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Links for June 30th 2011 through July 4th 2011:
- 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.
- Exclusive: Myspace to Be Sold to Specific Media for $35 Million [AllThingsD] – MySpace purchase price in 2005: $580 million.
MySpace sale price in 2011: $35 million.
NewsCorp: not winning.
- 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!
- Bitcoins [Rocketboom] – Molly on Rocketboom makes a valiant, if slightly confused, effort to explain Bitcoins.
Links for January 10th 2011 through January 18th 2011:
- Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales: App stores a clear and present danger [TECH.BLORGE.com] – Interesting: “The app store model is a more immediate threat to internet freedom than breaches of net neutrality. That’s the opinion of Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales. According to Wales — who was quick to stress he was speaking in a purely personal capacity — set-ups such as the iTunes App Store can act as a “chokepoint that is very dangerous.” He said such it was time to ask if the model was “a threat to a diverse and open ecosystem” and made the argument that “we own [a] device, and we should control it.””
- Wikipedia – an unplanned miracle | Clay Shirky [The Guardian] – “Wikipedia is the most widely used reference work in the world. That statement is both ordinary and astonishing: it’s a simple reflection of its enormous readership; and yet, by any traditional view about how the world works, Wikipedia shouldn’t even exist, much less have succeeded so dramatically in the space of a single decade. The cumulative effort of Wikipedia’s millions of contributors means you are a click away from figuring out what a myocardial infarction is, or the cause of the Agacher Strip war, or who Spangles Muldoon was. This is an unplanned miracle, like “the market” deciding how much bread goes in the store. Wikipedia, though, is even odder than the market: not only is all that material contributed for free, it is available to you free; even the servers and system administrators are funded through donations.”
- YouTube mobile video viewing surges [The Age] – “YouTube has said it is serving up more than 200 million videos daily to smartphones and other internet-linked mobile devices. News of the milestone came as the Google-owned video-sharing service began routing Vevo music videos from artists such as Lady Gaga and U2 onto smartphones powered by newer versions of Google-backed Android software. “As the world goes mobile and more people watch videos on their smart phones, we expect more partners will take advantage of these new mobile advertising capabilities and make more of their content available across more devices,” YouTube mobile product manager Andrey Doronichev said in a blog post. Android smartphones running on “Froyo” or newer versions of the mobile operating software will be able to access Vevo’s music video library using a free YouTube application, according to Doronichev.”
- MySpace to shut Australian office [The Age] – “MySpace looks set to close its Australian office as part of its move to cut 500 jobs – or nearly half its staff – potentially setting the stage for a sale of the social network owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.MySpace chief executive Mike Jones said in a statement today that the company would enter into strategic local partnerships to manage advertising sales and content in Australia, with details of partners yet to be finalised. He said the company would retain a core international team to work with partners. It is understood that all Australian positions within MySpace are under review with some opportunities for relocation to other divisions.”
- MySpace cutting global workforce by half [BBC News] – Ouch: “Struggling MySpace is cutting almost half of its global workforce. The social networking website is getting rid of 500 positions, or 47% of its employees. The announcement comes as MySpace continues to be eclipsed by Facebook, and as it tries to reinvent itself as an entertainment website. MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for $580m (£372m) in 2005, but it has struggled to make money for its parent company. Mike Jones, MySpace’s chief executive, said the job cuts were “tough but necessary”, and had been taken to put the website on the path towards growth and profitability.”
- ‘Angry Birds’ Exec Calls Android Too Complex [Angry Birds World] – “Those who use the Android might wanna whip some “Angry Birds” out on Peter Vesterbacka, the head of business development in North America for Rovio. While there’s a free version of “Angry Birds” for Android users available, a 99-cent version for the iPhone is a huge success. And the iPhone will continue to be “the No. 1 platform for a long time from a developer perspective.” Question is: why? Apple has “gotten so many things right. And they know what they are doing and they call the shots.” Android, too, is growing, he said, “But it’s also growing complexity at the same time.” While there are many devices and carriers that use Android, “device fragmentation (is) not the issue,” Vesterbacka said, “but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google-centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android.””
- Celebrities plugging products on Twitter could face legal action [Perth Now] – “As if they aren’t raking in enough money or freebie gifts, greedy British celebs are rapidly utilising the perk power of a new cash cow – their Twitter accounts. However, there could be consequences. Dozens of celebrities, including actress Liz Hurley and singer Lily Allen, face possible court action over claims that they are endorsing products through their Twitter accounts without declaring that they have been paid by the companies concerned, reports the Daily Mail. Celebs who fail to mention that they have a financial interest in ‘plugging’ goods online could be contacted by the UK’s consumer watchdog in the coming weeks. The crackdown has been ordered by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, which has the power to take offenders to court.”
Links for September 30th 2010 through October 4th 2010:
- The Short Lifespan of a Tweet: Retweets Only Happen Within the First Hour [Read Write Web] – Interesting stats on the lifespan of a tweet: “For some, Twitter is a social network and for others it is just a broadcast medium. Judging from the latest data from social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomos, for the majority of users, Twitter is indeed mostly a broadcast medium. After analyzing over 1.2 billion tweets, the Sysomos team found that only 29% of tweets actually produce a reaction – that is, a reply or a retweet. According to Sysomos, just 6% of all tweets are retweeted and these retweets have a very short lifespan. Virtually all retweets happen within the first hour after the original tweet. If you are looking to get retweeted and nobody picks your tweet up within the first hour, chances are that nobody ever will. Only 1.63% of all retweets happen in the second hour and a minuscule 0.94% in the third hour. The same is true for @replies, too; 97% of all replies happen within the first hour.”
- MP in strife over Overland Facebook slur [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “A Victorian Liberal MP has used Facebook to attack the state’s Police Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland. Upper House backbencher Bernie Finn yesterday wrote he was “dreaming of when Victoria will have a real police officer as Chief Commissioner”. The post labelled Mr Overland and his predecessor, Christine Nixon, as “political appointees” who have “proven themselves incompetent in the areas of law enforcement and community protection”. Asked by a Facebook follower when Victoria might have a “real copper running the show”, Mr Finn replies: “after November 27…”, which is the date of Victoria’s looming state election.”
- Can companies ignore social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? [BBC News] – Beware or harness? “Once upon a time companies could afford to be rude. Unhappy customers would grumble to a few friends, withdraw their custom, but there was little else they could do. Today, they still tell their friends, but they do it online, using social media websites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Take the Canadian folk singer, Dave Carroll. After nine months of complaining he had had enough. United Airlines baggage handlers had damaged his $3,500 guitar, but the airline refused to pay compensation and its customer service agents were less than courteous. So he made a music video about the experience and on 6 July 2009 posted it on YouTube. Within three days it had been watched half a million times; by mid-August it had reached five million. United had a massive public relations crisis at its hands, not least as thousands of other unhappy customers now came forward to vent their frustration. These days one witty Tweet, one clever blog post, one devastating video …”
- Twitter Now Getting More Traffic Than MySpace [Mashable] – “Twitter’s number of monthly unique visitors finally surpassed that of MySpace in August. Though it ranked third among social networking sites, Twitter ranked #50 in the list of top 50 properties overall. The numbers were crunched by the marketing research firm comScore. Twitter’s (Twitter) lead over MySpace (MySpace) was marginal — 96 million versus 95 million — but the trend over time paints a prettier picture of the microblogging service. Between August 2009 and August 2010, Twitter grew 76% while MySpace dropped 17%.”
- U.S. single digital music sales flat this year: Nielsen [Reuters] – I wonder how this compares to the rise of micropayments for App purchases? “The rapid rise of single digital music sales has stalled in the United States, the world’s biggest and most important market, with sales in the first half of 2010 flat compared with a year before. According to research group Nielsen, digital sales for single track downloads were flat in the U.S. market after a 13 percent increase from 2008 to 2009 and 28 percent growth from 2007 to 2008. When combined with the growth in digital album sales, overall digital music sales were up over 5 percent in the U.S. Major music companies such as Vivendi’s Universal Music and EMI have pinned their hopes on boosting legal digital sales to counter online piracy and the collapse in CD sales.”
