Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mette Walsted

Mette Walsted
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks

Delighted to have a chat with Mette, who's one of the faces on Danish TV's news bulletins TVAVISEN. She has an incredibly infectious smile. And a blog

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Most amazing building site in the world

This is not a space invader. By 2009 I think it will knock the Sydney Opera House off the map...because it combines design with amazing acoustics. It is the new concert hall for Danish Public Radio. Concert Hall is perhaps the wrong description. They will use it for all kinds of events, with the performers in the centre of what is an acorn shaped theatre. It is way over budget, but it is definitely going to be a marvel in the mid-term. Wandering around today.

The view from the top

Now imagine working here - Danish Radio, TV and web production all in one roof at the DR Media City. Open plan with the Google atmosphere. Great use of daylight.

Smell your breath sir?

NTT DoCoMo has a mobile breathalyser system they have sold to around 50 companies in Japan. It allows taxi drivers to check if their drivers have been drinking. But can't it be fooled?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

US Satellite Radio Growth Stalling

Lou Josephs passed on this post

The results of a new web poll survey, conducted by Rock radio consultants Jacobs Media, consisting of over 25,000 respondents from 69 Rock-formatted stations from all over the U.S., shows that satellite radio subscribership has not changed since last year’s survey, despite extensive marketing throughout 2006.

"While satellite radio continues to be a hot topic of conversation, growth for both XM and Sirius appears to have greatly slowed," Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs comments. "Our findings also show that potential interest among non-subscribers has also diminished from our survey last year."

This means that HD-Radio must be so far off the radar screen of this age group in the US as to be insignifcant.

Earth TV Interview

This is the company that provides all kinds of pictures for TV stations from 55 special cameras positioned around the world. They hate being called a webcam company.

Motorola in Namibia

Motorola is one member of the GSM Association in London doing special projects in the developing world. Like finding alternative energy sources to power their remote repeater transmitters. At the moment, 60% of the cost is trucking out diesel fuel to keep the network running. Solar and wind power combos are the answer. I believe this technology is of interest to community radio stations too.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Solar Energy for Mobile & Broadcast Applications

Interview with Dawn Hartley taken from a longer HD video documentary on the impact of digital technology on both mobile and broadcasting. I think a lot of these ideas can be applied to community radio in Africa.

Swedish Way ahead of iPhone

A brilliant marketing technique by this Swedish mobile phone company that, I think, is about 3 years ahead of the Apple iPhone. Swedish nurses at 3GSM in Barcelona.

Reciva 2.0?

I am impressed with my wifi radio with the Reciva software, but the next stage is for Reciva to open a wiki style database. They can't keep up with the new entries sent in by their users....and they never will solve that problem using the gatekeeper model. The video clip shows Ian Henderson of the Cambridge based Reciva company demonstrating what they're doing with their wifi radio technology in 2007.

Eleksen Fabric Interfaces for Journalists

This company, based in the old Pinewood studios that housed the James Bond films had one of the best stories at this year's 3GSM exhibition in Barcelona Spain. Their fabric keyboard is IDEAL for journalists operating in warzones where you don't want to be heard typing!

Web 2.0 Bubble

Barry Flaherty sent me a fascinating link to a new directory of Web 2.0 companies. Interesting to see the business models and products at work there. Is there another bubble about to burst? I think so, before the end of this year. Why? There is too much overlap and a galaxy of proprietary systems. When so much time is put into tagging stuff in Web 2.0 it is important that if you decide to migrate your photo collection from say, Flickr to Picasa the tags as well as the photos would go with the move. Does that happen? No. We're getting to the point where the tagging of stuff properly is taking as long as making the content. This is certainly true in the video business. Shooting the raw footage is only part of the challenge. Editing and posting is VERY time consuming.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Orange and HD Video

On the mobile, I think French Telecom company Orange has the best looking HD video at the moment - and the HDTV via ADSL isn't bad either. Made at MIp_TV in Cannes and part of a much larger documentary looking at the impact of digital technology on traditional broadcasting.

So many little analysis

So many laptops...
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks
I have been to several conferences recently where their has been liveblogging in the audience. I have read the blogs after the event and compared it with my own experiences. The postings fall into two types.

Some people "liveblog" supposedly so that someone who couldn't attend can follow the event (perhaps for free if its an invitation only event).

Others post a short comment or thought-piece some hours later.

