31 janeiro 2003

The Aphex Face: hidden "demon face" in one of Aphex Twin's tracks
Coagula: Industrial Strength Color-Note Organ
Expertos de la UE proponen que la descarga de música por Internet no sea delito si se trata de una actividad privada
Science Fiction and Smart Mobs: Dystopian visions of the future explore the power of virtual communities.
Over the past decade or so, the original cyberpunk writers (such as Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, or Pat Cadigan) have moved away from their focus on hackers vs. corporations to deal more and more with themes of globalization and the collapse of the nation state. These stories have been increasingly pessimistic, offering no compelling vision of what a better society might look like or how it might come about. By tapping into current discourse about “smart mobs,” Global Frequency [by Warren Ellis] gives us a glimpse into what kinds of social action might make sense in this rapidly changing political and technological landscape. Ellis does what science fiction does best - pushes contemporary theories to their limits and makes them accessible to the public; his new series incites us to speculate and debate the implications of technological change.
Web Publishers See Signs Of Profitability, Stability: Some Web publishers may finally be turning a corner, as advertising sales appear to have stabilized and cost cuts have strengthened bottom lines.
Online publishing revenue at MarketWatch.com Inc., Washington Post Co., New York Times Co., Dow Jones & Co. and others marched higher in the fourth quarter. While cautious, many of the companies see online advertising continuing to pull out of a two-year slump. [...]
[S]ites that focus on technology and finance still face an uphill battle, due to particularly weak spending by advertisers in those sectors.
Norway MP in war game gaffe: A Norwegian member of parliament has apologised for playing war games on his pocket computer while colleagues debated the possibility of real war in Iraq.
[28.11.02] Spanish MPs fined for porn surfing: Three members of Spain's governing party have been fined after getting caught looking at pornographic pictures during a debate on domestic violence in Madrid's regional parliament.
What Keeps Newspaper.com Execs Awake at Night? Paid Content, Monster.com, More
How to Make Your Own UFO
Little evidence for effectiveness of scientific peer review: Despite its widespread use and costs, little hard evidence exists that peer review improves the quality of published biomedical research, concludes a systematic review from the international Cochrane Collaboration.
Yet the system, which has been used for at least 200 years, has only recently come under scrutiny, with its assumptions about fairness and objectivity rarely tested, say the review authors. With few exceptions, journal editors - and clinicians - around the world continue to see it as the hallmark of serious scientific endeavour. [...]
In the latest report from the Committee on Publication Ethics, Professor Peter Lachmann, until recently president of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, comments: "Peer review is to science what democracy is to politics. It's not the most efficient mechanism, but it's the least corruptible."
Survey: Net crucial but suspect: Internet users consider the Web an important source of information even though they increasingly question the credibility of online data, according to a survey
Survey: Internet More Important Than Ever: Americans who use the Internet consider it at least as important as newspapers and books, even as they've become more skeptical of what they find online, a UCLA survey finds.
AOL-Microsoft? Not Likely, Just Logical
If Bill Gates bought the online albatross, he'd acquire the subscribers to make MSN a winner. And Time Warner? Its stock would soar
O.K., so it's a fantasy - given Microsoft's past antitrust problems - with about as much chance of happening as, say, Steve Jobs getting hired as Bill Gates's replacement. Neither Microsoft nor AOL Time Warner would even dignify such speculation beyond laughing it off. But just for a moment, set aside all the obvious reasons why such a deal could never happen -- and examine why it would make sense. "I think it's a brilliant idea," says Porter Bibb, former publisher of Rolling Stone magazine and founder of Technology Partners Holdings, a private technology-investment firm in New York.
Here Come the Two-Legged Aibos: Your personal Jeeves is ready. It walks and, ah, well, did we mention it walks?
Blognomic: A game of Nomic, involving weblogs

30 janeiro 2003

Media Spotlight Swings Away From Content: Content may be king, but distribution is the ace in the hole.
In the never-ending debate in the media business over whether ultimate power resides in the companies that create entertainment or the companies that distribute it, three top sell-side analysts have recently dared to make a decision.
And though each analyst puts a different spin on his or her conclusions, the vote is unanimous: For now, at least, distribution is the winner.
Circulation Panel Discusses Reinventing Magazines: Though even longstanding magazines must reinvent themselves sometimes, there's no required way on how to go about it, according to panelists at the Direct Marketing Association's 17th annual Circulation Day yesterday at the Marriott Marquis.
While one publishing professional said that changes to his magazine were researched extensively, another said no research was done prior to her publication's changes.
"We didn't do surveys or tests, and we changed everything down to the typeface," said Jackie Leo, editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest Magazine.
A Coluna Infame: No endereço http://blogsempt.blogspot.com encontrámos uma listagem de blogs portugueses. Surfámos por todos eles. [...] Feita a ronda, constatamos que os únicos sites indispensáveis são mesmo o Ponto Média de António Granado e o Blog de Esquerda. Além destes vossos criados.

29 janeiro 2003

Suicide bid on CCTV may herald new privacy law: A man whose suicide attempt was captured by his local council's CCTV cameras and released to newspapers and TV companies won a landmark ruling yesterday from the European court of human rights, which lawyers said could usher in a new privacy law in Britain.
The Strasbourg court ruled that Geoffrey Peck's right to respect for his private life was violated and that he had no remedy under the UK's existing privacy law. The court awarded him £7,800 in damages, and nearly £12,000 costs.
The Spike Report: Farewell Edition: The End of the Line
Gulf War 2 (aka World War 2.5)
What future for government? Government has been on the retreat for the past decade or more. But there are signs it is staging a comeback. This may be a good thing.
In Hopeful Sign, Time Tests New Magazines: Editors at Time Inc. are working feverishly to come up with catchy cover lines and compelling photo captions for Snap, Cottage, Haven and Livingetc.
Never heard of those magazines? That is because none of them have hit newsstands yet -- and it is possible they never will. But in a sign of reviving spirits in the beleaguered magazine industry, AOL Time Warner Inc.'s Time Inc., the largest U.S. magazine publisher, is studying as many as half a dozen new magazine ideas, ranging from a title about small houses to one that consists mostly of celebrity pictures.
Not Your Father's Encyclopedia: One of the Web's first open-source encyclopedias has reached a milestone, just two years since its inception.
Last week, the English-language version of Wikipedia, a free multilingual encyclopedia created entirely by volunteers on the Internet, published its 100,000th article. More than 37,000 articles populate the non-English editions.
Made in (deleted): Bush's sales pitch has a gargantuan cover-up
Bush delivered his remarks from a warehouse floor at JS Logistics [...]. The audience was flanked by piles of cardboard boxes - with additional piles in front of and behind Bush's podium.
Each one of the hundreds of boxes had a piece of paper obscuring its "Made in China" label. [...]
Except the boxes on the backdrop were labeled, "Made in the USA."
The votes are in; DVD filters lose: ''Would you use software to cut out objectionable parts of movies?''
More than 60% of the nearly 8,900 people to answer that question posted on USATODAY.com last week answered no; nearly 30% said they would, and 9% said it depended on the flick.
The question was posed in tandem with my column on ClearPlay and MovieMask, two controversial software-filtering systems designed to sanitize films for home viewing by automatically instructing DVD players to skip or mute four-letter words, gratuitous violence and nudity.
Tool Copies DVD Movies: 321 Studios challenges Hollywood, DMCA with release of DVD X copy
321 Studios' $100 DVD X Copy is the first product to let users dub an entire DVD movie onto a blank DVD. In our trials, we saw that the copy even includes the menus, special features, and enhanced audio.

28 janeiro 2003

GPS: Is Satellite Tracking a Life-Saver or a Quiet Intruder?
Why Are We Still Using Spy Planes? In the age of satellites, why is the American military still using the 48-year-old U-2 for its aerial surveillance needs?
«C'est honteux d'être un lèche-cul»: Le Britannique Paul Webster, de «The Observer», à propos du journalisme «à la française» et du livre de Daniel Carton «Bien entendu, c'est off».

