Traditional news relies on savvy editorial staff to prioritise and
publish content ‘hierarchically.’ There is editorial
judgement imposed, and a small group of people decide what the masses
will read on the front page. Blogs with their hype and flare, revolutionised
this culture, and put the loudspeaker in the hands of the common
man and woman, but the internet has only just begun its invasion
into mass media.
Social bookmarking sites have been around at least since 1996 on
itList.com, where shared lists of user-created internet bookmarks
are displayed. Within the next three years, online bookmark services
became competitive, with venture-backed companies like Blink, Hotlinks,
Backflip and others entering the market. Lacking viable models for
making money, most of this early generation of social bookmarking
companies failed as the dot-com bubble burst. Today, with sites
such as Digg.com, users decide what they want on the front page
every day. The top-level headlines are the result of thousands of
daily votes. Sure, there is a lag time of several days as people
take the time to sift through many proposed news articles. But the
results are a much better representation of the readers' interests
of these bookmarking sites go through a simple cycle of news sifting.
Firstly, users submit what they think to be valuable news articles
that they find on the internet. These submissions then go into a
queue, where other diggers skim and read these submissions. Diggers
then vote on what is valuable to them, along with optional comments
they can add to the news article. Within a few days, if the news
article received several dozen positive votes, it is then promoted
to the front pages.
User-voted news serves a different purpose than traditional news.
Instead of a small circle of experts deciding what is important,
the mass of readers makes that decision. Like any democratic system,
the model is flawed and can bog down in debate and drawn-out discussion.
But like any democratic system, the long-term results are so much
more representative of what the masses want. These social bookmarking
sites offer a glimpse of the true interests of the masses, and who
would benefit more from such insights than commercial media!
Write in with your views to email@example.com
matters” in how well kids understand the internet, writes
Zheng Yan, EdD. Yan is an Assistant Professor at the University
of Albany's School of Education. In a survey that included 322 elementary
and middle-school kids, the students were quizzed about the internet's
technical and social complexity. In terms of understanding the internet,
kids' age was more important than gender, history of internet use,
frequency of internet use and participation in informal classes.
Michigan State University's Linda Jackson, PhD, and colleagues studied
140 children from low-income families, who had never had home internet
access. The kids received home computers and free internet access
for nearly a year and a half. The researchers checked the kids'
grades and test scores before and after the study. The kids with
the greatest home internet use had higher grade-point averages and
reading test scores at six months, one year, and 16 months of home
access. The opposite wasn't true. That is, the kids with the highest
grades and reading scores before the study didn't use the internet
more than other children.
Back from the dead
Scantily clad archaeologist Lara Croft is back for more danger and
hidden treasure in Tomb Raider: Legend. This game revives a long-suffering
franchise. The decline began with two dismal movies starring Angelina
Jolie: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001 and Lara Croft Tomb Raider:
The Cradle Of Life in 2003. Also in 2003 came Tomb Raider: Angel
Of Darkness, with its tedious controls and glitchy graphics. It
seemed as if Croft's glory days from a decade ago were over. But
with Legend, Eidos Interactive has liberated this brainy super heroine
by letting Croft do what she does best: raid tombs for treasure,
solving puzzles along the way. The controls are more crisp and precise
than they've ever been: Croft jumps, slides and dangles off cliffs
and swinging vines like a circus acrobat (though swimming is still
a bit clunky). As the name implies, Legend explores some of Croft's
roots, beginning with a plane crash with her mother in the Himalayas,
when she was just nine. Then there's some odd story involving sword
fragments, but really this isn't a game you'll buy for a deep plot.
This website is a brilliant concept and unlike many sites of its
kind, it doesn't rely on interviews and literal descriptions to
get its message across. Instead inspireme.tv asks artistes and designers
to create their own short films filled with the images and places
that get their creative juices flowing. The movies are quite abstract,
as you'd expect. Interpretations are left wide open, presumably
in the hope that you'll find your own inspiration in their content.
Click ‘about’ to read a bit more about the intentions
of the site's creator.
VLC media player
Much better than Real Player or Windows Media Player, and will play
a greater breadth of file types.
2.Picasa digital photo organiser
Outstanding usefulness for any digital camera owner.
A fine alternative to Outlook email.
A shareware product, WinRar outpaces WinZip, because of its ability
to open more file formats.
Audacity audio editor
For recording radio songs, creating voicemail messages, ringtones,
Fox It .pdf reader
Faster and more reliable than Adobe.
Firefox web browser
Simply put, this is better than IE for daily web browsing.
Add a headset and you make free or very cheap long distance calls
from your computer.
The power of satellite photography, GPS tracking, and the Internet,
all in one screen!
Spreadsheet, word processing, and presentations software that is
two-thirds as good as Microsoft Office 2003, and absolutely free
telephony is a category of hardware and software that enables people
to use the internet, as the transmission medium for telephone calls.
For users who have free or fixed-price internet access, internet
telephony software essentially provides free telephone calls anywhere
in the world. To date, however, internet telephony does not offer
the same quality of telephone service as direct telephone connections.
There are many internet telephony applications available. Some,
like CoolTalk and NetMeeting, come bundled with popular web browsers.
Others are stand-alone products such as Skype and Net2Phone. Internet
telephony products are sometimes called IP telephony, Voice Over
the Internet (VOI) or Voice Over IP (VOIP) products.