Links for August 16th 2011 through August 25th 2011:

  • OK Go and The Muppets – Muppet Show Theme Song [YouTube] – OK Go and the Muppets, doing The Muppets Theme. I’m pretty sure this is what teh interwebz were built for! (Also, the new Muppets: The Green Album looks great [iTunes link]).
  • Compare the new CGI Yoda from the Blu-Ray Star Wars Episode One with the original puppet [io9] – George Lucas goes back to Star Wars Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace) and replaces the scenes of Yoda that still used some puppetry with completely CGI ones. I guess Lucas is now fully postmodern: there is no original.
  • Samsung uses 2001: A Space Odyssey as prior art in Apple’s iPad lawsuit [io9] – “Did Apple invent the iPad? Or did Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke? Samsung is using the above clip as a piece of evidence in its defense against Apple’s patent lawsuit over the Galaxy S and similar tablet computers. Samsung notes that “the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor.” You don’t actually see the actor interacting with the tablet’s user interface, but plenty of other science fiction movies and TV shows have depicted tablets, including Star Trek’s PADD.”
  • Copyright: Forever Less One Day – YouTube – Concise, clear and well-argued video decrying the current length (and beneficiaries) of copyright law.
  • On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+ [TechnoSocial] – Superb post by Kee Hinckley looking at the many challenges and issues raised by the ‘nymwars’ (Google+ forcing users to have ‘real names’, not pseudonyms).
  • Youth in the dark about sexting [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Australia’s leading cyber-safety expert has told a women and policing conference young people do not understand the consequences of sending sexually explicit images via mobile phones. […] Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions Victoria says many people under 18 do not realise taking and sending sexual images of themselves can be child pornography. […] Ms McLean is calling for child pornography law reform to address the growing number of young people exchanging sexual photos. She says while some people under 18 send explicit pictures through coercion, others are just expressing themselves and child pornography laws are not designed for that. […] “What I think we need to look at is the consensual sexting if you like, the image that might go from A to B and no further. Should these people be charged with manufacturing child pornography and should they risk being placed on the sex offenders register and of course the answer is no.””
  • Fox’s 8-Day Delay on Hulu Triggers Piracy Surge [TorrentFreak] – Despite having had streaming versions of man of their shows legally available online immediately after broadcast via Hulu and their own websites, Fox in the US have now added a 7-day delay to all streaming releases (ostensibly to drive viewers back to scheduled TV). And the result of increasing the tyranny of digital distance? More TV show piracy: “Over the last week TorrentFreak tracked two Fox shows on BitTorrent to see if there was an upturn in the number of downloads compared to the previous weeks, and the results are as expected. For both Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef the download numbers have surged. During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S. For MasterChef; the extra high demand may in part have been facilitated by the fact that it was the season finale.”
  • Facebook tribute site for Ayen Chol ruined by racists [Courier Mail] – “Vulgar photographs and racist posts have ruined a Facebook tribute site dedicated to the little girl mauled to death by a dog last week. The State Government and police will try to erase the posts. The two pages have 35,000 followers, several of whom have contacted Crimestoppers. Some vile comments and images already have been removed. But others remain on the sites dedicated to four-year-old Ayen Chol. One post on a page described the pit bull-cross linked to the girl’s death last Wednesday as a legend. […] A Victoria Police spokeswoman said police would work with Facebook to try to have any offensive content removed. A Facebook spokeswoman said the site wanted to express its sympathies to Ayen’s family and friends.”
  • Inquiry ordered as law lags behind teen sexting [The Age] – The Victorian government will launch an inquiry into sexting to investigate whether the law needs an overhaul […] Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said sexting raised serious issues for victims and offenders and the law needed to catch up with changes in behaviour and technology […] The inquiry is to report back by mid-next year. In America, some states have changed their laws to decriminalise the consensual exchange of sexts between teenagers. But forwarding the pictures to others without permission remains an offence. In the cases of youths who were registered as sex offenders after sexting offences, Mr Clark said: ”The implications of the sex offender register are a key part of what we would expect the inquiry to look at. This seems to be an example of where the law can apply in a context which was not in mind at the time the law was enacted and which may well be having consequences that the community would not think were appropriate or intended.””
  • Warning: Those Facebook rants can get you sacked [News.com.au] – “Fair Work Australia has upheld the right of an employer to sack a worker over an expletive-filled Facebook rant against a manager that was posted out of hours on his home computer. In a case that highlights the hazy line between work and private lives, computer technician Damian O’Keefe was dismissed after posting on Facebook last year that he “wonders how the f *** work can be so f***ing useless and mess up my pay again. C***s are going down tomorrow.” Mr O’Keefe’s employer, a Townsville franchise of the retail electrical goods business, The Good Guys, believed the post constituted a threat to Kelly Taylor, an operations manager responsible for processing the pay of employees. […] The tribunal’s deputy president, Deidre Swan, said “common sense would dictate” that a worker could not publish insulting and threatening comments about another employee. “The fact that the comments were made on the applicant’s home computer, out of work hours, does not make any difference,” she said.”
  • England riots: pair jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite disorder [guardian.co.uk] – “Two men have been jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite disorder. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, from Marston near Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, from Warrington, appeared at Chester crown court on Tuesday. They were arrested last week following incidents of violent disorder in London and other cities across the UK. Neither of their Facebook posts resulted in a riot-related event. During the sentencing, the recorder of Chester, Elgin Edwards, praised the swift actions of Cheshire police and said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent to others. Assistant Chief Constable Phil Thompson said: “If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way in which technology was used to spread incitement and bring people together to commit acts of criminality, it is easy to understand the four year sentences that were handed down in court today.”
  • Study finds third of teachers have been bullied online [BBC News] – “More than a third of teachers have been subject to online abuse, according to a survey conducted by Plymouth University. The majority of the abuse – 72% – came via pupils but over a quarter was initiated by parents. The majority of teachers claiming online abuse were women. Much of the abuse is via chat on social networks but the study also found that many were setting up Facebook groups specifically to abuse teachers. In some cases, people posted videos of teachers in action on YouTube while others put abusive comments on ratemyteacher.com. In total, 35% of teachers questioned said they had been the victim of some form of online abuse. Of these, 60% were women.”

