Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

September 22, 2014

Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

 

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, recently spoke with the Washington Post‘s Brian Fung about proposed FCC rule changes that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge content companies for higher speed access to consumers, so-called “fast lanes.”

 “If businesses are to move here and start here rather than start in Europe or Brazil or Australia — they’re going to look around and make sure, ‘Oh, does the power stay up?’ And they’ll look for other things. ‘Is the Internet open?’ Will they have to effectively bribe their ISPs to start a new service? That’s what it looks like from the outside. It’s bribery.”

– “World Wide Web inventor slams Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’” Brian Fung, Washington Post

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Congress Is On Vacation. Like It Was All Year Long.

September 20, 2014

Congress Is On Vacation. Like It Was All Year Long.

After a grueling five-day schedule of naming post office buildings, Congress kicked the budget can down the road and sneaked out of DC in the dark of night last Thursday. Those who aren’t investigating NATO defenses at Munich’s Oktoberfest are in their home jurisdictions, shaking down constituents for votes and campaign cash. They’ll return after November’s election smoke clears and they know who’s a survivor and who has a few weeks to find a job as a lobbyist or investment banker.

 More:

“Peace Out! House Cancels Work Until After Election Day,” Sahil Kapur, TPM Livewire

 “Senate Approves Spending Bill and Syria Measure, Heads for Exits,” Michael Catalini and Sarah Mimms, National Journal

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Big Vote in Scotland

September 19, 2014

Big Vote in Scotland

There was a big election in Scotland on September 18th, and the “Ayes” have it. For the first time since its founding in 1754, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews will admit women to its membership.

More:

“A 260-Year-Old Shrine Unlocks Its Doors to Women,” Karen Crouse, New York Times

“Royal and Ancient Golf Club finally allows women to become members,” Holly Watt, Daily Telegraph

“Scotland votes for union at golf’s ancient club as women win membership,” CNN

“Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews welcome women members with 85 per cent voting in favour landmark change,” Michael Gadd, Daily Mail

“The Royal And Ancient Golf Club Finally Admits Women. Where Else Can They Still Not Go?” Allison McCann, FiveThirtyEight

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Image (“Big Scotland Vote, after a St. Andrews poster”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

Corporate Person Builds Bible Museum in Godless DC

September 18, 2014

Corporate Person Builds Bible Museum in Godless DC

A well-known Corporate Person, Hobby Lobby, is building a Museum of the Bible in a former warehouse near the railroad tracks in Southwest DC. Once the Washington Design Center, it was built as the Terminal Refrigeration and Warehouse Company in 1923.

Museum plans call for completion in 2017. Expect a ballroom modeled after Versailles (mentioned in the New Testament, maybe?), a theater, a replica of Westminster Abbey, holograms, and a restaurant serving biblically themed meals. Oh, and some historic books and 40,000 artifacts from the Green Family collection.  The museum has the same advisor as the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs romp with cavemen.

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4 Million Pre-Orders for iPhone 6

September 16, 2014

4 Million Pre-Orders for iPhone 6

There were 4 million pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 6 mobile phone, which becomes available this week. If you’re picking one up, expect long lines.

 More:

“Apple’s 4 million iPhone 6 pre-orders in context,” Dan Frommer, Quartz

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Photo (Eastern Market Radio Shack, 717 D Street SE) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Forward-Thinking Weird Al Takes Enterprise to Next Level

September 15, 2014

Business executive Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic takes a deep dive into employee engagement with his dynamic Mission Statement (above). At the end of the day, the value-added process he designed can circle back and leverage the synergy of the entire enterprise.

More:

“When Weird Al Yankovic sings about business jargon, he’s mocking these companies,” Sonali Kohli, Quartz

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Endangered Species: Lesbian Bars

September 13, 2014

Endangered Species: Lesbian Bars

“’West Hollywood does not have a lesbian bar anymore. Philadelphia doesn’t have one. Houston doesn’t have one, and I could go on and on,’ Clements [playwright and journalist Alexis Clements] explains. She noted the decline of lesbian and feminist venues of all sorts. ‘That ranges from feminist bookstores, to bars, to arts organizations. All of these spaces are kind of going through a variety of different struggles that in some way are similar.’

