Data Anxiety

Tempus fugit


No live Q&A with NSA about PRISM »

I thought this was a fresh news story, in which the Washington Post interviewed, or did a “Question and Answer” session with the NSA, perhaps via IM chat:

NSA explains the PRISM data-collection program

Instead. the Washington Post uploaded the now-infamous four page excerpt of PRISM documentation, but with much higher resolution than the Guardian UKWaPo made two or three superfluous annotations e.g. how a prism can filter light passing through it.

The NSA was not available for reader questions via IRC or telephone call-in, unfortunately. I guess that is too much to hope for.

“When public data is actually public, the investigative side of being an investigative journalist gets a lot easier, or at least it gets more easily crowdsourced by a large group of amateurs and hobbyists who want to help out.”

Steven Johnson, Searching for John Snows via wka

True, but that doesn’t diminish the value of the investigative journalist. Crowd sourcing sometimes helps, sometimes not. I have been thinking that crowd sourcing is over-rated. Maybe I’m stating that too harshly. Better: It is not consistently useful.

Good journalists shine through 

I’m not biased, as I am not a journalist.  I’m just rather yacky-locquacious.

Using YNET as a source... »

Using YNET as a source… against Palestinians gives an impression that you don’t think. YNET is a ZIONIST owned news source, so they NEVER TELL THE TRUTH.

via the-gulf-is-persian

Zionist sources never tell the truth?

So any source that believes that Israel shouldn’t be eradicated is lying about everything?

Now I’m sure you believe that anti-Zionist sources provide the most honest and unbiased information possible. Essentially, anyone who says something that you don’t like must be lying. Truly, who could argue with that?

One quick note though: YNet actually leans a bit left, even if it’s not as far as Haaretz. Even so, it does a pretty good job (in my opinion) of providing accurate news, though others might disagree with me.

But anyway, if you would like to use some proof to back up your assertions, I’d be more inclined to take them more seriously.

via eretzyisrael

One way to prove whether YNet is deceptive would be to refute the news stories they report as factual. That’s the best approach, and won’t necessarily be perceived antagonistically either.

Everyone on the internet enjoys unearthing the REAL story!

  • Sometimes it is impossible, as there are insufficient facts available.
  • Sometimes the facts are not palatable to all. 

Generally, a challenge to a specific instance, backed with factual counter evidence is the best way of establishing a better rapport. This is the case, even if one party, either one, turns out to be incorrect.

Respect grows, for the future.

Press repeats journal hype over acupuncture »

The new look British Journal of General Practice used big cover-page text last month to announce findings from a recent study.

“ACUPUNCTURE effective in a randomised trial for patients with unexplained symptoms,” it shouted in bright yellow, exciting a febrile press…

Although the article was written by a sensible and competent young woman who is a Family Practice physician in Glasgow, I was struck by the lurid tone of her critique. Or at least the adjectives.

Some were choice!

Like “febrile”, and “shouting in bright yellow”. I’m uncertain whether the title wording was intentional. “Hype” and “acupuncture” conjures up images of syringes, IV injections, and illicit, forbidden acts….

New York Times Paywall Arrives

Also interesting: The New York Times will be selling subscription access through Apple iTunes.

According to All Things Digital,

Anyone can use the Times’ Web site to read up to 20 articles a month for free. And if you’ve surpassed your monthly limit, you’ll still be able to read Times articles if you’ve been sent there from referring sites like Facebook, Twitter or anywhere else on the Web. The Times says it will place a five-article-per-day limit on Google referrals, however; it’s currently the only search engine with that limit…

To spell that out: If you want to game the Times’ paywall, just use Microsoft’s Bing. For now, at least.

What about access from Yahoo! News? Does Yahoo! News carry New York Times content? I don’t know.

Or try this.

Felix Salmon covered the pay wall pricing plans from a non-mobile user’s perspective (which is my perspective) on his Reuters blog.

The N.Y. Times’ multi-tiered rates are confusing. I still haven’t figured it all out, other than to observe that access is almost certain to be pricey and restrictive.