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Links for October 4th 2010 through October 9th 2010:
- Perhaps a revolution is not what we need [Confessions of an Aca/Fan] – Henry Jenkins offers a powerful rebuke of Malcolm Gladwell’s claim that Twitter and other social media aren’t revolutionary: “The Civil Rights Movement certainly tapped into networks of all kinds — from the congregations of churches to the sisterhood of sororities, and deployed a broad range of communications technologies available at the time. Twitter is however simply one of many communications platforms through which we forge politics in the 21st century. There’s a tendency to look at it and try to read its features as totally embodying a new kind of public, but that is profoundly misleading. We do not live on a platform; we live across platforms. We choose the right tools for the right jobs.”
- 5% of babies “have a social media profile” [Next Web] – “As social media becomes an increasingly important part of life, it’s perhaps unsurprising to find out that parents are creating digital presences for their children – sometimes while they’re still in the womb. You may think that it would only be a handful of particularly geeky parents who would bother to set up a Twitter or Facebook account for their unborn child, but a study published today by Internet security firm AVG found that 5% of babies under 2 have social media profiles, while 7% have an email address. The main reason for doing this, it seems, is to share baby scans and and information about the pregnancy with family and friends. Meanwhile, many more babies are “online” in some form or other. 23% of fetuses had images of their antenatal scans uploaded before birth.”
- Libya takes hard line on .ly link shortening domains [BBC News] – The perils of URL shortening: “The Libyan government has removed an adult-friendly link-shortening service from the web, saying that it fell foul of local laws. It could have an impact on similar services registered in Libya. The domain vb.ly was revoked[…] Co-founder of vb.ly Ben Metcalfe warned that “other ly domains are being deregistered and removed without warning”. “The domain was seized by the Libyan domain registry for reasons which seemed to be kept obscure until we escalated the issue,” he wrote. “We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.” URL shortening is a technique that allows users to significantly condense often long web addresses to more manageable and memorable links. The Libyan crackdown could come as a blow to other url shortening services such as bit.ly, which is particularly popular on Twitter where all messages have to be limited to 140 characters.”
- The Man Who First Said ‘Cyborg,’ 50 Years Later – Alexis Madrigal [The Atlantic] – “We’re gathered here today to celebrate Manfred Clynes. Fifty years ago, he coined the word “cyborg” to describe an emerging hybrid of man’s machines and man himself. The word itself combined cybernetics, the then-emerging discipline of feedback and control, and organism. The word appeared in an article called “Cyborgs and Space,” in the journal Astronautics’ September 1960 issue. Just to be precise, here’s how the word was introduced: “For the exogenously extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously, we propose the term ‘Cyborg,'” wrote Clynes and his co-author Nathan Kline, both of Rockland State University. From that catchy description, it might not have been immediately apparent that Cyborg was destined to become the label for a profound myth, hope and fear specific to our era.”
- Twitter CEO Evan Williams steps down [Technology | The Guardian] – Evan Williams stands down as CEO, handing Dick Costolo the reigns as Twitter starts thinking about itself as a serious long-term business, not a start-up.
- Cyberbully Is Found Guilty on Multiple Counts in Dead Sea Scrolls Case [The Chronicle of Higher Education] – “A professor’s adult son was convicted in a New York State court of 30 criminal charges on Thursday for using online aliases to try to harass and discredit scholars whom his father opposed in a bitter debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls. The jury found Raphael H. Golb, the 50-year-old son of the prominent religious-studies scholar Norman Golb of the University of Chicago, guilty all but one of the 31 counts against him, according to an Associated Press report. It convicted him of forgery, harassment, and identity theft in connection with a sustained electronic campaign in which he impersonated five people and used about 70 phony e-mail accounts to harass and try to damage the reputations of scholars. Of particular note to academics who were following the case, the jurors rejected a defense lawyer’s argument that the damaging statements that Raphael Golb had made about others under assumed names amounted to parody or irony intended to expose what he saw as scholarly lies…”
Links for July 15th 2010 through July 18th 2010:
- As Older Users Join Facebook, Network Grapples With Death [NYTimes.com] – How Facebook does (and doesn’t) deal with death: “For a site the size of Facebook, automation is “key to social media success,” said Josh Bernoff, […] “The way to make this work in cases where machines can’t make decisions is to tap into the members,” he said, pointing to Facebook’s buttons that allow users to flag material they find inappropriate. “One way to automate the ‘Is he dead’ problem is to have a place where people can report it.” That’s just what Facebook does. To memorialize a profile, a family member or friend must fill out a form on the site and provide proof of the death, like a link to an obituary or news article, which a staff member at Facebook will then review. But this option is not well publicized, so many profiles of dead members never are converted to tribute pages. Those people continue to appear on other members’ pages as friend suggestions, or in features like the “reconnect” box …”
- Facebook Breaks All Bit.ly Links, Marks Them as Abusive [Mashable] – For a period of time, all bit.ly links were blocked on Facebook; clicking on them returned a ‘reported as abusive’ page from Facebook. I’m sure this will be resolved relatively quickly, but it does underscore the danger of URL shorteners as platforms (not just Facebook) battle phishing and spam. Blocking a whole domain is overkill, of course, but it’s going to happen and it’s worth asking about the extra burden that one extra (shortened) step brings to the internet at large. (It’s fixed now.)
