Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Civil is all I can say

by Larry Geller

Civil Beat appears today. I just had a peek. First impression: not impressed yet. It could happen, things evolve.

The arrival of this site has been so strongly anticipated that I feel like a nearsighted bullfighter entering the ring. I think I can see the bull because it’s large enough, but this could be a bit hazardous. Pierre: I’m on your side, really, we need a new news source in Hawaii. But for all of us. So here goes. And yes, I’ll try to be civil.

It was a comfort to see that I’m not alone:


Ok, peeking around a bit --


Um, yes I know that. Ok, nothing here. “Honolulu is the state’s main transportation hub” is not an opening line that will cause me to part with my buck.

Meanwhile, over on civil unions:

Civil enough

Yes, 'mam, sorry about that. Didn’t mean to be so uncivil. Sorry. So there will be civility cops. Maybe they could charge $1 each time the moderator thinks the talk is getting out of bounds. That would keep it civil. Ha!

The introductory paywall is down to $1 for 15 days (after which you get charged $20 a month), but you still need to carry and use your PayPal ID since the site, for some reason, won’t issue readers their own passwords.

That’s a security problem in my book. Keyloggers are a risk at Internet cafes, libraries and other public sites, as are people just watching you type in your password over your shoulder. Using a high-risk entry system like this instead of a common password is an unnecessary security risk IMHO. If someone gets hold of a Civil Beat password, so what? There’s no economic risk to it.

Also, invoking PayPal to get into a site is like… well, what came to mind is: what if I had to show my credit card as ID each time I went into a doctor’s office?

It’s clear that this site can’t be reviewed without paying the admission charge. There’s nothing of value visible without payment. It has generated such anticipation that probably someone will do that very soon now.

Ok, I’m off to check Breaking News on the Advertiser site. Did you know that a suspect in the NYC bombing has been arrested on a plane to Dubai? And that John McCain thinks the suspect, an American citizen, shouldn’t be read his Miranda rights? And today is the anniversary of National Guard shootings of students at Kent State. Related: A kid ran onto a playing field in Philadelphia and was tasered by a cop.

There’s a real debate going on with regard to the Akaka bill. The papers are covering it and it seems to have gotten into the 1st Congressional candidate debate last night. Hot topic (hint).

Two people have been arrested in Pakistan related to the Times Square bombing. Live updates here. My point? Stuff is happening, but not (yet) on this website.

Lots of news to check on. No, I don’t expect them to cover Pakistan, just pointing out that there needs to be a reason to go to the site in the first place.

I’m curious to see what others think of Civil Beat, and will check in again later.

News, to be of value, needs to be read. By the rest of us.


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