Posts from January 8, 2005

Calling local bloggers

Calling local bloggers

: Micah Sifry is compiling a directory of local political bloggers.

Dirty

Dirty

: Just saw a promo for Dirty War on HBO:

In a post-9/11 world, how do you prepare for the unthinkable? Is it possible to stop a coordinated radioactive-weapons attack by determined terrorists in an international city? And what, if anything, should the public be told about such a threat?

This HBO Films thriller shows how a “dirty bomb” attack might be planned and executed in London, despite the best efforts of police and intelligence forces – as well as how devastating the consequences of such an attack could be.

Well, I’m selfishly glad that for once, the theoretical ground zero of such an attack is not Times Square and my office address. But still, I’m not sure this is what I’d classify as entertainment. Then again, if it scares the pants off a few people, that could be a good thing.

Cutting off the censors

Cutting off the censors

: Hoder reports another big crackdown in Iran blocking access to major blogging sites. He suggests technical, civil and legal means to fight. Two questions:

1. What will it take to create the technical means to allow blogs to be distributed around addresses that can be blocked — e.g., distributed via P2P means such as BitTorrent, or via RSS and email…. We’ve talked about this on blogs and at meetings but there’s no momentum because no one is leading the charge. What are the solutions? Who can create them?

2. Shouldn’t we bloggers be protesting the censorship of blogs? Shouldn’t some of us — via Media Bloggers or Global Voices or Google or journalism schools or journalists’ associations or the Online News Association — be decrying this censorship of citizens’ media and goading political leaders in the U.S. and Europe to protest?

Help.

Lab rats

Lab rats

: Liz Lawley establishes the first social computing lab at RIT. [via Om]

Justice?

Justice?

: You will remember that Iraqi blogger Zeyad‘s cousin was killed, allegedly at the hands of American soldiers. One of the soldiers put on trial in the case was just convicted of assault — forcing the Iraqi men into cold water at gunpoint — but acquitted of manslaughter because the defense said there was not proof that the man died. I do not know the details of the case but I have to say that doesn’t smell great and if the sentence is light, it’s not going to help. Glenn Reynolds’ background posts here.

Betting on the future

Betting on the future

: At Iraq the Model, I come across an ad for a service I hadn’t seen before: Intrade, a market — not a betting service — for futures trades on events — and not just entertainment and sports. The theory is that these open markets will gather the wisdom of the crowds. The wise crowds say the 2012 Olympics will go to Paris or London over New York, Michael Jackson will get convicted of something, and there’s only a middling chance of bin Laden’s capture. What’s intresting is that they have bets going on Middle East politics and events and they advertised on an Iraqi blog. Now that’s targeting.

The ethics of tourism

The ethics of tourism

: Some are appalled at tourists reappearing in Phuket after the tsunami. But others, starting with the head of Lonely Planet, say that getting tourist dollars to those economies are vital. I was reading a story at Australia’s The Age and another Jeff Jarvis (not me, not the jazz musician, the Australian Jeff Jarvis I run across on eGoogles now and again) says:

Jeff Jarvis, a Monash University academic and tourism industry researcher whose particular interest is how the largesse of Western tourists impacts on developing countries, has no doubt. “This is a time for people to be foot soldiers for development aid – to get off the sofa and book their next holiday to Thailand or Sri Lanka,” he says. “To support the people in the bar and selling T-shirts on the beach and working in the restaurants.”

Jarvis, director of the graduate tourism program at the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash, argues that tourism is a major force of development worldwide – and becoming ever more important. “People don’t realise what happens to the money they spend on holiday. That for them to go and spend a couple of thousand dollars in a developing country would be the equivalent of someone spending tens of thousands of dollars in Australia. Tourism can be a vital weapon in the war against poverty.”

Stern exported

Stern exported

: The Sunday Times of London writes about Howard Stern’s move to satellite.

With so much pornography entering mainstream culture via the internet, Stern