Photo Gallery. University of New Hampshire Fencing Club Championships. Februrary 19th, 2011

22 02 2011

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Creator of China’s “Great Firewall” speaks. Admits to using VPNs

20 02 2011

On Thursday, the Times published a story about the creator of China’s “Great Firewall” that was originally published in the English-Chinese Paper, The Global Times .

I think it’s interesting that the LA Times chose to republish this particular story. Though I think it loses the impact it has in a Chinese paper. Most notably the fact that Fang Binxing, the creator himself, admits to using VPNs to skirt his own system. I have a feeling that the Chinese government would have a problem with this being reported because it would likely lead to more Chinese citizens attempting to use VPNs to get around the firewall. (The Times reports that experts say more and more people in China are already using VPNs)

I also found it extremely interesting that the LA Times note that the interview was not published in the Chinese version of the Global Times. Maybe the government doesn’t monitor the English version? I think that’s a little bit strange, personally.

The Global Times has a longer interview posted for their story, which is important here for context. But I appreciate the the LA Times have explained some of the issues surrounding the Great Firewall.

 





Of Handicapped Babies and Poor Layouts.

13 02 2011

Instead of looking at coverage about the end of Former President Mubark’s dictatorship in Egypt, I decided to scroll down the from page of the latimes site, seeing what I might find below the fold.

I happened upon the photography/multimedia section and I have to question why it’s buried so far down the page. Multimedia is one of the strongest points of using a web interface. Not only can you see the story, but you can hear it and gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening. The fact it takes several seconds to scroll down the page probably stops a lot of readers from ever getting there, which is definitely a shame.

I found this video of Dylan, a baby who had to have half of his brain removed and how he, and his family, were coping with it, before, during, and after. Had I not taken the time to look for something different on the Times, I would have never found it.

This slice of life story about a little boy is lost under advertisements, the weather, and television news. Upon further inspection, it just seems like a sloppy layout is to blame for this. Photos and videos are what draw a reader into a story. The words keep them there oftentimes, yes, but the photo is what brings them to it. Hiding the photo and multimedia section is such a poor choice for views. And in an age where views and clicks are what draw revenue, wouldn’t the Times want to showcase its most interesting features?

Dylan is okay. At the end of the video, we see that his family is coping well with having a baby that’s “different.” It’s a heartwarming story and definitely worth ten minutes of your time. If only the Times would make it more assessable to its readers.

 





Putzing with Google Maps in class!

7 02 2011




New Planets?

4 02 2011

Screen capture from latimes.com

The LA Times reported yesterday that the Kepler  Mission has discovered over 1,200 new planets that are Earth-like surrounding almost 1,000 stars in galaxies 500-3,000 light years away. Fifty-Four of them have the potential to have water.

I like this story from the Times. I find that in this case, a lot of information is necessary and important to understand the scale in which this mission is taking place. The universe is a big place, and people sometimes don’t remember that.  Stories like this remind people of that.

The idea that other planets can sustain water is also extremely exciting and has been since NASA has started looking. Finding life on other planets would expand our knowledge base exponentially about the way living organisms function.

I, for one, had no idea about this mission and I think it’s great that we are continually expanding our knowledge about our world and the other worlds surrounding it.  I also may still harbor a secret dream to be an astronaut when I grow up.





Egypt Protest Coverage

28 01 2011

Earlier this evening in Egypt, protests broke out over the 30 year reign of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. I spent a good portion of my afternoon live streaming from Al Jazeera English. Major protests were covered in Cairo, Alexandria, and the port city of Suez. Mubarak imposed a curfew to no avail and almost the entire Egyptian internet system was shut down. Protestors rocked armored personnel carriers and fired raged throughout the cities, inciting concern about the welfare of the National Museum in Cairo.  As is to be expected, all major news outlets are covering the protests. The LA Times is no different.

It’s difficult to compare such different outlets, but I feel like the video portion of the Times article is lacking substantially. The sound is muted, and had I not known what was happening, the video would have told me very little. Yes, there is a caption, but it still doesn’t give me much. I am not compelled to take action or talk to people about the video. Whereas the streaming coverage from Al Jazeera seemed to be much more informative. More videos were shown, with better quality in both video and sound. The corespondent first-hand accounts in all three major cities were informative and interesting. I did however, find the “experts” to be repetitive.

The Times, to its credit, does have a very well written piece that is easy to follow and informative, but I think the video takes away from it.