When a MSM dinosaur like Tom Brokaw says he thinks print newspapers won't be around in 10 years, that's probably an indication the industry in trouble. (Click for audio.)
The former NBC "Nightly News" anchor appeared at the Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, D.C. on November 19 to promote his new book, "Boom!" Brokaw said he envisioned a major newspaper going completely digital in 10 years.
"I was at The Washington Post earlier today," Brokaw said. "And in the lobby they've got a wonderful graphic describing how the printing press works and where it is ... 75,000 copies an hour it can turn out. Its last run is at 2:15 in the morning and [has] an automatic paper roll that comes when they run out of paper and the ink is recharge and I looked at all that and I thought - ‘Ten years from now, will it be here?' I don't know. Probably ... if you would do a hardcore analysis - probably not. It'll be probably digital 10 years from now."
The New York Times newspaper headlined its article about the recently concluded United Nations-sponsored Internet conference in Brazil as US Control of Internet Remains Issue. However, as is usual with the Times, while the tone of the article was complaining about the fact that the United States maintains control over the core Internet, they offered no evidence that handing over control to a foreign or even worse, a UN-controlled entity would be better. As the Associated Press article used by the Times reports,
A U.N.-sponsored Internet conference ended Thursday with little to show in closing the issue of U.S. control over how people around the world access e-mail and Web sites. With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network.
That sounds like a weird question, but apparently CNN’s “American Morning” thinks eating your iPhone or earphone cord is a possibility.
In a segment with an on-screen caption – “IPOD & IPHONE DANGER – CAN THEY HURT YOU?” – CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that the cord connecting the earbuds to your iPod contain phthalates, according to the litigious Center for Environmental Health.
Phthalates are a substance often used for increasing the flexibility of plastics, but according to an article on macnn.com, a Web site devoted to news on Apple products, phthalates “may hinder the sexual development of mammals.”
You may have seen one of the 19,000 mentions of the "Home-made helicopters from Northern Nigeria." Once the AFP article hit Yahoo! News, it crossed the blogosphere like wild fire. I highly doubt it is true, and if journalists knew the first thing about flight, they might not have been so easily duped.
For starters, let's look at the measurements provided by the journalist.
For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide.
Seven meters high? That's 23 feet tall. Does the photograph look like the helicopter is over two stories tall and 39 feet long? But the real problem with the story is with the tail rotor -- or lack thereof. France 24 has several more of the photos of this "helicopter", and in the one where the "pilot" is opening the cardboard flap that covers the engine, you can see that there is no axle to turn the tail rotor. The tail rotor, which keeps a real helicopter from spinning the same speed as the main rotor, is purely aesthetic.
The reporter claims this helicopter has "flown briefly on six occasions" at an "altitude of seven feet", but the reporter fails to corroborate this with any other witnesses. In true journalism fashion, the reporter takes a shot at a government for allegedly not supporting the wild ideas of this dreamer:
Although some government officials got very excited when they saw him conduct a demonstration flight in neighbouring Katsina state, Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has so far shown no interest in his aircraft. "No one from the NCAA has come to see what I've done. We don't reward talent in this country," he lamented.... In a country with Nigeria's abysmal air safety record officials may be loath to gamble on one student's home-made helicopter.
Who are the "government officials" who "got very excited"? What were they excited about? What exactly did the reporter expect the government to "gamble on"?
The Smart car, a tiny two-seater produced by Mercedes-Benz, is being released in the United States, and Newsweek decided to celebrate by shilling for the supposedly socially-conscious vehicle. Newsweek allowed Smart's U.S. president David Schembri essentially free space to advertise in what is being represented as a news column.
Reporter Tara Weingarten served up softballs such as "With just two seats, it’s the perfect car for the friendless. And you don’t have to be nice and offer people rides." Weingarten also allowed Schembri to get away with such marketing-speak as,
You can help out other drivers by taking up a smaller parallel parking space, consume less fuel, thereby helping the environment, and feel great about it. Why is that bad?
In my experience, Wikipedia is often a good resource, especially for pop culture and computer tech terms. But since it is a fully community-operated enterprise, there are some pratfalls about relying on it for information, especially since some organizations use it as a marketing tool for themselves, attempting to control entries they're interested in.
