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 Yorker – NBC 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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