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Links for July 10th through July 19th:
- Jon Stewart Blasts Viacom For Stupid Blackout; Viacom Sheepishly Turns Web Streams Back On [Techdirt] – Geography isn’t the only rationale behind imposing digital distance: “Last week, we wrote about Viacom’s really short-sighted decision to use its fans as hostages in a silly dispute with DirecTV over fees. To prevent any DirecTV customer from seeing any of its key shows, Viacom stopped streaming them online… for all customers, meaning that even those who had nothing to do with any of this couldn’t legally watch the shows they liked. As we noted, this would likely only serve to drive more people to find unauthorized versions…. Of course, one of Viacom’s most popular shows — and one of the key ones turned off from streaming — is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which had been on break last week anyway. However, it returned last night with a vengeance, and target number one: his corporate masters at Viacom for acting as if they were China in blocking the internet, and likely driving more fans to unauthorized streams.”
- Face blurring: when footage requires anonymity [YouTube Blog] – YouTube launches a face-blurring tool within YouTube: “Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube.”
- Shell social media oil spill a ‘coordinated online assassination’ [The Age] – Shell’s brand has been hijacked in what marketing experts say is a “social media oil spill” and a “coordinated online assassination of the Shell brand”. It’s a fake PR disaster that has snowballed into a very real one for Shell as web users are under the impression that it is an official company campaign. It started when an Arctic Ready website appeared online about two months ago that looked almost identical to the Arctic section on Shell’s own site. The site appeared to be an educational site about Shell’s oil drilling in the Arctic – complete with “Angry Bergs” kids game – but invited people to create their own ads by adding their own marketing copy over supplied photographs of the Arctic. User-generated ads could then be shared on social media. … For all intents and purposes, it looks like a real Shell marketing idea that has spun out of control …
But in reality … the Arctic Ready website, and the viral video, were created by activists Greenpeace and The Yes Men.”
- Downloads: ‘It’s cheaper to pay a wage, fly to the US and back twice’ [SMH]– “Australians are paying 50 per cent more than American shoppers for downloaded music and games, as well as computer software and hardware, consumer watchdog Choice says. In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into IT Pricing, Choice says Australians are on the wrong end of of international price discrimination by copyright holders. New research carried out by the group found price differences across a range of IT products including iTunes downloads, PC games, personal and business software, Wii console games and computer hardware. “In Australia you pay, on average, 52 per cent more than an American consumer will for the same 50 top iTunes songs,” says Choice head of campaigns, Matt Levey.””A selection of 44 popular home and business software products were, on average, 34 per cent more expensive in Australia than the US.”
- Council’s new social media policy – rethinking our networks [Marketing Summit 2012] – While these things are never perfect, the new Australia Council for the Arts Social Media Policy is well-written, mindful of the specificities of social media platforms and engagement (not risk!) centred. This policy will probably prove a useful template for corporations and organisations trying to figure out their own policies for social media use. Kudos to former Creative Commons stalwart Elliot Bledsoe for spearheading the new policy development.
- Facebook scans chats and posts for criminal activity [Internet & Media – CNET News] – Facebook is intensively data-mining Facebook chat; the justification: “If [Facebook] detects suspicious behavior, it flags the content and determines if further steps, such as informing the police, are required. The new tidbit about the company’s monitoring system comes from a Reuters interview with Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan. Here’s the lead-in to the Reuters story: “A man in his early 30s was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day. Facebook’s extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police. Officers took control of the teenager’s computer and arrested the man the next day.” Facebook’s software focuses on conversations between members who have a loose relationship on the social network.”
- Facebook set to unfriend anonymous snooping[The Independent]– I genuinely doubt this will be rolled out on Timelines; it’d reduce time spent on Facebook. Stalking – more advertising views, after all.”The end is nigh for anonymous stalking on the social media website Facebook. The website has announced that it is going to start letting users know who has viewed items on the social network, a change which is expected to cause the amount of online snooping to plummet. For now, the change to the Facebook website, which has more than 900m active users, applies to group pages, meaning users can see who has visited any group of which they are a member. But already there are suggestions that Facebook may unfurl the technology across the site, meaning the naughty-naughty-stalky-stalky generation may soon see their fingerprint-free snooping habits curtailed, or face the embarrassment of their ex’s new boyfriend/girlfriend realising they were too curious to resist an online-curtain twitch.”
