While the maps function is being rolled out with very clear warnings about revealing locations publicly – with tools to remove geotags from some, groups or all photos – this rollout will no doubt remind (and shock many) users that the geographic tags on their photos mean that these aren’t just photos – they’re important and complex assemblages of data that can be reused and repurposed in a variety of ways.
Google to push pirate sites down search results [BBC – Newsbeat] – “Google is changing the way it calculates search results in an effort to make sure legal download websites appear higher than pirate sites. The world’s biggest search engine announced the change in a blog post on its website. The move has been welcomed by record companies in the UK and Hollywood film studios. Movie and music firms have complained in the past that Google should have been doing more to fight piracy. They say searching for an artist, song or film often brings up pages of illegal sites, making it hard to find a place to download a legal version. From next week, search results will take into account the number of “valid copyright removal notices”. Sites with more notices will rank lower, although Google has not said what it considers a valid notice.”
Facebook removes ‘racist’ page in Australia [BBC News] – “A Facebook page that depicted Aboriginal people in Australia as drunks and welfare cheats has been removed after a public outcry. The Aboriginal Memes page had allowed users to post jokes about indigenous people. An online petition calling for the removal of “the racist page” has generated thousands of signatures. The government has also condemned it. The page’s creator is believed to be a 16-year-old boy in Perth, reports say. “We recognise the public concern that controversial meme pages that Australians have created on Facebook have caused,” Facebook said in a statement to local media. A meme is an idea that spreads through the internet.”
Twitter ‘sorry’ for suspending Guy Adams as NBC withdraws complaint [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter on Tuesday reinstated the account of a British journalist it suspended for publishing the email address of an executive at NBC, which had been attracting a significant amount of incoming fire over its Olympics coverage. The incident has not done Guy Adams of the Independent much harm. Apart perhaps from a little hurt pride, he has returned to the twittersphere with tens of thousands of new followers. For NBC, it was another blow to its already battered reputation over its coverage of the London Olympic Games. But Twitter found itself in a deeply unfamiliar situation: as the subject of one of the firestorms of indignation that characterises the platform, but which are usually directed at others.”
Murdoch’s tablet The Daily lays off nearly a third of its staff [Media | guardian.co.uk] – “The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s tablet newspaper, has laid off close to a third of its staff just 18 months after its glitzy launch. Executives at the News Corp-owned title told its 170 employees on Tuesday that 50 of them would be let go. Sources told the Guardian that security staff were brought onto the Daily’s editorial floor at News Corp in New York to escort the laid-off employees out of the building. Earlier this month the paper’s editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo denied reports that the media giant had put the title “on watch” and was considering closing it. In a statement Tuesday Angelo said the title was dropping its opinion section and would be taking sports coverage from Fox Sports, also part of News Corp, and other partners. In another cost-saving move the title will also stop producing pages that can be read vertically and horizontally on a tablet, sticking to straight up and down.”
If Twitter doesn’t reinstate Guy Adams, it’s a defining moment [Dan Gillmor | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk] – “Once again, we’re reminded of a maxim when it comes to publishing on other people’s platforms: we publish at their sufferance. But there’s a corollary: When they take down what we publish, they take an enormous risk with their own futures.
This time, Twitter has suspended the account of a British journalist who tweeted the corporate email address of an NBC executive. The reporter, Guy Adams of the Independent, has been acerbic in his criticisms of NBC’s (awful) performance during the Olympics in London. Adams has posted his correspondence with Twitter, which claims he published a private email address. It was nothing of the kind, as many, including the Deadspin sports blog, have pointed out. … What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC’s complaint about Adams that led to the suspension. That alone raises reasonable suspicions about Twitter’s motives.”
Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Search Agreement [NYTimes.com] – “Microsoft and Yahoo announced a partnership in Internet search and advertising on Wednesday morning intended to create a stronger rival to the industry powerhouse Google. Under the pact, Microsoft will provide the underlying search technology on Yahoo’s popular Web sites. The deal provides a lift for Microsoft’s recent overhaul of its search engine, renamed Bing, which has won praise and favorable reviews, after years of falling further and further behind Google. Running such a search system proves expensive, and Microsoft can now filter more searches through the Bing technology infrastructure. It expects to deliver better answers to search queries over time as well by learning from more peoples’ queries.” Yacrosoft or Mihoo! ?
