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Links for July 25th through July 30th:
- Apple, Microsoft refuse to appear before IT pricing inquiry [The Age] – “A[n Australian] parliamentary committee wants to force computer giant Apple to appear before it after members became frustrated with the company’s refusal to co-operate. Hearings into the pricing of software and other IT-related material such as games and music downloads will begin in Sydney tomorrow but neither Apple nor Microsoft will appear. ”Some of the big names in IT have taken local consumers for a ride for years but when legitimate questions are asked about their pricing, they disappear in a flash,” Labor MP and committee member Ed Husic told Fairfax Media. ”Within our growing digital economy, there are reasonable questions to be answered by major IT companies on their Australian pricing. These companies would never treat US consumers in this way.” Both Microsoft and Adobe provided submissions to the inquiry.”
- Don’t tweet if you want TV, London fans told [The Age] – “Sports fans attending the London Olympics were told on Sunday to avoid non-urgent text messages and tweets during events because overloading of data networks was affecting television coverage. Commentators on Saturday’s men’s cycling road race were unable to tell viewers how far the leaders were ahead of the chasing pack because data could not get through from the GPS satellite navigation system travelling with the cyclists. It was particularly annoying for British viewers, who had tuned in hoping to see a medal for sprint king Mark Cavendish. Many inadvertently made matters worse by venting their anger on Twitter at the lack of information. An International Olympic Committee spokesman said the network problem had been caused by the messages sent by the hundreds of thousands of fans who lined the streets to cheer on the British team. “Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say ‘Don’t, you can’t do it’,… “
- Olympics 2012, Sir Tim Berners Lee and Open Internet [Cerebrux] – Great to see the 2012 London Olympics celebrating World Wide Web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. “Flash forward to last night, he was honored as the ‘Inventor of the World Wide Web’ at the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Berners-Lee is revealed in front of a computer keyboard into which he types a message, which is then rendered in lights in the stands of Olympic Stadium: “This is for everyone.” and a message simultaneously appeared on his Twitter account: Tim Berners-Lee@timberners_lee This is for everyone #london2012 #oneweb #openingceremony @webfoundation @w3c
28 Jul 12. A great quote that resembles the openness and the fact that some things should belong to humanity.”
- The Rise of the “Connected Viewer” [Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project] – “Half of all adult cell phone owners now incorporate their mobile devices into their television watching experiences. These “connected viewers” used their cell phones for a wide range of activities during the 30 days preceding our April 2012 survey:
- 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
- 23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
- 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
- 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
- 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
- Taken together, 52% of all cell owners are “connected viewers”—meaning they use their phones while watching television …”
- RIAA: Online Music Piracy Pales In Comparison to Offline Swapping [TorrentFreak] – “A leaked presentation from the RIAA shows that online file-sharing isn’t the biggest source of illegal music acquisition in the U.S. The confidential data reveals that 65% of all music files are “unpaid” but the vast majority of these are obtained through offline swapping. […] In total, 15 percent of all acquired music (paid + unpaid) comes from P2P file-sharing and just 4 percent from cyberlockers. Offline swapping in the form of hard drive trading and burning/ripping from others is much more prevalent with 19 and 27 percent respectively. This leads to the, for us, surprising conclusion that more than 70% of all unpaid music comes from offline swapping. The chart is marked “confidential” which suggests that the RIAA doesn’t want this data to be out in the open. This is perhaps understandable since the figures don’t really help their crusade against online piracy.”
- Robin Hood Airport tweet bomb joke man wins case [BBC News] – Finally: “A man found guilty of sending a menacing tweet threatening to blow up an airport has won a challenge against his conviction. Paul Chambers, 28, of Northern Ireland, was found guilty in May 2010 of sending a “menacing electronic communication”. He was living in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, when he tweeted that he would blow up nearby Robin Hood Airport when it closed after heavy snow.
After a hearing at the High Court in London his conviction was quashed.”
- The Instagram Community Hits 80 Million Users [Instagram Blog] – As of July 2012, after finally launching an Android app, and being purchased by Facebook, Instagram has 80 million registered users, who’ve posted cumulatively more than 4 billion photos.
- Music stars accuse Google of helping pirates rip off material [WA Today] – “LONDON: Roger Daltry of the Who and Brian May of Queen are among rock and pop stars who publicly attacked search engines such as Google for helping users get access to pirated copies of their music. Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin have also signed a letter to The Daily Telegraph in London calling for more action to tackle the illegal copying and distribution of music. Other signatories include the producer and creator of The X Factor, Simon Cowell. The letter, which will also be sent to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, this week, highlighted the role that search engines can play in giving people access to illegal copies. Search engines must ”play their part in protecting consumers and creators from illegal sites”, the signatories said, adding that broadband companies and online advertisers must also do more to prevent piracy.”
