New York Times Juices Up Its Document Viewer

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… curt hopkins Related Posts Tags:#crowdsourcing#New Media#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The New York Times’ new Doc Viewer 2.0 is, depending on what you value, either a pasted-on ornament of no real use to a typical news consumer, or it’s an open-source, crowd-sourcing game changer. With information-taming technologies like search engines already at a reader’s fingertips, there is debatable value in the Doc Viewer’s ability to annotate a story with “raw” information. However, the fact that the Doc Viewer’s code is due to be released on an open-source basis introduces an additional value to it. It is not just the back-end that a media source, of whatever size, will have access to, but the whole megillah.Want annotated source materials embedded in your kitty blog without having to churn code until the tears flow? You can do it. This latest viewer by the New York Times is the latest iteration of a two year development process. The viewer allows reporters to augment stories by including evidentiary documentation and providing context to news stories. The viewer keys documents to words or phrases in the source story, allowing viewers to pursue the process to the depth they prefer. These “annotations” are similar to an old-fashioned “hot link” but with a new-fangled dynamic delivery. Future versions will open up the annotation process to readers, instead of just the writers and editors. Additional features may include an embeddable version for blogs, a search-friendly version without JavaScript, variable image file type control and the ability to create custom annotation shapes. The open-source software behind Version 2.0 will be released “in the very, very near future,” according to the newspaper, and will be available on the Times’ Github page.The key criticism to this undertaking, of course, is: so what? BayNewswer quoted Aron Pilhofer, the paper’s editor for interactive newsroom technologies, as “recognizing that news organizations are slowly but gradually becoming more and more like technology companies.” They are, that is, more likely to triumph if they leverage a wider distribution of invested community members. Alan McLean, interface engineer at the Times, says his focus is on the Doc Viewer as a reporting tool. “Fundamentally what we are trying to do here is get as many tools in the belts of reporters as we can to assist them in telling stories online,” he told RWW. “Seeing it as a publishing platform is somewhat limited. It really depends on the kind of content that is being published.”However, Chris Heisel, in a post on an earlier version of this viewer, said, “In a world where I can easily find more infor­ma­tion than I can ever pos­si­bly use does the public really need more access to raw infor­ma­tion.”We read news in a politically and socially polarized environment. The most common charge against the NY Times – this most mainstream of MSM – is bias, that there is nothing more than a writer’s unexamined feelings or political secret sauce to support the angle of a given story. With foundational documents appended to the story itself, the reasonableness of the reporter’s approach should prove easier to determine. But that is posited on the not-altogether-likely notion that reason and reality will overpower the desire to froth. The New York Times is a syndication partner of ReadWriteWeb. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The Arab Spring: A Status Report on Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts EgyptAhmed Zidain is the Egyptian writer for MideastYouth and the crowdsourcing site CrowdVoice. He was involved in the protests and is keeping a close eye on the developing situation. He was kind enough to contributed an article on the revolution and the Internet to ReadWriteWeb in February. “The image is very vague, to be honest. No one knows the exact dates of the forthcoming ‘secret’ general elections, or even the presidential elections. The Military Council infamously detains bloggers and invites activists and media personnel ‘for a coffee.’ This council is apolitical, and the (political) space is now open mostly for Islamists and extremists. One of the anti-militarist activists, Maikel Nabil, was sentenced to 3 years by a military court, because of an article published on his personal blog. And now he’s serving his sentence in Marg Prison. “One of the most famous Twitter trends among the elite is #NoSCAF. SCAF stands for the ‘Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.’ Activists are calling on Facebook for an open sit-in in Tahrir Square beginning on the 8th of July. Most of the bloggers and activists are calling for a civilian presidential council to rule Egypt out of the transition period, rather than the infamous SCAF.“Tahrir is a major tourist-attraction now, more than the Giza Pyramids. We call it revotourism, or revojournalism, because a lot of tourists and journalists travel to Egypt specifically to cover Tahrir’s events.” BahrainThe Bahraini founder of CrowdVoice responded briefly. Not only is this person very busy with projects centering on the Web, but Bahrain is a difficult place to be right now. It is only the second country to see a blogger die in government custody. “Censorship remains on the rise, and activists are increasingly cautious with their Internet activities and presence as people were tracked down and arrested for their tweets and Facebook messages. “Our site has been censored in the country since the 17th of February merely for collecting information on the protests.”Now YouAre you Bahraini, Egyptian, Tunisian? What do you see in your present and future? What is the status of communications technology? What is its future in your country. If you’ve recently been in the country, or have heard from friends and family recently, please help add depth to our picture of the Arab Spring. Stories fade from public view as the media (and that includes us) moves on to other issues. But this is such an epoch-making wave of change that we think it’s important to keep on it and revisit it as we move forward. We need your help to do that. Next time: Syria, Yemen, Morocco Jasmine photo by Celeste Hutchins, Tunisia photo from BRQ, Tahrir and Bahrain photos via Al Jazeera. The Arab Spring – the Jasmine Revolution – the hashtag revolts – the uprisings in the Arab World: whatever you call them, they’re ongoing and as long as they go on, their proponents and opponents use, and misuse, technology. Technology played a great role in communications between protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and between those protesters and the global public; it was also the fulcrum for the efforts of the regimes to stay in power, such as shutting down their connections to the Internet. It retains both of those functions.I asked people I know in the countries of the Arab Spring to tell us how they think things currently stand and what role technology continues to play there. This post is the first of three. Today we take a look at Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain. The next will cover Syria, Morocco and Yemen and the final post will examine the effects of the Arab Spring on a radically interconnected world. curt hopkins Tags:#international#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… TunisiaFabrice Epelboin is a French tech writer and entrepreneur who led ReadWriteWeb’s France site. He has long been involved with Tunisian issues with a focus on technology. He recently launched, along with Tunisian partners, a citizen journalism site, Fhimt.com and is rolling out a number of Tunisia-based projects through a new NGO co-founded with Heykel Djerbi and Khelil Ben Osman called ATLN.info. “Censorship has totally stopped until a few weeks ago, when a military court (the only legitimate court remaining in the country) decided to block half a dozen Facebook pages. More recently, a group of lawyers tried to push for a ban on porn, but the Internet authority, ATI, asked for a clear signal from the government. “Slim Amamou, Bylasko, Aziz Amami and Lamia Slim (first two are former contributors to ReadWriteWeb France) started a tour in France where they were invited onto major TV shows and met with the press.”last_img read more

