Posts Tagged 'technology'

Chalk one up for the Men in Black

FTC takes down bad business. Scores one for business and consumers.

A U.S. district court ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who successfully sued Inc21.Com for illegally slamming businesses and consumers into internet service accounts.

From the FTC’s release,

“The most compelling proof of these violations is a comprehensive expert survey of 1,087 of defendants’ so-called ‘customers.’ This survey revealed that nearly 97 percent of defendants’ ‘customers’ had not agreed to purchase defendants’ products. Even more egregious, only five percent of them were even aware that they had been billed.”

Read the FTC Release.

Open for Business: Google and SBA Launch Small Business Site

Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a website to help small business site to help businesses establish an online presence and find web tools to help them succeed.

Tools for Online Success presents many of Google‘s suite of services for small businesses, entrepreneurs or solopreneurs.

Read more on the Google Small Business Blog.
Visit the Google SBA website.

Google launches Small Business Site with SBA

Journalism in the information age

NBC News Washington
Image via Wikipedia

What is journalism in the information age?

An unpublicized, prototype smart phone is meticulously detailed
in a blog post unbeknownst to its creators.

The whole Apple vs. Gizmodo blogger Jason Chen is unfortunately helping to define a soft spot in the information age: what activities establish and define a blogger as or from a journalist?

Are Bloggers Journalists?

From the headlines, it is clear that legal statutes and opinion are unclear and un-unified on the subject.

In Defense of Journalist Bloggers
http://trueslant.com/kylebrady/2010/04/29/in-defense-of-journalist-bloggers/

“…as Old Media continues to collapse, those very same institutions and individuals that once panned the digital world are now scrambling to embrace it…”

“If this case goes to court, as it appears to be doing, the appropriate legal definition of journalism should be expanded to include individuals that work for online news organizations and those that participate in legitimate journalistic activities on a regular basis, with blogger status becoming finally irrelevant.”

Are Bloggers Journalists and Should They Get to Use Shield Laws?
http://www.blogher.com/are-bloggers-journalists-and-should-they-get-use-shield-laws

“Yet bloggers often act as journalists — journalists outside the mainstream media — and this ruling could muzzle ordinary citizens from using their voice to point out the foibles of companies without protection from lawsuits. At the same time, this ruling could also protect citizens and companies from having slanderous statements made about them on the Internet. It’s a ruling that cuts both ways.”

“At the heart of the case is the question of whether bloggers are journalists — and if so, should they be held to the same standards as well as receive the same protections.

Journalistics points out that the self-perception of bloggers as journalists has risen.

PRWeek and PRNewswire recently teamed up on a study that found 52% of bloggers consider themselves journalists. The last time they did this study, roughly a third of bloggers felt this way. Why do more bloggers consider themselves journalists these days?”

Reporters’ Privilege
http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/journalists/privilege

“What makes a journalist a journalist is whether she is gathering news for dissemination to the public, not the method or medium she uses to publish. So the better way to frame the debate is: Can journalists blog?”

“As the California Supreme Court acknowledged, “The press’ function as a vital source of information is weakened whenever the ability of journalists to gather news is impaired. Compelling a reporter to disclose the identity of a source may significantly interfere with this news gathering ability; journalists frequently depend on informants to gather news, and confidentiality is often essential to establishing a relationship with an informant.” (Mitchell v. Superior Court)”

Are bloggers journalists? Do they deserve press protections?
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0202/p03s02-usju.html

“Unlike traditional news outlets, however, many blogs have no editors, no publishers and, often, a staff of only one. And while some are supported by advertisers and contributions, many bloggers make no money at all.”

“Ultimately, the issue comes down to whether bloggers act like traditional journalists, says University of Iowa law professor and First Amendment specialist Randall Bezanson. Simply expressing opinions to a tiny audience doesn’t count, he says.”

Md. shield law now includes protection for college student journalists
http://www.splc.org/newsflash.asp?id=2081&year=

The bill’s language extends protections to those “employed by the news media in any news gathering or news disseminating capacity,” or to anyone “enrolled as a student in an institution of postsecondary education and engaged in any news gathering or news disseminating capacity recognized by the institution as a scholastic activity or in conjunction with an activity sponsored funded, managed or supervised by school staff or faculty.”

