Scott Bradner almost gets it about the opposition to net neutrality in Eyes in their ankles: The congressional view of network neutrality:
Scott Bradner almost gets it about the opposition to net neutrality in Eyes in their ankles: The congressional view of network neutrality:
Posted at 12:59 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Content, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Filtering, Government, International acces, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Net Neutrality, Politics, Press, Public Policy, Regulation, Rural Access, Stifling | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: civil rights, civil rights, corruption, Egypt, free Internet, free press, free speech, free trade, Internet freedom, lobbyist, net neutrality, plutocrat, politician, reactionary, revolution, Scott Bradner, Tunisian, unions, Wisconsin
The simple fact is that net neutrality was the condition under which the Internet grew to be what it is today, which is the last bastion of free speech and a free press in much of the world, especially in the United States. The only reason net neutrality is an issue is that the duopoly (telcos and cablecos) succeeded in their regulatory capture of the FCC during Kevin Martin's term as chairman and did away with much it. The U.S. used to have among the fastest Internet speeds in the world. Since the duopoly got their way, the U.S. has fallen far behind dozens of other countries in connection speeds, availability, and update. While the U.S. NTIA claimed at least one user per ZIP code counted as real service.
We can let the telcos and cablecos continue to turn the Internet into cable TV, as they have said they want to do. Under the conditions they want, we never would have had the world wide web, google, YouTube, flickr, facebook, etc.
And left to their plan, the duopoly will continue cherry-picking densely-populated areas and leaving rural areas, such as south Georgia, where I live, to sink or swim. Most of the white area in the Georgia map never had anybody even try a speed test. Most of the rest of south Georgia had really slow access. Which maybe wouldn't be a problem if we had competitive newspapers (we don't) or competing TV stations (we don't). Or if we didn't need to publish public information like health care details online, as Sanford Bishop (D GA-02) says he plans to do. How many people in his district can even get to it? How many won't because their link is too slow? How many could but won't because it costs too much?
John Barrow (D GA-12) has a fancy flashy home page that most people in his district probably can't get to. Yet he signed the letter against net neutrality.
I prefer an open Internet. How about you?
Why did the 73 Democrats sign the letter? Could it have to do with the duopoly making massive campaign contributions to the same Democrats and holding fancy parties for them?
The same lobbyists are after Republican members of Congress next.
Call your member of Congress and insist on giving the FCC power to enforce net neutrality rules.
Posted at 11:57 PM in BPL, Broadband, Cable, Capacity, Communication, Competition, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Internet Speed, Law, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Politics, Press, Principles, Public Policy, Rural Access, Voting | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: cable TV, duopoly, facebook, flickr, free press, free speech, GA-02, Georgia, google, innovation, Internet freedom, lobbying, net neutrality, newspaper, press, radio, Sanford Bishop, TV, world wide web, YouTube
No obstacle was enough to stop the coverage. Even when China cut off CNN from Beijing, CNN reported repeatedly that they were cut off. BECAUSE IT IS NEWS WHEN A NEWS ORGANIZATION IS SHUT DOWN. When tanks hit the streets in Moscow in 1991, cameras were there, regardless of safety concerns, in one of the most closed societies on earth at the time, as the outcome was in grave doubt. Reporters risked their lives.At least one news organization has been shut down, El Arabiya. Plus cell phone service is out and facebook, youtube, Voice of America, and BBC World Service are being blocked or jammed in Iran.
There are news organizations covering all this, most notably the BBC. But if you really want to know what's going on you have to turn to twitter or bloggers like Andrew Sullivan.
The biggest problem with the decline of the traditional news media is the accompanying decline in real reporting. Yet how hard could it be to report that the official election statistics are preposterous, the Iranian state's own election monitors say the election had problems, and the opposition (which apparently actually won) is very organized and is planning demonstrations today and a general strike Tuesday?
If the traditional media can't cover something as obvious as this, what good is it?