Links for November 19th 2010 through November 24th 2010:
- Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality [Scientific American] – Inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, in a passionate defense of the open web (and a few pointed jabs at Facebook): “The Web is now more critical to free speech than any other medium. It brings principles established in the U.S. Constitution, the British Magna Carta and other important documents into the network age: freedom from being snooped on, filtered, censored and disconnected. […] If we want to track what government is doing, see what companies are doing, understand the true state of the planet, find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, not to mention easily share our photos with our friends, we the public, the scientific community and the press must make sure the Web’s principles remain intact—not just to preserve what we have gained but to benefit from the great advances that are still to come.”
- Everything is a Remix – Part 1 [Vimeo] – Kirby Ferguson’s great video about remix, focusing on musical culture and the long history of remix as a core creative process (long before the web).
- The Attention-Span Myth [NYTimes.com] – A great read: “Whether the Web is making us smarter or dumber, isn’t there something just unconvincing about the idea that an occult “span” in the brain makes certain cultural objects more compelling than others? So a kid loves the drums but can hardly get through a chapter of “The Sun Also Rises”; and another aces algebra tests but can’t even understand how Call of Duty is played. The actions of these children may dismay or please adults, but anyone who has ever been bored by one practice and absorbed by another can explain the kids’ choices more persuasively than does the dominant model, which ignores the content of activities in favor of a wonky span thought vaguely to be in the brain. So how did we find ourselves with this unhappy attention-span conceit, and with the companion idea that a big attention span is humankind’s best moral and aesthetic asset? […] Instead, the problem with the attention-span discourse is that it’s founded on the phantom idea of an attention span.”
- New Facebook Messaging Continues to Block Some Links [Epicenter | Wired.com] – Facebook’s “not email” email system will block certain links. Definitely not email. “Facebook’s “modern messaging system” may make it convenient to seamlessly move between instant messaging and a Facebook.com e-mail account, but not if you are sharing a link to a file sharing site. Facebook began blocking BitTorrent link-sharing on Facebook walls and news feeds last spring, and also started blocking private messages between users that included a link to torrents on the Pirate Bay. Facebook says that content censorship policy isn’t changing, even as its new Facebook Messages service gives users e-mail accounts and encourages them to communicate even more through Facebook. “We have systems in place to prevent abuse on Facebook and prevent spam which we’ll continue to deploy with the new Messages,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a written statement. “We don’t share specifics on those systems.””
- Facebook credits go on sale in UK [guardian.co.uk] – This is Facebook’s answer to the app store; watch the money flow! “Online currency, with which Facebook users can purchase pixel-based virtual farm animals or pay to attend virtual events, might seem small beer. But now the online goods economy may be about to boom in the UK, as Tesco and the games retailer Game start selling Facebook credits in more than 1,000 high street stores. The UK’s 33 million Facebook users will be able to buy so-called “Facebook credits” in the non-pixellated world. The gift cards, costing £10 or £20, will only be redeemable on Facebook, where users can spend the converted currency on any number of nonexistent objects. The virtual goods economy, where money is spent on items that only exist on the internet, is expected to exceed £550m for social gaming such as Zynga’s Farmville by the end of this year, according to a recent Inside Virtual Goods report.”
Links for September 16th 2010 through September 21st 2010:
- Mobile phones are now our net tool of choice [News.com.au] – “The mobile phone, which not long ago was mainly for talking and texting, is now replacing the PC as the preferred way to surf the internet. A report shows half of users in their 30s accessed the web using their mobile device while at work or at home even though they had access to a computer. The behaviour comes as a result of the thriving smartphone market which was energised by the release of the iPhone more than two years ago. Christena Singh, author of the Sensis e-Business Report, said mobile internet use has become mainstream with use common across a wide age range. […] The most popular information accessed on mobile devices are maps and directions (67 per cent), the weather (64 per cent), news sites (59 per cent), social networking sites (56 per cent) and sports results (46 per cent).” [PDF of Sensis e-Business Report]
- Downloads grow by 50% [The Age] – “Australia’s appetite for the internet continues to grow and the number of wireless internet connections has soared in the last year, a study has found. A report released yesterday by the Bureau of Statistics shows the amount of data downloaded in the June 2010 quarter increased by more than 50 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier. In the same period, the number of wireless broadband connections increased by 70 per cent to nearly 3.5 million, while the number of fixed-line broadband connections rose slightly to 4.2 million.”
- Old Spice manufacturer ignores a smellers’ market [The Australian] – A slightly odd article which celebrates the US-created and focused 2010 viral Old Spice videos and campaign and the knock-on effect on Old Spice branded products (which have increased sales dramatically), but then complains not enough Old Spice products are actually sold in Australia. Certainly the global reach of YouTube as a viral advertising is worth noting, and I guess the Australia’s national newspaper is complaining that there aren’t enough Old Spice products in Australia on the back of the campaign’s success, that’s an even stronger testimony. (Or a waste of ink: you decide.)
