The Siri Thing

I was asked to pen a few lines for a Guardian journalist on why I thought Siri was male  in the U.S. and female in the UK. My quote was taken a tad out of context and so offended some folk who either didn’t know I was a technology columnist who makes a living out …

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AboutFacebook

This is a copy of my weekly Loose Wire Service column for newspapers, hence the lack of links. By Jeremy Wagstaff A few weeks ago I talked about Facebook’s brave new world of connecting your profile to all the other bits and pieces you leave on websites. I erred, and I apologize. I thought that …

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Presentation Blues

This is a copy of my weekly column for the Loose Wire Service, hence the lack of links. By Jeremy Wagstaff I attended a conference the other day. I’m amazed, frankly, that we still do conferences. Weren’t we supposed to have stopped this already? But, upon closer inspection, conferences are, if we’d let them, a …

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Laptops Aren’t the Problem: The Meetings Are

Some interesting discussions about whether laptops should be allowed in class or meetings. This from Cybernetnews (via Steve Rubel’s shared Google Reader feed): At the start of my last semester of school, I was taken back when I read the syllabus for one of my classes. It read something like: “laptops may not be brought …

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Counting the Words

I’ve been looking recently at different ways that newspapers can add value to the news they produce, and one of them is using technology to better mine the information that’s available to bring out themes and nuances that might otherwise be lost. But does it always work? The post popular page on the WSJ.com website …

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The Revolutionary Back Channel

A tech conference appears to have marked yet another shift in the use of social tools to wrest control and flatten the playing field. Dan Fost of Fortune calls it Conference 2.0 but I prefer the term (which Dan also uses): The Unconference Movement. (I prefer it because anything with 2.0 in it implies money; …

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Journalists’ Phobia of Digital Recorders

The AP picture that accompanies this OPEC story says it all: Journalists still don’t seem to have switched from cassette recorders to digital, even though prices have dropped amazingly in the past five years and features risen impressively. (I’ve just bought an Olympus DS-20 for a quarter of the price I paid for a DM-1 …

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Too Old to Read About Movies, Too Young to Die

I love the Internet Movie Database but have been somewhat irritated by the need to register to read comments. I didn’t do it for a while but finally did today. Turns out they don’t just want your email address; they need a gender and a year of birth. I know it’s churlish of me, but …

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How To Get a Good Idea, Part I

Reading at the moment Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who mentions the trick German experimental physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz used to do in boring conferences to entertain himself and to measure the lengths of his trains of thought — microflows, in Csikszentmihalyi’s words. The passage is conveyed in full here: Professor Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, a German experimental physicist, …

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Fraud For Sale

Online fraud and other forms of Internet crime is a business, openly sold over the Internet.   British-based Internet security company Netcraft says they’re receiving spam advertising dozens of “fraud hosting” websites that offer services and gather together those interested in such pursuits. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, most are Russian. But not all.   Carderportal.com resolves to …

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