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27 июня, 16:54

Facebook (FB) Eyes Hollywood to Boost Original Content

Facebook (FB) is aggressively ramping up its original content efforts. Per media reports, the social media giant is in talks with several Hollywood agencies to acquire TV-style content.

26 июня, 21:33

THE NEWS WE KEPT TO OURSELVES: CNN’s ‘Massive’ Error on Russia? No Time For It on Brian Stelter’s ‘R…

THE NEWS WE KEPT TO OURSELVES: CNN’s ‘Massive’ Error on Russia? No Time For It on Brian Stelter’s ‘Reliable Sources:’ Instead, Stelter spent more than five minutes hate-analyzing Fox & Friends as a Trump infomercial. He spent about ten and a half minutes indulging “TV legend” Phil Donahue. He even closed the show with four […]

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26 июня, 03:44

IN HEATED POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT, TIME-WARNER-CNN-HBO RESPONDS TO CALLS TO TONE DOWN RHETORIC: Bill M…

IN HEATED POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT, TIME-WARNER-CNN-HBO RESPONDS TO CALLS TO TONE DOWN RHETORIC: Bill Maher Sees ‘Zodiac Killer’ GOP Plan’; Too Many ‘Waste-Making’ Kids. Actually between Maher dropping the N-word on air and his corporate associates’ love of assassination porn, for Time-Warner-CNN-HBO in 2017, perhaps that does count as dialing back the rhetoric.

24 июня, 19:50

Economist Riff of the Week: The Argentina 100-year Bond

This week’s Economist Riff takes us to Argentina. Last week Argentina made headlines by issuing a $2.75 billion in bonds that mature in 100 years, a feat previously only accomplished by creditworthy-ish countries like the UK, Ireland, and Mexico. This caused the financial media to rend their garments and pull their beards: Six defaults in the past 100 years do not deter a bet on 2117 -The EconomistThe Rush to Argentina’s 100 year bond sale points to a bubble -FT “There is zero chance Argentina will not default again in the next 100 years.” -Zero HedgeArgentina’s 100-year bond: Sure sign of market gone crazy -WSJ/MarketwatchAlright...I’ll grant these guys it is easy to whack this piñata. Before we proclaim this as this cycle’s version of the AOL/Time Warner deal, Let's look at the facts, and what’s going on beneath the surface. Mexico is a great comparison here because they have a 100-year bond, and if everything goes right in Argentina for the next 10 years, they might reach Mexico’s level of credit spreads.  You get paid an additional 80bps every year for extending to the 2110 bond, a spread that has been relative stable for the past three years, despite material swings in Mexico credit over that time. What is the marginal additional credit risk from 2045 and 2110 relative to today until 2045? I’d argue not very much. The stability of the spread shows the key difference in the relative value of the two bonds is not credit, but duration. All those additional coupon payments add up to about an additional two years of effective duration on the bond, a pickup that rises along with the price of the bond, meaning an investor can make more in both carry and capital appreciation when yields fall while tying up less capital.  That is an attractive proposition for a real money account that doesn’t want to sell credit default swaps to gain more leverage, especially insurance companies and pension funds.The same logic follows in Argentina, where you pick up 60bps and about 1.5 years of duration for extending from 2046 to 2117. That is the point lost on the cacophony of voices decrying the recklessness of lending billions for a century to a country that has defaulted three times in the past 23 years: in the 30 year, you’re picking up something like 500bps over treasuries. At those levels of spreads, there’s already a huge probability of default priced in--the additional 70 years doesn’t make much of a difference. A dollar lent to Argentina for 100 years is worth about a nickel today--so you’re not hoping Argentina pays par to your unborn grandchildren, but rather that they will continue to service that debt over time.   To further illustrate this point, look at the USD yield curves for Mexico and Argentina. Remember, Argentine bondholders hope and dream their bonds will trade flat to Mexico some day. Argentina has a much steeper curve under ten years, but then flattens out. This is where the credit risk lies--you don’t get paid much for the marginal risk of default beyond this point. This is time period over which you are betting on the success of Macri’s reforms, and betting on him being able to bury the country’s famous habit of returning to populism. If you’re bullish on Macri, the steepness of the curve and sizable spread shows there is still a ton of money to be made here, and the century bond is a great way to express that view.Macri certainly has a tough road ahead--the market has cooperated by giving him some breathing room with the debt load and inflows to stabilize the currency, which will help stem inflation. But the fiscal reforms necessary after years of profligacy are going to hurt, and it is unclear if he’ll be able to deliver the growth and productivity the country needs. Politically, the Peronists are rudderless after years of being dominated by the Kirschners, so Macri may be able to capitalize on their weakness. The potential upside is huge, so while I’m not as bullish as those that put down $2.75 billion on the country last week, I do believe the future is bright and Argy will continue to be a decent carry trade so long as the broader reach-for-yield trade continues.  

23 июня, 16:59

Is Charter Communications Mulling to Buy Cox Communications?

According to a recent report by the New York Post, Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) is considering bidding for privately held Cox Communications Inc.

22 июня, 18:18

John Oliver, HBO Sued For Defamation By Coal Baron Robert E. Murray

John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner and the writers for “Last Week Tonight” are being sued for defamation by coal tycoon Robert E. Murray, owner of Murray Energy Corporation, The Daily Beast reports. In the suit filed June 21, Murray claims Oliver and his writers “executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies,” in the most recent episode of the show. On Sunday, Oliver took aim at Murray and his business practices in a segment that suggested the coal executive doesn’t do enough to protect his workers. Oliver also revealed that when “Last Week Tonight” representatives tried reaching out to Murray’s team for a comment, they received a cease-and-desist letter in response. The Brit even admitted he was expecting a lawsuit, as Murray has sued various news outlets, including The New York Times, in the past.  HBO stands by Oliver and the show’s writers.  “We have confidence in the staff of Last Week Tonight and do not believe anything in the show this week violated Mr. Murray’s or Murray Energy’s rights,” the cable network said in a statement provided to HuffPost.  The main problem Murray seems to have with Oliver’s segment is that he brought up the collapse of one of Murray’s mines in Utah, which claimed the lives of nine people. Oliver pointed out that a government report determined the collapse was due to unauthorized mining practices and noted that Murray blamed it on an earthquake. Murray reportedly provided evidence of his claim in the form of reports, according to The Daily Beast, and alleges Oliver’s team chose to ignore it.  “Because Defendant Oliver omitted any mention of the other reports he was aware of that evidenced that an earthquake caused the collapse, as Mr. Murray correctly stated following the collapse, Defendant Oliver’s presentation intentionally and falsely implied that there is no such evidence,” the complaint says, per The Daily Beast.  The complaint also reportedly claims Murray’s website was hacked and his health declined after the show aired, “likely further reducing his already limited life expectancy due to his Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” Murray is suing for one count each of defamation, false light invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to The Washington Post. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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22 июня, 17:23

John Oliver has been sued by the coal baron he tried to take down, which he predicted would happen

The coal magnate Robert Murray has filed a lawsuit against John Oliver, HBO, Time Warner, and the...

22 июня, 17:21

Snapchat's (SNAP) Zenly Buyout Inspires Snap Map Feature

Snap Inc (SNAP) unveiled Snap Map, it latest feature that will help a user find friends by sharing his/her location on a map.

