Disruptions and dividends: a fast broadband Australia [ABC] – A fantastic speech from the ABC's Managing Director Mark Scott, given in September 2012, highlighting the challenges and opportunities the public broadcaster faces in the era of broadband and digital distribution. Scott sees the huge amount of time-shifted streaming of children's television as a harbinger of a future driven by immediacy, while the recent move to make episodes of Doctor Who available online (on iView) the second they finish in the UK signals the only way to answer online piracy: provide a better and easier service.
Creepshots and revenge porn: how paparazzi culture affects women [The Guardian] – Disturbing but well-written piece on 'creepshots' and the broader cultural context in which they exist: "… we arguably all live in a paparazzi culture now. Cameras are ubiquitous, as is the technology to share and publicise pictures instantly. The throb of surveillance plays out in different ways. On the more benign side are the mild nerves many people feel when an email pops up to tell them they have been tagged in a Facebook photo, an image that could be from any moment in their life – recent or historical – now public, and open for comments. But it also plays out in more insidious ways. This includes the creepshot websites, and others where people collect images of ordinary women they have culled from around the internet."
Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea’s Music Video Sensation [The Atlantic] – "Park Jaesang is an unlikely poster boy for South Korea's youth-obsessed, highly lucrative, and famously vacuous pop music. Park, who performs as Psy (short for psycho), is a relatively ancient 34, has been busted for marijuana and for avoiding the country's mandatory military service, and is not particularly good-looking. His first album got him fined for "inappropriate content" and the second was banned. He's mainstream in the way that South Korea's monolithically corporate media demands of its stars, who typically appear regularly on TV variety and even game shows, but as a harlequin, a performer known for his parodies, outrageous costumes, and jokey concerts. Still, there's a long history of fools and court jesters as society's most cutting social critics, and he might be one of them. […] Gangnam is a tony Seoul neighborhood, and Park's "Gangnam Style" video lampoons its self-importance and ostentatious wealth, with Psy playing a clownish caricature of a Gangnam man."
Hitler Is Very Upset That Constantin Film Is Taking Down Hitler Parodies [TechCrunch] – It looks like the Hitler Gets Upset About [Whatever] meme might be drawing to an end thanks to copyright issues. Constantin Film, the production company behind Downfall (Der Untergang in German) have asserted their copyright over the Downfall footage and YouTube’s automated system appears to be pulling the clips down all over their service. I’d like to think everyone will be filing counter-claims since this is clearly Fair Use according to US copyright law (how could this not be parody or satire?) but we’ll have to see what happens. (An Open Video Alliance post notes that the”videos were blocked by YouTube’s Content ID system, not taken down via DMCA notices”). Meanwhile, until it disappears, here’s Hitler’s thoughts on the Downfall videos disappearing.
More Changes to Facebook Privacy, and More to Come [Social Hacking] – “… Facebook is changing the “Become a Fan” buttons to “Like” buttons. If you want to connect with a page for something you’re interested in, you now will simply “like” the page. In a blog post, Facebook spun the connections as an exciting improvement: “Instead of just boring text, these connections are actually Pages, so your profile will become immediately more connected to the places, things and experiences that matter to you.” I can see three main reasons why Facebook would make this change, and none of them involve text being boring. […] First, this helps software more easily process your interests. […] Second, the shift to “liking” reduces friction. The semantics may be subtle, but I’m sure Facebook has done research on this. “Liking” implies a simple, casual gesture […] Third, this increases the useful data Facebook can offer to others.”
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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!)
on url shorteners [joshua’s blog] – “… URL shorteners are bad for the rest of us. The worst problem is that shortening services add another layer of indirection to an already creaky system. A regular hyperlink implicates a browser, its DNS resolver, the publisher’s DNS server, and the publisher’s website. With a shortening service, you’re adding something that acts like a third DNS resolver, except one that is assembled out of unvetted PHP and MySQL, without the benevolent oversight of luminaries like Dan Kaminsky and St. Postel. There are three other parties in the ecosystem of a link: the publisher (the site the link points to), the transit (places where that shortened link is used, such as Twitter or Typepad), and the clicker (the person who ultimately follows the shortened links). Each is harmed to some extent by URL shortening.” (While I understand URL shortening for Twitter, I think they tend to obscure the actual destination and make evaluating a link very difficult!)
