oTranscribe Vince Loremia

Transcribing interviews? You should try oTranscribe

As a journalist, I do a lot of transcribing of interviews. While I do scrawl notes, these are just to take down key points and summaries and not write what the subject is saying verbatim. It’s hard to keep up, especially with those who speak too fast.

When writing the draft, I’d arrange the key points of the story from memory, then consult my notes. After that, I’d listen to the audio recording of the interview to make sure I got the points, ideas and quotations right.

When I was still starting out as a reporter in 1996, I used a cassette tape recorder and a typewriter. I would rewind and forward the tape – usually just one pass because if you do it often, the tape would get tangled with the tape head – while writing key points of the interview by hand before hitting the keys to type the story. Continue reading →

markdown-styleguide-featured

New #30DayChallenge: Write in Markdown

I’ve always wanted to learn and start using Markdown in writing. For some time, it hovered near the top of my to-do list but I never got around to actually starting to use it.

I use a Markdown-capable online writing tool – Editorially – but I never used it for that. I used it purely to manage articles and to allow me to work on a post in multiple workstations.

When I write, I compose only in plain text. As soon as I’d finish the article, I’d go over the post again and manually code the HTML tags for blog or website publishing.

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Parrot voice record BlackBerry Z10

Parrot is great voice recording app for BlackBerry Z10

Parrot voice record BlackBerry Z10

PARROT ON BLACKBERRY Z10. Parrot is a beautifully-designed app that produces very clear audio recordings. (Photo by Max Limpag)

As a journalist, I use my phone extensively for news gathering. Apart from it being my camera, the phone is also my main voice recorder for interviews. I still carry an MP3 voice recorder but this serves only as backup, the quality of recording in smartphones is so much higher.

Whenever I set up a phone, one of the first apps I install is a voice recorder. On Android, my favorite voice recording application is Easy Voice Recorder, which has a free version that more than meets my needs. On iOS, my favorite voice recording app is iTalk, which produces clear and great quality recordings.

On the BlackBerry Z10, which uses the company’s BlackBerry 10 platform, I find Parrot to be the best voice recording application.

Parrot is easy to use and the user interface is beautiful and minimal. It’s easy to use the app for recording.

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Sun.Star Cebu mobile app

Learning to build mobile sites, from WAP to JQuery Mobile

Sun.Star Cebu mobile app

EASY, POWERFUL FRAMEWORK. JQuery Mobile allows non-programmers like me to easily and quickly build powerful mobile Web apps and sites. (Photo by Max Limpag)

About ten years ago, I built a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) mobile news site. This was at a time when the cellphone to aspire for was the Nokia 7110, a slider phone made even cooler when a similar device was used in the Matrix movie.

At that time, the Sun.Star website signed a content agreement with Smart for SMS and WAP news and they needed a WAP mobile site. Nobody among the website staff then knew how to build a WAP site. Being a sucker for always trying to learn new stuff, I volunteered to build it.

I finished the WAP site in time for the launch after a 3-day development marathon done after I finished my work at the Sun.Star Cebu copy desk, fueled by more than a pack of Marlboro reds a day (I was still a heavy smoker then) and guided by a phonebook-thick Wireless Markup Language (WML) reference for the Artus Netgate.

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Disruptive innovation and journalism

The idea is broadly misunderstood, said Harvard professor Clayton Christensen. Disruptive innovation isn’t just about being new, different or radical.

Disruptive innovation is transforming “something that used to be complicated and expensive so that only the rich and people with a lot of skill had access to it and could use it” and making it “so much more affordable, simple and accessible that a whole new population of people has ready access to it.”

Christensen is the authority on disruptive innovation and wrote “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” a book that was said to have deeply influenced Steve Jobs, the epitome of a tech innovator.

Last year, Christensen, along with Nieman fellow David Skok and James Allworth collaborated on researching disruptive innovation in journalism. That paper became “Breaking News,” which you can download as an e-book.

David Skok, Clay Christensen and Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski during their discussion disruptive innovation and journalism. (Screen grab from NiemanLab website)

David Skok, Clay Christensen and Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski during their discussion disruptive innovation and journalism. (Screengrab from NiemanLab website)

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NEW WAY TO DELIVER NEWS. Wearable computing like Google Glass will allow us to have a data layer on real life. One of these layers can be news updates.

Life, augmented

Google Glass will be available to regular people starting this year for less than $1,500 or P61,000, various technology news websites reported the past few days.

Google Glass is an eyeglass computer that can take photos or videos or display information like weather data or your calendar items on a head-mounted display or take photos and videos. The device is controlled by voice – triggered by the phrase, “ok glass.”

When you say, “take a photo,” it takes a photo of whatever it is that you’re looking at. When you say “take a video,” it does that too. You can even livestream whatever you are seeing through the device and share it with friends.

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Skina Balak is an anthology of Bisaya poetry that you can download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader.

Bisaya poetry e-book “Skina Balak” launched today

InnoPub Media, the journalism start-up I co-founded with Marlen, and literary group Bathalad, Inc. have published an e-book anthology of Bisaya poetry written by its members.

The anthology, “Skina Balak,” will be launched tonight in Persimmon in Mabolo, Cebu City in time with the opening of Tahas art exhibit.

Skina Balak is an anthology of Bisaya poetry that you can download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader.

Skina Balak is an anthology of Bisaya poetry that you can download to your smartphone, tablet or e-reader.

Skina Balak can be downloaded to your smartphone, tabler or e-reader from sites like MyCebu.ph. I also included the download link below.

The e-book can also be downloaded via phone scanning of QR or quick response codes printed on posters, desktop standees and other materials.

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Innovation, disruption in media

Last Thursday, Newsweek announced it was ending its print publication on Dec. 31 and going all-digital starting next year.

The digital publication, which will be named Newsweek Global, “will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context,” Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown said in the announcement posted at The Daily Beast.

“There’s no demand for a digital Newsweek,” Reuters blogging editor Felix Salmon wrote shortly after the announcement. “Newsweek is hitching its fortunes to a motley group of e-readers (Zinio!), all of which are based on pretty clunky old publishing technology, and none of which have any ability to take advantage of the social web.”

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Going mobile

In the recent Olympics, smartphones and tablets took a more central role in providing people more information about the games, Google said in a report.

Google said there were times when more searches were “performed on tablets and smartphones than on computers.”

The search giant said they’ve been seeing “large spikes in global mobile search volume” in major sporting events and the trend continued with Olympics.

And one key usage of smartphones and tablets spotted by Google is to serve as second screen to get information on what they were seeing on another screen – the television.

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Nexus and disruption

A Filipino company launched in Cebu last week two dual-SIM phones with one that can, arguably, be called a smartphone, in a non-snobbish sense that it is a touchscreen phone that can connect to the Internet.

Starmobile’s FeatureSmart T601i costs just P3,290. Starmobile president Michael Chen said that although their phones are priced low, these have “top of the line craftsmanship.”

The company is also scheduled to launch an Android tablet in four weeks with a target price of P5,999. The tablet will come with Android Ice Cream Sandwich, said Starmobile president Michael Chen. I tried the device during the launch and found it very responsive.

Chen said that although it is a consumer product, their tablet can be used as an educational tool and deployed in schools. Android, after all, has a lot of educational apps and can display e-books.

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