27 janeiro 2003

Robber changes mind at bank: Police arrested a man who was restrained by bank employees after he apparently thought better of his plan to commit a robbery. [...]
As the teller led him to the vault, she asked if he was sure he really wanted to rob the bank. He first said "Yes," but then said, "No." He then said, "Call the cops."
Who Killed Daniel Pearl? Pakistani police sources now say the executioner was a top al-Qaeda terrorist
Apenas algumas suspeitas e uma aposta: já reparam que o noticiário sobre detenção de EVENTUAIS elementos da Al-Qaeda recomeça, insidiosamente, a ocupar as páginas dos jornais? Será que tem algo a ver com a necessidade de justificar, perante a "Opinião Pública" - conceito discutível e que assumo com reservas - a agressão ao Iraque? Será que são os efeitos do departamento "agrícola" especial, criado recentemente pela Administração Bush, para "plantar" notícias favoráveis nos media mundiais e, em particular, europeus?
9/11 Probe: Aiming High: The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks wants to talk to top Bush Administration officials
The Keys to Ending Music Piracy: The record labels' legal assault is winning battles and losing the war. Educating copyright thieves is as important as prosecuting them
Real-World Music Retailers Fight Back: The music business is being fundamentally and forever altered by the Internet, and the big real-world retailers are painfully aware of that fact as conventional music sales have steadily headed south.
But these companies are not going to slink off licking their wounds, and that accounts for today's launch of Echo, a retailer-driven digital music consortium that says it is "committed to bridging the gap between brick and mortar and digital music distribution."
Music misses an(other) opportunity: It seemed too good to be true. When I read the Reuters report on Monday that Hilary Rosen, chairwoman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, had declared that her agency "will hold ISPs more accountable" and suggested that one way was to impose a fee on Internet service providers whose users frequent file-sharing sites, my ears perked up.
Not only did her suggestion make a lot of sense, but it also signaled a significant attitude shift for the industry. The music industry's business plan to date had called for suing college students and seizing laptops from Navy midshipmen; now it seemed as if Rosen was saying that the RIAA was amenable to imposing flat fees on ISPs to compensate for their users' downloading.
But alas, to paraphrase R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, 'twas never thus. When I called the RIAA for elaboration, a spokeswoman answered, "Hilary never said that."
Is Fat the Next Tobacco? For Big Food, the supersizing of America is becoming a big headache.
The Miserable Lives of Media Moguls: Being a kingpin used to be fun. Now, when not being fired, they feud with former allies or hunger for deals that never reach the table
People to Watch: Moguls! Scapegoats! Insiders!
War Is Hell For Media Conglomerates, Too: During an economic climate more severe than the depressed one of a decade ago when the Gulf War was fought, media companies may be even more hard-pressed to get the job done.
"You're facing a loss of sponsors who don't want to be on television during a period of war, and you're facing the pure physical fact that coverage will bump commercials for some given period of time," says Eric Ober, who served as president of CBS News from 1990 to 1996, and oversaw coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. [...]
Covering a war routinely costs tens of millions of dollars, according to news executives - and that's only if the outbreak lasts for a month or so. In fact, before announcing his upcoming departure from CNN, Walter Isaacson, the news operation's chairman, reportedly said the network had set aside $35 million to cover any fighting in Iraq.
Mass media mania born of last decade: "When the Gulf War started, CNN realized it was on to something that could be very effective, which was to broadcast a war continuously. It had never been done before, and they had to find techniques with which to do it."
Those techniques were largely derived from the miniseries, something that was at the time relatively new to television and had little or nothing to do with news.
"When it came CNN's turn to dramatize the Gulf War, they very much turned to the sort of artistic devices that were used by these miniseries that have been manufactured by Hollywood. Gulf War became the first war to have a logo. It had titles: 'War in the Gulf.' It had theme music. And of course it had stars. And those stars had to be created on the spot, whether they were real life historical figures like Norman Schwarzkopf or a correspondent like Peter Arnett, who no one had really heard of in the American viewing public, but became a superstar as a result of 'War in the Gulf.'" [Frank Rich, Associate Editor for The New York Times]
The Battle of the Superbowl Commercials: The spots from 2003
The hounds are house-trained: journalists are not as naughty as they used to be
Mickey's not for taking: Without fanfare, a ruling has extended protection for many of the 20th century's artistic landmarks. Paul March explains the significance of the most important copyright decision for a generation
With the commercial stakes running so high, it is only a matter of time until attempts are again made to extend the copyright term in Europe and the US. Until then it remains to be seen whether the works of Hemingway, Steinbeck and McCartney will one day be allowed to follow Shakespeare, Twain and Mozart into the public domain.
Reality TV is here to stay: We've seen drunken youths writhe virtually naked in Mediterranean nightclubs, celebrities baring their souls for charity - and now we are led to believe that gossip in a hairdressing salon is public service TV. But if you thought the reality TV craze was running out of steam after UK broadcasters overdosed on the genre in 2002, think again - there's plenty more to come in 2003.
A Televisão de "Realidade": A literatura sobre este género de programas acentua que os programas de "realidade" são interpretados de maneiras diferentes pelos vários públicos ou mesmo indivíduos e que há em muitos destes programas, por mais incipiente que seja, um certo "democratainement" (ver, por exemplo, Bernardette Casey e outros, "Television Studies. The Key Concepts", Londres, Routledge, 2002). Este conceito deriva da concepção participatória dos programas, nos quais há maior ou menor debate das questões.
Naturalmente, Bernardette Casey e os outros autores desse livro não viram o Bombástico, o Eu Confesso ou o Ratinho - talvez mudassem de opinião! Mas o conceito levanta uma questão que não é desprezível: os Bombásticos estão adaptados aos valores de um certo público, para quem a gritaria do Bombástico faz sentido, enquanto para outros públicos - aos quais esses programas não se destinam - aquilo não passa de selvajaria.
Reality TV Alters the Way TV Does Business: Not only will reality shows continue to flood network's schedules next fall, but television executives are also predicting such developments as an end to the traditional television season. Instead of the time-honored formula of introducing shows en masse in September and ending them in May, broadcast networks want to stagger the shows' debuts and banish repeats from the schedule almost entirely.
There could also be fewer orders for dramas and comedies, with a resulting shrinking of jobs for Hollywood writers and actors. And, perhaps most significant, executives are preparing for a fundamental rewriting of the economic model underpinning network programming.
El negocio de "Operación Triunfo": La integración entre televisión y fonografía en España
Pero también hay que considerar Operación Triunfo como una de las mejores "operaciones" de exaltación del españolismo que se haya visto en los últimos años. El éxito sorprendió incluso a la propia empresa.

24 janeiro 2003

Blogs em .pt: lista de blogs portugueses
"Author pays" may be the new science publishing model: A consensus is emerging on how the internet will change the economics of scientific publishing.
In future, authors are likely to be asked to pay journals the costs of publishing their original research articles online, and journals will make these articles freely available to all from the moment of publication. The need to take out subscriptions to access electronic versions of original research will disappear.
Powers Of 10: From the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons
Deep Linking Tips
Salon Goes for Broke: Editor David Talbot didn't mince any words. He told Salon readers that starting today (Thursday, Jan. 23), essentially you either pay for Salon or we put you through an advertising ringer. No exceptions.
Salon's New Deal: OK, here's the deal: Starting today, you can gain access to Salon in either of two ways: You can pay our low subscription price (as little as 5 cents a day) or you can click through a multiple-screen advertisement.
We believe this is a simple and fair system.
Workshop de Jornalismo On-line 21/22 Junho, Covilhã
Weblogs for Dummies [é verdade!...]

