Links for February 23rd through March 2nd:

  • Angry Birds’ Mighty Eagle: ‘We have expanded the market for games’ [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – They may be familiar, but the stats around Angry Birds remain startling, starting with the franchise’s 700m downloads across all platforms – a figure likely to top 1bn sometime in 2012. The original iPhone game is the biggest-selling paid app ever on both the UK and US App Stores according to Apple, with follow-ups Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio also in the top 10 in both countries.More than 1m people have reviewed the Android version of Angry Birds on Google’s Android Market, and Rovio has sold 25m plush toys so far. On the back of that, there are now more than 20,000 licensed Angry Birds products on sale [...] Next up is Angry Birds Space, with a 22 March launch that will include a game, animated content, physical products and books. Rovio is working with NASA on the project, and National Geographic on the book, with more products to come. “It’s the first time we have everything available on launch day: animation, toys, books, candy, everything,” says Vesterbacka.”
  • Zynga Seeks to Broaden Reach With New Gaming Platform [NYTimes.com] – “Zynga, the creator of FarmVille, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars and other popular social games, is going to start supplying friends for those who are lacking. The company announced a new gaming platform on Thursday that will match up players who do not know one another but who have a mutual interest in getting the crops in and spelling words with J, Q and X. The goal is to make social gaming, which was pretty easy to begin with, even easier for everyone. The platform will be introduced in a trial version on Zynga.com later this month. The move is likely to reduce Zynga’s reliance on Facebook, something analysts have said the company needs to do. Most Zynga games are played on that social network, which derives 12 percent of its revenue from Zynga. In the future, hard-core players will most likely go to Zynga’s own site, finding not only Zynga games but also offerings from independent developers.”
  • The dirty job of keeping Facebook clean [Culture Digitally] – Fascinating post looking at Facebook’s leaked content moderation manual “Abuse Standards 6.1: Operation Manual for Live Content Moderators” which reveals a great deal about how Facebook decides what to delete and what to effectively sanction. As Gillespie says:”Facebook or otherwise, it’s hard not to be struck by the depravity of some of the stuff that content moderators are reviewing. It’s a bit disingenuous of me to start with camel toes and man-man foreplay, when what most of this document deals with is so, so much more reprehensible: child pornography, rape, bestiality, graphic obscenities, animal torture, racial and ethnic hatred, self-mutilation, suicide. There is something deeply unsettling about this document in the way it must, with all the delicacy of a badly written training manual, explain and sometimes show the kinds of things that fall into these categories.”
  • BBC iPlayer Booms in Australia [The Next Web] – “Two months after BBC Worldwide launched its global iPlayer app to 11 Western European countries in July, the app arrived in Australia, followed swiftly by Canada and then Scandinavia. The global BBC iPlayer app is a Video-on-Demand (VoD) pilot (paid) subscription service that differs from the UK version of iPlayer, in that it gives international users access to an extensive archive of classic and contemporary British TV programmes. Whilst it was initially restricted to iPads, it was finally rolled out to the iPhone and iPod Touch too. Australia is now the biggest market for global iPlayer, and is giving BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, significant consumer insight as the company begins to look beyond the current pilot phase. Access to BBC iPlayer content in Australia costs AU$9.49 a month, or AU$89.99 a year, and an equivalent figure in Euros and Canadian dollars.”
  • Capture full page – Screenshot Full web page – Capture full web page – Useful tool, lets you take a screenshot of an entire webpage by simply entering the URL.
  • Author raises $1m to self-publish Order of the Stick webcomic book [Books | guardian.co.uk] – “The author of a self-published webcomic about a band of heroes in a fantasy role-playing world has raised more than $1m (£600,000) from fans on “crowdfunding” website Kickstarter to bring his stories back into print, making The Order of the Stick the richest creative work in the crowdfunding site’s history. Author and illustrator Rich Burlew launched The Order of the Stick online in 2003. Following the comic fantasy adventures of a collection of stick figures in a role-playing game world as they struggle with enemies and the rules of the game, much of the story is available online for free, but Burlew also began self-publishing parts of it in paper format in 2005. When the costs of keeping it in print proved too high, Burlew turned to Kickstarter following repeated demands from readers, launching a project in January to raise the $57,750 he needed to rerelease the books in print. Yesterday, he closed his fundraising project with 14,952 backers and $1,254,120 raised …”