This type of cybersquatting is quite widespread but up until now, difficult to track. That's changed however, with the creation of Wikiscanner, a search engine that allows you to see what organizations have been editing Wikipedia. You can, for instance, look up to see what Wikipedia users from different political groups, business, churches, and any other organization have been up to on the site. Early results are showing that many employees seem to have a habit of editing the entries of their own company/organization. You can also see that at least one person at the New York Times deliberately defaced Wikipedia's entry for George W. Bush with the words "jerk" inserted into the page repeatedly.
It's not completely foolproof, however, since Wikipedia only reveals your IP address if you edit a page without signing up for an account. Still, the data is interesting. Wikiscanner is being deluged with huge amounts of traffic right now but when things calm down, it should prove to be a very interesting research tool for us here at NB and for everyone in the blogosphere.
As NewsBusters reported earlier (here and here), the New York Times is likely to soon abandon its TimesSelect pay-subscription online service. That's hardly a surprise when you look at the numbers writes Brett Arends:
The New York Times Web site is extremely popular. According to figures tracked by Nielsen/NetRatings, nytimes.com attracted about 12.5 million readers worldwide in June, the month with the most recent data. That's a huge global audience for news, and a large multiple of the Times' print circulation.
The number willing to pay extra for access to TimesSelect?
Just 29% -- a mere 221,000. That figure has risen a miserable 8,000 since the start of the year.
An interesting development from Google today. Starting now, the search engine is going to allow people who are mentioned in a news story to respond to it and have their responses posted within Google News (h/t Brian Clark):
Here's how the new system will work: people or organizations that are mentioned in news stories can submit comments to the Google News team, which will then display those comments—unedited—alongside the Google News links to those stories.
The new system will at first be deployed only within the U.S., but Google is open to expanding it to other regions if the trial goes well.
This raises a number of questions that the announcement does not attempt to answer, such as how Google will vet the comments to ensure they come from the claimed source (watch this space for the first "Google News punked!" stories in the following weeks).
“Alright, now for the moment the world has been waiting for.”
These were the words from Ali Velshi, co-host of last Saturday’s “Your Money” on CNN, to introduce a segment on a brand new invention: the automatic toilet paper dispenser, the newest contender for the title of “least needed product ever.”
Now don’t worry, Ali was obviously not serious with the little teaser, so please, halt those nasty e-mails to CNN.
This new product was reviewed by Allen Wassler, who was obviously (for good reason) less than thrilled about it.
Joshua Levy and Micah L. Sifry have a June 4 article at techPresident noting that among the major presidential candidates, only Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has taken advantage of new software on the Facebook social networking site to broaden his Web presence. (Portions in bold are my emphasis):
TechPresident’s Alan Rosenblatt took an early look at the new feature
and the Obama application, which allows Facebook members to see new
videos and messages from the campaign and share them with their
Facebook friends, on the day it went public, and he was impressed. As
Rick Klau of Feedburner pointed out in a contemporaneous post, the app
adds a significant amount of value to the Obama campaign. “If you’re
interested in exposing your network of friends to info about Barack,
the campaign is making it a one-click affair that greatly simplifies
the redistribution of campaign info,” he wrote.
Platform launched, Obama was the only candidate with an application.
Why didn’t John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ron Paul, or
anyone else get in on the possibility of reaching 20 million or more
Facebook users and potential voters? [...]
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
Yesterday, the computer geek world was abuzz with news that someone had managed to break the encryption code on the next-generation DVD system, HD-DVD.
The code was posted all over the internet (a Google search for "09 F9," the first four digits of the code turns up 62,000 results). One site it was posted on was digg.com, a popular and somewhat left-leaning news community. Digg, however, was contacted by Hollywood lawyers who warned them to delete the post or face legal action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Digg deleted the post and in the process set off a firestorm of user protest within its community. Immediately, everyone started posting the code into non-related entries and denouncing Digg for being a censor. It got so bad that the site shut down entirely.
Web use has become such a widespread phenomenon that for next year's presidential election, Yahoo is set to host the first-ever online presidential debate.
Unfortunately, all of the web media sources it's chosen to partner up with are liberal leaning. David All explains:
When mega-giant Yahoo! decides to play in the political sandbox, I’m going to pay attention. Yahoo! is currently ranked number one in Alexa.org’s Top 500.
So when it was reported this week that Yahoo! had partnered with Slate, Huffington Post, and PBS's Charlie Rose to host the first-ever online Presidential debate, as a conservative Republican, I immediately felt a curling in my stomach [...]
