Here’a s package I made for SBS News this week on changes to Google’s privacy rules, including the response from the Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim. A slight rushjob – had a Skype interview set for 16:30, two hours before deadline – but was more or less ditched for the ABC. That threw me a little; but I made deadline, yo.
Archive for the ‘Media convergence’ Category
Tags: arab, Arab League, arab news, arab spring, Arab world, Syria, tableau software
My interest in the Arab world has grown massively this year. I guess I’m not the only journalist saying that- who could fail to be inspired (or at the very least intrigued) by events across the region. We took a trip to Syria (pre-chaos), I’m learning Arabic, and I also have further trips in mind. Below are a couple of pieces of work I’ve put together for SBS in the last month.
First, a map of the year’s developments, using the finicky (but free) Tableau software. It’s hard to get interactive multimedia going in online news without spending any money, but Tableau, if you can get your head around it, is ok; yet not ok enough, it seems, to want to get interactive via the embed code on this blog. For full interactivity, check it out here. Next, a wrap of the year’s events, with outcomes and approximate death tolls which I’m quite proud of, as it goes into some real depth; every Arab country, from Algeria to Yemen, and not just those which successfully ditched a despot. Here’s a link to that one.
Finally, a slideshow I put together using some of the best agency pics of the year put to a friend’s music. In lieu of visiting the region, a nice multimedia wrap to end the year.
And I almost forgot – a cheeky exclusive on the first woman to cast a vote in an election following the Arab Spring – anywhere – when a Tunisian woman from Sydney cast her vote down here in Australia. Who says nothing happens in Canberra?
- The Arab Spring: A Year Of Revolution (npr.org)
- Peter Goodspeed: Mohamed Bouazizi, ‘Son of the whole world’ (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- Egypt youth delusioned – we were better off with Mubarak (themoderatevoice.com)
I have a new blog feed- or collection of thought processes – over at SBS News, my employer. I’m posting mostly on technology and media issues, including the changing landscape we all find ourselves in as we migrate from paper to digits. More inkybinary stuff, perhaps. Most recent posts include the UK getting ‘in a Twitter’ over free speech, microblogging and Ryan Giggs, as well as the rise of Google’s Android.
Here’s a link.
Tags: google maps news, mapping news, mapping stories, maps journalism, online news, online news maps
Here’s a news inspired Google map of the political unrest in the Arab world.
A few weeks back, Australia was inundated by severe flooding in many different areas. This was a busy time for us at SBS news. To best tell the story, I was updating a Google map each day – first ‘Queensland Floods’, and then spreading to incorporate northern NSW and Victoria. It turns out, people LOVE this kind of visual storytelling. I was aware of them as a useful tool, but the article it was embedded in has done amazingly well for us as a news site, and exceeded all expectations. Amazingly well.
As such, I came up with another on due to the ongoing civil unrest in the Arab world. First in Tunisia (as we were quick to publish at SBS, leading in to a special coverage minisite with updates from Brian Thomson in Cairo backing up agency copy), then of course notably in Egypt, but also elsewhere in the region. Publishing online news articles on a protest in Egypt or a self-immolation in Mauritania can only go so far in telling the story, so visuals do the job well. Some would say viewers are lazy. There’s probably an argument here, but if they inform people, so be it. This one has particular resonance for me as my partner and I are heading to Syria and probably Lebanon in just a few weeks. Naturally, and for entirely selfish reasons, we are hoping that the Syrians might put up with decades of oppression and censorship until our holiday is through. This, I feel, would be considerate. And so I have a careful eye on developments in the region. So, it turns out, do readers of SBS World News Australia online.
This ‘news map’ has also done pretty darn well. News, though, online or elsewhere, is always newsier for people, let’s say, if it is in their backyard, and the Queensland flood map smashed it in terms of clicks. Either way, I’m sure we will be doing a few more of these.
- Cyclone Yasi on Google Maps (googlemapsmania.blogspot.com)
- The NEW stuff with Google Maps (lehsys.com)
- Home hunters get help from Google Maps (money.marksandspencer.com)
- 360 Panoramas of the Brisbane Floods (googlemapsmania.blogspot.com)
- “Via esri australia – brisbane city council flood cop map service now available… (AnyGeo via TechNews AM)” and related posts (technews.am)
Tags: Denial-of-service attack, download LOIC, Download Low Orbit Ion Cannon, how to denial of service, how to DOS attack, how to join operation payback, IP address, join operation payback, Mastercard, Twitter, WikiLeaks
This week, Dedicated Denial of Service, or DOS attacks hit the mainstream media big time, with the news that supporters of the WikiLeaks website were, as they saw it, fighting back against companies which had dared shun the site.
I’m no ‘hacker’, as large parts of the press like to term these armchair activists, but I have been familiar with the concept of what a denial of service attack is for a number of years. I had the pleasure of attending the Chaos Computer Club’s Easter Hack in Cologne back in 2008, and have watched these shadowy free-speech absolutists with admiration for years.
To perform a DOS attack such as operation payback, or #payback, you get as many people, or simply computers, to head for the same website at once, and hey presto, said website can’t cope with the requests.
So today, I thought I’d look at how to join operation payback, indeed how to join in a DOS attack, from a technical point of view. There’s no immediate masking of IP addresses with the software in question, so you can get caught pretty easy if your ISP wanted to assist your local authorities in this legal grey-area, but as a journo, it’s my right to find out ;)
It’s hilariously simple – although not as simple as the the most simple method, basically visiting the site in your browser. First, it seems most of the ‘anonymous’ peeps and others are using LOIC – or Low Orbit Ion Cannon – a very easy to operatre desktop client that fires off requests to a certain website. It’s a tongue-in-cheek name for a very 21st century form of conflict – although I’d hesitate to call it war as ‘the media’, which I’m a part of, has done. Activism, it certainly is.
There are plenty of places hosting LOIC for download. There may be other pieces of software for DOS attacks for the not-too-tech-savvy punter out there, but this could not be easier. You load it up, put your URL in (in this case, Visa, Mastercard, Amazon et al), and press the big button which says something along the lines of ‘Imma fire mah lazer’, and hey presto, you’re sending oodles of requests to the servers, along with your comrades, who’ve presumably used Twitter or chat rooms to all do it at the same time.
It’ll be fascinating to watch this sort of activism develop in the coming years.
- What Is LOIC? [Anonymous] (gizmodo.com)
- Wikileaks DOS Attack Tool: Not Anonymous (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- The Techpocalypse is DANGEROUSLY close (thenormanomicon.wordpress.com)
- How Operation Payback Executes Its Attacks (mashable.com)
- Pirate Bay appeal failure spawns more DoS attacks (go.theregister.com)
- WikiLeaks fans should think before they botnet (news.cnet.com)
- Dutch police arrest 16-year-old WikiLeaks avenger (descentintodarkness.wordpress.com)
- WikiLeaks: DDOS Attacks Reflect ‘Public Opinion’ (pcworld.com)