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November 27 2012

Four short link: 27 November 2012

  1. Statistical Misdirection Master Class — examples from Fox News. The further through the list you go, the more horrifying^Wedifying they are. Some are clearly classics from the literature, but some are (as far as I can tell) newly developed graphical “persuasion” techniques.
  2. Wall of Awesome — give your coworkers some love.
  3. Dave Winer on Medium — Dave hits some interesting points: Users can create new buckets or collections and call them anything they want. A bucket is analogous to a blog post. Then other people can post to it. That’s like a comment. But it doesn’t look like a comment. It’s got a place for a big image at the top. It looks much prettier than a comment, and much bigger. Looks are important here.
  4. SIGGraph Asia Trailer (YouTube) — resuiting Sims and rotating city blocks, at the end, were my favourite. (via Andy Baio)

April 17 2012

Letters: The web's new world order

The British people fought wars and went through a great deal of civil strife to construct the form of democracy we currently have. Thus there is nothing wrong with our government seeking to ensure that within its national boundaries activity in cyberspace conforms with its laws. The alternative proposition, that the law of the internet is coterminous with the decisions of the US supreme court, is unacceptable everywhere except the US.

The internet of course is magical and wonderful. But we should not have to put up with all the bad stuff in order to benefit from the good. By failing to deal with significant levels of online crime, I'm afraid the high priests of the internet industry, of whom Sergey Brin is most certainly one, have created the situation of which he and they now complain (Web freedom under threat – Google founder, 16 April). It may not be too late to halt or reverse some of the processes Brin is anxious about, but time is running out and laissez-faire will not cut it.
John Carr
London

• I recently replaced a defunct mobile phone and, a week in, find that the new phone's default settings included backing up "application data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings to Google servers". Is Mr Brin a suitably qualified glasshouse stone-thrower, or does the above sit uncomfortably with Google's previous sniffing for Wi-Fi networks while making photographic surveys?

Internet freedom must rely upon a sea of small providers rather than disproportionate control by nations or global corporations. I will be looking to remove other Google services from my phone.
Mike Brown
Newcastle upon Tyne

• "Internet freedom" is just a vehicle for transnational corporations such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook to impose their ideology of rightwing libertarianism on the world – strident capitalism, no taxes, no government, no community. They are a threat in the same way as Murdoch has proved to be, but for some reason we talk about them as if they were the post office or the library.
Dr Stephen Dorril
University of Huddersfield

• Ai Weiwei's comments on the power of the internet to achieve freedom (China's censorship can never defeat the internet, 16 April) remind me strongly of the prescience of your former Communist affairs correspondent Victor Zorza (died 1996). I recall the characteristic enthusiasm with which he told me, almost certainly as far back as the 1970s, that he was convinced that fledgling information technology would prove to be a death knell for totalitarian regimes. As your other articles demonstrate, however, this is not quite so straightforward a matter, given the partially successful attempts at censorship in today's authoritarian countries. But the general conclusion still holds, as Ai Weiwei suggests. Once the monopoly of information slips out of the hands of the rulers of such countries, political consequences are bound to follow sooner or later.
Peter Roland
Bognor Regis, West Sussex

• Russia's alarming restrictions on internet freedom, including the imprisonment of pro-democracy bloggers (Nervous Kremlin seeks to take back control, 16 April), are inconsistent with its membership of the UN Human Rights Council. When he first became president in 1999, Vladimir Putin promised to defend freedom of speech. When he returns to the post next month, Putin would do well to honour his word – and that of his country.
Hillel C Neuer
Executive director, UN Watch, Geneva

• Re your editorial (14 April), New South Wales police have set up a social media community engagement project called Eyewatch. Each of our 80 local area commands has a Facebook page. Each day, police publish local crime issues and crime prevention tips. We are now formulating neighbourhood watch closed Facebook groups across the state so communities can be in touch with police whenever they want to. Our pages have attracted 93,000 fans and over 30m page impressions. Crime is being solved; communities and police are working together to identify problems and create community solutions. This programme – applying the Peelian principles to the 21st century – could be easily adopted in the UK.
Chief Inspector Josh Maxwell
Manager, Project Eyewatch


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January 09 2012

A venture into self-publishing

This post is part of the TOC podcast series. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.


MindfireCover.jpgScott Berkun is a long-time O'Reilly author, but he decided to self-publish his latest book, "Mindfire." Similar to my earlier podcast interview with Dan Gillmor, I wanted to get Berkun's thoughts on his experience of having published both ways. Why did he venture into the world of self-publishing? Is he happy with the results, and will he ever work with a traditional publisher again? Those are a few of the questions he answers in this TOC interview.

Key points from the full video interview (below) include:

  • Self-publishing was a learning opportunity — Some authors are curious to learn the finer aspects of what goes into making a book, and Scott quickly learned a lot with the "Mindfire" experience. [Discussed at the 1:05 mark.]
  • Blogging and book writing have always gone hand-in-hand for Scott — His blog is a wonderful sounding board and helps him shape whatever book he's currently working on, including the title, cover and more. [Discussed at 2:10.]
  • Self-publishing is both easy and hard — Technology makes it easy to publish almost anything these days; it's all the work that goes not only into the writing, but also into the editing, cover design, proofreading, indexing, marketing, etc., that makes it so challenging. [Discussed at 4:35.]
  • Self-publishing also requires self-promotion — Author platforms are more important today than ever before; it's true for traditional publishing, too, but even more so for self-published products. [Discussed at 8:25.]
  • The PR effort required was the biggest surprise — Berkun used a giveaway campaign to build momentum and extend his future reach. [Discussed at 9:54.]


