Communications over the world wide doesnt depend on sytax or eloquence or rethoric or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard.
People can only hear you when they are moving toward you and they are not likely to when your wordss are pursuing them
Even the choices words lose their powe when they are used to overpower.
Attitudes are the real figures of speech '-Friedman

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New elected Uruguay's President: Jose Mujica

A former left-wing militant who spent almost 15 years in prison during the country's military rule appears to have won the presidential elections.

Reliable exit polls give Jose Mujica, 74, just over 50% of the vote in a run-off poll.

His main rival and former President Luis Lacalle has conceded victory.

Mr Mujica succeeds a popular head of state, Tabare Vasquez, who has been in power for the last five years as Uruguay's first left-wing president.

With his election victory, Mr Mujica has completed his transformation from left wing rebel to statesman.

A plain-speaking maverick, who lives a frugal life and enjoys gardening, Mr Mujica's election is being seen as an expression of the desire for left-wing continuity.

Mr Lacalle was a conservative former president whose administration was mired in corruption.

Consensus bid

During military rule prior to 1985, Mr Mujica spent many years in prison.

He was often held in harsh conditions, even spending two years confined to the bottom of a well.

But Mr Mujica acknowledges that those years of imprisonment cured him of pursuing armed struggle.

He has instead sought to build political consensus, successfully bringing the Tupamaru movement into the governing Broad Front coalition.

Mujica’s victory also gave the Broad Front a narrow majority in Congress, where his wife, Sen. Lucia Topolansky, was the top-vote getter and therefore is now third in line to the presidency, after vice president-elect Danilo Astori.

Lacalle, a scion of Uruguay’s political elite, finished second with 29 percent in October’s first-round election, and picked up most of the third-place, right-wing Colorado Party voters, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Mujica.

Mujica, 74, vowed to do everything possible to build bridges and avoid creating an atmosphere of tension and drama. He said negotiation and dialogue would be his tools, and cited Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as his inspiration.

The National Party traded power with the right-wing Colorado Party for 150 years until the Broad Front pulled enough leftist factions together five years ago to give Vazquez a presidential victory.

Many voters said the single five-year term required by Uruguay’s constitution wasn’t enough to consolidate the successes of Vazquez, a Marxist oncologist and former Montevideo mayor who enjoyed 71 percent approval ratings in a poll this month. Vazquez imposed a progressive income tax, using the additional revenue to lower unemployment and poverty, provide equal access to health care to everyone under 18 and steer the economy to 1.9 percent growth this year even as many other economies shrank.

Lacalle, in contrast, was a champion of privatization during his 1990-95 term and vowed this time to eliminate the income tax and “take a chain saw” to state bureaucracies. But he also acknowledged Vazquez’s successes, saying he would make no major changes in economic policies.

Mujica co-founded the Tupamaros, one of many Latin American leftist rebel groups inspired by the Cuban revolution in the 1960s to organize kidnappings, bombings, robberies and other attacks on U.S.-backed right-wing governments. Convicted of killing a policeman in 1971, he endured torture and solitary confinement during nearly 15 years in prison.

Topolansky also was a Tupamaro leader, and like Mujica, was tortured during more than 13 years in prison.

In the quarter-century since the dictatorship ended and they were granted amnesty, the couple transformed the guerrillas into a legitimate political movement that is now the driving force behind the Broad Front.

In a July speech, Mujica vowed to distance the left from “the stupid ideologies that come from the 1970s — I refer to things like unconditional love of everything that is state-run, scorn for businessmen and intrinsic hate of the United States.

“I’ll shout it if they want: Down with isms! Up with a left that is capable of thinking outside the box! In other words, I am more than completely cured of simplifications, of dividing the world into good and evil, of thinking in black and white. I have repented!”

But Mujica still has the appearance of an anti-politician, a gruff old man more comfortable driving a tractor on his farm than shuffling through marbled halls.

“This isn’t too exciting — at this point it’s like dancing with your sister,” he said enigmatically as he cast his ballot.

Lacalle called for national unity after casting his vote, urging Uruguayans to treat each other with respect once the results are known.

Alan Boyle The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference

Author Event
Saturday December 05, 2009 7:00 PM

The Grove at Farmers Market
189 Grove Drive Suite K 30, Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-525-0270

Alan Boyle
is the science editor for and also appears on MSNBC news. He has won multiple awards for his science writing from the the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Science Writers, and the Space Frontier Foundation.

The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference

About the Book

In support of Pluto-the cutest and most unfairly treated planet

Pity poor Pluto: It's a planet that was discovered because of a mistake, a planet that turned out not to be a planet at all, thanks to a still-disputed decision made in 2006. And yet, Pluto is the planet best-loved by Americans, especially children, one that may have contained the building blocks of life billions of years ago and may well serve as life's last redoubt billions of years from now.

In The Case for Pluto, award-winning science writer Alan Boyle traces the tiny planet's ups and downs, its strange appeal, the reasons behind its demotion, and the reasons why it should be set back in the planetary pantheon.

Tells the compelling story of Pluto's discovery and how it became a cultural icon
Makes the case for Pluto as planet, countering the books that argue against it
Comes in a small, friendly package — just like Pluto — and features a handsome design, making it a great gift

The Case for Pluto is the must-read tale of a cosmic underdog that has captured the hearts of millions: an endearing little planet that is changing the way we see the universe beyond our backyard.

Alan Boyle is’s science editor and the award-winning blogger behind Cosmic Log. He’s been a talking head on NBC’s The Today Show and the MSNBC cable channel, holding forth on scientific subjects ranging from the chances of an asteroid Armageddon to the 3-D wizardry behind the “Harry Potter” movies. But he writes better than he talks.

