Tag Archives: New York Times

From Tweet to Ad to Mini Modern Scandal

AO Scott, movie critic of the New York Times, writes a personal essay on movie marketing and Twitter. After one of his tweets is altered and turned into a print movie ad, a strange conversation sparks.

Here we begin a rapid descent into a wormhole created by the collision of movie-awards campaigning and paracritical chirping. The world may be divided between those who think Twitter defines the boundaries of the universe and those who don’t know what it is. It may also be divided between those who follow every surge and stumble of the “race” to the Oscars and those who might or might not remember to tune into ABC on March 2. Somehow, I have found myself in the Venn diagram circle of hell where two pointless obsessions — with words and statues that, by any reasonable measure of significance, mean nothing — converge, and if you are still reading, I have dragged you along. As they say on Twitter: #sorrynotsorry.

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A Wearable Alert to Head Injuries in Sports

The New York Times

Anne Eisenberg reports in the New York Times

A crop of new lightweight devices that athletes can wear on the field may help people on sidelines keep better track of hits to players’ heads during games and practice sessions. The devices, packed with sensors and microprocessors, register a blow to a player’s skull and immediately signal the news by blinking brightly, or by sending a wireless alert.

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Updating an E-Mail Law From the Last Century

Somini Sengupta reports in the New York Times

The current statute requires a warrant for e-mails that are less than six months old. But it lets the authorities gain access to older communications — or bizarrely, e-mails that have already been opened — with just a subpoena and no judicial review.

The law governs the privacy of practically everything entrusted to the Internet — family photos stored with a Web service, journal entries kept online, company documents uploaded to the cloud, and the flurry of e-mails exchanged every day. The problem is that it was written when the cloud was just vapor in the sky.

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Sparks Fly Between The New York Times And Tesla Motors: A Critical Car Review Becomes A Flame War

Last week John Broder of The New York Times wrote a critical review of Tesla Motor’s Model S electric car and the charging stations the company installed on the East Coast. Due to unusually cold weather and software issues, Broder’s planned trip from DC up I-95 ended on the back of a flatbed truck. (Actually, the truck drove Broder to a charging station, where he then finished the journey.)

In response to this review Elon Musk, the head of Tesla, wrote a harsh rejoinder to the Times where he accused Broder of purposefully sabotaging the ride. Musk uses charts and graphs to display the car’s locations, speeds and battery life and alleges that Broder failed to charge the car properly, drove at high speeds to deplete the battery, and at one point, spun around in a parking lot—all to kill the car. (Musk is a popular entrepreneur and a technology icon. His other business endeavor, SpaceX, manufactures rocket ships.)

The flame war continues.

Broder responded twice today. His second, more fully developed comeback is evenhanded and earnest. After sketching out his background at the Times and how this car review came to be, Broder goes point-by-point addressing each of Musk’s accusations. Where Musk says Broder drove around in circles, Broder says he was driving around trying to find the electric charging dock. (Much of the car’s lack of range is explained by the cold weather sapping life from the battery.)

And where Musk makes Broder out to be a petrol-Hummer-loving saboteur, Broder merely says, you’re supercharger network kinda sucks.

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An Appetite for Weight Management Tools

NYTimes.com

NYTimes.com

Trustworthy and conversational, Farhad Manjoo reviews popular fitness apps and food/exercise trackers.  His top recommendations are the small and un-cumbersome Fitbit.  And for monitoring your diet Manjoo recommends My Fitness Pal.

But My Fitness Pal’s killer feature is its enormous database. The app claims to have knowledge of more than a million food items, from apple strudel to zucchini walnut bread. In my tests, I found it almost creepily comprehensive. It had caloric info on that Cook’s Illustrated meatloaf, as well as a flounder recipe I made from Bon Appétit, and pretty much anything you could ever buy in a grocery and even many restaurants. If it does not have an item, My Fitness Pal allows you to enter your own recipe; for example, you can type in the ingredients of your mom’s apple pie, and it will figure out how many inches a slice will add to your waist.

 

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Solidarity At The Edge Of A Subway Platform

When the New York Post ran a picture of a man about to be struck by a subway train earlier this week, writer David Carr was disgusted. On his regularly awesome media decoder blog at the NY Times, Carr breaks down the ethics of posting that controversial pic.

One of six arguments he puts forth:

1. Within its four corners, The Post cover treatment neatly embodies everything people hate and suspect about the news media business: not only are journalists bystanders, moral and ethical eunuchs who don’t intervene when danger or evil presents itself, but perhaps they secretly root for its culmination.

Aside from the journalistic detachment of the freelance photographer, and the discussion within the media about yellow-journalism, I’m interested also in the social dynamics at play in the subway.

Carr mentions a news story from 2003 where a group of 4 teenaged friends drowned in a waterfall. After David, 18, slipped off a granite ledge, his 3 friends, Adam, Jonah and Jared jumped in to save him. The violent current and churning foam took all their lives.

Friendship inspired these young men to act and to sacrifice.

As a progressive, multicultural society, I wonder how we can cultivate this kind of solidarity even among people who are not lovers, friends or kin. Religious and secular groups foster this kind of community, but can it also be fortified with strangers?

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