(((Well, no -- the "worst" would be that the publishers keep grinding out product, only it's evil propaganda entirely subsidized by ultrawealthy moguls who have made themselves the only public source of news and culture. In other words, the commercial press collapses and it's replaced by a classically fascist press. (Likely run on bailout money.) THAT's the worst -- with the possible exception of a furious proletarian upheaval that forces everyone to read grimy, poorly-printed copies of PRAVDA.)))It would be easy to see a path from where we are now (half of U.S. media is owned by only five companies that actively suppress stories they don't want to hear and promote stupid ones they do want) to Bruce's scenario.
The expected drop in internet advertising revenues this year was neither unpredictable nor unpredicted, nor was it caused solely by the general recession and the decline in retail sales. Internet advertising will rapidly lose its value and its impact, for reasons that can easily be understood. Traditional advertising simply cannot be carried over to the internet, replacing full-page ads on the back of The New York Times or 30-second spots on the Super Bowl broadcast with pop-ups, banners, click-throughs on side bars. This might be a subject where considerable disagreement is possible, if indeed, pushed ads were still working in traditional media. Mostly they have failed. One newspaper after another is going out of business across the United States, and the ad revenues of traditional print media, even of highly respected magazines, is declining. The ultimate failure of broadcast media advertising is likewise becoming clear.So a newspaper that wants to survive needs to find a way to do it without depending on traditional broadcast advertising.
Amazingly, not a single one of the 25-30 people we tried to interview would speak to us about who they were, how they got invited, what the party's purpose was, why they were attending, etc. One attendee said he was with an "energy company," and the other confessed she was affiliated with a "trade association," but that was the full extent of their willingness to describe themselves or this event. It was as though they knew they're part of a filthy and deeply corrupt process and were ashamed of -- or at least eager to conceal -- their involvement in it. After just a few minutes, the private security teams demanded that we leave, and when we refused and continued to stand in front trying to interview the reticent attendees, the Denver Police forced us to move further and further away until finally we were unable to approach any more of the arriving guests.The video includes Denver police repeatedly asking accredited press to move away from a public sidewalk.
— AT&T thanks the Blue Dog Democrats with a lavish party, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Monday Aug. 25, 2008 11:15 EDT (updated below (with video added) - Update II) Thursday, Aug 28, 2008
At another party,
an ABC News reporter was arrested while "attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel."
Parties like this are part of the lobbying revolving door that
makes the U.S. look like a banana republic.
I'm picking on Democrats, here, but at least 75% of Senate Democrats
(including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but not Barack Obama)
voted against the recent bad FISA bill.
A much higher percentage of Republicans voted for it.
If he were alive today, Robert Burns would say:
'We are bought and sold for telecom gold'
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
Parties like this are part of the lobbying revolving door that makes the U.S. look like a banana republic. I'm picking on Democrats, here, but at least 75% of Senate Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but not Barack Obama) voted against the recent bad FISA bill. A much higher percentage of Republicans voted for it.
If he were alive today, Robert Burns would say:
On June 19th, the Avril Lavigne fansite Avril Bandaids launched a “Girlfriend” YouTube Viewer (It’s now been retired) with the intention of making “Girlfriend” the #1 YouTube video of all time. The url that hosted the viewer reloaded the video every 15 seconds. The theory was that Avril fans could load up that url, let it run, and Avril would get the top video spot in no time.So they leveraged their leverage by provoking media outrage, causing millions of people to watch the video to see what it's about, and now causing a third wave of blog posts, thus producing still more views.
Well, Entertainment Tonight, Perez Hilton, Wired.com, The Globe and Mail, The Sydney Morning Herald, and many others picked up the story and started crying “foul.” How dare this hardcore group choose the number one YouTube video for us!? How dare they! And that’s where this story gets good.
There was no foul. YouTube caps it’s views per specific IP at 200 per day. (That may sound like a lot, but it’s not enough for a small legion of hardcore fans to make a dent in a number approacing 100,000,000.) There was no way they could game YouTube in the way they were purporting; and they knew it all along.
— “Girlfriend” Video Tops YouTube With Viral Viral Marketing (not a typo), by Wade, VoltageCreative.com, 20th August 2008
Now that's clever.
