Telecommunications Act of 1996

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pages: 339 words: 57,031

From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism by Fred Turner

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, game design, George Gilder, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, theory of mind, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yom Kippur War

By the end of 1994, Newt Gingrich and his insurgent Republicans had seized control of the Congress; almost immediately they launched a campaign to deregulate the telecommunications industry. With the Telecommunications Act of 1996, they succeeded. As the act was being developed, the “Magna Carta” helped make clear the House Speaker’s own position and offered a justifying logic for the deregulation of the largest players in the industry. Although the act would ultimately reach out in a number of ways to noncorporate stakeholders, retaining universal service provisions, for instance, and including provisions in support of small entrepreneurs, it also freed massive telecommunications firms and cable companies to expand their operations dramatically. Moreover, as Patricia Aufderheide has explained, it enshrined in law the notions that undergirded the “Magna Carta.” In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as in the “Magna Carta,” technologies—particularly communication technologies and the Internet—were seen as models of open markets and an open political sphere and at the same time as tools with which to bring them about.

The Economy as an Evolving Complex System: The Proceedings of the Evolutionary Paths of the Global Economy Workshop, Held September, 1987, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Redwood City, CA: Addison-Wesley, 1988. Aneesh, A. Virtual Migration: The Programming of Globalization. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006. Ashby, Gordon, ed. Whole Earth Catalog $1. Menlo Park, CA: Portola Institute, July 1970. Aufderheide, Patricia. Communications Policy and the Public Interest: The Telecommunications Act of 1996. New York: Guilford Press, 1999. Bakardjieva, Maria. “Virtual Togetherness: An Everyday-Life Perspective.” Media, Culture, and Society 25 (2003): 291–313. Bakel, Rogier van. “How Good People Helped Make a Bad Law.” Wired, February 1996. Baldwin, J., and Stewart Brand. Soft-Tech. Sausalito, CA: Whole Earth Catalog, 1978. Baltzell, E. Digby. The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America.

., 48 Roberts, Walter Orr, 130 Rolling Stone, 116 Roosevelt, Franklin, 17 Rosenblueth, Arturo, 20, 22, 25, 26, 122 Rossetto, Louis, 207, 209, 210, 216, 217, 225, 235, 236 Rossinow, Douglas, 34 Roszak, Theodore, 36, 47, 70; The Making of a Counterculture, 29, 32 Rothschild, Michael, 223, 224; Binomics: The Inevitability of Capitalism, 197–98 Royal Dutch/Shell: countercultural practices, 184; Planning Group, 181 Ruesch, Jürgen, 53 Sachs, Goldman, 235 Saffo, Paul, 172 SAGE (Semi-Automated Ground Environment air defense system), 19, 24, 27–28, 266n53 Salmon, Robert, 191 Salon (online magazine), 156 San Francisco Mime Troupe, 66 San Francisco Museum of Art, 1963 USCO performance, 51 San Francisco Oracle, 80 San Francisco Zen Center, 125 Santa Fe Institute (SFI), 176, 190, 198, 200 Savio, Mario, 11, 12, 14, 16 Saxenian, AnnaLee, 150, 278n23 scenario planning, 184, 186 – 87 School of Management and Strategic Studies, 129 Schwartz, Peter, 248; contributions to Wired, 217, 218; and Global Business Network, 183, 184 – 85, 187, 188; and Learning Conferences, 181, 182; “The Long Boom,” 233 –34; and scenario planning, 181, 187; and Wired, 211–12 science, sudden importance of after World War II, 17, 23 Scientific American, 80 Scorpion, 170 Seburn, Roy, 61 second-generation cybernetics, 148 Secret Service, 170, 172 Seed (newspaper), 36 self-directing system, 21, 22 servomechanisms, 21, 22 –23, 265n43 Shannon, Claude, 22, 23, 47, 265n37 shareware, 137 Shell Oil, 5, 182; Group Planning Office, 186 Shirley, John, 164 Shugart, Diana, 98 Signal, 196 –97, 284n42 Silicon Beach Software, 211 Silicon Valley, 3; collaborative norm, 150; Defense Department contracts, 149 –50; growth of economy, 150; illegal aliens in workforce, 260; job turnover, 150 –51 Silver, David, 133 Simple Living Project, 70 Smith & Hawken, 128, 185 socioeconomic change, “Third Wave,” 228 soft technology, 125, 128 Software Review, 131, 132 Sol, 115 Soleri, Paolo, 81 Source, the, 130 Soviet Union, testing of an atomic bomb in 1949, 31 space station, 126 Spacewar, 116, 134 Spencer, Herbert, 210 Spengler, Oswald, 62 spinner, as power-leveling device, 65 Spooner, Lysander, 210 “stagflation,” 119 Index Stalin, Joseph, 24 Stallman, Richard, 136 Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 116, 133, 134, 177 Stanford Research Institute (SRI), 70, 88; ARPANET node, 109; Augmentation Research Center (ARC), 61, 106, 107– 8, 109, 110; countercultural practices, 184; and human-computer integration, 104; and Peradam, 110; Values and Lifestyles Program, 183 – 84 Stanford University, 70, 150 Star, Susan Leigh, 72 Stark, David, 156, 157 Stephenson, Karen, 191 Sterling, Bruce, 164, 167 Stern, Gerd, 48, 49, 50, 51, 65 Stockwell, Foster, 267n70 Stolaroff, Myron, 61 Stone, Allucquère Rosanne, 163 Stone, Robert, 60 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), 34, 35, 118, 209, 253, 267n80 “Summer of Love,” 32 Sun Microsystems, 172 surveillance data, 169 Sutherland, Ivan, 111 Syndicus, Maria, 151 Systems Science Laboratory, 112 systems theory, 264n28, 265n43; as contact language for robotics community, 198; facilitation of interdisciplinary collaboration, 24; and military-industrial-academic complex, 27, 28; and New Communalism, 38; and Whole Earth Catalog, 71, 78, 79, 84 Taylor, Robert, 111 TCI, 208 Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) Conference, 177, 211 techno-mysticism, 50 Telecommunications Act of 1996, 13, 230 telecommunications policy, 230 Terman, Frederick, 150 Tesler, Larry, 111, 112, 246, 251–52 Tet Offensive, 98 Thacker, Charles, 111 Theall, Donald, 52 Thinking Machines Corporation, 182 Thompson, Mark, 201 [ 325 ] Thoreau, Henry David, 55 Thrift, Nigel, 214 time-sharing computing, 28, 105, 107, 114, 117, 246 Toffler, Alvin, 208, 215, 222, 227; “Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age,” 228 –30 Toffler, Heidi, 227 Tom Swift Terminal, 115 Tough, Paul, 167– 68, 169 “trading zone,” 72 Transcendentalism, 55, 75 tribalism, 49, 53 Trips Festival, 65 – 68, 67, 92, 164, 178 Truman administration, Defense Systems Engineering Committee, 27–28 Tucker, Benjamin, 210 Tudor, David, 48 Turkle, Sherry, 189 Turner, Ted, 211 Turoff, Murray, 130 2600 (magazine), 168, 169 Ullman, Ellen, Close to the Machine, 257–59 Unified Planning Machinery, 181 Universal Resource Locator (URL), 213 universal rhetoric, 84 universities: engagement with cold war politics, 12; wartime funding, 18 university-based research: after World War II, 18; before World War II, 17 Urban House, 70 urban rioting, 74 USCO, 48 –51, 66; anti-authoritarian humanism and tribal elitism, 54; design of comprehensive media environments, 58; electronic communication technologies, 52; motto, 54; multimedia backdrops, 51; questions of leadership and gender politics, 50; “Shrine,” 51; techno-mystical ideology, 49 – 50; theatrical ecologies, 51 Varela, Francisco, 182, 183 “Verbal American Landscape,” 51 Viacom, 208 Vietnam War, 74; end of, 120; protests against, 34, 35 virtual communities, 6, 142, 161– 62, 247, 248 “virtual reality,” 163 Volvo, 182 von Foerster, Heinz, Observing Systems, 122 [ 326 ] Index Von Neumann, John, 226, 264n28 VPL Research, 163, 165 Wack, Pierre, 186 – 87 Walking Journal, 131 Wallace, Bob, 136 –37 Warm Springs Indian Reservation, 59 Warshall, Peter, 182, 189, 191, 192 Weathermen, 118 Weaver, Warren, 23 Web browsers, 213 –14, 222 Weir, Bob, 166 WELL (Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link), 3, 6, 7, 141– 48, 247; as BBS, 144; “Bozo filter,” 145; as community held together by talk, 147; cultural tools inherited from counterculture, 156; design goals, 143; early management policies, 145; as economic heterarchy, 153 –59; fluid boundary between public and private, 154; gift economy, 157– 58; hosting of regular forums to discuss Wired articles, 217; interactive collectivity in real time, 151; managed according to a mix of cybernetic principles, 147– 48; membership, 278n29; performance value, 155; powerful form of economic as well as interpersonal support, 248; prominence of women, 151–52; reputation value, 155 –56; resource for the redefinition of cyberspace, 162; rhetoric of community, 157, 158; rhetoric of virtual community, 161; “Scribble” feature, 145; as a self-regulating biotechnological system, 146; subscription rates, 145; users from the growing computer industry, 151; users in earliest years, 143; users’ ownership of postings, 145; users’ postings had value in both the social and the economic registers, 156; as virtual community, 142, 158 –59; “WELL Engaged” system, 277n1; WELL Office Parties (WOPs), 158; Whole Earth ethos, 146, 148; women and, 278n29 Wenner, Jann, 116 “We R All One,” 51 Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, California, 129 Wheeler, Bill, 77 Wheeler’s Ranch, 77 Whirlwind computer, 27 Whitman, Walt, 62 Whole Earth Catalog, 3, 4, 57, 82; celebrated small-scale technologies, 5, 79, 125; consistency, 81– 82; contributions from four social groups, 73; convergence of systems theory and New Communalist politics, 71, 104, 111; “Cowboy Nomad,” 86 – 87; defined purpose, 82 – 83; Demise Party, 115; design framework, 80; development of, 71; few references to the Vietnam War, 98; first, 79 – 80; front cover, 83; full financial accounts in every issue, 90; function, 91; and geodesic domes, 94; geographically distributed network of counterculturalists, 151; guide to a new way of being an individual, 88 – 89; information goods, 92; as information technology, 69 –102; information technology and cybernetics to a New Communalist social vision, 104; legitimacy exchange, 85; little attention to questions of gender, race, and class, 91–102; local systems mirrored global systems, 100; material goods, 92; model for the WELL, 141, 142 – 43; narrow focus on women’s sexuality, 98; as network forum, 72, 73, 78 –91, 101, 245; offered new ways to imagine the possibilities of computers, 114; “personal” technologies, 92 –93; principles of juxtaposition, 84; products belonging to the do-ityourself tradition, 93; relationship between information, technology, and community, 110; replicated mainstream hierarchies of social distinction, 100; research orientation, 79; seemingly comprehensive informational system, 83; statement of purpose and arrangement of categories, 84 – 85; Supplement, 80 – 81; systems theory as contact language and structuring principle, 71, 79, 84; systems theory principles, 84; told readers how to reach out to one another, 84; tools for transformation, 91–97; “tools” linked multiple networks and institutions, 93; as town squares, 89; and typesetting technologies, 272n28; vision of technology as a countercultural force, 6; and the WELL, 153 –54, 156 Whole Earth community: imagined world as a series of overlapping information systems, 250; involvement with virtual reality, 281n61; rhetoric of cybernetics to facilitate exchange of legitimacy between technological and countercultural communities, 250 Whole Earth Epilog, 120 Index Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL).


