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Summly & the death of long form journalism

Summly is wonderful story.​ Nick D’Aloisio, aged 17 started Summly a couple of years ago. It’s an app that delivers digested news to your smart phone and Yahoo! will integrate it into their mobile offering. Evidence that Marissa Mayer is getting Yahoo! focussed on mobile, thankfully. Yahoo! in the US market has always been a great content company – in fact, better at being a content company, than a search company. More on that another day. Nick D’Aloisio will work for Yahoo! and study for his A-Levels; smart and level-headed.

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Summly is wonderful story. Nick D’Aloisio, aged 17 started Summly a couple of years ago. It’s an app that delivers digested news to your smart phone and Yahoo! will integrate it into their mobile offering. Evidence that Marissa Mayer is getting Yahoo! focussed on mobile, thankfully. Yahoo! in the US market has always been a great content company – in fact, better at being a content company, than a search company. More on that another day. Nick D’Aloisio will work for Yahoo! and study for his A-Levels; smart and level-headed.

But there’s evidence in this story of something else – evidence that long-form journalism is under continuing threat. In this world of 140 character job applications it isn’t surprising that brevity is winning out. If it were just brevity, I’d suffer on – but punctuation’s disappearing, attention spans are contracting and I’m noticiing that people I know who used to tell great yarns, are now speaking in sound-bites. Sound-bites like ‘the hand of history upon my shoulder’ are one thing – but a sound-bite about Granny’s birthday bash leaves me little cold.

“There has been an explosion of freely available data from various sources over the past few years. We need to go through that data, identify which of it is of interest to our readers and then turn it into compelling content which gives people context as well as the ability to search the data for information which will appeal to them.”

— David Higgerson, Trinity Mirror Group

So Summly, it’s beautifully designed and clever, albeit we’re told designed with licensed technology from SRI, which was subsequently acquired by Apple. Summly is filling a real need for news readers on mobile devices. I’m encouraged by it as a start-up story, I’m telling everyone I know to go to ull.ie in Dublin, ireland next month to meet the leaders in mobile app development; I  maintain my own website with ‘mobile-first’ in mind. Mobile has changed the way we discover news, but it shouldn’t change how we understand it.

Many aggregation and digest services use algorithms so many stories with a quirky or perhaps spiritual element are lost to the bottom of the pile. Can a digital editor synopsise the key elements of a complex story, with at least two sides, a couple of countries and one good moral predicament in 400 words? Perhaps. It’s a challenge though – and the challenge of reading, discovering and understanding news is what’s always appealed to me.    < 400  Ed.

External links & references

  1. Long form journalism on the web
  2. Summly News @ the BBC online
  3. Trinity Mirror : Digital Journalism announcement
  4. Running a tech news site, difficult? : Charles Arthur Blog Post

Culture

AnimagiC 2016 : Bonn, Germany

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Bonn is waving a long-gloved hand in farewell to the 12,000 visitors who packed in for AnimagiC, the anime, manga and J-Culture convention which celebrated its seventeenth year in the city this past weekend. Tickets though, are already on sale for the 2017 event, in Mannheim, leaving plenty of time to perfect the Unicorn look.

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Music

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Dads

Tara Purcell

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Post by Paula Murphy.

We only know too well how notoriously difficult it can be to buy Christmas gifts for your Dad, so we at eBuzz Towers have created our top Christmas picks to make your job that little bit easier – like always, we’ve got your back!

Ben Collins: Stunt Driver DVD

Ben Collins, former BBC Top Gear Stig, motorsport champion, Bestselling author, TV presenter, and, not to mention one of the world’s leading Hollywood stunt drivers and coordinators, has recently teamed up with Lionsgate UK and Wise Old Fox Productions to create something incredible that has never been seen before on the film screen. Get in on the intense action as the now star of the show – Collins, takes things to another level by setting out on a mission to source the ideal car for an epic, high octane, Hollywood style car chase. It’s now available to buy and rent and we at eBuzz Towers will most definitely be picking up a few copies to pop in the Christmas stockings this year! Check out our exclusive eBuzz interview with Ben here.

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Being AP DVD

Being AP is the latest feature documentary which follows AP McCoy – the greatest jump jockey of all time. As he passes his 40th birthday, an age beyond which most jockeys are unable to continue, AP contemplates his obsession with winning, the years of sacrifice that he has endured to become the champion he is, the chase for a 20th successive championship and then a future without racing. A perfect stocking filler for almost any Dad!

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Hozier Special Edition Album

The two disc special edition will feature the same 13 tracks as the original, with the second disc including exclusive live tracks from many of the the seriously talented Wicklow artist’s worldwide live performances, along with recordings from the BBC sessions. Covers of hit tunes from The Arctic Monkeys, Ariana Grande and Led Zeppelin are sure to please followers worldwide.

