links for 2010-03-31

links for 2010-03-30

  • "A fundamental question that often gets overlooked in the horrible pattern of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, is who is the church? Are children part of the church, and the beloved of God, and their safety the condition for being able to say the church is holy? Or is it only the church hierarchy that is the church, and the protection of the hierarchy the most important issue? Are children part of the church or not?

    "The answer from this current Pope, Benedict XVI, is plainly that only the church hierarchy is the church. Over many decades, from his time as Bishop in Munich to his term as head of the church office charged with investigating sexual misconduct by priests,the answer from this man is consistently that the hierarchy is the church.

  • "…The huge shake-up in photography during the last decade. Amateurs, happy to accept small checks for snapshots of children and sunsets, have increasing opportunities to make money on photos but are underpricing professional photographers and leaving them with limited career options. Professionals are also being hurt because magazines and newspapers are cutting pages or shutting altogether.

    "…In 2005, Getty Images licensed 1.4 million preshot commercial photos. Last year, it licensed 22 million — and “all of the growth was through our user-generated business,” Mr. Klein said."
    “There are very few professional photographers who, right now, are not hurting,” said Holly Stuart Hughes, editor of the magazine Photo District News. That has left professional photographers with a bit of an identity crisis.

  • "SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea, one of the world’s most impenetrable nations, is facing a new threat: networks of its own citizens feeding information about life there to South Korea and its Western allies. The networks are the creation of a handful of North Korean defectors and South Korean human rights activists using cellphones to pierce North Korea’s near-total news blackout. To build the networks, recruiters slip into China to woo the few North Koreans allowed to travel there, provide cellphones to smuggle across the border, then post informers’ phoned and texted reports on Web sites.

    "The work is risky. Recruiters spend months identifying and coaxing potential informants, all the while evading agents from the North and the Chinese police bent on stopping their work. The North Koreans face even greater danger; exposure could lead to imprisonment — or death."

links for 2010-03-29

  • "He's testified before a congressional panel — anonymously — and when he was interviewed on national television, he was shot from behind and his voice disguised. For fear of the Chinese government, the soft-spoken Silicon Valley software consultant has kept his identity concealed. Until now.

    "I realized that if you're scared," Alan Huang told the Mercury News in an exclusive interview, "the government can take advantage of that."

    "Huang's local company, UltraReach Internet, is among a group of companies that make up the Global Internet Freedom Consortium. Through the consortium's simple software, often downloaded through an e-mail, a person can step outside whatever blocking or surveillance their country imposes and freely access anyplace on the Web.

  • "The fact that many of them joined the Tea Party after losing their jobs raises questions of whether the movement can survive an improvement in the economy, with people trading protest signs for paychecks. But for now, some are even putting their savings into work that they argue is more important than a job — planning candidate forums and get-out-the-vote operations, researching arguments about the constitutional limits on Congress and using Facebook to attract recruits."

links for 2010-03-26

  • Mac-friendly tool for functional wireframes

    – Create software mockups in minutes
    # Collaborate with your team
    # Focus on creating your product

  • On Thursday, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced the creation of local journalism centers in five regions. NPR and PBS stations in each region will collaborate on covering key issues, including immigration, agribusiness, the economy and health care. They will jointly hire about 50 multimedia journalists.
  • Centreal resource for phone-based local info services around the US

    "2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referral. Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. Learn more about your local 2-1-1 by looking it up here."

  • * Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
    * Personalized: 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
    * Participatory: 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.

    Among those who get news online, 75% get news forwarded and 52% share links to news with others via those means.

    Despite all of this online activity, the typical online news consumer routinely uses just a handful of news sites and does not have a particular favorite. And overall, Americans have mixed feelings about this “new” news environment. Over half (55%) say it is easier to keep up with news and information today than it was five years ago, but 70% feel the amount of news and information available from different sources is overwhelming.

  • "The ability to share news was the second most important, but following sites on social networks came in at the bottom of the list. Twice as many “news participators” found links important, and four times as many “other online news consumers” considered links an important feature.

    "Should news organizations and journalists focus less attention on gathering an audience on social networks and more attention on providing links?"

  • Another useful tool for downloading and keeping streaming video from several sites.
    (tags: video tools)
  • "Although the share of feature phone traffic in AdMob’s network declined from 58 percent to 35 percent year-over-year, absolute traffic from feature phones still grew 31 percent. Mobile Internet devices experienced the strongest growth of the three categories, increasing to account for 17 percent of traffic in AdMob’s network in February 2010. The iPod touch is the top mobile Internet device and is responsible for a vast majority of this traffic

    "Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and LG were the top manufacturers of feature phones. Top feature phones from each manufacturer in AdMob’s network were the Samsung SCH R350, Nokia 3110c, Sony Ericsson W200i, Motorola RAZR V3, and LG CU920.

