Prometheus: Vol 17, No 4 (1999)

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Building Capacities and Setting Priorities in National Science and Technology
JOHN DE LA MOTHE
Pages: 373-386

ABSTRACT

AS governments attempt to reduce the scale of their activities in the face of deficit reduction exercises and improve the efficiency and management of their operations, federal laboratories have not been spared. In many countries, the relative share of government-performed science and technology has declined. Downsizing has thus brought questions of scientific capacity and priority setting to the fore. By taking the case of Canada, this paper explores the meaning of these shifts in resources, re-casts the role of government labs in the public interest, and outlines a recent exercise to use a scenario approach—in lieu of a formal foresight activity—to re-establish mandates and directions.

Competition and Copyright: Retransmission of Free-to-Air Television Signals by Pay TV Services
JONATHAN D. LEVY
Pages: 387-403

ABSTRACT

Free-to-air television stations remain the most popular source of programming, even in pay TV households. Consumers value the bundling of pay TV channels with retransmitted free-to-air channels for a variety of reasons, in particular the improved signal quality provided in areas where off-air reception is less than ideal. Hence, the conditions under which pay TV services can retransmit free-to-air signals are of crucial importance. This paper compares US and Australian signal retransmission regulations and assesses their impact on competition between pay TV and free-to-air television and on actual or potential competition between pay TV media such as cable and satellite television. The analysis also touches on the competitive implications of common ownership of satellite and cable pay TV services. To place the signal retransmission issues in the proper context, the paper examines differences in the structure of free-to-air television distribution systems in Australia and the US. In particular, it contrasts the Australian tendency to distribute most programming and sell most advertising nationally with the more locally oriented network—affiliate system in the US. The paper considers the relative merits of compulsory licensing and full copyright protection for free-to-air television signals and examines mandatory signal carriage (‘must-carry’) regulations.

Internet Diffusion and Usage in China
XUEPING DU
Pages: 405-420

ABSTRACT

This article examines China’s fast-growing Internet market from the perspective of its users in terms of adoption dynamics and usage patterns, using first-hand survey data and extensive background information on China’s Internet. Present users are an elite group whose profile is presented in the article. Barriers to Internet diffusion include mainly resources, speed, and a limitation of online applications. These factors also impact on usage characteristics. Several policy recommendations and emerging trends, such as e-commerce and Internet telephony, are also discussed.

In Want of Information: A Case Study of Engineers in the South Pacific
WILLIAM TIBBEN
Pages: 421-435

ABSTRACT

This paper is primarily concerned with information networks and their significance to the development of technological knowledge in Pacific Island engineers. Essentially, the paper addresses a research agenda outlined by Cooper, who argues that studies of innovation in industrialised countries have relevance to technological capability development in developing countries. More specifically, the paper picks up on the theme of ‘technological knowledge development as a communication process’ where studies reveal the contribution that communication linkages within and between organisations make towards the development of this form of knowledge. Using Macdonald’s ‘information perspective’ as an analytical tool, the paper identifies a number of organisational-related factors which constrain the access that these engineers have to problem-solving information. The paper argues that the organisation, and the social milieu in which it interacts, is influential in determining access to problem-solving information. This analysis provides support for Cooper’s arguments and points to a broader set of challenges than is often accepted in development commentaries: that is, of information being widely available and easy to transport by communication technologies.

The Internet in Undergraduate Management Education: A Concern for Neophytes Among Metaphors
JOEL H. AMERNIC & RUSSELL J. CRAIG
Pages: 437-450

ABSTRACT

This paper presents an alternative perspective of the pedagogical and other merits of the Internet in undergraduate management education. It highlights the importance of sensitising management students to the ideological character of the Internet and to the Internet’s capacity for altering relationships, power structures and ways of ‘managing’ organisations. The need for there to be a critical appreciation of the effects of metonymy and metaphor when the Internet is being considered for use in undergraduate management education is emphasised. The notion that the Internet is an unparalleled conduit of pedagogically-related excellence is challenged and implications are analysed. Metaphors about the Internet and metaphors transported by the Internet are discussed in order to develop a better appreciation of the Internet’s limitations as a technology ‘whose full advantage is [purportedly] to be realized’.

Book Review
The Economics of Intangible Investment, Elizabeth Webster, Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar, 1999, x + 118 pp., £39.95, ISBN 1 85898 858 6
Don Lamberton
Pages: 451-452

Book review
Economic Organization and Economic Knowledge: Essays in Honour of Brian J. Loasby, Volume I, Sheila C. Dow and Peter E. Earl (Eds), Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar, 1999, xxiii + 302 pp., £59.95, US$95.00, ISBN 1 85898 725 3
John Nightingale
Pages: 452-454

Book Review
Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection, and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System, Milton J. Mueller, Jr., Cambridge, MA, London, England, The MIT Press and Washington, DC, The AEI Press, 1997, xiii + 213 pp., US$40.00, ISBN 0 262 13327 X
Gerard Goggin
Pages: 455-458

Book review
International Teleconununications Handbook, Rob Frieden, Boston and London, Artech House, 1996, xvi + 419 pp., US$82.00, ISBN 0 89006 568 3
Richard Joseph
Pages: 458-460

Book review
A Philosophy of Intellectual Property, Peter Drahos, Aldershot, UK, Dartmouth Publishing Company, 1996, £42.50, ISBN 1 85521 240 4
Jane Innes
Pages: 460-465

Book review
Business Research Through Argument, Mike Metcalfe, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995, 152pp., US$103.00, ISBN 0 7923 9616 2
William Tibben
Pages: 465-467

Book review
Managing Knowledge: Experts, Agencies and Organizations, Steven Albert and Keith Bradley, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 1997, xi + 215 pp., AU$31.95 (Pbk), ISBN 0 521 598877
David Rooney
Pages: 467-470

Book review
Digital Cash, Alan L. Tyree, Sydney, Butterworths, 1997, xv + 183 pp., AU$53.00, ISBN 0 409 31316 5
Mark Dixon
Pages: 470-471

Book review
Higher Education or Education for Hire?: Language and Values in Australian Universities, Ian Reid, Rockhampton, Queensland, Central Queensland University Press, 1996, v + 171 pp., AU$19.95, ISBN 1 875998136
Richard Joseph
Pages: 471-473