How about some RSS

Dave Winer comments on the state of web news on the mainstream news sites. Hey Dave how about a RSS newsreader? :).

My NetNewsWire is filled with the other stories about what is going on elsewhere. Sure there are more JonBenet stories than there need to be. I'm probably more accepting of them since I lived near Boulder for more than a dozen years and the case is one from the old neighborhood.

There is a serious side to this too. Dave's commented a couple of times on the overload of JonBenet coverage. Since I get my news from the radio and the RSS feeds I read I've not seen an overload. Sure, there's a story each day, but there are plenty of other real news stories too. I found myself wondering if this story would have crossed my desk if it weren't for the current coverage.

What does the video say?

Earlier this month a Florida woman was exonerated after spending two and one-half years in jail charged with child abuse. The video from the parent's "nanny cam" appears to show Claudia Muro shaking the child violently. However the nanny cam used shoots video at about 1/10th the rate of a regular video camera. This difference can change gentle back-and forth motion into motion that appears violent. The local CBS station has copies of the video footage.

With the advent of the inexpensive video camera the instances of using video in courts of law or public opinion have increased. At the same time the multitude of ways of capturing and processing video have grown more powerful and complex. These advances bring great possibility to the consumer while making it imperative that video be looked at with a critical eye to ensure it actually shows what is first perceived.

Dick Morgan for university president

With the resignation of Carol Harter as UNLV's president there has been a great deal of speculation about Dick Morgan being picked to be the next university president.

In a KLAS TV story Chancellor Jim Rogers says he's been approached by people who think Morgan should be president - of UNR that is. The comments lead one to believe that they were prior to there being an opening at UNLV.

Elsewhere in the Las Vegas Sun Regent Harry Rosenberg says of Chancellor Rogers "The behavior I'm seeing is typical of Mussolini".

On a personal note I'll be linking to all the stories I come across on this topic. However, I will be unlikely to comment much from a personal perspective. Morgan is my second-level supervisor (my boss' boss). He is an adept administrator and simply one of the best administrators' I've had the fortune to work for as well as being an outstanding person. As much as I don't relish the possibility of Dean Morgan leaving the law school, I have a great deal of interest in seeing people with Morgan's skill and management style leading Nevada's institutions of higher education.

I am become as sounding brass

Televangilist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was retribution for promoting peace in Israel. While not unusual that I would take issue with the words of Mr. Robertson even this is an amazing new low. In pondering the proper response the only thing appropriate that comes to mind is the following passage from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Repetitious redundancy

The holiday week is taking its toll. Since this is Friday for Nevadans in state employ it didn't dawn on me until this evening that the news about the CIA leak probe expected Friday would actually come tomorrow. While searching the day's stories on the topic I came across this sentence on, "..when Bush's approval ratings already are at a low ebb."

How does a low ebb compare to a high ebb? Since ebbs are declines or times when things go down what is a low decline? Is it like a peak summit? Or, perhaps, does it mean that it's not a major ebb but just a small ebb? (Though there is a factual problem with this argument since the president's approval ratings haven't been lower.) I'm sure I'll make many similar mistakes before my time here is done, but it is always a sad commentary to see major news organizations make such mistakes that anybody who reads at a 7th grade level would catch.


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