Not the sort of thing you'll ever see come out of telcos or cablecos, either.
The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday announced plans to cut 250 positions across the company, including 150 positions in editorial, in a new effort to bring expenses into line with declining revenue. In a further cost-cutting step, the newspaper will reduce the number of pages it publishes each week by 15%.One reason for these cuts is the housing downturn in California: fewer real estate ads. But there are deeper reasons:
"You all know the paradox we find ourselves in," Times Editor Russ Stanton said in a memo to the staff. "Thanks to the Internet, we have more readers for our great journalism than at any time in our history. But also thanks to the Internet, our advertisers have more choices, and we have less money."
— Los Angeles Times to cut 250 jobs, including 150 from news staff, By Michael A. Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, July 3, 2008
Announcements of hundreds of reductions were issued only last week by dailies in Boston, San Jose, Detroit and elsewhere. Among Tribune newspapers, the Baltimore Sun said it would cut about 100 positions by early August and the Hartford Courant announced plans to cut about 50 newsroom positions. The New York Times and the Washington Post both instituted layoffs or buyouts to reduce their staffs this year.Sure, it's happening everywhere. But the L.A. Times is one of the best sources of journalism around. Why did somebody find it worthwhile to buy it out just to load it up with debt and force layoffs?
Besides the changes in the newspaper industry, Tribune carries the burden of about $1 billion in annual payments on its debt, much of which it took on to finance the $8.2-billion buyout.
Whether this newspaper was targetted or not, the handwriting is on the wall for fishwraps. They'll either adapt to the Internet or die. I suspect many of them will die. That means we'll lose many of our traditional sources of real reporting. Fortunately, some new sources are arising, such as Talking Points Memo, which bit into the Justice Department scandals and hung on like a bulldog. Yet blogs like that thus far have a tiny fraction of the resources of big newspapers like the L.A. Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. There's going to be a time of unsettlement of the fishwrap plains while the new shops in cyberspace put down roots into the old country.
And we won't have ready access to either the remaining existing newspapers worldwide or to the new online sources of reporting unless we have a free Internet. Yet another reason that net neutrality is important.
Yet another reason not to let the telcos get away with retroactive immunity. Remember, the telcos currently paying off Congress are the same companies that want to squelch net neutrality. If they can get away with handing over every bit to the NSA yesterday, why would they stop at squelching your P2P today?
Al Gore's home office.
Barack Obama's speech that same night has network logos and chyrons, but at least it is complete. However, when Al Gore endorsed Obama on 17 June, the networks all cut away immediately after Gore finished talking, because only the endorsement was news, and they weren't interested in what the candidate himself might have to say. But Gore sent out email to supporters earlier that day, and numerous blogs posted it (Huffington Post, DailyKos, Washington Post, etc.). And Obama's campaign streamed the whole event live, so nobody had to watch network logos, chyrons, commercials, or talking heads, and they could see all of both speeches. Although, oddly, neither the Gore nor the Obama speech seems to be on YouTube yet.
Political campaigns can use the Internet to bypass the traditional media.
...the true price of letting corporations shape government policy: free speech.The NYRB gets into some of the underlying political machinations:
— Going Postal, Callie Enlow, New York Review of Magazines, 2008
Even Time Warner was taken aback. Halstein Stralberg, co-creator of Time’s rate proposal, said, “There was a new chairman at the commission and there was a totally new environment, and they adopted it, to my surprise.”The NYRM noted the sudden parachuting in of a new chairman just before the decision as unusual:
In the corporate world, The Progressive Populist would most likely be forced out of business. But should the same rules apply when the product is ideas and the conduit is a government-owned monopoly? To the current administration, the answer is yes, said Cullen. The president appoints the five commissioners that compose the Postal Regulatory Commission. Between the 2005 Time Warner complaint, when the PRC rejected the corporation’s proposed rate restructuring, and the 2006 rate hearings, when the PRC adopted the suggestions almost verbatim, two new commissioners joined the PRC. One of them, Dan G. Blair, replaced George Omas as chairman just one month before the end of the rate cases, a move that Bob Cohen described as “pretty unusual.”However, the NYRM didn't follow up on the other chairman, the chairman of the Postal Board of Governors from January 2005 to January 2008, James C. Miller III, and his 27-year-old theory:
"...none should be favored and none benefited. Each party pays the cost of service it consumes, not less, and does not bear the cost of others’ consumption."Curious how someone with that philosophy should be chairman just at the time the decision was made.