Facebook Blocks All Pirate Bay Links [TorrentFreak] – “… [in] March The Pirate Bay added new functionality to reach out to millions of Facebook users. Just over a week later and the world’s largest social networking site has blocked all links to torrents on the world’s largest and most infamous BitTorrent tracker. It was less than two weeks ago when The Pirate Bay implemented a new feature making it easier for site users to post links to torrents on their Facebook profile… The entertainment industries were not happy with the new feature, but since The Pirate Bay is not exclusively used to spread copyrighted material, there wasn’t much they could do about it. Facebook users responded positively and many began posting torrent links in their profile. This integration of the world’s largest tracker and the world’s largest social networking site generated hundreds of news articles and excitement. But it wasn’t to last. This morning Facebook … blocked not only the feature, but all links to Pirate Bay’s torrents.”
Turning Down Uploads at Google Video [Official Google Video Blog] – Google finally gets around to the slow, painful, drawn out murder of Google Video (why it’s still active today I have no idea): “In a few months, we will discontinue support for uploads to Google Video. Don’t worry, we’re not removing any content hosted on Google Video — this just means you will no longer be able to upload new content to the service. We’ve always maintained that Google Video’s strength is in the search technology that makes it possible for people to search videos from across the web, regardless of where they may be hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.” (They’re also killing Jaiku, apparently.)
Weak Password Brings ‘Happiness’ to Twitter Hacker [Threat Level from Wired.com] – “An 18-year-old hacker with a history of celebrity pranks has admitted to Monday’s hijacking of multiple high-profile Twitter accounts, including President-Elect Barack Obama’s, and the official feed for Fox News. The hacker, who goes by the handle GMZ, told Threat Level on Tuesday he gained entry to Twitter’s administrative control panel by pointing an automated password-guesser at a popular user’s account. The user turned out to be a member of Twitter’s support staff, who’d chosen the weak password “happiness.” Cracking the site was easy, because Twitter allowed an unlimited number of rapid-fire log-in attempts. “I feel it’s another case of administrators not putting forth effort toward one of the most obvious and overused security flaws,” he wrote in an IM interview. “I’m sure they find it difficult to admit it.””
Ten things every journalist should know in 2009 [Journalism.co.uk – Editors’ Blog] – “1. How to use Twitter to build communities, cover your beat, instigate and engage in conversations.
2. How to use RSS feeds to gather news …
3. That there is a difference between link journalism and ‘cut and paste’ journalism (aka plagiarism). …
4. That your readers are smarter than you think. …
5. That churnalism is much easier to spot online. …
6. Google is your friend. But if you are not using advanced search techniques, you really have no idea what it is capable of.
7. You do not have to own, or even host, the technology to innovate in journalism and engage your readers. …
8. Multimedia for multimedia’s sake rarely works, and is often embarrassing. If you are going to do it, either do it well enough so it works as a standalone item or do …
9. How to write search engine friendly journalism. …
10. Learn more about privacy.”
Report Finds Online Threats to Children Overblown [NYTimes.com] – “The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all. A high-profile task force created by 49 state attorneys general to find a solution to the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem, despite years of parental anxieties and media hype. The Internet Safety Technical Task Force was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that older adults were using these popular sites to deceive and prey on children. But the report compared such fears to a “moral panic” and concluded that the problem of child-on-child bullying, both online and offline, poses a far more serious challenge than the sexual solicitation of minors by adults. “
Links of interest for November 11th 2008 through November 13th 2008:
New York Times: Fake New York Times Declares Iraq War Over! Here’s Who Did It [Gawker] – “The Iraq War is over, according to the fake New York Times! This morning a cadre of volunteers has fanned out across New York City to pass out a remarkably good, faux-copy of the Times dated July 4, 2009. They’ve even set up an entire website with all of the liberal fantasy headlines. Universities to be free! Bike paths to be expanded! Thomas Friedman to resign, praise the Unitarian Jesus! It’s not funny like The Onion, but obviously a lot of work went into this. Now we play “Who did it?”” The Yes Men. Clever parody; very clever indeed … the cover.
Big fuss brews over LittleBigPlanet [The Age] – “LittleBigPlanet is fast firming as one of the biggest game launches this year because players can create and share their own worlds, but Sony’s heavy-handed moderation has many gamers crying foul. A key selling point of the PlayStation 3 game, which was launched in Australia just days ago and has received an average rating of 95 per cent from reviewers, is that people can share their own levels over the PlayStation Network. Some have spent days crafting their ideal custom worlds, including tributes to classic games and characters such as Final Fantasy, Pac-Man, Batman, Sonic The Hedgehog, God Of War, Super Mario Bros and Indiana Jones. Over the past few days, many have found their levels summarily blocked by Sony and LittleBigPlanet’s developers, Media Molecule, because they allegedly breach someone else’s intellectual property.” (Copyright vs creativity in an entirely corporately-owned toy world with brilliant design tools … what could go wrong? :P)
Interview @MarsPhoenix – Universe – “For over a year, Veronica McGregor has been Twittering from Mars. Of course, she’s not living among the wind storms and dirt of the red planet herself, but she is the voice of MarsPhoenix, the strangely compelling, first-person, lonely robot Twitter feed that somehow became the official mouthpiece of NASA’s Phoenix mission and has catalyzed an entirely new kind of public involvement in science.”
