Telecom headlines week of Feb 22

Gary Handman (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:09:37 -0800 (PST)

Title: NEA Grant Proposal Looks Like a Bomb(er)
Source: Washington Post (A13)
Author: Rick Weiss
Issue: Arts
Description: The embattled National Endowment for the Arts has received a
unique proposal: the NEA Army has applied for a grant of $98 million --
agency's entire annual budget -- to model a section of the $2 billion B-2
Stealth bomber and carry the work around the country with a sign that
read "PRIORITIES." See The NEA Army: Practitioners of Stealth Art home

Title: ...With Liberty and Laptops For All?
Source: New York Times (E14)
Author: Mike Romano
Issue: Education
Description: This March, New York City Community School District Six will
distribute 1,000 laptops to students in 26 middle schools, expanding the
pilot program, Learning With Laptops, that was started by the Microsoft
Corporation and Toshiba USA three years ago. The venture which arranges
services and lease agreements for schools now includes AT&T, Acer and
Compaq. The majority of schools that participate in the Learning With
Laptops program lease the basic laptop package to parents for three years
about $58 a month. District Six will split this cost evenly with the
student's families, who get to keep the computers. At a recent Microsoft
promotional meeting in Seattle, teachers participating in the program
reported improved writing and time-management skills and better attendance
among students with laptops

** Television/V-Chip **

Title: Viewers' Mute Response
Source: Washington Post (D1,D3-2/25/98)
Author: Paul Farhi
Issue: V-Chip
Description: Almost nothing has happened in the almost five months since
television industry started offering on screen labels to warn viewers
explicit program material. Given the public's underwhelming response, it
difficult to say whether they are pleased with the new labels or mystified
by them. Bob Wright, chairman of NBC, said, "We get letters and calls
everything that's on the air, but this has not been one of them." Jack
Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and who
oversaw the development of the movie and TV ratings said, "This has been a
non-event in TV homes. We were prepared for complaints but so far we
received any." The MPAA has received about 800 letters, emails or phone
calls so far, but almost all of them are requesting a brochure on the new

Title: Web Magazines' New Battle Cry: Charge!
Source: Wall Street Journal
<> (B1)
Author: Jared Sandberg
Issue: Internet Content
Description: Many online magazines are moving to charge subscribers for
their content. "Everybody wanted to get some market share by giving it
for free," said the business development manager at the Economist. "But
that's not a model that can last forever. Their business models will
into being paid." If this transition works, it could mark the opening of
floodgates to pay-per services throughout the Internet and end the flow of
red ink that has sunk many websites. [So, how much are your Headlines

Title: Bertelsmann Plans Website For Book Sales Via Internet
Source: New York Times (D4)
Author: Doreen Carvajal
Issue: Internet Commerce/International
Description: Bertelsmann A.G., the German media conglomerate, announced
yesterday plans for a world-wide electronic bookstore. With Bertelsmann's
vast resources, publishing experience and international distribution
network, the bookstore has the potential to become the world's largest
online merchant of books.

Title: Web TV Offers Cheap Web Access, But Consumers Are Wary
Source: New York Times (E6)
Author: Michel Marriott
Issue: Web TV
Description: With almost every U.S. household having a television set,
unlike the only 4 out of 10 American households that have computers,
Microsoft, owner of WebTV Networks, thought that pumped-up TV sets would
quickly replace the home computer. A complete WEBTV system can be
for less than $200 -- one-fifth the cost of a bargain PC. "But sales of
WebTV, the most established player in the Internet-television industry,
proved modest." Retailers say sales are particularly disappointing when
consider how quickly video-cassette recorders were adopted by the public.
Yet some people believe that the public will want access to the Internet
their TV set as soon as they get use to the idea. Matthew York, who began
Smart TV, a magazine published six-times a year that focuses on the
dissolving edges that have separated computers and TV's for decades, said,
"I think the days of TV as we know them are numbered. A major paradigm
shift is taking place." Ahran Achachter, vice-president and general
manager of Datavision, a Fifth Avenue electronics superstore said, "This
is not something that can be thrown into the superstore to be bought like
bread or milk. That can be done when everyone understands what it does."

Title: Educators Lay Out Their Requirements for Technology
Source: New York Times (CyberTimes)
Author: Pamela Mendels
Issue: Education
Description: Wednesday evening a panel of educators gathered for a
discussion titled, "Introducing New Media Educational Content; What, How
Whose New Projects Get into Schools?," the event was sponsored by the New
York New Media Association's Education Special Interest Group. The
came to the consensus that the three items at the top of their list for
technology in the classroom would be: buildings that can support computers
and cabling, better educational software, and research proving that the
gadgetry really helps students learn. Panelist, Richard A. Schultz,
of Internet services and technical training for the New York City Board of
Education, told the audience, "I'm very excited about the new media...and
think teachers are extremely excited about this." Nonetheless, he and
panelists agreed, technology still has a way to go before it is accepted
integrated into the classroom.

Title: Clinton backs DTV transition subsidy
Source: Current, The Public Telecommunications Newspaper (Vol.XVII,
Author: Steven Behrens
Issue: Digital TV
Description: The White House this month endorsed $450 million in federal
help for public broadcasting's transition to digital transmission --- a
commitment but less than the $1.7 billion estimated cost for the
Part of the sum amounts to a redirection of the longstanding Public
Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP). APTS, CPB, and PBS said
nevertheless that they were "delighted" with the support and called it an
"excellent start." However, the statement from NPR President Delano Lewis
said he was "concerned" that the sum fell short of the field's request. No
one knows what difference the lower subsidy will make in the digital
switch over, said APTS President David Brugger, but it may mean that some
public TV stations will lack digital production gear and will serve only
"pass-through" outlets for national programs.

Title: ...and TV Docs on Broadway, Scottsboro, Bunche, Kalahari Life
Source: Current, The Public Telecommunications Newspaper (Vol.XVII,
Author: Karen Everhart Bedford
Issue: Funding
Description: CPB's most recent Television Program Fund grants round
more than $4 million to 18 projects, including a number focused on
or training. CPB is offering fellowships for producers to attend the Input
98 screening conference in Germany this May, backing outreach for a major
history miniseries, and providing completion funds for a videotape series
math instruction. But most of the projects are intended for PBS

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld