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Tag Archives: humour
Links for March 16th through March 22nd:
- The Hunger Games Game [CollegeHumor Video] – A parody video from College Humor, turning The Hunger Games into a tween-girl fantasy boardgame focusing on the love-triangle, to great comic effect. On some level, though, this is also a pretty decent critique of the way a film which and certain elements of the fandom around it miss the core critique of authority and a media culture, reducing it to a vapid romance tale.
- Dragon Tattoo Has Unique DVD Design – Sony’s DVD release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has confused some people because it’s designed to look like a ripped copy and, sporting letters which look like they’re written in felt-tip pen on a DVD-R. Confusing messages you’re sending there, Sony!
- Twitter turns six [Twitter Blog] – On the sixth anniversary of Twitter’s launch, the service has reached 140 million users, with 340 million tweets made daily. That said, since most active users seem to tweet a lot more than 3 times a day, a significant proportion of users don’t actually seem to tweet much.
- Game sales surpassed video in UK, says report [BBC News] – “Sales of computer games in the UK have surpassed those of videos for the first time, new figures suggest. The Electronic Retailers Association (ERA) said sales of £1.93bn in 2011 made the gaming industry the country’s biggest entertainment sector. By contrast, sales of DVDs and other video formats totalled £1.80bn, while music pulled in £1.07bn.”
- Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up (feat. Eminem) – YouTube – Clever political mashup video in search of the ‘real’ Mitt Romney featuring Romney and Obama in the style of Eninem’s Slim Shady.
- Rob Reid: The $8 billion iPod | Video on TED.com – Fantastic TED parody explanation of the logic behind copyright lawsuits and litigation: copyright maths. From TED: “Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists. Rob Reid is a humor author and the founder of the company that created the music subscription service Rhapsody”
Links for August 16th 2011 through August 25th 2011:
- OK Go and The Muppets – Muppet Show Theme Song [YouTube] – OK Go and the Muppets, doing The Muppets Theme. I’m pretty sure this is what teh interwebz were built for! (Also, the new Muppets: The Green Album looks great [iTunes link]).
- Compare the new CGI Yoda from the Blu-Ray Star Wars Episode One with the original puppet [io9] – George Lucas goes back to Star Wars Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace) and replaces the scenes of Yoda that still used some puppetry with completely CGI ones. I guess Lucas is now fully postmodern: there is no original.
- Samsung uses 2001: A Space Odyssey as prior art in Apple’s iPad lawsuit [io9] – “Did Apple invent the iPad? Or did Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke? Samsung is using the above clip as a piece of evidence in its defense against Apple’s patent lawsuit over the Galaxy S and similar tablet computers. Samsung notes that “the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor.” You don’t actually see the actor interacting with the tablet’s user interface, but plenty of other science fiction movies and TV shows have depicted tablets, including Star Trek’s PADD.”
- Copyright: Forever Less One Day – YouTube – Concise, clear and well-argued video decrying the current length (and beneficiaries) of copyright law.
- On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+ [TechnoSocial] – Superb post by Kee Hinckley looking at the many challenges and issues raised by the ‘nymwars’ (Google+ forcing users to have ‘real names’, not pseudonyms).
- Youth in the dark about sexting [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Australia’s leading cyber-safety expert has told a women and policing conference young people do not understand the consequences of sending sexually explicit images via mobile phones. […] Susan McLean from Cyber Safety Solutions Victoria says many people under 18 do not realise taking and sending sexual images of themselves can be child pornography. […] Ms McLean is calling for child pornography law reform to address the growing number of young people exchanging sexual photos. She says while some people under 18 send explicit pictures through coercion, others are just expressing themselves and child pornography laws are not designed for that. […] “What I think we need to look at is the consensual sexting if you like, the image that might go from A to B and no further. Should these people be charged with manufacturing child pornography and should they risk being placed on the sex offenders register and of course the answer is no.””
