Links through June 28th 2010 (catching up on the last week!):
Fairfax and content theft – mUmBRELLA – Mumbrella asks if Fairfax media is copying YouTube videos and placing them onlive via a Fairfax media player, then using them on Fairfax online properties: is this “piracy”? Aren’t Fairfax ripping off YouTube creators who are relying on advertising (on their YouTube clips) to make a little money? I’ve no idea if Fairfax has some sort of license to do this (or if it might be legal under fair dealing – although using the whole clip can’t be) but it’s an important question given the rhetoric of piracy being a problem with individuals, rather than corporations, downloading “illegally”.
Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature [Android Developers Blog] – Android centrally nukes their first app from the marketplace and all phones using it; from the Android blog: “The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed. This remote removal functionality — along with Android’s unique Application Sandbox and Permissions model, Over-The-Air update system, centralized Market, developer registrations, user-submitted ratings, and application flagging — provides a powerful security advantage to help protect Android users in our open environment.”
Pakistan to monitor Google and Yahoo for ‘blasphemy’ [BBC News] – “Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites, including Google and Yahoo, for content it deems offensive to Muslims. YouTube, Amazon, MSN, Hotmail and Bing will also come under scrutiny, while 17 less well-known sites will be blocked. Officials will monitor the sites and block links deemed inappropriate. In May, Pakistan banned access to Facebook after the social network hosted a “blasphemous” competition to draw the prophet Muhammad. The new action will see Pakistani authorities monitor content published on the seven sites, blocking individual pages if content is judged to be offensive. Telecoms official Khurram Mehran said links would be blocked without disturbing the main website.”
ASCAP Assails Free-Culture, Digital-Rights Groups [Threat Level | Wired.com] – ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) tries to rally against alternative copyright licensing, even those which actually assist creators to license clearly! “ASCAP’s attack on EFF and Public Knowledge are farfetched. Those groups do not suggest music should be free, although they push for the liberalization of copyright law. But the attack on Creative Commons is more laughable than ASCAP’s stance against EFF and Public Knowledge. While lobby groups EFF and Public Knowledge advocate for liberal copyright laws, Creative Commons actually creates licenses to protect content creators. […] The licenses allow the works in the public domain, with various rules regarding attribution, commercial use and remixing. The group’s creative director, Eric Steuer, said nobody forces anybody to adopt the Creative Commons credo. “I think it’s false to claim that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s an opt-in system.””
Sex domain gets official approval [BBC News] – .xxx is coming: “Official approval has been given for the creation of an internet domain dedicated to pornography. The board of net overseer Icann gave initial approval for the creation of the .xxx domain at its conference in Brussels. Icann’s approval will kick off a fast-track process to get the porn-only domain set up. ICM Registry, which is backing the domain, said .xxx would make it easier to filter out inappropriate content. The decision ends a long campaign by ICM Registry to win approval. Stuart Lawley, chairman of ICM, welcomed the decision and said it was “great news for those that wish to consume, or avoid, adult content”.”
Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review [danah boyd | apophenia] – “I’m pleased to announce a rough draft of Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review for public feedback. This Literature Review was produced for Harvard Berkman Center’s Youth and Media Policy Working Group Initiative, co-directed by John Palfrey, Urs Gasser, and myself and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. This Literature Review builds on the 2008 LitReview that Andrew Schrock and I crafted for the Internet Safety Technical Task Force. This document is not finalized, but we want to make our draft available broadly so that scholars working in this area can inform us of anything that we might be missing. Risky Behaviors and Online Safety: A 2010 Literature Review.”
Twitter has a bad day: FTC tells it off and the site’s not running well [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Twitter’s having a bad day. First it got told off by the US Federal Trade Commission for incidents in January and May last year when 33 accounts, including Barack Obama’s, were hacked using the company’s own internal support tools. And then it’s having to scale back on its API in order to get the site in order, according to its status page. The FTC settlement is “the agency’s first such case against a social networking site” over flawed data security. According to the FTC’s complaint, between January and May 2009, hackers who gained administrative control of Twitter were able to view nonpublic user information, gain access to direct messages and protected tweets, and reset any user’s password and send authorized tweets from any user account.”
