Very interesting discussion sponsored by HRC and Google.
What an incredible bit of video editing and also a reminder of how much my knowledge has expanded because of my wonderful friends on G+ these past few months. This is not my New Year’s message but this video is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on what a remarkable year of triumph, tragedy and a celebration of the human spirit 2011 was.
The man who has become one of the most compelling faces of the Egyptian revolution is a fascinating figure.He doesn’t want to be viewed as a hero but his story is compelling. I have been following him on Twitter but didn’t know the story of his life.
Looking at Wikipedia I see that he really is a patriot who loves his country.
Ghonim persuaded Google to allow him to return to Egypt, citing a “personal problem”. After his arrival, he disappeared on 27 January 2011 during thenationwide unrest in Egypt. His family told Al-Arabiya and other international media that he was missing. Google also issued a statement confirming the disappearance. Many bloggers like Chris DiBona and Habib Haddad campaigned in an attempt to identify his whereabouts. On 5 February 2011, Mostafa Alnagar, a major Egyptian opposition figure, reported Wael Ghonim as alive and detained by the authorities and to be released ‘within hours’. On 6 February 2011,Amnesty International demanded that the Egyptian authorities disclose where Ghonim was and to release him.
Read the Wikipedia entry here.
Google announces a new service designed for folks in Egypt.
1/31/2011 02:27:00 PMLike many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.
We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company weacquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.”In the remote chance that someone in Egypt is looking for a way to communicate. Original blog is here.
My love affair with Google has been on pretty rocky ground of late. Ignoring the China business for the moment, though that is important, Google has suddenly turned into Facebook and has started messing around with its design for no apparent reason. The main search page now has a little button on the bottom left to create a custom background a la Bing. No worries – it is optional and I can live without that. What we are talking about is my favourite news source being screwed with. As a journalist I tend to be addicted to Google News as it provided a clean interface and I could find the articles that interested me in a jiffy. This is Good Google as seen in the google.co.uk version at the top of this entry. For those of us who use google.com or google.ca , however, this is not the case anymore.
Bad Google, as illustrated in the picture above, has decided that they had to screw the pooch and change this simple and efficient design into something resembling a Facebook wall. I am presented with an incomprehensible roll of completely unrelated articles that juxtapose stories on the BP spill with the latest on the private life of Kim Kardashian and someone called LeBron James. How this makes sense to them is beyond me. The worst thing is there is no choice in the matter. There is no “opt-in” or “stay with classic Google News” button. They have, however added a handy dandy way to share articles on social networking sites option because apparently dragging that “Share on Facebook” button to my bookmarks bar was just too complicated for me.
A massive discussion erupted on Google’s forums about the change and when I say discussion I mean a 99% condemnation of the change. But cool Google simply either ignores the response or replies with vague comments that it is meant to help us “personalize the news”. Personalize the news? That seems a dangerous precedent. People can choose to avoid exposure to news that disagrees with their political or other opinions? That is a sorry state of affairs. The old version gave us news that we could peruse and – shock of shocks – sometimes be exposed to the option of reading a viewpoint or a subject we didn’t know about. News to Google! That is what news is all about exposing us to different viewpoints and sometimes, if we are lucky, expanding our horizons.
If you are living somewhere other than this part of the world be prepared because the change is being rolled out worldwide. So Google News has alienated me and forced me to look at ask.com news as an option. And they might also want to note that there are some new search engines that are gunning for them with cutting edge visual approaches to search. My favourite is Spezify.com which is just downright stunning. Visit it here www.spezify.com and prepare to be amazed as you drag your mouse across the page.
It seems our favourite search engine and an indispensable part of modern life has just turned 10 today. Google has changed our world in many ways and very much for the better so I join with millions the world over in saying a big Happy Birthday. Heck if I had the skills I would even bake the guys a cake. Oh wait..I could google a recipe.
Speaking of Google, our vacation starved office staff have, of late, been amusing themselves by marveling over Google’s street view feature. If you haven’t tried it yet just go to maps.google.com and head to a major US city. Once you zoom in and switch to street view you too can enjoy the freaky thrill of driving through the streets and enjoying the sights. Might i suggest Manhattan or Hollywood and Vine . I always find it is best to start with the modern equivalents of Sodom and Gomorrah.