As lousy as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is, we can report some positive efforts thanks to community media organizers in New Orleans. One prominent example is that being set by Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology which is working now in the Gulf Coast to establish community internet infrastructure. The efforts, which you can read about here and here, have even caught the eye of The New York Times Magazine.
Katrina has also wrought certain damage within influential political circles as to the future of digital television. A couple of months ago, most of the big players seemed agreed as to having 2009 being the date TV goes digital and TV spectrum gets sold to cellphone companies and freed for use by emergency responders. Now, with spectrum for first responders being a hot topic again, John McCain has said that 2007 should be the conversion date. The NAB has raised a hue and cry, saying that they've been performing a valued public service in a time of need (hey, it's true for once!). Meanwhile, details as to how 20 million non-digital TV sets will be replaced in just 15 months have not been (figured out | announced | paid for | like anyone cares about poor people -- uh, wait a minute?)
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