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Stilgherrian’s links for 22 October 2009 through 27 October 2009, published after far too long a break. I really, really do need to work out a better way of doing this…

Stilgherrian’s links for 15 October 2009 through 19 October 2009, gathered with bile and soaked in vinegar:

  • 50 Years of Space Exploration | Flickr: A brilliant infographic summarising interplanetary exploration. In an excellent demonstration of Chaos, the landing on asteroid 443 Eros is accidentally tagged as “443 Eris”. All hail Discordia!
  • They Shoot Porn Stars Don’t They: Susannah Breslin’s fascinating and somewhat challenging feature article on the recession-hit US porn industry.
  • ISP in file-sharing wi-fi theft | BBC News: UK ISP TalkTalk staged a wireless stunt, illustrating why it thinks Lord Mandelson’s plans to disconnect illegal file sharers is “naive”. It’s easy to blame others just by hacking WiFi connections.
  • Prince Philip tussles with technology | ABC News: This story is a few days old, however I found it curious that a perfectly good story about the design of technology was tagged as “offbeat” and the teaser written to make Prince Phillip look like a silly old man.
  • NPR News Staff Social Media Policy: Another example of a good corporate social media policy. There’s plenty of these policies around now, so there’s no excuse for any big organisation not to have caught up.
  • Federal Court of Australia Judgements: Some judgements have been recorded on video. “The Court is keen to continue to improve public access with the use of live streaming video/audio. Further live and archived broadcasts of judgement summaries are posted on this page as they become available.”
  • Televised Patel trial an Australian first | ABC News: The trial of Dr Jayent Patel for manslaughter to be held in a Brisbane court will be shown in Bundaberg, where the deaths happened, via closed-circuit TV. Given this “local interest”, one wonders why it couldn’t also be available anywhere there were interested parties.
  • Vivian Maier – Her Discovered Work: Maier was a Chicago street photographer from the 1950s to 1970s who died earlier this year. Some 40,000 negatives have been found, and they’e now being blogged.
  • 100 years of Big Content fearing technology — in its own words | Ars Technica: Copyright-holders have objected to pretty much every advance in media technology, it seems.
  • Mac Sales Spike When A New Version Of Windows Comes Out | Business Insider: A curious interpretation of the figures, but they reckon that when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows it drives people to buy Macs instead.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s Coming War on Bloggers | Valleywag: While I normally don’t read Valleyway, I caught someone mentioning this article and was caught by one useful new term: conceptual gerrymandering. If the US FTC wants to give tax breaks to “news organisations” they’ll have to define what they are. Could it be old journalists versus bloggers battle writ large?

Stilgherrian’s links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009, gathered automatically but then left to languish for two weeks before publication.

There’s so many of these links this time that I’ll publish them over the fold. I think I need to get over my fear of the link being published automatically without my checking them first, and my concern that my website won’t look nice if the first post is just a list of links.

Maybe I should just stick these Delicious-generated links in a sidebar? Or do you like having them in the main stream and RSS feed?

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Here are the web links I’ve found for 10 August 2009 and some days beforehand, posted automatically, kinda.

Stilgherrian’s links for 29 May 2009 through 08 June 2009. Yes, another delayed posting which will give you plenty of Queen’s Birthday holiday reading.

  • How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live | TIME: Yes, TIME magazine’s cover story is about Twitter. It starts extremely badly: that clichéd, lazy trope about people tweeting what they had for breakfast. Despite that inexcusable slackness, it’s a useful addition to the cornucopia of Twitter-based articles.
  • 10 Things I would do differently | Still A Newspaperman: Written with the benefit of hindsight, a former newspaper journalist considers how he’d have handled running a metropolitan newspaper. He’s spot on in many ways.
  • Can the EU play Battleships? | Global Dashboard: Is it time for Europe, as a united entity, to develop a naval strategy? The article’s illustration is also a remarkable example of period gender stereotyping.
  • How IT Can Save Africa | SAP Network Blogs: While clunkily-written, this piece outlines why getting decent IT to Africa isn’t a “waste”, but in fact a core element of getting rid of poverty.
  • How Twitter’s Staff Uses Twitter (And Why It Could Cause Problems) | ReadWriteWeb: It turns out that the staff of Twitter don’t use it like “power users” like me use it. Could this affect the tool’s development?
  • The oldest sculpture ever discovered is a 36,000 year old woman with really big breasts. Is anyone surprised? | 3quarksdaily: Dubbed the “Venus of Hohle Fels”, this 6cm tall sculpture us about 36,000 years old. And it has large breasts.
  • Live Streaming Video From Livestream.com: The live video streaming service Mogulus has re-branded as Livestream. That should Hoover them into some generic wordspace, yeah. (Google it!)
  • Spootnik: A tool to automatically synchronise information between 37signals’ Basecamp (which use extensively) and OmniFocus (which intend to use).
  • Tom’splanner: Another software as a service start-up, this time about “creating and sharing project schedules”. Their website’s menu bar is the clichéd list of Home, tour, product Info, Pricing and — of course! — “Buzz”, so it must be good. Sigh.
  • How Journalists Are Using Twitter in Australia | PBS: Julie Posetti’s rather reasonable article which responds to “the views of resistors and detractors” who argue that “Twitter isn’t journalism”. “Sound familiar to veterans of the great blogging vs journalism debate?” she asks. “Of course Twitter isn’t journalism, it’s a platform like radio or TV but with unfettered interactivity. However, the act of tweeting can be as journalistic as the act of headline writing. Similarly, the platform can be used for real-time reporting by professional journalists in a manner as kosher as a broadcast news live report.”
  • Light Rail to Summer Hill | Metro Transport: The other Monday, yet another proposal for a new transport line in Sydney went to NSW state cabinet. This one involves extending the existing light rail line by 3.7km from Lilyfield to Summer Hill by converting the Rozelle freight line. It also has the advantage of running through the state seat of Balmain, where sitting Labour member Verity Firth runs the risk of losing to The Greens in the 2011 election.

