posts about or somewhat related to ‘longreads’
from The End of the Waffle House by Jessica Contrera in the Indiana Daily Student.
The story is one of love, loss and local community, and it was reported and written by a senior at Indiana University. We point to it here because a) it’s moving and well-written and worth the 8 minute read, and b) we discovered it through Longreads.
Did you know that every week, Longreads features a piece of writing from a college journalist? And they are often great. So, college students and professors, keep that in mind as your write and report. You can e-mail your stories to Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher (email@example.com), who helps Longreads curate, or tag them on Twitter with #college & #longreads.
FJP: I’ve always been a little sad that the excellent work done in college newsrooms is hard to discover. Cheers to the curators who help us find all the good stuff. —Jihii
The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: ‘Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!’
The old man did not reply immediately…. Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: ‘Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.’
Maura Johnson, NPR Music. What Happened To Music Writing This Year?
Johnson is on to something, and it’s not just about music writing — it’s about journalism as an increasingly porous activity. Lists and lightweight news bites regularly become the day’s most shared content. And many people who would be receptive to more in-depth, thoughtful content are likely banging out article-worthy ideas in online conversations.
She continues, asking a question all up-and-comers should ask themselves:
And this is where the larger quandary comes in. If the idea is to “serve the reader,” does that mean exposing them to new things they haven’t heard and ideas that might not have been aired yet, or does it mean pivoting off the conventional wisdom in some way?
H/T: Jay Rosen.
Taymour Karim didn’t crack under interrogation. His Syrian captors beat him with their fists, with their boots, with sticks, with chains, with the butts of their Kalashnikovs. They hit him so hard they broke two of his teeth and three of his ribs. They threatened to keep torturing him until he died. “I believed I would never see the sun again,” he recalls. But Karim, a 31-year-old doctor who had spent the previous months protesting against the government in Damascus, refused to give up the names of his friends.
It didn’t matter. His computer had already told all. “They knew everything about me,” he says. “The people I talked to, the plans, the dates, the stories of other people, every movement, every word I said through Skype. They even knew the password of my Skype account.” At one point during the interrogation, Karim was presented with a stack of more than 1,000 pages of printouts, data from his Skype chats and files his torturers had downloaded remotely using a malicious computer program to penetrate his hard drive. “My computer was arrested before me,” he says.
Much has been written about the rebellion in Syria: the protests, the massacres, the car bombs, the house-to-house fighting. Tens of thousands have been killed since the war began in early 2011. But the struggle for the future of the country has also unfolded in another arena—on a battleground of Facebook pages and YouTube accounts, of hacks and counterhacks. Just as rival armies vie for air superiority, the two sides of the Syrian civil war have spent much of the last year and a half locked in a struggle to dominate the Internet. Pro-government hackers have penetrated opposition websites and broken into the computers of Reuters and Al Jazeera to spread disinformation. On the other side, the hacktivist group Anonymous has infiltrated at least 12 Syrian government websites, including that of the Ministry of Defense, and released millions of stolen e-mails.
The Syrian conflict illustrates the extent to which the very tools that rebels in the Middle East have employed to organize and sustain their movements are now being used against them. It provides a glimpse of the future of warfare, in which computer viruses and hacking techniques can be as critical to weakening the enemy as bombs and bullets. Over the past three months, I made contact with and interviewed by phone and e-mail participants on both sides of the Syrian cyberwar. Their stories shed light on a largely hidden aspect of a conflict with no end in sight—and show how the Internet has become a weapon of war.
Stephan Feris, Businessweek. The Hackers of Damascus.
Michael Phillips, founder of a voice recognition software company called Vlingo, on being sued in 2008 for patent infringement.
At the time, Vlingo was in partnership discussions with Apple and Google but both stopped negotiations because of the suit.
While Vlingo was eventually exonerated, it cost the company $3 million in legal fees and they eventually agreed to be bought by the company that sued them.
