At the start of the 20th century, government spending was principally local government spending. Out of a total of 7 percent of GDP, a full 4 percent was spent at the local level. Federal spending spiked in World War I, but in the 1920s, local government still represented about half of all government spending. In the 1930s this changed, and federal spending surged to about half of all government spending. After the spike of World War II the federal share increased again and state government spending also began to increase as a percent of GDP, so that by the 2010s federal spending checked in at over 20 percent of GDP, state spending amounted to 8 to 9 percent of GDP and local spending exceeded 10 percent of GDP.
The truth is far more interesting, I believe in, and our country recognizes, your right to be anti-religous, But you must understand that your belief that there is no god is itself an act of faith, is it not?
No, it’s a new shape, dammit!
I have also invented several new shapes. One of them, I draw part of a circle, and then it turns into a squiggly line for a while, and then a quarter of a square, followed by a third of an asymptote. Another time, I drew 3 squiggly lines connected to a 4th line that was almost straight but still a little squiggly. I call it a squiggle-square.
When digital photo printing became a thing, you started to see digital photo printers in drugstores and pre-existing photo stores, not new, specialized shops just for that.
Verizon was given a shit load of cash in tax breaks, rate hikes, etc in return for providing 45Mb broadband to all state residents.
Critics of modern media like to say the industry is rife with lowest-common-denominator articles loaded with the kind of rubbish that gets shared vigorously across social networks. Advertising company and content-farmer Facebook appears to think the same, judging by its just-announced “FB Newswire” service.
The “FB Newswire” is “a resource that will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce,” Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships, Andy Mitchell, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
The service uses tech from Storyful – “the leader in social content discovery and verification” – to aggregate stuff shared on Facebook like photos, videos, and status updates.
Though FB says this will be stuff “posted by people on the front lines of major events like protests, elections and sporting events” an initial browse of the FB Newswire site shows a lot of lighthearted stories either based on second-hand content or statements culled from pages of prominent individuals that are operated by public relations teams.
Two recent stories, for instance, include a statement by American celebrity Khloe Kardashian on the 99th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, and a story about a “cat cafe” opening in New York.
“We’re confident that [Storyful's] news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting,” the company wrote. “News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before.”
It’s worth remembering that in the mid-2000s Google had numerous similar schemes to help people figure out what content was popular on the search engine. Some of these experiments worked, like Google News and Google Trends, while others failed like Google’s “Living Stories” collaboration with the New York Times, Washington Post, and other newspapers of record.
One outcome, though, was that as the Chocolate Factory grew more involved in helping its vast audience find and disseminate and share news, and many journalists changed some of their tactics to try and cream off some of the resulting viewers.
FB Newswire may be a handy service but it will also change the way journalists work. One particularly dismal future is FB Newswire highlighting a story that a multitude of journalists write about. This then gets the story put up on Google News in a prominent place.
This means more people write about the story and more readers read it and share it back to Facebook. Perhaps this resulting third-hand re-heated story will then make it onto the FB Newswire? Less news and more of a grim Ouroboros of social content slurry, we reckon. ®
The Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has confirmed reports that proposed changes to internet governance will abandon net neutrality principles and says companies can charge extra for some types of traffic so long as it’s “commercially reasonable.”
“There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January,” he said in a statement.
“There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’ The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.”
In a blog post entitled “Setting the record straight,” Wheeler said that the new rules wouldn’t change “the underlying goals of transparency, no blocking of lawful content, and no unreasonable discrimination among users established by the 2010 Rule.”
Crucially, however, Wheeler has conceded the principle of commercial pricing of internet access for certain kinds of content. Wheeler said January’s appeal court verdict found that the FCC could only regulate if pricing was found to be not “commercially reasonable,” and that the FCC’s own regulations state that “unjust and unreasonable discrimination” is a no-no.
Just what constitutes commercially unreasonable behavior will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the five-member panel of the FCC, and Wheeler said the agency would protect consumers from “abusive market activity.”
An FCC official told The Reg that Wheeler will present the new policy to his fellow commissioners on Friday in what’s formally known as a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). This will go to a vote of the FCC commissioners on May 15, after which public comment will be invited before the final rules for commercialization of bandwidth are decided and voted upon.
“The purpose of the NPRM is plain: To end the Commission’s decade-long quest for legally-enforceable rules that will protect and promote the Internet as a platform for economic growth, innovation, competition, free expression, and broadband investment and deployment,” the official said.
“The proposed rules fulfill the goals of the 2010 Open Internet Order. They propose to enhance the transparency rule that is in effect, re-institute the ‘no-blocking’ rule and create a new legal standard for assessing whether conduct threatens an Open Internet. The purpose of the Chairman is plain: to protect a free and open Internet as a level-playing field for all Americans.”
There are quite a lot of people who don’t see it that way.
“The FCC is inviting ISPs to pick winners and losers online. The very essence of a ‘commercial reasonableness’ standard is discrimination. And the core of net neutrality is non discrimination,” said Michael Weinberg, VP of internet advocacy group Public Knowledge.
“This is not net neutrality. This standard allows ISPs to impose a new price of entry for innovation on the Internet.” ®