Links for January 25th:

  • MEGAUPLOAD (by Dan Bull) – Independent artist Dan Bull raps about the harm shutting down MegaUpload has done to smaller artists. In the name of protecting the intellectual property of Hollywood and the MPAA, it seems that smaller artists who rely on cyberlockers like MegaUpload have found their means of distribution erased without noticed or recourse to protest.
  • Star Wars crowdsourced film reaches million YouTube views [BBC News] – “A “directors cut” of a fan-made version of Star Wars has passed one million views on YouTube. The film, uploaded on 18 January, is made up of hundreds of 15-second scenes created by internet users. The Star Wars Uncut project is widely regarded as an example of the power of crowdsourcing. Ramon Youseph, of the Crowdsourcing Gazette blog, told the BBC it showed “the power of the web to engage people in a global collaborative effort”. The website starwarsuncut.com began asking for fan-made scenes in 2009. It went on to win an interactive media Emmy in 2010.”
  • EU proposes ‘right to be forgotten’ by internet firms [BBC News] – A new law promising internet users the “right to be forgotten” will be proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday. It says people will be able to ask for data about them to be deleted and firms will have to comply unless there are “legitimate” grounds to retain it. [...] A spokesman for the commissioner clarified that the action was designed to help teenagers and young adults manage their online reputations. “These rules are particularly aimed at young people as they are not always as aware as they could be about the consequence of putting photos and other information on social network websites, or about the various privacy settings available,” said Matthew Newman. He noted that this could cause problems later if the users had no way of deleting embarrassing material when applying for jobs. However, he stressed that it would not give them the right to ask for material such as their police or medical records to be deleted.”
  • 60 hours per minute and 4 billion views a day on YouTube [YouTube Blog] – “Since the dawn of YouTube, we’ve been sharing the hours of video you upload every minute. In 2007 we started at six hours, then in 2010 we were at 24 hours, then 35, then 48, and now…60 hours of video every minute, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last eight months. In other words, you’re uploading one hour of video to YouTube every second.”
  • How Parents Normalized Teen Password Sharing [danah boyd | apophenia] – Interesting insights from danah boyd regarding teens sharing passwords to social media services with each other. It’s all about trust, and that’s something learnt at home since parents ask kids to trust them and let parents look after (or at least know) their passwords in the early years (normally): “When teens share their passwords with friends or significant others, they regularly employ the language of trust, as Richtel noted in his story. Teens are drawing on experiences they’ve had in the home and shifting them into their peer groups in order to understand how their relationships make sense in a broader context. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone because this is all-too-common for teen practices. Household norms shape peer norms.”
  • Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea) [YouTube] – A great talk from Clay Shirky explaining the history, context and potential impact of the US SOPA and PIPA bills which seek to radically censor the internet in the name of stopping “piracy”. Important to listen to since, as Shirky argues, there’s no doubt more of the same just around the corner.

Links for October 30th 2011:

