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Links for June 30th 2011 through July 4th 2011:
- Google Chrome hits 20% global share as Microsoft continues browser slide [Network World] – “Google Chrome’s rise in popularity has been remarkably fast and it’s just hit a new milestone: more than 20% of all browser usage, according to StatCounter. Chrome rose from only 2.8% in June 2009 to 20.7% worldwide in June 2011, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer fell from 59% to 44% in the same time frame. Firefox dropped only slightly in the past two years, from 30% to 28%.”
- Angry Birds film takes off [guardian.co.uk] – “An Angry Birds movie is slingshotting its way into development with the announcement that former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel has been recruited as a special adviser by Rovio – the mobile game company that developed the popular pig-popping franchise. “There has been so much chatter about an Angry Birds movie, but it’s now real,” Maisel told Variety. “The process is starting now.” Maisel, who was responsible for shepherding mega-hits such as Iron Man to the big screen while at Marvel, said he was interested in the “emotional connection” that players have with the Angry Birds characters.”
- Australian Social Trends, Jun 2011 – Summary data released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2011 about social and cultural trends in Australia (as measured by a variety of stats). Useful for lectures.
- Exclusive: Myspace to Be Sold to Specific Media for $35 Million [AllThingsD] – MySpace purchase price in 2005: $580 million.
MySpace sale price in 2011: $35 million.
NewsCorp: not winning.
- Chinese faked photograph leaves officials on street of shame [The Guardian] – “For government officials in Huili, a distinctly modest county in a rural corner of south-west China, attracting national media coverage would normally seem a dream come true. Unfortunately, their moment in the spotlight was not so welcome: mass ridicule over what may well be one of the worst-doctored photographs in internet history. The saga began on Monday when Huili’s website published a picture showing, according to the accompanying story, three local officials inspecting a newly completed road construction project this month. The picture certainly portrayed the men, and the road, but the officials appeared to be levitating several inches above the tarmac. As photographic fakery goes it was astonishingly clumsy.” [Gallery of photoshop ‘responses.]
- Credit Is Due (The Attribution Song) [YouTube] – Nina Paley’s excellent short video explaining why copying WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION is plagiarism. (And why that’s wrong.) Surely this clip will find its way into first-year university lectures everywhere!
- Bitcoins [Rocketboom] – Molly on Rocketboom makes a valiant, if slightly confused, effort to explain Bitcoins.
Links for May 31st 2011 through June 6th 2011:
- Parents using Facebook to attack school staff, Principals Federation says [Perth Now] – “Parents are using Facebook and other social networks to attack principals and teachers they dislike or believe have wronged them or their children. The growing practice of raging against school staff online has sparked calls for the Education Department to step in. “These forums can also fuel the sort of misplaced anger and hatred that can end in physical confrontations and school lockdowns,” Australian Principals Federation president Chris Cotching said. Lawyers acting for the federation have warned the department it could be legally culpable if it continued to ignore online campaigns against staff.”
- Palin Fans Trying to Edit Wikipedia Paul Revere Page [Little Green Footballs] – Interesting case study on Wikipedia’s accuracy – after Sarah Palin gets history wrong, her supporteres try and edit Wikipedia to make the Palin version; drama and editorial warfare ensue: “Man, you’ve gotta almost admire the sheer blind dedication of Sarah Palin’s wingnut acolytes. Now they’re trying like crazy to edit the Wikipedia page for “Paul Revere” to make it match Palin’s botched version of history. Here’s the Revision history of Paul Revere; check out the edits that are being reversed. Also see the discussion page for an entertaining exchange between Wikipedia editors and a would-be revisionist.”
- Google Chrome: Lady Gaga [YouTube] – Clever ad for Google Chrome featuring Lady Gaga (and simultaneously a Lady Gaga ad featuring Chrome!) which really highlights how she’s deeply engaging with her fanbase via social media.