- New Spice | Study like a scholar, scholar [YouTube] – Definitely my favourite parody of the Old Spice guy so far: “Do you want to be a scholar? Then study at the Harold B. Lee Library. Do your research here, study here, and be a scholar!” I’m on a cart …
- Everything you need to know about the internet [Technology | The Observer] – Nine ‘big picture’ notions about what the internet is and isn’t from John Naughton (Professor of the public understanding of technology at the Open University). Useful as a primer for Web Communications 101.
- The Trouble at Twitter Inc. [Gawker] – Gawker’s rumour-ridden piece suggesting that Evan Williams may be losing the reigns as CEO of Twitter.
- World Vision I Old Spice [YouTube] – Tim Costello from World Vision makes his own Old Spice guy (parody) reply, pitching World Vision as the charity of the future. It’s actually quite funny.
- O’Farrell lays low after Twitter gaffe [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “New South Wales Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell is laying low after posting an embarrassing message this morning on the social networking site Twitter. Believing he was sending a private message to journalist Latika Bourke’s Twitter account, Mr O’Farrell opened up on his thoughts about the delay on candidate selection. […] “Deeply off the record – I think the timetable and struggle to get candidates reflects internal poll – pre and post the ranga,” he tweeted, a reference to Prime Minister Julia Gillard.”
Links for March 18th 2010:
- Oops Pow Surprise…24 hours of video all up in your eyes! [YouTube Blog] – YouTube has 24 hours worth of video uploaded every minutes!
- AAP puts ‘strict curb’ on tweeting reporters [ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)] – “Australian Associated Press is cracking down on its journalists who use social networking sites while on the job. AAP reporter Sandra O’Malley wrote from her Twitter account yesterday morning that “work’s put a strict curb on tweeting”. The agency’s editor-in-chief, Tony Gillies, says this is because reporters have been posting their thoughts online while on assignment. He says he is trying to protect AAP’s brand. “I’m talking about people who work for AAP tweeting and blogging while on assignment for AAP,” he said. “If they are tweeting during those assignments – and let’s leave aside for one moment what they’re doing rather than paying attention to the story that’s unfolding in front of them – whatever they’re tweeting may reflect on AAP.”
- Networks, Crowds, and Markets: A Book by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg – Full book pre-print version; looks like a really useful read: “Networks, Crowds, and Markets combines different scientific perspectives in its approach to understanding networks and behavior. Drawing on ideas from economics, sociology, computing and information science, and applied mathematics, it describes the emerging field of study that is growing at the interface of all these areas, addressing fundamental questions about how the social, economic, and technological worlds are connected. […] The book will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2010.”
- Flickr Short URL Generator – URLkr – Useful tool to create flic.kr links, using Flickr’s own URL shortening service.
- Why short links can take a long time to get you around the web [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – Some URL shorteners are slowing down the web: “URL shorteners have become a fact of life, given the proliferation of short messaging services (and also the demands of print, which finds URL shorteners mean you can link to long URLs in a few characters). But they’re sometimes a roadblock – at least, the one from Facebook is.”
- 25 years of .com domain names [SF Gate] – Happy Birthday dot com: “On March 15, 1985, a Massachusetts computer systems firm registered the first .com Internet domain name. Although Symbolics.com didn’t spark an instant gold rush, the event planted the first seed of a transformation that has changed the world into a Web-fueled digital river of news, commerce and social interaction. Today, exactly 25 years later, life B.C – Before .Com – is already a distant memory, especially in the tech-centric Bay Area. […] In 1985, only six entities registered a .com, one of six top-level domain names created a year earlier in a reorganization of the early Internet’s naming bureaucracy. At the time, .cor (short for corporate) almost beat .com as the designation for commercial Internet addresses.”
