MEGAUPLOAD (by Dan Bull) – Independent artist Dan Bull raps about the harm shutting down MegaUpload has done to smaller artists. In the name of protecting the intellectual property of Hollywood and the MPAA, it seems that smaller artists who rely on cyberlockers like MegaUpload have found their means of distribution erased without noticed or recourse to protest.
Star Wars crowdsourced film reaches million YouTube views [BBC News] – “A “directors cut” of a fan-made version of Star Wars has passed one million views on YouTube. The film, uploaded on 18 January, is made up of hundreds of 15-second scenes created by internet users. The Star Wars Uncut project is widely regarded as an example of the power of crowdsourcing. Ramon Youseph, of the Crowdsourcing Gazette blog, told the BBC it showed “the power of the web to engage people in a global collaborative effort”. The website starwarsuncut.com began asking for fan-made scenes in 2009. It went on to win an interactive media Emmy in 2010.”
EU proposes ‘right to be forgotten’ by internet firms [BBC News] – A new law promising internet users the “right to be forgotten” will be proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday. It says people will be able to ask for data about them to be deleted and firms will have to comply unless there are “legitimate” grounds to retain it. […] A spokesman for the commissioner clarified that the action was designed to help teenagers and young adults manage their online reputations. “These rules are particularly aimed at young people as they are not always as aware as they could be about the consequence of putting photos and other information on social network websites, or about the various privacy settings available,” said Matthew Newman. He noted that this could cause problems later if the users had no way of deleting embarrassing material when applying for jobs. However, he stressed that it would not give them the right to ask for material such as their police or medical records to be deleted.”
60 hours per minute and 4 billion views a day on YouTube [YouTube Blog] – “Since the dawn of YouTube, we’ve been sharing the hours of video you upload every minute. In 2007 we started at six hours, then in 2010 we were at 24 hours, then 35, then 48, and now…60 hours of video every minute, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last eight months. In other words, you’re uploading one hour of video to YouTube every second.”
How Parents Normalized Teen Password Sharing [danah boyd | apophenia] – Interesting insights from danah boyd regarding teens sharing passwords to social media services with each other. It’s all about trust, and that’s something learnt at home since parents ask kids to trust them and let parents look after (or at least know) their passwords in the early years (normally): “When teens share their passwords with friends or significant others, they regularly employ the language of trust, as Richtel noted in his story. Teens are drawing on experiences they’ve had in the home and shifting them into their peer groups in order to understand how their relationships make sense in a broader context. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone because this is all-too-common for teen practices. Household norms shape peer norms.”
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea) [YouTube] – A great talk from Clay Shirky explaining the history, context and potential impact of the US SOPA and PIPA bills which seek to radically censor the internet in the name of stopping “piracy”. Important to listen to since, as Shirky argues, there’s no doubt more of the same just around the corner.
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.”
Harry Potter and the amazing exploding book industry [GigaOM] – “Despite the obvious demand, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has adamantly refused to offer electronic versions of her phenomenally popular series for young adults — until now. As part of Thursday’s launch of an interactive website called Pottermore, the billionaire writer also announced that e-book versions of the novels will be available directly through the site for all major platforms. In one fell swoop, Rowling has cut both her publishers and booksellers such as Amazon out of the picture. Not everyone has that kind of power, of course, but Rowling’s move shows how the playing field in publishing continues to be disrupted. The author said the Pottermore site will offer extra content that she has written about the characters in the books … There will also be a social network of sorts built into the site that allows readers to connect with each other, play games and share their thoughts about the novels and their characters.”
Google to be formally investigated over potential abuse of web dominance [guardian.co.uk] – “US regulators are poised to launch a formal investigation into whether Google has abused its dominance on the web, according to reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is days away from serving subpoenas on the internet giant in what could be the biggest investigation yet of the search company’s business, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both Google and the FTC declined to comment. A wide-ranging investigation into Google has been discussed for months. Google has faced several antitrust probes in recent years, and is already the subject of a similar investigation in Europe. In the US inquiries have so far largely been limited to reviews of the company’s mergers and acquisitions. The inquiry will examine the heart of Google’s search-advertising business, and the source of most of Google’s revenue. Google accounts for around two-thirds of internet searches in the US …”
Kind of Screwed [Waxy.org] – The really sad story of how Andy Baio ended up paying over $US30,000 for a pixel-art cover on an homage album because a photographer (and his lawyers) don’t believe it’s fair use: “Last year, I was threatened with a lawsuit over the pixel art album cover for Kind of Bloop. Despite my firm belief that I was legally in the right, I settled out of court to cut my losses. This ordeal was very nerve-wracking for me and my family, and I’ve had trouble writing about it publicly until now.”