The NYRM does say what happened, why it was unusual, and who it affected:
Technorati Tags: American Conservative, Ben Franklin, Ben Scott, Dan G. Blair, Free Press, free speech, Halstein Stralberg, James C. Miller III, New Republic, New York Review of Magazines, periodicals, Postal Board of Governors, postal rate hikes, Progressive Populist, Time Warner, USPS
Rupert Murdoch AP Photograph
Despite having had no success at preventative or forensic oversight of the FCC, Congress is going to give it another go:
However, the looser ownership rules the FCC passed in December - over an outcry from many interest groups - has stirred criticism from many in Congress, suggesting that Murdoch's Newsday bid faces the first stirrings of a backlash.We'll see if the Senate or Democrats have a spine this time.
The commerce committee in the Senate yesterday approved a "resolution of disapproval" measure that would overturn the new ownership rules, creating more of a hurdle for Murdoch.
Senator Byron Dorgan, the measure's leading sponsor, said: "We really do literally have five or six major corporations in this country that determine for the most part what Americans see, hear and read every day. I don't think that's healthy for our country."
Dorgan is backed by 25 senators, including Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and is confident it will pass the Senate. A similar bill has been proposed in the House.
— Murdoch's Newsday bid faces hurdle, Elana Schor, guardian.co.uk, Friday April 25 2008
Meanwhile, the entire mainstream press, except the New York Times, ignores that the president of the United States admits he personally authorized war crimes. Except for ABC, which broke the story, but then couldn't be bothered to mention it during a "debate" it hosted between the remaining Democratic presidential candidates.
If every other major paper in NYC (and 3 out of the top 10 in the U.S.) is controled by Murdoch, how long before the NYTimes falls prey, too? With net neutrality we can still know about stories like this. Without it?
Bell Canada Associate Director of Media Relations Jason Laszlo made a real boner move, boasting on Facebook of his ability to snow journalists with his network management bafflegab, referring to journalists as “lemmings” in a recent status update. [DIGG] Clearly a super-fun guy in real life (note colourful hat and armband tattoo), he further demonstrated the Bell Media Relations department’s apparent unfamiliarity with modern web tools by leaving his Facebook profile wide-open to the public to see. Oops. [UPDATE: Profile is closed now.]The blogger goes on to list half a dozen net neutrality developments, all positive.
— Bell Canada hands Net Neutrality advocates a gift! Mark Kuznicki, remarkk! 29 March 2008
A group of uninvited young monks at the Jokhang Temple, one of the most sacred in Tibet and a top tourist stop in central Lhasa, stormed into a briefing by a temple administrator.This may be an extreme, but it is what controled media lead to.
"About 30 young monks burst into the official briefing, shouting: 'Don't believe them. They are tricking you. They are telling lies'," USA Today Beijing-based reporter Callum MacLeod said by telephone from Lhasa.
— Monks burst in on Tibet news briefing, By John Ruwitch, Reuters, Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:59pm GMT
Throughout 2005 and 2006, a large underground debate raged regarding the future of the Internet. More recently referred to as “network neutrality,” the issue has become a tug of war with cable companies on the one hand and consumers and Internet service providers on the other. Yet despite important legislative proposals and Supreme Court decisions throughout 2005, the issue was almost completely ignored in the headlines until 2006.1 And, except for occasional coverage on CNBC’s Kudlow & Kramer, mainstream television remains hands-off to this day (June 2006).2This is the first I've heard that "Internet service providers" other than cable companies are on the side of consumers. Doubtless AT&T will be gratified to hear that version. Oh, wait: later the same writeup refers to "cable supporters like the AT&T-sponsored Hands Off the Internet website." Also, what's this about free access?
