Unrequired Reading {19.11.08 to 20.11.08}

November 20, 2008

These are some of the things that have caught my atten­tion lately. It’s a more eclect­ic mix than just the news busi­ness, but then so’s life:

  • Cre­at­ive think­ing | FT.com — You start of want­ing to change the world, and one day you wake up in gov­ern­ment and this comes out of your mouth: “Bri­tain can lead the world in set­ting a com­mer­cially viable reg­u­lat­ory frame­work for online music, video games and oth­er cre­at­ive indus­tries, Andy Burnham, the cul­ture sec­ret­ary, told the FT yes­ter­day.” Don’t write it on his tomb­stone.
  • Wiki­pe­dia gears up for flood of video and photo files | Web­ware — CNET — “Cur­rently, all of Wiki­pe­dia, includ­ing the pho­tos and audio, fits in less than 5 tera­bytes of stor­age. The text alone is less 500 MB com­pressed. With the new serv­ers and the new media edit­ing ser­vices, Vibber expects Wiki­pe­dia to be using 10 TB to 15 TB by the end of 2009.”
  • Per­son­al His­tory: All the Answers: Report­ing & Essays | The New York­erNBC News tried hard to find work for me, as a writer of radio news­breaks, for example, but I wasn’t very good at it. In the sum­mer of 1958, they assigned me to the White House.
    This was a strange exper­i­ence. NBC’s old Wash­ing­ton hands weren’t wel­com­ing. After all, here was this neo­phyte who was prob­ably being paid more than they were but who didn’t know how to do the simplest things. To pun­ish me, they let me flounder unless it would make them look bad. They couldn’t always tell in advance. For example, they asked me to go to the air­port and inter­view John Foster Dulles on his return from some inter­na­tion­al conference—not an import­ant story, or they would have sent someone else. I man­aged to be on the steps when the Sec­ret­ary of State emerged from his plane, but I was wear­ing sunglasses, because the sum­mer sun was in my eyes. He glared at me and very brusquely answered my care­fully com­posed ques­tions, then pushed past.
  • Desire for qual­ity journ­al­ism as crisis pushes Par­is Hilton down the news agenda | Jon Slat­tery — Schle­sing­er said that Reu­ters had 2,564 staff around the world, more than it had ever had in its his­tory. And news about the cred­it crisis had meant demand for enter­tain­ment stor­ies about celebrit­ies, like Par­is Hilton and Madonna, as well as sport had dropped off.
  • Scot­tish I-Ball rolls to suc­cess | CNET News — I want one: “A new launch­able, wire­less pro­jectile cam­era from Scot­land gives troops 360-degree, high-qual­ity, real-time video cov­er­age wheth­er in flight or rolling on the floor.
    The I-Ball can be tossed into a room, fired from a gren­ade launch­er or even a mor­tar, and its advanced image sta­bil­iz­a­tion tech­no­logy will still deliv­er a steady pic­ture and easy to see “high-value” video, accord­ing to cre­at­or Edin­burgh-based com­pany Dream­pact.”
  • Why feds won’t bail out news­pa­pers | Reflec­tions of a News­o­saur — “Even if someone could fig­ure out a way to give news­pa­pers a few bil­lion without com­prom­ising their edit­or­i­al inde­pend­ence, it’s not clear how much good it would do. Fed­er­al handouts are not enough to res­cue a busi­ness los­ing cus­tom­ers because it has failed to object­ively assess its short­com­ings, under­stand the strengths of its com­pet­it­ors, cap­it­al­ize on new tech­no­logy and adapt to new mar­ket real­it­ies.”

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