1 in 5 Android Apps Pose Potential Privacy Threat [REPORT] [Mashable] – Further fuel for Steve Jobs decision to police the Apple App store so tightly: “Mobile security company SMobile has looked into the potential privacy and security issues in more than 48,000 apps in the Android Market. The company’s findings are alarming for Android owners, since approximately 20% of Android apps request permission to access private or sensitive information.[…]. By contrast, the Android (Android) market is open, meaning that Google (Google) doesn’t minutely examine apps for approval (it did, however, ban certain apps from the Market) and Android apps don’t have to be acquired from the Market; users can obtain them from other sources, like a developer’s website. Google’s approach makes it easier on the developers, but it can also result in a security nightmare for consumers. According to the report, one out of every 20 apps can place a call to any number without approval from the user; 3% of apps can send an SMS to any number…”
HUGE: Twitter Lets You Automatically Follow Your Facebook Friends [UPDATED] [Mashable] – “Twitter has announced that it is launching major upgrades to its Facebook and LinkedIn (LinkedIn) applications, bringing added functionality and integration between Twitter and two of the world’s largest social networks. The new Twitter app for Facebook, which is now available here, not only allows you to syndicate your tweets to the world’s largest social network, but now has a feature that allow users to see which of their Facebook friends are also on Twitter and choose which ones they want to follow. The new feature could be huge: it brings existing Facebook connections into the Twitterverse, which is likely to spur new levels of engagement and growth.”
Judge Sides With Google in Viacom Suit Over Videos [NYTimes.com] – “In a major victory for Google in its battle with media companies, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement against YouTube, the video-sharing site owned by Google. The judge granted Google’s motion for summary judgment, saying that the company was shielded from Viacom’s copyright claims by “safe harbor” provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That law generally protects user-generated sites from liability for copyrighted material uploaded by users as long as the operator of the site takes down the material when notified by its rightful owner that it was uploaded without permission. The dispute is over videos owned by Viacom that others had posted to YouTube. Viacom, which sued Google in 2007 for copyright infringement, had argued that Google was not entitled to the copyright act’s protections because Google deliberately turned a blind eye and profited from to the rampant piracy on YouTube.”
YouTube Video Editor [Google OS] – Useful for only the very basics, but still a useful on-the-fly tool: “YouTube has a new video editor that lets you create videos using excerpts from the videos you’ve already uploaded. You can also add a music file from the AudioSwap library, but YouTube mentions that it might display ads if you use some of the audio files.”
Content Is No Longer King: Curation Is King [Business Insider] – “”Content is King” — no longer. Today, the world has changed. “Curation Is King.” Ok, I hear all the content-makers sharpening their knives to take me on. I’m ready. First, why content is dead: Content used to be the high quality media that came out of the very pointed end of the funnel. Articles in the New York Times. Movies from Miramax. Thursday night comedy from NBC. Books published by Simon and Schuster. Creative folks wrote pitches, treatments, sample chapters, pilots, but only the best of the best got published. Then, the web came along and blew that up. Kaboom! Now content has gone from being scarce to being ubiquitous. […] We’ve arrived in a world where everyone is a content creator. And quality content is determined by context. Finding, Sorting, Endorsing, Sharing – it’s the beginning of a new chapter […] The emergence of a new King — a Curation King, reflects the rise of the new Aggregation Economy. It is an exciting time to be in content, and the best is yet to come.”
Facebook ‘hindering the police’ [WA Today] – The Australian Federal Police take on Facebook: “Facebook’s woeful relationship with law enforcement bodies is hampering police investigations and putting lives at risk, the Australian Federal Police says. The AFP’s assistant commissioner and head of high tech crime operations, Neil Gaughan, will fly to Washington DC today for a meeting convened by the US Department of Justice in which senior law enforcement officials from around the world will discuss their concerns with the social networking website. State and federal police have told the Herald’s sister paper, the Age, the company has been unwilling to provide police with the intelligence they need for investigations. They want Facebook to appoint a dedicated law enforcement liaison in Australia who can, for example, match user accounts to physical internet addresses.”
