The Sunday Long Read is a Weekly Delight

I’m someone who enjoys long form journalism and there’s obviously quite the supply online. In fact, there is so much content at times that sifting through it all can be daunting.

 

One resource I’ve found that has consistently delivered an excellent selection of reading material is called The Sunday Long Read. The two individuals behind the weekly collection do a stellar job at finding interesting material to read.

 

Sign up on the web site and each Sunday you will receive an email with links to several articles to enjoy. It is that simple and I’m sharing it here because the weekly mail is one I have come to look forward to receiving and thought blog readers might as well.

Kicking the Tires on WordPress and Updating the Blog

After several years of using MovableType to run my blog, I’ve decided to kick the electronic tires as it were on a different blogging platform. WordPress seems to offer more of the functionality and ease of use I’m looking for with the level of blogging I do.

Reading through blog archives, I also realize my blogging has really fallen off in the past couple years. Watch for that to change in the new year. As a media consumer I tend to prefer longer writing versus the short bursts of content offered by areas like Twitter and Facebook. These are great mediums for finding such material so I don’t see myself departing from those arenas. But I want to get back into more content creation again.

I’m obviously new to WordPress so if anyone has tips on best practices around accessibility or spam protection in comments feel free to let me know.

The WordPress platform seems to work well with screen readers. The biggest challenge I’ve had is with areas such as adding and removing widgets that seems to require one to drag and drop. So far I’ve had to use advanced screen reader functionality or sighted assistance for these functions.

Windows 7 Beta Available

For anyone who likes to try the latest and greatest in software, a beta of Windows 7 is now available.  full details with instructions on how to download and more are at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows7.

 

Whether you try the beta or not, there are at least two excellent resources for learning what’s happening with Windows 7 from people at Microsoft.  The Engineering Windows 7 blog and The Windows Blog are resources where extensive info about how Windows7 is evolving is posted.

 

I’ve used the Windows 7 beta successfully with several screen readers including JAWS, Window-Eyes, System Access, and NVDA.  Your mileage may very but I would suggest you run the newest versions of these programs if you do try the beta.

Who’s Correct?

I read a lot of news coverage but rarely do I read the same article appearing in two different media sources when one is just a reprint of the other.  Today I happened to read two versions of an article talking about the impending execution of Saddam Hussein.  The original appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the reprint in the Seattle Times.

 

Sad that the news media does not agree on even two facts that are clearly verifiable.  Check out this paragraph from the article and note how the two versions differ on the number of codefendants and the number receiving death sentences.

 

The Los Angeles Times version:

 

Hussein was sentenced Nov. 5 to hang for crimes against humanity in connection with the killing of 148 men and boys from the Shiite Muslim town of Dujayl
after an attempt there to assassinate him in 1982. Two of his seven codefendants also received death sentences.

 

The Seattle Times version:

 

Saddam was sentenced Nov. 5 for crimes against humanity in connection with the killing of about 100 men and boys from the Shiite town of Dujail who were suspected of attempting to assassinate him in 1982. Three of his six codefendants also received death sentences.

A Shell Game By Any Other Name

The daily flood of advertising promising to get you a bigger house, lower your mortgage payment or otherwise basically give you free money astounds me.  I counted tonight and in 30 minutes of radio and television I was offered no fewer than 10 different opportunities to lower my mortgage, get cash back and the rest of the wild schemes the mortgage industry has come up with to keep the housing shell game going.

 

The LA Times has a good example of what a problem many of these quirky mortgages can be.  One can only wonder if folks will stop and realize that at some point the shell game does come to an end.

Where’s The Off Switch?

Computer gaming is one of those areas of technology that’s never really held my attention.  From time to time I’ll play a card game over on All inPlay or try some of the games described on AudioGames but I find myself quickly losing interest.

 

Then too when I read about people doing things like selling their virtual characters for thousands of dollars or paying folks to play the entry rounds for them in games I find myself wondering if these folks know where the off switch is in these online games.  I do recognize it is a rather uninformed thought, based largely on my lack of experience in the area.

 

I read articles like the one in InformationWeek today talking about a growing collision between virtual games and real laws and I quickly recognize that the fact is that there is no off switch any longer.  We are squarely at the beginning of a period in history where the “virtual” will soon be removed from “virtual reality”.

Good to Know Not Everyone Keeps a Secret

The Seattle Times has been running a series they call Your Courts, Their Secrets.
The series looks at different legal settlements that have been improperly kept secret and is an example to me of what quality journalism should be about. Today’s installment examines the case of a school teacher with a lengthy demonstrated history of sexual assault and how the system kept things hidden.
This is a series worth reading and it is good to see something beyond the surface level coverage that fills most of the pages of the Times on a regular basis.

Delhi Traffic

One of the memories that sticks with me about travel in India is the wildness of the traffic. The LA Times ran an article talking about Delhi traffic today.

Bus drivers cut off motorcyclists, truckers dodge cows, entire families squeeze onto a single scooter, three-wheel “auto rickshaws” zip in between everyone
else, and those on foot utter prayers and curses in equal measure.