- Fox’s 8-Day Delay on Hulu Triggers Piracy Surge [TorrentFreak] – Despite having had streaming versions of man of their shows legally available online immediately after broadcast via Hulu and their own websites, Fox in the US have now added a 7-day delay to all streaming releases (ostensibly to drive viewers back to scheduled TV). And the result of increasing the tyranny of digital distance? More TV show piracy: “Over the last week TorrentFreak tracked two Fox shows on BitTorrent to see if there was an upturn in the number of downloads compared to the previous weeks, and the results are as expected. For both Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef the download numbers have surged. During the first 5 days, the number of downloads from the U.S. for the latest episode of Hell’s Kitchen increased by 114% compared to the previous 3 episodes. For MasterChef the upturn was even higher with 189% more downloads from the U.S. For MasterChef; the extra high demand may in part have been facilitated by the fact that it was the season finale.”
- Facebook tribute site for Ayen Chol ruined by racists [Courier Mail] – “Vulgar photographs and racist posts have ruined a Facebook tribute site dedicated to the little girl mauled to death by a dog last week. The State Government and police will try to erase the posts. The two pages have 35,000 followers, several of whom have contacted Crimestoppers. Some vile comments and images already have been removed. But others remain on the sites dedicated to four-year-old Ayen Chol. One post on a page described the pit bull-cross linked to the girl’s death last Wednesday as a legend. […] A Victoria Police spokeswoman said police would work with Facebook to try to have any offensive content removed. A Facebook spokeswoman said the site wanted to express its sympathies to Ayen’s family and friends.”
- Inquiry ordered as law lags behind teen sexting [The Age] – The Victorian government will launch an inquiry into sexting to investigate whether the law needs an overhaul […] Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said sexting raised serious issues for victims and offenders and the law needed to catch up with changes in behaviour and technology […] The inquiry is to report back by mid-next year. In America, some states have changed their laws to decriminalise the consensual exchange of sexts between teenagers. But forwarding the pictures to others without permission remains an offence. In the cases of youths who were registered as sex offenders after sexting offences, Mr Clark said: ”The implications of the sex offender register are a key part of what we would expect the inquiry to look at. This seems to be an example of where the law can apply in a context which was not in mind at the time the law was enacted and which may well be having consequences that the community would not think were appropriate or intended.””
- Warning: Those Facebook rants can get you sacked [News.com.au] – “Fair Work Australia has upheld the right of an employer to sack a worker over an expletive-filled Facebook rant against a manager that was posted out of hours on his home computer. In a case that highlights the hazy line between work and private lives, computer technician Damian O’Keefe was dismissed after posting on Facebook last year that he “wonders how the f *** work can be so f***ing useless and mess up my pay again. C***s are going down tomorrow.” Mr O’Keefe’s employer, a Townsville franchise of the retail electrical goods business, The Good Guys, believed the post constituted a threat to Kelly Taylor, an operations manager responsible for processing the pay of employees. […] The tribunal’s deputy president, Deidre Swan, said “common sense would dictate” that a worker could not publish insulting and threatening comments about another employee. “The fact that the comments were made on the applicant’s home computer, out of work hours, does not make any difference,” she said.”
- England riots: pair jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite disorder [guardian.co.uk] – “Two men have been jailed for four years for using Facebook to incite disorder. Jordan Blackshaw, 20, from Marston near Northwich, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, from Warrington, appeared at Chester crown court on Tuesday. They were arrested last week following incidents of violent disorder in London and other cities across the UK. Neither of their Facebook posts resulted in a riot-related event. During the sentencing, the recorder of Chester, Elgin Edwards, praised the swift actions of Cheshire police and said he hoped the sentences would act as a deterrent to others. Assistant Chief Constable Phil Thompson said: “If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way in which technology was used to spread incitement and bring people together to commit acts of criminality, it is easy to understand the four year sentences that were handed down in court today.”
- Study finds third of teachers have been bullied online [BBC News] – “More than a third of teachers have been subject to online abuse, according to a survey conducted by Plymouth University. The majority of the abuse – 72% – came via pupils but over a quarter was initiated by parents. The majority of teachers claiming online abuse were women. Much of the abuse is via chat on social networks but the study also found that many were setting up Facebook groups specifically to abuse teachers. In some cases, people posted videos of teachers in action on YouTube while others put abusive comments on ratemyteacher.com. In total, 35% of teachers questioned said they had been the victim of some form of online abuse. Of these, 60% were women.”
