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Links for July 10th 2009 through July 14th 2009:
- ‘Bruno’: Did Twitter Reviews Hurt Movie at Box Office? [TIME, 13 July 2009] – “In the old days — like, until yesterday — movie studios judged the success of their big pictures by how much they grossed on the opening weekend. But in the age of Twitter, electronic word-of-mouth is immediate, as early moviegoers tweet their opinions on a film to millions of “followers.” Instant-messaging can make or break a film within 24 hours. Friday is the new weekend. … Brüno’s box-office decline from Friday to Saturday indicates that the film’s brand of outrage was not the sort to please most moviegoers — and that their tut-tutting got around fast. Brüno could be the first movie defeated by the Twitter effect.” (Can bad word of mouth, amplified and aggregated by Twitter, will a new movie in hours rather than the usual week for bad reviews?)
- I want my cyborg life [apophenia] – danah boyd’s thoughts on backchannels, the potential omnipresence of searchable information and the presumption that technologies tend to fragment attention rather than foster it.
- PingWire – A public feed of the latest Twitpic pictures. Hypnotic windows on everyday life and popular culture, but as the warning says: “Evidently, there are people who post photos which may be inappropriate for viewers under 18 years of age. You’ve been warned.”
- Flic.kr Greasemonkey Script – Useful little Greasemonkey Script to make use of Flickr’s URL-shortening service (Flic.kr). Great for using Flickr with Twitter and the like.
- Find Creative Commons images with Image Search [Official Google Blog] – Google’s Image Search adds support for Creative Commons licenses. Searching for CC material continues to get easier and easier! Just click on Advanced Search.
Links for March 10th 2009 through March 11th 2009:
- Video: Truly Uncut – A Complete Common Craft Video Shoot [Common Craft – Explanations In Plain English] – How many stop-motion shots goes into the average Common Craft ‘in plain English’ video … an awful lot, it seems!
- Bangladesh imposes YouTube block [BBC NEWS | South Asia] – “The video-sharing web site YouTube has been blocked by Bangladesh after a recording of a meeting between the PM and army officers was posted. The meeting took place two days after a mutiny by border guards in Dhaka that left more than 70 people dead. The recordings cover about 40 minutes of a three-hour meeting and reveal how angry many in the military were at the government’s handling of the crisis. YouTube had been blocked in the “national interest”, officials said.”
- Know Your Meme: Boxxy [Rocketboom] – Rocketboom take a detailed look at the Boxxy meme and 4chan’s micro-civil war. Good stuff on memes in general.
- Ewan McGregor twitchy over fake Twitter site [The Guardian] – “Spare a thought for the 19,639 subscribers to Ewan McGregor’s Twitter feed. For the past four months they have been treated to regular updates of the actor’s daily routine. When McGregor was “about to enjoy banana pancakes”, they were kept informed. When he “needed some Tylenol extra strength”, they were told about that too. Now comes the most alarming revelation of all: representatives of the actor claim that the Twitter site and its related MySpace profile are actually run by impostors. “Ewan McGregor does not have a Twitter site or one on MySpace either,” insisted a spokesperson for the Trainspotting star. “Someone is just making it all up.”” (Which would, I’d imagine, be easy enough to do!)
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.”
Links of interest for November 13th 2008 through November 14th 2008:
- Too many twitters drown out Rudd website [SMH] – “So many people were signing up to follow [Australian] Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s short text message updates on Twitter last night that his new page on the social networking site crashed. A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said the Prime Minister had 670 Twitter followers late last night, but he lost most of them when the page crashed due to high demand. Having witnessed the power of the web in the US presidential election campaign, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader are engaged in a high-tech arms race to win the hearts and minds of switched-on Australians. Mr Rudd effectively used internet profiles on MySpace and Facebook and his slick Kevin07 website during last year’s federal election but, since becoming Prime Minister, he hasn’t had much time for the web.” (Yes, I am following our PM – let’s see if this really will be used as a conversation, not a lecture!)
- Google Earth revives ancient Rome [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome. Google has reconstructed the sprawling city – inhabited by more than one million people as long ago as AD320. Users can zoom around the map to visit the Forum of Julius Caesar, stand in the centre of the Colosseum or swoop over the Basilica. Researchers behind the project say it adds to five centuries of knowledge. “This is another step in creating a virtual time machine,” said Bernard Frischer of Virginia University, which worked with Google on the Roman reconstruction.” (I wish they’d had this when I studied Ancient History as an undergraduate!)
- High quality YouTube video hack [Kottke] – A quick hack to embed high-quality versions of YouTube clips rather than the standard crappy quality ones.
