Posts from March 28, 2005

Our freedoms

Our freedoms

: Bill Hobbs gives you a quiz: Can you name the five freedoms enshrined in and guaranteed by the First Amendment?

A response from the right

A response from the right

: Just got back to a connection and saw that this morning, Hugh Hewitt responded to my Jumping the shark for Jesus post. Crazed doing important things like eating dinner so I don’t have time to respond but wanted you to see the link.

Quake

Quake: ‘Bloggers are morons’

: Peter Tan blogged during the earthquake, reporting that “my apartment is shaking.” More:

I had just finished posting my latest entry when I felt my wheelchair moving. I thought I was dizzy because I have not been getting enough sleep lately. A short while later, I realised that it was another earthquake when I heard my door rattling. I quickly woke the maid up.

My neighbours were fast. They had already locked their apartment door and were waiting for the elevator. I chose to stay in the apartment. There was no point rushing to get down since everybody else will be waiting for the elevator too. This is in fact a bad move since they could get trapped in the lift should the building tilt.

This temblor is stronger than the one on Boxing Day and lasted longer. It began at approximately 0011 and lasted a good two minutes or more. When the taskbar clock showed 0013, the apartment was still swaying. The water in the tank in my toilet sloshed about and spilled over the edge. I looked down from my window and saw many neighbours lingering in the driveway, barely 5 meters from the buildings that are 22 storeys high….

And this great post:

Bloggers Are Morons

Blogging has fried our brains. Instead of evacuating after the tremor, we, bloggers staying in high rise apartments, sit here n blog about it, oblivious to the risk should the building topple over or collapse. I, for one, was furiously typing away as the floor swayed under me instead of making plans to leave my apartment. Should I laugh or cry at this stupidity that has befallen me?

: Amazing how quickly news from ground-level comes up on the internet. Shortly after the earthquake off Jakarta, blogs started updating. See this:

I’ve just been messaged by my mom who’s with Oxfam in Sri Lanka and she says that the tsunami warning sirens have been sounded 2 hours ago. The country’s emergency serivces have been put on standby. I’ve phoned my volunteer coordinator at VolunteerSriLanka in Habantota on the South Coast of Sri Lanka – and some IDP camp residents have been evacuated about 5km away from the coastal areas – thats about 3 camps I’ve heard so far.

Meanwhile Peter Griffin & Dina Mehta have rallied and sent out an email to all current SEA EAT volunteers in the region and those still involved with the relief operation to standby to start blogging alerts via txt msgs & email….

Phone lines have apparently got jammed once again in Sri Lanka & everyone is just panicking instead of remaining calm until we all know what’s going on. Shall keep you all posted as i get news….

UPDATE – 10.18PM – Bahrain Time (+3GMT) :

All Sri Lankans living on the coast have been asked to move away from the coast within an hour. This was about a half an hour ago. The information has been distributed fairly widely. The Commissioner of Police has also stated that they are taking steps to stop traffic on the Galle Road. People fleeing also asked to watch out for looters.

-SMS from Sanjaya with the Daily News in Sri Lanka …

: The TsunmaiHelp blog is keeping up on the news.

: Jeff Ooi, the Maylasian blogging wonder, is on the story again.

: Another eyewitness blog report:

So Iím in bed with Hubby, when suddenly I felt my world start to rock.

Weíre mid-way through an episode of Frasier when suddenly we felt the tremors. It was pretty freaky! We were watching telly in bed and I heard loud creaks and felt my bed swaying back and forth. For a nanosecond I almost thought my cat was playing under the bed again ó yes, and she had gained super strengthÖ Look, itís past midnight, Iím sleepy, my brainís not all there, ok?

Turns out thereís a quake measuring 8.5 on the richter scale near North Sumatra. And we felt it all the way here in Punggol….

I hear dogs barking incessantly. Iím remembering all the movies and tv shows about animal instincts and Iím getting weirded out. Meanwhile, Hubby goes ìhey, this is so funî. I stare at him like heís grown a third eye….

brown suggests I get a camera phone, so that : ìcan snap pic with phone, send via email to flickr plus also to blog. Too cool. macam ëLive from Mordorí î

The “brown” she refers to is a blogger here.

