Newsweek has an interesting piece on movie endings
, and how they're often predictable, yet at the same time unsatisfactory. When I think of great movie endings, what comes to mind are such films as Casablanca and Chinatown, with great last lines; the surprise ending of The Sting; or even that last frozen frame in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid. But the author came up with a completely different list, many of which I could hardly oppose (the final apocalypse of Doctor Strangelove, or that last scare in Carrie), and a good number I had never seen.
That got me wondering how universal a good ending is, or whether much of its power depends on the person seeing it. When is something cliche and when a nod to a previous influence? And what if you may see the imitator and not original? Should that be discouraged?
I've found that endings are often tougher to write than beginnings, which is saying a lot, as I find an opening line to be genuinely painful to find at times.. To draw a conclusion, tie up the lose ends, and allow the reader to have something to think about is difficult. Like right now.
Labels: movies, writing
Minimal Lighting Blog
I just heard about this - Strobist is a blog
by a pro photographer about how to make due with small flash units instead of investing in studio-type units that are big and heavy. It's worth checking out.
Labels: equipment, lighting
Changes on the Wall Street Journal Front Page
A report from Mark Jurkowitz
of the Project for Excellence in Journalism quantitatively shows the changes in the front page of the Wall Street Journal
since Rupert Murdoch bought its parent company, Dow Jones. The paper has significantly
decreased its business coverage while increasing the number of political stories. This is pretty interesting, as people buy the Journal for news of business, not politics. There's a significant increase in foreign coverage, which might be good, and I suspect it's difficult to say whether the WSJ
would have increased political news on the front page anyway, as the primaries were ongoing. It would have been interesting to see a comparison not to the four months before the purchase, but the equivalent four months of the previous year, or even of four years before, when there was another U.S. presidential election. It would also have been good not to measure just "news holes," but the number of column inches uses, as well as the content of the paper overall. However, these are at least some numbers showing the changes.
Labels: Murdoch, newspapers, Wall Street Journal
Origin of Murphy's Law
I came across this origin of the term "Murphy's Law"
and thought I'd pass it on. Apparently an Air Force captain, whose last name was Murphy, was an engineer working on a project to see how much decelleration a person could stand. On finding a miswired transducer - a device that transforms one type of energy into another, like a speaker changing electricity to sound - the officer reputedly said of the technician who had installed it, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." A doctor associated with the project who gave a press conference mentioned that the clean safety record was because of adherence to Murphy's Law. There is some additional material, including a paradox named after that doctor.
Labels: history, law, Murphy's Law
For years magazines have been using retouching methods - now Photoshop, but once using inks, dyes, brushes, and razor blades - to remake the physical appearance of people. One of the top jobs has been to make models and actresses look skinnier. Now things are on the rebound, and the directive is to make sure that no one looks too skinny
, according to the Telegraph in the U.K.
Labels: magazines, Photoshop, retouching
Pentagon Manipulates Press
Although this seems to be the PR equivalent of a dog bites man story, the Pentagon, and Bush administration, managed to efficiently lead broadcasters around by the nose
, and possibly print as well, by subverting third party sources: retired military personnel who act as military analysts:
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
Viewers and readers (because I refuse to believe that a lot of print journalists haven't also been taken in) don't get to hear about the business relationships that help drive the need to please the brass:
But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.
In addition, the analysts would act as spies for the military, reporting back on planned stories as well as forwarding copies of their correspondence with the networks. A number of the analysts came out and admitted to the reporters of this story that they were duped. Nothing like keeping the lines of communication open, even if twisted, turned, and knotted.
Labels: manipulation, Politics, PR, television, war
Romance Writer Loses Publisher Over Plagiarism
According to the Associated Press, Signet Books will no longer publish popular romance writer Cassie Edwards
. It seems that Ms. Edwards had repeatedly taken descriptions, sentences, and sections from reference books and magazines without any form of attribution. The problem was first found by a romance lit blog with the great name Smart Bitches Love Trashy Books
. Congratulations to them for unearthing the literary theft, and I'm shaking my head at either AP or the Boston Globe, which replaced Bitches with B------. J--z.
