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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 …)
Links through June 28th 2010 (catching up on the last week!):
- Fairfax and content theft – mUmBRELLA – Mumbrella asks if Fairfax media is copying YouTube videos and placing them onlive via a Fairfax media player, then using them on Fairfax online properties: is this “piracy”? Aren’t Fairfax ripping off YouTube creators who are relying on advertising (on their YouTube clips) to make a little money? I’ve no idea if Fairfax has some sort of license to do this (or if it might be legal under fair dealing – although using the whole clip can’t be) but it’s an important question given the rhetoric of piracy being a problem with individuals, rather than corporations, downloading “illegally”.
- Google’s mismanagement of the Android Market [Jon Lech Johansen’s blog] – Jon Lech Johansen’s critique of the current Android marketplace. While it’s preferable to the closed Apple App store, the Android Marketplace clearly needs a lot more work on its centralised architecture to sell and distribute apps effectively.
- Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature [Android Developers Blog] – Android centrally nukes their first app from the marketplace and all phones using it; from the Android blog: “The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed. This remote removal functionality — along with Android’s unique Application Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system, centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings, and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage to help protect Android users in our open environment.”
- Pakistan to monitor Google and Yahoo for ‘blasphemy’ [BBC News] – “Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, for content it deems offensive to Muslims. YouTube, Amazon, MSN, Hotmail and Bing will also come under scrutiny, while 17 less well-known sites will be blocked. Officials will monitor the sites and block links deemed inappropriate. In May, Pakistan banned access to Facebook after the social network hosted a “blasphemous” competition to draw the prophet Muhammad. The new action will see Pakistani authorities monitor content published on the seven sites, blocking individual pages if content is judged to be offensive. Telecoms official Khurram Mehran said links would be blocked without disturbing the main website.”
- ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups [Threat Level | Wired.com] – ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) tries to rally against alternative copyright licensing, even those which actually assist creators to license clearly! “ASCAP’s attack on EFF and Public Knowledge are farfetched. Those groups do not suggest music should be free, although they push for the liberalization of copyright law. But the attack on Creative Commons is more laughable than ASCAP’s stance against EFF and Public Knowledge. While lobby groups EFF and Public Knowledge advocate for liberal copyright laws, Creative Commons actually creates licenses to protect content creators. […] The licenses allow the works in the public domain, with various rules regarding attribution, commercial use and remixing. The group’s creative director, Eric Steuer, said nobody forces anybody to adopt the Creative Commons credo. “I think it’s false to claim that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s an opt-in system.””
- dev:wordpress [Zotero Documentation] – Plugins to make the COins data on blogs visible from WordPress (ie makes Zotero recognise WordPress blog metadata).
- Sex domain gets official approval [BBC News] – .xxx is coming: “Official approval has been given for the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography. The board of net overseer Icann gave initial approval for the creation of the .xxx domain at its conference in Brussels. Icann’s approval will kick off a fast-track process to get the porn-only domain set up. ICM Registry, which is backing the domain, said .xxx would make it easier to filter out inappropriate content. The decision ends a long campaign by ICM Registry to win approval. Stuart Lawley, chairman of ICM, welcomed the decision and said it was “great news for those that wish to consume, or avoid, adult content”.”
- Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review [danah boyd | apophenia] – “I’m pleased to announce a rough draft of Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review for public feedback. This Literature Review was produced for Harvard Berkman Center’s Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative, co-directed by John Palfrey, Urs Gasser, and myself and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This Literature Review builds on the 2008 LitReview that Andrew Schrock and I crafted for the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. This document is not finalized, but we want to make our draft available broadly so that scholars working in this area can inform us of anything that we might be missing. Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review.”
- Twitter has a bad day: FTC tells it off and the site’s not running well [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter’s having a bad day. First it got told off by the US Federal Trade Commission for incidents in January and May last year when 33 accounts, including Barack Obama’s, were hacked using the company’s own internal support tools. And then it’s having to scale back on its API in order to get the site in order, according to its status page. The FTC settlement is “the agency’s first such case against a social networking site” over flawed data security. According to the FTC’s complaint, between January and May 2009, hackers who gained administrative control of Twitter were able to view nonpublic user information, gain access to direct messages and protected tweets, and reset any user’s password and send authorized tweets from any user account.”
