With the upcoming 20th anniversary (4th of June) of the Tienanmen Square demonstrations (which I followed on television in the US, to the extent that photos were available), is coming up and access to “social media” sites that would permit people to share their thoughts is being blocked. The New York Times has also picked up on this.
Automattic released their WordPress app for the iPhone this week. Since I’m fairly mobile, I wanted to try it out.
For offline blogging from a laptop computer, I already use Ecto, which gives me substantial freedom in that I can create new posts even when not connected to the net. Having the ability to write on the iPhone whether online or off might be fun.
My first impression is that this tool will work fine as long as you don’t want to include any fotmatting, because it’s really a pain, on the iPhone’s touchscreen keyboard to get to the < and > characters – it requires several taps for each. So it’s probably only viable for text with a photo or two interspersed. For many people that’ll be OK, but it’ll be somewhat limiting for me.
I am, however, finding that a one-finger typing method while allowing the phone to correct the typos really is quite excellent! And the “fatter” I make each tap on the screen, the more accurate the algorithm seems to be.
I’ve had the app just quit out from under me several times, but I haven’t lost any data, so it’s inconvenient but not fatal. And I know it will get better with the next version.
This app looks like a keeper.
|·GlobalVoices ADVOCACY has a page they call the Access Denied Map. On it they track visually, including pop-up annotations, countries that prohibit access to web sites.
The thing that made the biggest impression on me is the number of countries that block bloggers or Flickr. (You can check this yourself by going to their site and clicking the pushpins on their Google map.)
|·Opennet.net also tracks blocking/filtering worldwide. They look at the reasons given for filtering and compile maps tracking four different types of filtering.
I got there through several levels of indirection, but a post in LINUX JOURNAL by Doc Searls entitled What’s Next for Open Source and Public Media? got me thinking about the impending doom of analog “terrestrial” television in the US and how it may well kill off, as collateral damage, the broadcasting model for TV here in the US. Yes, he gets close to saying this in his post, but I hadn’t thought about it so directly before.
The FCC regulates the airwaves in the US and next year they’re taking back the portions of the RF spectrum that have been devoted to analog television (broadly-separated frequency bands for VHF in the 1950s with a UHF band of frequencies added to that later on), and the broadcast digital television that’s been “under construction” since 1998 will be what’s left. The new technology can carry more channels and information, and much of that in high-definition, but old television receivers will be unable to decode it.
I’d guess that many people simply won’t convert. Cable and satellite TV users won’t be affected and their old TV sets will work, but millions of old analog sets around the US – those who depends on rooftop antennas and rabbit ears – will receive nothing but “snow.”
And where will Mom and Pop Public go?
We launched a new activity a couple of weeks ago and we hope it will build up over time. Called Faces of Happiness, it’s an interactive process by which the Project Happiness community can create an online photo mosaic based on four key questions and on “your” reactions to them thru photography.
You play using email and your digital photos. We suggest that you play from a mobile phone, but you can use regular email if your phone doesn’t do photos.
Visit Faces of Happiness to play.
Or just go take a look at the photo mosaic.
See also the Project Happiness blog.