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.”

Links for April 3rd 2011:

  • Google +1 Button – +1 = Google’s answer to Facebook’s “Like” button, bringing social recommendations thundering into Google (opt-in for now).
  • GoDaddy CEO Shoots Elephant, Injures Brand [Mashable] – “GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons may have achieved a new social media equivalent of jumping the shark. Call it “shooting the elephant.” A video of Parsons shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe made the rounds Thursday, causing the domain registry company to become a Google Hot Topic and the subject of criticism. Leading the charge is PETA, the animal rights group, which has closed its account with GoDaddy and is asking others to follow suit. Parsons, a Vietnam vet known for his brash image, brought on the publicity by posting the video on his blog. The video shows the damage elephants caused by trampling a farmer’s sorghum field. Parsons and his fellow hunters are shown waiting at night for the elephants to return. Then Parsons shoots and kills one of the elephants. […] . Anticipating a backlash, GoDaddy competitor NameCheap.com has already swooped in. The company is running a transfer from GoDaddy to Namecheap.com […] domains for $4.99 with 20% of the proceeds going to SaveTheElephants”
  • Facebook ban for boy accused of eliciting webcam porn [WA Today] – “A teenage boy has been barred from social networking sites while he awaits court proceedings for which he has been accused of pressuring girls into performing sexual acts in front of a webcam and posting the videos on Facebook. The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was charged with encouraging a child aged 13 to 16 to commit an indecent act, procuring a child aged 13 to 16 to commit an indecent act, producing child exploitation material and distributing child exploitation material. […] Today the boy briefly fronted the Perth Children’s Court with both his parents, but was not required to enter a plea as he had not yet sought legal advice. He was remanded on bail to appear again in April. The state prosecutor successfully sought to have his bail conditions tightened, which already banned his use of Facebook and other social media, to include a ban preventing him from any form of contact with either girl.”
  • Pediatrics Gets it Wrong about ‘Facebook Depression’ [World of Psychology] – “You know it’s not good when one of the most prestigious pediatric journals, Pediatrics, can’t differentiate between correlation and causation. And yet this is exactly what the authors of a “clinical report” did in reporting on the impact of social media on children and teens. Especially in their discussion of “Facebook depression,” a term that the authors simply made up to describe the phenomenon observed when depressed people use social media. Shoddy research? You bet. That’s why Pediatrics calls it a “clinical report” — because it’s at the level of a bad blog post written by people with a clear agenda. […] The problem now is that news outlets suggesting not only that it exists, but that researchers have found the online world somehow “triggers” depression in teens. Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics should be ashamed of this shoddy clinical report, and retract the entire section about “Facebook depression.”
  • A new book, more or less accidental [Observations on film art] – As David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s new book Minding Movies: Observations on the Art, Craft, and Business of Film is published, collecting a number fo essays and observations from their blog, the pair reflect on blogging and publishing, the relationship between the two and beyond. For scholars who blog (or might blog) these thoughts are well worth reading. I truly hope their book sells well and moves from ‘experiment’ to ‘successful experiment’ with blog-based publication.
  • Amazon Cloud Player goes live, streams music on your computer and Android [Engadget] – Amazon’s new cloud-based music and storage service, just released for users in the US only (for now): “Look who just ate Apple’s and Google’s lunch here? Amazon has just pushed out its very own music streaming service, which is conveniently dubbed the Amazon Cloud Player. Existing customers in the US can now upload their MP3 purchases to their 5GB cloud space — upgradable to a one-year 20GB plan for free upon purchasing an MP3 album, with additional plans starting at $20 a year — and then start streaming on their computers or Android devices. Oh, and did we mention that this service is free of charge as well? Meanwhile, someone will have some catching up to do, but we have a feeling it won’t take them too long.” [Amazon Mp3 CloudDrive]
