Baseball
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ProPublica and NPR hit a Home Run

Every news gatherer should read “Unseen Toll: Wages of Millions Seized to Pay Past Debts“, which is example of great news reporting. The sidebar is just as good.

Increasingly, news reporting is more than culling sources and chasing leads. ProPublica practices what sometimes is referred to as “data journalism”, and it is a cornerstone of the news organization’s investigative reporting. As I learned from working as an analyst for JupiterResearch a decade ago, collected data wants to tell a story. Hidden in spreadsheets is truth that only lies when someone deliberately misinterprets the meaning. [Read more]

Bull
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Like I Said, Aggregation is Plagiarism

File this in the “When things are too much alike department”—and I meant to write this post last week. Better late than never, eh? Scrolling through my RSS feeds on Friday I came upon this Gizmodo story which matters to me: “HBO Is ‘Seriously Considering’ Offering HBO Go Without Cable TV“. Pranav Dixit’s piece provides no real reporting but aggregates from Quartz’s “HBO is now ‘seriously considering’ whether to offer HBO Go without cable TV“.

I recognize there are only so many ways to write a headline with quote “seriously considering”, but c`mon. Aren’t bloggers embarrassed puking out someone else’s digested food? There is something like alien culinary abduction here, and the results are disgusting. How hard would it be to get the quote, rather than lift it from someone else? What if Quart’z John McDuling misquoted (he doesn’t) such that Giz and countless other aggregators regurgitated and the social web smeared it all over their Walls? [Read more]

Post Investigative Report
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Should I Thank Jeff Bezos?

Seven years ago next month our family of three left the D.C. area for San Diego, to be close to my wife’s now 92 year-old dad. We miss Washington, and she still reads the Washington Post but complains about monthly story limits placed on non-subscribers. (The newspaper put up a paywall last year.)

About two weeks ago, we both received email from the Post, offering special all-digital access pricing: $29 for a year. That’s for smartphone, tablet, or the web for two accounts. According to the Post’s subscriber site, the regular web plus mobile subscription is $99 year, while Digital Premium, which adds “unlimited access to all tablet + mobile apps”, is $50 more. So, yeah, $29 is helluva deal, and I signed up—not knowing that is a $120 discount. [Read more]

Crystal Ball Street Performer
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Apple Watch isn’t the Future

I am reluctant to criticize unreleased Apple Watch because my analysis about original iPad—given before seeing it—was wrong. That said, Android Wear, while seemingly sensible comparison that analysts, bloggers, and journalists make, isn’t right. When put in perspective of next-generation wearables, I think Apple Watch should be compared to Google Glass.

Be honest. Which looks more innovative to you? The utility of something you see at eye level that provides real-time, location-based information is much greater than something that demands more responsive—”Hey, Siri”—interaction and turns the glance and fingers downward. Granted, Apple Watch delivers alerts, and you feel them, but your attention is always to look away. [Read more]

iPhone 6
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iPhone 6 Plus follows the Leader

I am a Mac user again. After two years of using Chromebook as my primary PC and going “Microsoft All-In” for the summer with Nokia Lumia Icon and Surface Pro 3, at the end of August I returned to my first love—despite my reputation for hating it. I’m not anti-Apple. Fanatics who try to silence me, and other journalists not glowing about the fruit-logo company, just want you to believe that I am, by insisting bias where none exists.

Before Tuesday’s splashy media event, I anticipated buying a new iPhone—to fit into my renewed Mac lifestyle. But the size really bugs me. Last weekend, I asserted that September 9 would start the Tim Cook era—that it would define where the CEO will take Apple. I used iPod nano as example of a product that defined Steve Jobs’ leadership style. But Cook soiled my anticipation that he could be so bold. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are too much me-too devices, and they’re not what I expected from the great innovator. [Read more]