Swine Flu on Google Maps

April 29, 2009 at 7:51 pm (Uncategorized)

“Health officials continue to report mild cases of swine flu throughout the United States and worldwide. The number of deaths in Mexico that officials suspect to have been caused by the flu is 159.”

Reading Stephen Dunns blog about a tracker on google maps, showing you the effective areas, lead me to read more into the subject.

His link showed how interactive this technology has become. When the subject was googled this article from the NewYorktimes.com was found. It really shows that the newyorktimes websites could of used one of the interactive web feeds as it is far clearer.


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Recession hits Bill Gates in the face

April 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Keira Wilsons blog ‘Recession hits Microsoft‘ lead me to an interesting article.

BizJournals.com on Thursday reported a 32 percent drop in its third-quarter profit to $3 billion, or 33 cents a share, compared to $4.39 billion, or 47 cents a share in the same period last year.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported revenue of $13.65 billion, down from the year-ago quarter’s $14.45 billion.

The company cited weaker personal computer and server markets and said it also took $710 million in charges.

Chief Financial Officer Christopher Liddell said market conditions are expected to stay weak through at least another quarter.

Microsoft also reported $290 million in severance charges connected with job losses, and $420 million of investment write-downs.

Is this the start of the end for our four eyed billionare???

Our Bill, back in the day

Our Bill, back in the day

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Enemies of the internet

April 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Reporters Without Borders recently published its ‘Enemies of the Internet’ report which examines internet censorship and other threats to online free expression in 22 countries. “The 12 ‘Enemies of the Internet’ – Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam – have all transformed their Internet into an Intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing ‘undesirable’ online information,” Reporters Without Borders said.

The list consists of countries that RSF believes are suppressing freedom of expression on the internet.

The civil liberties pressure group has organised a 24-hour protest, inviting web users to vote for the worst offending countries.

Visitors to the RSF website are also invited to leave a voice message for Yahoo’s co-founder Jerry Yang, expressing their views on the firm’s involvement in China.

Yahoo's co-founder Jerry Yang

Many of those on the internet blacklist are countries that are regularly criticised by human rights groups, such as China and Burma.

Egypt is a new entrant and has been shortlisted for its attitude to bloggers rather than specific web censorship, said RSF.

“Three bloggers have been arrested and detained this year for speaking out in favour of democratic reform. This is an appeal to the Egyptian government to change its position,” said the RSF spokesman.

“The fact that this year we have removed three countries from the list is encouraging. It shows that the situation can change for the better,” he added.

On a visit to Libya, Reporters Without Borders found that the Libyan internet was no longer censored although it still considers President Maummar Gaddafi to be a “predator of press freedom”.

According to RWB, all 12 have transformed their Internet into an “Intranet in order to prevent their population from accessing ‘undesirable’ online information.”

Reporters Without Borders has also placed 10 other governments “under surveillance” for adopting worrying measures that could open the way to abuses, and draws attention to Australia and South Korea, where they say recent measures may endanger online free expression.

“Orchestrating the posting of comments on popular websites or organizing hacker attacks is also used by repressive regimes to scramble or jam online content,” RWB adds, noting that 70 cyber-dissidents are currently detained because of what they posted online, and that China is the world’s biggest prison for cyber-dissidents, followed by Vietnam and Iran.

Notably, Iraq did not make it onto RWB’s list.

This is a youtube clip showing a ‘Reporters Without Borders’ member protesting at the Bejing Olympics.

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Online Down Under

April 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Australia – a wired nation?

Australians have always embraced the internet mainly because of geography. Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey has written extensively on the role that geography has played in Australia’s development. Australians have traditionally adopted technology to defeat distance in a continent almost the size of mainland United States but with only 19 million people.

This year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than two in five adults, about 46 percent of the adult population, had accessed the Internet. This was a major boost compared to the one in five figure in 1997. The bureau also noted that a quarter of Australian households are connected.

Salaries have also risen for trained online journalists who can provide reliable information.

Two experienced journalists at Melbourne’s The Age recently moved to online jobs where their salaries doubled overnight, to about US$70,000. Salaries for new hires are also good. A junior reporter on The Australian , one of the country’s two national dailies, said when he moved to an online start-up, his salary had jumped from US$21,500 to US$43,000.

A survey of Australian journalism students found 90 per cent of students do not like reading the newspaper, preferring to source news from commercial television or online media.

