12/18/99The End of Y1K. This is the last edition of Digital Village before TEOTWAWKI, well at least according to some. We took one last (hopefully) look back on some of the various ways people around the world are preparing for the rollover to 1/1/0.
In the news:
Terri Welles wins a summary judgement to declare her Playmateness, but Mr. Hefner's lawyers vow to carry on - Court overturns fake child porn act which may affect the final outcome of the Patrick Naughton case, where he was found guilty of posession, but not intent - Canada to impose a levy on recordable CDs - Sir Paul rock 'n rolls online from the Cavern Club - MTV is starting to feel the heat from reacord companies - The White House is making promises regarding e-voting and putting government documents online - California is moving forward in its exploration of online voting - The Organization of Electronic Cooperation and Development releases guidelines of online commerce - Internet Tax Panel puts things off for now - Tim Berners-Lee gets $100,000 from the Stargazer Foundation - Now Microsoft is getting some heat from the EU - MS also lost in China's courts last week - Corel has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor because of its contract with Microsoft - Waterford Crystal will pay for a kid's college education in exchange for waterfordcrystal.com - Etoys.com stock has dropped about 50% over the last couple of months, do you think it's because of their lawsuit against Etoy (no "S")
12/11/99Humongous Entertainment. With Christmas just around the corner, we explored the state of children's software today. While some "edutainment" titles are banal, others often define the cutting edge of media, combining the latest in graphics audio technology, setting trends for the broader software industry as they try to hold the attention of our most descriminating computer users: Kids.
Our guest today was Barbara Hanna, Vice President of Product Development at Humongous Entertainment. Since 1992 Humongous has produced a number of (mostly) children's titles designed to foster creative thinking while keeping the users' attention with compelling stories and characters.
In the news:
12/4/99James Gleick. Humanity's relation to time is as dynamic as the medium itself. A little over a century ago, it took nearly two weeks for the news of Lincoln's assasination to reach much of the nation. However, in today's 24/7 news environment, we find ourselves with web sites that will actually phone our pager when certain events occur, just so we don't miss the first few minutes of what might be happening.
Our guest today was James Gleick, who explores our preoccupation with the second-hand in his latest book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything. The book begins and ends with Dr. Gernot M. R. Winkler, the former Directorate" of Time at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. In-between, Gleick takes a long look at how we all relate to time at the turn of the millenium. How it is all our history of amazing -labor saving breakthroughs have resulted in so many of us feeling stressed out over having "so much to do and so little time". How much of it is reality and how much is just perception?
11/20/99Jon Katz. For the last few years, we've been joined at year's end by Jon Katz so we can take a look back on the events of the previous 12 months and to look ahead on what the coming year has in store. This year Jon joined us a few weeks early so he can go off to writer-writer land and finish his new book Geeks, which is due out sometime next February.
This was an eventful year for Jon, particularly at Slashdot, where his articles frequently appear. In addition to such things as navigating the strange road to Linux, Jon has talked to a lot of young people in the wake of this year's much publicized school violence. What he found were many kids who only feel more ostracized by the current hysteria. Thus, rather than tolerance, these "outsiders" are being pushed further and further away, sometimes even being thrown in jail for days because of their creative thinking.
In the news:
11/13/99Net Slaves. Are you a Garbageman, cleaning up other people's computer disasters? Or maybe a Cop, or Streetwalker, making a living (one way or another) off the more prurient interests of your fellow netizens. Or perhaps you're a Card Shark, able to convince people of your programming skills just long enough to cash the check. In any case, you are part of the new caste system of the Internet detailed in the new book Net Slaves: True Tales of Working the Web. Our guests in-studio today were authors Bill Lessard and Steve Baldwin who decided against Toilets Across America in favor of writing a book about what it really is like to work (and work, and work) in this new business of the Internet. Don't believe us? Just listen to what the 'net has to say about your place in life.
In the news:
11/6/99Open Phones This week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued a scathing Finding of Fact in the ongoing Microsoft vs. DOJ anti-trust case. While many people suspected the judge to rule Microsoft a monopoly, few expected such a strong rebuke. And while there is still a way to go in the trial, particularly if you consider the appeals process, it seems that MS must start considering what it will do if the final ruling is not in its favor. Should the company be broken up? Should the code for Windows be opened up, a la Linux? Or is the industry evolving so fast that the case is no longer relevant? To help gain some insight, we opened the phones today to listeners who called and gave us a variety of opinions, both in favor of, and against Microsoft and their products.
In the news:
10/30/99John Nathan & Sony's Private Life. How did two men build one of the world's great electronic empires out of the ruin of post-war Japan? Was it seemingly endless hours of hard work? The brilliant vision of its founders? Shear force of personality? Or was it just luck? In his latest book, Sony: The Private Life, John Nathan shows us that it was a combination of all of these forces. Professor Nathan joined us today to talk about the Sony of the past and the Sony of the future, with it's current Chairman (Nobuyuki Idei) who is committed to re-creating the company for the new century and beyond.
In the news:
10/23/99Bart Kosko's Fuzzy Future. Fuzzy logic involves all the shades of grey between black and white. That's how our guest today characterized the subject of his most famous area of study. Dr. Bart Kosko is a professor of engineering at UCLA and author of several books, including The Fuzzy Future. In this book Dr. Kosko explains how his theories on Fuzzy Thinking can apply not only to esoteric mathematics, but also to society with such such things as a fuzzy tax form.
10/9/99Alan Davidson from CDT. There's been lots of talk and a bit of action in Congress during recent months. Our guest today was Alan Davidson, Staff Counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington D.C. He updated us on such things as the administration's recent change in its approach to encryption technology, the FBI and FIDNET, and continued attempts to require filters on public computers installed in schools and libraries.