Two days ago a NewsBusters reader alerted me to some missing comments on a February 26 blog post by Evening News anchor Katie Couric at CBSNews.com.:
When I first saw this post on Couric's website last night (around 10:30 PM ET), I thought it was great that there were *12 pages* of comments appended to her post -- with every single one criticizing her and Al Gore for being limousine liberals and attacking the mistakes in her post. But when I looked at it again today (11:00 AM ET), all the comments have disappeared.
CBS's Greg Kandra addressed concerns about the missing comments in this February 28 post to "Couric & Co.":
From time to time, we receive suggestions about adding a link on articles to submit NB stories to the community bookmarking site Digg.com. It's something we've thought about, however, I've always been skeptical of the non-partisanship of Digg.
LGF and Ace have some interesting posts on how leftist readers of the site consistently vote stories with conservative messages off the front page.
IMO this is yet another example of the left better using technology than the right. <
Any time a Republican does something stupid or advocates a dumb idea, the media invariably point out that the politician in question happens to be a Republican.
When it's a Democrat doing or saying something stupid, however, all bets are off as to whether or not they'll be outed as a Democrat (since such information is now immaterial in the minds of liberal reporters). Such is the case in this NBC affiliate story currently being highlighted on the Drudge Report:
A state senator from Brooklyn said on Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation that would ban people from using an MP3 player, cell phone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street in either New York City or Buffalo.
NewsChannel 4 reported that Sen. Carl Kruger is proposing the ban in response to two recent pedestrian deaths in his district, including a 23-year-old man who was struck and killed last month while listening to his iPod on Avenue T and East 71st Street In Bergen Beach.
"While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they're tuning out the world around them," Kruger said. The proposed law would make talking on cell phones while crossing the street a comparable offense to jaywalking.
Carl Kruger is a Democrat as anyone can see by looking at his entry in the New York State Senate Democrats web site. (H/t: pow)
The last two weeks have been pivotal in this debate ever since Nature Biotechnology published a study that was co-authored by researcher Paolo De Coppi and Anthony Atala through Harvard and Wake Forest Universities, 7 years ago. The study details advances in stem cell research that could be achieved faster and safer with amniotic fluid than could be achieved with embryonic stem cells. In addition, it is being reported that the amniotic stem cells don’t have the propensity to turn into runaway cancer like tumors as has been demonstrated in many embryonic stem cell trials to date.
The AP appears to be star struck by Michael J. Fox with the debut of his campaign ad for Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill and several other Dems this week. So star struck that the AP has pronounced him a great success in a puff piece today. But how can they possibly know for sure if his ads are working?
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
Disgraced Reuters freelance photographer Adnan Hajj was dismissed by the wire service for altering a photograph of a Lebanese skyline to make the damage caused by Israel look worse (big hat tip to Charles Johnston at Little Green Footballs, who first uncovered the fake photo). More photos by Hajj are being scrutinized, and at least one other photo has been proven to have been digitally altered.
I couldn't help but smile when I read the following Wall Street Journal
article that's making its way around lefty blogland. In it, reporters
Antonio Regalado and Dionne Searcey look into the mystery of a
fun little parody video of Al Gore and his global warming movie, "An Inconvenient
Truth," posted at YouTube.
But all is not as it seems, however. According to our dynamic duo, the video was uploaded from a person using the computer owned by the DCI Group, a political lobbying firm that (wait for it) has connections with the nefarious ExxonMobil.
That may or may not be the case. The funny part of the article is how suspicious Regalado and Searcey seem to be that non-liberals may be finally starting to use films to carry political messages:
Internet giants Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft have come under fire
today from Amnesty International for actively complying with the
authoritarian government of China's attempts to censor the internet
in that country.
These companies came in for withering criticism as part of
Amnesty's campaign to raise awareness of political censorship
throughout the world by highlighting its impact in China where
internet suppression is more widespread and effective largely because
American tech companies are "particularly willing to cooperate
with the Chinese government," the group said in a
"The internet can be a great tool for the promotion of human
rights -- activists can tell the world about abuses in their country
at the click of a mouse. People have unprecedented access to
information from the widest range of sources," the statement
continued. "But the internet's potential for change is being
undermined -- by governments unwilling to tolerate this free media
outlet, and by companies willing to help them repress free speech."
An excerpt from the devastating report (PDF) is after the jump. For a look at web censorship in India, read this from Michelle Malkin.
