June 2016 FCC Reverse Spectrum Auction Explainer

In what’s known as a reverse auction, the initial process will run over a month and include 52 rounds of bidding in all, with the FCC picking over the inventory and offering stations a price the agency thinks that station’s airwaves are worth. If the price is right, the station gives up its space on the TV dial and either closes down or chooses another means of reaching viewers, such as switching to another broadcast frequency or choosing to air on cable only or going online. (via A media buyer’s primer on the FCC spectrum auction)

Arresting Photos of Chicago’s Deep Tunnel

Amazing photos of DeepTunnel and related things. These photographs present the three major portions of the southeastern section of the system: the Deep Tunnel, the Thornton Reservoir, and the Calumet Water Reclamation Plant. These interconnected facilities serve large portions of Chicago and its south suburban communities. (via Exploring the Physicality of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan – MAS CONTEXT)

Life’s Labor, When Labor isn’t Needed

What will people do, when labor isn’t part of life expectations? If China can use robots and other advanced technologies to retool types of production never before automated, that might turn the country, now the world’s sweatshop, into a hub of high-tech innovation. Less clear, however, is how that would affect the millions of workers recruited to China’s booming factories. (via China Is Building a Robot Army of Model Workers)

Gun Culture and Parental Responsibility in USA circa 2016

I am sorry these toddlers died, but what does this say about parent responsibility and the insane gun culture that some people in the US hold so dear. To me, it looks like the Darwin Awards in action. During a single week in April, four toddlers — Holston, Kiyan, Za’veon and Sha’Quille — shot and killed themselves, and a mother driving through Milwaukee was killed after her 2-year-old apparently picked up a gun that had slid out from under the driver’s seat. It was a brutal stretch, even by the standards of researchers who track these shootings. (via One Week in April, Four Toddlers Shot and Killed Themselves – The New York Times)

Axis Shifting as Pole Ice Melts

Talk about the earth moving under one’s feet…
The movement of the Earth’s axis has no practical effects on humans, because it is so small. “We suspect these changes are occurring at a meter [or] a meter-and-a-half, at the most, per year,” Ivins says. But tracking the shifts in the Earth’s axis is crucial for other reasons, including GPS positioning and proper functioning of orbiting satellites. (via Melting ice is causing the Earth’s axis to shift direction | Public Radio International)

A serious problem the news industry does not talk about — We Are Hearken

A serious problem the news industry does not talk about — We Are Hearken

Now that I’ve stepped back from the newsroom/classroom culture of the journalism department, I wish I had spoken up about this more. Sometimes I was surrounded and just thought I must be a pollyanna. I didn’t do enough to fight the miasma of audience disrespect I found in journalists and journalism teachers.

Automated Reporting in Political Journalism and Polls

Automated reporting is coming to political reporting. This site uses prediction markets, econometric models and a couple of traditional kind of polling to feed into its algorithm, which then gives forecasts for upcoming elections. As of April 14th, all the methods except econometric, put the Democrats ahead in November. The PollyVote predicts the two-party popular vote-shares in US presidential elections by combining forecasts from different component methods. (via PollyVote – Evidence-based election forecasting since 2004)

Porn Withheld in Opposition to anti-LGBT Bill

A low blow, or more aptly, “no blow” for Tar Heels as large online porn site withholds its content to show its opposition to the anti-LGBT bill recently passed into law in North Carolina
XHamster.com, a porn website that, as of Monday, is one of the world’s 100 most visited websites according to data from Alexa, is refusing to serve anyone using a computer in North Carolina. Since 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday, the website has appeared as a black screen for anyone with a North Carolina IP address. (via Major porn distributor delivers blow to North Carolina’s viewing pleasure)

Monkey Cowboys

(via Welcome to the Cowboy Monkey Show — MEL Magazine)

A wonderful story. How strange though, because Norm and I were just talking about monkeys riding dogs the other day…

“The monkey-dog teams will be chasing four sheep, which also travel with the show. The idea, played out night-after-night in venues like this one, is to give the collies something to chase, the monkeys something to ride and the crowd something to laugh at.”