- 1 in 5 Android Apps Pose Potential Privacy Threat [REPORT] [Mashable] – Further fuel for Steve Jobs decision to police the Apple App store so tightly: “Mobile security company SMobile has looked into the potential privacy and security issues in more than 48,000 apps in the Android Market. The company’s findings are alarming for Android owners, since approximately 20% of Android apps request permission to access private or sensitive information.[…]. By contrast, the Android (Android) market is open, meaning that Google (Google) doesn’t minutely examine apps for approval (it did, however, ban certain apps from the Market) and Android apps don’t have to be acquired from the Market; users can obtain them from other sources, like a developer’s website. Google’s approach makes it easier on the developers, but it can also result in a security nightmare for consumers. According to the report, one out of every 20 apps can place a call to any number without approval from the user; 3% of apps can send an SMS to any number…”
- HUGE: Twitter Lets You Automatically Follow Your Facebook Friends [UPDATED] [Mashable] – “Twitter has announced that it is launching major upgrades to its Facebook and LinkedIn (LinkedIn) applications, bringing added functionality and integration between Twitter and two of the world’s largest social networks. The new Twitter app for Facebook, which is now available here, not only allows you to syndicate your tweets to the world’s largest social network, but now has a feature that allow users to see which of their Facebook friends are also on Twitter and choose which ones they want to follow. The new feature could be huge: it brings existing Facebook connections into the Twitterverse, which is likely to spur new levels of engagement and growth.”
- Judge Sides With Google in Viacom Suit Over Videos [NYTimes.com] – “In a major victory for Google in its battle with media companies, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement against YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google. The judge granted Google’s motion for summary judgment, saying that the company was shielded from Viacom’s copyright claims by “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law generally protects user-generated sites from liability for copyrighted material uploaded by users as long as the operator of the site takes down the material when notified by its rightful owner that it was uploaded without permission. The dispute is over videos owned by Viacom that others had posted to YouTube. Viacom, which sued Google in 2007 for copyright infringement, had argued that Google was not entitled to the copyright act’s protections because Google deliberately turned a blind eye and profited from to the rampant piracy on YouTube.”
- YouTube Video Editor [Google OS] – Useful for only the very basics, but still a useful on-the-fly tool: “YouTube has a new video editor that lets you create videos using excerpts from the videos you’ve already uploaded. You can also add a music file from the AudioSwap library, but YouTube mentions that it might display ads if you use some of the audio files.”
- Content Is No Longer King: Curation Is King [Business Insider] – “”Content is King” — no longer. Today, the world has changed. “Curation Is King.” Ok, I hear all the content-makers sharpening their knives to take me on. I’m ready. First, why content is dead: Content used to be the high quality media that came out of the very pointed end of the funnel. Articles in the New York Times. Movies from Miramax. Thursday night comedy from NBC. Books published by Simon and Schuster. Creative folks wrote pitches, treatments, sample chapters, pilots, but only the best of the best got published. Then, the web came along and blew that up. Kaboom! Now content has gone from being scarce to being ubiquitous. […] We’ve arrived in a world where everyone is a content creator. And quality content is determined by context. Finding, Sorting, Endorsing, Sharing – it’s the beginning of a new chapter […] The emergence of a new King — a Curation King, reflects the rise of the new Aggregation Economy. It is an exciting time to be in content, and the best is yet to come.”
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 February 16th 2010 through February 17th 2010:
- Google admits Buzz social network testing flaws [BBC News] – “Google has admitted to BBC News that testing of its controversial social network Buzz was insufficient. The firm has had to make a series of changes to the service after a ferocious backlash from users concerned about intrusions of privacy. The BBC understands that Buzz was only tested internally and bypassed more extensive trials with external testers – used for many other Google services. Google said that it was now working “extremely hard” to fix the problems. “We’re very early in this space. This was one of our first big attempts,” Todd Jackson, Buzz product manager, told BBC News.”And the line that has everyone going “Duh*: ““We’ve been testing Buzz internally at Google for a while. Of course, getting feedback from 20,000 Googlers isn’t quite the same as letting Gmail users play with Buzz in the wild.”“
- The fear fades: legal downloads make sweet music for industry [SMH] – What’s that? Given actual legal options, people still buy music? “The very thing that has torn strips from the Australian music industry now looks to be driving a return to profitability. Digital music has experienced rocketing sales that appear – last year at least – to have more than offset the continuing drop in CDs sold, according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Recording Industry Association. Buyers’ increased enthusiasm for legal digital downloads has fuelled the industry’s first year of financial growth since wholesale earnings peaked in 2003. Overall revenue last year was up almost 5 per cent to $446 million on the back of a 72 per cent rise in digital-album purchases to almost 2.3 million.”
