Fourth Brown Bag of the Semester – February 27, 2015

Julien Mailland, Department of Telecommunications, Media School

From two-sided pricing to gated communities: Welcome back to the eighties

In recent years, a number of internet service providers around the world have attempted to implement two-sided pricing models within the networks.  Under such models, ISPs would charge both the end-users for access to content of their choice, but also the content providers at stake for access to the end-users.  Content providers who would not pay would see their content either blocked by the last-mile ISP, or relegated to a slow lane called a “dirt road.”

So far, the economic and legal literature have focused on the negative implications of such models from the standpoint of innovation.  This talk takes a different perspective and argues that implementation of two-sided pricing models by retail, last-mile ISPs would lead to fragmentation of the Internet and the creation of gated communities at the level of each last-mile ISP implementing such model.  That situation would be reminiscent of the online landscape of the eighties, where users got on AOL, Compuserve, Prestel or Minitel, rather than on an interconnected network of networks.  I further argue that this is an undesirable outcome for two reasons.  First, such balkanization of the Internet would prevent users from reaping the benefits of network externalities that emerged when the Web drew people to the Internet.  Second, it would reduce the amount of information available to each user, which is a negative from the standpoint of the American political and international-relations theories of the marketplace of ideas and the free flow of information, both of which historically underpinned the development of the open, interconnected internet.

Second Brown Bag of the Semester – February 6, 2015

 

Mona Malacane, PhD student, and Sean Connolly, PhD Student, Department of Telecommunications, Media School

Women’s Role in Action Movie Trailers: A Content Analysis Examining Sexual and Agentic Portrayals, 1982-2013

A content analysis of 155 theatrical trailers for action movies was conducted to examine the frequency and nature of women’s role in promotional materials and how this role has evolved over the past 30 years. The results show that fewer women were included in early action movie trailers (i.e. before 2000). When women were observed in action movie trailers, they were often physically sexualized and, in later years, more likely to be shown participating in the action elements of the trailer. Female agency and physical sexualization peaked at the turn of the century and has been followed by several blockbuster female-lead action films. Implications for how women in action movie trailers can affect box office sales are discussed.

 

First Brown Bag of the Semester – January 23, 2015

 

Nic Matthews, PhD Candidate, Department of Telecommunications, Media School

Making Conflict/Cooperation

Human conflict and cooperation—although markedly different—can emerge from similar contexts. The current talk discusses how two branches of research seek to identify and understand the triggers that crystallize these opposing outcomes. One branch observes individual differences that influence aggression-related outcomes following violent video game play. The other branch investigates the reciprocal relationship between one’s moral cognition and the morally laden messages present in games.