Tag Archives: freemium

Digital Culture Links: March 2nd

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 …”

Digital Culture Links: May 26th 2010

Links for May 24th 2010 through May 26th 2010:

  • Facebook ‘hindering the police’ [WA Today] – The Australian Federal Police take on Facebook: “Facebook’s woeful relationship with law enforcement bodies is hampering police investigations and putting lives at risk, the Australian Federal Police says. The AFP’s assistant commissioner and head of high tech crime operations, Neil Gaughan, will fly to Washington DC today for a meeting convened by the US Department of Justice in which senior law enforcement officials from around the world will discuss their concerns with the social networking website. State and federal police have told the Herald’s sister paper, the Age, the company has been unwilling to provide police with the intelligence they need for investigations. They want Facebook to appoint a dedicated law enforcement liaison in Australia who can, for example, match user accounts to physical internet addresses.”
  • Facebook told to set up warning system after new sex scam [The Age] – Just what Facebook needs, its own viruses: “A major computer security firm urged Facebook to set up an early-warning system after hundreds of thousands of users were hit by a new wave of fake sex-video attacks. British-based virus fighter Sophos warned users of the world’s biggest social networking site to be on guard against any posting entitled “distracting beach babes”, which contains a movie thumbnail of a bikini-clad woman. In a press statement, Sophos said the malicious posts appear as if they are coming from Facebook users’ friends, but it urged recipients not to click on the thumbnail. By clicking on it, users are taken to a rogue Facebook application informing them that they do not have the right player software installed, Sophos said. It tricks users into installing adware, a software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to their computer, and the video link is spread further across the network.”
  • Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring [Techdirt] – “… Lady Gaga admits she’s fine with people downloading her music in unauthorized forms because she makes it up in touring revenue:

    She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”

    Similarly, she knocks bands that don’t really try to work hard to please the fans, and who just expect them to automatically buy each album:

    “I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”

  • The Twitter Platform [Twitter Blog] – Twitter makes clear, that they will control advertising on Twitter, and no one else will: ” … aside from Promoted Tweets, we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API. We are updating our Terms of Service to articulate clearly what we mean by this statement, and we encourage you to read the updated API Terms of Service to be released shortly.” (Their logic, while motivated by finances as much as anything else, does actually make sense in terms of user experience.)
  • How The Australian fell in love with the iPad [mUmBRELLA] – Is The Australian an Apple customer or commentator? “While it’s fair to say that the world’s media has been pretty excited about Apple’s iPad, The Australian appears to be on the verge of spontaneously combusting over the device’s official arrival Down Under this Friday. Clearly the newspaper’s plans to launch its own paid-for iPad app are unrelated to that. Indeed, if it sells as many apps as it has written stories about the iPad, it will be well on the way to securing a digital future for itself. [...] I’d love to bring you every article The Australian’s carried about the iPad. But Google tells me there are 4,790 of them. So I’d better stop there. Did I mention that The Australian’s got an iPad app?”
  • Quitting Facebook is pointless; challenging them to do better is not [danah boyd | apophenia] – boyd’s discussion points:
    “1. I do not believe that people will (or should) leave Facebook because of privacy issues.
    2. I do not believe that the tech elites who are publicly leaving Facebook will affect on the company’s numbers; they are unrepresentative and were not central users in the first place.
    3. I do not believe that an alternative will emerge in the next 2-5 years that will “replace” Facebook in any meaningful sense.
    4. I believe that Facebook will get regulated and I would like to see an open discussion of what this means and what form this takes.
    5. I believe that a significant minority of users are at risk because of decisions Facebook has made and I think that those of us who aren’t owe it to those who are to work through these issues.
    6. I believe that Facebook needs to start a public dialogue with users and those who are concerned ASAP (and Elliot Schrage’s Q&A doesn’t count).”