- A fight over freedom at Apple’s core [FT.com / UK] – Jonathan Zittrain on Apple’s philosophy shift from open (Apple Mac) to closed (iPhone/iPad): “In 1977, a 21-year-old Steve Jobs unveiled something the world had never seen before: a ready-to-program personal computer. After powering the machine up, proud Apple II owners were confronted with a cryptic blinking cursor, awaiting instructions. The Apple II was a clean slate, a device built – boldly – with no specific tasks in mind. Yet, despite the cursor, you did not have to know how to write programs. Instead, with a few keystrokes you could run software acquired from anyone, anywhere. […] Mr Jobs ushered in the personal computer era and now he is trying to usher it out. We should focus on preserving our freedoms, even as the devices we acquire become more attractive and easier to use.”
- Is ChatRoulette the Future of the Internet or Its Distant Past? By Sam Anderson Feb 5, 2010 [New York Magazine] – Accessible and human article about ChatRoulette (a service which connects random strangers to each other to ‘chat’ via webcam or text). ChatRoulette has many sides, with some amazing stories and people, but also an awful lot of things that are best left unshared (also, not safe for kids, not safe for work, etc). For one of the most human moments I’ve read about a ChatRoulette interactions, see Scott Heiferman’s Notes from hell.
- EMI Apparently Forgot Grey Album Disaster; Issues Takedown Of Wu Tang vs. Beatles [Techdirt] – “I’m beginning to think that EMI is trying to commit suicide, given many of its recent actions. Its latest move is to force offline a wildly popular mashup, mixing The Beatles with The Wu Tang Clan., despite it getting rave reviews and lots of attention… and despite a history of similar actions backfiring massively for EMI. Let’s take a look back. Apparently the folks over at EMI/Capitol Records have no sense of history. Back in 2004, DJ Danger Mouse put together “The Grey Album,” a fantastic mashup of The Beatles’ “The White Album” with Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.” EMI/Capitol, who holds the copyright on much of The Beatles’ catalog went nuts, and started sending cease-and-desists to pretty much everyone, leading to the infamous “Grey Tuesday” on February 24, 2004, where lots of websites posted the album in protest. Years later, EMI admitted that the Grey Album didn’t do any harm, but the company didn’t care, saying “It’s not a question of damage; it’s a question of rights.””
Links for February 11th 2010:
- Warner Music Shoots Self In Head; Says No More Free Streaming [Techdirt] – How to encourage music piracy 101: “A few years back, it seemed like Warner Music actually had a better handle on where the music industry was heading than its 3 major label rivals. In the last two years, however, it seems like WMG has consistently gone further and further in the opposite direction. It may have hit a new low today with the announcement that it will pull out of all free streaming music licensing offers. Yes, Warner Music just told the one thing that was effectively competing with unauthorized downloads to shove off. Brilliant.”
- Google baulks at Conroy’s call to censor YouTube [SMH] – Google tells Stephen Conroy it won’t be filtering YouTube for him! Australian “Communications Minister Stephen Conroy referred to Google’s censorship on behalf of the Chinese and Thai governments in making his case for the company to impose censorship locally. Google Australia’s head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said the company had a bias in favour of freedom of expression in everything it did and Conroy’s comparisons between how Australia and China deal with access to information were not “helpful or relevant”. Google has recently threatened to pull out of China, partly due to continuing requests for it to censor material. “YouTube has clear policies about what content is not allowed, for example hate speech and pornography, and we enforce these, but we can’t give any assurances that we would voluntarily remove all Refused Classification content from YouTube,” Flynn said.”
