links for 2010-10-29

links for 2010-10-28

  • After significant consultation with Washington City Paper’s expensive outside team of professional ethicists, we’ve settled on the following guidelines. Please read and follow them closely:

    You may attend the rallies in a non-participatory fashion.
    However, because the rallies are comic events, you may not laugh.
    The act of not laughing, though, can be just as politically loaded as the act of laughing. Therefore, staffers are advised to politely chuckle, in a non-genuine manner, after each joke.
    To avoid any perception of bias, please make sure to chuckle at all jokes, whether or not you find them funny. As journalists, we must make sure to not allow our personal views of “humorous” or “non-humorous” to affect our public demeanor.

  • "The online health-information environment is going mobile. 17% of cell phone users have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 9% have software applications or "apps" on their phones that help them track or manage their health."
    (tags: mobile health)
  • Great collection of widgetized wordpress themes. I'm gonna switch Contentious to one of these so I can play with it more.
  • "Like the alternative option HTTPS Everywhere, the Force-TLS Firefox extension allows your browser to change HTTP to HTTPS on sites that you indicate in the Firefox Add On “Preferences” menu, protecting your login information and ensuring a secure connection when you access social sites.

    "HTTPS encrypts user data, so if a script like Firesheep’s like tries to pull it, it can’t be read. Force-TLS forces a number of sites to make all of their requests over an SSL secured channel and while some sites, like Amazon, don’t currently have the secure option, the majors like Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc all allow a HTTPS connection."

links for 2010-10-24

  • "There are similar curation tools out there, like KeepStream and, though they focus primarily on collecting tweets (Correction: KeepStream also allows for Facebook integration). Storify, on the other hand, allows a user to organize various media (text, documents, video, images) and social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) into an orderly, linear presentation. The story pieces retain all of their original links and functionality – and the full presentations are embeddable on any site. It has a very easy-to-use search for social media keywords and works using a drag-and-drop functionality. In other words – it’s easy multimedia for even the most technologically challenged journalist.

    "In the weeks since the Nieman Lab actually used Storify to explain Storify, many journalists and bloggers have taken the opportunity to experiment with the tool – with incredibly varied results. Here’s a few interpretations of just how Storify has been and can be used in journalism."

links for 2010-10-23

  • "Graham has used his own 420sf apartment as a reference for what the space should support—not only the day-to-day life of a real occupant, but also a sit-down dinner for 12, a lounging option for 8, a space for 2 guests (with privace), a home office, a work area with a rolling tool chest, and a hideable kitchen. Be sure to take a look at the requirements, both mandatory and suggested. It's a long list, including robot servants and telepresence technology (optional)."

links for 2010-10-22

  • It’s a system begging for simplification. While DocumentCloud is making it easier to wrangle and make sense of public records, MuckRock wants to make FOIA requests similarly effortless.

    On its face MuckRock is a tool that allows journalists of all stripes (pro to amateur and in between) to make document requests easier. Think of it like Netflix: You tell MuckRock what you’re looking for and it provides suggestions, ultimately getting you what you’re looking for. But instead of Starship Troopers, you wind up with a nicely formatted request letter to your record agency of choice.

    But in keeping with the idea of transparency, MuckRock also provides an online tracking service to see the progress of requests, and acts as a repository for all the records collected through the site.

  • • In Vietnam, the Communist party wants to be your "friend" on the state-run version of Facebook, provided you are willing to share all personal details.

    • In Burma, political unrest can be silenced by cutting off the country from the internet.

    • In Thailand, website moderators can face decades in jail for a posted comment they did not even write, if the government deems it injurious tothe monarchy.

    While much is made of China's authoritarian attitudetowards internet access, a majority of south-east Asian governments have similar controls and , rather than relaxing restrictions on internet use, many are moving towards tighter regulation.

    The Guardian has spoken to five leading bloggers across the region about the present restrictions they face and future fears.

