... in revolution

The revolution was televised (and projected from a plastic chair)

12 Feb 2011 | 186 words | egypt photos revolution technology

As one could have expected the big picture has some impressive pictures from the events in egypt on thursday and friday. my favorite picture (love the chair) is this one showing a crowd watching Mubarak’s thursday night television address:

Also really like the mosaic tile facade of the building of state television (especially in combination with the Munthadar Al-Zahdi references) in this shot:

They also have a photo that perfectly illustrates those silly twitter/facebook revolution claims. if this picture says anything in this regard it is that the revolution was largely dependent on mobile phone chargers:

this revolution is powered by mobile phone chargers

and finally this picture clearly gives a pretty good illustration of why the army had no real choice but to side with the people (or at least not against them). which is even more true since all those people are the army’s customers.

nevertheless it should be remembered that Mubarak was an Army (or rather Air Force) man himself before he became president. In this light it might not be the best idea to lay all your eggs into the army’s basket.

All this trouble from this matchbox

29 Jan 2011 | 478 words | egypt future media revolution

When i visited Al-Jazeera back in november last year, Moeed showed me around the campus starting at the brand new Al-Jazeera English newsroom (depicted in the photo above) and ending the tour in the original Al-Jazeera newsroom that now seems to serve as a rather unorganized tape archive (this is the newsroom that features so prominently in the 2004 documentary ‘control room‘). While showing me around Moeed mentioned that Hosni Mubarak when he visited Al-Jazeera was heard to remark “All this trouble from a matchbox like this”. The guardian also mentions this remark in a 2003 piece on Al-Jazeera:

Al-Jazeera’s headquarters is pretty small. The squat, blue-roofed building in Doha is dwarfed by surrounding palm trees, satellite dishes and transmission masts. “All this trouble from a matchbox like this,” the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, once exclaimed when he arrived to take a look.

These days AL-Jazeera’s operation has certainly outgrown the shoebox that it started in and it is clearly causing Hosni Mubarak even more trouble. In fact it is probably contributing to the end of his regime while i am writing this.

As a matter of fact Al-Jazeera (English – but i assume that this is the case for their arabic channel as well) is doing an impressive job at covering the events unfolding in Egypt. This is not only true for the journalistic quality of their coverage, which as far as i can judge is really good (and if you do not want to depend on my judgement, you might have noticed that even the New York Times, which often describes Al-Jazeera as biased seems to think so as well).

I am equally (if not even more) impressed by the delivery of Al-Jazeera English. No need to have a television anymore to follow events like the ones unfolding in right now Egypt. I started following the events yesterday afternoon at the office via a mirror of the Al Jazeera English stream (the official player crashes the flash plugin in chrome for me):

al jazeera english via justin tv

Now this is not that spectacular anymore (guess it would have been 2 years ago) but being able to leave the office and continue watching the same stream on my iPhone is something that still manages to impress me (especially if you consider that they manage to keep the stream stable even though there must be enormous demand).

al jazeera english on the iphone

In fact i managed to continue watching the stream for a good part of the train journey to Eindhoven. Ironically – but not surprisingly to dutch people – the railway company failed to provide sufficient seating capacity so i ended up standing while following the events on my phone. Guess that means that we have really arrived in the 21st century where you ubiquitous access to video streams is more reliable than railway services…

meanwhile... is the personal weblog of Paul Keller. I am currently policy director at Open Future and President of the COMMUNIA Association for the Public Domain. This weblog is largely inactive but contains an archive of posts (mixing both work and personal) going back to 2005.

I also maintain a collection of cards from African mediums (which is the reason for the domain name), a collection of photos on flickr and a website collecting my professional writings and appearances.

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