Thursday Links: Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, Fan/Fred, Tablets

I’ve suggested this for a good while now, only half in jest, and now The Miami Herald is doing it: It’s putting up a tip jar.

Look, it won’t get much money, but what can it hurt? If it pulls in $80,000 and saves a reporter’s job it will have been worth it. Meanwhile it will remind readers online that reporting and editing is expensive. If nobody pays for it, you’re not going to get it.

(h/t Romenesko)

— Justin Fox of Time raises an excellent point: what about Fannie and Freddie?

Bloomberg is reporting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator is renegotiating the terms of the housing agencies’ financial rescue with the Treasury Department. According to unnamed people “familiar with the talks,” this renegotiation could include increasing the size of the agencies’ $400 billion lifeline—so far, Fannie Mae has tapped $60.9 billion and Freddie Mac $50.7 billion—and possibly cutting the dividends the agencies pay to Treasury on the borrowed money.

Things at Fannie and Freddie are still a mess, it seems. That makes me wonder why in some 1,300 pages of thoughts on how to reform the financial sector last week, the U.S. House of Representatives didn’t mention Fannie or Freddie once.

The New York Times looks at what the publishing industry is doing to prepare for what it hopes will be a huge hit: tablet computers that making reading online much more palatable.

“The technology will allow these magazines, and these advertisements, to look as good as they look on the magazine page,” said Louis Cona, senior vice president of the Condé Nast Media Group.

As good — or better. Wired’s mockup has elements like interactive graphics, links that take the customer to a floating window rather than a new page, and the ability to play video and audio. “You can put as many pyrotechnics in there as you want to,” Mr. Wallace said.

It’s exciting, but it says something about the fortunes of the press that it’s waiting so eagerly for a product that hasn’t even come out yet.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.