For Plutophiles and Plutoclasts alikeby AlanBoyle

I'm the author of this book (my first!), so I have to admit I'm a little bit biased. But I tried to put forth the case honestly, drawing upon centuries of history as well as Pluto's recent "demotion" ("reclassification" might be more P.C.) and even more recent discoveries about our own solar system and the hundreds of other planetary systems beyond ours.

My view isn't that Pluto should be restored as the "ninth planet," or the "littlest planet," but that Pluto and others of its tribe (as well as Ceres and possibly Vesta in the asteroid belt) should be considered planets of a sort. If you want to call that sort "dwarf planets," that's fine. In fact, I think you'll find this meshes pretty well with what a lot of experts in planetary science are saying. To rule out Pluto (and Eris, and Haumea, and all the other dwarfs) on the grounds that they're much smaller than Earth would be as silly as ruling out Earth because it's much smaller than Jupiter. And the idea of "clearing out orbits" begins to get very squishy once you look into the kinds of planets that are being discovered beyond our solar system (as well as the kinds of planets that are likely to be discovered in our own Oort Cloud).

You'll find all this laid out in the book. You'll also learn about the personalities and the peculiarities behind the Pluto story. For example, you might know that Pluto was named by an 11-year-old girl (who sadly just passed away at the age of 90) and that Pluto the Disney dog was named after the planet - but did you know that the name was almost thrown out because it reminded some people of a mineral-water laxative, or that one of the first sci-fi stories about Pluto was a pulpy tale of three sexes on the mysterious planet?

There are no villains in the Pluto story, as far as I can tell - just scientists who want to do the right thing, all in their own different ways. It's up to the wide scientific community, as well as the even wider public, to decide how the story eventually turns out. I hope you'll find that "The Case for Pluto" offers the best evidence to help you make your own decision.

Shakira and Jeffrey Sachs take the Topic of Early Childhood Development to the 2009 Iberoamerican Summit

On November 29 and 30th the topic of Early Childhood Development will take Estoril with the presence of Colombian star Shakira, founder and activist of Fundación ALAS, and Jeffrey Sachs, Economist and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, to present in the frame of the 2009 Iberoamerican Summit the Regional Alliance for the universal coverage of nutrition, education and health for children between 0 and 6 years old.

This coming Sunday, November 29, Shakira will meet with Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, who leads the implementation of comprehensive policies for early Childhood, and is a key member of the Early Childhood Development Secretariat for Latin America and the Caribbean, founde by ALAS and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Other bilateral meetings will also take place with Latin American dignitaries to promote the urgency of achieving universal coverage in health, nutrition and education for children between 0 and 6 years old.

Shakira and Sachs will present the Regional Alliance for Early Childhood Development with the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, and the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, in a press conference that will take place Monday, November 30th at 1:45 pm in the Hotel Miragem, Room 1.The ECD Report will be presented as the first product of this unique and innovative initiative for the region’s Early Childhood.

Letter from SHAKIRA

Thank you for all your support and love! As an artist, I am constantly looking for new challenges and ways to express myself. One way is through my music - another is by giving back and doing what I can to make our world a better place.

I want to share with you an issue that I am very passionate about. I believe that every child should have the right to follow their dreams and get an education. Growing up in Colombia, I saw that education can be a child's way out of poverty and a way to fulfill his or her potential. It is a basic right, but too often poor children are shut out.

Globally, 72 million children don't attend primary school and another 226 million aren't in secondary school. In addition, hundreds of millions of children attend some inadequate version of school but can't access the type of quality education that they really need to succeed...either the teachers don't consistently show up or there aren't enough books or the kids are too hungry to focus on their lessons.

We know how to address this. Governments must abolish school fees, hire more qualified teachers and provide textbooks and meals in schools. Most important, they must decide that a child's poverty is not an excuse - that they will educate all children regardless of what family or neighborhood they are born into. And they must prioritize education funding in their budgets.

All I have to do is close my eyes and I can imagine the faces of the homeless children that lived in my neighborhood when I was a little girl. They had no hope. Many of them sniffed glue or took drugs to forget the hunger and the cold. But I have also seen how education can alter the course of a child's life forever.

Check out some of these links to learn more about education and how you can help. It's amazing how much difference each person can make, so I hope you will join me in supporting every child's right to a quality education!


The Pies Descalzos Foundation

The Barefoot Foundation

ALAS Foundation

Unicef's Goodwill Ambassador,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Juan Martin Del Potro beats Roger Federer to reach ATP semifinals

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina celebrates going through to the semi-final after he won his match during the men's singles round robin match against Roger Federer of Switzerland during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 26, 2009 in London, England.


AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) Juan Martin del Potro squeaked into the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals by beating Roger Federer 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 Thursday - the slimmest possible margin to advance and knock Andy Murray out of the tournament.

The result means Del Potro and Federer both advance after a three-way tie in Group A, with Murray's elimination literally coming down to the last game after three rounds of group matches.

All three players finished the round-robin stage with two wins and identical 5-4 set records, but Murray had the lowest percentage of games won. Had Del Potro lost just one more game against Federer, Murray would have advanced at the Argentine's expense.

Murray beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) earlier Thursday.

The complicated tiebreaker system left even the players uncertain about who had advanced when the last match was over.

"I asked Juan Martin myself at the net, 'Did you make it or not?'" Federer said. "He said, 'I don't think so.' ... Of course, you got to feel sorry for the guy who didn't make it. At the same time, Del Potro beat the No. 1 player in the world in the group, and I guess also deserves to go through. There's only two places, and that's the way it is."

Del Potro said he had to wait 25 minutes before getting confirmation that he advanced.

"Because nobody knows what happen," he said. "But, well, I qualified."

Federer would have been eliminated with a straight-set loss and looked in serious trouble against the U.S. Open champion. He trailed 5-4 in the second-set tiebreaker with Del Potro on serve, but the Argentine netted a simple forehand that would have set up two match points.

