The next step in internet TV

As a follow-up to our ZeroTV discussion, I present to your information about Aereo, a website that will stream live television broadcasts that it picks up over the free airwaves.  Broadcasters and Cable moguls alike are trying to stop this venture in the courts, but so far to no avail.

I have questions for both sides of the controversy:  (1) How are broadcasters harmed if a website shows their over-the-air programming as opposed to that programming being shown on a television set? (2)  What is the advantage of watching live broadcasts on a computer screen as opposed to watching it over a television screen?  (3) Television stations are howling that their content is being “stolen.”  But how can it be stolen if the stations are giving it away for free? (4)  Why would viewers pay $10 per month for Aereo when they can get the same programming on a bigger screen for free?  [Read more...]

A new economic boom?

The U.S economy is still in the doldrums.  But former general and CIA director David Petraeus and Brookings scholar Michael O’Hanlon see the possibilities of a new economic boom on the horizon.  IF the government doesn’t mess it up. [Read more...]

Zero TVers

The television industry is worried about a growing new category called “Zero TVers.”  Not to be confused with people who don’t watch TV at all, these viewers will watch programming.  But not what’s broadcast or cabled onto a TV set.  They watch on their computers or, instead of on huge HDTV screens, on their cellphones.  Or they might have an HDTV monitor, but are content to watch old programming they rent via Netflix.  Does this describe you? [Read more...]

Corporations that own your DNA

Did you know that you don’t own your DNA?  Different companies hold the patent to about 41% of your genes.  That means whenever those DNA strands are tested by a doctor, the company collects a royalty.  Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear a case that will potentially rule on whether  human DNA can be patented. [Read more...]

From spam to bacn

I have learned a new word, though I’m quite familiar with the reality.  From  BBC News – Why your inbox fills with bacn instead of spam:

Bacn is becoming what spam once was – the nuisance that fills up your inbox and makes it hard to pick out the important messages you have to read and which require a reply.

Bacn is all those reminders, newsletters, notifications, limited offers, alerts and other ephemera sent by websites, e-tailers and other services you have used ever since you made your first mouse clicks on the web. [Read more...]

Medal for drone warriors

The military has instituted a new medal, the Distinguished Warfare Medal, to honor great deeds performed by those who operate drones and other high-tech military systems operated from afar (such as, presumably, cyberwarfare).  The problem is that in the hierarchy of medals, the Distinguished Warfare Medal outranks the Bronze Star (which is given for valor in combat) and the Purple Heart (which is given for getting wounded).  The new medal has sparked outrage and ridicule from troops on the ground who have to face getting shot at, as well as veterans who had to put their lives on the line, unlike drone warriors.  As a result of the uproar,  military brass are reviewing the ranking. [Read more...]


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