Links for July 10th through July 19th:

  • Jon Stewart Blasts Viacom For Stupid Blackout; Viacom Sheepishly Turns Web Streams Back On [Techdirt] – Geography isn’t the only rationale behind imposing digital distance: “Last week, we wrote about Viacom’s really short-sighted decision to use its fans as hostages in a silly dispute with DirecTV over fees. To prevent any DirecTV customer from seeing any of its key shows, Viacom stopped streaming them online… for all customers, meaning that even those who had nothing to do with any of this couldn’t legally watch the shows they liked. As we noted, this would likely only serve to drive more people to find unauthorized versions…. Of course, one of Viacom’s most popular shows — and one of the key ones turned off from streaming — is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which had been on break last week anyway. However, it returned last night with a vengeance, and target number one: his corporate masters at Viacom for acting as if they were China in blocking the internet, and likely driving more fans to unauthorized streams.”
  • Face blurring: when footage requires anonymity [YouTube Blog] – YouTube launches a face-blurring tool within YouTube: “Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube.”
  • Shell social media oil spill a ‘coordinated online assassination’ [The Age] – Shell’s brand has been hijacked in what marketing experts say is a “social media oil spill” and a “coordinated online assassination of the Shell brand”. It’s a fake PR disaster that has snowballed into a very real one for Shell as web users are under the impression that it is an official company campaign. It started when an Arctic Ready website appeared online about two months ago that looked almost identical to the Arctic section on Shell’s own site. The site appeared to be an educational site about Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic – complete with “Angry Bergs” kids game – but invited people to create their own ads by adding their own marketing copy over supplied photographs of the Arctic. User-generated ads could then be shared on social media. … For all intents and purposes, it looks like a real Shell marketing idea that has spun out of control …
    But in reality … the Arctic Ready website, and the viral video, were created by activists Greenpeace and The Yes Men.”
  • Downloads: ‘It’s cheaper to pay a wage, fly to the US and back twice’ [SMH]– “Australians are paying 50 per cent more than American shoppers for downloaded music and games, as well as computer software and hardware, consumer watchdog Choice says. In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into IT Pricing, Choice says Australians are on the wrong end of of international price discrimination by copyright holders. New research carried out by the group found price differences across a range of IT products including iTunes downloads, PC games, personal and business software, Wii console games and computer hardware. “In Australia you pay, on average, 52 per cent more than an American consumer will for the same 50 top iTunes songs,” says Choice head of campaigns, Matt Levey.””A selection of 44 popular home and business software products were, on average, 34 per cent more expensive in Australia than the US.”
  • Council’s new social media policy – rethinking our networks [Marketing Summit 2012] – While these things are never perfect, the new Australia Council for the Arts Social Media Policy is well-written, mindful of the specificities of social media platforms and engagement (not risk!) centred. This policy will probably prove a useful template for corporations and organisations trying to figure out their own policies for social media use. Kudos to former Creative Commons stalwart Elliot Bledsoe for spearheading the new policy development.
  • Facebook scans chats and posts for criminal activity [Internet & Media – CNET News] – Facebook is intensively data-mining Facebook chat; the justification: “If [Facebook] detects suspicious behavior, it flags the content and determines if further steps, such as informing the police, are required. The new tidbit about the company’s monitoring system comes from a Reuters interview with Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan. Here’s the lead-in to the Reuters story: “A man in his early 30s was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day. Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police. Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day.” Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network.”
  • Facebook set to unfriend anonymous snooping[The Independent]– I genuinely doubt this will be rolled out on Timelines; it’d reduce time spent on Facebook. Stalking – more advertising views, after all.”The end is nigh for anonymous stalking on the social media website Facebook. The website has announced that it is going to start letting users know who has viewed items on the social network, a change which is expected to cause the amount of online snooping to plummet. For now, the change to the Facebook website, which has more than 900m active users, applies to group pages, meaning users can see who has visited any group of which they are a member. But already there are suggestions that Facebook may unfurl the technology across the site, meaning the naughty-naughty-stalky-stalky generation may soon see their fingerprint-free snooping habits curtailed, or face the embarrassment of their ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend realising they were too curious to resist an online-curtain twitch.”
  • CV Dazzle: Camouflage From Computer Vision by Adam Harvey – “CV Dazzle™ is camouflage from computer vision (CV). It is a form of expressive interference that combines makeup and hair styling (or other modifications) with face-detection thwarting designs. The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the gestalt-image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection. Because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as Google’s Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook (see CV Dazzle vs PhotoTagger by Face.com). [Via Jill]

