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136 comments

Woohoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6415952)

First post!

STILL DOESN'T STOP MY ASS FROM ITCHING, DOES IT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6415960)

Re:STILL DOESN'T STOP MY ASS FROM ITCHING, DOES IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416199)

Are you by any chance Mr Goatse? That would be a comprehensive explanation for the phenomenon you are suffering from (although IANAD).

Or r u jsut teh ghey !?

Re:STILL DOESN'T STOP MY ASS FROM ITCHING, DOES IT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416461)

IANAG [goatse.cx]!!! LOL!

Niven? (0, Offtopic)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#6415962)

Why am I reminded of Flash Crowds? (fp)

Re:Niven? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416095)

So fucking what. I spent 5 months working with this moron on brainstorms. nothing new, never was, never will be, just re-marketing the old and ripping people off with it. You're OLD news Rheingold, let it go. and yes, i did read it and i'll ask everyone else who did: did he come up with anything you hadn't thought of, that didn't immediately spring to mind as soon as you realised handheld video messaging was possible? Find a quiet space, sit down, think.

Whoo-hoo! (2, Funny)

ambisinistral (594774) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416250)

I can't wait to see a picture, snapped with their mobile phone, of the overpriced Starbuck's crapachino they just ordered. That'll be sweet!

Yup, thing just keep getting better... now we get to see pictures from peoples' monotonous lives as well as reading their whining. Don't the future sound grand?

Re:Whoo-hoo! -- I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416429)

Blogs probably won't die anytime soon, but who really cares about reading whiny rants of nobodies?

Can't wait to see... (-1, Offtopic)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#6415963)

The face of some troll yelling FRIST PSOTSOTOS! On a Slashdot thread for the first time..

Oh, yeah... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6415978)

...Well, I gotta a joke for you: I'm gonna tear you a new asshole!

Ok, there, pilgrim... Only after ya, eat the peanuts outta my sheat!

Re:Oh, yeah... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416223)

From Full Metal Jacked.
But you are still a butt-whore.

Please (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6415993)

I read about 3 paragraphs of this story before I felt like puking. Mob-logging? It's sad watching these old, insecure guys like Rheingold (and lately, Tim O'Reilly) try to stay relevant. Pathetic. OK, mod me flamebait, but it's true.

Re:Please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416121)

oh no, i agree, he is king of the cocksuckers. i spent 5 months working with the twat. if he's a visionary it's in marketing and ripping people off.

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416720)

I admit that my exposure to Rheingold is fairly limited but I'm afraid I don't really "get" what he does. I have Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming [lucidity.com] written by Stephen LaBerge and Rheingold. LaBerge is a practicing psychologist who works in the area. As for Rheingold, it's hard to understand what his contribution to the book is. In fact, the entire book uses "I" pronouns instead of "we" when explaining things. I'm assuming this means that LaBerge pretty much wrote the entire thing -- it wasn't a collaborative effort at all. I could see maybe citing Rheingold in the Acknowledgements section for fruitfull discussing or something like that but I have no idea why he's a co-author on this book. One gets the feeling reading this book that the publisher or someone else coerced LaBerge into adding Rheingold's name. So I guess I'm agreeing with the parent poster that Rheingold certainly gives the impression of some desperate soul who's trying to hang on and keep his name in the limelight in spite of the fact that he has nothing important to say.

Re:Please (2, Insightful)

lavaface (685630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417085)

What? You're right-O'Reilly has no relevance in the technical world. Insecure? Sounds like projection

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6417493)

O'Reilly as a publisher has seriously declined in the last few years. The old O'Reilly put out classics like 'The Whole Internet,' but now they've got 25 different books on .NET and crap like 'Windows 98 Annoyances.'

Tim O'Reilly, who does seem desperate for Jobs or Bezos like status, has talked up his fair share of bullshit lately. [slashdot.org]

The future is here (2, Insightful)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416012)

Slashdot is the future of news. We are doomed to see tubgirl and goatse. Trolls will dominate the newscape. Although the moderators will save us.

Better value? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416024)

1. road head
2. road soda
3. Cowboy Neal

democratization of the media? (5, Insightful)

Scalli0n (631648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416036)

Somehow I don't see mob-blogging as the 'new media' nor "Putting video cameras and high-speed Net connections in telephones, moves blogging into the streets."

I think that the media will remain the same, if not more powerful due to the vast quantity of information being provided to people; would you rather siphon through 100 people's random news (crap important to them but not you) vs. getting the quick and dirty (www.cnn.com, news.google.com) ?

Re:democratization of the media? (3, Interesting)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416119)

I would think that after a while, there would also be a system that would separate the wheat from the chaff for you, based on a system whose preferences you yourself set. (Kinda like meta-moderations!)

Many blogging sites already tell you which have been updated recently, but more importantly, which are the most popular. They also will break them down based on content and/or channels. Google just bought blogger.com, and with their ranking system, it will only accelerate the trend.

Furthermore, there is also word of mouth. When the second Gulf War started, it didn't take long before someone pointed me to The Agnonist [agonist.org], and I got a lot of good news from that site. All without even looking - I merely heard about it.

Re:democratization of the media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416613)

Another attempt at predicting the future... Blogging is just a fad, it'll disappear after a while.

Re:democratization of the media? (2, Interesting)

Surak (18578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416242)

Think about the indexing capablities of Google, which as another poster mentioned, just bought Blogger.com. You could search for exactly what you wanted news on. Now, combine that with a system that stores your personal preferences and/or most common searches, turns it into a portal, and voila! Instant, raw, uncut news from blogs and mob-blogs everwhere!

OF course, then there wouldn't be some guy in the anchor desk to tell you what to think about the situation, and you'd have to *gasp* think for yourself. No, we wouldn't want people to do that.