  • How can traditional publishers avoid losing authors to self-publishing? — Berkun turns the question around and asks why this decision is an either/or. [Discussed at 17:14.]
  • The opportunity to learn from self-published authors — Editors often abandon their authors who test the self-publishing waters when what they should really be doing is talking more with them to learn what's working and what's not. [Discussed at 20:43.]

Additionally, the 10 most common questions Berkun is asked about self-publishing can be found here, and our entire interview can be viewed in the following video.

src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nx17nuLqmnA" frameborder="0"<br /> allowfullscreen></p> <div><a href="http://www.toccon.com/toc2012?cmp=il-radar-tc12-scott-berkun-toc-podcast"><img src="http://radar.oreilly.com/toc11-148.png" /></a><a href="http://www.toccon.com/toc2012?cmp=il-radar-tc12-scott-berkun-toc-podcast"><strong>TOC NY 2012</strong></a> &mdash; O'Reilly's TOC Conference, being held Feb. 13-15, 2012, in New York City, is where the publishing and tech industries converge. Practitioners and executives from both camps will share what they've learned and join together to navigate publishing's ongoing transformation.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.toccon.com/toc2012?cmp=il-radar-tc12-scott-berkun-toc-podcast"><strong>Register to attend TOC 2012</strong></a></div> <p><strong>Related:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/08/be-innovative-but-dont-use-tha.html">Be innovative, but don't use that word</a></li> <p><li> <a href="http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/03/future-of-publishers.html">Publishers: What are they good for?</a></li></p> <p><li> <a href="http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/11/agents-publishers-publishing.html">Do agent-publishers carry a conflict of interest?</a></li></p> <p><li> <a href="http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/12/five-lessons-publishing-2011-amazon-self-publishing-ereading-html5-drm-piracy.html">Five things we learned about publishing in 2011</a></li></p> <p><li> <a href="http://blogs.oreilly.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-search.cgi?blog_id=57&tag=TOC%20Podcast&limit=20&IncludeBlogs=57">More TOC Podcasts</a></li><br /> </p></ul> <div class="feedflare"> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?a=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:V_sGLiPBpWU"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?i=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:V_sGLiPBpWU" border="0" /></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?a=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:yIl2AUoC8zA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?d=yIl2AUoC8zA" border="0" /></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?a=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:JEwB19i1-c4"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?i=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:JEwB19i1-c4" border="0" /></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?a=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:7Q72WNTAKBA"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?d=7Q72WNTAKBA" border="0" /></a> <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?a=4d-Q0C-oogI:i_1IDg2QObM:qj6IDK7rITs"><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/oreilly/radar/atom?d=qj6IDK7rITs" border="0" /></a> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/oreilly/radar/atom/~4/4d-Q0C-oogI" height="1" width="1" />

June 17 2011

Publishing News: Blogging and the law

Here are a few publishing highlights from the past week. (Note: Some of these stories were previously published here on Radar.)

Legal ins and outs of blogging

In a recent post for Mashable, CorpNet.com CEO Nellie Akalp noted the blogging industry has grown to include more than 160 million blogs and that there are more than 69,000 blogs created every 24 hours. Along with that growth, the number of lawsuits against bloggers is chugging along at a steady clip.

We recently covered the libel angle of blogging, tweeting, online publishing here on Radar. Akalp's post offers three more general tips to help bloggers stay out of trouble, and she points out why every blogger needs to wrap his or her head around the legal aspects of blogging:

Most bloggers are probably aware that back in December 2009, the FTC revised their guidelines to bring social media and Internet advertisers into the mix. At the heart of this revision was a concern that it was becoming increasingly difficult to recognize an "advertisement" in social media. In 2010 the ruling reverberated throughout the marketing world and the blogosphere. Controversy surrounded Twitter, high profile celebrities, and improperly disclosed sponsor relationships. As a result, every blogger needs to be aware of the guidelines and take some simple steps to minimize their liability.



Magazine publishers don't quite get digital yet


SIscreenshot.jpgMore and more magazines are embracing digital publishing and developing apps for digital editions. But are their efforts thus far succeeding in creating new consumer experiences, or are they simply regurgitating print content onto a screen?

In a recent post for PaidContent, Laura Hazard Owen noted that consumer response to magazine apps has been lukewarm and profitability is questionable:

Publishers continue to take some heat for producing apps that are clunky, not social enough, and overpriced. And at least one magazine entrepreneur/executive argues that his peers are deluding themselves about the likelihood that apps are going to generate profits anytime soon.

Joe Wikert, GM and publisher at O'Reilly Media, recently agreed that magazines aren't properly using digital technology. He implored publishers to think "beyond the quick-and-dirty conversion of print to digital and take advantage of the e-reader capabilities."