The Social Network’s Aaron Sorkin quits Facebook [guardian.co.uk] – “Aaron Sorkin, 50, was speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity at a session alongside David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme. His admission came as part of a discussion of the downsides of sites such as Twitter. Sorkin described himself as “this side of being a Luddite”, and said he had been on Facebook while he making the film, but had since given up his account. “I have a lot of opinions on social media that make me sound like a grumpy old man sitting on the porch yelling at kids,” he said. Sorkin’s scepticism of social media was shared by the film’s star, Jesse Eisenberg, who joined Facebook under a false name while in production but left soon afterwards, unnerved by the experience. “[I] was sent a message from Facebook suggesting people I should befriend,” Eisenberg said last October. “One of them was a girl my sister was friends with in high school. I don’t know how they found her, no idea. I signed off right then.””
“Teen Sexting and Its Impact on the Tech Industry” – Provocative talk well worth reading: “Most of you have probably read the panic-laden stories about teens who got caught sexting. You may even have read the salacious stories about teachers who sext with students. And, unless you’ve been on a remote island this month, you’ve probably heard countless jokes about Anthony Weiner’s recent sexting scandal. While most Americans had never heard of the term “sexting” a few years ago, it’s hot news these days. And while you might have read these stories in the press, you might not realize how relevant they are to you. More than any other teen phenomenon, more than Justin Bieber or cute cats, teen sexting is something that you need to deal with. And you need to deal with it ASAP, both because it’s the right thing to do and because you face serious legal liabilities if you don’t. When first coined by Australian press only a few short years ago …” (boyd, danah. 2011 Read Write Web 2WAY conference.New York, NY, June 13)
Facebook Changes Privacy Settings to Enable Facial Recognition [NYTimes.com] – “Facebook is pushing the privacy line once again, according to a new report from a security and antivirus company. According to the report, from Sophos, Facebook recently began changing its users’ privacy settings to automatically turn on a facial recognition feature that detects a user’s face in an image. Once the person’s face is detected, the Web site then encourages Facebook friends to tag them. Facebook introduced this feature last year for its North American users; it is now rolling it out globally. Facebook also doesn’t give users the option to avoid being tagged in a photo; instead, people who don’t want their name attached to an image must untag themselves after the fact. In response to a reporter’s inquiry, posted on a Facebook blog, the company said, “We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them.””
Links for November 7th 2010 through November 9th 2010:
Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook [danah boyd | apophenia] – Fascinating look at certain teen uses of Facebook, including those who deactiviate their profile every time they log out (preventing unwanted uses/interactions when the user isn’t “there”) and others who continually delete all FB traces, using the platform to engage in the ‘now’ but erase the ‘then’. The most interesting insight: “For the longest time, scholars have talked about online profiles as digital bodies that are left behind to do work while the agent themselves is absent. In many ways, deactivation is a way of not letting the digital body stick around when the person is not present.”
Google Maps Mistake: Nicaragua Accused Of Invading Costa Rica [WA Today] – Surely no army can really be relying purely on Google Maps data?!? “A Google Maps error is being blamed for Nicaraguan troops accidentally invading Costa Rica last week. The troops have been accused of crossing the hotly disputed Nicaragua border into Costa Rica and setting up camp for the night after taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag. But their commander, Eden Pastora, told Costa Rica’s largest newspaper, La Nacion, that Google Maps was used to justify the incursion. Nicaraguan government officials have also blamed a “bug in Google” for the error. […] In a blog post at the weekend, Google geopolicy analyst Charlie Hale confirmed the error, which misplaced the border between the two countries. The error lies in Google’s depiction of the border in part of the Caribbean coast, near the San Juan River, the centre of the dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua that arose over the latter’s dredging of a river separating the two countries.”
Politicians Caught in the Web in Past Images [NYTimes.com] – A new generation of politicians have long digital shadows: “With the ubiquity of technology and social networking Web sites like Facebook that allow — and compel — young people to document themselves drinking, wearing little clothing or putting themselves in otherwise compromised positions, it was a given that a generation of politicians would someday find themselves confronted with digital evidence of their more immodest and imprudent moments. But who knew it would happen this quickly? Politics today is rife with examples of candidates having to explain why they were posing shirtless for pictures poolside with a skimpily clad woman (Representative Aaron Schock of Illinois), simulating sex acts on a toy (the Congressional candidate Krystal Ball of Virginia), or carousing on Halloween night dressed as a ladybug (the Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware).”