Digital Culture Links: April 12th 2010

Links catching up, through to April 12th 2010:

  • Margaret Atwood – How I learned to love Twitter [The Guardian] – Margaret Atwood’s wonderful description of ending up on Twitter, and why that’s a rather good thing: “The Twittersphere is an odd and uncanny place. It’s something like having fairies at the bottom of your garden. How do you know anyone is who he/she says he is, especially when they put up pictures of themselves that might be their feet, or a cat, or a Mardi Gras mask, or a tin of Spam? But despite their sometimes strange appearances, I’m well pleased with my followers – I have a number of techno-geeks and bio-geeks, as well as many book fans. They’re a playful but also a helpful group. If you ask them for advice, it’s immediately forthcoming: thanks to them, I learned how to make a Twitpic photo appear as if by magic, and how to shorten a URL using bit.ly or tinyurl. They’ve sent me many interesting items pertaining to artificially-grown pig flesh, unusual slugs, and the like. (They deduce my interests.)”
  • The State of the Internet Operating System [O'Reilly Radar] – Tim O’Reilly takes a hard look at the ‘Internet Operating System’ and writes a manifesto-ish reflection-cum-future-roadmap reminiscent of his ‘What is Web 2.0′ work of half a decade ago.
  • Murdoch to limit Google, Microsoft [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – As News Corp disappears down the paid rabbit hole, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and BBC become even more important and influential! “News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch says Google and Microsoft’s access to his newspapers could be limited to a “headline or a sentence or two” once he erects a pay wall around his titles’ websites. Mr Murdoch, in an interview with journalist Marvin Kalb for The Kalb Report, said he believed most US newspapers would eventually end up charging readers online, like he does with The Wall Street Journal and plans to do with his other properties, beginning with The Times of London. “You’ll find, I think, most newspapers in this country are going to be putting up a pay wall,” he said. “Now how high does it go? Does it allow [visitors] to have the first couple of paragraphs or certain feature articles? We’ll see. We’re experimenting with it ourselves.”"
  • David’s laughing after dentist [The Age] – “Fifteen months ago, David DeVore’s business was Orlando real estate. Now his business is his son, David. His six-figure business. By now you may have seen last year’s video ”David after dentist” 10 or 12 times and memorised the dialogue of David, then seven and fresh from a tooth removal, displaying the woozy effects of painkillers. ”I have two fingers,” he tells his father. ”You have four eyes.” Then, displaying the wisdom of stoners everywhere, David goes deep. ”Is this real life?” he asks. ”Why is this happening to me?” The video has been viewed 56 million times on YouTube, with 100,000 new views every day. In that time, David’s adventure has become a remarkable marketing story – it has made money from YouTube. ”I’m the dad who posted ‘David After Dentist,”’ said Mr DeVore, wearing a shirt emblazoned with his son’s face.”
  • Facebook slander mum hits back at son [The Age] – I can only imagine how this will go down if it reaches the courts – it should be about whether Facebook is a publication or not, but I can’t imagine that debate will be central: “The mother of a 16-year-old boy said she was only being a good mother when she locked him out of his Facebook account after reading he had driven home at 150km/h one night because he was mad at a girl. His response: a harassment complaint at the local courthouse. “If I’m found guilty on this it is going to be open season [on parents],” Denise New said. Ms New, of Arkadelphia, a small college town an hour south-west of Little Rock, said many of her son’s postings did not reflect well on him, so, after he failed to log off the social networking site one day last month, she posted her own items on his account and changed his password to keep him from using it again. But her son claims what she posted was not true, and that she was damaging his reputation.”
  • Son accuses mother of Facebook slander [The Age] – “A 16-year-old US boy is claiming in a criminal complaint that his mother slandered him on his Facebook page. Denise New is charged with harassment and her son – whose name has not been released – is asking that his mother be prohibited from contacting him. Authorities tell KATC-TV in the US that the boy lives with his grandmother, who has custodial rights. Denise New says she believes she has the legal right to monitor her son’s activities online and that she plans to fight the claims.”

