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Digital Culture Links: August 30th 2011
August 30, 2011 / 2 Comments on Digital Culture Links: August 30th 2011
Links for August 25th 2011 through August 30th 2011:
- Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist [The Guardian] – George Monbiot looks at the monopolistic world of academic publishing and finds a world where profits are soaring while the broader media landscape around them is crumbling. On the ethical side, the important question: should publicly funded reseach end up in journals that cost $20+ an article to read if you’re not attached to a university? Open access might be one answer to the problem!
- Teen hacks ex-mate’s Facebook [Toowoomba Chronicle] – “Bad blood between former teenage mates had driven one to hack into the other’s Facebook page and leave a posting that he was gay and wanted to come out of the closet, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard yesterday. […] Woodside then hacked into the victim’s Facebook page and posted that the victim was gay and wanted to “come out of the closet”, a posting which anyone accessing the page could have read, the court heard.”
- “Does This Technology Serve Human Purposes?”: A “Necessary Conversation” with Sherry Turkle (Part Three) [Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives] – Sherry Turkle interviewed by Henry Jenkins, clarifying many important points from Alone Together: “My earlier enthusiasm for identity play on the Internet, […] relied heavily on the work of psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. Erikson wrote about the developmental need for a moratorium or “time out” during adolescence, a kind of play space in which one had a chance to experiment with identity. In the mid-1990s, I wrote about the Internet as a space where anonymity was possible and where one could experiment with aspects of self in a safe environment. Today, adolescents grow up with a sense of wearing their online selves on their backs “like a turtle” for the rest of their lives. The internet is forever. And anonymity on the Internet seems a dream of another century, another technology.” [Part 1] [Part 2]
- Apple cancels iTunes TV rentals [GigaOM] – “Despite its role as a major selling point of the revamped Apple TV last fall, Apple has done away with TV show rentals. Several bloggers noticed the option to rent individual episodes missing from iTunes and Apple TV Friday, and Apple later confirmed the decision was based on lack of interest. “iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told AllThingsD Friday. “iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.” Very few TV studios were on board with the idea in the first place–only Fox and ABC–so this isn’t a huge change. But now the only option in iTunes when it comes to TV shows is to buy. You can buy a full season or “Season Pass,” or if you want to cherry pick a season, you can still buy individual episodes.”
- Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’ [The Awl] – Fascinating: “Entries such as the one on Lolita demonstrate why perfection on Wikipedia remains an “unattainable” goal—when the topic is contentious, perfection will always butt heads against “is completely neutral and unbiased.” One man’s undeniable literary masterpiece is another man’s abominable pedophilic trash, and they’re both editors on Wikipedia. The edits to the Lolita page (and any Wikipedia page) can seem tedious and petty, and many of them are. But the users’ vigilance in keeping some words and changing others, and debating over content and style, does have a purpose: it keeps critical thinking alive and well. The writing, editing, rewriting and re-editing process of a Wikipedia page creates a new entity—the Lolita Wikipedia page, which is not Nabokov’s Lolita, but a work in its own right. In the collaborative editing process, any reader can use the Lolita page to challenge its meaning. In fact, he can reach right in and edit it himself, until someone else edits it again.”
Digital Culture Links: October 9th 2010
Links for October 4th 2010 through October 9th 2010:
- Perhaps a revolution is not what we need [Confessions of an Aca/Fan] – Henry Jenkins offers a powerful rebuke of Malcolm Gladwell’s claim that Twitter and other social media aren’t revolutionary: “The Civil Rights Movement certainly tapped into networks of all kinds — from the congregations of churches to the sisterhood of sororities, and deployed a broad range of communications technologies available at the time. Twitter is however simply one of many communications platforms through which we forge politics in the 21st century. There’s a tendency to look at it and try to read its features as totally embodying a new kind of public, but that is profoundly misleading. We do not live on a platform; we live across platforms. We choose the right tools for the right jobs.”
