Category Archives: Reading & publishing


cd-roms and ipads – analysis of publishing as a workflow and why iPad will not save glossy magazines.

“For those of you blessed with senile amnesia or youth, CD-ROMs were the first wave of “interactive media” in the mid-eighties, and the great hope for publishing houses struggling to understand what they might be doing in the 21st century. Companies from Dorling-Kindersley to News Corp threw millions into CD-ROM publishing, with very little ultimate return.”


Ian Betteridge: notes for a talk on designing for the iPad Technovia

Frederic Filloux on design, newspapers, iPad

“The fundamental fracture between print and digital media lies exactly here: paper is a fantastic vector for a reading experience driven by curiosity; the web is a cold medium utterly efficient for a search-based, focus-driven reading.
How to reconcile the two? There is no single (nor simple) answer. Such solution will arise from a combination of User Interface evolution with a real ability to deal with new devices, and with better search implementation.”

Monday Note

iPad DJ video YouTube

Rebirth by Propellerheads is out for the iPhone iPad next?


Argentine philosophy professor Horacio Potel faces criminal charges and a possible jail sentence for posting  translations of Jaques Derrida’s work to his website for his students. Via Boing Boing and More

New Zealand scraps Controversial ‘3 Strikes’ Anti-Piracy Law which would have led to alleged copyright infringers being disconnected from the internet

A major new report published by the Rowntree Trust on the database state via Open Democracy

guardiantech: Channel 4’s 4ip fund invests in discussion tool Yoosk  ‘famous people. you ask. we connect. they answer’ Based in Warwickshire and Vietnam. About Yoosk . Download pdf

Music Week on Digital Rights Agency Geoff Taylor of the BPI would like government  enforcement against filesharing, but cheaper.

“…the [digital] rights agency is ‘an answer looking for a question’…without a clear remit or responsibility.”

No case for copyright extension on sound recordings. Academics’ letter to Times.

Downloadable font formats for the Web (article): An example of thinking about how the rights of creators can be respected without  resorting to DRM.  Exactly the kind of pragmatic discussion we should be having about other forms of creative work.


Newspapers: Seattle Post-Intelligencer ends printing. Staff cuts, continues as web-only publication

iPod headphones aren´t DRMed, just controlled by a proprietary chip that you have to license

Guardian Tech OFCOM sets out challenge of broadband Britain

More James Boyle and ‘How extending copyright term in sound recordings actually works’ with link to PDF

Guardian Tech Richard Smith. Good summary of James Boyle’s case for The Public Domain.

UK IPO office: since July ISPs issuing 1,000 notifications a week on behalf of copyright holders to P2P users

Clay Shirky on newspapers & journalism

“Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.

When we shift our attention from ’save newspapers’ to ’save society’, the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’ And what works today isn’t the same as what used to work.”

Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

Newspaper web income: editors talk

“How much money do newspapers make from online and how long does print have left? A session on newspaper business models at the FT Digital Media and Broadcasting conference wasted no time in finding out the score for its panelists: John Ridding, CEO of the Financial Times and, says his business makes 20 percent of revenue from online while Tim Brooks, MD of Guardian News and Media, paidContent:UK’s parent company, said it was 15 percent for GNM.Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger has already said he expects the company’s Berliner presses bought in 2005 will be its last.” Via Paidcontent

Guardian launches Open Platform

You read it here first.

The Guardian today launched Open Platform, a service that will allow partners to reuse content and data for free and weave it “into the fabric of the internet”.

Open Platform launched with two separate content-sharing services, which will allow users to build their own applications in return for carrying Guardian advertising.

See also New York Times Open API in previous tweet petite post.

Write to reply update

Something wonderful is happening around the Write to reply site. In addition to the WordPress plugin which allows people to comment on the Carter report Digital Britain, there is a a bunch of developer activity: Netvibes, different visualisations of the comment cloud, experiments with iPhone and ebook readers …  a whole ecosystem of democratic engagement through technology.

Interestingly, most of their traffic is via Twitter.

Read the blog, get the RSS feed, follow them on Twitter, marvel at the analytics. Don’t forget to comment on Carter.

