Reuters faked photos

Here’s the original photo

original.jpg

Here is a doctored version put out by Reuters (which was quickly withdrawn)

photo1fake.jpg

How could anyone let this slip by. Whoever did it, clearly just used photoshop’s cloning or stamping tool and didn’t even clean it up with a blur. And why would anyone think they needed to “enhance” the original photo. The original clearly shows thick black smoke rising up from the city; what more could you want. I wonder whether the photographer was just fooling around with the photo and accidentally sent the doctored one in to Reuters, instead of the original. This is such a bad photoshopping job, it hardly seems likely someone was actually trying to get away with it.

Actually I just found this quote from someone who spoke to the photographer (hence the strikeout above):

According to Reuters spokeswoman Moira Whittle, Hajj denied deliberately attempting to manipulate the image. He said he was trying to remove dust marks and made mistakes because of bad lighting conditions, she said Sunday.

Well, looks like 1) the photographer was just incompetent or b) was trying to lie his way out of the situation he got himself into. My money is on option 1b. He’s incompetent and he’s a liar.

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Published in: on August 8, 2006 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jackie Mason defends Mel Gibson (video)

Jackie Mason is a Montreal favourite and he’s been here many times. I was lucky enough to meet him once, when he came into the CJAD studios. Here he is defending Mel Gibson, for Gibson’s drunken rant against jews.

(Thanks to Dvorak Uncensored, where I first saw this video)

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Advice for podcasters

Here are the podcasts I like to listen to (or watch) on a regular or semi-regular basis.

  • Boagworld: news and advice on web design and management
  • TWiT: a roundtable discussion of the latest trends in high tech
  • The Word Nerds: A weekly podcast about language
  • Practical Web Design magazine: The podcast to accompany the print magazine (this podcast is done by the same guy who does the Boagworld podcast, Paul Boag)
  • Escape Pod: fun short science fiction and fantasy
  • Rocketboom: A fun short video podcast on various topics, often news-related
  • Photoshop TV: A video podcast with some great photoshop tutorials

I’ve listened to many and found that for the topics that interest me, these are the most professionally done podcasts and the most informative or entertaining ones. Many other podcasts might have interesting content, but if the host uses a cheap $10 microphone or if I constantly have to turn the volume up or down when another speaker starts talking or when the music starts playing, because the production is horrible then I just can’t listen to it. It’s not worth it for me. Others, like Diggnation might be very well produced and put together and even have some interesting content, but don’t appeal to me on various other levels (and I do like beer.)

If I could give all you podcasters some advice from a listeners point of view, here it is:
(this applies mainly to audio podcasts)

  • Make sure the audio levels for all the talkers and the music are the same. You can easily fix this, if need be, after it’s recorded, using audio editing software.
  • If you’re a spoken word podcast, keep the music to a minimum or don’t use music at all. Sometimes I’ve got 5 minutes in my car to listen to part of a podcast. I want to hear what YOU have to say, I don’t want to hear some song, as relevant as it may be. Theme music, or music used as a bridge is OK, but don’t play more than a few (10-20) seconds of any song.
  • If you are interviewing someone, and playing that interview as-is, don’t spend too much time on the history of the person (unless of course that’s the topic of discussion.) If your guest is there to talk about the price of tea in China, then immediately start talking about the price of tea in China. You can, in a few seconds, give me speakers credentials (tea economist from Hunan province), rather than asking him or her to talk about it, something which could be a very boring 2,3,4 or 5 minutes. If you really must have your guest talk about himself, then do it at the end of the interview.
  • Don’t be afraid to banter and have fun. I want the facts, but I want the facts in a fun and/or interesting manner. If I wanted just the facts, I could get my computer text-to-speech reader to read the news and create an MP3 to listen to it. I want to hear YOU. I want to hear your personality along with your opinions and thoughts on the information you’re presenting. Great examples of this are the Boagworld and TWiT podcasts.

UPDATE: Here’s some great advice on podcasting from Podcast Free America

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Word of the day: Schadenfreude

schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others.

I first heard this word recently on a podcast I listen to called The Word Nerds. If you are an English-language nut you should listen to this, at least once. I think you’ll be hooked.

The word, as the dictionary.com entry above says is take get some sort satisfaction from the misfortunes of others.

When that guy who cuts you off, gets pulled over by the cops a kilometer ahead, that feeling you get is schadenfreude. Although, I guess you don’t necessarily need that kind of justification or rationalization that some did something wrong to you first. Schadenfreude could mean watching someone you don’t know slipping on a banana peel and feeling good about the fact that they broke their hip. Kind of mean, but hey, it’s just a word, right? In fact, in the cartoon below, Dogbert even creates his own situation. I wonder what you’d call a person who gets a malicious satisfaction from the misfortunes of others, a schadenfreudist? schadenfreuder? I’m not familiar enough with German for that.

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Highway sky

Sky

This picture was kind of blah, so I thought I’d see what I could do with it in photoshop. This was the result.  Nothing spectacular, I know, but I wanted to play around and see what I could come up with.

Published in: on August 6, 2006 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Painted sewer

This way or that

Decided to take my camera with me on my “walk” the other day. Got a lot of boring old trees and things, but I thought this was kinda interesting.

Published in: on August 6, 2006 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Google Desktop

I’m way late on this I know, but I thought since Google is starting to push its desktop program now, that I’d download it again and review it. I found when I first tried it, for searching my computer, it slowed everything down and I didn’t like it. This time, I’m trying it mainly for the widgets. I’ve been using Yahoo! Widgets and I kind of like it. I have three or four I keep on my desktop all the time.

I find there aren’t nearly as many Google widgets available, but then again I haven’t really searched around, I’ve only used the ones Google provides when you click Add Widgets. I find it odd, that there’s not even a Google Reader widget.

(Now this is odd. I’ve just installed Google Desktop and tried out a few widgets, and my virus scanner popped up with a virus notice. That almost never happens. I’ll have to investigate. I have no idea whether this program caused it, or not. I hope not, for Google’s sake.))

I like the look of the widgets, but then Yahoo! Widgets were cool looking as well. There are enough widgets to let me switch from Yahoo!, but whether I stick with it will be determined over the next few days. I’ll report back.

google.jpgI also like this feature. Click ctrl twice and a google search box widget pops up. It’s got a suggest feature in it, and then takes you to your browser for the full results.

Published in: on August 5, 2006 at 2:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Diigo

This is a test post from Diigo.  A neat web 2.0 thing that I can’t quite categorize yet. 

It seems to have a little problem with its wysiwyg editor.  No way to un-link something, kinda like vox.  There’s no edit html source option, either.  But blog writing is not its main purpose, so I’ll let them off on this one.    It seems to be a social bookmarking thingy, like delicious, but with lots more features.

I guess you can click on any of this text and it’ll take you there.

Social Annotation: Seamless Integration of Social Bookmarking, Web Highlighter, Sticky-Note & Clipping


Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rainbow

I said back in June that I’d taken some rainbow pictures. Here’s one.

Rainbow in Pincourt

I took this on my street in Pincourt. It was almost a full rainbow, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it all in the picture.

Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Another great lightning shot

OK, so I will probably post lots more lightning stuff over the life of this blog. I just like it, I guess. Here’s one from Sam Javanrouh in Toronto. Look at the thickest lightning bolt. It’s striking the CN tower. Cool!

Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment