Surface Pro 3 Keyboard
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I write Affirmative Headlines

This morning, I responded to a Betanews commenter who asks: “I’m curious though about one thing and have been for a time. Does a Editor or someone else choose your titles or do you?” He responded to my story “I’m Microsoft All-In“, writing: “I personally have found my groove with ‘All-in Apple. for many years.

He asks a good question, and I answer at length, which I share below (and not in block quotes for readability reasons): [Read more]

Video of Event
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Is that Video Legitimate or Propaganda?

In the era of misinformation, Amnesty International—rather than a major news organization—provides tools for ensuring accuracy in the media. Launched today, Citizen Evidence Lab is an outstanding resource for journalists, or anyone else, for assessing whether videos are real or fake. Amnesty’s agenda is straightforward: “To assist human rights researchers to systematically assess citizen videos that depict potential human rights violations”. However, benefits for news gathering cannot be overstated.

Hat-tip goes to Nieman Journalism Lab for posting about the tools, which include a step-by-step how-to guide that “integrates best practices of citizen video authentication and brings the myriad of required verification steps into one, linear format”, according to Amnesty. There are lots of useful tools here, and I strongly encourage review of these how-to ones, many of which predate today’s launch. That makes me wonder how much is really new versus packaged as a new resource. Regardless, Amnesty serves a cornucopia of valuables for anyone actually willing to do the work of validating videos. I worry too few news gatherers will make the effort.[Read more]

The Riders
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‘Friends Forever’ is More than a Cliché

I can’t express how much we enjoyed hosting Richard Abendroth, Andreas Hochmuth, and Jake Mas. The young men, all in their earlier twenties, motorcycled across the country, from Maryland to California. They left here yesterday heading up the coast, with an eventual destination of Seattle before traveling back East.

These are fine young men, whose comradery and energy inspire me. Jake’s description of the three huddled together under the rocks at La Jolla Cove watching the sun set over the Pacific for the first time was evocative. “Friends forever” is more than a cliché. It is a living vital force as demonstrated by the travelers’ familiarity and trust. [Read more]

Uglydolls in Macmic Basket
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Uglydolls and Micmac Basket

This is our Uglydoll family. My wife keeps them in a traditional Micmac basket, which the folks back home in Aroostook County use for the potato harvest.

The Mi’kmaq tribe is native to and mostly lives in the Maritime provinces of Canada. We bought the basket, which has sentimental value because of my younger days as a potato picker, from the Aroostook band of Micmacs in 1996. White as I am, one of ancestors is Micmac. [Read more]

Neko and Neko Blurred
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My Life is a Blur

For anyone wondering why my online writing volume is way done, I can explain. My vision is in a state of crisis. The decline occurred slowly until I could no longer ignore it. With different health insurance situation, I would have acted sooner to fix the problem. But when finances are tight and health-care expenses high, you make sacrifices—even where you don’t want to.

I have macular edema in both eyes, which is swelling of the retina, or fluid leaking into it. The ailment affects the central vision area, causing visual distortion. The first signs manifested in my right eye in 2011. A retina specialist recommended laser surgery to repair scarring left by capillaries that had leaked and healed. But we were uninsured then, as now, and the cost was prohibitive for the family budget. I could see well enough, and cancelled treatment.[Read more]