Labels: authors, blogs, books, plagiarism
World Pinhole Photography Day
Ever hear about pinhole photography
, where a tiny opening replaces a lens and you use incredibly long exposures with virtually unlimited depth of field? Well, seems that there's a Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day
coming up April 28. There are workshops being held all around the world. Time to strike a blow for obsolescence. I might just have to dig out one of my view cameras, get a pinhole attachment, and shoot some B&W, though you can make a pinhole camera out of an old oatmeal box
Labels: events, film, pinhole
Create Your Own Candidate
If political handlers are said to create candidates that have little relationship to reality, then you could become one of the greats: literally helping to make a candidate from nothing. The Wiki Candidate 08 site
is a collaborative one, meant to look like a real campaign Web presence, but the audience puts it together:
Wikicandidate is running for president in 2008, ready to lead the United States to a bright future in the 21st Century. Only, you've never seen WikiCandidate in a debate, read about Wikicandidate in the news, or gotten a promotional flyer in the mail, because WikiCandidate is not a real candidate, but an ideal one -- the product of your imagination, in conversation with everyone else.
What if you didn't have to choose from the available candidates, who may or may not share all of your political beliefs, may or may not have done things in their lives that fit your image of the perfect candidate, may or may not be electable for a variety of reasons? In observing the actual presidential race many people become dissatisfied with the way candidates talk, act, or react to current events, an otherwise ideal candidate tarnished. What if you could create your perfect candidate from scratch -- their biography, their stance on the issues, even what the say and do on the campaign trail? By simply creating WikiCandidate's campaign site, you get to bring the perfect candidate into existence.
People have the candidate react to current events and people "haggle" (great underused word, I think, so the site gets automatic points) over issues and positions.
One potential problem I see off-hand is that the candidate was supposedly born in Madrid, Spain of one American parent, and it's unclear whether a person even born of two US citizens
would be considered a "natural-born citizen," as required in the US Constitution.
Labels: Politics, wiki
Rules of Thumb on What You Can Legally Photograph
Kim Komando's column had a good rundown on general rules
of when you can and cannot take photos:
- Public spaces are fair game. If something is out in a public area or on view from a pubic area, it's generally legal to take a photograph.
- You can photograph people in pubic places or visible from public places.There are exceptions, however. For example, you can photograph the outside of someone's house, but you cannot photograph someone in his or her bathroom or bedroom, even if the blinds are open, because they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- You need permission to photograph in a private space. You have to have permissions to take photos. so a museum, for instance, can restrict photography while you are inside the building.
- You may not be able to photograph all public facilities, even if on public land.There are times you can be prohibited from photographing sensitive locations, such as a power plant or military base.
There are additional potential complications from how you plan to use photos, as well. For example, you can take pictures of someone in a public place and sell them as art prints, but you cannot necessarily sell them to an advertising firm. You can take a picture of an interesting building, but to use it in a marketing campaign might require permission from the architect, depending on the age of the structure.
Labels: law, rights
Would the FBI Bend the Truth?
The answer to the above question is apparently yes, as this Wired article suggests
Counterterrorism officials in FBI headquarters slowed an investigation into a possible conspirator in the 2005 London bombings by forcing a field agent to return documents acquired from a U.S. university. Why? Because the agent received the documents through a lawful subpoena, while headquarters wanted him to demand the records under the USA Patriot Act, using a power the FBI did not have, but desperately wanted.
At this July 27, 2005 hearing, FBI Director Robert Mueller pushed the Senate Judiciary Committee to give FBI agents expanded spying powers. .
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta When a North Carolina State University lawyer correctly rejected the second records demand, the FBI obtained another subpoena. Two weeks later, the delay was cited by FBI director Robert Mueller in congressional testimony as proof that the USA Patriot Act needed to be expanded.
So, they get the records, send back the records, ask for them in a different way, hear that what they want isn't covered under those powers, so ask for the records again, get them and keep them this time, and then tell Congress that the reason they need less supervision is because institutions won't cooperate with them. That leads me to ask two questions: what in the hell were they thinking, and how much taxpayer money are they wasting while trying to get fake support for their demands?
Labels: government, law
Two Early Photography Exhibitions in Washington, D.C.
