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Al3x, Meet Ted · Alex Payne is known by thou­sands as al3x. He’s a de­vel­op­er at Twit­ter. I’ve been a fan since he wrote what I con­sid­er to be the sin­gle great­est tweet ev­er by any­one. He just pub­lished Mend­ing The Bit­ter Ab­sence of Rea­soned Tech­ni­cal Dis­cus­sion, which is good, but wrong in an es­sen­tial way. Ted is Theodore Stur­geon ...
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Compact Camera Talk · Last month at the Moose Camp, I gave a short talk on high-end com­pact cam­eras. I whipped it up in a few min­utes, made a links page, and the whole thing was well un­der ten min­utes. It was fun. It turns out that Bruce Sharpe was in the au­di­ence with a video cam­er­a, and he pol­ished up and pub­lished it un­der the ti­tle North­ern Voice 2008: Best Com­pact Cam­eras. The qual­i­ty is re­mark­able, par­tic­u­lar­ly when you con­sid­er that the whole ex­er­cise cost Bruce ap­prox­i­mate­ly noth­ing. If any­one read­ing this is in­ter­est­ed in a point-&-shoot with pre­ten­sion­s, they might find it use­ful. But here’s what’s in­ter­est­ing: in a world in­fest­ed with videoblog­ger­s, any pub­lic ut­ter­ance, no mat­ter how off-the-cuff, is, po­ten­tial­ly, an au­dio­vi­su­al pub­li­ca­tion. A per­ma­nent one.
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Tab Sweep — The World · This time we have jour­nal­is­m, civic pol­i­tic­s, and a rare on­go­ing side-trip in­to, well, sex ...
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More Economist Trouble · You know, if I didn’t care so much about The Economist, I wouldn’t be giv­ing it grief here. If the word “journalism” means any­thing, it should mean qual­i­ty; I ex­pect that my (ex­pen­sive) sub­scrip­tion buys me a mag­a­zine that I of­ten ex­pect to dis­agree with but which is thought­ful, well-researched, well-written, and well-edited. I don’t want to aban­don jour­nal­is­m, but these guys are drop­ping their end of the bar­gain ...
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Two Approaches to Journalism · What hap­pened was, I gave the talk in Frank­furt and Björn Schotte pulled out a cou­ple of slides for his blog, with­out much com­ment aside from say­ing the speech was in­ter­est­ing. TheServerSide.­com ran a sto­ry whose ti­tle was a lie, with­out talk­ing to me or any­one, pre­sum­ably look­ing for flameage, and they got some. In­foQ ap­proached it dif­fer­ent­ly; Floyd Mari­nes­cu emailed me, and I quote: “This blog [point­ing to Björn’s] is start­ing to be no­ticed in the Ja­va com­mu­ni­ty and I thought it would be more con­struc­tive for In­foQ to post a link to it in­clud­ing a quote from you on what you meant rather than post speculation/flamebait.” So I wrote back “About to blog it.” and he wrote back “Hey, do me a fa­vor and an­swer a cou­ple questions?” and I did, and Floyd wrote a pret­ty good piece on the whole thing. (By the way, while I was at In­foQ I spot­ted this cool in­ter­view with Josh Bloch, check it out­).
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InfoQ · There’s this new tech-news site, In­foQ; they say they’re track­ing the “enterprise soft­ware de­vel­op­ment community”. Some­what along the same lines as TheServerSide; but along with Java, In­foQ cov­ers .NET, Ruby, SOA, and Agile. They’re cur­rent­ly run­ning an in­ter­view with me that Obie Fer­nan­dez taped way back in April at that Cana­da on Rails con­fer­ence. It’s im­mense­ly long; I took a look but my at­ten­tion wan­dered af­ter ten min­utes or so; I’m not sure even my Mom would last through the whole thing. As to In­foQ, they’re ad­dress­ing a pret­ty big space, and now that tra­di­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy jour­nal­ism has been blown up, I’m 100% in fa­vor of any­one who’s try­ing to make new mod­els work. At In­foQ to­day, I found the stuff in the cen­tral “Community” col­umn more in­ter­est­ing than the “exclusive” talk­ing heads (for ex­am­ple, me) in the right colum­n; have a look and make up your own mind.
 