Nope, we should just let Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings tell us what to think, because we're too stupid to do that for ourselves. :)

Democratization of The United States: +1,Patriotic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416334)

Will progress with the impeachment [votetoimpeach.org] of George W. Bush et al. [whitehouse.org].

The decline and fall of the Cheney-Rumsfeld regime has begun [washingtonpost.com].

Cheers,
W00t

Why impeach? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416353)

Why impeach? The only things Bush has done wrong was fail to deliver a large enough tax cut, and to cave into to Democratic Party demands to prevent meaningful public education improvement (vouchers).

Not impeachable offenses.

Re:Why impeach? (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417322)

Hmm, weird, I thought that he had LIED to you in the State of the Union, or at least make a large enough 'honest mistake' that the result has been the deaths of hundreds of american kids for no real reason (and the number of times they've changed their story, "Supporting Terrorists!" "Oppressing the Iraqis!" "Developing WMDs!" "Supporting Terrorists!" "Developing WMDs!" "No, there were no WMDs, but they were Supporting Terrorists!" shows how much they were lying)

I also thought he willingly and knowingly sabotaged the USA's reputation throughout the world, covering it with a tarnish that will be felt for decades at least.

Apparently I was mistaken.

Literacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416899)

Somehow I don't see mob-blogging as the 'new media'
I don't even see this:
like the literacy that was enabled by the . . . Internet.
Like the literacy we see here on /. ?
The deal with alot of countrys like China is that their having trouble with there human rites over they're. The government won't let people see some web sights because its afraid of looseing it's control over them. They claim there only fighting porn, but their's more too it then that - there blocking pro-democracy sights to.
as painful as it is for you to read it - trust me when I say it hurts me more than it does you - I had to write it!

SVM, ERGO MONSTRO

Re:democratization of the media? (2, Insightful)

kristoe (119153) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417340)

For science fiction fans, an extreme version of this was predicted in the novel Mother of Storms (John Barnes, 1995, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0812 533453/qid=1057945184/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-897443 2-9869404?v=glance&s=books).

Basic gist: instead of mob bloggers with video cameras and cell phones, imagine thousands of people "broadcasting" the sensory experiences of being in a food riot, etc. in real-time to people around the globe. (also like a real-time version of the wire-tripping in the film Strange Days, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/flex-sign-in/ref =cm_rate_rev_pagepos4/103-8974432-9869404#rated-re view)

Moblogs (2, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416040)

Moblogs: Complete with popups that will make you an offer you CAN'T refuse!

Mobile Porn (4, Funny)

felonious (636719) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416071)

I'm sorry but all I see is a new era/avenue in the world of porn. Now you can call the 1-800 #'s and view some skank(tm) showing you her goods in public. This could be true voyeurism. You could call a 1-800# and tell the skank(tm) what to do. I would tell the skank(tm) to undress and jump the first homeless guy she sees but make sure to keep the phone on the action.
1-800-phn-sknk
I'm sure the live phone cam upskirt cams are coming too. I bet they'll be tied to websites with a meta refresh of 2 seconds or less as an attempt to make it a poor man's video.
I wonder how advertisers will exploit this?

Re:Mobile Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416261)

I don't use them much but aren't those things usually 1-900 numbers? Afterall I don't think they are giving these things away for free.

Re:Mobile Porn (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416780)

You know, after a zillion commercials explaining why I need a phone with a a camera (Catherine Zeta-Jones: "What if you suddenly find yourself playing volleyball with bikini models and you call your friends and they don't believe you?") I still couldn't imagine why anyone would want one.

Until a few days ago when a guy was pointing his phone at the firm, round, barely-miniskirted butt of a Jennifer Lopez clone walking by while yelling, "Ya see that? Ya see that?"

Re:Mobile Porn (2, Insightful)

dki (597803) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417344)

Yah, men generally find this funny until the camera zooms in on their girlfriend, wife, sister, daughter, or mother. Then they start to understand why stories like this creep us gals out.

Moblogged Slashdot? (2, Funny)

creative_name (459764) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416092)

Does this mean we'll soon have to watch video clips of the editors posting stories or chrisd pondering the next poll?

Better still, does this mean that we'll soon be able to immerse ourselves in 24/7, live CowboyNeal?

Tiny, tiny effects (1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416102)

There are 6 billion people in the world. Let's be generous and say that maybe 1 billion of them even have a computer. Of those 1 billion, maybe 250 million have been on the Internet, ever. Of those 250 million, 200 million have real lives and 25 million are busy on Usenet, looking at porn, trading warez, etc. That leaves maybe 25 million people who might blog. Of those 25 million, 1/10th, or 250 thousand might live in a large metro area where they could participate in a "mob". There are probably 1000 such large metro areas in the world, leaving just 250 such people in each city. Of those 250, only 3 have heard of "moblogs". Huge effect, dude.

This is so tiny that it's like considering a single butterfly's wings when forecasting the weather. It's negligible.

Microsoft weather? (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416209)

"This is so tiny that it's like considering a single butterfly's wings when forecasting the weather. It's negligible."

Is the weather really better with the Butterfly? [msnbc.com]

Last time I saw the rainbow-winged dude (on TV, boiling rubber dog bones in the kitchen), he was not so tiny.

Re:Tiny, tiny effects (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416578)

This is so tiny that it's like considering a single butterfly's wings when forecasting the weather. It's negligible.

It would appear to be negligible, but really the effects of it are unpredictable given the size of the system and the number of variables.

The tiniest pebble can start the largest avalanche.

You trust ABCNNBC? Nah, /. (1)

lavaface (685630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417038)

I doubt more than 25 million people currently craft the news agenda. In all likelihood, the number of people who control world policies is almost certainly less than 100,000. These are generally the people with gobs of money. How can you trust NBC when it is a subsidiary of GE (weapons, sattelites, power plants). CNN is a unit of AOL. ABC is part of the Disney empire. Granted, these institutions have broken many quality news items but what is left unsaid is truly staggering. They have a vested interest in controlling the future.