Brian Morrissey in a post for Adweek also said that apps are missing the mark. He highlighted design flaws (or perhaps a disconnect between publishers and consumers):

Publishers [are trying] to cram every tech gizmo possible into their apps. Everyone oohed and ahhed at the demo video of the Wired app. Then it arrived in the App Store weighing in at a monstrous 527 megabytes. Want the latest issue? It's hardly an impulse buy when the file is close to the size of full movie download.

This disconnect also is apparent in a chart Owen put together for her post. A close look shows that "popular apps" do not include the magazine apps themselves.

Webcast: Digital Bookmaking Tools Roundup — Pete Meyers looks at the growing number of digital book tools: what's best, what's easiest to use, and what's worth putting in your book-building toolkit.

Join us on Thursday, June 30, 2011, at 10 am PT
Register for this free webcast



Open Road's aggressive marketing techniques


Last month, Jane Friedman landed $8 million in equity financing for her digital publishing company Open Road Integrated Media. In a recent NPR interview, Friedman talked about the company's business model, with 50/50 profit splits for authors and a focus on digitally publishing backlist titles. Friedman noted that "aggressive marketing" is the key to the company's success.

What does aggressive marketing involve? The NPR piece hinted at a few elements:

Open Road backs its titles with aggressive multi-platform marketing campaigns, making creative use of the Web, social media and video. The company produces short documentaries to promote its authors.

For more on what aggressive marketing entails and how the campaigns are handled, I turned to Open Road's chief marketing officer Rachel Chou. Our short email interview follows.

What does "aggressive marketing" mean?

Rachel Chou: Aggressive marketing means marketing throughout the term of contract and not just at the book's launch. It also means balancing real-time marketing vs planned marketing. We build quarterly marketing plans for every author or publishing partner and continue to think of new themes, topics or pitches.

  • This story continues here.



Related:


  • Trapping content on the iPad won't work, even if it's pretty
  • Pride and prejudice and book trailers
  • What ebook designers can learn from Bible-reading software
  • Open Question: Are we at the ebook tipping point?

  • November 21 2010

    November 15 2010

    Four short links: 15 November 2010

    1. Between the Bars -- snail-mail-to-blogs transcription service for prisoners, to make visible stories that would otherwise be missed. there is a religous program here called Kairo's in the program inmates are given letters and drawings made by small children not one in that program did not cry, after reading the words of incouragement from those kids. An unmissable reminder of the complexity of human stories, suffering, and situations, the posts range from the banal to the riveting. (via Benjamin Mako Hill)
    2. Kinect Opensource News -- a roundup of open source Kinect hacks. I like memo's gestural interface the best. Impressive stuff for just a few days' access to the open source drivers. (via Andy Baio)
    3. You Fix The Budget (NY Times) -- a simpler version of Budget Hero, which lets you choose policies and see their effect on the deficit. Unlike Budget Hero, the NYT app doesn't discuss non-deficit consequences of the actions (social consequences, ripple-on economic effects). Like Budget Hero, you can't add your own policies: you're forced to choose from the ones presented. Real life is more complex than this simulation, but even something this simple is powerful: by interacting with this, you understand the magnitude of (say) education vs healthcare, and you realize how much of the current debate is froth.
    4. Meet the New Enterprise Customer, a Lot like the Old Enterprise Customer -- Ben Horowitz nails the difficulty of selling to the enterprise, and drives a stake through the "they'll buy our service with their credit cards, like consumers do" myth. xcellent enterprise sales reps will guide a company through their own purchasing processes. Without an enterprise sales rep, many companies literally do not know how to buy new technology products. (via Mike Olson on Twitter)

    October 12 2010

    Why blogging still matters

    We tend to get caught up in the latest tech ideas or gadgets, which is understandable since a lot of this stuff is undeniably interesting. But from time to time it's worth surveying where we are and where we came from; to consider how the tech landscape has changed over the years, and how all those past technologies have influenced the things and thoughts we currently have.

    That sort of slap of perspective happened to me during a recent interview with Expert Labs director Anil Dash (@anildash) at Web 2.0 Expo NY. I was reminded of the enduring power of blogging.

    Here's what Dash said when I asked how his blog relates to his other work:

    I'm incredibly privileged and fortunate. I can put a post up on my blog and some number of people who are smart and thoughtful will take it seriously and respond. That's unbelievable. That's the greatest thing in the world.

    If I spend an hour writing a couple hundred words about a really interesting challenge that we face as an industry, as a society, as a culture, sometimes I'll get the person that I'm writing about to respond. I could write something about Twitter and get somebody that works at Twitter to respond, or write something about government and get someone who makes policy to respond. That's still a thrill. It also kicks off really meaningful conversations. I think that's all you can hope for.

    That was the promise we had when we all first discovered the web. Someday it would bring us all together and we'd be able to have these conversations. It's not perfect. It's not ideal. But in some small way here's somebody like me -- with no portfolio, I didn't go to an Ivy League school, I didn't have any fancy social connections when I started my blog -- and it has opened the door to me having a conversation as a peer, as somebody taken seriously, in realms that I would have never otherwise had access to. That's the greatest privilege in the world.

