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Tag Archives: olympics
Links of interest for September 5th 2008 through September 8th 2008:
- BigPond backs down on Uluru adverts [The Age] – “Telstra BigPond has come under fire for placing advertising billboards on its Second Life island right in front of a virtual model of Uluru. The company has since removed the billboards, which contained BigPond logos, after online communities expert Laurel Papworth complained in a blog post titled “Bigpond brands uluru”. She claimed the telco was being insensitive to indigenous Australians.” (Seems like a pretty valid complaint to me!)
- Silence is Golden: Gay Olympic Champion Matthew Mitcham, Outside of Discourse by Alexander Cho [FLOW, 8.07. 2008] – A look at the media coverage – or, more importantly, lack of media coverage, especially in the US – of Australian Matthew Mitcham’s historic win (and highest scoring dive in Olympic history) at the diving in Beijing. Cho looks at the way the media avoided any shots of Mitcham celebrating with his mother and boyfriend or the award ceremony, arguing that Mitcham’s status as the only openly gay male Olympian worked against him in NBC’s eyes (and in other national media).
- Hey, hey, ho, ho – Video-game censorship has got to go Aaron Delwiche / Trinity University [FLOW, 8.07. 2008] – A fascinating article looking initially at the protests which occured after the recruitment game America’s Army was ported to a the XBOX360 and marketed to younger teenagers. The main argument: “Rather than sticking labels on games like America’s Army, we should be teaching students to think critically about the messages embedded in all video-games.”
Interesting links for August 28th 2008 through August 31st 2008:
- Wikipedia Edits Forecast Vice Presidential Picks [Washingtonpost.com] – “In the days leading up to Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate announcement, political junkies glued to broadcasts and blogs for clues of McCain’s veep choice might have done better to keep a sharp eye on each candidate’s Wikipedia entry. Just hours before McCain declared his veep choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her Wiki page saw a flurry of activity, with editors adding details about her approval rating and husband’s employment. Perhaps more tellingly, some of the same users editing her page were almost simultaneously updating McCain’s Wiki entry, adding information dealing with accuracy, sources and footnotes to each.” [Via]
- Lewd Hudson makes waves on Facebook [Nine MSN] – “Hockeyroos captain Nikki Hudson has apologised for a sexually explicit joke she made about herself on Facebook after it made its way into the public domain. Hudson, 32, wrote she would like to be “impaled” by the Spanish men’s hockey team in a message posted on August 22, the Sunday Mail reported. “Nikki thinks the running of the bulls should be changed & we should be chased by the spainish [sic] mens hockey team,” she wrote, according to the Mail. “I would definately [sic] make sure I got caught and impaled!” The veteran Hockeyroo, whose fancied team had just been eliminated from the Olympics, regularly posted candid messages throughout her time in Beijing on topics ranging from the food to her thoughts on men.” [Via Alex @ iGeneration]
- Macquarie University opens up access to its academics’ research papers [The Australian] – “Macquarie University has joined the small club of Australian institutions that require academics to make their research papers freely available over the Internet. “We think it’s a blow for academic freedom and for universal access to scholarly work,” said Steven Schwartz, Macquarie’s vice chancellor. Under a new policy, academics must send a copy of journal articles to Macquarie’s open access repository. The open access movement seeks to maximise the public benefit from research by disseminating it beyond subscription-based journals, which are costly. The movement gained pace this year with institutions such as Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the British funding agency the Welcome Trust adopting policies that require, rather than simply encourage, researchers to use online repositories.”
- SMH columnist Carlton sacked over Fairfax strike [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Columnist Mike Carlton has been sacked from The Sydney Morning Herald. Sources have told the ABC that Mr Carlton refused to write his regular column for the paper’s Saturday edition because of the current strike by journalists and editorial staff. He was told that he would no longer be writing for the newspaper as a result.”
- YouTube Adds Captions [NewTeeVee] – YouTube has launched a captions feature to its videos. With captions, video uploaders can add a translation into a foreign language, provide clarification for garbled dialog or make the video more accessible to the hard of hearing. In order to add captions, you’ll need to have files with captions or subtitles in them, created using software or a service. Once added, the captions can be accessed by clicking on the arrow in the lower right hand corner of the video. Like video annotations, captions don’t seem to work with embeds.
Interesting links for August 26th 2008:
- Fairfax Media to cut 550 jobs in Australia and New Zealand [SMH] – “Fairfax Media will axe 550 staff in Australia and New Zealand, or about 5% of the company’s full-time workforce, as part of a plan to bolster profitability. The overhaul will include the integration of staffing for The Sydney Morning Herald and its Sunday sister paper, The Sun-Herald. Editorial positions will account for about one-third of the overall job cuts, Fairfax chief executive David Kirk and deputy CEO Brian McCarthy said in a statement emailed to staff. “This is a far-reaching program, designed to comprehensively restructure and reposition the business for years to come,” the statement said. “We wanted to make a major change today across the company in order to accelerate our building of a strong and dynamic integrated media business.” Fairfax’s announcement comes as media companies worldwide attempt to adjust to a shift in advertising revenue and readership from traditional media, including newspapers, to online and other emerging platforms.”