Links for May 26th 2011 through May 30th 2011:
- China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work [guardian.co.uk] – Chinese prisons used as gold farms (ie playing games to earn virtual gold to sale): “As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells. Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard who was jailed for three years in 2004 for “illegally petitioning” the central government about corruption in his hometown, reckons the operation was even more lucrative than the physical labour that prisoners were also forced to do.”
- Better Facebook – Browser Extension – Nifty browser extension that makes Facebook more useful – including tracking comments, far more detailed filtering options, unfriend tracking, themes and so forth. Works on most browsers except IE.
- “Literally Unbelievable” – The extremely odd, disheartening and worrying Tumblr blog which captures people’s reactions to stories in The Onion without realising they’re parody and satire. All a little worrying.
- The Tunnel – The Tunnel is an Australian horror film released in May 2011 which took the unique approach of officially and legally releasing the entire film exclusively as a Bittorrent file, while offering other ways to support the film (buy stills and various types of DVDs and extras), betting that working with p2p communities rather than against them would win fans and financial support in the long run. There’s a quick write-up in the SMH and some fascinating background: IMDb initially refused to let the film be listed since it wasn’t using any recognised channels for release (eventually IMDb bowed to fan pressure and it’s listed there now).
- Thanks, YouTube community, for two BIG gifts on our sixth birthday! [YouTube Blog] – YouTube turns six with some amazing stats: “Today, more than 48 hours (two days worth) of video are uploaded to the site every minute, a 37% increase over the last six months and 100% over last year. […] We’re amazed that over this last weekend, you drove YouTube past the 3 billion views a day mark, a 50% increase over last year. That’s the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day, or every U.S. resident watching at least nine videos a day.”Last year YouTube celebrated their 5th birthday with a dedicated channel page and a 5-year YouTube timeline which are still useful, too.
Links for August 12th 2010 through August 16th 2010:
- Cultural Studies – Crafting Fictional Personas With the Language of Facebook [NYTimes.com] – Interesting if very judgmental piece which is ostensibly looking at a fictional Facebook profile as part of a fiction narrative, then suggests that all Facebook profiles are fiction: “…a brilliant stroke to use Facebook for novel writing, because in general Facebook feeds on fiction; it consumes it, and spits it out in every direction. Being “friends” on Facebook is more of a fantasy or imitation or shadow of friendship than the traditional real thing. Friendship on Facebook bears about the same relation to friendship in life, as being run over by a car in a cartoon resembles being run over by a car in life. Facebook is friendship minus the one on one conversation, minus the moment alone at a party in a corner with someone (note to ninth graders: chat and messages don’t count); Facebook is the chatter of a big party, the performance of public cleverness, the facades and fronts and personas carefully crafted, the one honed line, the esprit de l’escalier; in short, the edited version.”
- When to use i.e. in a sentence [The Oatmeal] – Want to know when to use ‘i.e.’ or ‘e.g.’ properly – the Oatmeal has funny words with pictures to clarify these confusing issues. 🙂
- NBN crucial to health of economy: expert [WA Today] – My colleague Matthew Allen talks about the importance of the NBN for future development in Australia: “Australia’s economy would suffer if work to improve internet speed and availability isn’t immediately started, according to a Curtin University internet expert. Internet studies Professor Matthew Allen said Labor’s national broadband network may take longer to roll-out and cost more than the Coalition’s plan but it would be of greater benefit in the long run. The government yesterday announced its $43 billion national broadband network would be upgraded to provide speeds of up to one gigabyte per second, making it 10 times faster than was originally touted.”
- Pushing Our (Tweet) Button [Twitter Blog] – Twitter releases its official ‘tweet this’ button, which can be included on any website with just a few lines or code. It’s fairly similar in style to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, but obviously performs a slightly different function. I quite like the option to include a counter showing how many times a post has been retweeted already – the counter seems to include retweets using most popular url shortening services!