    The full interview with Dash, embedded below, includes his thoughts on how he's avoided burnout after more than a decade of blogging. He also discusses his crowdsourcing/government work with Expert Labs and he explains why the Gov 2.0 movement would have never happened had it required a federal mandate.



    Related:


    May 14 2010

    April 26 2010

    Brunei Foodies Go Pink 2010

    Brunei bloggers have initiated a new charity project for 2010. Last year local bloggers and foodies got together to support and promote a charity recipe book which resulted in B$10,000 funds raised for the participation of Brunei Special Athletes for the Special Olympics Games in Greece in 2011. This year, bloggers and foodies have agreed to support another local cause to raise funds and create awareness about breast cancer.  The project this year is better organised and coordinated hand in hand with the Brunei Breast Cancer Support Group ( BBCSG). The theme  chosen was aptly named as Brunei Foodies Go Pink in support of the Pink Pride Breast Cancer Awareness. For this year's recipe book project, desserts were selected as the main food offering.

    Food tasting commenced

    Food tasting commenced

    Pink Merchandise were sold to raise funds for the Support Group

    Pink Merchandise were sold to raise funds for the Support Group

    A Pink Sunday Foodie event was recently organised to kick off the project. Recipe contributors and foodies were invited to bring their contributions to Casa Esperanza for food testing. A voting was conducted to select the most popular recipes. Some 53 dishes were shared and as a result, 51 recipes were collected which will be published and sold to the public. All proceeds will go to the Brunei Breast Cancer Support Group, in helping them raise awareness about a disease that affects many in the country, to buy prosthesis and support for cancer patients.

    The project has raised the standards of blogging in the country as blogs provide an avenue for bloggers to get together to support local causes that affect the community. It was also a success as the respective talents of the bloggers complement one another ranging from those who blog on IT, photographs, ideas and public outreach. These talents were all utilised in ensuring that the project would ran smoothly.  The other success of the project was having the event in an informal and social setting which provided a free flow of exchanges on an issue that many still see as a taboo.

    Mr. Thanis Lim, the winner in the event with his Chocolate Lava Cake

    Mr. Thanis Lim, the winner in the event with his Chocolate Lava Cake

    The Brunei Times reported:

    “BRUNEIANS should take the initiative to offer their voluntary support in promoting local non-profit organisations' (NGOs) good causes, rather than wait for the NGOs to hold fundraising activities.”

    “We hope to see more of this, not only bloggers but also whoever wants to come up to us and collaborate in activities and raise more funds,” said Masjuwita Hj Abd Hamid, president of the breast cancer support group.She said that the support group will use the proceeds from the fundraiser to promote more awareness activities and provide breast cancer patients the necessities which some could not afford.”

    chocolate

    Ciliqueen shared her experience after attending and supporting the cause through her blog:

    “It is really rewarding for me when I can see people giving up a little bit of their time to attend the Go Pink! event. You will feel a real sense of pride for helping to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. I met new people and of course plenty of mouthful opportunities to have some fun tasting with those sinful and delicious desserts!”

    Speak off the Cuff shared her adventure at the Pink Foodie Event

    “Can't wait for the book to come out tho'. Hopefully, each entry/recipe comes with the contact details of the baker/creator, as I am keen to order some of these goodies..nom..nom..nom..nom”

    bahulu pick me up

    Two local bloggers Chef Nash and Turquoise and Roses also wrote about the event.

    “For those who do not know, Pick-Me-Up is the English word for Tiramisu. I chose this dessert because I think it’s appropriate owing to my recent obsession with coffee. That and I found these awesome big giant sweet strawberries in Hua Ho. Happy!”, said Turquoise and Roses.

    Another blogger and baker, Sas Monroe attended the event:

    “I just came back from the Go Pink Foodie Event for Breast Cancer. Not knowing what recipe to contribute at first, i settled for my simple Banana Cake recipe. One of my many favourite things in this whole wide world.I was first introduced to the cake when i was studying in Melbourne… Will be selling the banana cake on The Cakery soon..and will be donating $2 for every banana cake sold to the Breast Cancer Support Group Recipe should also be available in the Pink Foodie Recipe Book which will be out pretty soon. cant wait. i have to thank Pablo for pushing me to contribute a recipe. lol. “

    Avocado mousse

    Pasir Puteh, a photoblogger, shares his wonderful shots of the desserts in his post. His photographs will be used to illustrate the wonderful recipes for the book. He also observed that there were more participants this year compared to the previous blogfest activity.

    “Was at Casa Esperanza on Sunday to give a wee bit of support to the Pink Foodies crew. I think the turn out was something like 3 times as many as the previous one in December . If it gets any bigger (which it definitely would), we may need a villa/the ballroom @ the Empire ;P. “

    Foodies Contributors . Photo by Chee.

    Thank you to a local bank who has kindly sponsored the cost of printing the book and many from the local community who came forward to donate cash and prizes for the Pink Foodie Event. This  shows how bloggers can unite in their aspiration to contribute towards a meaningful cause in the community. The book is currently in the final editing stages before being sent to the printer for publishing.

    All photos are from Senor Pablo apart from the last group photo.