In the Wall Street Journal, Richard Woodward, a New York-based art critic, gives an overview of two exhibitions currently at the National Gallery
: Impressed by Light: British Photographs From Paper Negatives, 1840-60
(through May 4), and In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet
(through June 8). The former "examines photography in the context of Victorian science, industry and colonialism" though waxed paper negatives. The latter has examples of painting and photography side-by-side. Passes are not required for either. Both sound fascinating and make me wish that the nation's capital were a bit closer.
Labels: exhibitions, museums
Parsing Obama's Gaffe
Let's start with the quote that caught so much attention:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
I've heard from some people I know that couldn't see how anyone could read Obama's statements, in context or out, as elitist. But I can.
Parse the statement (and consider the attitudes of many toward given issues) and you get the following chain of logical statements and emotional context:
- People are bitter.
- Only because they are bitter to they cling to certain attitudes.
- As they cling out of bitterness, these attitudes and espoused interests must be negative.
- Religion, guns, antipathy toward those who are different, sentiment against immigrants, and sentiment against open trade policy are all the same thing.
- Therefore, if you hold any of these positions or interests, it must be because you are bitter, and not because you believe in them for any other reason.
His political opponents are jumping on this, and, yes, they, like virtually all people running for office, tend to be entirely opportunistic. But I'd suggest that the statement itself says a lot about him, and not in a positive way.
Of course people have been sold down the river and they're angry and it comes out in various ways. But to take these interests and positions and level them so that all people who have concerns about immigration, or who support gun ownership, or what have you, are exactly the same - to discount any nuance or recognize another potential motivation - is a problematic mindset. He could have talked about them being angry, or trying to cling to something they could hold on to. But that's not what Obama chose to do. Instead, he dismissed large groups of people based on the most gross generalization of their beliefs, without any acknowledgement that someone might honestly hold an opinion.
Perhaps that isn't what he meant, but then why choose those words? A friend pointed several people in an online discussion group to a Huffington Post piece that recalled similar words by Bill Clinton
You know, he [Bush] wants to divide us over race. I'm from the South. I understand this. This quota deal they're gonna pull in the next election is the same old scam they've been pulling on us for decade after decade after decade. When their economic policies fail, when the country's coming apart rather than coming together, what do they do? They find the most economically insecure white men and scare the living daylights out of them. They know if they can keep us looking at each other across a racial divide, if I can look at Bobby Rush and think, Bobby wants my job, my promotion, then neither of us can look at George Bush and say, 'What happened to everybody's job? What happened to everybody's income? What ... have ... you ... done ... to ... our ... country?'
Notice that Clinton's words addressed fear and economic disadvantage. They didn't take a number of often strongly-held positions and dismissed them as a reaction to being embittered. And to dismiss people as essentially being ignorant or immature or misguided because they don’t hold your particular set of beliefs sounds exactly like the claims I've heard from right wing parties that sends those on other parts of the political spectrum into a frenzy of anger. If people want reasoned discourse - and I don't think most actually do, no matter what they say, because they act as though that means agreeing with them - then they must do the difficult work of stepping into someone else's shoes and seeing how they'd feel under the same circumstances.
Labels: Politics, presidential candidate, presidential election
DIY High-Speed Photography
I came across DIYPhotography.net, which focuses on how to create your own equipment for photography. Here's a post, with links to information on pulling it off, on how to take high-speed photos
. Might as well pick up a few points and then see what else you can learn.
Labels: equipment, technique
200,000 Computer Generated Books
The New York Times has an article about Philip M. Parker, a management professor who uses computers and programmers to cull information from the web and turn it into books
. He's created - I don't want to use the word "write" - 200,000 of them that he sells through Amazon.com:
If this sounds like cheating to the layman’s ear, it does not to Mr. Parker, who holds some provocative — and apparently profitable — ideas on what constitutes a book. While the most popular of his books may sell hundreds of copies, he said, many have sales in the dozens, often to medical libraries collecting nearly everything he produces. He has extended his technique to crossword puzzles, rudimentary poetry and even to scripts for animated game shows.
And he is laying the groundwork for romance novels generated by new algorithms. “I’ve already set it up,” he said. “There are only so many body parts.”
I've heard of the sausage factory approach before, but this is one high volume production line. The idea of having boilerplate language with specifics filled in to create a "new" document isn't new. But I wonder how much of the added content is really free of copyright restraints and available for legal use.
