Netflix Knockoff Coming to Canada in November: Mark Your Calendar (Or Not)


CBC reported that a new streaming service, called Shomi (yes, Cuba Gooding Jr. fans, it’s pronounced the way you think), is headed to the land of beer and snow. It will be available to Canadians starting in November.

Priced at $8.99, as is Netflix, the service will be different in that Shomi’s programming will be 30% Canadian. As far as I know, most Canadians–we know, Quebec, we know: you’re very proud of your entertainment industrydon’t lose that much sleep over Canadian programming (there’s a reason the government puts a foot in the throat of broadcasters and regulates the amount of Canadian content aired). Plus, factor in that the service will focus on older shows.

It will be interesting (read, as is a Nascar crash) to see how far this Rogers-Shaw Communications venture goes.

Quebec Finally Separates From Canada (On Web)


From Marketing:

“This fall, the domain name .quebec will be available to serve as a URL suffix for websites, making the province the only Canadian jurisdiction with its own signature as an alternative to old standards, like .com and .ca. (…)

In Quebec, the group that pushed for the new domain name says pre-registration for those hoping to buy the .quebec name begins Sept. 2, with the suffixes expected to be available as of Nov. 13. (…)

“We have our own culture, and we have our own way of doing things, and we want to also affirm our presence on the web,” said Michel Philibert, a spokesman for PointQuebec. (…)

The .quebec address is far from alone when it comes to geographic domains. ICANN has also recently authorized suffixes like .vegas, .nyc, .miami and .paris. (…)

He said talks are underway that could eventually see government websites adopt the suffix, a move that could serve as a replacement for the current”

Washington Post Management: “Redskins” Too Offensive For Us … Kinda


From Washington Post:

“THIS PAGE has for many years urged the local football team to change its name. The term “Redskins,” we wrote in 1992, “is really pretty offensive.” The team owner then, Jack Kent Cooke, disagreed, and the owner now, Daniel M. Snyder, disagrees, too. But the matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves. That’s the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary, and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too.

We don’t believe that fans who are attached to the name have racist feeling or intent, any more than does Mr. Snyder. But the fact remains: The word is insulting. You would not dream of calling anyone a “redskin” to his or her face. You wouldn’t let your son or daughter use it about a person, even within the privacy of your home. As Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote on the opposite page last year, “I wouldn’t want to use a word that defines a people — living or dead, offended or not — in a most demeaning way.”

What we are discussing here is a change only for editorials. Unlike our colleagues who cover sports and other news, we on the editorial board have the luxury of writing about the world as we would like it to be. Nor do we intend to impose our policy on our readers. If you write a letter about football and want to use the team name, we aren’t going to stop you.”


Michael Brown Was Adult Not “Teenager”


Is 18 the new 17¾?

The media, for one reason or another, has been infantilizing Michael Brown, the 18-year-old St. Louis man killed by a police officer last August 9. Many outlets are referring to him as a juvenile rather than as an adult.

Mediaite’s Eddie Scarry first raised the error and the Associated Press ended up changing two of its stories as a result. Not only has AP never justified its original decision … it’s continued the practice. Even Reuters’s doing it.

Some, like the conservative blog Hot Air, suggested that some kind of calculated narrative is at work. However, if that’s the case, it certainly isn’t borne from liberal bias: Fox News has also referred to Brown as an “unarmed black teenager”… a… few times … over.

Given how pervasive the practice is, it’s hard to believe that it’s accidental.

So. Obvious question: why?

I asked AP’s Alan Scher Zagier, Global News’s  Erika Tucker and The Washington Post’s Mark Berman for their take (Tucker, Berman and Zagier have all made the association). Neither has responded yet.

Brown has been portrayed by family and those who know him as a “kid”. Perhaps the media is simply projecting the image of a young man who was still very close to teen culture. But that would still make little sense. I don’t recall news outlets ever dismissing hard data, such as an age, for softer characteristics like reputation.


