Monday, November 29, 2004

Tyler Hamilton: Another Canadian JBlog

Thanks to David Akin, I now know that the ranks of Canadian journalists who blog have been fattened: Toronto Star technology reporter Tyler Hamilton is blogging.

Like me, Hamilton came to blogging skeptically:

I always understood the initial fascination with blogs but wondered whether the novelty would die away....

Maybe a month from now I'll be hooked. Maybe this will be my first and last entry. I guess we'll see...

That's essentially what I thought when I relented and became a skeptical blogger. I guess it's true what they say: Resistance is futile.

David's trackback:

BlackBerry blogging

I was so impressed by the performance of the BlackBerry 7100r that I logged into my blog account and wrote this using the device itself:

Blogging on the mobile Web can be pretty challenging. I've tried on a number of Internet-enabled devices -- phones, PDAs, hybrids of both-- but have yet to find one that makes it easy.

Sure, you can e-mail blog posts, but using a Web form has always been difficult to impossible since most mobile browsers have problems rendering Web sites properly or conveying the data once it's been entered into the Web form.

I've been using this new 7100 series Blackberry for a few hours now, and other than a little difficulty entering a password blindly and accurately on the multi-tap keyboard, of all of the devices I've tried, this seems the most capable.

I doubt anyone at Research In Motion had blogging in mind when they designed this device and its software, but that dovetails neatly with something RIM CEO Jim Balsillie told me in an interview a couple of years ago.

"We can't even begin to imagine how people will use the BlackBerry or what kind of applications they'll come up with," he said, adding something like (this is paraphrased): "We'll just concentrate on making a good product and let others worry about the rest."

If this is the result of that approach then my reaction is simple: Good plan.

But the post was somewhat premature since, when I clicked on the PUBLISH POST button on the Web form... nothing happened. In fact, no Web button I tried worked, although hyperlinks work fine.

So much for full-on moblogging from a BlackBerry. I guess e-mail posts will have to do on the move.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Rebecca MacKinnon moves to new blog

NKZone's Rebecca MacKinnon, a research fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and former CNN Beijing bureau chief, has abandoned her Techjournalism blog for the new

Rebecca's final post on Techjournalism:

This blog no longer fits my needs. I'm moving to another space with a more flexible title and mission, using tools I'm more comfortable with. My new home is at: Once the domain mapping kicks in you can also find it through

See you over there.

No need to ask me twice.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

U.S. election 2004 front pages

The Newseum has created and been posting on its Web site a special U.S. election archive of over 300 newspaper front-pages from the U.S. and around the world.

Although the archive is clearly dominated by U.S. papers, the way in which the outcome of the election story played around the world will have to wait. Since deadlines for most of the world's papers had already passed before any poll results came in, many of them played down the story, or seem to have run "decision day" coverage.

Microsoft Canada president Frank Clegg to step down

Frank Clegg
, the president of Microsoft Canada, is to step down in the new year. He is to be replaced by 10-year Microsoft veteran David Hemler, an American, who will assume the presidency on Jan. 31. Clegg will move into a new, yet to be named role.

The Globe and Mail's Jack Kapica has a basic story about Clegg's departure that appears to be largely written from Clegg's official bio, and
CTV reporter and Globe contributing writer David Akin has a story that highlights Clegg's role in turning Toronto startup DocSpace into a takeover target attractive enough for Critical Path to snap it up in 1999 for $530 million.

Clegg turned what was a $55 million a year nook in the Microsoft empire that had fewer than 100 employees into a $1.2 billion gem staffed by over 700, but his legacy will likely be the child-protection initiative he committed Microsoft to developing.

The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS), being developed in conjunction with Toronto Police Service's child exploitation unit, is to help authorities track and find pedophiles and other child predators online.

As Toronto police Det. Sgt. Paul Gillespie told me last year, tracking and identifying Internet pedophiles and child pornographers is the most difficult practical aspect of the the work his unit does. The new tools are expected to help automate a number of the time-consuming, repetitive tasks -- such as manually sorting, cataloguing and indexing images found on seized computers hard drives -- so police can concentrate on investigation.

When I spoke to Clegg about the initiative, it was still in the planning phase so few details were available. But with the system slated for delivery before he ends his tenure, don't be surprised if you start to see an upsurge in child pornography arrests as the system helps increase police efficiency by several orders of magnitude.