Archive for December 14th, 2007
These are thoughts that have been lingering in my mind for a while now regarding the future of the news publication business. I have been putting off publishing them for a while to write that perfect long winding essay, but spare time being such a luxury these days, numbered points will have to do for the time being.
- The newspaper as we know it, printed on paper and published once or twice a night, won’t survive it to the time when the generation after the next joins the workforce. It is an outdated endeavor that is mostly supported by a dying habit, which won’t find any resonance in the generation to come after the next. Additionally, we’ll also get to save so many trees and help better content to get published by means of cheaper publishing costs, compared to awful and painful experience that procuring newsprint is these days.
- The concept of a newspaper, though, won’t die. While Kindle is not the future, it is a pointer to the direction that we’ll head out in the future. While we have historically been happy to carry more than one portable device (mobile phones, MP3 players, pagers, walkmans etc), the trend definitely is pushing towards converged devices (mobile phones and PIMs, mobile phones and MP3 players, mobile phones and GPS units). Something really has to give here. The gazillion dollar question is how would it be possible to marry the existing form factor with the ease of distribution that is associated with newspapers these days.
- Publications will do something dramatic to survive. In all likelihood, this will be to drop their agency deals and pool resources to cut costs. Think about it: newspapers and television channels push out some fifty reporters at a Prime Minister’s press conference to report the same boring bits and bytes. There used to be a love for the language the way in which was used in the old time that could have earlier justified it. But the new zest is for sharper, crisper language and not 900 word works of art that nobody has the time to read. The unions and the current generation of journalists won’t take to this one lightly, but they can do it the painless way and restructure in peace or do it the painful way: to fight it and make a mess of things. The news publication of the future will have most of its senior reporters covering
non-unique stories, while a pool of common reporters will do what an agency does now, at a considerably lesser cost.
- Distribution will also undergo a major change. We could have, instead of newspaper stalls, subscription points where you can transfer content to your device from kiosks through bluetooth (imagine the security nightmare! Or, if you are smart, you would start investing in a company that provides secure and reliable bluetooth connects through some form of fingerprinting) or wifi. The displays will show leading pages, very much like a normal newspaper vendor’s stall these days, but you won’t be buying the edition, you would be transferring it. Once transferred, you can read, share and suggest the content, making you a subconscious editor of a virtual publication.
Update: New post on installing from source here.
Getting Apache 2, PHP 5, MySQL 5 and Postgresql 8 on Leopard was not as easy as it was made to look, so I am noting it down so that it could help somebody later.
This does not deal with installing PHP or Apache from source which can be a bit hairy on OSX.
This was done on OSX Leopard, I have no idea if the same will work on Tiger, Panther etc.
Follow the instructions at your own risk. It did not blow up my Macbook Pro in doing this, but I can’t guarantee you that you’ll extract the same mileage.
All binaries have been downloaded from Marc Liyanage’s website (thanks Marc!):
- Download the respective packages from the website
- Install them according the instructions
- Stop the httpd that is shipped with leopard (sudo /usr/sbin/apachectl stop)
- Backup existing PHP module: cp /usr/local/apache2/modules/libphp5.so /usr/local/apache2/modules/libphp5.so.orig
- Replace with the Entropy version: sudo cp /usr/local/php5/libphp5.so /usr/local/apache2/modules/libphp5.so
- Backup existing php.ini: cp /private/etc/php.ini /private/etc/php.ini.orig
- Replace with the Entropy version: sudo cp /usr/local/php5/lib/php.ini /private/etc/php.ini
- Edit the httpd.conf in /usr/local/apache2/conf to load the PHP module
- Back up existing httpd.conf in /private/etc/httpd
- Replace it with the version in /etc/local/apache/conf
- Start Apache
I know it is not the best or the most proper way possible. But after many days of poking around, this was the easiest and I am not one to complain about that.