Will Smith is all ears for Barack Obama

A little digression today. Will Smith tells the BBC, it’s all in the ears: "He has the ears, we both share the ears. People dig the ears."

Smith adds: "I travel around the world a lot, and I was kind of used to people being happy when the Americans showed up. That sort of changed over the last eight years. So I’m excited about the new possibilities of hope and change that Barack is bringing."

Side-by-side, the Spockish resemblance is uncanny. As pointed out by Faded Youth Blog, Obama said the same in February when asked by Entertainment Tonight who he would choose to play him: “Will Smith and I have talked about this, because he has the ears. He’s better looking than me, but we both have those.”

Face readers suggest that Ears That Stick Out "shows you are a non-conformist, an independent thinker, a scholar and a quick thinker but you are also stubborn." whereas Pointy Ears reveal "you are not as kind-hearted and reliable as you like to make out but on the positive side, you are original and inventive."

Hmmm. Spock quote for reflection: “[Spoken softly] Those who cannot hear an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper.”

IDC: 1.4 billion online

Highlights from IDC’s Digital Marketplace Model and Forecast:

1. The number of mobile devices accessing the Internet will surpass the number of online PCs by 2012.

2. Users will access the Internet through more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide in 2008, including PCs, mobile phones, and online videogame consoles. By 2012, the number of devices accessing the Internet will double to more than 3 billion, half of which will be mobile devices.

3. China passed the US in 2007 to become the country with the largest number of Internet users. China’s online population is forecast to grow from 275 million users in 2008 to 375 million users in 2012.

4. Nearly half of all Internet users will make online purchases in 2008. By 2012, there will be more than 1 billion online buyers worldwide making business to consumer (B2C) transactions worth US$1.2 trillion. Business to business (B2B) eCommerce will be ten times larger, totalling US$12.4 trillion worldwide in 2012.

5. Worldwide spending on Internet advertising will total US$65.2 billion in 2008, which is nearly 10% of all ad spending across all media. This share is expected to reach 13.6% by 2011 as Internet ad spending grows to US$106.6 billion worldwide.

6. Roughly 40% of all Internet users worldwide currently have mobile Internet access. The number of mobile Internet users will reach 546 million in 2008, nearly twice as many as in 2006, and is forecast to surpass 1.5 billion worldwide in 2012.

7. The most popular online activities today are searching, finding information for personal use, using Internet email, accessing news and sports information, and accessing financial or credit information. More than 50% of online users worldwide are using instant messaging and playing online games. The fastest growing online activities include accessing business applications, creating blogs, online gambling, accessing work-related email, and participating in online communities.

8. Among mobile Internet users, the most popular online activities are searching, accessing news and sports information, downloading music, videos, and ringtones, using instant messaging, and using Internet email. By 2012, downloading music, videos, and ringtones will become the number one activity among mobile Internet users worldwide.

"The Internet will have added its second billion users over a span of about eight years, a testament to both its universal appeal and its availability," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC.

The report states that Internet users will move from just searching, shopping, and sending email to watching user-generated videos, posting blogs, and participating in social networks. The latter will create new opportunities and challenges for online advertisers seeking to monetize the Internet experience.

Copyright, media reform and the web that time forgot

1. IHT’s Alex Wright has a story, The web that time forgot, on Paul Otlet’s 1934 vision of “réseau,” or network – what could have been the precursor of the Internet.

He described how people would use “electric telescopes” to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks.

Otlet wrote a book about the possibility of electronic media storage, called “Monde,” where he laid out his vision of a “mechanical, collective brain” that would house all the world’s information, made readily accessible over a global telecommunications network.

Otlet’s vision began to crystallize in the form of the Mundaneum, a museum filled with millions of 3-by-5 inch index cards that was to become the master bibliography of all the world’s published knowledge.

Sadly, the Belgian government lost interest in the project after losing its bid for the League of Nations HQ, and Otlet was forced to moved it to a smaller space, before it was closed to the public.


2. Bill Moyers speech at National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, June 7, 2008 is worth the wait on YouTube.

Get the transcribed gist here and ponder this excerpt:

“Why does it matter? What does the media do, anyway? I’ll let an old Cherokee chief answer that. I heard this story a long time ago – of the tribal elder who was telling his grandson about the battle the old man was waging inside himself. He said, ‘It is between two wolves, my son. One is an evil wolf: Anger, envy, sorrow, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is the good wolf: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’ The boy thought this over for a minute, and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’ The old Cherokee replied simply: ‘The one I feed.’

“Democracy is that way: The wolf that wins is the one we feed, and the media provides the fodder.

“Democracy without honest information creates the illusion of popular consent while enhancing the power of the state and the privileged interests protected by it.

“Democracy without accountability creates the illusion of popular control while offering ordinary Americans cheap tickets to the balcony, too far away to see that the public stage is just a reality TV set.

“Nothing more characterizes corporate media today – mainstream and partisan – than disdain towards the fragile nature of modern life and indifference toward the complex social debate required of a free and self-governing people.”

3. AP is getting flak for issuing take-down notices to Drudge Retort, the liberal alternative site spoofing the popular Drudge Report, for supposedly ripping AP content. Dan Gillmor calls AP’s rate details unintentionally hilarious and has this to add:

“Issuing take-down notices (to Drudge Retort) is obnoxious, plain and simple. Also wrong. Not only won’t this fly, but it’s a remarkable demonstration of how not to play well on the Web. I know some of the AP folks involved, and I have to assume they’ve been told what to do by their bosses, because they aren’t nearly this clueless.”

No doubt, the fire the wire argument gains more credence.


Tim Russert dies

One of the best interviewers on TV Tim Russert has passed on.

Sad to see a journalist in his prime go so suddenly.


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