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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Google, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft Weave a Fiber-Optic Web of Power

WSJ: “To say that Big Tech controls the internet might seem like an exaggeration. Increasingly, in at least one sense, it’s literally true. The internet can seem intangible, a post-physical environment where things like viral posts, virtual goods and metaverse concerts just sort of happen. But creating that illusion requires a truly gargantuan—and quickly-growing—web of physical connections. Fiber-optic cable, which carries 95% of the world’s international internet traffic, links up pretty much all of the world’s data centers, those vast server warehouses where the computing happens that transforms all those 1s and 0s into our experience of the internet. Where those fiber-optic connections link up countries across the oceans, they consist almost entirely of cables running underwater—some 1.3 million kilometers (or more than 800,000 miles) of bundled glass threads that make up the actual, physical international internet. And until recently, the overwhelming majority of the undersea fiber-optic cable being installed was controlled and used by telecommunications companies and governments. Today, that’s no longer the case. In less than a decade, four tech giants—Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Amazon—have become by far the dominant users of undersea-cable capacity. Before 2012, the share of the world’s undersea fiber-optic capacity being used by those companies was less than 10%. Today, that figure is about 66%…”

What the Supreme Court’s Vaccine Case Was Really About

Opinion Linda Greenhouse. Jan. 17, 2022: “Halfway through their pained dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision blocking the Biden administration’s workplace Covid vaccine rule, the court’s three liberal justices made a glancing reference to a now-obscure case from 1981, American Textile Manufacturers Institute v. Donovan. It was one of the court’s first efforts to interpret… Continue Reading

Martin Luther King Jr. said more than 35 words

Popular Information: “Martin Luther King Jr. wrote several books, delivered hundreds of speeches and sermons, and produced a massive quantity of documents and correspondence. The King Papers, a collection of King’s writings and published by the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, spans 14 volumes, each about 750 pages…” Our… Continue Reading

The Global Leader Ideology dataset

Center for Data Innovation: “Bastian Herre, a researcher at the U.K.-based nonprofit Our World in Data, has released a dataset of the economic ideologies of political leaders. The dataset lists the political leaders of 182 countries every year from 1945 to 2020 and classifies their economic ideology as leftist, centrist, rightist, or non-ideological. According to… Continue Reading

Supreme Court overturns OSHA mandate, affects 2/3 of all US workers

Poynter – Al Tompkins: “The quick version of the story is this: A majority of Supreme Court justices ruled that if Congress wishes for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to be able to require private-sector workers to be vaccinated or undergo testing, then Congress should say so in legislation. Short of that, the court… Continue Reading

Home Ownership More Affordable Than Renting in Majority of U.S. Housing Markets

“ATTOM, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its 2022 Rental Affordability Report, which shows that owning a median-priced home is more affordable than the average rent on a three-bedroom property in 666, or 58 percent, of the 1,154 U.S. counties analyzed for the report. That means major home ownership expenses consume a… Continue Reading

Law Journals, Biomedical Journals, and Restraint of Trade

Curfman, Gregory, Law Journals, Biomedical Journals, and Restraint of Trade (November 26, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3972379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3972379 “Scholarly law journals permit manuscripts to be submitted to multiple law journals simultaneously, while scholarly biomedical journals generally require that manuscripts be submitted to a single journal at a time. This article compares and contrasts the… Continue Reading

What We Don’t Want to Know

Vice – “Do you want to know what you’ll get for Christmas? A movie spoiler? When you’ll die? The study of deliberate ignorance reveals the topics people want to remain in the dark about….After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Stasi’s files were opened to the public, and anyone could apply to see if… Continue Reading