- Facebook passes Google as most-viewed site in US in past week [Technology | guardian.co.uk] – “Is that Google in Facebook’s rear-view mirror? Why, yes, it is, at least in the US, according to the latest figures from Hitwise. The statistics will be worrying for Google, principally because that won’t be traffic heading downstream from Google to Facebook; it will be people logging directly into the social networking site. And pause to consider: if the problem of search – what Google aims to do – is solved not by building the most fantastic search engine, but by building the biggest social network, what does that tell us? That we’re not actually looking for that much? Heather Hopkins notes that Facebook was the most visited site in the US last Christmas eve, Christmas day and New Year’s day – but also on the weekend of March 6th and 7th. That starts to look like a trend. Compared to the same week in 2009, Google’s visits were up 9% – but Facebook’s were up 185%. So now Facebook was 7.07% of visits, while Google was put in the shade – just – at 7.03%.”
Links for November 12th 2009 through November 14th 2009:
- Labels may be losing money, but artists are making more than ever [Boing Boing] – Interesting figures that show while music labels might be losing money, artists are making more than ever. Live performances are the key revenue raisers. (The figures don’t break down much further than that, but it’s important since it asks whether artists or just labels are the ones who are really fighting “piracy”.)
- Massively Increasing Music Licensing Fees For Clubs Down Under Massively Backfires [Techdirt] – Time for a few Creative Commons licensed nightclubs to rock Australia: “We’ve noted the ridiculous and self-defeating efforts by many music collections societies around the world to jack up their rates by ridiculous amounts. None was more ridiculous than the attempt in Australia by the PPCA where some of the rate changes would rocket up from figures like $125/year… to $19,344/year. Well, it looks like it’s already backfiring badly. Reader Dan alerts us to the news that the organization that represents night clubs and similar businesses in Australia, appropriately named Clubs Australia, has set up a system whereby the organization will specifically go out and seek music by artists not covered by the collections effort, and distribute that music to clubs and other establishments”
- Moving forward with our media studies search [Just TV] – Jason Mittell is leading the search for a new comparative media studies faculty member at Middlebury College in the US. What’s fantastic is that as the search leader, he’s blogging the process and trying to explain how decisions are made – given the absolute paucity of jobs available today, these insights are remarkably valuable (and do turn an often opque process into a very human one: “But I think a key lesson for candidates to realize is that not making the cut is rarely a referendum of your worth as a scholar or teacher – it’s usually more about a sense of the position and internal needs that are hard to articulate, combined with the inevitable comparisons among the applicant pool.”
- URL shorteners suck less, thanks to the Internet Archive and 301Works [Boing Boing] – Big URL shortening companies like bit.ly are working with the Internet Archive to ensure that if their companies ever go bust, the shortened URLs will always work thanks to a backup via the archive. Nice!
- NASA finds ‘significant’ water on moon [CNN.com] – Wowzers, there’s water on the moon! “NASA said Friday it had discovered water on the moon, opening “a new chapter” that could allow for the development of a lunar space station. The discovery was announced by project scientist Anthony Colaprete at a midday news conference. “I’m here today to tell you that indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn’t find just a little bit; we found a significant amount” — about a dozen, two-gallon bucketfuls, he said, holding up several white plastic containers.
- His Facebook Status Now? ‘Charges Dropped’ [NYTimes.com] – Facebook status updates as an alibi: “Where’s my pancakes, read Rodney Bradford’s Facebook page, in a message typed on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 11:49 a.m., from a computer in his father’s apartment in Harlem. … words that were gobbledygook to anyone besides Mr. Bradford. But when Mr. Bradford, a skinny, short 19-year-old resident of the Farragut Houses, was arrested the next day as a suspect in a robbery, the words took on a level of importance that no one in their wildest dreams — least of all Mr. Bradford — could have imagined. They became his alibi. His defense lawyer, Robert Reuland, told a Brooklyn assistant district attorney, Lindsay Gerdes, about the Facebook entry, which was made at the time of the robbery. The district attorney subpoenaed Facebook to verify that the status update had actually been typed from a computer located at 71 West 118th Street in Harlem, as Mr. Bradford said. When that was confirmed, the charges were dropped.”
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