Archive for the 'Life' Category


Are Journalists threatened by Bloggers?

Last week I went to an event called PlayBite, which was to bring Journo’s and various hardware makers together for mutual benefit. There I was able to talk to Seagate, Toshiba, Belkin, ZyXEL and others about current and upcoming products and potentially plan some reviews in advance.
Good stuff. But what was also interesting was the questionnaire they asked me to complete as I left, which seemed to be concerned about the impact of Blogging on us erstwhile hacks!
I know that some people are very worried about this, and I can understand why, but myself I’m not. You see I don’t see bloggers are actually a threat to conventional journalism, but another potential outlet for people with genuine writing skills. By day I’m an ink journalist, meaning my work is printed and distributed, in much the same way that it’s been for hundreds of years. Yes, it’s all composited on a computer, and sent to a computerised press, but it’s an ink and paper deal like it’s been since Caxton.
Luckily I work for a weekly mag, so there isn’t a huge time difference between the actual events we discuss and them going into print. It’s not got the instant appeal of a blog or online mag, but sometimes it’s good to let a little time go by without spouting, to get a better handle on the underlying story.
So will this type of product go away entirely and be replaced by Bloggs? I don’t think so, not in the short to medium term. If you go back in time you’ll find that people predicted the demise of print when Radio and TV was invented, and again when the Internet took hold. But it’s still going, and many of the daily still sell more than a million copies!
Now I’m writing a Blog, and it’s given me a whole new perspective. This is an immediate medium that allows me to talk about things that don’t generally fit into either the readership or interest of the print publications I produce for. It also doesn’t currently pay me anything, but it’s a ‘work in progress’ so I’ll accept that for the moment. At some point, I’ll expect it to pay its way for the time I spend on it, or I’ll reduce the amount I do.
Looking at what other Bloggers are doing, I don’t see anything different from what most journalists do, which is the see an idea or a story and then find their own angle. The Blogs that do well are either written skilfully or have imagination, despite what some think there is no ‘free lunch’ for the Blogger. Those that manage to get large numbers of people reading them have had to work hard to achieve that. There are millions of blogs that are read by few people, and some that will never get thousands of people a day tuning in.
The medium might have changed, but the rules remain the same. If you can produce material that people like or interests them then you’ve got a future, if you don’t you haven’t.
I think those in the printed press that feel the Bloggers are going to consume their occupations, by offering something similar for free are missing the point, I’d suggest.
In the same way that a picture taken with a mobile phone isn’t going to make you Photographer of the year. Those with genuine skills will shine through, irrespective of how they’re labelled.
The interest I’m seeing is that marketing people like the ‘new and exciting’ aspect of commercial Blogs, which they see as easier to influence than the battle-hardened hacks they’re used to dealing with. Once the Web 2.0 world has matured a little, I think they’ll find it isn’t any different, and many of those hacks are the same people they will deal with in a new context.
In the meanwhile, I’ll just keep writing…for any medium that has an outlet.


Nintendo DS Trashed…Grrrr..

Cracked DS

Children , who’d want them? This is the handiwork of mine, when combined with their cousin. Anyone fixed anything like this? Is it just a replacement screen or should I just bin it?

UPDATE: Ordered the parts…so tomorrow I get to find out if it’s fixable…if it is I’ll put the details up here.


Thunderflies are go!

ThripI’ve just had a bizarre conversation with long time friend of mine Gary Allen about Thunderflies (also referred to as Thrips from the order Thysanoptera), and the trouble they can cause. It’s annoying enough to have them craw on your skin in the summer, but Gary’s having issues with them go into the space between the matrix and the backlight on his TFT. At first he assumed that the two dead pixels that moved where the result of PSS, or Post Stella Shock. But it turns out that this tiny little beetles just love to scurry around inside thin-film-transistor displays!
The trouble is getting them out, before they die and become a permanent visual fixture. His idea, for which I take no responsibility was to train Ninja Thunderflies to go in and kick out the blighters. My idea, which isn’t much better, was to use a powerful microscope to paint lipstick on a Thunderfly and use them as a romantic lure, in the manner of those Bugs Bunny cartoon’s where he does the same.
As neither of these plans seems like a sure-fire way to extradite the little blighter’s, we’re open to ideas about how to solve this problem. So tell us if you have any ideas.
This link shows it’s just not us with this issue.


Dexter has Escaped!!!!

I’m not sure what to think about this. But some ‘crazy’ person inside Showtime has released a copy of the new Dexter season 2 opener episode, the whole thing, onto the internet. The official start point is months away, September, so this is either a very pre-emptive promotional strike or someone in that organisation is going to get a kicking.

Has anyone seen it yet? Is it any good?

I loved the first Season.

UPDATE: Some Dexter season 2 details here!!!



ADSL vs Anger Management

I’ve had my broadband drop twice today, once when I was about to post! Until a week ago any dropout was unusual, and now I’m getting them at least once at day, 30 minutes to 2 hours at a time.
As I use the Internet to earn a living this is really beginning to bug me. Since I tested or replaced every piece of wire and hardware I use, I’m now convinced it’s either a piece of hardware or some work that’s going on at the exchange which is taking away my service.
Perhaps I shouldn’t of previously mentioned my concern about Pipex and Tiscali…it’s now coming back to haunt me. I don’t want to go cable, but I can’t go on with an occasional service!