Economist Trouble · I am a long-time read­er of The Economist; I give sub­scrip­tions to sev­er­al of my loved ones ev­ery Christ­mas, and re­gard it as the most com­pact and ef­fi­cient way to be rea­son­ably well in­formed about the world’s re­al­i­ties. One has to route around their re­flex­ive ide­o­log­i­cal fil­ter (“Well, maybe child labour isn’t that bad if the mar­ket wants it”), but stil­l, the qual­i­ty of writ­ing and think­ing is gen­er­al­ly very good. In the last cou­ple of years, though, there’s been a slow steady trick­le of hor­rid ed­i­to­ri­al laps­es; some things can ap­par­ent­ly make it on­to the page with­out hav­ing passed through an in­tel­li­gent person’s mind. This wor­ries me, since I’d find it hard to re­place if it went bad ...
 
BTL · I al­ways have a big in­put queue of things I’d like to write about, but nev­er enough writ­ing time to drain it. So I try to spend that time on things where I’m in new ter­ri­to­ry or mak­ing an orig­i­nal point, rather than point­ing to some­thing out there, how­ev­er ex­cel­len­t; be­cause any­thing that’s wor­thy of link­age will have picked up some, even if it’s not from me. In re­cent month­s, I’ve no­ticed that an un­rea­son­able num­ber of things I’d like to have linked to have been from the BTL blog over at ZDNet; Far­ber and Ber­lind do a re­mark­able job of dig­ging out in­dus­try trends and events, and then adding val­ue by say­ing smart things about them. And this mat­ter­s; for a cou­ple of years there I thought the com­put­er trade press might self-destruct com­plete­ly. To be sure, it’s a pa­thet­ic shad­ow of its for­mer self, but I sure hope the re­main­ing few points of light are self-sustaining; be­cause our busi­ness needs its pro­fes­sion­al sto­ry­teller­s. Along with BTL, I re­ly most heav­i­ly on Jon Udell and, these days, ars tech­ni­ca.
 
Real-Time Journalism · I got email late yes­ter­day from David Ber­lind: “Hey, can I call you for a minute?” He want­ed com­men­tary on a sto­ry he was writ­ing that I think is about the po­ten­tial for intellectual-property lock-ins on RSS and Atom ex­ten­sion­s. I say “I think is about” be­cause the head­line is “Will or could RSS get forked?”. After a few minutes’ chat, David asked if he could record for a pod­cast, and even though I on­ly had a cell­phone, the au­dio came out OK. The con­ver­sa­tion was rhyth­mic: David brought up a suc­ces­sion of po­ten­tial is­sues and an­swered each along the lines of “Yes, it’s rea­son­able to wor­ry about that, but in this case I don’t see any par­tic­u­lar problems.” Plus I emit­ted a mercifully-brief rant on the dif­fer­ence be­tween pro­to­col­s, data, and soft­ware. On the one hand, I thought David could have been a lit­tle clear­er that I was push­ing back against the thrust of his sto­ry, but on the oth­er hand he in­clud­ed the whole con­ver­sa­tion right there in the piece, so any­one who ac­tu­al­ly cares can lis­ten and find out what I ac­tu­al­ly said, not what I think I said nor what David re­port­ed I said. I find this raw barely-intermediated jour­nal­ism (we talk on the phone this af­ter­noon, it’s on the Web in hours) a lit­tle shock­ing stil­l. On bal­ance, it’s bet­ter than the way we used to do things.
 
Mad at Boston.com · There’s this piece in Bos­ton.­com (an op­er­a­tion of the Bos­ton Globe) to­day, en­ti­tled Blogs ‘essential’ to a good ca­reer. It says that “Dervala Han­ley writes a quirky lit­er­ary blog that got her a job is at Stone Ya­mashita Partners”, but it doesn’t link to Dervala’s space or to her em­ploy­er. Then it adds “‘Decision-makers re­spect Google-karma,’ writes Tim Bray, di­rec­tor of Web tech­nolo­gies for Sun Mi­crosys­tems.” It does link to Sun but not to on­go­ing; in­ter­est­ing­ly, that re­mark about Google was from the follow-up to my orig­i­nal Ten Rea­sons Why Blog­ging is Good For Your Ca­reer, prob­a­bly the most-read frag­ment in the his­to­ry of on­go­ing, even if it was whipped off in 15 min­utes while watch­ing TV. This feels un­pro­fes­sion­al to me. [Up­date: The Bos­ton.­com ar­ti­cle has links now.]
 