Google bars data from Facebook as rivalry heats up [Reuters] – Clash of the titans: “Google Inc will begin blocking Facebook and other Web services from accessing its users’ information, highlighting an intensifying rivalry between the two Internet giants. Google will no longer let other services automatically import its users’ email contact data for their own purposes, unless the information flows both ways. It accused Facebook in particular of siphoning up Google contact data, without allowing for the automatic import and export of Facebook users’ information. Facebook, with more than 500 million users, relies on email services such as Google’s Gmail to help new users find friends already on the network. When a person joins, they are asked to import their Gmail contact list into the social network service. Facebook then tells the user which email contacts are also on the social network. In a statement, Google said websites such as Facebook “leave users in a data dead end.” Facebook did not immediately provide a comment on Friday.”
Links for August 17th 2010 through August 24th 2010:
Social Steganography: Learning to Hide in Plain Sight [DMLcentral] – danah boyd on social steganography: “… hiding information in plain sight, creating a message that can be read in one way by those who aren’t in the know and read differently by those who are. […] communicating to different audiences simultaneously, relying on specific cultural awareness to provide the right interpretive lens. […] Social steganography is one privacy tactic teens take when engaging in semi-public forums like Facebook. While adults have worked diligently to exclude people through privacy settings, many teenagers have been unable to exclude certain classes of adults – namely their parents – for quite some time. For this reason, they’ve had to develop new techniques to speak to their friends fully aware that their parents are overhearing. Social steganography is one of the most common techniques that teens employ. They do this because they care about privacy, they care about misinterpretation, they care about segmented communications strategies.”
The Mother Lode: Welcome to the iMac Touch [Patently Apple] – A look at a patent for the future iMacs which shows the entire desktop computer will soon be enable as a giant touch-screen device thanks to the technology developed creating the iPad and Apple’s new iOS touch-based operating system.
Sweden Rescinds Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder [NYTimes.com] – Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, was, for a brief time, up on rape and molestation chages in Sweden before the charges were rescinded just as quickly as they’d appealed. In a context where the Pentagon and others have said they’ve the resources to close Wikileaks and prosecute Assange, this whole debacle seems entirely suspicious.
Share Bookmarklet [Twitter] – The official Twitter Bookmarklet, streamlining the sharing of any site or page on Twitter via a bookmarked link in your browser.
Facebook scam lures users craving ‘Dislike’ button [SMH] – This scam works because so many people want a DISLIKE button on Facebook! “Computer security firm Sophos has warned that scammers are duping Facebook users with a bogus “Dislike” button that slips malicious software onto machines. There is no “Dislike” version of the “Like” icon that members of the world’s top social networking website use to endorse online comments, stories, pictures or other content shared with friends. Hackers are enticing Facebook users to install an application pitched as a “Dislike” button that jokingly notifies contacts at the social networking service “now I can dislike all of your dumb posts.” Once granted permission to access a Facebook user’s profile, the application pumps out spam from the account and spreads itself by inviting the person’s friends to get the button, according to Sophos.”
Julia Gillard Impersonators On The Rise [National Times] – There are a lot more fake Julia Gillards on Twitter than the real one (currently our PM); most of the fake ones are much funnier, and all of them get that Twitter isn’t just a broadcast platform (the real one hasn’t figured this out, yet).
Old Spice Sales Double With YouTube Campaign [Mashable] – Apparently social media + charismatic actor + great scripts = advertising gold: “You know those YouTube videos with that manly Old Spice guy and his hilarious responses to Twitter fans? Of course you do. So does everybody, it seems, because Old Spice body wash sales have increased 107% in the past month thanks to that social media marketing campaign. We already published stats from video analytics company Visible Measures that made it clear that the Old Spice guy was a hugely successful initiative from marketing firm Wieden + Kennedy, achieving millions of viral video views quicker than past hits like Susan Boyle and U.S. President Barack Obama’s election victory speech. The statistic of the 107% sales increase over the past month comes from Nielsen…”
Skin Whitening, Tanning, and Vaseline’s Controversial Facebook Ad Campaign [danah boyd | apophenia] – An insightful look at a controversy that has sprung up about a Vaseline ad on Facebook, aimed at India, for a skin whitening cream which offers a preview of a whitened face. boyd does a great job of showing how racism is often culturally and historically specific, and that Americans who are deeply offended by the ads really need to engage with how the ads are read by the Indian internet users who are targeted. boyd stresses that most histories of racism and the meaning of skin-colour are deeply problematic, but the main point is that these operate quite differently in different places and cultures, and that these contexts need to be taken into consideration.
