Monday, March 21, 2005

Yahoo buys Flickr maker Ludicorp

While I was busy at work last night, it appears the impossibly affable bunch at Vancouver's Ludicorp were also working away.

"Holy smokes, SOMEBODY out there is bad at keeping secrets!! Yes! We can finally confirm that Yahoo has made a definitive agreement to acquire Flickr and us, Ludicorp," Caterina Fake announced on the Flickr Blog yesterday. For those who don't know what Flickr is, you should really check it out.

I visited Ludicorp last May to interview Caterina and Stewart. While the piece that was eventually published was heavily edited due to print restrictions, and after our talk and trying Flickr myself, I realized Flickr was going to be huge -- either they'd grow into an online powerhouse, or they'd be acquired.

Looks like I was right.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Winnipeg blogger turned back at U.S. border

Lifting my head from work for a moment, I'm surprised to learn from the Committee to Protect Bloggers that Winnipeg blogger Jeremy Wright was denied entry at the U.S. border this week -- apparently because U.S. officials don't believe blogging is a job, or that it's possible to talk to someone without using a phone.

I had invited Wright to be part of the blogging panel at this year's Canadian Association of Journalists conference, which unfortunately conflicts with a prior commitment -- particularly unfortunate for delegates since it now sounds like he'd have a lot more to say.

The CPB sums it up nicely:
The right of the United States to control its borders is the right of any nation. The CPB believes, however, that it is unwise to use people as gatekeepers whose knowledge of one of the major technologies of global interaction is non-existent.

For those who don't know who and what Wright and Ensight are, he's putatively the first person to sell his blog.

JBLOG is No. 1

I occasionally like to find out who else out there has my name.

As of sometime this week, this blog is now the No. 1 Google result for my name.

I assume that's the outcome of a Google algorithm tweak, because the molecular geneticist has been at the top for at least the last couple of years, and this blog had been WAY down in the results rankings until a few weeks ago, when it started showing up in the No. 2 spot.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Winnipeg bloggers
Once again this year, I'm organizing the blogging panel for the Canadian Association of Journalists' national conference, to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba (in Canada, for foreign readers) May 13-15.

I'd like to include a couple of local bloggers -- or blog opponents, so if you have any suggestions, let me know either by commenting below or by e-mail

The address format is firstname.lastname at the domain above (

Monday, March 14, 2005

Treo 650 freedom
The embargo is lifted and I'm finally free to say that PalmOne's Treo 650 smartphone is ... well, different from its predecessor, the Treo 600. I'm not yet entirely sure whether the change is good, bad or neutral.

I've been testing this new Treo palmOne loaned me for about a week now. (Although it launched in the U.S. last year, it became available in Canada today and I was restricted from discussing the device by a non-disclosure agreement.)

The two most obvious changes from the 600 model are the styling -- more rounded and with a couple of new controls on the face -- and that it's heavier. It also has Bluetooth and uses EDGE networks for faster data transmission and the refined keyboard is easier to type on. You can read more about the specs at if you're interested.

What I'm interested in right now is how it performs as a mobile blogging tool. Those of you who've read my columns or heard me speak know that I've been interested in what I call "pocket journalism" since the 1980s.

Right now, I'm using a piece of software called mo:Blog, which the kind people at palmOne preloaded for me -- it's not a standard app.

Setup is simple, it supports Blogger, Moveable Type and metaWeblog but most of all I like the fact that it makes it easier for me to blog in transit and manage my posts.

I'll have to leave it there for now -- my stop's coming up in a minute.