Jun 27, 2011

Move to block WNET/New Jersey Network deal fails in NJ Senate

The New Jersey Senate was one vote short of blocking WNET's agreement to take over the New Jersey Network, the Star-Ledger reported Monday night (June 27). A similar resolution had overwhelmingly passed the Assembly last week. Public Media NJ, a nonprofit subsidiary of WNET/Thirteen, takes over the NJN TV operations Friday (July 1).

Some lawmakers were not pleased. "New Jersey’s taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of dollars annually to support the continued operation," Sen. Loretta Weinberg said, noting that the state will spend at least $4.7 million a year. "So while we hand this network off to a New York operator, we are not saving that much money."

The newspaper summed up the protracted fight: "The Senate vote followed months of political showmanship, public hearings, and a Legislative report that agreed with [Gov. Chris] Christie’s view that state-run TV is no longer viable for New Jersey."

Radio indie’s project lands Knight News Challenge grant

One of the Knight News Challenge winners announced last week was Zeega, an open-source HTML5 platform co-created by independent public radio producer Kara Oehler, a creator of the Mapping Main Street project, which received $420,000. Zeega will enable the creation of “participatory multimedia projects on web, tablet and mobile devices,” according to its website. The platform will allow creators to combine media web-based media including audio, maps, photos, video and text.

Oehler and her collaborators, Jesse Shapins and James Burns, were inspired to create Zeega after producing the multimedia Mapping Main Street project, according to an article in the Harvard Gazette. (The three are affiliated with the university.) That collaborative documentation of Main Streets across the country was supported by CPB and the Association of Independents in Radio. NPR aired reports from the project.

Media and Place Productions, the nonprofit where Zeega is based, was one of 16 recipients in the latest round of Knight News Challenge winners. hackers group LulzSec calls it quits

LulzSec, the hacking group that saw itself as pirates on the Web seas, has disbanded and ceased all activity, according to its final statement posted on Sunday (June 26). Its 50-day run of Internet security breaches included targeting (Current, June 13) to protest Frontline's "WikiSecrets" report; its six members also hit Sony, the U.S. Senate, the FBI and Britain's X Factor TV show. What was it all about? " ... [W]e truly believe in the AntiSec movement. ... We hope, wish, even beg, that the movement manifests itself into a revolution that can continue on without us. The support we've gathered for it in such a short space of time is truly overwhelming, and not to mention humbling. Please don't stop. Together, united, we can stomp down our common oppressors and imbue ourselves with the power and freedom we deserve." Here's a piece from the Guardian on why LulzSec could never exist as a permanent group.

UPDATE: Another hacking group, the A-Team, has published information on up to 10 LulzSec members. "To understand who/what lulzsec/gn0sis are/is you need to understand where they came from," the posting says. "Everything originates from the *chan (4chan/711chan/etc.) culture. This internet subculture is pretty much the dregs of the internet."