Marius Chitosca

Founding Member (since May 2006)
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I studied psychology and sociology, worked in the HR field, organized and ran election surveys, was co-partner in a local US Peace Corps tourism project. At the moment I'm trying to put together a network of resources with the aim of studying the impact of the new information/communication technologies (Internet) within the Romanian society, at the social, cultural and business environment levels.

About Marius Help
Location: Piatra-Neamt, Neamt, Romania
Occupation: Blogger, Translator, Tech Writer
Interests: Society and Information Age, Democratic Processes, City Development, Education and New Media
Expertise: Psychology, Sociology, Surveys
Affiliations: Non-affiliated at the present moment
Contact Info Help
Email:
Web Page: smartmobs.com
Address: Piatra-Neamt, Neamt, Romania
Last Visit: Apr 8, 2012 - 6:43 AM PDT
Last Edit: Mar 28, 2011 - 12:27 AM PDT

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Marius reviewed this story - Dec 12, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.7

The story presents both kinds of reactions from outside the Obama team itself -- pros and cons -- toward the Obama e-democracy exercise. Also, this piece of news goes a bit into detail, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of such a tool for governance.

When the masses are invited to effectively participate to governing, you have a somewhat contradictory system: every opinion can be expressed, the intention is for each individual to count, but the more you allow it, the more it exceeds the official capabilities to evaluate every opinion. Maybe a self-selective mechanism should be tested and put into place, so the officials can gather only what's important. Thumbs up -- thumbs down is a classic idea. Will see how it works.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 9, 2008
Marius's Rating
2.2

A rather unidirectional article that describes shortly the IWF decision for the reason of "potential illegality." The ending Open Rights Group is not very context-anchor. It's like the writer speaks to a reader already familiar with certain realities. As an outsider, you can't say if it's neutral, pro or against. Lack of fluency and clear bottom line.

Wikipedia stirring validity questions is not a new story, given its fluid, unconventional format -- though pretty regulated. And the problem of art being immoral or not is yet another ancient pain in the back. If you blame Wikipedia, why not blame also Scorpions -- metaphorical head of the snake, the concept artist, the record label, the distributors and the retailers?

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 8, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.2

Interesting short case study about using a method of the past to do a present job. It's the kind of advocating article, under the tone of high probability, with no skeptical opinion attached to it, but this doesn't make it unreliable and it's worth reading all the same.

Hope is the word: cutting down present emissions, preventing future ones, turning poison into fertilizer, preventing floods -- this ancient time-tested method sounds like a wonder medicine for the Earth.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 7, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.1

Not highly technical, which makes it accessible for the common reader. Good structure with final fact recap and emphasis on main conclusions: CO2 life is longer than previously estimated and the absorption power available is pretty limited, with mechanisms not yet fully understood -- so, one more serious dilemma for mankind.

It only makes sense that the knowledge about CO2 cycles is far from being mastered. Before solving the problem of a cleaner air, we yet have to solve a scientific puzzle.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 7, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.7

Quite a rich article that synthesizes a large number of studies on sexed life feminisation, including human, during the last 50 years, due to large-scale usage of deregulated chemicals. Would have been useful to give more details on the legal status of intended actions.

It's amazing to find out how many chemicals are not properly regulated and documented for use. One more hint at how much chaos lies at the heart of the so-called modern progress. We're still kids playing in the dirt and learning by trial and error.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 7, 2008
Marius's Rating
2.7

Event-linked article (International Ecohealth Forum 2008 in Mérida) that states the theme and objectives of the gathering, some field data from all over the world, organizational linking of institutions involved, plus a couple of statements from officials and researchers.

What I think matters is the effort of highlighting the way in which human intervention in the environment amplifies pathogens and mechanisms of transmitting diseases. It's not that the diseases are caused by deforestation and global warming, but that they are greatly "helped" to gain into human territory. It's about what's avoidable.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.6

The format is innovative, more graphically driven, with emphasis on reader exploration, and with an open end when it comes to conclusions.

Should be interesting to overlap the bailout funds distribution map with the troubled assets to see how it fits.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.7

An article that does the math of the bad November economy numbers. A few expert opinions accompany an otherwise technical piece. The tone mixes worry with objectivity, which is kind of realistic and expected.

Surely, the pace of economy constriction is faster and more powerful then any strategy put before it. It's like a hurricane you know is coming, will do its damages and leave. No dam can completely stop the flood of recession.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.0

Pondered piece, well illustrated with statements from both sides of the military report -- scientists coming up with data and policy makers coming up -- more or less -- with conclusions and solutions.

The military representatives apparently try to keep objectivity, neutrality towards the cause of global warming and emphasis on practical solutions, while scientists and environment people are worried that the military position in the matter is in fact noncommittal, which will translate into future ineffective measures.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.2

Well dissected issue between Sprint and Cogent -- two main providers in the backbone of the Internet. Facts, story line, bottom line, all corroborating into a chance for deep thinking about the deregulated and less known anatomy of the Internet's privately owned infrastructure.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
2.5

The article is more of a side story, since it contains only statements of the Bush administration representatives. Thus, it should be read within its limits.