22 июня, 17:04

AT&T NetBond Unveils AWS Direct Bundles for Cloud Customers

U.S telecom major AT&T Inc.'s (T) product, AT&T NetBond, is providing its users access to over 100 additional cloud software and service providers that are hosted on Amazon Web Services platform.

21 июня, 18:49

Should Moscow put a brake on rapprochement with Washington?

The classified documents with the seal of approval by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have all the properties of a meticulously balanced framework agreement aimed at satisfying the demands of hardliners and moderates on Capitol Hill. Tillerson’s three-pillar doctrine First, the paper states that Russian “aggressive actions” that hurt U.S. interests are “counterproductive for both sides.” This protocol platitude refers to allegations of Russian-linked hackers “meddling” in American elections (although not predetermining the vote count). Moscow could retort by claiming that supervision and sponsorship by Victoria Nuland, former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, of the 2014 coup d’état in Kiev, which resulted in the emergence of a nationalistic, erratic, and an almost failed state on the doorsteps of Russia, was a typical case of “aggressive actions” by the U.S. U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland offers food to pro-European Union activists as she and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt walk through Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Dec. 11, 2013. Source: AP The second pillar of the document specifies certain zones of U.S. “strategic” interests, admitting the necessity to engage with Russia in handling regional conflicts (Syria, in particular) and regional troubleshooters (like North Korea), as well as the need to define what might be called rules of disengagement related to cybersecurity and cyberespionage. It is fair to say that all the three subjects deserve to be termed, using EU newspeak, “projects of common interest,” provided that crisis resolution is not meant to benefit only the United States. The third pillar is an emphasis on “strategic stability” in dialogue with Russia. Invariably, it would enable both sides to pursue long-term mutual geopolitical goals. Will the suggested framework of partial and conditional engagement with Russia serve this purpose? Doubtful. For at least three reasons. Trump mimicks Hillary Clinton in Syria After the unconvincing cruise missile attack on a Syrian air force base near Homs, followed by the bombing of Bashar al-Assad’s allies near Al-Tanf, the U.S. military downed last Sunday a government Su-22 fighter jet. How will Trump play his cards with sanctions against Russia? It does not look like an awkward mistake. On his first overseas trip, Trump assured his hosts in Riyadh that his administration fully backs Saudi Arabia in its time-honored and unbending schism and hostilities against Iran. In addition, Trump de facto endorsed the Saudi sponsorship of anti-Assad militants fighting a protracted five-year civil war in Syria. The U.S. and the West “now express more outrage at the use of gas – it blames the Assad regime for this, of course – than at the continued cruelty of Isis,” noted Robert Fisk, a Middle East correspondent at The Independent. “It seems that Washington is now keener to strike at Assad – and his Iranian supporters inside Syria – than it is to destroy Isis,” Fisk concluded. Moscow qualified the downing of the Syrian SU-32 as an “act of aggression” and warned that from now on it would track warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates River, and treat them as potential targets. This does not leave much space for cooperation on the Syrian ground, and in the skies, between Russia and the U.S. Dove in hawkish disguise?  As for Tillerson’s goal of “strategic stability” with Russia, rumor has it that Wess Mitchell, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, might fill in Victoria Nuland’s shoes at the State Department. Linked with the John Hay Initiative, a neoconservative-leaning policy think tank, Mitchell has a strong reputation as a Putin-basher. It doesn't make it easier for pragmatists in Trump’s inner circle to improve relations with Moscow; if only this is not a cunning trick to shield the administration from attacks by the #Russiansdidit tribe of McCainiacs. As a justification of the carefully calculated overture to Moscow, a senior State Department official made a telling admission, as circulated by BuzzFeed: "Right now, U.S.-Russian relations are in the gutter. We want to make sure it doesn’t flush into the sewer." It might sound reassuring but it might not be good enough, neither to fend off charges from the “party of war” critics, nor to tame the untamable Russophobes of the old guard like Mitchell. Furthermore, Tillerson’s three-pillar approach might fall flat due to “collateral” damage sustained on the domestic front. Political hostilities across America Trump is under siege. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, National Security Adviser, admitted that the U.S. president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation. This is largely due to a barrage of negative invectives of his alleged dealings with the ”Ruskies,” as Ronald Reagan used to denigrate his adversaries in the “good old days” of the Cold war. Still, as an outsider confronting the “deep state,” Trump and his supporters face an all-out offensive by opponents, often crossing boundaries of morals and decency, thus undermining the pillars of representative democracy. Trump’s trans-Atlantic shift shocks Europe, baffles Russia Recently, on June 14, James Hodgekinson, a former volunteer for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, arrived at the Virginia baseball field where Republican lawmakers were practicing, and asked, “Are these Republicans or Democrats?” – before starting to shoot. As a result of this gun attack, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) suffered injuries and is still hospitalized. Judson Phillips in his article titled, “New hate movement gunning for bloodshed,” published in The Washington Times bemoans the extremes in the ideological discourse that have become routine in America. “Manny Schewitz writing on a website called Modernliberals.com said he did not have an ounce of sympathy for Congressman Scalise. Scalise’s 'crimes?' that merited such hatred from this liberal? Scalise is a conservative.” In March, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch astonished even her supporters by making a video appeal calling for people to “march, bleed and die” resisting President Trump. As some American experts point out today, Lynch who actually called for blood on the streets, “got her wish.” In May, Hollywood comedian Kathy Griffin disseminated a photo with her holding a decapitated and bloody mock head that resembled President Donald Trump; she later apologized, saying that she "went way too far." The chronicles of the deep divide in American society that provokes sectarian violence are full of such reports as: “Starbucks staff harasses Trump supporting customer," or “Shots fired at a truck flying ‘Make America Great Again’ flag.” And also, “Time Warner defends funding ‘assassination play’” – this is the one where the key scene of Shakespeare’s play is depicting the murder of Julius Caesar who wears a wig to resemble Donald Trump. This latest surge in sectarian violence in the U.S., engulfing both physical and verbal abuse, pitting various political tribes against each other, is truly a worrisome development for the American public and the outside world. Could anyone imagine it happening in the America of yesteryear, the America enjoying the docile post-Vietnam syndrome, or dizzily complacent after allegedly winning the Cold war? Hardly. It looks like Trump's opponents and the entrenched bureaucracy of the “deep state” linked to them are gradually radicalizing. Four scenarios, none perfect The internal feud within the U.S. political class presents a formidable challenge for U.S.-Russia relations. What should Russian leadership opt for? There are several options, of which four are apparently on the table of Kremlin strategists, depending on their ideological leaning and ability to embrace a pragmatic approach. First, Moscow could take a laid-back attitude and simply enjoy the deepening schism in the U.S. establishment in the logic of the “zero sum game” favored by the tenets of the Cold War and the “black-and-white” world. Second, the Kremlin could continue to worry about the growing unpredictability of Trump’s presidency since he seems to respond to pressure by following the neocons’ agenda, such as bombing pro-Assad forces in Syria, bullying North Korea, playing hardball with China, back-rolling detente with Cuba, disciplining Europeans, sanctioning Russia, and etc. Third, Moscow could take a pause by prolonging the current wait-and-see policy, expecting the ongoing duel between pro-Trump Republicans and the “deep state” symbiosis of hardline Republicans of the McCain type and Democrats of the Obama-Clinton clan to end, in one way or another. Fourth, Putin’s government could attempt conditional engagement of the Trump administration on particular issues of common interest that present similar security risks: such as fight ISIS in good faith and avoid incidents on the ground, prevent an escalation of the low-intensity conflict in Eastern Ukraine, cooperate on resolving the intensifying U.S.-Iranian deep-seated hostility, and etc. Deplorably, some Moscow pundits claim, with some evidence to back up their assertion, that an embattled Trump is a weak partner. As long as Trump remains an embattled U.S. president with limited capacity to conduct a confident and independent foreign policy, the chances of a reset in bilateral relations looks either slim or even impossible. For the moment, regrettably, U.S.-Russian relations could really end up being “flushed into the sewer.” Read more: Can NATO and Russia avoid a war in Europe?