- Google’s YouTube policy for Android users is copyright extremism [guardian.co.uk] – Cory Doctorow laments Google’s copyright-driven philosophical contradictions: “The news that Android users who have jailbroken their phones will be denied access to the new commercial YouTube pay-per-view service is as neat an example of copyright extremism as you could hope for. Android, of course, is Google’s wildly popular alternative to Apple’s iOS (the operating system found on iPhones and iPads). Android is free and open – it costs nothing to copy, it can be legally modified and those modifications can be legally distributed […] unless you’re running a very specific version of Google’s software on your phone or tablet, you can’t “rent” movies on YouTube. Google – the vendor – and the studios – the rights holders – are using copyright to control something much more profound than mere copying. In this version of copyright, making a movie gives you the right to specify what kind of device can play the movie back, and how that device must be configured.”
Links for May 26th 2011 through May 30th 2011:
- China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work [guardian.co.uk] – Chinese prisons used as gold farms (ie playing games to earn virtual gold to sale): “As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells. Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard who was jailed for three years in 2004 for “illegally petitioning” the central government about corruption in his hometown, reckons the operation was even more lucrative than the physical labour that prisoners were also forced to do.”
- Better Facebook – Browser Extension – Nifty browser extension that makes Facebook more useful – including tracking comments, far more detailed filtering options, unfriend tracking, themes and so forth. Works on most browsers except IE.
- “Literally Unbelievable” – The extremely odd, disheartening and worrying Tumblr blog which captures people’s reactions to stories in The Onion without realising they’re parody and satire. All a little worrying.
- The Tunnel – The Tunnel is an Australian horror film released in May 2011 which took the unique approach of officially and legally releasing the entire film exclusively as a Bittorrent file, while offering other ways to support the film (buy stills and various types of DVDs and extras), betting that working with p2p communities rather than against them would win fans and financial support in the long run. There’s a quick write-up in the SMH and some fascinating background: IMDb initially refused to let the film be listed since it wasn’t using any recognised channels for release (eventually IMDb bowed to fan pressure and it’s listed there now).
- Thanks, YouTube community, for two BIG gifts on our sixth birthday! [YouTube Blog] – YouTube turns six with some amazing stats: “Today, more than 48 hours (two days worth) of video are uploaded to the site every minute, a 37% increase over the last six months and 100% over last year. […] We’re amazed that over this last weekend, you drove YouTube past the 3 billion views a day mark, a 50% increase over last year. That’s the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day, or every U.S. resident watching at least nine videos a day.”Last year YouTube celebrated their 5th birthday with a dedicated channel page and a 5-year YouTube timeline which are still useful, too.
Links for April 13th 2011 through April 28th 2011:
- Copyright – 25 April 2011 [Rocketboom] – This 5 minute Rocketboom episode focuses on copyright in the US, looks at what Fair Dealing can and can’t do (especially with regarding to sampling) with reference to the Mickey Mouse protection act (Copyright Term Extension) of 1998.
- YouTube founders’ Delicious new venture [The Age] – Delicious lives on, and may yet prosper! “Yahoo! has sold Delicious to YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who promised to continue and grow the popular social bookmarking site. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Hurley and Chen, who sold YouTube to Google for $US1.65 billion in 2006, said they planned to integrate Delicious with their new San Mateo, California-based internet company AVOS. “We’re excited to work with this fantastic community and take Delicious to the next level,” AVOS chief executive Hurley said in a statement. “We see a tremendous opportunity to simplify the way users save and share content they discover anywhere on the web,” Hurley said. The YouTube co-founders said they would seek to use Delicious to “develop innovative features to help solve the problem of information overload.””
- No Tweets Allowed at the Royal Wedding [Mashable] – “Any 140-character loving guests attending the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton will be sorely disappointed, as signal-blocking technology will be installed at Westminster Abbey to nix cellphone use. According to Yahoo, the idea was suggested by members of the royal family and confirmed by police and security. They hope nixing phones and tweeting will cut down on news photos and videos featuring cellphone-toting guests, distracting ringtones and info about the wedding getting out ahead of the ceremony.”
