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Links for September 7th 2011 through September 21st 2011:
- Game over for Japanese teens as grey gamblers take prime slot at arcades [News.com.au] – “The country which gave the world classic arcade games such as “Space Invaders” and “PacMan” is facing a demographic crisis, with a dwindling birth rate and ever-swelling numbers of elderly people. So Japan’s amusement arcades, once an exclusive resort of youth, are increasingly becoming the abode of the old, The (London) Times said today. According to the Hello Taito game centre in the Tokyo suburb of Kameari, as many as 90 per cent of its weekday visitors are over 60 years old. In an effort to encourage elderly customers, the company is making concerted efforts to appeal to this unfamiliar demographic. Metal stools have been replaced by benches covered with old-fashioned tatami mats. Seaweed tea, popular among retired people, is provided free, as well as blankets and reading glasses. Even the deafening noises emitted by the arcade machines have been turned down to a minimum out of consideration for geriatric sensibilities.”
- Ctrl-Z new media philosophy – New broadly-themed and inclusive academic journal looking for submissions under the broad umbrella of “New Media Philosophy”.
- Harried, underpaid staff plan to flee the sector [The Australian] – *sigh* “Two in five academics under the age of 30 plan to leave Australian higher education within the next five to 10 years because of high levels of dissatisfaction caused by lack of job security, poor pay and mountains of paperwork and red tape. And for those aged between 30 and 40, the figure is one in three. Dissatisfaction and insecurity are so rife among casual and sessional staff that a new report for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations estimates that close to half the academic workforce will retire, move to an overseas university or leave higher education altogether within the next decade.”
- Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle [The Age] – Collaborative online gamers manage to crack a crucial enzyme which is key to combating HIV. This is tangible evidence of collective intelligence of game players when usefully directed and harnessed.
- danah boyd | apophenia » Guilt Through Algorithmic Association – How algorithms can make someone look guilty or attached to something, even if it’s only other searchers making that connection: “You’re a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you’re a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes “is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?” and “Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda.” Google’s search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like “Al Qaeda” as the next term in relation to your name. You know that colleges are looking up your name and you’re afraid of the impression that they might get based on that auto-complete. You are already getting hostile comments in your hometown, a decidedly anti-Muslim environment. You know that you have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but Google gives the impression that you do. And people are drawing that conclusion. You write to Google but nothing comes of it. What do you do? This is guilt through algorithmic association.”
- Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich join Charlize Theron in new Dior J’Adore advert [Mail Online] – Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich all posthumously join Charlize Theron in a new perfume advertisement thanks to the plasticity of computer generated imagery.
Links for August 25th 2009 through September 1st 2009:
- Twitter is Now Bigger than MySpace in the UK [Mashable] – "According to Hitwise UK, Twitter has overtaken MySpace for the first time on the list of most visited UK websites. Last week, Twitter was the 27th most visited website in the UK, while MySpace was 28th. Looking at social networks alone, Facebook was the biggest UK site, followed by YouTube (YouTube) and Bebo, with Twitter in the 4th place and MySpace in the 5th. And that doesn’t even take into account all the visitors that used one of the many 3rd party Twitter applications such as TweetDeck (TweetDeck) or Seesmic Desktop (Seesmic Desktop). "
- Bad news for newspapers, great news for journalism [bronwen clune] – Bronwen looks beyond the paywall: "Of course the argument for paid content is about defending commercial news organisations and not journalism. Problem is the two aren’t mutually exclusive anymore. For starters, it excludes the competition from government subsidised media – SBS and ABC – who probably can’t wait for News Corp and Fairfax to start charging for their content. A senior news person at SBS told me just yesterday that he “WANTS those sites to charge!” – not because he believes in paid content, he doesn’t, but because it certainly brightens his future."
