Twitter Is a Critical Tool in Republican Campaigns [NYTimes.com] – “When Newt Gingrich said in a recent debate that he was a man of “grandiose” ideas, Mitt Romney’s campaign pounced. It sent mocking Twitter messages with a hashtag, “#grandiosenewt”, encouraging voters to add their own examples of occasions when they felt Mr. Gingrich had been “grandiose.” Within minutes, the hashtag was trending on Twitter. Reporters picked up on it, sending out their own Twitter posts and writing their own articles. The result: for at least one news cycle, the Romney campaign had stamped a virtual “grandiose” on Mr. Gingrich’s forehead. If the 2008 presidential race embraced a 24/7 news cycle, four years later politicos are finding themselves in the middle of an election most starkly defined by Twitter, complete with 24-second news cycles and pithy bursts. With 100 million active users, more than 10 times as many as in the 2008 election, Twitter has emerged as a critical tool for political campaigns, allowing them to reach voters, gather data and respond …”
Google CEO Larry Page: Identity Is A ‘Deep, Deep Part Of What We’re Doing’ [Huffington Post] – “Watch out: Google is getting personal. CEO Larry Page emphasized that Google is determined to deliver online experiences tailored to each individual’s interests and social circles, an ambitious goal that requires the web giant to learn even more about its users’ preferences and personal information. “Engaging with users, really deeply understanding who they are, and delivering things that make sense for them is really, really important. We’re at the early stages of that and Google+ is a big effort,” said Page during an earnings call Thursday. “This notion of identity is a deep, deep part of what we’re doing and an example of how we can make all our products better by understanding people.” Though Google already knows a great deal about the people who use its services, from what YouTube videos they’ve watched to whom they email most on Gmail, the web giant still lusts after the treasure trove of personal data Facebook has accumulated over the past eight years …”
Twitter uncloaks a year’s worth of DMCA takedown notices, 4,410 in all [Ars Technica] – “On almost any given day, Twitter receives a handful of requests to delete tweets that link to pirated versions of copyrighted content—and quickly complies by erasing the offending tweets from its site. That fact itself is probably unsurprising to people familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown process, which gives sites like Twitter a “safe harbor” against lawsuits related to user behavior and uploads—so long as the sites don’t knowingly tolerate pirated material or links to such material. But Twitter has taken the unusual step of making DMCA takedown notices public, in partnership with Chilling Effects, a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several universities. […] Scrolling through recent takedown notices, you’ll see names like Magnolia Pictures, Simon and Schuster, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, among those of many other media companies.”
Apple’s iPad and the Human Costs for Workers in China [NYTimes.com] – Long and important piece which looks at the poor working conditions in some of the factories which assemble and supply the parts for Apple’s most popular products. It balances the enormous profits Apple makes with the human cost which have, in some cases, led to worker suicide.
MPAA Wins the Oscar Screener Battle, but Loses the War [Epicenter | Wired.com] – “Every year, the MPAA tries desperately to stop Oscar screeners — the review copies sent to Academy voters — from leaking online. And every year, teenage boys battling for street cred always seem to defeat whatever obstacles Hollywood throws at them. For the last 10 years, I’ve tracked the online distribution of Oscar-nominated films, going back to 2003. Using a number of sources (see below for methodology), I’ve compiled a massive spreadsheet, now updated to include 310 films. This year, for the first time, I’m calling it: The MPAA is winning the battle to stop screener leaks. A record 37 films were nominated this year, and the studios sent out screeners for all but four of them. But, so far, only eight of those 33 screeners have leaked online, a record low that continues the downward trend from last year. They may be winning the battle, but they’ve lost the war. While screeners declined in popularity, 34 of the nominated films (92 percent) were leaked online by nomination day …”
Tweets still must flow [Twitter Blog] – Twitter starts blocking tweets nationally: “As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression. Some differ so much from our ideas that we will not be able to exist there. Others are similar but, for historical or cultural reasons, restrict certain types of content, such as France or Germany, which ban pro-Nazi content. Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why. We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a Tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld.”
