Blog posts tagged "bbc"

I’m Right, You’re Dead

May 1st, 2004

I’ve been listening to Wole Soyinka’s lectures on the politics of fear these last two nights. They are excellent, both grim and funny, piercing and irreverent (as befits the brilliant if at times ambiguous [and dreadfully underproduced] playwright)

He really shines when exploring the complex and fraught relationship between terrorism and liberation movements. The first 4 are available for download as MP3s. via ben who survived the desert.

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iCan’t

October 24th, 2003

I wanted to like, or at least be intrigued by the BBC’s new community activism site, iCan. I think this the right sort of idea, and seeing the BBC take seriously its mandate to be a public communication medium is heart warming.

However the site commits one of my cardinal usability sins…it asks for a 7 character password! If your my bank fine, otherwise get off your high horse, and let me make my own security evaluations. I’ve got a suite of 6 character passwords I rotate through, and none of them work with the iCan site. I could make up a new password just for that site, but then the chances of me remembering it would be nil. And they want at least 6 characters for the hint! What the hell do they care how long my hint is?!?!

BBC Miffed by Google News

September 24th, 2002

Some experts have questioned the value of the [Google News] service, arguing it fails to rank news reports on the basis of quality.
Google News seems to be an overview of the daily news much like the Yahoo News, but it works totally different. Rather then a hand selected list of appropriate news stories, Google draws from a wide list of news sources(much wider then would normally be acceptable to a media company), and uses its indexing technologies to list both: the hottest, most relevant breaking news, and to find related background material, and opposing views.

This has the BBC notably alarmed. It could simply be that they don’t rank high enough in the results, but I think its more then that. This service breaks down the monopoly on view point. It allows a wide range of interested (like SF IMC) to have a voice, and by its very nature undermines the conscious and unconscious censorship which lies at the very heart of the media making, consensus manufacturing machine.

Amusingly, the BBC provides an example of exactly why we need this service, their article is full of innuendo, and unnamed experts, an attack piece masquerading as unbiased journalism.

some experts have questioned…some critics have been less…senior journalists point out….”
Odd how the only the Google spokesperson is named? Who are these critics?
“Furthermore, it ranks stories according to the most recent, rather than the best, report. ”
Perhaps it would be better if Google allowed the BBC editorial staff to decide which stories to feature?

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