Links for September 16th 2010 through September 21st 2010:

  • Mobile phones are now our net tool of choice [News.com.au] – “The mobile phone, which not long ago was mainly for talking and texting, is now replacing the PC as the preferred way to surf the internet. A report shows half of users in their 30s accessed the web using their mobile device while at work or at home even though they had access to a computer. The behaviour comes as a result of the thriving smartphone market which was energised by the release of the iPhone more than two years ago. Christena Singh, author of the Sensis e-Business Report, said mobile internet use has become mainstream with use common across a wide age range. […] The most popular information accessed on mobile devices are maps and directions (67 per cent), the weather (64 per cent), news sites (59 per cent), social networking sites (56 per cent) and sports results (46 per cent).” [PDF of Sensis e-Business Report]
  • Downloads grow by 50% [The Age] – “Australia’s appetite for the internet continues to grow and the number of wireless internet connections has soared in the last year, a study has found. A report released yesterday by the Bureau of Statistics shows the amount of data downloaded in the June 2010 quarter increased by more than 50 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier. In the same period, the number of wireless broadband connections increased by 70 per cent to nearly 3.5 million, while the number of fixed-line broadband connections rose slightly to 4.2 million.”
  • Old Spice manufacturer ignores a smellers’ market [The Australian] – A slightly odd article which celebrates the US-created and focused 2010 viral Old Spice videos and campaign and the knock-on effect on Old Spice branded products (which have increased sales dramatically), but then complains not enough Old Spice products are actually sold in Australia. Certainly the global reach of YouTube as a viral advertising is worth noting, and I guess the Australia’s national newspaper is complaining that there aren’t enough Old Spice products in Australia on the back of the campaign’s success, that’s an even stronger testimony. (Or a waste of ink: you decide.)
  • A Baby Photo Becomes an Internet Meme [NYTimes.com] – “Sometime back in 2000, Allen S. Rout, a systems programmer from Gainesville, Fla., posted a few photos of his 5-month-old son, Stephen, on his personal Web site. They were the kind of photos that every parent takes, but one in particular stood out: Stephen wearing a pair of red overalls, smiling in a crib. “We’re really blessed,” Mr. Rout wrote as the caption. “Stephen is an amazingly happy baby.” The photo had faded from memory until last July, when Mr. Rout, curious about his online reputation, did a Google search of himself. Deep within the results pages, he found the picture of Stephen. Only, it wasn’t exactly the same picture. He was surrounded by cartoonish word bubbles filled with Japanese writing: “Don’t call me baby!” they read. “Call me Mr. Baby!” And there were other images in which the photo was transformed further…” [More on this here at Know Your Meme]
  • The Future of Television [YouTube] – Nice little video summary of television’s emergence, early history and where it might be going tomorrow. (Useful for Web Media 207.)
  • Internet Founder Tim Berners-Lee Details 4 Concerns About Future of Mobile Web (Nokia World 2010) ]RWW] – In a keynote at Nokia World 2010 in London, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, celebrated the emerging mobile web, but also noted four major challenges ahead: (1) Privacy – matching what smartphones etc can do/share with current needs and ideas about privacy will prove difficult; (2) Accountability – ensuring companies that collect data from mobile web users are transparent; (3) Neutrality – even the mobile web must be neutral, with no variation in charges for different types/tiers of data; and (4) the biggest challenge is still assisting the 80% of the global population who aren’t even online yet, let alone mobile web users.
  • Engineer’s Privacy Breach Raises Questions For Google [International Business Times] – The challenges of trusting the cloud, whoever happens to be running that part of it (even Google): “A significant privacy breach from a Google engineer has web privacy experts questioning the Mountain View, Calif. company’s control system and transparency methods. David Barksdale, a 27-year-old engineer who worked in Google’s Seattle office, leveraged his role as a member of an elite technical group to access private data about minors. Google fired Barksdale after getting complaints from the minor’s parents. […] For web privacy experts, the Barksdale incident is a huge red flag. Furthermore, Google reportedly told TechCrunch it was not the first time one of its engineers was fired for a privacy breach. Even though these are largely isolated incidents for a 10-year-old company with approximately 20,000 employees, it does signify some within the company has access to people’s critical, private data. What they do with it, is up to them.”
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