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A pale white man shows us what journalism is

My weekly Loose Wire Service column. Is the Internet replacing journalism? It’s a question that popped up as I gazed at the blurred, distorted web-stream of a press conference from London by the founder of WikiLeaks, a website designed to “protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public”. On the podium there’s Julian Assange. You can’t make a guy like this up. White haired, articulate and defensive, aloof and grungy, specific and then sweepingly angry. Fascinating. In a world of people obsessed by the shininess of their iPhones, Assange is either a throwback to the past or a gulfContinue readingA pale white man shows us what journalism is

The Dangers of Faking It

(my weekly column, syndicated to newspapers) By Jeremy Wagstaff A 40-ton whale jumped out of the water and crash-landed onto a sailboat the other day. The moment was caught on camera by a tourist, the whale suspended a few meters above the boat before it smashes into mast and deck, leaving behind a mass of barnacle and blubber. Amazing stuff. So the first question from a TV interviewer to the survivors of this close encounter between man and mammal? “Was this picture Photoshopped?” Sad, but I have to admit it was my first question too. Photoshopping—the art of digitally manipulating a photo—has become so commonplaceContinue readingThe Dangers of Faking It

Why Hotels Should Avoid Social Media

By Jeremy Wagstaff (this is a copy of my column for newspapers) If The Wall Street Journal is to be believed—and as a former contributor I’ve no reason to doubt it—the best way to get decent hotel service these days is to tweet about how bad it is. And reading the piece made me realize that, when it comes to an industry like the leisure industry, social media can only be a disaster for your brand. An article by Sarah Nassauer says that “hotels and resorts are amassing a growing army of sleuths whose job it is to monitor what is said about them online—andContinue readingWhy Hotels Should Avoid Social Media

The Publisher Audience

By Robin Lubbock For years I’ve been meaning to write this post, but it seemed so obvious that I kept neglecting to write this thought down. I am the publisher. You are the publisher. Anyone with a screen is the publisher. That changes everything. It moves institutions that are publishers on paper or on the air one step further away from the audience. It means newspapers and broadcasters have to find ways to market their wares to the new publishers. Let me say that again with a little more detail. In the old days newspapers and broadcasters made selections from a wide range of competingContinue readingThe Publisher Audience

Driver Phishing II, Or Who Is Trentin Lagrange?

I’m fully awake now, and doing some digging on who is behind the Driver Robot “driver phish.” The digging has introduced me to a whole level to the software scam industry. The company that sells it is Victoria, BC, Canada-based Blitware (“or Blitware Technology Inc.,  to be precise,” as its website urges us). Nothing gives on its Who Is page, nor on the driverrobot.com website the software is hosted at. But a clue to the possibility that this isn’t just some cute little software developer is back on the LogitechDriversCenter website, which carries some named testimonials, among them this: “I got a new graphics cardContinue readingDriver Phishing II, Or Who Is Trentin Lagrange?

Telling the Story in the Third Dimension

Technorati Tags: journalism,media,newspapers,infoviz,visualization,google earth,kml The bitter end of the Tamil Tigers has been fought away from the news crews, but not the satellites. But did we make the most of this technology to tell the story of human suffering and the end of a 35-year guerrilla movement? A month ago the U.S. government released satellite images apparently showing how tens of thousands of Sri Lankan civilians had been squeezed into the last tract land held by the LTTE, a story covered somewhat cursorily by the media. This three paragraph piece from The Guardian, for example: A week ago (May 12) Human Rights Watch issued itsContinue readingTelling the Story in the Third Dimension

Why You Should Pay for Your Email

Screenshot from Search Engine Journal. (update Dec 2011: Aliencamel is now more, unfortunately, and Fastmail has been sold to Opera.) Using free email accounts like Gmail is commonplace, but not without risk. As Loren Baker, an editor at SearchEngine Journal, found to his cost, when Google disabled his account without warning. (At the time of writing there’s no explanation why his account was suspended, nor whether it had been resolved.) The comments are supportive, but also point out the dangers of relying on a free service for business. This point, in particular, struck home; when it’s “free”, we’re not really the customers, except insofaras we’reContinue readingWhy You Should Pay for Your Email

When Technology Lets Us Down

(from tcbuzz’s flickr collection) Two recent events from the UK underlined how dangerous our dependence on technology can be. The soccer UEFA Cup final in Manchester was overshadowed by riots when one of the massive screens installed in the city for fans who didn’t have tickets broke down. And more recently, the inquest into the death of a former BBC editor found that she committed suicide after failing to find support among her colleagues. Her line manager, the inquest heard, tried to find her counselling: However, her manager sent an email to the wrong address and his request was never acted on. Technology is passive,Continue readingWhen Technology Lets Us Down

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