BBC sources photos from Flickr

Steve Rubel over at Micro Persuasion notices that a recent article about Podcasting carried on the BBC website included photos that were taken by a Flickr user. It is not clear if they had gotten permission to do so from the user but they clearly were not credited as a source.

This is the first time I can think of that an established media site included material without attribution and also brings up an interesting point about using RSS feeds and Search Engines as an alternative to the traditional newswires (AP, Reuters, PR Newswire) for sources of republished material.

The article did not credit the photographer, camoby, so it’s unclear if the BBC purchased these images or if he works on staff or he simply let them use the photos gratis. His web site, however, does feature a BBC ticker. What’s known is that these images were not published under a Creative Commons license.

As a friend of mine noted when the news of Flickr’s purchase by Yahoo was announced, “Who owns the photos on Flickr and is Yahoo or anyone else going to profit from the sale of images of my family without my knowledge?” Ads around Flickr images on either Flickr or Yahoo are one thing but distribution to other sites is another thing entirely. Let alone, did Adam Curry release these images as well? goes pro

Joshua Schachter, the creator of the social tagging system that has taken the blogging community by storm and is often pointed to as a prime example of "folksonomy" in action, announced that he’s quitting his job, taking on investment, and devoting himself full time to

Hooray, another one leaves the nest to pursue his dream!


How much for that shack in the paper?

A popular topic in the Bay Area is real estate. With home prices reaching obcene levels, all the talk in the carpool is about which homes are on the market, what we think they’re worth, and, suprise, at what price they eventually close. This speculative topic has  spilled over into the office as some of my work mates are thinking about a place to live. Overhearing two folks talking about home prices, I passed on the real estate section of my local paper which I was reading on the ride in. There is a laughable listing which not only raises the eyebrow but also got me checking the date just to be sure it wasn’t an April Fool’s gag. Byrne scanned it in and blogged about it.

The kicker is that this was a headline listing. Paid advertisement with a 1/4 page photo on the front page of the real estate section. They obviously thought this was a premier listing, and one to bank the reputation of the real estate companies name upon!


Easter Sunday


After some fun with Mie on Saturday, we stayed home on Easter Sunday to take part in the annual neighborhood easter egg hunt. We were told to leave a dozen eggs for every child under seven in the morning and the older kids on the block would hid them on the grass median in front of our house. At noon exactly, the elders of the block (second photo from the left) blew a whistle and all the kids ran across the street which had been blocked to traffic by two pickup trucks. For the next 30 minutes it was complete mayhem until all the eggs had been gathered up.


The Great Debate

Had the great debate between George Bush and Saddam Hussein actually taken place in 2003 here’s how it would have gone down:

Tuesday February 25, 2003 – The United Nations

Tony Blair, moderator: Welcome to the first televised debate between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein, live from United Nations headquarters in New York. We will begin with a brief opening statement from each of you.

Bush: First of all I would just like to welcome my evil friend to the UN, one of the great American institutions for the propulsion and impregnification of freedom throughout the world.

Saddam: Thank you, Satan. I hope that in today’s debate we may find some common ground between the Iraqi people’s commitment to harmony, peace and human progress and America’s desire to destroy the Middle East.

Bush: Do I answer that? Should I answer that? I’m just a good ‘ole boy an’ I don’t know how these things go, but from where I come from that’s just a gross misrepresentationalism and exasperation of the truth…

Blair: Excuse me, Mr. President, but  “these things” go like this – I ask the questions.  The first question is quite simply this: do you have any links with al-Qaida?

Bush: No I do not.

Blair: The question is for Mr. Hussein.

Saddam: As I told Mr. Tony Blaine clearly and simply, if I had links with al-Qaida and I enjoyed those links and I was profiting in some way from those links then I would not be ashamed to tell the world of these links, but since I am ashamed to tell the world of this, it follows that I have no such links.

Neither do I!

Blair: The second question is for President Bush.
President Bush, if America and Iraq were to go to war tomorrow, who would win?

Bush: That’s easy. America…

Saddam: Yes, America. Even I knew that one.

Bush: Because America sits in the path of rightiousness and we stand for freedom. We are a diverse nation because we can sit and stand at the same time. And our ability to stand alone, and sit, comes from the hearts and souls of too blue American people, Americans like Mr. Blair here, people who are willing to love their neighbor, just like they would like to love themselves…

Blair: Your two minutes are up.

Bush: Well that may be but this great United American States of Americans are on the side of rightliness and Americanity, against a… a… malodorous Axis of Evil made up of Iraq, North Korea and… how many are in a axis? 

Blair: I think you’re allowed as many as you like.

Bush: OK, Iraq, North Korea and France!

Saddam: France?

Blair: France?

Bush: Who am I thinking of then? Irania?

Blair: Let’s move on. Saddam, are you willing to destroy your stockpile of Samoud 2 missiles in accordance with UN weapons inspectors’ orders?

Saddam: I explain to you now that if Iraq possessed these so-called weapons, we would never destroy them, but since we do not have any such weapons and we never have, we are happy to comply, even though these non-existent weapons certainly do not exceed the prescribed range of 150 kms. I’ve even tested them myself, and we don’t have any.

Blair: The final question is for George Bush. Mr President, is there any way that Saddam Hussein can avoid war, and what steps must he now take in order to reach a negotiated solution?