  • The impact of social media use on children, adolescents and families – Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, American Academy of Pediatrics [Australian Policy Online] – “Using social media Web sites is among the most common activity of today’s children and adolescents. Any Web site that allows social interaction is considered a social media site, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter; gaming sites and virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Second Life, and the Sims; video sites such as YouTube; and blogs. Such sites offer today’s youth a portal for entertainment and communication and have grown exponentially in recent years. For this reason, it is important that parents become aware of the nature of social media sites, given that not all of them are healthy environments for children and adolescents. Pediatricians are in a unique position to help families understand these sites and to encourage healthy use and urge parents to monitor for potential problems with cyberbullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.” [PDF]
  • Australians buy 1 million mobile phones monthly: IDC [The Australian] – AUSTRALIANS’ love affair with mobile phones shows no sign of abating with more than 1 million units purchased each month last year. This means just over 34,000 mobile phones were sold every day in 2010. In coming months Google Android will unseat Nokia’s Symbian as the leading smartphone platform in Australia, IDC predicts. However, despite intense pressure from rivals, Nokia retained its number-one position in overall mobile phone sector after aggressively slashing prices to woo customers. […] According to statistics from IDC Australia, 12.74 million mobiles were sold last year, a sharp increase from 10.99 million in 2009. The research house combines mobile phone sales from two categories: smartphones and feature phones. According to IDC, smartphones — unlike feature phones — run on a standalone operating system such as Apple iOS, Google Android, BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone. Smartphones accounted for around 57 per cent of mobile phones sold last year …”
  • Rebecca Black’s First-Week Sales: Not Bad, But Not In The Millions … [Billboard.biz] – “…Rebecca Black is not netting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the more than 33 million YouTube views of her uber-viral video “Friday” or its digital sales. However, she’s not doing badly. The 13-year-old is netting roughly $24,900 per week from track sales of her surprise hit song, according to my calculations. It’s the start of a great college fund, but she’s not making the kind of money from iTunes sales that some writers have estimated. Forbes.com erroneously reported her digital iTunes sales at 2 million, a figure that was picked up by other publications (Forbes has since posted a correction). So how many tracks is she selling? I’d estimate less than 40,000 in the U.S. last week and probably more this week. […] Black appears to own the copyright to her sound recordings — the label is listed as “2011 Rebecca Black” on iTunes and Amazon MP3 lists “2011 Rebecca Black” in the “copyright” field of the song page.” (I’m impressed she kept the copyright! )
  • High-Tech Flirting Turns Explicit, Altering Young Lives [NYTimes.com] – A cautionary tale from the New York Times about teens, ‘sexting’ and the long-term impact of digital reputation.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins Tama Leaver / Curtin University [Flow 13.10, March 2011] – Short article about the Australian-made Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins which began life as a throw-away one line comment in a film review on a radio show and a year later was a fan-made feature film complete with digital download a niche cinema screenings. Convergence, digitisation and all that.
  • Lady Gaga first to have nine million Twitter followers [BBC – Newsbeat] – Twitter goes GaGa for GaGa: “Lady Gaga is the first person to have nine million followers on Twitter. The American singer, 24, became the most popular person on the social networking site last August overtaking Britney Spears when they both had just over 5.7 million followers. She joined Twitter in 2008 with her first Tweet saying she was rehearsing for the Just Dance video. Justin Bieber is the second most popular celebrity on the site, with just over 8.3 million followers.”