Gay zombie porn gets festival flick [The Age] – Film censorship returns to Australia – gay zombie film in peril: “The Australian censor has banned a film from screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival for the first time in seven years – a work described as ”gay zombie porn”. Festival director Richard Moore received a letter yesterday from the Film Classification Board director Donald McDonald, stating that L.A. Zombie, the latest offering from Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce, could not be screened as it would in his opinion be refused classification. The festival is not generally required to submit films for classification, but after reading a synopsis of the plot of L.A. Zombie, which features wound penetration and implied sex with corpses, the Classification Board requested a DVD to watch, and then refused to issue an exemption. It is the first film to be banned from the festival circuit since Larry Clark’s Ken Park in 2003.”
Links through June 28th 2010 (catching up on the last week!):
Fairfax and content theft – mUmBRELLA – Mumbrella asks if Fairfax media is copying YouTube videos and placing them onlive via a Fairfax media player, then using them on Fairfax online properties: is this “piracy”? Aren’t Fairfax ripping off YouTube creators who are relying on advertising (on their YouTube clips) to make a little money? I’ve no idea if Fairfax has some sort of license to do this (or if it might be legal under fair dealing – although using the whole clip can’t be) but it’s an important question given the rhetoric of piracy being a problem with individuals, rather than corporations, downloading “illegally”.
Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature [Android Developers Blog] – Android centrally nukes their first app from the marketplace and all phones using it; from the Android blog: “The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed. This remote removal functionality — along with Android’s unique Application Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system, centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings, and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage to help protect Android users in our open environment.”
Pakistan to monitor Google and Yahoo for ‘blasphemy’ [BBC News] – “Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, for content it deems offensive to Muslims. YouTube, Amazon, MSN, Hotmail and Bing will also come under scrutiny, while 17 less well-known sites will be blocked. Officials will monitor the sites and block links deemed inappropriate. In May, Pakistan banned access to Facebook after the social network hosted a “blasphemous” competition to draw the prophet Muhammad. The new action will see Pakistani authorities monitor content published on the seven sites, blocking individual pages if content is judged to be offensive. Telecoms official Khurram Mehran said links would be blocked without disturbing the main website.”
ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups [Threat Level | Wired.com] – ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) tries to rally against alternative copyright licensing, even those which actually assist creators to license clearly! “ASCAP’s attack on EFF and Public Knowledge are farfetched. Those groups do not suggest music should be free, although they push for the liberalization of copyright law. But the attack on Creative Commons is more laughable than ASCAP’s stance against EFF and Public Knowledge. While lobby groups EFF and Public Knowledge advocate for liberal copyright laws, Creative Commons actually creates licenses to protect content creators. […] The licenses allow the works in the public domain, with various rules regarding attribution, commercial use and remixing. The group’s creative director, Eric Steuer, said nobody forces anybody to adopt the Creative Commons credo. “I think it’s false to claim that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s an opt-in system.””
Sex domain gets official approval [BBC News] – .xxx is coming: “Official approval has been given for the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography. The board of net overseer Icann gave initial approval for the creation of the .xxx domain at its conference in Brussels. Icann’s approval will kick off a fast-track process to get the porn-only domain set up. ICM Registry, which is backing the domain, said .xxx would make it easier to filter out inappropriate content. The decision ends a long campaign by ICM Registry to win approval. Stuart Lawley, chairman of ICM, welcomed the decision and said it was “great news for those that wish to consume, or avoid, adult content”.”
Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review [danah boyd | apophenia] – “I’m pleased to announce a rough draft of Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review for public feedback. This Literature Review was produced for Harvard Berkman Center’s Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative, co-directed by John Palfrey, Urs Gasser, and myself and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This Literature Review builds on the 2008 LitReview that Andrew Schrock and I crafted for the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. This document is not finalized, but we want to make our draft available broadly so that scholars working in this area can inform us of anything that we might be missing. Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review.”