Would the real social network please stand up? [apophenia] – Some useful thoughts about social networks and their differences from danah boyd and Bernie Hogan: “The truth of the matter is that there is no “real” social network. It all depends on what you’re trying to measure, what you’re trying to do with those measurements. We do ourselves an intellectual disservice when we assume that these different types of networks are interchangeable or that studying one automatically tells us about another. Most scholars get this, even when they’re quoted out of context by journalists to suggest otherwise (see Cameron Marlow). But I get the sense that a lot of journalists, marketers, advertisers, politicians, and everyday folks don’t. This is a problem.”
China now has 338m internet users [News.com.au] – “The number of internet users in China is now greater than the entire population of the United States, after rising to 338 million by the end of June, state media reported today. China’s online population, the largest in the world, rose by 40 million in the first six months of 2009, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre. The number of broadband internet connections rose by 10 million to 93.5 million in the first half of the year, the report said.”
Movie studios try to harness Twitter effect | Technology [Internet | Reuters] – “Box office watchers say Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows anyone to post on-the-fly wisecracks for all the world to see, is the latest weapon in an arsenal of cell phones and computers that audiences use to critique films quickly, often when they are still sitting in theaters. Such word-of-mouth publicity from fan to fan can boost, or bomb, ticket sales. “Has everything speeded up? The answer is yes,” said Adam Fogelson, Universal’s president of marketing and distribution. “Depending on how big your opening day audience is, word-of-mouth starts playing a factor immediately,” he said.”
Links for January 16th 2009 through January 18th 2009:
At First, Funny Videos. Now, a Reference Tool [NYTimes.com] – YouTube as #2 search engine? Googlopoly clearly progressing according to plan: “The explosion of all types of video content on YouTube and other sites is quickly transforming online video from a medium strictly for entertainment and news into one that is also a reference tool. As a result, video search, on YouTube and across other sites, is rapidly morphing into a new entry point into the Web, one that could rival mainstream search for many types of queries. … And now YouTube, conceived as a video hosting and sharing site, has become a bona fide search tool. Searches on it in the United States recently edged out those on Yahoo, which had long been the No. 2 search engine, behind Google. (Google, incidentally, owns YouTube.) In November, Americans conducted nearly 2.8 billion searches on YouTube, about 200 million more than on Yahoo, according to comScore.”
Links of interest for September 9th 2008 through September 10th 2008:
Pirates become canon keepers [The Australian] – “Some commentators have suggested that it’s simply easier for studios to replace the entire score than to investigate music rights. In any case, an unannounced modern alteration is cultural vandalism, even if you don’t think the original work was any good. As a result the DVD is useless as a piece of cultural history and as a representation of an original work. With the internet full of sellers (often fans themselves) willing to provide the copies of this and other series taken from unedited broadcasts, the studio has taken a huge step towards legitimising piracy as a means of cultural preservation.” (A fantastic, if rather sarcastic, article by Kit MacFarlane arguing that piracy may be the only course open to preserve tv texts in the face of minor – and major – alterations made by studios and distributors on the way to dvd releases and more. )
Australia rated foot of developed world on school funding [PerthNow] – “Australia’s government spending on public education is the second lowest among developed nations, a new report has found. Turkey, Portugal, Mexico and Iceland all spend more money on public education institutions than Australia. … Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard says the new OECD Education at a Glance report highlights the need for the Rudd Government’s much-hyped “education revolution”.” (Yes, but WHEN is this much-vaunted education revolution actually going to start? It’s close to unforgivable that the once ‘clever country’ is so far behind in global terms.)
Google Turns 20 (fiction) – “This month, September 2018, marks the 20th anniversary of Google as a business…” A provocative little piece of speculation fiction looking back from 2018 at the rise, and fall, of Google. A few ideas are a bit far-fetched (Windows Free?) but most are plausible; all beg interesting questions about current trends, from software design, to monopolistic practices, to (really) participatory culture!