- Whiteboard girl hoax fools thousands on net [BBC News] – Shocking almost no one, it turns out that the hugely popular net sensation ‘Jenny’, who quit her job using a series of messages on whiteboards, is a hoax, orchestrated by thechive.com. The model’s name is Elyse Porterfield and today she and thechive.com admitted the hoax.
Links for February 21st 2010 through February 26th 2010:
- iTunes sells 10 billionth track [BBC News] – “Johnny Cash’s Guess Things Happen That Way has become the 10 billionth track to be sold at the ITunes online store. Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling was officially named the site’s most downloaded track, with their single Boom Boom Pow the third biggest seller. Lady Gaga’s Poker Face took the number two slot, with hits Just Dance and Bad Romance also featuring in the top 25. Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia bought the 10 billionth track winning a$10,000 (£6,500) iTunes gift card.” (I’m pretty sure this means 10 billion items sold, rather than 10 billion different tracks, but it’s impressive nevertheless!)
- Conan O’Brien Joins Twitter With a Humorous Plea: ‘Somebody Help Me’ [NYTimes.com] – I like my CoCo in 140 characters! “Conan O’Brien, the unemployed former host of “The Tonight Show,” has ventured into the twittersphere. His first message on Twitter, posted Wednesday evening, is a memorable one: “Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.” In his Twitter bio, Mr. O’Brien describes himself thus: “I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account.””
- Google executives convicted over posted video [The Age] – Bye bye YouTube in Italy?? “A court in Milan on Wednesday convicted three Google Italy executives over an internet video showing a handicapped teenager being bullied – an unprecedented ruling that the US internet search giant vowed to appeal. Each executive was given a six-month suspended sentence for violation of privacy, while a fourth was acquitted. All four were acquitted on a charge of defamation. The mobile phone video, uploaded on Google Video where it remained for nearly two months in late 2006, showed four students bullying the teenager with Down’s syndrome in front of more than a dozen others who did not intervene. Of the four executives on trial, David Drummond, chairman of the board of Google Italy at the time; George De Los Reyes, then a board member who has since left the firm; and Peter Fleischer, who was responsible for privacy issues, were convicted for violation of privacy.”
- Movie studios appeal against iiNet piracy ruling [The Age] – Here we go again … (or still …) “Hollywood film studios today lodged an appeal against a landmark legal judgment which found an Australian Internet provider was not responsible for illegal movie downloads by its customers. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), representing a consortium of 34 studios, said the Federal Court’s ruling was out of step with well-established copyright law. “The court found large scale copyright infringements (proven), that iiNet knew they were occurring, that iiNet had the contractual and technical capacity to stop them and iiNet did nothing about them,” said Neil Gane, executive director of AFACT.”
- Is Twitter Overtaking Myspace [Richard Giles] – Purely in term of pages views (as tracked by Alexa) Twitter appears to be just overtaking global MySpace traffic (all the more impressive when you consider how much of Twitter’s traffic isn’t through pageviews).
- WhoseTube? [NYTimes.com] – An insightful and balanced op-ed from Damian Kulash Jr.(lead singer of OK Go who made twhen their “Here It Goes Again” video went very viral in 2006) looking at why big music companies just don’t get the internet: “In these tight times, it’s no surprise that EMI is trying to wring revenue out of everything we make, including our videos. But it needs to recognize the basic mechanics of the Internet. Curbing the viral spread of videos isn’t benefiting the company’s bottom line, or the music it’s there to support. The sooner record companies realize this, the better — though I fear it may already be too late.”
Links for January 29th 2010:
- iPad DRM endangers our rights [DefectiveByDesign.org] – The petition against Apple’s iPad (and other) DRM: "DRM will give Apple and their corporate partners the power to disable features, block competing products (especially free software) censor news, and even delete books, videos, or news stories from users’ computers without notice– using the device’s "always on" network connection. This past year, we have seen how human rights and democracy protestors can have the technology they use turned against them. By making a computer where every application is under total, centralized control, Apple is endangering freedom to increase profits. Apple can say they will not abuse this power, but their record of App Store rejections and removals gives us no reason to trust them. The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution. We demand that Apple remove all DRM from its devices."
