Archive for January, 2007

Time Magazine: Photos of 2006

January 10th, 2007

I’m a bit late with this one, but here is Time Magazine’s feature on the best photographs of 2006.

Picture 13 is horrifying.

Smug

January 10th, 2007

Michael Jackson has appeared twice now in this blog. Which wasn’t entirely intentional, but I am a big fan, so Jackson-related stories do grab my attention like none other.

While I was looking over the Technology Guardian pages, I came across this story about a new patent search Google is offering. In the article, the writer tells us about a patent Michael Jackson took out on a special pair of shoes. Shoes that meant he could lean forwards like he did in the music video for Smooth Criminal. Which, I’ll have you know, is the greatest video ever made – despite all the polls suggesting Thriller is better.

Anyhow, we all love being a bit smug. When talking about these amazing patented shoes, the author writes:

Whether Jackson ever used the device remains unknown, but the existence of the patent comes courtesy of the latest tool unveiled by the search engine Google.

Wrong! The patent documents of this shoe have been available on the internet for years. In fact, at one point there was even a framed print out of the patent document to buy on eBay.

As for it being unknown if they were ever used, this clip of Michael live on the Dangerous tour (Romania) in 1993 shows the shoes in action. Fast forward to 3 minutes in if you don’t want to watch it all.

He fell over doing it once too. Flat on his face. Sadly, I can’t find that particular clip.

Updated: Chavs

January 8th, 2007

This has a “Tonight With Trevor McDonald” special written all over it.

Updated: It’s gone. Nevermind.

Citizen Journalism Conference

January 8th, 2007

Lucy posted this comment on an earlier post, and it may be of interest to several readers here.

When the international controversy over the handling of Saddam Hussein’s execution dies down one important lesson will remain – the mobile ‘phone camera means no major event can go unrecorded and the Internet ensures even footage from a death cell in Iraq can be available globally and staggeringly quickly.Last year’s London bombings and the Buncefield oil depot and Lewes firework factory explosions had already shown how amateur video and mobile phone pictures play an important part in the coverage of big breaking news stories, but the Saddam shots strikingly underline how the technology has put the tools of journalism into everyone’s pocket.

American journalist Dan Farber sums it up this way, “While the U.S. was chasing after Saddam Hussein’s phantom weapons of mass destruction, the camera-enabled cell phone was beginning its journey from novelty to omnipresent recorder of history, with the Internet as its near instantaneous transport mechanism.” Farber, like others involved in Citizen Journalism, was not surprised the grainy ‘phone footage of the execution was soon on the ‘net and on his own site he predicts, “In the next few years billions of people will have phones with high resolution still and video cameras, GPS, geotagging, Bluetooth and plenty of network bandwidth and storage to document any point in time.”

Later this month a one-day conference in Birmingham will create the chance for the news industry, academics and citizen journalists to examine the issues raised as this kind of activity moves closer to mainstream newsgathering. Speakers will include Michael Hill, the newly appointed Head of Multimedia at Trinity Mirror, Vicky Taylor , head of interactivity at the BBC and Tom Reynolds, the blogger behind Random Acts of Reality. The event takes place at UCE Birmingham’s Screen Media Lab in Lower Eastside, Birmingham on Friday January 26th.

If this interests you take a look at the conference details on www.mediaskills.org.uk

Saddam (again)

January 7th, 2007

There’s been great discussion on the Guardian Editors’ Blog about the coverage of Saddam’s hanging last week.

It mainly deals with the use of cameraphone images – including a close up of a dead Saddam – on the front page on New Year’s Day. My thoughts can be found here.

The debate has got people split down the middle. If you were offended by the treatment the hanging got, then be glad you’re not an American. Or at least, an American who likes to read the papers.

Yup, some of the U.S coverage of Saddam’s death was nothing sort of shocking. Even for a horrible, horrible man, the headline “Saddam Swings” (as found in the Boston Herald) is going too far.

“Baghdead” being another tasteless piece of journalism from the American tabs.

See a selection of U.S front pages following Saddam’s death here.

I love ya really

January 6th, 2007
I’ve just seen BBC News 24 HARDtalk. On today’s episode, the CEO of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, was being interviewed.

Very dull, but was one of those great interviews where the interviewee gets increasingly more uncomfortable as it goes on.

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about.

What I’ve always wondered is what is said in that moment just after the interview finishes. If you watch the clip of the Justin King interview, you’ll see that just after Jenny Scott closes the program, she says something to Justin that makes him crack up laughing. Considering the hostility of the interview that’s just taken place, it does seem a little strange.

It happens on almost all the interviews I’ve seen. The infamous Jeremy Paxman is perhaps the best at it – being a right bastard for half an hour, and then at the end, becoming their best mate. What could he possibly say?!