Last week I argued that TV news was better than Net news -- because the
Net has an annoying tendency to fall flat on its face when demand
exceeds a certain point.
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Today I argue the contrary -- technical issues excepted.
Here's why the Net is a better news source than TV:
With the Net, you can get the news when YOU want it -- not at a time decided
by the Network programmer.
Even Sky Digital subscribers have a choice of just a small number of TV
news sources -- the Net gives you access to thousands of sites and a corresponding
greater number of perspectives and sources.
With the advent of WAP, wireless and other technologies, the Net-based news
can be delivered directly to you -- providing valuable alerts to important
Online publishers don't "bump" your favourite website and replace it with a news site
in the same way that TV programmers tend to drop programs for major news
or sports events.
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However -- all is not perfect with the Web.
Since Tuesday (US-time) a number of "Tech News" sites have tried to become
"General News" sites -- losing their focus on tech issues and publishing
a long list of stories on the terrorist attacks -- with nary a tech connection
to be found.
While this may be a very tempting thing for such sites to do -- it's also
a lazy thing to do.
Yes, good tech news stories have been very thin on the ground since the
attacks -- but is that any reason to suddenly turn your website into yet
another cnn.com or ABCNews.com?
As I predicted last week, the US government is already moving swiftly to
outlaw strong encryption without a government-accessible back-door.
This ZDNet story
reports that one US senator has started the lobbying for such a move.
The FBI has also been given license to monitor some forms of communications
(including the Net) without the need for a wiretap warrant.
Remember that I also predicted copy-cat moves to up the snooping powers of
our own government -- stay tuned. It's not a matter of whether this
will happen here, it's simply a matter of whether we'll be told that it's
Calling the FBI...
On the weekend I contacted the FBI in the USA using a form on the Bureau's
which has specially been set up for reporting suspicious activity or providing
information in respect to the recent attacks.
While I can't disclose what information I provided, suffice to say it was
certainly something that concerned me enough to file a report.
I have received no response -- not even an acknowledgement -- but I guess they're
somewhat swamped right now. However -- even an auto-response would seem
to have been a smart thing to do, given the importance that some of the
information related through this site might play in the safety and security
of the USA in these dangerous times.
Save The Aardvark Fund
Yes, I have had several donations to the Aardvark fund and I thank those
who put their money where their mouse is :-)
If guilt is gnawing away inside you then there's still time to donate.
Just drop by and
hand over your loot.
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