Facebook told to set up warning system after new sex scam [The Age] – Just what Facebook needs, its own viruses: “A major computer security firm urged Facebook to set up an early-warning system after hundreds of thousands of users were hit by a new wave of fake sex-video attacks. British-based virus fighter Sophos warned users of the world’s biggest social networking site to be on guard against any posting entitled “distracting beach babes”, which contains a movie thumbnail of a bikini-clad woman. In a press statement, Sophos said the malicious posts appear as if they are coming from Facebook users’ friends, but it urged recipients not to click on the thumbnail. By clicking on it, users are taken to a rogue Facebook application informing them that they do not have the right player software installed, Sophos said. It tricks users into installing adware, a software package that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to their computer, and the video link is spread further across the network.”
She explains she doesn’t mind about people downloading her music for free, “because you know how much you can earn off touring, right? Big artists can make anywhere from $40 million [£28 million] for one cycle of two years’ touring. Giant artists make upwards of $100 million. Make music — then tour. It’s just the way it is today.”
Similarly, she knocks bands that don’t really try to work hard to please the fans, and who just expect them to automatically buy each album:
“I hate big acts that just throw an album out against the wall, like ‘BUY IT! F*** YOU!’ It’s mean to fans. You should go out and tour it to your fans in India, Japan, the UK. I don’t believe in how the music industry is today. I believe in how it was in 1982.”
How The Australian fell in love with the iPad [mUmBRELLA] – Is The Australian an Apple customer or commentator? “While it’s fair to say that the world’s media has been pretty excited about Apple’s iPad, The Australian appears to be on the verge of spontaneously combusting over the device’s official arrival Down Under this Friday. Clearly the newspaper’s plans to launch its own paid-for iPad app are unrelated to that. Indeed, if it sells as many apps as it has written stories about the iPad, it will be well on the way to securing a digital future for itself. […] I’d love to bring you every article The Australian’s carried about the iPad. But Google tells me there are 4,790 of them. So I’d better stop there. Did I mention that The Australian’s got an iPad app?”
Quitting Facebook is pointless; challenging them to do better is not [danah boyd | apophenia] – boyd’s discussion points:
“1. I do not believe that people will (or should) leave Facebook because of privacy issues.
2. I do not believe that the tech elites who are publicly leaving Facebook will affect on the company’s numbers; they are unrepresentative and were not central users in the first place.
3. I do not believe that an alternative will emerge in the next 2-5 years that will “replace” Facebook in any meaningful sense.
4. I believe that Facebook will get regulated and I would like to see an open discussion of what this means and what form this takes.
5. I believe that a significant minority of users are at risk because of decisions Facebook has made and I think that those of us who aren’t owe it to those who are to work through these issues.
6. I believe that Facebook needs to start a public dialogue with users and those who are concerned ASAP (and Elliot Schrage’s Q&A doesn’t count).”
Google ‘may end China operations over Gmail breaches’ [BBC News] – “Internet search company Google says it may end operations in China over alleged breaches of the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. It said it had found a “sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China”. It did not specifically accuse China’s government but said it was no longer willing to censor its Chinese site’s results, as the government requires. Google said the decision may mean it has to shut the site, set up in 2006.” Google’s certainly showing some real guts; read their official statement.
Google finally enters the online storage arena with a free 1GB [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – With the announcement that Google are now supporting online file storage of any file-type via Google Docs the fabled GDrive appears one step closer! Jack Schofield examines Google’s online storage foray: “First, as Google says, you will be able to share files that Google Docs can’t handle, presumably including avi and MP3. That is clearly useful. Second, Google Docs can be a problem for companies sharing Microsoft Office files, because the features you lose when you convert to Google’s formats you can never get back. Google Docs storage will now let people share those files. And third…. Google is planning to launch ChromeOS, where computers run a Chrome browser but have no permanent local storage: everything is done “in the cloud”. Google probably does not plan to tell those folks to go somewhere else to store their files, so at that point it will need an online storage offering.”