InfoWorld Goes Off the Rails · I got this email, sub­ject “Enterprise Serv­er Spotlight”, that was sor­ta kin­da from In­foWorld, and it took me to a Web page that was sor­ta kin­da In­foWorld, and the whole se­quence was very dis­turbing. [Up­date: In­foWorld re­spond­s; “Never as­cribe to malice...” as the say­ing goes.] ...
 
OSBC Pix · I un­load­ed the pix from cam­era and there were a cou­ple from the OSBC trip last week, which gives me an ex­cuse to say a cou­ple more words about the con­fer­ence, Mi­crosoft, and copy­blog­ging ...
 
Lower the Anchor · A decade or two ago, a new pat­tern crept in­to broad­cast jour­nal­is­m. In both ra­dio and TV news­cast­s, when there’s a re­port from an on-the-scene cor­re­spon­den­t, the an­chor drops in­to Q&A mod­e, “interviewing” the re­porter: “Well, Joe, do we know what the neigh­bors think of this lat­est development?“ This is lame and stupid and it sucks and it’s time to stop do­ing it; the an­chor should say “Let’s go to Joe, who’s on the scene” and then shut up. It may be the case that they’ve had time to script Joe’s re­port, or in a hot-news sit­u­a­tion, they may just be toss­ing Joe the ball to give us his best judg­ment as to what’s most news­wor­thy; ei­ther way this is Joe’s sto­ry, not the anchor’s. At the end of the day the news an­chor is just a good suit, good voice, and good hair. It’s the re­porter who’s do­ing the ac­tu­al jour­nal­ism and that’s where the fo­cus should be.
 
WaPo Still Screwing Up · The Wash­ing­ton Post has no­ticed the brew­ing storm over the two-tier In­ter­net; Doc Searls gets the long-term cred­it for start­ing the storm brew­ing. The WaPo piece, The Com­ing Tug of War Over the In­ter­net, is clue­less, at a triv­ial lev­el in al­leg­ing that the de­bate is hap­pen­ing “on ob­scure blogs”, but most of all in the out­ra­geous claim that “Companies like Google and Ya­hoo pay some fees to con­nect to their servers to the In­ter­net, but AT&T will col­lect lit­tle if any ad­di­tion­al rev­enue when Ya­hoo starts of­fer­ing new fea­tures that take up lots of band­width on the In­ter­net. When Yahoo’s mil­lions of cus­tomers down­load huge blocks of video or play com­plex video games, AT&T ends up car­ry­ing that in­creased dig­i­tal traf­fic with­out ad­di­tion­al fi­nan­cial compensation.” While the de­tails of the deals by which the big boys buy band­width are closely-guarded se­cret­s, the no­tion that any of them can dra­mat­i­cal­ly in­crease their net traf­fic with­out pay­ing for it, that no­tion is just wack­o. I’ve sent Christo­pher Stern, the au­thor, an email, but this silli­ness is al­ready on the streets of Wash­ing­ton in a few hun­dred thou­sand dead-tree in­stances. The dif­fer­ence be­tween blogs and the main­stream me­dia is that when we screw up, we can most­ly re­pair the dam­age. [Up­date: Five days lat­er. No an­swer to my po­lite, friend­ly email. No change in the ar­ti­cle. So this “journalism” thing... it’s a pro­fes­sion where you can just make ran­dom shit up and print it whether it’s right or wrong, and ig­nore feed­back, and you just don’t do those “retraction” or “update” or “apology” things? Seems like a flawed, short-lived busi­ness mod­el to me.]
 
Check out Jon  · Jon Udell is an ex­is­tence proof of the need for tech­nol­o­gy writ­ers who are tech­ni­cal­ly com­pe­tent but don’t have a non-writing day job; in an ide­al world this is how all tech jour­nal­ists would be. First this great big honkin’ sur­vey piece on Web Ser­vices; I’ve been feel­ing guilty about not cov­er­ing that ter­ri­to­ry more, but now I don’t have to be­cause Jon is. Sum­ma­ry: There is hope. Then, his ex­cel­lent in­ter­view with Bill Gates, in which Gates is in­for­mal, in­for­ma­tive and in­tel­li­gen­t, as op­posed to Ballmer’s party-line blovi­a­tion.
 
