Muzak – the carefully-curated elevator music maligned for its mild and universally inoffensive sound – is ditching its name. Mood Media, the parent company of Muzak, has decided to rebrand their music services under the name “Mood” in an attempt to distance themselves from a label that has become a regular source of ridicule. Brooke talks with Joseph Lanza about his book Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong.
This week saw a fount of new information come to light about the US government's controversial and secretive drone program. Brooke talks to Stanford Law professor James Cavallaro, author of the Living Under Drones project, in which law students conducted interviews in northwest Pakistan to better understand the full impact of our lethal drone strikes.
Yo La Tengo - Cornelia and Jane
In 1995, roughly a decade before YouTube ushered in the age of the viral video, a couple of upstart young film-school grads created an underground, analog video sensation. Producer JP Davidson brings us the story of that video and its unlikely role as viral video’s ‘patient zero’.
As a technology reporter for The New York Times, Nicole Perlroth says it's hard to convince corporations to go on the record with the details of their cybersecurity breaches. But last October, when The Times learned that Chinese hackers had infiltrated its own computer systems, Nicole got a front-row seat to report on her own company's response to a targeted attack. Perlroth talks to Brooke about the inevitability of security breaches, and the measures that can be taken to minimize damage.
Andrew Pekler - Here Comes the Night
Sometime in the next few months, the five major US Internet Service Providers will implement what is called the "Copyright Alert System," known colloquially as "six strikes." Brooke talks to Jill Lesser, Executive Director of industry group the Center for Copyright Information, about how the six strikes program will work.
Acid Pauli - Mst
Throughout the months of the Arab Spring, the twitter feed of NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin was a one stop shop for keeping up with events in the region--even though Carvin was a world away in Washington D.C. Now Carvin has written a new book about his experience, Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, and sat down with Brooke for a live event to discuss his reporting with social media.
Mazen Dha Nahar el Youm
On Wednesday, President Obama outlined his proposals for gun control. Among them was a request to Congress for $10 million to study the impact of media on violence, with a nod specifically to video games. Brooke talks to Jason Schreier, a reporter for Kotaku, about 25 years' worth of studies on the effect of violent games, and what researchers have found.
On January 11, 26-year-old hacker, programmer, and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide. He had a history of depression and faced federal prosecution for downloading millions of articles from the online academic article repository JSTOR. Brooke talks to Gawker's Adrian Chen, who wrote about Swartz's legal troubles this week.
The massacre in Newtown has sparked a national debate about gun control. But usually, when a child falls victim to gun violence, it’s not in a comfortable suburb, and its coverage is confined to the metro page. At New York Public Radio, our producing station, reporter Kathleen Horan’s current assignment is to profile every child killed by a gun in New York City. Her series is called In Harm’s Way. Kathleen talks to Brooke about her project.
Kronos Quartet - Tiliboyo ('Sunset')
Until this week, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was famous not just for his on-field skills but for his compelling backstory, which included the tragic death of his girlfriend. This week, the sports blog Deadspin exposed that story as a massive hoax, although it is still unclear what, if any, participation Te'o had in the lie. Bob and Brooke delve into the myth and consider how it snuck by the national media.
On last week’s show, we aired Brooke's interview with Michael Apted and Tony Walker, director and star of the “Up Series.” Brooke had no shortage of questions for Michael and Tony: even though the edited interview ran a whopping 17 minutes, many interesting tidbits of conversation ended up on the cutting room floor. We've salvaged some of those outtakes, and present them here for your enjoyment.
In 1964, a documentary called Seven Up! sought to illustrate Britain's entrenched class system through the stories of 14 seven-year-olds. Michael Apted, an assistant on that film crew, ended up expanding the project into a longitudinal series: every seven years, he has directed a new documentary that revisits the characters as they grow. One of the most memorable characters from the series is Tony Walker, a London cab driver. Brooke speaks with Michael and Tony about the 2012 installment of the series, 56 Up.
UPDATE 1/15/2013: Check out our 56 Up web extra to hear selected outtakes from this interview.
Mary Z. Cox - Scarborough Fair
The rape and murder of a young woman in India has brought protesters to the streets. Both the national and international press have closely followed the public outrage and tepid response from government officials, turning out in full force to see the accused men in court on Monday. The swarm of journalists prompted a local judge to not only ban reporters from the courtroom, but also prohibit anyone from covering the trial. Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Niharika Mandhana about the repercussions of the ban, and about why the government would keep the trial off the public record.
Earlier this week in southern China, protests began after a New Year’s Day op-ed by the newspaper Southern Weekly was censored. In its original form, the op-ed hoped for a new year in which the liberal principles of the Chinese constitution were respected. When that op-ed was reduced to party platitudes by propaganda officials, the paper’s employees briefly went on strike and the protests began. Brooke speaks with Jeremy Goldkorn is the director of Danwei, a firm that researches Chinese media and internet, about the situation.
We all claim to want privacy online, but that desire is rarely reflected in our online behavior. OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman looks into the futile attempts we make to protect our digital identities.
Johannes Brahms - Violin Concerto op.77 in D Major
Here's a common refrain in privacy discussions: “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.” There's also Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt famously saying: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Brooke speaks with George Washington University law professor Daniel Solove who says those types of arguments misunderstand privacy entirely.
In Philip Bobbitt's 2008 book Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 21st Century, he argues that data collection is an incredibly useful tool that’s fundamentally misunderstood by the public. Brooke talks with Bobbitt about that and the way the media and public also misunderstand warrants. Bobbitt, law professor at Columbia University is author most recently of The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made.
Build Buildings - Let's Go
In 2002, artist and professor Hasan Elahi spent six months being interrogated off and on by the FBI as a suspected terrorist. In response to this experience, he created Tracking Transience, a website that makes his every move available to the FBI - and everybody else. In a segment that originally aired in November of 2011, Brooke talks to Elahi about the project.
People who watch TV when it actually airs and blab about it online can ruin it for those of us who watch shows at our leisure. Their excited Twitter chatter about the great twist in last night’s Mad Men is frustrating if you haven’t yet watched last night’s Mad Men. New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum is a prolific tweeter who began grappling with this problem after Twitter users complained about a phenomenon they called "Nussbombing." She talks to Brooke about her evolving system of spoiler etiquette.
Big Joe Turner - TV Mama
One of the surprising side effects of the upheavals in the TV industry’s business model is that, for now, we’re actually living in a golden age of scripted television. Television networks have found that one of the few predictable ways to build an audience is to create content that’s really, really good. Alan Sepinwall covers TV for Hitfix.com and is the author of the new book The Revolution Was Televised. He tells Bob about the unlikely path that led us to this TV renaissance.
Battles - White Electric (Shabazz Palaces Remix)