Great lies of our time: “journalists and coders should sit together to create amazing stuff” (updated)

Originally posted on The Overspill: when there's more that I want to say:


The Thomson Reuters newsroom. Note papers stacked all over the place. No idea if journalists and developers “sit together” here – but I’d bet they don’t. Photo by Targuman on Flickr.

I keep seeing people saying “you know how journalism and the internet can work better? Have the news org’s journalists and coders sit beside each other. Wonderful things will happen.”

Postscript, but at the top: this post generated a lot of reaction – so be sure to read the followup, which pulls together the many people saying that it can and does work./Postscript.

Let me tell you: when someone spins you this line, it’s pure unadulterated 100% bullshit. Anyone who says this has never looked at what happens when you do this, or considered the differences in work patterns between the two. (It pains me to point out that Wolfgang Blau is only the latest to suggest…

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Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook – ©[NYTimes.com]

A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that 93 percent of the public believes that “being in control of who can get information about them is important,” and yet the amount of information we generate online has exploded and we seldom know where it all goes.

Facebook and other social networking sites that collect vast amounts of user data are financed by ads. Just this week Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, announced plans to open users’ feeds to more advertisers. The dirty secret of this business model is that Internet ads aren’t worth much. Ask Ethan Zuckerman, who in the 1990s helped found Tripod.com, one of the web’s earliest ad-financed sites with user-generated content. He even helped invent the pop-up ad because corporations were wary of the user content appearing next to their ads. He came to regret both: the pop-up and the ad-financed business model. The former is annoying but it’s the latter that is helping destroy the fabric of a rich, pluralistic Internet.

via Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay for Facebook – NYTimes.com.

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision • ©[npr.org]

British ophthalmologist Andrew Bastawrous moved his family from London to Kenya in 2013 with $150,000 of equipment, a team of 15 people and an ambitious goal: to understand the causes of blindness in rural Africa. It didn’t take long before he encountered all sorts of obstacles, including unpredictable power supplies and the regular need to run a gas-fueled generator to keep the equipment going. Many of the villages he was trying to reach had no roads and no electricity.

via Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision : Goats and Soda : NPR.

Preparing Teachers for Blended and Online Environments

Originally posted on Flexibility Enables Learning:

There is a growing need for today?s pre-service teachers to be equipped with skills and competencies for blended, online, and technology-rich teaching and learning environments. As teaching candidates progress through teacher education programs, they should be exploring, evaluating, and applying methods and tools for effective instruction in the dynamic learning environments that exist in today?s K-12 schools.

At Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, faculty in the School of Education have developed pathways to help teaching candidates gain experience exploring, evaluating, and applying methods for online and blended instruction. Elementary, middle grades, and secondary teaching candidates at Lenoir-Rhyne University have the option of pursuing a track in blended or online learning as part of their teacher preparation program. We believe that graduates from these programs are better equipped to meet the needs of today?s learners and adapt to changing teaching and learning environments.

Source: www.fractuslearning.com

That engaging with online and…

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A quarter million Europeans have asked Google to forget them

Featured Image -- 20997

Originally posted on Quartz:

It’s been a year since the EU’s Court of Justice ruled that Google and other search engines must give Europeans the ability to request that information about them be removed from search results. According to Google, the company has received over 250,000 requests for information to be removed from search results over the last year, and it has analyzed nearly one million websites to see what should be removed.

Reputation VIP, a site for controlling one’s reputation online, compiled data on the first year of the law being in place and how Google has responded. Here are the highlights:

 Requests have started to taper off

Requests_to_be_forgotten_sent_to_Google__Requests_chartbuilder (1)

Google received an average of 1,500 removal requests per day in the first three months after its “right to be forgotten” service went online, according to Reputation VIP. That number has dropped to about 500 requests per day, which while fewer, will still add up to about 180,000 requests per year.

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Organizing documents like playing Lego™

In computer sciencetransclusion is the inclusion of part or all of anelectronic document into one or more other documents by reference.

I found out, recently, about what it really meant to implement ‘transclusion’ while tinkering with Tiddlywiki. In addition to using the feature it kept going round in my head that the concept could also be used elsewhere.

Organizing documents like playing Lego™.

Meet the Lawyer Fighting Uber’s Business Model • © [nymag.com]

Meet the Lawyer Fighting Uber’s Business Model -- NYMag

One of the perks of being a top Uber driver is the company’s employee-of-the-week award. It’s called the Sixth Star prize, and it comes with a swag bag and a $1,000 American Express gift card. It’s the sort of thing that all sorts of big companies do to encourage their workers to go that proverbial, or actual, extra mile. But with Uber, there’s a hitch. The taxi behemoth does not employ any of its drivers. They are all independent contractors, paid by the gig.

Working for Uber might come with its perks, then, but it also comes without the benefits and protections many businesses provide for their employees. That’s unfair and illegal, a Boston labor lawyer is now arguing in court, potentially threatening the business models of the dozens and dozens of popular apps that make up the so-called “on-demand economy.”

via Meet the Lawyer Fighting Uber’s Business Model — NYMag.

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