Besmirching the good name of rioting

August 9, 2011

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I can sort of get why there was unrest in London. A policeman shot another guy, and there was a protest, and people supposedly got angry. But that was Saturday night. It’s now Tuesday morning, and all the pictures are showing residential premises (homes, that is, with people in them) being set on fire and […]

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Holes in the Great Wall of China?

August 8, 2011

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China is this generation’s Russia. It’s hidden behind a literal and figurative wall, where you feel that only small snippets of information are let out to the general public. But truthfully, we’re getting closer and closer to a glasnost situation with the world’s largest economy. We’ve seen in the past few months a series of […]

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The sausage factory of plentiful blogging

July 26, 2011

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They say that you never want to go into a real-life sausage factory or you’ll never want to eat a banger again. I can believe that: in reality, the delicious food that we all seem to like fresh of a barbecue or served sizzling in our fried breakfasts is the offcuts, the trimmings and the […]

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Norwegian terrorism and the new media landscape

July 22, 2011

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I had written a book about the power of Twitter in disseminating news (in particular in the Arab Spring) but until today hadn’t quite gathered just how powerful a movement it is. The general argument I made when the book was published in May was that Twitter was vitally important in providing the impetus for […]

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Quantitative easing, 3rd century BC style

July 22, 2011

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Dionysius the Elder was sort of a dick, really. It’s what you’d expect from the ruler of a city-state (Syracuse) that allied itself with Sparta and Corinth, both of whom prioritised the state over the people. They pretty much tortured male children in order to ensure that they became good soliders; huge numbers of female […]

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Coming back to the Mac with OS X Lion?

July 21, 2011

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[This is based on a rejected pitch I sent Wired after a call for freelance pitches about OS X Lion on Twitter. I liked the idea – though they thought it wasn’t quite right for them – so figured I’d write it anyway.] My first computer was a Mac. It was boxy, clunky and pixellated […]

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How many readers will the News of the World lose?

July 7, 2011

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The news that the News of the World, the Sunday tabloid, hacked into the mobile phones of real people as opposed to the celebrities and politicans that breathe a different, rarefied air, has left a bad feeling in the mouths of most people. We didn’t necessarily mind when it was rich people who often played […]

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