Links for September 10th 2010 through September 15th 2010:

  • Myths of the NBN myths [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Stilgherrian rebukes the common myths associated with the National Broadband Network, showing their false logic and short-sightedness. A good read.
  • The Rise of Apps Culture [Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project] – New Pew study shows Apps are emerging, but far from ubiquitous just yet: “Some 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or “apps” on their phones, yet only 24% of adults use those apps. Many adults who have apps on their phones, particularly older adults, do not use them, and 11% of cell owners are not sure if their phone is equipped with apps. Among cell phone owners, 29% have downloaded apps to their phone and 13% have paid to download apps. “An apps culture is clearly emerging among some cell phone users, particularly men and young adults,” said Kristen Purcell, Associate Director for Research at the Pew Internet Project. “Still, it is clear that this is the early stage of adoption when many cell owners do not know what their phone can do. The apps market seems somewhat ahead of a majority of adult cell phone users.””
  • The Agnostic Cartographer – John Gravois [Washington Monthly] – Interesting article looking at the politics behind all maps, but especially Google Maps – trying to create one definitive map for the world, when so many maps are bound to particular nations, politics and cultures, means a lot of diplomacy or a lot of disputes (both are currently happening).
  • musing on child naming and the Internet [danah boyd | apophenia] – (Unborn) kids and digital footprints: “I am of the age where many of my friends are having kids and so I’ve been exposed to more conversations about what to name one’s child than I ever could’ve imagined. I’m sure people have always had long contested discussions with their partners and friends about naming, but I can’t help but laugh at the role that the Internet is playing in these conversations today. I clearly live in a tech-centric world so it shouldn’t be surprising that SEO and domain name availability are part of the conversation. But I’m intrigued by the implicit assumption in all of this… namely, that it’s beneficial for all individuals to be easily findable online and, thus, securing a fetus’ unique digital identity is a tremendous gift.”
  • ‘That is so gay!’ [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Matthew Sini on Stephanie Rice’s recent Twitter controversy: “A certain tweeting swimmer used the word faggot recently in a haphazard, inelegant and wholly unconscious way the other day. As many Rice-lovers have vocally pointed out, the intention behind the word choice was clearly not to insult. But that is the point. When you can use this sort of language in such a casual way, you have displayed an ignorance of very material prejudice and a history of oppression and suffering. Both Stephanie Rice, and me and my friends, make light of this history of suffering, but the difference is Rice does not acknowledge it when making light. She can only be accused of ignorance. In the same way that many ‘kids today’ use the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ or some cognate of it to describe something that is undesirable.”
  • FarmVille – Facebook application metrics from AppData Facebook Application Metrics [AppData] – Statistics for Farmville use in terms of the Facebook plugin. 83,755,953 all-time high for monthly users to date.
  • App Store Review Guidelines [Apple – App Store Resource Center] – Apple releases their guidelines for reviewing Apps for the Apple App store. Finally, developers can figure out exactly what they need to do to ensure their Apps are accepted, and critics can evaluate how Apple wield their power in policing the iWalled Garden.

Links for August 12th 2010 through August 16th 2010:

  • Cultural Studies – Crafting Fictional Personas With the Language of Facebook [NYTimes.com] – Interesting if very judgmental piece which is ostensibly looking at a fictional Facebook profile as part of a fiction narrative, then suggests that all Facebook profiles are fiction: “…a brilliant stroke to use Facebook for novel writing, because in general Facebook feeds on fiction; it consumes it, and spits it out in every direction. Being “friends” on Facebook is more of a fantasy or imitation or shadow of friendship than the traditional real thing. Friendship on Facebook bears about the same relation to friendship in life, as being run over by a car in a cartoon resembles being run over by a car in life. Facebook is friendship minus the one on one conversation, minus the moment alone at a party in a corner with someone (note to ninth graders: chat and messages don’t count); Facebook is the chatter of a big party, the performance of public cleverness, the facades and fronts and personas carefully crafted, the one honed line, the esprit de l’escalier; in short, the edited version.”
  • When to use i.e. in a sentence [The Oatmeal] – Want to know when to use ‘i.e.’ or ‘e.g.’ properly – the Oatmeal has funny words with pictures to clarify these confusing issues. 🙂
  • NBN crucial to health of economy: expert [WA Today] – My colleague Matthew Allen talks about the importance of the NBN for future development in Australia: “Australia’s economy would suffer if work to improve internet speed and availability isn’t immediately started, according to a Curtin University internet expert. Internet studies Professor Matthew Allen said Labor’s national broadband network may take longer to roll-out and cost more than the Coalition’s plan but it would be of greater benefit in the long run. The government yesterday announced its $43 billion national broadband network would be upgraded to provide speeds of up to one gigabyte per second, making it 10 times faster than was originally touted.”
  • Pushing Our (Tweet) Button [Twitter Blog] – Twitter releases its official ‘tweet this’ button, which can be included on any website with just a few lines or code. It’s fairly similar in style to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, but obviously performs a slightly different function. I quite like the option to include a counter showing how many times a post has been retweeted already – the counter seems to include retweets using most popular url shortening services!
  • Whiteboard girl hoax fools thousands on net [BBC News] – Shocking almost no one, it turns out that the hugely popular net sensation ‘Jenny’, who quit her job using a series of messages on whiteboards, is a hoax, orchestrated by thechive.com. The model’s name is Elyse Porterfield and today she and thechive.com admitted the hoax.

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 through July 10th 2010:

  • Regarding real names in forums [World of Warcraft – English (NA) Forums] – Blizzard backtracks, deciding against mandatory use of real names in their forums – fans applaud.
  • RealID and WoW Forums: Classic Identity Design Mistake [Habitat Chronicles] – As Blizzard shift to a ‘real names’ model for their forums, including all official World of Warcraft forums, many folks are unhappy. Blizzard are trying to get some users to be more responsible for their posts, but as Randy Farmer argues Blizzard haven’t learnt from many, many identity-related mistakes in online fora of the past!
  • Ridley Scott and YouTube Want You To Film One Day in Your Life [Mashable] – “YouTube has announced a project called Life in a Day, which attempts to document one day, July 24, seen through the camera lens of people around the world. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott […] edited by Kevin Macdonald, best known for directing films such as The Last King of Scotland and One Day in September. The film will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; if your footage makes the final cut, you’ll be credited as a co-director, and 20 contributors will be selected to attend the premiere. If you’re hoping for financial gain, however, you’ll be disappointed; for this one, glory is your only reward. To contribute to the project, you need to capture July 24, 2010, on camera, and upload the footage to the Life in the Day channel sometime before July 31. As for what your footage should consist of, YouTube (YouTube) wants you to have no limits, to be personal, to film anyone you like…”
  • Prank leaves Justin Bieber facing tour of North Korea [BBC News] – LOL: “Justin Bieber’s Twitter page has become the target of an internet joke. A public vote on the Canadian singer’s My World Tour page asked users which country he should tour next, with no restrictions on the nations that could be voted on. This spurred users of imageboard website 4Chan to nominate North Korea, with the vote now turning viral. There are now almost half a million votes to send Bieber to the secretive communist nation. The contest, which ends at 1800 on 7 July, saw North Korea move from 24th to 1st place in less than two days, several thousand votes ahead of Israel.”

Links for May 26th 2010 through May 28th 2010:

  • CHART OF THE DAY: The Half-Life Of A YouTube Video Is 6 Days [Business Insider] – “A video on YouTube gets 50% of its views in the first 6 days it is on the site, according to data from analytics firm TubeMogul. After 20 days, a YouTube video has had 75% of its total views. That’s a really short life span for YouTube videos, and it’s probably getting shorter. In 2008, it took 14 days for a video to get 50% of its views and 44 days to get 75% of its views. Why? In the last two years, YouTube has improved its user interface, which helps videos get seen early on. Also, the world has gotten more adept at embedding and sharing videos in real-time via Twitter and Facebook. (And there’s probably more video to choose from.)”
  • “Transparency Is Not Enough.” [danah boyd] – danah boyd making the important point that data transparency is only useful if we are also teaching the information literacy to responsibly employ that transparent data: “This is a country built on a mantra that “all [people] are created equal.” Those who are working towards transparency are doing so with this mission in mind. We desperately need an informed citizenry. But getting there is two pronged. We need information transparency and we also need to help people develop the skills to leverage that information to their advantage. And to help society writ large. The Internet radically increases the opportunities for information to be made available which is why we’re all here celebrating Gov2.0. But the Internet does not magically give people the skills they need to interpret the information they see. That’s why I need you. I need you to fight for information literacy alongside information transparency. Both are essential to creating an informed citizenry.”
  • Twitter faux pas: 20 dreadful types of tweet [Telegraph] – Yes, this is silly, but there is some insight in there, too: “Twitter is frequently ridiculed by people who have never used the service. But fans of the micro-blogging site are more aware than anyone just how annoying some tweets can be. Below are 20 types of tweet that make our toes curl, from exchanges between celebrities who only engage with each other, to people who will type anything to win an Apple gadget.”
  • Facebook to draw local police guidelines [The Age] – “Facebook appears to have bowed to police pressure to draw up a local law enforcement policy but will stop short of installing a police liaison officer in Australia as asked. In a telephone interview yesterday, Facebook US-based director of communications and public affairs Debbie Frost said a liaison team visited Australian authorities including the Attorney-General’s department last week and “was working on local guidelines”.”
  • Facebook reveals ‘simplified’ privacy changes [BBC News] – A genuine response to widespread desire for better and more transparent privacy controls, or a half-way measure to ward off a tide of people leaving Facebook and stemming talk of government intervention in the way privacy is managed online? We’ll have to see once the new settings roll out: “Social network Facebook has said it will offer a one-stop shop for privacy settings in response to user concerns. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the settings had “gotten complex” for users. It follows a storm of protest from users over a series of changes on the site that left its members unsure about how public their information had become. “We needed to simplify controls,” he told a press conference. “We want people to be able to share information in the way that they want,” he told BBC News. “Our goal is not to make your information more private or more open.””
  • BBC iPlayer integrates Twitter and Facebook [BBC News] – The BBC’s online video service, iPlayer, goes social: “The BBC iPlayer has launched a trial service inviting users to share favourite programmes via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. People can now choose to log-on to the revamped video player, allowing them to personalise the service and see recommendations based on prior viewing. It will also aggregate content from other broadcasters including Channel 4. Users will also soon be able to chat using Microsoft’s Messenger service while watching live TV streams. “We spent more time designing [the new interface] than building it,” said the BBC’s Anthony Rose, chief technology officer for Project Canvas, a new online broadcast initiative currently under development. “It’s a complete social ecosystem.””

Links for May 7th 2010 through May 10th 2010:

