Links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009

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?

Continue reading “Links for 30 September 2009 through 13 October 2009”

Links for 10 August 2009

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

Episode 46 is online, Kevin Rudd!

Screenshot from Stilgherrian Live episode 46

Episode 46 of Stilgherrian Live, the Zeitgeist Edition, is now online for your viewing pleasure.

We had a strong field of nominations for “Cnut of the Week”, and it was tough selecting the shortlist. However we eventually saw Rupert Murdoch in 4th place (11%) for his insistence that we somehow pay for news online; Wynyard Baptist Church in 3rd place (22%) for their religious intolerance, and the Australian Football League came in 2nd (30%) for their legal attacks on a fan website which actually supports their sport.

Photograph of PM Kevin Rudd (with Senator Penny Wong) as Cnut of the Week

The clear winner of “Cnut of the Week”, though, was Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (37%) for delaying the introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS).

As my friends over at newmatilda.com point out, Monday’s announcement amounts to Rudd breaking his first major election promise. But apart from that, it’s a clear failure to take action on the most important long term issue facing this country and, indeed, the world.

Not happy, Kevin.

Meanwhile, congratulations to deanlk, who won a t-shirt from our friends at King Cnut Ethical Clothing via his nomination for the journos and obit writers who got duped by a fake quote in Wikipedia.

Stilgherrian Live will return at 9.30pm next Thursday night Sydney time.

Tom Connell: When the last ink’s dried

[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.

Continue reading “Tom Connell: When the last ink’s dried”

Do we really care about our kids?

Photograph of Verity Firth

Despite all the rhetoric about “protecting our children” and “children are the future”, our governments seem determined to prevent them preparing for the real future. Take NSW schools minister Verity Firth…

This morning the Sydney Morning Herald tells us the NSW government will receive $285M for new laptops — which will then be blocked from accessing social media and most everything else.

The Minister for Education, Verity Firth [pictured], said the Government would prevent access to the social networking sites, and other sites, even when the laptops were used at home.

“We don’t want these kids to be using these computers for the not-so-wholesome things that can be on the net. And they won’t be able to because essentially the whole server is coming through the Department of Education.”

So kids will be prevented from using their computers to connect with and understand their peers and the real world because of this continuing paranoia about unspecified “not-so-wholesome things” and parents being too lazy to supervise their own children.

Maybe Ms Firth needs to read Mark Pesce’s Those Wacky Kids, or watch the video. As Pesce quite rightly points out, if the classroom is the only part of these kids’ lives which isn’t hyperconnected, then the classroom will be seen as irrelevant.

Rupert Murdoch is right to say we have a 19th Century education system. Our Minister seems intent on keeping it that way.

Continue reading “Do we really care about our kids?”