Oct 12

Newsweek’s Big Gamble?

Newsweek went big (previously) trying to go upmarket, focusing on Generation Jones.  It looks like they’ve crapped out, only 3 years into a 5-year plan.  Layoffs are expected to be announced today.

Dec 09

Daily Links for December 10th through December 13th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Top 10 Homemade Versions of Things We Love – DIY Creations – Lifehacker – Making your own versions of great food and clever gadgets is already rewarding, and if you play your cards right, the homemade route also comes with serious bragging rights. These 10 economical homemade creations—epicurean and electrical—should inspire some well-deserved praise.
  • The Book Cover Archive
  • A collection of older, cheaper gadgets that still make great gifts in 2009. – By Farhad Manjoo – Slate Magazine – That observation prompted Dash to wonder what satisfaction he was getting from "chasing novelty." If his uncle could make do with an old cell phone, why couldn't he? Thus, a small movement was born: In April, Dash and a few tech-luminary friends launched Last Year's Model, a one-page site that encourages techies to consider the old before jumping into the new. The response, Dash says, was overwhelming—people posted hundreds of comments on the site and on Twitter and Facebook explaining how the economy, the environment, and general thriftiness had prompted them to stick with old phones, music players, cameras, video game consoles, and other devices.
  • Water Conflict Chronology [Google] Map – An interactive map showing the geographic location where conflicts over water have occured, and information about each conflict.
  • Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics | TPMCafe – In states with lower percentages of people that endorse spanking and washing kids' mouths out with soap, which is the case in New England and much of the Middle Atlantic, Obama did very well. In states with higher percentages, like Wyoming, Idaho, and Alabama, McCain won big. Even the states that fall somewhat far from the trend line are usually easy to explain. For example, Hawaii, Illinois, and Alaska are all favorite son or daughter states. Several states that are below the line, like Nevada, Indiana, and Ohio, are states that have usually voted Republican in the past.
  • 28 Rich Data Visualization Tools – InsideRIA – We're currently working with a dozen different clients, all web application (re)designs. All of these clients have data rich applications and need equally rich data visualizations to help their end customers analyze data quickly and effectively.

    What makes my job really interesting is that these clients are in different industries and are using different technologies. So we have pulled together a set of 28 tools for creating graphs, Gantt charts, diagrammers, calendars/schedulers, gauges, mapping, pivot tables, OLAP cubes, and sparklines, in Flash, Flex, Ajax or Silverlight.

  • Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper—By Richard Rodriguez (Harper’s Magazine) – National newspapers may try to impersonate regional newspapers that are dying or dead. (There have been reports that the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal will soon publish San Francisco Bay Area editions.) We already live in the America of USA Today, which appears, unsolicited, in a plastic chrysalis suspended from your doorknob at a Nebraska Holiday Inn or a Maine Marriott. We check the airport weather. We fly from one CNN Headline News monitor to another. We end up where we started.