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

For FCC chairman Reed Hundt’s remark, see The State of Competition in the Cable Television Industry: Hearing Before the House Committee on the Judiciary, 105th Cong. (1997) (statement of Reed E. Hundt, Chairman of FCC), available at www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Hundt/spreh754.html. 9. Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (codified in scattered sections of 47 U.S.C.). For other sources that discuss the Act, see Patricia Aufderheide, Communications Policy and the Public Interest: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (New York: Guilford Press, 1999), and Robert W. Crandall, Competition and Chaos: U.S. Telecommunications Since the 1996 Telecom Act (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2005). 10. The article presented SBC as a “case study” to show how the Baby Bells were flagrantly thwarting competition.

The willingness of some to see an appearance of burgeoning competition as a reasonable substitute for regulation looked like an opportunity to the Bells, and so they changed their religion. Embracing the process of “competition” that was under way, the Bells prepared to make their comeback as a dominant player in a nominally open industry. It was a perfect wedding of a new government ideology and a new corporate calculus when the Bells, AT&T, and the rest of the industry signed on to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.9 The most sweeping legislative overhaul of the business since the Communications Act of 1934 was founded on the principle of “competition everywhere.” The idea was to remove barriers to entry in all segments of the industry, a goal that the Bell companies (Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Pacific Telesis, Verizon, and the rest), the long distance firms (AT&T as well as MCI), and the cable companies all pledged to uphold.

In the next few years, one after another of the Bells’ would-be rivals withered and died, and all the while Bell representatives murmured about the challenges of surviving in a competitive industry. Indeed, the only companies that would manage to survive as challengers in telephony were the cable firms, who had wires of their own running into every home, and whom the Act of 1996 had freed to become an intermodal competitor, the only kind the Bells couldn’t destroy. Nevertheless, within a decade after the Telecommunications Act of 1996, history had repeated itself, and the Bells once again ruled the telephone system unperturbed. The idea of inducing “fierce” competition over Bell’s proprietary wires, like the fledgling companies that had taken the bait, was utterly dead. Wiping out the competition was only half the dream, however, and during this time the Bells were reaching, none too discreetly, for something even bigger than collective control: the reconstitution of the great Bell system itself.


pages: 145 words: 43,599

Hawai'I Becalmed: Economic Lessons of the 1990s by Christopher Grandy

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Bretton Woods, business climate, dark matter, inventory management, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, minimum wage unemployment, open economy, purchasing power parity, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996

And the act directed the PUC to prevent cross-subsidization, whereby the profits earned by a firm on services not subject to competition are used to subsidize the costs on competitive services in order to underprice other firms. Act 225 placed Hawai‘i among the leading states in telecommunications reform at the time. The legislation also anticipated some of the features of the federal telecommunications law that Congress was developing and that President Clinton would sign in February 1996. Like the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, however, Act 225 would lead to less action than had been hoped for. Some progress has been made; for example, through July 2000 more than 200 telecommunications companies had applied to the PUC for certificates of authority to provide service. Still, most of the major issues pending in 1995 remain today, unsurprising in an industry 50 Hawai‘i Becalmed transitioning from regulation to competition against a background of multiple jurisdictions and rapid technological change.

