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Category: News

Another Science Fiction

Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-62
New book by Megan Prelinger
Will be described and illustrated in a lively 35-minute author talk and slideshow, with q&a to follow. Two upcoming local performance dates, one each in San Francisco and the East Bay:
SAN FRANCISCO – June 17, This Thursday! Get Lost Travel Books –, 7 p.m.
BERKELEY – July 12, Moe’s Books –, 7:30 p.m. This is a *different*, longer author talk and slideshow than the one performed May 4.

More information at:

Presente y futuro del formato exposición. Ele Carpenter habla de su proyecto “Open Source Embroidery: Curatorial Facilitation of Material Networks

Dentro de la jornada I+C+I La exposición en el laboratorio en el CCCB (Barcelona), Ele Carpenter presentó su proyecto Open Source Embroidery. CCCB recoge la conferencia en streaming.

Support Award-Winning Journalism

In 2010 has a new editor, and new projects in the works. GEORGE SHIRK brings roving curiosity, a keen sense of the medium and three decades of experience to the job. But we need your help to build our Freelancer’s Fund, and expand coverage of overlooked issues and underserved communities.

We were interviewed about the SPJ award by the Knight Digital Media Center, and I made the point that the Toxic Tour is not a one-off. It’s a template for developing similar coverage anywhere it’s needed.

You can help’s award-winning reporting take root in communities around the United States. You’ll also help News You Might Have Missed deliver deep, relevant world-news stories — and build a new network for independent journalists in the process.

See below for the SPJ press release — and thank you for your support of journalism for democracy.

Josh Wilson
Publisher / 415-321-4901

p.s. You can read “The Bay Area Toxic Tour: West Oakland” on; we’ve barely scratched the surface, and are grateful for your support covering this and similar stories over time, wherever they’re happening:



5/3/2010 * For immediate release

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

Judges chose the winners from over 1,300 entries in categories covering print, radio, television and online. The awards recognize outstanding work published or broadcast in 2009.

Dating back to 1932, the awards originally honored six individuals for contributions to journalism. The current program began in 1939, when the Society granted the first Distinguished Service Awards. The honors later became the Sigma Delta Chi Awards.

The awards will be presented Oct. 2 during the 2010 SPJ Convention and National Journalism Conference in Las Vegas.

For more information contact Lauren Rochester at (317) 927-8000 ext. 210 or at

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well- informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit

2009 Sigma Delta Chi Winners:

To view all categories:


Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)
“Massacre on Front Street,” Staff,

Deadline Reporting (Independent)
“Three-alarm Fire Destroys Greenwood Businesses,” Doree Armstrong, Cory Bergman, Kate Bergman, Dale Steinke,

Digital Media Presentation (Affiliated)
“AP Economic Stress Index,” Staff, The Associated Press

Digital Media Presentation (Independent)
“The Bay Area Toxic Tour: West Oakland,” Kim Komenich, Kwan Booth, Josh Wilson,

Investigative Reporting (Affiliated)
“Agent Orange: A Lethal Legacy,” Chicago Tribune Online Staff, Chicago Tribune

Investigative Reporting (Independent)
“Buried Secrets: Gas Drilling’s Environmental Threat,” Abraham Lustgarten, Joaquin Sapien, Sabrina Shankman, ProPublica

Non-Deadline Reporting (Affiliated)
“Real Florida,” Jeff Klinkenberg, Maurice Rivenbark, St. Petersburg Times

Non-Deadline Reporting (Independent)
“Credit Rating Series,” Ben Protess, Lagan Sebert, Huffington Post Investigative Fund

Online Column Writing (Affiliated)
Charlie LeDuff, The Detroit News

Online Column Writing (Independent)
“Sharp Eye on Washington, Minimum Snark,” Jill Lawrence, Politics Daily

Public Service in Online Journalism (Affiliated)
“The Promise Audit,” Staff, National Journal

Public Service in Online Journalism (Independent)
“Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice,” Kristen Lombardi, Kristin Jones, Gordon Witkin, David Donald, The Center for Public Integrity

Specialized Journalism Site, Staff, CNNMoney

NMF Selected News

Making Social Media a Tool, Not a Distraction

It’s becoming clearer and clearer that social media can be an incredible tool for everything from enterprise research to customer service. And as many companies are finding out, social media can help improve your bottom line too.

