Three Streaming Sticks
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Ho, Ho, Ho, It’s Reviews Not News This Christmas

For much of Holiday 2014, I will shift from tech news and analysis to product reviews, which will be a relaxing change. I also am prepping new ebook How I Beat Diabetes, preparing to start an investigative storytelling project, and strongly considering a Kickstarter to gauge interest in a site that calls out irresponsible news reporting (of which there is too much) and praises the best journalism, too.

On the reviews front, now would be a good time to knock on my virtual door, if you’ve got something worth my attention, whether cloud service, gear, mobile app, or software. No promises what I can get to during the holidays, when everyone wants to sell something, but, hey, we can try. Reviews will run on BetaNews,  and I will cross-post some here, despite any search penalty Google might impose for the practice. I care about readers, not pageviews. With the holidays in mind, I may shift to a shorter reviews format, focusing almost completely on benefits. Frak features. [Read more]

Donkey Driving Car
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Uber Should Drive Journalists to Accountability

Good for Uber for being transparent about investigating journalists. Bad for Uber for buckling to public relations pressure and renouncing an executive’s statements about the practice. Every company tracks journalists, or bloggers, covering it—to which I can attest from experience. PR pros and I have, in the past, discussed dossiers about me, because some put our relationship first. They feel dirty for keeping records and need to confess.

The ride-sharing startup would do nothing unusual by collecting the data, and there is good reason to want to use it. My profession is in a state of crisis. Sloppy sourcing practices spread rumors across the vast Internet landscape like environmental protestors throwing feces on corporate executives. Shit is shit, whether or not literal, and it all stinks. If the Fourth and Fifth Estates can’t be accountable for themselves—and they most certainly are not—victims of irresponsible reporting should protect their interests.

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Hunger Games Mockingjay
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‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1′ is incendiary

I caught the 9:30 a.m. show today for third installment in The Hunger Games movies. The film, which breaks the final book into two parts, is a cathartic roller coaster ride that is sure to banned somewhere. My expectations were low, having read all the books, but the emotional quotient is high.

Mockingjay Part 1 could be a recruitment film in most any country were dissent burns hot, or even embers. It’s incendiary—revolution’s sparks. The movie makes you feel for Panem’s oppressed districts much more than does the book. Raise three fingers on one hand, swing a club in the other, and charge forward yelling “If we burn, you burn with us!”

The line is from the book, but gripping coming from Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen. My eyes teared in the hospital and hands gripped firm to the armrests during districts-wide executions. This isn’t a propaganda film, but it sure could be used as one.