President Clinton talks about the iPhone, newspapers, broadband
On the 25th anniversary of .com, he describes how he gets information
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- In a forum today marking the 25th anniversary of the first .com registration, former President Bill Clinton spoke about his favorite devices, the grim outlook for newspapers and the need for policies to improve Internet access.
It was a wide-ranging assessment by Clinton, whose administration (1993-2001) played a largely hands-off role when it came to e-commerce. The forum was organized by VeriSign Inc. to mark the anniversary of the March 15, 1985 registration of Symbolics.com, a computer company. The anniversary event ranged from sweeping to whimsical, all of which characterized Clinton's talk.
Clinton offered a grim take on mainstream media when asked by VeriSign CEO Mark McLaughlin about his favorite Web sites. In response, he ticked off several political sites, including Politico, The Daily Beast and Huffington Post, as well as a few "right wing ones" to get both sides of the political debate. . But Clinton said that many of the political sites "don't have to do what a newspaper does every day," which is why he is "really worried about our ability to maintain any newspapers" or anything that "serves as a standard of objectivity."
"It's almost impossible given the economics of the modern world for newspapers to continue...," said Clinton.
Asked by VeriSign CEO Mark McLaughlin what his favorite device is, Clinton named the iPhone, "because I can get so much stuff on it." The former president also has a Blackberry, but no e-reader.
"I don't even own a Kindle, yet," said Clinton, who still prefers physical books.
As for his administration's role in shaping Internet policy, Clinton said that its most important discovery was the realization "that this was going to be the dominant mode of the communication in the 21st Century," he said. "Realizing (the Internet's) importance led to everything else," he said.
The Clinton administration set out a federal role for the Net in a 1997 report, "Framework for Global Electronic Commerce." Its overarching conclusion: that "for electronic commerce to flourish, the private sector must continue to lead."
Even so, he said that the broadband access framework proposed by the Federal Communications Commission may be needed. The deregulation approach helped the U.S. move ahead quicker than some other nations, "but a lot of our competitors now have better cell phone coverage than we do because they had some regulation to guarantee a framework of universal access.
"In general, our entrepreneurial approach is the best one," said Clinton, but "there are limits to it and sometimes we need a framework to make sure the markets can continue to grow by having more universal access. So I'm hoping the FCC proposals will do that."
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Comprehensive Advanced Threat Defense
- The hot topic in the information security industry these days is "Advanced Threat Defense" (ATD). This paper describes a comprehensive, network-based approach to...
- Advanced Threat Defense: A Comprehensive Approach
- In this interview, Peter George, president, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, explains why we need more than anti-malware, and what constitutes a comprehensive...
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms
- Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media
- This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and... All Government IT White Papers
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- All Government IT Webcasts