By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
No surprise. Online elections haven't been tested anywhere yet, and the chances that they would succeed in a "developing" nation with little computer literacy were slim at best. In fact, Project Costa Rica barely made it off the white boards before it was nixed. Its advocates now hope to attempt a national test in 2002.
The End of Op-Eds?
CyberTimes, the technology-centered and original-reporting hub of the New York Times Web site, is undergoing a significant overhaul, including deep-sixing some of its 10 (count 'em 10) columns, which were the bedrock of the site. To avoid duplication with the Times's new consumer electronics section and Web site Circuits, launching next month, CyberTimes will more fully develop individual features, and, say sources, is considering moving to a newsbyte format like that of CNet's news.com.
CyberTimes may never have been as relevant as its print version, but coverage in the two-year-old "Digital Metropolis" column--slated to be cut--had legitimized many Alley firms. CyberTimes editor John Haskins says, "We want to expand our tech coverage and see how to use the people differently. We haven't let anyone go yet."
"It's troubling to see them give up," said one source involved in the changes. "They shouldn't try to be CNet--it's a terrible dilution of a great journalistic tradition."
Signal and NoiseVanishing Act: Michael Wolff, whose new media company imploded last year, has resurfaced with a new book, Burn Rate, an entrepreneur's tell-all expose, due in June. The book itself looks to be an unexpectedly raw read, capturing even potty-mouthed exchanges with the company investors. Oddly, though he had depleted the coffers and left staffers in the lurch, Wolff amicably e-mailed old employees recently to promote the book. "You'll laugh, I promise," he wrote... PR Rules: An ex--Frontline producer is taking journalists and entrepreneurs to lunch in preparation to film what he deems the Hoop Dreams of Silicon Alley. The list of subjects is still very much open, and true to form, Alley figures are stepping forward to declare their own candidacies. The producer has already been besieged with calls...