See ERTF Eisner, Robert, 27 election, 5, 45, 76–85, 86, 106 electricity prices, 24 Employees Retirement System, 92 environmental protection, 1, 18, 19, 51, 104, 110 ERTF (Economic Revitalization Task Force), 4–5, 59, 63–71, 75, 79, 81, 95, 99, 105, 115–117 Ethics Commission, 92 expenditure ceiling, 24, 47–48 exports, 2, 19–20, 22n. 29, 106–109; Japanese, 11, 21n. 3, 30, 73–74 external effects, 2, 8n. 1, 20, 23, 74, 76, 102, 104, 105, 106–107, 111 Fasi, Frank, 45, 56n. 1 Federal Coastal Zone Management Act, 51 Federal Reserve Board, 18, 26, 28, 29, 33n. 17, 34, 44n. 5, 74, 91 Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 49 film school, 80, 81, 121 First Hawaiian Bank, 42, 43, 65 Fukunaga, Carol, 69 Fuller, Lawrence, 65 gambling, 110 gasoline prices, 24, 110 general excise tax. See GET general fund. See budget GET (general excise tax), 17, 39, 57n. 9, 60, 66, 67–69, 79, 80, 81, 89, 110, 115, 120; contracting tax base, 15–16 government, size of, 4, 38, 40, 43–44, 76, 77, 78, 105 governor. See Cayetano, Benjamin J.; Waihe‘e, John Great Depression, 26, 28 Greenspan, Alan, 28, 44n. 5, 91 gross state product (GSP).

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order by Noam Chomsky

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Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, declining real wages, deindustrialization, full employment, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, manufacturing employment, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, union organizing, Washington Consensus

Any favors Clinton might owe to Florida growers are dwarfed by the requirements of the telecommunications industry, even apart from what Thomas Ferguson describes as “the best-kept secret of the 1996 election”: that “more than any other single bloc, it was the telecommunications sector that rescued Bill Clinton,” who received major campaign contributions from “this staggeringly profitable sector.” The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the WTO agreements are, in a sense, thank-you notes, though it is unlikely that the outcome would have been very different if a different mix of largesse had been chosen by the business world, suffering at the time from what Business Week had just called “spectacular” profits in yet another “Surprise Party for Corporate America.”29 Prominent among the truths that are not to be recalled are the ones briefly mentioned earlier: the actual record of “Reaganesque rugged individualism” and the “free market gospel” that was preached (to the poor and defenseless) while protectionism reached unprecedented heights and the administration poured public funds into high-tech industry with unusual abandon.

It would have been superfluous: the veil of secrecy was defended with much greater vigilance in our free institutions. Within the United States, few know anything about the MAI, which has been under intensive negotiation in the OECD since May 1995. The original target date was May 1997. Had the goal been reached, the public would have known as much about the MAI as they do about the Telecommunications Act of 1996, another huge public gift to concentrated private power, kept largely to the business pages. But the OECD countries could not reach agreement on schedule, and the target date was delayed a year. The original and preferred plan was to forge the treaty in the World Trade Organization. But that effort was blocked by third world countries, particularly India and Malaysia, which recognized that the measures being crafted would deprive them of the devices that had been employed by the rich to win their own place in the sun.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

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AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

If the value of end-to-end inheres in the consequences of this neutrality, then a properly implemented mix might achieve end-to-end values without every part of the network being end-to-end. I am grateful to Tim Wu for making this point to me. 7 The Telecommunications Act of 1996 does not define broadband. It refers to broadband as a characteristic of “advanced telecommunications capability,” which is defined as “high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.” Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, §706 (c)(1), 110 Stat. 56 (1996). See also 47 U.S.C. §157 note (2001). The FCC filed its Section 706 Report to Congress in 1999 and defined broadband as “the capability of supporting, in both the provider-to-consumer (downstream) and the consumer-to-provider (upstream) directions, a speed (in technical terms, “bandwidth") in excess of 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in the last mile.” 14 FCC Rcd. 2398 at 2406 ¶20 (1999).

See Eli Noam, “The Future of Telecommunications Regulation,” NRRI Quarterly Bulletin 20 (1999): 17; Eli Noam, “Spectrum Auctions: Yesterday's Heresy, Today's Orthodoxy, Tomorrow's Anachronism: Taking the Next Step to Open Spectrum Access,” Journal of Law & Economics 41 (1998): 765; Eli Noam, “Beyond Auctions: Open Spectrum Access,” in Regulators' Revenge: The Future of Telecommunications Deregulation, Tom W. Bell and Solveig Singleton, eds. (Cato Institute, 1998), 1: Eli Noam, “Will Universal Service and Common Carriage Survive the Telecommunications Act of 1996?,” Columbia Law Review 97 (1997): 955; Eli Noam, “Spectrum and Universal Service,” Telecommunications Policy 21 (1997); Eli Noam, “Taking the Next Step Beyond Spectrum Auctions: Open Spectrum Access,” IEEE Communications Magazine 33 (1995): 66 ; Eli Noam, “The Federal-State Friction Built into the 1934 Act and Options for Reform,” in American Regulatory Federalism & Telecommunications Infrastructure, Paul Teske, ed.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Meanwhile, cyberspace was going mainstream. The internet was growing fast, with the dot-com boom taking off in 1995. The world’s fewer than forty million internet users were able to view just over twenty thousand websites.133 Netscape, builder of one of the first browsers, went public that year; Yahoo!, Amazon, and eBay opened their gates too. On February 8, Bill Clinton signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The day was historic. The United States would update its telecommunication law for the first time in more than sixty years. The law included a highly controversial provision, the so-called Communications Decency Act. The law was notably restrictive. It went beyond prohibiting the distribution of pornography to children. For one, it attempted to limit the public debate on abortion, at least in the eyes of many activists.

