Monday, December 6, 2010: WASHINGTON— “Attorney General Eric Holder announced today the results of Operation Broken Trust, a nationwide operation organized by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to target investment fraud. To date, the operation has involved enforcement actions against 343 criminal defendants and 189 civil defendants for fraud schemes that harmed more than 120,000 victims throughout the country. The operation’s criminal cases involved more than $8.3 billion in estimated losses and the civil cases involved estimated losses of more than $2.1 billion. Operation Broken Trust is the first national operation of its kind to target a broad array of investment fraud schemes that directly prey upon the investing public.” —Or, well, maybe, perhaps, not so much. [more inside]
Mapping the Republic of Letters is a cartographic tool designed by students and professors at Stanford that seeks to represent the Enlightenment era Republic of Letters, the network of correspondence between the finest thinkers of the day, such as Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Newton, Diderot, Linnaeus, Franklin and countless others. Patricia Cohen wrote an article about Mapping the Republic of Letters as well as other datamining digital humanities projects in The New York Times. The mapping tool is fun to play with but I recommend you read the blogpost where Cohen explains how to use Mapping the Republic of Letters.
Op-Ed at 40, A Brief History of the Art, Four Decades of Illustration at the New York Times is an awesome 10:20 minute mini documentary video with a selection of brilliant political, social satire cartoons and insightful illustrations. Bonus link: DailyOpEd.com – Read and search over 100 major newspaper op-eds. [more inside]
A Dictionary of the Near Future: "The thing about the future is that it never feels the way we thought it would. New sensations require new terms; [here] are a few such terms to encapsulate our present moment." [more inside]
Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
Photographer Bill Cunningham has moved out of his a rent controlled apartment right above Carnegie Hall after living there for 60 years. He offers some pictures and memories of his time there. Andrew Carnegie intended the space above the hall to be occupied by artists and since 1896 the list of occupants has included Isadora Duncan, Marlon Brando and Leonard Bernstein. The last 5 residents (more details about them here) are being cleared out to make way for a music school. [more inside]
(pdf) Chris Gottlieb writes in the "Baltimore Law Review" about judging parents. The article discusses instances of racism and classicism in the family court systems. An adaptation of the "Baltimore Review" article appears in the New York Times. [more inside]
FiveThirtyEight.com is no more! Long Live Five Thirty Eight! Independent political statistics blog FiveThirtyEight.com has been absorbed by the New York Times. Nate Silver, the stats genius, baseball freak and predictor of 49 of 50 states in the last presidential election began his blog on DailyKos. As of this morning, the blog has moved to the New York Times. [more inside]
"Looked at a certain way, the entire enterprise seems geared toward the needs of the therapist rather than the patient to a degree that can feel, after a certain amount of time, undemocratic, if not outright exploitative. With no endpoint in sight, it’s possible to stay in therapy forever without much real progress; at the same time, the weight of responsibility is borne almost entirely by the patient, whose “resistance” or lack of effort-making is often blamed for any stagnancy in treatment before the possibility of a therapist’s shortcomings is even acknowledged." [more inside]
Standards editor Philip Corbett at the New York Times (allegedly) issues memo officially discouraging use of the word "tweet." [more inside]
While it should not come as a surprise that some chefs get high, it’s less often noted that drug use in the kitchen can change the experience in the dining room.
Imagine: your book, a bestseller. A fishy Amazon gift card scheme run by "ResultsSource" apparently helped California Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Poizner get his book to #5 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Reporting by This American Life and Capitol Weekly [more inside]
The Sunday Magazine - Every Friday, David Friedman (of Ironic Sans) posts the most interesting articles from the New York Times Sunday Magazine from 100 years ago that weekend. [more inside]
"Crazy as it sounds, over the next several weeks I’m going to try to do something close to that. I’ll be writing about the elements of mathematics, from pre-school to grad school, for anyone out there who’d like to have a second chance at the subject — but this time from an adult perspective. It’s not intended to be remedial. The goal is to give you a better feeling for what math is all about and why it’s so enthralling to those who get it." Mathematics in the pages of the New York Times! [more inside]
ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
The late William Safire left behind a language-column vacancy that the NY Times has been filling with a rotating crew of language experts, some better than others. Now they've announced their choice for a permanent replacement, and it could hardly be better: Ben Zimmer, an actual linguist. Reading "On Language" will be slightly less enjoyable for us nitpickers but a lot more informative.
Al Jazeera releases a new (as of yet unauthenticated) tape in which the terrorist leader accuses the US and other large nations of inaction. Osama suggests boycotting the American dollar and quotes Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
Damon Winter is a photojournalist who has worked for The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times and now works for The New York Times. His work on a more sports-focused beat in Dallas lead to his update on athletes from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics as part of the 2008 Olympics coverage. As a photographer with The New York Times, he won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography, for his first time out on the road, covering campaigns (narrated slideshow, 3min 19sec). Currently, he is sharing his photos and writing from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which are included in NY Times Lens Blog (prev. Lens Blog features: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If that's a bit heavy, check his photographers journal (narrated slide show, 2min 34sec) and his article on creating double-exposure juxtapositions from days or weeks of shooting large-form film. [more inside]
New York Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. appears close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to people familiar with internal deliberations. After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system. Will this be a success? A Harris poll released earlier this month found that 77 percent said they wouldn't pay anything to read a newspaper's stories on the Web. Of those who indicated they were willing to be charged for access to content, 19 percent would pay between $1 and $10 a month.
