Beware, journalists: Apple is not your friend

Decades ago I read a business book by Robert Ringer called "Winning Through Intimidation." Ringer is a political kook (he's gotten much worse over the years) and more than a bit paranoid, but he sounded a warning that should be the first rule of commerce for every consumer and every businessperson: Everybody else at the table is out to take your chips.

Postjudice about Fox "News"

A commenter accuses me of "political prejudice" against Fox "News." I think a better word is postjudice. My scorn is not free. Fox has earned it.

And repeatedly so. Here's a clip in which Jon Stewart shows yet another case of Fox spreading a lie, in this case by editing a video of President Obama to suggest he was saying something completely different from what he actually said.

Nine years of insanity, and journalism shares the blame

It is nine years now since the day America lost its mind. Since the day a small band of hate-filled terrorists opened the door to madness, and our nation walked right through. Since the day when the entire world was moved to stand as one (a French newspaper proclaimed: "We are all Americans!") but we didn't notice because we were filled with grief, fear and rage.

For a moment on that day, we forgot our differences. Southern crackers and Detroit homeboys and Amarillo cowboys were all Americans, and all New Yorkers.

In praise of quick and dirty: when the pursuit of excellence is the enemy of success

Increasingly I believe that we in the media business doom ourselves by our devotion to quality. Before you get out the gunpowder, let me explain myself. I love excellence. Awesomeness is, well, awesome. But the premature pursuit of excellence can kill you.

The Web is not dead, but many wish it so

With an inflammatory headline and a misleading graphic, Wired has declared the death of the World Wide Web. This is nonsense, but many wish it were true, and the piece is worth reading as a starting point, just not a conclusion.

Why we have laws about business practices

I was poking around in the Library of Congress photo database and ran across these Lewis Hine photos of children who worked at the cotton mills in Augusta, Ga.

A doffer boy in the Globe Cotton Mill, January 1909

Algorithmic layout: Another thing the visual journalists are going to hate

Ever since we began using computers to handle news -- which is probably a lot longer than you think -- there has been a notion of automating the processes of laying out pages. Long before InDesign, long before Quark, long before Pagemaker there were attempts to apply algorithms to news, to sort and arrange and place items on pages without humans driving every detail of the process.