28 November, 2005

Understatement of the day: KT needs editing

A story on female criminals in today's Khaleej Times Online contains these quotes:

Interestingly, women under 25 committed most crimes in the emirate. . . .

Most of those convicted are young, under the age of 25, constituting 48 per cent of the total convictions, while those in the age group 26-40 constituted 36 per cent, and those above 40 constituted 16 per cent. . . .

Most crimes committed by women in the emirate of Fujairah happen to be done by those under 25.

Most crimes committed by women in the emirate of Fujairah happen to be done by those under 25. . . .

Most of those convicted are young, under the age of 25, constituting 48 per cent of the total convictions, while those in the age group 26-40 constituted 36 per cent, and those above 40 constituted 16 per cent. . . .
Did I point out that most of those convicted are young? Probably the earthquake stories saturated the editorial capacity at KT.

Understandably events like earthquakes tend to do that to are sorts of services that in ordinary times are relatively plentiful. Thus, I'm not sure what these folks are outraged about.* The resilience of the information system is in the Army of Davids called UAE bloggers posting on servers continents away. Yesterday links to reliable information on the earthquake were readily available here at the UAE community blog.

*Indeed, nowhere in KT today do I see an admission of denial service yesterday to UAE residents seeking information on the quake from KT online. I wonder how large the denial of service was. (Yes, Gulf News servers were also swamped. However, Etisilat ISP services seemed to be sufficient; it was just that newspapers' servers' capacity was reached.)

5 comments:

samuraisam said...

you'll usually find that most of the local news websites, i.e. gulfnews and khaleejtimes are hosted abroad.

according to whois records gn is hosted in "Turks And Caicos Islands - Private Customer - Ci Host".

i dont think anyone is ready to pay etisalat for webhosting when similar services at least a few thousand times cheaper are readily available from thousands and thousands of other companies that are ready to provide better service. also you don't have to deal with etisalat if you get hosting abroad, if you get hosting with etisalat, someone actually has to physically visit one of their offices.

And we must not forget etisalat's recent submarine cable cuts.

the cut outs of the websites probably have to do with a safe guard against DDoSing the server, they'll block out people after X amount of visits. they probably are hosted on dedicated servers with thousands of gigabytes of bandwidth, i cannot imagine it being used up in several hours.

A Yahya said...

What was the age group of those girls again? ...and has khaleej times been downgraded to free news paper yet?

John B. Chilton said...

Dear Samuraisam:

Thanks for the technical and the economic factor insights of which I am (but now less so) ignorant.

I note that the safeguards themselves are part the capacity constraints. And that a more resilient (perhaps?) system would allow those safeguards to vary with events. Again, blog posts served as alternative given the lack of adaptability of capacity.

Clearly we're in our infancy in blogging in the UAE - and thus I overstate my case. We have the _potential_ to serve as a decentralized network to communicate vital news and dissipate unwarranted panic.

samuraisam said...

it's already happening, people are quoting blogs in news articles

for instance:
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/index.php?p=2570
came through on google news: united arab emirates, it quotes a post made by secretdubai on here.

personally i believe that some blogs are able to convey news in a fairer way and also in better context that certain news agencies.

Also if something like an earthquake did hit dubai i'd visit gulfnews straight away, i have always felt their paper to be superior to others in many ways. I am more inclined to believe the opinion / reporting of say 20 people who are anonymous and need not fear the law rather than media agencies within the UAE that have a tight leash in relation to what they can and cannot publish and exactly how they publish it.

Of course this leash works positively for the UAE and also safe guards against BS rumours travelling around, for instance about the "sharjah slasher", i hear some REALLY absurd stories about that incident.

It'd be cool if other people followed suit to emirates today to share opinions of bloggers, but that'd be considered copying (:

I think muslim countries media agencies have to be particularly careful with the security systems their websites use, israeli hackers are well known for attacking websites within muslim countries.

Infact Etisalats hosting has improved greatly over the years, but it was not always so, Etisalats own website was hosted in the US for quite some time before they moved to dubai based hosting.

Brn said...

The other thing is that the statement "women under 25 committed most crimes in the emirate" isn't true.

"Most of those convicted are young, under the age of 25, constituting 48 per cent of the total convictions, while those in the age group 26-40 constituted 36 per cent, and those above 40 constituted 16 per cent"

This means that women over 25 committed 52% of the crimes.

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