Tag Archives: internet

Washington Post? Boston Globe? Jim asked for my opinion. . .

A beau from my way-back machine (still a friend) asked in an email:

What you think of the sales of the Boston Globe and Washington Post for peanuts on the dollar?  How in the hell is Bezos going to make money with the WP? Does he get the rights to the very good Sousa March of the same name?

I’m unqualified when it comes to the Sousa question (there’s a March?), but we all know that Moe do so luv to offer her opinion (I do it for free, so grateful am I for the ‘ask’.)

Here’s how I see it:

It’s a changed world. Big metro dailies need to be reinvented and as for Bezos and The Post, I think he’s the guy to do it. WaPo and the Globe have been shrinking for years like so many others. They’ve lost classified, real estate, and car ads to online. The one thing that isn’t going to happen again is growth – in size, in advertising and eventually in circulation – although the Post and the NYT and WSJ continue to reign supreme in readership because they all excel in an internet proof-product – excellent substantive reporting.

So I think at least with the Post, the goal is to find a revenue stream to support that core product and not fiddle with it. Everything else has to be reinvented. And who better to do it than Bezos who literally invented how to actually make big money online. Since he’s an individual owner – which was the tradition at the Post – I trust him more than a corp looking for quarterly earnings. He’ll support it for quite a while probably.. Just like Murdock has to support the NY Post and the Moonies have to support the Washington Times (daily circulation 83,000 vs WaPo 1.4million).

Metro dailies are today’s horse and buggies. Not surprisingly though, small weekly or bi-weekly local papers are doing very well. Very very well, which is probably why Buffet just bought a bunch of ‘em.  Their operating cost are low – no need for out of town bureaus for instance. Or financing investigative reporting. As long as they cover city hall, births, deaths and school pageants, they’ve got it covered. Plus advertising is pretty cheap.

I don’t know much about the Globe except that again, this is a single owner – one already invested in the community. And also, I think that sale is an example of how the NY Times by selling it is sharpening its focus on protecting its flagship paper. They’ve been selling ‘Times Group’ papers for a while.

So I think Bezos can find a way to keep up readership while developing that reliable revenue stream with paid online access. The Times and WSJ are already doing that very successfully.  And MOST importantly, he’ll usher the paper into the age of the mobile device because he also understands the future.

And that’s what I think.

Taking the silly to new heights

A revealing moment in an exchange on Charlie Rose last night. His guests were the Editor and primary reporter from the Guardian there to talk about Snowden and the NSA leaks. At one point, Rose asked the reporter “so do you just call Snowden when you need to ask questions?”. She looked at him as though he were not wearing pants and replied “Um, we just text.” A telling moment.

Then this morning, I saw this:

The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday’s Herald, but Armywide.

Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency

Same thing.

The presses shut down on a big one

Newsweek. Newsweek will cease print publication at the end of this year and become all digital. And there will be a pay wall.

We’ve seen this happening with lots of publications of course, but this is really huge. And there will be more to follow I’m sure.

When I worked in magazine publishing, which I did for many years, I did business with a number of the offset plants around the country who also printed Newsweek and Time. They were big companies those printers. No doubt in recent years, fewer plants and fewer personnel have been involved, so the damage won’t be as widespread as it once would have been, but damaging it will be to vendors of all stripes. Even today, Newsweek has been printing a million and a half copies every week.

Good news for the trees though.



The angry gods of the interwebs came for me today

First WordPress shut me out of multiple functions, something that’s been building over the last few days. I couldn’t even access the WP help forums and found no solace in outside forums. Deeply frustrated, I turned away and decided to make some calls.

Uh-oh. Dialing yields only a dial tone. I unplug and replug, I reboot, I turn off, I turn on. I change clothes and even re-comb my hair. Nothing. Nada. Sorry. Have a nice day.

So it was on to MagicJack live chat help – for a 53-minute long chat. That’s 53, as in fifty-three. They sent a few updates and did some remote resets. Once again there was much unplugging and replugging and even more rummaging around in Device Managers and such.

But they did it. Those sweet sweet kids in Bangladesh or wherever, fixed it. I am grateful.

So now one thing is fixed, but the WordPress problem sits there, waiting. More tries but it was just hitting a wall.

And yet here I am. Posting – because I decided to try the desktop. And voila! Everything works fine over here!

So the problem is in my laptop somewhere. And it is something beyond my ken. This may require a visit from the good Todd, he who fixes all things.

It is now four hours since I sat at my desk, four lost hours.

I’m going to have a Diet Coke.

Nothing blog-whore-ey here. Absolutely not!

This is the image I used in my own ‘tanning lady’ post – back when she was still a story. It turned out to be quite popular on teh google and lo, thus did those seekers-of-wisdom-and-truth come right here, right to Whatever Works. And lo, they left their delicious digital signatures, and lo, they did cause my May site stats to soar and climb to a great big number. (It was an outlier. I know. I know. But still . . . )

So now, as an experiment – only an experiment of course, there is nothing blog-whore-ey about it – I’m re-posting that very picture (or ‘gooble-bait’ as I call it) to see what happens.

I myself see this as important research that must be done, so yup, I am so doing it.

I knew (well, I remember) Vice-President Gore. And you, Gov. Romney, are no Al Gore.

Romney was at an auto company yesterday, speechifying:

“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and . . .  the companies got back on their feet . . .  So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”

As liberals gear up the outrage over that one, the push back will be ‘but Gore said he invented the internet’!!! Which, of course, he never said. And what he did say  was true.

To wit: as we now know, Gore was one of the first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame cuz:

[he] was “Instrumental in helping  to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government  officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to  fuel educational and economic growth as well.”

