cj#669> Giveaway programs


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Below are two recent pieces that exemplify the massive amount of research
that has been funded by you and me and carried out by the US government.

The topics here, by the way, are hypocrisy and theft.  Hypocrisy: regarding
the efficacy of the private sector and the impotence of government.  Theft:
of public property by corporations, as provided by standard government
operating procedure.

When the Telecom Act of 96 was being debated in Congress, I recall some of
the rhetoric from the Gingrich camp: "the cyberspace future must be turned
over to private enterprise, because government could never make progress in
such a high-tech area".  Right.  Now that the Act is passed, it seems old
Uncle Sam isn't so stupid after all - and besides he'll do the work at
taxpayer expense.

I don't mind so much that corporations are allowed to exploit public
inventions - presumably that's the efficient approach in many cases - but
why don't we get royalties?  Who signed our rights away to inventions we
paid for?   (Rhetorical questions, but theft nonetheless, imho).


Date: Sun, 11 May 1997
From: Phil Agre <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: ACM Washington Update V 1.2


The Clinton Administration's Next Generation Internet (NGI) involves
research and development programs across federal agencies, with $100
million requested for FY '98.  A draft concept paper outlining the
concepts and goals of the NGI initiative has been posted for public
comment. The draft was prepared by the Large Scale Networking Working
Group of the Computing, Information, and Communications R&D Subcommittee.
The draft concept paper notes that "the Internet technology, designed for
a network of thousands, is laboring to serve a network of millions, but
new technology, protocols, and standards can be developed to lead to an
NGI at rates thousands of times faster than today.  Several years of
generic, pre-competitive research and testing will be required."  The
federal government has proposed to participate in this effort because
"critical federal missions require a NGI, and because much of the needed
research is too long-term or high-risk for the private sector to fund."
The draft concept paper is available at:
http://www.hpcc.gov/ngi-concept-08Apr97/ Comments may be sent by May 15 to
•••@••.••• or faxed to 703/306-4727.

From: "Prism Express" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997
Subject: SCIENCE-WEEK May 15, 1997

(formerly the science-news list)

A Weekly Digest of the News of Science

May 15, 1997

A new report prepared for the U.S. National Science Foundation
by a private research group (CHI Research Inc., Hadden Hts. NJ)
indicates that publicly-financed scientific research is the most
significant source of industrial innovation of all kinds. The
study found that 73 per cent of the main science papers cited by
American industrial patents are based on domestic and foreign
research financed by government or nonprofit agencies. The
remainder of the research (27 per cent) is financed by private
companies. Martin A. Apple, Executive Director of the Council of
Scientific Society Presidents, says of the report, "It's a wake-up
call for Federal investment policies." (New York Times 13 May)