Morning Media Summary


Microsoft scheme sniffs out unused wireless spectrum:
“Microsoft researchers have designed a scheme for measuring whether licensed radio frequencies are actually being used so unlicensed devices can use it, something that may become necessary as demand for wireless applications grows.”

Doctors Warn About ‘Facebook Depression’ In Teens:
“Add “Facebook depression” to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors’ group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

New Pepsi bottle is 100 percent plant-based:
“Earth Day may not be for another month, but the folks at PepsiCo are celebrating early. The company has just announced that it has developed the world’s first 100-percent plant-based PET bottle.”

Americans Favor Moratorium On New Nuclear Reactors:

“While a drop in public support for nuclear power would be expected after an incident like the Fukushima reactor crisis, the nuclear disaster in Japan has triggered a much stronger response among Americans.”

Are environmentalists an obstacle to clean energy production?:
“The Obama administration has set a target of having 80 percent of America’s electricity come from “clean energy sources” by 2035, but ironically one of the biggest obstacles to this goal could come from within the environmental movement itself.”

Earth Hour may be losing steam as novelty wears off:
“More Canadian municipalities are pledging to power down Saturday for Earth Hour, but an expert says interest in the event may already be fizzling.”

Renewing Support for Renewables:
“The biggest positive result of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi could be renewed public support for the development of renewable energy technologies.”

Insurance / Gambling:

EU Commission launches online gambling consultation:
“The Commission has launched a consultation on the state of the industry, which it says generated revenues of €6 billion in 2008 and will generate double that by 2013.”

Health / Safety:

The Weiner Waiver Wormhole:
“New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law’s staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.”

Chavez urges Venezuelans to cut calorie intake:
“President Hugo Chavez urged Venezuelans on Sunday to cut their calories to avoid obesity – the latest lifestyle recommendation by the self-proclaimed socialist crusader.”


Morning Note: Gold Replacing Dollar as World’s Reserve Currency?:
“$105 per barrel oil. Cotton prices at record levels. Food prices at 2008 highs. Typically, such commodity price increases would send central banks running to the U.S. Dollar to secure the value of their savings. After all, the dollar has been the reserve currency since World War I.”


Using the Open Records Law to Intimidate Critics:
“”On March 15, Professor Bill Cronon posted his first blog. The subject was the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in influencing recent legislation in Wisconsin and across the country. Less than two days later, his university received a communication formally requesting under the state’s Open Records Law copies of all emails he sent or received pertaining to matters raised in the blog. Remarkably, the request was sent to the university’s legal office by Stephan Thompson of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, with no effort to obscure the political motivations behind it. In a recent editorial, the New York Times notes that demanding copies of e-mails and other documents is the latest technique used politically to silence critics.””


Ignoring Court Order, Wisconsin Publishes Union Busting Law:
“There’s debate in Wisconsin about whether a law championed by Gov. Scott Walker to strip state and locals workers of most of their collective bargaining rights took effect Saturday.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

On the heels of ‘ObamaCare’ conservatives target ‘ObamaRail’:
““ObamaRail” is fast becoming the new “ObamaCare” for many Republicans.”

High-speed rail: First phase could run to Merced after all:
“High-speed rail may come to Merced sooner than expected, as the California High Speed Rail Authority will announce today it’s asking for $1.2 billion in funding that was rejected by Florida.”