Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review of Blogs from - March 2011

Developing Apps for Apple’s Mobile Devices

While Android mobile devices like my Droid X are certainly gaining in popularity, Apple products still lead the pack in terms of popularity, if not user satisfaction, for mobile products. The key to Apple’s new mobility devices is the iOS operating system originally developed for the iPhone, but now the standard for an [...]

Social Media: Some Thoughts on Curriculum

Social media are sets of Internet and mobile platforms and tools that facilitate meaningful exchanges and value creation between individuals and with groups and organizations in both the commercial and public spheres. While the earliest tools included blogs, bookmark sharing, forums, podcasts, tagging and wikis; new applications available through platforms like Facebook, hulu, Second Life, [...]
The Breakup of AT&T and the Move to Wireless Duopoly, Part II: The Grand Alliance

The mobile technology industry has been going through a rapid transition, highlighted recently by AT&T’s announcement that it would buyT-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for US$39 billion to create the largest cellular company in the US. I dug into my notes to explore the formation of this industry which was largely ignored by the AT&T despite [...]

The Breakup of AT&T and the Move to Wireless Duopoly, Part I: Transformation

The potential AT&T merger with T-Mobile announced over the weekend raises questions about the legacy of the former telecom monopoly and the unending role of government regulation in the industry. The deal which requires AT&T to pay $39 billion in stocks and cash to create the largest mobile provider in the US, has the backing [...]

Google’s Competitive Advantages – Fixed Costs

We’ve been reading The Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies by Jonathan A. Knee, Bruce C. Greenwald, and Ava Seave in my Digital Media Management II class at NYU. The book challenges some of the key assumptions regarding the management of media companies including the importance of brands, talent [...]

The University of Hawaii and the History of Non-Linear Editing

When I was working on my PhD at the University of Hawaii (UH), we became the first academic institution in the world to obtain an Avid non-linear digital editing (NLE) suite in early 1990. Thanks to the vision and determination of Stan Harms and Dan Wedemeyer, professors in the Communication Department (now School [...]
Tragedy in Japan

With the devastation that has occurred in the Sendai area recently, my Fulbright Fellowship to go to Japan for a year is up in the air. Of course that is minor compared to the hardships and heartaches of so many affected by the earthquake/tsunami/radiation events that have unfolded in last week. I’m going to try [...]

Social Media Entering Phoenix Stage?

I thought this guy was interesting when I saw him on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He argues passionately that social media is in a stage much like at the end of the era where we didn’t really know how to get the returns on our investments in the Internet. He says we won’t really see [...]

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review of Blogs from - February 2011

My Top Social Media Books

In general I’m unhappy with the focus and range of books on social media. Still, some interesting works are worth mentioning. I don’t really have them in a particular order as I haven’t really developed a useful taxonomy. Also I don’t have extensive comments as I link them to their Amazon pages where you can [...]

Media Content as a “Public Good”

Media products are sometimes referred to as “public goods” because these products are not significantly “used up” in the process of consumption and each additional user incurs little additional (marginal) cost. Unlike traditional products like a hamburger that is bit into, chewed, swallowed, and digested, media content is not destroyed while consumed. Although [...]

Obama “Hustling” E-Commerce Exports

President Obama recently spoke to the US Chamber of Commerce about the importance his administration was putting on exports and trade agreements, an event that coincided with the release of an important document on global e-commerce. We know what it will take for America to win the future. We need to out-innovate, we [...]

Social Network Seminar – Translating Virtual Engagement into Political Reality

CrossRoads Spring 2011: Social Networks – translating virtual engagement into political reality Friday, February 18, 6-8:30pm NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, room 405 Speaker: Andrew Noyes, Public Policy Communications Manager, Facebook, (Washington D.C.) Interviewed by: Dr. Anthony Pennings, NYU-McGhee-DCoM Andrew Noyes joined Facebook in 2009 after covering Capitol Hill, the White House, federal [...]

Multimedia and Multiple Intelligences

When I was teaching at Victoria University in New Zealand I was invited to give a keynote address for a distance learning conference at Massey University. I chose to draw on Howard Gardner‘s theories of multiple intelligence and connect them to multimedia. I always thought that the Harvard psychology professor had developed a [...]

Wanted: Top Skills in Information System Management

The market for information tech and systems management skills is starting to look good again, despite a continued trend to look offshore. The following are some of the ISM skills in demand and what talented professional are making. ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) ABAP, pronounced as ‘ah-bop’, is a high level application-specific fourth-generation [...]