No More Résumés, Say Some Firms [WSJ.com] – “Union Square Ventures recently posted an opening for an investment analyst. Instead of asking for résumés, the New York venture-capital firm—which has invested in Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga and other technology companies—asked applicants to send links representing their “Web presence,” such as a Twitter account or Tumblr blog. Applicants also had to submit short videos demonstrating their interest in the position. Union Square says its process nets better-quality candidates —especially for a venture-capital operation that invests heavily in the Internet and social-media—and the firm plans to use it going forward to fill analyst positions and other jobs. Companies are increasingly relying on social networks such as LinkedIn, video profiles and online quizzes to gauge candidates’ suitability for a job. While most still request a résumé as part of the application package, some are bypassing the staid requirement altogether.”
Links for October 25th 2010 through November 1st 2010:
WikiLeaks on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [The New Yorker] – “Whether WikiLeaks will prove over time to be a credible publisher of such truths is another question. Assange disclosed the names of informants in some of the war reports, even though doing so might endanger them and possibly cause their death. […] If the organization continues to attract sources and vast caches of unfiltered secret documents, it will have to steer through the foggy borderlands between dissent and vandalism, and it will have to defend its investigative journalism against those who perceive it as a crime. Assange is animated by the idea of radical transparency, but WikiLeaks as yet lacks a fixed address. Nor does it offer its audiences any mechanism for its own accountability. […] if WikiLeaks cannot learn to think efficiently about its publishing choices, it will risk failure, not only because of the governmental opponents it has induced but also because so far it lacks an ethical culture that is consonant with the ideals of free media.”
MI6 chief red over daughter’s Facebook shot [The Age] – This seems a ridiculous media beat-up to me: “British spy chief John Sawers is facing public embarrassment after his daughter posted a photo of herself posing with a gold Kalashnikov rifle on Facebook. Oxford graduate Corinne Sawers, 23, is seen standing in front of a family Christmas tree holding the gold-plated weapon – similar to those found among Saddam Hussein’s treasures after the 2003 Iraq invasion – in her profile pictures, The Sunday Mirror reports. The gun is a decommissioned Kalashnikov and is believed to have been a gift to Corinne’s father, MI6 boss Sir John, as a memento of his time in Iraq. All of Corinne’s 873 Facebook friends, and tens of thousands of their friends globally, can see her gun-toting picture on the networking site.”
New Zealand is still Middle-earth: A summary of the Hobbit crisis [Observations on film art] – An outstanding summary by Kristin Thompson of the issues surrounding the ill-advised actors’ boycott of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, the subsequent debates, deliberations and the eventual change in New Zealand’s laws to accommodate the production and any other films with budgets of $NZ150 million (James Cameron is supposedly looking at shooting Avatar 2 and 3 there). If nothing else, the whole debate shows just how deeply tied New Zealand is not with Middle Earth, both metaphorically and emotionally.
LimeWire file-sharing site shut down in US [BBC News] – “An injunction issued by the US district court in New York has effectively shut down LimeWire, one of the internet’s biggest file-sharing sites. It ends four years of wrangling between the privately-owned Lime Group and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The injunction compels Lime Group to disable its searching, downloading, uploading and file trading features. The firm plans to launch new services that adhere to copyright laws soon. Visitors to the LimeWire website are confronted with a legal notice that reads: “This is an offical notice that LimeWire is under a court ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software.””
Tweeting celebrities in dash for cash [SMH] – “Australian celebrities are being offered as much as $10,000 for a single tweet endorsing products to their thousands of Twitter followers, say sponsorship experts. But while the US celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Snoop Dogg are reportedly already enjoying large one-off payments to promote brands and products on Twitter, the dash for cash is yet to take hold here. The celebrities need only post a one-line product endorsement in exchange for the fee, and according to Britain’s Marketing Week, Range Rover approached 40 British celebrities this week to tweet in a similar way about the recently unveiled Evoque 4×4 in the UK. Bruce Kaider, president of Sponsorship Australasia and founder of a sports management company, confirmed that high profile Australian sportspeople were already being approached to endorse products on Twitter for fees of anything between $500 to $10,000 per tweet.”
