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Communications Bureau, City of Rochester

Links of the Day:

– Some major websites are blacked out today in protest of SOPA. My favorite headline belongs to the Washington Post, “What happens when the Internet gets mad.”

– Buffalo really made out in the state budget. In addition to the $1 billion pledge for economic development, the area is getting $15 million for the Peace Bridge, $100 million for Roswell Park Cancer Institute, $2.94 million to retain the Bills and money to move the University of Buffalo medical school downtown.

Rochester is getting $28 million advance on state aid that remains below what Buffalo and Syracuse receive per capita.

Scorecard:
Buffalo $1.218 billion
Rochester $168 million

– Strong Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria is getting its first big upgrade since the 1970s. This is very exciting for workers, but it sounds like it will be a real pain to get food there until the renovation is complete.

– All of the Monday morning quarterbacks discussing Kodak’s downfall are wrong, says a column posted on CNN.com. Kodak’s problem wasn’t innovation or diversification; it was making a successful business model of those efforts:

The tiny sideline businesses simply could not scale at a rate that might make up for the loss of film revenues, so those inside the core business were unable or unwilling to do what it took to foster drastic transformation.

This exact phenomenon plagues innovation in nearly every large firm. At least once a week, top executives tell me that new growth businesses in their firms are intriguing and potentially important, but they simply “don’t move the needle.” Said in plain American: “The hot new thing simply cannot produce enough revenues this quarter to improve my bonus as a senior executive.” So those projects are starved of resources instead of nurtured.

– Rochester and Syracuse play a role in drone use in the U.S. military.

– Laying off cops is bad.

More Links of the Day:

– The mainstream media is finally catching onto the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), thanks to Wikipedia and other sites going dark on Wednesday. A number of protests are planned across the country, including outside the Xerox building in downtown Rochester. (Xerox is on a list of companies that support SOPA, although some companies say the list is not accurate.)

Critics say SOPA is an unnecessary law that would result in the indiscriminate shutdown and censorship of websites.

This is my favorite explainer piece on SOPA, written by a North Carolina middle school teacher for her students:

To avoid violating these proposed laws, sites claim they would have to monitor every post to their sites. Imagine if Twitter or YouTube had to approve every tweet or video to make sure it didn’t violate copyright restrictions. These sites, and others like them, are arguing that this would be virtually impossible to do and still allow people to have the kind of free information sharing they expect and enjoy.

So, why are Wikipedia and other sites “blacking out” their content tomorrow? They’re doing it as a reminder of how important the content on the internet is for many of our lives and as a way of showing that they oppose these bills and what might happen if they become law.

I also found this article on Gizmodo quite good, as well as this interview with author Tim O’Reilly. I realize I’ve shared anti-SOPA pieces. I’m worried about the tremendous power this law hands to ISPs and mega-corporations, especially now that I have my own small website.

– The Maid of the Mist is in jeopardy, as Canada considers ending its contract with the company synonymous with tours of Niagara Falls.

– Was there a fight involving 200 kids at the Liberty Pole last week? The Democrat and Chronicle said “yes.” Witnesses who called into the Bob Lonsberry show said “yes.” But an RPD spokesman told City Newspaper “no.” I think this centers on how you interpret the word “involve.” If 200 kids left school to walk down Main Street to watch people fighting, they’re involved even if they didn’t throw any punches.

– I’m emceeing a conference about entrepreneurship on Wednesday at MCC. I hope to blog about the experience at some point during the day.