Links for September 22nd 2010 through September 23rd 2010:
Zotero Everywhere [Zotero Blog] – The big announcement from Zotero is that the reference management system is growing up from a Firefox-specific plugin to plugins for many browsers and even more importantly, a stand-alone desktop application. That’s the death of Endnote you can hear! The announcement: “Today we are announcing support for Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Internet Explorer, which account for 98% of the web’s usage share. Plugins for these browsers will soon allow users to add anything they find on the web to their Zotero libraries with a single click, regardless of the their browser preferences. Rather than use the Zotero pane in Firefox, users will have the new option of accessing their libraries via a standalone desktop version of Zotero, available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.”
Google’s Chief Defends His Privacy Comment — or Joke [NYTimes.com] – In an interesting on his infamous comment that teens should be able to change their names when they become legal adults in order to escape their online histories, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told The Colbert Report that then comment was intended as a joke and his intention was simply to emphasise the fact that once something is online it’s potentially there forever. This is either a very clever sidestep by Schmidt to get around one of this most legendary gaffs, or the slowest retraction ever not-quite-issued. See the video:
A Better Games Experience [Facebook] – Facebook moves to reduce the number of people annoyed by social game feeds in their news, while making the game news more central for social/casual gamers: “Previously, you’ve had the ability to hide an application story, or block it completely. Now, we’re putting changes in place so game stories only post to your feed if you’re playing them. This means people who play games can post stories to their Wall without worrying about overwhelming their friends who aren’t playing, and people who don’t play games won’t see irrelevant stories in their feed for which they have no context.”
Twitter patches hole after cyber attack [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Twitter has fixed a security flaw on its popular social media website after a cyber attack sent some users to Japanese porn websites. […] It said no user information was compromised. A tweet from Twitter’s safety chief said the attack had been “fully patched” and that hackers could no longer exploit the flaw. “We don’t believe any user info was compromised,” the tweet said. Twitter’s website was hijacked by users who exploited a security flaw that allowed messages to pop up and third-party websites to open when a user moved their mouse over a link, security technology company Sophos said. Sophos, which has no formal business relationship with Twitter, says the messages spread without users’ consent.” Twitter’s Official Response
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 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.”
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.”
[Screenshot & heavy-handed black-out courtesy of News.com.au.]
While not the most insightful of political messages, the hacking of the Australian Liberal Party website has Australian Prime Minister John Howard showing a different side! I bet the reporter who wrote this piece was hurting themselves laughing, especially with the last line:
The Liberal Party website has been hacked to make Prime Minister John Howard appear to enjoy engaging in a lewd homosexual act. Under the heading, The Liberal Party of Australia, the website reads: John Howard Says “I like to s… d…!” The Liberal Party’s federal secretariat has been contacted for comment.
I wonder what the federal secretariat had to say?
Update: The story’s last linenow reads: ‘”It appears to be a hoax, but we’re checking it out,” the spokesman said.” (Someone is having real fun writing this story! 🙂