Murdoch announces Google “stealth mode”

A search wall for UK Times


The UK’s Times and Sunday Times are putting up search walls in addition to pay walls.

The papers, which plan to start charging users for access to their newly redesigned Web sites in late June, will prevent Google and other search engines from linking to their stories.

Although they are not the first papers to erect pay barriers around their content, the papers are going a step further by making most of their site invisible to Google’s Web crawler. Except for their homepages, no stories will show up on Google.

The papers are betting that loyal readers will covet access to scarce content. Critics say the move will make it tougher to attract new readers who discover content by searching the Web.

LARRY PAGE Google co-founder.

LARRY PAGE Google co-founder.

The papers launched new, separate sites yesterday. Both papers, which, like The Post, are owned by News Corp., will make the sites free for registered customers until late June.

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch has taken aim at Google in the past for profiting from publishers’ content on the Web without paying for it. The British papers are the first within the News Corp. fold to jump off the search bandwagon.

Leader of the pack, or first lemming off the cliff? We’ll find out soon enough.


File this under “Who knew?” Mark Twain autobiography to hit shelves in November!


First off a great lede: “Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain’s dying wishes is at last coming true: …”

Second off, a great story… Twain’s 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs which he banned from publication for 100 years will be published in November. What sorts of juicy stuff did he want hidden away for all of this time?

Let’s remember that Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was former newspaper man working or writing for the Hannibal Journal, Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Buffalo Express, Sacramento Union, Alta California, New York Saturday Press.

I can hardly wait for November!

Strange newspaper policy: Candidates ‘shopped out of news photo


The pic is of the gov. signing a bill that tightens penalties for hit and run car accidents. Included are the family members whom the bill was spurred by and the pols who endorsed it.

Original on the left, the “Communist Red Square” version” on the right.

The Dominion Post in West Virginia ‘shopped out these folks because they were running for re-election. 

Apparently the editor thinks that this is OK and the photo ran with a Photo Illustration tagline.

The photo was taken by a state employee and sent to the newspaper.

If the editor did not want the pols in the photo, she could have:

a). Run mug shots of the family.

b). Sent a newspaper photographer to take what they wanted.

c). Sent a staff photographer to the families house to take a photo.



Read the entire story here, from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Out of the mouth of babes . . . “You just don’t read the Internet”


Sixteen-year-old actress Taylor Momsen) of “Gossip Girl” fame caused a bit of a fuss in the UK when she said “shit,” during a live interview — What, haven’t the Brits heard of the 5-second delay?

Anyway, the aspiring singer was speaking about her fame and celebrity when she said she  “just doesn’t read the Internet.”

For those missing the point here, a few short years ago, a starlet would have followed the complaint with, “I just don’t read the papers.”

See the interview here.  The fun stars at 04:00.

Jobs has no love for the NYT iPad app


Gawker is reporting that Steve Jobs reportedly does not like the NYT’s iPad app NYT Editor’s Choice.

Of course, there is no attribution (except ” source close to the paper”), but plenty of speculation on why he doesn’t/probably/may not like the application — mainly that the iPad app doesn’t include all NYT content.

Gawker points out that the app is not a featured link in the App Store (It’s ranked No. 11 under free apps).

If this is what the NYT is planning to use when they roll out paid content (again), well I have to line up with SJ.

I guess I’m still waiting for the killer iPad newspaper app. For now, The Early Edition — a RSS feed aggregator that paginates your feeds onto a “newspaper” page will have to do.

Copy editor, where art thou?

Port Fourchon, Louisiana (CNN) — It sounds like a Hollywood movie. An impending disaster — think the disabled spacecraft in “Apollo 13” or the asteroid hurtling toward Earth in “Armageddon” — prompts a daring intervention by engineers to save the day.

This time, the threat is oil gushing from a broken well on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that could destroy livelihoods and irreplaceable coastal wetlands. seems to think that “ ‘Apollo 13’ “ was a Hollywood movie. Really? Seriously?

I would think that any copy editor would have corrected this. Does have copy editors?