However, there is a flip side, especially for employees sitting in front of computers at their desks or cubicles: it can also become a distraction. For some entrepreneurs, it’s tough to see how interrupting coding sessions with tweets or browsing the Facebook News Feed can be productive to business.

Twitter Co-Founder: We’re Definitely Not For Sale

[…]no one ever seems to say publicly that they are trying to sell their company, but much of the talk around Twitter right now seems to be about the impending launch of various revenue models, including advertising and paid accounts. The company also recently saw its first significant revenue via deals with Google (Google) and Microsoft to put tweets in search results.


The Bauhaus at MoMA

Having known the word in my youth — first as the moniker of the big-haired 1980s proto-goth punk band from the UK, then as a shorthand term for certain modernist architecture — I was thoroughly shocked the first time I encountered images of the Bauhaus School complex, taken during the 30-year period of East German decay following World War II. That vast swaths of culture had been left to languish under hard-line regimes throughout the Eastern Bloc was no surprise (many towns in the former East Germany had a derelict appearance until only recently). But that the Dessau campus of an institution so renowned and of such significance across all disciplines of art and design had been left to crumble was jolting.


Internet Intercedes to Make Solar Cheaper

While researchers have struggled for half a century to push down the cost of solar photovoltaic modules, an innovative web service is creating communities of customers who pay less for solar panels through collective bargaining with installers.

One Block Off the Grid collects groups of would-be solar purchasers in cities with good solar access and brokers a deal between them and a local installer. It’s internet-based environmental organizing, and it appears to be working.


The smartphone wars, one year later

It’s been a year since Google (GOOG) released Android OS, the open-source smartphone operating system widely perceived as the most likely to overtake Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone in the long run.

As it happens, Google this month also purchased AdMob, the world’s largest purveyor of mobile phone advertising. So this seemed as good a time as any to take a snapshot of the changing smartphone marketplace, as measured by ad requests to AdMob’s network.


Google’s gift: Free WiFi in 47 airports

NEW YORK ( — Google is planning to foot the bill for WiFi at 47 of the nation’s airports for the rest of the year, beginning Tuesday.

With some travelers spending more time on the ground in airports than on planes during the busy flying season, now seemed an especially fitting time to offer up the perk, Google said.

The list includes the international airports in Miami and Orlando, which are among the world’s 30 busiest airports, as well as five others in Florida. Travelers through smaller airports, such as Montana’s Billings and Bozeman, will also benefit.


MAP to Offer $200,000 Annually For Early Creative Research Among Its Grantees

New York, NY (February 2, 2009) The MAP Fund , a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced today the establishment of a new pilot program to benefit individual artists in the early stages of research and development of new creative concepts.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Creative Exploration Fund at MAP will award $10,000 to individual artists who received two or more MAP grants in a five-year period, beginning with 2003-2008, and rolling forward through 2010. The grant was inspired by a recent report by author Edward Martenson, entitled The Impact of the MAP Fund from the Artists Perspective , which surveyed 250 MAP grantees from the past decade. In interviews and through questionnaires, many artists spoke of the frustration of having to financially “start from zero” with each new work, despite the demonstrable success of past efforts.

In response, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is underwriting a 3-year pilot program that aims to help proven artists sustain the momentum of success by moving seamlessly from a completed project to the exploration of new concepts that may need time to incubate, cohere or be discarded. Grantees are encouraged to pursue their most passionately held ideas, those that might, without such support, be deemed too risky.

Ben Cameron, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Program Director for the Arts stated: “Helping artists undertake necessary research, find reflective time, or embark on artistic exploration—explorations which may not lead to a fully blown project—has always been a challenge. We hope that the Creative Exploration Fund will afford artists such time and opportunity. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation salutes both MAP and Creative Capital for embarking on this journey and looks forward to what we can learn together about the value of such an approach.”

“Our work with artists has taught us the value of time in the development of new work and the importance of letting the trajectory of the creative process unfold at its own pace,” added Ruby Lerner, founding executive director and president of Creative Capital. “This addition to MAP’s program provides artists with the precious resource of time, giving them the opportunity to truly nurture new ideas.”