Adobe Offers Up New Flash Version 11

first_imgThe first major release of Adobe’s Flash Player in two years was announced today. While anyone could download a beta of v11 over the past several weeks, the finished code will be available early next month and comes packed with new features. As an indication of demand (or just paranoia about potential security exploits), the beta was downloaded a million times in its first week. Flash is used in 98% of desktops that are connected to the Internet, according to Adobe and in just about every device imaginable with the notable exception of the iOS family. Adobe is trying with this release to unify its entire Flash ecosystem and have what it calls “one toolchain, one language, one codebase, one client.” They are also putting so much into Flash that it could be considered the next desktop OS, as I touched upon in a post last week here.Flash 11, and the accompanying Air v3, will include support for gaming apps, TK, and TK.On the gaming side, Adobe will try to deliver console-quality gaming experiences with 2D/3D hardware acceleration when the underlying computing platform will support such acceleration. The company claims that at least half of the Windows users have the right kinds of graphics hardware. If you don’t, you will still be able to run your Flash apps, just not very quickly. They claim ten times the rendering performance of v10 Flash Player. When a graphics processor is available and if you are running a current browser version, the Flash app will work with it natively to do tricks such as light sensors and vibration controls. For media apps, they will take advantage of rental and subscription options and also display full frame rate video and HD quality, including 7.1 surround sound, to connected TVs. Finally, for the enterprise users, they will leverage more open source libraries, better integrate with Outlook and other business apps, and incorporate NFC APIs. They also intend to make Flash more secure by directly leveraging better crypo and offer support for 64-bit OSs and browsers. Obviously, this is a lot to take in, and it could be trouble down the road, as Windows developers incorporate Windows-only extensions into their apps, making it tough to deliver a single codebase for example. And while the press briefing made mention of HTML5, it isn’t clear how these extensions to Flash will play out vis-a-vis HTML5 yet or with Windows 8, as we wrote about earlier this week. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#news#Products david stromlast_img read more

Cabinet Approves NHT’s General Insurance Contract

first_imgCabinet has approved the National Housing Trust’s renewal of its general insurance contract in the sum of $1.28 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year.The figure excludes General Consumption Tax, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said at Wednesday’s (June 7) post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House.Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has awarded a contract valued at $121.2 million to Contraxx Enterprise Limited for the Barrett Town Integrated Infrastructure Project in St. James.The project, which is being administered under JSIF’s Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), will entail a major rehabilitation and activities in Barrett Town, including a zinc fence removal programme.The Minister also told journalists that a contract in the sum of $65.7 million has been awarded to Jamaica Drip Irrigation Limited for the Hounslow Agro-Park irrigation project in St. Elizabeth.The project is being administered under the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme.Meanwhile, Senator Reid advised that Cabinet has approved Petrojam Limited’s proposed acquisition of land at 77 Marcus Garvey Drive at a cost of $43 million, to facilitate upgrading of the State refinery’s facilities.last_img read more

