Friday, September 30, 2005

Articles about Internet Control... The US don't wanna let go!

I thought the following portion of this article was interesting...
A senior U.S. official rejected calls on Thursday for a U.N. body to take over control of the main computers that direct traffic on the Internet, reiterating U.S. intentions to keep its historical role as the medium's principal overseer.

"We will not agree to the U.N. taking over the management of the Internet," said Ambassador David Gross, the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy at the State Department. "Some countries want that. We think that's unacceptable."

Many countries, particularly developing ones, have become increasingly concerned about the U.S. control, which stems from the country's role in creating the Internet as a Pentagon project and funding much of its early development.
Well, geez, let's see, what would be the counter proposal? How about International control...
EU spokesman Martin Selmayr said a new cooperation model was important "because the Internet is a global resource."

"The EU ... is very firm on this position," he added.

A stalemate over who should serve as the principal traffic cops for Internet routing and addressing could derail the summit, which aims to ensure a fair sharing of the Internet for the benefit of the whole world.

At issue is who would have ultimate authority over the Internet's master directories, which tell Web browsers and e-mail programs how to direct traffic.
Well, this ought to get interesting. More on this later....

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gas Prices Makes More Mass Transit Riders Out of Us After All

I have an interest in mass transit that goes beyond curiosity... it borders on a minor obsession at times. Mainly trains since buses just don't do it for me. But put buses on a power line and I get all excited. I don't know why, something that has to do with my childhood I am certain, but this isn't the time for that. It turns out that in a town where we are supposed to get trains in the ever distant future, perhaps $3 a gallon gas may quicken our demand after all. In places like Dallas and Losa Angeles mass transit ridership is up...
In Dallas, an increase in ridership in the past month on DART has resulted in "incredibly creative parking at some outlying stations," and the service received a growing number of complaints from motorists demanding to know why the system doesn't serve their destinations, according to DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail service between Dallas and Fort Worth, has benefited even more from high gasoline prices, posting a 15 percent increase in ridership so far this month, Lyons says.

In famously car-addicted Los Angeles, ridership on city buses and subways jumped 7.82 percent in August, while ridership on the Metro-Link, the regional commuter rail service for the metropolitan area, rose 6 percent, the largest monthly increase since last November.
15% and 6% increases... that is meaningful and let's hope that we begin to realize that we need zoning that demands density, a return to car pools for commuting and every metro area needs an adequate light rail system. And as the song goes, some may say I'm a dreamer, but I am not the only one...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Nano Nano - Pogue Goes Batty Over New iPod

David Pogue, the NYT technology columnist went nuts over the iPod Nano this morning in his review. While skeptical, there was one part that really struck me...
What's so clever about the iPod Nano ($249) is that it merges these two approaches. It contains memory chips, so it's dazzlingly tiny - 3.5 by 1.6 by 0.27 inches, to be exact, about the size of a folded playing card and thin enough to slip under a door. Yet because Apple stuffed it with four gigabytes of memory, it holds as much music as some hard-drive players - more than 1,000 songs. (Apple also offers a $199 model with half the capacity.) Because it contains no moving parts, the Nano is less delicate than full-size iPods and virtually skip-proof.
Did you catch that last part? "Skip proof". Wow, now that is appealing. Coming from a professional klutz, getting four GB of hard drive that doesn't include moving parts is amazing. I'm still thinking about that 60GB model, but that is damn tempting. Besides, I think 1,000 songs around my neck is more than enough... well, ok, maybe I do need 15,000 songs...

Friday, September 09, 2005

On Playlisting

Ok people, I wrote an article for Flow last week and here it is. It's on "playlisting"... kind of... well, you'll see.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Orleans

I have tried not to blog about this, but I am so depressed about what has happened in New Orleans. So many, so much has been lost. The many... so poor and so stranded, so powerless. The first lesson I learned from my fourth grade chess coach was "mobility is power" and so many who remained to slowly drown and starve were those who live paycheck to paycheck, take public transit, have no credit cards to charge and no friends who can loan them the money to even take a cab were simply powerless. Not stupid, not arrogant, just without the power to move when they could. That we, the US, who knew the storms were coming and the levees unfinished did not help them move shames me.

And so much more could be said about poverty and it is. For now I simply want to note that New Orleans is not just a city, but a cultural treasure whose value is not measured in the factories it no longer houses or the money it no longer makes in exporting goods. Rather, it's value is historical and cultural. It's the birthplace of jazz, the city center of cajun music, the close relative of rock and roll, a cradle for hip hop and one of the most active center of rhythm and blues culture in the world. As Ned Sublette states in the Village Voice, "The destruction of New Orleans, from a cultural point of view, is too awful to contemplate." He goes further...
If you're only looking at it from the rock and roll perspective, New Orleans is a fundamental city in the story. In 1949, Dave Bartholomew, who I hope evacuated in time, led the house band that backed up Fats Domino on his first hit, "The Fat Man", and became the first professional R&B studio band, the forerunner of the kind of thing that they would have in Motown. Singers like Little Richard, Lloyd Price, Ray Charles would come to New Orleans to play with this house band. Many of the first R&B and rock and roll classics were recorded in New Orleans.

You cannot abandon New Orleans. You can say that New Orleans has no viability as a business or industrial city. But if our history and culture as a nation mean anything, New Orleans is central to it. And if we can save New Orleans--if we haven't lost it already--it has to be put back and saved right. If we can somehow turn around the hateful direction this country is going in, and really save and fortify New Orleans, and really show the world that we as a nation can save our own cities, that our concept of homeland security means something, then we can be proud of ourselves. Right now we can't.

We're not only watching history disappear. History is watching us disappear.