Saturday, 20 October 2018

Calmly Writer is my new favourite thing

I can’t believe I haven’t heard of Calmly Writer before.

It’s a responsive typewriter that doesn’t stutter, has no gee-gaws, and saves to your own disk or Google Drive.

Just beautiful.

Crowdfunding created daily newspaper the Vancouver Times over 50 years ago

We tend to think that crowdfunding is a very 2010s idea. Only last year, I was throwing the idea out there that a new Vancouver daily could be kickstarted for a mere $22 million.

But reading this Peter Mackie story about the short-lived Vancouver Times, I discover that it was completely funded by the public buying shares, much of it sold from a stand at the PNE. The publisher, William “Val” Warren, hoped to replicate this throughout Canada.

It only survived a year, bad management and lack of ads dooming the project. Newspaper academic Marc Edge has a history of its short life and slow death.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

SF mayoral candidate beautifully turns tables on newspaper reporter's hit piece

Jane Kim, running for mayor of San Francisco, was given 24 hours to answer a list of very leading questions from the San Francisco Chronicle. Her answers are a master class in how to handle a biased media.

The Chronicle has now replaced the editor and reporter covering the mayoral race, but didn’t actually apologise.

Dave Winer had a great piece in 2010 about why he does not do interviews any longer. If he thinks your questions have value, he’ll blog about it in public or he’ll talk to you on background only.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Using YouTube as a Pirate Radio broadcaster

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Imagine the wealth we would have if we hadn't destroyed our downtowns

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A lovely interview with Mallory Ortberg, founder of the late lamented site, The Toast

Isaac Asimov's scathing review of 1984

You don’t often read much criticism of 1984 as a book, but Issac Asimov thought the science fiction was ridiculous and the author yet another dude who could not get past the class system.

"All the rights EU citizens in the UK are set to lose after Brexit"

Sure you can stay, Mr & Ms Euro, you just can’t ever leave.

Cast learns almost extinct Haida language for new film


Sunday, 18 June 2017

The final crossword of the Vancouver Daily Herald (1954) and how the Vancouver Public Library ruined my gag

In my piece the other day suggesting that some wiseacres Kickstart $22 million for a daily newspaper, I had intended to include the suggestion that this prospective paper take the name of the old Vancouver Daily Herald, which folded on 29 September 1954.

Why? So the new incarnation could finally print the answers to the crossword it’s namesake surely ran over sixty years ago. (I wish this was my idea, alas, but this gag was done by the reborn New York Sun, which, in 2002, printed the answers to the crossword from 1950.) But a joke’s a joke.

To this end, I asked the Vancouver Public Library to send me a PDF of the final crossword, which champs that they are, they did. It was also a competition with real money: every week that readers did not send in a perfect answer, the pot went up. It was last offered with a $600 pot.

Alas, the fiendishly efficient VPL staff also sent me a PDF of the answers, which was published in the final edition. ruining a good gag. Nobody won the final pot. It’s still up for grabs.

Below are the pictures of the crossword on the page, the final crossword, and the answer page. Click on them to make them larger.