News of Interest 071107
This story was splashed on KUSA and the Rocky Mountain News today. Apparently an internet entrepreneur had the ingenious idea of aggregating sex offender data into a single website, then charging a monthly subscription to scared soccer moms and chicken little suburbanites in various communities.
This morning the website, www.neighborhoodredalert.com littered Broomfield with flyers stating “A sex offender has moved in”, causing petrified moms to call 911 and thus flood emergency lines with obvious non-emergency calls.
Brilliant. This scam tops credit monitoring services. Sex offender info, (like your credit report), is already available online for free in most communities. Why the hell would you PAY some third rate website to e-mail you the same info? If their spelling is any measure of their accuracy I’d think twice: “Everyone to become aware!!! Fined (sic) out who they are and what their address is!” Oh and the Rocky mentions that one person who did sign up and provide their e-mail was immediately flooded with spam. Yes that was after deleting the dancing hamsters screensaver.
I don’t know whether I’m impressed or disgusted by neighborhoodalert.com’s ability to drum up irrational worries. But hey, who doesn’t harness the fears of the complacent these days? (For the children…)
Less panic inducing…
The BBC show Outlook, a superb producer of global human interest stories, has a new audio feature called “Where am I” Listeners share a brief audio file from their corner of the world. Sitting at my desk in Denver I can close my eyes and be on a train in India, or a kitchen in Laos, if only for a moment. Pretty cool.
These recordings can take whatever form you like – a snippet of a conversation, a beautiful soundscape, a rant, people singing or even a conventional interview. The only limiting factor is that they should only be 1 minute long (or less!)
In order to be published they’ll have to be of interest to people on the other side of the world from where the recording takes place. “I’m looking for recordings that take the listener to a particular place,” said producer Jasper Bouverie.
Recordings can be just as intriguing as pictures – taking the listener to interesting places through sound “Ideally we’ll get recordings that listeners will at least find curious – and hopefully there’ll be plenty of recordings that will make them laugh or smile.”