Despite having an appalling cold for the last ten days, I managed to knock off four articles for Crikey this week. I haven’t been linking to them in individual posts here — should I? — but here they are now.
- Letter from Redmond, Washington: inside Microsoft HQ is a colour piece about my visit to the world’s second-biggest tech company. “What a waste of electrons,” said the only commenter. Oh well, can’t please everyone.
- Startpage: a ‘private’ search engine, but who’ll care? looks at a metasearch engine — that is, a search engine that really just compiles results from other “real” search engines — whose key selling point is that they don’t log what you do. Startpage is an interesting idea, but I suspect Australians are not yet sufficiently distrustful of Google for this to fly here.
- Crikey Clarifier: Why Facebook users are quitting, including me is a quick guide to the Facebook privacy issues which triggered my own departure from Facebook.
- Mavi Marmari photos faked by Israel? Probably not is an attempt to debunk a conspiracy theory that certain photos posted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs are not really of weapons seized aboard the MV Mavi Marmari but were taken some years previously. What fascinates me about the comment stream for this story is that some people so want to believe in the fakery that they simple cannot accept the far simpler explanation that the cameras’ clocks were set wrong.
If any of the stories are currently behind Crikey‘s paywall, you can either sign up for a free 3-week trial or wait until they emerge from the paywall two weeks after their original publication date.
Now as I say, I haven’t been creating a post here for every Crikey article of every Patch Monday podcast. I figure that if you’re interested you’ll subscribe directly to those RSS feeds, and in any event I always mention them in my Twitter stream. But what you you prefer? A brief mention here and a link to the piece, as individual posts? An end-of-week summary like this? Some sort of “Stilgherrian master feed” that combines everything from here, my new Posterous stream and my Flickr photos? What say you?
7 Replies to “Crikey: Microsoft, Startpage, Facebook and Israel”
Weekly round up would be wonderful. I’ve gone off RSS for the moment and don’t catch all your tweets. I do tend to ping the websites a few times a week.
@Jono: Yeah maybe an end-of-week wrap, like Jenny the Bloggess does. As long as it settled into a formula it’ll be quick to do.
Why do you churn out articles for Crieky that nitpic over minutiae of the Gaza Peace Flotilla’s basic case against Israel, which is:
1/ Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal under international law and amounts to cruel collective punishment of 1.5 million people.
2/ Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freeedom Flotilla, in international waters, was utterly illegal
3/ Israel used extreme violence when attacking one ship in the Flotilla, resulting in loss of life and injuries
4/ Israel attempted to confiscate all footage taken by Flotilla participants (aa fraction of it was succesfully smuggled out)
5/ Israel has since refused an international inquiry (what murderer do you know who gets to investigate his own crimes?)
Which side are you on Stig? The side of pedants? The side of war criminals?
Or the side of humanity and justice?
@Syd Walker: I knew I’d get a comment like this sooner or later — a comment which I think, quite frankly, misses the point entirely. I haven’t expressed a view one way or another about what Israel did or is doing. I don’t know enough about it. I will happily concede that Middle Eastern issues are a big gap in my knowledge. But anyone who reads some sort of pro-Israeli bias into what I wrote in that article is a captive of their own pre-conceptions.
That Crikey article makes one simple argument, and one argument only: that if you’re trying to make a case that Israel faked its depiction of what happened on those ships the other week, then the timestamps on those image files are not your evidence. That’s it. That’s the only point being made.
It may well be that Israel has misrepresented the situation. Heck, maybe they even faked evidence. But all I’m saying is that these image files are not, of themselves, evidence of fakery. If people want to prove that Israel faked evidence, this is not the proof. And that, I repeat, is all I’m saying.
I have not “churn[ed] out articles for Crikey that nitpic over minutiae of the Gaza Peace Flotilla’s basic case against Israel”. Far from it. I’ve written one article which debunks one specific conspiracy theory. And that’s it. I haven’t written anything about any other aspect of the issue — save for today’s article in Crikey which described some recent hacker activity from what I hope is a neutral standpoint.
I completely understand that people are angry about Israel’s actions. No contest. But that’s no excuse for uncritically adopting every wild accusation against Israel as the truth. In my opinion, that weakens the case.
And the only reason that I’m not joining the screeching mob braying for Israel’s blood on this particular occasion is that I simply don’t know enough about it to take sides.
My comments were based, in parts, on a slogan I seem to have seen somewhere around the traps:
“All publication is a political act. All communication is propaganda.”
I for one do not “uncritically adopting every wild accusation against Israel as the truth”. To imply that’s the norm for anti-Zionists and peace activists is insulting.
I fear that, while it may not be your thing, getting en education about Palestine and Zionism is increasingly a necessity for folk in our times who want to be truly ‘well-educated’ in a well rounded sense.
As Jefferson once said: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free it expects what never was and never will be”
May I suggest three starting points:
Incidentally, if you find any factual errors in that material, please feel free to let me know.
@Syd Walker: Ah, but to be able to be across everything one needs to be across to be “well rounded” these days! Ta for the links.
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