UPDATE, Aug 25: 

Erika Tucker provided a response through Twitter. When I asked her why she called Brown a teen, she referred to the dictionary definition of “teenager”, which reads as follows: “between 13 and 19 years old relating to people who are between 13 and 19 years old

When I brought up some examples of articles where she had described 18-year-olds as “adults” I asked if Global News had a fixed rule on the matter. She says it does not if both uses are correct.

“No fixed rule if both teen & man are correct. Sometimes we don’t know age right off the bat & have to go on what police release.”

Facebook: Users Toaster-Dumb, Don’t Know ‘The Onion’ Satire


From Forbes:

“Founded in 1988, The Onion is a parody news organization that publishes fake articles like “Busch Gardens Unveils New 9,600-Mile-Long Endurance Coaster” and “LensCrafters, Pearle Vision Agree To Prisoner Exchange.” The Onion’s websites hit around 11 million total unique visitors per month and a lot of the traffic is driven by Facebook. Many gullible Facebook users believe that the headlines for these articles are true so the social network company is testing out a ‘[Satire]’ tag in front of links to satirical content.

Facebook said that it is adding the [Satire] tags because of feedback that it received from users wanting a way to “distinguish satirical articles from others.””

Ombudsman: NPR Made “Fundamental Failure”


From NPR:

“The story itself—about the data mining by a small Massachusetts company that purports to show a correlation between the Snowden leaks and cyber-security measures taken by al-Qaida—generated little reaction when it first ran August 1. But since the story was attacked August 12 by Greenwald in The Intercept, an online publication he co-founded, and again on television, scores of listeners have sent emails and tweets angrily turning on NPR and Temple-Raston.

“As a 35-year NPR supporter and member,” wrote Heidi Schlossberg of Littleton, Col, in a typical message, “I am going to cancel my support unless you fire Dina Temple-Raston as well as transparently inform those of us who trusted you who at NPR are the shills for the NSA and our government. . . .I am so disgusted with you I don’t have sufficient adjectives to describe my horror at what you allowed.”

After doing my own research, I strongly agree with the critics that the story committed a fundamental failure in not noting that both the company, Recorded Future, and a second company that aided it, ReversingLabs, have ties to the United States intelligence community. Temple-Raston and her editor, Bruce Auster, agree, too, and say that what happened was an oversight on deadline.

Any of us can make a human error, and I find no intention to deceive, as Greenwald charges with no proof. I also disagree with his contention that the story swallows the government’s case that the Snowden leaks seriously damaged the ability of the United States to monitor al-Qaida communications. Instead, this was a small story on what today is a small historical point; in fact, by the end of the story that small point is largely dismissed by a leading expert as possibly interesting but not terribly relevant.”

Cop Name Behind Michael Brown Shooting Revealed But…


(Photo credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Robert Cohen/Associated Press)

CNN Money reported today that the Anonymous network revealed on Twitter today who it believed was behind Michael Brown’s shooting. The group had pressed Ferguson’s police department to reveal the name of the officer … or else.

Well, after or-else-ing things out it only took a few hours before their Twitter account was suspended. While Ferguson police still hasn’t confirmed the individual’s identity it has indicated that the individual named by Anonymous was not the correct one.

The Columbia Journalism Review published an interesting article concerning the legality of withholding the officer’s name.

The author, Jonathan Peters, an attorney, mentions two particular laws that police can use as justification to withhold the officer’s name. The “Missouri Sunshine Law”, Peters reports, carries a subsection which states the following:

“if any portion of a record or document of a law enforcement officer or agency (…) contains information that is reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of any victim, witness, undercover officer, or other person (…) that portion of the record shall be closed and shall be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this chapter.”

The other subsection deals with the public right to know versus the well-being of the officer:

In making the determination as to whether information contained in an investigative report shall be disclosed, the court shall consider whether the benefit to the person bringing the action or to the public outweighs any harm to the public, to the law enforcement agency or any of its officers.

The law definitely is on the side of the police force because, as Peters says, “(t)he language is broad enough”.