- Hitler responds to the iPad [YouTube] – Yes, it was inevitable that the iPad would attract the Downfall meme!
- 12 Key Features Apple iPad lacks [SMH] – It’s 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 which will stop me buying the first release iPad (I suspect much of this will be fixed by iPad 2.0!):
"1. iBooks is initially US-only
2. No built-in camera
3. No USB ports
4. No memory card read
5. Keyboard dock sold separately
6. No multi-tasking
7. No Adobe Flash support
8. Can only run Apple-sanctioned apps
9. Can only access iTunes videos and music
10. Lacks HDMI port
11. Screen is 4:3 aspect ratio, not 16:9 widescreen
12. No full GPS support"
- New page in publishing turns on Apple’s offering [The Australian] – eBooks, eBooks, eBooks, OI, OI, OI: "The use of e-book readers is in its infancy in Australia but Apple’s iPad will be the harbinger of a change in the way Australians read books, says the nation’s largest independent publisher. Allen & Unwin’s digital publishing director, Elizabeth Weiss, said: "There is a buzz around. We think iPad will further stimulate interest in e-books." E-book sales – either via a PC or readers such as Amazon’s Kindle – are statistically insignificant in the $2.5 billion book market in Australia, but the industry is expecting a similar pattern to the US where, in less than two years, and during a deep recession, digital books have captured about 5 per cent of the market. "You’ll see a rapid take-up over the next six months," said Australian Booksellers Association chief executive Malcolm Neil. But he said that could result in some smaller booksellers losing market share and being forced to close."
- Microsoft Releases a Study on Data Privacy Day [Microsoft Privacy & Safety] – More evidence that your web presence doesn’t ever just stay on the web: "Our study found 70% of surveyed HR professionals in U.S. (41% in the UK) have rejected a candidate based on online reputation information. Reputation can also have a positive effect as in the United States, 86% of HR professionals (and at least two thirds of those in the U.K. and Germany) stated that a positive online reputation influences the candidate’s application to some extent; almost half stated that it does so to a great extent. What we hope people take away from this research is that an online reputation is not something to be scared of; it’s something to be proactively managed. That means not just removing (or not posting) negatives, but also building the online reputation that you would want an employer (or friend or client) to find."
- Google Routes Around App Store On The iPhone… Others Can Too [Techdirt] – Apps want to be free, too: "I was just recently suggesting that the massive focus on "apps" and "app stores" may be a red herring, as eventually many of those apps can be built via the web (especially as HTML 5 moves forward), without having to go through any kind of app store approval process. So it’s worth noting that, in fact, Google has done exactly that with its Google Voice app for the iPhone (doing so because of problems getting a client-side app approved by Apple)."
Links for September 9th 2009:
- Food marketing, blogging, and how not to respond to reviews [unwakeable] – Lisa Dempster explains how the over-the-top response of the owners of Melbourne restaurant Lord of the Fries to a fairly harmless review in her blog illustrates how business, restaurants and anyone else should spend a little more time understanding how their customers use and converse using social media. Short version: don’t Twitter angry and then delete critical comments on your own Facebook fan pages!
- When’s the Best Time to Tweet? [Flickr – Photo Sharing!] – Nice infographic showing the average uses of Twitter (if there were only 100 Twitter users). Useful for lecture slides.
- The Hierarchy Of Digital Distractions [Information Is Beautiful] – Visualisation of distraction in the digital age. All far too true!
- Warcraft and Twilight Fans Make Wikia Profitable [RW Web] – “According to this year’s Comscore stats, consumer publishing platform Wikia has surpassed DIY social network competitor Ning for monthly unique visitors. Since July 2008 the company’s traffic has more than doubled from 2.8 million to 6.5 million unique US visitors per month. Despite abandoning Wikia search in early March, it seems Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has built another great company. As of this evening, Wikia’s CEO Gil Penchina is announcing the company’s profitability due to its custom sponsorships program. … Best known for its “enthusiast” wikis, Wikia hosts more than 50,000 fan sites including the Star Wars Wookieepedia, Harry Potter Wiki, Twilight Saga Wiki and World of Warcraft WoWWiki.”
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