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Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 13th 2008
Links for December 9th 2008 through December 13th 2008:
- The Rumor Bomb: On Convergence Culture and Politics by Jayson Harsin [Flow TV, 9.04, December 2008] – Jayson Harsin looks at everything from Obama’s “terrorist connections” to Steve Jobs’ “heart attack” to understand how rumours work in the age of convergence culture (and what a huge impact they can have in an instantaneous, online, connective culture).
- Library Releases Report on Flickr Pilot (Library of Congress) [Library of Congress Blog] – “Only nine months into the Library of Congress’ pilot project placing Library photos on the Web site Flickr, the photos have drawn more than 10 million views, 7,166 comments and more than 67,000 tags, according to a new report from the project team overseeing the lively project. “The popularity and impact of the pilot have been remarkable,” said Michelle Springer, project manager for digital initiatives in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, who said total views reached 10 million in October. The site is averaging 500,000 views a month, she said, adding that Flickr members have marked 79 percent of the photos as “favorites.” The report recommends that the Library of Congress continue to participate in The Commons and explore other Web 2.0 communities.” [Full Report PDF] (Short version: sharing public cultural goods via participatory culture platforms is a win for everyone!)
- Microsoft Office to debut online [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Microsoft is preparing web versions of some of its most popular programs. In 2009 web versions of Word, Excel and other programs in the Microsoft Office suite plus Exchange and Sharepoint will go online. Users will be able to get at the programs via a web browser rather than install them on a PC. Some versions of the programs are expected to be free to use provided users are happy to view adverts alongside the software.” (So, Microsoft are racing to reclaim some of the cloud computing presence which has become Google’s spare backbone … given how slowly Google Docs have evolved as a service, and how crude their slide presentation software is, if their offering is good enough there could be real Microsoft Vs Google competition in the clouds!)
Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 2nd 2008
Links for December 2nd 2008:
- Why defend freedom of icky speech? [Neil Gaiman’s Journal] – Neil Gaiman on defending freedom of speech: “If you accept — and I do — that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said. The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.”
- Iron Man and me [Adactio] – The story of how a CC BY Flickr photo ended up in the Iron Man film!
- ABC views year from on high [TV Tonight] – “The [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]ABC is hailing 2008 as its best ever result, improving 2% on its 2007 performance. With 7 of its top 10 shows being local productions, ABC is also buoyed by several brands hitting all time highs … The broadcaster also notes the popularity of its iView platform and the success of the relaunched ABC2 channel …
iView – Since iView’s launch on Wednesday 23rd July: ABC iView has recorded a total of 2.3 million page views. The most popular iView channel is Catch Up. (This data is up to midnight on Sunday 30th November 2008) (Source: WebTrends OnDemand)
VODCASTS (1 January – 16 November 2008)
• The total number of vodcast downloads this year to date is 14 million.
• Most downloaded vodcasts in 2008 to date include At The Movies, triple j tv (including jtv), Catalyst, ENOUGH ROPE segments, Bed of Roses, Not Quite Art, The Cook And The Chef, Gardening Australia, Lateline Business segments, Lateline segments. (Source: WebTrends, Akamai Mpeg Stats)”
Annotated Digital Culture Links: November 25th 2008
Links for November 23rd 2008 through November 25th 2008:
- Film studios to become ‘police, judge, executioner’ [The Age] – “Internet users would have their connections terminated summarily on the whim of the film and TV industry should it win its landmark legal battle against iiNet, legal experts have warned. Seven of the world’s biggest film studios and the Seven Network last week filed suit against iiNet, Australia’s third largest ISP, in the Federal Court. They claim iiNet authorised copyright infringement by failing to prevent its users from downloading pirated movies and TV shows. iiNet, and the industry body, the Internet Industry Association, say ISPs should not be required to take action against any customers until they have been found guilty of an offence by the courts. ISPs argue that, like Australia Post with letters, they are just providing a service and should not be forced to become copyright police.” (No, they really shouldn’t!)