  • Cashing In on Your Hit YouTube Video [NYTimes.com] – In the unlikely but not impossible event of a YouTube video going unexpectedly viral, here’s a quick guide from the New York Times on how to act quickly and make the most of your possible revenue and exposure.
  • When I died on Wikipedia | David McKie [The Guardian] – Amusing and insightful column from David McKie who Wikipedia incorrectly claimed, was dead. McKie points out that the Wikipedia is far from the first media service to prematurely announce people’s demise: “It was disconcerting to learn recently from a much used reference source that I had died on Friday August the 26th. True, one’s memory gets more fitful as one grows older, but I didn’t remember this happening. When I looked that day up in my diary, I found that I had noted it down as “a very empty day” when it rained and nothing much happened. Empty, perhaps, but not as empty as that. Still, there it was, in all its bleak finality, in a summary on Wikipedia: “David McKie (1935 – 26 August 2011) was a British journalist and historian.” [...] Wikipedia, I see, welcomes corrections. Indeed, its section on premature obituaries accepts it is incomplete and appeals for more, well-sourced, entries. So now I shall write to correct their error …”
  • Untangling the web: how the internet has changed the way we treat death [Technology | The Observer] – Good overview by Aleks Krotoski looking at death in a networked, digital world: “Death in the age of the web reminds us how much the technology has become part of the fabric of our personal and social identities. Once we’re gone, what we leave behind is a rich resource of who we are. We may not survive beyond the release of the next social network, but our inevitable ends are being extended by our digital lives.”
  • @AlanJoyce abused on Twitter, but he’s not the Qantas boss [Perth Now] – “An American science student who shares his name with the CEO of Qantas has found himself the target of a deluge of abuse on Twitter. The unfortunate American, whose name is Alan Joyce and who holds the name @alanjoyce on Twitter, is currently studying computer science at Stanford University, as well as having written two guidebooks to the Disneyland Resort in California. To clarify his identity the American replied to one accusation: “I’m glad to see someone appreciating my impeccable American accent, but I’m guessing you’re looking for a different Alan Joyce.” [...] The American Alan Joyce first responded to the attacks after @DognutsTom tweeted, “Well I’m stuck at home with broken wheelchair thanks to QANTAS! You think @alanjoyce CEO of QANTAS could work it out right?” Alan replied, “Sorry about your wheelchair, but I’m no more CEO of Qantas than @willsmith is a famous movie actor.””
  • Q&A;: Felicia Day, from ‘The Guild’ to ‘Dragon Age’ [latimes.com] – “Playing” Felicia Day: “And when Electric Arts [makers of Dragon Age] called, that was the first call in years that was really like, “Oh!” They asked, “What would you like to do?” and I said, “What properties do you have?” And when Dragon Age came up I was, like, “Yes!” Because when am I ever going to be able to be in a medieval world as an actor? Probably never. So I’ll help create it myself. This will be the first time that a video game property is a Web series; and the elf is an actual playable character. So my character will be a DLC [downloadable content] piece; if people own Dragon Age II, they’ll be able to purchase an extension pack and play with my character. It’s full motion capture with me, full facial capture, full vocal acting. It’s pretty much the coolest thing I could ever imagine: Not only am I in a game, but it’s as a character I created.”

Links for August 6th 2011 through August 10th 2011:

  • Gamification is Bullshit [Ian Bogost] – Bogost gets straight to the point: “In his short treatise On Bullshit, the moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt gives us a useful theory of bullshit. We normally think of bullshit as a synonym—albeit a somewhat vulgar one—for lies or deceit. But Frankfurt argues that bullshit has nothing to do with truth. Rather, bullshit is used to conceal, to impress or to coerce. Unlike liars, bullshitters have no use for the truth. All that matters to them is hiding their ignorance or bringing about their own benefit. Gamification is bullshit. I’m not being flip or glib or provocative. I’m speaking philosophically. More specifically, gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway.”
  • London Police Use Flickr to Identify Looters [NYTimes.com] – “As rioting continues to roil the streets of London, local police forces are turning to the Web to help unmask those involved in the torching and looting. On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police of London posted a set of photos on Flickr showing people they believed to be participants in the riots. Right now the images are primarily from the Croydon and West Norwood neighborhoods in south London, although the site says that more will be posted soon. With the initiative, called Operation Withern, the police are asking the public to identify anyone they recognize from photographs captured by CCTV surveillance cameras in areas where stores were looted. They say on the Flickr page that they hope to “bring to justice those who have committed violent and criminal acts.””
  • Real name sites are necessarily inadequate for free speech [Bernie Hogan] – Important take on real names: “Offline people say things appropriate to the group they are in. That doesn’t mean they are two-faced, insincere or liars. It means people are context aware. People observe walls, clocks, furniture, fashion and music. These things guide us as to the appropriate way of acting. The guy writing his novel at the bar on Friday night is out-of-place. The guy who shows up to work drunk on Monday morning has a problem. Offline people don’t have to worry about their real name, because their behavior is tied to the context and the impressions the foster in that context. In fact, I’ll say that even more strongly – if your speech is not confined to the context you are in – but available to a potentially unknowable audience – you are online. This is why real name sites are necessarily inadequate. They deny individuals the right to be context-specific. They turn the performance of impression management into the process of curation.”
  • How Blackberry, not Twitter, fuelled the fire under London’s riots [Tech Crunch] – All ‘social media caused it’ reports are exaggerated, but it is noteworthy that Blackberries are popular for communication in this context specificially because they are encrupted and not open: “Over the weekend parts of London descended into chaos as riots and looting spread after a protest organised around the yet unexplained shooting of a man by Police. Of course, there was huge amounts of chatter on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, with the latter coming under enormous amounts of criticism from the UK press for fuelling the fire. But while Twitter has largely been the venue of spectators to violence and is a handy public venue for journalists to observe, it would appear the non-public BlackBerry BBM messaging network has been the method of choice for organising it.”
  • Facebook’s Photo Archive Can Be Used for Face Recognition in Real Life – “Facebook has had its share of problems over face recognition — a feature that connects a photo of a person’s face with their Facebook profile, making it easier to tag people in photos — but researchers from Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University recently proved that Facebook’s vast photo archive can be used to identify people on the street, too. [...] They used publicly available data — photos from Facebook profiles of students — and then used face recognition technology to recognize these students as they look into a web camera. The results? Using a database of 25,000 photos taken from Facebook profiles, the authors’ face recognition software correctly identified 31 percent of the students after fewer than three (on average) quick comparisons. In another test, the authors took photos from 277,978 Facebook profiles and compared them to nearly 6,000 profiles from an unnamed dating Web site, managing to identify approximately 10 percent of the site’s members.”

