You are here

OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • Painted Portraits: The YouTube of the Fifteenth Century

    November 22, 2006
    German media tycoon and art historian Hubert Burda has a fascinating essay titled "How People See Themselves," about the history of portraiture and what it has meant to be able to visually represent oneself to the rest of the world:
    Nowadays anyone who wants to draw attention to themselves can. The Internet enables us to become multi-media media producers. Since it started up a year ago, over 50 million people have already uploaded personal short videos onto the video platform YouTube.com. The portrait which enabled the new middle-classes of the 15th century, following their rise in status, to fulfill their desire for representation...
  • Keeping an Eye on the CBS Legal Department

    November 21, 2006
    CBS is appealing new FCC indecency regulations (and fines) in court, arguing that the new rules run afoul of the First Amendment. Which, of course, they do. Hopefully the executives at CBS and other broadcast stations will remember this when reporting on other FCC intrusions into what we are allowed to see, hear, download, upload, talk about or even buy online. And just in case you were wondering what depraved indecencies have been getting the FCC's knickers in such a twist over the past few years, check out a pile of them here.
  • Internet Medicine: Does that Make Al Gore My Family Physician?

    November 10, 2006
    A new study finds an increasing number of doctors using information from Internet searches to help diagnose illnesses:
    The internet search engine Google has added another impressive string to its bow - by helping doctors diagnose illnesses, according to a new study. Researchers found that almost six-in-10 difficult cases can be solved by using the world wide web as a diagnostic aid. Doctors fight disease by carrying about two million facts in their heads but with medical knowledge expanding rapidly, even this may not be enough.
    ...
  • Lomborg on the Stern Review: "...selective...flawed...sloppy...one-sided..."

    November 2, 2006
    Our friend Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, has an excellent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal (subscription only) today taking on the Stern review of the economics of global warming:
    Faced with such alarmist suggestions, spending just 1% of GDP or $450 billion each year to cut carbon emissions seems on the surface like a sound investment. In fact, it is one of the least attractive options. Spending just a fraction of this figure -- $75 billion -- the U.N. estimates that we could solve all the world's major basic problems. We could give everyone clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education right now. Is that not better? We know from economic models that dealing just with malaria could...
  • So the Government Dictating Broadcast Content is 'Fair'?

    November 2, 2006
    Fans of free expression should hit up a piece in Human Events, by our very own John Berlau, on those misguided souls who are intent on bringing back the “Fairness Doctrine” to broadcast TV and radio. For anyone who wasn't following FCC regulations before 1987 (when it was eliminated), here are the basics:
    The Fairness Doctrine, initiated by the Federal Communications Commission in 1949, mandated that radio and television stations “provide a reasonable opportunity for the presentation of contrasting viewpoints” on “vitally important controversial issues.” But since there are contrasting views as to what's “fair,” broadcast stations were left with a few unpleasant options. They could a) provide equal time to overtly liberal and overtly conservative...
  • The ADA Meets Cyberspace

    November 1, 2006
    BNA is covering the recent district court ruling that Target can be sued if its website is inaccessible to the blind:
    In this class action suit—brought by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)—the Court rejected Target's argument that only physical stores were covered by anti-discrimination laws, ruling instead that certain aspects of Target's virtual space—target.com— are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California state law. NFB and University of California Berkeley blind student Bruce Sexton brought the lawsuit, contending that Target's website violates the ADA as well as California anti-discrimination laws by failing to include, among other things, “alt-text”—which screen readers use to vocalize a description of an image to a blind computer user. The plaintiffs allege that...
  • Better Halloween Through Science

    October 31, 2006
    It turns out that Monsanto, the occasionally controversial biotech company, is hard at work on more than just wheat and maize. They're also experimenting with how to improve other crops like...pumpkins:
    [Monsanto scientist Bill] Johnson said customers want deep orange colors and dark green stems that don't snap off when you use them to carry the pumpkin. His job is to breed varieties with those qualities with other strains that are resistant to certain viruses or the dreaded powdery mildew. Monsanto has thousands of breeding lines of pumpkin stock, Johnson said. Most [of] the work is done in California and Florida greenhouses using traditional breeding techniques of mating the best plants with one another over generations. We don't always realize it, but even as we go about our day-to-...
  • Bean Counters Caucus in DC

    October 30, 2006
    The American Financial Services Association is holding its 90th annual meeting here in Washington this week, and attendees are tackling a number of challenges including the threat of identity theft to customers, the multiple levels of regulatory control over member companies and calls for the industry to "do good" in addition to doing good business. A lot of these are issues CEI has worked on as well. For more, see Wayne and Brooke's paper on identity theft, Wayne's latest installment of 10,000 Commandments on regulatory overkill, Isaac's take on "corporate social responsibility" and business do-gooders, and John's work on financial...
  • SEJ 2006: Marc Morano Takes on Alarmist Reporting

    October 28, 2006
    We've known that Marc Morano was a brave man for some time, but he proved it again last night at the Society of Environmental Journalists' conference here in Burlington. He was the lone critic on a panel about the media and global warming entitled "And Now a Word from Our Critics..." Not only was he the only critic of the mainstream reportage of climate change on the five-member panel, but I seemed to be one of the only people in the packed ballroom not actively hostile to his point of view. The panel lineup had changed significantly from the original plan - Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein was sidelined due to an illness in the family (although was later noted to be listening to the proceedings via cell phone). The final lineup consisted of Oregon Public Radio producer Christy George, ABC News correspondent Bill Blakemore, New...
  • SEJ 2006: Open Source Journalism

    October 27, 2006
    There was yet more cool action from the Society of Environmental Journalists' conference this afternoon as Amy Gahran and Adam Glenn explained what Gahran called "open source journalism." She and Glenn encouraged their audience to become more involved blogging (and commenting online) on issues that they cover, both for professional development and to begin turning their readership into an extended community. Both of those goals, of course, come with significant personal rewards. A journalist who blogs, they explained, will reap the rewards of the distributed intelligence of everyone interested in their topics. Comments on reporter's posts are a great way to suggest story ideas or introduce a corrective point of view....

Pages

Subscribe to OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom