links for 2010-01-14

  • Possible option for a "me collector," hmmm…..
  • "After stepping into the green energy industry recently, Google filed an application to the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) towards attaining rights towards the buying and selling of energy. According to the document Google Energy appealed for market-based rate authority under which Google Energy wants to captivate the wholesale electric power transactions as a marketer. The California based search engine giant has taken many measures to curb carbon emissions."
  • Might want to get one of these as part of emergency kit
    (tags: energy)
  • Overall, 2009 was a good year for transparency mostly because it was in government’s and the public’s consciousness like never before, and we’ve recapped the year pretty exhaustively.

    These things are all true, but we’re certainly not to a place of openness in the executive, and in fact, we have a long way to go before we get transparency results that we can hang our hat on.

    It is imperative that the onus remains on the White House to fulfill their big promises, and incumbent upon the media and we as citizens to hold them accountable for doing so.

  • Verizon took a lot of heat when earlier they pulled their unlimited data plans. I'm not surprised to see they're reinstating them.

    "Documents obtained by Broadband Reports from a Verizon Wireless employee indicate that another round of changes is on tap for January 18. Most importantly, the document indicates that Verizon is replacing the $19.99 for 75MB plan for a plan that costs $29.99 for unlimited access, plus mobile e-mail service. If truly unlimited (and the document makes no reference to hidden caps), then that's a slight improvement for big red."

    "Another important item to notes is that as they did with smartphones, Verizon is going to start requiring some kind of data plan for all phones. Phones are now divided into three classes by Verizon: "simple feature," "3G Multimedia," and "3G smartphone." "Even some basic phones such as the LG VX8360 will require data plans starting the 18th," says our tipster."

  • "Despite these sacrifices, Google has never figured out a way to defeat its rival, Baidu, which clearly enjoys the support of the Chinese government. These attacks appear to have been the last straw. They threatened not only the core intellectual property of the company but the the intrusions into the e-mail accounts of human-rights activists struck at the heart of Google’s self-perception of its role in the world. When the other affected companies decided not to go public, Google stepped forward, even though its decision will likely result in the loss of its China business."

links for 2010-01-13

  • Pretty good coverage of the tech scene in my former hometown 🙂
  • Google's announcement that it will "review" its business operations in China and is no longer willing to censor its Chinese search engine,, is generating a range of reaction in China. Conversation over at the #googlecn hashtag on Twitter – created shortly after the announcement – has been raging fast and furious. The Chinese Twittersphere – comprised exclusively of people who are tech savvy enough to know how to get around censorship or they wouldn't be there – is generally cheering the news.
  • "The PEJ study defines news as news has been defined. We should be rethinking our definition of what is news — for many people, it’s not stories about juvenile justice, one of Pew’s subjects — and how it should be covered — not necessarily in articles — and how it is spread — that is the role of blogs and twitter — and not be stuck in old measurements."
  • In fact, the PEJ survey starts with the statement that “much of the ‘news’ people receive contains no original reporting”, and that “fully eight of 10 stories studied simply repeated or repackaged previously published information”, often even without attribution.

    Subsequently, the report comes to the conclusion that out of the two in 10 stories that did contain new information, most of it – 95% – came from traditional media, mostly newspapers.

    Wait, from two out of 10 stories to 95%?

    It was this weird numbercrunching that got blown up by the newspapers,

  • Wow, next time I need a crown, I want to get it done this way!
    (tags: healthcare)

links for 2010-01-12

  • ARGH! the hubris of this article really annoys me.

    I think the catch in this PEJ study is "six key stories" — "key" as defined by whom? In my experience, nontraditional media (including blogs) regularly surface LOTS of news — local and hyperlocal stories, niche stories, all sorts of topics. The people who do this tend not to chase the same kinds of stories that newspapers do. They're adding a lot of value to the ecosystem.

