Irresponsible reporting? Are we being tricked on what is really happening in Russia?

Last week I shared some links to photos and stories about happenings in Russia as reporters and others arrived for the Olympics.

Many of the photos I shared were of reporters letting us all know the hardships they were having in their hotels and other places at the Olympics. Were some true? I think so. Just look at what happened to U.S. Bobsledder Johnny Quinn, he was trapped in his bathroom this weekend and Tuesday he was trapped in an elevator.

Were some false? I think so too, people capitalizing on the interest to spread rumors and falsehoods. Take a look at several photos that are circulating the internet as coming from Sochi, they are all fake.

Here is a story of how one photo became a story and it wasn’t even taken in Sochi.

But it didn’t get any better for the Russians when the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the games got in trouble defending the preparedness of Sochi implied that they had surveillance cameras in the hotel rooms saying they saw people turn on the showers and leave their rooms for the day.

But one of the biggest wrongs came from NBC’s Richard Engel who worked with a security expert to test whether a new Mac, Windows machine and an Android device could be hacked. You can watch the video story here.

The security expert was from Trend Micro. In a detailed blog post he explains what and how this happened. If you watch the video again, you will see that they opened a Microsoft Word document that then executed malware. They downloaded “recommended” security software from hackers, they changed security settings on the android device and installed and let open Flash and Java on the Macbook Air. 

As the expert points out in a second post about the story, all the hacks required user interaction. There is no doubt about this. You don’t run Java or Flash on a Mac unless you restrict it to specific sites you need to use it on. You don’t run attachments or recommended software people email you, you are just asking for trouble. And you don’t completely open the security settings on your Android device.

Take a look at this story from Rene Richie of iMore and how NBC’s credibility has taken a hit.

The story was edited to look like there was no interaction from the user. But that is just not the case as the security expert has shown. What he did add is this type of hacking could take place any where. They went to websites that you can get to from the United States, anywhere in the world.

It is time that the media takes a serious look at itself and get back to its roots of reporting quality, true stories and stop trying to be sensational. Good reporting wins out every time.

Sorry for sharing those incorrect stories with you. I still think the Sochi Olympics were as ready as they should have been, but it is still great to see all the Olympic Sports and its spirit in all the Olympians.

Disappointed by governments blindly canceling commercial fireworks in Colorado

I am extremely disappointed that local governments are blindly canceling commercial firework programs in Colorado this year because of the dry conditions. While being prudent is always good, it could have been handled in a more systematic manner.
For example, Sheriff Ted Mink of Jefferson County canceled all the commercial fireworks displays in his county. I think this was short-sighted and a political move to appease some of the mountain communities. It was an easy way out.

Sheriff Mink probably should have reviewed each of the commercial programs individually.  This is more a risk-based approach and would have fit the largest county in the state of Colorado. One that encompasses the western metro Denver area up into the mountains.

One commercial firework display that was a casualty that probably shouldn’t have been is the city of Westminster. It is located within the northern suburbs of Denver and completely surrounded by a community. It is set off at a park. The fire danger is low and the potential of spread is low. In fact, if you move that display less than one-quarter of a mile it wouldn’t be in Jefferson County.

Now I agree that displays in the foothills and mountains should have been canceled this year, it is just too dry. But displays that are in the metro area being canceled for the reason that they just fall within Jefferson County is just plain short-sighted.

I found that it interesting that people wanted the Colorado Rockies to cancel their fireworks display this year. This display is in the middle of downtown. It had no chance of starting a wildfire. None at all. But thankfully the Denver Fire Chief and Colorado Rockies used good reason.

Thankfully and finally people are not using personal fireworks and these have been banned. These should be permanently banned in Colorado. These devices cause more injuries and damage than any commercial fireworks could do in a lifetime. I urge the Colorado legislature to permanently ban them.

We need to be prudent and safer this summer. It’s extremely dry and there have been many fires around the state because of this drought. But we need to use common sense and a risk-based approach in the future. To have a blanket restriction on commercial shows is not a good way to manage a county or state.

MSNBC and Fox News is to journalism as Bernie Madoff is to investments – Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O’Reilly and the death of real news – Washington Post
This was a great story on the death of real news.

One quote from Koppel really stood out.

Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone.

Why Boise State Supporters Don’t Get It and Why I Can’t Stand Them

Boise State University President Bob Kustra just doesn’t get it. It also filters all-the-way through to its supporters. They have a good football team, but when it comes to everything else they just don’t measure up. They are nasty, mean, uninformed and ignorant.
I’m a University of Idaho alum and I bleed silver and gold. It is a great university and I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. It is also the Land Grant University in the state of Idaho which means that it provides services through its agriculture extension offices throughout the entire state while also focusing its teaching in agriculture, science and engineering.

Because of this, the University of Idaho has an extensive endowment and last year brought in more that $89 million in research funding (that is 74-percent of all research funding of Idaho’s public universities).

The University of Idaho also contributes nearly $1 billion to the Idaho economy on an annual basis. So for $1 of state money given to the University of Idaho, they return $9 to the state economy.

http://www.ktvb.com/v/?i=107005578

Continue reading “Why Boise State Supporters Don’t Get It and Why I Can’t Stand Them”

Technically it’s not really the end of the decade…

To help settle a debate, technically it is not really the end of the decade.
Since the common calendar began with year 1, the decade we are currently in goes through 2010, not 2009.

There was a lot of discussion about this when the calendar switched from 1999 to 2000. We were still in that decade (and century) until the calendar transferred over from 2000 to 2001.

A decade is also defined as any ten consecutive years, so if you want to go out and celebrate every New Year’s as the end of the decade you can. It’s always good to go out and celebrate on New Years.

At Least 4 Dead as Iranians Fight Police in Streets

At Least 4 Dead as Iranians Fight Police in Streets – NYTimes.com
The protests are growing and the opposition is getting bolder as the government is hanging on. The revolution in Iran continues.

The only reason they are hanging on is that the Iranian government thugs are shooting at unarmed protestors.

This will continue to spread and grow and will eventually lead to the downfall of the government that came to power under their own revolution.

It will be interesting to see what they do to try and hold onto power. We in the west just need to be patient and continue to share what is going on there.

They can’t block the entire Internet.

Snowball fight takes dangerous turn when police officer draws gun

Snowball fight takes dangerous turn when police officer draws gun – washingtonpost.com.
This is just a pretty stupid move by the Washington, D.C., detective. You don’t pull your gun if you get snowballs thrown at you during a neighborhood snowball fight.

Watch the video:

http://specials.washingtonpost.com/mv/embed/?title=D.C.%20detective%20admits%20to%20pulling%20gun%20at%20snowball%20fight&stillURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Fphoto%2F2009%2F12%2F20%2FPH2009122001374.jpg&flvURL=%2Fmedia%2F2009%2F12202009-1v&width=480&height=270&autoStart=false&clickThru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-dyn%2Fcontent%2Fvideo%2F2009%2F12%2F20%2FVI2009122001310.html

A police officer should only pull their gun on someone when they fell their life is threatened. I don’t think getting snowballs thrown at you equals a life threatening moment.

It is just a bunch of neighbors out there enjoying the snow.

Newsweek Report on Top 1500 High Schools is Flawed

Newsweek just released their annual report on the 1500 Top High Schools. However, the report is flawed.
The reason it is flawed is that it doesn’t include private and/or religious schools.  The title of the report, as quoted, is: “The Top of the Class, the complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools.

It is not till you get to the body of the story that you learn it is public high schools, including charter schools.

I think Newsweek should get on the ball and correct this error and better identify it as a Public High Schools or begin to include private or religious schools.

Colorado Congressional Delegation shouldn’t take Army for granted over Piñon Canyon

In today’s edition of the Denver Post Representative Mike Coffman nailed it when he said that Democrats in the Colorado delegation are taking the U.S. Army for granted.
In the article, GOP lawmaker raises stakes in Piñon battle, Coffman states that “the legislation being prepared by Colorado Democrats to permanently prohibit the expansion of the Army’s Piñon Canyon training area would severely undermine the future of Fort Carson, setting off a devastating economic ripple effect in the southern part of the state.”

What people, especially Congress, doesn’t fully understand is that U.S. Army and the military is a tremendous economic force and driver in southern Colorado and throughout the state. Do people really believe that if Fort Carson is no longer, will Peterson Air Force Base remain? The two are dependent on each other.

If you don’t think so, look what happened to the miliary in the San Francisco-Bay Area. Continue reading “Colorado Congressional Delegation shouldn’t take Army for granted over Piñon Canyon”