Links for March 1st 2011:

  • Should an employer ever require your social media passwords as an employment condition? [eGov AU] – “At least one state agency in the US, Maryland Division of Correction, recently started requiring employees to provide their personal Facebook password and allow their employer to scrutinise their account as a condition of continued employment. Apparently this request wasn’t illegal – although it breaches Facebook’s usage policy (which could mean the employee loses their account). The rationale given by the employer was that they needed to review the contents of the account as part of the employment contract. A video of one staff member asked to provide his personal Facebook password is below. […] A number of law enforcement agencies have also apparently begun requesting this information as part of their recruitment process, as reported by USANow in the article, Police recruits screened for digital dirt on Facebook, etc. […] Should employers be allowed to request your passwords?” My answer: absolutely not!
  • Your view from the #Oscars stage [Twitter Media] – “The 83rd Annual Academy Awards captured the country’s attention on Sunday night, but ABC’s cameras didn’t provide the only view. This year’s show was a new kind of 360-degree event, with:
    * a camera-snapping, live-tweeting host;
    * an official hashtag on air; and
    * a big, sustained second-screen conversation on Twitter.
    First: whatever you thought of his hosting, there’s no question that James Franco broke new ground with his tweeting. […] And all together, that represents a brand-new kind of event experience: one where viewers get to experience it from every vantage point, from even the stage itself. And the experience went both ways, because Franco got to hear what the viewers at home were saying, too; his account was mentioned 63,737 times during the show. Second: an official #oscars hashtag appeared on air twice—once near the beginning of the telecast and again near the end: Now, we know that when a hashtag shows up on TV, it causes a surge of Tweets.”
  • Auto-Tune the News Rocks the Oscars: Online Video News [NewTeeVee] – “I’m probably not the only one who was ready to fall asleep halfway through the show during last night’s Oscars telecast, but then it happened: Anne Hathaway and James Franco joked slightly awkwardly about this being “the year of the movie musical,” only to wake up the audience with an awesome auto-tune mash-up, featuring Harry Potter pals Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Woody from the Toy Story franchise, Justin Timberlake playing Sean Parker and Twilight’s Edward, Jacob and Bella. […] The video wasn’t just a tribute to the YouTube auto-tune mash-up phenomenon, though; it was actually produced by none other than the Gregory Brothers, best known for Auto-Tune the News and their Songify This videos. Asked about the collaboration, Evan Gregory told me via email: “The producers of the broadcast reached out to us and asked us to do a piece. Then we collaborated with them over a period of several weeks to pull it together.””
  • 5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years [Dan Schawbel – Personal Branding – Forbes] – While I don’t agree with all of these points, it is a useful indicator of how central web presence will be in terms of employment now and even more so in the future:
    “5 reasons why your online presence will replace your resume:
    1. Social networking use is skyrocketing while email is plummeting
    2. You can’t find jobs traditionally anymore
    3. People are managing their careers as entrepreneurs
    4. The traditional resume is now virtual and easy to build
    5. Job seeker passion has become the deciding factor in employment”
  • Gmail back soon for everyone [Official Gmail Blog] – Apparently it was “0.02%” of gmail accounts that were temporarily deleted – still tens of thousands of accounts. Google sound confident all data will be back, soon, but that’s an awfully big scare, especially given how stable and reliable Gmail has appeared in the past compared to other cloud email services (yes, Hotmail, I’m looking at you!).
  • Many Gmail Users Can’t Find Their Messages [Google OS] – Woah: Google has (accidentally?) deleted “0.08%” of all gmail accounts. That must be hundreds or thousands of accounts! While I love Gmail, it’s this sort of accident that reminds us all how precarious data in the cloud can be. Google are in the process of restoring these accounts, but even a few days with none of your email or email account would cause real challenges for most people! (Actually the BBC note that this might mean up to 150,000 Gmail accounts!!)
  • iiNet again slays Hollywood in landmark piracy case [The Age] – “The giants of the film industry have lost their appeal in a lawsuit against [Australian] ISP iiNet in a landmark judgment handed down in the Federal Court today. The appeal dismissed today had the potential to impact internet users and the internet industry profoundly as it sets a legal precedent surrounding how much ISPs are required to do to prevent customers from downloading movies and other content illegally. The film studios had sued iiNet arguing that, by not acting to prevent illegal file sharing on its network, it was essentially “authorising” the activity. “I have concluded that the appeal should be dismissed,” Justice Arthur Robert Emmett said in court this afternoon…”
  • Filmed on a phone, spy movie takes out junior Tropfest award [WA Today] – Tropfest under-15 winner shot the whole film on an iPhone: “Simeon Bain cites the 2010 blockbuster Inception as the motivation for his own film, for which he won the Tropfest film festival’s Trop Jr prize this year. Like Inception, Simeon’s film, Imagine, follows the story of a skilled spy, but that is where the similarities end. Simeon’s film was much cheaper, costing $70 to make over three days, and being shot entirely with a mobile phone. ”I was between cameras,” Simeon, from Gisborne, said. ”I was on the verge of getting a new one, and my old camera just wasn’t good enough, so I decided to use my iPhone instead. Filming with a phone has its benefits, because it requires very little set up and it’s highly portable.””
  • What is ‘The Streisand Effect’? [YouTube] – Quirky little video which actually explains the Streisand Effect very clear (short version: attempts to censor information online often lead to that information becoming a lot more popular and viewed!).
  • Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know [Mashable] – Useful list of privacy settings every Facebook user should be aware of.
  • How Angry Birds really took off: 200m minutes a day spent playing it [SMH] – Fluffy article on the development of Angry Birds, but it does highlight the importance of the Apple App Store as a reliable single portal for developers: “Rovio needed a solution and the iPhone provided one. After the phone’s launch in 2007, Rovio realised that their industry was about to change completely. For the first time, users from all over the world would be able to download games from the same place: Apple’s online App Store. So a manufacturer only had to produce one version of a game, reducing costs dramatically.”

