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Opinion: Traditional media is not all we should be looking at

It’s not often I agree with a Conservative MP, it’s even less often that I hear them say something that actually strikes me as truly insightful.

During the parliamentary debate on the BSkyB bid there was one such moment. At 6.25pm Dr Phillip Lee stood up and spoke to a now mostly empty chamber. This was a shame, because what he had to say was, in my view, extremely relevant and highly important. (Hansard)

He spoke on the fact that a lot, if not the vast majority, of the news people are getting today comes from not the mainstream media, the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Worth a second outing: Can Google’s dominance be broken?

Welcome to a series where old posts are revived for a second outing for reasons such as their subject has become topical again, they have aged well but were first posted when the site’s readership was only a tenth or less of what it is currently or they got published and the site crashed, hiding the finest words of wisdom behind an incomprehensible error message. Today’s is about Google. I’ve updated the social network usage figures.

Google dominates the search engine market, both in the UK and internationally. Although there are some countries where a local search service has the lead …

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Daily View 2×2: 24 January 2010

It’s Sunday. It’s 9am. It’s time for one of Microsoft’s best adverts (no, really) and the bicycle lane of the week but first the news.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • Really interesting health discussion: Sandy Walkington doesn’t got for hyperbole in his description of a public meeting addressed by Norman Lamb but do read through to the end – which has an excellent account of the problems facing anyone trying to come up with policy for the NHS.
  • Snow joke: Residents demand grit bins as Labour stop debate: Haringey councillor Richard Wilson is on the case to get more grit bins so residents can do more to take care of their own streets during future snow falls. Haringey Labour’s response? Waffle. (Words rather than food, that is.)

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

‘Sarah’s Law’ sex offender alert scheme may be expanded

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: But is it really time for a change?

Party strategists have bet heavily on their assessment that voters think it is time for a change.

Perhaps simplistically, they hold to the notion that British political fortunes are governed by a pendulum. You often hear them criticise what they term the blue/red red/blue swings, but privately they accept it as a fundamental ‘law’ of political physics and have allowed themselves to be governed by this supposed law these last two years.

2010 will be one of those ‘Time for a Change’ elections, they have deduced.

From that deduction they moved on to suggest that the Conservatives (to whom in their estimate the pendulum has swung) have won the argument among the British public that they, the Conservatives, are the party of change.

The next step in the analysis was to presume that attacks on Conservatives or Conservative policies would thus position the Liberal Democrats as against change and therefore implicitly pro the status quo and, deep down in voter consciousness, pro-Labour.

Among leading Liberal Democrat MPs this conclusion may have been conveniently close to their political preferences, for others – and I think we may include Cable in this – it makes for an agonising and uncomfortable position.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 21 Comments

Should Apple sell copies of Mein Kampf?

The Jerusalem Post is one of several with the story:

Apple Inc. on Friday approved for sale a Spanish-language eBook version of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, complete with a swastika application icon.

A day later, presumably due to the blogosphere uproar, the $1.99 offering disappeared from the Apple’s Application Store…

9to5Mac, a Apple Intelligence site, questioned Apple Inc.’s policy, saying, “We know the App Store won’t sell overt erotica – even eBooks carrying the ancient love manual, the Kama Sutra, have been banned from the store – so we’re really, really keen to know how come the company approved a Spanish App containing Adolf Hitler’s Mein

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 22 October 2009

Good morning readers. It’s the 22nd October and there are just 70 days left til the end of the year. Today is Derek Jacobi’s birthday, the 43rd anniversary of the first time an all-female group topped the charts in the States, and the 114th anniversary of a rather scary train-wreck at Paris’s Montparnasse station. Train wreck at Montparnasse, 1895

2 Big Stories

Postal strike poll puts blame on government as union announces action

The Guardian reports a Yougov poll in which voters put the blame for postal strikes squarely on Gordon’s shoulders.

Gordon Brown’s handling of the Royal Mail strikes comes under strong criticism from the public and Labour backbenchers today, with a new poll showing most voters believe the government should get directly involved in the dispute and force management and unions to go to the conciliation service Acas.

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Canonical URLs: improving your website’s performance in search engines

A rather more technical post than usual, but if you are used to playing around with HTML tags or fiddling with the innards of systems such as WordPress, this post has some good news that could make your website perform better in search engines…

The multiple URLs problem

It is quite common for a page on a website to be accessible via more than one web address. For example:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/news/new-government-bailout-is-blank-cheque-131421437;show

and

http://www.libdems.org.uk/news/new-government-bailout-is-blank-cheque-131421437 (i.e. without ;show at the end)

both link to the same page.

There are two reasons this might be a problem. First, a search engine may fail to realise that these are the same page and so search results get clogged up with duplicates. Second, some people may link to one version of the URL and other people to the other. Splitting links between these two versions can mean the page performs less well in search engines than if all the links were to just the one.

Search engines are pretty good at trying to deal with this sort of problem, but they aren’t perfect.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 19th Nov - 8:03pm
    Alex Macfie, in my view the political naivety lies with what Mark Pack describes in this blog post-https://www.markpack.org.uk/121390/liberal-democrats-repeated-jo-grimonds-mistake/ in which he concludes: "Will the party...
  • User AvatarYvonne Finlayson 19th Nov - 8:02pm
    I joined the party as I thought, as per the constitution, that we would support the most disadvantaged in our communities. It’s to my dismay...
  • User AvatarMartin 19th Nov - 7:31pm
    Alex Macfie: I agree, a 'no deal' would be an extraordinary outcome given that it appeals only to the most blinkered and socially irresponsible ideologues....
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 19th Nov - 7:27pm
    Lib Dem voice has got a lot more hostile to food banks than in the coalition years when things like this were being written: "The...
  • User AvatarDavid Warren 19th Nov - 6:55pm
    @John Marriott Agree with you on the Overseas Aid budget. @David Raw Agree with your point on voting for cuts during the coalition years. There...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 19th Nov - 6:49pm
    If there is one, amongst a few, things I welcome about left Labour, it is they have no guilt on these issues. It was the...