Uni staff migrate to the cloud [The Australian] – “More universities are set to follow Macquarie and outsource staff email to parties such as Google’s Gmail, with Curtin University close to a deal with Microsoft. About 14 Australian universities have already outsourced their student email to Gmail or Microsoft’s Live@edu service, but this week Macquarie became the first to migrate staff to the so-called cloud in a deal with Gmail. The cloud is jargon for the outsourcing of email and data services to external providers that host the data on servers that can be located across the world. Concerns about the security of intellectual property and academic privacy had made universities cautious about moving staff to the cloud. But Macquarie’s chief information officer Marc Bailey said the likes of Google and Microsoft offered vastly superior security to a university.” (Given how frustrating current arrangements can be, I welcome a cloud-based email system for Curtin staff!)
Google Plans to Upgrade Old Billboards in Street View [RW Web] – Google’s street view becomes a virtual advertising landscape! Inspired by Minority Report perhaps? “According to a new patent that was just granted to Google, the company could soon extend the reach of its advertising program in Google Maps to Street View. This patent, which was originally filed on July 7, 2008, describes a new system for promoting ads in online mapping applications. In this patent, Google describes how it plans to identify buildings, posters, signs and billboards in these images and give advertisers the ability to replace these images with more up-to-date ads. In addition, Google also seems to plan an advertising auction for unclaimed properties. In Google’s example, the software could identify the marquis and individual window posters on a theater property and replace them with new information. Through this, a theater could promote a new play in Street View, even if the actual Street View image is completely out of date.”
Links for December 6th 2009 through December 10th 2009:
Tiger Woods’s Web Site Is Drawing Attention and Scrutiny [NYTimes.com] – When Web Presence goes wrong: “In the nearly two weeks since Tiger Woods became tabloid fodder, his personal Web site has turned into a kind of town hall meeting on his reported extramarital behavior. More than 22,000 comments, many of them supportive but plenty of the finger-wagging variety, followed the Dec. 2 statement in which he admitted to vague “transgressions” and to letting his family down. The scandal over Woods’s suspected misdeeds has elevated TigerWoods.com’s traffic drastically, although not into the Internet stratosphere. In the week ending Nov. 29 — the day he issued his statement about his car accident — the number of unique users soared to 488,000 visitors, according to Nielsen Online. In that same period, it beat the 89,000 who visited BritneySpears.com.”
Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Electronic Frontier Foundation] – “Although sold as a “privacy” revamp, Facebook’s new changes are obviously intended to get people to open up even more of their Facebook data to the public. The privacy “wizard” that guides users through the configuration will “recommend” — preselect by default — the setting to share the content they post to Facebook, such as status messages and wall posts, with everyone on the Internet, even though the default privacy level that those users had accepted previously was limited to “Your Networks and Friends” on Facebook […] to ensure that users don’t accidentally share more than they intend to, we do not recommend Facebook’s “recommended” settings.” (Facebook’s explanation of the new settings.)
Game Developer Won’t Edit ‘Aliens vs. Predator’ To Appease Australian Censors [Techdirt] – “Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that game developer Rebellion has decided not to resubmit an edited version of its game Aliens vs. Predator after it was rejected by the Australian Classification Board for being too violent. The company stated that it agrees the game is not suitable for children: “We agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults… it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent.” But Australia apparently doesn’t have an option for such “mature” content, and Rebellion seems to recognize how ridiculous that is: “We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.” Hopefully, things like this will make Australia reconsider its censorship of such content.” (Oh, Australia is ready to reconsider our insane games rating system … some annoying guy in SA isn’t!)
More than 50 papers join in front-page leader article on climate change [Media | guardian.co.uk] – THE GOOD: “The Guardian has teamed up with more 50 papers worldwide to run the same front-page leader article calling for action at the climate summit in Copenhagen, which begins tomorrow. This unprecedented project is the result of months of negotiations between the papers to agree on a final text, in a process that mirrors the kind of diplomatic wrangling among the world’s governments that is likely to precede any potential deal on climate change. Fifty-six papers in 45 countries published in 20 different languages have joined the initiative, and will feature the leader in some form on their front pages.
