Facebook News Apps Open Firehose of Pageviews

This is my fourth (and final) blog post assignment for my Journalism course. It’s kind of an op-ed in its own right, though not something I was likely to bother writing about if not for the assignment. Back in September, at its f8 conference, Facebook announced a new kind of app, with the ability to use “frictionless sharing”—basically a fancy way of saying that users’ activity can be shared without users specifically clicking a “Share” button. The first reaction to this announcement was lukewarm at best. As users began to notice just how much activity was being shared, they complained…

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Finding Sources for Interviews is Hard

This is my third blog post assignment for my Journalism class. I went for the reflection option this time instead of the news topic option because I had something to say about my experiences with the class in the last two weeks. As I’ve worked to find people I can interview for my feature article, I’ve found that it can be really difficult to actually connect with even one person who can address the topic in question. Many people will simply ignore interview requests. I’m sure part of the problem is my choice of subject. Not that many people know…

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Leaky Websites

This is my second blog post assignment for my Journalism course. As with the first, reposted here because “why not”. The New York Times‘ “Bits” blog published an article last Tuesday that really opened my eyes. The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School released data on what information is passed between certain popular websites. Long story short, logging in (or even trying and failing to log in) to a site can pass information about you to third parties. That information can be as innocuous (but still trackable) as a “unique identifier” generated by the site or as…

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Google Books and the Book Industry

I wrote this for my Journalism class at college, but figured I might as well share it here too. The New York Times ran a story Monday about a new lawsuit filed against HathiTrust, a partnership of universities and research libraries that maintains a digital book collection on its website. Plaintiffs in the suit include three major authors’ groups: the Authors Guild, the Australian Society of Authors, and the Québec Union of Writers. Eight individual authors are also party to the filing, among them Pat Cummings, Roxana Robinson, and T.J. Stiles. The objections raised in the suit center around the…

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Two Types of Friends: A Found Poem

I did not write this. It sounds so cold to say it, but I didn’t. Nobody I know wrote this. The same. The truth is, I don’t know the author of this poem. It was posted to the discussion board of one of my courses today, and I thought it so moving I had to post it here. It’ll be a good tide-over for my next “real” post. Obviously I haven’t blogged in a while (more than a week). Since the school year is ending, I have final assignments to attend to, and no time to really sit and think…

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The Sins of the Few Cause the Punishment of the Many

Finally, I’ve decided to blog about this issue. It starts in elementary school, and continues on a larger and larger scale as we go through life. I’ll start off with an anecdote. The setting is a third-grade classroom (no, this is not a reference to Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes). The class is small, only about ten students. One of them is acting up. The teacher, in an effort to get him to behave, threatens to revoke the entire class’s recess period if he doesn’t settle down. What’s wrong with this? The actions of one student could result in the punishment…

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Email Not Reliable on One Server

Classmates, you can go direct to the webmail reload script if you’re interested. 🙂 Oh noes, I’z opening the of ! I got the idea for this post from the frequent outages I experienced from my school’s mail server in the past month or so. There hasn’t been one in the last few days, which is good, but doesn’t guarantee against more downing. So anyway, coming back to the computer after a meal break to find the email page’s tab headed with “Problem Loading Page…” started to become routine. “School email server’s down again? Oh well, check again in the…

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User Actions Shouldn’t Interrupt Critical Stuff

Yes, I know that’s a rather cryptic title. I’ll do my best to illustrate what I mean in the coming prose. This was all inspired by something that happened to me last night while using the Blackboard Learning System software (it’s Web-based) to try and take an assessment in one of my courses for school. (Inspiration from homework? It’s actually happened before, like when I blogged about .) All right, down to business. Specifically, what happened last night was that I tried to perform an action on the page before it had finished loading. The tests in Blackboard (at least…

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Application Storage Architectures Are Important

This quarter and next quarter, I’ll be taking music theory classes at school. We’re using a program called Musition, distributed by an Australian company by the name Rising Software. Initially when I set it up, it was using a local database of course material with a local data store of audio files and all the other accompanying stuff. A couple days ago, though, my teacher sent out instructions for connecting the program to the network, and it’s now 100 times slower. Previous load time was around five seconds. That was tolerable, especially considering what the program was loading. It also…

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Chris Pirillo’s Thoughts on Bad Grammar: Same As Mine

As usual, I’m going to ask you to watch the video first before reading my comments: There, all done? Good, now I can comment away! This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy, too. I don’t know if anyone notices, but I try to keep my English as perfect as I can here on my blog, in my email, on Wikipedia… The list of places where I write goes on — and in each and every location, I try to use scholarly-sounding English that won’t have me embarrassing my school, my parents, or (most importantly) myself. Chris says…

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