The liveblog results are usually a huge disappointment for everyone. Firstly because although the webcam may produce a great picture, for the most part it produces God-awful sound. At Blognomics a few weeks back I sat next to a MacBook blogger who was trying to balance the laptop on his knees and zoom on the panelspeakers. Believe me, you don't want to watch the result. It does absolutely NO justice to the conversation they were trying to do on stage. You can put up with medicore video, but as a viewer you will not tolerate bad sound.

Then, there is the quality of the liveblogging posting. It's like trying to read someone else's shorthand. It's a sea of random thoughts and spelling mistakes, usually wrapped up in an apology that the reader should see through the typos. It doesn't add much value to anything. Why? Where is the urgency in what is being said on stage that I can't wait for the executive summary?

I some workshops recently I said that the presentation I was going to give would be up on Youtube by the end of the same day. People were welcome to write notes on their laptops, but that liveblogging from the event was banned. That wasn't to censor the contents - it was ensure that I had the audience's attention. The result? Some great and useful analysis went up at the end of the day when the bloggers had a chance to think and digest what I was saying. Oh, and also run the spelling checker!

I don't need a secretary! I want a conversation.

Babelgum - Joost's Nightmare?

I'm now releasing "low-fi" sections of a much larger HD documentary project I am working on that's looking at emerging technologies. I think it is an interesting insight into the background of the new Babelgum service, now headquartered in Dublin with Italian backing. Due to come out of beta shortly.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Breakfast with France 24

France 24 is the new international news channel based in Paris. They're one of the first cross-media networks, operating on the web and on TV from day one in December 2006. In April 2007 they hosted a press breakfast at MIP-TV to explain their plans to expand Arabic and start Spanish language programmes. This is going to put a lot of pressure on the radio service, Radio France Internationale.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tough Times for US Documentary Makers

Independent documentary makers in the US are having a difficult time, especially when compared to their European cousins. Diana Ingraham explains more about Silverdocs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Japanese Mobile breathalyser

NTT DoCoMo has a mobile breathalyser system they have sold to around 50 companies in Japan. It allows taxi drivers to check if their drivers have been drinking. But can't it be fooled?

IREX E-Paper

Spent a fascinating afternoon at the Eindhoven New Technology campus talking to Willem Endhoven. This place used to be the Natlab run by Philips - my goodness it has changed. More like Standford campus than the rather drab labs of the 1980's.

I've been following the development of e-paper, after seeing it at IFA Berlin in 2003 and looking at the Sony e-player (which I didn't buy to replace my old Rocketbook reader). It seems the Sony technology actually came from Irex technologies in Eindhoven, a start-up spun off from Philips.

The e-paper technology is slower than LCD displays but the screen only uses power when the image changes. They showed me screens which were loaded in 2001 with images and, unlike paper, the images doesn't fade. Think of it as replacing a conventional printer rather than a tablet PC screen. So why is it cool? Because the player really does have superb resolution (160 dots per inch...16 levels of grey...which means 786 x 1024 pixels.) and I was impressed how readable it was in the summer sun we enjoyed today. Its high contrast black and white. Yes, they are experimenting with colour, but that makes the device a lot more complex to get the same resolution we're already seeing in black and white.

I guess the business model of the company is partly to provide the players, but also as a distributor of content using the built-in wifi. Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of interest from newspaper owners. Although NOT suitable for video, the device does have built in audio, though not yet implemented. Linux based. It is a touch screen, but it works using a special pen stylus. Pressing the screen with your finger doesn't work. Software updates are done automatically over the wifi.

Sounds Very Fishy

Around 9 years ago I remember testing speech recognition software. At the time, I thought it might be useful for translators at the radio station I was working at - and reduce the strain of typing. I tested Dragon Software and also a package out of Belgium from the great guys at Lernout and Hauspie. At the time the Dragon software was OK (although the computer ground to a halt quite often due to lack of memory) but the L&H stuff just didn't work at all. I had to read passages from a book to train the software on my voice. Then the first letter...

Dead Sod,

Thank yew four righting

Dumped that lemon within 2 days.

