Friday, July 19, 2013

The Real Face of Terror: Behind the Scenes Photos of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Manhunt   

PhotographyReading

John Wolfson writing on the Boston Daily blog:

The Rolling Stone cover featuring the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has, of course, set off a firestorm of controversy across the country. Critics believe that the cover glamorizes Tsarnaev, depicting him as a kind of rock ‘n roll outlaw rather than a terrorist who has been charged with killing four people and seriously wounding hundreds of others.

Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police who has photographed the funerals of many officers killed in the line of duty, is furious with the magazine. Murphy, who also acts a liaison to the families of fallen officers, is so angered by the cover—which he says is both dangerous and insulting to the victims of the bombings—that he feels the need to counter the message that it conveys.

Whether or not you agree with Sgt. Murphy’s opinion of the Rolling Stone cover, these photographs are stunning. The comments section of the blog already has over 2,000 replies. I particularly like this one by Aaron Kraus:

If your objection is that the cover photo glamorizes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and presents him as an enticing role model to young readers because of his looks then you’re rightly concerned about something that has nothing to do with Rolling Stone.

If your objection is that the cover photo humanizes Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and presents him as a multi-demensional — even sympathetic — figure, well you have just confronted one of humanity’s starkest truths: that we are all humans, endowed with a tremendous capacity for both evil and empathy. Again, your concern has nothing to do with Rolling Stone.

If your objection is that the cover photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev disrespects the victims of his alleged crimes because it focuses on the criminal rather than the crimes then you’re arguing for such a narrow view of journalism and journalistic priorities that the end product would probably do little to educate, enlighten, and engage readers.

If your objection is that Rolling Stone’s intention is to drive sales with sensational cover photos, well, yeah.

Then again, see the photos above, linked online, to drive traffic.

Prosecuted for Standing Her Ground   

PoliticsReading

Kirsten Powers writing for the Daily Beast:

Alexander, who had no criminal record, was arrested. Contrast this with another Florida resident, George Zimmerman (also prosecuted by Corey), who had a record including an arrest for battery of a police officer and a restraining order for domestic abuse. He also had killed an unarmed teenager. Yet he wasn’t arrested until there was a national outcry and was later acquitted. Alexander—who did not kill or injure anyone—is in jail for 20 years.

When I saw a graphic referencing this woman’s story on social media, I assumed it was fake. Sadly, it appears to be true.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scroll to the Top on iOS Devices

iOS

This is my favourite iOS tip to share with others.  Imagine you are using the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad and you have spent the last few minutes scrolling through a lengthy article.  You are now at the bottom of the page and want to get back to the top of the page to access the site’s navigation menu.  Rather than swiping repeatedly with your finger, tap the clock in the device’s status bar.  Safari should scroll to the top of the page in one quick motion.

As mentioned, I usually tap the clock area in the status bar to prompt this action, but tapping anywhere along the status bar should do the trick.  This action isn’t relegated to just Safari, either.  It should work across the operating system in things like Mail, Music, the App Store, and many third-party apps as well.

Steam Detected at Damaged Fukushima Reactor   

Technology

Hiroko Tabuchi writing for the New York Times:

The incident has brought the Fukushima plant’s vulnerable state into sharp relief, more than two years after its reactors suffered multiple meltdowns when its cooling systems were overwhelmed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami. A recent jump in levels of radioactive cesium and tritium in the groundwater at the coastal plant, along with suggestions that the groundwater is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, has also raised alarms over the continued environmental threat posed by the plant. Remote camera footage Thursday showed steam escaping from the top of the No. 3 reactor’s primary containment structure, which houses its fuel vessel, according to Tepco. A worker who checked the footage Thursday morning noticed the steam, said Hiroki Kawamata, a spokesman for the operator.

It’s staggering just how long this recovery will take.

Update

It is equally staggering just how much this recovery will cost.

Emmys Make History with Nominations for Online Series House of Cards   

Television

Lynn Elbert writing for Associated Press:

Netflix’s House of Cards made Emmy history Thursday with a top drama series nomination, the first time that television’s top awards have recognized a program delivered online as equal in quality to the best that TV has to offer.

House of Cards was the reason we subscribed to Netflix and it did not disappoint.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Google Maps for iPad   

Technology

Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps, writing on the Google Maps Blog:

Last week we launched the new Google Maps app for Android smartphones and tablets.

And now, we’re rolling out the brand new Google Maps experience for iPhone and iPad that includes enhanced search and navigation features, as well as our first dedicated iPad mapping experience.

The gold standard in mapping software finally arrives on the iPad. Included in this update are indoor maps with walking directions for malls, airports, and transit stations.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Apple Pitches Ad-Skipping for New TV Service   

Apple

Jessica Lessin reporting on her blog:

Apple has a new trick up its sleeve as it tries to launch a long-awaited television service: technology that allows viewers to skip commercials and that pays media companies for the skipped views.

As someone that recently “cut the cord,” these types of rumours give me hope for the future of television.

The Weatherman   

Music

From the biography at gregoryalanisakov.com:

To me, the idea of a weatherman is really powerful. There’s a guy on television or on the radio telling us the future, and nobody cares. It’s this daily mundane miracle, and I think the songs I chose are about noticing the beauty in normal, everyday life.

We first discovered Gregory Alan Isakov when his music was featured as the background track for a McDonald’s commercial several years ago. After just a few listens I am very much enjoying his latest album, The Weatherman. You can stream the album from the New York Times.

Beyond the Finish Line   

Reading

Tim Rohan writing for the New York Times:

But he feared his money and fame would run out. He retained a lawyer and two financial advisers. He put his money in a trust fund. He would trade it all, though, just to have his legs back.

An article detailing Jeff Bauman’s recovery after losing both legs in the Boston Marathon bombings.