Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forJuly, 2003 | back to home

31 July 2003
Filed under:Interesting facts,Weblogs at6:08 pm

When someone quotes you a figure for the number of weblogs there are around, you should mentally be subtracting at least a third to account for weblogs that are no longer active – at least according to figures from the NITLE blog census discussed once again by blogcount. I would expect this proportion to rise somewhat over time – at the moment I imagine the weblog phenomenon is still growing fast enough that a large number of users are new ones. If they become disenchanted and the rate of new entries begins to fall the proportion of “live” weblogs to dead ones may fall.
Thanks to Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka weblog for the link

30 July 2003

ChefMoz is a clever idea but a little under-cooked at present. Looking at the London section it has 172 restaurants listed and categorised (out of c. 10,000 available restaurants) and just 24 reviews linked – the Paris entry has 226 entries and 31 reviews. The search engine is pretty limited in its ability to use the categories that have been input. Nonetheless, it is an idea that deserves to go far and I hope it gets developed a little more. If you want to know where to eat in, say, Afghanistan (where conventional restaurant guides may fail to cover you) dmoz may have the answer one day – right now it just has one review.

The main existing London restaurant guides I used to rely on online – Zagats, the Evening Standard and Time Out – all now charge to use them.

Thanks to Danny O’Brien’s Oblomovka for the link

29 July 2003

After producing an excellent study on what people on low incomes want from the Internet (easy-to-read, relevant content) and what they get, the Children’s Partnership has produced a follow-up paper for the Community Technology Review called Closing the Content Gap: A Content Evaluation and Creation Starter Kit which brings together some useful resources and gives a brief overview of projects like Firstfind which are being trialled at NY public libraries – a virtual library that provides information to low-level readers and adults with limited English skills. (Also see starthere.org a UK charity trying to do a similar job but using kiosks).

26 July 2003
Filed under:Interesting facts,Net politics,Weblogs at11:33 pm

Good to have more hard figures and particularly useful to have demographics. It’s interesting that the writer at Cyberatlas spins the story to make them seem more democratic. If it was me I would have used the same figures but said something like, “despite receiving quite a bit of media attention, only two percent of people who are online have created weblogs [does this include ones that are no longer active?] and these are heavily skewed towards a wealthy demographic – almost half have a household income greater than $60,000. According to this census report US median income in 2001 was $42,000.”

I was surprised that only 4 percent of the Internet-using population reads blogs, but if you consider that they tend to contain 1) personal stuff aimed at a circle of friends and family 2) political stuff at a level of detail most people don’t need or 3) technology-related stuff at a level of detail most people don’t need it becomes less surprising.

21 July 2003
Filed under:Open source,Software reviews at6:55 pm

The impressive state of Mozilla (the browser I prefer at present) is a little less impressive when you think 1) of the length of time it took to produce a good enough release (time enough for Microsoft to grab 96% of the market) and 2) when you realise that Netscape and later AOL were giving the open source software substantial support by employing programmers to work on it as well as on Netscape its commercial cousin.

Recently AOL announced it is ceasing development of Netscape and is giving the Mozilla Foundation a $2m severance package. So will Mozilla be able to keep forging ahead as an unfunded open source project or will it gradually wither and die? I certainly hope it will continue to go from strength to strength but this will be a pretty interesting test of the open source model.lesbo movies freefree lolita porn moviesredhead free movies pornclips gangbang moviessex samples movie gaygirls in gagged bound moviessex clips hardcore moviestars hot moviemovies kung fumovie lesbian strapon

20 July 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (UK),Old media at7:00 pm

Sorry I’m a bit late with this – it’s from last week’s Sunday Times which I picked up in a train. The Sunday Times used to be known for its investigative journalism. This article Fancy a Rubbish Job? on the front page of the News Review section, which I took at first to be a serious investigation into “ridiculous public sector jobs” turns out to be nothing but a politically motivated hatchet job.

From the start it is full of cheap shots at the “monumental effort to waste the billions of pounds that taxpayers are being forced to pour into Gordon Brown’s grand design to revive the nanny state.” Or as I like to think of it the slow and long-delayed process of restoring the welfare state after years of neglect under the Tories.