- 5% of babies “have a social media profile” [Next Web] – “As social media becomes an increasingly important part of life, it’s perhaps unsurprising to find out that parents are creating digital presences for their children – sometimes while they’re still in the womb. You may think that it would only be a handful of particularly geeky parents who would bother to set up a Twitter or Facebook account for their unborn child, but a study published today by Internet security firm AVG found that 5% of babies under 2 have social media profiles, while 7% have an email address. The main reason for doing this, it seems, is to share baby scans and and information about the pregnancy with family and friends. Meanwhile, many more babies are “online” in some form or other. 23% of fetuses had images of their antenatal scans uploaded before birth.”
- Libya takes hard line on .ly link shortening domains [BBC News] – The perils of URL shortening: “The Libyan government has removed an adult-friendly link-shortening service from the web, saying that it fell foul of local laws. It could have an impact on similar services registered in Libya. The domain vb.ly was revoked[…] Co-founder of vb.ly Ben Metcalfe warned that “other ly domains are being deregistered and removed without warning”. “The domain was seized by the Libyan domain registry for reasons which seemed to be kept obscure until we escalated the issue,” he wrote. “We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.” URL shortening is a technique that allows users to significantly condense often long web addresses to more manageable and memorable links. The Libyan crackdown could come as a blow to other url shortening services such as bit.ly, which is particularly popular on Twitter where all messages have to be limited to 140 characters.”
- The Man Who First Said ‘Cyborg,’ 50 Years Later – Alexis Madrigal [The Atlantic] – “We’re gathered here today to celebrate Manfred Clynes. Fifty years ago, he coined the word “cyborg” to describe an emerging hybrid of man’s machines and man himself. The word itself combined cybernetics, the then-emerging discipline of feedback and control, and organism. The word appeared in an article called “Cyborgs and Space,” in the journal Astronautics’ September 1960 issue. Just to be precise, here’s how the word was introduced: “For the exogenously extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously, we propose the term ‘Cyborg,'” wrote Clynes and his co-author Nathan Kline, both of Rockland State University. From that catchy description, it might not have been immediately apparent that Cyborg was destined to become the label for a profound myth, hope and fear specific to our era.”
- Twitter CEO Evan Williams steps down [Technology | The Guardian] – Evan Williams stands down as CEO, handing Dick Costolo the reigns as Twitter starts thinking about itself as a serious long-term business, not a start-up.
- Cyberbully Is Found Guilty on Multiple Counts in Dead Sea Scrolls Case [The Chronicle of Higher Education] – “A professor’s adult son was convicted in a New York State court of 30 criminal charges on Thursday for using online aliases to try to harass and discredit scholars whom his father opposed in a bitter debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls. The jury found Raphael H. Golb, the 50-year-old son of the prominent religious-studies scholar Norman Golb of the University of Chicago, guilty all but one of the 31 counts against him, according to an Associated Press report. It convicted him of forgery, harassment, and identity theft in connection with a sustained electronic campaign in which he impersonated five people and used about 70 phony e-mail accounts to harass and try to damage the reputations of scholars. Of particular note to academics who were following the case, the jurors rejected a defense lawyer’s argument that the damaging statements that Raphael Golb had made about others under assumed names amounted to parody or irony intended to expose what he saw as scholarly lies…”
Digital Culture Links: September 8th 2010
September 8, 2010 / 2 Comments on Digital Culture Links: September 8th 2010
Links for September 6th 2010 through September 8th 2010:
- In ‘Bed Intruder Song,’ Gregory Brothers Have Billboard Hit [NYTimes.com] – “Viral videos tend to have a short lifespan online. […] But in one of the stranger twists in recent pop-music history, a musical remake of a local news clip transcended YouTube fame and reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August. It was a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit. The song’s source material could not have been more unlikely: A local TV news report from Huntsville, Ala., about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her. But with some clever editing and the use of software that can turn speech into singing, the Gregory Brothers, a quartet of musicians living in Brooklyn, transformed an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother into something genuinely catchy. The resulting track, “Bed Intruder Song,” has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, and last week it was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart. Its video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube.” The background to this meme:
- Avatar activism [Le Monde diplomatique] – Henry Jenkins on the mobilisation of popular cultural in protest movements: “Five Palestinian, Israeli and international activists painted themselves blue to resemble the Na’vi from James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar (1) in February, and marched through the occupied village of Bil’in. The Israeli military used tear gas and sound bombs on the azure-skinned protestors, who wore traditional keffiyahs with their Na’vi tails and pointy ears. The camcorder footage of the incident was juxtaposed with borrowed shots from the film and circulated on YouTube. We hear the movie characters proclaim: “We will show the Sky People that they can not take whatever they want! This, this is our land!” The event is a reminder of how people around the world are mobilising icons and myths from popular culture as resources for political speech, which we can call Avatar activism.”
