Thursday, September 29, 2005
VVOJ - 'The 3rd Global Investigative Journalism Conference highlights investigative journalism worldwide by means of debates, case studies and workshops with international top journalists. The VVOJ, the Dutch-Flemish organisation for Investigating Journalists, organizes this event in Amsterdam, from September 29th till October 2nd. The perfect moment for journalists to network, to get ahead with latest journalistic techniques (e.g. CAR) and to learn from outstanding stories.

The 'war on terror' is being used as an excuse to bar ever more files and documents from the public. Politicians not only say openly that they despise of journalists, but also that they do not need them anymore, because the current media landscape offers them enough opportunities to get their message across without them, George W. Bush being the most explicit example of this. Businessmen and civil servants have become substantially more difficult to approach in many countries, surrounded as they are by a fast growing army of public relations advisors and spin-doctors. Real information is harder to get, albeit the immense power of information technology that is also available to journalists.'

Sunday, September 25, 2005

ROBODOCK ! ... walla! i have seen fountains of water burn in front of my eyes!
and soooo - made it late last night - or early this morning - have to refind myself now- then i found this!
Bonus: interview with Bono, by Noreena Hertz (dutch tv Tegenlicht / Backlight)
Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wise sympa guy: 'It takes more than will, for humans to survive... '.

Friday, September 23, 2005
I will be going to the hippest club in town: Club 11, but not for dancing: cone-ferencing it will be.
This is the conference: Urban Screens 05
And this is the site of one of the people walking round there. He travelled Baghdad in 2003. Met some people there...
Search the site, and under 'writings' you'll find some of the scribbles from Baghdad and Basra etcetera.
Hurry now...
Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents
Blogs get people excited. Or else they disturb and worry them. Some people distrust them. Others see them as the vanguard of a new information revolution. Because they allow and encourage ordinary people to speak up, they’re tremendous tools of freedom of expression.
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation. It also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  And it's a holiday in Cambodia....

Tough days, listening to Dead Kennedys!
Monday, September 19, 2005
  Katrina: Community - Radio - Tech Response
Jebba's ways:

There are a number of groups working together to provide Internet and VoIP telephone connectivity to people affected by Katrina.

CU Wireless, a project of the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, has been helping coordinate project donations and has a mailing list. One group on the ground is Radio Response, an ad-hoc group set up in response to the hurricane. The initial focus was connecting shelters in Northern Louisiana, but now the group has moved south and is currently staging in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. According to Aleks Clark (aka Sweeper), Radio Response has connected shelters in Taluah, Oakridge, Delhi, Bascin, and a number other sites via wireless. They have set up 6 backhaul links and connected at least 15 shelters using VoIP phones routed by Chilitech. Radio Response is working on getting a site in King’s Camp connected to a VSAT rig. Front Range Internet, Inc. has supplied VoIP phones and ATAs currently in use at the Radio Response staging area in Ponchatoula.

Friday, September 16, 2005
  Afghanis towards elections
Afghani parliamentary elections /
many pictures by Afghan Lord
  VIVA Zapatero!

'Viva Zapatero' and Italian Censorship
A film about free speech and the state of the Italian media

:: The Italian documentary film, "Viva Zapatero! For that Pinch of Liberty that We Still Have," written and directed by
Sabina Guzzanti (one of the most censored satirical authors in Italy), was presented at the Venice Film Festival last week.

Guzzanti highlights the problem of censorship in Italy, freedom of expression and the hard life of Italy's satirical authors. The movie, a hard-edged political chronicle, was out of the competition but still received the longest applause of the entire festival.

Guzzanti begins with the story of her satirical TV show, Raiot, a pun on RAI 'public tv' - created by comics and investigative journalists together - and paints a portrait of the state of Italy's mass media.