Links of interest for October 24th 2008 through October 26th 2008:
- (SPOILER) What happened when the lights went out. [Whedonesque] – Joss Whedon talks straight to the fans about Dollhouse: “Sadly, this is not a naughty post. It’s just Joss nattering on again. I thought it was time to check in with you once again, gentle viewers. Or readers. Or pictures-looker-ats (that might be viewers). Also listeners, sniffers, haberdashers, Olympic hopefuls, the elderly, the youngerdly, and the mighty state of Oregon (go Oregon-based sports franchise!) Welcome all. Welcome… to me. What’s me up to? I’m glad me asked. Me’ve (I’m not doing that any more) been working on a little show called Dollhouse. Yes, perhaps you’ve read about how it’s blazing an untrammeled path to surefire success, with nary a hitch or a hiccup, just pure blazing blazery, comet-like and meteoresque. What’s that, you say? You’ve read other things? Dark, Yog-Sothothy rumors about shutdowns and delays? Poppycock! They’re true. But I never pass up a chance to say “poppycock”. “
- Flunking Spore – John Bohannon [Science, 322 (5901): 531b, October 2008] – Apparently Spore fails to live up to the expectations of scientists and the promotional material for Spore might have been a little disingenuous: “So over the past month, I’ve been playing Spore with a team of scientists, grading the game on each of its scientific themes. When it comes to biology, and particularly evolution, Spore failed miserably. According to the scientists, the problem isn’t just that Spore dumbs down the science or gets a few things wrong–it’s meant to be a game, after all–but rather, it gets most of biology badly, needlessly, and often bizarrely wrong. I also tracked down the scientists who appeared on television in what seemed like an endorsement of Spore’s scientific content on the National Geographic channel. They said they had been led to believe that the interviews were for a straight documentary about “developmental evolutionary” science rather than a video promoting a computer game “
- The Medium – The Hitler Meme [NYTimes] – The New York Times on that Hitler (Downfall) meme: “On YouTube, we’re in a bunker, and the enemies are always, always closing in. The ceilings are low. The air is stifling. A disheveled leader is delusional. This is the premise of more than 100 videos on the Web — the work of satirists who for years have been snatching video and audio from “Downfall,” the 2004 German movie of Hitler’s demise, and doctoring it to tell a range of stories about personal travails and world politics. By adding new English-language subtitles, they transform the movie’s climactic scene, in which Hitler (played by Bruno Ganz) rails against his enemies and reluctantly faces his defeat, into the generic story of a rabid blowhard brought low.”
- YouTube Enables Deep Linking Within Videos [TechCrunch] – “It’s not a big new feature but it’s certainly one that will come in handy: YouTube will now allow you to send users to a specific point in a video by appending a short tag to the end of a video’s URL. It’s pretty surprising that this functionality wasn’t available earlier, as Google Video introduced the same feature over two years ago. YouTube users have been forced to rely on third party services like Splicd to do the same thing. To specify a point, append a tag to the end of your video link with the following syntax: “#t=1m45s” (you can change the numbers before the ‘m’ and ’s’ to edit the minutes and seconds, respectively.”
- Woman in jail over virtual murder [BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific] – “A woman has been arrested in Japan after she allegedly killed her virtual husband in a popular video game. The 43-year-old was reportedly furious at finding herself suddenly divorced in the online game Maplestory. Police say she illegally accessed log-in details of the man playing her husband, and killed off his character. The woman, a piano teacher, is in jail in Sapporo waiting to learn if she faces charges of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating data.”
- Fan fury at Nine [TV Tonight] – Australian “Fans of Fringe who were unaware the show had been pulled from Nine’s current schedule got a rude shock last night and vented their anger in online messageboards. They were universally vehement in their displeasure with Nine’s programming. This site alone now totals 95 posts in one thread alone. Over on Nine’s own messageboard there were more furious comments: Fringe Dweller: C’mon channel 9, have some balls and tell the people why Fringe has been pulled! Oh I’m sorry, you don’t care about what people like. Maybe we could lose one of the four hundred different versions of CSI. God Bless ‘Two and a Half man’ where would you be without them. Maybe you can rename yourselves to Channel Two and a Half Men CSI Malibu!!! Why I’m at it, you pulled Fringe and we still have to put up with that The Strip crap.”
Interesting links for March 30th 2008:
- Getting Started [Photoshop Express] – Great set of simple explanations (in video) for making the most of Photoshop Express.
- Adobe Photoshop Express – Adobe’s push into online applications continues, this time with a (very) scaled-down version of Photoshop as an online tool. Adobe are clearly getting into the web 2.0 side of things, too, with online galleries and a few basic community-building tools.
- An Example of Creative Commons Not Working [Aaron Landry] – An interesting post by Aaron Landry who was disappointed to see Cory Doctorow inadvertently violate a CC license. The issue has since been resolved, but the post raises some important issues about CC, fair use and understandings of ‘non-commercial’.
- Jobs to go in ABC production shake-up [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – Looks like Aunty is centralising in the Eastern states even more, and shrinking infrastructure under the guise of use new technologies and “maximising creativity” while minimizing costs. (Why does this sound so ominous for our national broadcaster?)
- Legal battle over Warcraft ‘bot’ [BBC NEWS | Technology] – Blizzard, the company behind World of Warcraft, is suing Michael Donnelly, the creator of Glider bot which can ‘play’ Warcraft, on the grounds of a very technical copyright breach.
- Cyber vigilantes foil gadget thief [The Age] – Feel-good crowdsourcing/collective intelligence story about Jesse McPherson whose X-Box was stolen, the police couldn’t help much, so he turned the clues he had over to Digg and mobilised a smart mob who found the theif and his lost goods!
- Finding Political News Online, the Young Pass It On [New York Times] – “According to interviews and recent surveys, younger voters tend to be not just consumers of news and current events but conduits as well ? sending out e-mailed links and videos to friends and their social networks.”