Archive for May 2010

counter)induction’s “the child is father to the man”

Crumb! I never knew he was so good.

On May 21, 2010, we attended the latest performance of counter)induction. The first piece, “Ikhoor” by Xenakis, a piece for string trio, was greatly enhanced for me by a conversation I recently had with my friend Ken, a violinist. I had said that classical music does not have distortion and he described several methods by which violinists can obtain unusual sounds.

One involves turning the bow on its side, a method that Xenakis used very well in this piece. Another involves lifting the strings and letting them fall against the bridge of the violin, which produces a sound that is very different from plucking.

This was followed by Pascal Dusapin’s Trio Rombach, a piece I did not like.

All of this was a prelude to the meat of the performance.

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Thoughts on Games For Change

Melissa and I attended a Games For Change workshop, a brainstorming session to kick off the 2010 Games For Change Festival here in New York and hosted by the Non Profit Commons in Second Life (NCSL).

Many of those attending had built games for nonprofits (including the World Bank!), and some represented organizations such as IBM that are interested in the idea.

The portion of the discussion that I felt I could contribute was this: what can games do for a non-profit? Nancy Goldstein phrased the issue this way: many remember having to teach organizations the difference between a blog and a press release. Many remember organizations that simply published press releases on blog, a colossal failure and a missed opportunity to engage people. So what can a game do that a press release cannot do?

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Bruce Sounds the Alarm on FCC Policy

Bruce Kushnick believes that FCC reform is a charade and that the FCC plans to give cash handouts to phone and cable companies by taxing all broadband connections.

This FCC policy would be wrong, especially since an FCC study just concluded that the FCC should be spending money on fixed wireless.

Twitter is for Food Trucks

Seen many stories about this. The latest is from the New York Times, covering food trucks in New Jersey.

FCC Plan is Good Idea

The FCC plans to force the cellcos to warn users who are about to incur a large bill. Let’s see if this gets past the lobbyists and the courts. Gut check time for the FCC.

FCC Seeks Third Way for Internet Regulation

While most branches of the Obama adminstration are seeking to describe their policies as bipartisan, the FCC today chose to describe its new internet policy as a Third Way.

The Third Way is a phrase made popular by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. It describes an attempt to navigate a path between socialism and the free market. Given the extent to which the Obama administration’s opponents attack so many things it proposes as “socialism”, it is courageous of the FCC to use this term. (To be fair, the FCC says it’s seeking a middle road between re-regulation of a utility and the unfettered free market.)

The FCC does not want to regulate the internet if the internet is defined as the websites and services that we use when we connect to the internet. The FCC wants to regulate the price that users pay to connect to the internet and to be able to police monopoly power at the access level. To this end, the FCC refuses to abandon the great mistake of 2002 in which the FCC first decided that the internet was comprised of both a telecommunications component and an information service.

The problem with this splitting of the internet atom is that the internet consists of interdependent services.

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The ISP Market Has Changed Since 2002 — Does the FCC Recognize This?

Bruce Kushnick recently pointed out to me that the FCC is using data from a period between 1997 and 2002.

The key difference between then and now is that through 2002, the ISPs still had control of the market, but today, the phone and cable companies rule.

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