Digital Deliverances on 12 December 2014

One of the most audacious New Media projects I’ve been involved with as a viability consultant is Outernet, my friend Syed Karim‘s project to bring free Internet access to more than four billion people. He plans to do this by piggybacking a fleet of mini-satellites onto commercial satellite launches. These mini-satellites, known as cubesats (each a 10 cm cube weighing no more than 1.33 kg), will provide Internet access (albeit mainly text access) to the majority of the world’s people, who don’t live in regions where Internet access is affordable or even receivable, which is a surprisingly large portion of […]

From More Than 4,500 Sources, Just a Dozen Account for Most Google News Stories?

[UPDATE: Many of the Google’s senior engineers were attending the Search Engine World conference in San Jose, California when his posting appeared. Within ten days of this posting, Google appeared to have adjusted its news algorithm. Was that a coincidence or a result of publicity from this posting? Only they know. The choices of sources that Google News’ algorithms now use appear more journalistically balanced, although questions are still being raised.] For some unofficial Web sites that we’re launching at several eastern U.S. universities this autumn, we had to find feeds of unusual categories of news stories, the quirky types […]

Crawling for Local News

Last week, I wrote about Topix.net, which spiders more than 3,000 other local news sites, then lets users enter their local ZIP codes and see a page showing all local news from all local media. The San Jose Mercury News quoted me: Vin Crosbie, a Connecticut media consultant, said his tests of Topix often produced more interesting lists of stories than local newspaper Web sites, in part because it gathers news from so many sources. “I think there would be an interest in this, ”Crosbie said, “and I think if you can provide somebody with a quick one-screen view of […]