Accountability? · For those who haven’t been watch­ing, there’s been a nasty lit­tle dust-up be­tween Rob Scoble and The Regis­ter, an on­line technology-review pub­li­ca­tion. The Reg ac­cused Mi­crosoft, in an IE be­ta, of some anti-competitive nas­ties (to be fair, of ex­act­ly the kind that Mi­crosoft has done be­fore). Scoble hot­ly de­nied it, say­ing the prob­lem was rare, he hadn’t seen it and, when it oc­curred, was a bug not a strat­e­gy. He had plausible-sounding sup­port from the IE team. The Reg re­turned to the at­tack, specif­i­cal­ly al­leg­ing that Scoble had ex­pe­ri­enced the prob­lem and was do­ing a cover-up, and pub­lished an email with Scoble’s name on the “From:” line as ev­i­dence. Scoble ap­par­ent­ly al­leges the email is a fake, and has been sling­ing words like “libel” around. Since then, the Regis­ter has been silen­t, which is re­al­ly trou­bling; they need to af­firm that they stand by their sto­ry, or back down. Either Scoble was ly­ing, or he wasn’t; ei­ther the Regis­ter was off the rails or it wasn’t. I’m not link­ing to the in­di­vid­u­al pieces, be­cause this hasn’t any­thing to do with the Reg’s ini­tial al­le­ga­tion. It’s about find­ing out who’s ly­ing, and if there are any penal­ties for it.
 
Tet · Hey, you can call me a pedant and a pinko, and while I know that few to­day re­al­ly care much about what hap­pened in Viet­nam in 1968, I am con­sti­tu­tion­al­ly un­able to let huge fat stink­ing his­tor­i­cal lies in ma­jor pub­li­ca­tions go un­ad­dressed. In Ge­orge Will’s Wash­ing­ton Post col­umn this Sun­day, he says “When, af­ter the mis­re­port­ed Tet of­fen­sive of 1968 (a U.S. mil­i­tary vic­to­ry de­scribed as a crush­ing de­feat), Cronkite de­clared Viet­nam a ‘stalemate’...” I’m sor­ry, I was at one time a keen stu­dent of the his­to­ry of Viet­nam go­ing back cen­turies and up through the fall of Saigon, and Ge­orge Will is full of it. In 1968, at a time when the Amer­i­cans and South Viet­namese were busy as­sur­ing ev­ery­body that ev­ery­thing was just fine, the oth­er side sud­den­ly and with­out warn­ing launched syn­chro­nized up­ris­ings and at­tacks across the coun­try in­clud­ing right in Saigon. Yes, the Amer­i­cans won that bat­tle, quick­ly and de­ci­sive­ly; but the of­fen­sive made it clear that they’d been ly­ing about the re­al state of af­fairs. I was watch­ing those TV broad­casts my­self, and they made clear it clear that the Amer­i­cans were win­ning the skir­mish­es, but they al­so ex­posed the vis­cer­al hor­ror of both troops and civil­ians that the en­e­my they thought they were beat­ing could in­fil­trate at will and at­tack any time. It was at that pre­cise point that a lot of smart peo­ple de­cid­ed, and some of the me­dia start­ed ac­cu­rate­ly re­port­ing, that the U.S. wasn’t win­ning.
 
