Tuesday, March 20, 2007

a letter to npr

Zune buttons on NPR Podcast pages?

I see "Download to Zune" buttons sprinkled around the podcast pages here at NPR.org. Are these paid for by Microsoft? I would assume they are, since no other hardware player is specifically promoted in the same way.

I realize that other buttons on the podcast pages either contain or link to commercial sites, such as iTunes or My Yahoo!, but I am under the impression that those were chosen as part of the site's basic functionality, and were more of an editorial or technical decision. The Zune buttons appear to merely be a financial decision.

If NPR is in fact being compensated by Microsoft to promote the Zune in this way, I would prefer that this was identified as advertising. It may be inelegant to put that identification right next to the Zune button - but it could be placed further down on the page. Something like "Zune(TM) download links underwritten by Microsoft." would be fine.

As it is, the Zune buttons appear like they are placed there as an editorial or technical matter, but it just doesn't seem right for a network that generally separates sponsorship from editorial functions.
NPR : Podcast Directory: Morning Becomes Eclectic Video Podcast from KCRW

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

no child's behind left?

This is a hard nut to crack, here - how can we reconcile the goals of educating every child, and really educating them, not just "teaching to the test" or socially promoting them from grade to grade, yet on the other hand realizing that not every child will be a genius, and in fact some children, who face special learning challenges, may never learn as much as others of their age or grade level?
WP: 'No Child' target called out of reach - washingtonpost.com Highlights - MSNBC.com

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hope and the Elephant

Sponsored Post

This is an interesting little short story about a father and a daughter that live in the future. I'd say quite a bit further, in my opinion. In any case, the father takes his daughter to the park, even though she is actually at home, too sick to go anywhere. Despite her lack of optimism, her father remains cheerful as he explores the park.
I would read more stories about these characters in their universe. I would like to see a little more character development and detail.
Rating: 4/5.

Hope and the Elephant

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Defective By Design

I just signed an important letter that tells Steve Jobs to move it or lose it on his DRM pledge:

Sign an Open Letter To Steve Jobs

DefectiveByDesign.org | The Campaign to Eliminate DRM

Monday, March 05, 2007

want to be patriotic?

Then take care of the veterans:
'It Is Just Not Walter Reed' - washingtonpost.com

The United States is supposed to be the world's superpower, the best country on earth, and then I read this:
"Among the most aggrieved are veterans who have lived with the open secret of substandard, underfunded care in the 154 VA hospitals and hundreds of community health centers around the country. They vented their fury in thousands of e-mails and phone calls and in chat rooms."

Let's have a "surge" in funding to take care of our veterans. They have all served, so that we may sit here today.