Largely Lost-centric links for May 24th 2010:
- Lost Finale: What the Web Wasn’t Made For [Mashable] – Why I’ll be off most social media today: “Those two wonderful facets of the web — on-demand viewing and instant communication between fans — tonight become a double-edged sword. The Lost Finale will be shown at 9pm ET on the East Coast, and 9pm PT on the West Coast. These time zone delays are the antithesis of what the web is about: Instant communication. The web is the perfect platform for the spread of breaking news, rumor, and those facts that corporations and politicians would rather keep quiet. In short: blogs, Facebook and Twitter make the spread of information immediate. But the web doesn’t understand the concept of the “spoiler”: The kind of information you’d like to avoid until a specific date or time. A TV blog can’t set its RSS feeds to be delivered later to the West Coast than the East. A Facebook update doesn’t get held back until you’ve watched the finale on your DVR. Your phone doesn’t know to block all Lost-related Tweets until you’ve watched the final episode.”
- Final episode Lost in transmission [WA Today] – Australian broadcasting is indeed, Lost, but not in a good way: “AT 2PM AEST today the final episode of supernatural drama Lost will be broadcast simultaneously in eight countries. Fans in the US, Canada, Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel and Turkey will sit down as one to discover how the big questions in one of television’s most diabolically complicated shows are resolved. The international simulcast aims to stave off piracy, while attracting viewers worldwide before spoilers hit the web. But not in Australia. Channel Seven will not screen the 2½-hour finale until 8.30pm Wednesday. […] ‘Ridiculous,” says comedian Wil Anderson, a Lost die-hard. ”If I was going to watch it on Wednesday, I could not go on the internet at all for two days. I will definitely have watched it by Wednesday.” Many Australian Lost fans have left free-to-air television for an alternate viewing reality, downloading, to join in discussions online…”
- Ahead of ‘Lost’ Finale, Fans Shut Off Virtual Hints [NYTimes.com] – “Erin Farley has her plans for Sunday all laid out. Two hours before the last episode of “Lost” is broadcast three time zones away, she will shut down her home Internet connection. TweetDeck? Off. Facebook? Off. Her cellphone? Stashed out of reach. “I’ll turn off the whole Internet just to avoid having anything spoiled,” said Ms. Farley, a 31-year-old freelance writer in Portland, Ore. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise.” The Internet in general, and social media like Twitter in particular, can be a minefield for those who are trying to keep themselves in the dark about an event or show so they can enjoy it later. When the Olympics and Grammy Awards are time-delayed, for example, armchair critics chattering about the wins and losses online can destroy the suspense in an instant. […] people who don’t live on the East Coast, where Lost is shown first, are especially at risk for online spoilers. Overseas fans may have to wait days for a local broadcast – several years in Internet time”
- Lost bows out – after 121 baffling episodes – with 5am TV simulcast to beat plot spoilers [Television & radio | The Guardian] – Closer to non-sporting global television events: “Early on Monday morning [UK time] , millions of Lost fans will be hoping that the mysteries of the US drama’s fictional island accumulated over five years are finally revealed when the show closes in a unique broadcasting event. The finale will be simulcast on ABC in the US and by seven broadcasters around the world. Lost fans in the UK will be switching on Sky1 at 5am on Monday for the two-and-a-half-hour climax to six series, and 121 episodes, of baffling TV. Fans in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Turkey, Canada, as well as the UK, will see the show at the same time it is aired by ABC on America’s west coast. The time lag between broadcast in America and in the UK used to be six months or more, but has been narrowing for the most popular imports to counter DVD piracy and illegal downloads. Sky1 has been broadcasting this year’s final series of Lost on Friday nights — five days after its US Sunday evening premiere on ABC.”
- LOST re-enacted by Cats in 1 minute.
- Fan-made Lost Finale Trailer
- Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole [WSJ.com] – “Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent. The practice, which most of the companies defended, sends user names or ID numbers tied to personal profiles being viewed when users click on ads. After questions were raised by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook and MySpace moved to make changes. By Thursday morning Facebook had rewritten some of the offending computer code. Advertising companies are receiving information that could be used to look up individual profiles, which, depending on the site and the information a user has made public, include such things as a person’s real name, age, hometown and occupation.” [Also see Benjamin Edelman’s analysis.]
- PAC-MAN rules! [Official Google Blog] – After their first interactive logo, celebrating Pac-Man’s 30th birthday, Google makes their homage game available permanently: “We’ve been overwhelmed — but not surprised 🙂 — by the success of our 30th anniversary PAC-MAN doodle. Due to popular demand, we’re making the game permanently available at www.google.com/pacman. Thanks to NAMCO for helping to make this wonderful collaboration happen. Enjoy!”