TV and the Web · I had a hair­cut dur­ing the Pope’s fu­ner­al. My hair­dress­er knows me well enough to switch it away from Oprah or equiv­a­lent and over to CNN or equiv­a­lent when I’m in the chair, so I got to watch a half-hour of that cov­er­age. At one point they broke from the end­less suc­ces­sion of talk­ing heads and panoram­ic crowd shots to “visit with the bloggers”; they had two at­trac­tive young things propped up in front of flat-panels to tell us what the blog­gers were say­ing about the late Pope. I found it dis­turbing. To start with, An­drew Sul­li­van, one of the top ten most pop­u­lar blog­gers in the world, is a gay right-wing anguished-Catholic type (and in the un­like­ly event that his the­ol­o­gy is cor­rec­t, will spend a cou­ple mil­len­nia in Pur­ga­to­ry over some of his 9/11 com­men­tary, but that’s an­oth­er sto­ry); he was emit­ting mul­ti­ple in­tense, eru­dite, from-the-heart bul­letins on the Mean­ing of John Paul II ev­ery day. I’d al­so read a half-dozen re­al­ly chal­leng­ing pa­pa­cy pieces on a bunch of oth­er blogs; for ex­am­ple, what­ev­er you may think of JP2, he presid­ed over the possibly-terminal de­cline of his church in Western Europe, what does that mean? Did CNN cov­er any of those? They did not; they went to a half-dozen ap­par­ent­ly ran­dom se­lec­tions where the writ­ers were say­ing things along the lines of “I’m like so sad.” They were pret­ty well all from blogspot.­com. When the cam­era fo­cused in, you couldn’t read any­thing. There was one that was mild­ly in­ter­est­ing and they read off the ad­dress but some­thing went wrong be­cause when I went there, I found no Pope stuff. So am I a filthy anti-Long-Tail eli­tist be­cause I was dis­turbed by CNN’s ap­par­ent lack of con­cern for qual­i­ty and in­ten­si­ty?
 
Reverse Journalism · Yes­ter­day I had a long talk about the search com­pe­ti­tion be­tween Google and MSN. That com­pe­ti­tion is in­ter­est­ing, but so was the con­ver­sa­tion, and what I can say about it. I was talk­ing to a journo from a big-name mag that you see on ev­ery news­stand. He’d just been briefed by one of the search ti­tans and want­ed some in­sight from an in­de­pen­dent search ex­pert. The brief­ing was along the lines of “We’re gonna kill ’em dead be­cause of X, Y, and Z” and he want­ed my take on X, Y, and Z. Here’s the prob­lem: X, Y, and Z are re­al in­ter­est­ing, and in par­tic­u­lar it’s in­ter­est­ing that the ven­dor who’d briefed him thought they were im­por­tan­t. But you know, I don’t think I can eth­i­cal­ly say who the re­porter was and who briefed him and what X, Y, and Z are, even though these are things that the ven­dor was try­ing to get pub­lished; be­cause I didn’t think to ask the journo. Hm­m, looks like I cov­ered this ground once al­ready, in Au­gust of 2003.
 
Nothing To Do With Me · Sys-Con is run­ning this massively-inane piece about the top twen­ty peo­ple in Soft­ware (the list of nom­i­nees ex­cludes Wirth, Knuth, Di­jk­stra, and von Neu­man­n) with, to add in­sult to in­jury, a head­line that claims the list is mine. Now bloody Slashdot’s picked the stupid thing up. It’s not my list, no­body talked to me, and this is ex­treme­ly un­pro­fes­sion­al. I have a note in to Sun Le­gal. [Up­date: They took me out of the ti­tle. Thank you.] [Up­date: one of the slash­dot com­ments is very good.]
 
Post It! · Sit­ting up late, chat­ting with Sifry about his DNC sto­ries and con­ven­tions and how to cov­er them and won­der­ing if the re­al RNC sto­ry might be out­side the build­ing, and read­ing the lat­est on war videog­ra­phy from a moon­light­ing Salam Pax. My per­son­al bet is that New York will be noisy but non­vi­o­len­t, both the demon­stra­tors and the cops have too much to lose by be­ing scary on TV. Stil­l, I bet there’s some first-rate the­ater in the street­s. So, here’s an idea. Go to Man­hat­tan. Get your­self a high-end Pow­erBook lap­top with a bunch of bat­ter­ies and a FireWire and USB ports and enough WiFi ser­vice provider ac­counts that you’re al­ways on­line... then, print up a sand­wich board that says Your Pic­tures And Movies... On The Web Now! and walk around, and then, if some­thing hap­pen­s, it won’t be film at eleven, it’ll be right now.
 
