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Annotated Digital Culture Links: February 2nd 2009
Links for February 2nd 2009:
- Researcher: No Link Between Violent Games & School Shootings [GamePolitics] – “A researcher at Texas A&M International University has concluded that there is “no significant relationship” between school shootings and playing violent video games. Writing for the Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Prof. Christopher Ferguson criticizes the methodology used in earlier research linking games to violence and aggression. He also points out that no evidence of violent game play was found in recent high-profile incidents such as the Virginia Tech massacre, the Utah Trolley Stop mall shooting and the February, 2008 shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University.”
- Internet users worldwide surpass 1 billion | Digital Media [CNET News] – “Global Internet usage reached more than 1 billion unique visitors in December, with 41.3 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released Friday by ComScore. The study looked at Internet users over the age of 15 who accessed the Net from their home or work computers. Europe grabbed the next largest slice of the global Internet audience, with 28 percent, followed by the United States, with an 18.4 percent slice. But Latin America, while comprising just 7.4 percent of the global Internet audience, is the region to watch, noted Jamie Gavin, a ComScore senior analyst. “
- YouTube – 2009 Oscars Interactive Photo Hunt! – “A new genre? YouTube user Copyrighthater has created a game using YouTube’s in-video links and annotation tools. In each video (a.k.a. game level) you’re presented with two images from an Oscar movie and you have to find the difference and click it. If you’re right, you get to the next level.” (Thanks, Jill!)
- The Pope on YouTube [Official Google Blog] – “Today we’re delighted to announce that the Vatican has launched a dedicated YouTube channel. To find out more about why the Pope has taken the decision to interact with YouTube on a regular basis, here is a short introduction from Father Federico Lombardi, S.I., Director of Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Centre and the Holy See Press Office.”
- Video games thrash movies and DVDs [WA Today] – “The video games industry is now double the size of the box office and more than 40 per cent larger than the movie disc industry in Australia, thanks to explosive growth in social games that allow the whole family to play. The Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) today released figures showing games industry revenue was $1.96 billion in calendar year 2008, an increase of 47 per cent from the previous year. Box office takings for the same period were up 6 per cent to $946 million, the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia said. Total revenue for movies sold on disc grew 5 per cent to $1.4 billion, the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association (AVSDA) said.”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: January 6th 2009
Links for January 6th 2009:
- Digital guru Clay Shirky’s media forecast and predictions for 2009 [Media | The Guardian] – “The question is who figures out the business model that says it’s better to have 6 million passionate fans than 7 million bored ones? That is going to be the transformation because what you see with these user groups, whether it’s for reality TV or science fiction, is that people love the conversation around the shows. The renaissance of quality television is an indicator of what an increased number of distribution channels can do. It is no accident that this started with cable. And the BBC iPlayer? That’s a debacle. The digital rights management thing …let’s just pretend that it was a dream like on Dallas and start from scratch. The iPlayer is a back-to-the-future business model. It’s a total subversion of Reithian values in favour of trying to create what had been an accidental monopoly as a kind of robust business model. The idea that the old geographical segmenting of terrestrial broadcasts is recreatable is a fantasy and a waste of time.”
- NIN’s CC-Licensed Best-Selling MP3 Album [Creative Commons] – ” … Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.Take a moment and think about that.
NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked. The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.”
- Twitter accounts of Obama, Britney Spears hacked [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Twitter accounts of US president-elect Barack Obama, singer Britney Spears and other prominent figures were hacked on Monday (US time) and fake messages sent out in their names on the micro-blogging service. Twitter founder Biz Stone, in a post on the official company blog, said a total of 33 Twitter accounts had been hacked including those of president-elect Obama and Rick Sanchez, a CNN television anchor with tens of thousands of followers. “We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue,” Mr Stone said. … Twitter, which allows users to post real-time updates of 140 characters or less, has an estimated 4-5 million users according to a recent study. Launched in August 2006, it has been embraced by a number of celebrities including president-elect Obama, who has more than 150,000 followers, and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal of the Phoenix Suns.”