Widespread moblogging technology is still far off, but it's impossible to deny the impact of blogging on the world of journalism. I get news from the Progressive Review [prorev.com], Tom Tomorrow [thismodernword.com] and Atrios' Eschaton [blogspot.com]. To round things off I go to right wing and libertarian blogs. And of course /. ; )

Interesting to note, South Korea has a citizen news network [wired.com]The key idea is establishing trust networks through filtering. Ultimately we will wind up with a more accurate system. [nooron.org]

/. a phone? (1)

Scalli0n (631648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416104)

So what if tianamen square does happen, won't everyone that owns a phone there get /.'ed?

Slashdotting in Red China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416240)

" So what if tianamen square does happen, won't everyone that owns a phone there get /.'ed?"

Hey, this is Red China you are talking about. When you get slashdotted there, a bullet is involved and it is followed by a disposal in an unmarked grave.

(This will soon be improved with cell phones modified to Beijing standards which include a lethal gas canister that can be controlled by the Red Chinese government in case unauthorized phone calls are made)

wtf? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416116)

blogs are so 2000. Nobody cares about some dork marvelling about his ability to communicate his thoughts to millions of people who won't read them.

Moblogs? (-1, Offtopic)

Blind Linux (593315) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416129)

I hate my mother.

In other news, I still want to sex my shrink up.

That is all.
posted by Tony Soprano [mailto] at 5/24/2003 01:24:54 AM

Re:Moblogs? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416310)

I sexed up your shrink *and* your mother!

On initial review (4, Informative)

Webtommy88 (515386) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416146)

It seems like a good thing without giving too much thought at the moment.

This is a good thing for places where media censorship occurs regularly. The SARS crisis could not be contained by the Chinese government because of people sending SMS's to others with tales of a disease spreading in certain areas. The news of course didn't cover it, and when China finally acknowledged it, the news down played it. But the SMS's continued, and it gave people a way to do first hand accounts of an event in progress.

If this can prevent media censorship, I'm all for it.

But then... who's to say some group won't stage some sort of event in the future and use/force people to blog this to mislead others...

Rheingold? (2, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416178)

I for one can't wait for the Götterdammerung that will result from this one.

Say what? (1)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417146)

I for one can't wait for the Götterdammerung that will result from this one.

What the hell does Götterdammerung mean? Speak English, man! If the Romulans, Ferengi and Borg all speak English, is it really too much to ask that you speak it as well? Sheesh...

GMD

Even you can be a journalist (2, Interesting)

Acts of Attrition (635948) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416190)

While this is a neat little thing, seeing it as the new age of journalism may be a bit much, and a bit dangerous.

Sure all these people will be bringing different perspectives to what's going on in the world, but along with it they may bring prejudices and narrow viewpoints along with it. These are things we try to avoid in accurate journalism. Not everyone is going to care about bringing every side of the story, they may just show their opinion (bias) in order to persuade others. This is already happening today and encouraging everyone, no matter if they lack experience, objectivity, proper reporting skills, to be a reporter may not be a good idea. So, the question is, is the future going to have news distribution in the hands of everyone, even considering how difficult it is at the moment to find accurate information on the internet? Everyone has the right to show their opinion, but I do not expect this type of journalism to become as revolutionary as the article implies.

Re:Even you can be a journalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416471)

"This NYT story describes how thousands of PCs have been used as porn spambots and reverse proxy servers, and mentions that they could be used for kiddie porn. Finally, though Microsoft is not mentioned, people might start to understand what a monoculture of poor quality software enables."

Dangerous? on the contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6417251)

On the contrary it's a breath of fresh air.

Bloggers are successfully challenging the accuracy and more critically the relevancy of print and broadcast journalisms. At present the audience/community base is small, but for those who participate the blogosphere is an excellent source of topical information, opinions, and ideas. Facts are checked, opinions are challenged and debated. Ideas evolve. The level of discussion is often quite high, and compares favorably to more traditionally structured public debate forums.

To take an example we all know, there can be little doubt that the discussions of the SCO/Linux dispute that take place on slashdot are more informative and broadly accurate than anything put out by rueters or hacks for the business wires. Broadly accurate. I mean that the distillations (esp. those that rise to +5 in the course of debate) take in a variety of perspectives and reflect a sophisticated grasp of the issues. +5 funny included. The nonconclusiveness of the message board format becomes a strength. The reader can examine opposing viewpoints fairly represented by their adherents, rather than reduced to soundbites or quotables. Biases are revealed and challenged. Points are followed up on and expanded as needed. It's wonderful.

Where Rheingold points to "a new species of literacy," he misses something crucial. The values he places on stories, "attention-getting, non-trivial and credible," are not the best reflection of the new media's capabilities. Especially the idea of getting attention rings a little oldschool. Blogging is a form in which ideas are easily revisited. That privileges robustness of thinking, insightfulness, and multifaceted understanding over the knack for grabbing eyeballs. "Engaging" perhaps is the word for it.

A real change is afoot. In some of the lefty bloggyzines I frequent, stories are selected for their unique and sound grasp of the issues of the day. Knowledge is more on display than writerly chops. Stories come from academics, scholars, activists, government professionals and others whose ideas are compelling, even when their writing style is unpolished.

Does that scare you? Should it?

OPen Source Journalism? (1)

lavaface (685630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417263)

A huge number of journalists are simply PR agents. I've been hoping to see greater depth with the advent of the internet but for the most part, just the same old fluff [ajc.com]. Reporters should link to their sources for stories. Instead of saying "according to a report from xxxxxxx Institution," they should link to it. Provide the entire interview or text of a speech instead of just grabbing a quote (often out of context) Most readers would probably just go with the story, but enterprising or inquisitive minds could see the WHOLE THING if they desired. This would enhance credibility enormously.