Years later I see that perhaps the biggest corruption trial ever held in Belgium has just opened centred around the collapse of once high-flying tech firm Lernout & Hauspie in 2000. Thank goodness I never invested in these jokers. It was hype all the way to the bank - and now perhaps to jail.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Going for a Song

I see that British music company EMI agreed to a $4.73 billion cash takeover from private equity group Terra Firma today. I wonder if there will be a counterbid. EMI is my classic example of the music industry which totally does NOT get social media and the way things are going. They should have been worth 9 billion big-ones, but truly hopeless management made a real mess of it all. Today the EMI group released its final results, showing pretax profit down more than 60 percent!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Reality Gap with Vista

I've enjoyed reading a post from Bruce Schneier, who is an internationally renowned security technologist and author. Back in February he posted about the impending problems with Vista.

DRM in Windows Vista

Windows Vista includes an array of "features" that you don't want. These features will make your computer less reliable and less secure. They'll make your computer less stable and run slower. They will cause technical support problems. They may even require you to upgrade some of your peripheral hardware and existing software. And these features won't do anything useful. In fact, they're working against you. They're digital rights management (DRM) features built into Vista at the behest of the entertainment industry.

And you don't get to refuse them.

The details are pretty geeky, but basically Microsoft has reworked a lot of the core operating system to add copy protection technology for new media formats like HD DVD and Blu-ray disks. Certain high-quality output paths -- audio and video -- are reserved for protected peripheral devices. Sometimes output quality is artificially degraded; sometimes output is prevented entirely. And Vista continuously spends CPU time monitoring itself, trying to figure out if you're doing something that it thinks you shouldn't. If it does, it limits functionality and in extreme cases restarts just the video subsystem. We still don't know the exact details of all this, and how far-reaching it is, but it doesn't look good.

Microsoft put all those functionality-crippling features into Vista because it wants to own the entertainment industry. This isn't how Microsoft spins it, of course. It maintains that it has no choice, that it's Hollywood that is demanding DRM in Windows in order to allow "premium content" -- meaning, new movies that are still earning revenue -- onto your computer. If Microsoft didn't play along, it'd be relegated to second-class status as Hollywood pulled its support for the platform.

It's all complete nonsense. Microsoft could have easily told the entertainment industry that it was not going to deliberately cripple its operating system, take it or leave it. With 95% of the operating system market, where else would Hollywood go? Sure, Big Media has been pushing DRM, but recently some -- Sony after their 2005 debacle and now EMI Group -- are having second thoughts.

What the entertainment companies are finally realizing is that DRM doesn't work, and just annoys their customers. Like every other DRM system ever invented, Microsoft's won't keep the professional pirates from making copies of whatever they want. The DRM security in Vista was broken the day it was released. Sure, Microsoft will patch it, but the patched system will get broken as well. It's an arms race, and the defenders can't possibly win.

I believe that Microsoft knows this and also knows that it doesn't matter. This isn't about stopping pirates and the small percentage of people who download free movies from the Internet. This isn't even about Microsoft satisfying its Hollywood customers at the expense of those of us paying for the privilege of using Vista. This is about the overwhelming majority of honest users and who owns the distribution channels to them. And while it may have started as a partnership, in the end Microsoft is going to end up locking the movie companies into selling content in its proprietary formats.

We saw this trick before; Apple pulled it on the recording industry. First iTunes worked in partnership with the major record labels to distribute content, but soon Warner Music's CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. found that he wasn't able to dictate a pricing model to Steve Jobs. The same thing will happen here; after Vista is firmly entrenched in the marketplace, Sony's Howard Stringer won't be able to dictate pricing or terms to Bill Gates. This is a war for 21st-century movie distribution and, when the dust settles, Hollywood won't know what hit them.

To be fair, just last week Steve Jobs publicly came out against DRM for music. It's a reasonable business position, now that Apple controls the online music distribution market. But Jobs never mentioned movies, and he is the largest single shareholder in Disney. Talk is cheap. The real question is would he actually allow iTunes Music Store purchases to play on Microsoft or Sony players, or is this just a clever way of deflecting blame to the -- already hated -- music labels.

Microsoft is reaching for a much bigger prize than Apple: not just Hollywood, but also peripheral hardware vendors. Vista's DRM will require driver developers to comply with all kinds of rules and be certified; otherwise, they won't work. And Microsoft talks about expanding this to independent software vendors as well. It's another war for control of the computer market.

Unfortunately, we users are caught in the crossfire. We are not only stuck with DRM systems that interfere with our legitimate fair-use rights for the content we buy, we're stuck with DRM systems that interfere with all of our computer use -- even the uses that have nothing to do with copyright.

