Headline June 18, 2016/ ''' GROWING NEXT APPLE : *EUROPE? CHINA? ASIA?* '''



WELL, LET ME BEGIN BY SAYING  -that Virtual Reality Headsets are the kind of technology that Europe just does not invent.

Never even tried.

It is worth repeating that Europe's Euro 5 billion action plan is to  ''unify and galvanise''  Europe's progress towards the  ' Fourth Industrial Revolution '.

According to EurActiv website it wants '' to put in place all the necessary building blocks for the next industrial phase so that European firms remain [sic] in the driving seat.

Great Words. yet to achieve that, what's needed is not the picking of winners or even the setting of standards, indeed nothing top-down at all. What's needed is the general encouragement of the conditions under which bright people-

*Set up businesses and engage in massive amounts of trial and error to discover unpredictable opportunities.

That means generous tax breaks for entrepreneurs, light-touch regulation, access to global talent and great tolerance of failure. Then stand back and let a thousand flowers bloom*.

Yet there is no sign of such policies being discussed in Brussels, writes Matt Ridley.  The measures the commission is currently proposing are making it harder to do digital business.

Prominent among them is the general data protection regulation {GDPR}, agreed in April with very little fanfare and coming into force by 2018.

It's a ''regulation''  and not directive, which is the commission's preferred new way of doing things these days  -that way it does not even have to waft through parliament, but just land in our lawunscrutinised by any national democracy. A harbinger of how the EU will be run from the centre UK will vote to remain.

*The GDPR punishes any company that mishandles data with a fine of up to 4 per cent of the turnover  -which could wipe out all profits in a low margin sector  -or Euro 20 million, whichever is the larger*.

Instead of leaving it up to national information commissioners to set up standards for data protection and limiting the risk to any one state, it makes the concept transnational. So the whole company will be vulnerable to a data-handling mistake in the weakest subsidiary or partner.

You can see where this came from. European politicians suspicious at what the likes of Google do with  ''our and their''  data.

But it will have a different effect on home-grown digital companies trying to ''enrich European citizens' lives by discovering solutions to challenges in health care, education, or the environment'' as Robert Atkinson, president of the think tank the Information and innovative foundation, puts it.

One entrepreneur reasons  :  ''If there is a more potent impediment to free trade over national borders between companies that will have to rely upon their partners' resilient and  robust compliance procedures, I should be very surprised.''

Tech entrepreneurs say that the additional cost to companies  [and perhaps public-sector bodies] of trying to protect themselves in the light of the GDPR is likely to be prohibitive.

Handling data about people is what digital companies do, and while it is right to insist they do not mess up,  it is wrong to extend the concept of private property too literally into cyberspace.

We do not punish people after all for discussing other people in pubs and other public places, after all.

Europe's biggest problem after all is its inability to achieve significant economic growth, unlike the other continents. Ordinary macroeconomic management just won't do-

Europe, needs to rediscover the passion for innovation that was the continent's  hallmark for centuries. Yet when faced with a whole new digital world, the best the European Commission can think of doing is putting obstacles in the way of entrepreneurs.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Europe and then the whole world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and !E-WOW! -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tech-Quest '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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