1,000 Pound Car, Rise Of Robot Journalism

A 1,000 pound car is the Los Angeles Auto Show Challenge this year for auto designers from three nations. Design studios from General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz Germany (Smart), Mercedes Benz Japan (Maybach), MercedesBenz U.S., Nissan, Toyota and Volvo will display their use of the latest technologies and materials to produce a 1,000 pound car that adheres to all government and safety regulations and is comfortable and secure while delivering satisfactory performance. Judges will announce a winner Nov. 18 during the Design Los Angeles Conference at the show.

CDWrite.com has posted its international motorsports calendar for events through Nov. 30 on the Internet. . . . News Magazine Online describes an innovative new type of general auto insurance popular in South Africa. It is pay-as-you drive insurance based on the amount of time you spend on the road. Drivers pay a monthly fee to cover theft and other damages that could occur to their vehicle while it is not being driven. Then a per kilometer rate is added for actual distance driven each month. Both rates are calculated based on a driver’s risk profile .

Media Digest reports the rise of “robot journalism” with Stat Sheet’s announcement that it plans to produce completely automated sports content. How it works Media Digest says, “A program called Stats Monkey analyses changes in win probability and game scores, and picks out the key plays and players from any game.” Match stats are used to fill in the blanks in a ready-made script generated from a database loaded with a variety of lines to cover all outcomes.” Media Digest notes others are following suit and cites, “… Scientists at the Intelligent Information Laboratory in Illinois working on an automated news project called News at Seven, a virtual newscast complete with cartoon newsreaders. Log on to Mediadigest.co.uk for an example.”

Writing for Poynter Online, Rick Edmonds says the pace of pay walls is picking up and bigger experiments by bigger players may at last be ready for rollout. Examples he offers are: News Corp acquiring Journalism Online, suggesting that it may be the vendor for Rupert Murdoch’s plan to charge for his media empire’s content across the board. Also, word that Google is readying a micro-payments system to be known as Newspass for introduction later this year. With it, users could assemble their own newspaper online from a variety of Newspass content providers.