I don't find that it is all that dificult to find "accuracy on the Internet." Go to Google, run a few searches in tabs(tnx, safari) check out competing claims, and make your best judgement. Tell me, how do you judge accuracy in books. I generally go by the publisher, author, writing style, wealth of footnotes and a nice bibliography. The internet is not much different.

Re:Even you can be a journalist (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417592)

Sure all these people will be bringing different perspectives to what's going on in the world, but along with it they may bring prejudices and narrow viewpoints along with it. These are things we try to avoid in accurate journalism. Not everyone is going to care about bringing every side of the story, they may just show their opinion (bias) in order to persuade others. This is already happening today and encouraging everyone, no matter if they lack experience, objectivity, proper reporting skills, to be a reporter may not be a good idea.
The key to democratization of news is not in having any fair, unbiased source - it is in allowing all sides to tell their story, and in weighing and judging the evidence for yourself.

Not gonna change (2, Interesting)

saintjab (668572) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416198)

I don't see this as a big revolution. There are allready millions of people who don't travel anywhere without their camcorder. For the sake of news worthiness video will still have to go through a review process to ensure authenticity, accuracy, whatever. Plus is the quality going to afford the images to be used for news events? Is the clarity and size even available from phones? If anything this will generate a whole boat-load of new short clips for the real-life-video shows that abound. Not that seeing people do stupid stuff isn't entertaining; there is just so much allready that I don't think another new media will make that much of a difference. -my $0.02

article text for the lazy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416206)

In case you can't be bothered to click the link...

Moblogs Seen as a Crystal Ball for a New Era in Online Journalism

But futurist Howard Rheingold says the ultimate democratization of the media will not be about technological advances; rather, it will entail upholding old-fashioned standards to earn viewers' trust.
Howard Rheingold
Posted: 2003-07-09

Editor's Note: On July 5, a few dozen mobile bloggers -- Web publishers who post photos, video and text to the Web from cell phones and other mobile devices -- gathered in Tokyo for the First International Moblogging Conference. The event was particularly resonant for author Howard Rheingold, who predicted in his book "Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution" that advances in technology would soon give everyone the tools they need to publish independent reports of news events as they are happening directly to the Web and other platforms.

"The moblogging conference is evidence that the culture of street bloggers I anticipated has sprouted in the real world," Rheingold writes. "I love watching a preposterous prediction materialize with baffling swiftness, especially when I was the fool who put the forecast in writing in the first place."

We asked Rheingold to pull together his thoughts on moblogging and how it will change journalism: Does the nascent moblogging movement mean journalism will eventually become more democratized, or is moblogging a fad destined to only ever be chic among a geeky minority?

Will the next Tiananmen Square uprising, the next shuttle crash or Rodney King beating be broadcast from thousands of citizen reporters' phones? Will average citizens eventually be part of the media machine, regularly contributing to and creating their own news reports, instead of just consuming them?

Rheingold's prediction: The answer is being formed today, and moblogging "is one of the leading indicators to watch as the shape of the new mediasphere becomes visible ... Because the winners and losers of the era of mobile media aren't decided yet ... the uncertainty of the situation presents an opportunity: Informed action in the near future could influence the way this nascent media culture develops -- or fails to develop -- for decades to come."

Smart Mobs Revisited
By Howard Rheingold

Although I could not be physically present at the First International Moblogging Conference, I was happy that it happened and delighted that it happened in Tokyo, if only because it vividly conjured the reality I had conjectured in "Smart Mobs" in October 2002: "What if smart mobs could empower entire populations to engage in peer-to-peer journalism? Imagine the power of the Rodney King video multiplied by the power of Napster. ... Putting video cameras and high-speed Net connections in telephones, however, moves blogging into the streets. By the time this book is published, I'm confident that street bloggers will have constructed a worldwide culture."

I quoted Justin Hall in "Smart Mobs" regarding the scenario that became technically possible in 2001, when one of the first mobile videophones fell into our hands and we wandered Tokyo, wondering what, exactly to do with it.

Hall, who was one of the conference attendees, wrote in 2002: "With the technology in place, it's only a matter of time before an amateur news video is directly distributed to the Web, or to 10 friends in video mail in a news chain letter. When that happens, this new form of news distribution will become the news, and then, ultimately, it will be no big deal."

As I write this, the world is in transition from my prediction and Justin's -- a moment when it is obvious that a new social phenomenon is emerging but it is not yet clear whether we are seeing a fad that is destined to be assimilated, commoditized, and/or disinformated, or whether we are witnessing the emergence of a powerful new medium for collective action, like the literacy that was enabled by the printing press and Internet.

Because the winners and losers of the era of mobile media aren't decided yet and the boundaries between domains have not been negotiated, the uncertainty of the situation presents an opportunity: Informed action in the near future could influence the way this nascent media culture develops -- or fails to develop -- for decades to come.

Once the new media regimes harden into place, individual or even collective effort to reshape them will be far more difficult, if not impossible. I think moblogging, and whatever it may evolve into, is one of the leading indicators to watch as the shape of the new mediasphere becomes visible -- and offers one of the most important leverage points for action.

The moblogging conference is evidence that the culture of street bloggers I anticipated has sprouted in the real world, although that name for the activity never occurred to me -- Adam Greenfield, one of the conference organizers, coined the term "moblogging" in November 2002.

Greenfield decided that the word should be pronounced with the "mob" part sounding like the word "mobile," but others, like Joi Ito, another conference attendee, pronounce it to sound like Smart Mobs. Because the name was invented in print (and online), the legitimate pronunciation can't be known until one emerges from common usage.