Twitter has a bad day: FTC tells it off and the site’s not running well [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter’s having a bad day. First it got told off by the US Federal Trade Commission for incidents in January and May last year when 33 accounts, including Barack Obama’s, were hacked using the company’s own internal support tools. And then it’s having to scale back on its API in order to get the site in order, according to its status page. The FTC settlement is “the agency’s first such case against a social networking site” over flawed data security. According to the FTC’s complaint, between January and May 2009, hackers who gained administrative control of Twitter were able to view nonpublic user information, gain access to direct messages and protected tweets, and reset any user’s password and send authorized tweets from any user account.”
1 in 5 Android Apps Pose Potential Privacy Threat [REPORT] [Mashable] – Further fuel for Steve Jobs decision to police the Apple App store so tightly: “Mobile security company SMobile has looked into the potential privacy and security issues in more than 48,000 apps in the Android Market. The company’s findings are alarming for Android owners, since approximately 20% of Android apps request permission to access private or sensitive information.[…]. By contrast, the Android (Android) market is open, meaning that Google (Google) doesn’t minutely examine apps for approval (it did, however, ban certain apps from the Market) and Android apps don’t have to be acquired from the Market; users can obtain them from other sources, like a developer’s website. Google’s approach makes it easier on the developers, but it can also result in a security nightmare for consumers. According to the report, one out of every 20 apps can place a call to any number without approval from the user; 3% of apps can send an SMS to any number…”
HUGE: Twitter Lets You Automatically Follow Your Facebook Friends [UPDATED] [Mashable] – “Twitter has announced that it is launching major upgrades to its Facebook and LinkedIn (LinkedIn) applications, bringing added functionality and integration between Twitter and two of the world’s largest social networks. The new Twitter app for Facebook, which is now available here, not only allows you to syndicate your tweets to the world’s largest social network, but now has a feature that allow users to see which of their Facebook friends are also on Twitter and choose which ones they want to follow. The new feature could be huge: it brings existing Facebook connections into the Twitterverse, which is likely to spur new levels of engagement and growth.”
Judge Sides With Google in Viacom Suit Over Videos [NYTimes.com] – “In a major victory for Google in its battle with media companies, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement against YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google. The judge granted Google’s motion for summary judgment, saying that the company was shielded from Viacom’s copyright claims by “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law generally protects user-generated sites from liability for copyrighted material uploaded by users as long as the operator of the site takes down the material when notified by its rightful owner that it was uploaded without permission. The dispute is over videos owned by Viacom that others had posted to YouTube. Viacom, which sued Google in 2007 for copyright infringement, had argued that Google was not entitled to the copyright act’s protections because Google deliberately turned a blind eye and profited from to the rampant piracy on YouTube.”
YouTube Video Editor [Google OS] – Useful for only the very basics, but still a useful on-the-fly tool: “YouTube has a new video editor that lets you create videos using excerpts from the videos you’ve already uploaded. You can also add a music file from the AudioSwap library, but YouTube mentions that it might display ads if you use some of the audio files.”
Content Is No Longer King: Curation Is King [Business Insider] – “”Content is King” — no longer. Today, the world has changed. “Curation Is King.” Ok, I hear all the content-makers sharpening their knives to take me on. I’m ready. First, why content is dead: Content used to be the high quality media that came out of the very pointed end of the funnel. Articles in the New York Times. Movies from Miramax. Thursday night comedy from NBC. Books published by Simon and Schuster. Creative folks wrote pitches, treatments, sample chapters, pilots, but only the best of the best got published. Then, the web came along and blew that up. Kaboom! Now content has gone from being scarce to being ubiquitous. […] We’ve arrived in a world where everyone is a content creator. And quality content is determined by context. Finding, Sorting, Endorsing, Sharing – it’s the beginning of a new chapter […] The emergence of a new King — a Curation King, reflects the rise of the new Aggregation Economy. It is an exciting time to be in content, and the best is yet to come.”
Pollies ‘twitspit’ in not-so-social media [The Australian] – NSW’s political twits: “Not content with their offline stoushing, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) and Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell), both keen tweeters, have now taken to using the social media site for slinging digital barbs. Last week’s exchange was triggered by Keneally making fun of O’Farrell’s claim that the fact he had walked the Kokoda Track proved he was a strong leader, commenting: “Well, so did Miss Australia, so congratulations, Barry.” O’Farrell took to Twitter to retort that Keneally, having seen her quip “blow up in her face”, “now tries to politicise Kokoda”. Keneally responded that it was O’Farrell “who uses Kokoda as political football”. O’Farrell struck back with a couple of obscure digs at Keneally for her “keen interest” in his tweets about his coffee meetings. He also taunted the Premier by calling her by her full initials, “KKK”, although in more recent tweets he has reverted to using “KK”.”
