WikiLeaks has germs.

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

As many people have now heard, WikiLeaks founder and chair Julian Assange has turned himself in for sex crimes charges from Sweden. Since the warrant was issued and the search started Assange has experienced everything from frozen accounts to his organization being likened to a terrorist organization.

Along with these misfortunes WikiLeaks itself, has seen website such as PayPal and Amazon sever all ties with the organization.

According to, after the website released the cables, the website received a number of  “distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks.” So in order to get the website up and running again they decided to start “moved their website hosting to the Amazon EC2 Cloud.”

But after a day they would be kicked off. There have been reports that Amazon was pushed by the government to abandon the site, but according to the article on BizCloud the Amazon said the reason was that WikiLeaks violated the terms of service. BizCloud explains the Amazon said the, “the violation occurred because WikiLeaks did not control all of the rights related to the diplomatic cables it released.”

PayPal also followed with its denial of WikiLeaks, ending all financial transactions that went through them. According to BizCloud, PayPal was a method by which WikiLeaks could accept donations. Supporters will no longer be able to donate through PayPal which could mean a major hit taken by WikiLeaks.

However one website has not erased its connection with WikiLeaks. Facebook still allows WikiLeaks’ fan page to stay up.

According to a post on, posts on the WikiLeaks Fan Page were going up by the second.  It seems the germs WikiLeaks is slowly developing doesn’t scare off everyone.


Newsday’s redesign, a step in the right direction

December 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

Newsday's new site.

So I thought I would end this blog where this class started. has recently re-designed their website and it took a look at mediabistro to find this out, shows how busy I have been lately.

So how about Newsday’s redesign. I would give it a solid B+. It looks much better, brighter and less dark and drab. One thing that I immediately noticed is the high wire act that was their navigation bar has changed. You can now click on one category and it will bring up a list of sub categories.

The featured story section is still there, but is customized for each section so you will get the top four stories in news and the top four stories in sports. Moreover, those stories each have under them a icon for video, comments and photos that accompany the story. This is great way to show off your multimedia.

There is also a bar on the bottom that will show the day’s most popular stories and gives the readers a chance to submit a news tip, video, photos and events. The best feature on this bar is the my headlines tab. It will let you customize so you will get the news you want all in one place.

What is most noticeable, however, is the site will be free to everyone until January 7th. This is probably some ploy to get more subscribers and it might work now that the site is much better and user friendly.

And that really is the test to see whether the redesign is a success. I think it looks much better and from the short time I spent with it, more user friendly. But we will see what happens.


Google Unveils Hotpot

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Google’s new place search engine is called Hotpot, and it’s a p2p way of searching for local places that are rated by real people and friends.

I think this is an awesome alternative to sites like yelp because it shows all the local places automatically—you don’t have to specifically search for a restaurant. It’ll be especially helpful for people going on trips who don’t know where to eat or what museums to avoid.

Google is also trying to push the social networking aspect of this site by allowing users to create usernames and making recommendations based on what a user’s friends like.

According to Mashable,

“Not only has Google beaten Facebook to the punch with its early release of a Places recommendation engine, it’s also giving businesses even more reason to set up Places pages and start thinking about their location-based advertising on Google. After all, more consumers will start their local business searches on Google than just about anywhere else.”




November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Don’t know if you’ve heard but Mark Zuckerberg is at it again. Facebook is looking to infiltrate another portion of online media. Yesterday Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will use a new messaging system, regardless of if you are online or on your phone.

According to an article in the New York Times by Miguel Helft, Zuckerberg sees email as out of date messaging.

Helft also suggests that with this move, Facebook will “expand from a social network into a full-fledged communications system.” This means it will compete with Google (Gmail), AOLYahoo and many other sites.

If Facebook takes over with this new messaging system, more people will spend more time on Facebook–not that it isn’t already the website many Americans spend the most time on.

I personally grown accustomed to email. It present a more formal way of communication as opposed to the instant messaging, or any other type of messaging, on a social networking site such as Facebook.