THE BAD: “Two Australian papers, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, pulled out at a late stage after the election of climate change sceptic Tony Abbott as leader of the opposition Liberal party recast the country’s debate on green issues.” (Australian media already bowing to Tony Abbott’s climate change scepticism …)
App Store Is a Game Changer for Apple and Cellphone Industry [NYTimes.com] – “Apple changed the view of what you can do with that small phone in your back pocket,” says Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst. “Applications make the smartphone trend a revolutionary trend — one we haven’t seen in consumer technology for many years.” Ms. Huberty likens the advent of the App Store and the iPhone to AOL’s pioneering role in driving broad-based consumer adoption of the Internet in the 1990s. She also draws comparisons to ways in which laptops have upended industry assumptions about consumer preferences and desktop computing. But, she notes, something even more profound may now be afoot. “The iPhone is something different. It’s changing our behavior,” she says. “The game that Apple is playing is to become the Microsoft of the smartphone market.” (That last sentence is the important one: Microsoft has trouble playing with others; Apple’s increasingly having that issue, too!)
Links for October 4th 2009 through October 8th 2009:
Angry Outbursts on Twitter Prompt Lengthy Legal Discussions [NYTimes.com] – “Times are tough for the “tweet before you think” crowd. Courtney Love was sued by a fashion designer after she posted a series of inflammatory tweets, one calling the designer a liar and a thief. A landlord in Chicago sued a tenant for $50,000 after she tweeted about her moldy apartment. And Demi Moore slapped back at Perez Hilton over a revealing photograph of the actress’s daughter. A growing number of people have begun lashing out at their Twitter critics, challenging the not-quite rules of etiquette on a service where insults are lobbed in brief bursts, too short to include the social niceties. Some offended parties are suing.” (Yes, as with all social media, if you think things you post or tweet will ever go away … they won’t.)
Hotmail users advised to change passwords following information theft [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Hotmail users are being advised to change their passwords, after thousands of account details were posted online. A list containing more than 10,000 apparently genuine account names and passwords was posted to a website last week, where it remained until being spotted over the weekend by Microsoft security researchers. The list, which has been seen by the Guardian, appears to be genuine. It only contains usernames beginning with the letters A and B, but covers accounts ending in @hotmail.com, @msn.com and @live.com – three services owned by Microsoft which have more than 280m users worldwide. Although the stolen details have since been taken offline, copies of the list are already available elsewhere on the web – meaning that the details are potentially in the hands of criminals.” (Putting the HOT back into hotmail …)
Not a Nobel Headline [The Content Makers] – “What on earth is this shit? Australia gets its first female Nobel prize-winning scientist, and The Age runs with the following headline on the front page of its print edition: What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing with a Nobel Prize? Perhaps its meant to be all very po-mo and “oh look we’re so not sexist that we can actually pretend we are sexist in an ironical kind of way, ho ho”. And it is written off the first para, which says that this was what Elizabeth Blackburn was once asked by a family friend. But as a front page splash, it demeans the story to the level of cute human interest, rather than serious breakthrough. It leaves me thinking: What Are Nice Boys Like You Doing With a Newspaper?” (I couldn’t agree more!)
Tories 'distressed' Facebook blew MI6 cover [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – "Opposition politicians in Britain have raised concerns about security after a newspaper revealed that personal information about the newly-appointed head of Foreign Intelligence Service MI6 had been posted on Facebook. Sir John Sawers' wife's Facebook page had no privacy protection, allowing anyone to see photos of him playing frisbee on a beach or posing dressed as Santa. Also exposed was information about the couple's children, their flat and high profile-friendships." (Could their be a more timely reminder about the importance of using privacy settings carefully, even with Facebook's immensely confusing privacy controls?)
Twitter your Flickr [Flickr Blog] – You can now Twitter your Flickr pictures with one click. Really, is there anything you can't put in your Twitterstream these days?
China cracks down on virtual cash [BBC NEWS | Technology] – "Cash earned in games in China can no longer be spent on real world goods. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce policy aims to limit the impact of game currencies on real-world markets. In the future, any cash earned by Chinese gamers can only be spent to acquire items or equipment in that particular game. The move is widely seen as a crackdown on so-called "gold farming" in which players amass virtual money and then sell it to other players for real cash."