Professor in Journalism and Media Studies at the Queensland University of Technology, Alan Knight, conducted the survey and says despite an aversion to newspapers, 95 per cent of students are very interested in following the news.

“At this stage commercial television is still the favoured source, but online is rising pretty rapidly,” he said.

Professor Knight says it appears some of the smaller faults with the newspaper medium are deterring students from reading them.

“They said that newspapers are impractical, they fall apart, you have to buy them,” he said.

“There are too many long-winded articles, there’s no search engines and worst of all they get ink on your fingers.”

He says the move away from newspapers is of great concern because they are still the major source of serious news in Australia.

“Newspapers are important, and journalism is important but not just to democracy but to governance, to the broader operations of our society,” he said.

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Exploring the uses and effects of the Internet in the 2008 U.S. election

April 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm (Uncategorized)

The 2008 election saw more than half of the US adults using the Internet to participate- the largest ever.

An article found on Yahoo showed how Some 55 percent searched for political news online, researched candidate positions, debated issues or otherwise participated in the election over the Internet.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that:

* 45 percent of Internet users watched online videos related to politics or the election;

* 33 percent of Internet users shared political content with others;

* 52 percent of those on a social network used it for political purposes.

The Internet has grown steadily as a source of political news since 2000, when 11 percent of voters went online to keep up with political developments. That figure now stands at 26 percent.

Among young voters and those with broadband connections the Internet has eclipsed traditional media like television, radio and newspapers, the survey found.

Obama supporters tended to be more engaged online than McCain backers, the study found. While 26 percent of Obama supporters active on the Internet posted their own thoughts or other content in an online forum, only 15 percent of McCain-backing Internet users participated, for example.

This is a survey shows clearly how Obama was more ‘Internet popular’.

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Online journalism Japanese-style

April 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Japan is one of the most newspaper and television-friendly countries in the world, with national dailies Yomuri and Asahi each employing more than 2,000 reporters and editors. As a result, many still consider the web to be a second-rate news medium.

As with our own newspapers here in the west, most of the news sites were laucnhed in the 1990s. Howvever now most have abandoned print media, and relay soley on internet based news sites.

The only newspaper currently making money on its site is Nikkei Shimbun, Japan’s equivalent to The Wall Street Journal. It charges US$50 for a six-month subscription to Nikkei Net Interactive.

The threat of losing paying readers to the web is a critical issue in Japan, because papers there get about 50 per cent of their income from subscriptions. Big newspaper publishers are now looking to cell phones as a way of making money which is unique to the web.

Almost 60 million of the country’s 72 million mobile phone users now also have wireless web access. This has proved to be a goldmine for The Yomiuri, which was the first big paper to reproduce its web content for phones. Only six staff work for cell phone news services, but they make the company about US$100 million annual profit.

Japan Media review was a helpful website to find out web blogs in the east.

This is a youtube video about how 52 newspapers in Japan and Kyodo joined into one News digital Consortium.

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The Amazon Kindle

April 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm (Uncategorized)

The above image is taken from a penny-arcade site which takes a pretty sarcastic view of the whole e book phenomenon.

Everyone seems to be jumping on the eBook wagon. The Amazon Kindle and the new Amazon Kindle 2 just shows the success of these new nifty devices.

The Amazon Kindle is the handheld electronic reader that was designed to revolutionize the way people got their information. The device makes it easy to download the newest books and ebooks directly onto the reader which can then be taken anywhere. A number of newspapers and blogs are also accessible by the Kindle

Elsewhere, uber-PR guy and social media pundit Steve Rubel sees the Kindle as the ‘last great white hope for monetizing text media like journalsim:

The Kindle, like the iPod, is an emerging critical mass device that actually encourages people to pay for content rather than get it for free. When Apple launched the iTunes Music Store, people were skeptical that people would shell out cash for music they could snag for free from file sharing networks. They did. The same was true when Apple, and later others, rolled out movies. However, today millions rent or buy movies online.

The Kindle offers a similar experience in a much larger market – text. This one is tougher to monetize. In the digital age books have managed to remain premium content. However, beyond books, magazine and newspaper content is available in abundance online for free. Yet, I still believe that people will pay to receive some of their favorites on their Kindles or their Kindle-enabled phones. Meet them there now while you can.