    The study has a basic flaw, and I expect more news orgs will try to skew it, like the LA TImes did here, to try to comfort/justify themselves. :::foreheadmeetwall:::

links for 2010-01-09

links for 2010-01-07

  • Interest counterpoint to yesterday's Atlantic piece about how newspaper writing style doesn't work. Seem to me this perspective "the well-written story is in danger of becoming scarce" reflects more the tastes and fears of journalists, not of regular people.
  • "In organizing your community, don't fall into the trap that equates physical proximity with community. Just because people live near one another, that fact doesn't bond those people into a community. Communities form around common needs and purposes, as will yours. So start by identifying what you can offer a community and which community might need what you can offer.

    "This might lead you away from covering a geographic area and toward covering some topical niche. So be it. Go where your knowledge, talent and passion directs you. Then starting thinking specifically about your audience community. I mean, name names. Who do you know that would want to read what you have to say? Recruit them. Don't freak out over starting with only a handful of readers. That's all you're likely to reach initially anyway. You can't count on anyone just "showing up." Go ahead and extend explicit invitations. Better yet, invite these potential readers to write for your new publication."

Media mending the vocabulary gap: Polyamory and the Boston Globe

Last weekend, the cover of the Boston Globe Sunday magazine featured a good story about a topic I know well: polyamory. In Love’s New Frontier, Globe writer Sandra Miller did a far better job explaining this approach to relationships than most mainstream publications do. No wide-eyed, mock-shock sensationalism.

As a polyamorous person, I was rather tickled that this topic got such prominent play. I figured: Cool! There goes a chunk of the vocabulary gap!

If you haven’t heard the term, polyamory means being open to having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Yes, I realize any new term sounds awkward until you get used to it. So: Get used to it. Because here’s what the vocabulary gap looks like to a poly person…

Continue reading

links for 2010-01-06

  • On the evolution of a Twitter user: "Like many newbies on Twitter, I vastly overestimated the importance of broadcasting on Twitter and after a while, I realized that I was not Moses and neither Twitter nor its users were wondering what I thought. Nearly a year in, I’ve come to understand that the real value of the service is listening to a wired collective voice.

    "Not that long ago, I was at a conference at Yale and looked at the sea of open laptops in the seats in front of me. So why wasn’t my laptop open? Because I follow people on Twitter who serve as my Web-crawling proxies, each of them tweeting links that I could examine and read on a Blackberry. Regardless of where I am, I surf far less than I used to."

  • Hmmmm, seems like Seesmic is trying to become for social media what Adium is for instant messaging…

    "Your friends are not all in one social network, but we want to help you stay in touch with them anytime and from any device. That is Seesmic's vision and to deliver this faster, we have acquired You can now update 50 social networks using from email, chat, sms, Blackberry, Android, web, Windows, OSX and much more soon."

  • "One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news.

    "…In the financial crisis, NYT & other papers seem to have given reporters more leeway to express their opinions directly. Editors may have realized these issues are hard enough to explain w/o running into roadblocks at every turn labeled Warning: Opinion Territory Ahead. But old wordy conventions survive. Quotes from strangers restating the reporter’s opinion. Adding protective qualifiers to statements abt which there is no real doubt (as in: bonus restrictions “may have” backfired). Also, a headline “Windfall Seen as Bonuses Are Paid in Stock” attributes the article’s conclusion to unnamed others. Somebody sees a windfall. We’re just telling you about it."

links for 2010-01-05

Wrestling with Scribd’s fullscreen display

I’ve been using the document-sharing service Scribd to embed documents in posts for various projects. but sometimes the “fullscreen” feature doesn’t work with the embedded document. I’m trying to troubleshoot this. So as a test I’m embedded a Scribd document here, to see if fullscreen works:

1 5 2010 Concurrent Meeting of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency City Council 10-01-05 Meeting Agenda

…OK, just viewed this post in Firefox for Mac and the fullscreen function does work here. But on another site I publish on, which is a complex Drupal site, it’s not working.

Have other Scribd users experienced similar display problems when embedding documents on Drupal sites? Got any solutions?