The Sinclair Broadcast Group is showing that it is un-American by denying the free of speech of ABC's Nightline as well as disrespecting the honor of fallen US soldiers.
It seems Nightline will read the name of each fallen solider and show their photograph on the screen as a memorial. Sinclair, which owns several ABC stations(and many more Fox stations), has decided to pull the segment.
A check on the net shows they give 98% of their political money to Republicans so it is likely that they just want to make sure the unfortunate embarrassments from the war are out of sight and out of mind.
I wonder if any of their executives have fought in any wars or if they are merely chickenhawks acting as shills for the chickenhawks at BushCo? I also wonder if they realize they may be doing more damage to their cause by taking these steps?
Media consolidation is a very bad idea for so many reasons.
I have received several email criticizing me and claiming that displaying names and faces is somehow "unpatriotic and obviously something that a liberal would do to weaken the spirit of the military and the public" ....
People have tried this with CDs and other media, but the price point is generally too high and many concerts are a bit cavalier with copyright. (I've tried it with other media and have the scars to prove it).
Still - there is a pony somewhere out there in pseudolive music.
A remarkable feature of the "War on Terror" is that few citizens in the US are sharing any of the pain. Sure the deficit is blooming and could be a disaster down the road, but Bush may have brought much of that on by himself.
WWI through Vietnam demanded a much higher degree of public participation as everyone was related to a soldier and the probability of getting wounded or killed was high. Since Vietnam the US has been very careful to minimize casualties and has moved to an Army that is not well represented in the middle and upper classes. Lowering the chances that you know someone in the coffin or that you know a relative is a big deal if you want to have a war without having the public think deeply. The way to wage war these days seems to be to use what is, in effect, a mercenary/corporate army.
I was thinking about blue stars and gold stars ... From WWI through Vietnam it was customary for a family with a soldier in the war to put a flag with a blue star in their window. Some families would have several stars on the flags and passers-by recognized a level of sacrifice. If a soldier was killed the blue star was replaced by a gold star. I remember movies from WWII that depicted kids saluting the flags on their way to school. The war was very close and very real to everyone.
This practice was not common in the Vietnam era, although I remember some blue and gold stars before the public sentiment turned strongly against the war.
At this point the closest most people get to real sacrifice are abstractions like photos of the fallen and photos of multiple coffins. The administration appears to be afraid of letting the public share in the sacrifice - even if it is only brief and somewhat abstract reminders.
Apple has updated its iTunes music library software as well as software for all iPods (including my old first generation 5GB model).
Significant changes include a lossless codec (it doesn't appear to be Shorten or FLAC - this may be a file naming issue, but I wouldn't put it past Apple to use something else) and the ability to convert cleartext WMA to cleartext AAC (I'm not a fan of transcoding, but the message is clear).
Other changes include a feature to find music playing on a radio station. Unfortunately iTMS is limited in size and few of the pieces played on radio shows I like would appear (these stations are absent from Apple's list), cover art printing and a few other features.
They have also announced a campus program. This is a bit reactionary and not all that impressive. Apple (and others) have been ignoring the 18-24 market (some people have explicitly written it off), which strikes me as amazing.
Apple is also giving away iTunes tracks -- reportedly a track a day for a week and then a track a week. It would be nice if they did think with interesting indie groups. It would be close to free publicity.
Josh, a friend at a medium sized company (650 employees) notes that they are planning to migrate from Windows and Microsoft Office to Linux and one of the open Offices. Many have talked about this and few have actually moved. Training costs are a big issue as are Microsoft's licensing scheme.
In Josh's case they may be able to make it work. About 450 of the employees just use nothing more than Word, Excel, email, a corporate web based calendar and some corporate web based databases. They did a small pilot project with a 15 person workgroup and found, with about two days of training, they could be as productive with Linux and OpenOffice.
Training is the big issue and they video taped six hours of presentations and are making DVDs so as to minimize the need for expert trainers (which they will still employ). They plan to make it clear that doing this means that employees will not have to see their healthcare benefits cut next year.
Tying saving money internally with benefits is an interesting idea. Perhaps Microsoft will have to bundle healthcare with their future offerings to fend off open source:-)
I'm unlikely to turn over my email stream to Google's upcoming Gmail, but I can think of a great use for it.
I really need webspace for sharing digital images. I imagine Gmail will be fine with rendering photos, so I can (a) arrange for my friend to have photo-only gmail accounts and all of us can share photos or, more likely, (b) several of us will share a communal Gmail account.
I generate far more than 1 GB of digital images a month, but it might work for sharing the important ones.