MSFT and Yahoo: Nom nom nom

Kara Swisher at All Things Digital always gives me grief when I do this, but I’m going to do it anyway: Namely, point to a rumour — in this case, a rumour in the Times of London about Microsoft making some kind of convoluted deal to proceed with what amounts to a creeping takeover of Yahoo (Update: Kara says that sources tell her it is “total fiction”). According to the report, the deal would involve Ross Levinsohn (formerly of Fox Interactive Media) and Jonathan Miller (formerly of Yahoo) raising $5-billion and Microsoft putting in another $5-billion, and the two groups acquiring a 30-per-cent stake in the troubled Web giant, which Levinsohn and Miller would run. Microsoft would manage the search business and would have a call option on buying the whole enchilada for $20-billion.

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Journalism, data and community

I apologize in advance — this post is really just some links that I came across that have to do with the media, the “data-fication” of journalism, and community. Maybe when I have more time I will try to find the connections that pull these things together, but until then I will just present them as they are, in part to help myself remember and think about them:

— The Los Angeles Times has a “data desk,” which includes links to all of their data-driven projects (link via, who found it via Ben Fry’s blog, who got it from Casey). Some interesting stuff in there, including a database of fatalities from a train crash in September, along with personal information about the deceased, and a list of L.A.’s dirtiest pools.

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Yes, Twitter is a source of journalism

Like a lot of other people, I’ve been following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) throughout the day, using Twitter and blog search and Wikipedia and Flickr and YouTube and pretty much any other tool I can get my hands on. Sites like Global Voices — the excellent blog network set up by Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca MacKinnon of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society — and NowPublic have a lot of content, and Amy Gahran of Poynter has a pretty good roundup as well. Searching Twitter for mentions of the word “Mumbai” also produced a steady stream of messages, some of them from people close to the scene.

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Irony alert: Facebook Catch-22

It’s a small thing, but it made me laugh out loud when I read it: the government of Ontario (the province I live in, for those of you outside Canada) has been confronted by a grassroots protest against legislation for young drivers. More than 110,000 people have signed up for a Facebook group that was set up in opposition to the proposed law, which would (among other things) restrict drivers who have a G1 or intermediate licence from carrying more than one other passenger under the age of 21. The law emerged at least in part because of a horrible accident in which a car full of twenty-somethings heading home from a party wound up going off the road and killing three of the four passengers.

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mesh ’09 student tickets are sold out

As it has in past years, this didn’t take long — the 30 student tickets that we had set aside for mesh09 have all been snapped up.

For those who bought tickets, we ask that you provide a student ID that proves you are enrolled in a secondary school or post-secondary (undergrad or graduate) program at a recognized institution of some kind in order to pick up your ticket.

Meanwhile, regular tickets for mesh ’09 have been selling quickly since we opened the ticket office last week. You can get your mesh ticket right here. Register early and register often 🙂