I don’t usually comment on current events especially while they are still happening but several things occurred to me as I was watching the news coverage of the Marathon bombings.
- The news media are spiraling down the drain rapidly. Yesterday CNN’s John King reported that the police had made an arrest in the case. Above is the video of him doing it. Notice he is standing in the streets of Boston with the anchor person, reading stuff off his phone. There was absolutely no reason for them to be standing there. There was no reason for him to be reading us stuff off his phone. Often times I see news people telling us stuff they saw on Twitter. Well, everyone else has already read it on Twitter too so it’s not news anymore is it? The other big point about what John King said is he was completely wrong. It used to be that news people had to have stories confirmed by more than one source before making it public. Instead, this whole week has been one wrong story after another. They aren’t reporting news anymore, they are reporting rumors. The real reporting has been done by newspaper people as usual and bloggers who take their time to get it right. The 24 hour news shows are just entertainment now. That makes them irrelevant.
- There has been a concerted effort at crowdsourcing intelligence in this investigation. The popular website Reddit has collected thousands of photos people took around the time of the blast and users are analyzing them. They did get some stuff wrong but they also did identify one of the bombers. This is the Internet empowering creative people.
- The FBI has asked people to voluntarily submit their photos and videos. They also got the surveillance video from nearby stores. As more and more people start wearing things like Google Glass, there will be even more video available in the future but how can it be used to actually stop crimes rather than just investigate them after the fact? This is where having computers watching the video in realtime can help. It could have been programmed to watch for people leaving bags unattended. I’ve seen demos of this for airport security so I know it’s just around the corner.
I pray the victims of this terrorist act make a rapid recovery and pray the families of those killed find peace in the future. I also hope they find the last bomber rapidly and bring him to justice.
It’s been quite a week.