Digital Village Radio January - March 1997 Programs
3/29/97:EC2 & Mission College. During the first half of today's program, we were joined by Chamara Russo from The Egg Company 2, a business incubator on the campus of USC in Los Angeles. Eventually it will house a dozen or more Southern Californian high-tech companies as they develop their products and business strategies. More concerned with developing Los Angeles' high-tech entertainment and engineering economy than making a huge profit, EC2 provides a low-rent space and access to a commercial grade computer network. Perhaps most important is the knowledge and help provided by the students, faculty and other participants in the program.
During the second half we were joined by John Beck and Nathan Mendoza from L.A. Mission College, which is putting a lot of work into making a state of the art computer network available to the students and faculty at the college. Unlike many other schools, where the goodies are kept locked away in labs, only to be used by students and faculty doing research, Mission College is making this high speed network available for use by everybody in their own areas of study.
3/23/97:CDA Update & Privacy Forum. Last Wednesday the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the Communications Decency Act. Today we spoke with Jonah Seiger from the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, DC. While there is no way to predict how the Justices will rule, it does seem fair to say that things look encouraging for the opponents of the CDA. The questions asked showed that, while the Justices are clearly in unfamiliar territory, they seem to realize that this global network has profound implications when it comes to issues of freedom of speech, in its broadest interpretation. A ruling in the case is expected in June or July.
Is privacy dead? Can there even such a thing as absolute privacy? What rights do we have to our personal information once we give it out, whether it's subscriptions or credit applications or even your signature? During the second half of today's program we spoke with Lauren Weinstein, moderator of the Privacy Forum to talk about these questions and more. When we think of privacy it conjures images of Big Brother, Lauren suggests it might be Big Brother Inc. It may be that no technology will guarantee privacy, so we may need to rethink the whole thing. It may come down to how we behave as a people, rather than how we program our machines.
3/15/97:Internet World Update Last week had Ric and Doran attending Spring Internet World '97 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you heard the show this week, you know we had lots of information. We've created a special page with plenty of links and information about what we saw and who we talked to.
3/8/97:The Association of Online Professionals. Our guest today was Dave McClure, Executive Director of AOP, a professional association for Webmasters, ISPs, SysOps and others who keep the online world alive. This group of working people is facing an increasing number of social issues, from copyright and taxation of published materials to privacy and professional recognition in the workplace.
3/1/97:Open Phones. Ric spent the week at Web'97 in San Francisco and Doran was in Las Vegas for TitleTech. The Vegas show proved that online commerce is a steamroller that has already started paving over those who resist. The San Francisco convention showed that Java is coming of age with lots of support and soon will take over the computing world. That said, there are still some serious concerns that must be addressed before Java can truly take off.
2/23/97:Autobytel & The Loop. We took a look at doing business on the Web today. Our first guest was Ron Raisglid, who talked about Autobytel. This service is aimed at car-buyers and allows them to do much of their shopping online, thus avoiding those salespeople.
Our next guest was Greg Wiley, President of The Loop, a regional Internet Service Provider (ISP). We talked about what it takes today to compete with the big-boys when it comes to providing access to the 'net. Smaller providers often offer a more personalized service to their customers, who often choose these companies because they feel they are "treated like a person" rather than just another account.
In the news:
The CDA goes to the Supreme court and the Justices get a taste of high-tech - The FTC says you should be careful when you download dirty pictures - An Oklahoma court says a University can limit Usenet access - The Pentagon gets hacked by Croatian students - More security flaws in ActiveX
2/16/97: Jon Katz on The Media. We were joined in-studio today by Jon Katz, media critic for Wired & The Netizen and currently on a book tour across the U.S to promote his new book Virtuous Reality. How America surrendered discussion of moral values to opportunists, nitwits & blockheads like William Bennett.
2/8/97: Fund Drive - Week Two. Thank you Thank you Thank you. Once again many of you came through when we needed and showed your support for KPFK and Digital Village. Today we raised more than 200% of our goal. Thank you once again.
2/1/97 (Fund Drive): Los Angeles Free Net. Dedicated with the idea of providing Internet access to the public, rather than making huge profits for itself, the Los Angeles Free Net is a valuable community resource. Our in-studio guest today was Dr. Avrum Bluming, one of the people who started LAFN a few years ago with a single telephone line hosted by a Tarzana medical facility. It has now grown to system using six T-1 lines connected to the Internet and access numbers located throughout Southern California.
While it offers Internet access, the thing that sets LAFN apart is its sense of community. Run completely by volunteers, there is always somebody willing to offer advice, making this a perfect place for online novices to get their feet wet. LAFN also offers an extensive medical database and has many doctors online to share their knowledge and answer questions. LAFN offers a wonderful way for seniors and others to network as well, again offering support to those who may not have considered the value of computers in their life.
This was also the first week of KPFK's Winter Fund Drive. We want to once again thank all the listeners who called to subscribe to the station. Digital Village was a goalbuster thanks to your support. Remember that KPFK is truly a listener sponsored station. They don't take corporate underwriting and all of their funding is dependent on listener support.
In the news:
A challenge to the Georgia Internet censorship law - It's okay to transmit NBA scores - Porn scam at sexygirls.com - Finally, a site designed to - AOL sees the light and will offer some refunds - Egghead is closing almost all of its SoCal stores - The CDA day in the Supreme Court is right around the corner
1/25/97:Activists on the Internet. How do activists and the alternative media get their message out on the net? To find out, we asked Art Kunkin from the World Wide Free Press, Audrie Krause from NetAction, and Sheila Gibbons & Jerry Schmidt from The L.A. Free Press. One of the key points discussed is how this technology facilitates the "think global, act local" spirit of today's activism. All of today's participants emphasized the importance of heightening people's awareness of how each individual can make an impact through effective use of the Internet and its technologies.
1/18/97:Aristotle & Apple During the first part of today's program, we spoke with John A. Phillips, President of Aristotle Publishing. Their web site is designed to delivery voter information to registered voters electronically, thus cutting down on the costs of printing and mailing these documents through the U.S. Mail. As a benefit of these savings, Artistotle is able to pay users a small amount of money (25¢ is typical) for every message that is read. In addition to the voter information, it is also possible to have Direct Marketeers deliver their advertisements to Aristotle users rather thus cutting down on the amount of junk mail that gets sent. The idea is that if enough people sign up for this free service, there will be a tremendous savings in the amount of trees cut down and trash added to landfills. A noble goal. Time will tell if it works.
During the second half of the program we spoke with James Gable, Vice President of Marketing at AppleSoft, an internal division of Apple responsible for the Macintosh Operating System and related technologies. A few months ago, Apple announced that it wasn't going forward with the release of its Copland operating system. Then last month, Apple announced it was going to buy Next Computers and then start all over again in their efforts to develop a new OS, this time incorporating many of the best elements of the Next OS. In the meantime, the current MacOS will be upgraded with some of the features that were going to be put into Copland.
Apple is due to release the latest update (v7.6) this month, with another in about 6 months. While this month's release is regarded as mostly a collection of bug fixes, the summer release should be a significant update. Gable also promises that the MacOS will just love Java. In the meantime, the Next-based OS (named Rhapsody) is being furiously worked on. The first version for developers to look at should be out late this year, with the full release version not due until late 1998.