Category Archives: Media

Net neutrality sounds good, but it’s worse


By Ev Ehrlich – Think about a newspaper – it works the same way. The Chronicle attracts readers so it can attract advertisers. It also attracts advertisers so it can attract readers. What if The Chronicle weren’t allowed to accept money from advertisers because “newspaper neutrality” made it impossible to let some stores advertise and others not? The price of the paper would go up, because the reader would have to carry the entire cost of the paper.

The Internet works the same way. Users – you and I – carry more than our fair share, while the mega-sites pay less than they should given the congestion they cause and the value of a connection to them.

That’s part of the reason why the profit margins of companies like Google and Facebook and Yahoo are six to eight times those of the companies such as Verizon or AT&T or Comcast.

When you get right down to it, you and I and Selby are subsidizing these behemoths; no wonder they’re the biggest proponents of neutrality. more> http://tinyurl.com/n7wxlnw

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Have romantic comedies become obsolete?


By Wesley Morris – Once upon a time, women in successful romantic comedies were warriors battling men. They fought for love, parity, and respect — to be taken seriously while wearing unserious hats. The man had a position that the woman finds appalling.

Or was it the other way around? But to be appalled was to be attracted.

All Katharine Hepburn did with Spencer Tracy was fight. And you never doubted that they equally wanted to win the exasperation contest. They were both only half-surprised to end up with each other. The mutual skepticism resolved because each realized the ultimate perfection of the match.

We call them rom-coms now, which seems apt. The romance is gone. The romance of banter, of competition, of surrender, of personal style: It’s over. more> http://tinyurl.com/pzz93ej

Welcome Back, Paul Ryan


Bloomberg – It’s rare for a prominent politician to publicly rethink his position on one of his signature issues. Paul Ryan has just done so.

It is certainly a foundation on which conservatives can build. One of the plan’s proposals would combine 11 current programs — including food stamps, child care, housing subsidies and what remains of traditional welfare — into something called Opportunity Grants. It sounds like a block-grant program, the anathema of liberals because they distrust the states’ ability (or will) to distribute grants fairly, and it comes with a big exception: States can opt in only if their plans pass federal-government muster. more> http://tinyurl.com/l8v5hk4

Why Government Fails, and How to Stop It


By Paul C. Light – 41 important past government failures (between 2001 – 2014) from a search of news stories listed in the Pew Research Center’s “News Interest Index” were identified.

Patterns and characteristics in the dataset of significant government failures:

  • Most of the failures involved errors of omission, not commission
  • Vision with execution is the clear driver of success, just as its absence is an equation for failure
  • The number of government failures has increased over time

more> http://tinyurl.com/q3lhpqk

97 Percent of Key Industries Doubt Security Compliance Can Defy Hackers


(GlebStock/Shutterstock.com )By Aliya Sternstein – Only 3 percent of information technology executives at utilities and other businesses critical to society strongly believe security rules and standards decrease threats to the systems running their operations.

“The regulations themselves are not getting the job done. It’s hard to have regulations in this area that are dynamic enough to be helpful,” Larry Ponemon told Nextgov. more> http://tinyurl.com/orhgyz3