Federer then converted his set point with a forehand volley, and celebrated by jumping into the air with both fists clenched.

"I knew I couldn't lose in two sets because I knew that was going to knock me out," Federer said. "That's why I was very excited."

The deciding set then went with serve until 4-3, with Del Potro needing to break to keep alive his chances of advancing. He did just that, going up 0-40 before converting his second break point when Federer put a forehand wide. He then closed out the match with a second-serve ace, to repeat his victory over Federer in the U.S. Open final.

"I played good tennis today, similar to New York, a little better in some moments of the match," Del Potro said. "I served good in important moments. I take my opportunities. That's what I have to do against the best player of the world - take the opportunities and try to play the best tennis."

Like in his first two matches, Federer had a poor start.

He was broken in the first game when he sent a forehand long, and then double-faulted on break point to give Del Potro a 4-1 lead in the first set. The Swiss star also showed moments of brilliance - hitting some spectacular shots among his 28 winners - but the tall Argentine dictated the pace from the baseline and saved all three break points he faced.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WiMAX Technology

WiMAX Technology

Faster Internet is in the air.

Now you can get blazing fast high-speed Internet performance all over town. WiMAX-enabled Intel® processor-based devices deliver Internet speeds three times faster than 3G, making your mobile computing experience as “plugged-in” as it would be if you actually were plugged in.

Look for laptops and Internet devices with optional WiMAX built-in to give you a head start.ΔWiMAX is the next-generation of wireless technology designed to enable pervasive, high-speed mobile Internet access to the widest array of devices including notebook PCs, handsets, smartphones, and consumer electronics such as gaming devices, cameras, camcorders, music players, and more. As the fourth generation (4G) of wireless technology, WiMAX delivers low-cost, open networks and is the first all IP mobile Internet solution enabling efficient and scalable networks for data, video, and voice. As a major driver in the support and development of WiMAX, Intel has designed embedded WiMAX solutions for a variety of mobile devices supporting the future of high-speed broadband on-the-go.

Laying the foundation for broad, cost-effective deployments, Intel is working to easily integrate Intel® WiMAX technology into complex designs and global networks, providing a standards-based foundation for ongoing product innovation.
Built for the future, Intel® WiMAX technology will allow you to connect in more places, more often, without being restricted to hotspots. When built into notebooks and mobile devices, you'll be able to extend your connected experience beyond Wi-Fi.
Demo: Learn how WiMAX works

Mobile WiMAX¹ is the next revolution in wireless technology that will enable pervasive, high-speed connectivity to meet the ever-increasing demand for broadband Internet on the go. Delivering the next leap in the mobile network evolution with fourth generation (4G) wireless, WiMAX will drive a wide array of devices well beyond what's available today, including notebooks, phones, consumer electronic devices, Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and more.

The WiMAX future

The only network optimized specifically for mobile broadband Internet, WiMAX is based on a set of global standards covering fixed, portable, and mobile deployments on an open network that will help drive and leverage the openness of the Internet, as opposed to prior generation's, closed systems, such as 3G networks.

The low-cost, all-IP network architecture and backwards compatibility with existing 2G and 3G cellular network deployments makes WiMAX easier and more cost-effective to deploy and operate than current mobile wireless data solutions. As a result, it has already garnered broad support from leading operators—both wired line and wireless—and device manufacturers around the world.

Friday, November 20, 2009

MSNBC: ALAN BOYLE:Stuck Mars rover makes first move in months

NASA sees ‘slight forward movement’ out of a Red Planet sand trap

By Alan Boyle
Science editor
updated 8:57 a.m. ET Nov. 20, 2009

Alan Boyle
Science editor


For the first time in seven months, the Mars rover moved.

NASA's Spirit rover has been stuck in a slanting sand trap nicknamed "Troy" since April. The problem started when golf cart-sized robot broke through a crust of soil and slipped into softer stuff beneath. Ever since then, the rover team has been trying to figure out how to get it out.

The crucial commands telling Spirit to spin its wheels were sent up this week — and before-and-after photos sent back down to Earth on Thursday revealed "very slight forward movement," NASA reported.

That movement didn't come easy: For months, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have been working out a detailed strategy for extracting the rover from the fine, slippery sand in which it has been stuck. The job is more complicated because one of Spirit's six wheels broke years ago. That means the rover has had to drive backwards, dragging its front wheel behind.

The engineers finally decided the best course would be to have Spirit retrace its steps downslope by driving "forward" — rather like driving a car out of a winter snowdrift that it backed into. The driving commands that were uploaded to the rover called for making two spins of the wheels, each of which would be the equivalent of 8.2 feet (2.5 meters) of travel. NASA didn't expect the rover to move that far, but the space agency was hoping that the spins would make at least a small difference in Spirit's position.

The first time the maneuver was attempted, on Tuesday, the rover aborted the commands less than a second after the wheels started to spin. NASA said the commands set off an alarm in the rover's electronic brain because it looked as if the maneuver would change the machine's tilt too dramatically.

Month in Space
Catch a blast from the sun, a clash between galaxies and other outer-space highlights from October.

more photos

As it turned out, Spirit had inaccurate information about how much it was tilted to begin with. The commands were revised to reflect a more accurate read of the rover's position and sent back up to Mars on Thursday.

This time, the commands worked, as shown in the before-and-after imagery.

"Spirit's left front wheel has become slightly less buried in the soft soil in which the rover had become embedded about six months ago," NASA reported in its mission update late Thursday. "The right front wheel, which has not been usable for driving since 2006, has been pushed perceptibly forward by the drive. The amount of forward motion is less than 1 percent of the distance that would have been covered on firm ground by the amount of wheel rotation commanded in the drive."

