Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This 'n That...

UNITY '08, this year's edition of the quadriennial gathering of four organizations for journalists of color - the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian-American Journalists' Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists' Association- is quickly approaching: it begins next Wednesday.

I am registered. I have a hotel room. I am otherwise totally unprepared. I haven't even decided exactly what I want out of this conference.

I think I want to be reminded of how important journalism can be, and how well it can be done. And I want to see where the opportunities are.

A big part of "how well it can be done" is "how well we can, how well I can, incorporate available technology into my journalistic life."

And by the way, my journalistic life is not limited to the Post-Gazette.

Today, I got a hint that the folks running Unity '08 have a clue about technology. I received an email which displayed a mockup of my registration badge and gave the opportunity to correct any errors. Actually, it called for a yes/no response - "yes, this is correct," or "no, it contains errors." Mine was correct, so I clicked the first button, and was taken to a Unity '08 webpage thanking me for my confirmation, and again displaying the badge.

I don't know how complicated the back end of that email was, but the front end was simplicity itself, and with thousands and thousands of people registered, it will avoid dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of confusion.

It reminds me that I want to make better use of IT in my life.

I received an email at work yesterday, which I did not see until today, announcing a rally in D.C. (yesterday) to "Stop the War on the Poor."

The "War on the Poor" refers to "federal policies that raise the cost of energy," because they "disproportionately hurt the poor."

Even granting that, must they be described as a "war?" Is that description useful in persuading policymakers to change?

The homepage for "Stop the War on the Poor!" has an online petition for people to sign, that reads thus,

"Dear Congress:
I am fed up with high prices caused by laws that deny consumers access to affordable American energy. We need a greater supply of energy from all of America's bountiful resources so prices can drop. Quit playing politics and give Americans access to MORE AMERICAN ENERGY!"

Hard to disagree with that. Hard to agree with it, either, cuz I can't tell what the heck it means. Does giving Americans access to more - oops, MORE AMERICAN ENERGY mean drilling in the ANWR, or does it mean cracking open the Colorado tar sands or does it mean building more and bigger wind farms?

Well, there is a "Solutions" tab on the homepage. I'll check it out. Then I'll consider buying the book that apparently inspired this, "Energy Keepers, Energy Killers," by Congress of Racial Equality chairman Roy Innis.

On the investment front, and on the technology front, Intel (INTC) reported a second-quarter net of $1.6 billion or 28 cents a share, compared with a profit of $1.28 billion or 22 cents a share, a year ago.

That's more than a 25 percent jump. I'm impressed.

Intel rose 20 cents today after hours to $20.91, still in the bottom third of its 52-week trading range of $18.05 - $27.99.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, of Sarbanes-Oxley fame, told global financial leaders at the World Council of Credit Unions conference that American banks would do well to imitate the "transparency and accountability" of (go ahead, guess) credit unions.

Wonder what he would say at an international conference of bank executives?

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