Is This New? (On The Media: Friday, 31 July 2009)

Getting a patent is a notoriously slow process and U.S. patent office employees are sometimes ill-equipped to evaluate whether highly technical applications are worthy of patents. A few years ago, Beth Noveck, Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration, came up with a fix: put applications on the Internet. Noveck says her experiment seems to be working.

Blame Canada (On The Media: Friday, 24 July 2009)

Opponents of Obama's health care plan warn that it's too expensive, too restrictive, and worst of all, suspiciously Canadian. This week Canadian health care victims have appeared on American TV, where they've offered testimonials about their broken system. But how bad is it, really? The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Maureen Taylor describes what health care is really like north of the border.

Voting, On Roids (On The Media: Friday, 24 July 2009)

The steroid era has provided baseball writers with nearly endless fodder for speculation and rumination. But it has also handed them a huge problem: with so many players under suspicion, who are the writers supposed to vote into the Hall of Fame? Chicago Sun Times senior sports reporter Rick Telander recently proposed that the Baseball Writers of America Association develop guidelines on how to vote on players suspected of using steroids. The plan was narrowly defeated in a BBWAA vote. Ken Davidoff, national baseball columnist for Newsday, says he opposed the idea, though believes that writers shouldn't have Hall of Fame voting privileges in the first place.