A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Issue 1

This new column on Ecoblog, called Chartreuse -- not strictly orthodox and not strictly about computing either -- has the ambition to give all of you food for thought and a stimulus to look at technology differently. I hope that you will find it intoxicating.

- Mike said about Wiki. Well I cannot see why we cannot just use the tools from the original site Wiki, which seems to even support IIS... All we need is a small box if this is to happen this side of the firewall...

- A journalist request sent me on the trail of RSS, and then I actually found that apart from the usual mess of formats as well as the fact that Netscape (again) started it all, this is a very useful tool to gather news from disparate sources, custom-made to what each one of us is interested in. Perhaps most of you know about this already, but for me it was (good) news. What is even better is that Rojo is an online RSS engine that is (to date) free. I strongly encourage you to give it a go, as you do not need to install anything on any local machine to use it. You have to register before you use it, so I suspect that they will charge at some point. (By the by, Ecoblog is RSS enabled, click on the orange button at the top right hand corner). Could we syndicate the newspaper like this? Just a thought...
(Also see Charlotte's contribution here)

- On the Mac OS X side, for those of you who would like to have a go at a tool that will allow you to edit sound, images, moving images and text, and without the full kit from Adobe, but free, then have a go at the new suite from Arboretum, which is called HyperEngine - AV. It is refreshing to see that open source/ freeware is still alive and well. Caution: this is not a beginner's kit.

- On a totally different subject, any of you who are interested in photography (the real one, not the digital, all-automatic kind), here is the address of a shop that do all sort of lens conversions and adapters for classic cameras: SRB Film (this is an email link)

- If you want to see newspapers on the web exactly the way their print editions look, then you have to subscribe to PressDisplay, a website that has collected newspapers from 55 countries. It is subscription only and it contains titles that have an online edition, as well as others that do not. Interesting thought(?)

- Siemens launched a new phone in CeBIT today. It is called Prototype DVB-H Phone (Nokia have one too)... TV on phones... What a must have gadget... or not? I would stick with a good book, a couple below:

- If you like SF, Peter F. Hamilton's "Pandora's Star" is now available in paperback. It is refreshing to see a modern author that keeps popular SF at a level high enough so that it is not classified as "pulp fiction". On the other hand, if you are interested in this sort of thing, "The Secret of Bryn Estyn", subtitled "The making of a Modern Witchhunt", is a non fictional account of a miscarriage of justice regarding the Wrexham case, in North Wales. The book will be published by The Orwell Press, towards the end of this month (yes, I have a copy) ;-)

Jamie Oliver is on a crusade to improve food in schools and decrease the cholesterol levels and heart related to obesity conditions/diseases in this country. I believe it is a worthy cause. Add your voice to his, and sign the petition here.

Hope you will enjoy some of the things mentioned, I will come back soon with more.
Economist.com recently instroduced RSS feeds - see http://www.economist.com/rss
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
As it happens, this is a good example of RSS going wrong. The link from AP regarding the Siemens phone is now showing a Samsung phone. This is either sloppy programming from AP or the way this works? Probably the former. That is the link for AP unmediated (as they call themselves):

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