Digital Culture Links: April 5th 2010

Links through April 5th 2010:

  • Google Buzz Privacy Reset Coming Tomorrow [Mashable] – “In an effort to address mounting criticism of the privacy issues surrounding Google Buzz, the search giant is going to ask all Buzz users to confirm or change their privacy settings. In an announcement that will be coming soon, Google will admit that they “didn’t get everything right,” which has resulted in serious privacy tweaks since its launch. However, many users weren’t affected by these changes because they had activated Google Buzz before the privacy updates. Now in a renewed effort to correct its gaffs, the search company is going to ask all Google Buzz users to confirm (or change) their Buzz settings. This will be gradually rolled out tomorrow, but the result will be that every user will be prompted with a confirmation page the next time they click the Buzz tab. [...] The page isn’t anything new — it’s really just the Google Buzz settings page. However, Google’s taking a step in the right direction by giving every user a big opportunity to change their privacy settings.”
  • When office affairs take over the bedroom, the lounge … [The Age] – “Many workers are caught in an insidious technology trap of being permanently online. Some people are checking emails around the clock – to the detriment of their private lives – and never feel they have left the virtual office, research suggests. Melissa Gregg, of Sydney University’s department of gender and cultural studies, conducted interviews with 26 employees in information industries who did at least some work from home. “This study was designed to pick up all that extra work that goes on outside the office, which is generally sold to us as this new freedom to be in touch with work when it suits us,” Ms Gregg said. The participants believed checking and sending emails from home did not constitute work. Yet emails were constantly invading evenings and weekends, potentially affecting family relationships. The study showed that workers were checking email at night in bed and as early as 6am before children woke so they could focus on “real work” in office hours.”
  • Chatroulette Piano Improv’s Merton on YouTube Takedowns, Ben Folds and What’s Under That Hoodie [NewTeeVee] – A new interview with ‘Merton’, the guy behind the Chatroulette PianoChatImprov videos. I found it particularly interesting how people gave (or refused) permission to be recorded: “NewTeeVee: How do you now go about the process of getting people’s permission to use them for videos?
    Merton: What I do is as soon as they come on the screen, I very quickly paste a little message into the text area that says “I may be recording this. If I have your permission to possibly post this video online, please say yes and give me a thumbs up.” We consulted an attorney about how to word it. And if people say no, I assure them that I’m not going to put them on YouTube and we then both relax and I still play music for them. That’s some of the purest interactions I have because we’re both off stage all of a sudden and we just relax and have a really nice time with it.”
  • Results From Dungeons & Dragons Online Going Free: Revenue Up 500% [Techdirt] – A freemium success: “Last year, we wrote about the decision by Turbine to turn its formerly fee-based Dungeons & Dragons Online MMO into a free offering, that had reasons to buy built into the game. At the time, we noted that the early results looked good, but over time they’re looking even better. Reader Murdock alerts us to the news that DDO was able to get 1 million more users and boost revenue 500%… all by going free.”
  • Government goes to war with Google over net censorship [The Age] – “The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has launched a stinging attack on Google and its credibility in response to the search giant’s campaign against the government’s internet filtering policy. In an interview on ABC Radio last night, Senator Conroy also said he was unaware of complaints the Obama administration said it had raised with the government over the policy. The government intends to introduce legislation within weeks forcing all ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” websites for all Australians. Senator Conroy has said the blacklist will largely include deplorable content such as child pornography, bestiality material and instructions on crime, but a large and growing group of academics, technology companies and lobby groups say the scope of the filters is too broad and will not make a meaningful impact on internet safety for children.”

Digital Culture Links: August 14th 2009

Links for August 6th 2009 through August 14th 2009:

