The Sociological Effects of Credible Threats

I wanted to throw up this morning after reading of a guns/drugs arrest outside of Denver and a “connection with a possible plot to kill Senator Barack Obama during his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night,” as the New York Times reported.

memeorandum

Call me paranoid, call me a skeptic but my first reaction to such shocking headlines is concern. Not necessarily for the safety of Barack Obama — but for the way the fear factor is amplified among the throngs of people at the Convention and the proof that any derelict who gets pulled over can make headlines across the world by claiming to be involved in a plot against the first black candidate with a decent chance of becoming president.

In fact, the reporting in the CBS4 article with the uber-dramatic headline above is so very hasty and unprofessional, it is cringeworthy. And I’m not going to nitpick on the ridiculously misinformed and misspelled URL [OK, fine, it is after all: http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/assisination.plot.obama.2.802827.html]. Officials aren’t saying much, although Denver’s U.S. attorney is expected to make a statement this afternoon, but at least we have this ландшафтthorough exclusive interview by CBS4 reporter Brian Maass:

One of those suspects spoke exclusively to CBS4 investigative reporter Brian Maass from inside the Denver City Jail late Monday night and said his friends had discussed killing Obama.

“So your friends were saying threatening things about Obama?” Maass asked.

“Yeah,” Nathan Johnson replied.

“It sounded like they didn’t want him to be president?”

“Yeah,” Johnson said.

Below, the actual TV news clip from CBS4 Denver:

Suggest a New Song to Replace ‘Our Country’ During Every NFL Commercial Break

“The dream is still alive….” At least it has been for the past few NFL seasons for John Mellencamp’s variously-interpreted anti-War on Terror anthem and the Chevy Silverado ad for which it’s served as the audio backdrop.

our country chevy silverado nfl john mellencamp ad

I know Mellencamp has made millions off this campaign, in spite of the fact that it may have hurt sales of recent records (because it’s so annoying and omnipresent?)

But now I’m hoping to hear the voice of freedom to select new songs to synch with car ads this football season. Let’s face it, the “Our Country” ad and its brutal stickiness has in many ways ruined the past couple seasons for us football fans who don’t have TiVo. This year, perhaps we can deal simply with the Brett Favre soap opera as the primary spoiler to the season (and just the story, not his potential to bury my Bears).

What songs would you like to be spoonfed into your many hours of redundant NFL ads this season? M.I.A.? Madonna? Gnarls Barkley? The inevitable Brad Paisley? Metallica? Is an ad gonna break a single this season and then butcher the release of an album (as was the case with “Our Country?”)

Here’s to those pitching new songs for placement in ads likely to air during football games. I sure hope you landed something fresh and not-so-annoying.

In an iReport World, Who Can We Trust?

Real or Photoshopped?In the mid-2008 media world, every network, blog, and news website wants to break the big impact story in times of developing news. For hours after a 5.3 magnitude earthquake centered near Chino Hills, ~30 miles from LA, rocked Southern California, all of the major networks and their websites continued carrying the news with a red BREAKING NEWS flag attached. But other than shaking up millions of people and scattering items off of shelves, there was no “news” to break (at least as of 4pm, more than 4 hours after the initial temblor).

The photo above first aired on CNN and was sent in by someone who was supposedly in the supermarket at the time — what CNN terms as an iReporter. Sure, it is very possible that many of the paper goods were shaken to the ground during the 15-20 seconds in which the ground, building, and everything else shook. But how are we to know when to believe whether a photo or video is faked, fabricated, or Photoshopped? CNN’s iReport Terms of Use addresses nothing about photo manipulation or regulations. And, to be fair, it’s not just citizen reporters that purposely fake photos for effect or attention, there are the memorable lessons in photojournalism fakery brought to us by the likes of Reuters, the LA Times and most recently, the Iranian government (and here are more.

Considering the small size and low resolution of the above photo, I won’t venture to investigate the possibility that it was digitally manipulated or whether it’s an honest to goodness eyewitness photo. But below, you’ll see a few surveillance camera or eyewitness camera viewpoint of what is clearly either real footage of the earthquake and it’s after affects, or simply fakes.

REAL:

Surveillance video from Incycle Bicycles store in San Dimas (~12 miles from the epicenter)

Continue reading “In an iReport World, Who Can We Trust?”

iPhone 3G: Why Buy? Why Wait? Why Not

I’ll continue to wait most likely — see — it just doesn’t offer that much more to convince me to go for a phone that needs to be hacked into and jailbroken just for effective applications — not to mention video. Check out the latest iPhone sales trends below via DocStoc (who will hopefully send me a copy of Sarah Lacy’s book just for giving props). Further below, a look at the difference in specs b/w the iPhone 3G, the iPhone, and the iPod Touch, also embedded via DocStoc.


iPhone Trends June 2008 – Get more Information Technology

Continue reading “iPhone 3G: Why Buy? Why Wait? Why Not”