23 janeiro 2003

Newspaper Sites Move to Registration Model: All of the large papers that moved to full-site registration last year were pleasantly surprised by the overall impact on traffic.
More Publishers Try All-Paid Web Model: At Least 21 Dailies Now Restrict Most Content
Should limits on broadcast ownership change? by Michael K. Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
The other Powell has a big year too: Michael Powell's four big decisions may make or break America's communications industries
Bag and Baggage: "We surf the Web; these guys snowboard it"
Download day aims to hit online piracy: Tracks from artists including Eminem and Kylie Minogue will be given away free [on March 21] to internet users as part of a major initiative to combat the growing threat of online piracy.
The Five Wars of Globalization: The illegal trade in drugs, arms, intellectual property, people, and money is booming. Like the war on terrorism, the fight to control these illicit markets pits governments against agile, stateless, and resourceful networks empowered by globalization. Governments will continue to lose these wars until they adopt new strategies to deal with a larger, unprecedented struggle that now shapes the world as much as confrontations between nation-states once did.
Motion-Picture Windows: Soon on a Wall Near You?
Windows that double as television screens, computer monitors or stereo systems are being unveiled today, on the first day of the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, by Andersen Corp., the country's largest window manufacturer.
El libro 'Libertad vigilada' destapa la existencia de una estación de espionaje en los alrededores de Madrid [Echelon à espanhola]
The Year The Music Dies: This year could determine whether the music business as we know it survives.
Exhibitionist Technology: Hungry for eyeballs, museums go high tech - and face a rogue’s gallery of costs and costly mistakes.
Toothbrush trounces car as top invention: The toothbrush emerged the undisputed champ, beating out the car, the personal computer, the cell phone and the microwave - in that order - as the most prized innovation.
The Unseen Gulf War by Peter Turnley
Congress Meets Wall Street: Thanks to our current system of privately-financed elections, Congress has become a huge bazaar, where everyone knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Big corporations and the super-wealthy invest millions in political contributions and get all kinds of special deals in return. For a few millions in donations, they get a $20 billion tax break here, a $10 billion subsidy there-returns on investment that would make honest entrepreneurs blush, but makes Wall Street salivate.
Total Misrepresentation: The reaction to TIA [Total Information Awareness] is a textbook case of privacy hysteria. The Bush administration had better learn how to counter such outbreaks, for they will resurface with every new initiative to improve the country's intelligence capacity. They follow a predictable script
The Reality of Race: There's hardly any difference in the DNA of human races. That doesn't mean, argues sociologist Troy Duster, that genomics research can ignore the concept
Internet content in peril in non-competitive world: As competition bogs down for high-speed Internet access in the United States, prices are rising. This helps explain why it costs much more for people here to subscribe to cable-modem or digital subscriber line services than it does, for example, next door in Canada.
Stunted competition also may be a harbinger of something even more pernicious, says Yale Braunstein, a professor in the School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California-Berkeley. The same companies that are gaining oligopoly power over the transport of data have every incentive to influence the content, too.
Libération La Une
Relaxing Media Ownership Rules Conflicts with the Public’s Right to Know: How do media corporations win friends and influence people in our nation’s capital? [...]
- Lobbying. From 1996 to 2000, the 50 largest media companies and four of their trade associations spent $111.3 million to lobby Congress and the executive branch of the government. The number of registered, media-related lobbyists increased from 234 in 1996, the year the historic Telecommunication Act became law, to 284 lobbyists in 1999. And that year, the amount of money spent on lobbyists was $31.4 million [...]
- Campaign contributions. From 1993 to June 30, 2000, media corporations gave $75 million in campaign contributions to candidates for federal office and to the two major political parties [...]
- Junkets. From 1997 to 2000, media companies took 118 members of Congress and their senior staff on 315 trips to meet with lobbyists and company executives to discuss legislation and the policy preferences of the industry.
Business Week/Architectural Record Awards 2002
vPlants: a virtual herbarium of the Chicago region
interactive Taxi: How "iT" Works
[ver também: Circle the Block, Cabby, My Show's On]
Technology helps make music more democratic: The democratization of music is an antidote to a malady of modern times. We don't value music education anymore, and America equates culture solely with what sells.
But music is in our soul, individually and collectively. Technology will never replace practice and talent. But it's encouraging people to play -- for themselves. What a great notion.
COUNTER - Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources
COUNTER has been developed to provide a single, international, extendible Code of Practice that allows the usage of online information products and services to be measured in a credible, consistent and compatible way using vendor-generated data. [...] In response to librarian demand, Release 1 of the COUNTER Code of Practice focuses on the usage of journals and databases, the products that account for the largest share of most libraries' materials budgets.
City to Let Christo Do Central Park Art Project: A work of art featuring 23 miles of billowing saffron-colored fabric by the artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude will be displayed along Central Park's pedestrian paths for two weeks in February 2005, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday.
It will be the first public art project in New York for the Bulgarian-born artist and his wife, who have previously wrapped the German Reichstag in white cloth and scattered several thousand blue and yellow umbrellas across Japan and California.

22 janeiro 2003

The next front[ier] in the disruption of traditional media
Enthusiasts have been prophesying a new era of media, one founded on the principles of participatory journalism — otherwise known as Web logging or blogging. [...] But putting publishing tools in the hands of the people is one thing. Delivering it to their doorstep - or desktop - is the next frontier.
That's where RSS comes in.
RSS, an acronym for Really Simple Syndication is a Web content syndication format. It's a form of XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which means that each piece of data — headline, byline and story — is coded separately so that a program or Web page will know exactly what to do with it.
Bush Approves Global Communications Office: Feds Spread American Message to Foreign Media
President Bush signed an executive order Tuesday formalizing the role of the White House Office of Global Communications, which works to improve America's image abroad by better conveying U.S. policies.
On This Day

21 janeiro 2003

Libération en 2003: L'an dernier, un million de lecteurs par jour, une exploitation qui tend vers l'équilibre et des difficultés de diffusion sur Paris. Cette année, les 30 ans du journal et des évolutions de formule.
Fans Howl in Protest as Judge Decides X-Men Aren't Human: Marvel Fought to Have Characters Ruled Nonhuman to Win Lower Tariff on Toys
War journalists should not be cosying up to the military: It looks like a rerun of the 1991 Gulf War. Already American journalists are fighting like tigers to join "the pool", to be "embedded" in the US military so that they can see the war at first hand – and, of course, be censored. Eleven years ago, they turned up at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, already kitted out with helmets, gas capes, chocolate rations and eyes that narrowed when they looked into the sun, just like General Montgomery. Half the reporters wanted to wear military costume and one young television man from the American mid-west turned up, I recall well, with a pair of camouflaged boots. Each boot was camouflaged with painted leaves. Those of us who had been in a desert -- even those who had only seen a picture of a desert – did wonder what this meant.
U.S. media in bed with military: War calls and many journalists are answering. Throughout the world, media organizations are planning their sojourns to Baghdad to be in place for the "big one." They are lining up at Iraqi missions asking for visas. Others are lobbying the U.S. military to give them a front row seat.
EUA Mudam Regras do Jogo para Cobertura da Guerra com o Iraque: Uma dúzia de anos depois da operação "Tempestade no Deserto", em que os repórteres foram mantidos o mais longe possível das frentes de guerra, os generais norte-americanos prometem reservar lugares suficientes nas unidades de combate para uma cobertura vivida pelos diferentes media, nacionais e estrangeiros, das peripécias bélicas de uma possível operação contra Saddam Hussein.
Multivision to gauge Super Bowl ad 'buzz': Multivision Inc., a broadcast monitoring service, will issue its second annual report gauging the amount of public relations "buzz" generated by ads running during the Super Bowl [January 26, 2003]
Last year, multivision tracked more than 500 news stories about ads that ran during Super Bowl XXXVI.
How to Foil Data Thieves, Hackers: [R]esearchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo are developing software that can generate highly personalized profiles of network users by analyzing the sequences of commands entered at each computer terminal.
The system - a prototype is likely to be ready for intensive testing this summer - could provide a high-grade layer of protection for military installations and government agencies as well as banking or other commercial networks that require especially tight monitoring.
This is a Magazine
History of the KGB (1977)
Workers Turn to the Web for News: Employees spend more time reading news online than they do watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading the paper, study finds.
sotnemugrA & sotcaFartnoC: um verdadeiro "mirror" do ContraFactos :)