    April 24 2010

    “Boobquake” to challenge claims of Iranian cleric

    boobquakeJennifer McCreight, a Purdue University student in the United States is asking women around the world to show a little cleavage or a little leg on Monday as a humorous test to disprove an Iranian cleric’s theory that immodest dress has the power to make the earth shake.

    The story began when Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader, said: “Many women who do not dress modestly… lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”

    Jen McCreight who describes herself as a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana, wrote in her blog:

    I have a modest proposal. Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically. You all remember the homeopathy overdose? Time for a Boobquake. On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that's your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it'll be one involving plate tectonics.

    The Boobquake event on Facebook already has 123,680 confirmed supporters, including many men. The photo above is from the Facebook page.

    And here is a video message on Boobquake:

    Iranians themselves have also launched creative campaigns against censorship and repression in the past. One of the most recent was the Men in hijab campaign to support Majid Tavakoli, a jailed leading student activist. It seems the Iranian story has become world wide sensation this time.

    April 16 2010

    Chosen links - oanth - 20100416

    Pointer - Wegweiser
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Chosen links on/via oanth - 20100416
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      concerning tags / Schlagwörter:

      just to inform you - there seems to be a bug for tag-signification inside the text space: it happend several times that it added automatically in the hyperlink-urls the path of the whole pointer/Wegweiser posting and the linked url was transformed to a ../tag/... path - up to now I have no idea, what precisely may have caused this; the only thing what stopped it was that I deleted the tags from the html text field and stayed inside the provided tag line. - oanth 20100418

      ---------------------------------------------------
      oanth - CEST 01:30 20100417 - soup.io
      ---------------------------------------------------

      Best of Blog Awards 2010: And the Winners are…

      Logo_subline

      The BOBs have been decided!

      The sixth annual Deutsche Welle Best of Blogs (BOBs) Awards have come to a close, and the Global Voices community is celebrating the winners. This year, a number of blogs created by or contributed to by GVers were nominated (as Diego Casaes highlighted), and GV's very own Amira Al Hussaini and Claire Ulrich both served on the international jury.

      So what are the best blogs? Crisis crowdsourcing innovator Ushahidi (on which GVer Juliana Rotich works) took the top spot in this year's contest with the Best Weblog jury award, while Jordanian blogger Osama Romoh took the People's Choice for Best Weblog.

      The other major awards went to:

      Best Weblog: Ushahidi (Jury), Osama Romoh (People's Choice)
      Best Podcast: Cajun French Language Tutorials Podcast (Jury), Radio Kalu (People's Choice)
      Best Videoblog: Мистер Фриман - Mr. Free Man Best Videoblog (Jury), Malviviendo (People's Choice)
      Reporters Without Borders Award: We are Journalists (Jury), Holom Akhdar (People's Choice)
      Blogwurst Award: Blogs do Alem and Wake Up Mr. Green (Jury), Ibda3at (People's Choice)
      Special Topic Award (Climate Change): Coluna Zero (Jury), Ecoplaneta (People's Choice)

      The jury and voters also awarded the best blogs in each of 11 languages, including a new language added this year:

      Bengali: Ali Mahmed's blog (Jury and People's Choice)

      And the Best Blog in English…

      Hisham Khribchi and Jillian York, both Global Voices Authors, were honored with both the People's Choice and Jury Awards for their website, Talk Morocco, in the Best English Blog category. The site aims to encourage conversation amongst different factions of the Moroccan blogosphere and counts numerous bloggers, journalists, and human rights activists among its contributors.

      Congratulations to all the winners!

      Talk morocco is announced the winner at republica conference in berlin, photo by sami be gharbia

      Talk Morocco is announced the winner at RePublica conference in Berlin, photo by Sami be Gharbia

      April 03 2010

      02mydafsoup-01
      Im Netz, so die Ansicht des Blog-Herausgebers, ist Relevanz nicht mehr mit Reichweite gleichzusetzen. Anders gesagt: Es kommt nicht darauf an, wie viele den Beitrag lesen, sondern wer. "Die Fachpolitiker, deren Themen betroffen sind, verfolgen die entsprechenden Blogs sehr genau", glaubt Meyer-Lucht. Grund: Die Beiträge sind auf ihrem Gebiet sehr speziell und werden "von Leuten geschrieben, die sich auskennen", sagt Meyer-Lucht. "Sie stoßen in eine Lücke vor, die die Massenmedien nicht füllen können. Ich bin überzeugt, dass das Blog ein maßgebliches Publikationsformat der Zukunft sein wird."
      Achtung, Blogger! - Nachrichten welt_print - Politik - WELT ONLINE
      Reposted fromannalist annalist

      March 31 2010

      Four short links: 31 March 2010

      1. ZeroMQ -- bold claim of "Fastest. Messaging. Ever." LGPL, C++ with bindings for many languages, past version 2 already. (via edd on Twitter)
      2. Prediction Market News (David Pennock) -- HSX is going to be a real marketplace with real $. The real HSX will of course say goodbye to the virtual specialist and the opening weekend adjust, two facets of the game that make it fun to play, but that create significant amounts of (virtual) wealth out of thin air. The Cantor Gaming group is engaged in other interesting initiatives. They are taking over a sportsbook in Las Vegas and turning it into more of a derivatives exchange with live in-game betting, a step toward my dream of a geek-friendly casino. Interestingly, another company called Veriana Networks is close to launching a competing Hollywood derivatives market called the Trend Exchange.
      3. A Pivot Visualization of my Wordpress Blog (Jon Udell) -- using pro-am data exploration tools from Microsoft (Pivot) to work with information from his blog. Contains the scripts he used to do it.
      4. Select Committee Report on Patents Bill (PDF) -- New Zealand Government select committee recommends no software patents in NZ. We recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided they produce a commercially useful effect [footnote: Under the Patents Act 1953 mathematical algorithms as such are not patentable. They may be patented under the Patents Act when used in a computer, so long as they produce a commercially useful effect.] Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s Protecting software by patenting it is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no "inventive step" in software development, as "new" software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position.

