Archive for June, 2008

Omnia, competition for iPhone

Samsung Electronics South Korea released on early Monday preview details on the companya€™s new smartphone, before the mania of Applea€™s Worldwide Developers Conference begins in California. The Samsung Omnia (SGH-i900) is similar in looks and function to the Samsung Instinct (SPH-M800), but with a few more bells and whistles. For starters, it sounds like it has a very promising camera. With five megapixels and anti-shake technology, this may be the first camera on a phone that produces pictures you would actual think of printing, not just posting to Facebook. This is an improvement over the 2-megapixel cameras on both the first-generation iPhone and on the Samsung Instinct.

The touch-screen smartphone, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and features Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Opera 9.5 as its Web browser, will also have Wi-Fi. Thata€™s something the Instinct also lacks. Like the Instinct, the Omnia has visual voice mail, 3G capability, Bluetooth, an FM radio, and GPS functionality. The smartphone, of course, also doubles as a music player and, with 16GB, will be able to hold up to 4,000 songs or 100 minutes of video, according to Samsung. More details on the smartphonea€™s specs will follow when the Omnia (SGH-i900) is officially unveiled on June 17 at Communicasia, the 2008 Singapore Expo. The Omnia (SGH-i900) will become available in Southeast Asia first and then be launched to other markets over the second half of 2008, according to Samsung.



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Posted: June 11th, 2008
at 7:29pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: apple,cell phones

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Foto del dia 6.10


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Posted: June 10th, 2008
at 12:26am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: foto del dia

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The Danger of False Assumptions


Today’s edition of the New York Times includes a column from its Public Editor Clark Hoyt regarding a recent Op-Ed published in the Times written by Edward Luttwak and titled "President Apostate?" In his original piece, Mr. Luttwak argued that under Islamic Shariah law "as it is universally understood,a€A were Barack Obama to be elected president, he would be spurned by countries in the Muslim world as an "apostate" who had converted to Christianity. Luttwak went as far as to argue that Obama’s act of apostasy would be considered by Muslims to be "the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit." He might, according to Luttwak, even face possible capital punishment were he to visit the Muslim world. In his reply, I believe the NYT’s Mr. Hoyt adroitly responded to the arguments raised by Luttwak. Hoyt interviewed at least five Islamic scholars before issuing his response, though I sincerely doubt that it takes an expert in Islam to realize Luttwak’s arguments are offensive and ridiculous.

Nor are Luttwak and the Times alone in wading into this regrettable issue. On May 19, the Christian Science Monitor posted a remarkably similar editorial by Shireen Burki. To her credit, Burki went even farther than Luttwak, rather grotesquely asserting that "Osama bin Laden must be chuckling in his safe house" because American voters were poised to "give Al Qaeda the ultimate propaganda tool: President Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim apostate… Obama is bin Laden’s dream candidate." In her piece, Burki failed to quote a single contemporary Muslim scholar, terrorist organization, or any other factual source. Perhaps that is because no-one of any consequence in the Muslim world would tend to agree with her.

Indeed, what is probably most depressing about those who are advancing these arguments is that they don’t appear to have ever bothered to speak with anyone in or associated with Al-Qaida-or any similar movement. They don’t seem to have conducted any form of original research to poll opinions or discussions in the Muslim world, or more narrowly in the extremist community. They are simply trumpeting their own misconceptions about the Islamic world, which reflect a very dim understanding of Islam and Muslims, nevermind Barack Obama. Those who are actually paying close attention to terrorist organizations know all too well that what Al-Qaida sympathizers are most angered at is not the prospect of an "apostate Muslim" being elected as the U.S. President. To the contrary, they are being re-energized by the hateful and Islamophobic attacks on Obama that they have seen broadcast in Western media and the blogosphere. Ironically, they could care less whether these attacks are about Obama or not-in their mind, they see them as thinly-veiled bigoted attacks on Islam and Muslims. On May 15, a user on the notorious Al-Hesbah extremist forum traded one such narrative, bitterly describing to other Islamic militants how other American politicians "stupidly" could not tell the difference between "Obama" and "Osama."

Thus, the real terrorism-related problem here is how to deal with the long-term political fallout stemming from the ignorant and highly-polarized American portrayals of Islam unleashed during the context of the U.S. election, which are now inevitably being manipulated by Al-Qaida as propaganda fodder to recruit new sympathizers and terrorists. Even setting aside its obvious partisan bias, this form of reckless and irresponsible "scholarship" has no rightful place in the Christian Science Monitor nor, as Clark Hoyt rightly noted, on the New York Times Op-Ed page. counterterrorismblog

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Posted: June 8th, 2008
at 12:05am by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: myninjaplease,life,mnp is for the children,politricks,real life news

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Funding drama spells disaster for student actors


It’s as if someone read about the terrible employment figures for Equity members and decided to fix the problem their own way. Instead of having to cope with all these resting thesps, wouldn’t it be better if we just stopped training actors in the first place? Well, of course it wouldn’t - the theatre, TV and film industries would dwindle away without a steady flow of versatile young recruits - but that’s the likely effect of the cutbacks troubling Scotland’s two leading drama schools. read the rest

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Posted: June 7th, 2008
at 11:55pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: art,business,film,real life news

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Posted: June 7th, 2008
at 11:45pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: art,games,design

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Autoworld - MatA©ria: Aquada, o anfAAbio mais rA¡pido do mundo

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Posted: June 7th, 2008
at 11:38pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,youtube,too good to be true,whips,weaponry,fo' real?,science

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Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers


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Posted: June 7th, 2008
at 11:24pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: art,green,fo' real?

