“Regulatory Humility” Enabled 4G “Entrepreneurial Brilliance”

(p. A15) America dominated 4G because the government largely got out of the way of risk-takers. U.S. regulators, unlike their European counterparts, didn’t try to mandate technical standards or require forced sharing of their wireless networks with competitors. Regulatory humility produced one of the greatest explosions of entrepreneurial brilliance in human history, the mobile internet.
Today the FCC is helping speed 5G deployment by modernizing regulations. Last December it removed utility-style regulations placed on wireless broadband by the Obama administration. On Sept. 26, it pre-empted localities from charging outrageous fees for 5G deployment. It is also gearing up to auction more spectrum in November to help connect the Internet of Things. Tax reform and the Trump administration’s broader deregulatory agenda have also created a more business-friendly environment.
But more should be done. Antitrust officials should update their definitions of markets to give more clarity to 5G entrepreneurs. As T-Mobile and Sprint argue in their merger filings, 5G and free Wi-Fi will compete head-to-head with cable broadband for in-home use.
Regulators also need to recognize that as 5G emerges, old categories are becoming scrambled. Consumers don’t necessarily know, or care, if their content comes from an online provider, a broadcaster, a cable channel or a “tech” company, so long as they can get it on their phone or tablet. Regulations must allow companies to invest, innovate, and merge in this new ecosystem.

For the full commentary, see:
Robert M. McDowell. “To Boost 5G, Keep the Industry Free.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, Sept. 28, 2018): A15.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Sept. 27, 2018.)

If She Could Choose Her Father, Lisa Brennan-Jobs Would Choose Steve Jobs

(p. A13) The house that Steve Jobs built had many mansions. One of them was a vast Spanish-style confection with soaring white arches. Majestic and crumbling, it sat on seven acres in the town of Woodside near Palo Alto, Calif. Inside there was an elevator, a ballroom and a church organ. Otherwise it was mostly empty. Jobs’s daughter Lisa was 9 when she began to spend overnights with him there on Wednesdays in the mid-1980s while her mother went to art school in Oakland.
Both the mansion and her father, whom the little girl barely knew, were scary and awe-inspiring, filling her with “a kind of ecstatic expectation,” as Lisa Brennan-Jobs writes in her memoir “Small Fry.”
. . .
For all the emotional injury Ms. Brennan-Jobs describes in her book, there are no villains. She portrays her father as a damaged person who in turn inflicted suffering on others. “There was a thin line between civility and cruelty in him, between what did and what did not set him off,” she writes. When he was not belittling her as if she were a delinquent employee, he could be spontaneously tender. “Hey, Small Fry, let’s blast,” Jobs would say as he arrived to take her roller skating on random weekends. “We’re livin’ on borrowed time.” She learned to navigate around his poisonous moods and not to trust too much in his moments of grace.
Nor are there any heroes here, though there are acts of heroism. Chrisann Brennan’s dedication to Lisa’s care was ironclad over the years as she struggled to support them both. Mona Simpson made helpful interventions on Lisa’s behalf, and Laurene Powell, who married Jobs in 1991, did what she could to include the child in her household. Lisa’s longtime psychiatrist became a trustworthy father figure, as did a sympathetic neighbor. Painful though this childhood was, it was not without a stumbling kind of love. Ms. Brennan-Jobs knows this, and works to forgive. About her parents she admits that, given the opportunity, “I would choose them again.”

For the full review, see:
Donna Rifkind. “BOOKSHELF; Coming of Age in Silicon Valley.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, Sept. 7, 2018): A13.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the review has the date Sept. 6, 2018, and has the title “BOOKSHELF; ‘Small Fry’ Review: Coming of Age in Silicon Valley.”)

The book under review, is:
Brennan-Jobs, Lisa. Small Fry: A Memoir. New York: Grove Press, 2018.

Fashion Designers Catch Up with Arthur Diamond on Pockets

After decades of wearing shirts with two to four pockets, and cargo pants with many pockets, I am gratified to finally be vindicated as a fashion-forward trendsetter.

(p. D1) IN 1901, Levi’s gave its famous 501 jean its famous fifth pocket. It wasn’t, as many assume, the teensy pocketwatch slot above the right front pocket–that had been there since the jean’s beginnings in 1879–but rather the back left pocket. That unassuming addition granted generations of men (and eventually women) double the rear-end real estate in which to stash bifolds, bandannas, crumpled bar receipts and, of course, awkward hands. For a mere sliver of space, it marked a revolution in clothing.

These days, our relationship to pockets is undergoing a similar sea change. Whereas Levi’s took a subtle approach, menswear designers are now stitching pockets on garments with the abandon of Jackson Pollock flinging paint on canvas. No longer an afterthought or mundane change-holder, pockets are the defining component of many designs.

For the full story, see:
Jacob Gallagher. “Pick Pockets.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018): D1-D2.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 6, 2018, and has the title “Think Your Clothes Have Enough Pockets? Think Again.”)