As far as Justin's forecast goes, sending still pictures from cameraphones to Weblogs is almost "no big deal" among teenagers in Tokyo, Helsinki, London, Rio de Janeiro. However, instantaneous street video of world-class breaking news beamed directly to the Web has yet to occur.

A pivotal moment like this, balanced on the inflection point between the deskbound regime of the PC era and the necessarily more fluid and untethered mobile-and-pervasive era, is the perfect time to ask whether the inevitable media incident will necessarily lead to peer-to-peer journalism. As futurist Paul Saffo notes, "Don't mistake a clear view for a short distance."

I would only add, in regard to many-to-many media: "Don't mistake the tool for the task." The right tools for global, instantaneous, multimedia production and distribution are necessary, but not sufficient, to achieve the goal of democratizing journalism. ... the most important remaining ingredient of a truly democratized electronic newsgathering is neither a kind of hardware nor a variety of software, but a species of literacy ...

Certainly in regards to the production tools, the sudden expansion of availability approaches the scale of democratization of knowledge enabled by the printing press. A high-quality digital video camera, equivalent to the $50,000 camera used by big league news crews years ago, can be obtained for $1,500, and that price will drop to $150 within 10 years. Another few thousand dollars today buys a digital editing tool that can double as a laptop computer and is equivalent to the editing facilities that used to rent for $100/hour. Wireless broadband Internet access and easy-to-use publishing tools like blogs have brought the means of distribution of journalism within financial reach of entire populations, as well.

But a dozen early adopters does not a movement make. Now that access to the means of production and distribution is no longer a barrier, the most important remaining ingredient of a truly democratized electronic newsgathering is neither a kind of hardware nor a variety of software, but a species of literacy -- widespread knowledge of how to use these tools to produce news stories that are attention-getting, non-trivial, and credible.

Journalism, if it is to deserve the name, is not about the quality of the camera, but about the journalist's intuition, integrity, courage, inquisitiveness, analytic and expressive capabilities, and above all, the trust the journalist has earned among readers.

Good journalists discern compelling stories in events, cultivate and mobilize networks of sources, double check and triple check facts, develop reputations that can only be won by getting the story right week after week, year after year.

The most famous pioneer in the earliest years of the democratization of journalism, Matt Drudge, did not establish a sterling example of new media's promise. Now that savvy and respected newspaper journalists like Dan Gillmor have become enthusiasts of what Gillmor calls "we journalism," some of the necessary professionalism has begun to correct the imbalance of Drudge's example. The Drudge Report serves as a cautionary tale for those who would fall victim to the magical thinking of assuming stronger democracy is the necessary result of the democratization of publishing.

Blogs, RSS syndication, RSS aggregators, metablogs and reputation systems like Technorati and NewsMonster now offer a dynamic and rapidly evolving collective editorial filtering system, not unlike the editors at Slashdot. Some of the sites that are linked by the most people and thus rise to the top of Blogdex or Daypop on a given day contain important breaking news, some of them are bizarre or even repulsive anomalies, some are obvious or covert hoaxes.

But the opposite of Saffo's dick tum can also be true when innovators race each other: Never underestimate humble beginnings. The first personal computers with 16 kilobytes of RAM were useless. But today, we can hold in our hands computers and media players that are a million times more powerful and a fifth the price of the first PCs.

Evolutionary biologists sometimes speak of "arms races" where predators and prey rapidly co-evolve more effective offensive and defensive traits. The emergence of a filtering and reputation layer in the blogosphere is driven by the arms race between the need for useful information and the increasingly undifferentiated barrage of good, bad, ugly and incomprehensible words, images, sounds and software.

Now, by subscribing and linking to online sources we trust, the consumers of blog content are becoming a kind of collective editorial system. The more attentively we sift and analyze and share our discoveries online, the more the writers of blogs (and whatever blogs evolve into) can grow a social intelligence: personally tunable but collectively produced beowulf cluster of sense-making and way-finding. At least that's a plausible ideal.

For all its entertainment and social networking value, the most important promise of blogging is that it could help revivify the moribund public sphere that is as essential to democracy as voting. The petitions, letters to the editor, pamphleteering that preceded the American and French revolutions were essential enabling institutions for the experiments in self-government that followed.

But the arrival of political public relations and the "massification" of mesmerizing goat media have degraded the public sphere to the point where vituperative talk radio has married the brutal fascination of television wrestling with the verbal venom of online flame wars.

There are signs that after more than a decade of political insignificance, the democratic potential of the Internet is being realized by more people every day.

In Korea, Ohmybuttnews helped tip an election and elect a president. Worldwide, Indymedia provided ad-hoc counter-media at the scene of political protests. During the worldwide demonstrations against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the BBC Web site showed stills from cameraphone shots sent to them directly by participants in demonstrations from Stockholm to Rome. In the United States, the Howard Dean campaign emerged to the surprise of the majority of pundits because it used Internet-based organizing media such as a blog, Meetup.com, for early Dean enthusiasts to self-organize, and online fund-raising political e-commerce to the tune of $700,000 in one day. The 2004 election looms as a watershed event for Internet-based media. Moblog the conventions!

Moblogging is at a convergence of technical capabilities with the insatiable human thirst for new ways to learn, create, and communicate, and the political necessity for a truly effective peer-to-peer journalism as a counter to "disinfotacotainment" cartels. Here's hoping that the pioneers will be joined by millions of others, that the Matt Drudges will be forgotten as the Dan Gillmors emerge by the dozens. Once upon a time, reporters were heroes. Maybe moblogging will help revive the endangered and vital tradition.

problem (3, Insightful)

danitor (600348) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416233)

the real problem here is that none of these "mobloggers" is going to have the money to be free to just report news all day. it is the job of "real" reporters to just find news, all day, seven days a week. if you're busy driving to work and earning a buck, you aren't free to only produce news. who has time to check sources/etc.? i'm sure other slashdotters will mention the fact that since there is no real moderation on individual blogs, getting decent news from these sites will also be a time consuming, tedious task. i look forward to seeing solutions to these problems.