The New York Times, The Patent, Used as a Sword.
In the smartphone industry, according to the article, ”as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions.”
Here is a worth-sharing hand-picked selection of five longform journalism pieces on Cuban daily life beyond Havana. Good mix, take a look.
On Tipping in Cuba by Chris Turner - A writer discovers the uncomfortable socio-macroeconomics of the cheap beach vacation
In Purusit of the Wild Cohiba by Ginger Strand and James Wallenstein - The world’s best cigars straight from the source.
Recruiting for the Big Parade by Terry Southern - ”How I signed Up for $250 a Day for the Big Parade Through Havana Bla Bla Bla and Wound Up Working for the CIA in Guatemala.”
The Happiest Man in Cuba by Rebecca Barry - How the U.S. blockade has made Cuba a trainspotter’s paradise.
Hitchhiker’s Cuba by Dave Eggers - Getting to know Cuba by picking up strangers from the side of the road.
FJP: TETW is well worth the follow for your longread pleasure.
—Michael Lewis on Reporting
Throughout the ages, farting (flatulation) has generated jokes, folklore, etiquette, and a few legal sanctions, but little research. The legendary Hippocrates (460–377 BCE) considered the medical affliction of too much gas in The Winds, advising, “It is better to let it pass with noise than to be intercepted and accumulated internally” (1.24–25). The topic has been treated more often in popular fare, including the humorous writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain. Fart jokes earn a place in the opening scene of Aristophanes’ The Clouds and the memorable closing scene of “The Miller’s Tale” in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Although passing gas is usually considered ill-mannered, it’s usually laughed off as a minor offense. But this has not always been the case. The Roman Empire once had laws against farting in public places, a sanction that must have caused a lot of fanning and finger-pointing in the Forum. The law was lifted during the reign of Claudius, one of the most flatulent of emperors.
Consider the sad fate of Pu Sao of the Tikopia in Polynesia, who was so overcome with shame after farting in the presence of the chief that he committed suicide by climbing a palm tree and impaling himself through the rectum with a sharply pointed branch. Sanctions are less severe among the Chagga of Tanzania, but feminists have a lot of work to do there. If a husband breaks wind, the wife must pretend that it was really she who discharged, and she must submit to scolding about it. Failure to accept responsibility can cost the negligent wife three barrels of beer.
Robert R. Provine, Author, Curious Behavior. Via Salon, Passing gas is an art and science
FJP: I don’t post just because I’m puerile, but because this is actually a fascinating read about farts throughout the ages, from a famed French performer who dominated the stage with gassy butt tricks, to the thoughts of St. Augustine, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Mark Twain and Chaucer, to the science of flatulence, human and otherwise. Well worth the read. — Michael
paidContent just published their top 50 list of the world’s most successful digital media companies.
And it isn’t your ordinary list. Instead, after an overview, it runs some 103 pages from Google and its $36.4B in revenue at the top to Japan’s Hakuhodo DY and its $719.22M in revenue rounding things out.
Taken together, paidContent reports, the fifty companies that make up the list generate $150-billion-a-year in digital revenue.
This year’s paidContent 50, for the first time, looks at companies outside the U.S. and in segments not considered last year, like business information and advertising. As a consequence, several U.S. companies fell off this year’s list — including CareerBuilder, ValueClick, WebMD, GameStop, Hulu, the New York Times, Ancestry.com and Demand Media…
…Indeed, opening the gates to the rest of the world adds some new perspective on the success of some of the largest U.S. digital players. Zynga, for example, suddenly falls 24 places, while Netflix sinks 14 places despite adding about $500,000 in revenue in an error-strewn year. Almost half of our list this year (23 companies) comes from outside the U.S.
A hundred plus pages is tough to get through so to shorten the task — or to help motivate — see paidContent 50: 6 big takeaways from this year’s list.
paidContent, The world’s most successful digital media companies.