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The Ninja Gap


David Weinberger somehow manages to find time to write books, write thoughtful blog posts, AND produce a periodic newsletter - Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization - thata€™s one of he best reads on the a€net. Ia€™m deeply flattered that the current issue features Davida€™s thoughts on some of the topics Ia€™m obsessed with: media attention, caring, international understanding. More generously, he gives me the chance to react to his essay within the essaya€¦

Davida€™s generosity isna€™t the main reason Ia€™m linking to his piece - ita€™s that hea€™s broken some important theoretical ground with his important new concept in media criticism: The Ninja Gap. It takes a moment or two to explain - bear with me.

Almost anyone whoa€™s heard me give a public talk has heard me observe that Japan and Nigeria have roughly the same populations, but vastly different media representation: youa€™re roughly 8-12 times more likely to find an article focused on Japan in an American newspaper than an article on Nigeria. There are a lot of possible explanations for this phenomenon, from racism to comparative economic power. David offers a new one: Japana€™s got ninjas, and Nigeria doesna€™t.

Ita€™s a brilliant observation because ita€™s funny, true and highly relevant to conversations about media attention. Johan Galtung, in his seminal a€oeThe Structure of Foreign Newsa€oe, draws a persuasive metaphor between a radio receivera€™s ability to tune in one of many radio stations, and a listenera€™s likelihood to a€oereceivea€A a piece of news:

F4: The more meaningful the signal, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.

F5: The more consonant the signal is with the mental image of what one expects to find, the more probable that it will be recorded as worth listening to.

F7: The more a signal has been tuned in to the more likely it will continue to be tuned in to as worth listening to.

Context matters, Galtung argues. If wea€™ve got a mental image of Africa as a backwards and technically retrograde place, wea€™re likely to miss stories about innovation in mobile commerce (see the lead story in issue 407a€¦) or success in venture capital. Galtunga€™s fifth maxim is closely linked to the idea of cognitive dissonance - ita€™s uncomfortable to attempt to resolve new information that conflicts with existing perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.

Context doesna€™t just come from hard news - we all consume far more entertainment and advertising content than we consume of hard news. This information helps shape our views of these countries, and likely helps us unconsciously decide what sort of information to accept or reject. These perceptions construct something over time that might be thought of as a a€oenation branda€A - as the man who coined that term,marketer Simon Anholt, observed, a€oeEthiopia is well branded to receive aid, but poorly branded as a tourism destination.a€A

In this context, Japan is a place branded in many of our minds as a place thata€™s innovative, high-tech, and more than a little strange. Whether or not wea€™ve been to Japan, wea€™ve encountered anime, monster movies, martial arts flicks, SONY tva€™s and Toyota trucks. Whether or not our ideas about Japan are well-founded, reflect the reality on the ground, are rich in stereotypes, etc., wea€™ve got preconceptions about Japan. On some level, the fact that we know that a€oeJapan = Ninjasa€A means that wea€™ve got receptivity for a story about Japan that we might not have for Nigeria.

And so, Nigeria needs ninja. Or as David explains:

One reason we care about Japan more than Nigeria (generally) is that Japan has a cool culture. Wea€™ve heard about that culture because some Westerners wrote bestselling books about ninjas, and then Hollywood made ninja movies. Love them ninjas! Nigeria undoubtedly has something as cool as ninjas. Ok, something almost as cool as ninjas. If we had some blockblusters about the Nigerian equivalent of ninjas, wea€™d start to be interested Nigeria.

In other words, wea€™re more inclined to pay attention to Japan because wea€™ve got some context - a weird, non-representative context, for sure - while we have almost no context for stories about Nigeria. The context we do have for Nigeria - 419 scams - tends to be pretty corrosive, and may make us likelier to pick up only the stories that portray Nigeria as wildly corrupt and criminal.

Davida€™s observation leads him to some concrete advice for those of us trying to inspire xenophilia: write better: a€oeGood writing can make anything interesting. We will read the story about the Nigerian peddler and his neighborhood if there is a writer able to tell that story in a compelling way.a€A

Thata€™s harder than it sounds. But ita€™s also one of the best pieces of constructive advice Ia€™ve seen on cultivating xenophilia: tell good stories in a compelling way. And it wouldna€™t hurt to throw a ninja or two in there while youa€™re at it.

This post originally ran on Ethan’s excellent personal blog, My Heart’s in Accra.

via worldchanging

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Going from ragtag to riches


It had been a record week, and the vibe at Urban Outfitters headquarters was high. Adrenaline was palpable in executive offices, in design huddles, and on down to the models in skimpy threads pouting for a Free People Web shoot.

It was mid-March, and the retailer of insurgent chic had reported killer profits while other retailers watched shoppers weary of high gas prices go into hiding. You could almost hear towels snap a few days earlier as Wall Street analysts congratulated executives for putting up such good numbers. read the rest here

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Posted: June 6th, 2008
at 4:17pm by Koookiecrumbles

Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,clothes,business,architecture,design,fo' real?,"ninja"

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