Swipe to unlock: Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 10 years ago today, changing journalism forever

Ten years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone — and also became the first person to publicly complain about how news is presented on iPhones. As part of his introduction to the phone’s capabilities, Jobs opened Safari and pulled up the full desktop version of the Times’ website. “We’re showing you the whole New York Times website,” Jobs said. But he also noted: “It’s kind of a slow site because it’s got a lot of images.” Jobs introduced the iPhone as three devices in one: a phone, a widescreen iPod, and an “Internet communications device.” Jobs’ presentation that day focused on using Safari as the main way to access the Internet; he even rotated the phone to view the Times’ website in landscape mode. He was initially against Continue reading "Swipe to unlock: Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 10 years ago today, changing journalism forever"

7 Tips For Using Virtual Reality in the New Year

There are three ways to view the videos in this post. 1) View in Google Chrome and use your cursor to travel through the video; 2) With a VR headset, use the YouTube App, click the Google Cardboard logo on the bottom-right corner, and insert your mobile device into VR glasses; 3) Using a smartphone, open the video on the YouTube app and move around the video by sliding your finger on the touch screen and moving your body.

The above 360- by 180-degree video is a test done by students at Florida International University’s Mobile Virtual Reality Lab for a story that explores sea level rise in Miami.

The Whats And Whys Of VR

The term virtual reality and what it really means continues to be debated. Certainly, there are differences between VR, augmented reality, and simulated reality. Wikipedia does a nice job outlining this debate and the differences. At its
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Newsonomics: Seizing the Brexit-Trump moment, the Murdochs bid for Sky

No surprise, in this age of rampant private gain over public interest, that Rupert Murdoch has re-emerged. Like a boxer who can be knocked about the ring and to the mat but never knocked out, Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, now makes a new bid for a company he has long sought to control: Sky. He found himself on the brink of buying the company (called BSkyB until its 2014 rebranding), in which 21st Century Fox holds a 39 percent stake, just five years ago. Then Hackgate happened. That scandal, now a more distant thought in the Brexit-shaken U.K. mind, deprived Murdoch of his prize. Political allies fell quickly by the wayside, and those regulating fair competition found a backbone and short-circuited a deal. Now, though, Murdoch, is back — or, we should really say, the Murdochs, as James Murdoch, chair of Sky, sits in the middle of Continue reading "Newsonomics: Seizing the Brexit-Trump moment, the Murdochs bid for Sky"

When 9.4 million followers isn’t enough: NBC News will shut down the Breaking News app on Dec. 31

There’s no denying that Breaking News is a super-useful app/Twitter account/idea: Day in and day out, morning and night, its editors in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Seattle push out hard news from around the globe. Breaking News’s Twitter account has around 9.5 million followers, who in the space of a couple of hours on Thursday morning received alerts about Donald Trump’s labor secretary appointment, the updated death toll in Aleppo, and a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in California. Apparently, though, “useful” wasn’t enough of a value proposition for NBC News, which owns Breaking News. Breaking News general manager Cory Bergman announced on Twitter on Thursday that it will shut the service down as of the end of the year.

Josh Topolsky’s The Outline officially launches and it burns the eyes (but the ad experience does look cool)

If you were confused what The Outline, the ambitious new digital media project from The Verge and Bloomberg veteran Josh Topolsky, was supposed to be (or look like), its official launch today offers some clarity (its public products were thus far a Westworld recap/fan theory podcast and a Mars landing game). On the editorial end, it’s defining its coverage against other well-established outlets: The site’s work falls somewhere between a legacy outlet like The New York Times and a digital native like BuzzFeed, Topolsky told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. It’s a “next-generation” version of the New Yorker, ostensibly, a “New Yorker for millennials.” the-outline-mobile-swipeOn both the design and revenue sides of things, the venture-funded site is hoping to break new ground. The mobile-focused design is also graphics heavy and built around the action of swiping (including for its ads, which are kind of…fun Continue reading "Josh Topolsky’s The Outline officially launches and it burns the eyes (but the ad experience does look cool)"

With its new app, RadioPublic wants to tackle podcasting’s lingering challenges

“Free podcasts!” RadioPublic‘s tagline declares. The company’s flagship product, which became available last Friday, is a listening app with features built to try to appeal to that principle: Podcast discovery is still too limited, and there is a long tail of audio shows deserving of a loyal audience and a large pool of interested listeners who’ve not yet stumbled across them or have ventured into the world of podcasts at all. RadioPublic is a new for-profit company helmed by familiar names — former PRX CEO Jake Shapiro is now RadioPublic’s CEO. It spun out of the nonprofit PRX, which is responsible for podcast network Radiotopia and also for an assortment of podcast-related tech. radiopublic-app-1Though PRX and RadioPublic are closely intertwined, RadioPublic is entirely listener-focused (it’s collaborating with PRX, on an embedded player, of use to both the listener and publisher). The first iteration of the listening app,
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This Vermont-focused nonprofit news site is looking to podcasting to add new revenue streams

There’s enough of the podcasting pie for everyone. At least, that’s the hope of VTDigger, a Vermont-based nonprofit news site launched in 2009 to cover public interest issues and policy, with a focus on enterprise and investigative reporting (started by Anne Galloway, after she was laid off from another Vermont outlet). Among local-focused digital news nonprofits, the site is holding its own, with an annual budget of over $1 million and up to 150,000 unique readers a month. It has a solid statehouse presence. “We had a desire to expand beyond the printed word, written media,” said Mark Johnson, VTDigger’s senior editor and reporter who has been helming the editorial end of its foray into podcasting (Johnson had a radio talk show for 25 years before joining VTDigger). The team had tried out video interviews during Vermont’s legislative session, but the videos never caught on with Continue reading "This Vermont-focused nonprofit news site is looking to podcasting to add new revenue streams"