Largely Lost-centric links for May 24th 2010:

  • Lost Finale: What the Web Wasn’t Made For [Mashable]Why I’ll be off most social media today: “Those two wonderful facets of the web — on-demand viewing and instant communication between fans — tonight become a double-edged sword. The Lost Finale will be shown at 9pm ET on the East Coast, and 9pm PT on the West Coast. These time zone delays are the antithesis of what the web is about: Instant communication. The web is the perfect platform for the spread of breaking news, rumor, and those facts that corporations and politicians would rather keep quiet. In short: blogs, Facebook and Twitter make the spread of information immediate. But the web doesn’t understand the concept of the “spoiler”: The kind of information you’d like to avoid until a specific date or time. A TV blog can’t set its RSS feeds to be delivered later to the West Coast than the East. A Facebook update doesn’t get held back until you’ve watched the finale on your DVR. Your phone doesn’t know to block all Lost-related Tweets until you’ve watched the final episode.”
  • Final episode Lost in transmission [WA Today] – Australian broadcasting is indeed, Lost, but not in a good way: “AT 2PM AEST today the final episode of supernatural drama Lost will be broadcast simultaneously in eight countries. Fans in the US, Canada, Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Turkey will sit down as one to discover how the big questions in one of television’s most diabolically complicated shows are resolved. The international simulcast aims to stave off piracy, while attracting viewers worldwide before spoilers hit the web. But not in Australia. Channel Seven will not screen the 2½-hour finale until 8.30pm Wednesday. [...] ‘Ridiculous,” says comedian Wil Anderson, a Lost die-hard. ”If I was going to watch it on Wednesday, I could not go on the internet at all for two days. I will definitely have watched it by Wednesday.” Many Australian Lost fans have left free-to-air television for an alternate viewing reality, downloading, to join in discussions online…”
  • Ahead of ‘Lost’ Finale, Fans Shut Off Virtual Hints [NYTimes.com] – “Erin Farley has her plans for Sunday all laid out. Two hours before the last episode of “Lost” is broadcast three time zones away, she will shut down her home Internet connection. TweetDeck? Off. Facebook? Off. Her cellphone? Stashed out of reach. “I’ll turn off the whole Internet just to avoid having anything spoiled,” said Ms. Farley, a 31-year-old freelance writer in Portland, Ore. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise.” The Internet in general, and social media like Twitter in particular, can be a minefield for those who are trying to keep themselves in the dark about an event or show so they can enjoy it later. When the Olympics and Grammy Awards are time-delayed, for example, armchair critics chattering about the wins and losses online can destroy the suspense in an instant. [...] people who don’t live on the East Coast, where Lost is shown first, are especially at risk for online spoilers. Overseas fans may have to wait days for a local broadcast – several years in Internet time”
  • Lost bows out – after 121 baffling episodes – with 5am TV simulcast to beat plot spoilers [Television & radio | The Guardian] – Closer to non-sporting global television events: “Early on Monday morning [UK time] , millions of Lost fans will be hoping that the mysteries of the US drama’s fictional island accumulated over five years are finally revealed when the show closes in a unique broadcasting event. The finale will be simulcast on ABC in the US and by seven broadcasters around the world. Lost fans in the UK will be switching on Sky1 at 5am on Monday for the two-and-a-half-hour climax to six series, and 121 episodes, of baffling TV. Fans in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Turkey, Canada, as well as the UK, will see the show at the same time it is aired by ABC on America’s west coast. The time lag between broadcast in America and in the UK used to be six months or more, but has been narrowing for the most popular imports to counter DVD piracy and illegal downloads. Sky1 has been broadcasting this year’s final series of Lost on Friday nights — five days after its US Sunday evening premiere on ABC.”
  • LOST re-enacted by Cats in 1 minute.
  • Fan-made Lost Finale Trailer
  • Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole [WSJ.com] – “Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent. The practice, which most of the companies defended, sends user names or ID numbers tied to personal profiles being viewed when users click on ads. After questions were raised by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook and MySpace moved to make changes. By Thursday morning Facebook had rewritten some of the offending computer code. Advertising companies are receiving information that could be used to look up individual profiles, which, depending on the site and the information a user has made public, include such things as a person’s real name, age, hometown and occupation.” [Also see Benjamin Edelman's analysis.]
  • PAC-MAN rules! [Official Google Blog] – After their first interactive logo, celebrating Pac-Man’s 30th birthday, Google makes their homage game available permanently: “We’ve been overwhelmed — but not surprised :) — by the success of our 30th anniversary PAC-MAN doodle. Due to popular demand, we’re making the game permanently available at www.google.com/pacman. Thanks to NAMCO for helping to make this wonderful collaboration happen. Enjoy!”
  • Watching for Iron Sky [The Chutry Experiment ] – Useful introduction to the crowd-sourced film Iron Sky (coming some time 2011) for Web 207.