Most coverage of the issue framed it as an argument over regulation—but the term “regulation” in this case is somewhat misleading. Groups advocating for “net neutrality” are not promoting regulation of internet content. What they want is a legal mandate forcing cable companies to allow internet service providers (ISPs) free access to their cable lines (called a “common carriage” agreement). This was the model used for dial-up internet, and it is the way content providers want to keep it. They also want to make sure that cable companies cannot screen or interrupt internet content without a court order.
— #1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media, Top 25 Censored news stories of 2007 Project Censored, The News That Didn't Make The News Sonoma State University, 2007
What will really stifle innovation on the Internet is this:
The Federal Communications Commission, at the urging of Chair Kevin Martin, voted 3-2 on Tuesday to relax longstanding rules that block corporations from owning a broadcast TV station and a newspaper in the same city.No, not specifically newspaper and television consolidation. Further consolidation of media and information distribution in the hands of a tiny number of companies. This December the FCC lets newspapers and TV stations consolidate. Last December it let SBC buy Bellsouth. Internet access is already in the hands of a tiny number of companies (typically at most two in any given area) that are increasingly moving to control the information they carry on behalf of a small number of companies including themselves and movie and music content producers.
— Uproar Over FCC Vote on Media-Ownership Rules, By Frederick Lane, Top Tech News, December 19, 2007 10:14AM
The exaflood politics isn't really about how much infrastructure the duopoly has to build out. It's about maintaining the duopoly and extending its control of information, to the duopoly's short-term profit and the long-term detriment of of us all, including the duopoly.
The commission, under Mr Martin, has turned US media policy into mere political theatre, while technology marches on apace, revolutionising media markets without any serious input from the regulators in the public debate about the implications.Well, the first step would be to ensure that people get to look at it, for example that they are able to view the Financial Times. Economic models would be good, too. Some traditional news media seem to be developing those.
Big Media control of the airwaves is simply not the threat to democracy and choice that it once was (in the days before cable or, for that matter, bloggers and MySpace). This is yesterday’s battle. It is time to move on to the tougher challenge: how to ensure that quality news survives the YouTube era.
— New rules for yesterday’s problem, Editorial, Financial Times, Published: November 14 2007 19:15 | Last updated: November 14 2007 19:15
But it is not clear how one troubled industry (newspapers) can be helped by grafting it on to another one (the broadcast media), when both have essentially the same problem: the internet is stealing their advertising revenues.Well, the New York Times has discovered can make more money by advertising if they don't charge for articles. And that didn't involve merging with a TV station. With real ISP competition, somebody would also develop a real first-mile ISP business plan.
Oh, wait! Kevin Martin held a hearing two days earlier, on Halloween instead! Without ever announcing it on the FCC web pages.
Dissident commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein appeared at a rally outside the FCC's office in Washington to object to Martin's chicanery. "Neither we nor the public received any confirmation that the hearing would occur until ... just 5 business days before the event," the commissioners said before entering the building for the hearing. "This is unacceptable and unfair to the public."Jesse Jackson, National Organization of Women, United Church of Christ, Future of the Media Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives; they all protested.
Joining Copps and Adelstein were political, labor and community leaders who condemned Martin's assault not merely on media diversity but on the basic standards for making regulatory shifts.
— No Treats for FCC Chair and Media Monopolists, John Nichols, The Nation, Wed Oct 31, 6:03 PM ET
Martin even has the Parents Television Council against him.
Notice of a meeting only five days before to the other commissioners, and apparently none to the public? You'd think Martin didn't know how to talk to the press. Yet just a few days ago he was chatting with the New York Times about ending cable monopolies to apartments.
I wonder if he told the telcos about that Halloween meeting more than five days before? Nah, that would be corruption.
