Getting Paid for Doing Bad Things (12″ version)

This is the extended version of my earlier blog post. The BBC finally ran my commentary so for those of you who want more info, here it is: Think of it as product placement for the Internet. It’s been around a while, but I just figured out how it works, and it made me realise …

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Gay Lesbian Syrian Blogger? Or a Bearded American from Edinburgh?

Here’s a cautionary tale about how hard it is to verify whether someone is who they say they are: Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man Tom MacMaster’s wife has confirmed in an email to the Guardian that he is the real identity behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog Syrian …

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Lost in the Flow of The Digital Word

my weekly column as part of the Loose Wire Service, hence the lack of links. By Jeremy Wagstaff A few weeks ago I wrote about the emergence of the digital book, and how, basically, we should get over our love affair with its physical ancestor and realize that, as with newspapers, rotary dial phones and …

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SideWiki’s Wish Fulfilment

A piece in today’s Guardian attracted my attention–“SideWiki Changes Everything”—as I thought, perhaps, it might shed new light on Google’s browser sidebar that allows anyone to add comments to a website whether or not the website owner wants them to. The piece calls the evolution of SideWiki a “seminal moment”. The column itself, however, is …

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How to Get Your Pitch Read Part XIV

One way to try to get the journalist to read beyond the headline/subject is the EMBARGOED tag: Although it does sound somewhat pompous, and can backfire if it’s not a story worth breaking an embargo for. Likewise a subject line prefaced by BREAKING NEWS: As you can see, MySpace’s PR seems to think anything to …

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Filtering Communications So They Don’t Drive Us Mad

A dear friend was supposed to drop something off around 11 pm last night. I turn in around that time, so I just nodded off. Luckily I didn’t hear her SMS come in around 1 am. But I could have. I consider the phone the primary communications device–if someone has an emergency, that’s how they’re …

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Google’s New Interface: The Earth

I’ve written before about how I think Google Earth, or something like it, will become a new form of interface — not just for looking for places and routes, but any kind of information. Some people call it the geo-web, but it’s actually bigger than that. Something like Google Earth will become an environment in …

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A New Image for Your Email Address

John Graham-Cumming, author of Bayesian spam filter POPFile, points me to a neat tool he’s created which will turn an email address into an image that may spare you some spam from bots scouring web pages for email addresses: This site converts a text-based email address (such as me@example.com) and creates an image that can …

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