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Links through to December 17th:
- The Web We Lost [Anil Dash] – Spot on: “Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and LinkedIn and the rest are great sites, and they give their users a lot of value. … But they’re based on a few assumptions that aren’t necessarily correct. The primary fallacy that underpins many of their mistakes is that user flexibility and control necessarily lead to a user experience complexity that hurts growth. And the second, more grave fallacy, is the thinking that exerting extreme control over users is the best way to maximize the profitability and sustainability of their networks. The first step to disabusing them of this notion is for the people creating the next generation of social applications to learn a little bit of history, to know your shit, whether that’s about Twitter’s business model or Google’s social features or anything else. We have to know what’s been tried and failed, what good ideas were simply ahead of their time, and what opportunities have been lost in the current generation of dominant social networks.”
- False Posts on Facebook Undermine Its Credibility [NYTimes.com] – A reminder that Facebook’s battle against fake accounts is all about the authenticity the SELL ADVERTISERS: “For the world’s largest social network, it is an especially acute problem, because it calls into question its basic premise. Facebook has sought to distinguish itself as a place for real identity on the Web. As the company tells its users: “Facebook is a community where people use their real identities.” It goes on to advise: “The name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, student ID, etc.” Fraudulent “likes” damage the trust of advertisers, who want clicks from real people they can sell to and whom Facebook now relies on to make money. Fakery also can ruin the credibility of search results for the social search engine that Facebook says it is building. … The research firm Gartner estimates that while less than 4 percent of all social media interactions are false today, that figure could rise to over 10 percent by 2014.”
- Android overtakes iOS in Australian usage [Ausdroid] – December 2012: “Android has been growing globally at an extremely rapid rate with statistics from November indicating that Android currently enjoys a 75% market share. In Australia this year over 67% of Smart Phone sales were Android handsets and now research analysis firm Telsyte is advising that market penetration of Android devices in Australia has finally overtaken iOS with Android now on 44% of the 10 Million mobile phones currently in use here. iOS still enjoys a 43% market share …”
- Social Media Report 2012 [Nielsen] – Nielsen’s Social Media Report 2012 provides statistical evidence of the trends for 2012, which shows the internet use, mobile use and social networking time are all up. A third of people engaging in social networking “from the bathroom”!
- Text messaging turns 20 [Technology | The Observer] – “Long ago, back before Twitter, way before Facebook, in a time when people still lifted a receiver to make a call and telephone boxes graced streets where people didn’t lock their doors, Neil Papworth, a software programmer from Reading, sent an early festive greeting to a mate. “Since mobile phones didn’t yet have keyboards, I typed the message out on a PC. It read ‘Merry Christmas’ and I sent it to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone, who was enjoying his office Christmas party at the time,” said Papworth. On 3 December 1992, he had sent the world’s first text message. Text messaging turns 20 tomorrow. More than 8 trillion were sent last year. Around 15 million leave our mobile screens every minute. There is now text poetry, text adverts and text prayers (dad@hvn, 4giv r sins) and an entire generation that’s SMS savvy. Last week saw the first major act of the text watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, in fining two men £440,000 over spam texts.”
Links for June 7th 2011 through June 24th 2011:
- Harry Potter and the amazing exploding book industry [GigaOM] – “Despite the obvious demand, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has adamantly refused to offer electronic versions of her phenomenally popular series for young adults — until now. As part of Thursday’s launch of an interactive website called Pottermore, the billionaire writer also announced that e-book versions of the novels will be available directly through the site for all major platforms. In one fell swoop, Rowling has cut both her publishers and booksellers such as Amazon out of the picture. Not everyone has that kind of power, of course, but Rowling’s move shows how the playing field in publishing continues to be disrupted. The author said the Pottermore site will offer extra content that she has written about the characters in the books … There will also be a social network of sorts built into the site that allows readers to connect with each other, play games and share their thoughts about the novels and their characters.”
- Google to be formally investigated over potential abuse of web dominance [guardian.co.uk] – “US regulators are poised to launch a formal investigation into whether Google has abused its dominance on the web, according to reports. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is days away from serving subpoenas on the internet giant in what could be the biggest investigation yet of the search company’s business, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both Google and the FTC declined to comment. A wide-ranging investigation into Google has been discussed for months. Google has faced several antitrust probes in recent years, and is already the subject of a similar investigation in Europe. In the US inquiries have so far largely been limited to reviews of the company’s mergers and acquisitions. The inquiry will examine the heart of Google’s search-advertising business, and the source of most of Google’s revenue. Google accounts for around two-thirds of internet searches in the US …”
- Kind of Screwed [Waxy.org] – The really sad story of how Andy Baio ended up paying over $US30,000 for a pixel-art cover on an homage album because a photographer (and his lawyers) don’t believe it’s fair use: “Last year, I was threatened with a lawsuit over the pixel art album cover for Kind of Bloop. Despite my firm belief that I was legally in the right, I settled out of court to cut my losses. This ordeal was very nerve-wracking for me and my family, and I’ve had trouble writing about it publicly until now.”
