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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 February 2nd 2009 through February 4th 2009:
- How Natalie became Australia’s queen of YouTube [The Age] – “From her parents’ home in western Sydney, Natalie Tran, Australia’s queen of YouTube, has proven time and again that titillation is not a prerequisite to internet fame. With more than 150,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel, Tran, 22, is easily the most subscribed YouTube user in Australia, while globally she ranks 37th. The 118 videos she’s created over two years have amassed 64 million views, making her also the most viewed Australian YouTube user of all time – more popular on the site than even AC/DC, whose videos have attracted 53 million views. But while some female web stars such as Obama Girl have used their sexuality to amass scores of drooling fanboys, Tran has eschewed titillation in favour of comedic skits about her everyday life.” (She’s very funny and has impressive production values for this sort of talking-from-my-bedroom cam style.)
- MySpace purges 90,000 sex offenders [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “MySpace has identified and barred some 90,000 registered sex offenders from using the site over the last two years, the online networking site revealed to a US investigative task force on Tuesday. The “shocking” number was 40,000 more than MySpace had previously acknowledged, according to Connecticut Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal, a co-chairman of the task force of state attorneys-general looking into sex offenders’ use of social networking. MySpace disclosed the figures to the task force in response to a subpoena. “This shocking revelation, resulting from our subpoena, provides compelling proof that social networking sites remain rife with sexual predators,” Mr Blumenthal said in a statement.” (Blumenthal sees this figure as evidence that MySpace should only allow “real” identities and use age-verification; I see this as evidence that we should be educating young people from an early age about how to deal with unwanted attention, predators and so forth, whatever the medium!)
- Virtual gold broker “sells” for $10 million [Boing Boing] – Cory Doctorow: “My MMO Inc., has purchased MyMMOShop.com for $10,000,000 — MyMMOShop being a company that buys and sells virtual gold, prestige items, and other virtual wealth. My MMO is a privately held company, so it’s impossible to say whether 10 million actual dollars left one bank account and entered another (as opposed to a stock swap or other “sale”), but this is still pretty whacky news. I’m working on a novel about gold farming and I spent most of the last year talking to farmers, brokers, players, academics, game-runners, moderators and others who follow the field, and I’ve concluded that it’s possibly the weirdest grey market in the world.”
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