- Watching for Iron Sky [The Chutry Experiment ] – Useful introduction to the crowd-sourced film Iron Sky (coming some time 2011) for Web 207.
Links for April 19th 2010 through April 20th 2010:
- Media Watch: A Lesson in Facebook Friends (19/04/2010) [ABC TV] – Media Watch piece about two Warwich (QLD) teachers whose private Facebook photos of themselves dressed in supposedly suggestive school uniforms got them suspended from their jobs after the photos were posted in the local newspaper. It seems the photos were lifted from private Facebook accounts and that the journalists who ‘uncovered’ the story were actually Facebook friends with one of the two teachers they exposed. A suitable reminder that ‘friend’ isn’t always the best word for a social network connection! (The two teachers are now suing the journalists in question.)
- Teens and Mobile Phones – Report April 2010 [Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project] – “Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008, to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. And its not just frequency – teens are sending enormous quantities of text messages a day. Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Older teen girls ages 14-17 lead the charge on text messaging, averaging 100 messages a day for the entire cohort. The youngest teen boys are the most resistant to texting – averaging 20 messages per day.”
- Facebook Now Commands 41% of Social Media Traffic – STATS [Mashable] – “Facebook and YouTube are displacing rivals and taking over the social web, according to data we’ve just received from comScore. In addition to showing massive and continued traffic growth throughout 2009 and the beginning of 2010, Facebook and YouTube continued to capture the highest volume of social web traffic. Twitter also garnered a ton of mainstream attention, helping the company increase the number of visitors to its site by fivefold over the course of the year. […] Taking a look at the unique visitors charts, we see the widespread migration from MySpace to Facebook even more clearly. As of March 2010, Facebook traffic made up 41% of all traffic on a list of popular social destinations. MySpace was in second place, capturing around 24% of traffic. Gmail had 15%, and Twitter had 8%. However, during the same period in 2009, MySpace was in the lead with 38% of site visits over Facebook’s 33%.” (Original post has some useful graphs, albeit without a scale.)
- How Tech Start-ups Like Foursquare and Meetup Are Tring to Overthrow Old Media and Build a Better New York [New York Magazine] – Long article from Doree Shafrir about the tech start-up culture that has gripped New York city. The featured start-up is definitely Foursquare, and there are plenty of quotes about the role of start-ups in relation to tech giants like Google and Yahoo. There is some sense that the realm of start-ups is moving toward a new tech bubble, but the dominant business model still seems to be: get popular, get the eyeballs, and then let Yahoo and Google (and maybe Microsoft) bid to buy your business.
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.”
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 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.”
- Reporter Center’s Channel [YouTube] – A fantastic resource to help up and coming reporters, journalists and media students think about how to go about, and improve, the way they do things. [Via mUmbrella]
- 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 2nd 2009:
- How to Give Your Movie Away Free and Still Make Money [Jawbone.tv] – Some great ideas from Brian Newman about ways to both freely distribute and make money from feature films. (Thanks, Chuck.)
- Teens Sue School Over Punishment For Racy MySpace Pics [Huffington Post] – “Two sophomore girls have sued their school district after they were punished for posting sexually suggestive photos on MySpace during their summer vacation. The American Civil Liberties Union, in a federal lawsuit filed last week on behalf of the girls, argues that Churubusco High School violated the girls’ free speech rights when it banned them from extracurricular activities for a joke that didn’t involve the school … some legal experts say that in this digital era, schools must accept that students will engage in some questionable behavior in cyberspace and during off hours. “From the standpoint of young people, there’s no real distinction between online life and offline life,” said John Palfrey, a Harvard University law professor and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. “It’s just life.”” (It’s called MYspace for a reason, methinks!)
- Memories of Friends Departed Endure on Facebook [Facebook] – Facebook adds the ability to “memorialize” a Facebook page of someone who has passed away, but their loved ones wish their profile to remain online as a place for people to remember and reminisce about their lives. This feature has probably come along since Facebook got some bad press after suggesting people ‘reconnect’ with their deceased loved ones.[Via BBoing]
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