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Sunday, May 28, 2006

How broad is the band?

Posted By on Sun, May 28, 2006 at 6:36 PM

Broader than it's been.

From the AP:

Broadbandadoption increased 59 percent from March last year to March 2006 amongU.S. households with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000, according toa survey to be released Monday by the Pew Internet and American LifeProject.

Itincreased 40 percent in households making less than $30,000 a year.Among blacks, it increased 121 percent, according to the study...

Overall, 42 percent of adult Americans, or 84 million people, have broadband, compared to 30 percent a year ago.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Net policy news

Posted By on Sat, May 27, 2006 at 8:29 AM

Two new developments that are worth noting:

The 6th District Court of Appeals just ruled that bloggers can protect their sources, same as journalists can. (Thanks, Bill, for the tip.)

From Boing Boing: EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) and its allies at cyber-lawclinics argued this case, and it's an important win for bloggers andother citizen journalists who now know that the courts will give themthe same respect afforded to big corporate news-gatherers.

And  on Thursday, a bi-partisan majority on the House  Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 5147, the  Internet Freedom and Non-Discrimination Act of 2006, protecting net neutrality. Rep. Zoe Lofgren explains the bill, which she introduced, in a guest post yesterday on the Save the Internet blog:

The bill requires broadband providers to operate their networks in anon-discriminatory manner and makes sure that the phone and cablecompanies cannot favor or block access to the Web sites or onlineservices that they pick instead of the consumer. It will keep theInternet an open and free marketplace of ideas and services chosen byconsumers instead of big corporations. It will also guard against thosewho own “the pipes” gleaning profits by creating a virtual toll road...

The next hurdle for Net Neutrality is whether we will have a full voteon the House floor. If you care about the freedom that Net Neutralityprotects,
contact your Member of Congressand ask that H.R. 5417 be scheduled to come before the full House ofRepresentatives as either a separate bill or an amendment. Urge them tovote for Net Neutrality protection!

UPDATE: A post on the EFF case from Markos at Daily Kos:

Now, to be perfectly clear, this is a California case. It only appliesin the Golden State. But this is new legal territory, and courts aroundthe country, including the feds, can and will look to this decision forguidance as similar cases arise in their jurisdictions. Coming in theheels of the FEC's decisions to grant bloggers and other internet mediapracticioners the media exemption, a solid body of law is beingdeveloped upholding the principles that citizen media deserves the sameFirst Amendment protections as "professional" journalists.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Vermont's political bloggers plan BBQ

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2006 at 9:34 AM

Philip Baruth of Vermont Daily Briefing and Green Mountain Daily are sponsoring a political blogger BBQ July 9.

In a post yesterday, Baruth writes:

And because we expect not only political bloggers but blog readers,active political candidates, underfed campaign staff, journalists,moaners, kvetchers, and junkies of all stripes — more than even themightiest single site could handle — VDB will partner with Green Mountain Daily to bring you the event.

The key information:

First Annual VDB/GMD Political Barbeque
and Hamburger Summit

When:  July 9, 2-6
Where:  North Beach, Burlington, Vermont
Who:  You (and Us)

More information will be forthcoming as the event comes together, and you can always email VDB or GMD with questions or with an RSVP.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

B.J. Snowden at the Radio Bean Sunday

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2006 at 6:37 PM

This is off-topic, but I'm passing it along. Singer/songwriter B.J. Snowden is playing Sunday at the Radio Bean. My interview with her is in this week's 7D.

Listen to her strangely compelling music here. I think my favorite is "New Brunswick."

Incidentally, the flyer she sent me (right) says the show's at 7:30, but Lee said 7.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

School district monitoring student blogs

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2006 at 11:00 AM

Teen bloggers beware — a school district in Illinois is instituting a new policy.

From an AP report:

The boardof Community High School District 128 voted unanimously on Monday torequire that all students participating in extracurricular activitiessign a pledge agreeing that evidence of "illegal or inappropriate"behavior posted on the Internet could be grounds for disciplinaryaction.

The rule will take effect at the start of the next school year, officials said.

Districtofficials won't regularly search students' sites, but will monitor themif they get a worrisome tip from another student, a parent or acommunity member.

Mary Greenberg of Lake Bluff, who has a son at Libertyville High School, argued the district is overstepping its bounds.

"I don't think they need to police what students are doing online," she said. "That's my job."

Associate Superintendent Prentiss Lea rebuffed that criticism.

"Theconcept that searching a blog site is an invasion of privacy is almostan oxymoron," he said. "It is called the World Wide Web."

BFP/Gannett immigration blog

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2006 at 10:16 AM

Interesting. I guess Gannett's feeding it to them.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Alt. weekly launches blog to fight Gannett

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2006 at 10:30 AM

File this one in the "That Was Quick Dept." The Jackson Free Press of Mississippi reported last week about its struggle with a Gannett distribution scheme that could put them out of business. On Friday, they launched a blog to chronicle and organize their efforts.

Goliath Blog is a clearinghouse where readers can find links to other Mississippi publications affected by the Gannett plan. They can also download a petition to Gannett and the Clarion-Ledger, and sound off about the plan, or communicate with each other in the comments thread.

This is the first time I've seen a newspaper use a blog this way. It's neat. I like it.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Working lunch

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2006 at 1:10 PM

It's over now, but Democratic US House candidate Peter Welch was just eating a tuna sandwich while guest blogging on Blog for America, while Republican candidate Martha Rainville was eating at the Inn at Essex with Laura Bush and friends.

If you read the BFA comment thread, you can see Peter respond to questions. My favorite exchange:

*lindab wrote on May 19, 2006 12:53 PM:

talk about sandwiches!
here is [sic] norfolk an anti-bush group was selling baloney sandwiches for$.05 to counter bush's $5000 a plate luncheon without the nominee.
baloney is right.

Peter  Welch wrote on May 19, 2006 12:54 PM:

Bologna is a Bush administration favorite.

She's Right tonight

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2006 at 12:42 PM

Charity Tensel and I will be discussing blogs and new media in Vermont tonight on her call-in show on Burlington's Channel 17. Got questions? Give us a call. We're on for half an hour, starting at 5:25.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gannett distribution scheme in other cities, too

Posted By on Thu, May 18, 2006 at 4:41 PM

On Tuesday, I blogged about Burlington Free Press owner Gannett Co.'s underhanded new free distribution scheme in Jackson MS. The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies homepage lists other attempts by Gannett to institute similar policies. Apparently they've tried it in Greenville, SC, and in South Dakota, too. Where next?

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