- WARNING: Google Buzz Has A Huge Privacy Flaw [Business Insider] – The privacy problems with Buzz defaults: “There is a huge privacy flaw in Google’s new Twitter/Facebook competitor, Google Buzz. When you first go into Google Buzz, it automatically sets you up with followers and people to follow. A Google spokesperson tells us these people are chosen based on whom the users emails and chats with most using Gmail. That’s fine. The problem is that — by default — the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile. In other words, before you ever touch any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see who are the people you email and chat with most. In my profession – where anonymous sourcing is a crucial tool — the implications are terrifying. But it’s bad for others too. Two obvious scenarios come to mind: imagine if a wife discovering that her husband emails and chats with an old girlfriend a ton. Imagine a boss discovers a subordinate emails with executives at a competitor”
- More Fun than Blackboard – A satirical blog which documents things which might be “more fun that Blackboard’s discussion board system”. So far, blog entries include root canal surgery and running with scissors!
Links for January 19th 2010 through January 21st 2010:
- YouTube to test movie rental service [The Age] – “YouTube announced it will begin testing an online movie rental service on Friday to kick off the Sundance Film Festival in the US. Five independent films from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance festivals will be part of a “small collection of rental videos” to be available to US users of the popular video-sharing website in “the weeks ahead”, according to YouTube. “Making content available for rent will give our partners unprecedented control over the distribution of their work – they can decide the price of their videos and the rental duration,” YouTube said in a blog post. […] The move represents another step for Google in generating revenue from YouTube, which it bought in 2006 in a deal valued at $US1.65 billion ($A1.82 billion). YouTube will also be stepping in as a potentially formidable contender in the growing market of online distribution of films that includes videogame consoles, Apple’s iTunes shop and US DVD rental giant Netflix.”
- Open Letter From OK Go, regarding non-embeddable YouTube videos [OK Go] – Despite making their name on YouTube, OK Go’s label (EMI) won’t allow their new videos to be embeddable. This is silly, the band agrees, and tries to explain to fans: “The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn’t pay if a video is embedded. This means our label doesn’t get their hard-won share of the pie if our video is played on your blog, so (surprise, surprise) they won’t let us be on your blog. And, voilá: four years after we posted our first homemade videos to YouTube and they spread across the globe faster than swine flu, making our bassist’s glasses recognizable to 70-year-olds in Wichita and 5-year-olds in Seoul and eventually turning a tidy little profit for EMI, we’re – unbelievably – stuck in the position of arguing with our own label about the merits of having our videos be easily shared. It’s like the world has gone backwards.” [Via]
- Rock Band opens to user-created songs [Music | guardian.co.uk] – Selling user-generated content is now possible using the Rock Band online store, but the process of preparing a song for the service is complex: “submitting music to the Rock Band Network Store isn’t as easy as uploading an MP3. Acts must convert their recordings into the game’s special format, compiling an array of sound files, lyrics and tablatures, as well as instructions for camera angles, lighting and choreography. This requires specialist programming expertise or the services of a contractor, many of whom charge about £300 per minute of music. Once the files are ready, they can be listed in the Rock Band store for anywhere from 99 cents (61p) to $2.99 (£1.83) per song. Currently, user-created songs are only available to Microsoft Xbox players while the developers, MTV Games, keep 70% of the sale price. “We expected this to be an initiative that would appeal to unsigned artists,” [said] Paul DeGooyer, MTV’s senior vice president for electronic games and music”
- YouTube confirms worldwide deal for live Indian Premier League cricket [Media | guardian.co.uk] – “YouTube has confirmed its first live major sporting deal, announcing today that it will host live Indian Premier League cricket matches in the UK, and casting into doubt the value of British TV broadcast rights. The YouTube deal involves every country outside the US – a significantly larger scope than reports had suggested. It was thought that YouTube would only stream live matches to countries that did not have TV deals with the IPL. The two-year deal gives the Google-owned YouTube the exclusive rights to stream IPL matches online, with the two companies splitting revenue from sponsorship and advertising.”
- YouTube Search Accounts for Nearly 28% of All Google Searches [Reelseo] – Still wondering why Google purchased YouTube? “…YouTube not only had 50% more searches than Yahoo web search (3.918B vs 2.629B) and 180% more searches than Bing (3.918B vs 1.399B), but the number of searches at the online video giant made up almost 28% (27.95) of the total searches on Google sites for Dec. 2009.”
