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Links for March 8th 2011 through March 14th 2011:
- Twitter angers third-party developers with ‘no more timelines’ urging [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter has amazed and outraged developers by warning them that it will severely curtail their ability to build apps that use its output. The announcement on Twitter’s development mailing list – which has notably not been repeated or referred to on its company blog – comes from Ryan Sarver, the head of platform and API at Twitter. The site, which has grown from 48m to 140m tweets per day in the last year, and which celebrated its fifth birthday on Sunday night, now says that it is going in effect to take over the process of writing “the best client” for connecting to Twitter. The move follows the temporary suspension last month of a number of Twitter apps for “violating Twitter’s terms of service” But for the dozens of third-party apps which hook into Twitter’s API, and which fund themselves and their ongoing development through adverts, payments, or a combination of both, the announcement is a threat to their existence.”
- Twitter Libel Case | First Twitter Libel Case [The Age] – “A former Welsh mayor became the first Briton to be ordered to pay libel damages over a Twitter entry after a political rival sued him in the high court, a report said at the weekend. Colin Elsbury, a former mayor in the south Wales town of Caerphilly had tweeted ahead of a council election that his independent challenger Eddie Talbot had been “forcibly removed” from a polling station by police before realising that it was a case of mistaken identity, The Times newspaper said. Although Elsbury later tried to correct the tweet, Talbot took him to court in the Welsh capital Cardiff where a judge on Friday handed down a fine of £3,000 ($4751) and ordered him to pay costs of around £50,000 ($79,196) as well as apologise publicly to Talbot on his Twitter feed.”
- The once mighty medium of television is on its last legs [The Punch] – “Here’s a simple statistic that TV executives are happy you didn’t know. Back in the 1980s the population of Australia was about 14 million. A good TV show would rate about 5 million viewers. Fast forward to 2011. Australia’s population has grown to 20 million and TV execs are dancing on their mini-bars if their show attracts over 1.2 million viewers.The population has doubled, the viewers have halved. The maths is not good. “Masterchef” peaked last year with over 3.5 million viewers. Proportionally, based on 1980’s viewing habits, Masterchef should have rated nine million viewers. The velocity of the decline is increasing. For an industry that was once a sizable chunk of the life and breath of Australian culture, the Australian free TV industry is “circling the drain”. That’s cop show talk for dying. It’s not just competition from DVD’s, pay TV and on-line. Woeful staff management and lack of vision has seen free TV become embittered and as irrelevant to the next generation …”
- From “Businesses” To “Tools”: The Twitter API ToS Changes [TechCrunch] – “Yesterday, Twitter made a swift and sweeping move to alter their ecosystem. In an email to developers, Twitter laid out the new rules. Essentially, third-party developers should no longer try to compete with Twitter on clients; instead they should focus on things like data and specific verticals for tweets. Not surprisingly, there’s quite a bit of backlash against this maneuver.”
[TOS] January 3 version: “We want to empower our ecosystem partners to build valuable businesses around the information flowing through Twitter.”
March 11 version: “We want to empower our ecosystem partners to build valuable tools around the information flowing through Twitter.” Now perhaps you see why the ecosystem, the “partners”, are so enraged.
- I hope these people aren’t your friends [Pharyngula] – Horrible, offensive comments in the wake of Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami devastation. Surely these people have never ever thought about the longevity of their comments online: “Japan has a tragic and devastating earthquake. American responses follow a range of attitudes. […] And then there’s a third reaction. I was sent a collage of messages posted on Facebook in the last day or so, and these make me ashamed to share a culture with these wretched people. I may be about to ruin your morning. Don’t click on this compilation of facebook entries unless you’re one of those cynical people who already has low expectation of the worst of Americans.” (The same rubbish can be found on Twitter, too.)
- It’s the (virtual) economy, stupid [SMH] – “Mark Pincus has amassed a $US1 billion fortune selling bits and bytes that have no intrinsic value to an army of virtual farmers and city planners. Every month, 275 million people sign on to one of Pincus’ addictive games, paying real money to buy virtual seeds and crops in Farmville, construct fake buildings in CityVille or expand their criminal empire in Mafia Wars. Pioneers of the “virtual goods” market, Pincus’ company Zynga – just three years old – earned $850 million in revenue last year and is now valued between $US7 billion and $US9 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s not a new phenomenon – for years people have been spending real money to buy their own virtual islands and toys in the online world Second Life and others have spent thousands on rare items in online games like World of Warcraft. Last year, a virtual space station in Entropia Universe sold for $US330,000. But with Zynga, virtual goods have hit the mainstream …”
Links for July 5th 2010:
- Facebook bans doll nipples [The Age] – Prudebook? “Facebook’s prude police are out in force yet again, this time threatening action against a Sydney jeweller for posting pictures of an exquisite nude porcelain doll posing with her works. Victoria Buckley, who owns a high-end jewellery store in the Strand Arcade on George Street, has long used dolls as inspiration for her pieces and hasn’t had one complaint about the A3 posters of the nudes in her shop window. But over the weekend she received six warnings from Facebook saying the pictures of the doll, which show little more than nipples, constituted “inappropriate content” and breached the site’s terms of service.The warnings said Facebook would remove the images and Buckley is worried she will be banned from the site if she posts them again.”
