Tag Archives: Georgia Tech

Local Data Mining: Where No Georgia Press Dare Go


Investigative tech reporting in Georgia is non-existent. Other than cheerleading, Chamber-type stuff from the Atlanta Business Chronicle. There are startups incubated at Georgia Tech in the for-profit business of scraping data from social media sites, and then selling it back to organizations and business people, particularly folk in law enforcement. What’s commonly called “enterprise data mining.”

I know this because one company tried to sell me their lovely dashboard thingee. To which I replied, in a business-like manner of course at the meeting, “No thanks, I roll my own.”

Georgia law enforcement stores (years of) data scraped and mined from the general (presumed innocent) public, via such technology as license tag scanning. Lord knows what they then do with such data, and where (NSA?) they then feed that data, and the associated metadata, on to.

The head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Vernon Keenan, announced that factoid, rather proudly, to a room full of journalists at the Atlanta Press Club this summer. Not a single follow-up story on that matter, at least any I’m aware of. Not one.

Hasn’t the data-mining dilemma revealed by Glenn Greenwald piqued the slightest bit of interest on local angles to the dilemma just a little bit amongst Georgia press leadership? Seems not.

Come on MSM in Georgia. Do better.

Google Glass — Can I Get A Witness?


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Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand gardening. But the first thing that came to mind when I put on Google Glass was my mother’s organic garden.

You won’t catch me outside in broiling 98-degree southern humidity struggling to hack through a dense, painfully stinging row of okra, or pulling nasty, squirming wormy things off dozens of tomato bushes. No siree! But you will catch my mother doing that crazy stuff. For hours on end, day after day, week after week, throughout the south’s high summer months.

That said, if you can get past the oppressive heat and humidity there really is no more verdant and glorious vision of bounty, robust health and natural beauty than a southern organic garden at its summer harvesting peak.

Thus the thought of me strolling, beatifically wired, through rows of an organic garden in full, wearing a pair of Glass with my mother narrating the purvey and provenance of every lush plant and vegetable, set my pan-media-tuned mind into high and sunny gear.

Who wouldn’t want to document and share that kind of rich media in our connected world? To be fresh content-enabled, breezily so, by merely putting on glasses, something I’ve done every day since I was 7-years old anyway.

One of the great things about living near the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, of course) is participating in some of the innovations and events churned from there. Whether beta testing products in development, networking, attending concerts or lectures, there’s a wealth of experience and knowledge available to the university’s surrounding community, so last night (July 11) I hopped over to nearby startup nurturer, Flashpoint on West Peachtree Street.

There, Randy J. Mitchell, the founder and CEO of Plisten, along with Google and Hypepotamus, hosted a meetup for Google Glass developers and designers. My friend/mentor and sometime colleague, veteran political reporter Tom Baxter, who’s always up for some new media-creation adventures, tagged along too.

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WiFi Cat Introduced by Atlanta Entrepreneur, Scott Burkett


The WiFi Cat is out of the bag!

Managing The Media


In the Now Herding Cats Department… while I find it amusing that there are people out there who feel media+The Internets are somehow, someway at all “manageable,” I like, and thus will evangelize, about two new tools that help control spin and lies and gross fabrications in media. Both tools are seeking crowd-sourced, computated journalism goals.

One is being hatched here in Atlanta out of Georgia Tech and is designed to flesh-out what we see/hear online via video. That’s Videolyzer. The other is SpinSpotter.com, spawned from the brains of a liberal and a conservative working together. (And they say it can’t be done. Hmph.)

From the NYTimes on SpinSpotter.com:

Any attempt to judge news articles could rely on experts, a broad audience of readers or a set of formulas. SpinSpotter combines all three, but for now the formulas are still being adjusted, the audience is not yet big enough, and it remains to be seen how unbiased or effective the experts are. SpinSpotter grew out of a longstanding obsession of Todd Herman, a conservative former talk-radio host who is the company’s chief product officer. “I thought of this 10 years ago,” he said. “The things I’d see in mainstream media drove me crazy.”

The chief executive officer, John Atcheson, is politically liberal, and he and Mr. Herman say they tend to balance each other out. “We don’t delude ourselves into thinking we’re going to eliminate spin, and that’s not even our objective,” said Mr. Atcheson, who has been an executive of several technology companies. “We just want it to be transparent, above the surface.”

Read full article about SpinSpotter.com here. Videolyzer is here.