A bunch of links to see in the New Year (Happy 2010!):
- it’s too late, it’s too soon [the kleptones] – A new Kleptones remix album to see in 2010. Nice.
- Social media terms are Words Of The Year 2009 [Computerworld] – “Words from the world of technology and social media are among those identified as the “Words of the Year 2009” in a list commissioned by Oxford University Press. The New Oxford American Dictionary had already announced the verb ‘unfriend’ (“To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook”) as its word of the year, confirming the social-networking term’s ubiquity. […] Also derived from Twitter is the word “Hastag” – meaning the # [hash] sign added to a word or phrase that enables Twitter users to search for tweets that contain similarly tagged items. “Tag cloud” (a visual depiction of the word content of a website, or of user-generated tags attached to online content) was also picked out as one of the words of the year.”
- In 2009, Social Media Overtook Web 2.0 – GRAPHS [Mashable] – “Web 2.0. A few years ago, it was the hottest buzzword around. It refers to the second generation of web apps following the Internet bubble that devastated not only Silicon Valley, but our economy in general. Social Media. While its definition is not yet etched in stone, most believe it describes a new type of media and communication that creates a world conversation and dialogue. Instead of being fed news (a one-to-many dissemination approach), everyone is welcomed to be a content creator and to generate a debate around that content. While its focus is the web, it goes beyond it as well. Web 2.0 is a term that has been around since 2004. And as this graph of Google search volume indicates, it reached its peak in 2007 and 2008. But while the term is less frequently used and is in many ways outdated, its been a far more well-known and popular term than social media — until now.”
- Location, Location, Location: 5 Big Predictions for 2010 [Mashable] – Will location be the next big thing in social media? Where did you update your Facebook status from … and did you really want to share it? “GPS-aware mobile devices have become commonplace, which means connecting the dots between what you’re doing and where you’re doing it is easier than ever. In 2009, location-sharing applications finally emerged in user-friendly formats, altering the way we think about where we are and helping us understand more of the meaning behind the data in aggregate. Technology early adopters showed a predilection towards mobile location-based games, discovering that check-ins could mean something and that being the mayor of a venue might earn them a free drink. Now that businesses are actively exploring the opportunities that these location-aware services provide, we’ll see location matter more than ever in 2010. 1. Facebook Status Updates Will Become Location-Aware […] 5. Location Will Be Both Media Darling and Cautionary Tale”
- [MLA 09] “Blogging, Scholarship, and the Networked Public Sphere” Draft [The Chutry Experiment ] – Chuck Tryon takes a fresh look at scholarly blogging from the 2009 MLA: “… the most notable aspect of blogging may be the temporal orientation that encourages daily or semi-daily publication. Although writing frequently may seem to discourage the deeper reflection privileged in academic essays, writing often, for a large audience, also provides the opportunity not only to benefit from the expertise of a wide range of readers–whether scholars or industry professionals–but also to build a well-developed, cross-referenced archive that can serve as a kind of history of the present. In this sense, it is worthwhile to return to Shambu’s comments about what he values about blogging: blogs allow us to educate ourselves in public, to learn collectively about pertinent issues, as we seek to make sense of our current moment of media transition.”
- Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook’s Data in Context [apophenia] – danah boyd takes a hard look at race in relation to social networks: “A few weeks ago, Facebook’s data team released a set of data addressing a simple but complex question: How Diverse is Facebook? Given my own work over the last two years concerning the intersection of race/ethnicity/class and social network sites, I feel the need to respond. And, with pleasure, I’m going to respond by sharing a draft of a new paper. […] access is important. But I’m much more concerned about how racist and classist attitudes are shaping digital media, how technology reinforces inequality, and how our habit of assuming that everyone uses social media just like we do reinforces social divisions that we prefer to ignore.”
- United State of Pop 2009: Blame It on the Pop [DJ Earworm – Music Mashups] – DJ Earworm mixes the top 25 US billboard chart singles into a single mashup. The source material isn’t exactly inspiring, but there’s a lot of art getting all of this into a single song. (For my money, the United States of Pop 2008 was probably better, but that might just be because I knew at least some of those songs!) The video’s on YouTube, too.
