Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Government documents in the digital age.

Government Printing Office is moving to the digital age, reports Zachary A. Goldfarb of the Wasthington Post.

"Americans wanted to search for information on the Web and did not want to pay for printed versions of government documents. Seventeen thousand people, for example, paid to receive the Congressional Record in 1995, a number that was quickly shrinking by 2002 and now stands at less than 2,000. A quarter of a million pages are retrieved from it online in a month.
"The Future Digital System will respond to that trend by making available online all 2.2 million government documents -- a total of 60 million pages -- by the end of the 2007, tagged by keywords so they can be easily searched. It is a nearly $30 million endeavor and will include documents all the way back to the nation's founding."

Tracking Data on the Traveller

Aoife White of Associated Press reports how U.S. plans to keep collecting data on European passengers coming into the U.S. (See Washington Post for the reprint.)

"U.S. authorities will be able to keep trawling through personal data on passengers flying from Europe, even though the European Union's highest court found problems Tuesday with the accord that made airlines share the information.
"During negotiations leading up to the 2004 accord, the EU won some concessions from the U.S., such as shortening the time the information is stored, to a maximum 3 1/2 years, and deleting sensitive data such as meal preference, which could indicate a passenger's religion or ethnicity."

However, this is World Cup season.

There are probably more people heading in the opposite direction.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The View

Here is the view from WashingtonPost.Com newsroom.

Online Media Presence

Washington Post has one of the best online presence of any print media I know. It combines advertising, interactive social content networking technologies (e.g. blogs, technoratic, etc.), video, audio and blogs by its writers on various beats.

Reuters.com which also has a fairly sophisticated online presence for a news media comes close to the Post but Post is unique in the sense that it traditionally was and continues to be a significant print medium with a distinguished past.

Blogs posted by Reuters seem to be focused on what counts as less than the news.

Many of the entries are in the "oddly enough" category, which are farcical pieces.

The other mentionable category at blogs.reuters.com is the tech-media-telecoms, including this bit about MADtv.

Finally, in the emerging technology category, we see entries like the one on a Yellow Submarine.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

No One is Listening

IHT reports on a recent article on wiretapping in the U.S.

The article, in USA Today, said that the agency did not listen to the calls, but secretly obtained information on numbers dialed by "tens of millions of Americans" and used it for "data mining" - computer analysis of large amounts of information for clues or patterns to terrorist activity.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Some Times

Some times, editorials make absolutely no sense. Or as we say in Persian, they have neither a head nor a tail. They demonstrate how little the editorial writer has understood the ups and downs of a situation, how lost the writer is and how little he or she knows.

Words strung together, yet meaningless.

The Old Hawk Speaks

Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawk in the Carter administration who according to some gave the green light to Saddam Hussein to attack Iran, opins, somewhat more wisely, on the most recent political "debate" in Washington.