business, technology

Paywalls and Crowdsourcing

I saw this in the NYTimes recently:

The Lede is tracking reports of the damage and the tsunami warnings. Are you in an affected area? What are you seeing? Send your photos to

What’s interesting to me is that they are basically asking people to work for the NYTimes for free. This isn’t a new idea, it actually already has a name, it’s called crowdsourcing.

What makes it interesting is this:

Taking a step that has tempted and terrified much of the newspaper industry, The New York Times announced… that it would charge some frequent readers for access to its Web site

I seems that the crowdsourcing was popularized on a paradigm of openness and freeness (ex. wikipedia). It’ll be interesting to watch how (if) the goodwill of the “crowd” changes when The New York Times’ paywall comes up.


NY Times Thinks the Glass is Fourteen Percent Empty

The NY Times is headlining that 1 in 7 of the released detainees return to terrorist activities. That’s 14 percent.
The truth is also that 86 percent of the detainees have not returned to terrorist activities.
While I’m not saying that the 74 people who have returned to doing bad things (although if you read the article it’s up in the air what “returning to terrorist activities” means) aren’t important, I am impressed with those other 462 released detainee who haven’t returned (or maybe were never part of) terrorist activities.
Fourteen percent! I wish that the US prison system had such a low rate of recidivism (repeat offenders).
As Americans we can’t justify jailing out of fear. We need due process. And if due process says we can’t hold them then we need to do what is right and let them go. We can’t let the fourteen percent boogie man scare us into being fascists. Heck, even if it was 86 percent, it is un-American to deny anyone due process no matter what they’ve done.