Friday reading #20

 by Martin Belam, 14 September 2012





Friday reading

“Systemic Distortion” - Public Strategist
“We all know too much. What each of us knows too much about is very distinctive, but it’s a safe bet that we all know too much about something. When other people, who know that thing less than we do, attempt to describe it or to understand it for themselves, they get it wrong, not because any part of the description is incorrect, but because somewhow the pieces do not add up the whole.
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“Journalism’s Summer of Sin marked by plagiarism, fabrication, obfuscation” - Craig Silverman, Poynter
“Here’s the issue: If we in the press stonewall and hide behind vague public statements when ethical breaches happen within our ranks, then we embolden politicians and other public figures and sources to do the same. Leaders in a profession dedicated to shining a light on truth and helping enforce accountability need to meet the same standard of transparency they demand of others.”
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“Amazon Changed Reading. Now It Could Change Writing” - Sarah Kessler, Fast Company
“Publishing one segment at a time will enable authors, like app developers, to make decisions based on user activity. Data analytics will push that ability to another level. Do readers have high drop-off rates when a certain character appears? Maybe he should appear less in the next episode. Do they share a certain idea with their social networks? Maybe that idea comes up again.”
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“GlitchHiker: the game that was programmed to die” - Jeremy Peel, PCGamesN
“GlitchHiker was in its prime a colourful game, and the noisy 8-bit break beat charm of Muller’s soundtrack ensured that it attracted curious punters on the Game Garden floor. Once caught in the honey trap, new players would have the game’s back-end explained to them – the cruel life-and-death system that de Grier, Dijkstra and Ismail had been working on.” [via @newsmary]
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“Robots at War: Scholars Debate the Ethical Issues” - Don Troop, The Chronicle of Higher Education
“If there is any point of agreement between Mr. Arkin and his critics, it is this: Lethal autonomous systems are already inching their way into the battle space, and the time to discuss them is now. The difference is that while Mr. Arkin wants such conversations to result in a plan for research and governance of these weapons, his most ardent opponents want them banned outright.”
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“The Story of the Only American Not on Earth on September 11th” - Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic
“‘It’s horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point,’ Astronaut Frank Culbertson wrote. ‘The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche.’”
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“This is my Hillsborough” - Mike Bracken, The Guardian
An appropriate week to re-read this incredibly moving account of Hillsborough from one of my former bosses.
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Things you may have missed

“The second screen experience: mobiles, tablets and TVs” - Martin Belam, Guardian Media Network
“One problem, though, is that at the heart of many of these services, the aim seems to be to solve a publisher's problem rather than the user's. The motivation behind these dashboards seems to be a fear of being left out of the event, rather than providing something useful. It often feels like a return to clumsy top-down broadcast – suggesting that the user can't be trusted to put together their own list of people who are going to be interesting about the topic.”
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“Tips for tablet solution seekers from UX pro Martin Belam”- Dean Roper, WAN-IFRA blogs
“When I watch people use PDF-style facsimilie editions of newspapers on their tablets, and they are constantly swiping around and zooming in and out to read the rigidly laid-out text, I can’t help feeling that, sure, you sold them the content, but they can’t be enjoying the experience.”
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Forthcoming talks and events

I’ll be talking and teaching at the following events over the next couple of months:

Keep up to date on my new blog