Bobby Conn, King

I’ve been actively posting elsewhere — check my recent posts at LAist here, here, and here to see what was shakin over the weekend. bobby conn

Meanwhile — I just got Bobby Conn’s latest in the mail from Thrill Jockey, and it’s his best. It stays in the same vein, of the miraculous and unique Freddie Mercury-cum-Weather Report overridden with Chicago-crossed falsetto dream-funk. Very hard to pick one track from this record as it is the most serial of all of his records — a listen-through-all-the-way type. By the end, he proclaims “(I’m Through With) My Ego.” As if. For all you “Winners” out there, you’ll surely dig “Love Don’t Let Me Down.”

See the legend — er, I mean, King — for yourself via YouTube.

Villaraigosa Pledges CityWide Wi-Fi in 2 Years

villaraigosa wireless municipal los angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today declared “the start of Los Angeles version 2.0,” announcing a plan to roll out what would be the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the country.

Bidding for the project may begin as soon as this fall with a target of mid-late 2008 construction and early 2009 completion. It could cost up to $60 million to cover Los Angeles’ 470 square miles, city IT assistant general manager Mark Wolf told the Times, which, by my calculation, amounts to around $15 or so per capita (few, if any, tax dollars will likely be involved).

Municipal WiFi is a no-brainer for Los Angeles, with an economy bolstered by a tech and entertainment industry that will no doubt be gratefully attracted to such a system, while bridging the digital divide. “On a practical level, this means providing integral, high-speed solution for entertainment companies to juggle simultaneous projects in real-time at lower cost with reliable teleconferencing, for example,” said Villaraigosa.

Philadelphia’s mu-fi project appears to be going well after a slow start ($21.95/mo or $9.95 and Houston today became the largest city to sign on a carrier (Earthlink).

SF announced their wifi ambitions in 2004 and its still not certain when it will be fully operational — perhaps the way will have been paved for LA by ’09.

Read the full presser at MuniWireless. More at LAist.

Other LA metro wifi spots live and/or in development include:

* Culver City (the first in the LA metro)
* 17 wireless access points along the promenade, at city hall and by the end of May, Santa Monica Pier and the civic auditorium.
* 1 square mile +/- of wifi in Downtown Burbank (via Qwest DSL and access points aimed at a large hillside satellite)
* West Hollywood Public Wifi — along Santa Monica Blvd between Fairfax and La Brea.
* Anaheim (right now at $21.95/mo. – similar to PHilly except not sure if it has the lower-rate plans)
* Newport and Laguna Beach Harbors (up to a few miles out at sea)

Further reading:

* Ars Technica on the pros and cons of muni wifi.
* Worldchanging on the politics of municipal wireless.
* Muni Wifi notes and legislation.
*
Free Press — Community Internet.

photo by Eric Richardson via flickr.

Interview With Jailed Journalist Josh Wolf

josh wolfVideoblogger Josh Wolf has been imprisoned for longer than any journalist in history. He is also featured in (I believe week two) of the PBS Frontline series News War, which begins tonight.

Video blogger and independent journalist Josh Wolf has been in a federal jail for 171 days for refusing to turn over to a federal grand jury a video of a San Francisco demonstration. On Feb. 6 Wolf’s length of incarceration set a new record for US journalism. “Democracy Now!” has an interview with Josh Wolf from his jail cell. If federal authorities can jail bloggers with impunity, it does not bode well for the future of citizen journalism.

via slashdot.

read related posts.

Iran: NYT Reporter Beats the Drum — Again

The New York Times reporter who in 2002 co-authored several articles with Judith Miller that contended with near certainty that Iraq was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is parroting propaganda once again.

Michael Gordon, whose reporting in 2002 was instrumental in the Bush administrations argument to invade Iraq, and has since been famously proven false, is back at it — this time using weak sourcing to report Iran’s involvement in supplying bombs in Iraq.

Bloggers on both the right and the left are interpreting the U.S. government’s rhetoric as straight posturing, while the top story of the day — and believe it or not, the top issue this morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (where he is in the process of tearing Douglas Feith a new one) remains, ironically, the inspector general’s damning report on the Bush administration’s self-manufactured intel providing the definitive argument for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Is the Times already anxious to turn the page to Iran, days after Congressional Republicans appalled many legislators including at least 7 on the GOP, by effectively stifling a proposed debate/review on the Iraq War?

Greg Mitchell breaks down this “breaking news,” — as sourced by “civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies” — for Editor & Publisher:

Saturday’s New York Times features an article, posted at the top of its Web site late Friday, that suggests very strongly that Iran is supplying the “deadliest weapon aimed at American troops” in Iraq.

The New York Times is running with Gordon’s report just weeks after Gordon was castigated by the paper for stating the following on the Charlie Rose Show:

“So I think, you know, as a purely personal view, I think it’s worth it one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we’ve never really tried to win.

While failing to explain why we’ve been led to believe for so long that a Sunni-led insurgency is rife with IEDs (Iran is predominantly Shi’a), Gordon provides a bullhorn for Def. Sec. Robert Gates’ claim: “I Can Prove Iran’s Role in Iraq. Flip for more on Feith.

UPDATE: Dan Froomkin has further analysis on the media’s varied coverage and response to what was apparently a highly secretive and questionable display of “proof of Iranian involvement in Iraq” in his Monday column.

Continue reading “Iran: NYT Reporter Beats the Drum — Again”

The good, the bad, and…

the queen?