United States, 276 Bianco, Arthur, 204 “big brains,” 67 Bigelow, Julian, 30, 31, 33–36, 56–60, 115 Billings, Al, 280 bin Laden, Osama, 338 biological evolution, 121–22 black box, homeostat as, 66–67 BlackNet, 278–81 Blaze, Matt, 275–76 blind signatures, 256–57 Blitz, See Britain, air battle of blue-collar workers, 106–7 Blumenberg, Hans, xvi BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System), 88, 99 body, as machine, 163–64 body parts, artificial replacement of, 141–42 Boeing, xiii, 44, 45 Boggs, James, 107 bombing raids, 8–10 boundary-breaching, 152 Boyd, John, 299–300 Bradley, William, 138 brain as computer, 223 and environment, 59, 64 homeostat as, 54–56 as inspiration for intelligent machines, 122 as machine, 156–58 Brand, Lois, 170 Brand, Stewart, 166–74 and anonymity, 277–78 Gregory Bateson and, 174, 179–80 and crypto anarchy, 262 and cybernetic myths, 345 and cyberspace as term, 220 Brand, Stewart (continued) and Cyberthon, 240, 243 and Operation Sundevil, 239–40 and Spacewar video game, 181–84 and VR, 218 and the WELL, 190–94 and Whole Earth Catalog, 168–72 Brautigan, Richard, 165–66, 170 Brilliant, Larry, 190–92 Britain, air battle of, 9–10, 29, 30 British Electrical Development Association, 93 Brooklyn, New York, 13 Browne, Herbert, 336 Browning .50-caliber machine gun, 14–15 browsers, 244, 264 bulletin boards, 190 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 45, 75, 303 “Burning Chrome” (Gibson), 210 Bush, Vannevar, 11–12, 19, 25, 30 business strategy, automation and, 98–99 buzz bomb, See V-1 flying bomb Caidin, Martin, 127 Callimahos, Lambros, 269 CAM (cybernetic anthropomorphous machine), 129–30, 136–38 Cameron, James, 136, 154 Campbell, John, 314, 315, 322 Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 76 Čapek, Karel, 83–84, 94–95, 343 Carlson, Chester, 104 Carnegie Institution, 12 Caterpillar P-5000 (fictional exosekelton), 136 cavity magnetron, 19 CBS Evening News, 203–4 Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 100, 104 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), 280, 310 cerebral cortex, 66 Cerutti, Joseph, 9 Chaum, David “Achieving Electronic Privacy,” 281–82 and crypto anarchy, 262 and cypherpunk, 266 and public-key encryption, 255–57, 259 Chepchugov, Dmitry, 331 Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, 336 Chicago Tribune, 9 China, x Christian Science Monitor, 41 Chrysler Corporation, 38 Church of Scientology, xiii, 159–60 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), 280, 310 circuits, 178–80, 194 Cityline (Russian ISP), 331 civil libertarianism, 258; See also libertarianism Clarke, Arthur C., 120–22, 185 Clarke, Richard, 335–37 Clear, Alaska, early-warning site, 99 Clever Trevor, 318 “Clicking Brain Is Cleverer Than Man’s, The” (Daily Herald article), 55 Clinton, Bill, and administration Clipper chip, 273, 275 cyber defense, 322–23 Iraqi weapons inspections breach, 314 Moonlight Maze, 334–35 Solar Sunrise, 315 Telecommunications Act of 1996, 244 Clipper Chip, 274–77 clothing, computerized, 215, 216 Clynes, Manfred, 123–27, 142–43, 154, 155, 224, 345 cockpits, 198 Cocks, Clifford, 249–50, 253 Cohen, William, 322 Cold War, xiii Albe Archer exercise, 208 automation, 110 Stewart Brand and, 167 end of, 246 military cyborg research, 128–40 SAGE, 76–82 space race, 123 and Whole Earth Catalog, 168 Colorado School of Mines, 316 Colossal Pictures, 240 Commerce Department, US, 276 Commodore 64 computer, 228–30 communes, 169 communication and cybernetics, 47 and fire control prediction, 25–26 machines and, 2 phone lines for SAGE, 79 WWII and, 3 Communications Decency Act, 244–45 communication systems, 303 community, 51 Compaq 386 computer, 225 Complex Computer, 29–30 complexity, mechanical self-reproduction and, 116–17 Compuserve, 295 “Computer Analysis of Reflex Control and Organization” (Clynes), 124 computer network breaches, x computer science, 68 computer viruses, 149–51, 305 computer worms, 308 connectivity, 81 “consensual hallucination,” 211, 266 contract killing, 281–82 contradictions, as pattern in history of cybernetics, 348–49 control cybernetics and, 47–48 machines and, 2 WWII and, 3 Cooke, Alistair, 93 Cornerstones of Information Warfare (US Air Force white paper), 306 cosmetic surgery, 162–63 Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.), 19 counterculture, xiii, 165–94, 341 Stewart Brand and, 166–74 cybernetic myths, 345 cyberspace, 208–9 data gloves, 216 High Frontiers magazine, 184–87 Timothy Leary and, 187–89 psychedelic drugs, 172–73 public-key encryption, 258 Steps to an Ecology of Mind (Bateson), 174–80 the WELL, 191–94 Whole Earth Catalog, 168–72 “Crime and Puzzlement: In Advance of the Law on the Electronic Frontier” (Barlow), 239–40 Crimi, Alfred, 14–16 cruise missiles, 39–42 Cryptanalytics (Friedman and Callimahos), 269 “Crypto Anarchist Manifesto” (May), 259–61 crypto anarchy, 246–93; See also cypherpunks cryptography, 247–55, 261 Cryptologic Quarterly, 243 Cryptome, 284 Cuckoo’s Egg, The (Stoll), 308 cults, 161–62 culture, 156–94 and brain as machine, 156–58 counterculture, See counterculture and cybernetic myth, 157–58 L.