In response to this decline, Clements re-adjusted her original theater tour, and will now be combining play readings with documenting some of the remaining lesbian spaces.

But Clements notes these struggles may actually reflect positive changes — people don’t need a lesbian bar as a refuge, because the culture at large is more accepting.”

– “The disappearance of lesbian bars may signal change,” Deena Prichep, Marketplace.org

The theater tour didn’t include Washington’s Phase 1 on Barracks Row, said to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the USA, but Ms. Clements tells us she hopes to show the completed film there.

More:

“Unknown Play Project – Documentary Film,” Alexis Clements, Hatchfund.org

Unknown Play Project website

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

September 12, 2014

TV: Will the DC NFL Team Name Be Benched?

Sportscasters Tony Dungy, Phil Simms, Tom Jackson, and Lisa Salters won’t use the racist, derogatory name of DC’s NFL team. Neither will ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak, who comes from the DC area. But what if the FCC rules that name cannot be uttered over the public airwaves?

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says he finds the name “offensive and derogatory” and believes it should be changed. He hopes DC team owner Dan Snyder will come to his senses and change the name voluntarily.

But former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson are urging the FCC to make an indecency case against broadcasters who use the name on the air.

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Bagel Day

September 11, 2014

Bagel Day

Tuesday was Bagel Day at the software development center, and I favored Bagels & Baguettes near Stanton Park. There was a line when I got there, around 8:30 AM. The shop is near the Senate office buildings and the Heritage Foundation, so there is a TV tuned to CNN to keep news-obsessed customers occupied.

By the time I got my two dozen hot bagels, the damnedest thing was on that television. An airplane had crashed into a World Trade Center tower in New York, and the building was on fire. It was September 11, 2001.

I went to the office break room and put out the bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon. I guess I was making coffee when the second plane hit the other tower. I figured people still had to eat.

The developers were plugged into the Web, and learned as much – or as little — as anyone that morning. We knew a third plane hit the Pentagon and heard the false report that a fourth had hit the White House. There was a rumor that a plane had hit the Capitol, but we were two blocks away and would have heard that.

I scanned on the radio, but the news stations were clueless. I heard some good eyewitness reporting from New York over Pacifica, which I hadn’t expected. I put it on the telephone intercom and went through the office, turning intercoms on for some, off for people who had already heard enough.

I called the boss, got the word to send folks home, and surfed up reports on school system closings and Metro. The Red Line at Union Station was shut down until early afternoon. Phones at schools were busy, cell phone systems overloaded. I helped negotiate carpool rides for suburban commuter parents anxious enough to try the crowded roads, shut the center down, and walked home.

It was a quiet walk. There wasn’t a plane in the sky. All civilian aircraft were grounded. I kept the radio off and waited for the Wednesday paper.

Versions of this have been posted here each September 11th since 2007.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Apple Watch

September 10, 2014

Apple Watch

Apple Inc.introduced a new product on Tuesday. It’s the Apple Watch, and will cost you $350. It straps to your wrist. It can tell time, like a $10 Kmart watch, but only when your iPhone is working.

More:

“Apple Unveils Smartwatch, Its First New Product in 4 Years,” Alistair Barr, Wall Street Journal

“Apple unveils smartwatch, bets on wearable devices,” AP via Washington Post

“The Apple Watch Is Here And Another Tech Hype Cycle Commences,” Elise Hu, NPR

“5 reasons Apple Watch won’t scare Swiss watch industry,” Teresa Novellino, Upstart Business Journal

“Deconstructing The Apple Watch, As A Watch,” Johan Schloemann, Süddeutsche Zeitung via Worldcrunch

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