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Links of interest for October 3rd 2008 through October 8th 2008:
- Generational Myth: Not all young people are tech-savvy [ChronicleReview.com] – Siva Vaidhyanathan convincingly argues we need to move away from the simplistic rhetoric of the ‘digital natives’ before this generational pigeon-holing causes even more harm: “We should drop our simplistic attachments to generations so we can generate an accurate and subtle account of the needs of young people — and all people, for that matter. A more responsible assessment would divorce itself from a pro- or anti-technology agenda and look at multiple causes for problems we note: state malfeasance or benign neglect of education, rampant consumerism in our culture, moral panics that lead us to scapegoat technology, and, yes, technology itself. Such work would reflect the fact that technologies do not emerge in a vacuum. “
- MySpace a new fraud market [The Age] – “Hugely popular services such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are being blamed for a boom in sophisticated email scams in which criminals mining the information on social networking sites to create personalised attacks.
These so-called spear phishing emails appear to come from a trusted source and aim to persuade the victim to hand over valuable data such as banking details or passwords to corporate networks.”
- Privacy lags in technology rush [The Age] – “The [Australian] federal minister in charge of privacy, John Faulkner, has warned that personal information posted on social networking websites can linger forever “like an ill-considered tattoo”. But the cabinet secretary said the challenge for legislators was not to protect people from the information they volunteer about themselves but the data collected by others. He called for privacy values to be at the forefront – not an afterthought – when technology was being developed.”
- A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century [Esquire] – “Chuck Klosterman issues his predictions for the coming century.” It’s more speculative satire than future history, but this sort of fictional list is always amusing and until 2040 it extrapolates from contemporary trends fairly well. Then we get time travellers, robots, AIs, war with the animals and overpopulation on the moon.
- China spying on Skype users – VoIP – Connectivity – Technology – theage.com.au – “China is monitoring the chat messages of Skype users and censoring them if they contain sensitive keywords such as Tibet or Communist Party, according to a group of Canadian researchers. The massive surveillance operation of TOM-Skype, a joint venture between Chinese mobile firm TOM Online and Skype, owned by US online auction house eBay, was alleged by Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto research group.” (Another case where ethics are treated as national institutions, not global issues!)
Interesting links for September 4th 2008 through September 5th 2008:
- 19% of U.S. Households Watch Online TV [NewTeeVee] – A new report from The Conference Board shows that 19% of US households watch broadcast TV online: “In its study of 10,000 households, TNS and the Conference Board found that of those who watch TV online, 43 percent tune into the news, the most popular category. Thirty-nine percent watch drama shows, 34 percent sitcom/comedy shows, 23 percent reality shows, 16 percent sports, and 15 percent user-generated content.”
- Wikipedia vandals target West Australian politicians [The Australian] – “According to giant online encyclopedia Wikipedia, West Australian polician Matt Birney has a small penis and premier Alan Carpenter is helped by the outlaw bikie gang Gypsy Jokers. … As the State election draws nearer, volunteer editors at the site, which has more than two-and-a-half million articles, are scanning the entries of WA politicians to ensure inaccurate entries are removed as quickly as possible. … Alan Carpenter’s Wikipedia entry was vandalised three times late last month. It said he was sacked from the ABC, had a drug addiction, “destroyed the teaching profession” and insisted “teachers are overpaid and underworked kretins (sic) of our society”. But two minutes after the final act of vandalism, editor Rror removed the offending material.” (That’s pretty quick editing! Who’d’ve thought so many people were watching WA politicians’ wikipedia pages?) [Via Anna @ iGenmasters]
- Google backs down over browser amid privacy concerns [The Age] – “Google has made an embarrassing backdown after it was revealed the company would have rights to any information entered into websites by people using its new internet browser. A day after the Google Chrome browser was released, a controversial clause in its “End User License Agreement” (EULA) has been removed following concerns it breached people’s privacy and copyright.” (I’m delighted that clause is gone, but credit to them, it disappeared pretty quickly after blogosphere unrest! It’s interesting, too, that in The Age Google backed down … for the BBC it’s a “tweak“.)
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 27th 2008 through August 28th 2008:
- Blogger arrested over Guns N’ Roses leak [The Age] – “A blogger suspected of streaming songs from the unreleased Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy on his website was arrested and appeared in court, where his bail was set at $US10,000. FBI agents arrested 27-year-old Kevin Cogill on Wednesday morning on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Cogill appeared in court in the afternoon wearing a T-shirt; his girlfriend sat in court and afterward said, “Rally the troops”, but declined further comment. Federal authorities say Cogill posted nine unreleased Guns N’ Roses songs on his website in June. The songs were later removed.” (So, a hardcore fan shares some unreleased songs. Solution: send an email and ask him to remove then, he gets a kick from hearing from the band, and happily respects their wishes? Or try and get him locked up and fined? Does no one remember what happened when Metallica shat all over anyone using Napster?) [Via Anna @ iGenMasters]
- Age editor sacked after Fairfax cuts [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The editor-in-chief of Melbourne’s Age Newspaper is the first casualty of Fairfax media’s job cuts. Andrew Jaspan, has been sacked as part of an overhaul by the newspaper’s owner, Fairfax. His abrupt departure comes a day after the media firm announced it was cutting 550 jobs in Australia and New Zealand. “
- Woolies’ new card will trail shoppers [The Age] – “An unprecedented mountain of data will be amassed by the nation’s leading retail company with the launch of a sophisticated credit card that can follow shoppers on their spending trails and be used to entice them to buy more products. Woolworths’ Everyday Money Credit Card is the first in the country to combine a credit card with a sophisticated loyalty program capable of capturing and then sending a shopper’s purchasing details back to a central database. The database is linked to the company’s recently launched fuel voucher card.”