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FUZ Designs Noke Bluetooth Padlock

FUZ Designs have been busy working on their latest eccentric device; Noke which is being touted as “the smartest padlock ever made”. The guys at FUZ know just how easy it is to lose a set of keys or forget a combination code so by simply pairing your Noke padlock to your personal mobile device with the Noke app, you can access your possessions securely.When unlocking Noke, simply press the lock which will then search for your phone or a shared device, and, if your device is within a few feet of the lock it will open – pretty nifty ay?

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Top Gear Greatest Hits DVD

The DVD features an incredible collection of Clarkson, Hammond and May’s very finest moments of exciting racing, brilliant inventions, hilarious disagreements and sudden explosions. The DVD will be released early next week and we at eBuzz Towers think it will make a perfect stocking filler for any Dad.

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Dara O’Briain Crowd Tickler DVD

Take Dara O’Briain’s live stand-up performance home with Crowd Tickler. Recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo in London during his 2015 tour of the UK, the DVD will make an excellent stocking filler!

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Extended Edition DVD

If you happened to miss the chance to catch the powerful big screen adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel which has been deemed as a masterpiece by many, fear not, you can take the incredible stream of action home this Christmas with the Extended Edition DVD. The much awaited edition, which would certainly make an ideal stocking filler for any Lord Of The Rings fan this Christmas includes 20 minutes extra footage and over nine hours of bonus features. It features an audio commentary with the blockbuster trilogy’s Academy Award winning producer, director and screenwriter, Peter Jackson, as well as The Appendices, a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy.

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Kevin Bridges Live: A Whole Different Story DVD

Available now on Blu-ray and DVD is Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges’ Live stand-up performance recorded at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow in October, 2015. It’ll be sure to make the whole family chuckle, so go on, stick it in to fill your Dad’s stocking!

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Jeff Lynn’s ELO Alone In The Universe

The much anticipated brand-new album,  Alone In The Universefeatures more of the Electric Light Orchestra’s genre-defining work with an exciting mix of modern rock, reggae, disco, pop and classical sounds. With ten intense tracks including the brilliant new tune, When I Was A Boy, you’re certainly in for a treat! Even now pushing 70, seasoned master, Jeff Lynne’s incredible vocals haven’t changed a bit.

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Luci Solar Lights by MPOWERD

These pocket sized inflatable solar light collapse to one inch and weigh less than thirty grams. They can give up to twelve hours of bright, clean light without the need for electricity or batteries which certainly makes them an ideal gadget to take along on a hike or other outdoor adventure as a nifty little emergency sidekick.

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Dylan Moran Live Off The Hook

This live stand-up performance DVD by the hilarious Irish comedian and actor Dylan Moran would make an ideal gift for any well-humoured Dad. The stand-up sow was recorded during Dylan’s 2015 Off the Hook UK tour.

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Don’t forget the classics why not pick up a copy of some of your Dad’s fave artist’s albums. To bring back a few memories why not pick up a copy of NOW That’s What I Call The 80s or celebrate Phil Coulter’s 50 years in music with a copy of one of his great albums. The Bee Gees, Simply Red and Tommy Fleming are a couple of others that will never fail to please!

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DVD

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide For Mums

Tara Purcell

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We all know how just how notoriously difficult it can be to find the perfect gift for your Mum at Christmas time. With overflowing jewellery boxes and cabinets full of beauty products, they really can be a pain to buy for. It’s always that little bit harder to find an extra special gift that’s that little bit different to fill her stocking so check out our ultimate gift guide below  – we’re all about making life that little bit easier for you!

Adele, 25

The sensational singer’s latest album 25 is bound to be a sure pleaser this Christmas. Saying that the album has been highly anticipated would be a serious understatement. Fans and journalists alike have been speculating as to what style of music the album will feature for months! The 30 second teaser clip from her latest unbelievably popular single Hello, which aired during the ad break of the hit UK X Factor last month, caused a series social media stir. Featuring nothing but a black screen, a short stream of lyrics and Adele’s spectacular voice, the snippet had the public yearning to hear more. Adele’s much awaited return to the music scene is certainly long overdue and if the incredibly successful Hello is anything to go by, we expect the remarkable artist’s new album to certainly focus on emotional matters of the heart. A number of big names in music are said to have teamed up with Adele to record a series of collaborated tracks to feature on her much anticipated album including Damon Albarn, Tobias Jesso Jr and Danger Mouse.

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Polaroid SNAP

Get vibrant, high quality prints instantly, right from your camera, right on the spot with the nifty little Polaroid SNAP camera. You can choose to print in colour, black and white, vintage or sepia tones with the touch of a button. With the Polaroid SNAP, your Mum will never miss out on the chance to capture those important moments again. The camera, available in classic a black, fun blue and hot red, allows you to share and print with no computer connections needed. Using Zink® Zero Ink® Printing Technology, you can print 2×3” full colour prints in an instant.  