Raiot had to be broadcasted on a public TV channel two years ago, but after the first episode it was suspended without a formal or declared reason. Most likely it was because the program made fun of Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. ::
To elsewhere: Chechneya
Militant rebels are growing in strength as the brutality of Chechnya's pro-Moscow government angers and divides the people, writes Nick Paton Walsh

Nine months after the Beslan school siege, pro-Russian Chechen soldiers staged a raid on this tiny village on the border with Dagestan, populated mostly by ethnic Dagestanis.

It was one of the most public abuses committed by the increasing number of Chechen militants serving under the pro-Moscow local government's banner.

They are broadly known as "Kadyrovtsi", after their leader, strongman and vice prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov. The raid resulted in 11 men being led away. They have not been heard of since. [..]

Thursday, September 15, 2005
  Baghdad - Kabul
The weather is awful!!! indeed between two autumns not necessarily there's a summer :(

Yesterday, before visiting friends in the Bijlmer i was in chat with a friend in Kabul, and another one in Baghdad. Contemporaneously.

From Kabul came words about dangers, beheadings, 'Talibanfear' and people being very afraid.
Elections postponed for four days.

From Baghdad only too short extremely worrying phrases, "about bombs, ya know? boom-boom! explosions all around, plans canceled." (Stay inda house).

Both connections popped out and in, failing electricity in both places.
Fear as a common ground.

The simultaneous contact with these two places sort of hustled my brains.

The two small chatscreens on my monitor, side beside, connected the capitals of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It left a different impression than when i see the Afghan blog on the Streamtime site, where it stands between the (Blogs Tunisiens) and the not-anymore functioning link to the Iraqi Witness 'Al Muajaha'.
A different view also from reading newspapers, that in some odd way seem to disconnect the various places described on their frontpages.

I felt a strong urge to try to connect the two persons on the other ends of the keyboards by telling them both about the other one.
Similarities between their situations struck and yes, upset me.

Not exactly simultaneously, but near to, their connections popped out. After a while they were there again. What was told from Afghanistan didn't sound at all positive.

The guy from Baghdad usually talks a lot when we chat, very vividly, rich in his words, never short on putting up complicated questions. But now he was short. And rather quickly changed to another complexe subject.

But, Iraq has a very good and growing number of bloggers posting through all kinds of difficulties about daily life, unsafeties, heavy metal, their changing opinions or feelings towards -political- processes and so on.

Afghanistan is as far as i know far less represented in these blogging ways of exchanges. What do we hear about what is going on in Afghanistan except for some rare and exceptional story?

Warmachine happens to be in both places. Same craziness of killings and such as well. Same shortages on energy.
A lot of problems are not comparable, obviously. But some are.

Dutch radio this morning eared that a 'critical period' for Afghanistan is foreseen. The interviewed experts, just back from Afghanistan, tended smoothly towards optimism.
It contrasted pretty much with what i had heard the day before, in the chat:
"The election is going to be held on the 18th of this month, four days later. Taliban warned to interupt this. People are very scared and alerted to be carefull outgoing. Especially foreign people. This would be very dangerous, the Afghan government won't be able to perfomance well. 'They' are doing the same the job as the Arab version - al qaeda beheading people. To those who likes the Afghan goverment and American forces."
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
  Variations on a theme
Islamic Virus Attacks Pornographic Websites
Asharq Al-Awsat- A British expert said the latest virus to spread through internet was a Trojan that infected computers and prevented users from accessing pornographic content. Known as “Yussuf Ali- A”, the virus substitutes obscene images with Quranic verses in Arabic and Persian, as interpreted by Yusuf Ali himself.
Monday, September 12, 2005
  Reed/Elseviers' Arms link
Medical journal The Lancet has launched a scathing attack on its owner, Reed Elsevier, for helping to organise Europe's largest arms fair.

Reed is helping to stage the Defence Systems and Equipment International show starting in London on Tuesday.

The journal said it was "deeply concerned" by the company's "connection to the arms trade".

In an editorial, The Lancet urged Reed Elsevier to sever all links with the arms trade, claiming they were incompatible with the journal's values.