I don't see the market righting this wrong, because Microsoft's monopoly position gives it much more power than we consumers can hope to have. It might not be as obvious as Microsoft using its operating system monopoly to kill Netscape and own the browser market, but it's really no different. Microsoft's entertainment market grab might further entrench its monopoly position, but it will cause serious damage to both the computer and entertainment industries. DRM is bad, both for consumers and for the entertainment industry: something the entertainment industry is just starting to realize, but Microsoft is still fighting. Some researchers think that this is the final straw that will drive Windows users to the competition, but I think the courts are necessary.

In the meantime, the only advice I can offer you is to not upgrade to Vista. It will be hard. Microsoft's bundling deals with computer manufacturers mean that it will be increasingly hard not to get the new operating system with new computers. And Microsoft has some pretty deep pockets and can wait us all out if it wants to. Yes, some people will shift to Macintosh and some fewer number to Linux, but most of us are stuck on Windows. Still, if enough customers say no to Vista, the company might actually listen

I have to say no to VISTA for the moment because all the software I'm using for a radio station project in Benin only works on XP. The soundcard drivers on Vista are so different from XP that many of the software manufacturers are balking at the extra work - for very little return. So radio station automation may move to Linux or Apple just like that. Anyone know a good source of French language PCs and keyboards with Windows XP on them? I thought Dell would do it if you asked. They won't here in the Netherlands.

The Wolfowitz Exit Strategy - are the Japanese blind on this issue?

I am amazed that Japanese Finance Minister Koji Omi said today that Japan has high regard for embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. "I think he's doing a good job. We evaluate his work highly," Omi told reporters when asked about Japan's stance on the bank chief.

Just in what way is this joker in Washington doing a good job, with no support from his staff to continue and the reputation of the bank getting lower with every passing day this crisis of confidence continues?

Wolfowitz should have done the decent thing weeks ago and cleared the field for a better man (or woman). Zero tolerance on these matters. Tokyo needs to rethink its position - and fast.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sony Playstation 3 Fiasco

At last the numbers are in showing that Sony has totally messed up its Playstation 3 launch. Firing the boss of the unit a few weeks ago is going to do little for short-term recovery, judging by the availability of BluRay movie titles and PS3 games on the shelves here in "old Europe".

Sony now estimates its game segment will post an operating loss of about 50 billion yen (US $413.9 million) in the business year to next March, according to figures just released in Tokyo. Sony still expects to see a sharp rise in PS3 hardware shipments to a total of 11 million units this year. In 2006/7, it shipped 5.5 million PS3s, which fell below the company's initial target, and of those, about 3.6 million units were actually sold.

Sony is blaming competition from Nintendo and Microsoft XBOX, which is typical "Blame Somebody Else" mentality that is killing creativity in Tokyo. They simply do not know what they are selling - nor how to market this device. Its a media center, not (just) a games console. It needs content on it to make it interesting. The unit has its own Internet browser, but no plugs-ins to allow to play on-line games like World of Warcraft. Can't run itunes on it. The human interface on the Sony Playstation 3 controls are the worst design ever made - I challenge anyone to scan a BluRay movie menu with a PS3 controller.

You'd be crazy to invest in these guys until they smarten up their strategy. And that doesn't look like its going to happen soon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

40 million in 100 days

Microsoft Corp. has sold nearly 40 million Windows Vista licenses in the first 100 days that the latest version of the operating system has been available, Chairman Bill Gates said today. In the same period around 160 million mobile phones were sold globally. So is 40 million good? Still allergic to favorite applications are not stable at all.

Roll on Reboot9

Going to reboot 9 in Copenhagen on May 31st. My first time, but its such an interesting gathering of people. The website is turning into a gallery of great conversations - a mixture of presentations but mostly people with great ideas they want to put into practice. More conferences should do this. Too much death by Powerpoint - or even Keynote (looks better - same dull story). Reboot has started a waiting list cause they just sold out.

Big Media Merger

So Canadian publisher Thomson Corp has agreed to buy Reuters for about 8.7 billion pounds ($17.2 billion), creating the world's leading provider of news and data for professional markets. Reuters Founders Share Company, which has the power to block a change of ownership at the 156-year-old company, backed the deal but it still needs regulatory clearance and shareholder approval, Thomson and Reuters said in a statement on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice said it was likely to review the deal. Multinational companies need approval from regulators in Brussels, Washington and elsewhere to complete mergers. With 34 percent of the financial information market, the new Thomson-Reuters will overtake privately-owned Bloomberg LP on 33 percent, according to industry newsletter Inside Market Data.