This really emphasizes a contradictory state of things between talks and deeds. US, once the criticized, is now criticizing the slow pace of the rest of the world when it comes to green technologies. The green transition is hard indeed, but fact is the Bush administration committed only $ 2 billion in 3 years for this goal to be managed by a third party -- doesn't seem much of a solution to me.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Dec 6, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.2

A quick up-to-date assessment of Poznan talks around the green, carbon-free future. Strategic setup and budget evaluation.

Both the budget estimates -- huge even for developed countries -- and the state of present strategies leaves the reader thinking of the long way ahead. With a contracting global economy on the loose, the gathering seems more like a college seminar, than a feasible enterprise for the near future.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.2 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.5

This is good coverage of a big news, still poorly or even misrepresented in the mainstream media. Which is worrying. The perspective is one of the public interest in broadband Internet, fairly objective, coming from two people working at the heart of the public broadband access initiative. FCC had a deaf ear for the Edwards and Free the Internet Coalition campaigns, leaving their efforts outside the decision making process. Free the iPhone and FreePress are adding power to this circle of efforts that will hopefully save the 700 megahertz spectrum for broadband Internet and independent media's consolidation.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.7

David Sperling's opinion on the new carbon standard is founded on research results and years of experience with the Institute of of Transportation Studies. The main idea of this piece is that the new carbon standard is not working in the transportation industry where low carbon alternative fuels are a more viable solution, but it can work in the energy field. Also, decarbonization won't be the result of only one fighting method, but an integrated and complex course of action.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.0

Ryan belongs to the new generation of journalism and surely understands its modern needs. He also foresees what quality means both in the present and future and acts like a confident guru on giving practical advice, illustrated with good examples.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.1

Ars Technica interviews Nigel Keam, a member of the Microsoft Surface team, about the insides of the product. At the end of the article it is also indirectly answered a question on the lips of many bloggers since Surface has been issued at the end of May: is Surface an original Microsoft idea or not, after MIT's and Jeff Han's similar projects announced and demoed in the previous years? Still, it's one-sided story.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.1

One more example of how the Web 2.0 technologies and the power of the communication from many to many can sustain democratic processes and the voice of the opposition, this time in Venezuela. Chavez can shut down a television, but not the web. I wonder whether his strategic advisors warned him or not about YouTube. There were other examples before this one.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.5

Wonderful example of collective action via communication technology. With China as a big economic player and resources consumer, it's a good thing that its population is becoming more aware of the polluting factors. And it's even a better thing that the officials are willing to step in and take green action that surpasses purely economic interests.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.5 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.9

Thoughtful insight into a very serious matter. The author pinpoints the language and cultural barriers between the Western and Arabic worlds as roots of major diplomatic inefficiencies. He also thinks, for the right reasons, that an American strategy based predominantly on ongoing expansive militarism and fast impatient solutions, instead of a better communication and understanding, will never solve the conflicts. It's a good article for raising public awareness. Official reactions should be expected.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.0

Interesting book follow-up discussion. As a reader of The God Delusion, I can say Dawkins has some strong points about raising a child in the spirit of a religion as similar many times to a brain washing. It's a difference between telling a child "This is how things are and you must take this vision as the absolute truth" and saying "I personally believe this is how things are, but you are free to explore." Realizing later, as a grownup, that what you irrationally believed in was a lie can be a very painful process, both personally and socially.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 4.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.6

Responsible story revealing huge gaps in the board dealing with US national security policies. The Iraq war sucked too much attention and resources and, meanwhile, the world's situation just got worst, creating serious imbalance.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.1 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.5

Muslim position on Saddam's execution was expected and needed. This death during forgiving days saddens some and makes others angry. Still, it's clear Saddam progressively lost with time his role in Iraq's situation and, by dieing even the way he did, he won't influence much Iraq's future.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.6

A quite thoughtful personal perspective on the timing of Saddam's execution and on what it could mean inside the political "game" of the parts and parties involved in Iraq.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.8 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.5

Well documented and conclusive story about a financial imbalance between the baby-boomers and their parents. The young carry the health care debts of parents with the longest lives ever, thus risking to deplete their own resources just when they'll need them the most. A problem wisely identified and that needs serious thinking.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.6

An interesting piece narrating human aspects of a dictator's execution. After waves of official cold concise news, this story is welcomed, though it makes you shiver.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.0

A thoughtful and sensitive piece of opinion coming from Robert Fisk, who's not afraid to look in the guilty eyes of Saddam's enemies coming both from the West and the Arab world. He takes care that the public opinion and the historians won't see only one side of the dictator's story.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.9

As the many echoes in press today, concerning Saddam's execution, this piece succeeds in emphasizing obscure aspects of the former dictator's trial and death. It's not like Saddam is the only war criminal transformed into a martyr by a faulty application of the law -- that hides guilt or vendetta of other players. The history of the XX-th century is full of such cases. It's a lesson mankind seems to never learn.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.5