      March 29 2010

      Four short links: 29 March 2010

      1. Salmon Protocol -- protocol to unite comments and annotations with original web pages. A distributed solution to the problem that Disqus tackles in a centralised fashion. Important because we'll all be historians of our earlier lives and dissipated prolific micro-content is a historian's nightmare.
      2. Gephi -- open source (GPLv3) interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. I believe tools for data exploration, versus static infographics, are the only way to develop a new sense for data. (via mattb on Delicious)
      3. Skinput -- a bio-acoustic sensor lets you use your skin to write, tap, drag, etc. See also BBC article. (via Mike Loukides)
      4. First Synthetic Genome Secret Messages Decoded (Wired) -- the first synthetic genome contained advertisements ("VENTNERINSTITVTE", "CRAIGVENTNER"). I can't figure out whether it's a cheeky easter egg in the finest geek tradition, or whether it's as if the Apollo 11 had "BUY COKE" on the side or Magellan's yachts had sails emblazoned with "VENETIAN GLASS: BEST IN THE WORLD!". (via christianbok on Twitter)

      March 26 2010

      02mydafsoup-01

      Tags: Ada Lovelace - the Ada Lovelace Day, 24th of March - survey on articles via Soup.io in 2009 & 2010


      ---------------------------------------------------
      Pointer - Wegweiser ---------------------------------------------------



      AdaLovelacePic.jpg
      In occasion of the Ada Lovelace Day, 24th of March (a day to remember and encourage women in IT technologies, female engagement in all kinds of cyber-activism & blogging) I tagged all the articles I could find on my soup in 2009 und 2010 on Ada Lovelace (just click on the name and the postings will appear)

      There are a lot of informations about engagements in politics interconnected with the fields of technological developement, human rights, privacy - btw, also about Franziska Heine from CCC - and even comics.


      [oanth - muc -20100325]
      Reposted bySigalon02 Sigalon02

      March 25 2010

      Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating Women in Technology and Transparency Worldwide

      Inspired by Ellen Miller's post on the Sunlight Foundation blog, which profiles the work of women who use technology to promote transparency in the United States, we decided to add to the list by profiling several women from around the world involved in the use of technology to make government more transparent and accountable. The following profiles were written and researched by Renata Avila, the lead of Creative Commons Guatemala, the Director of Primer Palabra, and our researcher for Spanish-language Latin America on the Technology for Transparency Network.

      In Mexico, Irma Eréndida Sandoval heads up a laboratory to document corruption and research the best transparency policies. “Laboratorio de Documentación y Análisis de la Corrupción y la Transparencia” at UNAM, the Autonomous National Mexican University, is one of the most prestigious institutions in Latin America.

      In Iceland, parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir is promoting the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a proposal to create a global safe haven for investigative journalism in Iceland that would improve freedom of expression and transparency worldwide by protecting watchdog groups and whistleblowers from libel censorship.

      It is important not only approve good laws to promote transparency and openness but also protect a free country from becoming less transparent. An activist from Germany, Franziska Heine, initiated the most successful e-petition in German history, aimed to prevent a law which would give the German police the right to create and maintain censorship lists with websites to be blocked by German ISPs. It was signed more than 134,000 times. Franziska is part of the anti-censorship movement and is engaged in several activities and organizations which fight against surveillance, data mining, censorship and other threats to civil rights.

      But good laws and proactive citizens are not enough; tools are also important to enable women around the world to take action and promote transparency. Margarita Padilla, an IT engineer and the former director of the magazine Mundo Linux is making a difference. She creates and maintains systems with a social approach and also promotes openness with her website Sin Dominio.

      Mercedes de Freitas from Venezuela is the Executive Director of Transparencia Venezuela, the local chapter of Transparency International and is former Ashoka Changemaker Fellow for her work in promoting civic participation to increase government accountability.

      These are surely just a few examples of women around the world who are using technology to challenge corruption, improve the performance of institutions, and create better policy to engage citizens and hold public officials accountable. As a recent article by Alexandra Starr notes, both the fields of technology and government have long excluded women from participation despite their impressive track record for approaching both policy and technology with more realism and tact than their male counterparts.

      Software companies and parliamentary buildings around the world are still mostly dominated by men, but this is changing quickly thanks to a new generation of women technologists, activists, and politicians. I would be remiss to not highlight the work of our female researchers and research reviewers who, it must be said, have proven themselves to be the hardest working members of our team on the Technology for Transparency Network.

