By Agence France-Presse WASHINGTON--TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington announced Wednesday he is taking a break from writin g for his influential technology blog after being spat on at a conference and g etting death threats. Writing on techcrunch.com, Arrington, 38, said an unidentified man "walked up t o me and quite deliberately spat in my face" on Tuesday at the Digital, Life, D esign conference he was attending in Munich, Germany. "In the past Iâve been grabbed, pulled, shoved and otherwise abused at events, but never spat on," Arrington said. "I think this is where Iâm going to draw a line. "Iâve decided the right thing to do is take some time off and get a better perspective on what Iâm spending my life doing," he said. "Iâll be takin g most of February off from writing, and decide what the best future for me is while sitting on a beach somewhere far away from my iPhone and laptop." "I canât say my job is much fun any more," Arrington said. "Startups that donât get the coverage they want and competing journalists and bloggers tend to accu se us of the most ridiculous things." Arrington, a former lawyer who has been cited as one of the most influential vo ices in Silicon Valley by several leading US publications, also said that last year, "an off balance individual threatened to kill me and my family." "The threats were, in the opinion of security experts we consulted, serious," h e said, "We hired a personal security team to protect me, my family and TechCru nch employees." "I write about technology startups and news," Arrington said. "In any sane worl d, that shouldnât make me someone who has to deal with death threats and being spat on." Arrington said he will attend the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos and be gin his break next week.
January 2009 Archives
By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net REALIZING the power of blogging to disseminate information, the Commission on E lections (Comelec) is tapping the Elections Education and Information Departmen t (EID)'s blog t o give updates on the ongoing voters' registration. "Now that we have the technology available and stable, the Comelec will use the bagongbotante.ph blog website to give voters here and abroad updates about the ongoing registration and at the same time, to gather feedback from voters, esp ecially the youth," said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez. Jimenez said the Comelec aims to educate the youth on how registration is being conducted in the National Capital Region and to encourage them to register as voters. âUnlike before when technology is unavailable to us and blogging is a domain fo r hobbyists and experts, now is the right time--when we have access to technolo gy and blog systems are more stable--to fully utilize the power of blogging to encourage Filipinos to register and exercise their rights of suffrage,â said Ji menez. Through articles, pictures and videos, the site offers voters a "fee l of the registration process" in the National Capital Region, said Jimenez. Since January 19, three EID staff visit different Comelec offices and registrat ion centers to gather news and information. They then publishÂ these reports v ia the blog. Jimenez said this is part of EID's monitoring duties. âWe included pictures and videos to show voters the ongoing registration proces s. Usually, people do not believe until they see pictures and videos and as wit h news delivery, this has been the strategy of mass media so we want to keep up with the times," said Jimenez. Jimenez added voters can post feedback to the Comelec via the comments box and shout box or get advise from the poll body about concerns on voter's ID, regist ration process and the like. An upcoming feature on the site will be the "e-plaza miranda" sub-domain, where Comelec will post information about candidates for the national elections. Likewise, Jimenez said candidate can post articles and their objectives or poli tical platform on the e-plaza miranda, once they assume office. Filipino voters can then comment on these political platforms and directly ask questions to the candidates, thus encouraging online interaction between the ca ndidates and their constituents. "Since the site can be viewed by anyone with access to the web, this will also be instrumental in updating the .5 million overseas absentee voters, which will vote for national positions in the 2010 elections,â said Jimenez. Jimenez said other topics included in the blog include Comelec announcements an d voter's education. Media and market research firm ACNielsen estimated that the number of Philippin e-based Internet users has reached about 24 million in 2008. Voters can also follow Bagong Botante through social networking sites Facebook and Multiply a nd micro-blogging service Plurk. Watch this video report:
This case about Quez on City Science High school students supposedly criticizing their school's policies through their blogs brings to mind issues of freedom of expression and responsibility. Based on earlier reports, these four students blogged about certain policies th ey deemed "unfair." For that, they were suspended. As one student recalled:
âIt's not true that there was due process. We were asked to submit letters of apology and we thought that was it. Next thing we knew, we were susp ended for ten days,â he added.The school reportedly submitted a recommendation that the four students be susp ended for 10 days, which was later approved by the Department of Education's di vision. Later --or after news about the suspension of these students was picked up by media, the DepEd revoked the suspension and ordered an investigation. When I was still in high school, it was unthinkable to criticize school policie s. We do discuss about such things. But they were all done privately among us, students. Back then, there was no Internet to speak of. No blogs. No social net works. Today, it's quite different, as some teachers and college professors I have tal ked to attest. Yes, some teachers know that students blog and that they are now more vocal about their feelings about school policies, subjects, and even the teachers themselves. Some teachers may find this "inappropriate." But others ch ose to tolerate it. Question is: what can teachers/principals/school official tolerate? Based on this report , the students claim they were not given due process when they were suspend ed. Also, they claim that the blogs were "private," meaning only "friends" have access to it. The report indicates that the students' blogs were allegedly critical of the sc hool principal, Dr. Zenaida Sadsad. At this point, it's hard to say whether or not the school was right in suspendi ng these students. Students do have the right to express what they feel, but si nce they were done "privately" albeit through the Internet (think of discussion s in a private mailing list that are posted in a public list), are they answera ble to the school? On the flipside, it is also apt to ask whether or not these students have gone beyond merely venting their feelings to the point of already maligning persons involved. What do you think?