The two companies had been talking for nine months.

I wonder what will happen to the two training arms Thomson Foundation and the Reuters Foundation.....I guess the Thomson foundation in Cardiff (started by Kenneth Thomson I beleive) is not part of the Thomson media empire any more.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Onion News Network

Breaking News: Something Happening In Haiti
Brilliant. After the UK's Broken News, the onion has got into parodies of news networks. I love the credits too...

The Onion News Network has set the standard for globe-encompassing 24-hour television news since it was founded in December, 1892. The network boasts channels in 171 languages and can be viewed in 4.2 billion households in 811 countries. Now get the only news you need on the web and from our esteemed media partners.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Reviewing Audio Recorders

I see the price of professional flash recorders is at least coming down (with the drop in the cost of flash memory). I'm updating my survey of what's hot and not for the sister website on broadcast gadgets. I still think most solutions for professionals are not rugged enough - mainly consumer gadgets that have been slightly modified.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Days of Audio Cassette Numbered

Currys (used to be Dixons) in the UK seems to be the pioneer in killing traditional technology, simply by announcing they are not going to sell it any more. A while back they said that analogue FM radios would be phased out of their lines. This evening there's a press release saying they the days of the audio cassette tape are numbered. They said that when existing stocks on blank cassettes are exhausted, they will not be stocking any more. Not bad for a format released by Philips around 1963 as an aid to office dictation. The problem was that "secretaries found it difficult to thread reel-to-reel tape", hence the cassette had it pre-thread in a plastic housing. Philips guarded the format like a hawk, specifying not only the size but also the speed at which the tape could operate. 4.76 cms per second. Companies who tried to double the speed were ordered to cease and desist. It was Ray Dolby who made a home version of his analogue noise reduction system in 1968 that made the cassette interesting as a music carrier, especially in places like a car where playing a vinyl record would have been challenging to say the least. Despite the slow speed of the tape, Dolby B encoded tapes had better audio response, especially at the higher frequencies. A year later, the sales of pre-recorded cassettes peaked at 83 million, and in 1990 95 million blank tapes were sold in the UK. In 2007, that will be less than a million and less than 10 percent of audio equipment sold now is cassette playback capable.

I am gradually copying a collection of audio cassettes onto hard drive. Most of the recordings I made in the 1980's on chrome tape seem to have lasted quite well. The most important aspect of playback is ensuring the audio head is at 90 degrees to the tape or the treble response quickly drops off. I remember visiting the Philips cassette development lab in Hasselt and meeting the inventor of the product - he was still sharing a desk with another inventor at a time when there were 1 billion cassettes sold a year in the world.

I wonder what radio stations in Africa will do as supplies dwindle. Many of the MP3 recorders are useless for the kind of conditions their reporters need in the field. The cassette had its faults, but it was pretty rugged, even if you dropped it.

One cassette I have from Lou Josephs was of a recording from the "DXing Worldwide" show on WRUL shortwwave which has a feature on what is called the "audio k-set". It was so new in 1964 that people didn't know how to pronounce it.

Romanian Wiring System

Romanian Wiring System
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
There must be a reason for this....not sure what it is though. Most of the telephone poles have huge loops of wire slung over them as though they ran out of time before cutting the cables to the right length.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nicolae's last stand

Nicolae's last stand
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
This is where the 1989 revolution started. From Wikipedia...

On the morning of December 21, Ceauşescu tried to address a mass assembly of a hundred thousand people to condemn the uprising of Timişoara. Speaking from this balcony of the Central Committee building in the usual "wooden language", Ceauşescu delivered a litany of the achievements of the "socialist revolution" and Romanian "multi-laterally developed socialist society". The people, however, remained apathetic, and only the front rows supported Ceauşescu with cheers and applause. His lack of understanding of the events and his incapacity to handle the situation were further demonstrated as he offered, as an act of desperation, to raise the salaries for workers by 100 Lei per month (about 4 US dollars at the time, yet a 5-10% raise for a modest salary) and kept praising the achievements of the Socialist Revolution, still unable to realize that a revolution was unfolding right in front of his eyes.