- The Social Network’s Aaron Sorkin quits Facebook [guardian.co.uk] – “Aaron Sorkin, 50, was speaking at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity at a session alongside David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme. His admission came as part of a discussion of the downsides of sites such as Twitter. Sorkin described himself as “this side of being a Luddite”, and said he had been on Facebook while he making the film, but had since given up his account. “I have a lot of opinions on social media that make me sound like a grumpy old man sitting on the porch yelling at kids,” he said. Sorkin’s scepticism of social media was shared by the film’s star, Jesse Eisenberg, who joined Facebook under a false name while in production but left soon afterwards, unnerved by the experience. “[I] was sent a message from Facebook suggesting people I should befriend,” Eisenberg said last October. “One of them was a girl my sister was friends with in high school. I don’t know how they found her, no idea. I signed off right then.””
- “Teen Sexting and Its Impact on the Tech Industry” – Provocative talk well worth reading: “Most of you have probably read the panic-laden stories about teens who got caught sexting. You may even have read the salacious stories about teachers who sext with students. And, unless you’ve been on a remote island this month, you’ve probably heard countless jokes about Anthony Weiner’s recent sexting scandal. While most Americans had never heard of the term “sexting” a few years ago, it’s hot news these days. And while you might have read these stories in the press, you might not realize how relevant they are to you. More than any other teen phenomenon, more than Justin Bieber or cute cats, teen sexting is something that you need to deal with. And you need to deal with it ASAP, both because it’s the right thing to do and because you face serious legal liabilities if you don’t. When first coined by Australian press only a few short years ago …” (boyd, danah. 2011 Read Write Web 2WAY conference.New York, NY, June 13)
- Facebook Changes Privacy Settings to Enable Facial Recognition [NYTimes.com] – “Facebook is pushing the privacy line once again, according to a new report from a security and antivirus company. According to the report, from Sophos, Facebook recently began changing its users’ privacy settings to automatically turn on a facial recognition feature that detects a user’s face in an image. Once the person’s face is detected, the Web site then encourages Facebook friends to tag them. Facebook introduced this feature last year for its North American users; it is now rolling it out globally. Facebook also doesn’t give users the option to avoid being tagged in a photo; instead, people who don’t want their name attached to an image must untag themselves after the fact. In response to a reporter’s inquiry, posted on a Facebook blog, the company said, “We should have been more clear with people during the roll-out process when this became available to them.””
- Apple’s new iOS5 features – really that new? [Ausdroid] – A quick comparison of Apple’s new iOS 5 mobile and the current offering from Android. Good points on both sides, but no clear “winner”.
Links for August 4th 2010 (definitely not endorsed by any version of Andrew Bolt):
- Andrew Bolt discovers Twitter fake. Is cross. [mUmBRELLA] – News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt has, it would appear, had something of a sense of humour failure over his fake Twitter persona. This morning, Bolt wrote in his Herald Sun blog: “It shouldn’t need saying, but I do not have a Twitter account and the fake one seems to be the work of people whose employer will be very embarrassed to find its staff once more engaging in deceitful slurs. A little warning there. A tearful sorry afterwards will be both too late and insincere, especially from people with their record of sliming.” The fake Andrew Bolt, who has about 5000 followers, does give certain subtle clues on Twitter that he ain’t the real deal. Such as his bio: “Journalist. Blogger. Broadcaster. Climate scientist. Great in bed. This is the Twitter of Andrew Bolt. Follow me you barbarians.” Or messages such as: “Julia Gillard should put together a comittee of common folk to see if they can change the laws of physics. I suspect they can.””
- Andrew Bolt is not happy about @andrewbolt [Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ] – Peter Black looks at the legal side of (fake) Andrew Bolt on Twitter: “…it seems to me that Bolt would at least have an arguable case, that one or more of the tweets constituted a defamatory imputation. Moreoever, they were referrable to Bolt and published. It is also worth noting that cartoons, caricatures, jokes or satire may be defamatory depending upon the context of the publication (see Entienne v Festival City Broadcasters (2001) 79 SASR 19). How a jury would construe these statements, given they take place in the context of a fake Twitter account, is hard to predict. Nonetheless, I do believe that a judge would find that the material is capable of defaming Bolt and that it would then be up to a jury to decide whether the material actually defamed Bolt. So while I think it is highly unlikely Bolt would actually sue for defamation, it is worth remembering that even fake Twitter accounts, while intended for the purpose of satire and humour, may well have legal consequences.”