- CV Dazzle: Camouflage From Computer Vision by Adam Harvey – “CV Dazzle™ is camouflage from computer vision (CV). It is a form of expressive interference that combines makeup and hair styling (or other modifications) with face-detection thwarting designs. The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the gestalt-image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection. Because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as Google’s Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook (see CV Dazzle vs PhotoTagger by Face.com). [Via Jill]
Links for June 5th through June 15th:
- Hundreds of dollars, no sense as Gillard’s #cashforyou tweets backfire [The Age] – Poorly thought through promotional hashtags – a new Australian tradition, it seems: “The federal government has been bombarded with scorn on Twitter this morning after its ministers used the hashtag “cash for you” to promote its School Kids Bonus. […] Ms Gillard’s advisers, known as TeamJG on Twitter, tweeted: “Talking to parents & students about the Schoolkids Bonus at Marrickville West Public School #cashforyou.” #cashforyou has quickly become the top trending topic on Twitter in Australia today, ahead of usual placegetters Justin Bieber and local singer Reece Mastin. But the hashtag has drawn scathing responses from users. “#CashForYou? That’s the line the ALP is going for? At least when Howard did middle-class welfare he wrapped it up in patriotism,” tweeted one. Another read: “I’m worried the #cashforyou message might be too subtle and nuanced to really cut through.”
- YouTube chief mulls paid subscription [Reuters] – “YouTube is exploring selling subscriptions to access to some of its video offerings, potentially providing a way for certain cable channels to be available outside the traditional “bundles” offered by cable network providers, said YouTube boss Salar Kamangar. Cable channels with smaller audiences will in the future migrate to the Web and become available on an “a la carte” basis, Kamangar said at the Reuters Media and Technology Summit on Thursday. […] “We don’t have anything to announce now. It is something that’s really important to a lot of our top existing content creators as well as ones that aren’t on YouTube today, so we’re taking very seriously and we’re thinking about it very carefully,” said Kamangar, Google senior vice president, YouTube and video.”
- The IOC to show live coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games on YouTube in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa [YouTube Blog] – In short, anyone in a country that DOESN’T have a broadcaster paying the IOC for exclusive rights TV rights will be getting the Olympics for free on YouTube. Australians, however, get a team led by Eddie McGuire. *sigh* “This summer, from July 27 to August 12, the world will turn their attention to London to watch the daily trials and triumphs of the greatest living athletes at the Summer Olympic Games. Today, we’re excited to announce that millions of Olympic fans from across 64 territories in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa will have a chance to watch the games live from London on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/olympic. In total, the IOC’s YouTube Channel will offer fans in these countries over 2,200 hours of high-definition sporting event coverage from London 2012, including all the medal finals.”
- The Yellow Australian Social Media Report 2012 [Sensis] – “The consumer survey found that 62% of internet users have a presence on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin. Facebook dominates the social media space, capturing 97% of social networking users. it is used by more than 90% of social media users from both sexes and all age groups, with average users spending more than six hours a week on the site. Whilst some sites have dominated in the social media space, this is sometimes at the expense of other site. People were most likely to nominate having stopped using MySpace in the past year.” [Full Report PDF]
- picplz shutting down [blog plz] – Just two months after Instagram launched their Android version and PicPlz, one of the better (and much earlier) Android photo tweaking and sharing apps is shutting their doors. They’ve given a month’s notice that all data will be deleted and PicPlz erased on 3 July 2012.
Links for March 4th through March 8th:
- Animated GIFs: The Birth of a Medium [Off Book | PBS – YouTube] – Nifty little video looking at the history of the GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) image, from the 1987 creation (pre-web) through tothe Under Construction GIFs the were prevalent on the early web, the disappearance of GIFS, and their resurgence as an art-form (cinemagraphs) and a memey means of expression (Tumblr!).
- Tweet a Link, Save a Link [Delicious Blog] – Delicious adds a native Twitter connector, with which you can save tweets, links in tweets, and filter by a specific hashtag.
- Coles Twitter campaign goes down, down gurgler [WA Today] – “A social media experiment has backfired for Coles, exposing the supermarket to a flood of negative comments on Twitter. The supermarket is the latest company to have a social media marketing exercise go terribly wrong, following blunders from Qantas and Coca-Cola. The official Coles account last night urged followers to complete the sentence “in my house it’s a crime not to buy…..” But the PR exercise quickly fizzled as Twitter users inundated the supermarket’s account with negative comments. User @Pollytics wrote, “Food from markets while Coles exploits mental illness via pokies.” Other users raised concerns about the supermarket not giving farmers a fair price for their produce. @TaraMacca wrote, “In my house, its a crime not to buy LOCALLY- and I don’t mean from a @coles supermarket.” “In my house it’s a crime not to buy…BREAD AND MILK AT PRICES THAT ALLOW PRIMARY PRODUCERS TO SURVIVE,” said @downesy.”
- Apple passes 25bn iPhone and iPad app downloads milestone [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Apple’s App Store has passed 25 billion downloads, with Disney’s iOS game Where’s My Water? Free nudging it past the milestone. Apple had been running a counter on its website and store, so the 25bn mark was actually reached over the weekend. The company has now revealed which app was the 25 billionth, as well as the name of the downloader: Chunli Fu in Qingdao, China. Late chief executive Steve Jobs would surely have approved of both. He was Disney’s largest shareholder in his later years, after it acquired his Pixar Animation Studios. Meanwhile, China has been an important growth market for Apple in the last year, as the iPhone went on sale there. […] As a comparison, Google recently announced that its Android Market store is generating 1bn monthly app downloads.”
- Lego blondes [thinking with my fingers] – Torill Mortensen looks at the differences between normal Lego figure (minifigs) and the new ‘for girls’ Lego. The fact that ‘girl’ lego figures are incompatible with the ‘normal’ accessories and parts is telling. 🙁
- Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral [TED – YouTube] – Seven minute TED talk by Kevin Allocca explaining why he (on behalf of YouTube) thinks videos ‘go viral’.
Links for May 26th 2010 through May 28th 2010:
- CHART OF THE DAY: The Half-Life Of A YouTube Video Is 6 Days [Business Insider] – “A video on YouTube gets 50% of its views in the first 6 days it is on the site, according to data from analytics firm TubeMogul. After 20 days, a YouTube video has had 75% of its total views. That’s a really short life span for YouTube videos, and it’s probably getting shorter. In 2008, it took 14 days for a video to get 50% of its views and 44 days to get 75% of its views. Why? In the last two years, YouTube has improved its user interface, which helps videos get seen early on. Also, the world has gotten more adept at embedding and sharing videos in real-time via Twitter and Facebook. (And there’s probably more video to choose from.)”
- “Transparency Is Not Enough.” [danah boyd] – danah boyd making the important point that data transparency is only useful if we are also teaching the information literacy to responsibly employ that transparent data: “This is a country built on a mantra that “all [people] are created equal.” Those who are working towards transparency are doing so with this mission in mind. We desperately need an informed citizenry. But getting there is two pronged. We need information transparency and we also need to help people develop the skills to leverage that information to their advantage. And to help society writ large. The Internet radically increases the opportunities for information to be made available which is why we’re all here celebrating Gov2.0. But the Internet does not magically give people the skills they need to interpret the information they see. That’s why I need you. I need you to fight for information literacy alongside information transparency. Both are essential to creating an informed citizenry.”
- Twitter faux pas: 20 dreadful types of tweet [Telegraph] – Yes, this is silly, but there is some insight in there, too: “Twitter is frequently ridiculed by people who have never used the service. But fans of the micro-blogging site are more aware than anyone just how annoying some tweets can be. Below are 20 types of tweet that make our toes curl, from exchanges between celebrities who only engage with each other, to people who will type anything to win an Apple gadget.”
- Facebook to draw local police guidelines [The Age] – “Facebook appears to have bowed to police pressure to draw up a local law enforcement policy but will stop short of installing a police liaison officer in Australia as asked. In a telephone interview yesterday, Facebook US-based director of communications and public affairs Debbie Frost said a liaison team visited Australian authorities including the Attorney-General’s department last week and “was working on local guidelines”.”