20 janeiro 2003

'No sex please, we're too busy': Today's women have less sex than their 1950s counterparts, a survey suggests.
Researchers in the United States believe the demands of modern life are to blame - leaving women with little time or energy.
80s Commercials, Frrrreeeee.
First official SAUNAAB tests: this is probably the only sauna built into a Classic 900
Titoonic Games
O reino dos economistas "As instituições democráticas são desapossadas da sua capacidade de legislar, regulamentar ou instituir normas, em nome de um princípio de competência reputado ser superior à democracia. Esta despossessão repousa sobre representações de uma impotência das instituições democráticas, em particular dos Estados-Nações, diante das 'forças' do mercado. Este último, agora inteiramente fetichizado, perde o seu estatuto de instituição humana para se afirmar, neste estilo de raciocínio, como uma forma quase divina com decisões sem apelo. Esta despossessão engendra um duplo movimento. Por um lado, assiste-se à fetichização das manifestações das dinâmicas - positivas ou negativas - da economia. O que vai a par com uma reficiação dos actores, em particular dos assalariados. O espaço da discussão pública tem apenas dois pólos. O primeiro, técnico, pertence aos peritos: é o da exegese das leis naturais da economia. O segundo é ético: o da compaixão que se sente perante as consequências destas leis". Mas os nossos economistas às vezes nem à compaixão chegam.
Cable beast tightens its grip on our wallets: The cable TV industry has become a monstrous, unregulated bloodsucker. Consumers are being sapped of their money and all residue of good will.
AT & T Broadband - the cable company that has a stranglehold on cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts - has raised its rates nearly 15 percent in a year. The average household cable bill has climbed to $70 a month for television that used to be free.
This month's cable bills reflect the newest rate hike, as well as the old company name. Comcast - the behemoth Philadelphia-based company that acquired AT & T Broadband last year in a deal estimated at $52 billion - is keeping its name off any official mailings until after the rate hike is absorbed by pocket-shocked consumers. A Comcast spokesperson says the ``brand'' will change in the spring.
By then, strapped customers might not even care about the name of the bandit holding them up each month. Some may be forced to choose between turning on their electric lights and turning off television.
It has come to that, in a Wild West environment of deregulation. Washington is wise to wake up to the problem.
Music Official: Online Piracy Costs Jobs: In its harshest indictment yet of Internet piracy, a top official of the music industry said Sunday Europe's 600,000 music professionals risk losing their jobs unless the industry fights back.
La directora del MIDEM propone abaratar los discos para luchar contra la piratería: La industria discográfica de EEUU perdió en 2002 más de 1.500 millones de euros por la piratería
Piracy: ISPs must pay up: A top music executive has said that telecommunications companies and internet service providers (ISPs) will be asked to pay up for giving their customers access to free song-swapping sites.
Techies and the RIAA: A Telling Truce? Last week's détente between the recording industry and tech lobbying groups shows that tech is ahead in the fight over digital music. Now it's the music industry's battle to lose.
Sizing up the web: The internet needs to sell itself to advertisers. And there are better ways of doing this than counting hits, clicks and page impressions
"The days of selling online advertising because it's cool are dead," says Bob Ivins, the research director at Yahoo! Europe. "You need to be able to sell facts like 'We reach the right audience' or 'We are cost effective' or 'We can measure brand equity more accurately'."
Still, some parts of the industry are still holding on to page impressions as their key measurement tool. "Page impressions are not the only arbiter, but they do have a use and also the UK industry is saying that this is what they want right now," says Richard Foan, managing director of ABCe, a UK industry-owned electronic media auditor specialising in census-style measurement such as page impressions. "Page impression is an easy metric to grab on to and it has a comfort zone because it has the word 'page' in it, but there is a lot of sophistication behind it like the length of time between impressions."
Knowing the number of page impressions is not a bad thing, but it can distort the whole media picture if viewed in isolation, says Walmsley. "The reason people are so obsessed with page impressions is because they are implying old media metrics. It's important to know the circulation of a newspaper if you're buying an ad because you're buying the whole circulation. But it's not important for a website because you're only buying a finite number of page impressions."
Pulver's view is that the jump to measurement using large internet user panels and away from simple counting of eyeballs needs to happen now.
Could they be related? Can a television format be owned?
Instead, the creator of a format must try to enforce his or her copyright in the work underlying the format.
The US court heard evidence from Charlie Parsons, the owner of the rights to Survivor who said that he had started work on the show in 1992. He had pitched it to ABC in 1994 but years later it was bagged by CBS.
CBS called as an expert witness Syracuse University professor Robert Thompson who had analysed the show and saw numerous similarities between the programmes: both shows had worm-eating challenges. On Survivor the worm-eating was played seriously. But the Celebrity worm was served on fine china with hungry Uri Geller joking about his vegetarianism as he ate. CBS argued that this, and other examples, showed that Celebrity "imitates the distinctive style and the look and feel" of Survivor.
The unhappy union of AOL, Time Warner: When AOL met Time Warner it was all about technology, synergy and money.
Journalistic standards weren't a big part of the deal when the AOL crew took over the company that practically defined magazine news journalism with its flagship, Time magazine.
"Journalism as defined by AOL was nothing more than a chat session with Britney Spears," said Nina Munk, a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, who is writing a book on the AOL/Time Warner merger.
Canada blocks free Net TV: Canadian regulators ruled Friday that it is illegal to put broadcast TV signals onto the Internet without permission, dashing the hopes of entrepreneurs hoping to create new Net TV businesses.
The long-awaited decision helped close what some had seen as a loophole in international copyright law, potentially allowing American and Canadian TV signals to be streamed online without the TV stations' or copyright holders' permission. However, regulators said they were wary of undermining traditional producers and distributors of TV content by allowing it to be distributed on the Net without regional restrictions.
Only Online: Murder Trial Details
Concerns that news reports might taint the jury in the trial of an alleged serial killer have led a Canadian judge to admonish Internet and foreign journalists, calling on them to comply with a ban on publishing certain details revealed in court.
a result, online coverage late last week of the high-profile trial of Robert Pickton, a Vancouver-area pig farmer accused of murdering numerous prostitutes, was mostly limited to reporting British Columbia Provincial Court Judge David Stone's stern warning to three foreign reporters: Honor the publication ban or risk being barred from the courtroom.
But that doesn't mean the non-Canadian journalists will comply.
Europe's silicon skies open today: The prototype AVO, being showcased today at the Jodrell Bank Observatory near Macclesfield, UK, aims to become Europe's contribution to making all astronomical data available over the Internet to astronomers worldwide.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand

