Friday, August 27, 2004

Blogs as the future of journalism, revisited:

Sadly, many journalists just don't seem to get it. This Techdirt article chronicles its attempt to engage in meaningful dialogue a reporter who wrote that the Wikipedia concept was dangerous and unreliable. Go read the article yourself--it's definitely worth the 2 minutes.

The reporter seems to believe that "journalists" can only be trusted if they work for a mainstream outlet with an editorial board. Never mind the fact that said publications can be as bad as any personal blog (as I pointed out in my previous posting on the WSJ article on purported terrorists that turned out to be Syrian musicians).

The fact is that the public is more sophisticated than ever, and with access to primary sources of information, are more than capable of filtering that information and forming their own opinions.

The rise of the Internet and the death of distance allows me to learn about any event straight from the source. And while I may have to endure a Rashomon-like uncertainty about what really happened, I'll end up with a better understanding than had I waited for some AP hack to put together an official news story.

To claim that people can't trust open source news is akin to claiming that file-sharing will destroy music, or that VCRs destroyed the movies.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Digital Pinup Girls

It was bound to happen. Rayne, the eponymous, vampire-slaying protagonist of the Bloodrayne videogame, will be appearing in the October issue of Playboy. To quote the article:

"Rayne is 100% topless and smokin' hot in the October issue of Playboy magazine. This is a first in videogame history and trust us when we say that Rayne does not disappoint."

As I always do in these situations, I quote Scott Adams, who stated that the holodeck will be the last invention mankind every produces. When the PS5 includes fully holographic pinup girls, I fear that no male will ever work again.
The Party of Active Amygdalas

Ben Casnocha points out a fascinating article by Steven Johnson on the differences between Democrat and Republican brains (insert your favorite political joke here).

It turns out that Democrats tend to have more active amygdalas, and thus experience stronger emotional responses. Of course, as Johnson points out, a lack of emotion can be just as big a barrier to decision-making as an excess of it.


Hostage Taker Shot, Falls Five Stories, Wakes Up In Coffin

So unbelievable it has to be true. A man in China armed himself with two kitchen knives and took two small children hostage on the ledge of a 5th story window. When he tried to harm one of the hostages, a heroic police officer snuck up on him from the window ledge of the adjacent room and shot him twice in the head at point blank range. The criminal was pronounced dead. To top it all off, he funeral home workers discovered he was still alive when they opened the coffin to prepare his body for cremation!
Transparent Aluminum

Scientists at 3M have created transparent aluminum. Coincidentally, Star Trek IV was on the Spike Network yesterday. Many thanks to BoingBoing for pointing me to the story.