Facebook and Farmville dominate 3’s mobile broadband data [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – Zynga and Farmville second only to Facebook in UK mobile network traffic: “The mobile network 3 has released the first in a series of research papers describing traffic use and behaviour among its mobile broadband customers, published here first by the Guardian. Of the 2,500 terabytes of data used across the network in July, it’s no surprise that Facebook (by several metrics now the most popular website in the world) came out top, accounting for 7.023 terabytes of data use across the network. 3 says the data, from more than 1 million customers, is specifically from mobile broadband or dongles, which evidently have moved far beyond primarily business use; 3 claims its users account for 40% of the dongle market. […] The surprise is that casual gaming company Zynga is second only to Facebook in volume of data used at 3.584 terabytes, while Zynga’s own flagship game, Farmville, is listed fifth with 1.68 terabytes for the month.”
Go beyond the PC, Microsoft urged [BBC News] – “Microsoft must think beyond the PC if it is to weather the changes due to hit in the next five years. The warning was given by Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie in a memo penned soon after he announced he was leaving the company. […] he said, the strengths that had helped Microsoft grow in the past now risked holding it back. The memo, called “Dawn of a New Day” mirrors one Mr Ozzie wrote soon after taking over from Bill Gates as the man in charge of charting the development direction of Microsoft’s portfolio of programs. That first memo imagined a world of seamless computing and kicked off Microsoft’s attempts to get its many different programs working together across lots of different devices. In Dawn of a New Day, Mr Ozzie praised the work Microsoft had done towards that end, but said rivals had done even better.”
A Labor Issue Entangles ‘The Hobbit’ [NYTimes.com] – The real battle for Middle Earth: “Is Wellywood burning? New Zealand’s feisty film workers have taken to the streets this week to try to keep Peter Jackson’s production of “The Hobbit” in their country, nudging the prime minister, John Key, toward a Tuesday summit meeting with a visiting contingent of Warner Brothers executives. Filming had been threatened by a dispute over whether a New Zealand branch of an Australian union could engage in collective bargaining on the Hollywood films, which they have not been able to do in the past. As of Tuesday afternoon in Wellington — the New Zealand capital and the center of a growing movie industry sometimes called Wellywood — the matter was unsettled. But it was clear that Mr. Jackson’s furry little film creatures were not going anywhere without a fight.”
Sony Kills The Cassette Walkman On The iPod’s Birthday [Gizmodo Australia] – Steve Jobs killed the cassette playing star? “After 30 years, Sony has announced that they will stop manufacturing and selling the venerable cassette Walkman. In a poetic twist, the official death of the Walkman also lands on the iPod’s 9th anniversary. The Sony Walkman was introduced on July 1, 1979 in Japan and it was a major breakthrough in delivering a low-cost portable stereo. […] Over its 30 year history of the Cassette Walkman, Sony sold 200 million units. A portable music player became a part of our lives, largely in part of the Walkman.”
Links for August 27th 2010 through August 30th 2010:
iPod sales drop to lowest quarterly number since 2006 [Business | The Guardian] – Sales of the traditional iPod are slowing in the face of the dramatic growth of iPhones, iPads and other competitor products. Apparently the music industry is concerned because they were betting on (presumably old-style) iPods to be the great saviour of the music industry, ensuring the next generation was downloading music legally, replacing slowing CD sales. The article also mentions the shift some canny bands have made to band-specific apps, meshing music and other experiences together via in bespoke applications, which better suit an iPhone/iPad environment. To be honest, nothing in this article should come as a shock, but it does point out that with 5 billion app downloads from the Apple store in just 2 years, this is definitely the peak growth area.
The Trouble with the Fourth Estate [Snurblog] – A sobering but insightful analysis by Axel Bruns regarding the failings of political journalism and the limits of political blogging in Australia today. Axel argues that the ‘fourth estate’ is probably the wrong metaphor for political bloggers today, although they struggle perhaps to be a fourth branch at times, doing some work once in realm of good journalism. The short version, though: “we’re stuck in a muddle, where journalists won’t and bloggers can’t exercise the informative function with as much energy and commitment as it actually requires – and that’s a very problematic state of affairs, especially in a political situation that is as confusing as the one we now find ourselves in.”