From Sputnik Moment to the Reagan Revolution

President Obama has mentioned the Sputnik satellite several times in speeches over the last few years to refer to the contemporary challenges facing the US such as climate change, oil depletion and the decline of the American economy. Most recently in the 2011 State of the Union address, he spoke of the Soviet [...]

China bids Baidu to Google

While the big search engine news is the row between Google and Microsoft’s Bing, China’s Baidu continues to become a search behemoth with financial successes exceeding expectations and a dominating market share in Chinese language search. Sanctioned by the People’s Republic of China, Baidu’s name comes from a poem written during the Song Dynasty over [...]

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review of Blogs from - January 2011

Comcast and General Electric Complete NBC Universal Deal

Comcast has now completed it’s acquisition of NBC Universal. Marguerite Reardon reports that the new company will retain the NBC Universal name but Comcast now owns 51 percent while General Electric will retain 49 percent. The deal comes after The US Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission recently allowed the joint venture to [...]

Communications and Media Policy in the 112th Congress

The Republican victory in House of Representatives suggests new dynamics for communications policy in the 112th Congress although the majority of Democrats in the Senate, however slim, will make it unlikely that any radical changes will occur in the upcoming year. In the Congress, “communications” covers a wide range of media and telecommunications issues including [...]

Shutting Down a Nation’s Internet: The Case of Egypt

Late in the evening of January 27, 2011, US trackers watched the global access to Egypt’s cyberspace shut down. Starting with incumbent Telecom Egypt’s TE Data; Raya Telecom and other ISPs (Internet Service Providers) around the country began to hit the proverbial “kill switch”. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and emails failed to traverse the country’s cyberspace [...]

The Dual Product Media Model

Digitalization has had a dramatic impact on media industries, causing them to reevaluate their business models and also creating the conditions for new types of media companies to emerge. Media content has always had unique economic properties and the challenge now is to figure out how the dynamics of digitalization and the Internet will change [...]

Transatlantic Telegraphy

While Western Union was consolidating its power over the widespread US market, others dreamed of using the telegraph to connect with other continents. The dream of electronically connecting North American with Europe was held strongest by Cyrus West Field, a Massachusetts entrepreneur. Born sickly in 1819, Field developed a fierce temperament and drove himself intensely. [...]

Telegraphy: The Space-Time Governmentality, Part II

This continues the argument started in Part I What Hath God Wrought? It is generally acknowledged that Samuel Morse did not invent the telegraph, but the painter and NYU professor can nevertheless be credited with its rapid development and commercialization. Morse first became enamored with the idea of transmitting “intelligence” by electricity on a transatlantic [...]

Telegraphy: The Space-Time Governmentality

By reducing what previously took weeks, to a minute, it (the telegraph) forced the acceleration of methods of obtaining, processing, and codifying information, thus laying the foundation of what decades later was to be called “data processing.” – Moreno Fraginals [1] As argued in Tom Standage’s The Victorian Internet, the development of widescale telegraphy was [...]

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review of Blogs from - December 2010

Two Great Debates on Net Neutrality: Cerf-Farber and Lessig-Gilder

With the FCC releasing its latest rulings on Net Neutrality just before Christmas I thought I would go back to two very good debates about it. The first one at the Center for American Progress on Monday, July 17, 2006 featured Vinton G. Cerf, the creator of TCP and David Farber from the University of [...]

Neuromancing the Code: When IT Changed

During the 1980s, a different short of conversation about computers and data networking emerged. I was an undergraduate at the time doing an internship about Asian computerization at the East-West Center and I remember the personal computer with its IBM clones and the Apple Macintosh held most of the public’s tech attention with their associated [...]

A Digital Story about Economics and Health

Busy with grading today but I liked the combination of story-telling and data visualization in this video. Hans Rosling is a doctor from Sweden who has done a lot of work on paralytic diseases in developing countries. Share Anthony J. Pennings, PhD has been on the NYU faculty since 2001 teaching digital media, information systems [...]

Susan Crawford on US Broadband Policy, Net Neutrality and the Comcast-NBCU merger

This was a good talk on US telecom policy related to today’s net neutrality rulings. Here is the video of Susan Crawford’s talk at New York University on November 29, 2010. Professor Crawford was recently the Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.

Best IT/Media Policy Books of 2010

It’s 2010 and do we really know the impact technology is having in our lives? Sometimes I wonder if social media, as important as it is, is shielding us from the other important influences IT is having in our lives from the financial crisis we are recovering from, the way we conduct war and espionage, [...]