21 июня, 16:30

AT&T (T) Unveils Individual State Plans for FirstNet Project

AT&T Inc. (T) and the FirstNet together revealed customized build out plans for states to consider for the first nationwide dedicated wireless network for first responders.

21 июня, 15:53

Facebook's (FB) Instagram Stories Boasts 250M Daily Users

Reportedly, in a span of two months, Facebook In's (FB), Instagram Stories, has added 50 million daily active users (DAUs), taking the total count to 250 million.

20 июня, 23:00

Will Strategic Efforts Lead Publishing Stocks to Growth?

Will Strategic Efforts Lead Publishing Stocks to Growth?

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20 июня, 21:43

Is Amazon/Whole Foods This Cycle's AOL/Time Warner - A Sign That The Party's Over?

Authored by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com, Towards the end of the 1990s tech stock bubble, “new media” – i.e., the Internet — was ascendant and old media like magazines, newspapers and broadcast TV were yesterday’s news. This was reflected in relative stock valuations, which gave Internet pioneer AOL the ability to buy venerable media giant Time Warner for what looked (accurately in retrospect) like an insane amount of money. Now fast forward to 2017. Online retailing is crushing bricks-and-mortar, giving Amazon all the high-powered stock it needs to do whatever it wants. And what does it want? Apparently to run grocery stores and pharmacies via the acquisition of Whole Foods, the iconic upscale-healthy food chain. The two deals’ similarities are striking, but before considering them here’s a quick AOL/Time Warner post-mortem: 15 years later, lessons from the failed AOL-Time Warner merger (Fortune) – The landscape of mergers and acquisitions is littered with business flops, some catastrophic, highly visible disasters that were often hugely hyped before their eventual doom. Today marks the 15th anniversary of one such calamity when media giants AOL and Time Warner combined their businesses in what is usually described as the worst merger of all time. But what happened then will happen again, and ironically for the exact same reasons.   A lot of people thought that the merger was a brilliant move and worried that their own companies would be left behind. At the time, the dot-coms could do no wrong, and AOL (AOL) was at the head of the pack as the ‘dominant’ player. Its sky-high stock market valuation, bid up by investors looking for a windfall, made the young company more valuable in market cap terms than many blue chips. Then CEO Steve Case was already shopping around before the Time Warner opportunity came up.   On the other side, Time Warner anxiously tried, and failed, to establish an online presence before the merger. And here, in one fell swoop, was a solution. The strategy sounded compelling. Time Warner (TWC), via AOL, would now have a footprint of tens of millions of new subscribers. AOL, in turn, would benefit from access to Time Warner’s cable network as well as to the content, adding its layer of so-called ‘user friendly’ interfaces on top of the pipes. The whole thing was “transformative” (a word that gets really old really fast when reading about this period). Had these initial assumptions been borne out, we might be talking today about what a visionary deal it was.   Merging the cultures of the combined companies was problematic from the get go. Certainly the lawyers and professionals involved with the merger did the conventional due diligence on the numbers. What also needed to happen, and evidently didn’t, was due diligence on the culture. The aggressive and, many said, arrogant AOL people “horrified” the more staid and corporate Time Warner side. Cooperation and promised synergies failed to materialize as mutual disrespect came to color their relationships.   A few scant months after the deal closed, the dot com bubble burst and the economy went into recession. Advertising dollars evaporated, and AOL was forced to take a goodwill write-off of nearly $99 billion in 2002, an astonishing sum that shook even the business-hardened writers of the Wall Street Journal. AOL was also losing subscribers and subscription revenue. The total value of AOL stock subsequently went from $226 billion to about $20 billion. Now back to Amazon/Whole Foods. Amazon is going to apply its advanced technology – online ordering, fast delivery, drones, autonomous cars, whatever – to the quintessentially meatspace business of selling groceries. And it’s paying $13 billion to find out if this is a good idea. Whether it is or isn’t is less important than what this type of M&A says about the mindset of a given cycle’s favored companies. When undreamed-of amounts of money start pouring in (as with the dot-coms of old and today’s Big Tech) it changes the perception of risk. $13 billion is a terrifying amount of money to bet on a new and untested idea – except in the context of a near-trillion dollar market cap, where it seems downright modest. When the next bear market hits, though, that kind of money might seem a bit hubristic. As with so many other extraordinary recent market events (record-high stock prices combined with record-low volatility, negative yields on government bonds, soaring debt/GDP combined with falling inflation), Amazon/Whole Foods might or might not be the bell that rings at the top. But when the history of this time is written, there’s a good chance that it will be somewhere on the list.

20 июня, 16:50

Time Warner Aims to Woo Millennials with $100M Snap Deal

In an effort to attract more young audience and increase advertising revenues, Time Warner Inc. (TWX) has struck a deal with Snap Inc. (SNAP).

20 июня, 15:57

Snap Strikes Content Partnership with Time Warner for $100M

Per The Wall Street Journal, Snap Inc (SNAP) has inked a $100 million content deal with media giant, Time Warner Inc (TWX).

20 июня, 14:37

Tuesday's Morning Email: Why The Georgia Special Election Today Matters Nationally