It could take months to get Spirit out of its predicament. "Extrication drives are expected to make slow, if any, progress in coming weeks, and the probability of success in escaping from Troy is uncertain," NASA said.

Spirit and its twin rover, Opportunity, landed on opposite sides of the Red Planet in January 2004. Mission planners expected them to last at least 90 days on Mars, and the robots have far exceeded those expectations. The rovers' missions have been extended several times at a fraction of the initial cost of $820 million. Along the way, Spirit and Opportunity have confirmed that liquid water once existed on what is now a cold, dry planet, in volumes that could have sustained life as we know it.

Even Spirit's forced immobility hasn't been a loss. The rover science team has been conducting detailed observations of the area around Troy even while engineers have been working on the escape plan. If Spirit fails to make its escape, it could continue to do useful science in place.

Sandro flies to Mendoza to receive multi-organ transplant

Roberto Sanchez (aka Sandro) “will receive a transplant in the next few hours in Mendoza,” confirmed on Wednesday his press agent Nora Lafón.

The artist has been held in a Buenos Aires hospital for months awaiting for a donor.

At dawn, a donor appeared for Sandro, who had been awaiting a heart / lung transplant.

The singer is suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) for years and his health deteriorated continuously.

Sandro will be taken from the Argentine Institute of Diagnosis and Treatment (IADT) to Mendoza by an air ambulance and his arrival is scheduled for 11 am.

Once there, he will go to the Italian Hospital, where the medical team led by heart surgeon Claudio Burgos awaits.

Journalism :ON LINE

By the Project for Excellence in Journalism


The Web in 2008 became a regular and even primary news destination for more and more Americans.

Several surveys found that the number of Americans who used the Web regularly for news jumped. And at least for some news the Internet has now overtaken most other media as a favored news delivery platform.

One poll, in December 2008, found the number of Americans who said they got “most of their national and international news” online increased 67% in the last four years.1 The presidential election was almost certainly a key factor in the growth. More than a third of Americans said they got most of their campaign news from the Internet in 2008 — triple the percentage in previous presidential election year.2

The growth in online news consumption cut across age groups, but the growth was fueled in particular by young people. Young voters and activists now rank the Internet as a news source of importance parallel to television.3

And the shift was likely not just a matter of changing audience tastes. News organizations and the political community both were also more aggressive about delivering news and information online, and giving consumers more ways to gather, organize and share it across multiple devices. From personalized news pages sent to a person’s e-mail, delivery of content on “smart” mobile phones, news-ranking sites that list the most-recommended news stories and more sharing of content among news producers, what was available from the traditional news media digitally was richer, even if much of this was the same information simply made more readily available.

Add to that social networking sites like Facebook. And the video site YouTube also became a major delivery system for people to get news posted and recommended by friends and associates, and often from political campaigns. The Obama camp reported more than a billion minutes of campaign-produced material was downloaded from YouTube. And Youtube reported that the Obama campaign’s 1800 web videos were viewed 100 million times in total.4

Internet News Use

By any number of yardsticks, the traffic to news websites jumped in 2008.

According to a PEJ analysis of comScore data, the average number of unique visitors to the top 50 news sites each month grew 27% in 2008 over the year before.5 The number of monthly unique visitors to all 700 news and information sites measured by comScore grew 7%.

Comparing one media platform to another can be complicated, given the different ways different media are measured. Often the clearest reference is found in survey data.

According to Pew Research Center data, as of August 2008 the percentage of Americans who went online regularly for news (at least three times a week) was up 19% from two years earlier to nearly four in ten Americans (37%). No other medium was growing as quickly. Most saw audiences flat or declining.

The new numbers put the Web ahead of several other platforms for the first time. In the same August survey, 29% of Americans said they “regularly” watched network nightly news, 22% watched network morning shows and 13% Sunday morning shows.

The percentage of Americans who relied on the Internet regularly, according to this data, was now roughly similar to that who regularly watched cable television for news (39%).

More people still read a newspaper “yesterday” (34%) or listened to news radio (35%) than had viewed news online “yesterday” (29%). But the gap was narrowing.6

The biggest jump came in the number of people relying on the Web for national and international news in particular. In December, 40% of Americans said they got most of their national and international news online, up 67% from 2004, the last presidential election year, when the number was 24%. That put the web ahead of newspapers (35%). Only television, cable, local and network combined, ranked higher (70%).7

Other surveys reinforced the notion of a jump in online news consumption. In November 2008, for instance, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found 36% of Internet users said they now used the Web for news on a “typical day,” a 16% jump from two years earlier (December 2006) when the number was 31%.

The numbers, it is important to note, refer to the platform by which people acquired their news, not the source gathering it. Virtually all of the most popular news websites are those associated with traditional news organizations, whose legacy platforms are paying for the news gathering, or are aggregators, which collect content from traditional newsrooms and wire services rather than produce their own. But given the financial implications of the Web on the news business, the numbers are no less significant.

This growth in online news consumption was not due to more people using the Internet generally. The percent of people who go online for any reason has held fairly steady at 70% to 75% of the U.S. population since 2006.

But those who go online do it more often and for longer periods of time than in the past, and they increasingly seek news. Since 2004, for instance, the percentage of online Americans saying they went online “yesterday” increased from 58% to 72%. And the number logging on multiple times a day from home jumped from 27% to 34%.8 Another study found that over the last three years, the amount of time the average user spent online increased from 14 hours a week in 2006 to over 17 hours as of January 2009.9

Consider that that in January 2009, the Digital Future Report from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School found that 79% of adult users said the Internet was now their “most important” source of information (not just for news), higher than television (68%) or newspapers (60%). Getting news online, in other words, has become more of a reflex and a larger part of people’s daily lives.10

For all this, one other factor has remained constant in Internet news trends: the people who go online for their news tend to be more educated. That has not changed over the last decade even as the number of online news users has grown.

