The coming assault on the TV viewer, are restaurants getting louder, what happens to the people replaced by machines, the return of Dad’s shirt, and when Minnesota lawmakers feud.
The commercial broadcasters, the ones that aren’t on cable, are raising a ruckus over an upstart service — Aereo — which scoops up over-the-air signals of TV stations and transmits them to the phones and computers of people willing to pay. The local stations lose the fees cable services pay to carry the over-the-air channels.
Commercial broadcasters have been unable to get the service shut down and the New York Times reports that they’re thinking of taking it out on the people who can’t afford pay TV, by moving their content to cable.
The head of the board that represents Fox-affiliated stations said Tuesday that it backed Mr. Carey, and suggested that the stations could start broadcasting two flavors, a light version over the airwaves that would be without hit sports and entertainment programming, and a fuller version for subscribers to cable and satellite providers that pay the necessary fees.
On Monday night, the chairman of Univision, Haim Saban, backed Mr. Carey publicly, saying that his network, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the country, would also consider converting to a cable channel. Representatives for NBC, which is owned by Comcast, and ABC, which is owned by Disney, declined to comment on Tuesday. But Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, expressed his support for Mr. Carey’s point of view privately, according to a person who insisted on anonymity.
Let’s step back and here recall who owns the frequencies on which the local stations transmit and what it says in the FCC license that gives the TV stations the opportunity to be in business. It says the stations are licensed to operate in the public interest.
Perhaps this is a good time to revisit what that means.
I thought it was just me.
Jeremy Iggers, writing on the Twin Cities Daily Planet, says he’s been to three restaurants lately where the noise dictated the dining experience.
Not all noise is created equal, and the noise levels varied from place to place. Loudest was Morrissey’s Irish Pub, 913 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, where the solo guitar player was very good and very loud, but he was louder than he was good. The problem here seemed to be that the musician was amping up to be heard above the roar of conversation, and the talkers at the tables were raising their voices to be heard above the music. Like an acoustic arms race.
Which kind of defeats the whole point of an Irish pub. The Irish are a nation of storytellers, and the real charm of an Irish pub is the conviviality: people sitting around swapping stories and quaffing pints. At Morrissey’s, which has four flat-screen televisions mounted on the walls, the vibe is really really more sports bar than Irish pub. You could tell a story if you wanted to, but unless you shout, nobody will hear you–at least in the evenings, when the place is packed to capacity and there’s often a bouncer on hand.
What are you finding at area restaurants?
NPR’s Planet Money says we spend less money at the grocery store now than we did a few decades ago. Why? Because a lot of people lost their jobs…
Which brings up the question we rarely here in economic discussions: If technology makes it more productive to do more with fewer people, what happens to people?
Since his dad died tragically two years ago, Cole Holzer has kept his father’s shirt nearby, the one he was wearing when he fell putting up Christmas lights in their Casselton home. Then he left it on a plane when the family recently flew to San Diego. The airline — Delta — searched the garbage for it and finally found it, WDAY reports.
The debate over whether the state will spend nearly $500 million to help the Mayo Clinic expand in Rochester may make the debate over the Minnesota Vikings stadium last year look like an afternoon tea.
For one thing, lawmakers at the Capitol are using the initiative to feud with each other. The Rochester Post Bulletin reports that Rep. Greg Davids is threatening to pull all support for the plan because Rep. Tina Liebling is moving to end the practice of sending Rochester sales tax money to neighboring cities.
“If Rep. Liebling is going to play her little game, I will not take part in it,” Davids told the paper, vowing to file amendments to halt the infrastructure aid for Mayo’s expansion.
In response, Rep. Liebling served up a classic slice of Minnesota nice.
“I hope that stress of the session has not been too much for Rep. Davids. I disagree with him on a tax policy issue, but I wish him all the best,” she said.
In last year’s stadium debate, the Vikings never actually threatened to leave the state. Not so with the the boss at Mayo Clinic.
“We’re never going to leave Minnesota, and we don’t want to leave Minnesota,” Dr. John Noseworthy said at the National Press Club. “But we’ve got to decide where we’re going to put the next $3 billion.”
And if that wasn’t clear enough:
“There are 49 states that would like us to invest in them,” he said.
Bonus I: The amount of money it would take to get you to willingly give up your personal information is probably less than you think. (MoneyWatch)
Bonus II: Does it matter if student loan rates double? (Time)
Bonus III: Before and after along the Red River. (MPR)
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The debate over whether to have a gun control debate.
Second hour: Attracting professionals to rural areas.
Third hour: Paying for content online.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A debate from the Intelligence Squared debate series: Should we abolish the minimum wage?
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The Political Junkie.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – A failing school district in El Paso, Texas, reported dramatic improvements. But rumors of cheating triggered investigations, which uncovered fake test scores, coercion, and more. NPR will report on the cheating scandal that landed the schools top official in federal prison, and left his school in turmoil.