Monday, August 28, 2006

Michael J. Copps Interview

Our guest on August 26 was FCC commissioner Michael Copps. He, along with co-commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, will be attending a Community Dialogue on Media Ownership on August 31 at USC's Davidson Conference Center. We talked about the importance of diversity in today's media saturated society, and why it's important for the public to be involved.

- Listen to the Interview -

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Voting Machines Fail in Alaska

Problems with Diebold touchscreen voting machines used in yesterday's primary election in Alaska forced election workers to hand count votes and manually upload the totals from 12 precincts.
Alaska Democratic Party spokeswoman Kay Brown said the slowdown caused by the touchscreen machines is indicative of larger problems with the machines.

"I can say there are many systematic problems with Diebold machines that have been identified in many contexts," Brown said. "That there were technical glitches with the machines is not surprising, and it's one indication of the kinds of things that can go wrong with the machines and it's something to be concerned about."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Websense Censoring Cory Doctorow?

It seems Websense, the web filtering company, has added podcasts by Cory Doctorow to it's list of "bad" sites. This even though Cory is reading his own work, which is (non-pornographic) sci-fi. He is calling it censorship and wants to know why he's being filtered out. A manager for Websense was contacted by him but was unable to provide any information or make any comments.

It's important to note that Websense is widely used by public libraries, schools and government agencies. Thus, it's in their capacity as public sector censors that the reasons for above listing are important to know. Why is Websense preventing library patrons, students, and public sector employees from these podcasts? Cory thinks it may have to do with recent criticisms he has made about Websense.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Net Neutrality Video

The folks at We Are The Web have put out a new video. It's exactly the kind of creative broadband media that advocates of Net Neutrality say is in jeopardy.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Xiao Qiang Interview

Our guest on August 19 was Xiao Qiang, noted human rights activist and director of the China Internet Project. We talked generally about technology and human rights in China, and specifically about the recently published report by Human Rights Watch, Race to the Bottom.

According to HRW, the report "documents how extensive corporate and private sector cooperation" enables the Chinese government in limiting access and dissemination of political and cultural information. We asked Xiao about the immediate and long term affects of these practices, and what he believes needs to be done.

- Listen to the Interview -

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No Terror Link to Cell Phone Hoarding

The FBI says that they have been unable to show any connection between three men arrested in Michigan with about 1,000 cell phones in their van and any known terrorist groups. In a different case in Ohio, the prosecutor says he is unable to prove a terrorist connection to two men arrested after buying a large number of phones.

The Detroit Free Press has a story about how reselling cell phones is a big business.
From Dearborn to Troy to Sterling Heights, Arab Americans are a major part of the cell phone business in southeastern Michigan. At least half of the cell phone businesses in the region are owned by metro Detroiters of Arab or Chaldean descent, say business owners in the industry. Many new immigrants or emerging businessmen earn money by buying the cell phones and then selling them to gas stations, distributors or stores.

It's called capitalism, Arab Americans say.

via BoingBoing

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Erik Davis Interview

Our guest on August 5 was Erik Davis. There is a new book out, with his writings and the stunning photography of Michael Rauner. It's called "The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape" and it's really quite beautiful. Others agree.

We talked about the book and the motivation behind it. And what it is about this left coast of America which draws those seeking answers to Very Big Questions.

- Listen to the Interview -

Trapped in Hoboken's Robot Garage

Wired news has the story of Hoboken's Robot Garage, where a license dispute over the (very cool) software which runs the place led to a shutdown, trapping hundreds of cars inside for several days. After some determined negotiations, a three-year agreement was reached and (presumably) owners once again have access to their vehicles.

via BoingBoing

July 29 Archive Special

With Ric away for the week, we took the opportunity on July 29 to re-visit some recent interviews. Included are clips from Regina Lynn, Zack Lynch, Lawrence Lessig, and Greg Palast.

- Listen to Part One, Part Two -

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reuters Suspends Photog

Reuters has suspended Adnan Hajj, a photographer who reportedly has admitted to manipulating photographs of Beirut after an attack by the Israeli Air Force. Reuters has issued a Picture Kill for the photo.

The blog Little Green Footballs (and many others) have been all over this and it seems the photographer did a really, really bad job of using the rubber stamp tool to add extra smoke. He is also said to be one of the photographers at Qana, when coverage by the media was also questioned.