Another “Intelligent Search” Skyrocket · In the On Search se­ries, I wrote a piece called In­tel­li­gence that ex­plained why in­tel­li­gent search is hard, but that it is so ea­ger­ly de­sired that there are pre­dictable flur­ries of ex­cite­ment ev­ery so of­ten over the nex­t, uh, pre­tender. This time, Cringe­ly has been sucked in. Wel­l, not en­tire­ly, he loads up with caveats too, but it’s a lit­tle sad to see one of the re­al­ly big-name writ­ers point to such tat­tered hy­pe. Earth to Bob: the prob­lem with AI isn’t that the “A” part isn’t fast enough, it’s that we don’t un­der­stand the “I” part. I won­der what it takes for some ob­scure lit­tle com­pa­ny ped­dling a dream that has been around the track so many times to get air­time with this guy? Cringe­ly needs to pull up his game a bit: in the last cou­ple of week­s, he was the on­ly per­son on the plan­et to con­clude that the Sun-Microsoft deal was some­how bad for the Ja­va Desk­top Sys­tem; not that he ac­tu­al­ly ad­vanced any ar­gu­ments on the sub­jec­t, just pro­claimed it. The peo­ple in Red­mond are smarter than Bob and I’m pret­ty sure that the deal isn’t mak­ing them wor­ry less about this.
 
History of the Present · That’s the ti­tle of an ex­cel­lent 1999 book I’m now read­ing, by Ti­mothy Gar­ton Ash. It is real-time re­portage fo­cus­ing around the great tran­si­tion from pre- to post-Cold War that hap­pened so unimag­in­ably fast, start­ing in 1989, be­fore our watch­ing eye­s. But the His­to­ry of the Pre­sent is what blog­gers are writ­ing, too; and Ash says some things that any­one who’s do­ing it should con­sid­er very care­ful­ly ...
 
The Input Spectrum · What hap­pened was, I found my­self talk­ing to my com­put­er be­fore break­fast this morn­ing, and I didn’t re­al­ly like it. Then I looked at the screen and saw the dozens of fold­ers full of thou­sands of email­s, the Web brows­er parked at a Wik­i, the chat icon­s, and the RSS ag­gre­ga­tor. Feel­ing a lit­tle over­whelmed, I looked around the room and saw the news­pa­per­s, the mag­a­zi­nes, the TV, and a pile of unan­swered (phys­i­cal) mail, as well as Lauren’s and my cell­phones charg­ing and the land-line on the side­board. All these are about mov­ing mes­sages around. So I ask: which is the right one to use? ...
 
Thanks a Million · The on­go­ing log­files flip over ear­ly Sun­day morn­ings, and some­times I run some ba­sic stats over them. This last Sun­day they said that a to­tal of 995,213 pages have been read, so there is a chance that if you’re read­ing this on the 29th or 30th of Septem­ber, you will get the mil­lionth page. Thanks to al­l; here­with a cou­ple more statis­tics and some dis­cus­sion of them ...
 
Moveable Text · NetNewsWire has a fea­ture where it will show you the dif­fer­ences on suc­ces­sive re­vi­sions of a sto­ry, which is in­ter­est­ing, some­times amus­ing, and prob­a­bly too em­bar­rass­ing for pub­lish­ers to live with. Here­with a cou­ple of sur­pris­ing ex­am­ples and a war sto­ry with a fun­ny look in­side Mi­crosoft ...
 
Friedman’s “Longtitudes and Attitudes” · I just fin­ished read­ing this lat­est book from Thomas L. Fried­man, for­eign af­fairs cor­re­spon­dent for the New York Times. Every­one who fol­lows Mid­dle East news close­ly al­ready knows about Fried­man and has pos­si­bly al­ready read this. If you care about that part of the world you owe it to your­self to do the same ...
 
RSS JournoFunnies · To­day c|net pub­lished some red-hot cov­er­age (well, the news was months old, but what­ev­er) of the RSS/Pie/E­cho/A­tom dy­nam­ic­s. The sto­ry ge­nial­ly ig­nored all the tech­ni­cal is­sues and fo­cused on a thinly-documented tale of in­ternecine in­fight­ing. But it was well-written and, I must ad­mit, came out pret­ty read­able. Here­with some notes on the sto­ry it­self, on latter-day jour­nal­is­m, and on per­son­al­i­ties ...
 
News Snicker · I just got a call from Paul Fes­ta of C|Net, who’s work­ing on a sto­ry about Pie/E­cho/A­tom. He tried, sev­er­al times, to get me to say some­thing nasty about Dave Win­er, com­ing at it from two or three dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion­s. I wouldn’t bite (sor­ry Paul), but I do think there’s a sto­ry here and Dave’s one of the peo­ple in it. I think the peo­ple in this sto­ry care about the hu­man voice on the Net; they’re are work­ing hard on im­prov­ing the land­scape and (most­ly) not get­ting paid for it, be­cause this is worth work­ing on. And if you can’t see why, noth­ing I or Paul Fes­ta can say can pos­si­bly help you.
 