Ten years ago a college graduate was more than three times as likely as someone with a high school education or less to regularly go online for news. That gap remains just as large today. Fully 61% of college graduates go online for news at least three days a week, compared with just 19% of those with no more than a high school education.11

Beyond demographics, the accelerating move by audiences generally to the Web just deepens the paradox facing the news business.

As their audience migrates online, and the old media continue to build their offerings there to service them, the media are properly developing their market share in the new media environment. The more success legacy news operations have online, however, the more damaging it is to their current revenue base, since the Internet increasingly cannot pay for itself from any of the current economic models (see Online Economics).

Internet Audiences and the Election

Almost certainly a major reason for the surge in online news consumption in 2008 was interest in the election. While television remained the dominant delivery source, the percent of Americans who said they got most of their campaign news from the Internet tripled between October 2004 and October 2008. Fully a third (33%) reported getting most of their election news online, up from the 10% who did so four years earlier.12

By the last week of the election, 59% of voters said they had sought out or encountered at least some political information online.13

Young people were a major factor in that growth. Nearly three times as many people ages 18 to 29 cited the Internet (49%) as their main campaign news platform as mentioned newspapers (17%).14

Among those over age 50, nearly the opposite was true: 22% relied on the Internet for election news while 39% look to newspapers. Even with that, compared with 2004, use of the Internet for election news has increased across all age groups. Among the youngest cohort (age 18-29), television has lost significant ground to the Internet.15

Most Popular News Sites

Which news sites were enjoying this boost in traffic? The evidence suggests growth across a range.

To some extent, the biggest Web sites got even bigger. The top four news sites alone, for example, increased their audience by 22% in 2008, according to data from comScore, or a combined 23.6 million visitors a month. That rate of increase is more than twice as fast as in 2007 and more than five times the rate in 2006. At Yahoo News, the most-visited news site according to comScore, the number of visitors rose by 13% for the year. The number rose 24% at No. 2, 34% at No. 3 CNN.Com, and 20% at No. 4 AOL News.

(Tracking the exact order of which of these sites is first, second or third is complicated by the fact that the different measuring agencies use different methodologies, but all show substantial growth).

The traffic data also suggest that a host of niche sites that barely registered or did not exist during the previous presidential election also benefited., a news aggregator, producer and blogging website, for example, catapulted into the 20 most-visited sites in September 2008, according to data from comScore, with 4.5 million users during the month, an increase of 474% compared with September 2007.16, which started in 2007 (see New Ventures Section) with a focus on national politics, increased fivefold to 2.4 million visitors between September 2007 and 2008., which aggregates political news and polling, grew 489% during that period.17

Audience Growth: Top News Sites vs. Select Political Sites
September 2007 vs. September 2008

Design Your Own Chart

Source: comScore, Inc.

But even with those gains, traffic to those sites remained a fraction of what the leading news sites drew. As a group,, and drew an average of 3.9 million more visitors per month in 2008 than in 2007. To put that into perspective, Yahoo gained 4.5 million by itself. The evidence clearly suggests that while a variety of new sites grew, in general, the big got even bigger, extending their share of Internet traffic.

After the election, some of these niche sites were more successful than others at retaining those audiences. In December, the Huffington Post still drew 81% of the viewers it did in September and October, when interest in the campaign was highest., the left-leaning online magazine, retained 77%. Two newer sites, however, did not do as well. Politico’s website kept just about half its audience. And the Real Clear Politics website, which had grown in advance of the election, kept only 21%.18

Top News Sites (Nielsen)
Average monthly unique visitors, 2007 vs. 2008

Design Your Own Chart

Source: Nielsen Online

Top News Sites (comScore)
Average monthly unique visitors, 2007 vs. 2008

Design Your Own Chart

Source: comScore, Inc.

Top News Sites (Hitwise), 2008
Market Share Rank
Yahoo News
Google News
Drudge Report
The New York Times
Fox News
USA Today
BBC News
The Washington Post

Source: Hitwise, Inc.
NOTE: Hitwise’s methodology ranks popularity according to percentage of total traffic a website attracts

Mergers: British Airways and Iberia

LIKE two drowning men Iberia and British Airways have long eyed each other as potential means of mutual buoyancy. The rate at which the airlines have been sinking at last forced them into each other's arms on Thursday November 12th. BA made big pre-tax losses in the year to the end of March as it suffered from the credit crisis and the global economic slump. Iberia actually managed to eke out a slender profit for 2008. But as the terms of the merger were thrashed out Iberia announced a loss in the latest quarter, which includes the usually profitable summer months.
A week ago BA said that it had lost £292m ($466m) in the first half of the year, which includes the summer period. These airlines are not alone in their travails. The International Air Transport Association, an industry body, estimates that total losses for the world’s airlines this year will be some $11 billion. By agreeing to merge the two firms will belatedly join the trend for big European airlines to bulk up. This has become an attractive means to make substantial cost savings as they compete against low-cost rivals and try to cope with a precipitous fall in numbers of lucrative business passengers. The pair reckon that by the fifth year the new group will save some €400m ($595m)annually by cutting overlapping routes, and by combining maintenance, office functions and business-class lounges. The pair may also have more heft when it comes to negotiations to buy new planes from Boeing and Airbus.

But saving money by laying off workers and changing conditions of employment may prove troublesome. Iberia’s cabin crew have just finished one round of strikes and are promising more in a dispute over changes to their jobs. BA’s attempts to cut cabin crew and freeze pay could also result in strikes over Christmas. Ground staff and pilots are equally willing to use industrial action to get their way.

