1:06 – 1:19
Media coverage on sensational crimes
President Obama recently agreed to not use James Holmes’ name in the media, in hopes of avoiding giving Holmes more notoriety than he has already received. But should there be a ‘code of ethics’ in the media as well? Some hope that media outlets that cover events like the Aurora shooting would also be careful to not bring more attention and infamy to suspects. But in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and Twitter, the public is hungry for as much information as possible, and as fast as possible. People are eager to learn what could have driven James Holmes to commit such a horrible act. Some of the victims’ families have been outspoken against publicizing victims and their stories, and not glamorizing what James Holmes did. Do media outlets have an obligation to the victims? Does the attention that these crimes receive feed the media’s desire to cover them? Can this kind of attention also encourage people to commit these crimes?
1:21 – 1:39
Amazon and Wal-Mart face off over state sales taxes
Online retailer Amazon has long been able to win the race to the bottom on the prices of merchandise through a number of ways, like being able to purchase merchandise in bulk and low operating costs, but their biggest competitive advantage could be avoiding state sales taxes. While a physical store on the street in Los Angeles County has to charge an additional 8.75% for state and local sales tax, Amazon has been able to sidestep sales taxes by moving distribution centers to states like Nevada, and offering free shipping to boot. But now, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that will allow states to collect sales taxes from companies that sell to their residents. And to the states’ taxes rescue is an unexpected ally, it’s Wal-Mart, who few people would expect to come to the aid of mom-and-pop brick and mortar stores. But only 2% of their sales come online, and with Amazon expanding same-day delivery, Wal-Mart might soon see their own competitive advantage declining.
Selwyn Gerber, CPA and founder, Gerber & Co., Inc.
David Welch, reporter for Bloomberg
1:41:30 – 1:58:30
Can you beat ‘Jeopardy!’ record-holder Ken Jennings in a news quiz?
You know him as the 74-time "Jeopardy!” quizmaster champion, but Ken Jennings will now be quizzing your knowledge of current events every week on “The Slate Quiz” at slate.com. Jennings says he’s “enormously relieved to be on the other side of the host’s podium,” in reference to his “own trivia guru,” game show host Alex Trebek. Are you enough of a news junkie to pass Jennings’ weekly news quiz? Here’s a sample question: “After recent controversy, reform of Libor will be discussed at an international financial conference in September. What is Libor?” Call in with your answers. And questions.
Ken Jennings, 74-time "Jeopardy!” quizmaster champion
2:06 – 2:19
Olympic security firm GS4 remains short on manpower
With an extra 4.6 million overseas visitors expected in London for the Olympics, it should come as no surprise that the city is in a panic over the fact that the firm tapped to provide its security has less than half of the number of staff it originally promised to deliver. GS4 won a contract worth 284 millions pounds after promising to deliver 13,700 guards; as of Friday, the firm has only confirmed hiring a total of 4,000 people. On Thursday, GS4 sent out a Hail Mary request to the National Association of Retired Police Officers stating that it is “currently and urgently recruiting for extra support for the Olympics.” Both the Guardian and the Daily Mail have also reported concerns over the quality of training that the 4,000 confirmed employees received.
Brian Michael Jenkins, terrorism expert and senior advisor to the President of the Rand Corporation
2:21:30 – 2:39
How does the gender disparity among Wikipedia editors influence what you read?
What’s more culturally important, Kate Middleton’s wedding gown or the most obscure of Linux distributions? For Wikipedia editors, Linux distribution wins hands down, with over 100 articles. As for the wedding dress, someone flagged it for deletion—on the day of the royal wedding itself. The entry was ultimately saved by a group of editors worried about the Wiki-community’s persistent gender gap, including Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. While plenty of female editors also scoffed at the entry, and representatives of both genders rolled their eyes over the notion that an entry on a dress could correct Wikipedia’s hormonal imbalance (only 9% of the site’s editors are female), the incident raised questions about how much influence Wikipedia’s gender gap actually has on its content. Are Wiki-editors with itchy keyboard fingers getting rid of pertinent content that someone of a different chromosome set would find more relevant than (for the sake of argument) Linux distributions?
Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, a project to encourage women in the open-source community
2:41:30 – 2:58:30
Ken Burns takes on the American Dust Bowl [ON TAPE]
When it comes to documentary filmmaking, there are two eras: BKB and AKB. That would be “before” and “after” Ken Burns. Burns revolutionized the form through his attention to detail, his use of music, and his sweeping pans that gave motion to still photographs (hence the Ken Burns effect in Apple’s iPhoto slideshow toolkit). Burns has a special penchant for Americana – his first documentary was on the Brooklyn Bridge and subsequently he has covered the Civil War, jazz, baseball, and the country’s National Park system. Burn’s latest documentary on the American Dust Bowl will air in November on PBS. He came to Los Angeles to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dust Bowl’s poet laureate, Woody Guthrie, and stopped by to talk with Patt about his newest project.
Ken Burns, director and producer of documentary films including “Prohibition” and "The National Parks: America's Best Idea;" his new documentary “The Dust Bowl” premieres in November