- How Windschuttle swallowed a hoax to publish a fake story in Quadrant (Margaret Simmons, 6 Jan 09) [Crikey] – “Keith Windschuttle, the editor of the conservative magazine Quadrant, has been taken in by a hoax intended to show that he will print outrageous propositions. This month’s edition of Quadrant contains a hoax article purporting to be by “Sharon Gould”, a Brisbane based New York biotechnologist. But in the tradition of Ern Malley – the famous literary hoax perpetrated by Quadrant’s first editor, James McAuley – the Sharon Gould persona is entirely fictitious and the article is studded with false science, logical leaps, outrageous claims and a mixture of genuine and bogus footnotes.” [Margaret Simmons’ Further Blogged Thoughts] [Windschuttle’s Response]
- Facebook under fire for racist rants [The Age] – “Facebook has come under fire from Australian users for ignoring racial vilification on the site and failing to remove blatantly racist groups even though they have been flagged as offensive. Sydney-based Facebook user Alex Gollan, who has campaigned against the racist groups, has been threatened with violence and fears the site could be used to rally people if another incident such as the Cronulla riots flares up. The site permanently banned one offender this week but only after the issue of racism on Facebook came under the spotlight following revelations that Scots College and Kambala students had created anti-Semitic groups on the site.”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: January 5th 2009
Links for January 3rd 2009 through January 5th 2009:
- Participatory Media Literacy: Why it matters [Digital Ethnography] – Michael Wesch (of The Machine is Us/ing Us fame): “Those of us striving to integrate participatory media literacy practices into our classes often face resistance. Other faculty might argue that we are turning away from the foundations of print literacy, or worse, pandering to our tech-obsessed students. Meanwhile, students might resist too, wondering why they have to learn to use a wiki in an anthropology class. The surprising-to-most-people-fact is that students would prefer less technology in the classroom (especially *participatory* technologies that force them to do something other than sit back and memorize material for a regurgitation exercise). We use social media in the classroom not because our students use it, but because we are afraid that social media might be using them – that they are using social media blindly, without recognition of the new challenges and opportunities they might create.”
- Speeding hoons in Victoria and South Australia goad police with vanity videos on YouTube [PerthNow] – “Furious police are scouring the internet for the irresponsible antics of hoon drivers and have vowed to use covert sting operations to catch them. The warning to exhibitionists who post videos of their potentially deadly stunts on website YouTube has been issued by South Australia’s police Traffic Support Branch Superintendent Mark Fairney.”We’re not taking it, we’ve had enough,” he said. A series of hoon videos made in SA has been posted on YouTube in the past six months. The footage outraged police and the RAA, with both saying innocent motorists were at risk from the stunts. In one video clip, a motor-cyclist was filmed from different angles and can be seen reaching a speed of 210km/h at Eagle on the Hill. The white-knuckle ride was filmed by a bike-mounted camera and several roadside positions. The title of the clip boasts that the rider hit 215km/h. The video, posted in July, included a Google Earth map following the route”
- Homework is fun on an iPod touch [WA Today] – “A pilot program in which teenagers used iPods for school work has increased attendance and increased enthusiasm for homework. A class of year 8 students at Shepparton High School in central Victoria are the first in Australia and among the first in the world to use iPod touches in the classroom for a global “mobile learning” project. The students use the hand-held media players to search the internet, download music, do quizzes, research and submit assignments and collaborate with a school in Singapore. Preliminary research on the program found students were more willing to come to school, did more homework and used their iPods more than laptops or desktop computers.”
