Links for June 13th 2009 through June 29th 2009:

  • Just Add Performance [Kiri Miller / Flow 10.02] – "… if you want to get involved in value-oriented debates about it, here’s a thought experiment: rather than concluding that Guitar Hero players are wasting the time that they would otherwise be putting into long hours of practice on a real guitar, consider the possibility that they might otherwise spend that time just listening to recorded music (or, of course, playing Grand Theft Auto). Anyone who has played Guitar Hero or Rock Band for more than five minutes will tell you that it requires a deeper level of musical engagement than listening to an iPod—intellectually, emotionally, physically, and often socially. Moreover, everyone I’ve interviewed for my research reports that the games have substantially changed the way they listen to popular music when they’re not playing. [...] Guitar Hero and Rock Band let players put the performance back into recorded music, reanimating it with their physical engagement and performance adrenaline." (Great little article!)
  • Keeping News of David Rohde’s Kidnapping Off Wikipedia [NYTimes.com] – "For seven months, The New York Times managed to keep out of the news the fact that one of its reporters, David Rohde, had been kidnapped by the Taliban. But that was pretty straightforward compared with keeping it off Wikipedia." The weird tale of trying to keep something (that was legitimate news) out of the Wikipedia.
  • Picasa With Creative Commons Search [Goole Blogoscoped] – Search Google's PicasaWeb for CC-licensed images: "Google’s photo album service, Picasa Web Albums, now allows you to show options during your search. As Ionut noticed, as part of these options you can tick the “Creative Commons” link, which will only return shareable pics. The amount of images is not all too bad either, at least for some queries: a CC-only search for the keyword google shows 276,529 pics, according to Picasa. A search for obama returns 43,510 pics right now. For comparison, the same CC-only obama search yields 127,858 results on Flickr."

Links of interest for November 20th 2008:

  • New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development [MacArthur Foundation] – “Results from [a] … US study on teens and their use of digital media show that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online – often in ways adults do not understand or value. “It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher … . “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.” [...] Significant findings include – There is a generation gap in how youth and adults view the value of online activity; Youth are navigating complex social and technical worlds by participating online; Young people are motivated to learn from their peers online.” [Full Report]
  • Musicians Get Meta in Guitar Hero and Rock Band [Waxy.org] – “There’s something satisfyingly self-referential about watching talented musicians try to play their own music in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Especially when they’re worse than you.” (So, the connection between Rock Band, Guitar Hero and actual instruments seems … tenuous at best! :P)
  • Google iPhone app baffled by foreign accents [The Age] – “A new voice-recognition search tool for the iPhone has problems understanding British accents, leading to some bizarre answers to spoken queries, reports say.The free application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word iPhone variously for sex, Einstein and kitchen sink, said London’s Daily Telegraph…. But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word iPhone into the application – a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for sex, the Telegraph reported.” (What’s all this about the AmericaniZation of English? :P)

Links of interest for October 31st 2008:

  • War and Social Upheaval Cause Spikes in Zombie Movie Production [io9 - Chart Porn] – “There’s been a huge spike in the production of zombie movies lately, and many of them seem to be inspired by war. Everything from 28 Days Later to Zombie Strippers make explicit reference to wartime, as did seminal 1968 zombie flick Night of the Living Dead. Is there really a connection between zombie movies and social unrest? We decided to do some research and find out. The result? We’ve got a line graph showing the number of zombie movies coming out in the West each year since 1910 — and there are definite spikes during certain years, which always seem to happen eerily close to historical events involving war or social upheaval.”
  • Beatles make digital debut in new game [The Age] – “The Beatles are coming to a game console near you. For the first time, the legendary group’s music will be featured in the lucrative video game market in a deal with MTV Games and Harmonix, creators of the Rock Band series. The game is scheduled to make its debut in time for next year’s holiday season. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” Paul McCartney said in a statement. The game will not be titled Rock Band, but will work with the existing instruments – a guitar, drums and microphone. Game developers were cagey about whether new instruments, such as a keyboard, would be incorporated.” (One final frontier for Paul McCartney to get royalties … and, yes, I suspect when this comes out he’ll get a few of my hard-earned dollars!)
  • Hulu, Dr. Horrible Make Time’s 50 Best Inventions of the Year [NewTeeVee] – Dr Horrible is a horribly good idea, it seems!
  • Election ’08 Fanfiction – US election fan fiction and even slash fiction … Obama/Clinton is one thing, but Obama/McCain … hmmm. [Via Waxy]