- The Absent Presence: Today’s Faculty [Brian Croxall] – Brian Croxall’s MLA paper (presented in absentia) which clearly elucidates the casualisation of US academia (like Australia and elsewhere, too): “… having a faculty majority comprised of contingent faculty means a lot more than just conferences being less and less attended. In my case, it means that my students cannot easily meet with me for office hours since contingent faculty don’t really have offices. It means that they do not get effective, personal mentoring because I have too many students. It means that I cannot give the small and frequent assignments that I believe teach them more than a “3-paper class” because I do not have time to grade 90 students’ small and frequent assignments. It means that the courses they can take from me will not be updated as frequently as I think is ideal because I will be spending all of my spare time looking for more secure employment—or working a part-time job.”
- HP camera ‘can’t see’ black faces [BBC News] – A very clear way to explain how race is still an issue in software and hardware design – it’s the presumption of a ‘normal user’ which is so often white: “A YouTube video suggesting that face recognition cameras installed in HP laptops cannot detect black faces has had over one million views. The short movie, uploaded earlier this month, features “Black Desi” and his colleague “White Wanda”. When Wanda, a white woman, is in front of the screen, the camera zooms to her face and moves as she moves. But when Desi, a black man, does the same, the camera does not respond by tracking him. The clip is light-hearted in tone but is titled “HP computers are racist”.” The video:
- Avatar To Sink Titanic at Box Office [WA Today] – In Australian movie theatres: “Avatar has raced to almost $36 million in its first 13 days. Helped by higher ticket prices for 3-D, giant screen and premium cinema sessions, the science-fiction epic is expected to become one of the country’s top 10 highest-grossing movies by today or tomorrow. The general manager of film for the Greater Union chain, Peter Cody, predicted yesterday that Avatar would top Titanic after an ”outstanding” opening fortnight. ”There’s every likelihood it will go on to gross north of $60 million,” he said. ”Even if the film drops 50 per cent in week three – and I don’t think it will – that’s $50 million.’ […] Despite the financial downturn and the popularity of home cinema, the Australian box office is expected to break the $1 billion mark for the first time this year. Given it was up 15 per cent to the end of November, the annual tally is expected to easily top last year’s record $945.4 million.”
- UK Government Report Shows That Digital Economy Bill Will Cost More Than Highest ‘Piracy’ Estimates, Drive 40,000 Offline [Techdirt] – Even just on the economic side this seems rather silly: “As the UK considers Peter Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill, a UK government report that looks into the likely impact of the law is incredibly damning. It finds that the plans to send threat letters to users and eventually kick them offline based on accusations (not convictions) would cost consumers in the neighborhood of £500 million. Note, of course, that the music industry itself claims that £200 million worth of music is downloaded in the UK per year (and, of course, that’s only “losses” if you use the ridiculous and obviously incorrect calculation that each download is a “lost sale”).”
Links for September 11th 2009 through September 17th 2009:
- 50 Cent: Piracy Is A Part Of The Marketing [Techdirt] – “…rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) was apparently on CNBC recently talking about his “business acumen.” I have to admit that having three different people all trying to interview him at once is rather annoying — as they almost never let him complete a thought. However, when they ask him about piracy, and whether or not it makes him angry (around 2 minutes), he responds that: he sees it as a part of the marketing of a musician, because “the people who didn’t purchase the material, they end up at the concert.” He says that people can fall in love with the music either way, and then they’ll go to concerts. He notes that you can’t stop piracy either way, so why try to fight it? He also talks about other business opportunities for musicians.” (Can’t say I’m a fan of his music, but his perspective on piracy, fans and the business futures for music are spot on!)
- Why the White House is Hiring a Social Media Archivist [Mashable] – The US White House is seeking to archive all of their social media presence and conversation. While their motivations are legal (they’re required to archive all correspondence of any sort) this is still an important archiving process of important historical value. It would be nice to see all national governments following a similar procedure for their national records (hello Mr Rudd).
- Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [NewTeeVee] – The new iPod Nano with video-recording offers a direct challenge to the Flip market. Testing a new Nano versus a Flip HD, the results: “Overall — the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way more detail in the image. The Flip microphone was also a little more discerning in our test, able to distinguish our subject’s voice in a crowded room much better than the Nano.