Agence France-Presse VATICAN CITY--The Vatican will publish a report on Friday detailing the launch of Pope Benedict XVI's own dedicated channel on YouTube, the Osservatore Romano newspaper said. The deal with search engine giant Google, which owns the video sharing website, aims to "secure the Pope's presence on the web," the Vatican paper said Thursd ay, adding that Benedict has always had been "fond of new technologies." The report will be published when the German-born pontiff will officially launc h his YouTube channel. Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Vatican's communications department , told the paper the pope hopes to reach out to "the digital generation."
By Anna Valmero INQUIRER.net SOCIAL networking sites continue to evolve and now shape up for a new career: i n the political arena. At Facebookâs News Feed menu, you can identify friends w ho are attending the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama online . In the study "Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship" by Da nah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison, one of the first recognizable social network site launched is SixDegrees.com (1997), as well as Classmates.com which starte d in 1995. Today, social networking sites abound boasting different features, such as mult imedia sharing, links, messaging and micro-blogging. Previously, social networking sites linked up long-lost friends and even strangers, allowing them to interact via personal messages, blogs, file an d link sharing applications, and comment posts. In addition to building online communities, social networking sites have evolved to become tools for product o r self promotion, business, knowledge sharing, news and now, politics. Looking back at the turnout of people on the Internet during Obamaâs inaugurati on, millions have trooped to the Internet to witness this historic event in American history, as they expressed hope, se tup pages for Oba ma on Facebook and kept themselves updated through Twitter. To follow Obama, bloggers worldwide, such as U.S.-based Filipino Rheynz, has po sted a slew of articles at the blogging site Reyna Elena.com on how to view the inauguration as it happened. It has been a refreshing perspective that through social networking sites, peop le can again come together and share their feelings about a historic moment, In ternet-style. What do you think will be the next role of social networking sites? Do you thin k it can cause more "change"?
As I'm writing this, I'm watching the unfolding of a historic event in American history over the Internet. Thanks to CNN.com and Facebook, I can now watch president-elect Barac k Obama's inauguration on the web--wirelessly, that is. What makes this event interesting is I'm getting this supposed "live" stream fr om CNN over my wireless connection of 1.8Mbps. There are slight pauses. But so far, my connection is not giving up on me. To make things more spicy, I can see people in my Facebook network logged on to this CNN Live streaming video in partnership with the popular social networkin g website. Now, I can chat with fellow Facebook addicts from the Philippines. One Facebook user says this is going to change how Presidential inaugurations a re covered. And the social network aspect of it is simply brilliant. Score one for CNN and Facebook. Another was wondering how many Filipinos are watching thi s live feed. Judging from the comments that are coming in by the minute (or sec onds), a lot. I also found from fellow Facebook friends that this online video streaming service is different from what you see on cable TV!
It's been a while since we invited readers to be featured in this space. If you 're interested to be part of "Blog Addicts," you can answer the following quest ions below. Then we will publish them. (Disclaimer: Your submissions will be su bject to some editing for form and content). So send away. 1. What prompted you to start blogging and why? 2. What's your fondest memories of blogging? 3. Tell us something about you (keep it short, guys). Send your answers to inquirerdotnetblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.
Agence France-Presse MELBOURNE -- Rafael Nadal reached out to his fans here by launching a blog at the Austr alian Open, taking questions on everything from what motivates him to whether h e has sex during a tournament. The Spanish world number one said he had always wanted to blog during the tourn ament, but admits it isn't easy as his writing skills don't match his tennis ex ploits. "This is my first blog in Australia and I am very thankful to have been given t his opportunity," he said on the posts that appear in Melbourne's Herald Sun ne wspaper. "I am not going to lie to you, this is not easy for me since I am not a writer, " he said. Rafa wants to get closer to his fans and feels answering their questions is one way to do that. "Hi everyone, or should I say G'day mate? I have been told that this is the way Australians say "hello," so I wanted to also say it like this," he says in his introduction. "I am back here in Melbourne and I have to say that I love being here. I have t o say that I am excited." To kick things off he was asked by one fan whether it was true that sex is not permitted during a tournament because it drains the athletes. "Every player should know the best way to be ready to play next day. So it is u p to the player," Nadal said diplomatically. Asked what motivates him, he said it was simply playing tennis and having the c hance to win. "What motivates me is the fact that I am competing, that I am playing tennis, t hat I do what I like and that I have a chance on what I do," he said. "I want to get better and become a better player and to win big tournaments lik e this one in Melbourne. This is really the motivation," he said. Among other "secrets revealed," he said he once left a trophy he won in Mexico in a taxi and was still trying to get it back. And Nadal, who said he would have been a footballer if he wasn't a tennis playe r, admitted his favorite team Real Madrid had no chance of catching Barcelona t his season. Barca is 12 points clear of Real at the top of the Spanish league table.
By Marjorie Gorospe âUNHAPPY the land that is in need of heroes.â This is a notable quotation from German playwright Bertolt Brecht. It is now th e core message of Mae Paner's (a.k.a. Juana Change) latest video posted on YouT ube. Taking the role of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Paner portrays a domestic helper who talks about how OFWs are often considered as "bagong bayani" or new heroes of the country due to sacrifices they make. These new heroes work abroad, leaving their families behind to find jobs elsewh ere. "We do not need praises, we need money," Juana Change says, as she tells a stra nger on a plane about her feelings working abroad. While more and more Filipinos work abroad as professionals, some end up doing j obs that are menial. In the video, her character mocks government officials who go abroad to hide th eir ill-gotten wealth. The video eventually ends with a familiar face: national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. It was as if Paner was showing the two faces of heroes. Rizal sacrificed his li fe for the country; while OFWs continue to sacrifice comfort and dignity to sup port their family and eventually our economy. But as Bretchâs saying goes, this country still needs more heroes who have the genuine interest to serve the country minus personal interest, desire for power and corruption. Watch her video: