Scripting News for 9/20/2006

Mary Jo Foley: “Blogging is the future of journalism.” 

Okay, I got cable installed at the new house today and got the HD option. Watching a random baseball game, it’s awesome. 

Every day on the NewsHour they have an American general saying the plan is to get the Iraqi army up and running. Sure it’s difficult now, but soon, in six to nine months (he knows that’s optimistic, but he’s an optimist) they can start moving the American troops out and that’s the plan, it’s not great, but it’s the best they can do. This has been going on since mid-2004 or so and there’s no end in sight. Aren’t the interviewers aware that we’ve been hearing this for two years and it just keeps getting worse, not better? You’d think they’d ask a question based on this simple observation, but they don’t. Every day it’s as if there had never been an American general on the show making excuses that no one believes. 

Could someone please tell NPR that their podcast directory is empty. I’m getting errors on all their non-podcast feeds as well. I hope it’s just a wire-trip. 😦 

NY Times: Some Hot Recorders for Those Cooool Podcasts

BBC: Chavez tells UN Bush is devil

A few months ago I started noticing that, walking down the street, I’d have to veer to avoid walking into people. They weren’t paying attention, if I didn’t want to have a collision, I had to adjust my path. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, did this just start happening, or did I just start noticing it, or what? I thought maybe it was the age difference, I’d always heard that when you get older you become more invisible, and in Berkeley, the average age is pretty young. But younger than Cambridge? Then, a couple of weeks ago, walking in San Francisco, I hit on what may be the answer. Cell phones and iPods. Perhaps people aren’t as conscious walking on the street as they used to be? Listening to a really interesting podcast, engaged in an engaging conversation with a friend on a Bluetooth headset. If it’s true, are people also walking into buildings more? Getting hit by cars? What’s happening with the mortality rate of pedestrians? 

Monkey Bites: How Buggy is iTunes 7? 

Joseph Pisani at BusinessWeek needs a high resolution picture of me for an article he’s writing. I don’t have one, but people are always taking pictures at parties. Maybe someone has one. If so, send Joseph an email at bweekpic at gmail dot com. 

Wired lists Web 2.0 winners and losers. Winners: Flickr, Odeo, Writely,, NetVibes. 

According to Valleywag, TechCrunch will launch an enterprise weblog today, edited by Nik Cubrilovic. 

Two years ago today we took a walk on the Seattle waterfront. 

On last night’s Countdown, a constitutional law expert asks if the reason that the redefining of the Geneva Convention is being debated in the Senate is that news is about to break that the President has been ordering US military personnel to torture prisoners. If that’s what’s coming, we must act to remove the President from office. He is acting in our name, and we will have to deal with the consequences long after he’s out of office. We can’t support this for another two years. If the Democrats won’t stand up to Bush, we must form a new political structure in which we can, without the Democrats. 

Important note — the dissenting Republicans are not opposing torture, they are proposing a different definition for torture. The Geneva Convention doesn’t need redefining. Imagine of some other country were debating about this, how would we interpret it? 

BBC: Free anonymising browser debuts

Glenn Fleishman reports that in-flight wifi may not be dead after all. 

Transcript of NBC interview with Iranian president Ahmadinejad.  

From Jay Rosen comes news that Reuters has given $100K to his to “underwrite the costs of hiring our first editor, which is going to be a fun job.” 

8 responses to this post.

  1. On being invisible. In London anyone who drives, rides a motorcycle or a bicycle will recognise the problem. It used to be ” The CellPhone of Invincibility”. These days it’s “The Ipod of Invincibility”. Anyone who uses either of these devices is protected by an invisible force field that allows them to walk off pavements into the path of oncoming cars with impunity.


  2. Posted by Michael Foster on September 20, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    Regarding having to adjust your path to avoid collisions, I don’t think it has to do with people not paying attention. It’s just that many people are inconsiderate. It is most noticeable when 2 or more people are walking together. A group of people walking abreast will not alter their path for someone coming in the other direction. It’s something that I have noticed since I moved to the US from Canada 6 years ago. Canadians will make room, many Americans won’t. Once you start paying attention, you will notice it over and over. Watch for it.


  3. Posted by gwtree on September 20, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    “Imagine of some other country were debating about this, how would we interpret it?”

    They wouldn’t debate it … they would just torture people.


  4. In regards to iTunes latest release… @#$^@#$!@#$!

    I’m sure we can all translate that. Its the first time I’ve had to revert to an older build and quite disappointing overall.


  5. Okay, now I have a goal for next year – HD for sports. Spend all my hours on the net, many with my boys in front of baseball games on DirecTV.


  6. >>Every day on the NewsHour they have an American general saying the >>plan is to get the Iraqi army up and running. Sure it’s difficult now, but >>soon, in six to nine months (he knows that’s optimistic, but he’s an >>optimist) they can start moving the American troops out and



  7. Posted by Pat Ward on September 21, 2006 at 6:10 am

    This exchange was disturbingly opaque:
    >>JIM LEHRER: On the Iraqi security forces, of the 147,000 or 140,000-plus U.S. troops, how many of them are actively involved in training the Iraqi army?

    GEN. JOHN ABIZAID: Well, there’s a large number of American forces that are dealing day-to-day with the Iraqis. And it’s important for people to understand that, in the majority of the country, Iraqi security forces are in the lead, not coalition forces
    As a matter of fact, in most areas of the 10 Iraqi divisions, six of them are in the lead in their particular battle spaces. One Iraqi division, the 8th Division, down in the south-central portion of the country, is in its area and is operating without U.S. forces.>>

    “large number” and “dealing day to day”. That was deliberate and not responsive. None of the “stand up – stand down” crap. The Iraqi 8th division that he mentions operates from Najaf, where two years ago US troops were trying to capture or kill al-Sadr. The only reason that the Iraqi 8th division is in place is that otherwise US troops would engage al-Sadr.


  8. dave,
    what problem are you getting with the npr stuff? (1,2,3)

    I can speak to them.. in the meantime. you should be able to find what you need at



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