  Blijburg Must Stay!

Friday, September 09, 2005
  Electronic Tags Used to Track Immigrants [Code-46...]

In an experimental program, the US government is employing radio frequency identification devices to track some foreigners who enter the US ... and that may be just the beginning.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is used around the world in everyday consumer products from produce to beer kegs to DVDs.
Increasingly it is being tested as a method to track people and in schools, prisons and transit systems RFID devices, from pinhead sized minichips to flat tags inserted into a piece of paper, contain miniscule antennas that pass the information it contains after entering the range of a scanning device.

Most RFID technology in use now is 'passive' which means it does not contain an internal power supply and can only transmit information from a distance of up to about 30 feet.
'Active' tags have an internal power source, can be read from further distances, and can store information sent from a transceiver.

In August of this year, the Department of Homeland Security began testing RFID tags at five border crossings under the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, or 'US VISIT'.

The program applies to people without green cards who enter the US with a visa, whether for work, school, research or tourism, or those from 27 mostly European countries who are traveling under the "Visa Waiver Program," which allows travelers to stay for up to 90 days without a visa.
Over the next year, people in these categories will be issued new "I-94" visa cards embedded with an RFID tag at five border crossings including Nogales East and Nogales West in Arizona, Alexandria Bay in New York, and the Pacific Highway and Peace Arch in Washington. Homeland Security Department requires that the I-94 cards be carried at all times.

Code 46

Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  Journalists and bloggers crossing floors
Menthol stopped smoking: "Yesterday in my presentation at WWW2005, I spoke about the differences between blogging and journalism and that, epistemologically speaking, they are completely different. The overlap area is intersting, bloggers breaking hard news, journalists posting on blogs etc. But the minute either a journalist stops caring if they are lying or a blogger starts outsourcing spell-checking, they are crossing the floor."
How the hell does a blogger become a journalist then? How is Ververs going to survice having his blog edited and sub-edited? What happens to the voice of Ververs when Ververs realises he can write whatever crap he wants because is team will fix it? What happens when CBS can be sued for what Ververs et al say on his blog?

I am going to watch this one closely because it is going to make a wonderful case study."

Monday, September 05, 2005
  'Soon we'll make dreams clickable, or destroy them forever'
"Google finally has what it needs to catalog the DNA of every organism on Earth," said analyst Imran Kahn of J.P. Morgan Chase. "Of course, some people might not want their DNA indexed. Hence, the robot army. It's crazy, it's brilliant—typical Google."

"This announcement is a red flag," said Daniel Brandt, founder of Google-Watch.org.
"I certainly don't want to accuse of them having bad intentions. But this campaign of destruction and genocide raises some potential privacy concerns."

Click the bubblewrap! (no dreams)


Sunday, September 04, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
  Initial Iterations of a Strange Attractor
... the hubris and frailty of the Imperium ...
... Potable drinking water, electricity, and the other taken-for-granted basics of mundane life disappeared into a twenty foot high stew of sewage, toxic chemicals, Mississippi Delta mud, and Lake Pontchartrain spillage. Basic infrastructure was destroyed. Tens of thousands of houses were severely damaged or simply obliterated. Bloated bodies floated in the water, as much of the coastal population became a large and instant group of internal U.S. refugees. Meanwhile, police looked on passively as looters raided both the upscale downtown shops such as the Bon Marche, and less status-conscious looters stripped the shelves of several outlying stores of the behemoth proletarian vendor, Wal-Mart. On the night of August 30th, the CNN website described it this way: "New Orleans resembled a war zone more than a modern American metropolis on Tuesday." As Army Reservists and a remainder of National Guard troops rolled into New Orleans, they resembled nothing as much as their comrades-in-arms concurrently stationed in Iraq. Ironically, the shock and awe produced by Katrina's Gulf Coast invasion mirrored the effects of the Iraqi war, in novel and all-too-tragic ways. ...
You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?