Facebook surpasses one billion users as it tempts new markets [BBC News] – "Facebook now has more than one billion people using it every month, the company has said. The passing of the milestone was announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg on US television on Thursday. The company said that those billion users were to date responsible for 1.13 trillion "likes", 219 billion photos and 17 billion location check-ins. The site, which was launched in 2004, is now looking towards emerging markets to build its user base further. "If you're reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you," Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a status update. "Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life." Statistics released to coincide with the announcement revealed there were now 600 million users accessing the site via a mobile device – up 48 million from 552 million in June this year." [Chart Source]
Jill Meagher | Trial by Social Media A Worry, Experts Say [The Age] – "The case of Jill Meagher has had the country talking, particularly on social media, but now that someone has been charged it's time to stop being specific, experts say. Jill Meagher was mentioned on social media, both Twitter and Facebook, every 11 seconds early this morning. And the CCTV footage which showed her walking on Sydney Road on the morning she disappeared was shared on the same platforms about 7500 times within two hours … .A Facebook hate group against the accused in the Meagher case has already attracted almost 18,000 "likes". Victoria Police has posted a message on its Facebook page this morning warning users of their legal responsibilities in posting and reminding that "it is inappropriate to post speculation or comments about matters before the courts Thomas Meagher, Jill's husband, today urged people to consider what they posted on Twitter and Facebook."
Your YouTube original videos now available in Google Takeout [Google Data Liberation] – YouTube just became a lot more interesting as a storage space for video, not just a distribution platform: "Your Takeout menu is growing. Today's entrée: YouTube videos. Previously, you've been able to download individual transcoded videos from your YouTube Video Manager. But starting today, you also have a more efficient way to download your videos from YouTube. With Google Takeout, you can download all of the original videos that you have uploaded in a few simple clicks. No transcoding or transformation — you’ll get exactly the same videos that you first uploaded. Your videos in. Your videos out."
Rupert Murdoch backs down in war with ‘parasite’ Google – Telegraph – "News Corporation plans to reverse an earlier decision to stop articles from its quality papers, such as The Times and The Sunday Times, from featuring in Google’s listings. The effort to stop users from accessing content for free will be watered down, with Google featuring stories in search rankings from next month. The move comes amid fears that the newspapers’ exclusion is limiting their influence and driving down advertising revenues. Sources claim the change was a “marketing exercise”. In the past, Mr Murdoch has lambasted Google as a “parasite” and a “content kleptomaniac” because it only allows companies to feature in search rankings if users are able to click through to at least one page without paying."
Facebook raises fears with ad tracking [CNN.com] – "Facebook is working with a controversial data company called Datalogix that can track whether people who see ads on the social networking site end up buying those products in stores.
Amid growing pressure for the social networking site to prove the value of its advertising, Facebook is gradually wading into new techniques for tracking and using data about users that raise concerns among privacy advocates.[…] Datalogix has purchasing data from about 70m American households largely drawn from loyalty cards and programmes at more than 1,000 retailers, including grocers and drug stores. By matching email addresses or other identifying information associated with those cards against emails or information used to establish Facebook accounts, Datalogix can track whether people bought a product in a store after seeing an ad on Facebook. The emails and other identifying information are made anonymous and collected into groups of people who saw an ad and people who did not."
Facebook Is Now Recording Everyone You Stalk [Gizmodo Australia] – Facebook has announced that they will now record your Facebook search history; every time you search for someone's name, that information will be stored, accessible as part of your 'Activity Log'. The search entries are individually delectable and only visible to you (and Facebook) but the existence of a Facebook search history is a sure sign that Facebook sees real value in recording – and thus data crunching and somehow monetizing – your search history.
The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 2: IN LEGO [YouTube] – Beautifully put together Lego version of the new Dark Knight trailer. “LEGO Dark Knight Rises Movie Trailer By ParanickFilmz. http://paranickfilmz.co.nr/ Thanks to Adviceversas for the mouth animation and JediMasterSoda for the CGI. Movie (2012) HD.”
CBS Blocks Use of Unused ‘Star Trek’ Script by Spinrad [NYTimes.com] – “For “Star Trek” fans it was like finding a lost Shakespeare play — only to have it snatched away by the playwright’s heirs.Last fall an unused script for the cult 1960s television show turned up after being forgotten for years. Its author, the science-fiction writer Norman Spinrad, announced that it would become an episode of a popular Web series, “Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II,” which features amateur actors in the classic roles of Capt. James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock and other crew members of the starship Enterprise. But then another player stepped in: CBS, which said it owned the script and blocked a planned Web production of it. Trekkies were appalled. “These executives should be phasered on heavy stun,” said Harmon Fields of Manhattan, who called himself “a ‘Star Trek’ fan of galactic proportions.” … By all indications CBS is within its rights. In the entertainment industry the paid writer of a teleplay generally cedes the rights to the material, even if it remains unproduced.”
Pay TV piracy hits News [AFR] – A detailed investigative report accuses NewsCorp of actively promoting and facilitating the piracy of competitors pay TV network content: ” A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry.” These are hugely important accusations both in terms of NewsCorp but also in terms of how piracy is framed and understood.
What book publishers should learn from Harry Potter — Tech News and Analysis – Useful post detailing the DRM-free release of the Harry Potter ebooks and audio books for sale on J K Rowling’s Pottermore website. The lesson here is that DRM really isn’t necessary, and you’re more likely to reach a wider audience without it. Admittedly Rowling has unprecedented clout in managing her own books in electronic form, and has already made so much money off these books there’s no real risk involved, but the strategy is an important one nevertheless.
Angry Birds Space gets 10m downloads in three days [BBC] – The latest version of the Angry Birds game notched up 10 million download in its first three days of release, says its developer Rovio. Angry Birds Space only came out on 22 March, but in a tweet on Monday Rovio announced the game’s swift success. … The new Angry Birds instalment features 60 initial levels and six new characters and has what Rovio calls a “unique twist in a variable gravity environment”. As well as Google Android and Apple iOS devices, last week also saw the game released simultaneously on PC and Mac. Nasa was also involved in promoting the game, posting a video showing an astronaut on the International Space Station explaining the laws of physics using Angry Bird characters.
The space agency called it “an exciting way to get people engaged with Nasa’s missions of exploration and discover”.
Google Scholar Citations [Google Scholar Blog] – Google launches (in very limited release) Google Scholar Citations, their own citation statistics for scholarly articles and books. Google Scholar has appeared to be one of Google’s least loved and least developed projects, so I’m glad to see it’s getting some TLC. That said, citation metrics are funny things and tend to be used in far more ways than intended, especially in evaluating ‘academic performance’. What sets these metrics apart from others is that thanks to Google Books, many citations from books and of books are in here too (many citation metrics are articles only). Which leaves me with one big question for now: carrot (what Google can do for struggling scholars out to prove their worth) or stick (is your data in Google Books, and if not, why aren’t you hassling your publisher to get included and thus get better metrics?)?
Pottermore and Google team up to enable Harry Potter ebooks push to Google Books libraries [Inside Google Books] – Google Potter – definitely a win for Google: “When JK Rowling’s new website Pottermore opens its doors this Fall, we’ll provide services to help fans make the most of their ebook purchasing experience. Pottermore and Google are teaming up to integrate Pottermore with a number of Google products and APIs. So when the series of Harry Potter ebooks launches on Pottermore.com in early October, these bestsellers will be available in the U.S. via the open Google eBooks platform. When you buy a Harry Potter ebook from Pottermore, you will be able to choose to keep it in your Google Books library in-the-cloud, as well as on other e-reading platforms. […] Also under this agreement, Google Checkout will be the preferred third party payment platform for all purchases made on Pottermore.com.”
Australian Cinema Tickets Most Expensive: Choice [WA Today] – Throw in 3D for good measure and it’s close to $100 for a family of 4! “Australian cinema-goers pay more for their silver screen experience than anyone else in the Western world, according to consumer advocate Choice. Spokeswoman Ingrid Just said that Australians heading to the cinema paid far more than movie audiences in the US and New Zealand. Research found that, on average, Australian adults paid around $18 per ticket, while families of four can expect to fork out up to $67 for admission to the local multi-national cinema complex. “Taking into account exchange rates, an Aussie family of four spends just over $34 more than a New Zealand family and $28 more than a US family on a trip to the flicks,” Ms Just said.”
LulzSec hack into Murdoch’s British websites [The Age] – “Hackers who broke into the News Corporation network and forced its British websites offline claim to have stolen sensitive data from the company including emails and usernames/passwords. All of News Corporation’s British websites were taken offline today following an attack on the website of tabloid The Sun, which earlier today was redirecting to a fake story about Rupert Murdoch’s death. Further pain is expected for the media mogul as the hacker group responsible for the attack claims to have also stolen emails and passwords for News International executives and journalists. It said it would release more information tomorrow. […] The infamous hacking group LulzSec have claimed responsibility for taking over The Sun’s website, linking to a site with the fake story under the headline “Media moguls body discovered”, with “Lulz” printed at the bottom of the page.”
A life in writing: Slavoj Žižek [Culture | The Guardian] – Short and sweet interview with Slavoj Žižek. Notable quote regarding Wikileaks: “”We learned nothing new really from WikiLeaks,” he tells me later. “Julian is like the boy who tells us the emperor is naked – until the boy says it everybody could pretend the emperor wasn’t. Don’t confuse this with the usual bourgeois heroism which says there is rottenness but the system is basically sound. […] Julian strips away that pretence. All power is hypocritical like this. What power finds intolerable is when the hypocrisy is revealed.””
BBC rents out Doctor Who via Facebook [TV Tonight] – “BBC Worldwide will offer a series of digitally remastered Doctor Who stories to ‘rent’ via Facebook in Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. By using Facebook credits, users visiting the official Doctor Who page will be able to stream a selection of nine stories (each containing several episodes) from the history of the Time Lord, including digitally remastered classics such as ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’, ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘End of the World’. […] John Smith, Chief Executive at BBC Worldwide said “As we have grown internationally, we’ve seen through our Facebook channel that fans who are loving the new series are asking for a guide into our rich Doctor Who back catalogue. Our approach to Facebook and other leading edge platforms is to be right there alongside them in fostering innovation. We see this service as a perfect way to give our fans what they want, as well as a great way for them to get their fix between now and the autumn when Series Six continues.”
Google Chrome hits 20% global share as Microsoft continues browser slide [Network World] – “Google Chrome’s rise in popularity has been remarkably fast and it’s just hit a new milestone: more than 20% of all browser usage, according to StatCounter. Chrome rose from only 2.8% in June 2009 to 20.7% worldwide in June 2011, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer fell from 59% to 44% in the same time frame. Firefox dropped only slightly in the past two years, from 30% to 28%.”
Angry Birds film takes off [guardian.co.uk] – “An Angry Birds movie is slingshotting its way into development with the announcement that former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel has been recruited as a special adviser by Rovio – the mobile game company that developed the popular pig-popping franchise. “There has been so much chatter about an Angry Birds movie, but it’s now real,” Maisel told Variety. “The process is starting now.” Maisel, who was responsible for shepherding mega-hits such as Iron Man to the big screen while at Marvel, said he was interested in the “emotional connection” that players have with the Angry Birds characters.”
Australian Social Trends, Jun 2011 – Summary data released in the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2011 about social and cultural trends in Australia (as measured by a variety of stats). Useful for lectures.
Chinese faked photograph leaves officials on street of shame [The Guardian] – “For government officials in Huili, a distinctly modest county in a rural corner of south-west China, attracting national media coverage would normally seem a dream come true. Unfortunately, their moment in the spotlight was not so welcome: mass ridicule over what may well be one of the worst-doctored photographs in internet history. The saga began on Monday when Huili’s website published a picture showing, according to the accompanying story, three local officials inspecting a newly completed road construction project this month. The picture certainly portrayed the men, and the road, but the officials appeared to be levitating several inches above the tarmac. As photographic fakery goes it was astonishingly clumsy.” [Gallery of photoshop ‘responses.]
Credit Is Due (The Attribution Song) [YouTube] – Nina Paley’s excellent short video explaining why copying WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION is plagiarism. (And why that’s wrong.) Surely this clip will find its way into first-year university lectures everywhere!
Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits [NYTimes.com] – On this front, at least, Google have got their ‘Don’t be Evil’ stance right: “On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay. The increase will be retroactive to the beginning of the year. “It’s a fairly cutting edge thing to do,” said Todd A. Solomon, a partner in the employee benefits department of McDermott Will & Emery, a law firm in Chicago, and author of “Domestic Partner Benefits: An Employer’s Guide.” Google is not the first company to make up for the extra tax. At least a few large employers already do. But benefits experts say Google’s move could inspire its Silicon Valley competitors to follow suit, because they compete for the same talent.”
Apple introduces iHand: the right way to hold your iPhone [Scoopertino] – Yes, it’s a parody: “Responding to complaints that the new iPhone 4 loses signal when held by a human hand, Apple today launched iHand — a synthetic appendage that makes it easy for anyone to “get a grip” on iPhone and remain connected. iHand is so easy to use, it doesn’t require a manual. Simply insert iPhone 4 into iHand’s adjustable fingers, raise it to your ear and start talking. With iHand, you get all the functionality of the human hand, without the signal-sucking biology that encumbers most iPhone owners.”
Facebook ‘hindering the police’ [WA Today] – The Australian Federal Police take on Facebook: “Facebook’s woeful relationship with law enforcement bodies is hampering police investigations and putting lives at risk, the Australian Federal Police says. The AFP’s assistant commissioner and head of high tech crime operations, Neil Gaughan, will fly to Washington DC today for a meeting convened by the US Department of Justice in which senior law enforcement officials from around the world will discuss their concerns with the social networking website. State and federal police have told the Herald’s sister paper, the Age, the company has been unwilling to provide police with the intelligence they need for investigations. They want Facebook to appoint a dedicated law enforcement liaison in Australia who can, for example, match user accounts to physical internet addresses.”
Facebook told to set up warning system after new sex scam [The Age] – Just what Facebook needs, its own viruses: “A major computer security firm urged Facebook to set up an early-warning system after hundreds of thousands of users were hit by a new wave of fake sex-video attacks. British-based virus fighter Sophos warned users of the world’s biggest social networking site to be on guard against any posting entitled “distracting beach babes”, which contains a movie thumbnail of a bikini-clad woman. In a press statement, Sophos said the malicious posts appear as if they are coming from Facebook users’ friends, but it urged recipients not to click on the thumbnail. By clicking on it, users are taken to a rogue Facebook application informing them that they do not have the right player software installed, Sophos said. It tricks users into installing adware, a software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to their computer, and the video link is spread further across the network.”
She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”
Similarly, she knocks bands that don’t really try to work hard to please the fans, and who just expect them to automatically buy each album:
“I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”
How The Australian fell in love with the iPad [mUmBRELLA] – Is The Australian an Apple customer or commentator? “While it’s fair to say that the world’s media has been pretty excited about Apple’s iPad, The Australian appears to be on the verge of spontaneously combusting over the device’s official arrival Down Under this Friday. Clearly the newspaper’s plans to launch its own paid-for iPad app are unrelated to that. Indeed, if it sells as many apps as it has written stories about the iPad, it will be well on the way to securing a digital future for itself. […] I’d love to bring you every article The Australian’s carried about the iPad. But Google tells me there are 4,790 of them. So I’d better stop there. Did I mention that The Australian’s got an iPad app?”
Quitting Facebook is pointless; challenging them to do better is not [danah boyd | apophenia] – boyd’s discussion points:
“1. I do not believe that people will (or should) leave Facebook because of privacy issues.
2. I do not believe that the tech elites who are publicly leaving Facebook will affect on the company’s numbers; they are unrepresentative and were not central users in the first place.
3. I do not believe that an alternative will emerge in the next 2-5 years that will “replace” Facebook in any meaningful sense.
4. I believe that Facebook will get regulated and I would like to see an open discussion of what this means and what form this takes.
5. I believe that a significant minority of users are at risk because of decisions Facebook has made and I think that those of us who aren’t owe it to those who are to work through these issues.
6. I believe that Facebook needs to start a public dialogue with users and those who are concerned ASAP (and Elliot Schrage’s Q&A doesn’t count).”
Links for April 13th 2010 through April 16th 2010:
No Free Lunch for Ning Users; Still Plenty of Bargains Elsewhere [Read Write Web] – “The social networking platform Ning announced today that it was making some substantial changes to the company. The news, coming just one month after Jason Rosenthal replaced Gina Bianchini as CEO, was sour for both employees and for many users of the service. Ning will cut 70 jobs and will end free subscriptions to the site. Rosenthal writes in the press release, “We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning.” According to the release, paying subscribers account for 75% of the service’s traffic. These fees have ranged from $4.95 per month to use your own domain name, to $24.95 per month to remove Ning’s promotional links, although it’s unclear if those fees will change. But the service has long been used by many small groups and organization, many of which are in a tail-spin over today’s announcement.”
Youth, Privacy and Reputation (Literature Review) – April 12, 2010 Authored by Alice E. Marwick, Diego Murgia Diaz, John Palfrey, Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative [Berkman Center] – Fantastically useful overview of youth & privacy writing & research: “The scope of this literature review is to map out what is currently understood about the intersections of youth, reputation, and privacy online, focusing on youth attitudes and practices. We summarize both key empirical studies from quantitative and qualitative perspectives and the legal issues involved in regulating privacy and reputation. This project includes studies of children, teenagers, and younger college students. For the purposes of this document, we use “teenagers” or “adolescents” to refer to young people ages 13-19; children are considered to be 0-12 years old. However, due to a lack of large-scale empirical research on this topic, and the prevalence of empirical studies on college students, we selectively included studies that discussed age or included age as a variable. Due to language issues, the majority of this literature covers the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Canada.”
Murdoch hails iPad as saviour of news [The Age] – “Rupert Murdoch has launched a spirited defence of putting up paywalls around his newspaper websites, while embracing the game-changing potential of Apple’s iPad. The News Corporation chairman hailed the device as a possible saviour of the newspaper industry.Advocates of free newspaper websites often accuse Murdoch of being a technophobe but the Australian media mogul was happy to embrace the technology of Apple’s iPad tablet device, launched in the US on April 3. […] During an interview with journalist Marvin Kalb, Murdoch sat with an iPad and even picked it up to demonstrate how to navigate The Wall Street Journal’s website. He said the iPad could be the saviour of newspaper journalism – in electronic form, not print. ”I got a glimpse of the future … with the Apple iPad,” Murdoch said. ”It is a wonderful thing. If you have [fewer] newspapers and more of these … it may well be the saving of the newspaper industry.””
Internet Filter Not Needed, Says US Ambassador to Australia [The Age] – US to Australia: don’t screw up the internet! “The US ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich has criticised the Rudd government’s plan to filter the internet, saying the same goals can be achieved without censorship. The federal government’s $128.8 million Cyber Safety policy includes forcing ISPs to block access to certain websites and blacklist offensive material. Legislation to enable the scheme is set to be introduced this year. On ABC’s Q&A program last night, Mr Bleich said the “internet has to be free” and that there were other means of combating nasty content such as child pornography. “We have been able to accomplish the goals that Australia has described, which is to capture and prosecute child pornographers … without having to use internet filters,” he said. “We have other means and we are willing to share our efforts with them … it’s an ongoing conversation.””
Margaret Atwood – How I learned to love Twitter [The Guardian] – Margaret Atwood’s wonderful description of ending up on Twitter, and why that’s a rather good thing: “The Twittersphere is an odd and uncanny place. It’s something like having fairies at the bottom of your garden. How do you know anyone is who he/she says he is, especially when they put up pictures of themselves that might be their feet, or a cat, or a Mardi Gras mask, or a tin of Spam? But despite their sometimes strange appearances, I’m well pleased with my followers – I have a number of techno-geeks and bio-geeks, as well as many book fans. They’re a playful but also a helpful group. If you ask them for advice, it’s immediately forthcoming: thanks to them, I learned how to make a Twitpic photo appear as if by magic, and how to shorten a URL using bit.ly or tinyurl. They’ve sent me many interesting items pertaining to artificially-grown pig flesh, unusual slugs, and the like. (They deduce my interests.)”
Murdoch to limit Google, Microsoft [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – As News Corp disappears down the paid rabbit hole, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and BBC become even more important and influential! “News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch says Google and Microsoft’s access to his newspapers could be limited to a “headline or a sentence or two” once he erects a pay wall around his titles’ websites. Mr Murdoch, in an interview with journalist Marvin Kalb for The Kalb Report, said he believed most US newspapers would eventually end up charging readers online, like he does with The Wall Street Journal and plans to do with his other properties, beginning with The Times of London. “You’ll find, I think, most newspapers in this country are going to be putting up a pay wall,” he said. “Now how high does it go? Does it allow [visitors] to have the first couple of paragraphs or certain feature articles? We’ll see. We’re experimenting with it ourselves.””
David’s laughing after dentist [The Age] – “Fifteen months ago, David DeVore’s business was Orlando real estate. Now his business is his son, David. His six-figure business. By now you may have seen last year’s video ”David after dentist” 10 or 12 times and memorised the dialogue of David, then seven and fresh from a tooth removal, displaying the woozy effects of painkillers. ”I have two fingers,” he tells his father. ”You have four eyes.” Then, displaying the wisdom of stoners everywhere, David goes deep. ”Is this real life?” he asks. ”Why is this happening to me?” The video has been viewed 56 million times on YouTube, with 100,000 new views every day. In that time, David’s adventure has become a remarkable marketing story – it has made money from YouTube. ”I’m the dad who posted ‘David After Dentist,”’ said Mr DeVore, wearing a shirt emblazoned with his son’s face.”