Louis, 11 spirituality, cybernetics and, 348 Sputnik I, 123 Stalingrad, 35 Stanford University, 68, 181 Star Wars (film), 199–200, 204, 295–96 State Department, US, 276 Stenger, Nicole, 232–35 Steps to an Ecology of Mind (Bateson), 174–80, 227 Sterling, Bruce, 232, 242 Stibitz, George, 30, 33, 34 Stimpy (hacker), 315 Stimson, Henry, 74 Stoll, Clifford, 308 Stone, Allucquère Rosanne, 234 Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC), 321, 333 Strauss, Erwin, 287 structural unemployment, 109 Stuka dive-bombers, 24 subconscious mind, 163 subservience, intelligence and, 72 suffering, human, 90–91 Sun Microsystems, 314 super cockpit, 199, 202, 206 supercomputers, 77, 78, 146, 187, 324 surveillance, domestic vs. foreign, 273 survival, brain and, 63 symbiosis, 145–46 systems and cybernetic analysis, 51 and environment, 57–61, 63–67 taboos, 89–92 TACOM, See Tank-automotive and Armaments Command tactile sensation/feedback, 129–30, 135, 138 Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), 132, 133, 135 Tanksley, Mike, 305 taxation, 267, 286 Technical Memo Number 82, 253 technological evolution, biological evolution and, 121–22 technology myths, xiv–xvi Telecommunications Act of 1996, 244 teledildonics, 235–37 telephone, 22 Tenenbaum, Ehud “The Analyzer,” 315 Tenet, George, 307 Terminal Compromise (Schwartau), 308 Terminator (film), 154, 155 Terminator 2 (film), 154 terms, new, 349–50 Texas Towers, 77 theodicy, 91 theoretical genetics, 119 “Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata” (von Neumann lectures), 115–16 Third Reich, 43 Thule, Greenland, early warning site, 99 thyraton tube, 27 Tibbets, Paul, 45 Tien, Lee, 270 Time magazine, 3–4, 53, 306 time-sharing, 146, 147, 182 TiNi, 241 Tizard, Sir Henry, 19 Toffler, Alvin, 308–10 Toffler, Heidi, 308–9 Tomahawk cruise missile, 303 TRADOC (US Army Training and Doctrine Command), 299; See also Field Manual (FM) 100-5 Tresh, Tom, 164–65 tribes/tribalism, 193 Trinity College, Oxford, 148 Trips Festival, 193 True Names (Vinge) and crypto anarchy, 258–59, 292–93 and cyberspace, 206–8, 212 and cypherpunk, 265, 266 and Habitat, 229 as inspiration for HavenCo Ltd., 288 Tim May and, 258–59 “Truly SAGE System, The”(Licklider), 144 Truman, Harry S., 75 TRW, 238 Tuve, Merle, 28 2001: A Space Odyssey (Clarke), 120–22 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 149, 343 Übermensch, 140, 291 “Ultimate Offshore Startup, The” (Wired article), 289 ultraintelligent machines, 148–49 unemployment automated factories and, 109–10 automation and, 83, 100 cybernation and, 104 United Arab Emirates, 315 United Kingdom, 317 US Air Force automated defense systems, 71 cyberspace research, 196–206 forward-deployed early warning sites, 99 military cyborg research, 128–29 and virtual space, 195 US Army and cyborg research, 131–32 SCR-268 radar, 18 and V-2 missile, 43–72 US Army General Staff, 11 US Army Medical Corps, 85 US Army Natick Laboratories, 137 US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), 299 US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 276 US Navy Office of Naval Research, 136–37 US Pacific Command (PACOM), 311–13 US Secret Service, 238–39 unit key, 274 University of Birmingham, 19 University of California at Berkeley, 168, 172 University of Cincinnati, 317 University of Pennsylvania, 114 University of Texas, 231 University of Toronto, 316, 320 utopia in 1960s–1990s view of cybernetics, 5 dystopia vs., 6 and Halacy’s vision of cyborgs, 141 as mindset of 1950s research, 117–18 thinking machines and, 4 V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe 1) flying bomb, 39–42 V-2 ballistic missile, 43–44, 73 vacuum tubes, 27, 28, 96, 114 Valley, George, 76, 79–82 Valley Committee (Air Defense Systems Engineering Committee), 76 Vatis, Michael, 321, 334 VAX computer, 191, 194, 200 VCASS (visually coupled airborne systems simulator), 198–206 vehicles, cyborgs vs., 133 Viet Cong, 131 Vietnam War, 295 aftereffects of, 298–99 amputees, 142 and cyborg research, 131–32 and fourth-generation fighter-bombers, 197 and smart weapons, 300 Vinge, Vernor and crypto anarchy, 292–93 and cybernetic myth, 344 and cyberspace, 206–8 and cypherpunk, 265, 266 William Gibson and, 212 and Habitat, 229 as inspiration for HavenCo Ltd., 288 on limitations of IO devices, 228–29 Tim May and, 258–59 and singularity, 149 violence, 267, 285–86 Virginia Military Institute, 270 virtual reality (VR), 220–21 and Cyberthon, 240–43 Jaron Lanier and, 212–19 VCASS, 198–206 virtual space in 1980s, 195–96 and cyberwar, 304–5 and military research, 196–206 in science fiction, 206–8 viruses, 115, 150; See also computer viruses visually coupled airborne systems simulator (VCASS), 198–206 von Bertalanffy, Ludwig, 52 von Braun, Wernher, 43 von Foerster, Heinz, 52 Vonnegut, Kurt, 86–87, 129 von Neumann, John, 52 on brain–computer similarities, 114 and cybernetic myth, 344 and ENIAC, 114–15 and Player Piano, 87 and self-replicating machines, 118 virus studies, 115–16 VPL DataGlove, 226 VPL Research, 213–16, 241, 243 VR, See virtual reality VT (variable-time) fuse, 26–27, 40, 41, 67 Walhfred Anderson (fictional character), 87–88 Walker, John, 219–20, 225 “walking truck” (quadruped cyborg), 134–35 Wall Street Journal, 221 Walter, W.


pages: 489 words: 111,305

How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor

US in Latin America shantytowns and slums in US US pacification of the poor War on Poverty welfare Powell, Colin power generation, alternatives for power, speaking truth to preaching to the choir “preferential option for the poor,” Preston, Julia PRI (Institutional Revolution Party) prisoner’s dilemma prisoners of war prison labor, Chinese prisons privatizing Social Security process patents vs. product patents “profits” now called “jobs,” programmers, Indian Progressive Caucus Progressive Policy Institute progress, signs of, (and not) Prohibition propaganda. See also media corporate doctrinal system producing grassroots media as system for against Social Security for Telecommunications Act of 1996, prophecies, biblical prophets, false and true prosperous few, restless many (quote) prostate cancer protectionism British good or bad in 19th century US patents used for by Reagan administration protest in the US PTA, joining the publications industry public authority, rights guaranteed by public broadcasting. See also media Public Broadcasting System (PBS) public control of government public dissidence public funding for science and technology public health statistics public policy citizens’ role in making institutional problems with insulation from politics investors role in making public sector public services in ‘30s and ‘40s public transportation Puebla (Mexico) bishops’ conference Puerto Rico Punjab Putnam, Robert Qana (Lebanon) Quakers Rabin, Yitzhak race, class vs.

See neoliberalism students substance abuse Suharto, Thojib Sukarno, Ahmed Super Bowl sweatshops Sweden Sweeney, John tables of contents Taiwan Taking the Risk out of Democracy tape (cassette) revolution tariffs. See protectionism taxation taxes avoided Social Security and tax rates technology. See science and technology telecommunications innovations in public funding for revolution in Telecommunications Act of 1996, Telecommunications, Mass Media and Democracy Telegraph (English newspaper) televisionSee also media; Public Broadcasting System (PBS) Teltsch, Kathleen terror in Central America culture of in El Salvador long-term effect of as news filter US complicity in Tet offensive Thailand Thatcher, Margaret “theologian of the establishment,” Third World. See also Eastern Europe; Latin America; Middle East; specific countries chances whole world will become like colonialism blamed by countries pushed back into courage in debt not really owed by Disney exploitation in “economic miracles” in European imperialism in gun control and health in health in US vs.


pages: 550 words: 154,725

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, business climate, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, horn antenna, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Karl Jansky, knowledge economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Picturephone, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, traveling salesman, uranium enrichment, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

In a long and convoluted letter back—“equally necessary was a versatility and sharing of knowledge for a coherent policy formation in the aggregate,” he wrote in a moment of reminiscence—he seemed mostly intent on revisiting his old intelligence work and recounting its triumphs. He came across as nostalgic for the cold war. What pushed Baker from private regrets about the state of telecommunications to forthright disapproval was the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A huge and complex piece of federal legislation, the Telecom Act altered the structure of the communications business by allowing, among other things, the former regional telephone companies (now known as the Baby Bells) to compete nationally with AT&T and MCI. In short order, the 1996 rules created a mad frenzy for telecom equipment and network infrastructure, resulting in absurd stock valuations for some of the companies involved, as well as fraud and malfeasance.