The contrast with the lobbying approach of existing industry rights holders is stark. TV and  Press interests campaign for legal protection from competition using lawyers and lobbyists. Bloggers get on with inventing the medium.

US media use

Recent statistics from Mashable on how US internet users use all media. Most (65%) still watch major TV network news. Local  newspapers and local TV news keep 63 and 62%.

‘- Blogs are now used by 24% of Internet users, up from 13% in 2006

- Social networks are now used by 26% of Internet users, up from 17% in 2006

- Videocasts are now used by 11% of Internet users, up from 6% in 2006

Slower growers include:

- RSS feeds: growing from 5 to 7 percent

- Podcasts: growing from 5 to 7 percent

- Business news sites: flat at 8 percent.’

View the full chart at  Mashable com

Facebook, cancer, Daily Mail

How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer

The Daily Mail

This is so bad I thought it was a parody, but I guess the Daily Mail’s science and medicine coverage is beyond parody. For example:

“* Yes, loneliness is bad for your health – but only YOU can cure yourself
* Drinking just one glass of wine a day can INCREASE risk of cancer by 168%, finds shock new study
* Menopause drug once thought safer than HRT ‘could raise risk of breast cancer relapse’”

Plotting social interaction against electronic media use over time (1987-2007) tells you nothing about causality. A correlation is not a causal explanation. If parents spend less time interacting with their children it has more to do with the long working hours culture in the UK than social networking, television, video games or any other technology scapegoat.

More people do indeed live alone. That might give a reason for keeping in contact with their significant others electronically. Also the success of online dating sites: that’s a lot of people trying to establish relationships. Poor health is linked with poverty. As is stress. And so on.
To make a convincing case that time online is displacing social contact you would have to demonstrate that people choose online interaction in preference to real-word interaction. All the evidence is that most people supplement or substitute online interaction for real world interaction.

Dr. Aric Sigman is the author of the paper, Well Connected?: The Biological Implications of ‘Social Networking’ published in the Spring edition of Biologist, Vol 56(1), the journal of the Institute of Biology.
From Dr. Aric Sigman’s website:
“NOTE: This paper has been misrepresented by many news reports as claiming that social networking causes cancer or disease. This is not true. The paper addresses the extent to which time online may be displacing face-to-face contact, and that lack of social connection is associated with physiological changes, increased incidence of illness and higher premature mortality.”
download a press release

Eventually the Daily Mail’s readership will expire, if not through loneliness, alcohol and cancer, through demographic inevitability. The paper has an ageing readership.
In the meantime re-cycled press releases and moral panics about technology, health, relationships and family continue to substitute for journalism.
When old media veterans tell us that a lot of blogging is just ill informed ranting we should, of course, agree. If we compare a lot of blogs with writing in the NYT, Guardian and FT, much of it is nonsense.
And yet, if the decline of newspapers eliminates the Daily Mail’s coverage of health issues, we will be so much better informed.

Business insider social-networks-increase-risk-of-cancer-and-dementia

BBC Online networking ‘harms health’

For how we raise our children and technology considered in a social context, see
Times Britain’s children are unhappiest in the Western world
Guardian British children: poorer, at greater risk and more insecure
Children’s Society report on Outdoor play

Editors discuss the future of newspapers

Charlie Rose programme: discussion on future of newspapers
Time cover story writer Walter Isaacson, the Daily News’ Mort Zuckerman and the WSJ’s Robert Thomson discuss the future of newspapers on the Charlie Rose programme.

Watch video via link from

Direct link to full programme 55 minutes. Newspaper piece starts at 28 minutes.

Nicholas Carlson thinks they don’t get it. I think he’s wrong to dismiss their discussion as old media whining. Google really does take ad revenue from papers without bearing the cost of generating content, AKA journalists. But thanks for the links about putting the NYT on Kindle and micropayments.

Time article How to save your newspaper Walter Issacson

Via AP/ Time
Another newspaper files for Chapter 11
The Journal Register Co joins The Chicago-based Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Sun of Baltimore, The Hartford Courant and other dailies, as well as 23 TV stations, which sought bankruptcy protection in December and The Star Tribune of Minneapolis in January.