Technorati Tags: corruption, Future of the Media Caucus, Halloween, Jesse Jackson, Jonathan Adelstein, Kevin Martin, Media consolidation, Michael Copps, National Organization of Women, Parents Television Council, PUSH, United Church of Christ
The Federal Communications Commission is responding to critics’ complaints that the agency isn’t giving them enough time to examine the scientific studies prepared for the agency’s media ownership review.Various groups complained, so the FCC made an extension:
The FCC’s Media Bureau today extended the deadline for comment by three weeks, citing the request of Free Press, Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America.
Nearing the end of its examination of media ownership rules, the FCC on July 31 released 10 studies of various issues of media consolidation and indicated they could help form the basis of any rule changes. The studies included examinations of the impact of consolidation on news content, opinion, advertising and programming and also looked at minority ownership trends.
FCC Extends Deadline for Comments on Media Ownership Studies, By Ira Teinowitz, TV Week, September 28, 2007
The FCC said comments that were to have been filed by Oct. 1 now may be filed through Oct. 22, with responses now due by Nov. 1.That's right: three more weeks to study an issue that will affect news, politics, government, and, well, basically everything for the indefinite future. Or, to be more specific, to study studies picked by the FCC.
Some observers are relatively confident of concessions, apparently not taking into account that some previous concessions have already fallen by the wayside:
In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.This is why it's a bad idea to let the telcos and cablecos determine what we can see or do on the web. Nobody can predict what will work best, especially for deriving revenue.
The Times said the project had met expectations, drawing 227,000 paying subscribers — out of 787,000 over all — and generating about $10 million a year in revenue.
“But our projections for growth on that paid subscriber base were low, compared to the growth of online advertising,” said Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of the site, NYTimes.com.
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.
“What wasn’t anticipated was the explosion in how much of our traffic would be generated by Google, by Yahoo and some others,” Ms. Schiller said.
— Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site, By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, New York Times, September 18, 2007
Hm, this would also mean that the duopoly's insistence on TV as the future of Internet revenue could be just as wrong for them as it is for the rest of us.
PS: Seen on BoingBoing.
The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to reduce restrictions on broadcast-station ownership, an action that would permit greater media and press concentration.There's more. It's all good. And it's by a law professor who has written a book on the subject, so he appears to have researched it.
This is a bad idea. Bad for audiences, for citizens, and for democracy. Dispersed media ownership, ideally local ownership, serves democratic values, while conglomerate ownership and media mergers, which would be the result of reduced ownership restrictions, do the opposite.
Equality — one person one vote — provides the proper standard for the distribution of power and voice in a democracy. Maximum dispersal of media ownership can enable more people to identify a media entity as in some sense speaking for and to them.
Dispersed ownership also reduces the danger of inordinate, potentially demagogic power in the public sphere. As the FCC once recognized, many owners creates more independent decision makers who can devote journalistic resources to investigative reports. Finally, dispersal reduces — without eliminating — potential conflicts of interests between journalism and an owner's economic interests.
In contrast, media mergers put papers and broadcasters into the hands of executives whose career advancement depends on maximizing profits. Mergers require owners to squeeze out more profits to pay off debt created by the high bid made to secure the purchase. As too many recent examples show, the most consistent method to reduce expenses is to fire journalists.
— Dispersed media ownership serves democratic values By C. Edwin Baker, Los Angeles Times, 10 September 2007
A major reason why the stakes are so high in the FTC's review of the Google-DoubleClick merger is how remarkably fast online advertising is overtaking other advertising industry segments that have been around for decades.Interesting especially in that I don't recall him having any similar trepidations about the AT&T-Bellsouth merger.
— Online ad trends show the huge stakes in the Google-Doubleclick merger, by Scott Cleland, Precursor Blog, Wed, 2007-09-05 17:38.
He quotes eMarketer as saying that:
a recent report from equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson predicts that the Internet will displace television as the No. 1 ad medium by 2011." [bold added]Cleland did not provide a link to eMarketer or to VSS.
A little googling finds the VSS press release about its report, which actually says:
Internet advertising is expected to become the largest ad segment in 2011, surpassing newspapers.VSS says newspapers: not television. Looks like somebody had television on the brain.
