Fwd: Communications-related Headlines for 8/17/98

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Tue, 18 Aug 1998 09:10:25 -0700

>
>SET MAKERS SUPPORT BLOCKING OPTION
>Issue: V-chip
>Thomson Consumer Electronics, the largest seller of TV sets in the U.S., is
>planning to go ahead with a plan to sell sets that allow parents to block
>sports, news and advertising. "At a technical standards group meeting last
>week in Chicago, Thomson's trade association, Consumer Electronics
>Manufacturers Assoc. (CEMA), declined to actively support Thomson's
>initiative." Instead, CEMA referred to the FCC's rules on the subject, rules
>that specifically say that the V-chip can block unrated programming. "We
>understand that this is an emotionally charged issue for some broadcasters,"
>wrote CEMA President, Gary Shapiro to members of the group. "We also believe
>that parents in the marketplace -- not broadcasters, manufacturers or the
>government -- should determine what features sell and how they should be
>used. "This whole debate should be about what the parent wants," says Dave
>Arland, a Thomson spokesperson. "This is not about the end of television on
>the planet Earth." Family advocacy groups say that they never intended the
>TV ratings system to apply to sports and news, but do want parents to have
>the option to block unrated programming. Other set makers, specifically
>Panasonic and Sony have not yet announced whether they will offer parents
>the blocking choice.
>[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable (p.19), AUTHOR: Paige Albiniak]
><http://www.broadcastingcable.com/>
>

>
>SEARCH SITES' SHOCKING SECRETS -- THEY STINK. THEY'RE
> GETTING WORSE. AND IT'S DELIBERATE
>Issue: Internet Content
>"Maybe you've already realized big search sites are getting worse, not
>better. But did you know they've planned it that way? That they let results
>be manipulated by outsiders? That some sell the results to the highest
>bidder? That others censor what you see to hurt their rivals? Here's the
>ugly truth."
>[SOURCE: Jesse Berst's AnchorDesk]
><http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_2432.html>
><http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_2231.html>
>[Tell us what you think of this new source]

>SMALL DEVICES PICK UP EMAIL FROM SATELLITES
>Issue: InfoTech
>A new class of email devices that work anywhere in the world and are small
>enough to be worn will be introduced this fall. If everything goes as
>planned, the Iridium satellite-based telephone handset system will begin
>operation on September 23. "A constellation of 66 satellites around the
>earth will allow two-way, cellular-like telephone calls anywhere on the
>planet." Born alongside this complex system launch will be a "space-based"
>email system. Consumers will be able to receive email messages with global
>coverage via the Iridium Pager, which is not much larger than a regular belt
>pager. The pager will be sold internationally by national phone companies,
>paging operators and industrial resellers once the system becomes operational.
>[SOURCE: New York Times (CyberTimes), AUTHOR: Marty Katz]
><http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/08/cyber/articles/16satellite-email.
>html>
>
>REALNETWORKS, INKTOMI GO CACHE STREAMING
>Issue: Technology
>"RealNetworks and Inktomi Corp. will collaborate on the development of
>caching technology for streaming media. RealNetworks will integrate its
>latest-generation RealSystem G2 delivery system with a new traffic server
>still under wraps at Inktomi to allow scalable delivery of video and audio
>on the 'Net."
>[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable (p.76), AUTHOR: Richard Tedesco]
><http://www.broadcastingcable.com/>

CHAIRMAN KENNARD'S LETTER TO NCTA AND CEMA CALLING ON INDUSTRY TO
WORK TOGETHER ON DTV COMPATIBILITY
Issue: DTV
FCC Chairman Bill Kennard has written a letter to National Cable Television
Association President Decker Anstrom and Consumer Electronics Manufacturers
Association President Gary Shapiro asking the two organizations to work
together on making digital television and cable television compatible: "This
November the American public will see the long-awaited arrival of
commercially available digital broadcast programming in many markets.
Recently a number of concerns have arisen in Congress and elsewhere with
respect to compatibility between first-generation digital television sets
and cable systems. These compatibility concerns must be resolved quickly to
ensure that American consumers are able to enjoy the benefits of digital
television starting this fall. As I stated at our Commission meeting on July
9, I am strongly committed to working with industry to achieve this
objective." [See more about digital TV and cable at
<http://www.benton.org/Policy/TV/cabledtv.html>]
[SOURCE: FCC]
<http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Kennard/Statements/stwek862.html>
>

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

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