Labels: automation, books, computers, online, publishing
Progressive Radio Host Jumps Air America Ship
The so-called progressive radio network Air America last week suspended Randi Rhodes, who was probably its highest profile on-air talent after Al Franken left, for an obscenity laced tirade against Hillary Clinton at an event hosted by the network. But now the temporarily off-air Rhodes has gone on the road to be on-air elsewhere. Try going to therandirhodesshow.com
on the web, her erstwhile show's site, and you end up at Nova M Radio
, which advertises itself as "Bringing Democracy to the Airwaves!" At least, as is generally true with conservative radio, to the like-minded people who listen and agree in advance.
Air America bounced Rhodes after a stand-up political routine
at an event sponsored by a network-affiliated station. Geraldine Ferraro was also a target for her remarks about Barak Obama - taken out of context, according to Ferraro:
“What did they do with Don Imus when he went after the young black team who was playing basketball with kind of the same language? Treat them both the same,” Ferraro told FOX News. “She’s coming at me and Hillary in a … sexist way”
Excuse me? Since when are political figures, who place themselves willingly in the limelight, the same as a group of student athletes? Some of the language isn't what I'd use - though the line "Geraldine Ferraro turned out to be the David Duke in drag. Who knew?” is pretty funny, even if some see it as offensive - but since when do we start censoring political speech, particularly when it's not being broadcast? Is it acceptable to say what you will about a candidate if you don't use a swear word, no matter how calculated and even dishonest the language may be, but not when you do? All the democratic presidential hopefuls must be breathing a sigh of relief; there still might be life after office - if Air American can manage to stay in business that long.
Broadway Studios manager Francesca Valdez confirmed that video posted to YouTube was the show held at her venue, and that the booking had been contracted through Clear Channel Communications. She said that she sat in the audience for Rhodes’ 45-minute performance, which was chock full of “a lot of F-words.”
“I was actually amazed that she used the F-word so many times,” said Valdez, reached by phone in San Francisco.
Hold it, the venue booked an act without checking it out ahead of time? What kind of business idiots are they? Oh, wait, I've got it - they thought they were booking comedienne Kathy Griffin instead. (Ironically, I accidentally typed Kathy Gifford first. Now there's
a scary genetic meld concept.)
So, in the spirit of the First Amendment and political freedom, Air America bounced Rhodes. And the final irony, according to the New York Times, is that the station she's joining, KKGN, is an Air America affiliate
in San Francisco. According to a New York Daily News article
, Air America will have guest hosts while looking for a replacement:
"We will soon announce exciting new talent that will accelerate Air America's growth," said the statement from Kireker and Green.
Oh, yes, anything to keep that raging trickle moving.
Labels: broadcasting, censorship, comedy, controversy, Politics
Profile of a Museum Photography Curator
I came across this LA Times article on Charlotte Cotton, head of photography
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I pass it on as an interesting read. It's always interesting to get an insight into the people who help shape the art and industry.
Labels: articles, museums
Don't Use That Word: Health Database Blocks Use of Abortion as Search Term
NPR's Morning Edition had an interesting story earlier in the week
of how the world's largest reproductive health database, POPLINE, which is maintained by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, blocked the use of the word abortion as a search term:
[Michael Klag, the dean of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health] says the seven articles that triggered the restriction in late February were from an issue of A, the Abortion Magazine, which is published by Ipas, an international reproductive rights organization.
It seems that perceived pressure came from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which funds the database. By law, the agency cannot support abortion activities, and it considers advocacy materials as support. The database has seven articles in it from an abortion advocacy magazine. I guess it was a case of a word so dangerous, you cannot seek it.
Labels: censorship, databases, health
Many Academics Use Cognition Enhancing Drugs
The journal Nature just published the results of a survey it undertook in January about readers' use of drugs to enhance cognition, chemically stimulate, and reduce anxiety. Now, it sounds like this was an opt-in survey, meaning that it would be a self-selecting sample, and, as such, not one that is necessarily representative of even the journal's readers, let alone academia at large. There is a large geographic bias, with more than three-quarters of the respondents coming from the U.S. and U.K.; 64.5 percent said they work in either biology, chemistry, earth and planetary sciences, engineering, medicine, physics, media, or education, with the remainder being "other," whatever that means. The group skews young, with nearly 65 percent being under 36.