    "For the purpose of categorization, AdMob considers a smartphone to run an identifiable Operating System, a feature phone to be mobile phone that does not fit into the smartphone category, and a mobile Internet device to be a handheld device that connects to the mobile Internet but is not a phone."

links for 2010-03-25

  • “Ronnie Moipolai from Kopong village in the Kweneng district 50 km west of the capitol Gaborone. He is 29 years old and goes around the shebeens selling and playing his songs for 5Pula each (80dollarcents). He learned guitar from his now late father, has 3 brothers that also play guitar ( KB is one of them), has also a big sister and plenty of kids in the yard. Nobody has a formal job and his mother sells Chibuku beer and firewood they get from the bush trying to make ends meet.”
  • video interview with me about how to be an independent info provocateur as a career. I think I was overcaffeinated here, but it was fun and might be helpful for some folks
  • Enter your twitter username to see a tag cloud from the 'bios' of your twitter flock.
  • "Yahoo! yesterday introduced a new app called Sketch-a-Search to the iPhone. It's one of the first search apps I've seen that actually takes a new, novel approach to search taking advantage of the iPhone's multi-touch features."
  • "Most Wikipedians seemed to accept the idea that different languages and cultures might want to include different topics in their encyclopedias. But what happens when we share a language but not a culture? Is there a point where Makmende is sufficiently important to English-speaking Kenyans that he merits a Wikipedia page even if most English-speakers couldn’t care less? Or is there an implicit assumption that an English-language Wikipedia is designed to enshrine landmarks of shared historical and cultural importance to people who share a language?"

links for 2010-03-24

  • "Once you've opted-in, you will be able to add your location information to individual Tweets as you compose them on and with other applications or mobile devices that support this feature. The location information that is shared publicly can be either your exact location (your coordinates) or your place (like a neighborhood or town). Tweeting with your place or coordinates can add context to your updates and help you join the local conversation, wherever you are. For example, here's a weather report from Coleen, tweeting from the SoMA neighborhood in San Francisco"
  • Web self-reliance
    What it is: the ability to set up and run a web site without assistance, permission, or support1.
    Why you want it: Because begging sucks; because you’ll try far fewer experiments even if you can get a friend to help you for free, because doing so costs social capital, and that capital isn’t infinite; because if you don’t, you’ll be more dependent on an employer for a job and your livelihood, and who knows? You, yes YOU, might save journalism. And even if you don’t, you will have grand adventures on the Web and be able to Make Things, which is only the best thing ever.
  • "Mobile and wireless technologies such as smartphones, Wi-Fi hotspots and laptop data cards are becoming more important for small-business owners, according to the “Small Business Technology Poll” from AT&T.

    "More than one-fifth of respondents said they could not be in business at all without wireless technologies, and a further 43% claimed it would be a major challenge. That makes mobile and wireless critical for about two-thirds of small businesses."

  • "Finally, there's AT&T Mobile Share, which lets users share photos and videos with computers, phones and — most importantly — social networking sites. AT&T doesn't mention any specific sites, but I imagine the capability to upload a photo to Facebook on the fly could be quite popular. Unlike the other two services, this one isn't free; it'll cost $10 per month for 50 transfers, or 35 cents per transfer.

    "The new features will debut on four AT&T phones this spring: the $20 Samsung Strive, the $40 Samsung Sunburst, the full-keyboard Pantech Link and the touchscreen Pantech Pursuit. See AT&T's press release for specs and other details on those phones. These features are nothing new to smartphone owners, but an iPhone or Blackberry user must pay $30 per month for data in addition to voice and text. AT&T's Quick Messaging plans cost $30 per month for unlimited texting and data, or $20 per month for texting alone."

links for 2010-03-23

  • "While those of us in the “talking about the future of online news business” have dissected the arguments made by News Corp., the AP, and others — and have largely moved on to the next big online news issue (iPads, anyone?) — it’s important to keep in mind that these older discussions are still very much alive, and are occurring inside the halls of power. What’s more, the status quo on the web may not be as settled as we think.

    "The point is, while those of us who have grown up with the Internet naturally assume that certain aspects of its infrastructure are eternal (like the right to link and aggregate freely), no infrastructural element of a large system is impossible to change. Some elements (like linking? like aggregation?) are just harder to change than others. At least, I personally hope they are.

links for 2010-03-22

  • Interesting that this letter isn't anti-censorship. Difference between Chinese & Western perspective.

    "We support necessary censorship of Internet content and communications, whether it is on Google or any other foreign or domestic company," the authors write. "But we hope that such censorship should be conducted as follows:"

    "For instance, It should be based on clear laws, the related regulations and censorship procedures should not violate China's constitution and laws. Vague censorship standards result in over-censorship or make it impossible to self-censor…."

  • "I wonder if we can have it both ways. How would it work to provide an incentive for people submitting to some form of verified identity or registering through Facebook Connect (not verified, but Facebook is a place where most people identify themselves accurately)?

    "What if those comments appear on the same page as the story or post, and you have to click to another page to read or join the anonymous comments? Or could you put them all on one page, but the anonymous comments go to the bottom while comments from verified users go to the top. Either of these approaches would disrupt the flow of conversation (for instance, an anonymous response to a verified-ID comment would appear on a different page or far below). On the other hand, the real flow of comments is often pretty uneven, with responses appearing several comments apart from the original comment, and with some appearing in chronological order and others posting most recent comments on top.

links for 2010-03-21

  • "When you're deciding how to incorporate analytics into your strategy, the most important thing is that you are gathering actionable data. By this I mean that you have to be able to use the information you gather to make a decision and take action. If you're not going to use it to make a decision, it's a waste of time to even look at it. With this in mind, there are a few areas we should focus on: split testing, interaction tracking, conversion funnel analysis, and click tracking. These methods will give you the information you need to both improve your conversion rates and your understanding of user behavior."

links for 2010-03-20