The Other American Idols

My wife’s in the other room watching American Idol, and while I’m amazed it’s been going so long, you gotta admire its emphasis on quality and professionalism. And no mention of money (isn’t there something vaguely obscene about a program like Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader where avarice and greed are paraded before …

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The Real, Sad Lesson of Burma 2007

Reuters I fear another myth is in the offing: that Burma’s brief uprising last month was a tipping point in citizen journalism. Take this from Seth Mydans’ (an excellent journalist, by the way; I’m just choosing his piece because it’s in front of me) article in today’s IHT: “For those of us who study the …

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Not Stopping Traffic? Blame Wikipedia

I’m not one to court fame, although it is flattering, I must confess, to be recognised in the street. First there’s the odd sideways look as they approach you. Then the diffident approach: “Excuse me, are you Jeremy Wagstaff?” “Why, yes, I am!” “You don’t remember me, do you? “Er, no.” “I’m your wife.” “Oh, …

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Wire Mesh and Lost Souls

You have to love the Internet. It brings you into contact with all sorts of unusual people, the likes of which I haven’t encountered since my days of being driven by tuk-tuk around the sois of 1980s Bangkok. Here’s Linda, for example, who just asked to be my buddy on Skype, introducing herself thus: Me! …

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The Economics of Journalism

Daniel Harrison at the The Global Perspective takes issue with my post about media companies no longer being about content and all about the medium. He makes a fair point, and it’s a good thoughtful post (I’ll forgive him getting my name wrong), concluding that “it is misleading to get side-tracked into a debate on …

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The Escalator Shuffle

I’m not sure it’s confined to any one culture because I see it all over the world, and I still don’t understand it. The Escalator Shuffle is when people in malls or wherever race to be ahead of others on escalators, but then stand still as soon as soon they’re on it, usually two abreast …

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Malaysia’s New PDA Phone

Malaysian company Fifth Media (beware: lots of Flash animation) will this week launch the Axia, a PDA phone that is small, and, at $525, ‘arguably the lowest-priced PDA phone’, according to today’s New Straits Times. The Axia A108 is a GSM tri-band phone using Microsoft Windows CE.NET, with GPRS, MP3 player and 1.3 megapixel camera. There’s no …

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