: Eyewitness reports on an MSNBC community blog.

Free speech for free speech, please

Free speech for free speech, please

: The Times today talks about censorship under the reign of Kevin Martin, new chairman of the FCC. They quote Brent Bozell, self-appointed head of the so-called Parents Television Council.

But they don’t quote anyone from the other side.

The other side needs another side. We need an Americans Free Speech Council. We need to stand up for the First Amendment. And when reporters write stories such as this, they should see that their stories are incomplete if they don’t hear from the other side, the side of free speech and the First Amendment.

Google views

Google views

: Dana Blankenhorn says that the demonization of Google has begun. He says they need an editor and he applies.

I’m not so sure that solves their problems. An editor chose the neonazi hate site they had. A business strategy has to deal with Agence France Presse. Customer relations have to deal with hiding basic business terms from ad partners. A corporate policy of transparency is needed.

It’s really about attitude. I’m seeing in Google the same sort of aloof arrogance I saw in Yahoo and so many other online giants in their day.

What we’re really seeing his the humbling of Google. And Google needs it.

Not again

Not again

: A large, 8.2 quake has hit near Jakarta. Tsunami warning issued. Command Post is on the case. GoogleNews feed here.

The new CBS News

The new CBS News

: Even before CBS News is redone it is redoing itself. In a comment on the post below, Andrew Tyndall of the Tyndall Report says he studied the show for Broadcasting & Cable and sees big change already:

Less than three weeks after Dan Rather’s departure from the anchor chair, Schieffer has already markedly revamped the job description, showcasing a more inquisitive, interactive style than his predecessor or his competitors….

This anchor approaches his role more as a viewer’s representative than as a reporter’s leader [yes! – ed]; Schieffer’s emphasis is more on summing up a story than on introducing it.

Specifically, Schieffer’s CBS Evening News actually makes constructive use of the live sign-off that often ends a correspondent’s taped report. In the TV news business, the live sign-off tends to be just an ornamental transition, but Schieffer makes it a valuable access point, posing follow-up questions to reporters on a couple of stories each night. He reminds the reporter that, like the viewers at home, he has just watched the preceding package himself. He drives home the story’s lead. He cites the angle that interested him most. He uses vernacular, even blunt language, to ask for more…

The before-and-after is striking. Schieffer’s live interactive style was used in 40% of CBS’ items (ABC used it 9% of the time, NBC 3%); in Rather’s final days, CBS used those techniques only 11% of the time (ABC 17%, NBC 3%)….

The questions that Schieffer asks out loud are the same routine ones every anchor and executive producer asks of correspondents before a story is filed. What CBS Evening News is doing is showing that Q&A in action, rather than simply weaving its results into the on-air report.

So Schieffer makes more of the anchor’s behind-the-scenes job visible for all to see. How modish is that? At age 68, our oldest rookie news anchor is not only interactive, but transparent, too.

I’ve been of the view that CBS News can change with Schieffer in the anchor chair.

It’s not about what’s before the camera but what’s behind the camera — changing it and showing it.

It’s not about new faces but new voices.

It’s not about format but attitude. And it sounds as if the attitude is changing.

Wikicities

Wikicities

: The Wall Street Journal writes up Jimmy Wales’ Wikicities business (another free link). It’s just starting so it’s hard to tell whether this will work as well as Wikipedia. I think that wikis work best when they try to gather the ongoing wisdom of the crowds on lasting topics; they work when they hit a critical mass of interest, people, contributions, and time. That’s why I remain dubious that Wikinews will work; it’s too transient: By the time enough people swarm around a topic to add their collective wisdom, the world has moved on. Wikipedia did, in fact, do a good job collecting news during the tsunami, but that had enough interest, people, and time to make it work. WikiCities is a third model: A portal where people can create free, ad-supported special-interest wikis. On the one hand, I wonder whether people won’t just do that on their own sites, in their own communities. On the other hand, perhaps special-interest wikis need a portal to gather that critical mass of contributors. We’ll see…