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Links for September 18th 2009 through September 21st 2009:
- RIP Facebook Beacon [Mashable] – “Facebook launched its ad platform “Beacon” in Nov 2007, hoping to revolutionize advertising by posting updates to your Facebook profile when you interacted with its partner sites. This week Facebook said that it has settled a class-action lawsuit against the product, agreed to shut it down completely, and will establish a $9.5 million “settlement fund” to fund initiatives related to online privacy. … Facebook Beacon was a system that posted your activity on third-party websites – Blockbuster, Gamefly, Overstock.com and more – back to your Facebook profile. Privacy advocates rallied against it, however, arguing that data was being sent without the users’ explicit permission. The situation worsened after a report claimed that Beacon was collecting data from partner sites regardless of whether users were Facebook members …” (Beacon remains one of those most teachable examples of Facebook’s privacy woes, but I’m delighted with the idea of money being spent privacy initiatives.)
- Nigeria ‘offended’ by sci-fi film [BBC NEWS | Africa] – “Nigeria’s government is asking cinemas to stop showing a science fiction film, District Nine, that it says denigrates the country’s image. Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the BBC’s Network Africa programme that she had asked the makers of the film, Sony, for an apology. She says the film portrays Nigerians as cannibals, criminals and prostitutes. An actor from the film said that it was not just Nigerians who were portrayed as villains. … But Mr Khumbanyiwa said Nigerians in the cast did not seem worried by the portrayal of their country. He suggested that the film, which depicts people wanting to eat aliens to gain the superhuman powers, should not be taken too literally. “It’s a story, you know,” he said. “It’s not like Nigerians do eat aliens. Aliens don’t even exist in the first place.”” (Well said, Mr Khumbanyiwa, well said.)
- Welcome to the (anonymous) rabbit hole [Unleashed] – Mark Pesce’s playful take on the largely unsuccessful attempts by Anonymous to take down the ACMA and Australian Prime Minster’s websites on 09/09/09/
- VICTORY: FCC to Mandate Net Neutrality for the Web [Mashable] – “The Federal Communications Commission has been in the middle of it, as it has outlined loose net neutrality guidelines in the past. But according to The Wall Street Journal, the FCC is about to propose definitive rules that could have major repercussions for the entire web. The new rules, expected to be announced Monday by Julius Genachowski, the FCC Chairman, will outline requirements for ISPs to treat all traffic on the Internet equally. This means that Comcast can’t decide that Google gets less bandwidth and Microsoft/Bing (Bing) gets more for any reason (i.e. one pays for preferential treatment). It’s also expected that the net neutrality rules will apply to wireless services, meaning they would be in effect for Internet data via your phone and 3G networks. The impact of this cannot be understated, especially as iPhones and other smart phones make the mobile web a major part of our lives.” (Excellent!)
- Google slams Murdoch plan to charge for online news [The Age] – “Publishers of general news would find it hard to charge for their content online because too much free content is available, the chief executive of Google said. Speaking to a group of British broadcasting executives via video link, Eric Schmidt said he could, however, imagine niche providers of content such as business news succeeding in this area. Schmidt was responding to an announcement by News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch that he could start charging for content online. “In general these models have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity,” he said. “So my guess is for niche and specialist markets … it will be possible to do it but I think it is unlikely that you will be able to do it for all news.””
- Meme Analysis: Kanye Interrupts, the Internet (and Obama) Listens [NewTeeVee] – Everything you ever wanted to know about the Kayne West interrrupts Taylor Swift meme …
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