Mind-warming mid-winter links from the week that was, expertly curated by Data Dive.
When is streaming a movie more than streaming a movie?
In a historic three to two vote, the Federal Communications Commission yesterday passed new guidelines intended to ensure that the Internet remains freely and openly accessible to everyone using it. As Alina Selyukh explains, the net neutrality vote means that the agency’s new policy, “reclassifies broadband, both fixed and mobile, as a more heavily regulated ‘telecommunications service,’ more like a traditional telephone service.” “The shift,” she adds, “gives the FCC more authority to police various types of deals between providers such as Comcast Corp and content companies such as Netflix Inc to ensure they are just and reasonable for consumers and competitors.”
It’s easy to be cynical about the press. Bereft of a working business model, an array of media outlets chase clicks and aggregate snark in a survival-minded race to the bottom, while echo-chamber Internet reading habits allow for an insular insistence that one can, in fact, create one’s own facts. But while the integrity and quality of the world’s journalism must be self-policing, it is important to remember the governmental and institutional challenges that journalists face, both in the U.S. and around the world.
Americans have a well-established capacity for healthcare freakouts. But when hospitals themselves are the cause of illness, and the federal agency tasked with oversight has been caught flat footed, questions tend to raise themselves. Such has been the case with the reusable duodenoscopes believed to have been the source of a bacterial “superbug” that has exposed as many as 179 patients at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. This, despite the fact that the FDA had been aware of the issue since 2009, but hadn’t issued alarms.
On this frigid Oscars weekend, rather than dig out from the latest snowstorm, dig in to this list of light-and-geeky links that Data Dive has compiled from the week that was.
People are nothing if not resilient; entrepreneurs even more so.
At market close on March 10, 2000, the Nasdaq composite hit 5048.62, an all-time high. Today, Nasdaq edged back to those all-time highs but exuberance was yielding to reason. As this Reuters graphic shows, the list of the Nasdaq’s top 10 most valuable companies looked a lot different then. Microsoft sat atop that peak-of-the-bubble market, with a market cap of $525.4 billion; but Facebook didn’t yet exist, Google wasn’t public and Apple closed the day at $4.49, about one twenty-eighth of its price today.
A Russian company has found the equation for another NSA headache.
On Monday, Moscow-based security software manufacturer Kaspersky Lab released a report (PDF) detailing its findings about a piece of malware called Equation, which reaches back to 2001. Kaspersky tied the malware to the Stuxnet program, the National Security Agency-led cyberweapon that was used to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facility, but did not name the NSA directly. Many analysts, however, have linked it to the U.S. agency.