The deal will see BA’s shareholders take 55% of the new company to Iberia’s 45%. It will also propel the pair back to the big leagues of European aviation. Their combined revenues will put them closer to Air France-KLM, the product of a similar deal in 2004 and Germany’s Lufthansa, which has expanded its operations with a series of smaller takeovers of Swiss and Austrian airlines since 2005. And like Air France-KLM, while the pair will combine their businesses they will maintain separate corporate operations. This will allow both to maintain their roles as the national flag-carriers while keeping valuable bilateral international landing rights that go along with that status.

Willie Walsh, the BA boss, will take control of the combined airlines while Iberia’s chief executive, Antonio Vázquez, will become chairman. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of next year, but Iberia can still pull out if BA’s pension scheme, currently with liabilities of some £2.7 billion, becomes “materially detrimental” to the merger. Iberia may fear that the British holding company, which will have full responsibility for the pensions, may not deal with the pension problem successfully.

One reason for keeping apace with European rivals is that size will become an important factor if consolidation among airlines goes global. The two airlines are already seeking antitrust immunity in America and in Europe for a tie-up with American Airlines, which would see all three co-ordinating over costs and revenues on transatlantic routes. After an “open skies” agreement between Europe and America in 2008 Air France-KLM has been granted similar immunity for its tie-up with Delta-Northwest, as has Lufthansa with its American partners. But BA may be required to give up landing slots at Heathrow, a price it has been unwilling to pay in the past.

Despite “open skies” a protectionist stance in America over the country's troubled airlines has left in place a law that prevents foreign airlines form owning more than 25% of an American counterpart. The European Union is pressing for this restriction to be lifted, though there is little sign that it might happen soon. But were the Americans to have a change of heart, and if international consolidation took flight, a combined BA and Iberia may just be strong enough to stay afloat.

source: The Economist

BILL KOVACH ,the social responsibility in the media and journalism.

Latin American journalists are invited to a congress organized by the Argentine group Foro de Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA) on social responsibility in the media and journalism. The meeting will be held on November 20 and 21 at Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires. The opening address will be presented by American journalist Bill Kovach, the former New York Times bureau chief in Washi

WHEN BILL KOVACH LEFT Washington in 1986, he was by anybody's definition a true media insider: head of The New York Times Washington bureau and on the short list of people who might one day achieve the Holy Grail of journalism and become the paper's executive editor. When the Times passed him over, the news that Kovach was leaving town to run The Atlanta Journal-Constitution created a sensation in the hermetically sealed orbit inside the Beltway. The day of the announcement, Kovach pulled a bottle of Scotch from his desk for a bittersweet late-afternoon celebration with his staff. They were disconsolate; he was jaunty. "I'm going to fly it into the mountain," he told them, "or I'm going to make it work."

History will record that the plane did indeed fly into the mountain: after a stormy two-year tenure in Atlanta, when the paper won two Pulitzers but Kovach ran afoul of his profit-minded corporate bosses, he left Atlanta to become curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard. This summer he's returning to Washington to write books and op-ed pieces--moving back into the same house in Chevy Chase where he and his wife, Lynne, and their four children lived when he was the Time? bureau chief. But while the address hasn't changed, everything else has. Reporters don't keep bottles of Scotch in their desks these days unless they want a referral to the Employee Assistance Program, and Kovach is no longer a newsroom bigfoot. He's a press critic--a role that, depending on prevailing opinion, makes him either a priggish elitist or a self-exiled member of an unruly and irresponsible tribe. His complaints are forceful and particular: The rise of the 24-hour news cycle is tempting journalists to abdicate their obligation to sort out gossip from facts, he says, and turning them into mere conduits for a slurry of fact, innuendo, rumor, and opinion. Reporters are forgetting why they got in the business--presumably, it was to expose vice and give voice to the powerless--in their quests for blockbuster stories and the chance to make big bucks as TV pundits. Media mergers threaten to obliterate the line between editorial and advertising. Things have gotten so bad that even The New York Times used anonymous sources in roughly a third of its coverage of the Monica Lewinsky story, and The Washington Post used them twice as often as that. In other words, we're not just going to hell--you can actually see hell from here.

Hawk-nosed and white-haired at 67, Kovach speaks with a Southern accent that betrays East Tennessee hill country, but the accent is somewhat misleading: In fact, he's the son of Albanian immigrants who settled in Morristown, Tenn. in the 1920s after his father, John, won the lease to the town's Busy Bee Cafe in a poker game. Albanian culture is, according to ethnic stereotype, argumentative and prone to nurse grudges; in Kovach's case, reality fully conforms to the image. Lynne Kovach recalls that in the early years of their marriage, Bill's fights with his brother Joe would sometimes get so violent she was afraid they would kill each other. After his father died when he was 13, Kovach grew up on the streets "as what you'd call a juvenile delinquent, except for a few teachers in school who kept me in line," he says. He joined the Navy in 1951 straight out of high school and learned to swim and dive during his military service, returning to Johnson City, Tenn. after four years to go to college on the G.I. Bill. His intention was to become a marine biologist, but a summer job at The Johnson City Press Chronicle between college and graduate school changed that forever. After only three weeks, he had discovered, he said, "what I was born to do."

Bill Kovach has been a journalist and writer for 50 years. In that time he was chief of the New York Times Washington Bureau, served as editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and curator of the Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University and the founding chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, a group that now totals more than 9,000 journalists worldwide. Kovach is co-author with Tom Rosenstiel of The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect (Crown 2001), which was awarded Harvard University’s Goldsmith Book Prize (2002), the Sigma Delta Chi award for research in journalism and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism. Kovach and Rosenstiel also co-authored Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media (Century Press in 1999), which earned an SDX Award for research in journalism in 2000. Kovach was the 2003 recipient of The Richard M. Clurman Award for Mentoring and has also been honored with the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award, which was accompanied by an honorary PhD from Colby College. In Fall 2004, Kovach was named to The John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. Among his other board affiliations, Kovach serves on the advisory boards of the Center for Public Integrity, the Native American Journalists Foundation, The Right Question Project and the Encyclopedia of the Appalachians. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Washington Post, the New Republic, and many other newspapers and magazines in the United States and abroad.