- Reputation bankruptcy :[The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It] – Should we be able to purge our online reputation record and declare reputation bankruptcy? Jonathan Zittrain: “As real identity grows in importance on the Net, the intermediaries demanding it ought to consider making available a form of reputation bankruptcy. Like personal financial bankruptcy, or the way in which a state often seals a juvenile criminal record and gives a child a “fresh start” as an adult, we ought to consider how to implement the idea of a second or third chance into our digital spaces. People ought to be able to express a choice to de-emphasize if not entirely delete older information that has been generated about them by and through various systems: political preferences, activities, youthful likes and dislikes. If every action ends up on one’s “permanent record,” the press conference effect can set in. Reputation bankruptcy has the potential to facilitate desirably experimental social behavior and break up the monotony of static communities online and offline.”
- What Are BP, Apple, Amazon, and Others Spending on Google Advertising? [Fast Company] – A peak into adword spending: “Google is typically very secretive about the specifics of its search revenue. I can’t actually recall any other leak quite like this one, in which the budgets of specific companies are laid out–kudos to AdAge for snagging the internal document with such rarely seen information. Much of the list, which covers the month of June 2010, will be of no surprise to anyone that uses Google Search regularly (which is pretty much everyone): AT&T spends ridiculous amounts of money, as do Apollo Group (which owns the University of Phoenix), Amazon, and Expedia. It’s worthwhile to note that some of AT&T’s $8.08 million budget was probably due to the launch of the wireless carrier’s biggest product of the year, the Apple iPhone 4. Apple itself spent slightly less than $1 million, which puts the company in the upper echelon of Google spending but not all that close to the top. 47 companies spent over $1 million, so Apple was, at best, in the top 50.”
- On Wikipedia, Cultural Patrimony, and Historiography [booktwo.org] – A fantastic way to illustrate the importance of Wikipedia histories: “… Wikipedia is a useful subset of the entire internet, and as such a subset of all human culture. It’s not only a resource for collating all human knowledge, but a framework for understanding how that knowledge came to be and to be understood; what was allowed to stand and what was not; what we agree on, and what we cannot. As is my wont, I made a book to illustrate this. Physical objects are useful props in debates like this: immediately illustrative, and useful to hang an argument and peoples’ attention on. This particular book—or rather, set of books—is every edit made to a single Wikipedia article, The Iraq War, during the five years between the article’s inception in December 2004 and November 2009, a total of 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages.”
Digital Culture Links: August 24th 2009
Links for August 24th 2009:
- The Message of Twitter: "Here It Is" and "Here I Am" [Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives] – Henry Jenkins has a thoughtful post on why Twitter matters. The most positive being that "None of us can spot everything in our field and collectively pooling our knowledge is of enormous value. For me, that's been my primary use of Twitter both as a consumer and as a contributor." The most negative being the misquoting that from the contextlessness of 140 characters (something especially problematic for academics).
- Identity of 'skank' blogger revealed [The Age] – "An anonymous blogger whose identity was unmasked by court order after she called a Vogue Australia covergirl a "psychotic, whoring, lying … skank" plans to sue Google for $US15 million for breaching her privacy. The model, Liskula Cohen, confronted and forgave the blogger after a judge ordered Google to tell Cohen who had allegedly defamed her on a blog called "Skanks in NYC". … it has now been revealed that the blogger is Rosemary Port, a 29-year-old New York fashion student. … In an interview with the New York Daily News, Port said Cohen, 37, had defamed herself by launching such a public lawsuit. She claimed she had the right to an opinion and that she had been "put on a silver platter for the press to attack". "Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my website: one from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it," Port said. "That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated."" (The privacy 'there and back again' …)
- Fairfax records $380m loss [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – "Fairfax Media has posted a net loss of $380 million for the 2009 financial year. The media company says its underlying earnings were $605m, down 27 per cent on the previous year. Fairfax has blamed the speed of the economic slowdown, cuts to advertising revenues, and the move towards online services for the result."