  • An Early Look At Twitter Annotations Or, “Twannotations” [TechCrunch] – Twitter are adding annotations, or twannotataions, in the near future; it’ll let specific ‘things’ be identified. It’s a bit like turning Twitter into a semantic communication tool. Richard Giles asks if this will make Twitter (a privately owned) internet protocol be default, but either way annotations should make Twitter even more of a cultural barometer.
  • The Tell-All Generation Learns When Not To, at Least Online [NYTimes.com] – Privacy concerns online cross all generational barrier, despite the myth of the millennial mindset: “The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud. While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, Berkeley, found that more than half the young adults questioned had become more concerned about privacy than they were five years ago — mirroring the number of people their parent’s age or older with that worry. They are more diligent than older adults, however, in trying to protect themselves.”
  • Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative [Wired.com] – Ryan Singel takes Facebook to task for the continual failings in respecting user privacy both in terms of their architecture (so many things simply can’t be turned off now) and their policies (basically, screwing with privacy one step at a time, while using a raft of lawyers to ensure it’s not illegal … but maybe unethical). Singel argues that everything Facebook currently provides could be achieved by a series of open tools and protocols which provide real and clear choices about what we do and don’t share with the world. Singel argues we need to make these choices now because Facebook, for many, has almost become our online identity.
  • Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing [NYTimes.com] – From November 6, 2008: “On stage at the Web 2.0 Summit on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, was cheerfully unruffled. Mr. Zuckerberg pinned his optimism on a change in behavior among Internet users: that they are ever more willing to tell others what they are doing, who their friends are, and even what they look like as they crawl home from the fraternity party. “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before,” he said. “That means that people are using Facebook, and the applications and the ecosystem, more and more.” Call it Zuckerberg’s Law.” The great thing about controlling the privacy settings for more than 400 million people, is it’s pretty easy to change things so more and more and their information is shared … even if many users don’t understand how and don’t think this is what they signed up for!
  • The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook [mattmckeon.com] – A really useful inforgraphic by Matt McKeon which demonstrates five stages of Facebook’s default settings and how much information is public by default at each stage (short version: 2005 – not much; 2010 – almost everything!)
  • Most pirates say they’d pay for legal downloads [News.com.au] – Peer-topeer sharers want legal options in Australia: “Most people who illegally download movies, music and TV shows would pay for them if there was a cheap and legal service as convenient as file-sharing tools like BitTorrent. That’s the finding of the most comprehensive look yet at people who illegally download TV shows, movies and music in Australia, conducted by news.com.au and market research firm CoreData. The survey canvassed the attitudes of more than 7000 people who admitted to streaming or downloading media from illegitimate sources in the past 12 months. It found accessibility was as much or more of a motivator than money for those who illegally download media using services like BitTorrent. More respondents said they turned to illegal downloads because they were convenient than because they were free … [More results here.]
  • What Happens When You Deactivate Your Facebook Account [Read Write Web] – Facebook is a big part of millions and millions of peoples’ lives, but what happens when you pull the plug? Last night I met a man who walked to the edge of the cliff and nearly deactivated his Facebook account. He took a screenshot of what he saw after clicking the “deactivate my account” link on his account page – and it is pretty far-out. That man considered quitting Facebook because it was having an adverse emotional impact on him and I’ll spare him and his contacts from posting the screenshot he shared with me. I have posted below though a shot of the screen I saw when I clicked that button myself. Check it out. I bet you haven’t seen this screen before, have you? […] Can you believe that? How incredibly manipulative! And what claims to make. Facebook has undoubtedly made it easier to keep in touch with people than almost any other technology on the planet, but to say that leaving Facebook means your friends “will no longer be able to keep in touch with you” is just wrong.”

Links for May 5th 2010 through May 6th 2010:

  • Glitch Brings New Worries About Facebook’s Privacy [NYTimes.com] – Privacy concerns = declining trust! “For many users of Facebook, the world’s largest social network, it was just the latest in a string of frustrations. On Wednesday, users discovered a glitch that gave them access to supposedly private information in the accounts of their Facebook friends, like chat conversations. Not long before, Facebook had introduced changes that essentially forced users to choose between making information about their interests available to anyone or removing it altogether. Although Facebook quickly moved to close the security hole on Wednesday, the breach heightened a feeling among many users that it was becoming hard to trust the service to protect their personal information.”
  • Facebook Burning Through Its Most Valuable Asset [The NewsCloud Blog] – Why trust still matters: “Venture investors often focus on the burn rate of a startup to determine how long a company can operate before it becomes profitable. After last week, investors in Facebook should be asking how long the company can continue its phenomenal growth as it quickly burns through the trust of users that expected the company to protect their privacy. […] Now, I’ve even more amazed that after Google’s Buzz debacle, Facebook has drawn a line in the sand against common sense and the basic privacy expectations of its growing user base with its new social graph. Just as Microsoft employees, incredibly, seemed to think they could surreptitiously market exploitative sexting ads to teens by using a male rather than a female, Facebook thinks that it can sustain its growth while essentially pimping the private lives of its users to the highest bidder. There seems to be no adult supervision at either company.”
  • Catherine Deveny Fired From The Age [The Age] – Yes, controversial/provocative comedian Catherine Deveny has been fired from The Age for tweets made during the Logies, including the now infamous “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid”. Her humour is generally in poor taste, but is it worth sacking someone for, especially in their own time? Deveny certainly seems well within her rights to ask if there is actually a policy about social media at The Age. There probably should be. That aside, this little controversy has probably given Deveny – and the Logies – more free press than they’ve enjoyed in years. I’d suggest this “sacking” makes her more commercially viable as a personality, not less employable. I guess we’ll see.