California Institute of Technology archives. 36 John Pierce, My Career as an Engineer: An Autobiographical Sketch (University of Tokyo, 1988). 37 Program notes to the Pierce concert. Pierce Collection, Stanford University archives. 38 William O. Baker, letter to Clark Clifford, April 22, 1991. Baker Collection, Princeton University. 39 On the contrary, the FCC seemed to have clear objectives, even if they weren’t to Baker’s liking. The simply stated goal of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, for instance, was “to let anyone enter any communications business—to let any communications business compete in any market against any other”; http://transition.fcc.gov/telecom.html. 40 William O. Baker, interview with Michael Noll. CHAPTER NINETEEN: INHERITANCE 1 John S. Mayo, “Evolution of the Intelligent Telecommunications Network,” Science 215 (February 12, 1982). 2 John R.


pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

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affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional

Now that consumers are increasingly aware of the impact of their purchases and willing to vote with their dollars, any corporation behaving inconsistently with market demand will change, get “restructured,” or perish. Then, new management, new shareholders, or an altogether new and smarter company will rise in its place, like a phoenix from the ashes, to address the unmet or newly articulated needs. What this analysis leaves out is the collateral damage that may have occurred in the meantime. For example, after Big Media successfully lobbied for the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the limit on how many radio stations one corporation could own went from forty to no limit at all. Over the next five years, the radio industry consolidated, and Clear Channel Communications emerged as the biggest player, with over 1,200 radio and thirty-nine TV stations. Clear Channel is five times bigger than its closest competitor, and reaches one hundred million listeners daily.

David Sedman, “Radio Regulation,” The Radio Broadcasting Industry (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001). David Siklos, “Changing Its Tune,” The New York Times, September 15, 2006, www.nytimes.com/2006/09/15/business/ media/15radio.html (accessed November 10, 2007). Kristin Thomson, “Media Ownership Fact Sheet,” January 17, 2006, www.futureofmusic.org/articles/ MediaOwnershipfactsheet07.cfm (accessed November 7, 2007). Celia Viggo Wexler, “The Fallout from the Telecommunications Act of 1996: Unintended Consequences and Lessons Learned,” Common Cause Education Fund, May 9, 2005, www.commoncause.org/atf/cf/%7BFB3C17E2 -CDD1-4DF6-92BE-BD4429893665% 7D/FALLOUT_FROM_THE_TELECOMM_ACT_5-9-05.PDF (accessed November 9, 2007). CHAPTER NINE Here and Now 228 Kiva.org lets donors For more on Kiva.org, visit its site, http://www.kiva.org. 238 One system, called ITEX Mickey Meece, “The Cash Strapped Turn to Barter,” The New York Times, November 13, 2008. 238 There can’t be too much money Thomas H.


pages: 171 words: 54,334

Barefoot Into Cyberspace: Adventures in Search of Techno-Utopia by Becky Hogge, Damien Morris, Christopher Scally

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, disintermediation, Douglas Engelbart, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

The EFF initially took on legal cases of hackers targeted by the FBI’s two-year crackdown on computer-related activities, Operation Sundevil, as well as academic researchers and entrepreneurs whose work attracted the attention of the authorities. But although so-called “impact litigation” remains a central part of the its operations to this day, as legislators began to ponder how to regulate the ’net, the EFF’s work quickly stretched beyond the courtroom and into the corridors of Washington DC. It was in reaction to the US government’s Telecommunications Act of 1996, which he labelled an “atrocity [that would] place more restrictive constraints on the conversation in Cyberspace than presently exist in the Senate cafeteria”, that John Perry Barlow penned his most famous work, the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. The text, which continues to be extensively cited by those wishing to capture the early libertarian idealism of the ’net, begins: Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind.


pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation, pets.com, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

And the role of finance during the late boom was to fiind many things that shouldn't have been funded. The dot.coms are, of course, the headline example. It's hard to imagine any definition of market rationality or efficiency that could explain the funding ofPets.com. But a much grander, and less appreciated, waste of capital occurred in telecommunications in the late 1990s. Given a Ucense to merge or speculate almost without limit by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the industry, blessed by Wall Street, went on one of the great sprees of all time. In the words of former investment banker Nomi Prins, from 1996 through the end of the boom: Wall Street raised $1.3 trillion of telecom debt and sparked a $1.7 trillion merger spree, bagging $15 billion in fees for the effort. Then, the accumulation party ended. The industry collapsed amidst a $230 billion pile of bankruptcies and fraud, wiping out $2 triUion in market value and defaulting on $110 billion of debt (half of all defaults).


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

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3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Mitch Kapor noted in an April 2012 interview, “Nobody in Washington DC took [the Internet] seriously, so it was allowed to happen. By the time anybody noticed, it had already won.”23 In effect, the Internet was released into the wild in a strong pro-business climate pushed by conservatives who wanted one big institution—government—to get out of free markets. The following year, Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which deregulated the radio spectrum, allowing, among other things, the rise of huge media conglomerates like Clear Channel (paradoxical, I know). The underlying philosophy received memorable expression in a piece written by the technologist, cattle rancher, and Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow called “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” The piece begins, “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind.


pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer

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barriers to entry, call centre, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, James Watt: steam engine, linear programming, market design, pattern recognition, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vickrey auction, yield management

A communications protocol developed under contract from the US Department of Defense to internetwork dissimilar systems. Invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, this de facto UNIX standard is the protocol of the Internet and has become the global standard for communications. Copyright © 2006, Shelly Palmer. All rights reserved. 13-Television.Glossary v2.qxd 3/20/06 7:29 AM Page 215 Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line – URL 215 Telecommunications Act Of 1996 U.S. Legislation passed in 1996, which over- hauled the telecommunications industry. This bill also put in place important deadlines for the digital transition affecting every commercial and public TV broadcaster in the country. Terrestrial Broadcasting analog or digital signal via a large antenna that stands on the ground. Tile A small, usually rectangular) area of a screen that contains a graphic or video element.


pages: 465 words: 109,653

Free Ride by Robert Levine

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Anne Wojcicki, book scanning, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Firefox, future of journalism, Googley, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, linear programming, offshore financial centre, pets.com, publish or perish, race to the bottom, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

In a January 1996 Wired article about Lehman’s proposals, the legal scholar Pamela Samuelson wrote, “Lehman aims to be the sheriff who will kick those anarchic digital cowboys off the Net and make the electronic frontier safe for businesses that want to set up shop there.”18 But Samuelson didn’t note that the bill’s opponents also wanted to make the Internet safe for businesses—they just happened to be different businesses. Plenty of activists wanted information to be free so they’d have an easier time selling computers, Internet access, or online advertising. Some of the rhetoric was far more radical. In February 1996, the Grateful Dead lyricist turned digital activist John Perry Barlow published “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.”19 Barlow was reacting to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which had plenty of faults. But he came up with one of the more overblown manifestos in the history of the Internet, which is no small distinction: Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.


pages: 299 words: 83,854

Shortchanged: Life and Debt in the Fringe Economy by Howard Karger

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big-box store, blue-collar work, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, delayed gratification, financial deregulation, illegal immigration, labor-force participation, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, low skilled workers, microcredit, mortgage debt, New Journalism, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, predatory finance, race to the bottom, Silicon Valley, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, underbanked, working poor