Informating the Subject: Reflecting on Zuboff’s Future of Power and Work

Shosana Zuboff’s In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988) was one of the more interesting inquiries into the processes of computerization and electronic communications to emerge out of the 1980s. While suffering from a number of deficiencies which will be discussed later, it nonetheless represented a serious and [...]

Advertising, E-Commerce and the Power of Search

At the core of global e-commerce’s extraordinary potential is the power of search engines and the new advertising strategies they enable. Search engine based advertising has continued to increase rapidly and drive e-commerce with it. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that Internet advertising revenues in the U.S. totalled nearly $6.5 billion during the third [...]

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review of Blogs from - November 2010

Digital Destruction

I was talking with a woman the other day whose husband is losing her job because “films don’t use film anymore”. Yes, I responded, another case of digital destruction. She was intrigued with the term so we discussed it a bit more. I take no credit in coming up with name but the conversation did [...]

Former Special Assistant to President Obama Talks about Telecom Policy at NYU

Susan Crawford, a former Special Assistant to President Obama for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy gave a lecture today about the state of telecommunications policy in the United States. Currently she is a professor at Cardozo Law School in New York City and a Visiting Research Collaborator at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. As [...]

How “STAR WARS” and the Japanese Artificial Intelligence (AI) Threat Led to the Internet, Part II

This is the second part of my argument about how the Internet changed from a military network to a widescale global network of interconnected networks. It is abstracted from my manuscript on How IT Came to Rule the World and continues the examination of statecraft and its role on the development and impact of computerization [...]

Towards a Bachelor of Science in Global E-commerce

A few years ago I was asked to develop a proposal for a BS in Global E-Commerce that I had suggested. It has yet to be implemented like the BS in Digital Communications and Media I created for NYU in 2002 but I always thought it had potential. Preamble The “Bachelor of Science in Global [...]

Dominant and Emerging Models of Global E-Commerce

The term “e-commerce” provokes connotations of computer users “surfing” the web and using their credit cards to make online purchases. While this has been the popular conception and will continue to drive strong e-commerce sales for the retail sector, other technologies and business models will also be important. E-commerce is as dynamic as the technologies [...]

Digital Television and the Challenges for International Public Policy

Found this paper recently that I gave to the Pacific Telecommunications Council in 1997. In my conclusion I state that “IPTV may fall on the scrapheap of history, like ISDN, but it’s apparent both the telco and the television industry will continue to go through substantive changes. Two apparent changes are its increasing globalization and [...]

How “STAR WARS” and the Japanese Artificial Intelligence (AI) Threat Led to the Internet

This is abstracted from my manuscript on How IT Came to Rule the World and continues the examination of statecraft and its role on the development and impact of computerization and netcentric power. The Internet was born out of two American paranoias: fear of Communist aggression and the fear of losing the US lead in [...]

Review of Blogs from - October 2010

Why I’m a Tsaiko: Sports and Social Media

I don’t have a lot of time for sports these days but I do stay true to my alma mater, the University of Hawaii (UH) despite the fact I live in New York City. Forget professional sports. I may catch a Jets or Giants game now and then while I’m working on my computer. Yankees? [...]

Gathering for iAMDA’s Mobile Art Conference NYC 2010

Dozens of artists from all over the world had been collaborating and sharing their creations on Facebook, Flickr and other social media in anticipation of the event organized by David Scott Leibowitz and others. This group, that included fine artists, illustrators, and photographers, came together on the weekend ending October 24th, 2010 to explore, share and celebrate the creative capabilities of these new devices.

East-West Center Scholarships

These scholarships are available for NYU students. The deadline is Nov 1. Barak Obama’s mother and step-father from Indonesia met as degree fellows at the EWC and his sister, who got her PhD from NYU, works there now. It will also host the APEC meeting in 2011.

World Statistics Day 10/20/10

“On this first World Statistics Day I encourage the international community to work with the United Nations to enable all countries to meet their statistical needs.” – BAN KI-MOON Secretary-General of the United Nations Message on World Statistics Day, 20-10-20 Our book Computerization and Development in Southeast Asia, while not specifically about statistics, pointed to [...]

Factors Establishing the Feasibility of Global E-Commerce

The advent of global e-commerce emerged out of a unique combination of economic, political, and technological circumstances during the 1990s. The following is a partial list of influential events that led to its development. 1) The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Communist USSR bloc meant the world was no longer significantly divided by [...]

