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Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Why newspapers are failing

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 19, 2009

Bill Wyman has written an outstanding analysis of the state of the newspaper industry in his article Five Key Reasons Why Newspapers Are Failing. In describing the economic/business reasons for newspapers’ decline, he reserves some criticism for management, editors, and writers alike for having avoided building an effective online presence. He advocates more of what is only now being realized: newspapers need to become the focal point for all local issues, not just print occasional hard-hitting local stories. They need to create must-read local blogs. They must become hyper local.

Wyman makes one point I don’t agree with, though, and that’s in advocating that headlines in the print editions, limited by space, should be changed and expanded in the online versions in order to be more descriptive. I’ve found that some newspapers already do this and consequently had trouble finding a particular story because the citation I had was a headline from the print version while the online version had a different headline. I think such a practice poses problems for anybody who needs to cite a story for their review or research publication, for databases such as Lexis/Nexis containing the story, and for libraries that may need to catalog it. Scholarly citation of web-based documents is difficult enough as it is, and morphing titles certainly won’t make it better. I would liken the effect to that which would happen if it occurred with books and movies. Better to make more thoughtful use of keywords, categories, and tags.

Otherwise, I consider Wyman’s piece to be necessary and worthwhile reading for anybody who thinks about the survival of newspapers in an internet-based information age.

Posted in Internet, Newspapers | 1 Comment »

Cox Cable’s interruptible Internet service

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 13, 2009

Cox Communications Internet service includes some webspace, which is where I keep my website and other files. Guess what that webspace service includes? 8 hours of downtime twice a week.


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Personal computer security news

Posted by George J Janczyn on September 29, 2009

For my family I have several layers of security for our PCs, one of which is McAfee’s Total Protection software. Our one-year policy, which costs $49 for a three-PC license, will expire in a few months and I wanted to do a little checking around before renewing for another year, although I have been satisfied with McAfee’s product and online support thus far.

So it was good timing to find that Microsoft just released a free antivirus product for Windows-based computers: Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).

I’m leaning in the direction of a change, although it appears Microsoft Security Essentials will only include antivirus and antispyware protection, as this Norton YouTube post suggests:


They probably have a point: even ZoneAlarm, which in the old days was a very reliable and free security product, now charges for its comprehensive coverage.

Still, the extra features from the fee-based services aren’t necessarily must-have security beyond what MSE provides. Do read the comments in the above reviews (especially the Ars Technica one) to get a good picture of the related issues.

In any event, if you choose to give MSE a try, be sure to disable your currently running antivirus program first. As with most antivirals, it can’t run concurrently with other antivirals.

Posted in Internet, Technology, Videos | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Cluetrain Manifesto revisited

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 28, 2009

David Weinberger and Doc Searls sat down in mid-June with Jonathan Zittrain to discuss what’s happened since they published their vision of business on the Web in their book Cluetrain Manifesto in 2000.  I chuckled when Doc responded to a comment that services like Twitter don’t have a business model.  His reply was “I’m not sure that finding new investors ISN’T a business model!”  The 10th anniversary edition with significant added content is now available.

Posted in Internet, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Anthropology of YouTube

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 13, 2009

This is an entertaining examination of the cultural effect of YouTube and other online social networking tools. It’s worth spending the time to watch the whole thing. Kick back and watch full-screen; it’s in HD:

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Bing’s Bird’s-eye view

Posted by George J Janczyn on July 1, 2009

There are plenty of online reviews comparing and contrasting Bing, Google and Yahoo! search results and user interface and I’m not inclined to compete with them.

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet: if you want a good, detailed, close-up overhead satellite view, Bing’s bird’s-eye view is superior to Google’s satellite view.  The difference is not subtle, Bing is much better. Google’s street view is unique and useful, though, so for getting the layout of an area, take advantage of each service’s strength.

As for search results, in several cases, Bing did find something that I didn’t see with Google.  This could be a matter of how results are prioritized, though, as I often only go 3 or 4 pages deep into results unless I’m doing something important that requires more digging.

July 28: Search and compare for yourself using this nifty tool.

Dec 29: Four search comparison tools reviewed

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