As he was addressing the crowd from the balcony of the Central Committee building, sudden movement came from the outskirts of the mass assembly below and the sound of what various sources have reported as fireworks, bombs, or guns broke the orderly manifestation into chaos. Scared at first, the crowds tried to disperse. Bullhorns were used to spread the news that the Securitate was firing on them and that a "revolution" was unfolding, and finally the people were persuaded to join in. The rally turned into a protest demonstration and in the end a revolution emerged

RFI in Bucharest

RFI in Bucharest
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Desoite this giant ad, the audiences to foreign broadcasters in Romania is a shadow of what it was under the communist era. There is so much private media now in this country of 22 million, especially in the major cities.

Radio Romania Building, Bucharest

This giant building from the communist era, still houses Romanian public broadcast networks. The overseas service, Radio Romania International, operates from offices just above the blue sign.

Just after the execution of Nicolae Ceauşescu on December 22nd 1989, I remember listening to the English service of what was called Radio Bucharest in those days. The female announcer, Frederica, was playing Christmas music and very emotional that this was the first time in her broadcast career that she was able to play religious music. Cassette label says Saturday 23rd December 1989, around 1415UTC, 11940kHz.. Radio Bucharest had a distinctive sound on the audio as though an audio compressor had been turned up too higher.

Some of the halls in the building have changed very little over the decades. It certainly isn't earthquake proof.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Surprises in the sidestreets

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
There are some great buildings tucked away in side-streets

Beware of Potholes

Beware of Potholes
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Major restauration work going on in the historic centre. But keep checking where you're walking.


Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
always surprising sticking out of the pavement in Bucharest.

The Bucharest skyline...

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Glorious day....but that building in the distance is truly hideous.

Historic Monument & Cafe

Historic Monument & Cafe
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Aha - a place for a decent cup of coffee

Realitatea TV Debate

Realitatea TV Debate
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Highlights were running overnight and the next day....we started something

Romanian Press Freedom debate

RNW Debate Coproduction
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.

I'm in Bucharest, Romania at the moment to help organize a series of global debates on the future of the media and its independence from both commercial and political influence. Radio Netherlands Worldwide has been working with the Romanian TV news channel Realitatea on a unique live 2hr debate on the future of the media. It is the first time that journalists, media owners and politicians from all the parties have sat together in the same room. There is plurality of the press here but not always clear who owns what and how those interests affect what the Romanian public get to see and here. Since the fall of communism, Romanian media has changed drastically, with a large number of stations coming on the air to serve the population of 22 million people. I get the impression the development of the press is on the right track, but more transparency is needed, perhaps with a public code of ethics which stations would publish. If someone feels they have been mosrepresented in the media, what is there course of action for the right to reply? I find stations in Australia, like SBS, have the best model for others to follow.

Last night's live debate went well, being extended well past the initial plan for a 2 hour open debate, getting heated at times - but that made it even more interesting. Highlights of some of the statements are still running on national TV the next morning, linked to World Press Freedom Day, which is today. The conversation isn't closed - it should continue on a regular basis.

With 100 journalists killed, 2006 was the most savage and brutal year in the modern history of the media. The figure is largely due to the targeting of local journalists in Iraq, which saw 46 journalists killed. The murder of journalists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Mexico, and Sri Lanka added to the figure.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My Camera

My Camera
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
using the very same camera to take this photo. Haven't seen it advertised like this in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Romanian Public Phone Booth

Ten years from now, your kids will not believe there were such things are public phone boxes. Not sure this one in Bucharest will last another ten months...

Serious satellite dishes

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Lots of houses in Bucharest have a satellite dish, some of them 1.2 metres. They must have old set-top boxes that are rather insensitive.

Palace of the Parliament

Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Wandered around the centre of Bucharest this morning. The old historic centre is gradually being restored - what's left of it. Also went across town to see the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon). Nicolae was starking raving mad when he ordered this to be built.....

Forest of Red & Fires

Forest of Red & Fires
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
Time for a chat....

May 1st Media

May 1st Media
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
A forest of dishes to cover the May 1st Workers Day rally infront on the Palace of the Parliament. Never seen so many BBQ's in one place.

Press in Romania

Press in Romania
Originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.
No shortage of magazines and newspapers in Bucharest. But no-one seems to sell postcards any more, except ones that show hotels in the city. Will have to take my own shots.