In fact, the first thing a salesperson does with a potential customer in a mainstream cell phone store is run a credit check. Low-income or credit-impaired consumers classified as unworthy of credit are forced into the more expensive prepaid sector. ALTERNATIVE LOCAL TELEPHONE SERVICE Telephone service providers fall into two categories. The first is ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers), telephone companies that already provided local service when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted. The second category is CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers), or companies that began after passage of the telecommunications act and compete with traditional regional local telephone companies, such as the Bell companies and GTE. Consumers who fail a credit check or whose service has been disconnected for nonpayment can opt for alternative prepaid local phone service from CLECs.100 Mary Bradshaw needed telephone service after hers was disconnected by Southwestern Bell for nonpayment.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

Wireless Future Working Paper No. 17, Feb. 2007), available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=962027; Petition to Confirm a Consumer’s Right to Use Internet Communications Software and Attach Devices to Wireless Networks, supra note 10. For a description of Steve Jobs’s claim of safety as a reason for the iPhone to remain tethered, see Katie Hafner, Altered iPhones Freeze Up, N.Y. TIMES, Sep. 29, 2007, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/29/technology/29iphone.html. 28. The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 sought to create a market in third-party cable boxes, but these boxes would not be able to make use of the cable network to provide independent services—and even allowing third-party vendors to provide boxes functionally identical to the ones offered by the cable companies has proven difficult, as the Federal Communications Commission has tried to balance cable company requests for delays with a desire to implement competition.


pages: 482 words: 122,497

The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank

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affirmative action, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, edge city, financial deregulation, full employment, George Gilder, guest worker program, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, P = NP, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, War on Poverty

Consider a few of the better-known examples of the goods that the free-market believers made available. There was the 1995 legislation weakening OSHA, an agency despised by the business community, which was substantially written by a group of industry lobbyists.43 There was the two-day get-together between House Republicans and media company CEOs, after which the various broadcasters and publishers were asked to replace their Democratic lobbyists with Republicans; the Telecommunications Act of 1996, almost certainly written by industry lobbyists, followed soon afterward, deregulating the airwaves and trailing clouds of glorious profits for the media companies.44 There was Tom DeLay’s “Project Relief,” a bill that shot down numerous workplace and environmental regulations and that was actually drafted by a team of lobbyists representing some 350 different industries; as the bill went to the floor the lobbyists set up a field command in a room off the House chamber, where they responded to challenges and reassured the wavering.


pages: 506 words: 146,607

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst: A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market by Daniel Reingold, Jennifer Reingold

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, corporate governance, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, high net worth, informal economy, margin call, new economy, pets.com, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, thinkpad, traveling salesman

See rating categories Strong Buy rating (CSFB system) Strumingher, Eric Sudikoff, Jeffrey Sullivan, Scott congressional hearings and prison sentence of WorldCom’s sham finances and swaps Szeliga, Robin Taubman, Paul Taylor, Elizabeth technology companies bubble burst and IPO boom and Vortex Conference and Telecom Cafe telecom industry bubble in bursting of bubble in competition and consolidations and as deal center decline of deregulation and eleven major companies in Grubman as face of Internet’s effect on last hurrah for mergers in. See mergers and acquisitions momentum in revenue inflation by Salomon’s dominance in September 11 attacks and significance of Qwest’s entrance into technology cross-fertilization with turning point for watershed year for See also specific companies Telecommunications Act of 1996 Tele-Communications International Telefonica de España Telefonica del Peru Teleport Communications MFS secondary offering and Teligent Telstra Tempest, Drake terminal multiple Thakore, Nick 3Com TIAA–CREF Time Warner T-Mobile Toole, Dick tracking stock Travelers Corporation T. Rowe Price Trujillo, Sol as Telstra CEO US West–Qwest deal and Tully, Dan 2 stock rating Tyco Underperform rating underpriced stocks Unger, Laura US West financial problems of Global Crossing bid for Qwest merger UUNet valuation value investors Vander Ploeg, Mark venture capitalists Verizon video services Vodafone Voice-Stream Vortex Conference Wachovia Securities Waddell & Reed Wallace, Sean Wall Street bonus checks crash of 2000 reform proposals scandals as uneven playing field See also Bull market Wall Street analysts.


pages: 889 words: 433,897

The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey by Emmanuel Goldstein

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affirmative action, Apple II, call centre, don't be evil, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, information retrieval, late fees, license plate recognition, optical character recognition, packet switching, pirate software, place-making, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RFID, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, Y2K

Anyone who can needs to start paying closer attention. 94192c14.qxd 6/4/08 3:43 AM Page 581 The Lawsuits Corporate America has gone mad with litigation and its obsession with the Net. Meanwhile, governments the world over are doing everything possible to close the Pandora’s Box of freedom the Net has created. It’s getting pretty ugly out there. Our troubles are only a small part of the story. Sure, we’ve never faced this kind of corporate venom before. But when things like the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Digital Telephony, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and “anti-cybersquatting” bills win easy passage, it’s inevitable. The Internet, once the shining beacon of free speech, cultural exchange, and open expression is fast becoming the exclusive property of big business and oppressive regimes. At least, this is how it appears in their minds. We cannot let our own perceptions be corrupted by this invalid premise.

