Further to the ongoing comment on the decline of the Sydney Morning Herald, is anyone proof-reading or fact-checking at the SMH anymore? I noticed in today’s paper that above the obituaries on the second back page listed today as the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House, but page 11 of the guide proudly announces the icon’s “25th birthday”. — Crikey reader Maria Conidaris

Going green at the ABC. Tip of the week: “Recycling paper and plastic is great, but not using less is always better.” And don’t you remember it!

Anonymous Crikey reader

Obama Wins! … Ad Age’s Marketer of the Year  Just weeks before he demonstrates whether his campaign’s blend of grass-roots appeal and big media-budget know-how has converted the American electorate, Sen. Barack Obama has shown he’s already won over the nation’s brand builders. He’s been named Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008. — Advertising Age

W. Gets Beat By a Three Week Old Chihuahua What does it say about the 43rd President of the United States that even a movie associated with you tanks to new levels? Every time Dubya goes on TV, the stock market plunges. Now Oliver Stone’s latest film finishes FOURTH in weekend box office receipts…It got beat out by Beverly Hills Chihuahua for crying out loud. — Fishbowl LA

Anchorage Daily News Traffic Soars  When the McCain campaign announced that Sarah Palin would be the Republican vice-presidential nominee in late August, few reporters knew anything about the Alaska Governor. She didn’t have much of political track record, but what was there revolved mostly around the environment. So I wrote a column arguing that journalists should dig into the archives of the Anchorage Daily News, which had done an excellent job covering Palin’s positions on oil drilling, endangered species, mining, and aerial hunting.  — Columbia Journalism Review

Wiki Journalism Comes to the U.K. On Oct. 10, UK daily Trinity Mirror launched a wiki for the North East of England as a result of an internal contest to solicit innovative ideas. Web developer Louise Midgley, who works for Trinity’s North-East division NCJmedia, won a cash prize and will also get a future share of any profits from her idea: wikinortheast.co.uk, “an online archive covering all aspects of the North-East region.” — Poynter Online

Muslim world’s first virtual world Muslim social network Muxlim.com, live since late 2006, is planning to launch a Muslim-oriented virtual world not unlike Second Life. The idea is that something tailored to the Muslim world would be allowed through the IP-blocks of countries like United Arab Emirates which currently stops access to virtual worlds and online games considered unsuitable or offensive to Muslim culture. The virtual world is said to launch in 4-6 weeks and will “allow the opportunity to wear a hijab, and go to prayer rooms.” — Techcrunch

Microsoft gets patent for real-time f-bomb bleeping Back in 2004 Microsoft applied for a patent for real-time censoring of audio streams, and now the USPTO has granted that patent. As PC gamers have known for a long time, and Xbox gamers have known for a while, playing against other humans online is a much more enjoyable experience than beating a computer. Thanks to the advent of teamspeak, you can game with others as if they were in your living room, without having to worry about them knocking their drinks over and staining the carpet.  — Ars technica

Google CEO Backs Obama Google Inc. Chief Executive Eric Schmidt will hit the campaign trail this week on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, signaling Mr. Schmidt’s push for a greater voice in politics while giving the Obama campaign a boost from a highly desirable constituency. Although the Internet-search company has numerous issues pending on Capitol Hill, Mr. Schmidt said in an interview that “I’m doing this personally,” adding that “Google is officially neutral” in the campaign. Mr. Schmidt said his planned endorsement of the Illinois senator is a “natural evolution” from his role as an informal adviser to the Obama campaign. — Wall Street Journal

Pew Says Internet, Cell Phones Bring Families Together A national survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that the Internet and cell phones have become central to modern family life. Rather than hurt families, Pew said, new technologies allow new forms of connectivity. Cell phones allow family members to keep track of each other, and the Internet leads to shared discoveries. —Top Tech News 

Peter Fray

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