Category: Stories

  • How Wikipedia ‘will make universities obsolete’

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    For most web surfers, the Wikipedia is simply an occasionally useful online resource that needs to be taken with a huge sackful of salt. For others, it’s a poor excuse for a real encylopedia. But for its proponents, it’s nothing short of revolutionary! It’s Emergent, you see.

    A column by veteran tech writer Al Fasoldt has provoked some furious defenses of the site, in a similar spirit to the ones we received here recently. What they lack in coherence, they … Read More

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  • Hungover CNET wakes up next to MP3.com

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    What a night out that was. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time…

    On Friday morning CNET woke up to find it was sharing a bed with MP3.com, and couldn’t quite recollect how the pair of them had got there. We’ve all had nights like this, but yesterday CNET staffers were puzzling over how the mothership found itself tweaked into an improbable and very hastily arranged relationship between two hugely unlikely partners, both apparently lured to … Read More

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  • One blogger is worth ten votes – Harvard man

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    Working in his secret laboratory at Harvard University, a Fellow of the prestigious institution has come up with a formula that rocks electoral maths to its core.

    Former software developer Dave Winer has worked out that one weblogger is worth ten ordinary voters, and he revealed the results of his complex calculations to Wired this week.

    Normally we avoid ten-a-penny Internet cranks. The gaffe-prone former software developer has put his foot in his mouth so many times it probably qualifies … Read More

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    Chris Anderson makes me a bet

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    “Or the arrival of the Web browser, which blew millions of minds, making a mouseclick feel like teleportation.”
    Chris Anderson, Wired

    I was really calling the editor of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson, to check up on which weird and interesting drugs he was taking when he wrote the sentence you see above you.

    [* answer below]

    Anderson bet me that in five years time, there will be more 802.11 chipsets then there will be mobile phone chipsets. Naturally, opportunities like … Read More

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  • Anti-war slogan coined, repurposed and Googlewashed … in 42 days

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    This year marks the 100th anniversary of George Orwell’s birth, and the writer who best explained the power of language on politics would be amazed what can be done with the Internet.
    Second Superpower
    On February 17 [2003] a front page news analysis in the New York Times bylined by Patrick Tyler described the global anti-war protests as the emergence of “the second superpower”.

    Tyler wrote:

    “…the huge anti-war demonstrations around the world this weekend are reminders that there may still be

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  • “This MS Antitrust story was created by a computer program”

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    Google’s News service is remarkable: and the most astonishing thing about it is that it is generated automatically.

    ” The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program,” says a note at the foot of each page.

    But why stop there? Why not use Perl scripts to generate the copy, too? You don’t need messy human wetware – foul drunken journalists – and it’s much more of an “end-to-end” solution, whatever that may … Read More

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