WKRC-TV Master Control c. 2001

I haven’t watched his show in years, but it is strange to think it’s done. When I worked (briefly!) in tele­vi­sion years ago, I would end every shift with the first 15 min­utes of Let­ter­man.

May 21, 2015 May 21, 2015 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

Inves­ti­ga­tors announced today that the plane crash in the French Alps was an inten­tion­al act by the first offi­cer. It hap­pened while the cap­tain was locked out of the cock­pit and unable to regain entry.

After the ter­ror­ist attacks in 2001, hard­ened cock­pit doors were uni­ver­sal­ly laud­ed as a sen­si­ble anti-ter­ror­ism mea­sure. It is clear from this inci­dent that there is at least one draw­back: they fun­da­men­tal­ly under­mine one of the safe­ty ben­e­fits of the 2-pilot sys­tem. I have to won­der, will any­one pub­licly revis­it this dis­cus­sion?

March 26, 2015 March 26, 2015 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

“Claire McCaskill, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic sen­a­tor from Mis­souri, says police depart­ments nation­wide should require their offi­cers to wear body cam­eras in order to qual­i­fy for the hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in fed­er­al fund­ing they receive each year.”David Kravets, Arstech­ni­ca

Clear­ly some­one hasn’t read The Cir­cle by Dave Eggers.

August 27, 2014 August 27, 2014 in-the-news by Scott 1 Comment

I don’t under­stand why there is so much con­tro­ver­sy about Face­book run­ning social exper­i­ments on their users. Stealth A/B test­ing has long been stan­dard prac­tice for large Web com­pa­nies. Have peo­ple for­got­ten that Face­book is an inessen­tial and com­plete­ly vol­un­tary for-prof­it ser­vice?

Also, when did so many peo­ple get the impres­sion that Face­book was some kind of pri­va­cy-mind­ed, altru­is­tic stew­ard of their data?

July 2, 2014 July 2, 2014 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

Reports keep sur­fac­ing that var­i­ous suit­ors are prepar­ing to make bids to buy T-Mobile.

An acqui­si­tion is prob­a­bly bad news for me. T-Mobile’s long sta­tus as a fourth-tier out­sider has led it to make a lot of deci­sions that are pret­ty great for cus­tomers.

For exam­ple, back in the day it was the only tele­com to pub­licly denounce the Bush administration’s war­rant­less wire­tap­ping pro­gram. In 2013, it was the only tele­com to state for the record that it does not sell cus­tomer data or call logs to gov­ern­ment agen­cies (the oth­er com­pa­nies had no com­ment). They have trans­par­ent and non-con­fus­ing pric­ing. And now they offer free inter­na­tion­al roam­ing and data, which is insane­ly great for trav­el­ers.

If Deutsche Telekom sells their shares to Soft­Bank, my only hope is that the con­tin­ued for­eign own­er­ship keeps the man­age­ment inter­est­ing and fore­stalls the adop­tion of the same creepy, cozy rela­tion­ship that the oth­er tele­coms main­tain with the gov­ern­ment.

December 24, 2013 December 24, 2013 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

From the AP cov­er­age of the Saturday’s plane crash:

“Police offi­cers threw util­i­ty knives up to crew mem­bers inside the burn­ing wreck­age of Asiana Air­lines Flight 214 so they could cut away pas­sen­gers’ seat belts.”

If pre­cious min­utes of first-respon­der time were lost due to the ill-con­sid­ered para­noia about allow­ing knives on planes, I guar­an­tee you there will be no mean­ing­ful pub­lic dis­course about the issue.

July 7, 2013 July 7, 2013 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

NYTimes: “Future of 3-D TV Murky as ESPN Ends Chan­nel.”

Final­ly, one of my pre­dic­tions comes true. I will admit to being wrong about Youtube (what mar­ket could there pos­si­bly be for cat videos?) and the iPhone (who would buy a phone with­out but­tons?) but I’m tak­ing a vic­to­ry lap this time.

June 17, 2013 June 17, 2013 in-the-news by Scott No Comments

A 22-year-old Dis­ney­land employ­ee was arrest­ed today for set­ting off a dry ice bomb in the park on Tues­day. He is report­ed­ly being held on $1 mil­lion bail.

First of all: who hasn’t made a dry ice bomb? They’re awe­some. We used to set these things off all the time in high school. And in col­lege.

I ques­tion the wis­dom of set­ting one off at Dis­ney­land, but dry ice bombs are pret­ty benign. So real­ly… $1 mil­lion?

May 29, 2013 May 29, 2013 in-the-news by Scott No Comments