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Creative Exploration Fund Inaugural Grantees:
Richard Alger Tina Kronis: Los Angeles
Marc Bamuthi Joseph: Oakland
Ann Carlson: Boston
Mary Ellen Childs: Minneapolis
DD Dorvillier: New York
Erik Ehn: Los Angeles
Guillermo Gómez-Peña: San Francisco
Neil Greenberg: New York
John Jasperse: Brooklyn
Noémi Lafrance: Brooklyn
Sarah Michelson: New York
Jennifer Monson: Urbana, IL
Linda Parris-Bailey: Knoxville, TN
Phil Soltanoff: New York
Donna Uchizono: New York

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties

About Creative Capital

Supporting artists nationally since 1999

Ten years ago, Creative Capital reinvented arts philanthropy, constructing a new paradigm to fulfill the specific needs of the country’s most innovative artists. Today, it is the premier national artist support organization, committed to the principle that time and advisory services are as crucial to artistic success as funding. Over the lives of its funded projects, Creative Capital provides artists with a flexible program of multi-faceted support and partners with them to determine how targeted funds and services can best work in concert to progress towards the grantees’ own goals. Since its founding in 1999, the organization has committed more than $14 million in financial support and services to 324 projects representing 411 artists. A complete list of Creative Capital artists and projects is available online at .

Sustaining support for Creative Capital is currently provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The TOBY Fund, The William Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and more than 370 other foundations and individuals.

newmediaFIX News Selection, January 20, 2009

Available on Delicious:

Is YouTube the next Google? – International Herald Tribune

SAN FRANCISCO: Faced with writing a school report on an Australian animal, Tyler Kennedy began where many students begin these days: by searching the Internet. But Tyler did not use Google or Yahoo. He searched for information about the platypus on YouTube.

“I found some videos that gave me pretty good information about how it mates, how it survives, what it eats,” Tyler said.

Similarly, when Tyler gets stuck in one of his favorite games on the Wii, he searches YouTube for tips on how to move forward.


Can CNN, the Go-to Site, Get You to Stay? –

While traffic to the home page of is higher than ever, “my hunch is that people go to it more out of habit than they do out of love,” he says. Love, in fact, is exactly what Mr. Estenson is pursuing.

Online ardor will get a test on Tuesday, with the inauguration of Barack Obama. Because millions of Americans will be at their desks for the noon-hour swearing-in, the event is expected to set new records for live Web video watching — a moment that is well positioned to exploit.


On Facebook, Sicilian Mafia Is a Hot Topic –

Some people in Sicily who know a few things about networking.

In recent weeks, the Italian authorities have begun investigating Facebook discussion groups devoted to convicted Mafiosi, concerned that some members might be more than fans.

At the same time, a campaign calling on Facebook to remove pro-Mafia pages has been gaining momentum, while thousands of Facebook members have joined new anti-Mafia groups.


Obama’s new BlackBerry: The NSA’s secure PDA? | Tech News on ZDNet

“Without more details I would have to say that putting sensitive or classified information on a BlackBerry is a risky proposition,” said Greg Shipley, chief technology officer at Neohapsis, a governance, risk, and compliance consultancy.

Fortunately for an enthusiastic e-mailer-in-chief, some handheld devices have been officially blessed as secure enough to handle even classified documents, e-mail, and Web browsing.


NASA hacker pleads to Bush for pardon | Tech News on ZDNet

Self-confessed NASA hacker Gary McKinnon is appealing to outgoing president George W Bush to halt McKinnon’s extradition from Britain to the United States.


Bush leaves behind a mixed technology legacy | Tech News on ZDNet

The Bush White House got off to a strong start by revamping and launching the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in 2001.

Yet even with the new White House Council, the lack of technology expertise within the administration was apparent from the beginning, said Black, who is listed as giving money to Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but no Republicans.

newmediaFIX News Selection, January 12, 2008

Available on Delicious:


U.N. Says ‘No,’ Climate Hackers Say, ‘Yes We Can’ | Wired Science from

“If the LOHAFEX iron dump goes ahead, it will be a clear defiance of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity,” Jim Thomas of ETC Group, said in a press release.

It’s becoming clear that when it comes to global warming reversal schemes, deciding who will control the global thermostat is as complex an issue as how such schemes could actually be accomplished. Ocean iron fertilization is considered one of the more promising options for global-scale geoengineering, which aims to slow or reverse the effects of climate change caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels.


Five Things Google Could Do For Newspapers | Epicenter from

While the New York Times was given an early death sentence this week by The Atlantic, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked by Fortune magazine what Google should do to save the ailing newspaper industry. He reiterated his previous “moral imperative” sentiment to do something, but failed to come up with any concrete solutions.