On Wednesday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann characterized President Bush's veto of a bill to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research as a "hard stance" and a "setback for stem cell research" as the President was "honking off" and "turning his back on" federal funding proponents "despite pleas from his own party." He also portrayed Bush's decision as "forget science, forget patients." Before the words "Appeasing the Base" were displayed on the monitor behind him, Olbermann employed a standard liberal attack accusing the "radical right" of inconsistency for being both anti-abortion and pro-death penalty, charging that "there are no straight lines in the radical right's attitude towards life." The Countdown host also sympathetically declared that Democrats were "confounded by" Bush's "scientific double speak," while he mocked Bush as "confounded by exactly which rights are endowed by the Creator in the Declaration of Independence." (Transcript follows)
A colleague forwarded a press release from MTV titled "MTV News Presents: IraqUploaded To Air Friday, July 21st at 8PM (ET/PT)." The special will show how soldiers "document war" in Iraq and share it on the Web, but watch out for that "mujahideen" perspective:
In this half hour special report, MTV News’ Gideon Yago delves into this technological and social phenomenon [of soldier-made video] emerging from the front lines in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Through short videos on user generated content websites, OIF troops provide an unvarnished and unrefined perspective of the violence of combat, the relationships of men in uniform and the reality of war. “MTV News Presents: Iraq Uploaded” will air on Friday, July 21st at 8PM (ET/PT).
The death of Ken Lay, the founder of the now-defunct energy company
Enron, aroused a lot more passions than a typical CEO's passing would.
Apparently, many liberals out there are letting their anger out in the
strangest place, Lay's entry in the online community encyclopedia,
Wikipedia. Frank Ahrens reports:
10:11 a.m., the Lay article concluded, "The guilt of ruining so many
lives finaly [sic] led him to his suicide." (Is it the speed with which
flamers type that inevitably leads to typos? Or is it a political
statement, a willful rebellion against the bourgeoisie strictures of
so-called conventional spelling? Or are they just idiots? Discuss.)
one minute later, actual news managed to elbow its way into Wikipedia:
"According to Lay's pastor the cause was a 'massive coronary' heart
But the sanity was short-lived. At 10:39 a.m., a
self-styled medical expert opined: "Speculation as to the cause of the
heart attack lead many people to believe it was due to the amount of
stress put on him by the Enron trial."
Finally, by Wednesday
afternoon, the Wikipedia entry about Lay said that he was pronounced
dead at an Aspen, Colo., hospital and had died of a heart attack,
citing news sources.
What does all of this tell us?
That Wikipedia's greatest strength is its greatest weakness.
the statement that "history is written by the winners" is too gross, it
does speak to an underlying truth: All definitive encyclopedia
authorship comes with the point of view of its times. It is
If you're not acquanted with a DVR, it's a machine that lets you record your favorite shows when you're not able to watch them live. It's like a VCR but with many more hours of storing capacity, all recorded digitally on its own hard drive.
While it's still in its infancy (owned by 10 percent of consumers), an executive for ABC television wants all DVR manufacturers to disable one of the machine's most prized functions: fast-forwarding the commercials.
ABC HAS HELD DISCUSSIONS ON the use of technology that would disable the fast-forward button on DVRs, according to ABC President of Advertising Sales Mike Shaw, with the primary goal to allow TV commercials to run as intended.
While I’m on the subject of MRC interns wanting to pluck their eyeballs out watching Al-Gorey screeds about our impending planetary doom, MRC intern Chadd Clark sat through the entire Matt Lauer "Countdown to Doomsday" special on the Sci-Fi Channel that aired on June 14. The transcripts are so full of hyperbole it reads more like the the aforementioned Science Fiction in the usual rotation on that channel than an alleged documentary hosted by an NBC News anchor. Chadd lined up a long list of wild predictions of how we may all be dead tomorrow.
9:03 PM, Lauer on the threat of extinction: "Today, some of our greatest scientific minds are warning that we could be on the brink of another terrible extinction, only this one, is our own."
I've often read that plants grow better when exposed to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Yet, when the Associated Press mentions the subject, what it says is: Global warming boosts poison ivy.
The AP report, as published May 29 by the Boston Globe, begins:
Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday.
And a CO2-driven vine also produces more of its rash-causing chemical, urushiol, conclude experiments conducted in a forest at Duke University where scientists increased carbon-dioxide levels to those expected in 2050.