— New Veronis Suhler Stevenson Forecast: Shift to Alternative Media Strategies Will Drive U.S. Communications Spending Growth in 2007-2011 Period; Consumer Media Usage Expected to Level Off Going Forward, Press Release, Veronis Suhler Stevenson, 7 Aug 2007
Also coming to light, is the fact that Stickler's nomination to head the mine administration was twice rejected by congress and rejected when republicans were still in charge. Rejected reportedly by senators who were concerned about Stickler's safety record when he operated mines. After his nomination was twice rejected by the Senate, President Bush gave Richard Stickler the mine safety job with a recess appointment. That's a presidential appointment made when congress is not in session.Dead people in mines. Dead people in Hurricane Katrina. Postal rate hikes for small publications. Wireless spectrum handed over to a few big companies. And of course massive consolidation of first mile Internet ISPs in the hands of companies that aren't delivering on their promises and that indulge in repeated political censorship while cooperating with the government in wiretapping.
Finally, congressional investigations and hearings are now expected to look at a key provision of federal mining law, one which requires the U.S. Government to be the main communicator when an accident occurs. ABC News now notes it took the mine safety administration two days to take public control of the Crandall Canyon Mine. ABC also adds, "Others were irate that [mine owner Bob] Murray was allowed to publicly predict success and contradict MSHA itself while agency officials quietly looked on."
— Federal mine safety official's credentials questioned, Chris Vanocur, ABC 4 News, Last Update: 8/20 2007 8:00 pm
The stakes going forward are even higher, including economic competitiveness, control of information, and political discourse and with it the survival of a political system.
At least the traditional media finally noticed the problem with the appointment of the Mine and Health Safety Administrator. Imagine if we had more proactive investigative media that might have actually noticed his appointment when it happened. And imagine if we had none, which is a very real possibility with continuing media consolidation and increasing control over the Internet by a very small number of companies.
Posted at 12:03 PM in Censorship, Communication, Competition, Current Affairs, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Government, Internet Access, Postal Service, Press, Television, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: 700Mhz, AT&T, Bellsouth, censorship, competitiveness, Crandall Canyon Mine, FCC, George W. Bush, Katrina, Michael Brown, Mine and Health Safety Administrator, political commissars, political discourse, political ideology, Richard Stickler, wireless spectrum
Then she'll post it, under the screen name Georgia10, on the front page of liberal blog Daily Kos (dailykos.com), which gets between 400,000 and 800,000 unique visitors daily. The Tribune's daily circulation, just for some context, is about 586,000; its Web site gets a little over three million unique visitors per month, which averages out to around 100,000 a day. (The Tribune won't release stats on how many visitors its blogs or news columnists get.)Georgia Logothetis, now 24, was a 23 year old college student when that article was written, and she was already the most-read political columnist in Chicago. This doesn't tend to happen in newspapers. It can happen online, where the management pyramid can be mighty flat.
— Whois is Georgia10? by Christopher Hayes, Chicago Reader, fall 2006
How did she do it? Political connections? Graft? Tokenism? Nope. Many hours of research, and
More than a deft prose style and an outraged disposition, the trait held in the highest regard in the lefty blogosphere is prodigiousness. The more you post, the more readers you attract, and on this front, Georgia10 is the site's workhorse.Merit can win online.
playing Russian roulette with broadband and Internet and more traditional mediaAnd the Russians are winning.
— FCC Commissioner: US playing "Russian roulette with broadband and Internet" By Nate Anderson, ars technica, August 03, 2007 - 09:20AM CT
Posted at 10:38 AM in Broadband, Competition, Distributed Participation, Duopoly, Film, Government, History, Internet Access, Internet Speed, Law, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Press, Public Policy, Regulation, Telephone, Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
...news is no longer a one-way process. It is now much more of a conversation between journalist and reader. Reporters at major news organizations no longer have the omnipotent authority they once had. The news process, in a word, has been democratized. Readers feel entitled to get just the information they want, in the form they want it. They feel entitled to talk back. Slowly but surely, we reporters are beginning to accept that readers do actually have this right, and that the feedback can make us better, not worse. As the old New Yorker writer A.J. Liebling once put it, "I think democracy a most precious thing, not because any democratic state is perfect, but because it is perfectible."A conversation? Not controled by the few big media companies that control most other media? Now that sounds dangerous doesn't it? Dangerous like Common Sense.