But still the results are interesting. One in five admit to have taken modafinil (Provigil), methylphenidate (Ritalin), or beta blockers like propranolol (Inderal) "to improve concentration or cognition." And additional 13.5 percent said they had taken such drugs for a medically diagnosed condition.
If you know anything about these drugs, they're intended for daily use. However, the usage patterns admitted to split into daily, weekly, monthly, or once a year at most, with fairly even numbers in each.
Of the over 1,400 answering the survey, 1254 answered the question "Should healthy humans be allowed to use cognitive enhancing drugs if they want to?"; almost 80 percent said yes. And 1258 answered the question, "Accepting a normal risk of mild side effects, would you boost your brain power by taking a cognitive enhancing drug?"; almost 70 percent said yes. About a third would feel pressure to let their kids take such a drug if other children in the school were doing so.
Obviously many people in academia, research, and the sciences feel no problem about others taking cognitive-enhancing drugs. But why is that any different from athletes taking performance-enhancing substances? There is effectively a public competition, with research money and even public acclaim at times going to those who get the edge in results. But isn't this a form of cheating - using something to let you do what you might not ordinarily to gain an advantage? According to Nature, one respondant from the US wrote, "As a professional, it is my duty to use my resources to the greatest benefit of humanity. If 'enhancers' can contribute to this humane service, it is my duty to take them." But is it really
for nothing but a humane gesture? What if suddenly there would be no possibility of person gain in tenure, money, or professional stature? Why shouldn't an athlete say he or she has a duty to move past the limits of normal performance for the good of his or her team and the fans of the team?
Labels: drugs, education
Big International Photography Show in New York
If you're near New York and want to catch some of the best in art photography this weekend, head to the Association of International Photography Art Dealer (>AIPAD
) show, running from today through Sunday. As New York Art News notes
More than 75 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries will present a wide range of museum quality work by contemporary, modern and 19th century masters at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street and Park Avenue in New York City.
Admission is $25 a day or $35 for the run of the show, and you get a catalog (which itself would cost $25, if you weren't attending
). Show hours are 11AM to 7PM today, 11 to 8PM Friday and Saturday, and 11 to 6PM Sunday.
Labels: art, exhibitions
Publisher Brings Down the House of Cards
The blog Gawker has an interesting post
about how Free Press and William Morrow have essentially been complicit in yet another fabricated memoir: Bringing Down the House, the story of a blackjack team trying to beat the house in Las Vegas, and the basis for the new movie 21. Their post is based on the Boston Globe Sunday magazine story, House of Cards
Yet "Bringing Down the House" is not a work of "nonfiction" in any meaningful sense of the word. Instead of describing events as they happened, Mezrich appears to have worked more as a collage artist, drawing some facts from interviews, inventing certain others, and then recombining these into novel scenes that didn't happen and characters who never lived. The result is a crowd-pleasing story, eagerly marketed by his publishers as true - but which several of the students who participated say is embellished beyond recognition.
And publishers wonder how faked memoirs can come into being? Clearly this has gone beyond the publishers having insufficient resources to fact check and has entered the land of deliberately looking the other way:
Both Mezrich and the book's publisher, Simon and Schuster's Free Press, see nothing to apologize for. The book, they point out, was published with a disclaimer (in fine print, on the copyright page) warning that the names, locations, and other details had been changed, and that some events and individuals are composites, created from other events and individuals. Nearly all the details and facts in the book were culled from his research, Mezrich says, and where they were compressed or creatively rearranged, the fundamental truth of the story he tells is undiminished.
What the hell are they thinking? Supposedly there is only one actual, real character - Jeff Ma - who ended up doing things in the book that the real Ma had never heard of. There's a big problem any time one starts to urinate in the well that provides your water - not only in the practical implications, but in the very attitude that leads the person to do it. And that's exactly what the publisher, editor, and writer have done: urinated all over the industry, profession, and reading public.
Labels: books, publishing, writers
Boingboing posted about $100 remote controlled 1.3 megapixel camera
that fits onto a regular pair of glasses. It's going to get hard to keep people from snapping pictures in all sorts of restricted areas.