- Wikipedia’s Rapid Reaction to Outburst During Obama Speech [The Lede Blog – NYTimes.com] – “If journalism is the first draft of history, what is a Wikipedia entry when it is updated within minutes of an event to reflect changes in a person’s biography? This is the very live issue that cropped up in a heated argument on the discussion page that accompanies Wikipedia’s entry on Representative Joe Wilson Wednesday night, just 30 minutes after the Republican from South Carolina interrupted President Barack Obama’s speech by shouting “You lie!””
Links for September 4th 2009 through September 8th 2009:
- Paul McCartney, Elton John Oppose Music Piracy Plan [WA Today] – “Some of the biggest names in the music business, including Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney, have slammed the record labels’ plans to disconnect from the internet people who are caught repeatedly downloading music illegally. The artists label the plans backward, illogical, expensive and “extraordinarily negative”. The movie and music industries have been pushing ISPs to implement this “three-strikes” scheme voluntarily for years but talks have stalled. In Australia, the film industry is now suing iiNet in an attempt to have the courts force ISPs to do more to prevent illegal downloading over their networks. Behind the scenes, the content owners have been pressuring the Government to step in and resolve the impasse through legislation.” (Good to see the big-name musicians explaining to the record companies that taking legal action against their fans doesn’t engender goodwill or increase sales!)
- Online advertising overtakes traditional media [SmartCompany] – “Small and medium businesses in the US are now more likely to advertise online than in traditional media, shows a new study from the US. Research from The Kelsey Group and Constat and reported on Digital Media shows that for the first time online advertising has overtaken traditional media. About 77% of US SMEs used online for advertising in August 2009 compared with just 69% that used traditional media. A year before 73% advertised online while 74% used traditional media. Steve Marshall, director of research at The Kelsey Group, says the milestone of digital/online surpassing traditional media among SMEs is an indicator of the broad shift to online platforms.” (All that targeted demographic stuff is starting to make a difference!)
- STATS: Young People Are Flocking to Twitter [Mashable] – “One of the most actively discussed topics in the Twitter universe over the past couple months has been the idea that teens don’t tweet – at least not as much as older demographics, and certainly not as actively as teens who use other popular social networking sites. Now, it appears that this story may be shifting. According to new data from comScore, younger users – specifically those in the 12-17 and 18-24 year-old demographics – are Twitter’s fastest growing audience segment.” (So … teens do tweet. Is this the mashable equivalent of a retraction, then? :P)
Links for January 7th 2009 through January 8th 2009:
- How to Use Twitter for Marketing and PR (Good advice.)
- Apple Drops Anticopying Measures in iTunes [NYTimes.com] – In moves that will help shape the online future of the music business, Apple said Tuesday that it would remove anticopying restrictions on all of the songs in its popular iTunes Store and allow record companies to set a range of prices for them. Beginning this week, three of the four major music labels — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group — will begin selling music through iTunes without digital rights management software, or D.R.M., which controls the copying and use of digital files. The fourth, EMI, was already doing so. In return, Apple, whose dominance in online music sales gives it powerful leverage, agreed to a longstanding demand of the music labels and said it would move away from its insistence on pricing all individual song downloads on iTunes at 99 cents. Instead, the majority of songs will drop to 69 cents beginning in April, while the biggest hits and newest songs will go for $1.29. Others that are moderately popular will remain at 99″
- Raid Gaza! Editorial Games and Timeliness [News Games: Georgia Tech Journalism & Games Project] – “Raid Gaza! is a new editorial game about the Gaza crisis. Like editorial games should, it takes a strong position. But unlike so many, it also offers coherent gameplay that is related to the conflict it critiques. … The game is headstrong, suffering somewhat from its one-sided treatment of the issue at hand. But as an editorial, it is a fairly effective one both as opinion text and as game. It is playable and requires strategy, the exercise of which carries the payload of commentary. It’s release on user-contributed animation and games portal Newgrounds came on 30 December 2008, only three days after the Israeli Defense Forces launched airstrikes as a part of “Operation Cast Lead.” The rapidness with which the game was developed, combined with its relatively sophisticated ability to mount commentary through gameplay, underscore one of the biggest issues with editorial games.”
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