I Can Has Cheezburger Blog Leads to a Web Empire [NYTimes.com] – “Three years ago Ben Huh visited a blog devoted to silly cat pictures — and saw vast potential. Mr. Huh, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, first became aware of I Can Has Cheezburger, which pairs photos of cats with quirky captions, after it linked to his own pet blog. […] Sensing an Internet phenomenon, Mr. Huh solicited financing from investors and forked over $10,000 of his own savings to buy the Web site from the two Hawaiian bloggers who started it. “It was a white-knuckle decision,” he said. “I knew that the first site was funny, but could we duplicate that success?” Mr. Huh has since found that the appetite for oddball Internet humor is insatiable. Traffic to the Cheezburger blog has ballooned over the last three years, encouraging Mr. Huh to expand his unlikely Web empire to include 53 sites, all fueled by submissions from readers. In May, what is now known as the Cheezburger Network attracted a record 16 million unique visitors…”
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! [Roger Ebert’s Journal] – Roger Ebert on finding his voice, and many conversations, on Twitter: “I vowed I would never become a Twit. Now I have Tweeted nearly 10,000 Tweets. I said Twitter represented the end of civilization. It now represents a part of the civilization I live in. I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi. I said I feared I would become addicted. I was correct. Twitter is now a part of my daystream. I check in first thing every morning, and return at least once an hour until bedtime. I’m offline, of course, during movies …”
Inglis racial slur is unacceptable | Herald Sun – My complete respect to Tahu; it’s this level of dedication to stamping out racism that’s absolutely needed: “Andrew Johns last night quit the NSW Origin team after he admitted a racist sledge towards Queensland superstar Greg Inglis was behind Blues winger Timana Tahu walking out of the side. After one of Origin’s most dramatic days – with NSW team management at first trying to cover up the scandal – Johns said he had no choice but to resign as assistant coach after it emerged he had sledged Tahu’s long-time friend at a bonding session at a Kingscliff hotel on Wednesday night. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Johns told Blues centre Beau Scott: “You must shut that black c… down.””
“for the lolz”: 4chan is hacking the attention economy [danah boyd | apophenia] – 4chan as the hackers of the attention economy? I’m not sure I’m 100% convinced by boyd here, but it’s certainly an idea worth thinking about: “I would argue that 4chan is ground zero of a new generation of hackers – those who are bent on hacking the attention economy. While the security hackers were attacking the security economy at the center of power and authority in the pre-web days, these attention hackers are highlighting how manipulatable information flows are. They are showing that Top 100 lists can be gamed and that entertaining content can reach mass popularity without having any commercial intentions (regardless of whether or not someone decided to commercialize it on the other side).”
Govt wants ISPs to record browsing history [Zdnet] – Is Conroy TRYING to lose the next election? “Companies who provide customers with a connection to the internet may soon have to retain subscriber’s private web browsing history for law enforcement to examine when requested, a move which has been widely criticised by industry insiders. The Attorney-General’s Department yesterday confirmed to ZDNet Australia that it had been in discussions with industry on implementing a data retention regime in Australia. Such a regime would require companies providing internet access to log and retain customer’s private web browsing history for a certain period of time for law enforcement to access when needed. Currently, companies that provide customers with a connection to the internet don’t retain or log subscriber’s private web browsing history unless they are given an interception warrant by law enforcement, usually approved by a judge. It is only then that companies can legally begin tapping a customer’s internet connection.”
In Hong Kong, Eternity Goes Online [NYTimes.com] – Hong Kong, one of the most wired societies in the world, is taking the Internet to a higher level. Bereaved users in this city of seven million got a new way of honoring and commemorating their loved ones Thursday: A Web site that enables them to set up online profiles for the dead, www.memorial.gov.hk. The creator of the site is not some Internet-savvy, 20-something college graduate, but the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department […] Hong Kong culture takes death very seriously. Elaborate ceremonies twice a year honor not just recently deceased relatives and friends, but also generations of ancestors before them. […] The Web site is free, but the site is restricted to individuals who were buried or cremated in facilities operated by the Hong Kong government.
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.””
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.”
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).”