Archives for posts with tag: radar

* They Knew
* DC Buys Foreign Electric Cars
* Journalist Slams Media Narcissism

__________

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why they may be of interest to philanthropy and nonprofit leaders.

  • Lawmakers briefed in detail about torture. Reports are surfacing that a number of members of Congress had been briefed on the use of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has previously denied being given any details. The CIA submitted a report on Wednesday that outlined meetings with dozens of lawmakers and “presents the most thorough information we have on dates, locations, and names of all Members of Congress who were briefed by the CIA on enhanced interrogation techniques,” according to CIA director Leon Panetta. The information is drawn from contemporaneous memos and files. (A Pelosi spokesman says it confirms the Speaker’s contention that she had “been briefed only once.”)
      Waterboard by flickr user waterboardingdotorg

      "Waterboard" by flickr user waterboardingdotorg

    • My take: People were not as “in the dark” and “out of the loop” as they now like to say. Please let this chapter of our contemporary history be  closed.
  • DC buying electric cars. The mayor of our nation’s capital has announced a deal between DC and Nissan where up to 100 electric cars will be purchased, along with charging stations to support them. 
  • Newspaper big criticizes media “narcissism.” Pulitzer-winning Walter Pincus has written a lengthy essay in which he lays out his major worries for journalism. “My profession is in distress because for more than a decade it has been chasing the false idols of fame and fortune,” he writes. “While engaged in those pursuits, it forgot its readers and the need to produce a commercial product that appealed to its mass audience, which in turn drew advertisers and thus paid for it all. While most corporate owners were seeking increased earnings, higher stock prices, and bigger salaries, editors and reporters focused more on winning prizes or making television appearances.”
    • My take: This piece echoes my own sense that placing journalists on a “democratic pedestal” for so long has created a professional culture of entitlement. Bunker mentality will do that. Yes, journalism is critical for a healthy democracy. But it needs to pay its way by being useful, not by patting itself on the back.

Thanks for reading.

Brad

* Cell Explosion
* NASA Back To Earth
* Nick Cave Pens Gladiator II? 

__________

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why they may be of interest to philanthropy and nonprofit leaders.

  •  More cell-only households than landline-only. For the first time ever, according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control, the share of U.S. households that only have a cell phone has surpassed the share of households that only have a landline telephone. 20% have cell-only, 17% landline-only. (In 2003, it was 3% cell only to 43% landline-only).
    • My take: This has obvious implications for survey research, driving up its cost, although many pollsters say they are working on ways to weight data to account for the shift and still only call landlines. But that tactic will run out eventually, as cell-only becomes the norm. Eventually, landlines will be only for data. Think about similar demographic shifts: social networks vs. email; online content vs. physical cd’s and movies. Surely there are more. Which ones will upend how your organization does its work?
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds by flickr user jennder (Me: I was at this show.)

    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds by flickr user jennder (Me: I was at this show.)

  • NASA back to Earth. Obama is expected today to announce a review of NASA’s manned spaceflight efforts, to be led by former Lockheed Martin head Norm Augustine. The last space shuttle launch is planned for 2010, and the first manned missions of the new generation of Ares craft. Some observers worry it “will be like 1975 all over again,” when Nixon unexpectedly cut the Apollo program. 
    • My take: It’s a damn shame. Space flight is forever taking budget hits, especially as scientific illiteracy becomes more prevalent and accepted even among otherwise educated people.  This may be a chance to demonstrate the commercial viability of space flight.
  • Nick Cave rejected Gladiator script discovered? The Guardian reports that a rejected script by artist Nick Cave may have been unearthed. According to accounts, actor Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott asked fellow Australian Cave to draft a sequel to Gladiator. Any sequel would face a key hurdle: Crowe’s character, Maximus, dies at the end of the film. In Cave’s purported script, “Crowe’s Maximus meddles with Roman gods in the afterlife, is reincarnated, defends early Christians, reunites with his son, and ultimately lives forever – leading tanks in the second world war and even mucking around in the modern-day Pentagon.” Here’s a full synopsis. The studios, sadly, just couldn’t take it and passed.
    • My take: Cave may be the most singular artist alive. Anything he does, or is rumored to do, is . . . well, it’s just cool.

Thanks for reading.

Brad

* Shoplifting Up
* Have A Drink
* All The News That’s Fit

__________

 

Contra la ley by flickr user Daquella manera

"Contra la ley" by flickr user Daquella manera

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why they may be of interest to philanthropy and nonprofit leaders.