Cloverfield: Mapped [Google Maps] – Blow by blow map of the action in Cloverfield. As you might suspect, the action doesn’t quite make sense if you look at it on a New York map!
China issues first definition of Internet addiction [China Daily] – Chinese doctors define what they call “internet addiction”: “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”
Interesting links for August 19th 2008 through August 20th 2008:
Facebook, MySpace users warned of cyber crime risk [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Victorian Government has warned users of social networking sites not to post private information online. The Government has released a list of security tips for users of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace in response to the emergence of cyber crime, such as identity theft. Tips include urging users to think twice before posting private information such as addresses and phone numbers online.”
I Was There. Just Ask Photoshop. [NYTimes.com] – Photoshop, from realfact to goodfact: “REMOVING her ex-husband from more than a decade of memories may take a lifetime for Laura Horn… But removing him from a dozen years of vacation photographs took only hours, with some deft mouse work from a willing friend who was proficient in Photoshop, the popular digital-image editing program. Like a Stalin-era technician in the Kremlin removing all traces of an out-of-favor official from state photos, the friend erased the husband from numerous cherished pictures taken on cruises and at Caribbean cottages, where he had been standing alongside Ms. Horn, now 50, and other traveling companions. “In my own reality, I know that these things did happen,” Ms. Horn said. But “without him in them, I can display them. I can look at those pictures and think of the laughter we were sharing, the places we went to.” “This new reality,” she added, “is a lot more pleasant.””
Unleashed VC is a blog’s best friend [The Australian] – Steven Schwartz on being Australia’s first blogging Vice-Chancellor: “…the blog has given me the opportunity to express my views on such issues as “the idea of a university today”, reprising Cardinal Newman’s famous essay in a new context; the development of a new code of ethics at the university; if governments can make us happy; how to develop a fairer higher-education system; and expanding equality of opportunity in universities. I have also discussed philanthropy, research, innovation, the role of the humanities, what the future may hold, health, depression, literacy, education, marketing and, by way of making an argument about the importance of scholarship, Tiger Woods. It has been rewarding, and a lot of fun. There is a downside to blogging: a large amount of spam that needs clearing out each morning, and some comments are rude, hostile, or unintelligible.” [Via Andrew Bartlett]
Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? [Television – NYTimes.com] – An engaging profile of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, charting where politics met parody: “Mr. Stewart’s comedic gifts — his high-frequency radar for hypocrisy, his talent for excavating ur-narratives from mountains of information, his ability, in Ms. Corn’s words, “to name things that don’t seem to have a name” — proved to be perfect tools for explicating and parsing the foibles of an administration known for its secrecy, ideological certainty and impatience with dissenting viewpoints.”
Gaming surgeons quash technology fears [The Australian] – “”…playing smarter computer games can actually help modify our abilities in problem solving, visual attention, working memory, forming and modifying strategies, even creativity.” Professor Westwell said the study on keyhole surgeons, published by the Archives of Surgery, found that while operating and playing computer games, the doctors made decisions and responded quickly to the consequences of those decisions and any unexpected changes that occurred.”
IOC Wants Olympic Torrents Off The Pirate Bay [TorrentFreak] – “In an official letter to Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked for “assistance” from the Swedish government with preventing video clips from the Olympics in Beijing to be shared on The Pirate Bay. The Pirate Bay, however, does not plan to take anything down, and renamed their tracker to The Beijing Bay.”
Viralcom [Joey and David] – Wonderful satirical series of high-end videos which look at user-generated content, looking at the imagined high-end producers behind each viral hit! (Boy puts mentos in sister’s coke doesn’t just come from nowhere!) 🙂
Uni chief lifted text from Wikipedia [Australian IT] – “Griffith University vice-chancellor Ian O’Connor has admitted lifting information straight from online encyclopedia Wikipedia and confusing strands of Islam as he struggled to defend his institution’s decision to ask the repressive Saudi Arabian Governme