- de_vangogh – A Van Gogh Counterstrike Mod [YouTube] – Running around in a level of Counterstrike entirely made out of Van Gogh paintings? Tripping, and actually visually quite amazing! [Via]
- Journalists warned of two years of carnage ahead [The Australian] – “Journalists have been warned they cannot be spectators if they are to survive the new world of media fragmentation and digitalisation … . “A report, Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism, released today by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, warns that the Western media industry faces “two years of carnage”, squeezed by the global economic meltdown and the unravelling of traditional economic models. The report reveals that more than 12,000 journalists worldwide have lost their jobs so far this year…. While newspaper circulation in Australia is “holding up remarkably well” with aggregate circulation of metropolitan dailies falling only slightly in the past six years, television remained the dominant source of news for most Australians. The country also boasts one of the highest percentages of online news visitors in the world. … new technology and shrinking workforces has resulted in more than 70 per cent of journalists reporting increased workloads…”
- SF Sunday: Happy 45th Anniversary, Doctor Who! [Hoyden About Town] – “Yes, it’s 45 years since the world first saw a man travelling through time in a wooden box.” (Happy Birthday Doctor Who! I hate to think how many hours I’ve spent watching, discussing and generally being a fan of the good Dr … although I’ve enjoyed every minute. Well, except a few of the Colin Baker hours … :P) io9 also have an amusing (if a bit random) top 45 moments in Dr Who … 33 was, to say the least, amusing!
Annotated Digital Culture Links: November 22nd 2008
Links of interest for November 21st 2008 through November 22nd 2008:
- EFA concerned about movie industry lawsuit against iiNet [Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA)] – “Electronic Frontiers Australa (EFA) today expressed concern about a lawsuit filed against Internet Service Provider iiNet in the Federal Court. A consortium of media companies have sued the ISP for allegedly allowing its users to download infringing movies and TV shows by failing to terminate their accounts after allegations of infringement by the copyright industry. “This lawsuit is the latest attempt by the movie industry to bully Internet Service Providers into becoming copyright police,” said EFA spokesperson Nicolas Suzor. “ISPs are not in a position to monitor and terminate internet access to users based upon unsubstantiated threats from copyright owners, and should not be asked to do so.””
- Kraftwerk sample case overturned [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “A court in Germany has told electronic band Kraftwerk that a producer who sampled one of their songs was not violating copyright. The ruling overturns an earlier decision against Moses Pelham’s use of a short sample from Metal on Metal. Judges in Berlin said the two second extract did not infringe copyright, as his song was substantially different. The move will come as a blow to artists who object to rivals using samples of their work to create new songs. ” (Bring on the legal remixes and mashups!)
- Immersion [The New York Times – Video Library] – A fascinating video by Robbie Cooper which captures the faces of young people as they play videogames – watch that concentration! (There are photos, too.)
- ‘The Dark Knight’ Conquers BitTorrent [TorrentFreak] – This week, in another round of leaks, DVD-rips of ‘The Dark Knight’ found their way to BitTorrent. Unsurprisingly, given the commercial success of the movie, <em>these were downloaded well over a million times in just a few days</em>. From the looks of it, Batman will crush Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Transformers, as it will easily become this year’s most pirated movie.
- Star Trek [Apple – Trailers] – Young James T Kirk … the beginnings of the Enterprise … angry Spock … and sex in outer space. The Star Trek reboot will either be amazing or utterly wrong!
- 19-Year-Old Lifecaster Commits Suicide on Justin.TV [smcb] – “In a tragic story from NewTeeVee, we learn that a 19-year-old user of the online live-streaming video service Justin.TV has apparently commit suicide in front of an audience of fellow forum dwellers egging him on during the process. The death has been confirmed with the Broward County medical examiner and the timeline has been pieced together from several different forums that have chronicled the unfortunate series of events.”
Annotated Links of Interest: November 20th 2008
Links of interest for November 20th 2008:
- New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development [MacArthur Foundation] – “Results from [a] … US study on teens and their use of digital media show that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online – often in ways adults do not understand or value. “It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher … . “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.” […] Significant findings include – There is a generation gap in how youth and adults view the value of online activity; Youth are navigating complex social and technical worlds by participating online; Young people are motivated to learn from their peers online.” [Full Report]
- Musicians Get Meta in Guitar Hero and Rock Band [Waxy.org] – “There’s something satisfyingly self-referential about watching talented musicians try to play their own music in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Especially when they’re worse than you.” (So, the connection between Rock Band, Guitar Hero and actual instruments seems … tenuous at best! :P)
- Google iPhone app baffled by foreign accents [The Age] – “A new voice-recognition search tool for the iPhone has problems understanding British accents, leading to some bizarre answers to spoken queries, reports say.The free application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word iPhone variously for sex, Einstein and kitchen sink, said London’s Daily Telegraph…. But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word iPhone into the application – a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for sex, the Telegraph reported.” (What’s all this about the AmericaniZation of English? :P)
Annotated Links of Interest: November 18th 2008
Links of interest for November 17th 2008 through November 18th 2008:
- ‘Meh’: new word for indifference enters English dictionary [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Meh”, a word which indicates a lack of interest or enthusiasm, has become the latest addition to the Collins English Dictionary. … The dictionary entry for “meh” will say it can be used as an interjection to indicate indifference or boredom, as an adjective to describe something as boring or mediocre, or to show an individual is apathetic or unimpressed. The word was popularised by the US comedy animation series “The Simpsons”, where characters Bart and Lisa use it to express indifference when their father Homer suggests a day trip. (Note to students: yes, it is very exciting that The Simpsons has changed language once again, but NO I do not expect to see Meh in your essays except in very specific, critical circumstances!)