- Twitter List @andrew__bolt/AndrewBolt – A list of more than 30 ‘Andrew Bolt’ (fake) accounts on Twitter, the majority of which have appeared in the last 24hrs since Andrew Bolt (the man) complained about @andrewbolt (the most popular fake, on twitter).
- SRSLY? SMS Celebrates Its 25th Birthday [The Next Web] – “According to a press release from Sherri Wells, ‘one of the leading SMS messaging experts in the world’, SMS is celebrating 25 years of existence today, making its way from a R&D lab at Vodafone to become a technology that is now present on every single mobile phone currently in existence. Although SMS was developed twenty-five years ago in a collaboration between France and Germany, the first text message was actually sent seven years later on December 3rd, 1992, reading “Happy Christmas”. Since then SMS evolved through various stages, starting as a free service where teens helped popularise the service, before carriers then charged for the service, causing a decline of up to 40% in the process. Back in 2000, the average monthly texts sent per user was a paltry 35, today it’s as high as 357 with 1.5 trillion messages sent annually in the US.”
- Bill Cosby dead rumours dismissed on Twitter [WA Today] – Tweets of my death have been greatly exaggerated! “Television star Bill Cosby has been forced to reassure fans he’s still alive and well after news of his ‘death’ became a top trending topic on Twitter. ‘Bill Cosby died’ remains the fifth highest trending topic on the micro-blogging site this morning. “Emotional friends have called about this misinformation,” the Cosby Show star tweeted in response to the announcement. “To the people behind the foolishness, I’m not sure you see how upsetting this is. “Again, I’m rebuttaling rumours about my demise (sic).” This is the second time this year that Cosby has been pronounced dead by social media.”
- Old Spice Voicemail Generator – Make your own voicemail or answering machine message made up of audio samples from the Old Spice guy’s recent replies. This voicemail is now diamonds! (By Chriswastaken, Area, and Nelson Abalos Jr | Thanks to Reddit)
- YouTube Star to Put His Life in Your Hands for a Year [Mashable] – “Heyo all you megalomaniacs out there — may we introduce yet another way to get your jollies this year: Dan 3.0. Starting today, 20-year-old YouTube sensation Dan Brown is launching a new web show/social experiment in which he will turn control of his life over to you, the viewers, for an entire year. Brown […] is one of those rare dudes whose only gig is video blogging. […] When asked how he thinks this project will affect his day-to-day life, Brown told us: “Basically I’m going to be living my life, doing what my viewers tell me and documenting it. That’s going to be it. Daily life is going to be affected – I don’t know exactly what it means for relationships with friends and relationships with people I know in real life. I guess we’ll find out when we get there.” So as to prevent any catastrophes, Brown has a few ground rules. Viewers can’t ask him to do things like, say, dump his girlfriend, or to do anything illegal or harmful to others. He has also veto power …”
- Google Android phone shipments increase by 886% [BBC News] – There’s a lot more smartphones out there: “Google Android phone shipments increase by 886% Shipments of Google’s Android mobile operating system have rocketed in the last year, figures suggest. Statistics from research firm Canalys suggest that shipments have increased 886% year-on-year from the second quarter of 2009. Apple showed the second largest growth in the smartphone sector with 61% growth in the same period. Overall, the smartphone sector grew by 64% from the second quarter 2009 to the second quarter 2010, the research says.”
Links for April 19th 2010 through April 20th 2010:
- Media Watch: A Lesson in Facebook Friends (19/04/2010) [ABC TV] – Media Watch piece about two Warwich (QLD) teachers whose private Facebook photos of themselves dressed in supposedly suggestive school uniforms got them suspended from their jobs after the photos were posted in the local newspaper. It seems the photos were lifted from private Facebook accounts and that the journalists who ‘uncovered’ the story were actually Facebook friends with one of the two teachers they exposed. A suitable reminder that ‘friend’ isn’t always the best word for a social network connection! (The two teachers are now suing the journalists in question.)
- Teens and Mobile Phones – Report April 2010 [Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project] – “Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008, to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. And its not just frequency – teens are sending enormous quantities of text messages a day. Half of teens send 50 or more text messages a day, or 1,500 texts a month and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Older teen girls ages 14-17 lead the charge on text messaging, averaging 100 messages a day for the entire cohort. The youngest teen boys are the most resistant to texting – averaging 20 messages per day.”
