Justin Bieber

Does anyone still read the news?

Apparently not according to research by Microsoft. 

If analysts at Microsoft Research are correct, a startling number of American Web users are no longer paying attention to the news as it is traditionally defined. In a recent study of “filter bubbles,” Sharad Goel, Seth Flaxman, and Justin Rao asked how many Web users actually read the news online. Out of a sample of 1.2 million American users, just over fifty thousand, or four per cent, were “active news customers” of “front section” news. The other ninety-six per cent found other things to read.

The authors defined an active news customer as someone who read at least ten substantive news articles and two opinion pieces in a three-month period—if you remove the requirement of reading opinion pieces, the number of news readers climbs to fourteen per cent. The authors studied U.S.-based Web users who, between March and May of 2013, accumulated a total of 2.3 billion page views.

News can be a vague category; the authors defined by collecting news sites with appreciable traffic (the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Fox News), blogs (Daily Kos and Breitbart), and regional dailies (the Seattle Times and the Denver Post). Using “machine learning” algorithms, the authors separated what, based on word usage, they considered front-section news from the other content on news sites, like sports, weather, life style, and entertainment. What’s left is the narrow, classical news article, about, say, the State of the Union, as opposed to one about the latest adventures of Justin Bieber or Farrah Abraham.

Various influences shaped the study. The data was collected only from Internet Explorer users (who, the authors say, tend to be slightly older), and it represents only those who agreed to make their Web-browsing history available. Additionally, just because people don’t surf news Web sites doesn’t mean that they don’t get news from other sources, like physical newspapers, talk radio, Twitter, “The Colbert Report,” or the evening news.

That said, the sample size, 1.2 million, is impressive—far greater than that of a typical survey. And the number of people whom the study shows to be paying attention to the news online is consistent with the low ratings of cable news during the same period. Also, as opposed to relying on what people said they did, the Microsoft researchers drew on a record of what they actually did, which is significantly different. In a 2012 Pew survey, for example, thirty-nine per cent of people said that they had read news online the day before. The difference between the two numbers—fourteen and thirty-nine—may, in part, reflect different definitions of “news.” (The Pew survey did not define the term.) And, of course, what people like to think they do is often different from what they do.   Read more »

F#@& Justin Bieber!

CAUTION: Language. A lot of it…

Face of the Day

justin-bieber-topless

Say hi to Mr Bieber who cancelled his 2nd concert in New Zealand yesterday.  Is he today’s Elvis?

Wasting money on green sh*t

Russel Norman and the rest of the Green taliban constantly bang on about “green jobs” and “green tech and other such weasel descriptors. What they really are is way to waste money on green shit:

You should know Fisker because you have helped to finance the Anaheim, Calif., company that makes — well, has made a few — electric cars. Its only model, the Karma — really; Obama administration green investments are beyond satire — costs $110,000. Your subsidy helped Justin Bieber, the fabulously rich Canadian teenager (he sings), buy one. No one ever said saving the planet one electric car at a time would be easy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that despite Fisker’s $192 million in Energy Department loans, the Karma “has been hobbled by recalls and quality problems” and the company has sacked half its employees. But perhaps Fisker’s biggest problem is that its source of batteries, A123 Systems, has gone bankrupt in spite of its $249 million Energy Department grant. The administration that in the fiscal cliff drama is demanding control of much more of the nation’s wealth is the author of many Solyndra-style debacles.

A reader writes about the NZSO

ᔥ the tipline

A reader emails regarding the NZSO:

Dear Whaleoil

re the NZSO – talks of scrapping.  Personally, I go and see this world class orchestra whenever they come to the nearest town I live in.  I am not an elitist rich person – simply someone who enjoys great music.   With their support of music in schools programme, concerts in remote parts of NZ  and scholarships to help budding musicians – the NZSO does a damn site more for the average Joe Bloggs than any sports team does.

How come its OK for John Key and his elitist Auckland friends to give away 34 million dollars  from the tax coffers so a team of so called ‘ elite athletes’ can go on a glorified holiday to San Francisco to take part in a yacht race they have no hope in hell of winning – yet you think giving 13 mill to preserve the heritage of fine music in this country is wrong.

I challenge you to pay the $25 per seat it costs and go and see the NZSO in action – you will be amazed.

These days people pay in the hundreds to go and see the likes of  Justin Beiber[sic] who can’t sing for shyte[sic]. If you take into account how many police are required to quell the crowds of screaming brats – this must be very costly indeed.

The NZSO gives the tax payers value for money indeed.  The are World Class and if we loose[sic] them we loose[sic] a valuable part of our culture.   Dare I say the gov’t is not averse to giving money to Kapa Haka groups and crap rappers?  Why should people who appreciate classical music be penalised.

Just sayin

Well, where do I start? Firstly thank you for writing.

I agree the waste spent on the Americas Cup is a valid criticism…it is time to stop funding the sailors too. Once you start looking at these sorts of waste it really is easy to see how the government could save literally billions. While we are at it we should also cancel the funding of the Royal NZ Ballet.

You mention preserving the “heritage of fine music”…this is not my heritage…nor I suspect the heritage of many in West Auckland who would probably prefer the government fund an all heavy metal radio station than a bunch of mucical bludgers playing music from long dear Germans and Austrians with a few dead Russians chucked in. Their bogan heritage is far more valuable than the music of dead Germans and Austrians with a few dead Russians chucked in.

Regarding the $25 you pay to go see the NZSO. That is but a pittance in actuality. The real cost of your $25 seat is actually $185 plus. The government subsidises your seat by more than $160.

You mention people paying hundreds of dollars to see Justin Bieber…perfectly proving my point that if musicians produce a quality product then the market will reward them accordingly. There is no taxpayer dollars going into subsidising seats for Justin Bieber or indeed any overseas act producing concerts in New Zealand.

If the NZSO was as world class as you claim then let them fund themselves and charge hundreds of dollars for seats at their concerts instead of their musicians being in receipt of what is essentially the musicians dole.

Finally Kapa Haka can go jump too, along with the NZSO, the Ballet, The Americas Cup and any other rubbish unnecessary spending.

What were they thinking

Why is NZ First showing a picture of Justin Bieber on their website?

How many Army divisions does J-Lo have?

ᔥ NZ Herald

Apparently J-lo is the world’s most powerful celebrity:

Jennifer Lopez is the world’s most powerful celebrity, according to Forbes magazine in a rankings based on a combination of earnings, press coverage and internet presence.

Lopez headed the 100-strong list, up from 50th last year, while her American Idol colleague Ryan Seacrest was 29th. Lady Gaga, the pop singer, came in at No. 5, toppled from her top perch last year.

Television presenter Oprah Winfrey was second, followed by teen heartthrob Justin Bieber at third and singer Rihanna at fourth.

Many on the list  showed business acumen as well as stage talent, Forbes said. For example, Bieber “is also a serious investor, with stakes in a dozen companies that appeal to his tech savvy, including a chunk of Spotify”.

Righto, let’s see her stare down the Iranians when they threaten to block the gulf and see how she gets on then int he power stakes.