Facebook slander mum hits back at son [The Age] – I can only imagine how this will go down if it reaches the courts – it should be about whether Facebook is a publication or not, but I can’t imagine that debate will be central: “The mother of a 16-year-old boy said she was only being a good mother when she locked him out of his Facebook account after reading he had driven home at 150km/h one night because he was mad at a girl. His response: a harassment complaint at the local courthouse. “If I’m found guilty on this it is going to be open season [on parents],” Denise New said. Ms New, of Arkadelphia, a small college town an hour south-west of Little Rock, said many of her son’s postings did not reflect well on him, so, after he failed to log off the social networking site one day last month, she posted her own items on his account and changed his password to keep him from using it again. But her son claims what she posted was not true, and that she was damaging his reputation.”
Son accuses mother of Facebook slander [The Age] – “A 16-year-old US boy is claiming in a criminal complaint that his mother slandered him on his Facebook page. Denise New is charged with harassment and her son – whose name has not been released – is asking that his mother be prohibited from contacting him. Authorities tell KATC-TV in the US that the boy lives with his grandmother, who has custodial rights. Denise New says she believes she has the legal right to monitor her son’s activities online and that she plans to fight the claims.”
Links for November 17th 2009 through November 23rd 2009:
Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact [FT.com] – “Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company’s being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry. The impetus for the discussions came from News Corp, owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal of the US to The Sun of the UK, said a person familiar with the situation, who warned that talks were at an early stage. However, the Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine. News Corp and Microsoft, which owns the rival Bing search engine, declined to comment.” (NewsCorp + Microsoft = B(e)ing Evil!) [Via]
Teachers warned off online Facebook contact with students [PerthNow] – “Teachers[in Western Australia] would be banned from contacting students on social-networking websites like Facebook or Myspace under proposed changes to their code of ethics. The move comes after the WA College of Teaching disciplinary committee reprimanded about 10 teachers in the past year for inappropriate cyber interaction with students. The behaviour included teachers sharing private photos with students and in some cases engaging in online sexual innuendo. WACOT’s disciplinary committee chairwoman, Theresa Howe, said the code of ethics needed to be updated to specifically target inappropriate and over-friendly computer correspondence between students and teachers.”`We’re seeing an increase in it and it has to be specifically addressed,” she said. `That should be in both the code of ethics and in professional development courses for teachers.”
BigPond pulls plug on Second Life [The Age] – “Telstra has decided to close its doors on Second Life, evicting the residents of its virtual BigPond Island and revoking their unmetered usage, in a move that has infuriated some subscribers. BigPond’s presence will cease on December 16, signalling an end to its two-year “experiment” with Second Life, and residents of the swanky virtual Pond Estate have been given a month to relocate elsewhere. Second Life is a virtual world that enables members to build or trade in-world objects and interact through their “avatars”. In its early days, new users flocked to the platform and organisations raced to set up a presence there to find new ways of engaging with their public, but the buzz surrounding virtual communities has since waned. According to a Second Life enthusiast, as many as 1600 users could be affected by BigPond’s closure, many of whom are socially isolated or disabled and unable to afford to continue maintaining their presence on the virtual world without unmetered usage.”
Links for November 15th 2009 through November 17th 2009:
Nose, face, cut, spite: Blocking Google [BuzzMachine] – Jeff Jarvis has a neat little summary of what the research suggests would happen to Google is Murdoch stops letting the search engine index his news properties: in short, not much damage to Google, and whole world of loss-of-revenue pain for News Corps. Interestingly, pulling Wikipedia out of Google searches would do more damage!
I’m Belle de Jour [Times Online] – “Meet Belle de Jour, the anonymous blogger and former prostitute whose explicit, funny, articulate, eye-popping online Diary of a London Call Girl has fascinated millions of readers worldwide. Here she is: Belle, the famous tart, whose books became runaway bestsellers, who was played on screen by Billie Piper in the television series based on them, whose brand is instantly recognisable to anyone who uses the internet or bookshops and who has stirred up a considerable amount of controversy through her writing-as-a-whore career, not least because she has always refused to condemn prostitution as being necessarily bad or sad: our very own second-wave Happy Hooker. […] She’s real, all right, and I’m sitting on the bed next to her. Her name is Dr Brooke Magnanti. Her specialist areas are developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology. She has a PhD in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science and is now working at the Bristol Initiative for Research of Child Health.”