Labels: digital, equipment
Pity the Poor Bloggers
The New York Times had a story about the stress many professional bloggers feel to post all the time
. Some are paid piecemeal, some get a cut of advertising revenue, and some get bonuses:
Bloggers at some of the bigger sites say most writers earn about $30,000 a year starting out, and some can make as much as $70,000. A tireless few bloggers reach six figures, and some entrepreneurs in the field have built mini-empires on the Web that are generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. Others who are trying to turn blogging into a career say they can end up with just $1,000 a month.
And many more, I'd wager, are paid far less. Why paid so relatively little in a job that may be pushing some of them into an early grave? Because blogging is often the literary equivalent of commodity piece work. Emphasis seems to rest on the number of posts, not their quality. After all, everything essentially goes into the digital dump after, and the sites apparently are trying to get something timely up to grab an advertising audience a split before anyone else to snag the ad dollars. When you're slinging hash, then you must expect to be paid like a short order cook - or possibly not that well.
Labels: bloggers, blogging
Go To Composition Extremes and Opposites
It's easy to get stuck in taking the same sort of shots, over and over. This is different from having your own "eye," in which you express things visually in a certain way because it comes naturally from your own upbringing, education, personality, and inherent tastes. I'm talking about being in a rut. When you find that each picture seems like the last, it's time to shake yourself loose. Here are a couple of things that might help.
Find a few of your habits and deliberately work against them. If you usually take photos from above, try from below. Like wide angle? Go for a telephoto. Shoot color? Move to black and white. When you force yourself out of your habits, you temporarily lift yourself out of the rut. This can become as much of a habit as what you are used to doing, of course, but used judiciously, it can help broaden your view of the world around you.
Instead of doing the opposite, you can push your habit to a degree you normally wouldn't use. If you like a tight focus on the face in a portrait, you might push in on just one feature: eyes, nose, mouth, a wrinkle, a freckle. If you realize that you're responding to a texture in an image, then drive in the center on just
the texture. If you find yourself always far back from a subject, you could pull back even more and see if the former subject can become one part of a bigger pattern.
In either approach, you don't have to like the resulting images. The point isn't to come up with a substitute, but to jar your perceptions enough to open your eyes to new possibilities. This can be a useful exercise to do on a periodic basis, even when you aren't feeling particularly stuck. It's the essence of why experienced photographers will often move all around a subject, getting at different heights and distances, just to see if there is something that they haven't been noticing.
Labels: composition, lenses, perspective
April Is the Poetic Month
It's National Poetry Month and time for some poems. Knopf has a Poem a Day mailing list for Aprils - just head to here
. Or you could head to the year-round poetry mailings from Poems.com
New York Times Again in Copycat Dog House
TheArgentinePost.com provides compelling evidence
that a writer at the New York Times, when writing about expatriate artists in Buenos Aires, made overly liberal use of a research resource: a January 15, 2007 Newsweek story on the same topic. I won't even try to start covering the ground, as the analysis that the Argentine Post did is long, thorough, and, in addition, reported. Sadly, even though there was significant prior evidence of the writer purloining the work of others, the NYT travel editor eventually claimed that there "was no plagiarism at work." No, just some pretty amazing coincidences, one after the other.
Labels: New York Times, newspapers, plagiarism, travel
Washington Post Photoshop Express Review
I haven't bothered trying Photoshop Express, not only because of the potential rights I'd have to give up
, but, owing to being in a rural part of the country, there's no broadband in them thar phone wires - and no cable connection to even miss broadband. And if you're going to edit photos over the Internet, dial-up is the last thing you want to contemplate. However, Washington Post writer Rob Pegorano has a review on the product
. From what he says, it seems that while there are some basic abilities, this is not really close to being Photoshop, and is slow, clumsy, and buggy, at least as of early April. If you want real photo editing without spending a lot of money, here are some choices that I've covered
Labels: editing, online
The New Republic has an interesting piece about the human face of online politics. There's Jonathan Schilling, a 53-year-old software engineer who spends up to 15 hours a week editing the Wikipedia entry for Hillary Clinton
, even though he is ambivalent toward her. Kevin Bailey, a North Carolina teacher, until recently played guardian for Barak Obama's listing, which has become more table tennis match than battleground as changes go in, out, in, out, with the fervor of the supporters and detractors.
Labels: Politics, presidential election, Wikipedia