Google: Monetizing the Automatrix

Google recently announced its work on a driverless car to mixed reviews. While apparently a technical success, with only one mishap in 140,000 miles of testing, others felt that Google was losing its focus. I think this latter view underestimates the Google strategy – to monetize the road. As we move towards the “Automatrix”, the [...]

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.11: The Information Standard and Other Sovereignties

President Nixon’s decision to close the gold window in 1971 signaled a dramatic shift in the US international financial policy and the future of the world political economy. The move largely meant the the end of the containment of international finance set up at the end of World War II. No longer was the US [...]


In a few short years between the Internet’s 25th anniversary in 1994 until the end of millennium, a remarkable transformation took shape. During these six years, the Internet transformed from a very novel but quaint system for sending ASCII email messages, transferring files, and linking home pages into a global system of electronic interchange for [...]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review of Blogs from - September 2010

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.8: Apple, Silicon Valley and the Counter-Cultural Impulse

While Woz earned his title as the “Mozart of digital design” through his design of the Apple II, Jobs helped conceive the computer as a democratizing tool with the motto-“One person–one computer”. The microcomputer was sold as a tool that would balance the unequal relationship between institutions and the individual. It would empower the individual and allow their inner artist to emerge. The Apple II Computer went on to become the darling of the counter-cultural crowd and would remain a symbol of resistance against the corporate forces of IBM and later the predatory practices of Microsoft.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.7: The Origins of Microsoft

As kids, Bill Gates and Paul Allen dreamed of having their own Fortune 500 company. The two became friends (and sometimes adversaries) when the both attended the prestigious Lakeside School in Seattle in the early 1970s.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.6: The PC and the Floppy Disk

The development of the floppy disk was a crucial factor determining the success of the personal computer.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.5: Intel and the PC

After twenty years of government backing, the microprocessing industry was about to crawl out on its own. And it was the microcomputer that would give the semiconductor industry the legs to become viable in the commercial arena.
The Smith Effect II: From Political Arithmetik to “State-istics” to IT

This is the second in a four part exploration of Adam Smith and how his ideas laid the foundation for information technology (IT). Drawing on Michael J. Shapiro‘s Reading “Adam Smith” (2002), I argue that this reconceptualization contributed to 1) an understanding of “market forces” and the importance of labor; and 2) the development of the a wide field of measurements that transformed “political arithmetik” into “state-istics”, the science of numbers in service of governing the nation-state. In particular, the philosophical and empirical work on developing the census, its rationale, and its techniques, led directly to the creation of information machines and computers.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review of Blogs from August 2010

The Smith Effect I: Markets, Governments, and IT
The “Smith Effect” resulted in new ways to analyze the social field and the overlap between economic, social and political spheres. Adam Smith was an important critical theorist in his rejection of mercantile thought and his writings were a forerunner of modern political economy. Two major bodies of economic analysis would emerge from Smith’s writings. One was the classical liberal tradition that combined Smith’s anti-mercantile stance with an increasing emphasis on empirical and quantitative calculation. The other body of analysis was the Marxist tradition that drew its investigation from Smith’s concern for the worker and the processes of valuing commodity forms and accumulating capital.

Management and the Abstraction of Knowledge into Information Technologies

Managers facilitated the movement of bodily effort and skill into the machines and industrial techniques and then expanded into the intellectual areas of the owner/executive.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 1.9: Xerox PARC
The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was sent up by Xerox in 1970 to establish leadership in the “architecture of information”, a sufficiently vague but enticing term coined by Xerox CEO Peter McColough. Drawing on Xerox’s great wealth, PARC harvested the fruits of ARPA’s continuous funding by hiring one of their former directors and by recruiting some of computer science’s top researchers. At PARC, Xerox developed the Alto and the Star, personalized computers with a GUI interface, mouse, and even Ethernet data networking. These PARC innovations inspired companies like Apple, Cisco and 3Com to develop new technologies like the Macintosh and data routers.

