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  • July 05, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    With a vow of "Ring it on!," the tech-activists behind RingTones08 -- a free site that lets anyone post and share ring tones about campaign '08 -- hope to use political soundbites to impact next year's presidential election.

    Sound far-fetched? Perhaps not.

    As Erica Sagrans wrote earlier this year in the Phoenix:

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  • July 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Although almost 20 years have passed since the release of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back -- still one of my top desert island discs -- PE remains a technologically forward-looking group. The latest proof comes with a story in today's New York Times:

    Jeff Price, the founder and chief executive of TuneCore, a digital music distributor, has a simple pitch for musicians: “For $30, the cost of a pizza and a six-pack, you can get your album on iTunes, the third-largest music store in the country.

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  • June 27, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Blogger and labor activist Pat Crowley sends word that YouTube has banned a video he created because of objectionable content. The video is anti-war and anti-Bush. So much for free speech on YouTube.

  • June 27, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    The Phoenix reported earlier this year on how a statewide wireless network, the first in the nation, could be a boon for economic development in Rhode Island. Now, the ProJo's Tim Barmann has the details of how the progress of the network has stalled, at least for now.

    A plan by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation to build a statewide wireless computer network is now in question after the General Assembly chose not to back a $28.

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  • June 27, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Just kidding. Still, as Rupert (who already owns MySpace -- how funny/weird is that?) seemingly closes in on his acquisition of the Wall Street Journal, it's a good time to watch (or rewatch) Epic 2014, aka Googelzon, an imagined future media history and one of the best dissections of our present media moment.

  • May 24, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    RI Future's Matt Jerzyk writes in this week's Phoenix about how Rhode Island is poised to become the first state with a border-to-border wireless network, and how people like Saul Kaplan, the state's creative economy guru, sees this as an important tool for much needed economic development.

    Operating from a refurbished mill west of the Providence Place Mall, once a hot spot of Providence’s industrial economy, a group of innovation leaders plan to make Rhode Island the first state with a fast and accessible border-to-border wireless network that could spur economic growth, improve government services, and enhance the Ocean State’s place in the 21st century.

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  • May 14, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    More than a decade after the Internet became a household word, the Web continues to evolve in new and fascinating ways.

    60 Minutes offered a look last night at how Redfin (motto: buy a home online and save about $10,000), an Internet-based company in the Pacific Northwest, is chipping away at the six percent commission claimed on home sales by Realtors.

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  • May 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Among travelers, there's a sect that takes only carry-on luggage, for fear that a given airline will lose the checked stuff. Although N4N used to be part of this hardy band, the insistence of Mrs. N4N has led me in a different direction. So, naturally, USAir lost my luggage during a recent return from the Dominican Republic.

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  • April 02, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    About six years ago, the Dallas-based Belo Corporation (owner of the ProJo) was pilloried for sinking many millions into a computer peripheral known as the :CueCat. Basically, the idea was that newspaper readers would keep a scanner close at hand to read printed bar codes, thereby linking them with other information. Just about everyone but Belo and its fellow investors realized this was impractical and silly, and, not surprisingly, the concept flopped.

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  • February 20, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    When satellite radio came on the scene a few years ago, I didn't think many Americans would be willing to pay for it. I was wrong. About 14 million people now subscribe to satellite radio in this country. Just as with very-popular NPR, there's real appeal in being able to listen to high-quality commercial-free broadcasting, in a broad range of topics and genres, from Major League Baseball to '70s funk.

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  • February 01, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    As promised, Erica Sagrans has an excellent story in this week's Phoenix about the netroots and their efforts to use technology to increase political participation and diffuse political power. Erica's piece looks at this locally and nationally, and includes a fascinating anecdote of how a ring tone became a major headache for the president of the Philippines.

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