- Facebook Now Commands 41% of Social Media Traffic – STATS [Mashable] – “Facebook and YouTube are displacing rivals and taking over the social web, according to data we’ve just received from comScore. In addition to showing massive and continued traffic growth throughout 2009 and the beginning of 2010, Facebook and YouTube continued to capture the highest volume of social web traffic. Twitter also garnered a ton of mainstream attention, helping the company increase the number of visitors to its site by fivefold over the course of the year. […] Taking a look at the unique visitors charts, we see the widespread migration from MySpace to Facebook even more clearly. As of March 2010, Facebook traffic made up 41% of all traffic on a list of popular social destinations. MySpace was in second place, capturing around 24% of traffic. Gmail had 15%, and Twitter had 8%. However, during the same period in 2009, MySpace was in the lead with 38% of site visits over Facebook’s 33%.” (Original post has some useful graphs, albeit without a scale.)
- How Tech Start-ups Like Foursquare and Meetup Are Tring to Overthrow Old Media and Build a Better New York [New York Magazine] – Long article from Doree Shafrir about the tech start-up culture that has gripped New York city. The featured start-up is definitely Foursquare, and there are plenty of quotes about the role of start-ups in relation to tech giants like Google and Yahoo. There is some sense that the realm of start-ups is moving toward a new tech bubble, but the dominant business model still seems to be: get popular, get the eyeballs, and then let Yahoo and Google (and maybe Microsoft) bid to buy your business.
Links for February 2nd 2010 through February 3rd 2010:
- Technology Blamed For Bad Grammar Despite Total Lack Of Causal Evidence [Techdirt] – Sometimes, you just have to blame the journalism: "We were just recently reporting on yet another in a very long line of studies that showed that instant messaging and texting was actually helping kids have better writing skills. So, it was interesting to see an article published up in Canada (thanks to Marcus Carab for sending this in) that claimed a study "proving" that Twitter and texting was causing grammar and spelling problems for students. But, if you read the details of the article, they don’t say that at all. It’s entirely made up by the reporter."
- Charlie Brooker – How To Report The News [YouTube] – An outstanding video which demonstrates how many tv news reports are put together. (Language warning!)
- Tablet [The Chromium Projects] – Early visualisations of the proposed Google tablet (gPad?) driven by the Chrome OS. It’s a long way from built, but the timing of these "visual explorations" is sure to irk Apple. And, to be honest, I’d prefer Chrome OS over Apple’s locked-down App store options!
- Attorney-General Michael Atkinson vows to repeal election internet censorship law amid reader furore [Adelaide Now] – An important backdown on censoring political speech online in South Australia: "Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has made a "humiliating" backdown and announced he will retrospectively repeal his law censoring internet comment on the state election. After a furious reaction on AdelaideNow to The Advertiser’s exclusive report on the new laws, Mr Atkinson at 10pm released this statement: "From the feedback we’ve received through AdelaideNow, the blogging generation believes that the law supported by all MPs and all political parties is unduly restrictive. I have listened. "I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively." Mr Atkinson said the law would not be enforced for comments posted on AdelaideNow during the upcoming election campaign, even though it was technically applicable. "It may be humiliating for me, but that’s politics in a democracy and I’ll take my lumps," he continued in the statement."
- iPad Hardware Reveals Potential Slot for Camera – A built-in webcam would counter a lot of the initial iPad design bashing (and would make it a lot more attractive as a travel-device instead of a netbook): "Perhaps we haven’t learned everything about the iPad just yet. Could an iPad with a camera be in the near future? Mission Repair, a company that fixes broken Apple products, apparently got their hands on some iPad parts. Their pictures showed off the internal frame, which curiously enough has a small hole on the top of the frame. When the Mission Repair team took a camera out of a MacBook and placed it inside the iPad’s top hole, it fight right in."
- Aussies play on through the gloom [Sydney Morning Herald Blogs] – "For the first time, Australians spent over $2 billion on video gaming in 2009, a new record for the industry. Publishers and distributors were ecstatic by the growth of 4 per cent given the much publicised financial crisis. The increase was in stark contrast to the declines seen in most other Western markets, which analysts have blamed on the music genre slump and a lack of innovation in the industry, as well as the GFC. Nintendo continued its dominance of the industry: two thirds of all hardware sold during 2009 in Australia was Nintendo-branded."
Links for January 24th 2010:
- What Does China Censor Online? [Information Is Beautiful] – Provocative infographic illustrating some of what China blocks online.
