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Current Topic: Blogging

On the blindness of Instapundit's partisan sarcasm...
Topic: Blogging 10:02 am EST, Feb  8, 2008

They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, clueless cops would be confiscating computers willy-nilly. And they were right!

Ironically, the Washington Post is reporting that this is, in fact, happening. I don't think its very funny.

On the blindness of Instapundit's partisan sarcasm...

Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’-News-Politics-TimesOnline
Topic: Blogging 11:28 am EST, Feb 12, 2007

Hotels, restaurants and online shops that post glowing reviews about
themselves under false identities could face criminal prosecution under new
rules that come into force next year.

The EU is banning flogging.

Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’-News-Politics-TimesOnline

Bridezilla feeds monster cynicism
Topic: Blogging 1:06 pm EST, Feb 11, 2007

Videos such as "Bride Has Massive Hair Wig Out" and those posted by Lonelygirl15 on You Tube may help sell products or kick-start a budding actor's career. But they also have a more pernicious effect on our tendency to trust what seems genuine.

"I can't see how they don't make people more cynical," says Gillian Watson, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia.

"If one is always skeptical, then goes to cynicism, you end up feeling pretty negative about the world," Mr. Federman says. "You end up with a very sour disposition. You tend to look at people and interactions as everyone trying to manipulate you, and tend to have a miserable existence, quite frankly."

Can flogging have the same sort of impact on trust in a society that a police state can have? If everyone is suspected of being a shyster, is that any different than if everyone is suspected of being a terrorist, in terms of the strength of casual bonds that make business and social discourse operate?

Bridezilla feeds monster cynicism

Images - Creative Commons
Topic: Blogging 6:55 pm EST, Jan 21, 2007

The new image embedding feature in MemeStreams opens up a lot of great possiblities. We're really been enjoying the different ways that people have found to make use of it. However, it also raises some challenging questions about Intellectual Property.

Is there a fair use defense for embedding images from commercial sources into your MemeStreams blog? I think it may depend on what you embed, from who, in what context. Blogs really haven't found themselves under the gun of a law suit over this sort of appropriation in the past, but there is a first time for everything, and I myself am not entirely sure where the lines should be drawn.

Ultimately, you should use common sense when picking pictures to embed. You have to consider the interests of the image host. If the picture is of a product the linked site is selling, its unlikely the site's owners would care. If the image comes from a commercial news source, its really hard to say. Are you driving your readers to the original article, or are you using the image in a context where your readers aren't likely to care about the original source?

Here I'm linking Creative Commons page on images. They provide a few reasources for CC licensed images which are likely safer to embed than commercial alternatives. One of the sources they point to is flickr, which has a Create Commons option in their advanced search capability. I think thats a real good way to find images that you can use to illustrate your blog without running into IP concerns.

Images - Creative Commons

Alberto Gonzales on Bloggers
Topic: Blogging 6:45 pm EST, Jan 18, 2007

This is infuriating.

Feingold, who today flat out called the program illegal and who last March... went on to attack Gonzales for a speech he made in November, where he said that critics of the government's warrantless wiretapping program believed in a definition of freedom that was "superficial" and a "grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people."

Feingold took issue with that and asked who in the country actually believed that terrorists should not be wiretapped.

Gonzales said he knew that it wasn't Democrats and his real targets were blogs, where you can find people who don't see that the government is trying to protect them.

Unfortunately, this is the closest thing I can find to coverage of this hearing. Transcripts do not seem to be available. If anyone has the exact quote from Gonzales, please post it. I DO have the exact quote and context for his statement in November.

Some people will argue nothing could justify the government being able to intercept conversations like the ones the Program targets. Instead of seeing the government protecting the country, they see it as on the verge of stifling freedom.

But this view is shortsighted. Its definition of freedom – one utterly divorced from civic responsibility – is superficial and is itself a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people.

As Justice Robert Jackson remarked in the case Terminiello v. City of Chicago, “The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.”

The central quote was decontextualized and passed around in the media. Of course, you can find crazy people on the Internets, but the people out there who "will argue nothing could justify the government being able to intercept conversations like the ones the Program tagets," and I have never, ever seen anyone make that argument, but they are clearly too far and inbetween to constitute "a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people."

Gonzales is almost Chomskesque in his careful use of language which simultaneously means many things and nothing. If you support the idea that the executive need not get court approval for domestic surveillance, what you hear when he says this, particularly given the lawsuit quote at the end, is that the people who are raising legal objections are a grave threat to the liberty and security of the American people. But when brought to task about that comment he can argue that he wasn't talking about those people, he was talking about some other group of people, who are a straw man who exist largely as a figment of Ru... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

Alberto Gonzales on Bloggers

Pew: 14 Million Online Political Activists in U.S. Today | Personal Democracy Forum
Topic: Blogging 2:48 pm EST, Jan 18, 2007

That translates into about 14 million people who were using the 'read-write Web' to contribute to political discussion and activity," the study's authors Lee Rainie and John Horrigan write.

This is a good run down of the results from the Pew study.

Pew: 14 Million Online Political Activists in U.S. Today | Personal Democracy Forum | 12/28/2006 | Web news opposites
Topic: Blogging 2:52 pm EST, Dec 30, 2006

By Elise Ackerman - Mercury News

Two years ago, the inspiration for creating a Web site for news junkies hit two men with vastly different ambitions. One hoped to make boat-loads of money. The other dreamed of enriching American democracy by identifying trusted news sources hidden in the deluge of information available online.

NewsTrust looks extremely interesting. | 12/28/2006 | Web news opposites

Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir
Topic: Blogging 4:09 am EST, Dec 27, 2006

Another response to the WSJ editorial...

Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Rich Miller :: Pundits lose grip on reality when dealing with the Internet
Topic: Blogging 4:04 am EST, Dec 27, 2006

I don't think Rago has spent much time on blogs or he'd know that several specialize in, and are very good at, taking on complex topics that the mainstream media barely skim.

A response to the WSJ editorial.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Rich Miller :: Pundits lose grip on reality when dealing with the Internet

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Web 'fuelling crisis in politics'
Topic: Blogging 6:39 pm EST, Nov 17, 2006

..the media, which he described as "a conspiracy to maintain the population in a perpetual state of self-righteous rage".

Whether media was left wing or right wing, the message was always that "leaders are out there to shaft you".

The internet, he told the conference, was part of that "crisis".

"The internet has immense potential but we face a real problem if the main way in which that potential expresses itself is through allowing citizens to participate in a shrill discourse of demands.

Part of the problem, he added, was the "net-head" culture itself, which was rooted in libertarianism and "anti-establishment" attitudes.

He told delegates: "You have to be part of changing that culture. It's important for people who understand technology, to move from that frame of mind, which is about attacking the establishment into one which is about problem-solving and social enterprise."

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Web 'fuelling crisis in politics'

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