurs: 

 

  • No state personal or corporate income tax
  • No state inheritance tax
  • No state gift tax
  • No state tax on retirement income
  • No state franchise or excise tax
  • No state tax on real estate sale proceeds
  • Low real estate property tax
  • No state tax on mineral interest ownership
  • No state tax on intangibles

Wyoming is a great state to retire in. There is no tax on retirement income and no inheritance tax. Mind you, the IRS and the FEDs still have taxes that you have to pay. Wyoming is one of the best states to create a family trust in according to the Bank of Jackson Hole trust division. There is also protection from creditors. 

If you are going to move to Jackson Hole Wyoming contact Nestor Gasset and Katerina Gasset today at 561-753-0135. We will assess your needs in housing and place you with one of our colleagues who is licensed to sell real estate in Wyoming who will represent your interests in your home or business purchase. 

 

 

a couple of years ago

Guess What Country in the World is the Best To Invest in Real Estate and Business?

Guess What Country in the World is the Best To Invest in Real Estate and Business? You May Just Be Surprised. 

Please place your guess in the comment section below. 

This country has made gigantic reforms economically recently and is aggressively embracing free market principles. 

Magical forest in Rostuse, Macedonia

Here are a few clues to help you guess which country this is: 

1. 10% flat tax for businesses and investors making this a very appealing country to invest in. 

2. 10% flat tax for personal income. 

3. Tax holiday for up to 10 years if you buy property to build commercially on in the TIDZ's. 

4. Listed as the 3rd best reformer in the world.

5. It only takes 4 hours to register your company!!!! 

6. Totally WiFi country-wide and very technologically advanced.

7. English is the main language being taught in the schools now. 

8. Great ally to the U.S.A and people there love Americans. 

9. U.S. citizens do NOT need a visa for entry. 

10. Huge Commercial Real Estate investment opportunities. 

11. Duty Free access to a market of over 650 million customers through trade agreements. 

12. Geo- Strategically located. 

13. High quality of life. 

14. It is absolutely beautiful there. 

Guess What Country in the World is the Best To Invest in Real Estate and Business?

Guess What Country in the World is the Best To Invest in Real Estate and Business? You May Just Be Surprised. 

Please place your guess in the comment section below. 

This country has made gigantic reforms economically recently and is aggressively embracing free market principles. 

Here are a few clues to help you guess which country this is: 

1. 10% flat tax for businesses and investors making this a very appealing country to invest in. 

2. 10% flat tax for personal income. 

3. Tax holiday for up to 10 years if you buy property to build commercially on in the TIDZ's. 

4. Listed as the 3rd best reformer in the world.

5. It only takes 4 hours to register your company!!!! 

6. Totally WiFi country-wide and very technologically advanced.

7. English is the main language being taught in the schools now. 

8. Great ally to the U.S.A and people there love Americans. 

9. U.S. citizens do NOT need a visa for entry. 

10. Huge Commercial Real Estate investment opportunities. 

11. Duty Free access to a market of over 650 million customers through trade agreements. 

12. Geo- Strategically located. 

13. High quality of life. 

14. It is absolutely beautiful there.