I Can Stalk U is another one of those very simple websites which highlights how information already being shared by people everyday may be used in ways we’ve not necessarily thought through. In a similar vein to Please Rob Me, which highlighted tweets where people indicated they were leaving their home, I Can Stalk U illustrates how much information many people are inadvertently sharing via the geographic photo tagging in many smartphones (including iPhones). On the I Can Stalk U website, each tweet that includes geotagged photos is translated (ie the metadata is read, and presented), showing the approximate address, this address on a Google Map, the picture it was attached to, and a link to the original tweet.  All of this information is publicly accessible, the website is simply putting the geotag information up front, rather than the original tweet.  Here’s an screenshot from the website:

icanstalku

Often these sort of websites can be a bit confronting for people who’ve not thought about their privacy in relation to geotagged photos. The whole concept of metadata – literally, ‘data about data’ – which can so easily be embedded in photos, is a bit disconcerting for many people who may not have realised it was there. Thankfully, despite the initially confronting website, I Can Stalk U is set up as an educational tool, showing what data is unknowingly being shared, and telling you how to fix that if you don’t want this information out there on the web. On their ‘How’ page, the I Can Stalk U folks provide details on how to disable geotagging for iPhones, Blackberries and some other popular smartphones.  If you’ve got one and it’s not on the list, it’s worth disabling the geotagging unless you’re 100% comfortable with every photo you take (and share) embedding the where, when and on what that photo was taken.

