Links for December 6th 2009 through December 10th 2009:
- Tiger Woods’s Web Site Is Drawing Attention and Scrutiny [NYTimes.com] – When Web Presence goes wrong: “In the nearly two weeks since Tiger Woods became tabloid fodder, his personal Web site has turned into a kind of town hall meeting on his reported extramarital behavior. More than 22,000 comments, many of them supportive but plenty of the finger-wagging variety, followed the Dec. 2 statement in which he admitted to vague “transgressions” and to letting his family down. The scandal over Woods’s suspected misdeeds has elevated TigerWoods.com’s traffic drastically, although not into the Internet stratosphere. In the week ending Nov. 29 — the day he issued his statement about his car accident — the number of unique users soared to 488,000 visitors, according to Nielsen Online. In that same period, it beat the 89,000 who visited BritneySpears.com.”
- Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Electronic Frontier Foundation] – “Although sold as a “privacy” revamp, Facebook’s new changes are obviously intended to get people to open up even more of their Facebook data to the public. The privacy “wizard” that guides users through the configuration will “recommend” — preselect by default — the setting to share the content they post to Facebook, such as status messages and wall posts, with everyone on the Internet, even though the default privacy level that those users had accepted previously was limited to “Your Networks and Friends” on Facebook […] to ensure that users don’t accidentally share more than they intend to, we do not recommend Facebook’s “recommended” settings.” (Facebook’s explanation of the new settings.)
- Game Developer Won’t Edit ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ To Appease Australian Censors [Techdirt] – “Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that game developer Rebellion has decided not to resubmit an edited version of its game Aliens vs. Predator after it was rejected by the Australian Classification Board for being too violent. The company stated that it agrees the game is not suitable for children: “We agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults… it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent.” But Australia apparently doesn’t have an option for such “mature” content, and Rebellion seems to recognize how ridiculous that is: “We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.” Hopefully, things like this will make Australia reconsider its censorship of such content.” (Oh, Australia is ready to reconsider our insane games rating system … some annoying guy in SA isn’t!)
- More than 50 papers join in front-page leader article on climate change [Media | guardian.co.uk] – THE GOOD: “The Guardian has teamed up with more 50 papers worldwide to run the same front-page leader article calling for action at the climate summit in Copenhagen, which begins tomorrow. This unprecedented project is the result of months of negotiations between the papers to agree on a final text, in a process that mirrors the kind of diplomatic wrangling among the world’s governments that is likely to precede any potential deal on climate change. Fifty-six papers in 45 countries published in 20 different languages have joined the initiative, and will feature the leader in some form on their front pages.
THE BAD: “Two Australian papers, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, pulled out at a late stage after the election of climate change sceptic Tony Abbott as leader of the opposition Liberal party recast the country’s debate on green issues.” (Australian media already bowing to Tony Abbott’s climate change scepticism …)
- App Store Is a Game Changer for Apple and Cellphone Industry [NYTimes.com] – “Apple changed the view of what you can do with that small phone in your back pocket,” says Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst. “Applications make the smartphone trend a revolutionary trend — one we haven’t seen in consumer technology for many years.” Ms. Huberty likens the advent of the App Store and the iPhone to AOL’s pioneering role in driving broad-based consumer adoption of the Internet in the 1990s. She also draws comparisons to ways in which laptops have upended industry assumptions about consumer preferences and desktop computing. But, she notes, something even more profound may now be afoot. “The iPhone is something different. It’s changing our behavior,” she says. “The game that Apple is playing is to become the Microsoft of the smartphone market.” (That last sentence is the important one: Microsoft has trouble playing with others; Apple’s increasingly having that issue, too!)