TOP STORIES (And want to get The Morning Email each weekday? Sign up here. WHY THE GEORGIA SPECIAL ELECTION TODAY MATTERS NATIONALLY Health care advocates believe this is the last chance to stop the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. And here’s why it matters that this Georgia district is one of the best-educated in the country. [HuffPost] [Tweet | Share on Facebook] THESE TECH TITANS MET WITH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP And their faces say it all. [HuffPost] OTTO WARMBIER, UVA STUDENT DETAINED BY NORTH KOREA, HAS DIED Warmbier died Monday after being returned from a 17-month imprisonment by the country. His family and friends remembered him as someone with the “biggest heart of anyone.” The travel company that took Warmbier to North Korea will no longer take Americans into the country. And Sen. John McCain said, “Let us state the facts plainly: Otto Warmbier, an American citizen, was murdered by the Kim Jong Un regime.” [HuffPost] WHY THE SUPREME COURT DECIDED TO HEAR THIS POTENTIALLY MONUMENTAL GERRYMANDERING CASE Out of Wisconsin. [HuffPost] DEMOCRATS PROTESTED REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE SECRECY MONDAY Through a series of floor motions, inquiries and lengthy speeches. [Reuters] PAUL RYAN PROMISES TO GET TAX REFORM DONE THIS YEAR A move that could become consequential in the midterms. [Reuters] SEAN SPICER’S DAYS AS PRESS SECRETARY ARE REPORTEDLY NUMBERED However, reports say he would be moving to a strategy role in the White House. [HuffPost] WHAT’S BREWING AUTOPSY SHOWS CARRIE FISHER HAD COCAINE IN HER SYSTEM Along with traces of heroin and MDMA before her death. [HuffPost] UNDERSTANDING THE POTENTIAL LINK BETWEEN FEVERS DURING PREGNANCY AND AUTISM According to new research, having a fever during pregnancy could raise the risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder by 34 percent. [HuffPost] SITTING ON YOUR COUCH? One look at this photo of Michelle Obama doing a plank should get you moving. [HuffPost] BALTIMORE’S TOP DOCTOR: WHY DON’T WE TREAT GUN VIOLENCE LIKE A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS? “In the same way that we wouldn’t hesitate to talk to individuals about Ebola, about measles, about heart disease ― those are also health conditions that are affecting our patients and potentially could be taking their lives. Gun violence is such an issue as well.” [HuffPost] WHY CAN’T ALL YOUR FAVORITE CHILD STARS BE FRIENDS? Turns out Josh Peck and Drake Bell aren’t so close anymore. [HuffPost] SO MUCH FOR THE BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL The latest health fad darling has a lot of saturated fat. [HuffPost] BEFORE YOU GO We finally know what Jared Kushner sounds like. Meet China’s “mistress-dispellers.” A black bear killed this teenage runner during a trail race. Parkinson’s may originate in the gut and move to the brain. Kim Kardashian speaks out about her blackface makeup controversy. This 10-year-old invented a device to prevent hot car deaths. These advertisers are teaming up to fight sexism in ads. How voting data for nearly 200 million Americans became unsecured. Twitter had fun with Trump’s comments on the Panama Canal. These “Bachelor in Paradise” stars got married despite the controversy. Time Warner is throwing a lot of money at original SnapChat content. The ratings are in, and a bunch of reruns beat Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview. You too can live in Jackie O’s childhood home for a cool $49.5 million. The “hot convict” who went viral for his mugshot a couple years back has landed himself quite a few modeling gigs. Could this one guy wreck Apple’s European plans? And here’s how to keep that leftover bread from going stale.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 июня, 14:26

Former Commish Michael Copps: 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen'