The Ballad of Cat Bin Lady: The Internet’s Latest Viral Villain [Mashable] – Coventry, England resident Mary Bale made a stupid decision when she pushed a local cat into a wheelie bin and shut the lid. By virtue of CCTV footage posted online, she was identified, named and shamed, and so forth. She’s become a meme, and a hated meme at that. But is the response too much? A ‘Death to Mary Bale’ Facebook group has just been shut down, suggested that in ‘citizen justice’ the penalties often vastly outweigh the crime.
Facebook Trademark Lawsuit Aims to Limit Use of “Book” by Others [Mashable] – “Facebook has filed suit against Teachbook.com, an online community for teachers. The lawsuit accuses Teachbook of “misappropriating the distinctive BOOK portion of Facebook’s trademark.” The lawsuit argues that Teachbook’s use of “book” dilutes the Facebook (Facebook) brand name, impairs Facebook’s ability to remain unique and creates the facade of a false relationship between the two social networking entities. While Facebook does not own the rights to the word “book” in all its forms, the company believes its name trademark applies to the word “book” when used in connection with a website of similar purpose. Facebook also takes issue with the fact that Teachbook has attempted to trademark its name and makes claims about being “Facebook for teachers” on the Teachbook website.” (Oh noes: I’ve been using this trademark infringing NOTEBOOK all this time …)
Show us the money! Oz Budget under CC [Creative Commons Australia] – Perhaps the only outstanding thing about the Australian budget was the licensing of it (congrats to CC Australia!): “In the debate over the merits of last night’s conservative budget, there’s one thing we’d argue Swan did get right – the licensing. The entire budget has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution licence. This means the material it contains – the deficit strategy, the fiscal aggregates, the government’s responses to the economic crisis – is all available for free reuse, by anyone, for any purpose, as long as the source is attributed. A single document, even one that’s 350 pages long, may not seem like that big a deal compared to some of the other open government initiatives over the last few years – like the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s entire store of census data under CC. But as a public endorsement of CC as the licence of choice for the Australian Federal Government, it’s huge.”
Roulette Russian: The teen-ager behind Chatroulette [The New Yorker] – A really odd feature from Julia Ioffe which is based on interviews with Andrey Ternovskiy, the Russian teenager who invented Chatroulette. Ioffe’s story is more about Ternovskiy leaving Russia for the US than anything else and it paints Chatroulette as a website built with equal parts of skill and naivete. It ends of a rather hollow note, implying that relationships built online are substantially less than ‘real’.
Confusing *a* public with *the* public « BuzzMachine – Jeff Jarvis thinks ‘a public’ is a small group, while ‘the public’ is everyone; he think Facebook needs to think this, too: “I think Facebook’s problem lately with its disliked like button (and Google’s problem with the start of Buzz) is that they confuse the notion of the public sphere—that is, all of us—with the idea of making a public—that is, the small societies we create on Facebook or join on Twitter. Private v. public is not a binary decision; there is a vast middle inbetween that is about the control of our own publics. Allow me to explain…. […] That is, when I blog something, I am publishing it to the world for anyone and everyone to see: the more the better, is the assumption. But when I put something on Facebook my assumption had been that I was sharing it just with the public I created and control there. That public is private.”
Obama stresses education over iPod, Xbox [Reuters] – “President Barack Obama told college graduates on Sunday the era of the iPod and the Xbox has not always been good for the cause of a strong education. Obama said today’s college graduates are coming of age at a time of great difficulty for the United States. They face a tough economy for jobs, two wars and a 24/7 media environment not always dedicated to the truth, he said. Added to the mix are the distractions offered by popular electronic devices that entertain millions of Americans. “With iPods and iPads; Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,” Obama said.”
