Fwd: Communications-related Headlines

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:14:56 -0700

>Title: Needed: Techies Who Know Shakespeare
>Source: New York Times (OpEd, A27)
>Author: Ellen Ullman
>Issue: Education
>Description: High-tech companies are luring students out of school with
>high-paying jobs. They say its the schools fault for not teaching students
>the skills they need in the real world and thus students don't see the point
>of getting a degree. But what these critics are forgetting is that
>historically, most programmers had plenty of education with just a little
>coming from the computer science departments. After WWII, physicists and
>mathematicians created the industry. Then is the late 60's and 70's, as the
>need for programmers grew, government and businesses began to look beyond
>those with doctoral degrees. Fortunately, this new demand coincided with all
>types of overeducated people from the 60's looking for a way to earn a
>living. Each member of this group largely taught themselves computing --
>they all knew how to learn and weren't intimidated by having to pick up
>another computer language. The next generation of programmers to come along
>had computer science and engineering degrees. They too weren't intimidated
>but did not seem to read anything but technical books. "They stood mute
>among us when we said the occasional phrase in French. They looked confused
>when we alluded to Shakespeare or Proust," says Ullman. Many of this group
>obtained their degrees without having to study much of what some still call
>Western civilization. In hopes of fostering a flexible and open mind, maybe
>it is now time for "students and professors to realize that programming
>instruction can take place in a few classes, and students can spend the rest
>of their time studying foreign languages, literature, linguistics,
>philosophy and history of science. Programmers seem to be changing the
>world. It would be a relief, for them and for all of us, if they knew
>something about it."

>Title: No More Media Elite
>Source: Washington Post (Op-Ed, A17)
><http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-sr/WPlate/1998-07/08/0201-070898- idx.html>
>Author: Robert J. Samuelson
>Issue: Trends
>Description: "Even as we're courted and castigated for our alleged power,
>new communications and computer technologies threaten our incomes, social
>importance and political influence," worries Samuelson as he contemplates
>technologies' effect on changing media habits. More and more people get
>their news from computers, while network news and newspaper audiences
>continue to shirk. The trend is toward smaller and more specialized
>distribution of information. "The notion of a media elite, if ever valid,
>requires that people get news and entertainment from a few sources dominated
>by a handful of executives editors, anchors, reporters and columnists. As
>media multiply, the elite becomes less exclusive."

>** Antitrust **
>Title: Microsoft's Cable Efforts Under Scrutiny
>Source: New York Times (CyberTimes)
>Author: Jeri Clausing
>Issue: Antitrust
>Description: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said yesterday
>that he was concerned that Microsoft's "spending binge" into cable
>television interests appeared to be an attempt to gain control of the
>gateway to the Internet. Senator Hatch said that he was worried that
>Microsoft might become a dominant provider of software for set-top boxes
>that give TV sets access to the global network. "I don't want to seem like
>I'm just on Microsoft's back all the time, but I am concerned about them
>buying into all of these cable systems," said Hatch. "This is a matter of
>great concern, much more than the browser ever was."
** Bandwidth/Infrastructure **

Title: Telecom Industry Overlooking Major Policy Change, Analyst Says
Source: Telecom AM
Issue: Bandwidth/Infrastructure
Description: Legg Mason analyst Scott Cleland said in a July 1 report to
investors said that
"lost in the hoopla over the AT&T-TCI announcement" on the same day was FCC
Chairman Bill Kennard's offer to reduce the regulation of advanced networks
if Bell companies gave their competitors more access to them. "A major
deregulatory shift stimulating major bandwidth investment by the companies
with most of the sector's capital expenditures -- the local telcos -- could
be a significant boost to overall growth in the communications and
technology sectors." The big winners would be DSL and fiber equipment
suppliers, Bell companies and GTE, Internet computer and software industries
and online providers, Mr. Cleland said. The policy shift could be a negative
for "those benefiting from the low-bandwidth status quo" -- long distance
providers, some competitive LECs and telecom resellers.

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