  • Gaiman and Doctorow Discuss Giving It Away [Tor.com / Science fiction and fantasy] – A few short questions with Doctorow and Gaimain about the usefulness (and profitability) of giving books away for free online. This quote from Neil Gaiman about giving away American Gods for a month is probably the most important: “It’s been really fun in my own slow way nudging HarperCollins out of the stone ages and into the dark ages. As far as I’m concerned the entire argument [of the validity of giving digital books away] was won at the point where I got them to put American Gods online…we gave it away for free for a month, and during the course of that month and for about four weeks after, the number of copies of all of my books…went up three hundred percent. As far as I’m concerned, that answered that question.”
  • Bringing the power of Creative Commons to Google Books [Inside Google Books] – Google Books now supports Creative Commons licenses: “Rightsholders who want to distribute their CC-licensed books more widely can choose to allow readers around the world to download, use, and share their work via Google Books. Creative Commons licenses make it easier for authors and publishers to tell readers whether and how they can use copyrighted books. You can grant your readers the right to share the work or to modify and remix it. You can decide whether commercial use is okay. There’s even a license to dedicate your book to the public domain. If you’re a rightsholder interested in distributing your CC-licensed book on Google Books, you have a few different options. If you’re already part of our Partner Program, you can make your book available under CC by updating account settings. If not, you can sign up as a partner. You can select from one of seven Creative Commons licenses, and usage permissions will vary depending on the license.”
  • apophenia: Teens Don’t Tweet… Or Do They? – danah boyd unpacks the claim that teens don’t tweet and finds the data lacking and misinterpreted.
  • Murdoch signals end of free news [BBC NEWS | Business] – “News Corp is set to start charging online customers for news content across all its websites. The media giant is looking for additional revenue streams after announcing big losses. Mr Murdoch said he was “satisfied” that the company could produce “significant revenues from the sale of digital delivery of newspaper content”. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution,” he added. “But it has not made content free. Accordingly, we intend to charge for all our news websites. I believe that if we are successful, we will be followed by other media. “Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting,” he said.” (It’s far too late to put the free genie back in the bottle … this plan could easily materialise as the move which killed NewsCorp!)
  • News Corp records £2bn loss [guardian.co.uk] – “Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, News Corporation, slumped to a [US] $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the 12 months to June as a combination of plunging advertising revenue, impairment charges and online losses contributed to the company’s worst year in recent memory. The group suffered hefty accounting charges related to a drop in the value of its assets. After stripping out these one-off items, its full-year operating profit dropped by 32% to $3.6bn, with growth in revenue at the group’s cable television networks failing to make up for a slump in income from films, newspapers, books, magazines and online offerings. … n the final quarter of the year, News Corp made a $203m loss, compared to a $1.1bn profit for the same period in 2008, hit by a $680m impairment charge at Fox Interactive Media – the division that includes the social networking website MySpace, which recently shed 400 staff as it struggles to compete with larger rival Facebook.”

Annotated Digital Culture Links: March 6th 2009

Links for February 26th 2009 through March 6th 2009:

  • Australians spend much more time online | Australian IT – “The Nielsen Online Internet and Technology Report surveyed more than 2000 Australians and found the average Aussie spent 89.2 hours a week consuming media last year or almost 80 per cent of their waking hours. … this was an increase of almost five hours on 2007 and an extra 17.8 hours from 2006. “Given the average Australian is only awake for around 112 hours per week, it’s surprisingly just how many of those waking hours are dedicated to media consumption… We’ve seen some pretty extraordinary increases in the past few years, however we would anticipate a levelling out in consumption hours of the next few years as Australians simply run out of hours in the day.” … people aged over 16 spent an average of 16.1 hours on the internet each week, 12.9 hours watching TV, 8.8 hours listening to the radio, 3.7 hours on a mobile phone and 2.8 hours reading newspapers. Some users also used more than one form of media at once, with more than three in five internet surfers [also]watching TV”
  • RED MARS For Free [Warren Ellis] – “Kim Stanley Robinson’s brilliant sf novel RED MARS is now available as a free PDF download from its US publisher. [Direct link to PDF], and their Free Library page listing it and other available free downloads. Be warned: RED MARS is first of a trilogy, and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself craving the others (GREEN MARS and BLUE MARS).” (If you”ve not read Red Mars, you’ve missed out on the best hard SF in years, go read it. As Ellis says, once you’ve gone Red, you won’t be able to stop yourself rushing to buy Green and Blue, too!)
  • Virtual Worlds – Detailed timeline of the emergence of Virtual Worlds – encompasses many recognisable and a few more abstract elements (do virtual worlds really start in the 1700s?) (Thanks, Jill)
  • Web censorship plan heads towards a dead end [The Age] – “The Government’s plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled, following an independent senator’s decision to join the Greens and Opposition in blocking any legislation required to get the scheme started. The Opposition’s communications spokesman Nick Minchin has this week obtained independent legal advice saying that if the Government is to pursue a mandatory filtering regime “legislation of some sort will almost certainly be required”. Senator Nick Xenophon previously indicated he may support a filter that blocks online gambling websites but in a phone interview today he withdrew all support, saying “the more evidence that’s come out, the more questions there are on this”. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has consistently ignored advice from a host of technical experts saying the filters would slow the internet, block legitimate sites, be easily bypassed and fall short of capturing all of the nasty content available online.”