1. Has language been freed of journalism’s unelected gatekeepers only to fall prey to those who proclaim and propagandize, who offer self-serving advertisements or self-referential assertions rather than the kind of independently verified information that emerged from the Age of Enlightenment?
2. Will political advertisements, YouTube videos, and television comedians such as Jon Stewart supplant the printed word as the preferred form of communication about public affairs?

3. When news devolves into a fragmented private dialogue among family and friends in cyberspace, can journalists think of new ways to help people make sense of overabundant, undifferentiated information?

4. Do journalists recognize that distribution is now determined by the portability of technology and by the end user, and that reported material and analysis must now be organized to serve many differing audiences?
5. Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand said that in a democratic society we “have staked everything on the rational dialogue of an informed electorate,” and philosopher Hannah Arendt added that “freedom of opinion is a farce unless factual information is guaranteed.” How, then, can journalists use interactive technology to help citizens participate in verification and discussion? Can new tools engage the knowledge and experience of citizens as reporters, analysts, advisers? Can journalists using synthesizing technologies help citizens solve community problems?
6. Will our public education system take on the responsibility of educating students to think critically about their role in self government and about the type of information that role requires?

7. Can journalists use images, sounds, data mining, narratives, and interactivity in ways that connect their most serious work to the public? Can journalists see this as an opportunity to help people unlearn some of what they are being taught by the popular culture?
8. How can public affairs be reported in a way that enables citizens to track its impact on policy or test alternative outcomes? How can journalists present engaging, verified information that diminishes messages of fear and self-indulgence?
9. Will Internet aggregators such as Google develop algorithms that filter out propaganda designed to mold rather than to inform public-policy decisions?
10. What would persuade bloggers and other citizen practitioners to develop a commitment to independent thinking, verification, and ethical standards?
11. Can newspapers find an economic model to replace the loss of advertising to finance the work of editors and reporters who substantiate what is reported?
12. Will the public realize that the news they now acquire for free will rapidly diminish in quality and value if a new way is not found to fund its production by careful practitioners?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Obama visits China In China, Obama presses for rights

By Anne E. Kornblut and Andrew Higgins
Washington Post Staff Writers
SHANGHAI -- Meeting with a carefully screened group of students at the marquee event of his Asia trip, President Obama on Monday sought to advance what he called America's "core principles" during his first public appearance in China. But the event itself -- billed as an opportunity for Obama to reach beyond Chinese officialdom -- illustrated the Chinese government's tight grip.

The "freedoms of expression and worship, of access to information and political participation, we believe are universal rights," Obama said at a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai, China's most modern and outward-looking metropolis. Liberty, the president told nearly 500 students bused to a science museum decked with U.S. and Chinese flags, should be "available to all people, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether they are in the United States, China or any other nation."

Virtually every aspect of the event was staged, and it was unclear how many Chinese citizens saw the hour-long exchange, which was not broadcast on national television. One of the most provocative statements Obama made -- about the importance of opening up the Internet -- was posted on Chinese news sites at first, but then was deleted.

Obama's audience, selected and coached beforehand by university officials, came from eight different Shanghai universities. A small, random sampling suggested the vast majority were members of the Communist Party. Many of the eight questions put to the president by students echoed Chinese government talking points.

Nonetheless, administration officials were satisfied with the outcome. "We understood the limitations," said senior White House adviser David M. Axelrod, who is traveling with the president. Regardless of how the questions were generated, Axelrod said, Obama's "answers were his own, and he got a chance to make them to a larger audience on local TV and over the Internet. That made it a very worthwhile event."

Obama later flew to Beijing for a small dinner with Chinese President and Communist Party chief Hu Jintao, whom he will meet again Tuesday morning.

Interviewed after the town-hall event in Shanghai, students generally gave Obama good, if not rave, reviews. And though highly choreographed, the session still left more room for spontaneity than do the meetings China's own leaders hold with ordinary people.

Wang Zhuchen, a student in international relations at Fudan University, said he was surprised -- and also impressed -- to hear the U.S. president talk of his family and children. A Chinese leader, he said, would never discuss anything personal in public.

Wang, a Party member, quickly added that this did not reflect badly on Chinese leaders but merely their "different traditions and culture." Wang said students could ask what they wanted but had been instructed "not to hurt the feelings of our guests."

The one question that pushed normal Chinese boundaries came via the Internet and was read aloud by U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman. "In a country with 350 million Internet users and 60 million bloggers, do you know of the firewall?" the question began, referring to the Chinese government's practice of blocking sites it dislikes, a system of Internet censorship known as the Great Firewall. The question also asked, "Should we be able to use Twitter freely?"

"I've always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I'm a big supporter of non-censorship," Obama replied. "I recognize that different countries have different traditions. I can tell you that in the United States, the fact that we have free Internet -- or unrestricted Internet access -- is a source of strength, and I think should be encouraged."

Administration officials said the U.S. Embassy in Beijing received more than 1,000 questions for Obama via the Internet. The online questions were chosen at random, with the help of White House Correspondents' Association President Edwin Chen, who selected several numbers that corresponded with questions that were then read aloud.

Before the meeting, Liu Yupang, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student from Shanghai's Jiaotong University, said he and fellow students had been given an afternoon of "training" before they could participate in the question-and-answer session. He said they could ask Obama whatever they pleased -- so long as they took a "friendly attitude." Liu, too, is a party member.

Obama himself struck a mostly conciliatory tone. Continuing a theme of his Asia trip, he said the United States is not threatened by China's rapid growth. "Surely we have known setbacks and challenges over the last 30 years," Obama said. But, he added, "the notion that we must be adversaries is not predestined."

