Archive for January 5th, 2005

Blogging Sexy Media Star of the Year

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The
British slant on American life is seen through a prism of ancestral superiority
and discreet disdain, but offers us a glimpse of how wer are seen from
outside our fortress, by our closest friends and allies. They are
particularly accute in their boundless fascination with American fads
and fashions.

Here is a statistical study by our British cousins
of the current King of of techno lifestyles – Blogging
:

Americans
are becoming avid blog readers, with 32 million getting hooked in 2004,
according to new research.
The survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project,
showed that
blog readership has shot up by 58% in the last year.

Despite the explosive growth, more than 60% of online
Americans have still never heard of blogs, the survey found.

The rise of blogs has spawned a new desire for immediate
news and information, with six million Americans now using RSS aggregators.

Reading blogs remains far more popular than writing them,
the survey found. Only 7% of the 120 million US adults who use the internet
had created a blog
or web-based diary.

Getting involved is becoming more popular though, with 12% saying they had posted
material or comments on other people’s blogs. Just under one in 10 of the US’s
internet users read political blogs such as the Daily Kos or Instapundit during
the US presidential campaign

The survey was conducted during November and involved
telephone surveys of 1,324 internet users

from the BBC

Are Librarians an Endangered Species?

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As the variety and sheer amount
of information available have exploded during the digital revolution,
the role of libraries and librarians is undergoing a transformation unseen
since the invention of the printing press. Does the ascendency of Google
spell the end of libraries as we know them, or merely make the need for
enlightened human guides more pressing? An article
in today’s Boston Globe
explores these questions, and more….

Despite the fact that more people are using libraries
than ever before, their funding continues to decrease. More than $80 million
has been cut from public library budgets in the past year alone, which
has weakened or closed libraries in more than 40 states.

In addition to budgetary issues, about 70 percent of librarians will reach
retirement age within the next 20 years. Who will take their place? Librarians
don’t rake in the multimillion-dollar salaries of major league ball players.
They gain their rewards from helping a lonely senior citizen locate family
members online, reading a book to a young child, or assisting a mother
searching for information on college loans for her children. Eighty percent
of librarians report being very satisfied with their career choice.

from the
Boston Globe

Krispy Kreme Losing Dough

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Although
our attitude has mellowed somewhat since we filed "I
HATE Krispy Kreme
"
we were vaguely aware that the company was meeting with some resistence
in their assault on Dunkin’ stronghold New England. Then, when
flimsy boxes of cold, crusty Krispies appeared on the shelves of Shaw’s
Supermarkets, we knew they were in trouble for real.

Details from todays
Boston Globe
:

After all the hullabaloo in the last couple of years about
its expanding nationwide, the North Carolina-based doughnut chain’s sales
and stock price have gone stale. Late last year, the company reported a
$3 million quarterly loss. More ominous still, management is under investigation
by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its financial reporting,
and shareholders have filed suit in federal court alleging the company
cooked the books to show healthy profits, even though it knew sales were
crashing. Yesterday, the company announced it would lower reported profits
for the last three quarters of the year ending February 2004.

from the
Boston Globe

Banished Language

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DETROIT
(AP) – From wardrobe malfunctions to erectile dysfunction, it’s been
a tough year all around for the guardians of English – language purists
from
blue, red and battleground states who long to say "You’re fired!" to
offensive words and phrases.

More than 2,000 nominations arrived in Michigan’s far north, where a committee
at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie released its 2005 compilation
of language irritants Friday.

Among the 22 expressions on the "List of Words Banished from the Queen’s
English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness" are "blog,""sale
event,""body wash" and "zero percent APR financing."

We would like to add "peacekeeping troops" "red-states,
blue-states" and "fair and balanced" to the list….

Any other nominations?

from AP