- 4Chan hackers blamed for redirecting Justin Bieber fans to porn websites [News.com.au] – 4chan Vs Bieber: “Hackers wreaked havoc with a series of Justin Bieber YouTube pages today – redirecting users to pornography websites and videos saying the Canadian pop star had died in a car accident. The first YouTube spoof sent fans of the 16-year-old singer into a panic after hackers changed the sound of a video falsely reporting that Bieber died in a car accident, Mashable social media blog reported. Other YouTube pages featured pop up windows of pornography websites and videos exposing underage Bieber fans to explicit content. Internet forum 4Chan was blamed for the attacks but it is believed others joined in once the hack was discovered. YouTube said it was working to fix the problem as soon as possible. The stunt came just days after Bieber took to his Twitter account to dispel rumours regarding the identity of his father, claims that he was dead and reports his mother was offered a hefty sum to pose topless for Playboy magazine.”
- Guardian Takes Next Step in Open Content Strategy With Blog Plugin [Giga OM] – As many other newspapers try and lock their content behind paywalls and paid apps, the Guardian is moving boldly in the opposite direction, releasing a free WordPress application to embed full articles from the Guardian in any WordPress blog. The Guardian makes money by keeping their advertising intact, but gives bloggers the full right to re-post Guardian content (not just snippets). It’s not a perfect app – nor that easy to install – but it’s definitely a move in the right direction, and evidence for a very sensible business plan for the Guardian group – sharing content further, not restricting it! Take notes, Rupert Murdoch!
Links for May 24th 2010 through May 26th 2010:
- Facebook ‘hindering the police’ [WA Today] – The Australian Federal Police take on Facebook: “Facebook’s woeful relationship with law enforcement bodies is hampering police investigations and putting lives at risk, the Australian Federal Police says. The AFP’s assistant commissioner and head of high tech crime operations, Neil Gaughan, will fly to Washington DC today for a meeting convened by the US Department of Justice in which senior law enforcement officials from around the world will discuss their concerns with the social networking website. State and federal police have told the Herald’s sister paper, the Age, the company has been unwilling to provide police with the intelligence they need for investigations. They want Facebook to appoint a dedicated law enforcement liaison in Australia who can, for example, match user accounts to physical internet addresses.”
- Facebook told to set up warning system after new sex scam [The Age] – Just what Facebook needs, its own viruses: “A major computer security firm urged Facebook to set up an early-warning system after hundreds of thousands of users were hit by a new wave of fake sex-video attacks. British-based virus fighter Sophos warned users of the world’s biggest social networking site to be on guard against any posting entitled “distracting beach babes”, which contains a movie thumbnail of a bikini-clad woman. In a press statement, Sophos said the malicious posts appear as if they are coming from Facebook users’ friends, but it urged recipients not to click on the thumbnail. By clicking on it, users are taken to a rogue Facebook application informing them that they do not have the right player software installed, Sophos said. It tricks users into installing adware, a software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to their computer, and the video link is spread further across the network.”
- Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring [Techdirt] – “… Lady Gaga admits she’s fine with people downloading her music in unauthorized forms because she makes it up in touring revenue:
She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”
Similarly, she knocks bands that don’t really try to work hard to please the fans, and who just expect them to automatically buy each album:
“I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”
- How The Australian fell in love with the iPad [mUmBRELLA] – Is The Australian an Apple customer or commentator? “While it’s fair to say that the world’s media has been pretty excited about Apple’s iPad, The Australian appears to be on the verge of spontaneously combusting over the device’s official arrival Down Under this Friday. Clearly the newspaper’s plans to launch its own paid-for iPad app are unrelated to that. Indeed, if it sells as many apps as it has written stories about the iPad, it will be well on the way to securing a digital future for itself. […] I’d love to bring you every article The Australian’s carried about the iPad. But Google tells me there are 4,790 of them. So I’d better stop there. Did I mention that The Australian’s got an iPad app?”
- Quitting Facebook is pointless; challenging them to do better is not [danah boyd | apophenia] – boyd’s discussion points:
“1. I do not believe that people will (or should) leave Facebook because of privacy issues.
2. I do not believe that the tech elites who are publicly leaving Facebook will affect on the company’s numbers; they are unrepresentative and were not central users in the first place.
3. I do not believe that an alternative will emerge in the next 2-5 years that will “replace” Facebook in any meaningful sense.
4. I believe that Facebook will get regulated and I would like to see an open discussion of what this means and what form this takes.
5. I believe that a significant minority of users are at risk because of decisions Facebook has made and I think that those of us who aren’t owe it to those who are to work through these issues.
6. I believe that Facebook needs to start a public dialogue with users and those who are concerned ASAP (and Elliot Schrage’s Q&A doesn’t count).”
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 June 30th 2009 through July 5th 2009:
- Tories 'distressed' Facebook blew MI6 cover [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – "Opposition politicians in Britain have raised concerns about security after a newspaper revealed that personal information about the newly-appointed head of Foreign Intelligence Service MI6 had been posted on Facebook. Sir John Sawers' wife's Facebook page had no privacy protection, allowing anyone to see photos of him playing frisbee on a beach or posing dressed as Santa. Also exposed was information about the couple's children, their flat and high profile-friendships." (Could their be a more timely reminder about the importance of using privacy settings carefully, even with Facebook's immensely confusing privacy controls?)
- Twitter your Flickr [Flickr Blog] – You can now Twitter your Flickr pictures with one click. Really, is there anything you can't put in your Twitterstream these days?
- China cracks down on virtual cash [BBC NEWS | Technology] – "Cash earned in games in China can no longer be spent on real world goods. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce policy aims to limit the impact of game currencies on real-world markets. In the future, any cash earned by Chinese gamers can only be spent to acquire items or equipment in that particular game. The move is widely seen as a crackdown on so-called "gold farming" in which players amass virtual money and then sell it to other players for real cash."
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