Old newspapers get online launch
By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, San Francisco
Google said it aims to bring history online, one newspaper at a time
A new initiative to bring old newspapers that pre-date the digital age to the web has been launched by the search giant Google.
The company has partnered with around 100 newspapers to digitize them and make scanned copies available online.
This means users will see entire pages of the original paper as they were printed at the time.
"This is huge," said Google's Marissa Mayer. "We're branching into a new form of content."
The company's vice president of search products announced the new feature at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco, a forum for start-up businesses pitching to venture capitalists and the technology industry.
In one part of the demonstration, Ms Mayer showed pages from the Rome News Tribune and called up a story covering an American moonwalk.
It showed the relevant story and other headlines, adverts and promotions of the day giving a sense of the times.
"The compelling part of the product for me is to get a sense of context and the importance of what else happened that day," said Ms Mayer.
The company created a new algorithm for the archives that will jump right to a specific article in the paper with related articles from other papers displayed on the right hand side of the page.
Making old newspapers accessible and searchable online
The technology for scanning the archives is similar to that used for Google Books. It expands on a two year old effort by the firm to work with two major American newspapers, the New York Times and Washington Post, to index old papers in Google News Archive.
"This effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small," wrote Google product manager Punit Soni on the company blog.
"This effort is just the beginning. As we work with more and more publishers, we'll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable and accessible online."
Google will run its AdSense advertising service as part of the programme with revenue being shared with publishers.
"We think this is really good for newspapers because we will bring online generations of contributions from different journalists as well as widen readership," said Ms Mayer.
The publisher of North America's oldest newspaper, with editions dating back to 1764, was in agreement.
Pierre Little of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph told the Associated Press: "I believe this could be a turning point for the industry. This helps us unlock a bit of an asset that had just been sitting within the organisation."
Monday, September 8, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
A double thumbs up and a pumped-fist salute today to Marc Little and the Watermen with their efforts to become part of the fabric of our national culture with their submission of a new "Hockey Night in Canada" theme. The reason for the accolades has little to do with their video entry(which by the way, I find brilliant and at least deserving of some serious consideration). Instead, I find myself admiring the level of perserverance that forms 90% of what is underneath the tip of the iceberg you will watch and listen to on-screen.
I can recall the first time I saw Marc Little belt out a scorching version of the Eagles "Desperado" back in the late 80's when he was an up-and-comer, starting to get serious about the music business. I have watched with interest how his career has unfolded and no matter what turns it has taken, Marc has steadily built up a fan base of people who admire the heart and soul he brings to his music. With his latest project, "The Watermen", Marc has strategically added branding elements which are slowly starting to make waves in the market place with professional visuals and a growing web prescence. (http://www.watermen.ca/)
Along with fellow "Watermen" Tom Thompson, Paul Boudreau, Denis Mongrain and Gilles Savoie, the band produced a self-titled, debut album which has been released by Magada Distribution out of Montreal. The decades of hard work may be about to pay off in a big way but no matter what comes of this HNIC project, one can't deny the sincerity of the effort that Marc has demonstrated in following his passion for music and nurturing his skills as an artist along the way.