- Disturbing attitude to girls [Courier Mail Education Blog] – An Assault on Our Future is a report on the impact of violence on young people and their relationships released today by White Ribbon. It shows that violence is having a major impact on the long term health and wellbeing of Australia’s children. White Ribbon Chairman Andrew O’Keefe says that the report highlights clear evidence that many boys hold violence supportive attitudes:
• Nearly one in seven (14%) of boys believe that ‘it’s OK to make a girl have sex with you if she was flirting’;
• Close to one in three (31%) boys believe ‘it’s not a big deal to hit a girl’;
• nearly one in three (32%) boys believe ‘most physical violence occurs because a partner provoked it’.
Boys aged between 12-14 show higher support for these sorts of attitudes.
“White Ribbon aims to prevent violence against women. If we are going to succeed we must start by challenging these attitudes while kids are still young …” (White Ribbon Day is Nov 25)
- Your Weekly Address from the President-Elect – 14 November 2008 [YouTube] – President-elect Obama talks directly to the people via YouTube, talking about the economic crisis. This feels a lot like I imagine FDR’s Fireside Chats felt in the 1930s and 40s. Despite the medium, though, it’s notable that YouTube’s comments function has been turned off on this video.
Annotated Links of Interest: November 13th 2008
Links of interest for November 11th 2008 through November 13th 2008:
- New York Times: Fake New York Times Declares Iraq War Over! Here’s Who Did It [Gawker] – “The Iraq War is over, according to the fake New York Times! This morning a cadre of volunteers has fanned out across New York City to pass out a remarkably good, faux-copy of the Times dated July 4, 2009. They’ve even set up an entire website with all of the liberal fantasy headlines. Universities to be free! Bike paths to be expanded! Thomas Friedman to resign, praise the Unitarian Jesus! It’s not funny like The Onion, but obviously a lot of work went into this. Now we play “Who did it?”” The Yes Men. Clever parody; very clever indeed … the cover.
- Big fuss brews over LittleBigPlanet [The Age] – “LittleBigPlanet is fast firming as one of the biggest game launches this year because players can create and share their own worlds, but Sony’s heavy-handed moderation has many gamers crying foul. A key selling point of the PlayStation 3 game, which was launched in Australia just days ago and has received an average rating of 95 per cent from reviewers, is that people can share their own levels over the PlayStation Network. Some have spent days crafting their ideal custom worlds, including tributes to classic games and characters such as Final Fantasy, Pac-Man, Batman, Sonic The Hedgehog, God Of War, Super Mario Bros and Indiana Jones. Over the past few days, many have found their levels summarily blocked by Sony and LittleBigPlanet’s developers, Media Molecule, because they allegedly breach someone else’s intellectual property.” (Copyright vs creativity in an entirely corporately-owned toy world with brilliant design tools … what could go wrong? :P)
- Interview @MarsPhoenix – Universe – “For over a year, Veronica McGregor has been Twittering from Mars. Of course, she’s not living among the wind storms and dirt of the red planet herself, but she is the voice of MarsPhoenix, the strangely compelling, first-person, lonely robot Twitter feed that somehow became the official mouthpiece of NASA’s Phoenix mission and has catalyzed an entirely new kind of public involvement in science.”
- Cloverfield: Mapped [Google Maps] – Blow by blow map of the action in Cloverfield. As you might suspect, the action doesn’t quite make sense if you look at it on a New York map!
- China issues first definition of Internet addiction [China Daily] – Chinese doctors define what they call “internet addiction”: “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”