17 janeiro 2003

¿Cobrar o no cobrar? Esa es la cuestión
Es posible la rentabilidad de los medios digitales por sí mismos? ¿Cómo conseguirlo? Estas dos cuestiones se han convertido en la pregunta del millón para los participantes y ponentes del IV Congreso Nacional de Periodismo Digital, que se enfrentan a la dura realidad de ver como, en la Red, la competencia es infinita y no queda sitio para todos.
Where’s the Dissent? Antiwar protests are happening all over the country and the world, but the mainstream media are hardly paying attention
The Alties 2003: The Alternative Movie Awards
Most Inspirational Movie
Best Political Movie
New World Order Award
Guilty Pleasure Award
Scenes From the Class Struggle
The "Aha!" Movie
The Unbridled Desire Award
The Doobie Award
Best Soundscape
All You Need Is Love Award
Best Damn Documentary
Best "Feel Bad" Movie of the Year
Reinvention of the Chick Flick
Smart AND Funny Movie
The Big Award
The entertainment industry: How to manage a dream factory
Harder times are reminding the industry of the critical importance of creating good content. But that means managing the tensions between artists and suits
ONE by one, the men of extravagant vision and exaggerated showmanship have been toppled from the upper ranks of the world's media giants. The departure of Steve Case from AOL Time Warner and of Tommy Mottola from Sony Music are only the latest in a lengthening line-up that includes Bertelsmann's Thomas Middelhoff, AOL Time Warner's Jerry Levin and Bob Pittman, Vivendi's Jean-Marie Messier, Canal Plus's Pierre Lescure and EMI's Ken Berry. Into their places has stepped a parade of dull men in suits, such as Andrew Lack, new head of Sony Music, who has never worked in the record industry, Jean-René Fourtou, an ex-pharmaceuticals boss, at Vivendi or, at Bertelsmann, Gunter Thielen, ex-head of the group's printing and industrial operations.
This trooping of grey faces into the unruly media world marks a distinct change of mood. Talk of “vision”, “synergy” or “new paradigms” is out; the daily grind of evaluating and improving operating performance is paramount.
A Study in Guerrilla Marketing: A company has a product it wants to sell to other businesses. It releases a study highlighting the deficits in related products in its industry. Moments later, the company announces a solution to the problems.
Is this clever marketing or a sleazy business practice?
For the most part, it's a typical public relations maneuver, analysts say. Companies often dispense information on a product and include statistics about why it is needed. But, analysts add, if a company is serious about selling its product, it's best off not slamming the companies it intends to bring on board as customers.
That's essentially what Keynote Systems, a company that monitors the performance of Internet networks and applications, did when it released a study this week pointing out that 7.5 percent of short text messages sent over cell phones get "lost."
Deadend.com Makes Film Inroads: It was a new twist on interactive entertainment. In the summer of 2000, the makers of deadend.com, a road movie about three teens in a suicide pact, asked visitors to their website to e-mail story ideas.
As the cast and crew traveled across Canada, filming the loosely scripted movie, director S. Wyeth Clarkson considered each suggestion.
Fonservice: The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Voice Portal
Fonservice uses ScanSoft automatic speech recognition for the recognition of speaker-independent natural language commands in the German language. Spoken input like "news", "traffic" or "weather", give direct access to the relevant information, which ScanSoft´s RealSpeak text-to-speech software delivers in a synthetic, almost natural human voice output.
This Is Your Deep Link on P2P: Following links from one Web page to another may soon require users to run special stealth applications, if a Danish search company's experience is a sign of things to come.
To link directly to some newspapers' content, Danish search firm Newsbooster now must use the sort of decentralized subterfuge utilized by companies that distribute file-sharing applications. [...]
"Newsbrowser" offers all the same features as Newsbooster's original Web-based service, but through a separate, downloadable program that runs on a user's own computer.
Lassen believes Newsbrowser bypasses the strictures of the EU copyright act, since the act allows people to print copies of protected information for personal use.
Top 20 Ad Campaigns Of The Last 20 Years
Desculpem a falta de auto-crítica, mas gostei desta:
Friday, November 29, 2002 02:36 p.m. [mais vale tarde do que nunca...]
ContraFactos & Argumentos - an Impressive Progressive Newsfeed blog: "Cultures, economy and politics, medias, social contamination and weird stuff"
Check in with Pedro [sou eu...] on the latest developments in science, news, and the unexpected, and you'll discover the world isn't boring after all! Well worth a look.
More young abusing prescription drugs: A growing number of teen-agers and young adults are abusing prescription drugs, a government report says, with non-medical use of pain relievers and tranquilizers reaching record highs.
Based on survey figures, in 2001, 2.75 million young people, age 12 to 17, are estimated to have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at least once, the government said. The year before, the number in the same age group was 2.5 million. The number of new users has been climbing since the mid-1980s, the report said.
Cámaras ocultas y confidenciales, en la línea entre el bien y el mal: Las nuevas formas de hacer periodismo con cámaras ocultas y las informaciones confidenciales se han convertido en uno de los puntos más calientes de la primera jornada de la cuarta edición del Congreso Nacional de Periodismo Digital. Una práctica que, según Alejandro Fernández Pombo, presidente de la Asociación de la Prensa de Madrid, no es más que "una aplicación más de las nuevas tecnologías a cosas que se vienen haciendo desde siempre".
Sin embargo, y pese a que "los confidenciales existen desde siempre", según Fernández Pombo, la diferencia estriba en que antes eran "poco menos que clandestinos y costaban muchísimo, mientras que ahora llegan a más gente gracias al poder de transmisión de la Red".
1,500 tools left inside patients every year, study says: A study on medical mistakes found operating room teams around the country leave sponges, clamps and other tools inside about 1,500 patients every year, largely because of stress from emergencies or complications discovered during surgery.
Direcção da Moderna sabia do negócio para adquirir parte do capital da Prodiário: O ex-jornalista José Paulo Fafe, antigo consultor da reitoria da Moderna, sustentou em tribunal que toda a direcção sabia do investimento da universidade na Prodiário, grupo que detinha os jornais "24 Horas" e "Tal & Qual".
(act.:) Ex-jornalista confronta Sousa Lara: Sousa Lara, ex-vice-reitor da Moderna, mostrou-se ontem indignado no tribunal de Monsanto quando ouviu o ex-jornalista do Tal e Qual Paulo Fafe afirmar que toda a direcção da Dinensino conhecia as negociações para compra de uma participação de 25 por cento na Prodiário. «É mentira», disse, frisando nunca ter sido consultado.
The 12th Annual International EFF Pioneer Awards: The Electronic Frontier Foundation established the Pioneer Awards to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology.
The International Pioneer Awards nominations are open to both individuals and organizations from any country.

16 janeiro 2003

Walker in Suburbia: ["This year we can focus on journalism"]
As the new year gets under way, Inky Editor Walker Lundy says he's planning a series of meetings at the bureaus to let both veteran and nascent staffers know that, after a year of tumult and upheaval, 2003 is looking good.
"A lot of last year was taken up with coming to grips with what our journalistic strategy ought to be, staff changes and the hiring of 40 or so new reporters," says Lundy, who joined the Inquirer at the end of 2001, from the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minneapolis. "This year we can focus on journalism."
The strategy, Lundy says, includes three basic goals: to create memorable journalism; to be surprising to the readers; and to provide information that will be viewed as useful.
Sequels to dominate 2003 movie lineup: Sequels performed so well in 2002 that film studios have decided to do an encore.
2003 will see about two dozen followup movies, along with a few prequels - some craved by audiences for a decade or more, others hitting theaters less than a year after their predecessors.
Scientists Create Brand New Organism: A group of scientists has created an organism that produces an amino acid that no other living thing has ever used.
All living things use the same 20 amino acids to build all of the proteins that make up all living cells. Now, scientists led by Scripps Research Institute chemistry professor Dr. Peter Schultz have engineered a version of the E. coli bacteria that can produce a 21st amino acid.
Media group tells how to cover bioterrorism: The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF) has issued "A Journalists Guide to Covering Bioterrorism," and not a moment too soon. [...]
"There is a massive difference between a crisis and a catastrophe," said RTNDF President Barbara Cochran. "And in the case of bioterrorism, the effect of media coverage on public perception could be the deciding difference between the two."
Faulty information and a hysterical tone are the key enemies, the 50-page guide notes.
Circle the Block, Cabby, My Show's On: In New York, 223 million riders spent $918 million in 12,187 yellow cabs in 2001. The average trip covered 2.64 miles and lasted nearly 15 minutes. All that time, half a billion eyeballs were left with nothing to do except look out the window.
It was only a matter of time before television came to the taxi.
After years of lobbying, the Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed in September to run a pilot program allowing seven companies to offer some form of television in the back seats of yellow cabs. The first "enhanced" cabs have just started hitting the road, with 178 now on the street. Company officials are optimistic that televisions will be in several thousand cabs in the coming months.[...]
Of the seven systems being tried now, six are intended to make money from advertising. Two of the models use interactive technology that will allow riders to do things like find movie times and restaurant information while bumping down Second Avenue. The five others look more like regular television. [...]
For some New Yorkers, the televisions, even muted, eliminate one of the few remaining places of public privacy. "I had to go about 25 blocks and my driver didn't speak English," said Jennifer Briggs, 28, a Manhattan resident. "I had heard about the TV's but hadn't actually seen one, so I got distracted by the thing and didn't realize we were going the wrong way."
Banco Efisa adquire «Semanário»: O Banco Efisa adquiriu hoje o jornal Semanário, por 945 mil euros (cerca de 190 mil contos), no leilão do título e registo de propriedade decorrido esta manhã em Lisboa, revelou a empresa leiloeira.
A Week When Punk Rules on MTV: Every afternoon "TRL" (for "Total Request Live") plays MTV's 10 most requested videos. "TRL" celebrated its fourth anniversary last September, and for most of its history the show has been closely associated with the teen-pop boom. There were times when "TRL" seemed like an hourlong commercial for Mr. Timberlake's boy band, 'N Sync.
These days, though, teen-pop is in remission, and MTV executives think they may have identified its successor: punk rock.