 

  • Study: Shoplifting up amid worsening economy. A study released yesterday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association found shoplifting to have increased across the board over the last four months.  61% of the stores surveyed found increases in “opportunistic” theft, and 72% say they’ve seen a rise in organized retail crime.
    • My take: No surprise but it will get worse.
  • Study: Drinking up amid peace dividend. A study by the Rowntree Foundation finds a clear increase in drinking in Northern Ireland since 1986. It’s gone up on the Emerald Isle more than it has in neighboring Great Britain. Researchers say the trend may be due to a higher standard of living stemming from the peace process.
    • My take: While it sounds like a minor issue, lost productivity and illness from over consumption of alcohol is a large problem worldwide. Yet because it is so ingrained in Western culture, it is hard to address in the same way that smoking and seat belt use have been. Watch for this to change over time. 
  • Student: Teacher scolded me for reading the news. The case of a  Traverse City, Mich. student is getting attention after he called the Rush Limbaugh show to complain that, while reading news headlines during free time at the computer lab, he was told to turn off the objectionable material by the teacher. The problem? He was reading FOX News and not the BBC. From the transcript: “[T]oday I was on the Internet reading Fox News, and my teacher came up behind me and found out I was reading Fox News and yelled at me in front of the whole class and said I was not allowed to read Fox News in class, that I’m only allowed to read BBC and stuff of that nature.” The school says it is investigating.
    • My take: Episodes like this don’t help counteract charges of bias in the nation’s classrooms and on campuses. Many of the charges leveled by conservatives have merit. Journalism, public education, philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and academe really ought to look carefully at such charges rather than dismiss them. 

Thanks for reading.

Brad

* Uncle Sam Biggest Supporter Of Cities
* Globe Not Dead Yet
* Kindle For Textbooks?

__________

 

Tent city u district by flickr user jragon

"Tent city u district" by flickr user jragon

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why I think they may be of interest to nonprofit and philanthropy leaders.

 

  • In a first, funds from the U.S. government is the largest revenue source for cities. “Uncle Sam has supplanted sales, property and income taxes as the biggest source of revenue for state and local governments,” says USA Today. With stimulus money beginning to flow and tax collections down, this state of affairs is set to increase to the tune of $300 billion over the next two years. State and local governments spend about $2 trillion per year all told. The G makes up about 23% of that total.
    • My take: Wow. A stark indicator of the depth of this recession (along with the new tent cities). Experts don’t expect a turnaround in this until 2012.
  •  Boston Globe gets a reprieve. Six of the seven unions in question have agreed to concessions with the New York Times Company, prompting the Grey Lady to give the Boston Globe a new lease on life for now. NYT purchased the family-owned Globe in 1993 and recently filed papers allowing it to close in 60 days.
    • My take: If a paper newspaper can’t survive in hifalutin Boston, where can it survive? Still, this really just buys time — the whole business is changing.
  • Amazon’s new large-screen Kindle good for textbooks. Details are emerging about Amazon’s planned announcement tomorrow about a new, large-screen Kindle. The device is said to be pitched at the university market. However, NYT’s Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. will be at the event.
    • My take: Now that’s what I’m talking about. A perfect use for digital delivery. Course textbooks are huge, expensive, and sometimes hard to come by. This can change that whole ecosystem irrevocably. No more “used” books, more just-in-time delivery, no inventory. What will student unions sell?

* Conflicts Over “Climate Change”
* Boston Globe DMW?
* Bigger Kindle

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why I think they may be of interest to nonprofit and philanthropy leaders.

    Wind Vs. Coal by flickr user rpeschetz

    "Wind Vs. Coal" by flickr user rpeschetz

  • Climate change conflicts and controversies are growing. The rift between Reps. Henry Waxman and Chris Van Hollen are growing, as the two had it out in a recent private leadership meeting. Waxman wants to push forward this session for passage of the sweeping Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. Van Hollen says that if is destined for defeat in the Senate (which it may be), best not to bring it up. Meanwhile, critics say that the bill was written in large part by lobbyists and interest groups, and contains a provision that directly benefits one of the authors, Duke Energy Corp. Against this backdrop, communications strategists are urging environmentalists to use more approachable language to talk about these issues because the existing terminology is so politically charged.
    • My take: Environmentalists say the “science is settled” on climate change but the policy response definitely is not. This is a very visible example of the difference between “vision” and “strategy” — and the fact that simply getting all players to agree on a “vision” is necessary but not sufficient.
  • New York Times Co. to shutter The Boston Globe. The lifeline of The Boston Globe appears to be running out as its parent company has filed notice with the government that labor negotiations have not been successful. The move allows the New York Times Co., which bought the Globe in 1993, to shutter the paper in sixty days. NYT is seeking $10 million in labor concessions from a variety of unions, as well as changes in seniority rules. Talks broke down recently as the company was forced to admit a $4 million accounting error. 
    • My take: Many observers say it’s unthinkable to imagine that Boston, home of the nation’s most respected universities, could be without its own daily newspaper. I say you’re darn’ tootin’ it’s thinkable. While it’s easy to complain of mismanagement by the absentee owners, the economics in the news business are increasingly just not there.
  • A new Kindle will likely be announced this week. Industry observes say a new version of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader will be unveiled this week. The announcement is evidently scheduled for May 6. This new version will be a large-screen format. Some newspaper observers are pinning hopes on the device to put some wind in the sails of failing subscriptions — the large screen is thought to be perfect for reading tabloid and broadsheet articles.
    • My take: Don’t held your breath, guys. People will not line up to pay upwards of $400 for a device that will then give them the opportunity to then pay for the privilege of reading your news. People dig Kindle for the books; the other stuff is gravy. Newspapers will have to change their business model, not just hold out for the deus ex machina of a new gizmo.

Thanks for reading.

Brad