Is Cyberpunk Making a Comeback?
Admittedly that sounds quite weak given the “virtual” reality of recent games like Halo or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 not to Second Life or or the military simulations used these days, but it helped sparked imaginations at the time and changed the culture of telecommunications from one dominated by telephone company engineers and Washington DC lawyers to the promise of the web and creative imaginations tech-savvy multimedia designers and entrepreneurs of the 1990s and the zeroes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review of Blogs from July 2010

Flash: Multimedia Embraces HTML 5

Steve Jobs in an open letter last April criticized the legacy media platform for being power hungry, non-proprietary, lacking in security, unfriendly to mobile applications, non-touch, and just wrong for the future of multimedia applications

Revisiting “Multimedia”

The term “multimedia” has struggled over the years to keep its relevance but continues to be one of the major monikers of technological change in the media area.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.4: Global Money and Spreadsheet Capitalism

Spreadsheet technology was foundational for digital monetarism because it provided a calculative tool that became universally available and provided immediate feedback via the accessibility of the personal computer.

The Meaning Makers: Google

Television’s global advertising revenues of $151 billion is expected to grow significantly. That figure represents a major growth potential for Google. As TV becomes part of the link economy, every click represents an intention, an interest, a bit of meaning that is stored in Google’s huge data bases.

Back from Hawaii

I mention this because I think there is an interesting economic linkage between grandmother-mother-President that bares some scrutiny. I have no idea if they had contentious or controversial discussions. But I do wonder if the President’s mother’s emphasis on entrepreneurship had been influenced by her own mother’s experience as a banker.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review of Blogs from June 2010

The Meaning-Makers: WPP
This is my second post for The Meaning-Makers series. The first discussed advertising behemoth, Omnicom, one of the top four global holding companies in the advertising, PR, and media buying field along with the Interpublic Group and the Publicis Groupe. This industry continues to be dominated by 4 major holding companies and the case can be made that have significant power over the production of meaning in our world.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.3: Data Packets for Dollars

Using the new X.25 series of packet-switching protocols embraced by the ITU, banks developed extensive international networks and clearinghouse systems to offer information services for the movement of credit information and money and to settle accounts. The supranational fund of electronic eurodollars that emerged out of the OPEC surpluses of the 1970s’ oil crises an provided an important step to the global Internet as the packet-switched technology was implemented in banking networks to coordinate the resultant flows of international currency exchange and debt.

How IT Came to Rule the World, 2.2: Eurodollars, Petrodollars
How did this world of global digital monetarism emerge? How did fluid capital transcend the containment policies and boundaries erected in the period up to 1970s to develop in the 1980s and beyond into a global financial environment where computerized algorithmic trading have created complex high transactional volume markets for an array of currency derivatives, stock index futures, CDOs and other computer based financial instruments?

The Move to “Smart TV”
OK, so the term “Smart TV” is an oxymoron. Still, something is afoot here with Google, and to a lesser extent Apple (not to be underestimated) getting into the mix for the creation of a post-network television environment. I’m teaching a New Technologies in Advertising and Public Relations course this summer at NYU and we got a gift on the first day of class when Google announced a cooperative agreement with Sony Television, Intel, and Logitech to produce a new viewing (and advertising) experience called Google TV.

iPhone vs Android?
We’ve been hearing a lot about competition between Apple and Google over the Smartphone. These statistics add some perspective, although they don’t add the trend lines. One trend line of course is that mobile penetration is still increasing. Another is that Android, Google’s new operating system for smart phones such as Motorola’s Droid and HTC’s [...]

The Meaning Makers: Omnicom
Who produces the meaning in our media-saturated society? I don’t have an easy answer to this question but I’m starting a new series called the Meaning Makers, that explores the companies, people and practices engaged in the production of our culture(s) desires, and mentalities.

Meanings that Mean Something

One of the things they did was to try to identify commonalities in the types of meaning people value by interviewing people from different cultures and countries.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Developing Applications for Apple’s Mobile Devices

The iOS is notable for its user interface. Apple made history by commercializing the graphical user interface developed by Xerox Parc for the Apple Macintosh and continues to push development in this area with the haptic or touch user interface. Apple likes to call this the ‘Human User Interface” and they outline several Human Interface Principles that potential developers should take to heart.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Social Media Curriculum

Social media has been part of our curriculum for the last several years. I redesigned the foundation courses for the BS in Digital Communications and Media in 2005 and included two courses that cover social media, the Digital Media Management I and II series taught by Igor Shoifot of (now living near Silicon Valley and teaching for UC Berkeley) and Collaboration Technologies that has been taught online by Kristen Sosulski. Last year I developed some ideas for a MS in Social Media and more recently a 2 credit course that would provide an introduction to the promises and perils of social media. The MS didn’t quite fit into the mix here yet but the small course, which seemed almost more difficult to conceptualize, might work out. In any case I thought I would share some ideas I had for developing a curriculum framework for teaching about social media.