- Who on earth is Matt Smith? [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “Matt Smith has been named as the actor who will take on the role of TV’s most famous time traveller. He may be the youngest actor to play the Doctor, but Smith has already built up an impressive CV on stage and the small screen. His biggest television role has been in BBC Two’s political drama Party Animals (2007) in which he played parliamentary researcher Danny Foster.” (New Doctor actor is youngest ever. )
- Popeye the Sailor copyright free 70 years after Elzie Segar’s death [Times Online] – ““I yam what I yam,” declared Popeye. And just what that is is likely to become less clear as the copyright expires on the character who generates about £1.5 billion in annual sales. From January 1, the iconic sailor falls into the public domain in Britain under an EU law that restricts the rights of authors to 70 years after their death. Elzie Segar, the Illinois artist who created Popeye, his love interest Olive Oyl and nemesis Bluto, died in 1938. … While the copyright is about to expire inside the EU, the character is protected in the US until 2024. US law protects a work for 95 years after its initial copyright. The Popeye trademark, a separate entity to Segar’s authorial copyright, is owned by King Features, a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation — the US entertainment giant — which is expected to protect its brand aggressively.”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: January 1st 2009
Links for December 30th 2008 through January 1st 2009:
- Principles for a New Media Literacy by Dan Gillmor, 27 December 2008 [Center for Citizen Media] – “Principles of Media Creation: 1. Do your homework, and then do some more. … 2. Get it right, every time. … 3. Be fair to everyone. … 4. Think independently, especially of your own biases. … 5. Practice and demand transparency.””We are doing a poor job of ensuring that consumers and producers of media in a digital age are equipped for these tasks. This is a job for parents and schools. (Of course, a teacher who teaches critical thinking in much of the United States risks being attacked as a dangerous radical.) Do they have the resources — including time — that they need? But this much is clear: If we really believe that democracy requires an educated populace, we’re starting from a deficit. Are we ready to take the risk of being activist media users, for the right reasons? A lot rides on the answer.”
- Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies by Howard Rheingold [Freesouls, ed. Joi Ito] – “Literacy−access to the codes and communities of vernacular video, microblogging, social bookmarking, wiki collaboration−is what is required to use that infrastructure to create a participatory culture. A population with broadband infrastructure and ubiquitous computing could be a captive audience for a cultural monopoly, given enough bad laws and judicial rulings. A population that knows what to do with the tools at hand stands a better chance of resisting enclosure. The more people who know how to use participatory media to learn, inform, persuade, investigate, reveal, advocate and organize, the more likely the future infosphere will allow, enable and encourage liberty and participation. Such literacy can only make action possible, however−it is not in the technology, or even in the knowledge of how to use it, but in the ways people use knowledge and technology to create wealth, secure freedom, resist tyranny.
- How to Do Everything with PDF Files [Adobe PDF Guide] – Pretty much anything you can imagine needing to do with PDF files, without needing to buy Acrobat!
- The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials 2008 [Photoshop Lady] – Many useful photoshop tutorials from fancy fonts to montages and entirely new creations!
- Israel posts video of Gaza air strikes on YouTube [Australian IT] – THE Israeli military has launched its own channel on video-sharing website YouTube, posting footage of air strikes and other attacks on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The spokesman’s office of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it created the channel — youtube.com/user/idfnadesk — on Monday to “help us bring our message to the world.” The channel currently has more than 2,000 subscribers and hosts 10 videos, some of which have been viewed more than 20,000 times. The black-and-white videos include aerial footage of Israeli Air Force attacks on what are described as rocket launching sites, weapons storage facilities, a Hamas government complex and smuggling tunnels. One video shows what is described as a Hamas patrol boat being destroyed by a rocket fired from an Israeli naval vessel.”
- No terminating the Terminator … ever [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Time will not be allowed to terminate The Terminator, the US Library of Congress said overnight. The low-budget 1984 action film, which spawned the popular catchphrase “I’ll be back”, was one of 25 movies listed for preservation by the library for their cultural, historic or aesthetic significance. Other titles included The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Deliverance (1972), A Face in the Crowd (1957), In Cold Blood (1967) and The Invisible Man (1933). The library said it selected The Terminator for preservation because of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star-making performance as a cyborg assassin, and because the film stands out in the science fiction genre. “It’s withstood the test of time, like King Kong in a way, a film that endures because it’s so good,” Patrick Loughney, who runs the Library of Congress film vault, said.”