Links for August 4th 2010 through August 10th 2010:

  • Women Set the Pace as Online Gamers [NYTimes.com] – “Although women are still slightly in the minority among global Web users, they are closing ground with men and, once connected, spend about two more hours online a month on average. […] Women also outpace men in photo sharing and shopping, and in what may come as a surprise, gaming, favoring casual puzzle, card and board games. Female gamers over 55 spend the most time online gaming of any demographic by far and are nearly as common as the most represented group, males 15 to 24.”
  • Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars [Information is Beautiful] – Fantastic infographic showing a timeline of some of Wikipedia’s silliest editing wars.
  • Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers [News.com.au] – Unilever Brazil has embedded 60 GPS trackers in OMO washing liquid bottles and then their teams have followed the pruchasers of these bottles home and given them prizes. Understandably, many privacy issues have been raised!
  • Does Facebook unite us or divide us? [CNN.com] – Brilliant, and a little confronting, TED talk from Ethan Zuckerman (senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society) looking at how globalisation might be a technical achievement, but not a social or mediated one (“cosmopolitan globalisation”). We look to our own social networks, and they increasingly narrow our perspective rather than broadening it.
  • Update on Google Wave [Official Google Blog] – Google Wove: Wave development ceases, after users find it’s all too complicated.
  • CommBank app lets people snoop on your house [SMH] – House-pricing information is apparently available to the public generally, but there is a real sense of privacy invasion at work here: “There’s a brand new property app on the block that gives iPhone users detailed information on the value of any house they care to point their handset towards, but privacy experts warn it may not sit well with the neighbourhood watch. Detailing sales prices of 95 per cent of Australian homes, the free app has been launched by the Commonwealth Bank in a bid to deliver more immediate buying and selling information to the public as they are actually viewing properties, helping them to ward off rogue sellers who attempt to talk up property prices. Just by pointing an iPhone at a particular property, they will be able to see the last sale price of the property, and if the home is actually for sale, the app will bring up a listing from realestate.com.au with details such as home layout and pictures.”
  • Thunderous Bolt sensitive to parody [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson weighs in on fake Twitter profiles in the wake of Andrew Bolt’s angry denouncement of (fake) himself: “Online fakery is something that draws on different strands in online and offline cultural history. Apart from drawing on early online examples like Fake Steve Jobs, Twitter faking has links with political impersonation, writing techniques like pastiche, and it also has some relationship to genres like fan fiction. After all, the best fakes don’t just go after their targets with blunt instruments, they create a narrative world for the fake persona to inhabit …”

Links for August 4th 2010 (definitely not endorsed by any version of Andrew Bolt):