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” The Federal Communications Commission is not immune. Its new chair, Republican Ajit Pai, embraces the Trump doctrine of regulatory devastation. “It’s basic economics,” he declared in an April 26 speech at Washington’s Newseum. “The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get.” His goal is to stem the tide of media reform that in recent years has made significant progress for American citizens. Even as we rely more than ever on digital media for information, education and entertainment, Pai and his GOP colleagues at the FCC seek to turn back the clock and increase even more the corporate control of cyberspace. Net neutrality, the guarantee of an internet open to all, rich or poor, without preferential treatment, was codified by the FCC in 2015. Pai — a former lawyer for Verizon — wants net neutrality reversed and has taken the first steps toward its elimination. He has abandoned media ownership rules and attacked such FCC innovations as the Lifeline program that subsidizes broadband access for low income Americans. Among other rollbacks, he also has opposed rules capping the exorbitant cost of prison phone calls (that cap was overturned on June 13 by the US Court of Appeals). A veteran of the FCC, Michael Copps vehemently opposes Pai’s master plan to strengthen the grip of big business on our media. Copps served two terms as a commissioner, including a brief period as interim chair. He also has taught history, worked as chief of staff to former South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings and was an assistant secretary of commerce. Today, Copps is special adviser for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at the nonpartisan grassroots organization Common Cause. He “just may be,” Bill Moyers once said, “the most knowledgeable fellow in Washington on how communications policy affects you and me.” Recently, I spoke with Copps to get his assessment of how the election of Donald Trump and Ajit Pai’s FCC chairmanship are affecting Americans and the media landscape. “I remain convinced that the last presidential election we had was of, by, and for, big media,” he said. “It made billions of dollars for these big media companies. We’re entering into a period where there likely will be more mergers than we’ve ever had before. The political and marketplace atmosphere that we have in this country right now favors them.” The transcript that follows has been edited for length and clarity. Michael Copps: [CBS CEO Les] Moonves said it best: “I don’t know if Donald Trump is good for the country. but he’s damn good for CBS.” The election was just a glorified reality show and I do not think it was an aberration. Until we get that big picture straightened out and we get a civic dialogue that’s worthy of the American people and that actually advances citizens’ ability to practice the art of self-government — that informs citizens so they can cast intelligent votes and we stop making such damn-fool decisions — we’re in serious trouble. To me, that remains the problem of problems, it remains at the top of the list. Journalism continues to go south, thanks to big media and its strangulation of news, and there’s not much left in the way of community or local media. Add to that an internet that has not even started thinking seriously about how it supports journalism. You have these big companies like Google and Facebook who run the news and sell all the ads next to it, but what do they put back into journalism? It isn’t much. I don’t think right now that commercial media is going to fix itself or even that we can save it with any policy that’s likely in the near-term, so we have to start looking at other alternatives. We have to talk about public media — public media probably has to get its act together somewhat, too. It’s not everything that Lyndon Johnson had in mind back in 1967 [when the Public Broadcasting Act was signed], but it’s still the jewel of our media ecosystem. So I’m more worried than ever about the state of our media — not just fake news but the lack of real news. That’s priority No. 1; I don’t think you solve anything until you find some ways to repair our commercial media. That’s not coming from inside the fabled Beltway anytime soon. It’ll require major input from the grass roots. Big media won’t cover its own shortcomings, so we have to have a national conversation and make some democracy-encouraging decisions. We just have to find a way. Michael Winship: What about “fake news?” MC: The fake news thing is a challenging phenomenon. No one has a viable solution yet that I know of. Again, don’t look to Washington for much input under the present management. Maybe reinvigorating real news, the fact-based investigative journalism that big media has done so much to eliminate, would be the best solution. True journalism can do more than anything else to push aside fake news. MW: So how do you characterize the Trump administration’s attitude toward communications issues? MC: This is not populism; this is a plutocracy. Trump has surrounded himself with millionaires and billionaires, plus some ideologues who believe in, basically, no government. And the Trump FCC already has been very successful in dismantling lots of things — not just the net neutrality that they’re after now, but privacy, and Lifeline, which is subsidized broadband for those who can’t afford it. And just all sorts of things up and down the line. The whole panoply of regulation and public interest oversight — if they could get rid of it all, they would; if they can, they will. I think the April 26 speech that Ajit Pai gave at the Newseum, which was partially funded, I think, by conservative activist causes, was probably the worst speech I’ve ever heard a commissioner or a chairman of the FCC give. It was replete with distorted history and a twisted interpretation of judicial decisions. And then, about two-thirds of the way through, it became intensely political and ideological, and he was spouting all this Ronald Reagan nonsense — if the government is big enough to do what you want, it’s big enough to take away everything you have, and all that garbage. It was awful. It’s maybe the worst FCC I’ve ever seen or read about. MW: How much of all this do you think is just simply the idea of destroying anything supported by the Obama White House? Is it that simple? MC: Well, I think that some of it is the ego problem, but I think it goes beyond that. I think there is that right wing, pro-business, invisible hand ideology, and then there’s just the unabashed and unprecedented and disgusting level of money in politics. I don’t blame just the Republicans; the Democrats are just about as beholden to it, too. MW: You mentioned Pai’s speech at the Newseum; does he have any real philosophy? MC: Yes, I think he believes this stuff, I think he’s a true believer. He was in the Office of General Counsel when I was in there — very articulate, very bright, very pleasant. He is an attractive personality, but he has this Weltanschauung or whatever you want to call it that is so out of step with modern politics and where we should be in the history of this country that it’s potentially extremely destructive. And Michael O’Rielly, the other Republican commissioner, is about the same. He’s an ideologue, too. It’s all about the ideology, the world of big money, the access that the big guys have and continue to have. It’s not that the FCC outright refuses to let public interest groups through the door or anything like that; it’s just the lack of resources citizens and public interest groups have compared to what the big guys have. The public interest groups don’t have much of a chance, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job given the lack of resources. MW: Did you expect Pai to move so fast against net neutrality? MC: It doesn’t surprise me, but it’s so dangerous. Net neutrality is the sine qua non of an open internet — “You can’t have one without the other,” as the old song goes. We’ll need to hope for a good court outcome if the FCC succeeds in eliminating the rules. But I really don’t see how big telecom or the commission can make a credible case to overturn what the court approved just two years ago, and then go back to what the court overturned before that. It’s downright surreal. But citizens should not limit their pro-net neutrality messages to just the FCC; Congress needs to understand how popular these rules are, so they keep their hands off it, which they may be more inclined to do as the 2018 elections come closer. MW: There’s so much of an X factor to everything. MC: There really is. I just hope we can get the media covering it better. I think if we get a couple of really big mergers, and of course we have AT&T and Time Warner out there now, which Trump said he was going to oppose. I don’t think he really will, but that itself should be an issue. And then, if we can join that to the net neutrality issue, then I think we can get some media attention. If we can do that with Time Warner and AT&T or whatever other mergers come along, certainly including Sinclair-Tribune, then we can actually make some progress. I sure hope so. MW: There still seems to be a lot public support for net neutrality. MC: No question about it, but there would be an avalanche if more people were informed about the issue by the media. Many Trump voters, I am convinced, are not consumers who support $232 a year for a set-top box or who like constantly rising bills for cable and internet service, or who want a closed internet. That’s not why they voted for him. MW: Have the net neutrality rules passed in 2015 had a chance to work? Have they had a chance to be effective? MC: Yes, I think so. Some say they are a solution in search of a problem, but that’s not true. I think the companies have been on their good behavior over the last few years, by and large — but there have been numerous abuses, too. But once you throw out the rules we have now, it’ll be "Katy bar the door," and by the time we get another administration in, either the FCC or the Congress, it’ll probably be too late to reverse the tide. MW: What are the implications for free speech? MC: They are huge. If you have an internet service provider [ISP] that’s capable of slowing down other sites, or putting other sites out of business, or favoring their own friends and affiliates and customers who can pay for fast lanes, that’s a horrible infringement on free speech. It’s censorship by media monopolies. It’s tragic: here we have a technology, the internet, that’s capable really of being the town square of democracy, paved with broadband bricks, and we are letting it be taken over by a few gatekeepers. This is a first amendment issue; it’s free speech versus corporate censorship. MW: I want to talk to you about privacy, about protecting consumer information that’s on the net. MC: If the huge internet service providers are going to glean all manner of personal information about us and share it with others or sell it to others, we ought to have a right to say, “Yes, count me in, I don’t mind that,” or “No, I don’t want any part of that.” And I think the vast majority would say, “No, thank you, I don’t want any part of that.” So privacy is a huge issue. We’ve talked about it some in national security terms, but it’s a much bigger issue in citizen terms and what it does to the average person. MW: You mentioned Lifeline; I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that… MC: Lifeline is directed toward those who cannot afford to be connected to broadband. How do they find a job when most corporations don’t accept paper resumes or don’t want to interview you in person? Nowadays you have to email something to potential employers. How do you and your kids educate yourselves? How do kids do their homework when they don’t have broadband, and the kid in the next town or even in the next block has high-speed broadband? How do you care for your health — especially that now we’re getting seriously into tele-health and tele-medicine? You cannot be a fully functioning 21st-century citizen in this country unless you have access to high-speed broadband. It’s as simple as that. We shouldn’t settle for less. I don’t know that the FCC can do this by itself, and we need a national mission to do this. And we need everybody pushing for it. I hope it’s going to be included in Trump’s infrastructure plan, but I’ll be surprised if it’s in such a meaningful way that it’s going to get coverage for all the people in the inner cities and rural America. And, you know, we’re way, way down in the rankings in broadband penetration, adoption and affordability. And without competition, even when you have broadband, without competition people are paying through the ceiling for inferior service. They’ve got to feed families and find shelter, but broadband is also essential to them. MW: I think another issue that a lot of people aren’t aware of is the whole prison telephone problem. MC: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has done a fantastic job on that. We have such a high percentage of our population in the United States incarcerated and for their families to communicate with them or vice versa has become just very, very expensive. It’s an industry that has made a lot of money off of other people’s distress, and if you have a son in prison, and you can’t afford to communicate with them, that doesn’t help anybody, including the person who’s in prison. Commissioner Clyburn made some good progress on interstate calling in this regard, but then you’ve got to go state by state, and now the court has just thrown some obstacles in the way of the intrastate calls. So, there’s work to be done, and we’ll see how far it goes. But we were on the track of making good progress under the previous commission. MW: Do you think there’s any interest in consumer service remaining among the Republicans on the FCC or in Congress? MC: It’s mighty hard to find if you look at all the party-line votes and partisanship at work. I think there will be some cooperation for infrastructure if broadband is included. It depends on how much. Some Republicans will vote for that, but you can’t find a Republican for net neutrality, and you can’t find a Republican for doing anything to counteract the outrageous influence of money in the political bloodstreams. MW: With so many of these American Enterprise Institute types and various other conservative groups and people wielding influence, would they lobby to eliminate the FCC completely? MC: Oh, yes indeed. There were reports during the transition that some of those people were actually saying, “Do we even need an FCC? Why don’t we just get rid of it?” MW: So what can we all do at this point? MC: Figure out how you really make this a grass-roots effort — and not just people writing, in but people doing more than that. In July, we will have a day devoted to internet action, so stay tuned on that. In addition, as Bill Moyers says, “If you can sing, sing. If you can write a poem, write a poem.” Different initiatives attract different audiences, so whatever you can do, do. John Oliver made a huge difference in getting us to net neutrality and now he’s helping again. If you went up to the Hill right after that first John Oliver show on net neutrality [in 2014], you saw immediately that it made a difference with the members and the staff. There’s no one silver bullet, no “do this” and it suddenly happens. You just have to do whatever you can do to get people excited and organized. It’s as simple as that. MW: So that’s where the hope is? MC: Well, that’s where my hope is. I don’t see anything else unless we get a change in power in Washington, and not just the name of the party in control but candidates who really are ready for a change and ready to do something to make it more reflective of what, I think, is the popular will. MW: Which of the Democrats are good on these issues? MC: There are a lot of them. I hesitate to get into names for fear of missing some. The problem is that Republicans inside the Beltway are joined in lockstep opposition on almost all these issues, and the level of partisanship, lobbying, big money, and ideology have thus far been insurmountable obstacles. But I believe if members of Congress spent more time at home, holding more town hall meetings, they would quickly learn that many, many of their constituents are on the pro-consumer, pro-citizen side of these issues. It’s just such a formative time, and in many respects the future is now. I don’t know how long you can let this go on. How long can you open the bazaar to all this consolidation, how much can you encourage all this commercialization, how much can you ignore public media until you get to the point of no return where you can’t really fix it anymore? And I also think that the national discourse on the future of the internet has really suffered while we play ping pong with net neutrality; one group comes in, does this, the other group, comes in and reverses it, boom, boom, boom. And net neutrality is not the salvation or the solution to all of the problems of the internet. As you know, it’s kind of the opening thing you have to have, it lays a foundation where we can build a truly open internet. But net neutrality alone doesn’t solve consolidation, it doesn’t solve commercialization, it doesn’t solve, really, the big questions of the future of the internet. Add to the list issues of artificial intelligence and is AI going to put us out of work? These aren’t strictly communication issues, but they are internet issues. What does AI mean for the future of work in our society? Are we even going to be working? Or, can we say the internet is throwing people out of work without sounding Luddite, because that’s been said throughout history and it’s been proven wrong, but I think now it looks like a lot of people already have been thrown out of work by it. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, I would have gone down and talked with her and suggested a White House conference on the future of the internet. You can’t answer all these questions that I just posed but you can ask the questions and you can get the best minds in the country talking about them. Give the conference a mandate and get them to come back with a report and some recommendations and at least put people on it with enough visibility that the media has to cover it. If we could win net neutrality, which is a stretch, there will be a lot of people who say, “Well, that takes care of the internet, everything’s fine and dandy right now.” But that’s not true at all. It’s just not true. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 июня, 14:26

