The iPod Ecosystem

The iPod Ecosystem

Making add-ons for the iPod is a $1 billion business. Does that sound like hyperbole? Consider this. Last year, Apple sold 32 million iPods, or one every second. But for every $3 spent on an iPod, at least $1 is spent on an accessory, estimates Steve Baker, an analyst for the NPD Group, a research firm. That works out to three or four additional purchases per iPod.

Spinning in the Bully Pulpit

In his State of the Union address, President Bush talked about U.S. dependency on foreign oil, and urged research in alternative energy. He also talked about the importance of scientific education, and the need to train more teachers and scientists.

This from an administration that has always emphasized drilling over alternative energy, and has taken a consistently hostile attitude towards science policy. But it will take more than one speech to convince skeptical scientists that the administration is sincere.

In February 2004, a panel of scientists released a report entitled Restoring Scientific Integrity in Policy Making. The report charged the Bush administration with widespread and unprecedented “manipulation of the process through which science enters into its decisions.”

In July 2004 by the Union of Concerned Scientists elaborated on the concerns in the report Scientific Integrity in Policy Making. The report concludes:

  • There is a well established pattern of suppression and distortion of scientific findings by high-ranking Bush administration political appointees across numerous federal agencies. These actions have consequences for human health, public safety, and community well-being.
  • There is strong documentation of a wide-ranging effort to manipulate the government’s scientific advisory system to prevent the appearance of advice that might run counter to the administration’s political agenda.
  • There is evidence that the administration often imposes restrictions on what government scientists can say or write about “sensitive” topics.
  • There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the abuse of science by the Bush administration are unprecedented.

Then again, we should not take the President’s speeches too seriously. Remember back in January 2004, Mr. Bush talked about establishing moon bases and a manned mission to Mars.