The “news media” covered by the bill currently includes “newspapers, magazines, journals, press associations, news agencies, wire services, radio, television and any printed, photographic, mechanical, or electronic means of disseminating news and information to the public.”

Government Online
http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Government-Online.aspx

“[S]ocial media and just-in-time applications have changed the way Americans get information about current events or health information”

– Aaron Smith, a Research Specialist at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of a report based on a new national phone survey.

Giz Your Own Adventure: Bloggers, Journalists, and Case Law
http://www.fastcompany.com/1628695/giz-your-own-adventure

“Yes, bloggers count as journalists. See the precedent of O’Grady v. Superior Court, a 2006 case in which bloggers were sued by Apple for revealing a confidential new product. The court ruled that bloggers do indeed qualify for protections offered all other journalists, both in California and federally.”

Times  Reporter Called to Grand Jury for C.I.A. Book
http://www.observer.com/2010/media/times-reporter-called-grand-jury-cia-book

“He [Times reporter and subpoenaed  author, James Risen] intends to honor his commitment of confidentiality to his source or sources,” Mr. Kurtzberg [Risen’s lawyer] said. “We intend to fight this subpoena.”

Troubling Precedent: NJ Court Says Bloggers Are Not Journalists
http://bigjournalism.com/jlakely/2010/04/29/troubling-precedent-nj-court-says-bloggers-are-not-journalists/

Sign of the Times

The Apple Gizmodo incident is one of many of today’s issues that demand we discuss and reconsider what use to be the most common assumptions:

What is news? What is a journalist?

Who makes news? Who reports news? What is a news source?

Are bloggers journalists?

Are bloggers and online content creators protected with the same rights and by the same laws that protect journalists in our offline world?

Visualization 2.0

It was more than 3 years ago – a light year in internet time – that I saw Michael Wesch‘s mind breaking video The Machine is Us/ing Us.

In summary, due to the internet’s malleable nature that genuinely promotes creativity, remix, and innovation, we will need to rethink: copyright, authorship, identity, ethics, governance, privacy, commerce, love, family, ourselves.

Apple Gizmodo only seems to have expedited our need to truly grapple with this question now.

Are you a Blogger Journalist or Citizen Journalist?

Learn about Reporter’s Priviledge in your State here.
Learn about the protections journalist have in Shield Laws here.
Learn more about Retraction statutes here.

    Related articles on journalism in the information age

    Study: IT makes Women Happy – Yes IT does!

    IT Dividend: Report

    “Anything that increases the sense of
    personal control in our lives, such as IT,
    will reduce anxiety and stress and
    keep us mentally well,”

    – Donna Dawson, Psychologist.

    Not that dozen roses nor taking out the garbage, but maybe that iPhone and Skype to connect distant relatives and old friends.

    Feelings of choice, freedom of access to information and connectivity with others can                   Click to Read.
    increase feelings of security, personal freedom
    and power, which together give us greater
    life satisfaction.

    That’s according to a recent UK study finds “that access to communication gadgets and technology increases happiness and the feeling of well-being, especially for women… who are usually at the hub of social communications in their families, societies and work.”

    Get the full story here.

    Or download the report.

    U.S. Takes Giant Leap with First Humanoid Robot’s First Steps

    CHARLI: Virginia Tech's first full sized humanoid robot

    Image via of Virginia Tech.

    One small step for man-like robot, one giant leap for U.S. Technology-
    thanks to Virginia Tech. See video below.

    Virginia Tech students unveiled CHARLI, the nation’s first full-height, free-walking humanoid robot, yesterday.

    CHARLI (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence) was developed in the lab of Dennis Hong, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, Director of RoMeLa, and Popular Science “Brilliant 10” honoree of 2009.

    Read the full article here.

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Sheep sculptures made from rotary telephones on yay!everyday

    A new twist on “mobile phone.” Sheep sculptures made from rotary telephones.

    Sheep sculptures nade from rotary telephones - courtesy of www.yayeverday.com

    via Sheep sculptures made from rotary telephones on yay!everyday.


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