Morning Media Summary


Computer crushes the competition on ‘Jeopardy!’:
“The computer outsmarted its human competition in Game 1 of the Man vs. Machine competition on “Jeopardy!””

De-fund the FCC:

“From the Hill: “Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps made a case for a government hand in media policy in a speech to the FCBA on Tuesday… The Democratic commissioner pointed to Fox News’ Bernie Goldberg and Bill O’Reilly as examples of the problem with today’s media landscape, saying the pair has taken his own words out of context.””

Update: Draft IEEE standard would speed video uploads on mobile devices:
“A newly formed industry group has proposed a standard that could help eliminate those long pauses – buffering and rebuffering — that users experience during video content uploads to mobile devices.”

Israeli general claims Stuxnet attacks as one of his successes:
“The latest results of a Symnatec study concentrating on the Stuxnet worm revealed that its developers knew what they were doing – once finished, it took only 12 hours to infect the first target.”

Taxes on Cell Phones Hit All-Time High, 10 Best and Worst States:
“Wireless consumers in Nebraska, Washington, and New York pay more than 20 percent of their wireless bills in taxes and fees, mostly due to the proliferation of archaic or duplicated surcharges.”

Obama seeks big boost in cybersecurity spending:
“The White House is proposing a big increase in cybersecurity research and development in next year’s budget to improve, in part, its ability to reduce the risk of insider threats and ensure the safety of control systems such as those used at power plants.”

Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet:

“Epitaphs for the Mubarak government all note that the mobilizing power of the Internet was one of the Egyptian opposition’s most potent weapons. But quickly lost in the swirl of revolution was the government’s ferocious counterattack, a dark achievement that many had thought impossible in the age of global connectedness. In a span of minutes just after midnight on Jan. 28, a technologically advanced, densely wired country with more than 20 million people online was essentially severed from the global Internet.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Quote of the week: the middle ground where AGW skeptics and proponents should meet up:
“This article was sent to me by Charles Hart, and I have to say, I really like this quote from Curt Stager in Fast Company. Between the extremes of Hansen’s pronouncements about coal death trains and people in Britain having to choose between food and fuel, this is where we need to be.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Charity Groups Push for Change in Indiana Gambling Laws:
“Tired with the cumbersome laws that govern Indiana’s gambling industry, charity groups and non-profit organizations are pushing for substantial changes that will see a possible change in legislation. As such, a coalition of these groups is promoting two bills that will see a relaxation of gambling in Indiana bars and at charity events.”

Health / Safety:

Super Nanny: First Lady of Junk Science Michelle Obama:
“America is finally catching on. For nearly two years, I’ve chronicled food profiteer-turned-food cop Michelle Obama’s obese and obscene power grab masquerading as a public health crusade. She quickly leveraged her hubby’s U.S. Senate victory to snag a lucrative seat on the corporate Board of Directors of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. despite having zero experience in the industry, publicly begrudged other Americans’ choices in how they earn their money — and then parlayed her East Wing power to push Obamacare, threaten food advertisers’ speech and serve the SEIU’s legislative agenda (full story on this in Culture of Corruption), and brow-beat restaurants over portion sizes. Mrs. O even played the childhood obesity card to try and win the Chicago crony-lympics bid.”

Senators: Ban smokeless tobacco use in MLB:
“Two Democratic senators are asking baseball commissioner Bud Selig to ban all tobacco use in the sport, specifically citing smokeless products.”

Healthcare Reform Law Requires New IRS Army Of 1,054:
“The Internal Revenue Service says it will need an battalion of 1,054 new auditors and staffers and new facilities at a cost to taxpayers of more than $359 million in fiscal 2012 just to watch over the initial implementation of President Obama’s healthcare reforms. Among the new corps will be 81 workers assigned to make sure tanning salons pay a new 10 percent excise tax. Their cost: $11.5 million.”

Why Aren’t G.M.O. Foods Labeled?:
“If you want to avoid sugar, aspartame, trans-fats, MSG, or just about anything else, you read the label. If you want to avoid G.M.O.’s — genetically modified organisms — you’re out of luck. They’re not listed. You could, until now, simply buy organic foods, which by law can’t contain more than 5 percent G.M.O.’s. Now, however, even that may not work.”


World Bank: Food prices at “dangerous levels”:
“Global food prices have hit “dangerous levels” that could contribute to political instability, push millions of people into poverty and raise the cost of groceries, according to a new report from the World Bank.”


Shirley Sherrod Catches Andrew Breitbart’s Car:
“You know that saying about the dog which chased the car but didn’t know what to do once it caught it. Shirley Sherrod just filed suit against Andrew Breitbart, but I think she’ll find it was not worth the pursuit. “


National Labor Relations Board to decide whether labor organizers can use ‘micro union’ targets:
“The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the mediation agency charged with interpreting and maintaining the fairness of unionizing efforts nationwide, will soon decide whether or not labor unions will be allowed to break off different sections of workforces into small groups to organize five or 10 workers at a time instead of the whole workplace at once – or organize using “micro unions.””

Chicago SEIU Local Leaders Probed for Terror Links:
“It’s not every day that an American labor union gets investigated for possible ties to two of the world’s most lethal terrorist organizations. But Chicago’s Service Employees International Union Local 73 isn’t an everyday union. Last September 24, FBI agents raided residences in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan of more than a dozen radical activists in an effort to connect them to the Hamas (Gaza and the West Bank) and FARC (Colombia) guerrilla movements. Two of the occupants were SEIU Local 73 chief steward and executive board member Joe Iosbaker and former local board member-steward Tom Burke. Neither they nor anyone else has been arrested. But as the case unfolds, questions have arisen over the extent of involvement, if any, by the Chicago-based radical network that nurtured President Obama’s political ambitions from the Nineties onward.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Businesses urged to get involved with planning on high-speed rail:
“State officials have put the call out to companies and other organizations – including small businesses – to get involved in the building of California’s plans for a multibillion-dollar high-speed rail system.”