Sur Facebook, les mafiosi sont sympas – Europe – Le

Peut-on impunément encenser les parrains de Cosa Nostra sicilienne sur Facebook, le site de socialisation ? Apparemment oui. Les dirigeants du network de Palo Alto, en Californie, ont fait savoir que la censure ne faisait pas partie de leur politique. En l’occurrence, ils ne feront rien contre les groupes de fans de mafieux tels que Toto Riina et Bernardo Provenzano qui se sont manifestés à travers le site et provoqué un tollé en Italie pour avoir qualifié les parrains, entre autres, d'”hommes d’honneur”, d'”incompris” et d'”innocents” dont “il faut baiser la main”.


“Google tiene el dinero para comprar periódicos pero eso no resolvería sus problemas” · ELPAÍ

Google es un oasis de beneficios en el páramo desolado de la publicidad. Esta manida metáfora viene a explicar que mientras que los anunciantes huyen de los medios tradicionales (prensa escrita, radio, televisión, carteles), el buscador consigue que sus ingresos por anuncios, tanto en páginas propias (AdWords) como en páginas asociadas a su programa publicitario (AdSense), crezcan a un ritmo del 30% interanual. Ese creciente flujo del maná publicitario desde los medios tradicionales y, en particular de los diarios, hacia Google, hacen pensar a muchos que Google está matando a la prensa, devorando literalmente (y gratuitamente) sus contenidos al tiempo que esquilma su principal fuente de ingresos.


Spider-Man to save Obama’s Inauguration Day in upcoming Marvel comic – Wikinews, the free news source

Marvel Comics announced Thursday that an upcoming issue of a Spider-Man comic will feature United States President-elect Barack Obama meeting the web-slinging superhero.

A six-page tongue-in-cheek story, to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man issue 583, “Spidey Meets the President!” is created by Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck and Frank D’Armata. The issue features Peter Parker visiting Washington, D.C., on photo assignment to cover the Presidential and Vice Presidential inauguration ceremony. The Chameleon is also in town, hoping to sabotage the ceremony with a look-a-like impostor of Obama. Parker’s alter-ego Spiderman must save the day from his arch-enemy’s nefarious plans.

newmediaFIX News Selection

YouTube Embraces Widescreen Paves the Way for Hollywood Features – Webmonkey

As we pointed out last week, YouTube is now offering HD quality video on select movies. But one of the hallmarks of HD video is the widescreen aspect ratio (16:9 rather than 4:3) and now the YouTube site has been updated so that all video is now displayed in a new widescreen player.

As the YouTube blog notes, this means that the vast majority of videos on the site — which were uploaded as 4:3 — are now displayed with black bars on the sides (the empty space not used by 4:3 videos).


Secret Geek A-Team Hacks Back, Defends Worldwide Web

In June 2005, a balding, slightly overweight, perpetually T-shirt-clad 26-year-old computer consultant named Dan Kaminsky decided to get in shape. He began by scanning the Internet for workout tips and read that five minutes of sprinting was the equivalent of a half-hour jog. This seemed like a great shortcut—an elegant exercise hack—so he bought some running shoes at the nearest Niketown. That same afternoon, he laced up his new kicks and burst out the front door of his Seattle apartment building for his first five-minute workout. He took a few strides, slipped on a concrete ramp and crashed to the sidewalk, shattering his left elbow.


Can robots make ethical decisions in battle? – International Herald Tribune

ATLANTA: In the heat of battle, their minds clouded by fear, anger or vengefulness, even the best-trained soldiers can act in ways that violate the Geneva Conventions or battlefield rules of engagement. Now some researchers suggest that robots could do better.

“My research hypothesis is that intelligent robots can behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans currently can,” said Ronald Arkin, a computer scientist at Georgia Tech, who is designing software for battlefield robots under contract with the U.S. Army. “That’s the case I make.”


Facebook lets members hook up on other Web sites – International Herald Tribune

Facebook Connect is representative of some surprising new thinking by the Internet giants. Instead of trying to hoard information about their users, they have all announced plans to share at least some of that data so people do not have to enter the same identifying information again on different sites.


Google’s gatekeepers – International Herald Tribune

Wong decided that Google, by using a technique called IP blocking, would prevent access to videos that clearly violated Turkish law, but only in Turkey. For a time, her solution seemed to satisfy the Turkish judges, who restored YouTube access. But last June, as part of a campaign against threats to symbols of Turkish secularism, a Turkish prosecutor made a sweeping demand: that Google block access to the offending videos throughout the world, to protect the rights and sensitivities of Turks living outside the country. Google refused, arguing that one nation’s government shouldn’t be able to set the limits of speech for Internet users worldwide. Unmoved, the Turkish government today continues to block access to YouTube in Turkey.