Links for May 4th 2010 through May 5th 2010:

  • Twitter is the New CNN | Lance Ulanoff [PCMag.com] – A pretty solid argument about why Twitter is better at sharing news and information than being a social network as such. The inequality of links (ie you don’t agree with a twitter contact to mutually interact, you can follow without being followed) is one of the strongest arguments against SNS use although, ultimately, I think is still depends on how individuals use the platform.
  • Keeping Your Photos Off Facebook & Other Privacy Concerns [The Age] – Stock-standard piece reminding everyone that stuff on Facebook and other social networks often isn’t private (and you should check if you think it is). I’m not sure quoting a “Cyber psychologist” talking about young people having a yet-to-mature frontal cortex is really the winning argument, though! Equally, the advice at the end (basically: be aware and check your Facebook settings) would be a little more genuine if it linked to something which actually illustrated HOW to make those changes (the complexity of Facebook’s privacy settings is one of the biggest privacy challenges today!)
  • Viacom v YouTube is a microcosm of the entertainment industry [guardian.co.uk] – Cory Doctorow’s fighting words about Viacom Vs YouTube: “From the Digital Economy Act to the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, Big Content’s top brass are looking for ways to increase the liability borne by “intermediaries” – the companies that host and transmit user-uploaded material – in order to give them the footing from which to put pressure on tech firms to pay them off and go into bankruptcy. The lawmakers who say that they favour these draconian copyright powers are not on the side of creators. The creators are the ones busily shovelling their creative works on to YouTube. These laws are designed to provide full employment for the litigation industry, and to encourage the moral hazard that has TV and record companies turning into lawsuit factories.”
  • ‘One Book, One Twitter’ launches worldwide book club with Neil Gaiman | Books [guardian.co.uk] – Twitter as global book club: “The brainchild of Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and a contributing editor at Wired magazine, the One Book, One Twitter scheme launches tomorrow. Readers have been voting for the book which they’ll be tackling for the past month, with Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods eventually triumphing […] “The aim with One Book, One Twitter is – like the one city, one book programme which inspired it – to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss,” explained Howe at Wired.com. “Usually such ‘Big Read’ programs are organised around geography. […] This Big Read is organised around Twitter, and says to hell with physical limitations.””
  • Choose Privacy Week Video [Vimeo] – Fast-paced largely talking-head style video advocating better attention to privacy online. The video is US-based and features lots of candid interviews along with notable privacy advocates including Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman. Launched as part of the first US Privacy Week, 2-8 May, 2010. (Downloadable as 1280×720, 344.57MB Quicktime movie.) [Via BBoing]

    Choose Privacy Week Video from 20K Films on Vimeo.

Links for April 25th 2010 through April 29th 2010:

  • Thoughts on Flash [Steve Jobs – Apple] – Steve Jobs nails down Flash’s coffin with his post from on high about why the iRange don’t (and won’t) support Flash: “Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short. The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games. New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”
  • Facebook’s Eroding Privacy Policy: A Timeline [Electronic Frontier Foundation] – Useful, albeit disappointing, timeline: “Since its incorporation just over five years ago, Facebook has undergone a remarkable transformation. When it started, it was a private space for communication with a group of your choice. Soon, it transformed into a platform where much of your information is public by default. Today, it has become a platform where you have no choice but to make certain information public, and this public information may be shared by Facebook with its partner websites and used to target ads. […] Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew larger and became more important, it could have chosen to maintain or improve those controls. Instead, it’s slowly but surely helped itself — and its advertising and business partners — to more and more of its users’ information, while limiting the users’ options to control their own information.”
  • O’Hara, Kieron (2010) Intimacy 2.0: Privacy Rights and Privacy Responsibilities on the World Wide Web. In: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, April 26-27th, 2010, Raleigh, NC: US. (In Press) – Abstract: “This paper examines the idea of privacy in the world of ‘intimacy 2.0’, the use of Web 2.0 social networking technologies and multimedia for the routine posting of intimate details of users’ lives. It will argue that, although privacy is often conceived as a right with benefits that accrue to the individual, it is better seen as a public good, whose benefits accrue to the community in general. In that case, the costs of allowing invasions of one’s privacy do not solely fall on the individual who is unwise enough to do so, but also on wider society.” [PDF]
  • Noticed – College Applicants Hide Behind Facebook Aliases [NYTimes.com] – Are colleges in the US checking the digital footprints on applicants? Well, the number of aspiring college applicants changing their Facebook names because that’s their suspicion is definitely growing!