Links for October 20th 2009 through October 26th 2009:

  • Twitter Serves Up Ideas From Its Users [NYTimes.com] – “”Companies big and small monitor Twitter to find out what their customers like and what they want changed. Twitter does the same. It started two years ago as a bare-bones service, offering little more than the ability to post 140-character messages. Then, it outsourced its idea generation to its users. The company watches how people use the service and which ideas catch on. Then its engineers turn the ideas into new features. In the next several weeks, Twitter users will discover two new features, Lists and Retweets, that had the same user-generated beginnings. “Twitter’s smart enough, or lucky enough, to say, ‘Gee, let’s not try to compete with our users in designing this stuff, let’s outsource design to them,’ ” said Eric von Hippel, head of the innovation and entrepreneurship group at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T.” (Build less, watch more: it’s a good design philosophy! :)
  • White House Website CMS Switches To Drupal [The Age] – “A programming overhaul of the White House’s website has set the tech world abuzz. The online-savvy administration switched to open-source code for www.whitehouse.gov — meaning the programming language is written in public view, available for public use and able for people to edit. “We now have a technology platform to get more and more voices on the site,” White House new media director Macon Phillips said hours before the new site went live on Saturday. “This is state-of-the-art technology and the government is a participant in it.” White House officials described the change as similar to rebuilding the foundation of a building without changing the street-level appearance of the facade. It was expected to make the White House site more secure — and the same could be true for other administration sites in the future.” (Nice way to publicise open source platforms! :)
  • Viewers turn away from TV in 2009 [ mUmBRELLA] – “Total prime time TV audiences have fallen below 5m in Australia, according to a new analysis of viewing data so far this year. This is despite the arrival of the new Freeview and subscription TV channels to tempt viewers. According to the analysis of figures across the prime 6pm to 10.30pm slot, the average audience has fallen from 5,027,868 in 2008 to 4,969,810 in 2009. This marks a decline of around 60,000 prime time viewers per evening – or a fall of just over 1%. This is despite the Australian population growing by more than 2% during the same period.” (I wonder how this compares to an increase in viewing shared video online … combine the YouTube and TV stats and I suspect overall engagement with broadcast and streamed video would be up.)
  • Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets [Danger Room | Wired.com] – “America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon. In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day. Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day…” (The question isn’t are we paranoid; it’s: are we paranoid enough!) [Via BBoing]

Links for August 25th 2009 through September 1st 2009:

  • Twitter is Now Bigger than MySpace in the UK [Mashable] – "According to Hitwise UK, Twitter has overtaken MySpace for the first time on the list of most visited UK websites. Last week, Twitter was the 27th most visited website in the UK, while MySpace was 28th. Looking at social networks alone, Facebook was the biggest UK site, followed by YouTube (YouTube) and Bebo, with Twitter in the 4th place and MySpace in the 5th. And that doesn’t even take into account all the visitors that used one of the many 3rd party Twitter applications such as TweetDeck (TweetDeck) or Seesmic Desktop (Seesmic Desktop). "
  • Bad news for newspapers, great news for journalism [bronwen clune] – Bronwen looks beyond the paywall: "Of course the argument for paid content is about defending commercial news organisations and not journalism. Problem is the two aren’t mutually exclusive anymore. For starters, it excludes the competition from government subsidised media – SBS and ABC – who probably can’t wait for News Corp and Fairfax to start charging for their content. A senior news person at SBS told me just yesterday that he “WANTS those sites to charge!” – not because he believes in paid content, he doesn’t, but because it certainly brightens his future."
  • ABC most reliable network, Nine worst -readers [TV Tonight] – "The ABC is the most reliable network -according to readers of TV Tonight- and Nine the least. In the Audience Inventory, the public broadcaster was a clear winner in the key question of starting TV programmes on time by a huge 55% win. It was followed by Foxtel (22%), SBS (11%), TEN (7%), Seven (3%) and Nine (2%). The question was completed by 99% of the survey respondents, which totalled over 800." (That certainly matches with my thoughts!)
  • Murdoch attack on 'dominant' BBC [BBC NEWS | Business] – "News Corporation's James Murdoch has said that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK. The chairman of the media giant in Europe, which owns the Times and Sun, also blamed the UK government for regulating the media "with relish". "The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision," he told the Edinburgh Television Festival. The scope of the BBC's activities and ambitions was "chilling", he added. Organisations like the BBC, funded by the licence fee, as well as Channel 4 and Ofcom, made it harder for other broadcasters to survive, he argued." (Or: if the BBC stays free and Newscorp puts everything they create behind a paywall, James is rightly concerned people will just read the free BBC stuff instead!)
  • Wikipedia Will Limit Changes on Articles About Living People [NYTimes.com] – "… as the English-language version of Wikipedia has just surpassed three million articles, that freewheeling ethos is about to be curbed. Officials at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit in San Francisco that governs Wikipedia, say that within weeks, the English-language Wikipedia will begin imposing a layer of editorial review on articles about living people. The new feature, called “flagged revisions,” will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved — or in Wikispeak, flagged — it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia’s servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version. The change is part of a growing realization on the part of Wikipedia’s leaders that as the site grows more influential, they must transform its embrace-the-chaos culture into something more mature and dependable." (With great power comes great(er) responsibility?)

Links for March 31st 2009 through April 3rd 2009:

  • Internet traffic in Sweden plummets on first day of law banning web piracy [Guardian] – Internet traffic in Sweden – previously a hotbed of illicit filesharing – has fallen dramatically in the first day of a new law banning online piracy. The country – home to the notorious Pirate Bay website, whose founders are awaiting a court judgment on whether they have broken the law by allowing people to find films, games and music for illicit downloads – has previously been seen as a haven for filesharing, in which people can get copyrighted content for free. As many as one in 10 Swedes is thought to use such peer-to-peer services. But the so-called IPRED law, which came into force on Wednesday, obliges internet service providers to turn over details about internet users who share such content to the owners of copyrighted material, if a court finds sufficient evidence that the user has broken the law. … internet traffic in Sweden had fallen by about 30% compared with the previous day.”
  • New Wolverine film leaked online [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “An almost finished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman has been leaked online a month before its cinema release. The high quality copy of the film has been uploaded to several file sharing and streaming video websites. The movie is incomplete, with some special effects still in need of fine tuning and green screens and wires attached to actors still visible.” (It took less than 24 hours for this workprint to appear for sale in Jordan’s pirate DVD markets and C20th Fox are on the warpath. While a leak like this might be good for publicity, given that a workprint – which means unfinished special effects more than anything else – tends to emphasise the quality of the plot and dialogue, this could really hurt the box office.)
  • Obama Depressed, Distant Since ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Series Finale [The Onion - America's Finest News Source] – “According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica. “The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'” “I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.””
  • Victim Of Wikipedia: Microsoft To Shut Down Encarta [ paidContent.org] – “Microsoft will discontinue both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software, which have both been surpassed by rising competitors, like Wikipedia. In a message posted on the MSN Encarta Web site, Microsoft says, “Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.””