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Seattle Paper Shifts Entirely to the Web

April 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Seattle Paper Closes

Seattle Paper Closes

The Seattle Post- Intelligencer, popularily known as the P-I has confirmed that after 146 years in the business it will produce it’s last printed edition this tuesday to become and internet only news source. The New York Times called it ‘by far the largest American newspaper to take the leap’.

It’s original newsroom of 165 people has now dropped to 20, each day writing and designing a site with mostly commentary, advice and links to other news sites, along with some original news stories

The New York times reported that the transition to an all-digital product for The P-I will be “especially closely watched in an industry that is fast losing revenue and is casting around for a new economic model.”

“The bloodline will live on,” Roger Oglesby, the paper’s publisher and editor, told the employees Monday morning in the newsroom. The Web site will remain at the paper’s address, at seattlepi.com, and assume its new form on Tuesday.

Ruth Teichroeb, an investigative reporter who was among those who lost their jobs, said she worried about what would be lost. “The thing that’s always been closest to my heart is The P-I’s coverage of the underdog, people who are invisible,” she said. “Those people who have the least voice in society are losing access to another part of the mainstream media.”

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Ethics in Online Journalism

April 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm (Uncategorized)

New forms of Journalism requires new approaches to ethics.

Some traditional ‘rules’ on ethics will remain, and others will be developed along with new technologies. Online Journalism allows everyone to be a potential publisher, and allows for even less deliberation between the journalist and the editor. The question is – does online journalism value speed and sensationalism above accuracy?

PubSub estimates there are more than 8 million Weblogs, or online journals – it was inevitable that the captains of commerce would latch onto this increasingly popular form of personal media.

This is a video discussing how new ethical idea will need to be applied in regards to the online media.

Online Journalism Ethics, By Cecilia Friend, Jane B. Singer, poses the question: Is objectivity impossible?

In it’s eight chapters  Friend and Singer  discuss how journalism ethics are being changed by the ways new media technologies are being used. They discuss  objectivity as an idea, for instance and  look at questions around ‘Who is a journalist?’ and whether they should have different rights to non-journalists, before looking at sourcing practices

The importance of credibility, transparency, and the ethics of lurking is discussed in full, and gives a comparative outlook on legal issues such as  privacy, deception, data protection, and even online corrections.

In a separate chapter Singer deals with the ethics of bloggers as being distinct from mainstream journalists. “Journalists hold an Enlightenment view of truth as something rationally arrived at through well-tested methods,” she argues. “Bloggers see truth as emerging from shared, collective knowledge – from an electronically enabled marketplace of ideas.”

The second video that is included is a discussion on ethics and the internet with Technology writers David Weinberger, Walt Mossberg and Andrew Keen

The Internet allows news and information to move at a tremendous dispatch, limited only by speed. With all this power individual journalist have to spread information, we have to be careful and considerate of the many ethical implications that might impose on us.

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Online Journalism

March 20, 2009 at 11:31 am (Uncategorized)

Using the internet as a medium, a kind of journalism has emerged which operates according to its own, distinct online media logic. As a result of the expansion of the www and the popularisation of the internet, the media have been presented with new challenges and opportunities to attract, retain and communicate with their audiences.

Here is a link to a website giving tips in online journalism.

Some describe it as a ‘a fourth kind of journalism’. Online Journalism is best describes in my opinion by Massey and Levy, discussing its potential in empowering its audience. . In other words, content producers can harness the technological capabilities of the Net to give content consumers hitherto unavailable means for controlling their interaction with the days news.

You can look at Massey and Levys article on ‘Interactive Online Journalism here.


Blogging became popular in the late nineties and although the majority are produced be ordinary citizens, news organisations are increasingly adopting blogging as a new format to communicate with their audiences. They have been praised for their ability to provide a democratic and interactive space, functioning as a public sphere where the monopoly of information, controlled by the institutions of news, is renegotiated. While the concepts of interactivity, hypertextuality, multimedia and archivality can be seen as internet specific features, which enable new forms of communication and interaction in online journalism, blogs are in themselves a new form of communication.

Professor Rosental Alves talks about how online journalism is growing, and speculates about the future of the expanding medium of the Internet.

Many observers have noted, that in contrast to mainstream news media’s centralized, top down approach to news reporting, with their reliance on elite sources of information, weblogs facilitate a decentrailized, bottom-up approach to news reporting by turning traditionally passive news consumers into active news producers.

To conclude, the internet provides the user with access to a myriad of information, making blogging accessible to contemporary journalists.

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