Former Commish Michael Copps: 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen'

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men and women the president has appointed to the Cabinet and to head those agencies are so far in sycophantic lockstep, engaged in dismantling years of protections in order to make real what White House strategist Steve Bannon infamously described as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” The Federal Communications Commission is not immune. Its new chair, Republican Ajit Pai, embraces the Trump doctrine of regulatory devastation. “It’s basic economics,” he declared in an April 26 speech at Washington’s Newseum. “The more heavily you regulate something, the less of it you’re likely to get.” His goal is to stem the tide of media reform that in recent years has made significant progress for American citizens. Even as we rely more than ever on digital media for information, education and entertainment, Pai and his GOP colleagues at the FCC seek to turn back the clock and increase even more the corporate control of cyberspace. Net neutrality, the guarantee of an internet open to all, rich or poor, without preferential treatment, was codified by the FCC in 2015. Pai — a former lawyer for Verizon — wants net neutrality reversed and has taken the first steps toward its elimination. He has abandoned media ownership rules and attacked such FCC innovations as the Lifeline program that subsidizes broadband access for low income Americans. Among other rollbacks, he also has opposed rules capping the exorbitant cost of prison phone calls (that cap was overturned on June 13 by the US Court of Appeals). A veteran of the FCC, Michael Copps vehemently opposes Pai’s master plan to strengthen the grip of big business on our media. Copps served two terms as a commissioner, including a brief period as interim chair. He also has taught history, worked as chief of staff to former South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings and was an assistant secretary of commerce. Today, Copps is special adviser for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at the nonpartisan grassroots organization Common Cause. He “just may be,” Bill Moyers once said, “the most knowledgeable fellow in Washington on how communications policy affects you and me.” Recently, I spoke with Copps to get his assessment of how the election of Donald Trump and Ajit Pai’s FCC chairmanship are affecting Americans and the media landscape. “I remain convinced that the last presidential election we had was of, by, and for, big media,” he said. “It made billions of dollars for these big media companies. We’re entering into a period where there likely will be more mergers than we’ve ever had before. The political and marketplace atmosphere that we have in this country right now favors them.” The transcript that follows has been edited for length and clarity. Michael Copps: [CBS CEO Les] Moonves said it best: “I don’t know if Donald Trump is good for the country. but he’s damn good for CBS.” The election was just a glorified reality show and I do not think it was an aberration. Until we get that big picture straightened out and we get a civic dialogue that’s worthy of the American people and that actually advances citizens’ ability to practice the art of self-government — that informs citizens so they can cast intelligent votes and we stop making such damn-fool decisions — we’re in serious trouble. To me, that remains the problem of problems, it remains at the top of the list. Journalism continues to go south, thanks to big media and its strangulation of news, and there’s not much left in the way of community or local media. Add to that an internet that has not even started thinking seriously about how it supports journalism. You have these big companies like Google and Facebook who run the news and sell all the ads next to it, but what do they put back into journalism? It isn’t much. I don’t think right now that commercial media is going to fix itself or even that we can save it with any policy that’s likely in the near-term, so we have to start looking at other alternatives. We have to talk about public media — public media probably has to get its act together somewhat, too. It’s not everything that Lyndon Johnson had in mind back in 1967 [when the Public Broadcasting Act was signed], but it’s still the jewel of our media ecosystem. So I’m more worried than ever about the state of our media — not just fake news but the lack of real news. That’s priority No. 1; I don’t think you solve anything until you find some ways to repair our commercial media. That’s not coming from inside the fabled Beltway anytime soon. It’ll require major input from the grass roots. Big media won’t cover its own shortcomings, so we have to have a national conversation and make some democracy-encouraging decisions. We just have to find a way. Michael Winship: What about “fake news?” MC: The fake news thing is a challenging phenomenon. No one has a viable solution yet that I know of. Again, don’t look to Washington for much input under the present management. Maybe reinvigorating real news, the fact-based investigative journalism that big media has done so much to eliminate, would be the best solution. True journalism can do more than anything else to push aside fake news. MW: So how do you characterize the Trump administration’s attitude toward communications issues? MC: This is not populism; this is a plutocracy. Trump has surrounded himself with millionaires and billionaires, plus some ideologues who believe in, basically, no government. And the Trump FCC already has been very successful in dismantling lots of things — not just the net neutrality that they’re after now, but privacy, and Lifeline, which is subsidized broadband for those who can’t afford it. And just all sorts of things up and down the line. The whole panoply of regulation and public interest oversight — if they could get rid of it all, they would; if they can, they will. I think the April 26 speech that Ajit Pai gave at the Newseum, which was partially funded, I think, by conservative activist causes, was probably the worst speech I’ve ever heard a commissioner or a chairman of the FCC give. It was replete with distorted history and a twisted interpretation of judicial decisions. And then, about two-thirds of the way through, it became intensely political and ideological, and he was spouting all this Ronald Reagan nonsense — if the government is big enough to do what you want, it’s big enough to take away everything you have, and all that garbage. It was awful. It’s maybe the worst FCC I’ve ever seen or read about. MW: How much of all this do you think is just simply the idea of destroying anything supported by the Obama White House? Is it that simple? MC: Well, I think that some of it is the ego problem, but I think it goes beyond that. I think there is that right wing, pro-business, invisible hand ideology, and then there’s just the unabashed and unprecedented and disgusting level of money in politics. I don’t blame just the Republicans; the Democrats are just about as beholden to it, too. MW: You mentioned Pai’s speech at the Newseum; does he have any real philosophy? MC: Yes, I think he believes this stuff, I think he’s a true believer. He was in the Office of General Counsel when I was in there — very articulate, very bright, very pleasant. He is an attractive personality, but he has this Weltanschauung or whatever you want to call it that is so out of step with modern politics and where we should be in the history of this country that it’s potentially extremely destructive. And Michael O’Rielly, the other Republican commissioner, is about the same. He’s an ideologue, too. It’s all about the ideology, the world of big money, the access that the big guys have and continue to have. It’s not that the FCC outright refuses to let public interest groups through the door or anything like that; it’s just the lack of resources citizens and public interest groups have compared to what the big guys have. The public interest groups don’t have much of a chance, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job given the lack of resources. MW: Did you expect Pai to move so fast against net neutrality? MC: It doesn’t surprise me, but it’s so dangerous. Net neutrality is the sine qua non of an open internet — “You can’t have one without the other,” as the old song goes. We’ll need to hope for a good court outcome if the FCC succeeds in eliminating the rules. But I really don’t see how big telecom or the commission can make a credible case to overturn what the court approved just two years ago, and then go back to what the court overturned before that. It’s downright surreal. But citizens should not limit their pro-net neutrality messages to just the FCC; Congress needs to understand how popular these rules are, so they keep their hands off it, which they may be more inclined to do as the 2018 elections come closer. MW: There’s so much of an X factor to everything. MC: There really is. I just hope we can get the media covering it better. I think if we get a couple of really big mergers, and of course we have AT&T and Time Warner out there now, which Trump said he was going to oppose. I don’t think he really will, but that itself should be an issue. And then, if we can join that to the net neutrality issue, then I think we can get some media attention. If we can do that with Time Warner and AT&T or whatever other mergers come along, certainly including Sinclair-Tribune, then we can actually make some progress. I sure