Secondhand smartphone market takes off but far from green

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Thrown in the thrash or left abandoned in a drawer, the fate of mobile phones —- which consumers replace on average every two years—is starting to change amid growing criticism over their environmental impact.”People love technology—the upgrades, the unboxing, the new features,” the EEB network of environmental groups in Europe said in a statement as the world’s largest mobile phone fair opened this week in Barcelona.”But there’s a dirty side to our tech obsession: trainloads of e-waste trundling out of our cities and towards hellish waste dumps in Africa and Asia.”Growth in reused mobilesAccording to a recent UN report, small devices like smartphones represented nine percent of all e-waste in the world in 2016, up from seven percent in 2014.But things in the mobile sector are slowly starting to change.”There is very strong growth in the reused phone market,” said Bertrand Grau, a technology analyst at Deloitte, which forecasts sales of second hand mobile phones will expand by 20 percent a year between 2015 and 2020.The surge in sales of secondhand phones—which may just need a change of battery or screen—is being fuelled in part by consumers, who are reluctant to dish out more money for new models that offer little innovation.”Phones are becoming more and more expensive, more than 1,000 euros for the iPhone X, but the established brands are attractive so people prefer to buy a refurbished Apple phone rather than a cheaper Chinese brand,” said Grau.As such, mobile brands and operators are increasingly offering phone exchange programmes. Consumers can turn in their old model to get a discount on a new one or cash.”Today this has become almost a mainstream practice around the world,” said Biju Nair, the head of Hyla, a Texas-based firm which helps the industry collect and repurpose used phones and had a stand at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.Hyla and other such firms provide operators with software that checks the state of the phone, makes sure it was not stolen, erases all the data on the device and makes it reusable.French start-up Volpy, meanwhile, has created an app that buys phones directly from consumers and sends a courier to fetch the handset. Explore further Thanks to a fast-growing secondhand market, smartphones are increasingly being re-used but large-scale handset recycling is not happening as the industry struggles to go green. Samsung phones reportedly catch fire in China Smartphones can have second lives thanks to firms that refurbish and resell handsets. “We realised that smartphones that had significant market value were not recycled, even though there was an interest for consumers to do so,” said Volpy head Marc Simeoni.Phone designThe system is still in its infancy. Only 7 to 15 percent of smartphones sold in France, and 20 to 25 percent of those sold in North America, are reconditioned.But “it’s a first step to responsibly handling phones,” said Elizabeth Jardim, an e-waste specialist with the US branch of Greenpeace.”We advise to keep the phones in use for longer, whether it is the original owner, or whether it’s a second-hand owner” since this reduces the amount of energy and raw materials used to make a new one, she added.A smartphone is made up of about 50 different materials, including rare materials that are sometimes extracted from nations in conflict like the Democratic Republic of Congo.Manufacturing smartphones also requires a huge amount of energy, often fossil fuels since 60 percent of them are made in China where coal remains the main source of energy.And only about 20 percent of all e-waste—defined as anything with a plug or a battery—is going in the official collection and recycling schemes, according to a UN report.”One thing that makes it difficult is the way the phones are designed. They’re incredibly fragile, for instance the glass they use for the display. Often, the phones are designed to be difficult to be repaired,” said Jardim.Faced with these problems, efforts by major brands remain slim. Technology giant Apple said last year it wants to “one day” end the need to mine materials from the earth to make its gadgets. It has melted down iPhone aluminium enclosures to make mini computers used in its factories.And under pressure from Greenpeace, Samsung agreed to recycle the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones it was forced to recall in 2016 because of problems with its battery. Citation: Secondhand smartphone market takes off but far from green (2018, February 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-secondhand-smartphone-green.html © 2018 AFP read more

Spains ACS lands contract for Toronto light rail line

The deal will see a consortium led by ACS, whose president Florentino Perez is also the chairman of the Real Madrid football club, build the new 11-kilometre railway line in the city’s north, the company said in a statement.Construction will begin in the third quarter of 2018, with plans for trains to start running in the second half of 2023, the statement said.The contract with the government of the Ontario province also includes the construction of garages to repair and lodge trains.The consortium will carry out the work through two ACS subsidiaries, Dragados Canada and ACS Infrastructure Canada (Iridium), as well as local companies Aecon and Dufferin/CRH Group Canada Inc. Explore further © 2018 AFP Canada: Amazon to add 1,000 jobs in Vancouver The new light rail line in Toronto is expected to start running in the second half of 2023, Spanish construction giant ACS said Spanish construction giant ACS said Sunday it had won a 775 million euro ($955 million) contract to build and maintain a new light railway line in Toronto, Canada’s largest city. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Spain’s ACS lands contract for Toronto light rail line (2018, April 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-spain-acs-toronto-rail-line.html read more