IF YOU LIVE in Ireland, you know there's an impending car crash looming directly ahead--just before Christmas as part of the national budget. Some new charges will drop onto home owners in 2010, after the Minister for Finance announces them in the Dail (Irish Parliament). Speaking from experience as a home owner in three States spread across the USA, I know that paying $1000 annually for property tax and school district tax is about the kind of citizen burden that many Americans expect. As an Irish homeowner, I live free of a property tax. As a reader of the Irish tea leaves (those used by government ministers), I can see the property tax coming in slow motion, like the impending car crash that I watched through the rear window of the car at left.
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MORE THAN ANY OTHER newspaper that I buy in Ireland, the Sunday Business Post (SBP) looks like it could benefit from subtitles written in Twitterspeak. It's quite simple--just add the Twitter nic to the writer's byline and you're off. If the journo doesn't use Twitter, add a Twitter user name to the body of the article when the person interviewed has an account there. This idea occurred to me while paging through the SBP and I took the liberty of marking up the appropriate stories with my attempt at attributing Twitter nicknames to people in the stories. The seven minute Qik video that I put online shows what I mean. There are stories about technology in education that cite people using electronic tools well. Some of these people tweet and many of them write blogs so the SBP reader deserves to be alerted to where to go for the rest of the story. And in some cases, those Twitterstreams and blog posts provide important details about what's really happening with technology, business and education. Being a realist, I know that most of the ink used by the Sunday Business Post is clever commercial profiles for companies and I don't argue with that approach. However, I think many readers would find better embedded web reference to be a technique worth considering as a way to boost newsprint sales.
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EVEN IF BLOGGING had existed in the 1940s, I doubt Winston Churchill (1940 photo at left) would have blogged the last days of May 1940 because the archival records showed he was increasingly despondent. "There is no doubt that had I at this juncture faltered at all in leading the nation, I should have been hurled out of office," he wrote years later. Of all the military campaigns and hard-fought battles, the moments during which the war was not lost rank as some of the most significant. One of those defining moments came dujring the last five days of May 1940, at a time when the fate of Europe and Western civilization were hanging precariously in the balance. My Irish-German-American family felt more allegiance to the emerging German nation, without understanding the machinations of the Third Reich. The United States and Russia had yet to enter the war and Britain faced the possibility of standing alone in the fight against Nazi Germany. These last five days of May 1940 are the days when Adolf Hitler came the closest to achieving the total victory he sought over Europe.
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