hope so. MW: There still seems to be a lot public support for net neutrality. MC: No question about it, but there would be an avalanche if more people were informed about the issue by the media. Many Trump voters, I am convinced, are not consumers who support $232 a year for a set-top box or who like constantly rising bills for cable and internet service, or who want a closed internet. That’s not why they voted for him. MW: Have the net neutrality rules passed in 2015 had a chance to work? Have they had a chance to be effective? MC: Yes, I think so. Some say they are a solution in search of a problem, but that’s not true. I think the companies have been on their good behavior over the last few years, by and large — but there have been numerous abuses, too. But once you throw out the rules we have now, it’ll be "Katy bar the door," and by the time we get another administration in, either the FCC or the Congress, it’ll probably be too late to reverse the tide. MW: What are the implications for free speech? MC: They are huge. If you have an internet service provider [ISP] that’s capable of slowing down other sites, or putting other sites out of business, or favoring their own friends and affiliates and customers who can pay for fast lanes, that’s a horrible infringement on free speech. It’s censorship by media monopolies. It’s tragic: here we have a technology, the internet, that’s capable really of being the town square of democracy, paved with broadband bricks, and we are letting it be taken over by a few gatekeepers. This is a first amendment issue; it’s free speech versus corporate censorship. MW: I want to talk to you about privacy, about protecting consumer information that’s on the net. MC: If the huge internet service providers are going to glean all manner of personal information about us and share it with others or sell it to others, we ought to have a right to say, “Yes, count me in, I don’t mind that,” or “No, I don’t want any part of that.” And I think the vast majority would say, “No, thank you, I don’t want any part of that.” So privacy is a huge issue. We’ve talked about it some in national security terms, but it’s a much bigger issue in citizen terms and what it does to the average person. MW: You mentioned Lifeline; I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that… MC: Lifeline is directed toward those who cannot afford to be connected to broadband. How do they find a job when most corporations don’t accept paper resumes or don’t want to interview you in person? Nowadays you have to email something to potential employers. How do you and your kids educate yourselves? How do kids do their homework when they don’t have broadband, and the kid in the next town or even in the next block has high-speed broadband? How do you care for your health — especially that now we’re getting seriously into tele-health and tele-medicine? You cannot be a fully functioning 21st-century citizen in this country unless you have access to high-speed broadband. It’s as simple as that. We shouldn’t settle for less. I don’t know that the FCC can do this by itself, and we need a national mission to do this. And we need everybody pushing for it. I hope it’s going to be included in Trump’s infrastructure plan, but I’ll be surprised if it’s in such a meaningful way that it’s going to get coverage for all the people in the inner cities and rural America. And, you know, we’re way, way down in the rankings in broadband penetration, adoption and affordability. And without competition, even when you have broadband, without competition people are paying through the ceiling for inferior service. They’ve got to feed families and find shelter, but broadband is also essential to them. MW: I think another issue that a lot of people aren’t aware of is the whole prison telephone problem. MC: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn has done a fantastic job on that. We have such a high percentage of our population in the United States incarcerated and for their families to communicate with them or vice versa has become just very, very expensive. It’s an industry that has made a lot of money off of other people’s distress, and if you have a son in prison, and you can’t afford to communicate with them, that doesn’t help anybody, including the person who’s in prison. Commissioner Clyburn made some good progress on interstate calling in this regard, but then you’ve got to go state by state, and now the court has just thrown some obstacles in the way of the intrastate calls. So, there’s work to be done, and we’ll see how far it goes. But we were on the track of making good progress under the previous commission. MW: Do you think there’s any interest in consumer service remaining among the Republicans on the FCC or in Congress? MC: It’s mighty hard to find if you look at all the party-line votes and partisanship at work. I think there will be some cooperation for infrastructure if broadband is included. It depends on how much. Some Republicans will vote for that, but you can’t find a Republican for net neutrality, and you can’t find a Republican for doing anything to counteract the outrageous influence of money in the political bloodstreams. MW: With so many of these American Enterprise Institute types and various other conservative groups and people wielding influence, would they lobby to eliminate the FCC completely? MC: Oh, yes indeed. There were reports during the transition that some of those people were actually saying, “Do we even need an FCC? Why don’t we just get rid of it?” MW: So what can we all do at this point? MC: Figure out how you really make this a grass-roots effort — and not just people writing, in but people doing more than that. In July, we will have a day devoted to internet action, so stay tuned on that. In addition, as Bill Moyers says, “If you can sing, sing. If you can write a poem, write a poem.” Different initiatives attract different audiences, so whatever you can do, do. John Oliver made a huge difference in getting us to net neutrality and now he’s helping again. If you went up to the Hill right after that first John Oliver show on net neutrality [in 2014], you saw immediately that it made a difference with the members and the staff. There’s no one silver bullet, no “do this” and it suddenly happens. You just have to do whatever you can do to get people excited and organized. It’s as simple as that. MW: So that’s where the hope is? MC: Well, that’s where my hope is. I don’t see anything else unless we get a change in power in Washington, and not just the name of the party in control but candidates who really are ready for a change and ready to do something to make it more reflective of what, I think, is the popular will. MW: Which of the Democrats are good on these issues? MC: There are a lot of them. I hesitate to get into names for fear of missing some. The problem is that Republicans inside the Beltway are joined in lockstep opposition on almost all these issues, and the level of partisanship, lobbying, big money, and ideology have thus far been insurmountable obstacles. But I believe if members of Congress spent more time at home, holding more town hall meetings, they would quickly learn that many, many of their constituents are on the pro-consumer, pro-citizen side of these issues. It’s just such a formative time, and in many respects the future is now. I don’t know how long you can let this go on. How long can you open the bazaar to all this consolidation, how much can you encourage all this commercialization, how much can you ignore public media until you get to the point of no return where you can’t really fix it anymore? And I also think that the national discourse on the future of the internet has really suffered while we play ping pong with net neutrality; one group comes in, does this, the other group, comes in and reverses it, boom, boom, boom. And net neutrality is not the salvation or the solution to all of the problems of the internet. As you know, it’s kind of the opening thing you have to have, it lays a foundation where we can build a truly open internet. But net neutrality alone doesn’t solve consolidation, it doesn’t solve commercialization, it doesn’t solve, really, the big questions of the future of the internet. Add to the list issues of artificial intelligence and is AI going to put us out of work? These aren’t strictly communication issues, but they are internet issues. What does AI mean for the future of work in our society? Are we even going to be working? Or, can we say the internet is throwing people out of work without sounding Luddite, because that’s been said throughout history and it’s been proven wrong, but I think now it looks like a lot of people already have been thrown out of work by it. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, I would have gone down and talked with her and suggested a White House conference on the future of the internet. You can’t answer all these questions that I just posed but you can ask the questions and you can get the best minds in the country talking about them. Give the conference a mandate and get them to come back with a report and some recommendations and at least put people on it with enough visibility that the media has to cover it. If we could win net neutrality, which is a stretch, there will be a lot of people who say, “Well, that takes care of the internet, everything’s fine and dandy right now.” But that’s not true at all. It’s just not true. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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20 июня, 10:38