Advice For Indie Media Hunter-Gatherers


Computation + Journalism Symposium – How To Do It Right


Day 2: Computation & Journalism Symposium


Back at the Tech ranch for Day #2 of the Computation & Journalism symposium. Several Atlanta bloggers are Twittering it all. So head there if you’re interested. Also, there’s live web cam too, found here.

Live Blogging The Computation+Journalism Symposium


Off to a roaring start at the Tech conference. Not. I can’t get on the Tech wi-fi! Typical academics. Making easy stuff hard for little people.

Professor Aaron Bobick talking now about stories. Only thing is, he’s Chair of Interactive Computing College! Maybe he loves O’Connor too. BTF outta me.

Conference is being webcast live here though, so maybe I’ll just Twitter. Google News guy getting ready to speak, Krishna Bharat.

1:26pm ET. Bharat: “We don’t want humans to rank the news. We want machines to do it.”

1:30pm ET: How does Google News work? They have a crawler that groups articles by story. They create a story cluster. Sounds like a candy bar. Bharat using a stem cell research example. I wish he’s use the McCain/NYT public relations wrangle instead! That’ll put that crawler through its paces.

1:35 Bharat: “Story importance in a given edition is based on: Editorial Interest, Local Relevance, Story Freshness. Article ranking is based on: Originality, Freshness, Quality/expertise of source, Localness (huh?) of source.”

1:41 Bharat just made a teriffic example that highlights how important it is to dispute, online, something that is wrong in the media… any online rebuttal WILL show up on Google News, as it relates to the alledgedly “wrong” material too. They’re just that damn good at Google!

1:46 David Eckoff kicks off the first question at Q&A time. He’s at davideckoff.com, where else?!

1:47 MSM editor from the Memphis paper asks should commerical journalists be concerned about Google News? Guess he hasn’t figured out that Google News drives traffic based on timeliness and that “localness.” If Katrina happened in Memphis for instance, Google News would drive traffic to the reporting coming out of Memphis. Take away? Do Not Fear Google. They Are Merely Here To Help.

1: 55 NEXT SPEAKER: A (former?) NPR journalist now speaking. They don’t have his name up yet. But that’s ok, because any foreign journalist always kicks off with an itinerary of super-duper global hot-spots over the last 25-years of their lives. Yawn. NO wait! He’s taking on MSM for going only, over and over, to the same well of pundits for their “expert” analysis, when the whole world is available too them, via the Internet of course. (That explains how that hideous Dick Morris and Ralph Reed keep hogging all the political air time then!)

Msytery speaker now saying there’s a drop in news viewing on TV. Uh dude, we know that.

Oh, great quote from old journalist dude: “Old journalism created for a culture that lived on the SCARCITY of news.” Of course now there is hardly a scarcity of news in our faces, so the whole old way is… well, simply an old business model.

2:01 Mystery solved via dead-tree item: He is Michael Skoler, Exec. Director of The Center for Innovation in Journalism @ American Public Media. I assume this is all NPR-related stuff.

2:03 Minnesota Public Radio is asking people to help them… work their budget! And then they can send it to, for instance, the Governor. Wait ’til Sonny gets ahold of a GBP budget, or the people’s version of it.

2:05 Another cool public (radio?) tool will let you imput your own issues and concerns, and then match you up with a candidate who reflects your issues. Now that’s cool new stuff, making something like the political ad, well, irrelevant? Not this year at least!

2:07pm Battery power low. Going to power-down until I can re-charge.

4:27 David Cohn, the everywhere man, is up now. He’s talking about the pro-am concept of NewsAssignment.net. Cohn is also an Off The Bus contributor, Shelby. I didn’t realize that. I’ll go look for his stuff.

Oh yeah, the panel now is called “Social Computing and Journalism.”

Cohn talking about how journalists can build a network around their sources. Say, green technology…

4:20pm ET – Back at it. Digg guy speaking. Here the numbers. 26 million unique visitors a day to Digg. Or is it digg?

NOTE TO JULIA WALLACE and Atlanta Mag: Not a soul here has yet to use the term “readers.” It’s all “audience” here folks.

Digg Dude explaining a digg, vs. a “bury.” I wonder how many people here this is new information for? Only the journalists!

Digg guy prefaced his remarks that he was all computer background, and NOT a journalist. Although he has great respect for the journalists at the WSJ and the New Yorker.

I’m going to Twitter the rest of this social computing and journalism panel. Come over to Twitter and find me at SpaceyG.