Re:problem (2, Interesting)

jason0000042 (656126) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417470)

Ah, but that's why there are few journalists. You must pay them.

A single individual (or small group) will not need to do all the reporting. each story can come from anyone who happens to be around when it happens. Aggregators bring reports together from multitudes of varied sources. Reputation systems provide peer review. Someone else mentioned it, it could be OSJ (open source journalism), with the same advantages as OSS.

No problem, Remember Rodney King (1)

wirefarm (18470) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417481)

No one's looking to make a living as a cellphone reporter, but what happens when the next Rodney King type situation occurs? Whatever happened to the guy who shot that footage? Does anyone care? He was in the right place at the right time with a bit of consumer-grade technology and he managed to change a city.

In one sense, he added a new system of checks and balances where none existed before.

Look for more of that.

I carry a big camera everywhere and because I do, I get shots that someone with no camera would obviously miss. Here in Tokyo, almost every cellphone has a camera. I doubt many shots will get missed in the future.

The technology has become ubiquitous and cheap - the real value will follow later as people get beyond the "Hi, this is me!" snapshots.

As for the value of blogs as a news source, keep in mind that most of these blog writers are used to having less than 10 readers, yet they still write. When they get something good, it gets noticed and passed around. Eventually it will end up on daypop or fark or one of the other aggregation sites and then you have your news/opinion article. Every day it's someone new, yet there is a steady stream of material.
Things like this work themselves out.

Cheers,
Jim

Death of Journalism (3, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416247)

So Journalism becomes aggregated rumor and mobthought? Thanks but no thanks.

While there are certainly problems with current Journalism (see New York Times, and the rush for all networks to become like Fox News in the wake of Iraq) I still like knowing where my news comes from and having some entity to hold responsible for the coverage.

Individual testimonials and stories have their place too, but the people on the street have their own axes to grind as much as the media does and do not as frequently distinguish between fact and rumor. (How many idiots on the internet will scream "Bush is a Coke-Head" or "Clinton had people murdered!" like it's gospel)

Journalism is in enough trouble with corporate consolidation and deregulation, but this is too much.

Fox? This is no problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416287)

"While there are certainly problems with current Journalism (see New York Times, and the rush for all networks to become like Fox News in the wake of Iraq)"

Improving standards to the level of Fox News is not a problem. Maybe places like the New York Times will start hiring on ability instead of race (see the Jayson case).

"Journalism is in enough trouble with corporate consolidation and deregulation, but this is too much."

There is no consolidation: media voices have been steadily increasing in number (check the national TV news outlets 30 years ago compared to now: they have more than doubled, with none being lost). Deregulation is not the problem, but regulation is. The fewer restrictions on the First Amendment, the better it is.

Re:Fox? This is no problem (1)

DMDx86 (17373) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416339)

Deregulation is not the problem, but regulation is.

I agreed with you up until this point.

We have media conglomerates such as Clear Channel and others who want to own every outlet of media in the country while at the same time ignoring the demands of what people want.

The Clear Channel myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416394)

"We have media conglomerates such as Clear Channel and others who want to own every outlet of media in the country while at the same time ignoring the demands of what people want."

The Clear Channel control thing is a myth: they control about 8% of radio stations in the country, and even in large markets, the stations owned by them are usually outnumbered by stations owned by someone else.

If things go their way and they double the number of stations then own, it would still be less than 20%.

Clear Channel gets big by giving the people what they want: sad as it is, a lot of people love bad pop. This is how they get such large listener shares.

Re:Death of Journalism (4, Interesting)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416385)

What I want to see is video from the people involved in protests. That's what this is going to be good for. I don't give a crap what the guy holoding the phone/cam thinks, but it will give me a view of an event the mainstream media might have glossed over. Things are so whitewashed it's ridiculous. Try watching the BBC vs any of the US channels. The US won't show anything that might upset us. That's not really telling the truth, it's just partial truths.

There is no whitewashing of media in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416499)

There is no whitewashing of the media in the US, where the media free and uncontrolled. In England, you have the BBC which is government-controlled.

Re:Death of Journalism (2, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417004)

Yeah, well don't expect to see anything about protests in Iran (let alone what's happening to the organizers [gooya.com]) on either the BBC or the US media.

But, since you're presumably talking about a different sort of protests -- I don't get this narcissistic protester mentality. A bunch of people stand around and hold signs. I've done it myself. You do what you can and hope people notice.

But this business of I'M WALKING ON STILTS AND PUTTING ON A PUPPET SHOW! I MUST BE OBEYED! And if society doesn't reorient itself around my views, THE MEDIA ARE SUPRESSING MY VIEWS! I MUST FIND A NEW OUTLET FOR MY VIDEO FOOTAGE!

Honestly, if the number of people already videoing protests and distributing them online (that was the primary purpose of Indymedia before it became a chat board for psychos, and never even mind that any major protest is shown full-length on C-SPAN) isn't enough, video from phones isn't going to change that. People need to realize that we don't live in a protestocracy, and that that's a good thing.

Re:Narcissism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6417468)

Let me eplain it to you, what you call narcissism.

The President travels in a media bubble. He uses pool reporting, with reporters close to the President relaying information to reporters gathered at the periphery. The information flow is largely oneway. All of the reporters are focused on the President. This creates a kind of stage for him, a political theatre. The problem with this, in terms of accuracy and fairness and objectivity, is that the real newsworthy events may be occuring on the streets, and not inside the official bubble. Reporters often miss this because they aren't looking, structurally, attitudanally, practically.

