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Talk back, nicely

Indianapolis Star Editor Dennis Ryerson talks about a new policy the paper has for TalkBack, the online comments from readers. It seems things have gotten out of hand, and the Star is clamping down:

Don't poke me

There's a funny line in Newsweek's cover story about Facebook:

Facebook does complicate the pleasure of gently losing touch with people you're tired of.

I don't send cards these days, but when I was married, my wife and I did. Neglecting to send a Christmas card to someone whose been on the list for a few years is a great way to start that "gently losing touch" process.

Then play on

The major effect of the digital revolution is the gradual disappearance of the middlemen. We no longer need retail stores when we can order anything online. We don't need, alas, newspapers or other paper products when we can read everything on the Internet. Goodybe, too, to libraries and movie theaters. Today's disappearing act: not just CDs, but the record companies that produce them:

So long to the Rocket Man

Elton John the Luddite:

POP legend Sir Elton John wants the internet CLOSED DOWN.

Never one to keep his opinions to himself, the Rocket Man has waded into cyberspace with all guns blazing.

He claims it is destroying good music, saying: “The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.

Posted in: Music, Web/Tech

King of spam

One down, 134 to go:

Junk e-mail continued to land in mailboxes around the world today, despite yesterday's arrest of a man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers.

Even if Robert Alan Soloway is ultimately convicted and his operations shuttered, spam experts say dozens are in line to fill the void.

[. . .]

Posted in: Web/Tech

RIP cassettes, 1965-2007

The cassette tape, which helped make music collections more portable and, thus, more fun, is the latest casualty of the digital revolution. I love this explainer for the kids who have no sense of history:

For younger readers, the compact cassette consisted of two miniature spools between which a magnetic tape was passed and wound. This mechanism was housed in a protective plastic shell.

Posted in: Web/Tech

Why buy if you can get it free?

Posted in: Web/Tech


This is getting closer to what I've been waiting for -- the "convergence" product that will be a computer, cell phone, camera, PDA, digital music holder, do everything but make coffee, and be small enough to fit in my pocket. But I'll probably be scared to buy one for several years, because I've been burned before.

Posted in: Web/Tech

YouTube, WeDecide

I happened to be watching ABC's 20/20 report called "Caught," a two-hour special about user-generated "viral content" on sites like YouTube," when the network broke in with the news of Saddam Hussein's execution. 20/20 then decided to stay with the execution and scrapped the rest of the show, which was still fairly early in the second hour. This Washington Post report notes that program interruption but fails to grasp the significance of it:

Posted in: Web/Tech

Digital world

Digital is changing everything, including, apparently, how movies are made:

Why? Because film costs a lot and must be used sparingly, while digital tape is practically free. The difference between the scarcity economics of film and the abundance economics of digital is, as Bill put it, "the difference between pointing a loaded gun at someone and a toy gun. You point a loaded gun at them and they're going to act different. A film camera is a loaded gun. Digital is not."

Posted in: Web/Tech