Posts tagged earthquake

Robots Reporting Earthquakes
Via Slate:

Ken Schwencke, a journalist and programmer for the Los Angeles Times, was jolted awake at 6:25 a.m. on Monday by an earthquake. He rolled out of bed and went straight to his computer, where he found a brief story about the quake already written and waiting in the system. He glanced over the text and hit “publish.” And that’s how the LAT became the first media outlet to report on this morning’s temblor. “I think we had it up within three minutes,” Schwencke told me.
If that sounds faster than humanly possible, it probably is. While the post appeared under Schwencke’s byline, the real author was an algorithm called Quakebot that he developed a little over two years ago. Whenever an alert comes in from the U.S. Geological Survey about an earthquake above a certain size threshold, Quakebot is programmed to extract the relevant data from the USGS report and plug it into a pre-written template. The story goes into the LAT’s content management system, where it awaits review and publication by a human editor.

Interested in – or freaked out about – robots writing your news? Check our Robots Tag.
Image: Screenshot, text I received from my brother Peter this morning. – Michael

Robots Reporting Earthquakes

Via Slate:

Ken Schwencke, a journalist and programmer for the Los Angeles Times, was jolted awake at 6:25 a.m. on Monday by an earthquake. He rolled out of bed and went straight to his computer, where he found a brief story about the quake already written and waiting in the system. He glanced over the text and hit “publish.” And that’s how the LAT became the first media outlet to report on this morning’s temblor. “I think we had it up within three minutes,” Schwencke told me.

If that sounds faster than humanly possible, it probably is. While the post appeared under Schwencke’s byline, the real author was an algorithm called Quakebot that he developed a little over two years ago. Whenever an alert comes in from the U.S. Geological Survey about an earthquake above a certain size threshold, Quakebot is programmed to extract the relevant data from the USGS report and plug it into a pre-written template. The story goes into the LAT’s content management system, where it awaits review and publication by a human editor.

Interested in – or freaked out about – robots writing your news? Check our Robots Tag.

Image: Screenshot, text I received from my brother Peter this morning. – Michael

theeconomist:

Less than an hour after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the country’s phone system was at capacity and Japanese citizens were unable to contact their loved ones or emergency hotlines. What did the Japanese do? They turned to Twitter. Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter, discusses how Twitter saved lives that day, in this video from The Economist’s Ideas Economy events series.

Panoramic Image of Kesennuma, Japan

Definitely recommend hitting the embiggen button.

For other panoramas, visit MSNBC’s Photoblog.

In this week’s Studio 360, Kurt Anderson explores Japanese popular culture and its take on disaster, from historical Godzilla films to contemporary artists drawing popular Manga characters pitching in to help with tsunami relieft.
Via Studio 360:

There’s a reason why Japanese horror movies come to mind in the middle of this catastrophe. Disasters — natural and man-made — have marked Japan for centuries.  And they’ve become powerful (and popular) archetypes in Japanese culture: from the most famous image in Japanese art, Hokusai’s Great Wave, to the post-apocalyptic anime film Akira. Japanese pop culture has been deeply affected by what Susan Sontag called “the imagination of disaster”

The segment can be listened to (and downloaded) here.
Somewhat related: the New York Times Op Art page has illustrations by three Japanese artists that reflect on the tsunami and its aftermath. 

In this week’s Studio 360, Kurt Anderson explores Japanese popular culture and its take on disaster, from historical Godzilla films to contemporary artists drawing popular Manga characters pitching in to help with tsunami relieft.

Via Studio 360:

There’s a reason why Japanese horror movies come to mind in the middle of this catastrophe. Disasters — natural and man-made — have marked Japan for centuries.  And they’ve become powerful (and popular) archetypes in Japanese culture: from the most famous image in Japanese art, Hokusai’s Great Wave, to the post-apocalyptic anime film Akira. Japanese pop culture has been deeply affected by what Susan Sontag called “the imagination of disaster”

The segment can be listened to (and downloaded) here.

Somewhat related: the New York Times Op Art page has illustrations by three Japanese artists that reflect on the tsunami and its aftermath. 

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis. — CNN
Images released by NASA show Japan’s northeast coast before, left, and after flooding from the quake-induced tsunami.

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis. — CNN

Images released by NASA show Japan’s northeast coast before, left, and after flooding from the quake-induced tsunami.

[E]mergencies such as wars and earthquakes demonstrate a simple and permanent fact of media life: that the Net is the new TV and the new radio, because it has subsumed both. It would be best for both TV and radio to normalize to the Net and quit protecting their old distribution systems.
Doc Searls, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Earthquake Turns TV Networks into Print.