- The Director of Downfall Speaks Out on All Those Angry YouTube Hitlers [Vulture – New York Magazine] – “When the Conan-Leno debacle began, two things were certain: One, it would change the face of late night, and two, someone would apply it to the Downfall Hitler meme. When Oliver Hirschbiegel staged the famous bunker scene in his 2004 movie, with Bruno Ganz as Hitler, he wasn’t expecting it to be appropriated for comedy; a dramatic recreation of Hitler’s last stand is not exactly a laugh-out-loud subject. And yet the German filmmaker is pleased, nay, thrilled that YouTube enthusiasts have taken it upon themselves to reinterpret it to address anything from Hillary Clinton’s loss to the Taylor Swift-Kanye West feud. “Someone sends me the links every time there’s a new one,” says the director …”
- Phone texting ‘helps pupils to spell’ [BBC News] – “Children who regularly use the abbreviated language of text messages are actually improving their ability to spell correctly, research suggests. A study of eight- to 12-year-olds found that rather than damaging reading and writing, “text speak” is associated with strong literacy skills. Researchers say text language uses word play and requires an awareness of how sounds relate to written English. This link between texting and literacy has proved a surprise, say researchers. These latest findings of an ongoing study at the University of Coventry contradict any expectation that prolonged exposure to texting will erode a child’s ability to spell.”
- Serial Boxes [Just TV] – A draft of Jason Mittell’s “Serial Boxes: The Cultural Values of Long-Form American Television” essay which gives a very clear account of the different ways viewers engage with television, especially long-form serial television, in light of the shifts from live viewing as the only (or primary) choice to a market where box-set DVDs and the like encourage quite different modes of reception. Mittell also looks at the ‘re-watch’ projects and notes why they usually fail to sustain their initial enthusiasm and momentum.
- Facebook sites inciting anti-Indian sentiment continue to flourish [The SMH] – “Facebook sites inciting anti-Indian sentiment continue to flourish despite protests from Indians in Australia. Groups such as I think Indian People Should Wear Deodorant, Stop Whinging Indians, and Australia: Indians, You Have a Right to Leave, have not been removed. Gautam Gupta, secretary of the Federation of Indian Students, said: “These sites must be shut down but, on the other hand, we must keep track of these hate groups being formed. They can be online or offline. When they’re offline we call them gangs. These are essentially online gangs.” More than half a dozen Australian groups that are specifically anti-Indian are still active on Facebook. On top of that, there are many broadly racist groups, including F— Off – We’re Full and Speak English or Piss Off!!!, which has 54,000 members and is growing at a rate of about 2000 people a week. “I don’t think it’s just a Facebook problem – it’s a social problem, a problem in the society,” Mr Gupta said.”
Links of interest for November 10th 2008:
- Filter advocates need to check their facts [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – An important article from Mark Newton that seeks to inject some solid information back into the conversation about proposed measures to filter the internet at large, at ISP level, in Australia. It remains a terrible idea, and the advocates for this notion seem completely ignorant of the technical realities of implementing it (not to mention the social ramifications of living in the censored country).
- The Media Equation – How Obama Tapped Into Social Networks’ Power [NYTimes.com] – ““Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to win the presidency, F.D.R. used radio to change the way he governed, J.F.K. was the first president to understand television, and Howard Dean saw the value of the Web for raising money,” said Ranjit Mathoda, a lawyer and money manager who blogs at Mathoda.com. “But Senator Barack Obama understood that you could use the Web to lower the cost of building a political brand, create a sense of connection and engagement, and dispense with the command and control method of governing to allow people to self-organize to do the work.” All of the Obama supporters who traded their personal information for a ticket to a rally or an e-mail alert about the vice presidential choice, or opted in on Facebook or MyBarackObama can now be mass e-mailed at a cost of close to zero. And instead of the constant polling that has been a motor of presidential governance, an Obama White House can use the Web to measure voter attitudes.”
- Text for free condoms during Schoolies Week [The Courier-Mail] – “School leavers will be able to send text messages to receive free condoms in an attempt to encourage safe sex practices during Schoolies celebrations. The TXT 4 Free Condomz sexual health campaign has been launched by health care group Marie Stopes International. Mobile phone users will be sent two free condoms in plain packaging when they text their name and address details to 19 SEXTXT. Marie Stopes International general manager Jill Michelson said the party atmosphere meant an increase in risky behaviour. “This initiative overcomes both the embarrassment and the cost issue of buying condoms, and does so using a medium and language that resonates with youth,” Ms Michelson said.” The website: http://www.sextxt.org.au/
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