links for 2009-03-04

  • Another resource for finding out what specific Twitter hashtags mean
  • "In perhaps the most surprising assertion, the Oct. 23, 2001, memo suggested the president could even suspend press freedoms if he concluded it was necessary to wage the war on terror. "First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully," Yoo wrote in the memo entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activity Within the United States."

    "This claim was viewed as so extreme that it was essentially (and secretly) revoked—but not until October of last year, seven years after the memo was written and with barely three and a half months left in the Bush administration.

  • Google's 9/08 post explaining its effort to put archived original news articles online, preserving original format/context.

    "You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News. Not every search will trigger this new content, but you can start by trying queries like [Nixon space shuttle] or [Titanic located]. Stories we've scanned under this initiative will appear alongside already-digitized material from publications like the New York Times as well as from archive aggregators, and are marked "Google News Archive." Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we'll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well."

  • From Sept. 08 — but worth noting: "Google is partnering with publishers to digitize millions of old newspaper pages. For lots of people that’s big news because as more pages become available, the history of humanity’s every day lives will be instantly accessible. It’s almost like bringing all of the journalists of the past into realm of bloggers, where their content is almost instantly indexed and searchable.

    "Google plans to make the text available, as well as original scans with all formatting intact, according to a company blog post. The content from these newspapers won’t be restricted to an archive search page forever though. The company plans to gradually integrate the content with search results initiated using its main search engine."

  • "Newspaper and magazine publishers seem desperate to find some new trick to preserve the scarcity on which they used to profit. In a world overflowing with media, that is impossible. And editors and publishers are not clever technological tricksters. The E Ink reader will start out black-and-white. Wait, aren't the glossy photos and gorgeous layouts why we pick up magazine sin the first place?

    "What they ought to be doing is fixing their websites: Adding comments everywhere, publicly displaying the comments and pageviews stories garner, and — crucially — adjusting the story mix in light of that information. It's unlikely to happen. The makers of magazines are so used to dreaming up story ideas in their skyscraper aeries. It will never occur to them that their readers might actually be smarter than they are.

    "Smart enough, at any rate, not to buy a gadget designed by a magazine guy.

  • "Given the evolving state of the technology, the Hearst reader is likely to debut in black and white and later transition to high-resolution color with the option for video as those displays, now in testing phases, get commercialized. Downloading content from participating newspapers and magazines will occur wirelessly. For durability, the device is likely to have a flexible core, perhaps even foldable, rather than the brittle glass substrates used in readers on the market today.

    "What Hearst and its partners plan to do is sell the e-readers to publishers and to take a cut of the revenue derived from selling magazines and newspapers on these devices. The company will, however, leave it to the publishers to develop their own branding and payment models. "That's something you will never see Amazon do," someone familiar with the Hearst project said. "They aren't going to give up control of the devices."

  • "Not that it's anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead. Here's how we did the math…"
  • "Despite weak demand hitting its TFT-LCD panel business, Prime View International (PVI) expects to see strong shipments of its electrophoretic displays (EPDs) as the company's largest client Amazon has launched its second-generation e-book Kindle 2, according to market sources.

    "PVI is also speeding up the transition of larger-size EPD production to its Korean subsidiary Hydis, the sources noted. Amazon plans to launch a new generation of Kindle by the end of this year, which will be larger in size and equipped with touch functions, the sources said."

  • "Data is the pollution of the information age. It's a natural by-product of every computer-mediated interaction. It stays around forever, unless it's disposed of. It is valuable when reused, but it must be done carefully. Otherwise, its after-effects are toxic.

    "And just as 100 years ago people ignored pollution in our rush to build the Industrial Age, today we're ignoring data in our rush to build the Information Age.

  • "The scant information available so far indicates that it would have a larger screen than the Kindle (remember, we’re talking newspapers here) in order to handle larger blocks of content. This larger content, of course, would include advertisements.

    "Hearst says that they wish to retain the better features of the kindle, such as low power consumption, high capacity, and a display that is very easy on the eyes. It is felt, apparently, that the kindle display (which is about the size of a standard paperback book) would be to small for use with newspaper content, despite the fact that there is a lot of newspaper content available for the Kindle already, even with its smaller screen size."

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