HBO будет снимать короткометражки для Snapchat

Медиахолдинг Time Warner заключил сделку с компанией Snap на создание коротких шоу для мессенджера Snapchat, длительностью до 5 минут. Как пишет RNS со ссылкой на The Wall Street Journal компания будет выпускать до 10 шоу в год, сумма сделки составляет $100 млн.

15 мая, 23:52

«Человек года» все обложки журнала Time за последние 90 лет

Оригинал взят у tiina в «Человек года» все обложки журнала Time за последние 90 летС 1927 года журнал Time в каждом декабрьском номере называет «Человека года», повлиявшего на мир лучшим или худшим образом. Первым был Чарльз Линдберг, лётчик, в одиночку перелетевший Атлантику, а в нынешнем году – американский президент Дональд Трамп. Предлагаем взглянуть на все 90 обложек Time, интересных не только помещёнными на них знаменитыми личностями, но и тем, каким образом их изобразили.1927: Чарльз Линдберг1928: Уолтер Крайслер1929: Оуэн Юнг1930: Махатма Ганди1931: Пьер Лаваль1932: Франклин Рузвельт1933: Хью Джонсон1934: Президент Франклин Рузвельт1935: Хайле Селассие1936: Уоллис Симпсон1937: Чан Кайши и Сун Мэйлин1938: Адольф Гитлер1939: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин1940: Уинстон Черчилль1941: Президент Франклин Рузвельт1942: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин1943: Джордж Маршалл1944: Дуайт Дэвид Эйзенхауэр1945: Президент Гарри Трумэн1946: Джеймс Фрэнсис Бирнс1947: Джордж Маршалл1948: Президент Гарри Трумэн1949: Уинстон Черчилль1950: Американский солдат1951: Мохаммед Моссадех1952: Королева Елизавета II1953: Конрад Аденауэр1954: Джон Фостер Даллес1955: Харлоу Куртис1956: Борец за свободу Венгрии1957: Никита Сергеевич Хрущёв1958: Шарль де Голль1959: Президент Дуайт Дэвид Эйзенхауэр1960: Американские ученые1961: Президент Джон Кеннеди1962: Римский папа Иоанн XXIII1963: Мартин Лютер Кинг1964: Линдон Бэйнс Джонсон1965: Уильям Уэстморленд1966: Мужчины и женщины в возрасте до 25 лет1967: Президент Линдон Бэйнс Джонсон1968: Аполлон 8 Уильям Андерс, Фрэнк Борман, Джеймс Ловелл1969: Средний класс американцев1970: Вилли Брандт1971: Президент Ричард Никсон1972: Президент Ричард Никсон и Генри Киссинджер1973: Джон Сирица1974: Король Фейсал1975: Американские женщины1976: Президент Джимми Картер1977: Анвар Садат1978: Дэн Сяопин1979: Аятолла Хомейни1980: Президент Рональд Рейган1981: Лех Валенса1982: Компьютер1983: Президент Рональд Рейган и Юрий Андропов1984: Питер Уэберрот1985: Дэн Сяопин1986: Корасон Акино1987: Михаил Горбачев1988: Вымирающая земля1989: Михаил Горбачев1990: Президент Джордж Герберт Уокер Буш1991: Тед Тёрнер1992: Президент Билл Клинтон1993: Миротворцы: Ицхак Рабин, Нельсон Мандела, Фредерик Виллем де Клерк, Ясир Арафат1994: Римский папа Иоанн Павел II1995: Ньют Гингрич1996: Доктор Дэвид Хо1997: Эндрю Гроув1998: Кеннет Стар и Билл Клинтон1999: Джефф Безос2000: Президент Джордж Уокер Буш2001: Руди Джулиани2002: Разоблачители: Синтия Купер, Колин Роули и Шэрон Уоткинс2003: Американский солдат2004: Президент Джордж Уокер Буш2005: Добрые самаритяне: Билл Гейтс, Боно, Мелинда Гейтс2006: Ты. «Да, ты. Ты контролируешь Век Информации. Добро пожаловать в твой мир».2007: Владимир Владимирович Путин2008: Президент Барак Обама2009: Бен Бернанке2010: Марк Цукерберг2011: Протестующий2012: Президент Барак Обама2013: Римский папа Франциск 2014: Борец с Эболой2015: Ангела Меркель2016: Дональд Трамп«Человек года» все обложки журнала Time за последние 90 лет

25 сентября 2012, 15:11

The Zero Deficit Line in 2012

Now that the U.S. Census has released its newest estimate of median household income in the United States, it's time to consider where the U.S. federal government spending per U.S. household stands with respect to the Zero Deficit Line, which is the amount of spending that the typical American household can actually afford. The chart below shows those two measures for each year since 1967, when the Census first began reporting its median household income figure: Looking at the chart, we see that for the third year in a row, the amount of U.S. federal government spending per household is hovering just below $30,000 per U.S. household. Our tool below will reveal how much spending can actually be supported by the typical American household given its annual income of $50,054 (or whatever median household income level you might choose to enter!) Median Household Income Data Input Data Values Median Household Income How Much Federal Spending Per Household Can the U.S. Really Afford? Estimated Results Values Federal Spending per U.S. Household Using our tool, we find that in reality, the typical American household can only afford to have the federal government spend no more than $21,059. On a side note, do you remember the old Warner Brothers' Road Runner cartoons? The ones where Wile E. Coyote would be chasing after the bird, then suddenly find himself suspended in mid-air beyond the edge of a cliff, until he looked down and finally crashed back to earth? The level of federal spending per household since 2008 and the lack of meaningful growth in the incomes of U.S. households under President Obama, combined with all the talk these days of the approaching "fiscal cliff" suggests that there is one giant "splat" sound in the near future for the U.S.