15 janeiro 2003

PS apresenta proposta para defender Direitos de Autor dos jornalistas: O Partido Socialista apresenta amanhã na Assembleia da República um projecto de lei sobre Direitos de Autor dos jornalistas, com o objectivo de relançar o debate. O tema é particularmente actual, numa época em que o jornalismo electrónico e a concentração de meios económicos colocam novos problemas e desafios ao sector. [...]
Arons de Carvalho mostra-se consciente de que a questão da remuneração suplementar do jornalista é um dos pontos que pode levantar mais controvérsia, «porque o pagamento pode tornar difícil a viabilidade de alguns projectos».
PS apresenta projecto de lei sobre direitos de autor dos jornalistas: O PS apresenta amanhã um projecto de lei sobre os direitos de autor dos jornalistas. Os socialistas pretendem relançar o debate sobre a matéria, sublinhando a necessidade de um maior acompanhamento do trabalho jornalístico, dada "a multiplicidade de plataformas de difusão". [...]
Arons de Carvalho diz estar consciente de que a questão da remuneração suplementar do jornalista é um dos pontos que pode levantar mais controvérsia, "porque o pagamento pode tornar difícil a viabilidade de alguns projectos". "É um ponto de equilíbrio difícil, mas vamos lutar por ele", assegurou.
Hollywood and Silicon Valley: Together at last? A new industry agreement on digital copyright issues says the government should stay out of enforcement. But it's a little late for that, says one expert.
Copyright proposal endorses a status quo that's anti-consumer
A Truce Over Copy Controls? Hollywood, tech industries agree to fight piracy and legislation, but support technical restrictions.
Statement by Jack Valenti [MPAA] in the Joint RIAA, BSA and CSPP Agreement
A náusea: Mais do que a razão que confere às críticas que formei na altura [sobre as fundamentações teóricas do dinamarquês Björn Lomborg, autor da obra "The Skeptical Environmentalist"], esta notícia e a forma como foi ocultada pela política editorial do jornal, contrastando com o destaque de seis páginas e editorial disponibilizados em anterior edição, vem provar a absoluta desonestidade intelectual da direcção do PÚBLICO.
Thought control: On its own behalf, the panel offers not one instance of inaccuracy or distortion in Mr Lomborg's book: not its job, it says. On this basis it finds Mr Lomborg guilty of dishonesty.
The panel's ruling - objectively speaking - is incompetent and shameful.
O fenómeno de "O Homem que Mordeu o Cão" [ou o fenómeno do homem que não mordeu o cão mas garante que o fez: em nenhum lado do "best-seller" ele refere as fontes de onde retirou as histórias - e toda a gente lhe dá os parabéns e não questionam a "pirataria"!!!... Quanto a direitos de autor, vou ali e já venho...]
Copyright truce excludes key voices: The key detail about a digital-copyright agreement announced here on Tuesday was who was not in the room at the time.
The peace accord was designed to show a unified front linking the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and a pair of computer industry groups, thus persuading Congress that new regulations are unnecessary. But absent from the press conference were influential lobbyists who have been far more aggressive--and who show no signs of relenting.
Russian Ark: The making of "Russian Ark" is the story of records and firsts-the first entirely unedited, single screen, single take, full-length feature film; the longest-ever steadicam sequence, the first ever uncompressed HD movie, recorded onto a portable harddisk system, rather than 35mm or tape.
Manual vs. power toothbrushes: One kind of brush more effective than all others
Rotational oscillation toothbrushes -- those that rotate in one direction and then the other -- removed up to 11 percent more plaque and reduced bleeding of the gums by up to 17 percent more than manual or other power toothbrushes, according results compiled by the Manchester, England-based Cochrane Oral Health Group that analyzed data from clinical trials conducted over 37 years.

14 janeiro 2003

U.S. Will Protest Libya's Chairing UN Rights Body: The United States plans to break with tradition and force a vote at the U.N.'s top human rights body in a bid to stop Libya from taking the chair at the March annual session [...]
The chairmanship of the Commission, whose annual session in Geneva runs from March 17-April 25, is traditionally awarded by rotation, with the right to name the candidate falling each year to one of the body's five regional groupings.
Never since the Commission was launched in 1947 has a regional choice of chairman been put to a ballot, even in the depths of the Cold War, U.N. officials said.
This year it was Africa's turn and despite intense international pressure, not just from the United States, African countries have stuck by Libya as their candidate.
On Target: A new generation of drugs tailored for individuals
Content Is Crap: While there are many Net-heads who share Dan Gillmor's enthusiasm for Creative Commons, I do not. It has little or no significance, because it is based on a strikingly naive 60's-retro ideological view of how content intermediaries function. The Commons enthusiasts believe that content publishers earn their profits by using copyright law to steal content from its creators and charge extortionary prices to consumers.
In contrast, I believe that it is important to recognize that publishers perform a valid economic function of filtering content and effectively distributing and selling it to consumers. Today's media companies deserve plenty of contempt, as I have argued many times [...]. However, although we can get along without today's publishers, we cannot get along without the function that they perform.
Will the Internet Become a Significant Advertising Medium? The Internet is already a significant advertising medium.
GM will trim traditional media: General Motors will devote more of its marketing budget this year to relationship marketing, such as sponsorships and the Internet, and less to traditional media.
Net music copyright deal reached: The leading trade associations for the music and technology industries, which have been at loggerheads over consumers downloading songs on the Internet, have negotiated a compromise they contend will protect copyrights on movies and music without new government involvement.
Steal This Book? A Publisher Is Making It Easy
Prentice Hall is publishing a line of computer books, the "Bruce Perens' Open Source Series." The first titles have already arrived for sale in bookstores like Barnes & Noble, and the electronic versions are expected to be available online soon afterward - and to be free.
All the books - a total of six are planned for this year - will be published not under a traditional copyright but under the Open Publication License, which was created in 1999 by David Wiley, an assistant professor at Utah State University. The license allows people to copy, modify and redistribute works.
Annual List of Top 10 Organizations Receiving Most U.S. Patents:
International Business Machines
Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
Micron Technology
Matsushita Electric Industrial
General Electric
Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages
Could we be constantly tracked through our clothes, shoes or even our cash in the future?

13 janeiro 2003

'NY Times' Revises Employee Ethics Policy: A revised ethics policy at The New York Times that places additional limitations on stock ownership by reporters - and bars top editors from owning stock in any company other than the newspaper's parent - takes effect this week, E&P has learned, and appears likely to cause ripples elsewhere. The tighter restrictions, which also clamp down on editorial staffers contributing or taking part in political activities, follow two years of review that included negotiations with Local 3, The Newspaper Guild of New York.
While the 38-page policy covers ethical issues related to everything from freelance work to awards-program participation, the major changes involve stock ownership and involvement in public life, said William Schmidt, the Times associate managing editor who oversaw the review.
Under the old policy, only some business-section employees were barred from owning stock in companies on which they directly reported. The revised policy bars all staff members from having a financial interest in an entity that they cover regularly, as a reporter or as an editor. "Information moves markets," said Schmidt.
A Pentagon reporter, for example, would not be allowed to own any defense-related stocks.
The policy also forbids any editors who appear on the masthead, columnists, and Op-Ed writers who regularly write about business from owning stock in any company except the New York Times Co.
Fight with computer brings SWAT team: A 32-year-old Boulder man who had opened his apartment's patio door to enjoy Wednesday's unusually warm weather was later overheard screaming threats and seen waving what appeared to be a handgun, prompting a maintenance worker to call police.
Officers, as a precaution, evacuated the man's apartment building and called SWAT officers to assist in defusing the situation.
It turned out that the man was simply upset at his computer - which he had called a "bitch" he "wanted to kill," police said - and the gun was a plastic pellet gun, not the .45-caliber automatic handgun it was made to resemble.
Newspapers Seek Alternative Survival Strategies: Faced with the twin threats of declining circulation and less free time among readers, daily newspapers are beginning to think outside the box.
Papers in small towns and big cities are attempting to woo niche audiences with new magazines, Web sites and other products designed for working mothers, factory workers, young people or immigrants. Experts say this represents a historic departure from the industry's one-size-fits-all philosophy that's been prevalent for more than a century.
Papers also hope to win more dollars and loyalty from advertisers by letting them create their own ads using the Internet instead of relying on newspaper employees.
Go Boom: A magazine founded to document the Internet economy suffers the same sad fate: swift and astonishing growth followed by swifter and more astonishing collapse. The Industry Standard came out of nowhere, grew faster and fatter than any magazine in American history - and then blew up. In his new book, former Standard editor James Ledbetter chronicles the giddy, thoughtless enthusiasm that took over so many people in publishing and technology in the late 1990s.
Glitter Lost Luster After The High-Tech Gold Rush: AOL Time Warner Inc. Chairman Steve Case is the latest in a line of new-economy moguls to fall victim to some old-fashioned economic pitfalls. Or it may be that he and his fellow vanquished media lords just dreamed up their good ideas too early. [...]
Last summer, former Vivendi Universal SA chief executive Jean-Marie Messier, who dreamed of turning a creaky French utility into a 21st-century media and communications behemoth via high-tech wizardry, was ousted by his board of directors after a year-long spending spree that left the company on the verge of bankruptcy and has triggered investigations by authorities in France and the United States. In Germany, whiz-kid Thomas Middelhoff was bounced by his board of directors at Bertelsmann AG media company, the world's fourth-largest.
Steve Case to Step Down as Chairman of AOL Time Warner in May; Case to Continue as Board Member
The 2003 Photobloggies: Nominations open on Monday January 13th, 2003
A Pre-Pre-Oscar Malaise: An explanation of why "The Two Towers" won't win Best Picture, even though it should.
Blog of the Rings
Frodo has failed
Drop the GunThe Two Towers' wishful technophobia.
3BP.com: interesting collection of clippings, photographs, and road signs from all over the world.
Bushwhacked: With war looming it is no good the American public looking to its newspapers for an independent voice. For [...] the press have now become the president's men
If there is a Watergate scandal lurking in this administration, it is unlikely to be Woodward or his colleagues who will tell us about it. If it emerges, it will probably come out on the web. That is a devastating indictment of the state of American newspapers.
Media Missing New Evidence About Genoa Violence: Police in Genoa, Italy have admitted to fabricating evidence against globalization activists in an attempt to justify police brutality during protests at the July 2001 G8 Summit. In searches of the Nexis database, FAIR [Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting] has been unable to find a single mention of this development in any major U.S. newspapers or magazines, national television news shows or wire service stories.
Texting time: In a refreshing reversal of fortune it's not only British reality TV producers who are reaping the rewards Stateside. When Pop Idol's US spin-off American Idol returns to Fox TV for its second series next week, it will be backed by an unprecedented nationwide SMS messaging drive. The initiative, which is expected to open up the US's fledgling text messaging market, has been created by London-based mobile marketing specialist Aerodeon.
Reading problems: It has obviously been a bad year for newspaper sales. The annual circulation figures show a decline in both the daily and Sunday market. That doesn't amount to a catastrophe, given that more than 13m national titles are still being sold every day and, it must be noted, the previous year's figures included the huge September 11 sales boosts. But there is also no doubt that the historic downward trend has accelerated a little over the past 12 months and it's reasonable to ask why.
Market law found? Researchers in Italy and the United States believe they have finally uncovered the universal behaviour that governs how supply and demand create stock prices in economic markets.