Except for being a bit ironical in favor of smokers, Fisher doesn't express too much of an opinion. The debate on the matter is there, but not substantial. It's true non-smokers can be affected by smokers; it's true the smoke can hardly migrate from one unit to another; it's also true that the owners of The Blairs are showing exclusivity. Besides the Vedic philosophy they act upon and the support from non-smoking associations, one simple explanation can be the economical one: the majority of residents are non-smokers and they allied against smokers because they can. And The Blairs owners wouldn't mess with majority. Eviction is indeed harsh measure, but technically possible, as long as the law doesn't stop it. Perhaps a simple ... More »

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.3 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.0

Amusing story with a saddening part. Zookeepers practice on animals what would be called humanitarian captivity. Trying to make the environment behind bars more natural-like may be better than plain captivity, but still shows a twisted situation. Visiting animals in their own environment is much more of the real thing. I would also like to see what people would volunteer for a human zoo kept by animals.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.9

A pretty balanced portray of the retiring Kofi Annan. His deeds and efforts as UN Secretary General are analyzed through the lenses of both his supporters and adversaries. The need for UN reform and also for rethinking the relationship between UN and US are considered to be of great importance.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.1

Good coverage of the story, but, of course, it's a sad one. CNN, as usually, is doing a professional news job.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
2.7

As a piece of opinion, this article appears as rather subjective, blending some different statistical data coming from Brooks' book with personal political preferences. Still, there are a few important matters addressed: the nature of state vs. private charity, the real efficacy or deficiency of state's social programs, the way conservatives and democrats think and feel about it, the way they give. But the issue of happiness is usually something hard to quantify. Another important matter is the political labeling and I think this can be correlated with the frustration Americans get today from having political disagreements with their family, friends and co-workers.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 1.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.9

Complex walkthrough of the Mexican crisis accumulated over the years and starting to burst in 2006: a president accused of stealing the elections, running the country with iron hand and working on his image with the help the two allied national televisions; drug cartels that never end, syndicalist protests all over the country, human rights violation by brutal police force intervention, political jailing, an ever decaying economy -- constrained by NAFTA regulations, a shrinking pressure valve of immigration, all of this turns Mexico into a violent social volcano threatening to totally explode in 2007, thus potentially opening the gate a new Mexican revolution.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.9

Interesting story about illegal ways of services promotion and male customers appealing in New York -- and not only -- bars, clubs and lounges: the usage of young underage girls. It's a not a secret, but it raises consciousness about the safety problems these girls encounter on their way back home. Sensitive theme and good coverage from a college student.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.5

How come preschool kids from poor families can be obese or overweighted? This study analyzes a statistically more than relevant sample of preschool population in US, coming from poor families. Disparities of percents between Hispanic, Black and White populations are not fully explained yet, but feeding habits were proved to have a major impact and Hispanic mothers' mentality of a chubby children as a healthy one may theoretically play a similar role. The study also warns about the future health problems these kids will face later in life as adults.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.4 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
4.4

One more major statement coming from The Union of Concerned Scientists, revealing proof of political interference in science. The pleas are thoroughly formulated and the initiative is wonderfully and responsibly organized. A both brave and honest position and initiative coming from the intellectual elite of America supported by the world's science community. An example to be followed and implemented everywhere. Fully sourced piece with lots of references, as one couldn't expect less from the scientific rigor.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 4.7 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.1

Latest update on Saddam Hussein's situation. It reveals the fact that the press hurried to declare the former Iraq president was handed to Iraqi authorities. It didn't happen yet due to civil formalities, but it's imminent.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.0 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.3

Interesting case of law prosecutor, charged himself with ethical issues concerning seemingly more than plenty unprofessional statements in the press about the three players involved in lacrosse sexual assault case. The good question of the story is what D.A. Nifong will do about its case: back off or back up? So far he's silent.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 2.9 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.3

Done deal and shacked hands between Great Britain and its WWII loaners, US and Canada. The financial legacy of the biggest war ever was honored after more than a half of century. The article briefly places the significance of this event on the historical background. Also, some readers might be amazed to find out that still unhonored mutual war debts are tied to the older WWI.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.6 | See All NT Reviews »
Marius reviewed this story - Oct 1, 2008
Marius's Rating
3.7

Though the last update on the story is from 6 December, I placed it with today's date, because I consider youth an important theme, not fully covered so far in NT. Though the story follows a possible link between teen rebellion and western culture, it begins by analyzing the neural factors (prefrontal cortex), psychological factors (self discovery and exploration), social bonding (the increasing importance of peer groups). None of the factors alone is responsible for rebellion; most of the scientists today are adepts of the holistic perspective when it comes to what causes a phenomenon. On social bonding I would say longitudinal (historic) evidence shows that teenagers always tended to socialize more outside the family as a ... More »

See Full Review » (7 answers)
NT Rating: 3.7 | See All NT Reviews »
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