- ABC most reliable network, Nine worst -readers [TV Tonight] – "The ABC is the most reliable network -according to readers of TV Tonight- and Nine the least. In the Audience Inventory, the public broadcaster was a clear winner in the key question of starting TV programmes on time by a huge 55% win. It was followed by Foxtel (22%), SBS (11%), TEN (7%), Seven (3%) and Nine (2%). The question was completed by 99% of the survey respondents, which totalled over 800." (That certainly matches with my thoughts!)
- Murdoch attack on 'dominant' BBC [BBC NEWS | Business] – "News Corporation's James Murdoch has said that a "dominant" BBC threatens independent journalism in the UK. The chairman of the media giant in Europe, which owns the Times and Sun, also blamed the UK government for regulating the media "with relish". "The expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision," he told the Edinburgh Television Festival. The scope of the BBC's activities and ambitions was "chilling", he added. Organisations like the BBC, funded by the licence fee, as well as Channel 4 and Ofcom, made it harder for other broadcasters to survive, he argued." (Or: if the BBC stays free and Newscorp puts everything they create behind a paywall, James is rightly concerned people will just read the free BBC stuff instead!)
- Wikipedia Will Limit Changes on Articles About Living People [NYTimes.com] – "… as the English-language version of Wikipedia has just surpassed three million articles, that freewheeling ethos is about to be curbed. Officials at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit in San Francisco that governs Wikipedia, say that within weeks, the English-language Wikipedia will begin imposing a layer of editorial review on articles about living people. The new feature, called “flagged revisions,” will require that an experienced volunteer editor for Wikipedia sign off on any change made by the public before it can go live. Until the change is approved — or in Wikispeak, flagged — it will sit invisibly on Wikipedia’s servers, and visitors will be directed to the earlier version. The change is part of a growing realization on the part of Wikipedia’s leaders that as the site grows more influential, they must transform its embrace-the-chaos culture into something more mature and dependable." (With great power comes great(er) responsibility?)
Links for March 31st 2009 through April 3rd 2009:
- Internet traffic in Sweden plummets on first day of law banning web piracy [Guardian] – Internet traffic in Sweden – previously a hotbed of illicit filesharing – has fallen dramatically in the first day of a new law banning online piracy. The country – home to the notorious Pirate Bay website, whose founders are awaiting a court judgment on whether they have broken the law by allowing people to find films, games and music for illicit downloads – has previously been seen as a haven for filesharing, in which people can get copyrighted content for free. As many as one in 10 Swedes is thought to use such peer-to-peer services. But the so-called IPRED law, which came into force on Wednesday, obliges internet service providers to turn over details about internet users who share such content to the owners of copyrighted material, if a court finds sufficient evidence that the user has broken the law. … internet traffic in Sweden had fallen by about 30% compared with the previous day.”
- New Wolverine film leaked online [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “An almost finished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine starring Hugh Jackman has been leaked online a month before its cinema release. The high quality copy of the film has been uploaded to several file sharing and streaming video websites. The movie is incomplete, with some special effects still in need of fine tuning and green screens and wires attached to actors still visible.” (It took less than 24 hours for this workprint to appear for sale in Jordan’s pirate DVD markets and C20th Fox are on the warpath. While a leak like this might be good for publicity, given that a workprint – which means unfinished special effects more than anything else – tends to emphasise the quality of the plot and dialogue, this could really hurt the box office.)
- Obama Depressed, Distant Since ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Series Finale [The Onion – America’s Finest News Source] – “According to sources in the White House, President Barack Obama has been uncharacteristically distant and withdrawn ever since last month’s two-hour series finale of Battlestar Galactica. “The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'” “I haven’t seen him this upset since Admiral Adama realized that Earth was actually an uninhabitable wasteland,” the official continued. “Or at least that’s what he told me. I don’t actually watch the show. It’s not really my thing.””
- Victim Of Wikipedia: Microsoft To Shut Down Encarta [ paidContent.org] – “Microsoft will discontinue both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites as well as its Encarta software, which have both been surpassed by rising competitors, like Wikipedia. In a message posted on the MSN Encarta Web site, Microsoft says, “Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.””