The writer puts the boot into, “Mr Rights the anti-racism co-ordinator, Mrs Strict of the council’s smoking cessation unit and Miss Celery the healthy eating officer from the digestion support team. Look, there’s Mr Lengthy-Forms the targets monitor, to make sure they all measure up to government standards”. Hmm… Should councils not be working to improve public health then? A little prevention effort now could save billions in bills for health services needed down the road. And if the government didn’t set targets the same writer would doubtless lambaste them for throwing its money away without even trying to find out its work was effective.

In the end this so-called investigation amounted to little more than the writer having a flick through the Guardian’s jobs pages, ringing up his pals at the Adam Smith Institute and attending a few interviews. He didn’t spend a day actually doing any of the jobs he criticised or talking to anyone who did.

I suppose it’s my own fault for taking the paper seriously. It’s clear that it has been thoroughly tabloidised since the last time I looked at it and that the “News Review” should be wrapped up alongside the ST’s Comment section. Then binned.jeans tight pics ass inlawrence porn interracial eveatk brunette hairyhighschool sex amateurmature sleazy interracial sex galleriestgp young non-nude modelspics granny fat oldanal teen insertioncum whores xxxfat grannies fuck

19 July 2003
Filed under:Current Affairs (UK) at11:59 pm

In the run-up to what the BBC is calling “Asylum Day” (23rd July) News Online’s Dominic Casciani is performing a valuable public service by producing a series of articles debunking myths about asylum seekers like, “aren’t they economic migrants?” and “aren’t most of their applications found groundless?” I learned some things myself:

Although only 10% of refugee applications are successful initially (the figure which stuck in my mind at least), a further 25% are given “exceptional leave to remain – a mechanism which allows people to stay because the government accepts they need protection but does not want to give them refugee status” and another 15% or so are granted asylum after an appeal. That means half of asylum applications are eventually successful – and about a third of those rejected are turned away because of “non-compliance” – which can be as simple as failing to fill in the right forms.movies teen hardcore freemovie tiava freemovie topless starsmovies tushymovies free xnxxampland free moviesbi moviesmovie cops bustynude movies celeb11 dbz moviemovie bukkakefree movies masturbation femalemovie free pornfacial moviesmovie makingold posters movietrailers xxx moviebukkake movies bukkake Map

18 July 2003

The US Senate has voted to stop funding for the Terrorism Information Awareness programme (once known as the even more alarming “Total Information Awareness” programme). It was only in the early research stages but its eventual goal was to gather information about Americans from a variety of public sources and look for patterns of behaviour similar to those of known terrorists. It’s hard to imagine this could have been done without generating a lot of “false positives” – innocent people who the statistics said were likely terrorists – and the potential for misuse of the collected and cross-referenced data would have been vast. See the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s report for more information about this programme and be thankful it seems to have had a stake put through its heart.

17 July 2003

Brought to you by The Lemon

The easiest way to enable people to email you from a web page is to put some HTML code in – mailto:you@youraddress.com. Unfortunately this is also a good way to make sure spammers get ahold of that address. They send automated search spiders around the Internet looking for anything with an @ sign in it and add it to their databases. Follow the directions on the Email Protector page and you can put your address on a web page using a mailto: link but without giving spammers anything they can see.

One minor caveat – people with old web browsers may have trouble accessing your email that way. Also, this trick won’t protect you if you use your address itself as the link text – just use your name or company name as the link people click on. If you want to display your email address so people can type it into their software themselves or write it down, use “GIF TEXT”:http://www.srehttp.org/apps/gif_text/mkgiftxt.htm which will turn your email address into an image file which they will be able to understand but computers can’t.4mandu nokia ringtoneringtones 22free 5c nextel 22 5cp107 samsung all saints ringtonesalan cherrington exposure indecent11123 pickerington oh lane terrypickerington 11123 ln terry ohphotos accrington arialamateur swingers nevada yerington in Map

Next Page ?