- Facebook reveals ‘simplified’ privacy changes [BBC News] – A genuine response to widespread desire for better and more transparent privacy controls, or a half-way measure to ward off a tide of people leaving Facebook and stemming talk of government intervention in the way privacy is managed online? We’ll have to see once the new settings roll out: “Social network Facebook has said it will offer a one-stop shop for privacy settings in response to user concerns. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the settings had “gotten complex” for users. It follows a storm of protest from users over a series of changes on the site that left its members unsure about how public their information had become. “We needed to simplify controls,” he told a press conference. “We want people to be able to share information in the way that they want,” he told BBC News. “Our goal is not to make your information more private or more open.””
- BBC iPlayer integrates Twitter and Facebook [BBC News] – The BBC’s online video service, iPlayer, goes social: “The BBC iPlayer has launched a trial service inviting users to share favourite programmes via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. People can now choose to log-on to the revamped video player, allowing them to personalise the service and see recommendations based on prior viewing. It will also aggregate content from other broadcasters including Channel 4. Users will also soon be able to chat using Microsoft’s Messenger service while watching live TV streams. “We spent more time designing [the new interface] than building it,” said the BBC’s Anthony Rose, chief technology officer for Project Canvas, a new online broadcast initiative currently under development. “It’s a complete social ecosystem.””
Links for February 17th 2010 through February 19th 2010:
- Westpac Writes ‘Oh So Very Over It’ On Twitter Account [Brisbane Times] – Apparently people tweeting for corporate brands showing emotion is newsworthy: “Who said banks were heartless? Even after posting a $1.6 billion first quarter profit, Westpac was a melancholy bank shortly before 4pm today. “Oh so very over it today,” Westpac announced to the world via its Twitter account. The sullen tweet spread like wildfire and tugged at heart strings across the social networking site. […] Concerned about the bank’s well-being, brisbanetimes.com.au contacted Westpac’s media relations department to make sure it was OK. Within two minutes of making that phone call at 4.26pm, the Tweet was pulled from the site, but not before thousands saw it. brisbanetimes.com.au hopes to be able to report on Westpac’s emotional state, as soon as a response to our queries is received.”
- Google Buzz ‘breaks privacy laws’ says watchdog [BBC News] – “A leading privacy group has urged US regulators to investigate Google’s new social networking service Buzz, one week after its launch. The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has made its complaint to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) It says that Buzz – which is part of Google’s Gmail service – is “deceptive” and breaks consumer protection law. The search giant has twice made changes to the service to placate an outcry from users about privacy concerns. Canadian officials are also looking at whether Buzz violates privacy laws. “Google still hasn’t gone far enough,” Epic’s consumer privacy counsel Kim Nguyen told BBC News.”Twitter is a social networking site and people know what they are signing up for. With Gmail, users signed up for an e-mail service not a social networking service,” said Ms Nguyen. “Despite all the changes, they still do not give users a meaningful way to opt into it.” Buzz was automatically rolled out to Gmail’s 176 million users.”
- Google boss says ‘nobody was harmed’ by Buzz debacle [guardian.co.uk] – Isn’t it a bit late to chide user “confusion” and just move forward with “we’re sorry”? “Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has suggested that users who complained about privacy invasions by Google Buzz were subject to “confusion”. “I would say that we did not understand how to communicate Google Buzz and its privacy,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion when it came out on Tuesday, and people thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true. I think it was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody’s personal information was disclosed.”
Links for October 1st 2009 through October 4th 2009:
- Margaret Pomeranz on R18+ [Byteside] – Film critic and arts commentator Margaret Pomeranz discussed why an R18+ rating for video games is all too due for Australia! (Posted on: October 1, 2009)
- You’re banned for life: MasterChef’s George in ‘sell out’ Twitter spat [The Age] – Journalist and food writer Winsor Dobbin got more than he bargained for after a quick tweet deriding MasterChef’s George Calombaris for pimping Coles. Calombaris phoned him personally to complain, call Dobbin a moron, and ban the food critic for all fo Colambaris’ five restaurants. Seems Calombaris needs to stop reading Twitter. (Or maybe he’s just annoyed that the premiere of Celebrity Masterchef got caned on Twitter in favour of the Hey, Hey Reunion?)
- The Social Media Guru [YouTube] – Biting satire about the world of social media gurus, who charge the world to tell you about Twitter … by explaining the point is to learn about it yourself. “It’s social media, baby.” (Oh, BTW: Some very colourful language!)
- The Wikipedia Knowledge Dump – Interesting blog flagging and archiving Wikipedia content that has been marked for possible deletion.
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