You have to wonder sometimes…

Joi Ito’s site saying that Rumsfeld had banned cameraphones and digital cameras from Iraq, citing some story in “The Business” newspaper in London. Because of my site I thought this was pretty interesting and I should post it. But then I got to thinking, you know, this sounds a bit much. 150,000 troops in Iraq and a London Newspaper has a new “directive” from Rumsfeld? Not a single US source had this story. In addition, camera phones aren’t an everyday kind of thing, and I have to wonder “how many US soldiers took their cellphones into combat, or have decided to buy the latest model of a phone that works in Iraq (GSM) and more or less doesn’t work in the USA? (ed.note–I have a GSM phone that I use in the US, but it’s not as common as Europe).” But then I said to myself, you know, it’s very very possible this could be true, and I wouldn’t put it past the Pentagon, it’s just…well, the whole thing didn’t seem right. So I went to The only papers citing this story were in Australia and South Africa. Man this isn’t right. And the stories they ran were all identical, all coming off of some newsfeed. Why is this coming from the other side of the world when every other little directive aimed at US troops from the Pentagon (like pay, mail, rotation schedules) comes from a US paper or source? So I went to google, typed “Rumseld and Digital Camera” and found this link to the Daily Farce. It’s an Onion-like newspaper that makes up stories. It had many of the same quotes as the original piece cited in Joi’s blog. Uh-oh… But I also found a bunch of stories about military bases and national security groups that WERE banning camera phones and whatnot from their installations. So what to do? I then said “what the heck” and e-mailed the original newspaper, and said “here’s what I found–what do you have that proves you are right?” VA-VOOM! They took the story down at about 11:10 AM EST. The link is still up, and the title of the page still says “Rumsfled bans phone cameras” but they took the story down. (it could be back up now, who knows, but I have a screen capture of the blank page). Whoa. Looks like they didn’t do any fact checking on this either. I then tried to find “The Business” newspaper in London. It apparently exists (I thought it didn’t) but they don’t have a website as far as I can tell. I decided to e-mail one or two of the Aussie sites, to see what information they have. But now it’s time for lunch. Enough of this rewriting the old media by using the tricks of the new media. I’m off to get a pizza. Will blog more later if anything turns up.]]>

Had to upgrade

Iraq War website functioning as it should. I’ve had another day of record traffic, even with the one hour down time it took to move the hard disk from one machine to another. The folks at Datapipe who have been my hosters for several years now have been really great. I love a company that has a human being answer every call by the second ring. ]]>