10 janeiro 2003

Vlog: Not-Yet-Primitive Vlogging Techniques
China has blocked BlogSpot[?]
China vs. the Blogosphere
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom: 24 hours after launching the site from which you can download my novel for free, the book has been downloaded over 20,000 times.
Survival guide 2003
Whuffie: It's the great conundrum of the web. Why do so many people do so much for free? What do people get out of it? Whuffie - that's what. Coined by writer Cory Doctorow for his novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, Whuffie embodies respect, karma, mad-props; call it what you will, the web runs on it.
Ascii Pictures by Allen Mullen
Manifesto contra guerra ao Iraque: Mário Soares é o primeiro subscritor de um manifesto "Pela Paz, Contra a Guerra" que rejeita a participação de Portugal na «preparação de acções contra países terceiros, sem a autorização prévia da Assembleia da República e sem mandato expresso do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas».
[O documento é também subscrito por Freitas do Amaral, José Saramago, M. Lourdes Pintasilgo, Almeida Santos, Rui Vilar, Rui Alarcão, Manuel Alegre, Mário Ruivo, Maria Barroso Soares, Vasco Vieira de Almeida, Sousa Franco, Guilherme d'Oliveira Martins, Júlio Pomar, Maria João Pires, Carvalho da Silva, Gomes Canotilho, Mariano Gago, Nuno Grande, Boaventura Sousa Santos, António Dias da Cunha, Maria de Sousa, Helena Roseta, Luís Moita, Mega Ferreira, Alfredo Caldeira, Cónego Arnaldo Pinho]
Hollywood mobilise contre la guerre en Irak: Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, et désormais Martin Scorsese... Pour la première fois depuis la guerre du Vietnam, les grands noms du cinéma américain renouent avec un activisme de grande ampleur et expriment leur opposition au conflit annoncé entre Etats-Unis et Irak.
US weapons dossier may remain a secret: Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, has suggested that Washington may present little or no evidence of Iraq’s quest for banned weapons even if President Bush decides to go to war.
Mr Rumsfeld said that disclosing such details to the world or even to the United Nations Security Council could jeopardise any military mission by revealing to Baghdad what the United States knows.
[act.:] Contra o Manifesto por Pacheco Pereira
O manifesto "Pela Paz Contra a Guerra", divulgado e patrocinado por alguma comunicação social desde a semana passada, não é, como dizia no PÚBLICO Mário Mesquita, qualquer "repto ao pensamento comodista". Bem pelo contrário, é a expressão de uma poderosa corrente de opinião portuguesa, tradicionalmente associada a Mário Soares, com enorme influência no "establishment" cultural e político nacional. [...]
O documento não é nenhuma "pedrada no charco", mas está mais do lado do "charco" do que da "pedra", perdoe-se a deselegância da expressão. Na verdade, basta lembrar-se, de há um ano para cá, as principais manifestações da opinião publicada, seja nos jornais, rádio ou televisão, quer em Portugal quer na Europa, para se ver como a esmagadora maioria dos opinantes é contra a guerra no Iraque. Não vejo por isso onde é que está a "pedrada" ou a "incomodidade" do "repto".
Skipping Ads? TV Gets Ready to Fight Back
A leading television producer and two major advertisers have joined forces to present a live variety show with no commercial interruptions. Instead, the advertising messages will be incorporated into the show.
Google replies to SearchKing lawsuit: The lawsuit alleged that changes made by Google to its algorithms reduced the PageRank ratings Google assigned to pages within the "SearchKing Network" and that this reduction was an illegal interference with SearchKing's business. In addition to asking for damages, SearchKing filed a motion with its complaint asking for a preliminary injunction to force Google to restore its PageRanks.
Well, Google has replied, and we have the juicy details right here. First, Google has a response to the complaint (the Response), in which it claims it has done nothing wrong and asks the court not to grant an injunction. And second, Google has gone one step further and filed its own motion to dismiss the lawsuit (the Motion to Dismiss). Google thinks, or at the very least is asserting, that it has a slam-dunk iron-clad defense to SearchKing's claims.
News agency forced to host own web site: A Birmingham-based news agency has been forced to to set up its own web hosting company after being closed down more than 30 times by other internet service providers (ISPs).
Al Ansaar News Agency (http://www.al-ansaar.com) is an independent media organisation reporting on America's war on terrorism and the Israeli aggression in Palestine.
Is torture ever justified? Even faced with monstrous terrorism, democracies break the taboo at their peril
Though many authoritarian regimes use torture, not one of even these openly admits it. A decision by the United States to employ some forms of torture, no matter how limited the circumstances, would shatter the taboo. The morale of the West in what may be a long war against terrorism would be gravely set back: to stay strong, the liberal democracies need to be certain that they are better than their enemies.
ECO-TERROR [com muitos .DE!]
Video: As family shrieks, police kill dog: In the video, released by the THP, officers are heard ordering the family, one by one, to get out of their car with their hands up. James Smoak and his wife, Pamela, and 17-year-old son Brandon are ordered onto their knees and handcuffed.
"What did I do?" James Smoak asks the officers.
"Sir, inside information is that you was involved in some type of robbery in Davidson County," the unidentified officer says.
Smoak and his wife protest incredulously, telling the officers that they are from South Carolina and that their mother and father-in-law are traveling in another car alongside them.
The Smoaks told CNN that as they knelt, handcuffed, they pleaded with officers to close the doors of their car so their two dogs would not escape, but the officers did not heed them.
Pamela Smoak is seen on the tape looking up at an officer, telling him slowly, "That dog is not mean. He won't hurt you."
Her husband says, "I got a dog in the car. I don't want him to jump out."
The tape then shows the Smoak's medium-size brown dog romping on the shoulder of the Interstate, its tail wagging. As the family yells, the dog, named Patton, first heads away from the road, then quickly circles back toward the family.
An officer in a blue uniform aims his shotgun at the dog and fires at its head, killing it immediately.
The 'New' Economy? Fast-growing 'underground economy' plays a larger role in tough times.
While economists have long estimated that the U.S. underground economy equals about 10 percent of GDP, there are reasons to believe the size may be larger. According to a recent International Monetary Fund survey of 21 countries, the shadow economy has been growing for 30 years--the fastest in the 1990s--doubling from less than 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1970 to 20 percent or more by 2000.
"In the United States, for example, the shadow economy doubled from 4 percent of GDP in 1970 to 9 percent in 2000," according to IMF.
2003: The year of the blog prefix:
audioblog - Blog posts that include links to audio files.
moblog - Blog posts created with a camera/email equiped cell phone.
vblog - Blog with posts that contain video files.
kblog - Knowledge Management blog.
schoolblog - Blog used in conjunction with K12Education.
mobileblogging - Not just cell phones. notebooks, palms, PDAs and other mobile devices.
photoblog - Blog post include photo.
multiblog - Blog posts with photo, audio and video.
autoblog - Blog posts created while driving.
nobblog - Blog posts created with a notebook.
pblog - Blog posts created with a PDA.
O Provedor do Leitor visto pelos jornalistas por Joaquim Fidalgo
[de Abril 2002 mas só agora descoberto...]:
Metodologia: O estudo baseou-se num inquérito dirigido à totalidade dos jornalistas a tempo inteiro dos três jornais portugueses de informação geral que na altura (Junho/Julho de 2001) dispunham de Provedor do Leitor: "Público", "Diário de Notícias" e "Jornal de Notícias" [...]
De um total de 457 inquéritos enviados, foram recebidas 252 respostas - das quais 2 (duas) foram invalidadas [...]
Em conclusão (e independentemente do posterior aprofundamento da análise dos dados agora recolhidos, cujo tratamento ainda prossegue), poderíamos salientar os seguintes pontos:
• A clara maioria dos jornalistas que trabalham em jornais com um Provedor do Leitor não só concorda com a sua existência, como reconhece uma grande utilidade e uma razoável eficácia ao papel desempenhado por essa figura auto-reguladora.
• A maior utilidade do Provedor parece residir na maior abertura e transparência do jornal face aos seus leitores, mas quase no mesmo plano é referida a sua importância para o interior da própria Redacção.
• Mesmo que nem sempre sejam traduzidas em alterações concretas no jornal, a utilidade e eficácia do Provedor no que diz respeito a estimular o debate interno, a favorecer a capacidade auto-crítica e a recordar os princípios éticos norteadores da profissão, parecem ser relevantes para a grande maioria dos jornalistas.
• As sensibilidades relativamente à figura, às características e ao papel do Provedor do Leitor variam um pouco conforme os jornais, confirmando a ideia de que a sua definição e o seu trabalho concreto são também função da cultura específica das organizações em que se inserem.
• Do mesmo modo, notam-se algumas diferenças de sensibilidade conforme a idade, o tempo de experiência e a categoria profissional dos jornalistas inquiridos, parecendo haver uma maior distância dos mais jovens face à figura (ou à actuação concreta) do Provedor do Leitor.
De Maguncia a Telépolis: Claves de la enésima revolución mediática y pasaje para la próxima: Un diagnóstico del actual escenario de los medios y modos de comunicación pública a la luz de los procesos de cambio inducidos por la tecnología y cifrado en términos de e-Comunicación. Se formulan los nuevos paradigmas que rigen el juego mediático y se estudian sus efectos sobre los medios tradicionales apuntando sus nuevos desafíos. A modo de conclusión se proponen una serie de tendencias e ideas-fuerza que caracterizarán las iniciativas con éxito en el futuro: innovación, creatividad y contenidos.
Recommended Reading
Based on the links on http://contrafactos.blogspot.com, here are some interesting sites you might not be reading:
Web Voice
Josh Marshall
Mickey Kaus
Scripting News
Rebecca Blood
Mighty Girl Blog
Matt Welch
Matthew Yglesias
Jason Kottke
Jim Henley
Las nuevas fórmulas de información y la rentabilidad de los medios, a debate en el IV Congreso de Periodismo Digital
La industria de la música admite que nunca podrá erradicar la piratería musical en Internet: El presidente de la Asociación de la Industria Discográfica Americana (por sus siglas en inglés, RIAA), Cary Sherman, no ha tenido más remedio que reconocerlo. No hay nada que pueda impedir la descarga gratuita o el intercambio de archivos de música en Internet.
Magazine admits airbrushing Winslet: The editor of a UK men's magazine has admitted its cover photograph of actress Kate Winslet was airbrushed to improve the image.
GQ editor Dylan Jones said the 27-year-old Titanic actress had approved the photographs, but that they had been "digitally altered".
Daily Mirror Front Page (Monday, January 6, 2003)