- YouTube star TomSka ‘makes thousands’ every month [BBC – Newsbeat] – “… 20-year-old student Tom Ridgewell, [is] one of a new generation of YouTube stars making thousands of pounds through the site every month. “I like to think I work in comedy,” he says. “I just try to make funny videos really – ones that make me laugh.” He’s written, produced and directed dozens of short films, sketches and cartoons. But get onto his channel and it’s the numbers that really stand out: 55 million views and 220,000 subscribers – numbers he’s been able to translate into money. “They put adverts around your videos and you get a cut of that,” Tom explains. He wouldn’t give away specific numbers but told Newsbeat he earns between £3,500 and £7,000 each month. The student makes his money through YouTube’s partner programme.”
- Many under-13s ‘using Facebook’ [BBC News] – “Almost half of British children aged 9 to 12 are using social networking sites, despite minimum age limits, a report claims. One in five has a Facebook page, even though rules say they must be 13, according to EUKidsOnline. The report’s authors suggest that removing such requirements would make it easier to monitor online behaviour. However, children’s charity Kidscape criticised the idea and warned it would lead to more cyber bullying. The research, carried out by the London School of Economics for the European Commission, was based on a survey of 25,000 young people – aged between nine and 16 – from across Europe. It asked if they maintained a social networking profile. In the UK, 43% of 9 to 12-year-olds answered yes, along with 88% of 13 to 16-year-olds.” [EU Kids Online Social Networking, Age and Privacy Report PDF]
- E-Book Sales Surpass Print: Is This a Win or a Loss for the Publishing Industry? [RW Web] – eBooks surpass print in US sales: “When the Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its sales figures for the month of February , the headlines were easy to compose: e-books have surpassed print in all trade categories. E-books have become the format-of-choice, these figures suggest. In January, the AAP said that e-book sales were up 116% year-over-year, and for the month of February that growth accelerated even further. February 2011 sales were up 202.3% from the same time last year. “
- iPhone 4 About To Be Flickr’s Top Camera. Point & Shoots? Pretty Much The Opposite. [TechCrunch] – The iPhone 4 is now the second most popular camera being used by Flickr photo sharers, well on the way to becoming the most popular. In comparison, point’n’click cameras are declining in use. This article also laments Flickr’s failure to create a mobile app, especially since it’s very clear that a large percent of vernacular photography will be done on mobile devices.
- White House unveils cyber ID proposal [SMH] – “The White House has unveiled a plan [for] the creation of a single, secure online credential. “By making online transactions more trustworthy and better protecting privacy, we will prevent costly crime, we will give businesses and consumers new confidence, and we will foster growth and untold innovation,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “That’s why this initiative is so important for our economy,” Obama said. The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) proposes the creation of secure and reliable online credentials that would be available to consumers who want to use them. It would be private-sector driven and participation would be voluntary. The “identity ecosystem” would involve the use of a single credential – unique software on a smartphone, a smart card or a token that generates a one-time digital password, for example, – and would eliminate the need to remember multiple passwords.”
- YouTube Live: The makeover continues – youtube, web, media streaming, internet [PC World Australia] – “Another sign that Google is positioning YouTube to compete with broadcast and cable TV, as well as other video-streaming services like Hulu and Netflix: YouTube Live, a new branch of the hugely popular video-sharing service, debuted on Friday. As its name suggests, YouTube Live provides live-streaming events rather than the recorded videos found on the regular YouTube site. “With over 2 billion views a day, it’s easy to think about YouTube as a place to watch videos recorded in the past. But you’ve told us you want more — and that includes events taking place right now,” Google managers Joshua Siegel and Christopher Hamilton wrote in a Friday post on The Official YouTube Blog.”
- Cisco plans to shut its Flip camcorder business [The Age] – This is extremely disappointing news (and appears quite silly in business terms, too!): “Cisco Systems, one of the titans of the technology industry, said it is killing the Flip Video, the most popular video camera in the US, just two years after it bought the startup that created it. It appears to be a case of a big company proving a poor custodian of a small one, even one that makes a hit product. Cisco never meaningfully integrated the Flip Video into its main business of making computer networking gear. Flip Video users are now lamenting the demise of a camera that broke new ground. It was inexpensive, pocketable and very easy to use, from shooting to editing and online sharing. These features have been copied by many other manufacturers, but the Flip Video still outsells them.”
