#applewatch fail?

The first Applewatch reviews are out, and they’re worth reading.  In this video, Farhad Manjoo from the New York Times says the watch is “merging digital technology with our  body in a way we haven’t really seen before”.  His conclusion: “The first Apple Watch may not be for you – but someday soon, it will change your world.” 

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But Business Insider has this useful round-up of reviews, which it characterises as ‘quietly brutal’.   One of the most damning verdicts was from Bloomberg Business’s Joshua Topolsky, who rated the watch as a timepiece in the following way, “I’ve found the experience somewhat inferior to that with a conventional wristwatch, due to one small issue. The Apple Watch activates its screen only when it thinks you’re looking at it.”  Wait, what?

In other news on the perils of using new technology, Madonna was supposed to premiere her new video on Meerkat.   It failed, showing just a 500 error page.  Her fans were not happy.  It’s supposed to happen again today, but maybe don’t hold your breath. 

On the intersection between gaming and journalism, the BBC has created a Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route game highlighting the dangers faced by Syrian refugees.   It cost just under 30,000 USD to create inhouse, but has been attacked as transforming human suffering into a ‘children’s game’.




Again, on the intersection between entertainment and journalism, here’s Alli Cope’s post on the Six Strangest Ways that Buzzfeed has Covered Iraq and ISIS. 

Assignment: 400 word blogpost on debate motion “Facebook is a Force for Good”.  Pick a side, either for or against the motion, and argue your corner.

The debate format will be as follows:

We will hold a vote on the motion before the debate begins.  The first speaker (the proposer) will speak for 5 mins in favour of the motion, followed by the opposer speaking against the motion.  Then the second speaker in each team (proposer’s seconder, opposer’s seconder) will speak for 5 minutes each.   Then we will open the floor to questions from the floor, and each member of the class will ask a question.  In that period, the debaters can answer questions directed to them, as well as rebutting the views of the other camp.

At the very end, the third member of each team will have a 5 minute period during which they will sum up why the audience should propose or oppose the motion.  In that time, they can sum up the arguments as well as introducing new ideas, if they should wish to do so.   Then we will hold the final vote.

News You Can Wear

Technological innovation is coming to news delivery… .and soon.   It’s only five weeks until the Apple Watch launches. And other innovations are changing the way news is delivered.  Like robots.  Here’s one vision of the future:

One day you might even have your own personal robot journalist, filing daily stories just for you on your fitness tracking data and your personal finances.

“We sort of flip the traditional content creation model on its head,” [Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen] says. “Instead of one story with a million page view, we’ll have a million stories with one page view each.”

According to one man, Andrew Keen, The Internet Is Not The Answer.  That’s the name of his new book, and he gave a thought-provoking interview on NPR on Monday.  He sees the internet not so much as a disruptor than as a destroyer:

The more we use the contemporary digital network, the less economic value it is bringing to us. Rather than promoting economic fairness, it is a central reason for the growing gulf between rich and poor and the hollowing out of the middle class. Rather than making us wealthier, the distributed capitalism of the new networked economy is making most of us poorer. Rather than generating more jobs, this digital disruption is a principal cause of our structural unemployment crisis. Rather than creating more competition, it has created immensely powerful new monopolists like Google and Amazon.

Its cultural ramifications are equally chilling. Rather than creating transparency and openness, the Internet is creating a panopticon of information-gathering and surveillance services in which we, the users of big data networks like Facebook, have been packaged as their all-too-transparent product. Rather than creating more democracy, it is empowering the rule of the mob. Rather than encouraging tolerance, it has unleashed such a distasteful war on women that many no longer feel welcome on the network. Rather than fostering a renaissance, it has created a selfie-centered culture of voyeurism and narcissism. Rather than establishing more diversity, it is massively enriching a tiny group of young white men in black limousines. Rather than making us happy, it’s compounding our rage.

No, the Internet is not the answer. Not yet, anyway.

Also in the news this week, Obama on Vice this time.   And the White House is having an Instameet.

Reading for Thursday:

1)  The Next Stage in the Battle for Attention is Our Wrists (Nieman)

2) The Future of News on Apple Watch is in Yahoo’s Hands (Buzzfeed)

3) How Vice’s Tim Pool used Google Glass to Cover the Riots in Turkey (The Guardian)

4) Why Google Glass Broke (NYT)

ASSIGNMENT 1): Write a blogpost on the innovative use of one type of technology that is transforming your beat.   It could be a new device for recording or broadcast (gopro, drones, optimus prime), or it could be a new type of wearable technology (smartclothes, fitbit etc). (for Mar 19)

2) Photo story for March 19th.