      Renata Avila, who wrote the profiles of all of the women above, is a lawyer, human rights activist, the country lead of Creative Commons Guatemala, and the director of Primer Palabra. She has worked with the Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation, Harvard University, the Public Voice, and Women in International Security. Twitter: @avilarenata.

      Sopheap Chak is a graduate student of peace studies at the International University of Japan. Meanwhile, she is also running the Cambodian Youth Network for Change, which mobilizes young activists around the country. She was previously advocacy officer of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) where she helped lead the “Black Box Campaign” to fight against police corruption in Cambodia. Twitter: @jusminesophia.

      Rebekah Heacock is currently a master's candidate at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where she studies the intersection of ICT and development and edits SIPA’s blog, The Morningside Post. She previously lived and worked in Uganda, where she co-developed and directed a series of conferences on post-conflict development for American and African college students. Twitter: @rebekahredux.

      Manuella Maia Ribeiro is a recent graduate of Public Policy Management from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Since 2007 she has been researching how governments can promote transparency, accountability and participation through the use of information and communication technologies. Twitter: @manuellamr.

      Namita Singh is a researcher and consultant focused on participatory media. She studied mass media and mass communication at Delhi University and has a Master of Arts in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. Namita will soon begin her Ph.D. research in the UK on the processes and impact of participatory video. Twitter: @namitasingh.

      Carrie Yang is a a postgraduate student studying new media at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The focus of her research is on citizen journalism and new media product development. She studied English at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China. Twitter: @Carrie_Young.

      Sylwia Presley is a blogger, photographer and activist who is passionate about social media marketing for the non-profit sector and social media for social change. She has organized numerous events including Barcamp Transparency UK last summer in Oxford, which she hopes will be replicated in other European countries this year. Twitter: @presleysylwia.

      Aparna Ray is an independent qualitative research consultant by profession who is keenly interested in people, cultures, communities and social media/software. She writes both in English and Bangla, (the latter being her mother-tongue), and covers the Bangla blog world on Global Voices. Twitter: @aparnaray.

      Laura Vidal is a Venezuelan studying Science Education in Paris, France. She blogs at Sacando la Lengua about languages, literature and interactions in society, and deeply believes in the uniqueness and importance of every culture, and in the study of them as a mirror to our own.

      Do you know other women working in the fields of technology and transparency? Please link to their websites, blogs, and Twitter accounts in the comments section below!

      Reposted bySigalon02 Sigalon02

      March 24 2010

      Ada Lovelace day: Celebrating women in science

      The annual event aims to raise the profile of women in science and technology. Rebecca Thomson picks out some of the most important people


      Reposted fromsigaloninspired sigaloninspired

      March 23 2010

      Four short links: 23 March 2010

      1. British Prime Minister's Speech -- a huge amount of the speech is given to digital issues, including the funding and founding of an "Institute for Web Science" headed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. (via Rchards on Twitter)
      2. Periodic Table of Science Bloggers -- a great way to explore the universe of science blogging. (via sciblogs)
      3. For All The Tea in China -- a tale of industrial espionage from the 1800s. The man behind the theft was Robert Fortune, a Scottish-born botanist who donned mandarin garb, shaved the top of his head and attached a long braid as part of a disguise that allowed him to pass as Chinese so he could go to areas of the country that were off-limits to foreigners. He forged a token and stole IP, in some ways it's like the reverse of the Google-China breakin. (via danjite on Twitter)
      4. Nature by Numbers -- relating numbers, geometry, and nature. Beautiful and educational. (via BoingBoing)

      March 18 2010

      Nigeria: “Enough is Enough!” youth march on the capital

      On Tuesday, March 16, thousands of Nigerians marched on the capital, Abuja, to show their frustration with the woes that continue to besiege the country. This sort of protest has not been a common feature of the Nigerian political scene – at least not in this decade– though this demonstration is one of several that have taken place this year.

      The protest was organized by Enough is Enough, a diverse coalition of youth, media, and business leaders. The group marched to the National Assembly building bearing a letter which outlined their demands, four of which they said stand out as requiring “urgent intervention”. Excerpts of the demands are as follow:

      1. The Jos situation makes it clear that the Nigerian state is incapable of securing the lives and limbs of its citizens…. We demand an urgent overhaul of the security and intelligence apparatus in our country…

      2. The promise of 6000 megawatts was flagrantly broken…. [We] demand that within the month, the government gives a realistic, practical plan to solving this perennial power problem.

      3. We also demand that President Yar’Adua should resume, resign or be removed so that Nigerians know who their leaders are…

      4. The Uwais report has been lying between the executive and the legislature for months now, and now election timetables have been released… We demand that all its recommendations be passed and implemented before the next elections.

      [The Uwais Report is a document containing recommendations for making Nigerian elections fairer and more transparent.]

      The coalition's letter emphasized the fact that those under 35 make up 75% of Nigeria's population; it carried a warning for the upcoming election:

      We will come out to vote massively this time around, we will be watching closely and we will not leave election centres until all votes are counted. Anyone who rigs elections this time around will have themselves to blame. Young people across the country – from the North to the South – will be coming out in their millions…

      The letter concluded:

      We grew up hearing ourselves addressed as the “leaders of tomorrow,” and now we have realised that it is time… to take our destinies into our hands if we want to stand any chance of witnessing that much-touted “tomorrow.”

