reviews


It’s not often I get fired up over something (really….that often, ok) but today I had to. My friend works at News 12 on Long Island. They are the local 24-hour news network for LI owned by Rainbow Media (owned by Cablevision). I wanted to go to their website News12.com to see what they are all about. When I go there I was pleased with the local news from all across the tri-state area. That was until I tried clicking on a headline or a specific area. That was when I was greeted with a screen that wanted to know if I was a local subscriber or if I wanted to pay $4.95 a month or $48 a year for access to their site. I tried to tell them I am a subscriber but they wanted all sorts of information that I did not have.
There are two things wrong with this. One, why are you charging for you site (of which I hear isn’t that great)? No one wants to pay for news that they can get for free elsewhere. Do you have something that the other local stations don’t have? If you do you better tell me more then just “Check out News 12 dotcom (thanks for spelling out dotcom) for breaking news, your local weather, what’s to do, (it that grammatically correct…what is to do) movie clock (now I’m excited), “Sound Off!” board, sports, business center and lots more!” Two, those that are the subscribers probably don’t want to have to log in every time the want to check the “movie clock.” Just my thoughts.

Just this weekend I had three family friends ask me if they should keep AOL or not. My opinion was that all you are paying for is to have @aol.com on the end of your e-mail, so no. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way PC World Magazine put AOL at the top of the 25 worst tech products of all time. Also making the list was Microsoft Internet Explorer 6. Funny, because our other conversation was about using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. PC World says Internet Explorer 6 is a “virtual engraved invitation to hackers.”

UPDATE: Everyone also asked me how to export their AOL contacts to Gmail. Although there is no way to export your aol contacts easily you can take a shortcut. Here is a website that shows you how.

It’s been on the air for a little less than a year but because I don’t get it at my house in Columbia, I haven’t been able to watch it until now. Current TV gained a lot of attention when it launched for two reasons. One, it was being called “Al Gore’s Network” and two, it was featuring view created content. They call it V2. To my surprise I actually enjoy watching it. The pods as they call them are produced by anyone and uploaded to Current.tv. From there anyone can log on an “give the green light” for a pod to be played on the network. After enough “green lights” the pod airs. All of the video is also categorized. Videos range from serious stories on topics like AIDS in Africa or the “don’t ask don’t tell policy” to comedic parodies on Oprah and the DaVinci Code.

Some have said the network has a liberal slant, but after all there is nothing that stopping anyone from uploading video. I will give you the fact that most of their content is focused on social justice or activism. People have also questioned the reliability of the “pods” but I found them to be quite fair and show the full story. Take the story on the “don’t ask don’t tell policy.” The story focused on a soldier who was discharged from the army for being gay. The reporter then interviewed two congressmen, one from each party. It explained the history of the policy better than I had seen any network do in a long time.

At the top and bottom of every hour they air a segment called Google Current. The segment is focused more on topical news based on Google searches. At the very least it’s interesting to see what people are searching. All in all I give Current two thumbs up. And hey, maybe I’ll produce something for it in my spare time.