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Links for November 12th through November 17th:
- An Oscar for Andy? by Tama Leaver [Antenna] – My first Antenna post looks at the possibility of a synthespian in the running for an acting Oscar: “On the back of the unexpected success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the big news isn’t a planned sequel but rather a “a healthy seven-figure deal for Andy Serkis to reprise his role as lead ape Caesar” along with the announcement that 20th Century Fox will be mounting an Oscar campaign aimed at getting Serkis a long overdue nod for Best Supporting Actor. It’s significant, too, because we never see Andy Serkis directly in Rise; rather, Caesar was created by the meshing of Serkis’s visceral, physical acting and the state-of-the-art computer wizardry from Weta Digital. Whether you prefer the term virtual actor, synthespian (‘synthetic thespian’) or just performance capture, an Academy Award for Serkis would demonstrate a widening understanding of what ‘acting’ actually means.”
- Google Music is open for business [Official Google Blog] – Google’s competitor to Apple’s iTunes has gone live, cleverly basing itself in the Android store. Of course, it’s not yet available in Australia.
- Salman Rushdie claims victory in Facebook name battle [BBC News ] – “Author Salman Rushdie says he has won a battle with Facebook over what to call himself on his profile page on the social network. Rushdie’s dispute with Facebook began after he asked to be allowed to use his middle name Salman – the one he is known by across the world. But Facebook, which has strict real name policies, had insisted on Ahmed – the novelist’s first name. Rushdie says Facebook has “buckled” after he began tweeting about the row. “Victory! #Facebook has buckled! I’m Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun. Thank you Twitter!” wrote the British Indian author, who is known as SalmanRushdie on Twitter. “Just received an apology from The #Facebook Team. All is sweetness and light.””
- Aussie expat’s TV torrent site shut down as The Slap producers intervene [SMH] – “The producers of ABC1 drama The Slap have succeeded in shutting down a Netherlands-based piracy website that over 40,000 Australian and New Zealand expats use to illegally watch local shows. The site, diwana.org, is run by an Australian expat who started the site over five years ago and is popular with expats and others based overseas who are looking to access Australia and New Zealand TV content, which is often difficult to access internationally.[…] Despite the shutdown of Diwana.org, The Slap is still widely available on other pirate websites.”
- Exfoliate for Facebook [Android Market] – Android app to delete unwanted Facebook history: “Exfoliate automates the removal of old, forgotten, content from Facebook(tm). Old content on social networking sites is a threat to your privacy. Removing this old content by hand is tedious, and practically impossible. On your wall, Exfoliate can remove any post, comment, or like, whether made by you or by others, older than a time you specify. Exfoliate can remove your own posts, comments, and likes, from your friends’ walls too. You can choose the age of items you wish removed, and Exfoliate will remove any items that are at least as old as your selection from any of your selected content areas. It is important, though, to understand that Exfoliate truly deletes the content. It is not backed up and it is not recoverable – well, that’s kinda the point. […] Exfoliate is a network and battery hog, and there’s simply no way around this. To manage the impact, you can stop Exfoliate at any time, and restart Exfoliate later.”
- Jailbreak the Patriarchy: my first Chrome extension [Danielle Sucher] – Clever: “I just released my first Chrome extension! It’s called Jailbreak the Patriarchy, and if you’re running Chrome, you can head over here to install it. What does it do? Jailbreak the Patriarchy genderswaps the world for you. When it’s installed, everything you read in Chrome (except for gmail, so far) loads with pronouns and a reasonably thorough set of other gendered words swapped. For example: “he loved his mother very much” would read as “she loved her father very much”, “the patriarchy also hurts men” would read as “the matriarchy also hurts women”, that sort of thing. This makes reading stuff on the internet a pretty fascinating and eye-opening experience, I must say. What would the world be like if we reversed the way we speak about women and men? Well, now you can find out!”
Links of interest for November 20th 2008:
- New Study Shows Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development [MacArthur Foundation] – “Results from [a] … US study on teens and their use of digital media show that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online – often in ways adults do not understand or value. “It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online,” said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher … . “There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.” […] Significant findings include – There is a generation gap in how youth and adults view the value of online activity; Youth are navigating complex social and technical worlds by participating online; Young people are motivated to learn from their peers online.” [Full Report]
- Musicians Get Meta in Guitar Hero and Rock Band [Waxy.org] – “There’s something satisfyingly self-referential about watching talented musicians try to play their own music in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Especially when they’re worse than you.” (So, the connection between Rock Band, Guitar Hero and actual instruments seems … tenuous at best! :P)
- Google iPhone app baffled by foreign accents [The Age] – “A new voice-recognition search tool for the iPhone has problems understanding British accents, leading to some bizarre answers to spoken queries, reports say.The free application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word iPhone variously for sex, Einstein and kitchen sink, said London’s Daily Telegraph…. But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word iPhone into the application – a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for sex, the Telegraph reported.” (What’s all this about the AmericaniZation of English? :P)
Links of interest for November 17th 2008 through November 18th 2008:
- ‘Meh’: new word for indifference enters English dictionary [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Meh”, a word which indicates a lack of interest or enthusiasm, has become the latest addition to the Collins English Dictionary. … The dictionary entry for “meh” will say it can be used as an interjection to indicate indifference or boredom, as an adjective to describe something as boring or mediocre, or to show an individual is apathetic or unimpressed. The word was popularised by the US comedy animation series “The Simpsons”, where characters Bart and Lisa use it to express indifference when their father Homer suggests a day trip. (Note to students: yes, it is very exciting that The Simpsons has changed language once again, but NO I do not expect to see Meh in your essays except in very specific, critical circumstances!)
- Disturbing attitude to girls [Courier Mail Education Blog] – An Assault on Our Future is a report on the impact of violence on young people and their relationships released today by White Ribbon. It shows that violence is having a major impact on the long term health and wellbeing of Australia’s children. White Ribbon Chairman Andrew O’Keefe says that the report highlights clear evidence that many boys hold violence supportive attitudes:
• Nearly one in seven (14%) of boys believe that ‘it’s OK to make a girl have sex with you if she was flirting’;
• Close to one in three (31%) boys believe ‘it’s not a big deal to hit a girl’;
• nearly one in three (32%) boys believe ‘most physical violence occurs because a partner provoked it’.
Boys aged between 12-14 show higher support for these sorts of attitudes.
“White Ribbon aims to prevent violence against women. If we are going to succeed we must start by challenging these attitudes while kids are still young …” (White Ribbon Day is Nov 25)
- Your Weekly Address from the President-Elect – 14 November 2008 [YouTube] – President-elect Obama talks directly to the people via YouTube, talking about the economic crisis. This feels a lot like I imagine FDR’s Fireside Chats felt in the 1930s and 40s. Despite the medium, though, it’s notable that YouTube’s comments function has been turned off on this video.