Music off the menu as licensing row heats up [SMH] – “The fee paid by restaurants and cafes for background music is due to skyrocket if a new licensing proposal goes ahead. For Stuart Knox, the owner of the 55-seat Fix St James restaurant in the city, it means his annual licence fee would rise from $69 to more than $5500. ‘‘For that sort of fee, I’d prefer to buy my customers an iPod each and they can listen in private at their table,” he says. There is widespread concern in the restaurant industry that new tariffs suggested by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia will make the cost of playing music prohibitive.” (If costs get too out of hand, I wonder if someone will collate a whole range of Creative Commons Attribution – CC BY – music and point Australian restaurants to it – they wouldn’t need to pay a cent!)
Apple tries to silence owner of exploding iPod with gagging order [Times Online] – “Apple attempted to silence a father and daughter with a gagging order after the child’s iPod music player exploded and the family sought a refund from the company. The Times has learnt that the company would offer the family a full refund only if they were willing to sign a settlement form. The proposed agreement left them open to legal action if they ever disclosed the terms of the settlement.”
2009 Social Network Analysis – Social Network Demographics – Social Network Geographic Data [Ignite Social Media] – Useful 2009 snapshot of the demographics and for: Badoo.com, Bebo.com, Digg.com, Facebook.com, Fark.com, Flickr.com, Flixster.com, Friendster.com, Gather.com, Habbo.com, Hi5.com, Iambored.com, Identi.ca, IndianPad.com, Last.fm, Linkedin.com, Livejournal.com, Meetup.com, Metafilter.com, Mixx.com, Multiply.com, Myspace.com, Netlog.com, Newsvine.com, Ning.com, Plaxo.com, Plurk.com, Pownce.com, Propeller.com, Reddit.com, Reunion.com, Shoutwire.com, Skyrock.com, Stumbleupon.com, Tribe.net, Tuenti.com, Twitter.com, Wayn.com, Xanga.com, Yelp.com, YouTube.com.
How-To: Read George Orwell’s 1984 on your Kindle [Make Online] – “Citizen! If you bought a copy of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-four,” (1984) for your Kindle it was deleted. It appears that the publisher changed its mind about digital versions (update, they were never allowed to publish them in the first place) and Amazon reached in and removed it from your reader. Sorry for the inconvenience! So, what to do? Let’s assume you’re going to go on a nice trip, like Australia, and you really wanted to read 1984 – once you get there, you can easily reload your Kindle with a copy of 1984.” (Yes, under Australian copyright law, 1984 is in the public domain!) [Via BBoing]
Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions [Federal Government] – “The Australian Government released the Australia’s Digital Economy: Future Directions paper on 14 July 2009 which outlines: * why the digital economy is important for Australia * the current state of digital economy engagement in Australia and why current metrics point to a need for strategic action * the elements of a successful digital economy * the role for the Government in developing Australia’s digital economy, and * case studies of Australians who have successfully engaged with the digital economy from a diversity of industries including content, e-health, maps, banking, education, smart technology and citizen journalism.”
SharePod – Nifty freeware application for backing up music FROM your iPod/iPhone to your PC. Especially useful if your computer dies and you want to restore your library from your iPod rather than ripping the music of 200+ CDs!
Iran – The Rebellion Network [Foreign Correspondent – ABC] – Foreign Correspondent Story: ‘The Rebellion Network’ originally broadcast 07/07/2009, reporter: Eric Campbell. A solid overview of the role of social media in the post-election protests and other social movements in Iran (with particular mention of Twitter).
Links for January 3rd 2009 through January 5th 2009:
Participatory Media Literacy: Why it matters [Digital Ethnography] – Michael Wesch (of The Machine is Us/ing Us fame): “Those of us striving to integrate participatory media literacy practices into our classes often face resistance. Other faculty might argue that we are turning away from the foundations of print literacy, or worse, pandering to our tech-obsessed students. Meanwhile, students might resist too, wondering why they have to learn to use a wiki in an anthropology class. The surprising-to-most-people-fact is that students would prefer less technology in the classroom (especially *participatory* technologies that force them to do something other than sit back and memorize material for a regurgitation exercise). We use social media in the classroom not because our students use it, but because we are afraid that social media might be using them – that they are using social media blindly, without recognition of the new challenges and opportunities they might create.”