Annotated Digital Culture Links: January 6th 2009

Links for January 6th 2009:

  • Digital guru Clay Shirky’s media forecast and predictions for 2009 [Media | The Guardian] – “The question is who figures out the business model that says it’s better to have 6 million passionate fans than 7 million bored ones? That is going to be the transformation because what you see with these user groups, whether it’s for reality TV or science fiction, is that people love the conversation around the shows. The renaissance of quality television is an indicator of what an increased number of distribution channels can do. It is no accident that this started with cable. And the BBC iPlayer? That’s a debacle. The digital rights management thing …let’s just pretend that it was a dream like on Dallas and start from scratch. The iPlayer is a back-to-the-future business model. It’s a total subversion of Reithian values in favour of trying to create what had been an accidental monopoly as a kind of robust business model. The idea that the old geographical segmenting of terrestrial broadcasts is recreatable is a fantasy and a waste of time.”
  • NIN’s CC-Licensed Best-Selling MP3 Album [Creative Commons] – ” … Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.Take a moment and think about that.

    NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked. The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.”

  • Twitter accounts of Obama, Britney Spears hacked [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Twitter accounts of US president-elect Barack Obama, singer Britney Spears and other prominent figures were hacked on Monday (US time) and fake messages sent out in their names on the micro-blogging service. Twitter founder Biz Stone, in a post on the official company blog, said a total of 33 Twitter accounts had been hacked including those of president-elect Obama and Rick Sanchez, a CNN television anchor with tens of thousands of followers. “We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue,” Mr Stone said. … Twitter, which allows users to post real-time updates of 140 characters or less, has an estimated 4-5 million users according to a recent study. Launched in August 2006, it has been embraced by a number of celebrities including president-elect Obama, who has more than 150,000 followers, and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal of the Phoenix Suns.”
  • How Windschuttle swallowed a hoax to publish a fake story in Quadrant (Margaret Simmons, 6 Jan 09) [Crikey] – “Keith Windschuttle, the editor of the conservative magazine Quadrant, has been taken in by a hoax intended to show that he will print outrageous propositions. This month’s edition of Quadrant contains a hoax article purporting to be by “Sharon Gould”, a Brisbane based New York biotechnologist. But in the tradition of Ern Malley – the famous literary hoax perpetrated by Quadrant’s first editor, James McAuley – the Sharon Gould persona is entirely fictitious and the article is studded with false science, logical leaps, outrageous claims and a mixture of genuine and bogus footnotes.” [Margaret Simmons' Further Blogged Thoughts] [Windschuttle's Response]
  • Facebook under fire for racist rants [The Age] – “Facebook has come under fire from Australian users for ignoring racial vilification on the site and failing to remove blatantly racist groups even though they have been flagged as offensive. Sydney-based Facebook user Alex Gollan, who has campaigned against the racist groups, has been threatened with violence and fears the site could be used to rally people if another incident such as the Cronulla riots flares up. The site permanently banned one offender this week but only after the issue of racism on Facebook came under the spotlight following revelations that Scots College and Kambala students had created anti-Semitic groups on the site.”

Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 22nd 2008

Links for December 18th 2008 through December 22nd 2008:

  • Better Than Free (Manifesto by Kevin Kelly) [ChangeThis] – “When copies are super abundant, they become worthless. When copies are super abundant, stuff which can’t be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. Well, what can’t be copied?” (A very timely and insightful look at what can be ‘sold’ in an era in which all media can, by and large, be obtained through various channels for free.)
  • Australian Internet Filter Will Target BitTorrent Traffic [TorrentFreak] – “Previously thought to be limited to HTTP and HTTPs web traffic, the touted Australian Internet filter will also target P2P traffic. In response to a comment posted by a user on his department’s blog, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy has admitted that BitTorrent filtering will be attempted during upcoming trials.”
  • New Vision for Perth Community TV [TV Tonight] – “The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a community television trial licence in Perth for two years. The successful applicant, West TV Ltd, will provide an analogue television service, to be known as New Vision 31. New Vision 31 expects to commence broadcasting within the next six months.”
  • The creators behind JibJab [Ourmedia] – “…a 4-minute video interview with Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, the founders and creators of the wildly popular animation site JibJab.com, conducted at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, Calif. Gregg and Evan talk about how their business has evolved over the past nine years, what business models are working for them, and how their use of social media propels the site forward.”
  • Warner Music pulls videos from YouTube [Australian IT] – “Warner Music Group ordered YouTube on Saturday to remove all music videos by its artists from the popular online video-sharing site after contract negotiations broke down. The order could affect hundreds of thousands of videos clips, as it covers Warner Music’s recorded artists as well as the rights for songs published by its Warner/Chappell unit, which includes many artists not signed to Warner Music record labels. The talks fell apart early on Saturday because Warner wants a bigger share of the huge revenue potential of YouTube’s massive visitor traffic. There were no reports on what Warner was seeking.”
  • Australian couple served with legal documents via Facebook [Telegraph] – “In what may be a world first, lawyers from Canberra law firm Meyer Vandenberg persuaded a judge in the Australian Capital Territory’s Supreme Court to allow them to serve the documents over the internet after repeatedly failing to serve the papers in person. Lawyer Mark McCormack came up with the Facebook plan after it became clear that the couple did not want to be found.” (This sets a terrible precedent; how many dead social profiles do most people have that they never look at – that’s a pretty poor conduit for something as serious as legal notice!)

Links for August 10th 2008

Interesting links for August 9th 2008 through August 10th 2008:

  • Barack Roll [YouTube] – Barack Obama gets … or possibly embodies being … rickrolled.
  • Tape Delay by NBC Faces End Run by Online Fans [NYTimes.com] – “NBC’s decision to delay broadcasting the opening ceremonies by 12 hours sent people across the country to their computers to poke holes in NBC’s technological wall — by finding newsfeeds on foreign broadcasters’ Web sites and by watching clips of the ceremonies on YouTube and other sites. In response, NBC sent frantic requests to Web sites, asking them to take down the illicit clips and restrict authorized video to host countries. As the four-hour ceremony progressed, a game of digital whack-a-mole took place. Network executives tried to regulate leaks on the Web and shut down unauthorized video, while viewers deftly traded new links on blogs and on the Twitter site, redirecting one another to coverage from, say, Germany, or a site with a grainy Spanish-language video stream. As the first Summer Games of the broadband age commenced in China, old network habits have never seemed so archaic — or so irrelevant.”
  • Twitter Down for Hitler [Blip TV] – DownFall Hitler parody: “Upon hearing tragic news, Hitler decides to tweet his sadness only to learn it’s down. ” LOL
  • So what if you give most of it away?: The Bikini Concept. [The Road To Attversumption] – “I found out the age-old concept of the bikini to apply. That by giving away 90% of the concept, and keeping 10%, the attraction factor was just as strong, if not twice as strong (there are reasons for me saying ‘twice as strong). And yes, what the bikini didn’t reveal, was the part the audience most wanted (naturally), and was the part they were willing to pay for.”
  • Hamlet Retold Via Facebook (PNG Image, 1254×1608 pixels) – “Hamlet became a fan of daggers.” Clever little retelling of Hamlet using Facebook stories.