Military, 627–628 CampusWide, 604–612 catching my cheating girlfriend, 637–639 circumventing DOD’s SmartFilter, 628–630 examining student databases, 602–604 FirstClass hacking, 615–618 future of computing, 642–644 getting busted military style, 619–625 hacker goes to Iraq, 618–619 ISP story, 648–650 looking back, 640–641 making of pseudo-felon, 630–634 observing lottery, 646–648 overview of, 601 ParadisePoker.com blackjack, 644–646 school ID numbers, 614–615 university of insecurity, 612–614 warning from caught uncapper, 634–636 strobe light, Chrome Box, 324 Strowger system, step office, 51–52 Student Database story, 602–604 Student ID stories CampusWide cards, 606–607 FirstClass hacking, 615–618 fun with numbers, 614–615 student databases, 602–604 university of insecurity, 612–614 stunts, teleconferencing, 80–81 subcarrier transmitters, 356 subdirectories, and viruses, 291 Subscriber Identity Module. see SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards success, threat of, 268–271 Summercon, 512 Sun Microsystems, 549 Superpages, 748 Supervisory Audio Tone (SAT), cell phones, 427–428 support.dell.com, 699 surreptitious interception, 98 surveillance, Soviet Union, 683 surveillance devices, 349–362 carrier current devices, 356–357 Digital Telephony Bill, 559–561 hardwired room microphones, 351–352 infinity transmitters, 357–358 long-range listening devices, 350 miniature tape recorders, 361–362 reasons to learn, 349 slaves and loop extenders, 358–359 takeover of nation’s phone system, 559–561 telephone traps and transmitters, 359–360 through-wall listening devices, 350–351 transmitters (bugs), 352–356 in twenty-first century, 683–686 SVAPI (Speaker-Verification API) standard, 811 SWAGIMA, 66 swap files, 286 Swisscom, 434 switches Afghan phone system, 658 GSM, 431–432 long-distance, 67 satellite TV, 763 switching centers, 45–46 step switching and, 50 SWR (standing wave ratio) meter, 760 SYSNAM privilege, VMS systems, 132 Sysops charges against Private Sector BBS, 194–197 protecting themselves, 192–194 SYSTAT (SY), 124–125, 128 SYSTEM accounts, VMS systems, 131 System ID (System ID), 108 SystemOne software, 769 T T (tip) telephone wires, 24 “table ready” signal, 723–724 Takedown (film) fabrications in, 249–252 “Free Kevin” campaign, 252–253 865 94192bindex.qxd 6/3/08 3:29 PM Page 866 866 Index overview of, 250–253 re-writing of screenplay, 235, 254–255 Talk Cents, 484 Talkabout, 89 Talking Greeting Card, hacking, 339 tandem, 490 TAP publication, 229–230 phreakers and, 23 tapping modem lines, 136 TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio), 368–369 taps keyboard, 383 telephone, 359–360 Target, credit card fraud, 708–709 TASI (Time Assignment Speech Interpolation), 189–190 TCAP (Transaction Capabilities Application Part), 432 Tcimpidis, Tom, 211–213 TCP RST (reset connection), China’s Internet, 803–804 TCP/IP protocol, 148–149, 151–152, 771 TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) frames, GSM, 431, 432 tech support Answers for Gateway, 729–730 Dell, 697–699 technology, 574 addressing side-effects of, 552 corporations scared by new, 581 hackers vs. criminals, 553–554 positive developments towards, 596–599 restrictions on new, 565 teenagers, Secret Service raids on, 198–200 telecommunications and fraud, 221–223 privacy and, 115–116 Telecommunications Act of 1996, 581 telecommunications toys, 1980s 800 number allocation, 92–93 Airfone, 93 catching phone phreaks, 109–112 cellular phone companies, 92 cellular phones, fraud, 103–108 cellular phones, fraud bust, 97–98 cellular phones, how they work, 85–89 cellular phones, phreaking, 91–92 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 98–100 equal access, 93–97 forbidden frequencies, 100–101 IBM audio distribution systems, 69–71 long distance, 66–69 Ma Bell breakup, 71–73 overview of, 65–66 paging for free, 101–102 phone choices, 89–92 Radio Shack PRO-2004 scanner, 100–101 results of divesture, 82–85 scanning for calls, 116–118 telecom informer, 113–116 teleconferences, 76–82 Travelnet, 73–76 telecommunications toys, 21st century, 732–830 31337SP34K, 816–817 3D glasses, 812–816 802.11b networks, 733–739 biometrics, 809–812 Captivate networks, 743–744 elections, 805–809 electronic message centers, 768–772 firewall of China, 801–805 genome, 820–824 Google AdWords, 795–801 honeypots, 818–820 lock picks, 777–780 lottery, 780–785 Mercedes Benz with universal remote, 772 NCR ATMs, 765–768 neighbors’ networks, 739–743 New York’s MTA. see New York’s MTA overview of, 732 pirate radio primer, 758–761 real electronic brain implantation enhancement, 824–828 remote secrets, 773–777 RFID, 749–751 satellite TV broadcasts, 761–765 social engineering and pretexts, 828–830 WAP, 747–749 WiFi and MITM, 744–746 XM Radio, 753–758 teleconferences, 7, 11–15 teleconferences, running successful, 76–82 conference controls, 78–79 conference numbers, 76–78 dangers, 79 other conferences, 81 94192bindex.qxd 6/3/08 3:29 PM Page 867 Index overview of, 76–77 stunts, 80–81 Telemail. see GTE Telemail Telemetrac, 436 Telemetry, 435 Telephone Exchange Name Project, 485 telephone line surveillance devices carrier current devices, 357 infinity transmitters, 357–358 microphones, 352 slaves and loop extenders, 358–359 taps and transmitters, 359–360 telephones making of pseudo-felon, 630–634 traps and transmitters, 359–360 telephones, in 1990s, 421–490 area code system, 486–487 Caller ID, 458–463 COCOTs. see COCOTs (Customer Owned Coin Operated Telephones) long-distance charges, 487–490 MCI gimmicks, 463–464 mega-mergers, 482 naming exchanges, 484–486 overview of, 421–422 pay phones, 482–483 phone rates, 483–484, 487 phreaking in the nineties, 466–472 privacy hole, 464–466 special call numbers, 483 toll fraud, 478–481 voicemail hacking, 472–478 wireless. see wireless communications telephones, in 21st century, 651–689 in Afghanistan, 657–659 ANI and Caller ID spoofing, 664–669 answering machine hacking, 659–662 backspoofing, 672–675 future of enhanced 911, 681–683 getting more from T-Mobile, 675–679 hacking three holed pay phones, 652–655 idiocy in the Telcos, 655–657 surveillance in twenty-first century, 683–686 tracking any U.K.


pages: 840 words: 202,245

Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

There he uncovered an important computer error in the company’s forecasting models, earning him praise and promotions. He also learned the telecommunications business in detail. Eight years later, he left to join the brokerage firm Paine Webber as an analyst. The telecom industry was almost as exciting in these years as the dot-coms. As the rapidly expanding Internet required that America and the rest of the world be wired, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 deregulated the telephone industry, allowing local phone companies, the survivors of the long-ago AT&T breakup, to compete in the long-distance market once reserved for AT&T alone. Grubman understood the industry and the new trends as thoroughly as anyone on Wall Street. Always hardworking, Grubman early on developed a reputation for honesty when he downgraded AT&T as it faced new competition.


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

All of these groups, and the people they represented—the homeless, the struggling mothers, the families unable to pay their bills, the 40 million without health insurance and the many more with inadequate insurance—were facing an enormous barrier of silence in the national culture. Their lives, their plight was not being reported in the major media, and so the myth of a prosperous America, proclaimed by powerful people in Washington and Wall Street, persisted. There were valiant attempts to break through the control of information, especially after the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which enabled the handful of corporations dominating the airwaves to expand their power further. Mergers enabled tighter control of information. Two gigantic media corporations, CBS and Viacom, joined in a $37 billion deal. The Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano commented: “Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few.” Alternative media made desperate attempts to break through this control.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

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biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

Although I was not able to learn exactly how many of these drownings occurred in home pools, Public Health Reports (January 11, 1997) asserts, “A private pool at a single family home is the site for most swimming pool drownings and near-drownings … [T]he literature is clear that approximately one-half to two-thirds of all immersion incidents occur in the child’s own home pool, with the remainder occurring at the residence of a friend, relative, or neighbor.” The danger of a child’s dying in this fashion thus rises with income level. Only four percent of black preschooler deaths derived from drowning; fifty-five percent of white preschooler deaths were drownings. page 740. 2. Underwriters Laboratories, “Home Safety and Inspection Checklist” (1996). Chapter 66. Understanding Your Castle page 777. 1. One provision of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 was declared unconstitutional in 1996 by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a decision affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1997. The provision that was struck was also intended to deal with signal bleed. It would have required cable operators to scramble or block any indecent or sexually oriented programming on any channel devoted primarily to sexually oriented programming, so that it could not be received by anyone who did not subscribe to it.