- Location, Location, Location [Twitter Blog] – Twitter are adding (optional) geo-location metadata: "We're gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won't be stored for an extended period of time. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information." Jeff Jarvis has a good run down of why this will actually be very useful.
- Retractions up tenfold [Times Higher Education] – "The rate at which scientific journal articles are being retracted has increased roughly tenfold over the past two decades, an exclusive analysis for Times Higher Education reveals. Growth in research fraud as a result of greater pressure on researchers to publish, improved detection and demands on editors to take action have been raised as possible factors in the change. The study, by the academic-data provider Thomson Reuters, follows the retraction last month of a paper on the creation of sperm from human embryonic stem cells. The paper, written by researchers at Newcastle University, was withdrawn by the Stem Cells and Development journal following its discovery that the paper's introduction was largely plagiarised."
- Teenager is first to be jailed for Facebook bullying [Telegraph] – "Teenager Keeley Houghton, who used Facebook to make death threats against Emily Moore, has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for bullying via a social networking site. Houghton, 18, boasted on the site that she wanted to kill Miss Moore, also 18, who she had bullied since they were at school together. Houghton, who admitted harassment, was sentenced to three months in a young offenders’ institute and given a five-month restraining order. District Judge Bruce Morgan told her: “Since Emily Moore was 14 you have waged compelling threats and violent abuse towards her. “Bullies are by their nature cowards, in school and society. The evil, odious effects of being bullied stay with you for life. “On this day you did an act of gratuitous nastiness to satisfy your own twisted nature.” On July 12, the court heard, Houghton wrote on her Facebook site: “Keeley is going to murder the —–."
Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 9th 2008
December 9, 2008 / 1 Comment on Annotated Digital Culture Links: December 9th 2008
Links for December 9th 2008:
- Australia’s census going CC BY [Creative Commons] – “In a small, easy to miss post, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has made a very exciting announcement. They’re going CC – and under an Attribution-only license, no less. From the ABS website…
- Texting Turnbull catches the Twitter bug [The Age] – “As the Opposition’s popularity slips back to where it was under Brendan Nelson’s leadership, Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is bringing digital intervention to the fore. The digits in question are his thumbs. Having witnessed the power of the web in the US presidential election campaign, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Mr Turnbull are engaged in a high-tech arms race to win the hearts and minds of switched-on Australians. While some politicians including US President-elect Barack Obama are content with older model BlackBerry handsets, Mr Turnbull owns one of the latest releases, the BlackBerry Bold. And he showed off the speed of his thumbs as he settled once and for all the question of whether he writes his own Twitter updates. “I love technology,” he told online journalists in Sydney as he added another “tweet” via Twitter as they watched.” To his credit, more personal than a lot of Kevin07 stuff: http://twitter.com/turnbullmalcolm
- Virtual world for Muslims debuts [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “A trial version of the first virtual world aimed at the Muslim community has been launched. Called Muxlim Pal, it allows Muslims to look after a cartoon avatar that inhabits the virtual world. Based loosely on other virtual worlds such as The Sims, Muxlim Pal lets members customise the look of their avatar and its private room. Aimed at Muslims in Western nations, Muxlim Pal’s creators hope it will also foster understanding among non-Muslims. “We are not a religious site, we are a site that is focused on the lifestyle,” said Mohamed El-Fatatry, founder of Muxlim.com – the parent site of Muxlim Pal.”
- Facebook scandal shames students [The Age] – “A Facebook network of senior students from two of Sydney’s most elite private schools have offended the Jewish community with anti-Semitic slurs. Students from The Scots College in Bellevue Hill created a Facebook site called Jew Parking Appreciation Group which describes “Jew parking” as an art which often occurs at “Bellevue (Jew) Hill”. The site, which has 51 members, contains a link to The Scots Year 12 Boys, 2008, and The Scots College networks, and is administered by Scots students. It is connected to another network created and officiated by Scots College students with postings that include “support Holocaust denial” and a link to another internet address called “F— Israel and Their Holocaust Bullshit”.” (Racist rubbish, but also another example of supposedly ‘digital natives’ misunderstanding how much of their juvenile digital behaviour will be visible and recorded forever online.)