- A Baby Photo Becomes an Internet Meme [NYTimes.com] – “Sometime back in 2000, Allen S. Rout, a systems programmer from Gainesville, Fla., posted a few photos of his 5-month-old son, Stephen, on his personal Web site. They were the kind of photos that every parent takes, but one in particular stood out: Stephen wearing a pair of red overalls, smiling in a crib. “We’re really blessed,” Mr. Rout wrote as the caption. “Stephen is an amazingly happy baby.” The photo had faded from memory until last July, when Mr. Rout, curious about his online reputation, did a Google search of himself. Deep within the results pages, he found the picture of Stephen. Only, it wasn’t exactly the same picture. He was surrounded by cartoonish word bubbles filled with Japanese writing: “Don’t call me baby!” they read. “Call me Mr. Baby!” And there were other images in which the photo was transformed further…” [More on this here at Know Your Meme]
- The Future of Television [YouTube] – Nice little video summary of television’s emergence, early history and where it might be going tomorrow. (Useful for Web Media 207.)
- Internet Founder Tim Berners-Lee Details 4 Concerns About Future of Mobile Web (Nokia World 2010) ]RWW] – In a keynote at Nokia World 2010 in London, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, celebrated the emerging mobile web, but also noted four major challenges ahead: (1) Privacy – matching what smartphones etc can do/share with current needs and ideas about privacy will prove difficult; (2) Accountability – ensuring companies that collect data from mobile web users are transparent; (3) Neutrality – even the mobile web must be neutral, with no variation in charges for different types/tiers of data; and (4) the biggest challenge is still assisting the 80% of the global population who aren’t even online yet, let alone mobile web users.
- Engineer’s Privacy Breach Raises Questions For Google [International Business Times] – The challenges of trusting the cloud, whoever happens to be running that part of it (even Google): “A significant privacy breach from a Google engineer has web privacy experts questioning the Mountain View, Calif. company’s control system and transparency methods. David Barksdale, a 27-year-old engineer who worked in Google’s Seattle office, leveraged his role as a member of an elite technical group to access private data about minors. Google fired Barksdale after getting complaints from the minor’s parents. […] For web privacy experts, the Barksdale incident is a huge red flag. Furthermore, Google reportedly told TechCrunch it was not the first time one of its engineers was fired for a privacy breach. Even though these are largely isolated incidents for a 10-year-old company with approximately 20,000 employees, it does signify some within the company has access to people’s critical, private data. What they do with it, is up to them.”
Links for October 14th 2009 through October 19th 2009:
- Judges have final decision after Twitter enters court [The Australian] – “The Federal Court will leave it up to individual judges to decide whether to allow cases to be covered from within their courtrooms on new media platforms such as Twitter. The issue arose after two technology journalists, Andrew Colley from The Australian, and Liam Tung from website ZDNet Australia, started using the microblogging site to publish running reports of the landmark iiNet copyright case being heard by judge Dennis Cowdroy in Sydney and which is big news in Hollywood. [… ] But the Twitter reporting is also a first for Australia, although court cases have been reported on Twitter overseas. The reporters published their “tweets”, which are limited to a maximum of 140 characters, using their personal Twitter feeds, on which they identify themselves as journalists and name their media organisations. Both used laptop computers. Mobile phones and recording devices are prohibited in court. Justice Cowdroy soon became aware of what was happening but opted not to stop them.” (While only being reported in relation to the iiNet case, this is actually quite a big deal about reporting technologies being allowed in Australian courtrooms.)
- Effective Twitter Backgrounds: Examples and Current Practices [Smashing Magazine] – Great examples of what makes (and breaks) a good Twitter background. (I really should do something about mine, one day …)
- Don’t Call Me a Slut [The Daily Beast] – Meghan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) calmly and sanely responds to a stupid Twitter-fueled minor media scandal: “On Wednesday, I posted a hastily taken self-portrait on Twitter—which I thought was funny and silly—and within a few hours I had caused a minor media scandal. I spent most of the next day thinking about what exactly was so shocking about the picture, why there was such an immediate and nasty overreaction. After all, it’s not like I was caught making a sex tape. I certainly didn’t pose nude for Playboy. And I hadn’t even exposed a nipple. So why all this Sturm und Drang? Could it be it’s because I have breasts? Because for those of you who didn’t know, I have two. They’re larger than some women’s and not as big as others. I don’t usually show off my cleavage—as I did in the photos I posted—which I will admit is not the smartest thing I have ever done. But it’s just not worth the drama it caused. To be honest, I don’t feel that I have anything to feel ashamed of.”
- Hey, showbiz folks: Check your contract before your next tweet [The Hollywood Reporter] – “Hollywood is coming down with the Twitter jitters. There’s a growing number of studio deals with new language aimed specifically at curbing usage of social-media outlets by actors, execs and other creatives. The goal: plugging leaks of disparaging or confidential information about productions via the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. A recent talent contract from Disney includes a new clause forbidding confidentiality breaches via “interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog.”” (The dream factory just isn’t ready to share the candid reality …)
- Berners-Lee ‘sorry’ for slashes [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “The forward slashes at the beginning of internet addresses have long annoyed net users and now the man behind them has apologised for using them. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, has confessed that the // in a web address were actually “unnecessary”. He told the Times newspaper that he could easily have designed URLs not to have the forward slashes. “There you go, it seemed like a good idea at the time,” he said. He admitted that when he devised the web, almost 30 years ago, he had no idea that the forward slashes in every web address would cause “so much hassle”. “
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