How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong Interviews with the key players involved with the AOL-Time Warner merger about its euphoric rise and pitiful fall. [more inside]
A Day in the Life of nytimes.com Visualizations of traffic to the website of the New York Times on June 25, 2009, the day that Michael Jackson died, from the website's Research and Development team.
The Year in Ideas from the New York Times Magazine.
“I think sometimes that being overly type-sensitive is like an allergy,” : The New York Times on the perils of being a font nerd.
An Iwo Jima Relic Binds Generations. (SLNYTTJ - single-link new york times tear-jerker.)
Artist/Designer Ilisha Helfman makes clothes for her custom made paper dolls every week from the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
How are Americans spending their time? An informational graphic from The New York Times.
Can the New York Times and Washington Post survive on a pay-wall business model if they do it together?
In a new essay entitled Build the Wall, David Simon (who was a Baltimore Sun reporter before he produced The Wire) argues that if the larger newspaper industry is to survive, The New York Times and Washington Post must start charging readers for access to their websites (preferably done as a single action in concert with each other) — John Gruber, Dave Winer, and the folks at Gawker disagree, and Steven Berlin Johnson argues that while the future for newspapers might be quite bleak, the future for journalism and high quality analysis is actually quite bright. Meanwhile, the Times is currently doing market research to see if it's readers would be willing to pay $5 a month for online access, and the Associated Press announced it's intent to build a new news DRM system that will enable users to “consume, mash up and share AP content based on rights”.
Murder: New York City. A map pinpointing murders in the five boroughs of NYC from 2003-09. Broken down by time of day, weapon used, age, sex and ethnicity of both victim and perpetrator. Not surprisingly, in the heat of summer the body count rises. [more inside]
When Money Buys Happiness. List the ten most expensive things (products, services or experiences) that you have ever paid for (including houses, cars, university degrees, marriage ceremonies, divorce settlements and taxes). Then, list the ten items that you have ever bought that gave you the most happiness. Count how many items appear on both lists. [more inside]
The 50 words that generate the most click-throughs to the dictionary from the New York Times. The Nieman Journalism Lab reveals the words that sent NYT readers running to the Merriam-Webster. Key fact: Maureen Dowd is overly fond of the word "louche." If the post is TL;DR for you, here's the list in Wordle.
For this generation of teens hugging [video | 02:35] seems to be all the rage at high schools around the U.S. “A measure of how rapidly the ritual is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in.” And in some schools hugging has banned. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal at a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., where hugging has been banned for two years.
"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
Excerpt 1: More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when we were looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. Excerpt 2: More and more the timeline is raising the question of why, if the torture was to prevent terrorist attacks, it seemed to happen mainly during the period when the Bush crowd was looking for what was essentially political information to justify the invasion of Iraq. Can you tell which is Josh Marshall writing on Talking Points Memo on May 14 and which is Maureen Dowd writing in The New York Times on May 16?
[E]ven if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of [vacation money] from the government, the reasoning being that if you can’t go on vacation, you’ll get depressed and despondent and you’ll never get a job.After a year and a half of living in the Netherlands, American writer Russell Shorto compares the Dutch "welfare state" to the tax, health care and social security systems of the United States.
But does the cartoon image of [the Dutch system] — encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb — match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? [...] I think it’s worth pondering how the best bits might fit.
Seekingarrangement.com is a website for would-be sugar daddies and sugar babies (no, not the candy). It claims 300,000 registered users. Here's a New York Times article from last week about the site (and a Globe and Mail article from '07).
Ross Douthat, senior editor of The Atlantic and co-author of Grand New Party [nyt review], has been chosen as a new opinion columnist for the New York Times, replacing William Kristol and joining David Brooks as one of the paper's conservative voices.
Somewhat quietly within the past couple weeks, two major newspapers, on each side of the Atlantic, have opened up their data and content APIs. Last month, on their Open blog, the New York Times introduced their Developer Network. Then just yesterday, on their DataBlog and OpenPlatformBlog, the Guardian launched Open Platform. [more inside]
Journalism may be going through a painful period but thanks to the web the once lowly information graphic is finally growing up to be all it never could on paper. Especially the New York Times seems to currently stand out in how frequently and quickly they build amazingly detailed and insightful interactive features. Consider the tracking of US Airways Flight 1549 or the piece on raising its engine from the Hudson. Other recent highlights: 9,955,441 parking tickets issues in NYC mapped by street, The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 — 2008, Ansel Adams's Yosemite, the view from the 10-meter platform explained, A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses 1789 to the Present, A Map of the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games, Going to the End of the Line, The 44 Places to go in 2009, an explanation of how the Pentagon responded to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, The Soyuz Spacecraft, How the Towers Stood and Fell and many, many, more. [more inside]
Steve Brill has a crazy idea that just might work. Would you pay a modest annual fee (about the cost of a magazine subscription) to read the New York Times online, if it means the survival of the world's greatest news
paper, er, news-gathering organization? It's an interesting idea.
A review of Thomas Friedman's latest book, Flat, Hot, and Crowded, by Matt Taibbi.