Links for April 5th 2011 through April 12th 2011:
- Logies 2011: Twitter Banned [The Age] – “When Australian television’s biggest stars walk the Logies red carpet on May 1, there will be one notable absence. This year, Twitter is not invited to the party. Having snaffled back-to-back awards for Most Attention-Seeking Performance in 2009 and 2010, Twitter has been effectively blackballed by organisers of this year’s awards. Invitations to the ceremony at Crown carry, in very small print, the words: ”Please note, mobiles will not be permitted. Your co-operation is appreciated.”” Unsurprisingly, tweeting celebs and followers alike are unimpressed.
- Google ‘to boost spend on original YouTube content’ [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – Broadcast YourTV just doesn’t have the same ring to it: “Google is strengthening its relationship with Hollywood and online programme-makers in an attempt to reposition YouTube for the rise of internet-connected TV. The world’s most popular video website will invest tens of millions of dollars in professionally-produced original programming as more viewers watch YouTube from their living room. Google is also reported to be planning a “major overhaul” of YouTube this year, with the introduction of channels for topics such as arts and sports. About 20 of these channels would feature several hours of professional programming a week, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move would represent a big shift away from the user-generated video that made YouTube the third most-popular site on the planet.”
- ‘School asked us to airbrush class photo,’ company says [The Age] – “A photographic company that digitally altered the school portraits of six Melbourne students says the girls’ college at the centre of the controversy specifically requested for the images to be airbrushed. Parents were outraged yesterday when their daughters returned home from Our Lady of Sion College in Box Hill with school photographs that had been touched up to change hairstyles, hide ears and eliminate earrings. Several students’ had their ponytails removed, while one parent, Mary, said her 16-year-old daughter had hair drawn across her ears and ended up sporting a ridiculous ‘‘bouffant’’. ‘‘It didn’t even look like her in the end, it just didn’t look like her at all,’’ said Mary, who did not want to reveal her name to protect the identity of her daughter. ‘‘My daughter said to me, ‘What was wrong with me mum? Why did they need to do that?’ It’s just sending the wrong message to the girls. Their self-esteem isn’t the best at that age.’’”
- Amazon’s new Cloud Drive rains on everyone’s parade [Technology | The Observer] – A solid piece which explains why Google, Apple and the music companies are probably feeling a little threatened by Amazon’s new Cloud Drive and, more importantly, the CloudPlayer which makes Amazon purchased music or any other music you own accessible on smartphones and other mobile media devices as streaming media.
- ‘Angry Birds Rio’ a Big Hit: 10 Million Downloads in 10 Days – “Angry Birds fans can’t get enough of the bird-hurling application and game franchise from mobile developer Rovio. Angry Birds Rio, the latest iOS and Android edition of the game, features a theme based on the upcoming FOX animated motion picture Rio. The app saw ten million downloads in its first ten days after release. The milestone metric spans all free and paid versions available in the App Store, Android Marketplace and Amazon Appstore. The stat was first announced on Rovio’s Twitter account.”
As Ethan Zuckerman says: “There’s something very 2011 about a Russian video using a soundtrack from American cartoons and characters from a Finnish mobile phone game (based on an English fairytale) to satirize North African politics.”
Links for March 16th 2011 through March 20th 2011:
- Why Curation Is Just as Important as Creation [Mashable] – “The folks who run the online galleries — the curators — aren’t asking permission or giving a revenue share, which means that content creators need to get comfortable with the idea that in the new world of the link economy, curating and creating aren’t mutually exclusive. Exhibit A: Seth Godin. He is one of the web’s best-known marketing wizards. […]. And he says that content creators can’t ignore curation any longer. “We don’t have an information shortage; we have an attention shortage,” Godin said. “There’s always someone who’s going to supply you with information that you’re going to curate. The Guggenheim doesn’t have a shortage of art. They don’t pay you to hang paintings for a show — in fact you have to pay for the insurance. […] As Godin sees it, power is shifting from content makers to content curators: “If we live in a world where information drives what we do, the information we get becomes the most important thing. The person who chooses that information has power.””