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 Kylie Christmas

Kylie’s much anticipated Christmas album which features 13 festive tracks is an ideal stocking filler for Mums this Christmas. It features 13 tracks – including several duets and a mix of original and classic songs. Kylie’s sister Dannii Minogue features on the deluxe version of the album, with the brand new song 100 Degrees. Frank Sinatra even features on the album collaborating with Kylie for a beautiful rendition of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town.

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Noble

Written and directed by Stephen Bradley, Noble follows the incredible true story of a fearless Irish heroine; Christine Noble, capturing her struggle to escape her diabolical life in Ireland, risking everything to help children in need on the streets of Vietnam. The beautiful film first premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January last year, where it received astounding recognition. Glowing reviews continued to prevail when it opened theatrically in Ireland. The biopic, now available on DVD and Blu-ray was awarded an astonishing four U.S. film festival awards, including the Panavision Spirit Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Noble has been deemed as “raw and genuinely powerful,” “captivating” and “moving” by critics all over the world. It’s certainly a eBuzz top pick this Christmas!

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Sam Smith, The Lonely Hour, Extended Edition Album

Sam Smith is back with an extended edition of his already chart-topping album The Lonely Hour. The incredible album includes a second disc packed with a number of new tracks and collaborations. It features the sensational Sam’s covers of Amy Winehouse’s Love Is A Losing Game and Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know?, as well as collaborations with Mary J Blige and John Legend who joins him for their breath-taking rendition of Lay Me Down.

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The Overtones, Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas

The Overtones’ forthcoming album Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas is set to be released later this month on the 27th November. It will feature a collection of festive family favourites including White Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Let It Snow. An ideal stocking filler for Mum.

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The REBECCA MINKOFF Notification Bracelet

Not only does this crafty REBECCA MINKOFF bracelet look stunning, it also has a pretty innovative hidden feature. The gold chain-link bracelet silently alerts you to important calls and texts through a Bluetooth pairing with your iPhone. It programs up to 25 contacts so that when they call or text you, the bracelet will vibrate. Your Mum will no longer need to shamelessly check her phone at the dinner table or while at important meetings.

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Tracy Chapman Greatest Hits

Earlier this month, the incredible Tracy Chapman released Greatest Hits, her brand-new album which features 18 songs which are remastered by the sensational soulful singer. It packs 25 year of remarkable music into one spectacular album. If your Mum’s a fan, this is the ideal Christmas gift for her.

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Spy

Spy comes from the comical masterminds behind both the hilariously entertaining Bridesmaids and The Heat, Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy. Not only did Melissa McCarthy co-write Spy, she also takes the leading role as Susan Cooper, CIA intel operative who becomes the unexpected hero behind one of the agency’s most dangerous missions. When top agent Fine, played by the ever so handsome Jude Law becomes MIA, and, agent Ford (Jason Statham) another of the agency’s best is preoccupied, Cooper escapes her daily desk bound routine when she volunteers to go deep undercover in order to infiltrate the world of the nefarious Rayna Boyanov, played by the beautifully malevolent Rose Byrne, in order to prevent a global disaster. Cooper drops her original drab and frumpy disguise and, as the everywoman who is put in extraordinary circumstances, becomes the top notch agent who certainly knows how to get things done. This outlandishly funny comedy will be sure to have you and your Mum in stitches this Christmas.

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Seal, 7

The legendary soul and R&B master made a triumphant comeback earlier this month with his much awaited album; 7. The impressive ninth studio album, sees Seal reunite with producer Trevor Horn, who previously worked with the talented artist to bring us the sensational, Grammy Award winning Kiss From a Rose. Seal’s unique and distinctive voice paired with the diverse combination of orchestral pop, sleek soul and a little electronic emphasis makes 7 an album your Mum will definitely thank you for this Christmas.  

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Downton Abbey Series 6

The sixth and final series of the award-winning ITV costume drama Downton Abbey is available on DVD this Christmas. The period piece follows the lives and loves of those above and below the stairs in an English stately home back in 1925. The perfect Christmas gift if your Mum happens to be a Downton Abbey fan.

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Enya Dark Sky Island

The spectacular Enya’s eagerly awaited album Dark Sky Island is out now, just in time for Christmas! The album is the sensational Donegal songstress’s first studio album in seven years. In her incredible new album which features her latest breathtaking tune, Echoes In The Rain, Enya teams up, once again with long time collaborators, Nicky and Roma Ryan who she has been working with since her breakthrough in 1998.

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How Now Mrs. Brown’s Cow DVD

Why not surprise your Mum this Christmas with How Now Mrs. Brown’s Cow – the live stage performance of the Irish sitcom on DVD. The show is packed with laugh out loud scenes from the hilariously entertaining Mrs Brown created by Brendan O’Carroll.

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Don’t forget the classic albums this Christmas that will be sure to put a smile on any Mum’s face. Michael Buble’s Buble Christmas, Andre Rieu’s December Lights, Nathan Carter’s A Beautiful Life At Christmas and  Now That’s What I Call Christmas to name but a few.

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Post by Paula Murphy

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