Friday, May 20, 2011

Patt Morrison for Monday, May 23, 2011


Monday, May 23, 2011

1-3 p.m.







1:06 – 1:39





1:41:30 – 1:58:30

The Filter Bubble

Certain widely utilized applications of the internet are attempting to… get to know you. They do this by analyzing patterns in usage data. The practical application of this data is to contextualize things - things like advertisements and search results. Ultimately, the objective is to present the user with more appealing data and even fitting it to them. With websites like Facebook and Google becoming more and more a staple of our day-to-day lives, so does the automatic personalization, until the end result may be that we are browsing our own tailored internet. At least that’s one of the arguments posed in The Filter Bubble a new book by Eli Pariser. Not skirting the issues, Eli discusses a number of the ways the internet is able to hide information from us. Has the consumerization of the internet really had an inverse affect on our freedom to access information? 



Eli Pariser, Eli Pariser is the board president and former executive director of; The Filter Bubble is his new book





2:06 – 2:19

Spamalytics, the final frontier: team of scientists to end spam? Forever?

Seven years ago, then Microsoft chairman Bill Gates predicted that spam would be eradicated in two years. Today, it accounts for about 90% of all e-mail. Despite increasingly sophisticated filtering technology, those pesky ads for Viagra, herbal remedies and urgent appeals for assistance withdrawing an inheritance from a foreign bank account have proved particularly difficult to eliminate. Now, a team of computer scientists think they’ve cracked the code. After three months of systematically making several thousand dollars-worth of purchases from web sites advertised in nearly a billion spam messages, they’ve mapped an elusive network. They found that just three financial companies handled 95% of their credit card transactions, suggesting that it would be very easy to identify spammers’ merchant accounts and cripple the operation if those financial companies refused to authorize online credit card payments to the flagged accounts. So far, credit card companies have been mum on the subject but the research could be formative in fulfilling Bill Gates’ 2004 prophecy.



TBD, one of the researchers on the study. They present their research at the annual IEEE symposium on Security and Privacy tomorrow.




2:21:30 – 2:39

Cuba – real change on the horizon?

With a dysfunctional economy and a deep financial crisis, Cuba’s aged leaders have signaled in recent months that significant change is needed in the country’s system of management. Fidel Castro said it himself to U.S. journalist Jeffrey Goldberg and Latin American scholar Julia Sweig last August: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” * His brother and now president, Raul, is pushing an array of changes, including expansion of small businesses and, for the first time since the 1959 revolution, allowing Cubans to buy and sell private homes, something that until now has been done only on the black market. He has backed away from his announcement that 500,000 state workers would be laid off, but suggests ration books for food should be eliminated. What do the citizens of this small island think about these seemingly radical changes in a society that has failed them, but to which they’ve become accustomed? Many are concerned about losing the food subsidies they receive every month and their government salaries, small as they are. Some are hopeful these moves are harbingers of better days. Others don’t expect much from the rhetoric, thinking that in spite of change, everything will really remain the same. Are the skeptics right, or is there about to be a real shift in the fortunes of our closest neighbor, the island of Cuba?



Randy Archibold, The New York Times bureau chief for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean



  • Randy reported from Cuba in April, 2011.


Jose Manuel Prieto, writer whose article, Havana: The State Retreats, was recently published in The New York Review of Books; assistant professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Seton Hall University




2:41:30 – 2:58:30

Problematic pooches: dogs, cats & owners all howl over puppy mills

More than 56,000 dogs and cats were impounded in Los Angeles last year, one of the highest years on record, and many worry that this year could be worse.  One Los Angeles councilman is proposing a solution.  Councilman Paul Koretz wants to ban large-scale commercial animal mills that breed dogs, cats, chickens and rabbits.  The goal is to promote the adoption of animals in shelters rather than allow commercial breeding that officials and animals rights groups say add to the cities' over population problem.  The councilman wants the city to investigate ways to create stronger bonds between pet stores and animal shelters so that unwanted animals can find homes and to put a stop to mills that raise puppies and kittens in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. Will this plan be effective in curbing the animal over population problem? Will it make finding a breed more difficult and tempt consumers to buy illegally, or from mills out of state?



Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Councilman representing District 5, which includes West Hollywood and Encino



Judie Mancuso, president, Social Compassion in Legislation



  • Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit animal welfare organization working on solutions to pet overpopulation through state and local policy changes and implementation, community outreach, education and private and public programs.



Jonathan Serviss
Senior Producer, Patt Morrison
Southern California Public Radio
NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles
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