If, as some hypothesize, reporters focus on the official stage because it makes good theatre, then it is logical to assume reporters would shift their focus to the streets if events in the streets were more theatrical. There you go. Puppet shows.

That does not describe a narcissistic mentality. Get out a little more.

Did you or the moderators read the article? (5, Informative)

laetus (45131) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416423)

Jesus, people, get a clue. The whole frickin' article is about the emergent problem of journalistic credibility vs. moblogging.

Blogs, RSS syndication, RSS aggregators, metablogs and reputation systems like Technorati and NewsMonster now offer a dynamic and rapidly evolving collective editorial filtering system.

His entire thesis is that the emerging moblogging culture will need to put safeguards into place, like reputation systems. He's not talking about aggregating rumor or mobthought, but the need for mechanisms to sift the wheat from the chaff so that you have rapidly emerging, true information without a paid editorial staff.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds alot like Open Source Journalism, collectively written and peer-reviewed.

Re:Did you or the moderators read the article? (2)

Howard Rheingold (239621) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417413)

Thanks, Laetus. It's refreshing to see a Slashdot comment from someone who not only read the article but got the point.

Re:Did you or the moderators read the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6417597)

Wow, meta- and dynamic and all those other buzzwords in one sentence. Rheingold is full of shit.

Re:Death of Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416588)

If Bush didn't do coke, explain his responses to questions about it.

Rheingold Beer "Chug-A-Mug" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416263)

I'll have a Rheingold Chug-A-Mug.

Video blogs = good time (1)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416297)

Can't wait to read Goatse's video log. 10 bucks says it will be a real eye-opener.

Maybe I'll finally get to see what that one girl that keeps sending me five or six emails a day looks like too...I think her name was BritannyXXX--HOT--XXXBritanny or something.

Mob-Logging? (2, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416329)

>> Rheingold Preaches Mob-Logging

Is he preacing Mob-Logging?
Or does he just want Mo-Blogging?

maybe hes right (3, Informative)

Neuronerd (594981) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416337)

Slashdot is a real big success story. The moderation system makes sure I see only at least remotely relevant or funny stuff.

Now checkout tv.oneworld.net [slashdot.org]

that already does quite cool stuff with short videos uploaded by virtually anyone.

If both are combined I could really imagine this to be useful. Imagine something like slashdot where editors select stories. Everybody would then sortof upload their clips that would get moderated. I dont see why this should not be possible.

Re:maybe hes right (3, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416488)

Um, Slashdot with videos? Can you imagine the bandwidth usage? The storage requirements? The videos of the Goatse guy spreading his cheeks?

Re:maybe hes right about goatse.cx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416644)

Wow! There's VIDEOS of Goatse.cx? Link Me!

Video Slashdot via BitTorrent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416660)

Um, Slashdot with videos? Can you imagine the bandwidth usage? The storage requirements?

Can you imagine using BitTorrent for the videos? It's perfectly suited for handling flash crowds. All Slashdot would really need to post is the control file. Maybe the video file, temporarily, just to kick it off if the author has gone offline while waiting for it to post.

snow crash by neil something (1)

grazzy (56382) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416363)

anyone else sees a connection?

maybe its the future, maybe someone just had a field day at the library..

Phreky (2, Funny)

jabbadabbadoo (599681) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416407)

I see a new "profession" coming out of this telco/it combo: phreakers doing hacking.

I propose calling'em "phrakers".

we will respond to mob-logging with... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416487)

log-mobbing: the art to apply mobbing against those who create logs

this guy has no hands on experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416505)

I worked for a company in the dot-com craze that hired some consultants from the company Rheingold works for, and I must say that what they produced what the biggest crap I've seen in my time as a software developer.

It's Mo-blogging (3, Informative)

Octagon Most (522688) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416589)

I think the term is moblogging ("moe-blogging") as in mobile weblogging. It's a little confusing in that it talks about mobs of people using mobile devices. You can follow the link [v-2.org] to the origin of the word.

IMPORTANT: about Kuro5hin! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6416744)

flikx weighs in his opinion about Kuro5hin: (found here [geekizoid.com])

What a pathetic attempt by a drooling mongoloid fuckwit. How this individual even managed to grasp the skills required to operate a computer system in the first place is beyond me. Besides, hardly anyone of even marginal importance reads Kuro5hin. The site is nothing but a collection of midlevel networking administrators, armchair scientists/engineers, liberals, and crybabies, interspersed with the occasional first or second year prospective engineering student from some no-name Canadian or midwester junior college.

The appalling wave of junk science, misguided culture, blatant trolling, and pop-psuedopolitics found on every other corner of the site will do a fine job of refuting this silly customer testimonial.

Naive (2, Insightful)

locarecords.com (601843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416748)

Rheingold gives us more of his simplistic technological determinism and poorly researched and non-empirical ideas.

So what? A group of people read his work and then actually rush to be the first to wet their pants as he can name them as actually implementing his ideas!?! How lame is that?

Much more interesting would be a book that actually analysed how the media corporations will use this technology in embedding at a lower level than already shown in the Gulf War. This was perhaps the most potent demonstration of how technology allows us to see everything in real time, but as we are overwhelmed we don't critique, we don't listen and it becomes purely background entertainment.

For instance in the Gulf War lots was happening in Basra and on the Baghdad Rd, we knew that as there were so many Embeds. BUT what exactly were the US and Brits up to in Western Iraq and Northern Iraq where the Embeds were forbidden (or perhaps persuaded) not to go? We will never know as we were all so sick of footage from the 'media' bit of Iraq that we truly couldn't be bothered to find out...

That is the power of moblogs... Control through information overload... coming soon...

Are blogs just hype? (3, Interesting)

BelugaParty (684507) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416773)

Maybe I'm alone, maybe I'm not, but I've never visited a blog on a regular basis, unless the blog is in front of something else that I want, I probably wouldn't ever see one. So, maybe you can help me out? Where do I even begin looking for useful/meaningful blogs?