  • "Mobile companies Obopay and Benevity have partnered up to offer a text-to-donate platform that allows mobile phone users to donate to any charity of choice. While text-based donations are nothing new, what's significant about this partnership is the cause-agnostic nature of it–any registered non-profit or charity can sign on by simply choosing a keyword to represent them.
    Users start by texting the relevant keyword to the appropriate number, choose the charity, and the money is instantly donated and the tax receipts are issued immediately."
  • "showing how the term is becoming meaningless. More useful to focus on specific capabilities, rather than device classes. Then choice gets down to balance between capabilities, form factor, carrier preference — and, of course, initial and ongoing cost."
  • CNN: So it's essentially a cloud phone number?
    Waller: Well it's a number that gives you access to your own phone. So once you log in with your own number and a pin code you will get greeted with a menu. So it will say, "Hello, John. Your balance is $1. You have two missed calls. You've got one SMS message." And then we effectively set up a communication channel with the user, where we're asking them questions and then they're telling us what they want to do.
    CNN: How much does this cost?
    Waller: It costs the user anywhere from 10 to 20 cents to actually buy a phone number and then they're up and running. The call costs are the same as the existing prepaid tariffs that already exist on the prepaid network.

links for 2010-10-21

  • "Author Alain de Botton talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. How has the nature of work changed with the increase in specialization? Why is the search for meaningful work a modern phenomenon? Has the change in the workplace changed parenting? Why does technology become invisible? These are some of the questions discussed by de Botton in a wide-ranging discussion of the modern workplace and the modern worker."
  • "Meet the most popular phone in the world: The Nokia 1100

    "It has been said that more of the world's population has access to a cellphone than to a sanitary toilet. But of the planet's estimated 5 billion cellphone users, a privileged minority have smartphones; a paltry few, iPhones.

    "If you spend hours thumbing through pages of apps, scoffing at less-than-perfect software upgrades and grousing about screen resolution and pixel density, it's easy to forget that the very concept of a mobile phone is a miracle. It's a device that shrinks your day to day world into a single point, making you simultaneously accessible to and able to access nearly everyone you know, instantly and everywhere."

links for 2010-10-20

  • washinton post on social media. forehead meet wall:
  • There are times and aspects of a startup you’ll need to run in a sprint. Dealing with competition is not necessarily one of those parts. Rather treat that like a marathon. Size them up over a period of time. Who knows, they might even be positive partners in the future. Or it could be that a rising tide lifts all boats. Or they could be running a different race entirely. You’ll never know if all you do is stare at everyone else around you whizzing by. Sometimes it’s important to just keep your head down.
  • "Preparing for Jay Rosen's class today, I, like all the students, had to read eight speeches given by news execs. 
    It was a really depressing task. I guess that's the point. Unless I was required to read them, I would have given up on each long before the end. The story is just too sad, and the rationalizations too weak, and honestly, way too vain and self-centered. "
  • "Unlike its approach to 2G and 3G, the U.S. seems to be taking a front row seat with 4G via Clearwire, Comcast, Sprint, Time Warner and Verizon. However, as Kevin Fitchard of Connected Planet noted in the white paper above, Clearwire’s 4G network is the only official one to date. So for now, as operators work toward offering faster mobile data connections, I imagine the majority of America will continue getting by just fine with its cheaper, simpler ‘dumb’ phones.
  • "Mobile has broken through to reach the mainstream of digital advertising in 2010, according to US ad spending estimates by eMarketer.

    This year, US mobile ad spending will be up 79% to reach $743 million, eMarketer forecasts. That growth will slow somewhat to still-dramatic double-digit rates as spending hits over $1.1 billion in 2011 and more than $2.5 billion by 2014."

links for 2010-10-19

  • SALINA, Kan. – Residents of this deeply conservative city do not put much stock in scientific predictions of climate change. "Don't mention global warming," warned Nancy Jackson, chairwoman of the Climate and Energy Project, a small nonprofit group that aims to get people to rein in the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change. "And don't mention Al Gore. People out here just hate him." Saving energy, though, is another matter.
  • Mesh network for the east bay

    "510pen is building a secondary layer of infrastructure for Internet access. It takes advantage of the Internet connections that many people already have, and adds a layer of redundancy on top. It's called a community wireless network, and it uses mesh network technology."

  • "In recent years the digital world has expanded far beyond the desktop, and consumers can now choose from an array of devices capable of satisfying their need for “anytime, anywhere” access to news, information, friends and entertainment."

links for 2010-10-17