Nov 09

Daily Links for November 20th through November 22nd

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Matt Taibbi – Taibblog – Sarah Palin, WWE Star – True/Slant – At the end of this decade what we call “politics” has devolved into a kind of ongoing, brainless soap opera about dueling cultural resentments and the really cool thing about it, if you’re a TV news producer or a talk radio host, is that you can build the next day’s news cycle meme around pretty much anything at all, no matter how irrelevant — like who’s wearing a flag lapel pin and who isn’t, who spent $150K worth of campaign funds on clothes and who didn’t, who wore a t-shirt calling someone a cunt and who didn’t, and who put a picture of a former Vice Presidential candidate in jogging shorts on his magazine cover (and who didn’t).
  • Quote and Comment – I was asked to speak recently at a conference organized by Yale University with the title “Journalism & The New Media Ecology: Who Will Pay The Messenger?” This irritated me. The question should have been “who will subsidize news production?” because news production has always been subsidized by someone or something. Very rarely have users paid directly the costs of editorial production.
  • A Question of Emphasis :: The Scoop – My fear as a Washington Post subscriber and reader of washingtonpost.com is that, when the folks running the organization turn things around (and I believe that it is not an impossibility or even a long-shot), what emerges will be not only a news organization that is a shadow of its former self – most orgs will have to face that reality – but that it will have put so much emphasis on the paper that it cannot take advantage of the possibilities online. That the folks running things are literally rolling back the progress and smart work that has been done, and will not be able to get it back as fast as they might think. And the people who remain – those who will be charged with the task of rebuilding a news operation that embraces all of the ways that its readers and users can gain value – will have neither the support nor the depth to make it happen.
  • The 40-30-30 Rule: Why Risk Is Worth It :: Tips :: The 99 Percent – Many of the strategies employed in competitive and recreational sports are applicable in business and our personal lives. One lesson I learned from alpine ski racing was the "40-30-30 Rule." During training, early on, I tried to go fast, and I also focused on not falling. On a ride up the ski lift, my coach told me I was missing the point. He explained that success in ski racing, or most sports for that matter, was only 40% physical training. The other 60% was mental. And of that, the first 30% was technical skill and experience. The second 30% was the willingness to take risks.
  • Video of Angry Wingnuts Booing Sarah Palin, Calling Her a “Quitter” & Chanting “Sign Our Books” | Rumproast – Teabaggers just aren’t happy about anything these days. I guess the Noblesville, Indiana Going Rogue book signing didn’t go very well yesterday because 300* or so of the 1000 people with wristbands were asked not to tread on Sarah Palin and then she tried to make a getaway with Baby Trig and several duffel bags full of cash but wingnuts have learned to protest about everything these days, so they were having none of it. This is the best thing you will see about horrible, horrible Sarah Palin on the internets all day and until the end of time.

Nov 09

Daily Links for November 11th through November 13th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

Nov 09

Daily Links for November 5th through November 8th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • NSFW: After Fort Hood, another example of how ‘citizen journalists’ can’t handle the truth – There was just one problem: Moore’s information was bullshit too.

    As we now know, Major Hassan was not killed, but rather captured alive. Reports of a second – and third – shooter also now appear to be inaccurate. Whether someone was shot “in the balls” hasn’t been publicly confirmed and, for the sake the of the victim’s privacy, let’s hope it never is – but the point is that many of Moore’s eye-witness reports weren’t worth the bits they were written on. They had no value whatsoever, except as entertainment and tragi-porn.

  • iSportacus » Blog Archive » A Few Thoughts About the Phils on an Emotional Day – [With] two outs in the top of the 9th of Game 6 and the Phillies trailing 7-3, Shane Victorino came to the plate. Battling a severely injured finger and the best relief pitcher in Major League baseball history, Shane refused to go down quietly. Cracking foul ball after foul ball, each one certainly causing him pain, Shane kept our dimmest of hopes alive. Someone at the bar uttered, “If Shane can get on, it’s Chase and then Howard. There’s still hope.” And that, my friends, is where Philadelphia stands today. Even in the direst of circumstances, down 7-3 in the top of the 9th with two outs and two strikes, Philadelphians no longer say, “We’re screwed.” They say, “There’s still hope.” That is no small thing. It is the legacy of both a team we’ve learned to never give up on and an announcer that we’ll never forget.
  • Study Paints iPhone Users As Porn-Watching Egomaniacs – iPhone users find cool gadgets more attractive than college degrees, frequently watch "adult material" on their phones, and have no qualms texting or emailing a break up, reports a new study from Retrevo.
  • Are Your People Financially Literate? – HBR.org – Asked to take a basic financial-literacy exam—a test that any CEO or junior finance person should easily ace—a representative sample of U.S. managers from C-level executives to supervisors scored an average of only 38%. A majority were unable to distinguish profit from cash. Many didn’t know the difference between an income statement and a balance sheet. About 70% couldn’t pick the correct definition of “free cash flow,” now the measure of choice for many Wall Street investors.
  • The History and Evolution of Social Media | Webdesigner Depot – In this article, we’ll review the history and evolution of social media from its humble beginnings to the present day.