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. “
Digital guru Clay Shirky’s media forecast and predictions for 2009 [Media | The Guardian] – “The question is who figures out the business model that says it’s better to have 6 million passionate fans than 7 million bored ones? That is going to be the transformation because what you see with these user groups, whether it’s for reality TV or science fiction, is that people love the conversation around the shows. The renaissance of quality television is an indicator of what an increased number of distribution channels can do. It is no accident that this started with cable. And the BBC iPlayer? That’s a debacle. The digital rights management thing …let’s just pretend that it was a dream like on Dallas and start from scratch. The iPlayer is a back-to-the-future business model. It’s a total subversion of Reithian values in favour of trying to create what had been an accidental monopoly as a kind of robust business model. The idea that the old geographical segmenting of terrestrial broadcasts is recreatable is a fantasy and a waste of time.”
NIN fans could have gone to any file sharing network to download the entire CC-BY-NC-SA album legally. Many did, and thousands will continue to do so. So why would fans bother buying files that were identical to the ones on the file sharing networks? One explanation is the convenience and ease of use of NIN and Amazon’s MP3 stores. But another is that fans understood that purchasing MP3s would directly support the music and career of a musician they liked. The next time someone tries to convince you that releasing music under CC will cannibalize digital sales, remember that Ghosts I-IV broke that rule, and point them here.”
Twitter accounts of Obama, Britney Spears hacked [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “The Twitter accounts of US president-elect Barack Obama, singer Britney Spears and other prominent figures were hacked on Monday (US time) and fake messages sent out in their names on the micro-blogging service. Twitter founder Biz Stone, in a post on the official company blog, said a total of 33 Twitter accounts had been hacked including those of president-elect Obama and Rick Sanchez, a CNN television anchor with tens of thousands of followers. “We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue,” Mr Stone said. … Twitter, which allows users to post real-time updates of 140 characters or less, has an estimated 4-5 million users according to a recent study. Launched in August 2006, it has been embraced by a number of celebrities including president-elect Obama, who has more than 150,000 followers, and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal of the Phoenix Suns.”
Facebook under fire for racist rants [The Age] – “Facebook has come under fire from Australian users for ignoring racial vilification on the site and failing to remove blatantly racist groups even though they have been flagged as offensive. Sydney-based Facebook user Alex Gollan, who has campaigned against the racist groups, has been threatened with violence and fears the site could be used to rally people if another incident such as the Cronulla riots flares up. The site permanently banned one offender this week but only after the issue of racism on Facebook came under the spotlight following revelations that Scots College and Kambala students had created anti-Semitic groups on the site.”
Putting Privacy Settings in the Context of Use (in Facebook and elsewhere) [apophenia] – danah boyd’s sensible and timely reminder about Facebook’s ridiculously complicated and confusing privacy settings: “Facebook’s privacy settings are the most flexible and the most confusing privacy settings in the industry. Over and over again, I interview teens (and adults) who think that they’ve set their privacy settings to do one thing and are shocked (and sometimes horrified) to learn that their privacy settings do something else. Furthermore, because of things like tagged photos, people are often unaware of the visibility of content that they did not directly contribute. People continue to get themselves into trouble because they lack the control that they think they have.” [Via Jill] (These, incidentally, are among the reasons why you won’t see any pictures of my son on Facebook! Flickr, where I retain copyright and can actually use meaningful privacy settings, is far preferable!)
Google considers local centre [Australian IT] – “Google has quietly dispatched a team of experts from the US on a fact-finding mission to decide whether it should establish a data centre in Australia. In the past few weeks the team of about five Google US employees had been involved in high-level discussions with local data centre providers, sources said. The meetings are believed to have been led by Simon Tusha, who labels himself as “Google’s duke of data centres”. A Google-run data centre would be positive for the company’s operations in Australia as it sought to increase its penetration of the large education sector.”
Microsoft to battle in the clouds [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Microsoft has unveiled a cloud computing service, in which data and applications will not be stored on individuals’ computers. The new platform, dubbed Windows Azure, was announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. The platform was described by Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie as “Windows for the cloud”. … The move sees Microsoft taking on established players like Google and Amazon in the rapidly growing business of online software. The aim is to allow developers to build new applications which will live on the internet, rather than on their own computers.” [Check out Windows Azure; but Dave Winer’s not impressed.]
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]
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.”