Interesting – I just stumbled across a blog post about the demographics of contributors to Global Voices – the source I know best of news and information in blog form from a non-Western perspective. The post reveals among other things that “the Global Voices community is highly educated. Over 85% of respondents indicated they have completed a university degree, and more than 40% have a post-graduate or doctoral degree.” This does suggest alas that while groups like Global Voices have a valuable role to play in making voices heard that might not otherwise have a platform, blogging to and for a wider public still remains an elite activity.
Archive for the 'Useful web resources' Category | back to home
I wouldn’t have expected the EU to have anything as sexy as a map-based visualisation tool but Eurostat’s is not bad at all and lets me generate all kinds of infographics (like the one below) for teaching use.
You wouldn’t think it would be too hard to get TV listings that would cover all the freesat channels and provide reviews and ratings, particularly for all the films (I am uneasily aware that lots of films that are not reviewed in the papers and are on obscure satellite channels pass me by unseen). Alas the Radio Times is the leading free contender and a) it doesn’t include a few channels and b) its movies at a glance feature is seriously broken. It used to work really well about two years ago, letting me see a list of only those movies which had 4 or more stars but that feature was lost in a redesign and never renewed. I’ve looked at several other free online options (Onthebox, Yahoo TV guide, TV Guide and TV Easy) but they were even worse. Time Out which I used to buy mainly for the TV listings appears to be cutting down on their listings and in any case doesn’t offer them online.
Digiguide does appear to offer what I am after but it isn’t free (£15 a year) and alas they seem to have put the bulk of their development effort into their Windows offline reader and the Windows PC I have is some distance from my TV. If they offered a similar offline reader tailored for my iPod Touch or Mac I would subscribe like a shot. I might yet end up doing so. But if anyone else is aware of a good free option either available now or on the way I would love to hear about it.
Now the ever-expanding Google Transit project includes journey planning covering London and neighboring counties and if you go to London on Google Maps and switch on the transit “layer” your map will be overlaid with a display of all of the lines run by London Transport (ie not including most commuter trains).
Thanks Richy C for the heads up!
You may have my main blog feed in your RSS readers but did you realise that I am now producing seven RSS feeds? (plus a stream of status updates which are hopefully only available to friends on facebook, twitter and jaiku).
Most of the feeds are linked from this blog somewhere – the exceptions being the feed for my academic group weblog and that for my lastfm listening. But if you want all of my public media consumption and both micro and macro-publishing, go to http://friendfeed.com/davidbrake/ and get the One True Feed…
Those who are reading this blog via RSS readers are already getting automatically alerted to new content but if you don’t like using them or don’t know how try this tool.
If it doesn’t work for you or gives you any trouble, please let me know by commenting below.
Even though I am a media junkie and have been following the financial crisis I have until now found it difficult to find trustworthy sources that would explain to me in simple terms:
1) Why is it all going pear-shaped?
2) To what extent will the US government’s plan fix the problem?
3) What will it cost (because the $700bn figure is not all going to just get spent without any return now or in future to the taxpayer)?
4) Is there a better way to try to solve the problem?
5) Who is to blame and what can we/should we do to them?
The This American Life radio programme helped once before with their excellent Giant Pool of Money episode on sub-prime mortgages. They have rushed out a new episode, Another Frightening Show about the Economy from the same reporting team (Alex Blumberg and some folks from NPR news). I have to say I found it less enlightening – probably because it had to fit a lot more in – but it still helped. If you don’t want to listen to the programme (though I think you should) here’s what I took away:
1) Greedy speculators found ways to gamble on the health of companies without facing government regulation that would have limited the amount of leverage they could use.
2) It’s not clear if the bailout will work, but hey we’ve got to try something!
3) We don’t know how much of the money we’re putting on the table we’re likely to lose.
4) We should be pushing Paulson to use the latitude built into the legislation to push for “stock injection” instead of just buying up bad debt. In other words don’t just give the banks money to bail them out for their crappy decisions, insist on some equity so if the bailout works the government has some assets for all that spending.
5) TAL doesn’t really tell us who to lynch – looks like the decision not to regulate was made in a bipartisan way.
If anyone has alternative answers to my questions I would be interested to hear them – send me a comment!
Update: I see that the UK bailout looks like the stock injection option that NPR suggests most economists would favour…
This advice from productivity guru Merlin Mann is about email that is mainly meant to serve a functional purpose rather than social email (though it may help with both). There are also links back in that post to some good advice on how to manage your email.
The author – now in video! I’m not sure I’ll do this again though unless video editing tools become a lot more sophisticated and I become able to remove all the glitches…