Posts from March 30, 2005

Your correspondent

Your correspondent

: I continue to enjoy reading AfghanWarrior. Waheed reports on the trials of everyday life — people simply cannot afford to buy meat, for example — and in his latest post, he answers questions, including:

11. Waheed, if someone said to you five years ago that the Taliban would be out of power, Afghanistan would have democratic elections, Kabul would be being rebuilt and blossoming, women would be actually allowed to protest for their rights, new schools would be being built, you would be working for the U.S. Military and telling the world about Afghanistan through your Blog on the Internet, would you have believed them?

During the Taliban regime we wouldn’t have believed that the US Army would come to Afghanistan, but we were hoping that one day Afghanistan will be free. But when the US attacked, everything changed very quickly. I wouldn’t have believed that one day I would be working as an interpreter and we would have 4 TV channels and women would have their ministry and protest for their rights.

The contributions to Waheed to help him get a laptop and pay for access have leveled off.

Go there now and give him some payment for being your corresponent in Afghanistan. I don’t have a tip jar. SO give to Waheed instead, please.

What to do tonight

What to do tonight

: EVDB, a new events data base service from Brian Dear, launches. Looks good.

Ouch

Ouch

: If I worked on his tech team, I think I’d pull out my feeding tube now.

With three billion pickles on that

mcdonalds.jpgWith three billion pickles on that

: Technorati is about to pass 1 billion links served.

Pass the soap

Pass the soap

: A flack crows about something I wrote yesterday. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel a little dirty.

Freedom to Connect

Freedom to Connect

: I’m at the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington.

: David Isenberg, who put this all together, gave a stirring rap (and I mean rap) saying that our freedom to connect is not political enough. He said that thanks to a six programmers somewhere in Europe (read: Skype) had eliminated the need for phone companies … and paying them $1 trillion dollars. So what will we do with that trillion, we people? Feed people? Solve the energy problem? What?

Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet project gives stats just in from their latest study (which will be up on their site shortly):

: 136 million American adults use the internet — 67 percent of adults.

: 87 percent of teenagers use the internet

: 59 million Americans have high-speed at home, just over half of users.

: 40 million Americans used the internet to get news online yesterday — half the number who got it from TV, two-thirds of the number of who got it from newspapers.

: 4 million Googled someone they were about to meet.

: 1 million googled themselves.

: Lee also told me that they asked about use of Craigs List and online classifieds and found very high usage.

He says “the internet has become the norm in America.” They’re having trouble asking people when they use the internet because it’s so much a part of their lives in so many ways now.

: Susan Crawford is unbloggable. She comes out with ideas that require digestion and by the time you’ve digested it to blog it she is on to the next idea. So I don’t try. One questioner got up and said, “You’re even better than your blog.” You get the idea.

I finally figured out one of her points: If you want government to help you fix something (e.g., kill spam) you also open the door to government regulation of other things you don’t want (e.g., email). So beware governmetn involvement.

When the First Amendment is ‘the other side’

When the First Amendment is ‘the other side’

: CJR Daily goes after The New York Times, as I did the other day, for writing about new FCC National Nanny Kevin Martin and the so-called Parents Television Council without going to anyone — anyone — who defends the First Amdment against them. The Constitution is now the unheard other side.

Relying exclusively on quotes from the PTC’s president, L. Brent Bozell, Martin, and a few pro-fine Congressmen, the Times ignores any hint of opposition to the proposed new rules.

There’s little question that there is a significant movement afoot to increase indecency fines, but the Times fails to report that an equally passionate movement has arisen to resist the proposed expansion of the FCC’s mandate.

[via SpeakSpeak]

Star blogging

Star blogging

: In one of the worst-kept secrets around, Arianna Huffington, blogger and blog lover, is starting an online thing — group blog, zine, whatever — that is supposed to be attracting big names to little media. Writes Greg Lindsay:

Based in New York and staffed with a full complement of editors, the Huffington Report appears to be a culture and politics webzine in the classic mold of Salon or Slate. It will have breaking news, a media commentary section called “Eat the Press,” and its most interesting innovation, a group blog manned by the cultural and media elite: Sen. Jon Corzine, Larry David, Barry Diller, Tom Freston, David Geffen, Vernon Jordan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Harry Evans and his wife, Tina Brown. That’s just to name a few, and Huffington is still recruiting.

Her business partner is Ken Lerer, the head of AOL Time Warner corporate communications until Bob Pittman lost and Dick Parsons won.

PaidContent also found a connection to Jonah Peretti of Eyebeam. Lerer, Peretti and others worked together on projects for the Million Mom March.

Of course, the punchline here is that Tina Brown, who loves to dis blogs, could blog. But that assumes that these guys will be blogging. It’s more likely they’ll be dropping their political bon mots when they want. But it’s a smart move to create the bon-mot-catcher to take advantage of that: Send an email to Arianna and have it published to the world. It’s a lot easier than having to go into Air America or Bill Maher’s show.