It was another busy week in the technology and society space, so we’ll dive right into your weekly roundup:
Cloud Week: As we do every once in a while, the tech reporting team reported on a single theme together, with stories sprinkled throughout the week. This week, Steve Henn took a look at the quest for energy to power the data centers that make up the cloud, I reported on the price war between Amazon and Google over cloud computing and Laura Sydell chronicled the dangers of relying on cloud storage for your personal data.
Losing Our Religion: A new study by a computer scientist links the rise of the Internet with the post-1990 decline in religious affiliation. The Internet doesn’t explain all or even most of the decline, but take a look at how the statistics back up the finding.
Buyer Behavior: How does adding state taxes to purchases on Amazon affect sales? Business correspondent Yuki Noguchi took a look at a study on the effects, and found that yes, adding “Amazon taxes” does make a difference.
The Big Conversation
The Future of TV: Aereo is a startup that lets you stream broadcast programming over your computer, but it’s not paying rebroadcasting fees to the big networks for that programming. Needless to say, the networks aren’t happy and say their content is basically being stolen. Their battle reached the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case on Tuesday. The high court is expected to rule by summer.
Net Neutrality Rules: The Federal Communications Commission chairman is proposing to let Web companies pay for faster Internet access, which critics say creates the haves and have-nots that they feared. As Laura Sydell reported, some Internet entrepreneurs are wondering how they would have fared under such rules.
You gotta love the Internet. This is what happens when crowdsourcing goes wrong.
It’s one of the many flashpoints over regulation of the short-term housing offered by the startup.
On the Road: I’m writing this roundup from downtown Las Vegas, where I’m doing a reporting trip on tech founder Tony Hsieh’s bid to revitalize the urban core of Vegas in the same way tech startups work — huge infusions of cash and building a strong brand and culture. The story won’t air for another month or so, but I’m sharing behind-the-scenes photos on our On the Road Tumblr.