Are record clubs the new book clubs? – BBC News

A growing number of music-lovers unhappy about the way album tracks are enjoyed in a pick-and-mix fashion have decided to take action.

The rules are strict. No talking. No texting. You must listen to every song on the album.

Classic Album Sundays treat our best-loved records like great symphonies and are being set up in London, Scotland and Wales.

¡Adiós 2010! ¿Fin de una era?

Se va 2010 y alguien ayer me decía que es el fin de una era. Y no me pregunten por qué, pero lo entendí. Y no por una cosa puntual. Ni global ni personal, ni general ni particular.

Pero sí me da la sensación de que se cierra un ciclo histórico y se abre otro. Tal vez sea sólo a nivel global, geopolítico y en el mercado de los lácteos, ponele. O tal vez sea exclusivamente personal. Y sea bien chiquito, como que deje de usar una bici con cambios y me pase a una fixie…

Pinta, igual, que afecta a otros, con lo cual no parece que vaya a ser algo estrictamente personal; porque me lo dijo otro, en frente de varios, y todos asentimos.

¿Hay o no cambio de era, entonces? Y si hay, ¿de verdad se da cuando se pasa de un año a otro? ¿O es el cierre de un ciclo de transformaciones que viene pasando hace rato? ¿O el inicio?

Bueh, en cualquier caso: ¡Feliz 2011!

¿Cómo podría Santa Claus entregar todos los regalos en Nochebuena? – BBC Mundo

Partamos de la base de que Santa Claus existe. Así, sin mucho pensarlo, para meternos en este juego mental.

Simpático y jocoso, este personaje tiene una de las tareas más difíciles de la historia: repartir regalos entre los niños del mundo en una sola noche.

Si tenemos en cuenta que, según el Fondo de Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (Unicef), hay alrededor de 2.000 millones de menores de 18 años en el planeta, y que casi todos se portaron bien, ¿cómo puede este hombre ya entrado en años y algo gordito realizar tal hazaña?

Roger Highfield, autor de La física de Navidad, calculó que, en la noche del 24 de diciembre, Santa tiene que hacer casi 850 millones de paradas y para ello, si viaja en sentido opuesto al de la rotación de la Tierra, contaría con otras 24 horas para cumplir con su misión.

Pero, aún así, el tiempo sigue siendo extremadamente corto para semejante empresa.

La clave está en la velocidad con la que Santa tiene que viajar.

Sigan leyendo, por favor, en el link a BBC Mundo, porque esta nota es espectacularmente divertida.

Toby Ord: Why I’m giving £1m to charity – BBC News

Toby Ord is a university researcher earning not much more than the average salary. So why is he giving away £1m over his lifetime to help address global poverty?

When Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg pledged to give away most of his wealth during his lifetime, some British commentators bemoaned the lack of philanthropy on this side of the Atlantic.

But an academic at Oxford University is living off little more than £300 a month in an act of charity-giving that is arguably more impressive than those of Zuckerberg, Gates, Buffett and co.

Toby Ord, 31, has in the past year given more than a third of his earnings, £10,000, to charities working in the poorest countries. He also gave away £15,000 of savings, as the start of his pledge to give away £1m over his lifetime.

Woman dials 999 to report snowman theft in Kent – BBC News

A woman who dialled 999 to report the theft of a snowman from outside her home has been branded “completely irresponsible” by Kent Police.

The force said the woman, from Chatham, thought the incident required their involvement because she used pound coins for eyes and teaspoons for arms.

During the call the woman said: “It ain’t a nice road but you don’t expect someone to nick your snowman.”

Depressed Woman Loses Health Benefits for Happy Pics on Facebook

A Canadian woman claims she has lost her health benefits after her insurance company used her Facebook pictures as evidence that she was no longer depressed.

Nathalie Blanchard had been on sick leave for a year from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, after being diagnosed with severe depression. The 29-year old was receiving sick pay from insurer Manulife.

However, when payments stopped coming she contacted Manulife and, she claims, was told that Facebook

) pictures taken on a beach and during a night out were evidence that she was no longer depressed.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which also produced a TV report on the case:

When Blanchard called Manulife, the company said that “I’m available to work, because of Facebook”…She said her insurance agent described several pictures Blanchard posted on the popular social networking site, including ones showing her having a good time at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party and on a sun holiday — evidence that she is no longer depressed, Manulife said.

…in a written statement sent to CBC News, the insurer said: “We would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook.” It confirmed that it uses the popular social networking site to investigate clients.

It’s a case that adds fuel to the privacy debate, especially given that Blanchard claims her Facebook photos were private. Are we entering an unsettling new reality in which insurance companies are able to deny claims based on Tweets and Facebook pictures?


YouTube Direct service to link citizen reporters and news organisations | Media |

Since the future of local news relies at least partly on engaged citizens, soliciting and verifying their contributions is becoming more and more important for news organisations. It has already happened with PCs and camera phones. Now the Google-owned YouTube is aiming to take it a step further with video.

It has unveiled an interface called YouTube Direct that allows news and media organisations to request, review, and rebroadcast clips directly from YouTube users.

YouTube’s head of news and politics, Steve Grove, says: “People around the world are taking up cameras and covering news in ways big and small – from documenting global events, to filming local town halls in neighborhoods. YouTube Direct empowers news and media organisations to easily connect with these citizen reporters, and use the power of our platform to cover the news better than ever before.”

Here is the HuffPo page where you can see how this works:

But I still don’t see how it helps with the editorial implications…