— The MSM vs. the blogosphere, by Michael Scherer, War Room, Salon, 3 August 2007
Look who Google is up against -- all the largest Internet service providers in the U.S. Google will not win this even if they win the auction, because the telcos and cable companies are far more skilled and cunning when it comes to lobbying and controlling politicians than Google can ever hope to be. The telcos have spent more than a century at this game and Google hasn't even been in it for a decade. And Google's pockets are no deeper than those of the other potential bidders.Cringely is missing the point about who Google is up against. These outfits have not been the largest ISPs for more than a century. They've been telephone companies for more than a century. And being around for a long time isn't necessarily a sure win. Look at the Vatican; it's been around for two thousand years, and it's managed to lose most of its traditional heartland of Europe. Sure, Google is fragile, in some senses even more fragile than Microsoft, as Cringely points out. But even Microsoft is losing market share from IE to an open source browser, Firefox. Google, as a proponent of open source that actually understands it, has a fair chance here. The incumbent duopoly telcos aren't really in the Internet business; Google is.
— Is Google on Crack?: Eric Schmidt bets the ranch on wireless spectrum, Robert X. Cringely, Pulpit, 27 July 2007
Maybe Cringely's right that Google alone couldn't win the auction. But Google and Sprint possibly could. Sure, Sprint is a phone company, too. But that doesn't mean it's going to side with the rest if it scents profit. Maybe with a little help from Apple.
Let's hope that's what Google is really up to, rather than expecting to get Martin to change the rules and then wait for AT&T to deliver another striped bass.
I also don't think Cringely is taking into account the stakes here.
Posted at 09:35 AM in Communication, Competition, Content, Copyright, Duopoly, Government, History, Internet Access, Net Neutrality, Politics, Postal Service, Press, Public Policy, Radio, Regulation, Telephone, Television, VoIP, Wireless Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The USA trails other industrialized nations in high-speed Internet access and may never catch up unless quick action is taken by public-policymakers, a report commissioned by the Communications Workers of America warns.Of course, we're not going to get internationally competitive speeds until there are some serious structural changes in the ISP "marketplace", producing more competition somehow. And broadband isn't the point; Internet access is. Plus speed alone is trivial; without choice and participation it's nothing. But speed helps draw in participants, and once we're online, speeds lets us do more things. So it's good that USA Today is paying attention; maybe its readers will, too. Then maybe they'll ask for something better than two turtles.
The median U.S. download speed now is 1.97 megabits per second — a fraction of the 61 megabits per second enjoyed by consumers in Japan, says the report released Monday. Other speedy countries include South Korea (median 45 megabits), France (17 megabits) and Canada (7 megabits).
"We have pathetic speeds compared to the rest of the world," CWA President Larry Cohen says. "People don't pay attention to the fact that the country that started the commercial Internet is falling woefully behind."
— U.S. Net access not all that speedy, By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY, posted 25 June, updated 26 June 2007
In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. ... When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.This might be worth remembering the next time you hear that the market will sort out any problems and there's no need for regulation. Would that there were a market so that that could be true.
In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth.
— Number of corporations that control a majority of U.S. media, Media Reform Information Center, accessed 21 June 2007
What did the telephone companies have to do with inventing the Internet?What did they invent?
The World Wide Web?
What have they had to do with the Internet from the beginning of time?
Posted at 04:39 PM in Advertising, Books, Communication, Competition, Consolidation, Corruption, Distributed Participation, Government, History, Innovation, Internet Access, Internet freedom, Internet History, Net Neutrality, Opportunity, Press, Principles, Radio, Regulation, Spectrum Allocation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)