- Webisodes Bridge Gaps in NBC Series [NYTimes.com] – Takes a look at the late 2008/early 2009 webisodes from NBC (particularly for Heroes and Battlestar Galactica) and the way these online stories are used to keep fans engaged with television series (or, really, television-spawned franchises) during breaks.
- Nintendo to offer videos on Wii [WA Today] – “Nintendo will start offering videos through its blockbuster Wii game console, the latest new feature for the Japanese entertainment giant. Nintendo said it would develop original programming which Wii users could access via the internet and watch on their television. It is considering videos for both free and fees. The game giant teamed up with Japan’s leading advertising firm Dentsu to develop the service, which will begin in Japan next year, with an eye on future expansion into foreign markets.”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 16th 2008
Links for December 16th 2008:
- The writer’s guide to making a digital living [Australia Council for the Arts] – “The writer’s guide was developed through the Australia Council’s Story of the Future project to explore the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It includes case studies from Australia’s rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resouces in Australia and beyond.” (The online presentation is great, but you can also download the full guide as a PDF and watch the hilarious introductory video.)
- YouTube Videos Pull In Real Money [NYTimes.com] – Making videos for YouTube — for three years a pastime for millions of Web surfers — is now a way to make a living. Michael Buckley quit his day job in September. He says his online show is “silly,” but it helped pay off credit-card debt. One year after YouTube, the online video powerhouse, invited members to become “partners” and added advertising to their videos, the most successful users are earning six-figure incomes from the Web site. For some, like Michael Buckley, the self-taught host of a celebrity chatter show, filming funny videos is now a full-time job.”
- A “Run” of William Gibson’s “Agrippa” Poem from a Copy of Original 1992 Agrippa Diskette [The Agrippa Files] – A video capture of William Gibson’s infamous self-destroying poem Agrippa – to read it, you had to erase it! Amazing stuff.
- Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of 2008 [TorrentFreak] – Surprising no one, The Dark Knight is the most pirated movie of 2008, but how did The Bank Job end up at #3 given it took less than $US 65 million at the box office? The match between downloads and box office figures seems vague, at best!
- News About the News Business, in 140 Characters [NYTimes.com] – “With staff changes and reductions across the media industry, even a blog post can be too time-consuming a way to announce who is in and out of a job. That is why a public relations employee turned to the instant-blogging platform Twitter to create The Media Is Dying, a Twitter feed that documents media hirings and firings in one-sentence bursts of text. “These sorts of layoffs are unheard-of,” said the stream’s founder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve his sources in the industry. “It’s gotten insane to keep up with who was moving around and changing beats.” Initially, The Media Is Dying was accessible only to select Twitter members, as the feed was intended to help those in the P.R. industry stay on top of the revolving entries in their address books. But requests to be included flooded the founder, who decided to go public three weeks ago.”
- Iran’s bloggers thrive despite blocks [BBC NEWS | World | Middle East] – “With much of the official media controlled by the government or hardline conservatives, the internet has become the favoured way of communicating for Iran’s well-educated and inquisitive younger generation. Go online in Iran and you will find blogs or websites covering every topic under the sun. Politics, of course, but also the arts, Hollywood cinema, women’s issues, women’s sport, pop music. Whisper it quietly, there is even an online dating scene in the Islamic Republic. Day-by-day there is an intriguing cyber-war, as the government wrestles for control of the internet, and Iran’s bloggers wrestle it back. Iran hosts around 65,000 bloggers, and has around 22 million internet users. Not bad for a country in which some remote areas do not yet have mains electricity.”