Sorry AT&T, I’m just not that into you


I know we’ve been going steady for three years. I really loved last Christmas when you got me that new phone for free. But I didn’t know that meant we had to keep seeing each other for another two years. I just don’t get it — you can still be my carrier if I get a new phone.

I just don’t want to pay an early upgrade fee and be forced into another two-year commitment if I get an iPhone. It’s not that I’m afraid of commitment. Really. I love the $10 line I pay for.

But I want more. And I don’t want to pay the $5 a month fee for a measly 200 text messages and $30 a month for Internet access that you won’t let even let me hook up to my computer. In Europe and Asia, iPhone users with other carriers can do this, so why can’t I without hacking the device?

I’m sorry to go behind your back, but on Wednesday, I spent all night with an iPod touch in my bed. I wanted to buy an iPhone, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

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Filed under Customized, iPhone & iPod touch, New business models, The Ombud

You can’t have the truth…


Two weeks was enough for me to see how much PR and propaganda make up a newspaper — nearly everything.

A school official I talked to today was shocked that I presented information not in a press release but known throughout the school community. “How did you know that information?” he said. “This is a non-story.”
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Why online news failed


Print media have failed online because they don’t know how e-mail works. Their Web sites have no regard for the basic principles of e-mail. In fact, they operate in a completely opposite fashion.

Imagine logging on to your e-mail to check for new messages. And imagine that you had hundreds of messages each hour because you had no filter. They’d be a horrendous system. You obviously need a filter for spam. Otherwise any relevant message from friends, family or colleagues would be lost. With a filter, you receive only the e-mails you want, which may amount to a dozen or so messages each day.

Print media run Web sites, however, in this exact manner. They spam readers with irrelevant content. And they fail to incorporate the most basic function of e-mail: the queue system.
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Filed under "Big-J" Journalism, Customized, New business models

Readers are not robots

This past semester Syracuse University dealt with two deaths and two suicides for students in addition to a text message alert due to a nearby shooting. Whenever possible, I immediately jumped online to read about the breaking news. Picking up a newspaper the next day, though, never happened.

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5 tech trends for news

The Kindle, text-messaging and palm pilots are just some of the platforms for delivering news. These five trends may point towards what products publishers should anticipate for their services:

1) Technology seeks to become wireless. The telephone, computer, video game controllers, planners and headsets are just some examples. HP developed a solar-powered digital camera for a remote village in a third world country. Computers, which already made a wireless revolution from desktops to laptops, should soon see commercial success of wireless chargers.
2) Devices become multi-platform. Individual Apple handheld products are one exemplar. Any new device compounds all previous handheld products, whereupon the iPhone is an MP3 player, palm pilot and mini video player.
3) Innovators pummel a specific question. The creators of social network sites like CouchSurfing, Facebook and Napster all had identified a specific problem prior to launching. What are news sites doing?
4) The digital masses snowball willpower. Lawsuits fail when sympathizers to the defendant replicate the offense exponentially. Corporations cave when those same defenders use peaceful protests or mob-like behaviors.
5) Customized technology overthrows one-dimensional, flat content. Search engines, the transition from HTML to XML, and active server pages all point toward personalized, accessible content. Consider this the death sentence for PDFs.

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Bailout for French newspapers

French president Nicholas Sarkozy declared €600m to French newspapers and free one-year subscriptions for the country’s 18-year-olds, The Guardian and AP reported today.

If US newspapers follow suit, they’ll have to wait behind the porn industry.

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