Bush: Now listen to me. It’s very simple. First Saddam must compile 200% with the UN inspectorers, and I mean activated compilation, not passivist negridation.
Second, he must disarm fully, in keeping with UN revelation 1441 and the next one, I believe its 1442, which will require him to disarm even more fully than what I have just stated. Then he must destroy all Samoud missiles and any other weapons of mass destruction he has found, or not found, to be in possessive of, without being asked, even though I’m telling you. Finally, there is one more task he must perform, which I am not at liberty to indulge. And even that will not be enough.

Blair: Thank you, Mr. President. The translator would like to take your answer home with him and work on it over the weekend.

Bush: Fine, but we require nothing less than total disarmature.

Saddam: Yes, Disarmature!

I’m sorry, but I’m not sure that "disarmature" is a word.

Well, by “disarmature” I don’t mean he must cut off his own arms. But this here is an evil man. He has cut the arms off many of his own Iraqiian citizens. But I will tell you now that I would be proud to shake the hand of any brave Iraqiian citizen who had his arms cut off.

Saddam: Disarmature, Yes! We will take down all our armatures! We are a peaceful people…

Bush: You know, you remind me of a cowardly hunter who shoots the pigeon of peace, or is it the dove of peace? Well, you know, there’s a saying where I come from, ‘a bird in the stone is worth two…hunters…hunting and it’s the birds that’s supposed to suffer, not the hunter.’

Saddam: Mr. Blair, What is he talking about? Mr. Blair?

Hmmm… Did you know that an anagram for ‘Saddam Hussein’ is ‘I demand Sushi’?

Saddam: What is this ‘Sushi’?

Forwarded by Perry Burns

Current Events

General Motors gets mileage from blogs, now Podcasting

General Motors created a lot of excitement and gained serious cred in the blogging world when they launched their Fast Lane blog several months ago. Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz hosted Michael Wiley, the sponsor of the the program in one of their podcasts.  Neville is a huge fan of Podcasts and I guess it rubbed off because now GM is podcasting and, according to Christopher Carfi who took time out to listen, has kept the “behind the scenes” feel right through to the podcasts which is great and should continue to draw car enthusiasts to their site.

Looks like the team at GM has done it again and broken another precedent in the world of corporate blogging. All good stuff for the world of blogging and good for GM too!


You must not throw up at the Dojo

Izumi IM’ed me at work today:

izumikennedy: we have to come back from Aikido, tyler throw up, he cough too much.
red pile carpet: oh no
red pile carpet: is he ok now?
izumikennedy: he is fine , before class start
he was showing off to one of class mate about aikido and then he got
too excited. and he started to cough.
red pile carpet: poor guy, at least he’s excited about akido

Tyler needs to learn humility and respect. Less fidgeting, more attention.

This reminds me of the time my father was learning kyudo, the art of Japanese archery. For weeks he dutifully went to the dojo to practice and the sensei said that he would first need to practice his form with an old piece of rubber surgical tubing. He would stretch out the rubber as if pulling back a bow, then release and it to make this horrible, ungainly sound, phwap!!

It was so crude and clownish compared to the other archers who looked so graceful, releasing their arrows and having them sail the length of the gallery towards their targets. Each week Dad looked over at the others, longing for the day when he could try a real bow and each week, it was back to the surgical tubing. Stretch, aim, phwap! Stretch, aim, phwap! It was like practicing a crude form of scales. He had to practice in the corner, away from the others because the phwapping was distracting to the others, like loud farting.

After several weeks of this, sensei came over in the middle of his phwapping and gave my father an old bow. My father was told it was time to move up to practicing with an empty bow. Still no arrows but at least he had moved on from the surgical tubing. Barely able to repress his glee, he grasped the bow and joined the others in front of the gallery. He drew back, true to form, took aim, and zing the bowstring whizzed past his face and hooked his glasses and flung them a good twenty feet out into the gallery!

Sensei barked out for everyone to halt their practice and, through tightly pursed lips, hissed to my father to go fetch his glasses. When he scampered back to pick up the bow, sensei shook his head slowly, took the bow back and handed my father the limp old surgical tubing. It was back to the corner, for more stretch, aim, phwap! takes on mainstream media investors, the automated news aggregation service, has taken on investment from Knight-Ridder, Gannett, and the Tribune Co. The idea is to gain some financial backing to grow the service but also to gain access to content from media companies that they were negotiating with anyway. I think each of these companies look at Topix as a distribution channel which is a wonderful validation of this business model of having third parties re-package snippets of content for ad-supported redistribution.

Remaining editorially independent is key and there are assurances from Topix that they will remain so. I guess I feel much better that it’s a triumvirate each owning 25% of Topix and not a single media entity. The will need to learn to share.


Yahoo Generates Buzz

The folks over at Yahoo Research have teamed up with O’Reilly and Newsfutures to run a simulated stock market, Buzz Game, where players can buy and sell companies, technologies, and other memes on an open market. You get a virtual $10k to start and the players with the most in their portfolio by the end of July get actual prizes.

I just bought a bunch of stuff and already I’m down to $8k in less than 30 minutes which doesn’t bode well.

Corporate RSS Made Simple

I share a lot of the burden of explaining what blogs & RSS feeds are all about with my brethren who develop RSS readers. Sandy Hamilton of NewsGator posts a nice run down on corporate RSS feeds, why they’re not as complicated as they sound, and points to examples of companies that use them.

I think it’s the acronym that’s really tripping people up. As my colleague Anil says, "If someone told me 15 years ago that I really need to buy a VHS recorder instead of a device that allows me to tape TV shows, I would have balked as well."