The world is going to hell in a hand basket. Actually, make that a baby basket. Right now there is a new “tool” for expectant parents on a prominent parenting website that couldn’t be more damaging or ridiculous if it tried.
The tool basically determines whether or not your infant child is at risk of obesity. It works by typing in both parents’ Body Mass Index, whether they smoke or not and their socio-economic status.
And it’s touted as a helpful, informative and even insightful and trustworthy source of information for expectant parents. What a load of codswallop.
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This post is by Malcolm Farr and News Ltd Data Journalist Lisa Cornish.
They are websites that people with ambitions in the field of information technology would be drawn to because of the promise of help with evaluating further study.
But they also are websites that someone having the merest contact with information technology would quickly recognise as being less than was promised. Instead of hard data there are asterisks and N/A notifications indicating their absence.
These sites, in myskills.gov.au, are here and here.They demonstrate the increasing possibility that government organisations and departments will throw material at the internet without any profound examination of whether it’s useful information, or information at all.
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Reports out of the Fairfax buildings this morning were of stunned newsrooms, shocked into silence as Greg Hywood announced 1900 jobs to go, the broadsheets shrunk to compact size, printing presses closing, and an acceleration of the shift to a focus on digital.
The Fairfax statement to the Stock Exchange made it very clear the company is hanging its future on its news websites, which will start charging for some content.
Many people took to social media to decry the company charging for access to its sites, conveniently ignoring that someone has to pay the salaries. The share market reacted somewhat differently to the staff and readers, with Fairfax shares immediately jumping 4 per cent. Clearly investors are not nostalgic about the smell of newsprint.
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Online anonymity has been a hot topic on The Punch recently. Here, Lucy looks at the pros and cons of revealing your true self.
Many people will call you a coward - or worse, a bully - for hiding your real identity online. But unless you’re troll or an aggressive poster, most of the time that’s far from the truth.
Like a dress-up box for adults, the internet has become a place for people who want to engage in debate, throw around ideas, complain about their lives or just muck around - without their real name.
And there are several perfectly valid reasons for doing it.
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Ever hooked up at the supermarket?
Not me. I did see Poh Ling Yeow there once - but as I live in Adelaide I see each of our four celebrities at least on a weekly basis.
And beyond ``I like your paintings’’ (this was pre-Masterchef) there was nothing I could think of to blurt out in a supermarket aisle which wouldn’t have come across as lame (note to self, buy a copy of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists).
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Once upon a time there was a writer who lived in a cottage nestled among the hills. The cottage was near the river Internet, over which was a sturdy bridge, The Punch.
It seemed idyllic - and indeed it was, dear reader, until one day it became clear that the gurgling he could hear from his bedroom window at night was not the sound of water, but rather, deep under the bridge, in the comments section, the grumblings of a troll.
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Labor and Julia Gillard would have been buoyed by the first rush of positive opinion polls over the weekend, just two days after she took over as Prime Minister.
But before the Government is tempted to call a snap election in this suggested honeymoon period, it might want to read the views of people submitting online comments to news sites, providing a finger-on-the-pulse gauge to public opinion.
Official opinion polling is closely followed by both political sides, but it is not always totally effective in exposing the mood of the nation. Late last year, I started noticing a rising tsunami of anger in comments to online news sites against Kevin Rudd over the proposed emissions trading scheme and a perceived failure by the Government to connect with the Australian people.
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