- Fairfax staff demand explanation for planned job cuts [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Angry staff and union officials have given Fairfax 48 hours to explain why they are planning to cut 550 jobs. Fairfax staff met in Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong, Newcastle and Canberra this afternoon to discuss the job cuts. They have agreed to reject the redundancy plan and have demanded that Fairfax executives meet with them in the next 48 hours to explain their strategy. They say their newspapers are already under resourced. Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance federal secretary Chris Warren says no decision has been taken about industrial action, but a strike has not been ruled out if Fairfax does not reconsider its position.”
- Michael Phelps Officially Most Popular Person on Facebook [All Facebook] – “…Michael Phelps’ fan page has become the most popular page on Facebook, overtaking Obama now attracting over 1.425 million fans versus Barack who has over 1.389 million fans.”
Interesting links for August 21st 2008 through August 22nd 2008:
- Monkey Magic – Karen Lury / University of Glasgow [Flow TV, 8.06] – Playful and engaging reading of the BBC Monkey-style BBC Opening for the Olympic Games: “A playful, irreverent choice then: a trailer that reverses a mythic journey (from West to East) and which pays overt homage to a cult TV series that was never – in any coherent sense – an ‘authentic’ reflection or interpretation of Chinese culture or mythology. … The animation itself reproduces certain static poses and a colour scheme that may have been inspired by Chinese illustration and Japanese Manga; but for Hewlett fans, this is recognisably a Hewlett world – a world that is both menacing and cute (and where ‘cute’ is revealingly close to its roots in the freakish world of the side-show). It is funny and slightly unsettling as Pigsy smirks provocatively or when Monkey opens his mouth to reveal his dirty and surprisingly sharp teeth.”
- Tiger Woods Responds to Fan’s YouTube Video [Micro Persuasion] – “This video response is brilliant marketing on the part of Electronic Arts and Tiger Woods. A fan posted on YouTube that it’s possible for Woods to hit a golf ball in Tiger Woods 08 while walking on water. How does Tiger react? By showing how it’s done and promoting Tiger Woods 09 in the process. It shows they listen and bring in the big guns to engage.”
- Digital futures report: the internet in Australia [CCI] – “This report provides an overview of our work, presenting results for each of the questions asked. We will also be publishing work that examines relationships between our key variables exploring, for example, differences between users with broadband access at home and those on dial-up connections and the differences that age, gender and education levels make to people’s use and experience of the internet. Analysis we have already conducted shows that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet. The internet is more highly valued by those with broadband connections and they use the internet for longer and for a greater variety of purposes. Younger people have been quick to integrate the internet into their lives, they use the internet more and particularly for entertainment.” [Full Report PDF]
- Few lives left for Second Life [The Age] – “Separately, figures released by the virtual world’s creator Linden Lab in April show there are only 12,245 active Australian Second Life users, down from highs of 16,000 towards the end of last year. … Australians appear to have lost interest in Second Life and the users still there appear to be shying away from the big corporate brands. Kim MacKenzie, a PhD student at the Queensland University of Technology, centred her honours year thesis around the business applications of Second Life. She studied the Second Life bases of 20 international brands over three months last year, including Dell, Toyota, Coca-Cola, BMW, AOL and Vodafone. “They were like ghost towns,” said MacKenzie, adding that many of the users she saw on the company islands appeared to be staff members.” (A significant rebuttal of the information and argument in this article can be found at Personalize Media.
- For YouTube videos, a ‘fair use’ boost [News.com] – “Copyright owners, such as NBC Universal, Warner Bros., and Viacom, were put on notice Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that they must not order video be removed from Web sites indiscriminately. Before taking action against a clip, copyright owners, must form a “good-faith belief ” that a video is infringing, according to Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “
- Poor earning virtual gaming gold [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Nearly half a million people are employed in developing countries earning virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study has found. Research by Manchester University shows that the practice, known as gold-farming, is growing rapidly. Researchers say the industry, which is largely based in China, currently employs about 400,000 young people who earn £80 per month on average.” (Good article, but really, “playbourers”?)
- Up, Up, and Away? Separating Fact from Fiction in the Comic Book Business [Alisa Perren / Georgia State University – Flow TV 8.06] – A timely look at the relationship between comic book sales and the blockbuster movies they’ve been driving so successfully this year: “Myth #1: Comic-Con is all about comics. From its inception in 1970 well into the 1990s, this was largely the case. However, in recent years, the Hollywood studios increasingly have focused their energies on using the annual event as a means of promoting upcoming films and television programs. … Myth #2: Since movies based on comics are all the rage, comic books must be selling like crazy.”
- iTunes blocked in China after protest stunt [WA Today] – “Access to Apple’s online iTunes Store has been blocked in China after it emerged that Olympic athletes have been downloading and possibly listening to a pro-Tibetan music album in a subtle act of protest against China’s rule over the province. The album, called Songs for Tibet, was produced by an a group called The Art of Peace Foundation, and features 20 tracks from well-known singers and songwriters including Sting, Moby, Suzanne Vega and Alanis Morissette. It was released as a download on the iTunes Store on August 5 – three days before the start of the Olympics – with the physical CD launched on Tuesday this week. The Foundation provided free downloads of the album to Olympic athletes, urging them to play the songs on their iPods during the Games as a show of support.”