aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
If Apple bought YouTube
As most know, with the exception of iTunes, Apple has been a laggard when it comes to the web. But buying YouTube, Steve Jobs could leapfrog to the top of the heap. After all, he would end up with immediate presence within the ranks of the top 50 web properties (one that’s still growing at a rapid clip).
YouTube would also, for the first time, give Apple a platform to tap into the highly-coveted stream of online ad revenues, particularly within the fast-growth, high-CPM video ad segment. And by owning a leading platform for user-created content, distribution, and social networking, Jobs could fill in nearly all of Apple’s strategic holes (vs. web competitors) in one fell swoop.
But to assess the real (near-term, material) value of such a deal for Apple, let’s go back to iTunes. As we all know by now, the success of iTunes is rooted in its tight integration with the iPod, both in terms of its end-to-end user experience as well as its “razor-and-blade” business model. On the latter, Steve Jobs proved his brilliance by sacrificing digital music profits and making it up with sales of his high-margin iPods. The result has been market dominanceÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ 75% market share. But sales are slowing, and he needs a new catalyst.
Enter YouTube. The online video phenom can be to the video iPod what iTunes was to the audio iPod. It’s not difficult to imagine mass consumers, especially tweens, downloading their playlists of YouTube “video snacks” and viewing them on the go with their video iPods.
But I’m not holding my breath.
Red & Black editor-in-chief David Pittman says his paper has been “hammered” for running two alcohol-related stories. One piece chronicled a night of bar-hopping, while another told readers how to play two drinking games. “There is a difference between realizing drinking is something that happens on this campus and encouraging the behavior shown in our articles last week,” writes Pittman. “As for The Red & Black running those stories, I take complete blame.”
RELATED: The end of the Top Party School’s ranking?
Evolution missing from majors eligible for Smart Grants
The Chronicle (paid subscription required):
Like a gap in the fossil record, evolutionary biology is missing from a list of majors that the U.S. Department of Education has deemed eligible for a new federal grant program designed to reward students majoring in engineering, mathematics, science, or certain foreign languages.
That absence apparently indicates that students in the evolutionary sciences do not qualify for the grants, and some observers are wondering whether the omission was deliberate.
The question arises at a time when evolution has become a political hot potato at all levels of education. While the theory of evolution has overwhelming support from scientists, some conservative Christian groups argue for alternative explanations of the origins of life, including “intelligent design,” which holds that an intelligent agent guided the creation of life.
The grants are worth up to $4,000 and are awarded in addition to Pell grants:
But evolutionary biology is absent.
The [Department of Education] has an index of classification numbers—referred to as “CIP codes,” for the Classification of Instructional Programs—for all academic areas of instruction,
Under that classification scheme, there is a heading for “Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology,” under which 10 biological fields are defined. For instance, ecology is 26.1301, and evolutionary biology is 26.1303.
But on a list that defines majors eligible for the grants, issued by the department in May, one of those 10 is missing. On that list, the classification numbers rise in order from 26.1301 to 26.1309—with the exception of a blank line where 26.1303, or evolutionary biology, would fall.
UPDASTE FRIDAY - It was an oversight:
The omission of evolutionary biology from a group of science majors eligible for a new federal grant program was an oversight, the U.S. Department of Education said on Thursday, and it will take immediate steps to correct the matter.
Online pedophiles and DOPA
Kurt Eichenwald is headed for a Pulitzer. His Decemer 2005 article exposed an important dark side of children, webcams and the Internet, and yesterday he did it again with a look at the elaborate online world of pedophiles swapping stories and tips for getting near children.
In recent months, new concerns have emerged about whether the ubiquitous nature of broadband technology, instant message communications and digital imagery is presenting new and poorly understood risks to children. Already, there have been many Congressional hearings on the topic, as well as efforts to write comprehensive legislation to address the issue.
But most of those efforts have focused on examining particular instances of harm to children. There have been few, if any, recent attempts to examine the pedophiles themselves, based on their own words to one another, to gain a better recognition of the nature of potential problems.
Without that better understanding I’m doubtful we can offer a real solution. The more resources we devote to ineffective action, the less we have for effective action. We live in the illusion that we’re addressing the problem while it festers and worsens:
In a sense, the creation of the pedophiles’ online community was a ripple effect from the success of government efforts to crack down on them.
Washington’s efforts in the late 1970’s to stamp out child pornography by declaring it illegal were enormously effective, closing off traditional outlets for illicit images.
But the Internet soon presented an alternative. In the early 1980’s, through postings on bulletin board systems, pedophiles went online to swap illegal images. From there, they could easily converse with others like themselves, and they found theirs to be a community of diverse backgrounds.
I was struck that Eichenwald says there is no fundamental change in pedophiliac behavior; it’s who you know:
Some pedophiles revealed that they gained access to children through their own families. Some discussed how they married to be close to the children from their wives’ previous marriages. Pedophiles who said they were fathers described moments involving their own children, such as a man who told of watching his sons change for swimming in a locker room, complete with details about the older boy’s genitals and emerging pubic hair. Others insisted they would never feel any interest in their own children, but commented on the benefits presented by parenthood.
“I have a daughter and have never been attracted to her,” a man with the screen name of jonboy wrote. But, he added, “I did find her friends very attractive.”
Pedophiles chafe at suggestions that such comments reflect risks to minors. They point out, correctly, that family members and friends - not strangers - are the most frequent perpetrators of child sexual abuse. They never note, however, that the minors mentioned in their online discussions are most frequently those they know well, like relatives and children of friends.
Among other insights, [Judith Levine in Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex] wrote that “obsession with pedophiles stems for the reluctance to confront incest and the rampant sexualization of children” in American culture. “Adults project the eroticized desire outwards, creating a monster to hate, hunt down and destroy.”
Emphasis mine. That sure sounds key to me. Here’s more on Levine’s book.