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Worker adjusting the wireless access point outside my window.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee seeks new blood!

In the 2006 negotiations with US Internet (USI) to implement a mesh wireless (802.11) network over Minneapolis, the City was able to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement that included $500,000 in payments to a Digital Inclusion Fund (along with 5% of pre-tax income after the network was up and running). (See page C-1 of the contract.) The money is granted to support non-profit digital inclusion projects in Minneapolis.

So far the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee (DIFAC) has disbursed $400,000 of that $500,000—$200,000 over 2007 and another $200,000 in 2008. We (I am a member of DIFAC) plan on requesting proposals this year and disbursing at least some of the remaining $100,000.

During 2009, DIFAC finally drafted its rules for governance which includes terms for advisors and a plan to rotate off the current advisors over the next few years. Two advisers will be finishing their terms this year. (I'm one of them.)

We are beginning the application process for new advisors.

If you are interested in forwarding the cause of digital inclusion in Minneapolis, consider applying and download the description and application and send them in by June 1. Details are in the documents.

DIF Advisors Description
DIF Advisor Application (PDF)
DIF Advisor Application (MS Word)

Update: The application doesn't include contact information. You can send your completed application to Valerie Lee or contact her if you have questions:

Valerie C. Lee
Community Philanthropy Officer
The Minneapolis Foundation
800 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
tel: (612) 672-3849
fax: (612) 672-3846

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Viacom vs. YouTube

Google and Viacom (owner of MTV, BET, Paramount, and more) are fighting it out in court with Viacom contending that Google is no longer a "safe harbor" under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and must do more to ferret out and remove copyrighted material -- like Viacom's. Viacom is supporting its case with some old emails supposedly proving that Google relaxed its copyright policies after its 2006 YouTube purchase and that it knew very well that YouTube was a pirate haven of illegal video goods. Let's not forget to mention the "sour grapes" component here: Viacom wanted to buy YouTube too and Google beat them out.

Whatever Google authorized in the past, in recent times they have added content ID tools to help companies identify and find pirated content on YouTube. They've done this to such a degree that they've fallen somewhat afoul of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

One issue that has surfaced is Viacom "continuously and secretly" uploading its own stuff to YouTube (self-pirating?). (Viacom disputes this and claims it only happened a few times.) From the YouTube blog:

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

The Law Librarian Blog has a nice summary of points around these issues and links to articles in the last paragraph. Although I agree with Law Librarian that "neither party to the suit has any lock on legal or moral purity," if I had to choose a side to cheer, it would be Google. Although both companies are looking at revenues and bottom lines, Viacom is trying to control content distribution in a media market that arguably should be moved towards more sharing. YouTube on the other hand may not be perfect but it is involved in sharing content globally at no direct cost to producers. For me, that's very much a move in the right direction.

Posted via web from Peter's posterous

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Posterous adds "page breaks" + timed releases
Over the last couple of days Posterous has added new features. Most welcomed (by me anyway) are the "page breaks" which let you display a shortened version of a post on your main listing pages. You won't have to scroll and scroll now at sites that have longer posts (like my Seward Profile site where the neighborhood e-newsletter can stretch out a ways). The feature is a new icon ( )in the web editor or you can type "#more" on a new line in an email post like I'm going to do right now.
The second feature is timed releases. I don't have a need for this right now but as more people want to post to the Profile site, I could see spacing the announcements and posts out over the day. One downside of this feature is that there still is no time zone chooser in Posterous so you have to time your releases for Pacific time.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

Thursday, March 04, 2010
Join us March 9 in Maplewood for a Digital Inclusion Summit with live broadcast of FCC National Broadband Plan

America's Digital Inclusion Summit

Working Together To Expand Opportunity
Through Universal Broadband Access

Tuesday, March 9th at the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre


8:00 AM to 11:30 AM

FCC Broadcast of National Broadband Plan

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Audience and Panel Community Conversation

Rick King, Chair, Governor’s Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force

Catherine Settanni, Founder,

Sam Levy, Vice President and CIO, University of St. Thomas

Susan Nemitz, Director, Ramsey County Library

Mike Reszler, Director, Digital Media, Minnesota Public Radio|American Public Media

If you are unable to come for the entire event, please register below, and join us from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM for lunch and a Community Conversation.

Join the Federal Communications Commission and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for an overview of the recommendations in the FCC’s National Broadband Plan meant to ensure that all Americans are included in the broadband era. As the FCC prepares to deliver the Plan to Congress on March 17th, hear perspectives from Chairman Genachowski, members of Congress, Knight Foundation President & CEO Alberto Ibargüen and people from across the country that have benefited from broadband. Help create solutions that drive broadband adoption for all Americans.

Live at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC

Videocast at the FCC Commission Room, 445 12th SW, Washington DC

Webcast with a Community Conversation at the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood, MN

Please register for the event at:

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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