In a world of digital trails, what about privacy? – International Herald Tribune

Brown and about 100 other students living in Random Hall at MIT have agreed to swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails to be beamed to a central computer. Beyond individual actions, the devices capture a moving picture of the dorm’s social network.

The students’ data are but a bubble in a vast sea of digital information being recorded by an ever thicker web of sensors, from phones to GPS units to the tags in office ID badges, that capture our movements and interactions. Coupled with information already gathered from sources like Web surfing and credit cards, the data are the basis for an emerging field called collective intelligence.

newmediaFIX News Selections, November 24, 2008

newmediaFIX News Selections available on Delicious:

Un blog a 10.000 metros de altura · ELPAÍ

La compañía aérea Virgin America anunció que a partir del 1 de diciembre todos sus clientes podrán conectarse a Internet mientras viajan con el servicio GoGo. El primer paso para la instauración en sus aviones se dio ayer, con una demostración que congregó a los principales medios de comunicación estadounidenses.


Le Figaro – High-Tech : Les objets du quotidien s’inventent une vie numérique

Imaginez votre chéquier qui interroge votre compte bancaire en ligne et vous alerte en cas de découvert. Votre trousseau de clés qui vous informe par message électronique que la voiture doit passer au contrôle technique. Votre stylo qui commande automatiquement de nouvelles cartouches d’encre. De la science-fiction ? Pas vraiment. Les objets quotidiens ne sont plus inertes. Ils communiquent. Et leur terrain de jeu, c’est Internet. Plus de 500 millions d’objets y seraient déjà connectés. Ils transmettent des informations sur leur état ou sur leur environnement : température, mouvement, niveau de lumière, etc. Et ces informations peuvent être analysées et associées à d’autres données pour inciter leur propriétaire à agir.


Fake Lunar Photos Sent Astronomers Over the Moon | Wired Science from

If you wanted close-up photos of the moon in the late 1800s, you were pretty much out of luck. Unless, of course, you built incredibly detailed plaster models of lunar craters and then snapped carefully lit pictures of them.

And that’s exactly what an engineer and astronomer did in 1874 to tremendous acclaim.

James Nasmyth, the inventor of the steam hammer, and James Carpenter, then at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, released a hugely successful book, The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, illustrated by their incredible moon mock-ups. The august journal Nature gave the book a rapturous review.


TypePad Takes On Disqus With New Distributed Comment System – Webmonkey

Six Apart, makers of blogging platforms Movable Type and Typepad, have announced a new distributed blog comment system that offers a very simple way of integrating comments into any page.

Similar to services from Disqus and WordPress, the new TypePad Connect allows you embed comments in any page using JavaScript. Any user with a TypePad Connect profile can then comment on your page and you get a comment management dashboard that offers spam control, moderation and customization options.


Art Review – ‘Beyond Babylon’ – Cultural Exchange – Intimate Objects From Intricate Trade Routes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art –

Macroeconomically speaking, nations float or sink as one in a global age. Connectivity, we are learning, is the new history. But in fact this is nothing new. It has been true for some 4,000 years, and that is the subject of “Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C.,” a big, prescient, concentration-taxing exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Rhizome: Interview with Alexei Shulgin

Alexei Shulgin’s pioneering works in internet art are collected on his site, but many of the links there are empty or obsolete; one called Insanity Notification sends visitors to a site indicating that Shulgin went insane at an unidentified point in the past. It has been more than five years since Shulgin left the online environment to focus on the production of tangible, marketable objects.


Machines from a past that never was – we make money not art

Robert Kusmirowski does copies, simulacra, forgeries, mock-ups. Meticulously and masterfully. The result of his craft is an illusion. You believe you’re in front of a relic from the past, complete with patina: a sepia photography, old newspapers, cigarette packs, but also a graveyard, the wagon of a ’40s train or an entire train station. I never used to be fascinated by sculptures but the young artist put such a eerie, retro-innovative’ spin to the genre that he won me over.


Networked_Performance — … When Social Media Became the News

James Surowiecki pinpoints the moment when social media became an equal player in the world of news-gathering: the 2005 Tsunami, when YouTube video, blogs, IMs and txts carried the news — and preserved moving personal stories from the tragedy.