Speeding hoons in Victoria and South Australia goad police with vanity videos on YouTube [PerthNow] – “Furious police are scouring the internet for the irresponsible antics of hoon drivers and have vowed to use covert sting operations to catch them. The warning to exhibitionists who post videos of their potentially deadly stunts on website YouTube has been issued by South Australia’s police Traffic Support Branch Superintendent Mark Fairney.”We’re not taking it, we’ve had enough,” he said. A series of hoon videos made in SA has been posted on YouTube in the past six months. The footage outraged police and the RAA, with both saying innocent motorists were at risk from the stunts. In one video clip, a motor-cyclist was filmed from different angles and can be seen reaching a speed of 210km/h at Eagle on the Hill. The white-knuckle ride was filmed by a bike-mounted camera and several roadside positions. The title of the clip boasts that the rider hit 215km/h. The video, posted in July, included a Google Earth map following the route”
Homework is fun on an iPod touch [WA Today] – “A pilot program in which teenagers used iPods for school work has increased attendance and increased enthusiasm for homework. A class of year 8 students at Shepparton High School in central Victoria are the first in Australia and among the first in the world to use iPod touches in the classroom for a global “mobile learning” project. The students use the hand-held media players to search the internet, download music, do quizzes, research and submit assignments and collaborate with a school in Singapore. Preliminary research on the program found students were more willing to come to school, did more homework and used their iPods more than laptops or desktop computers.”
Who on earth is Matt Smith? [BBC NEWS | Entertainment] – “Matt Smith has been named as the actor who will take on the role of TV’s most famous time traveller. He may be the youngest actor to play the Doctor, but Smith has already built up an impressive CV on stage and the small screen. His biggest television role has been in BBC Two’s political drama Party Animals (2007) in which he played parliamentary researcher Danny Foster.” (New Doctor actor is youngest ever. )
Popeye the Sailor copyright free 70 years after Elzie Segar’s death [Times Online] – ““I yam what I yam,” declared Popeye. And just what that is is likely to become less clear as the copyright expires on the character who generates about £1.5 billion in annual sales. From January 1, the iconic sailor falls into the public domain in Britain under an EU law that restricts the rights of authors to 70 years after their death. Elzie Segar, the Illinois artist who created Popeye, his love interest Olive Oyl and nemesis Bluto, died in 1938. … While the copyright is about to expire inside the EU, the character is protected in the US until 2024. US law protects a work for 95 years after its initial copyright. The Popeye trademark, a separate entity to Segar’s authorial copyright, is owned by King Features, a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation — the US entertainment giant — which is expected to protect its brand aggressively.”
Links for December 4th 2008 through December 8th 2008:
Top 10 Most Pirated Games of 2008 [TorrentFreak] – “As expected, Spore is by far the most downloaded game on BitTorrent, in part thanks to the DRM that came with the game. Traditionally, games can’t compete with the most pirated movies and TV-shows in actual download numbers, but Spore came very close this year. Only 10 days after the game’s launch date, already half a million people had downloaded the game. During the months after that, another million people obtained a copy of the game via BitTorrent. According to our estimates, Spore was downloaded 1.7 million times since early September, a record breaking figure for a game.”
Sony Killing Questionable LittleBigPlanet Levels, Without Warning [Game | Life from Wired.com] – Sony have been deleting the shared levels of LittleBigPlanet which users have made featuring, what Sony feel, are copyrighted or trademarked materials. Creators are given no warning, no opportunity to alter their levels to remove supposedly offending material, and simply find their levels gone. Sony have created an incredible toybox of creativity with LittleBigWorld but seem determined to upset so many people who actually create anything with it. This is how to kill a user community and guarentee the game never reaches it potential. Silly Sony, the lessons of web 2.0 clearly haven’t been learnt.
iBreath to tackle drink driving [WA Today] – “The latest weapon in the war against drink driving is a breathalyser linked to an iPod or iPhone. The iBreath allows users to check their blood alcohol content to see if they are fit to drive.” (I’m sure after a few drinks connecting this little accessory will be entirely straightforward! LOL)