09 janeiro 2003

Coming clean on the error of our ways: Margaret Holt, whose formal title at the [Chicago] Tribune is customer service editor and whose duties include keeping and analyzing records of our errors, is doing her year-end analysis for 2002, and preliminary data offer reasons both for alarm and for optimism. Among the findings:
- We committed a total 691 errors last year, resulting in the publication of 678 "corrections and clarifications" in the space reserved for that purpose each day on Page 2. (Under the Tribune's formal policy, a misstatement of fact--spelling someone's name wrong, getting a game score incorrect, giving the wrong phone number for a movie theater, describing as dead someone who is alive--qualifies as an error. Grammatical or typographical mistakes or differences of interpretation do not. Each time an error is discovered, the desk from which it originated is required to submit to the public editor's office a report describing how it happened and how it might have been prevented.)
Last year's total of 691 - just under two a day - was up from 646 in 2001, which was up from 599 in 2000, our lowest total since the paper began formally tracking errors in the mid-1990s. Part of Holt's analysis will be to seek reasons for these increases.
- Almost half of our errors - 49.64 percent - were news-gathering errors, committed at what Holt calls "the front end of the news process, when reporters are nailing down facts." That's important information, because it tells source desk editors they need to be extra vigilant in monitoring and directing their troops in the field.
- Only 32.28 percent of last year's errors were identified internally, as opposed to coming from outside the paper. That's worrisome because Holt's analyses have consistently found that overall numbers of errors go down as the percentage of those identified internally goes up, probably "because people are focused on accuracy as a priority."
[Ver, no mesmo sentido, a página de erros do New York Times] Corrections
Fewer Buyers Reading Papers: Americans are willing to pay for news and information but increasingly not from daily newspapers, according to a study released yesterday that provoked debate among executives gathered to discuss the industry's future.
The research, based on government data of consumer spending, found the average U.S. family spent $56.81 for newspapers in 2001, or just over half the $90.33 spent for Internet services such as America Online. Spending on papers declined 5 percent from 2000, and fell among all age groups, most notably people 35 to 44.
"If I was a newspaper publisher today, I would be very scared because of these ominous trends," said Peter Francese, founder and former editor of American Demographics magazine. "Are you listening to the customer? The message they are delivering is not one I would want to be hearing if I was in your business"[...]
William Dean Singleton, chief executive of MediaNews Group Inc., owner of the Denver Post and 49 other dailies, added that recent history had proved wrong earlier predictions that the Internet would serve as the death knell of print journalism. In fact, some papers' online divisions are profitable, he said.
Newspaper Outsiders Offer Tips for Web Sites: TV, Web Rivals Rate Your Online Efforts
"Newspapers should continue to push forward the paradigm of what news is," says Kathy Yates, president and chief operating officer at CBS.MarketWatch.com in San Francisco. A founder and former executive of Knight Ridder Digital, Yates says most publishers still think of themselves as print newspapers first and Web sites second. It's time to change that, she suggests.
"Newspapers should look at their online sites as one-stop-shop information and community sites that extend the paper's brand," says Gary Kebbel, news director at America Online. "News is a key part of why people come to the site, but it's just one of the many lures that get readers and customers through the virtual door."
Once they come inside, readers should find a real community. "A local newspaper has the ability to bring together people who want to talk about the latest scandal involving the mayor or whether to close a middle school or the fact that the Lions Club needs volunteers for its next project," Kebbel adds.
To attract readers, papers need to improve cross-promotion of print and online, advises Tolman Geffs, CEO of Internet Broadcasting Systems Inc., a New York-based provider of Web sites for local TV affiliates in 50 markets. "TV is very good at promoting itself to its viewers, our TV-based Web sites thrive on promotion on the TV stations, and we spend a lot of [effort] on the sites driving viewers back to our TV stations' programming," he says. "In contrast, I still keep a copy of The New York Times from the morning after Election Day 2000. The biggest political news story since Watergate was hanging in the balance, the paper went to press while the midnight Bush/Gore election call was still swinging, and the front page of the paper basically says, 'Hey, last night, we didn't know what was going on.'" In such cases, print papers should be prominently pushing readers online for the latest updates, Geffs says.