  • Andrew Bolt discovers Twitter fake. Is cross. [mUmBRELLA] – News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt has, it would appear, had something of a sense of humour failure over his fake Twitter persona. This morning, Bolt wrote in his Herald Sun blog: “It shouldn’t need saying, but I do not have a Twitter account and the fake one seems to be the work of people whose employer will be very embarrassed to find its staff once more engaging in deceitful slurs. A little warning there. A tearful sorry afterwards will be both too late and insincere, especially from people with their record of sliming.” The fake Andrew Bolt, who has about 5000 followers, does give certain subtle clues on Twitter that he ain’t the real deal. Such as his bio: “Journalist. Blogger. Broadcaster. Climate scientist. Great in bed. This is the Twitter of Andrew Bolt. Follow me you barbarians.” Or messages such as: “Julia Gillard should put together a comittee of common folk to see if they can change the laws of physics. I suspect they can.””
  • Andrew Bolt is not happy about @andrewbolt [Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ] – Peter Black looks at the legal side of (fake) Andrew Bolt on Twitter: “…it seems to me that Bolt would at least have an arguable case, that one or more of the tweets constituted a defamatory imputation. Moreoever, they were referrable to Bolt and published. It is also worth noting that cartoons, caricatures, jokes or satire may be defamatory depending upon the context of the publication (see Entienne v Festival City Broadcasters (2001) 79 SASR 19). How a jury would construe these statements, given they take place in the context of a fake Twitter account, is hard to predict. Nonetheless, I do believe that a judge would find that the material is capable of defaming Bolt and that it would then be up to a jury to decide whether the material actually defamed Bolt. So while I think it is highly unlikely Bolt would actually sue for defamation, it is worth remembering that even fake Twitter accounts, while intended for the purpose of satire and humour, may well have legal consequences.”
  • Twitter List @andrew__bolt/AndrewBolt – A list of more than 30 ‘Andrew Bolt’ (fake) accounts on Twitter, the majority of which have appeared in the last 24hrs since Andrew Bolt (the man) complained about @andrewbolt (the most popular fake, on twitter).
  • SRSLY? SMS Celebrates Its 25th Birthday [The Next Web] – “According to a press release from Sherri Wells, ‘one of the leading SMS messaging experts in the world’, SMS is celebrating 25 years of existence today, making its way from a R&D lab at Vodafone to become a technology that is now present on every single mobile phone currently in existence. Although SMS was developed twenty-five years ago in a collaboration between France and Germany, the first text message was actually sent seven years later on December 3rd, 1992, reading “Happy Christmas”. Since then SMS evolved through various stages, starting as a free service where teens helped popularise the service, before carriers then charged for the service, causing a decline of up to 40% in the process. Back in 2000, the average monthly texts sent per user was a paltry 35, today it’s as high as 357 with 1.5 trillion messages sent annually in the US.”
  • Bill Cosby dead rumours dismissed on Twitter [WA Today] – Tweets of my death have been greatly exaggerated! “Television star Bill Cosby has been forced to reassure fans he’s still alive and well after news of his ‘death’ became a top trending topic on Twitter. ‘Bill Cosby died’ remains the fifth highest trending topic on the micro-blogging site this morning. “Emotional friends have called about this misinformation,” the Cosby Show star tweeted in response to the announcement. “To the people behind the foolishness, I’m not sure you see how upsetting this is. “Again, I’m rebuttaling rumours about my demise (sic).” This is the second time this year that Cosby has been pronounced dead by social media.”
  • Old Spice Voicemail Generator – Make your own voicemail or answering machine message made up of audio samples from the Old Spice guy’s recent replies. This voicemail is now diamonds! (By Chriswastaken, Area, and Nelson Abalos Jr | Thanks to Reddit)
  • YouTube Star to Put His Life in Your Hands for a Year [Mashable] – “Heyo all you megalomaniacs out there — may we introduce yet another way to get your jollies this year: Dan 3.0. Starting today, 20-year-old YouTube sensation Dan Brown is launching a new web show/social experiment in which he will turn control of his life over to you, the viewers, for an entire year. Brown […] is one of those rare dudes whose only gig is video blogging. […] When asked how he thinks this project will affect his day-to-day life, Brown told us: “Basically I’m going to be living my life, doing what my viewers tell me and documenting it. That’s going to be it. Daily life is going to be affected – I don’t know exactly what it means for relationships with friends and relationships with people I know in real life. I guess we’ll find out when we get there.” So as to prevent any catastrophes, Brown has a few ground rules. Viewers can’t ask him to do things like, say, dump his girlfriend, or to do anything illegal or harmful to others. He has also veto power …”
  • Google Android phone shipments increase by 886% [BBC News] – There’s a lot more smartphones out there: “Google Android phone shipments increase by 886% Shipments of Google’s Android mobile operating system have rocketed in the last year, figures suggest. Statistics from research firm Canalys suggest that shipments have increased 886% year-on-year from the second quarter of 2009. Apple showed the second largest growth in the smartphone sector with 61% growth in the same period. Overall, the smartphone sector grew by 64% from the second quarter 2009 to the second quarter 2010, the research says.”

Links for July 20th 2010:

  • Jessi Slaughter (“You dun goof’d” / “The consquences will never be the same”) [Know Your Meme] – Know Your Meme’s (still being researched) page on the 4chan Vs “Jessi Slaughter” debacle.
  • How The Internet Beat Up An 11-Year-Old Girl [Defamer Australia] – 4chan and /b/ collectively turn on self-styled tween micro-celeb “Jessi Slaughter”, a very foul-mouthed video poster whose antics and anti-“hater” video got their undivided attention. The young girl in question is certainly provoking people, but SHE’S ONLY 11 YEARS OLD!
    As Defamer note “here are some important lessons from this tale:
    1. What are your kids doing on the internet? Normally we find fears about kids on the Internet the product of technophobic hysteria. But this case is a very good argument for why parents should at least be vaguely aware of what their kids are up to on the internet. […]
    2. Tumblr is becoming a home for trolls. […]
    3. Don’t pick on 11-year-old girls. Seriously. No matter dumb they seem – no matter how much it seems like they deserve it – they are, at the end of the day, 11-year-old girls. You wouldn’t make an 11-year-old girl cry in real life; why do it on the internet?”
  • The Art Of Trolling: Inside A 4chan Smear Campaign [Defamer Australia] – 4chan go after Dahvie Vanity, the lead singer of “the terrible electro-pop MySpace band Blood on the Dance Floor”, who has supposedly been linked to 11-year-old 4chan victim Jessi Slaugher (he’s been rumoured to be a paedophile, but these are by now means substantiated – to my knowledge, no police action has been taken). /b/’s actions are citizen justice at its worst.
  • 4Chan’s Sad War To Silence Gawker [Defamer Australia] – 4Chan go after Gawker media (Defamer’s parent company) to try and stop them writing about 4Chan; their efforts are not successful.
  • Jessi Slaughter and the 4chan trolls – the case for censoring the internet [News.com.au] – Peter Farquhar uses the 4chan Vs Jessi Slaughter debacle as an excuse to promote the notion of an internet filter in Australia. While there is some token disagreement towards the end of the article, it’s still an example of terrible writing since it implies that (if she was in Australia, presumably) the proposed filter would have helped the situation. For the record, even the most extreme version of the filter Conroy mooted, would have made absolutely no difference in this case whatsoever. What WOULD make a difference for young people in Australia is more money and resources put into education about social media and online interactions across the national curriculum; the sort of money being spent developing and arguing about a useless mandatory filter would be exactly the put of money that could make a real difference in the eduction, awareness and thus safety of young Australians online.
  • NB: No spoiler warning for MasterChef evictees! [TV Tonight] – Australian TV blog TV Tonight reminds those of us in the West that the interwebs will be filled with spoilers since Masterchef will go to air AEST! (Yes, we know: AEST is an anagram of EAST after all …)
  • Why this is NOT the Twitter election [mUmBRELLA] – Quick post pointing out that while the upcoming Australia election will certainly be influenced by Twitter and social media, it certainly won’t be driven by it given the paucity of social media use and awareness of the two newbie leaders of the big parties.
  • Google Discontinues the Nexus One Android Phone [Mashable] – Google’s experiment as a smartphone distributor come to a swift end: “Google has pulled the plug on the Nexus One, its once highly anticipated smartphone. The last shipment has arrived at Google HQ, and once those are gone there will be no more Nexus Ones for U.S. consumers. The handset will still be sold through Vodafone in Europe and some Asian carriers, and developers will still be able to get their hands on one, but it looks like the Droid phones on Verizon will carry the mantle for Google’s (Google) Android (Android) mobile operating system. This is the end the company’s grand experiment with an unlocked handset. Following disappointing sales, Google had already closed the Nexus One web store two months ago, so this final nail in the coffin was already overdue.”

Just in case you’ve not this post is the first thing you’ve seen after having no internet connection for two days, guess what?  Google released a phone:

nexus_one

Meet the Nexus One. There has already been a phenomenal amount written about Nexus One vs The iPhone (here’s a nice clear tech and cost comparison) but the real stories here are bigger than that.  The are millions of people writing about the Nexus One today, but my pick of that crop are these:

  • The official Nexus One page (where “Web meets phone” apparently).  For Australian’s the “order now” button currently reads “Sorry, the Nexus One phone is not available in your country.” Hmph.
  • BBC News “Google unveils Nexus One phone”.  The big difference for US customers: “Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said this could be its main selling point as it would mean owners could decide which network to sign up with. "You buy the phone and then choose what sim card you want to put in," she said. Those buying an unlocked phone would be able to use it as a GSM phone on almost any network.” (Which doesn’t seem like such a big deal to us Aussies since you can buy and iPhone with any of the big telcos in Australia.)
  • Guy Kawasaki’s 13 ways a Nexus One is better than an iPhone. The most important: “Open system” so that, God forbid, if someone can create a better browser, address book, calendar, or email client, you can install it. Somebody at Apple thinks it has the monopoly on good app development. He or she is wrong.”
  • Finally, Engadget’s Nexus One review – all the hardware and software specs – like a 5.0 megapixel camera with a flash!

Sure, the Nexus One might not be a hugely different experience to the iPhone, but Google entering the mobile market with an open source operating system offers a healthy alternative model for smartphone users. It’s also another step in becoming Planet Google!