The meeting was held at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, a hyper-modern complex located in Pudong, a new development zone far from the city center. Police sealed off the museum and blocked off nearby streets. A sign outside the museum announced the premises closed from Nov. 14 to 16 for "maintenance needs."

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also met students during their own trips to China but did so on university campuses.

U.S. and Chinese officials haggled for weeks over the format of the Shanghai event, with the United States asking that the meeting be as freewheeling as possible, and the Chinese demanding the opposite. Live video of the event was streamed on the official White House Web site in the hopes of reaching members of the Chinese public who were unable to see it any other way.

The meeting was broadcast live by a local Shanghai television station, but the station's Web site, Shanghai TV Station Online, which usually live streams its television programming, went offline about 20 minutes before the town hall began. It then shifted to a children's program -- preventing computer users across the country from watching the event. National Chinese television stations did not broadcast the meeting. It was supposed to be carried on the Internet via the government-run Xinhua news service, but this didn't happen. Instead, Xinhua posted a written transcript of the remarks -- including, to the surprise of some Chinese, Obama's response to the question about access to the Internet.

Taiwan, an issue that has shadowed and frequently poisoned Sino-U.S. relations, resurfaced as a point of friction when a female student asked Obama whether the United States will continue selling weapons to an island that Beijing considers a renegade province. Obama, in his answer, skirted the matter of arms and instead repeated Washington's longstanding commitment to the so-called "one China policy."

The question reflected one of the Chinese government's most insistent concerns, but the he student who read it said she had received the query via the internet from a Taiwanese businessman. Taiwanese journalists who were present thought this unlikely.

Taiwan has so far been largely absent from the Obama administration's top foreign policy concerns but it could become a serious headache in future because of an arms issue. Taiwan has asked the U.S. to sell it a new generation of F-16 warplanes, a sale that, if approved, would enrage Beijing.

Xu Lyiang, a student at Tongji University, said he had wanted to go to the meeting with Obama but had been told that the quota of students had been fulfilled. But he heard from a teacher who was helping select attendees that they were required to attend a "lecture and a meeting" ahead of time.

Obama, in opening remarks, described the United States as a nation that had endured painful chapters in its history because of its core ideals, including a belief that government should reflect the will of the people. He said the United States did not seek to impose "any system of government on any other nation," but said "America will always speak out for its core principles around the world."

"We made progress because of our belief in those core principles that have served as our compass in the darkest of storms," Obama said.

Friday, November 13, 2009

IAEA: Future Of Fusion Energy

IAEA: Future Of Fusion Energy

IAEA Promotes International Cooperation in Nuclear Fusion Research

- By Chrisrtopher Smith -

The International Fusion Research Council (IFRC) advises the IAEA Director General on matters relating to nuclear fusion. It last met in Vienna, Austria, on 14 October 2009.

Fusion, a form of nuclear energy created by the merging of light atoms, could provide the world with a safe, environmentally responsible and abundant source of energy. However, one of the greatest challenges faced by the scientific community today is demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of harnessing the power nuclear fusion generates.

To better tackle this challenge, the international fusion community is joining forces and stepping up collaboration, particularly around the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world´s first demonstration reactor for fusion power currently under construction in the South of France.

ITER and the IAEA are implementing a cooperative agreement, signed last October, where both organizations exchange information regarding the study and potential application of fusion energy, participate in each other´s meetings and organize joint scientific conferences. The agreement also includes cooperation on training, publications, plasma physics and modelling, and fusion safety and security. In addition, the IAEA has a fusion programme which focuses on increasing international cooperation and support for science and technology for fusion power.

"The Member States of the IAEA are showing interest in the new results emerging through the framework of International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) meetings," noted Yury Sokolov, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy at the last International Fusion Research Council Meeting in Vienna.

One of the most visible physics-related activities of ITER, the ITPA provides essential support to ITER activities in addressing key R&D needs.

"Through its involvement in IAEA activities ITER has a good opportunity to address the interest of other member countries," added ITER Director General Kaname Ikeda. "There is nothing to be gained by being exclusive; scientific knowledge should be shared with the scientific community worldwide."

Fusion and Fission

Another important avenue for increased collaboration is cooperation between fusion and fission experts, particularly those working on nuclear power and fuel cycle development. Collaboration in cross-cutting issues, like research on radiation damage under high dose irradiation, benefits both communities.

To help support such collaboration, the IAEA promotes close cooperation among its programmes and has begun to organize meetings on common areas of interest, like the development of new structural materials for advanced fission and fusion reactor systems.

The International Fusion Research Council (IFRC) was created in 1972 to advise the Director General of the IAEA on matters relating to the Agency´s controlled nuclear fusion programme and to promote international cooperation in this field. It meets annually and consists of 10 to 15 members, who serve in their individual capacities. The IFRC last met in Vienna, Austria, on 14 October 2009.

ITER is the world´s first demonstration reactor for fusion power. It is being built in Cadarache in the South of France as a joint venture between China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the USA.

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As's science editor, Alan Boyle runs a virtual curiosity shop of the physical sciences and space exploration, plus paleontology, archaeology and other ologies that strike his fancy. Since joining in 1996, Boyle has won awards from the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Science Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Pirelli Relativity Challenge and the CMU Cybersecurity Journalism Awards program. He is the author of "The Case for Pluto," a contributor to "A Field Guide for Science Writers," the blogger behind Cosmic Log: Bacteria can walk on 'legs' — and an occasional talking head on the MSNBC cable channel. During his 33 years of daily journalism in Cincinnati, Spokane and Seattle, he’s survived a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, a total solar eclipse and an earthquake. He has faith he'll survive the Internet as well.

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