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