- Why Do We Hate Rebecca Black? [Brow Beat] – “It’s Fri-ee-day! Here in New York, where the long-awaited sunshine is making everyone slightly loopy, “Friday”—Rebecca Black’s so-awful-it’s-kind-of-genius viral sensation—makes for a highly appropriate soundtrack. Like her lyricists, I, too, can barely form coherent sentences, because we-we-we so excited about all the fun ahead of us tonight. A quick recap, for anyone who’s missed the frenzy: Rebecca Black, an eighth-grader from Orange County, recorded a song and produced a video with vanity label Ark Music Factory, which specializes in tweenybopper “artists.” Last week, Black’s video starting ricocheting around the Web, to the delight and horror of millions of viewers. No one, it seems, can believe that anything this terrible could possibly exist. […] So her parents paid $2,000 for her to pretend to be a star. […] and for an unexpected dose of media training.
- xxx marks the spot [SMH] – “The group in charge of internet addresses has opened the door for adult-content websites ending with .xxx but delayed deciding whether to open the floodgates for other suffixes. The non-profit internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) board voted to approve a petition to add .xxx to the list of “generic top-level domains” – endings that include .com, .net and .org. […] The request had been rejected about five years ago and was reconsidered after an appeal.”
- Bullying Video’s “Little Zangief” A Hero Online [WA Today] – “It was inevitable. The Sydney boy who retaliated against a younger student at school after an apparent bullying attack has been transformed from a victim to an online hero. Since video of the incident at a western Sydney school this week was posted online, it immediately went viral. The 16-year-old “victim” has been dubbed “Little Zangief” – a character from the Street Fighter video game – and likened to the Incredible Hulk and The Punisher, with websites, mash-up videos and even a Twitter account set up in his honour. The video, which has since been featured on US and British news sites, shows a smaller 12-year-old boy punching the bigger boy. The bigger boy then picks up his tormentor and throws him to the ground. The issue dominated talkback radio after it happened.” [More at Know Your Meme] [More Remixes]
- 40th anniversary of the computer virus [Net Security] – “1971: Creeper: catch me if you can. While theories on self-replicating automatas were developed by genius mathematician Von Neumann in the early 50s, the first real computer virus was released “in lab” in 1971 by an employee of a company working on building ARPANET, the Internet’s ancestor. Intriguing feature: Creeper looks for a machine on the network, transfers to it, displays the message “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” and starts over, thereby hoping from system to system. It was a pure proof of concept that ties the roots of computer viruses to those of the Internet.”
- The Rise of Twitter Poetry [NYTimes.com] – “… there’s evidence that the literary flowering of Twitter may actually be taking place. The Twitter haiku movement — “twaiku” to its initiates — is well under way. Science fiction and mystery enthusiasts especially have gravitated to its communal immediacy. And even litterateurs, with a capital L, seem to be warming to it. For two years, John Wray, the author of the well-regarded novel “Lowboy,” has been spinning out a Twitter story based on a character named Citizen that he cut from the novel, a contemporary version of the serialization that Dickens and other fiction writers once enjoyed. “I don’t view the constraints of the format as in any way necessarily precluding literary quality,” he said. “It’s just a different form. And it’s still early days, so people are still really trying to figure out how to communicate with it, beyond just reporting that their Cheerios are soggy.””
Late last year I was interviewed about online teaching by the team UNSW’s COFA team for their Learning to Teach Online project which aims to build a rich library of resources for teachers working online in various forms. You can find my talking head peppered throughout a number of their video episodes, but the main one, and one I’m really pleased to see up, is all about Understanding Creative Commons for education. I’ve embedded the video below, but you can also get a printable resources hand-out over and the Learning to Teaching Online page.
Incidentally, it’s worth mentioning that this video is about both how teachers and use Creative Commons licenses, but also, and quite importantly, about how students can use CC licenses when producing their own worth, be that text, photos, video or other combinations of media. If you’re an educator interested in this area, you might also enjoy the short paper I wrote a few years ago called ‘The Creative Commons: An Overview for Educators’.
Tama Leaver dot Net by Tama Leaver is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.