      The protest ended relatively peacefully, and was largely declared a success. Olamild gave a play-by-play of the events of the day:

      After hours of waiting and chanting, the crowd switched to Plan B Mode - they sat on the bare floor insisting that bankole and mark come out.

      [Dimeji Bankole is Speaker of the House of Representatives; David Mark is President of the Senate]

      The crowd insisted on seeing who they came for and gave an ultimatum - ” It is either we march into the house by force or you bring Mark or Bankole to come out and speak to us.”

      The doors were eventually opened and the youths marched into the house where they encountered 4 layers of hand-locked policemen. Serious pushing was involved but they got in. On getting in, they were told that the House of Assembly officials had escaped through the back door. Protesters were then urged by their leaders to head out and end the rally. Angry Stella Damasus yelled “we can't just go like this. “

      [Stella Damasus is a popular Nigerian actress]

      The youths were shocked at the act of cowardice displayed by the House of Assembly. “They ran away?? Only one who has done evil will run away at a time like this. We will come back again and the next time we come, we will shut this place down.”

      Twitter users Gbengasesan and Bubusn posted pictures of the march, and live footage of the event was available at ustream. The demonstration had an online presence unprecedented in the history of Nigerian protest: Facebook, Twitter, and Nigeria's extensive blogging networks were all mobilized in support of the event (of particular note were the Facebook group Save Nigeria and the demonstration organizers' website Where is Yar'Adua?). Nigerian Curiosity even reported that the hashtag #enoughisenough was the number three trending topic on Twitter (though she pointed out that not all the tweets referred specifically to the demonstration in Abuja).

      Many in the online community expressed their support for the marchers. Jcsgrl, a commenter on Bella Naija's post about the protest, articulated many people's thoughts when she wrote:

      This is quite new to us Nigerians. We’re not known to protest. We sit back and let things happen to us. Perhaps, the fear of military leadership still rules our life. Give it time…be patient. Keep building momentum and developing a grassroots mentality. We’ll get it together one day. In the mean time, don’t ever give up hope and don’t ever stop fighting for what you believe in. I support this group 100%. Just hope the fight doesn’t end there.

      Demiji, commenting on Imnakoya's post, had a similar view:

      I’m proud my people have found a new zeal to pursue their demands, how I wish I could be part of this historic moment!

      Tolu Ogunlesi wrote of his reasons for protesting:

      This sorry state of our country has left an interesting side effect. It has turned us all into comedians, people for whom no lemon is too unripe to be turned into lemonade, for whom absurdity is an instant ‘open-sesame’ for verbal ingenuity. We have made jokes about everything; composed ballads for President Yardie, turned “Turai” and “Mutallab” into verbs; and wondered why, after having a president who suffered kidney failure, we now have an acting president afflicted by “liver failure.”

      Increasingly, however, we are realising that it is time to move on, to go beyond Concern, and Comedy, and make our way into the uncharted territories of Commitment. It is dawning on us that it is not enough to be Angry Young Men and Women, trapped in the online factories of Twitter and Facebook assembling jokes and status updates from our ever-increasing frustrations.

      We need all the support we can get. So, if you are young, or young at heart, and think it is time to say ENOUGHISENOUGH, to electoral malpractice, to power failure, to fuel scarcity, to the cabals in high places, and to whatever else you may think of, let’s start in Abuja on Tuesday March 16, 2010.

      Not all observers were unequivocally optimistic. Imnakoya wrote that he admired the protesters energy and commitment:

      They are the ones in the trenches and up against the brutality of the security forces. Putting their bodies at risk and investing their time to make a case for the general well being of Nigerians is a noble task, and I doff my hat!

      But he was skeptical of their demands. He outlined his reasoning as follows:

      The removal/resumption/retirement of Mr. Yar’Adua is no longer critical at this stage of event in Nigeria. What is important is having in place constitutional measures that will prevent similar occurrences in the future. Let’s deal with the issue of transparency, the root cause of the problem.

      We could have asked for the establishment of regional/local/ industrial parks nationwide with 20-24 hrs of electrical power (and other necessary amnesties) where businesses can set up shop and engage in symbiotic existence. Nigeria does not need power 24-7 nationwide at this point, just guarantee power to the industrial and production centers! Ending the five-month scarcity is easy, just get more ships to bring in more fuel! But this is not the solution to the problem…

      Oil refinement must be done locally, and open to the private sector involvement. Three refineries are too few to handle the demands of Nigerians and her nearby neighbors! Rid the sector of politics and see how quick a turn-around will happen. Have each geo-political zone own and operate a refinery.

      Solomonsydelle was similarly skeptical:

      Will any of these demands be fulfilled by the end of March? A reasonable thinking person familiar with Nigeria would be foolish to say yes. There were promises made to my grandparents generation that are yet to be fulfilled by the Nigerian federal government. And for that reason, I personally would be seeking more than a plan when it comes to the second demand concerning electricity. Despite this, I feel that this protest is a step in the right direction for Nigerian democracy, as it is crucial for citizens to express themselves even when the consequences could be dire.

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