To me, I hear all about blogs, but have never ever found an interesting or useful one. Come to think of it, I haven't even seen that many. So maybe there's an index I'm missing? Or maybe I need to get more saavy friends?! whatever.

It seems like blogs and their importance are all hype.

Re:Are blogs just hype? (1)

lavaface (685630) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417354)

I have no idea what your interests are, but The Progressive Review is a good place to start. Not exactly a blog but lots of depth on the site. Follow some links and you'll find some interesting blogs. Most of them have a set of links to other like-minded bloggers on their sidebars. True, there's a lot of crap but don't quit looking. Googling "blog" and some key words is also a good place to start.

He didn't go to the damn conference! (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416774)

What in the hell is the point of this article? This guy spouts off about this conference that he didn't even attend. Big fucking deal. I probably know as much about the conference as this guy does. Want to hear what I have to say? No? Oh but this guy is a "futurist". Wow. Now that carries some weight with me. What does this self-proclaimed "futurist" have to say about some conference that he didn't attend? I'm also curious as to what he thought of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Anyone have a link to his expert opinion on that movie?

indymedia (4, Informative)

akb (39826) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416878)

Indymedia has been doing this kind of stuff for years. Its a network of websites where people upload multimedia news content. It started off as an event based thing around protests (Seattle '99) but has grown into a network of over 100 sites worldwide, that try to provide community news coverage on an ongoing basis.

For most of the coverage is not done live, ie people take pictures, video, etc and then go back home or to a community media center and then upload it. There have been a wide variety of live wireless strategies used including:

- internet radio stream with live callins via cellphone (most popular)
- phone cams
- sms gateway
- onsite kiosk provided via 3G phone, for picture upload, live chat
- live 802.11b video streaming

Since Seattle '99 thousands of a/v clips, tens of thousands of photos and hundreds of thousands of text articles have been contributed to this collaborative news platform.

We've done some stuff with syndication of our content but the protocols don't exist yet to fully exchange multimedia content.

One thing that I think Indymedia has that blog culture doesn't is that its not "just a website". The websites function to allow anyone to participate but that's generally not thought to be sufficient. Each of the 100+ nodes in the network has a group of people that work to cultivate a liberated media space by doing things like provide training on how to do multimedia and reporting, holds film showings, provides technical support, publish newspapers, etc.

I work with DC Indymedia [indymedia.org].

Journalism is all about trust (4, Insightful)

DeusExLibris (247137) | more than 10 years ago | (#6416905)

As I have stated here before [slashdot.org], to be considered "journalism", trust of the source is a required characteristic. Rheingold himself makes this point:

"Journalism, if it is to deserve the name, is not about the quality of the camera, but about the journalist's intuition, integrity, courage, inquisitiveness, analytic and expressive capabilities, and above all, the trust the journalist has earned among readers."

Whether we call it journalism or not, we all participate in communities of trusted information. We talk with our friends and family about politics, co-workers about innovations in technology, etc. Who we choose to believe or listen to within these groups is based upon how much we trust the other party. The so-called democratization of journalism is nothing more than the globalization of the chat around the water-cooler.

Improvements in technology will not improve the quality of the content (in fact, it will probably bias it towards the prurient and salacious), but it does increase the pool of potential reporters. While we will undoubtedly see the rise of individuals that draw a devoted gathering (ala Matt Drudge), the "traditional" media sources will continue to be important as reliable, trusted sources.

personal opinion on blogging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6417181)

i came across this stuff on harvard professor's blog (which is extremely ironic). he basically hinted that once upon a time "content was precious". You had to pay the typesetter, the publisher and the author for it. Additionaly as a reader you also needed to purchase the content. but today "content is like sewage". now again, "what is sewage ?". sewage is not just some crap floating around. its just stuff in the wrong place. you got liquids, food, inorganic material, bacteria, fungi and a lot of other things. there is a concept of recycling. you take the useful stuff out of the sewage. by "useful" i mean stuff which society needs today. the usefulness is an abstract and personalized concept. much like the process of distillation of petroleum. every part has its use. if something doesn't have, it wont be long before someone finds a use. i was thinking about a software application which could be fine tuned to do the process of distillation from the sewage. sort of like "google" but independent, transparent , monitorable and incrementally finetuned by a group of people who dont know each other. i though "slashdot" was an excellent example of it, however group dynamics indicate that its too "leady". now I dont want to really rush it and say here's an application which will get you what you want (like a date on a saturday night whose blogs reflect a % similarity using some bayesian algorithm with yours). this really becomes too influential, since a textual representation of a person's life and creativity is different from what he is actually. probably such an application is already being built and I will find it. scientifically, i guess its not possible to produce intelligence, by just "googling" the web /building a common-sense database like mindpixel/using CBR or AI. Probably the barriers to what Iam envisioning are too many and something scientific is blocking my understanding. However, I do feel that we are moving towards it day-in and day-out (an ad in maxim mag : " You know how to search. Do you know how to find ?"). One biggest barrier to this which is being overcome today, is society is being a lot more open, a lot more fearless than it used to be. MIT courseware is online, ARXVIV is a phenomenal database of cutting edge research. Think of all the things you can learn by spending a trifling amount to surf this. Think of all the things you can discover about how you are learning, what you are learning. Once we have that understanding, Once we have the knowledge, the question which remains to be asked is "Can we transfer this learning to a computer ?". If so what is the difference. Only time will tell.

The Rheingold vs. Flight of the Valkyrie (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 10 years ago | (#6417341)

Personally liked Valkyrie better than Rheingold. As for paying to watch internet video on a cell phone, basic cable costs $42 a month already, the picture is a lot better, and you can keep the footage for posterity.

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