Update: Not in a reading mood? You’re in luck. Here’s Devin with the spoken version. You know what to do…
Great minds think alike. One of those minds would belong to a “hip, articulate 36-year old computer whiz” name of Sang-Jin Bae. Thanks to Devin H for pointing me to a story about his views in today’s Globe and Mail: “Are we breeding a generation of app-loving, web-addicted digital illiterates?”
In addition to being a big-time digital animator, Mr Bae teaches. And what he says about the students who turn up in his classes is pretty strong vindication for the unkind words I’ve had to say about Millennials and the malarkey about their being “digital natives”…
“When kids come into my class they divide into three groups,” he says. There are the pure geeks who love technology. There are those trying to understand. And then there is the biggest group: “Those who couldn’t care less.”
Remember, these kids have signed up for highly technical instruction on computer applications used for animation. Even with my cynical attitude, I’d have guessed that a group like this would not have prompted comments like the following from Mr Bae:
“The kids I have, and that is roughly two dozen of the brightest young digital artists a semester, often have no idea what Microsoft Word is. They can’t tell a Mac from a PC. And forget Excel,” he says. He struggles to get his students to use basic computing etiquette.
The blogosphere has been abuzz recently over the FCC’s bold, brave outreach initiative, Connect to Compete. Not in Canada, you say? I do say, since there are four good reasons why Canadians haven’t got a snowball’s hope in hell of seeing a program of this nature until at least 2015:
1) Leadership. The FCC has been making headway with a real broadband strategy over the last 18 months, along with a set of network neutrality rules, because the vision comes from the top – the White House. Harper and his cabinet have never cared about world-class retail broadband, because that would put them on the wrong side of the consumer vs business divide.
2) Social policy. The most laudable thing about the FCC’s action is the agency’s deep conviction that the digital divide is a social issue requiring vigorous demand-side policies. C2C is a people policy, not a wires-and-boxes policy based on the kind of supply-side thinking that has led our nation to the bottom of the broadband barrel, if I may mix my containers. Continue reading
“There’s no such thing as summer any more.”
Michael Hennessy, Telus, June 30, 2011
Over the months you may have noticed me finding fault with the way the CRTC does its job. Not only has the Commission demonstrated a highly skewed interpretation of the public interest. It has done so across an ever-expanding list of issues touching on consumer welfare: the new media exemption order, speed matching, ITMPs, UBB (times 2 or more), vertical integration, broadband target speeds, OTT content and Netflix, on it goes. It’s hard to gauge whether all this adds up to more than it used to be. Maybe it’s the writer’s cramp. A figment of my tired imagination? Continue reading
While not due for release until next week, some astonishing details have leaked from Industry Canada about the new National Broadband Strategy. We’ve been able to obtain some big chunks of the document, which would mark a major about-face for Canada on a whole range of issues. Here’s a summary of some of the major provisions. We’ll be following this remarkable story very closely in the days and weeks to come.
Government can influence the broadband ecosystem in four ways:
- Design policies to ensure robust competition and, as a result maximize consumer welfare, innovation and investment.
- Ensure efficient allocation and management of assets government controls or influences, such as spectrum, poles, and rights-of-way, to encourage network upgrades and competitive entry.
- Reform current universal service mechanisms to support deployment of broadband and voice in high-cost areas; and ensure that low-income Canadians can afford broadband; and in addition, support efforts to boost adoption and utilization.
- Reform laws, policies, standards and incentives to maximize the benefits of broadband in sectors government influences significantly, such as public education, health care and government operations. Continue reading
Dear Michael – I’ve just had a look at the last two blog posts on your page: “Hard rain falling on CRTC” and “Let’s spend as much on ICT as Obama is spending on cash for clunkers.” I have a couple of thoughts I couldn’t pack into tweets.
The first thing to strike me was the post you wrote on August 11 on Canadian spending on ICTs got zero comments, whereas the piece you posted Thursday on blowing up the CRTC is at 38 comments and counting. It’s not just the number, it’s the tone: comments full of vitriolic ad hominems about other ad hominems (“Shut your Pie Hole…”). Ironic on a blog written by a corporate guy who lets the dogs run free and isn’t embarrassed to say he owes his living to the Evil Regulator (okay, that was an ad hominem, but bear with me). Continue reading