The new messaging page set to look like this (below),  according to the New York TImes

Apparently you will be able to have a Facebook email, SMS message (or text), and also live chat online.

Who knows? If this pans out this could be the future of messaging. Meetings might be set up, notices sent out, and even resumes might be messaged, using this system. Maybe even interviews for news stories will be conducted with this new Facebook messaging. Guess we’ll see.

The Unplugged Challenge: An Experiment in Crowd Sourcing

November 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s not exactly a news event but I found this interactive feature on the New York Times website and it sparked an idea.

What they did was ask a bunch of people to give up technology for a certain amount of time and to record a video when they were done about their experience.

It’s so simple its brilliant, I would never do it myself since I am the type of person who has to check his phone when it goes off at 3 am. But it’s still a good idea. It’s also a good example of crowd sourcing. After the videos were in the reporter chose a few and analyzed them, got an expert to comment and then had a story.

This could even be done without a story and just made a feature on the website. It’s simple, to the point and fun to watch.

One of the videos people submitted.

It’s also a good way to do a story like this. Back before the Internet if journalists wanted to do a social experiment they would either have to rely on an academic who has already done it or actually go out and find people to help out.

Today all it takes is a message on the website and an email to send your video in.

This could be used for smaller news organizations that need to fill content online and makes the readers feel like they are contributing to the paper and fosters a better relationship.

I really like this idea because it could even be done on the college newspaper level.

-Frank Posillico

Just another place Facebook has made its mark.

November 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

Facebook is pretty much used for everything: finding people, getting yourself out there, and even gaining support for causes.

Most recently we saw this with the midterm elections. US Politics on Facebook used the social networking site in order to help users follow the election as well as suggest places nearest to them to go vote.

Now Facebook has been recently reported as dominating the”Online Display Ad Market” according to a post by David Shedden on Poynter Online. Shedden credits comScore, a digital iinformation site, with the findings. According to comScore, Shedden says, ‘ led all online publishers in Q3 2010 with 297 billion display ad impressions, representing 23.1 percent market share.’

This is no suprise as many people use Facebook everyday, making it an ideal site to advertise on. According to a blog post by Mark Zuckerburg, as of July 2010, 500 million people were users of Facebook. Facebook is also ideal for advertisement because you put your personal information into your profile. Therefore the ad companies believe they can decipher what ads to show you based on the information on your profile. Therefore the ads on the side of your page always apply to you somehow.

For example I am a Christian. Therefore there are always ads that say things like “Date Christian Singles” or “Top Christian Colleges” on the side of my page.

Since the social networking site is such an effective advertising tool, advertising is just another area that Facebook has made its mark.

Looking to the future

November 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today, on the New York Times main website was an interactive article called “Voices: What’s Next in Science. The interactive multimedia showcases 10 scientists who specialize in different fields.

Here are prognostications for science in 2011 from 10 leading figures in 10 widely scattered disciplines, from genomics to mathematics to earth science. Regardless of whether they prove true next year, they offer a glimpse into the kinds of possibilities that get scientists excited.

New York Times Voices

There are short blurbs in the NYT article that accompany each of the scientists but the highlight of each of the blurbs is the interview with the scientist. Most of the voice overs are about 1:30 but there are a few that hang over two minutes and one actually nears three minutes. It’s interesting to see that the concept of “keep it short” actually applies. I got bored after two minutes of listening to one of the scientists and I was ready to click ahead to the next one.

I found it interesting, however, that some of the sound qualities were not good whatsoever. Michael J. McPhaden‘s interview sounded like he was in a big open room. There is so much white space in the recording that it distracts away from what McPhaden is saying.

The one thing that I would have liked to see more of is more pictures to go with each scientist. Each person has their own portrait photo to go with the blurbs, but it would have been cool if there were more photos from them in their natural environment in the lab or in the field.

It could have been something like the interactive feature on centenarians that was done last week (worth the look!!)


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