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Building Capacities and Setting Priorities in National Science and Technology
JOHN DE LA MOTHE
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
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
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
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
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’.