Too bad they didn’t induct the late Sen. Ted Stevens, who took the iniative to create the word “intertubes”

Politico has the story:

Former Veep Al  Gore is now getting a bit of credit for his infamous 1999 claim that “I took  the initiative in creating the Internet”: He’ll be one of the first inductees  into the Internet Hall of Fame

The names were announced Monday at the Internet Society’s Global INET 2012  conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and Gore was placed in the “Global  Connectors” category for having “made significant contributions to the global  growth and use of the Internet.”

The group’s description of Gore states: “Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the  United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the  expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping  to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government  officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to  fuel educational and economic growth as well.”

Sure sounds to me like he  took him some initiative there.

I’m “going black” Wednesday

This site, along with hundreds of thousands of sites around the world (millions of sites?), will ‘go black’ at 8:00 a.m. today – and stay down for 12 hours – to protest the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA), which poses a real threat to a free internet and to freedom of speech on the internet. It’s being supported by and lobbied for by some of the world’s largest multinationals, who will benefit financially.

The SOPA legislation purports to provide protection for intellectual property, but is in fact toxic and dangerous. Watch the video here. You can sign the petition here.

See you back here after 8:00 pm tonight.

Gubmint nevah could do nuffin’ right

Except invent the internet. And computers. And other stuff. And then give the technology to American businesses to launch entirely new industries. Damn gubmint!

From wikipedia, here’s how it came to be:

ENIAC (play /ˈɛni.æk/; Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer)[1][2] was the first general-purpose electronic computer.  . .  ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army‘s Ballistic Research Laboratory.[4][5]  When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a “Giant Brain”. It boasted speeds one thousand times faster than electro-mechanical machines, a leap in computing power that no single machine has since matched. This mathematical power, coupled with general-purpose programmability, excited scientists and industrialists. The inventors promoted the spread of these new ideas by teaching a series of lectures on computer architecture.

The ENIAC’s design and construction was financed by the United States Army during World War II. The construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943, and work on the computer began in secret by the University of Pennsylvania‘s Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name “Project PX”. The completed machine was announced to the public the evening of February 14, 1946[6] and formally dedicated the next day[7] at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000 (nearly $6 million in 2010, adjusted for inflation).[8]

Like so much Research & Development, it was financed with taxpayer dollars. We used to think that was a good way to spend money.

YouTube just went and lost me

Boy . . . I step away from the computer for a few days and bandersnatches sneak  in to have some fun with my settings.

Suddenly I am unknown at youtube;, I need a password to sign in. I have tried repeatedly with the password I have on my little list. No go. Clicked the old ‘forgot  my password button’. Set a new one. Tried to sign in again. No go. Tells me another user – me actually – already has my email address so I’ll need to set up a new google account. But hey, fellas! I have settings! I have favorites! I have some history here and I need access to it.

Any ideas? Is it because I forgot the oldie  on Friday? Is this punishment?

Protest in a vacuum

This is disturbing. If it works, other nations will take notice. Right now, we – and more importantly, they – are dependent on ‘old’ media.

Egypt Cuts Off Most Internet and Cell Service
Egypt has cut off nearly all Internet traffic into and out of the country in the largest blackout of its kind, according to firms that monitor international data flows. Cellphone networks were also disrupted.

Coming to a tweet near you!

From Sherri at A Feather Adrift. Meet SIWOTI, a new achronym, from xkcd.com:

Duty Calls

Don’t bother me with details!

(Update below) Wikileaks is now being mirrored on something like 750 sites (list here) world wide which pretty much guarantees continued access to their information. I don’t know if Sen. Lieberman (and now Sen. Diane Feinstein) are in the mood to go after web sites all over the world.

I just visited Wikileaks.ch (first time for me). Here’s something from their introduction page re the diplomatic cables which we’re unlikely to hear:

The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret. [My note: that’s 15,652 of the quarter million cables they have.]

And I’ll never stop saying this:

(It’s still about the banks guys. Wonder when that promised document dump from inside a ‘major US bank’ is coming?)

UPDATE: As of 11pm tonight, Wikileaks is being mirrored on 1005 sites – it doubled in a few hours. I’ll look in the a.m. and see what it’s up to.

Sneaking under the wire?

While Google and Verizon and the confused FCC along with a clueless Congress start fighting over “internet, freedom of”, I’m having some odd online experiences over the last week. Everything is slower, page loading is so slow I swear the browser forgets where it was headed. And suddenly I get a lot of ‘page not found’ moments, even when using a back arrow to return to where I just was. This is entirely new.

Anyone else?

At Kos today, an update of where things currently stand.

It depends on what the meaning of ‘phone’ is

UPDATE: It seems the FCC is acting. A number of net neutrality organizations (especially CREDO) deluged the FCC over the last 24 hours. Here’s a story on it. It’s not entirely over, but this is progress.

This is very bad news. In fact, it has the potential to be destructive of our future and of our civil liberties and could contribute mightily to creating a new underclass. We live in an information society – impediments to giving information and receiving information would disappear for those who ‘can afford it’ or have power over it. 

Awwwk! They're, they're, they're trying to shut me down!

 The internet is the freest expression of human  information and the most beautiful manifestation of true liberty I’ve ever experienced. For people living in countries without a free press, it is the best new tool they have to help them  throw off their oppressors. 

Free flow of information distributes power. Someone doesn’t want us to be able to do that. 

Google, Verizon Said to Strike Deal on Web Traffic Rules 

“. . . the compromise as described would restrict Verizon from selectively slowing Internet content that travels over its wires, but wouldn’t apply such limits to Internet use on mobile phones . . .” 

Phones is where the Internet is going. And they know that. Does the FCC?

USA! USA! The encore

From Harper’s Index, April 2010:

Percentage change since 2008 in the average speed of an Internet connection worldwide:  +14

Percentage change in the United States:  -2.4