Here are the web links I’ve found for 22 May 2009 to 27 May 2009, posted automatically.

  • The Age of the Essay | Paul Graham: This essay dates from 2004, but it’s still valid. The essay, the kind that’s about exploring an issue, is a natural form of writing online. Plus I like his comments about disobedience and creativity.
  • GLAM | Wikimedia Australia: One for your diaries! A little conference called “Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground” at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 6-7 August 2009. Hosted by Wikimedia Australia, with discussions on four themes: Education, Technology, Business, Law. To be opened by Senator Kate Lundy, Senator for the ACT.
  • That 180ms is the bane of my life: Network engineer Glen Turner explains why the 180 milliseconds it takes for Internet data to cross the Pacific causes problems. “You’ve got to realise that Australia is almost unique in being a long way from the centre of gravity of its language. Broadly, almost all German-speakers live in Germany, whereas a tiny proportion of English-speakers live in Australia. That has an effect on Internet traffic. Most Internet traffic in Germany stays within Germany. Most Internet traffic in Australia goes offshore.”
  • One thing PC users can do that Mac users can’t…: Crude but effective.
  • Media and Brand Supremacy: Why the New Media Brand Could Be Nike | The Huffington Post: Heidi Sinclair notes that individual journalists and commentators are sometimes bigger news brands than the outlets they work for. There’s plenty here which meshes with my complains that some folks don’t separate the content (“news”) from the container (“newspapers”).
  • texts from last night: A scarily funny collection of people’s (allegedly) drunken text messages. Don’t click through unless you’ve got plenty of time to spare.
  • Death in Birth – Where Life’s Start Is a Deadly Risk | NYTimes.com: The first of three articles on efforts to lower the death rate in Tanzania. Excellent timing, given Project TOTO. Challenging to read, however
  • The Angelina Factor | Bitchy Jones’ Diary: A ranty article which, in language which may be confronting for some, explores the social and psycho-sexual issues around the idea that Angelina Jolie is universally sexually attractive. Just for the record, I do not find her the least bit attractive.
  • Rethinking the Global Money Supply: Scientific American: China has proposed that the world move to a more symmetrical monetary system, in which nations peg their currencies to a representative basket of others rather than to the US dollar alone. The article includes a little history, too.
  • “We did not know that child abuse was a crime,”says retired Catholic archbishop | the freethinker: The retired Catholic Archbishop of Milwaukee, Rembert G Weakland, says “We all considered sexual abuse of minors as a moral evil, but had no understanding of its criminal nature… [I] Accepted naively the common view that it was not necessary to worry about the effects on the youngsters: either they would not remember or they would ‘grow out of it’.” WTF?
  • Comedy Thrives in Times of Despair | Spiegel Online: Monty Python’s Michael Palin on what the financial crisis is a boon for comics, and the perils of political correctness.
  • Hello Africa | Vimeo: A 42-minute documentary about mobile phone culture in Africa.
  • Shell On Trial | newmatilda.com: Next week, Shell will appear before a US federal court on charges of torture, extra-judicial killing and crimes against humanity for incidents which took place in the Niger Delta. Will it be the first multinational found guilty of human rights abuses?
  • Genital warts take Shoaib out of Twenty20 World Cup | ABC News: There was a time when someone’s medical history was considered private, even if they played sports professionally. Personally, I reckon the specific of Shoaib’s medical problem are none of anyone else’s business.
  • PlugComputer Community: The developer community for Marvell’s Plug Computer.
  • Plugging In $40 Computers | NYTimes.com: Marvell Technology Group has created a “plug computer”. A tiny plastic box you plug into an electric outlet. No display, but Gigabit Ethernet and a USB. Inside is a 1.2GHz processor running Linux, 512MB RAM and 512MB Flash memory. US$99 today, probably under US$40 in two years.
  • Misguided middle-class moaners | BusinessDay: Ross Gittins explodes a few myths about Australia, class, taxation and social welfare.

