Jose Carillo's Forum


Search engines should pay more for content, world editors declare

HYDERABAD—Newspaper executives and editors gathered in India from around the world heard calls to seek more payment for their content on the Internet as they decried their industry’s sharply falling advertising revenues.

“This is a critical moment in our industry. ... If we don’t dare to take these first steps, no one else will,” Andreas Wiele, board member and president of BILD Division and Magazines Axel Springer AG Germany, said Tuesday.

He also said newspapers must demand of search engines “fair share, fair search,” meaning that content providers should be compensated even for very short strings of content and that the search results should not be manipulated unfairly against the original content providers.

The World Newspaper Congress in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad was attended by senior media executives including Les Hinton, the chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co.; David Drummond, senior vice president and chief legal counsel of Google Inc.; and Antoine Vernholes, the international director of the French sports daily L’Equipe.

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Google News tool to allow online media opt out

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP)—Google News has launched a “news-specific crawler” that lets online media automatically keep stories, photos, or video out of its index.

The announcement comes a day after the California-based Internet giant said it is letting publishers limit the number of online pages people can view after being routed to their websites by Google’s search engine. Publishers have always been able to block Google from including their website content in the search engine index.

Google senior business product manager Josh Cohen said in a blog post that a new “web crawler” extends that option to Google News. Web crawlers are automated programs that scour the Internet for content and then index it in databases routinely mined for results to online search queries.

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Technology gives kids a window on world

OSAKA—Students at Mikanodai Primary School in Kawachi-Nagano, Osaka Prefecture, occasionally enjoy speaking English to their counterparts in Australia—without ever traveling out of the city. The public school takes full advantage of an Internet teleconference system as part of its English lessons.

On an early autumn day, for example, about 40 fifth graders gathered in front of a television screen that was displaying a live image of a girl at Wodonga West Primary School in Victoria, Australia.

Konnichiwa. Watashi no namae wa Anii desu. Tempura o tabemasu (Hello. My name is Annie. I enjoy eating tempura),” said the girl, who received a round of applause from the other side of the equator.

During the half-hour session, Mikanodai and Wodonga West students spoke to each other in English and Japanese. They introduced themselves and had a question-and-answer session, while also singing together and playing a paper-rock-scissors game.

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Number of institutions accepting TOEFL surpasses 7,300 worldwide

PRINCETON, NJ—Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced today that more than 7,300 institutions worldwide are now accepting the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test to assess English-language proficiency for both undergraduate and graduate applicants.

Of this number of educational institutions accepting the TOEFL test, about 5,175 are located in the United States and Canada, 1,000 in continental Europe, 200 in the United Kingdom, 600 in Asia, 100 in Australia and New Zealand, with the majority of the remaining institutions located in Africa and the Middle East.

Within the last year alone, an additional 383 institutions have become TOEFL score users and the number of institutions signing on to use TOEFL scores continues to increase at a fast pace, the ETS said.

In response to the growing demand for the TOEFL test by colleges and universities, ETS has increased the number of test administration sites to allow greater access and flexibility for test takers. Currently, there are more than 4,500 test administration sites globally.

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Children’s schooling should start at six, a British study recommends

Schoolchildren should not start formal lessons until they turn six, and Sats should be scrapped to relieve the damaging pressure England's young pupils face, the biggest inquiry into primary education for 40 years concludes today.

In a damning indictment of Labour’s education record since 1997, the Cambridge University-led review accuses the government of introducing an educational diet "even narrower than that of the Victorian elementary schools".

It claims that successive Labour ministers have intervened in England’s classrooms on an unprecedented scale, controlling every detail of how teachers teach in a system that has “Stalinist overtones.” It says they have exaggerated progress, narrowed the curriculum by squeezing out space for history, music and arts, and left children stressed-out by the testing and league table system.

The review is the biggest independent inquiry into primary education in four decades, based on 28 research surveys, 1,052 written submissions and 250 focus groups. It was undertaken by 14 authors, 66 research consultants and a 20-strong advisory committee at Cambridge University, led by Professor Robin Alexander, one of the most experienced educational academics in the country.

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Wikipedia edit system should be in place by year's end

The English-language Wikipedia should have a system in place by December to vet anonymous edits for certain high-profile entries, according to the online encyclopedia's founder.

The system, called "flagged revisions," would allow anonymous users to make changes to certain pages. However, the edits must be approved before going live, said Jimmy Wales on Tuesday. The system is already in place for the German version of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, which is run by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, said in January that it would test the flagged revisions system on the English pages. That followed a couple of notable incidents where the biographies of U.S. senators Edward Kennedy and Robert Byrd had been wrongly changed to say both men had died.

Other Wikipedia entries have also been subject to frequent vandalism. In response, Wikipedia locked the entries and required those who wanted to edit to be logged in. New registrants had to wait four days before they could submit changes, which then had to be approved.

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