Monday, February 25, 2008

SNG unit report

When you watch news on Taiwanese TV channels, do you often hear "John Du, SGN (satellite news gathering) unit report" or "Jane Du satellite report from Washington"? What I'm going to discuss is not the content of news because everyone knows just how bad it is. I'd like to discuss something technical, something applicable everywhere in the world.

As an audience, I don't care how the pictures are transmitted to my TV. What I care about are location and time. They usually show the location, although the precision is not completely satisfactory. Time is just as important as location. Since news is called "news", then they have the duty of showing how new the news is. Some SNG pictures are live, and then get recycled during the next hour, and over and over again. So what if they tell me it's SNG? I'd rather see time stamps that include full date and with the precision of minute. This is a very simple technology, yet it provides vital information. Many news reports involve A saying something, then B responding to A, and then C saying something. In this case, the ordering is very important. In addition, news shown in late night or early morning are usually rerun. And the news may include video recorded even earlier, possibly ranged from 4 to 20 hours ago. At this time, they must show two time stamps, anchor's time and the video's time. Furthermore, people who watch news at this time during the day usually don't have the sense of time. Showing time stamps help these people come to sense. And pictures captured in another time zone must include local time and the time in major broadcasting area.

Some people might think nobody would care about this, except geeks like me. But do you not see reporters' names included in news articles, printed and televised alike? Most of these people are not famous. Why? This is a form of responsible journalism. Showing time stamps is also a form of responsible journalism, as a proof of not falsifying the sequence of events, or misleading the audience.


Mumbai, India
Picture in local time5:30 PM 2/25/2008
Picture in Taipei time8:00 PM 2/25/2008
Anchor's time9:13 PM 2/25/2008
Now1:13 AM 2/26/2008
(not lotto numbers)

See also (all in Chinese)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Edison Chen sex photo incident — Part 2

Many people have criticized the police for this incident, such as "everyone has seen it. What good is arresting a person or two" or unfair prioritization just because the victims are celebrities. About the first criticism, I have to criticize the criticizer. If spreading the photos in public is illegal, spreading them privately is legal, then the police were merely doing their job. They can go only as far as where the evidence is. The second criticism is understandable, but it's not excusable at the end of the day.

The following is that I have to criticize against the police. They've arrested some John Doe here and there. If spreading these photos publicly is illegal, then the first suspect that should be arrested is the newspaper or magazine that publishes the photos! So what if the important parts are censored, cropped, or covered by text? Selective prioritization is minor; Selective arrestment is no better than a bully!

See also

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kosovo declaration of independence

If you land here to read about Kosovo's act, then this is not the best place. I apologize in advance. I am no expert of Balkans' politics, but I do know that this event is important enough to be on the headline. It is between 1:19 AM and 3:37 AM on 2/18/2008 in Taipei (6:19 PM to 8:37 PM 2/17 in Kosovo, 12:19 PM to 2:37 PM 2/17 in New York) when I compose this blog post. Let's take a look at the front pages of news media inside and outside Taiwan.

BBC News
Kosovo declares independence

Financial Times
Kosovo declares independence from Serbia

People's Daily
科索沃 = Kosovo, 独立 = independence

Kosovo declares independence

Le Monde
Le Kosovo est désormais un Etat indépendant et souverain

Yomiuri Shimbun
コソボ = Kosovo, 独立 = independence

In Taiwan
United Daily News
陳冠希 傳割腕逼婚
陳冠希 = Edison Chen

China Times
洪奇昌回憶六一二 駁「抓耙仔」指控
A political gossip related to the presidential election

Liberty Times
【重大】直升機從天而降 警方用手銬查扣
Unregistered helicopter "handcuffed"

Apple Daily
年薪1.27億 建仔「已是贏家」
建仔 = 王建民 = Chien-Ming Wang

18天環台苦行拼入聯 扁躍躍欲試
入聯 = to join the UN

阿公店喝霸王酒 老翁脫光衣服抵酒錢
An old man (grandpa) spent a night in a night club with no money at all. He had to strip and leave all clothes as collateral.


Just a "real time" news ticker. No sign of Kosovo.

Eastern Television
網路最夯歌 陳冠希大支嗎?
陳冠希 = Edison Chen

Era News
酒醉男毆母 持刀咆哮與警對峙
Drunk man hit mom

Formosa TV News
/ 應用程式中發生伺服器錯誤
錯誤 = error

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Edison Chen sex photo incident — Part 1

      Edison Chen
      Cecilia Cheung
      Gillian Chung
      Bobo Chan
      Hong Kong Discuss Forum
The Edison Chen sex photo incident has drawn massive media attention recently. Google Trends shows a huge increase of searches for the parties involved (right). I didn't want to comment on this issue because it is just a gossip by its very nature, a big gossip. But there is one thing I can't stand and must say. Edison Chen and some of the other celebrities have publicly apologize. What is there to apologize? These people are victims of a criminal activity! The person who spreads these images and videos without permission should apologize. If you can tell me how that two (or more) consenting adults taking sex photo is illegal or unethical, I will shut up forever. Chen was also pulled from a new movie as a result of this incident. He is a victim too. Why should anyone take away his employment opportunity? If somebody stole your privacy, and your boss fired you because of it, what would you think?

This makes me remember another thing. A student was raped, and the school expelled the student in the name of "damaging the school's reputation". This is preposterous. These examples expose a distorted belief in this society. That is if a criminal activity involves sex, then the victim is also questionable.

These celebrities don't need to apologize. They have done nothing wrong. They should be angry and condemn. This incident is in the same class as leaked private financial or medical records.

See also