[Recently I was interviewed by Tom Connell, a journalism student at RMIT University, about the future of newspapers. Here's his resulting feature article. I haven't edited it, apart from imposing my own idiosyncratic typographical pedantry and linky goodness. You read it now, and I'll add my own comments tonight. It's long, but I think it outlines the key issues rather well.]

Newspapers are folding in the United States at an astonishing rate. According to Paper Cuts, a website tracking the newspaper industry, more than 120 have folded since January, 2008. While Australian broadsheets have not succumbed just yet, there is a real possibility that they may not survive in the long-term. But is that such a bad thing? Tom Connell reports.

Mark Scott’s recent comments about the Australian newspaper industry would have sent chills through journalists and editors across the country.

“It does strike me that much of the bold and creative thinking about the future of print seems to be happening outside the major publishers — probably because the talented people within are too busy simply attending to the fire in the building,” Scott said, in and article in The Age on 9 April.

This was hardly the first doomsday article on newspapers, but what set this apart is that Scott, current head of the ABC, was until 2006 a newspaper executive at Fairfax Media –- the second largest newspaper owner in Australia.

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Here are the web links I’ve found for 25 April 2009 through 27 April 2009, posted with postingness.

Stilgherrian’s links for 20 April 2009 through 21 April 2009:

  • A criminally stupid war on drugs in the US | FT.com: Clive Crook pulls no punches, calling the US “War on Drugs” immoral, brainless and, yes, “criminally stupid”.
  • Twitter Telepathy: Researchers Turn Thoughts Into Tweets | Wired.com: What's interesting about this is not that a message was generated from a person’s brain via EEG, ‘cos that’s been in use for a while, but that the researchers linked that to a remote messaging system. Using Twitter is a bit of a gimmick IMHO, since any text system would work similarly, but then it did get them the media attention.
  • How the 3Rs empower Telstra staff online — Social Media Guardrails | nowwearetalking: Released this week: Telstra’s 6-page social media policy. Billed as the first by a major Australian company (which I doubt), I daresay it’ll be analysed to death.
  • Blogging from a Corporate Perspective | www.nickhodge.com: Microsoft’s blogging policy, on the other hand, it just nine brief bullet points. If only governments could get to the point so quickly.
  • Circular 2008/8: Interim protocols for online media participation | Australian Public Service Commission: The Australian government’s guidelines for public servants using social media. Of course it’s written in bureaucratic language, but it covers some good territory.
  • World’s Biggest Submarine [with pics] | English Russia: The Typhoon was the biggest submarine in the world, and one of Russian’s deepest Cold War secrets. Now it’s a minor tourist attraction, and very rusty.
  • Five menu items at Silver Spoon Thai that could also be the name of an unsuccessful sex worker | 5ives: What it says.
  • Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable | Clay Shirky: A must-read article. “When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”
  • NEO Living: The website for a new apartment block to be built on Enmore Road, Newtown. Some wonderfully creative PR bullshit about how wonderful the area is. For some reason, the website completely fails to mention that the development is sited on a busy and rather noisy Enmore Road, and is directly under the flight path leading to Sydney Airport’s runway 16L.
  • Debate: Hugh White and Australian defence policy | The Interpreter: Rory Medcalf kicks of a debate of Hugh White’s paper at the Lowy Institute’s blog.
  • A focused force: Australia’s defence priorities in the Asian Century | Lowy Institute: Professor Hugh White calls for Australia to abandon the “Balanced Force’ concept and refocus its military on managing strategic risks related to the rise of China. Professor White argues that Chinese power will challenge US primacy, undercutting the basic assumptions of Australian defence policy. This paper, with its controversial force-structure recommendations, is a major contribution to the Australian security debate on the eve of the 2009 Defence White Paper.
  • NavyNorthernTrident (navytrident09) on Twitter: An innovative use of Twitter? Tweets from two Royal Australian Navy ships embarking on a 6-month deployment taking them to 13 countries.
  • Ashton Kutcher Punks Twitter: A Giant Million Follower PR Stunt | NowPublic News Coverage: I wasn’t going to write anything about the supposed race to a million Twitter followers, and now I don’t have to because this article says it all: “This is not a story of the ‘little man’ beating out ‘big media’ — this is the story of a major Hollywood celebrity orchestrating a massive, social media publicity campaign that was specifically designed to promote himself, Twitter and, by extension, Ted Turner and CNN.” Once more, this will have triggered thousands into joining Twitter, and once more they’ll imagine its main purpose is for them to passively absorb the message of the “famous”. Such a wasted opportunity. P.S. Who’s Ashton Kutcher?
  • Disturbing Strokes | YouTube: MontyPropps takes the opening credits from the TV series Diff’rent Strokes and, by replacing the original jaunty music, creates something far more sinister. A demonstration of the power of music to set the mood.

Stilgherrian’s links for 08 April 2009 through 19 April 2009. Yes, I really do need to find a way to vet these and get them online more quickly. Still, here’s some Sunday reading for you.

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