Joho the BlogDecember 2008 - Page 3 of 6 - Joho the Blog

December 19, 2008

Creative Commons panel

Last Friday, Berkman hosted a panel discussion among some of the founders and leaders of Creative Commons: Jamie Boyle, Joi Ito, Molly S. Van Houweling, and Lawrence Lessig. The conversation was guided by Jonathan Zittrain, who is brilliant at this and quite hilarious. Here’s the video.

Don’t forget to support Creative Commons.

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Support GlobalVoices

GlobalVoices needs your help. Need convincing? Check out GV’s bloggage about the Mumbai attack. Or, perhaps more important, check GV any day. The world speaks at GV. Worth a listen. Worth some support. [Disclosure: I’m a volunteer adviser.]

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RIAA flees

The RIAA has announced that it’s not going to sue music downloaders, although it’s holding open the possibility of suing the most egregious offenders.

I like to think it took one look at Charlie Nesson’s case and fled with its short tail between its legs.

This is good news not only for those who have felt the full, brutal force of the RIAA’s whim-driven prosecutions, but because it helps the clear the ground for a longer, more considered redressing of the balance of rights and values.

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December 18, 2008

Just when you thought there was no sheen left to wear down

Oh please oh please oh please go away oh please oh please oh please

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Why I’m glad Rick Warren’s going to the Inauguration is featuring a piece I wrote (intending it as an on-air commentary) about why I, as a liberal, am glad that Obama invited Rick Warren to the Inaugural platform. Here’s how it begins:

I’m a liberal. Free the whales, tax the rich, I swear to you that not only do I drive a Prius, I turned in our Volvo for it. If you know any one of my political positions, you know them all. That’s how embarrassingly stereotyped I am. So pardon me if I take a moment to give some advice to my fellow liberals and progressives: Chill out, will you?

You’re already out criticizing our president-elect for betraying our side. He’s gone soft on wiretapping, on raising taxes on the wealthy, and now you’re having conniptions because Barack Obama has invited Pastor Rick Warren onto the Inaugural podium. The shame! The horror!

Rick Warren believes things that are anathema to liberals like me.

Rick Warren is against abortion choice and totally against gay marriage. I’m from Massachusetts. I’m totally for both those things.

But personally I’m delighted that Rick Warren was asked and he agreed to participate in the inauguration.

My lefty friends, you’re not listening…[more]

If you have comments about this, could you please post them on the NPR site? It’d be a personal favor. Thanks!


Media Re:Public from Berkman

The Berkman Center’s Media Re:Public project assessing the state of the media (old school and citizen/participatory) is now out. (The papers are here.)

The report points to six issues, which I’m paraphrasing rather crudely:

1. Traditional media are scaling back their reporting because they’re going broke.

2. Their webby equivalents are not replacing all their functions.

3. Online news sources are not uniformly reliable, and not everyone knows that.

4. Not everyone is online anyway.

5. Some of the functions not being replaced online are really important, but we don’t yet have good business models for them.

6. We don’t have good data about what’s really going on.

This status report tries to bring some empiricism to the cheerleading (guilt as charged). It also pairs up nicely with a 2005 report about a Berkman conference that brought bloggers and mainstream journalists together for 1.5 days of frank discussions.

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Memo to Bush: Authenticity doesn’t count

George W. Bush validates his presidency by saying that he stood by his beliefs even when they were unpopular. Ok.

But here’s a news flash for #43: It’s not enough to do what you think is right. It’s also important that you actually be right.

In fact, being unassailably convinced that you’re right is what the rest of us call “having a closed mind.”

Worst. President. Ever.

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December 17, 2008

My laptop, in good hands

The beautiful girl in the blue striped shirt is Jessie. The OLPC laptop she’s carrying is the one I donated through WavePlace. This makes me very happy.

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Radio Berkman podcast: Free, national, and for five-year-olds

In this week’s Radio Berkman podcast, I interview Stephen Schultze about the FCC’s auctioning off spectrum to a national provider who would be required to use 25% of it for free, nationwide wifi. There’s only one catch: That wifi would have to only connect to sites and services that are safe for minors (defined as people between 5 and 18).

After we had recorded this interview last week, the FCC postponed voting on the proposal, and since it’s the baby of the outgoing Chair, it’s probably postponed forever. Still, the idea raises some really interesting issues. Steve and I focus on the free speech considerations, although the opposition from other spectrum-holders certainly could not have encouraged the FCC.

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December 16, 2008

Tubes then and now

Harry Lewis points to an odd coincidence: Today the NY Times editorializes in favor of Net neutrality and 100 years ago it was all about the pneumatic tubes…

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