How We Talk to Each Other · Back in March, I had an in­tense di­a­logue with Jon Udell about how jour­nal­ism in gen­er­al and tech jour­nal­ism in par­tic­u­lar feel in­creas­ing­ly bro­ken, and whether some­thing else comes nex­t, and if so what. Here­with a look at the prob­lem and where it comes from. (Warn­ing: In­sane­ly long even by my stan­dard­s. Sum­ma­ry: Jour­nal­ism suck­s. But there's hope.) ...
 
Where Newspaper Stories Go When They Die · Doc Searls has been at the cen­ter of a bunch of dis­cus­sion about big-name print jour­nal­ism con­tents not be­ing on the Web for any us­able time in any us­able for­m. Wel­l, I know where they go when they die, and it's not to heav­en; I'm as­tound­ed that no­body else has picked up on the ba­sic dollars-and-cents is­sues here ...
 
Bad, Bad Reporter! · This c|net sto­ry is the epit­o­me of ev­ery­thing that's wrong with tech jour­nal­is­m. No com­bi­na­tion of RSS and Se­man­tic Web and Web Ser­vices and Knowl­edge Rep­re­sen­ta­tion and In­tel­li­gent Agents and Lizard Ne­cro­man­cy can keep this kind of dross from drop­ping with a sog­gy thud in the mid­dle of your at­ten­tion span if you, for love or mon­ey, keep an eye on tech news ...
 
Don't Watch the War on TV · We don't get TV at home, so I've been fol­low­ing the war (a bit ob­ses­sive­ly, I will ad­mit) on the We­b. I was on the road the last cou­ple of days and spent sev­er­al hours in my ho­tel room glued to the news chan­nels watch­ing the war on TV. The con­clu­sion is: don't watch the war on TV, the Web is way bet­ter ...
 
Pictures and Lies · There's a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry to­day about the LA Times fir­ing a re­porter who, in Iraq, dig­i­tal­ly al­tered a pho­to be­fore ship­ping it back. Ma­jor cred­it is due to the pa­per for be­ing up-front about it, their note even shows the pho­towork in de­tail. This re­al­ly rais­es a deep­er is­sue: are pho­tograph­s, in this dig­i­tal day, use­ful ev­i­dence in es­tab­lish­ing the truth? I think they re­main use­ful, here's why ...
 
Carl Hiaasen and Meta-Journalism · This note is to rec­om­mend books by Carl Hi­aasen, with a brief re­flec­tion on the fu­ture of jour­nal­ism pro­voked by his lat­est, Bas­ket Case ...
 
The Beeb Gets a Clue · A few days back, I com­plained that the ex­cel­lent BBC war correspondents' col­lec­tive we­blog got a new URI ev­ery mid­night GMT. It now has a fixed ad­dress (and some­body @b­bc.­co.uk even sent me a note); good on ya! There is al­so now a scraped RSS feed avail­able from News is Free, if I get around to sub­scrib­ing I'll re­port. I should note that I have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with the BBC ...
 
Webthoughts in Wartime · I'm sit­ting at home in a daze in­duced by the worst cold of my life - the few op­er­at­ing brain cells most­ly sucked up in aim­less Web me­an­der­ing try­ing to un­der­stand the War and the world bet­ter, but most­ly I'm learn­ing things things about the Web in­stead. To a ghost­ly sound­track of Bagh­dad night sounds (cars and their horns most­ly) from the tee­ny MSNBC Bagh­dad Cam in the screen's cor­ner, I won­der if Ya­hoo is dead, and maybe pub­lish­ing too, and what it is we're mak­ing up here as we go along? ...
 
Hey BBC, Get a Clue! · In my opin­ion the sin­gle best on­line source for war news (in the last 24 hours any­how) is the BBC's Reporters' Log, a blog-style thingie where all the re­porters they have scat­tered around the are­na post news snip­pets right then as they hap­pen. You no­tice I haven't in­clud­ed a point­er to it be­cause these mo­rons have set it up so it gets a new URL ev­ery day! I book­marked it, and was up­set it wasn't up­dat­ing, and not­ed that the last post­ing was 2345GMT, and what do you know ...
 
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