Today’s the day

Friday, 4 August, 2017

And it’s not a day I’ve been looking forward to. In short, I’m pausing operations here as of today. I’ve become a little too stretched with my other projects, and simply don’t have the time I’d like to devote to writing here at the moment.

I’m not sure when, or if, I’ll be back, but I would hope this break will not be indefinite. After all, nothing beats running your own publication. Thanks for your support over the years, and for reading along for all this time. I hope to see you all again one day.

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Minor technical problems

Tuesday, 4 October, 2016

I’m a little behind on things at the moment. An update to my operating system has hobbled my main laptop, and I’ve been forced to work from my older, much slower, backup device since. One of my wi-fi ports is also out, so that’s not helping either. I’m hoping all will back to normal soon.

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“Star Wars” style word wars opening crawl brings you news of wars

Tuesday, 28 July, 2015

I’m not quite sure what to make of Word Wars, by Julien Deswaef, that takes news items published by the New York Times, that feature the word war, and renders the headline into a short video based on the opening text crawl from the “Star Wars” films… I half expect one of the movies to begin after the scroll fades.

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Our reporter always dresses the part get the scoop

Tuesday, 21 July, 2015

There’s no limit to the lengths that Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a crime reporter based in Ghana, will go to in his efforts to file a story.

By way of numerous disguises, where he has variously masqueraded as an assembly line worker, a parent with a (fake) baby, a sheikh, a vagrant, a woman, and, best of all perhaps, a rock, Anas has succeeded in digging up the dirt on all manner of criminals, undertakings that have often resulted in their arrests.

Of Anas’s many faces, there’s one in which he doesn’t have a face at all – just two small eyeholes cut into what looks like an enormous, crinkled paper bag. Silly? Maybe. But his impression of a giant rock is also effective: In 2010, Anas used the disguise near a border post at the Ghana-Côte d’Ivoire crossing to spy on trucks from the roadside. As it turned out, the trucks were smuggling cocoa beans across the border. Anas’s report helped the police build a rock-solid case.

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Headlines that stopped the press, their own press

Thursday, 3 April, 2014

“St. John’s Erection a Miracle”, a proposed headline for a story about the on-going construction of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, is but one headline that didn’t end up making the grade, officially anyway. Maybe that was a good thing, maybe it wasn’t.

Washington, D.C. based editor Jonathan L. Fischer is putting together a collection of similar such article leaders, and I’d say it’s just as well some of those were not used…

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Happy holidays 2013… may you be up all night to get lucky

Friday, 20 December, 2013

I’m about to sign off twenty-thirteen so I’ll post some music to depart to, Daft Punk’s scandalously upbeat single, Get Lucky. It’s one track I’ll be choosing for triple j’s annual Hottest 100 music poll, which, by the way, opened for voting today.

It’s been a busy twelve months, and next year is shaping up to be more of the same. The Australian Infront, a local design community I helped set up in 1999, notches up its fifteenth anniversary, while disassociated, will, all things remaining equal, be reaching a certain milestone around March or April.

More on that when it happens though. So, thanks for reading along this year, and I’ll see you all on Monday, 6 January, 2014, when, so long as I’ve set my alarm, I expect to be back.

So safe travels, holidays, and in the words of Daft Punk, may you be up all night to get lucky this year end break.

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Old headlines rewritten for the internet age

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013

This one weird mould kills all germs… news headlines from the twentieth century remixed in the name of garnering more clicks online.

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With the time rapidly approaching duo o’clock, here is the news

Thursday, 18 July, 2013

If you’re able to tune into Nuntii Latin (stream it from here), a news broadcast service presented weekly by Yle, Finland’s national radio station, you can listen to the news in Latin.

Si quod supernatat navi…

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Ignoring news may make you happier, but will that make you wiser?

Monday, 22 April, 2013

It seems a lot like keeping one’s head in the sand to me, but Rolf Dobelli, writing for The Guardian suggests, for the sake of our well being, that we should cease listening to, watching, or reading, news bulletins. After all, what difference does most, or all news, make anyway?

Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business. The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to you. But people find it very difficult to recognise what’s relevant. It’s much easier to recognise what’s new. The relevant versus the new is the fundamental battle of the current age. Media organisations want you to believe that news offers you some sort of a competitive advantage. Many fall for that. We get anxious when we’re cut off from the flow of news. In reality, news consumption is a competitive disadvantage. The less news you consume, the bigger the advantage you have.

Madeleine Bunting, meanwhile, also writing for The Guardian, begs to differ, arguing that keeping up with current affairs is essential, and consumption of news is all about moderation. Couldn’t disagree with that.

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So like fashion, news also moves in cycles?

Thursday, 14 February, 2013

Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are working with Microsoft Research to produce software than can predict future events, such as disease outbreaks or violence, by analyzing old news stories:

The researchers want to develop the tool such that it will provide proper guidance in terms of short term actions that can be taken based on present data. According to the researchers their work will go on and that they are looking forward to mining more data from other newspapers, digitized books and such sources in a bid to refine their software. The researchers hope that their work will promote additional research in this field by utilizing past experiences and human knowledge to predict future events and plausible interventions as needed.

Sounds a little like Minority Report no? I’m curious as to how accurate the event prediction will turn out to be.

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