Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Hackers who propogate unwanted, aggresive internet traffic, including (but not limited to) various 'trojan' programs that hijack your browser to bring you ads for shady programs that are supposed to stop 'trojan' programs that hijack your browser, are common criminals, and should be treated as such.
They steal our time, the bandwidth we pay for, our hard drive space, and our attention.
I doubt the Federal government has the time or will to deal with this, but certainly the companies that make the software (Microsoft, Sun MicroSystems, and even Mozilla) need to stop over-automating browser software and make it less vunerable. And Microsoft, in particular, should provide anti-virus software FREE with their operating systems. Their product is faulty, and they should step up and help solve the problem instead of allowing others to mine our wallets.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
But if you head over to the retirment castles, the older residents will tell you about the really bad days.
Twenty-five and thirty percent unemployment. No safety net for bank accounts. Families living in cardboard boxes. Farms, homes, factories abandonded.
Still, that's not much consolation for those out of work. Every industry has been hit, and it's no secret that newspapers have been like the canary in the coal mine for the economy. As advertising and expendable income drops, it gets harder and harder for media companies in their current form to employ all the people and resources required to properly cover the news.
And Pennsylvania is sort of unique in this way, because of the many, many municipalities we have to cover. Other states have larger townships and cities, therefore less meetings to cover. We have many news outlets to do this, but the staffs at most have been reduced by attrition or layoffs.
I still believe in newspapers, whether the printed product that lands on your doorstep in the morning or the web site that focuses on the towns we live in. Radical change will come whether we want it or not.
Our president-elect proposed a WPA-style infrastructure program this week. There is no doubt that we could use this...some of the bridges we drive on and the pipes our water is delivered through were installed during or even long before the Great Depression.
I don't think anybody is proposing a bailout of the news industry; we are pretty much on our own. Fixing this will take a consensus by the public that news is important, and worth supporting with advertising and subscriptions. And for that to happen, the news industry - whether TV or newspapers or web sites - will need to think about what will work for the customers, that is the readers and the advertisers.