Mortars and Bricks and Mortar

As if to put an exclamation point on HD Net founder Mark Cuban's argument that there is not enough bandwidth out there to handle full-motion HD in real time, the Pentagon this week blocked access to a number of social networking sites, saying that its network did not have enough bandwidth for all those music downloads and run a war.

Opponents of network neutrality, mostly owners of networks,  have argued that they need the flexibility to prioritize traffic flow given the constraints of the current system, arguing that otherwise important services like networks that deal in life-saving medical information, will be at the mercy of millions wanting to trade vacation videos at the same time.

The Pentagon move would play into that argument, which is one that is generally backed by Republicans, though not all.

It will be interesting to see how the news plays out among the competing astroturf groups that have sprung up to push, or push back, on the network neutrality debate….

And now for something completely different.

I will miss those mall-based Discovery Stores, which have been like the Starbucks of toy stores for me and my kids.

I remember going to the opening of the one at MCI Center in Washington, with its giant fake tyranosaurus skeleton. It has long sense closed, the victim of low foot traffic. no surprise if you have followed the Wizards or Capitals, but that's another story.

The bricks and mortar were too costly for a slimming-down media company with a growing online business, but it's another little piece of my heart. At the mall I frequented as infrequently as one can with three daughters, tt was an oasis of cool stuff in a parade of teenybopper clothing stores.

Where else could you get a hovercraft and a motorized alligator and lizard keychain with eyes that glowed different colors. Oh, that's right, on the Internet, where everything now resides in efficient clicks away.

By John Eggerton

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.