- Jean Burgess, Joshua Green – YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture [Polity Press] – “YouTube is one of the most well-known and widely discussed sites of participatory media in the contemporary online environment, and it is the first genuinely mass-popular platform for user-created video. In this timely and comprehensive introduction to how YouTube is being used and why it matters, Burgess and Green discuss the ways that it relates to wider transformations in culture, society and the economy.” (Potential textbook material for the Digital Media unit.)
- Learn at Any Time – The Open University [Podcasts] – The Open University podcasts website is a very well made example of university-based podcasts that DO NOT rely on hosting via Apple’s iTunes platform.
What Happened Before YouTube?
Henry Jenkins’ keynote from the recent CCi conference Creating Value: Between Commerce and Commons has been posted as a series of quicktime movies. In his talk, entitled ‘What Happened Before YouTube?’, Henry builds a bridge between the participatory culture he argued was most prevalent before the internet in fandom (see his book Textual Poachers for details) to the culture now vibrantly apparent for the world to see in the clips and communities of YouTube. It’s an engaging talk, and one well worth listening to. And watch for the self-referential lolcats/loltheorists humour being used! [Via Jean]
Links for June 27th 2008
Interesting links for June 21st 2008 through June 27th 2008:
- Simpsons Map for Quake III Arena [YouTube] – A fantastically detailed mashup, bringing 3D textures from the Simpsons into Quake III. [Via Waxy]
- Is YouTube truly the future? [SMH] – Henry Jenkins and John Hartley give their take on the “pre-history” of YouTube, looking at DIY culture more broadly, including punk, zines and fandom, arguing for a deeper conception of participatory culture than just YouTube.
- Monster mash gives ad boss nightmares [The Age] – “More than 6000 spoof ads made by viewers have been uploaded to the website for an ABC television series about the advertising industry, delivering the state broadcaster the kind of viewer participation that would be the envy of the commercial world.”
- Half UK web videos are from YouTube [WatchingTV Online] – Comscore:”During March, 48% of the 3.5 billion web videos watched in the UK came from Google sites, of which 99% were from YouTube…. The BBC only has 1.2% share of the video viewing market despite the launch of the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service. “
- Spore Creature Creator Trial – Download the first tool from Will Wright’s next gaming masterpiece … Spore! Make your creatures now and be ready to unleash them! (Check the specs – this one’s resources hungry!)
- Star Wars Crawl – Make a custom Star Wars Intro – Make you own opening crawl, Star Wars style. Come on, who hasn’t thought about doing this at some point in their (geeky) life? 🙂
- NASA spacecraft finds ice on Mars [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Mars Phoenix Lander has found ice on the surface of the Red Planet, NASA scientists say, in a key discovery for the spacecraft as it searches for water and signs of life on Earth’s closet planetary neighbour.”
Links for May 14th 2008
Interesting links for May 12th 2008 through May 14th 2008:
- Twitters scoops media in reporting China quake [The Age] – "The world had real-time news about China's massive earthquake as victims dashed out "twitter" text messages while it took place, in what is being touted as micro-blogging outshining mainstream news."
- Sightseeing in Liberty City [Flickr] – A fantastic set of shots by Matthew Johnston which compare GTA IV's Liberty City with New York City (on which it was based). The level of detail in the GTA modelling is just amazing!
- From Production to Produsage: Interview with Axel Bruns (Part One) [Henry Jenkins – Confessions of an Aca/Fan] – Very useful two-part interview in which Axel Bruns gives an overview of 'produsage' and the project behind his new book. (Part 2)
- Alice Marwick
- Anne Helmond
- Annette Markham
- Axel Bruns
- Brady Robards
- Centre for Culture and Technology
- Crystal Abidin
- danah boyd
- Deborah Lupton
- Digital Child
- Eleanor Sandry
- Henry Jenkins
- Jean Burgess
- Jill Walker Rettberg
- Jonathon Hutchison
- Luke Webster
- Lynn Schofield Clark
- Mike Kent
- Nancy Baym
- Nicholas John
- Rachel Berryman
- Sky Croeser
- Social Media Collective
- Susanna Paasonen
- Tim Highfield
- Zizi Papacharissi
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