Saturday, October 21, 2006

weekly blog review~5

David Pogue lambastes Microsoft (again). During his research for his upcoming book about MS Vista David is all too quick to criticize. I am well aware by this time that Pogue is an Apple man and will let you know that at every opportunity. (I still surmise Jobs gives him kickbacks.) Pogue picks on Microsoft's new IE7 too.

He also mentions the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge (or BOOK) and Sony's E-Reader. These little devises sound useful. I wonder if you could download audio books as well for the visually impaired. It would be cool if the system could 'read' to you. My father is legally blind and enjoys listening to books on tape. technicalecal comprehension level is extremely low. It always feels like a struggle to get him to consider anything that may assist him. Anyway, I thought these devices might actually be something he could use with some guidance without getting overwhelmed. Audio books are far more expensive than the price point for these e-books. It could give him hours of enjoyment at a far more reasonable cost (once the initial investment in the equipment is made, roughly $350).

Mark Hancock displays his South Texas State Fair photos on a couple of entries this week. The pictures include rides, animals, and the food at the midway.
His PhotoJournalism blog also included a couple of comprehensive entries outlining a curriculum for teaching digital photography at an elementary level. He goes into considerable detail for grading and lesson plans. He lays out quite an extensive plan that could be implemented over the course of a semester.

Of course Eric Deggan's The Feed mentions the St. Petersburg Times redesign (again). Actually, I found the Times' flash expose about the redesign changes well done, comprehensive and easy to follow. Slick.
The Feed also makes way for a 'guest blogger'. Jay Cridlin, from TBT interviews Demetri Martin in an entertaining piece.
The Feed also pays tribute to local radio personality Bob Lassiter. He recently died from complications from diabetes. Deggans eloquently says goodbye while introducing me to Lassiter's touching blog documenting the last year of his life. So long, Mad Dog.

Monday, October 16, 2006

weekly blog review~4

This week in Pogue’s Posts David shares a Futurephone site with us. The web site explains how to make international toll free calls.
The call is made to an Iowa phone number then transferred to your designated long distance number. The only charge is calling Iowa. If you are calling in the evening or on weekends from your cell phone then the call is actually free.
The only drawback with this plan is that the destination number cannot be a cell phone number. See the Futurephone web site for a current lists of countries able to be reached.
Later in the week David addresses readers concern for security realitive to the Futurephone's service for free international calls.

The ‘phosaic’ on Hancock’s PhotoJournalism blog was colorful and interesting. Using mosaic tile techniques, Mark Hancock creates a huge photomural. The piece is created using 225 digital images. Mr. Hancock offers instruction to construct a ‘phosaic’.

The most moving entry on his blog this week was the photo essay of the Patriot Guard Riders. This collection of photos illustrates more than 200 bikers that ‘shielded’ a grieving family from the eight Baptist anti-war protesters that attempt to make a political statement at the funeral of Staff Sgt. Edward Charles Reynolds, Jr. The bikers converged on the event displaying a multitude of U.S. flags and wearing their own colors. Various bike clubs from Texas and Louisiana came together to honor the fallen soldier and offer his family a wall of dignity from the protesters.

Eric Degan’s ‘The Feed’ covers the gamut from ‘Lost’ plotlines to the Google buyout of You Tube. (not to mention the St. Petersburg Times redesign) One entry announced the appearance of Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark and N.Y. Times’ Frank Rich on Oprah. I have enjoyed listening and learning from all three. The episode last week highlighted the current state of our popular culture, the national administration, and journalism. It was an informative hour.

Much space was dedicated introducing and explaining the St. Petersburg Times redesign. Degan’s says that the paper will strengthen its partnership with Bay News 9. According to Degan’s this new alignment will raise the papers profile in the bay area and supply content to the news program. (I think Bay News 9 needs better content than the paper needs advertising.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

(semi)weekly blog review~three

My favorite entry on Pogue's Post's this week was his (mild) rant about the complexities of today's cell phones. He raises some good questions about the sometimes complex navigation of simple tasks like turning off the phone ringer or looking up a well used number. He said it requires "burrowing" into the phone's menu to accomplish these tasks.

A fun entry highlights a page where one can customize their Google homepage.
Click here to see and try. Enjoy.

One of the most interesting posts in the last couple of weeks on the
Hancock PhotoJournalism blog was the interview with IMAX director Denis Delestrac.

Mr. Delestrac has successfully included IMAX documentary photography to his portfolio. Hancock interviewed Delestrac about his evolution to this medium. Delestrac had an interesting perspective.

He said the new movement of photojournalists from still to video is another way for visual communicators to impact the viewer. The fact that the equipment prices are more in reach for the individual and the abundance of (affordable) editing software contributes to the rise in this trend. Delestrac articulates, "It's another language with a different alphabet."

The interview goes on to explain some nuances of the IMAX genre. It's not like Photojournalism and not like film either. It is a beast unto it's own.

The similarities Delestrac speaks of is the pre-production task of development and acquiring funding. He states this is not his favorite part. This is least favored part of the process of any visual creative individual I've ever know.

Eric Deggan's
The Feed reiterates the ever present influence of blogs on 'legitimate' journalism. The usefulness of the blogs regarding the recent Foley debacle was illustrated. Deggans compares blogs to the tabloids. He says every once in a while the tabloids would run a story that carried serious merit. The blogs play their role too. If a story weighs in with the blogger crowd and sustains any shelf life, legitimate sources may eventually rise to verify the story.

Deggan's also covers the dedication and grand opening of the Peggy M. Peterman newsroom at University of South Florida's
Neighborhood News Bureau in St. Petersburg, FL. He eventually mentioned USF's Media Convergence class blog coverage of the event.

He states that students were supposed to be blogging live during the event. As a participant of the live blog team, I must convey my pride I felt to be a part of USF and St. Petersburg history. It perplexes me that our presents was not noted at the event. (Their were 18 classmates there and a substaion of four laptops outside the ribbon cutting.)

I do share Deggans sentiment when he wishes the newsroom a meaning future.