FCC Issues New Broadband Stats

The FCC has issued a report (pdf) that claims that 78 percent of adults in the U.S. access the Internet and that 67 percent have broadband at home. Before you go jumping up-and-down in excitement about these adoption rates, there are serious caveats and questions. The biggest caveat is how the FCC defined broadband:…continue reading →

Just Call Me Curmudgeon: Airplane Seating

Update 4.17 pm: Kevin Smith normally reserves two seats to fly Southwest; he was flying standby and there was only one seat available (that's the norm for standby). Via Southwest's blog post, mirrored on its PR site. Questions below now have [answers in brackets].
A short weigh-in (heh) on the @southwestair /@thatkevinsmith mess. Here's Southwest Airlines guidelines for "customers of size" (emphasis added):…continue reading →

A Case For Digital Media Literacy: Tracking Down A Meme

Update: 11.25 pm The Twitter meme about American Airlines flying doctors and nurses to Haiti -- coupled with a phone number to the Haiti Consulate in New York -- is a case study highlighting a desperate need for digital media literacy. This Twitter hoax is probably no surprise to anyone who has had email for any length of time: the number of email hoaxes and "legends" is so great that websites devoted to debunking them (such as Snopes, UrbanLegends.About.com) thrive. But email is, for the most part, private, and restricted to people in your social circle who you actually know; as such, the velocity at which bad info can be propagated is slower than it is in real-time public networks like Twitter. Twitter is vulnerable to hoaxes and misinformation in part because of the brevity of messages, in part because we humans are motivated by emotional appeals, in part because retweeting is an easy way to "do something." I think a very large part is because it's so darn easy to "forward" (faster than in email if you default to the "new" RT option). …continue reading →