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Interesting links for August 21st 2008 through August 22nd 2008:
- Monkey Magic – Karen Lury / University of Glasgow [Flow TV, 8.06] – Playful and engaging reading of the BBC Monkey-style BBC Opening for the Olympic Games: “A playful, irreverent choice then: a trailer that reverses a mythic journey (from West to East) and which pays overt homage to a cult TV series that was never – in any coherent sense – an ‘authentic’ reflection or interpretation of Chinese culture or mythology. … The animation itself reproduces certain static poses and a colour scheme that may have been inspired by Chinese illustration and Japanese Manga; but for Hewlett fans, this is recognisably a Hewlett world – a world that is both menacing and cute (and where ‘cute’ is revealingly close to its roots in the freakish world of the side-show). It is funny and slightly unsettling as Pigsy smirks provocatively or when Monkey opens his mouth to reveal his dirty and surprisingly sharp teeth.”
- Tiger Woods Responds to Fan’s YouTube Video [Micro Persuasion] – “This video response is brilliant marketing on the part of Electronic Arts and Tiger Woods. A fan posted on YouTube that it’s possible for Woods to hit a golf ball in Tiger Woods 08 while walking on water. How does Tiger react? By showing how it’s done and promoting Tiger Woods 09 in the process. It shows they listen and bring in the big guns to engage.”
- Digital futures report: the internet in Australia [CCI] – “This report provides an overview of our work, presenting results for each of the questions asked. We will also be publishing work that examines relationships between our key variables exploring, for example, differences between users with broadband access at home and those on dial-up connections and the differences that age, gender and education levels make to people’s use and experience of the internet. Analysis we have already conducted shows that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet. The internet is more highly valued by those with broadband connections and they use the internet for longer and for a greater variety of purposes. Younger people have been quick to integrate the internet into their lives, they use the internet more and particularly for entertainment.” [Full Report PDF]
- Few lives left for Second Life [The Age] – “Separately, figures released by the virtual world’s creator Linden Lab in April show there are only 12,245 active Australian Second Life users, down from highs of 16,000 towards the end of last year. … Australians appear to have lost interest in Second Life and the users still there appear to be shying away from the big corporate brands. Kim MacKenzie, a PhD student at the Queensland University of Technology, centred her honours year thesis around the business applications of Second Life. She studied the Second Life bases of 20 international brands over three months last year, including Dell, Toyota, Coca-Cola, BMW, AOL and Vodafone. “They were like ghost towns,” said MacKenzie, adding that many of the users she saw on the company islands appeared to be staff members.” (A significant rebuttal of the information and argument in this article can be found at Personalize Media.
- For YouTube videos, a ‘fair use’ boost [News.com] – “Copyright owners, such as NBC Universal, Warner Bros., and Viacom, were put on notice Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that they must not order video be removed from Web sites indiscriminately. Before taking action against a clip, copyright owners, must form a “good-faith belief ” that a video is infringing, according to Corynne McSherry, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “
- Poor earning virtual gaming gold [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Nearly half a million people are employed in developing countries earning virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study has found. Research by Manchester University shows that the practice, known as gold-farming, is growing rapidly. Researchers say the industry, which is largely based in China, currently employs about 400,000 young people who earn £80 per month on average.” (Good article, but really, “playbourers”?)
- Up, Up, and Away? Separating Fact from Fiction in the Comic Book Business [Alisa Perren / Georgia State University – Flow TV 8.06] – A timely look at the relationship between comic book sales and the blockbuster movies they’ve been driving so successfully this year: “Myth #1: Comic-Con is all about comics. From its inception in 1970 well into the 1990s, this was largely the case. However, in recent years, the Hollywood studios increasingly have focused their energies on using the annual event as a means of promoting upcoming films and television programs. … Myth #2: Since movies based on comics are all the rage, comic books must be selling like crazy.”
- iTunes blocked in China after protest stunt [WA Today] – “Access to Apple’s online iTunes Store has been blocked in China after it emerged that Olympic athletes have been downloading and possibly listening to a pro-Tibetan music album in a subtle act of protest against China’s rule over the province. The album, called Songs for Tibet, was produced by an a group called The Art of Peace Foundation, and features 20 tracks from well-known singers and songwriters including Sting, Moby, Suzanne Vega and Alanis Morissette. It was released as a download on the iTunes Store on August 5 – three days before the start of the Olympics – with the physical CD launched on Tuesday this week. The Foundation provided free downloads of the album to Olympic athletes, urging them to play the songs on their iPods during the Games as a show of support.”
Interesting links for August 7th 2008 through August 8th 2008:
- Steal This Hook? Girl Talk Flouts Copyright Law [NYTimes.com] – “Girl Talk, whose real name is Gregg Gillis, makes danceable musical collages out of short clips from other people’s songs; there are more than 300 samples on “Feed the Animals,” the album he released online at illegalart.net in June. He doesn’t get the permission of the composers to use these samples, as United States copyright law mostly requires, because he maintains that the brief snippets he works with are covered by copyright law’s “fair use” principle …Girl Talk’s rising profile has put him at the forefront of a group of musicians who are challenging the traditional restrictions of copyright law along with the usual role of samples in pop music.” Girl Talk’s latest album Feed the Animals can be downloaded for whatever price users choose to pay (including choosing to pay nothing).
- MisUnderstanding YouTube by Joshua Green [Flow TV 8.05] – “… popularity on [YouTube] revolves as much around what is “Most Discussed” or “Most Responded” as it does what is “Most Viewed.” … Understanding this is crucial to effectively accounting for YouTube as a diverse media space. This is not to suggest everyone comes to the site to post a video blog, but rather to come to terms with the fact that YouTube is built as much through practices of audience-ing as it is practices of publishing, and to realize the two as intimately linked. As much as the video blog, YouTube is ruled by the clip and the quote — the short grab or edited selection; these videos are evidence or demonstration of active audience-hood.”
- Human rights group broadcast ‘pirate’ radio show in Beijing [Radio Australia] – “A human rights group has broken China’s tight control of the media by broadcasting a radio show calling for freedom of expression in Beijing. At 8.08am local time, the Paris based group Reporters Without Borders began a twenty minute pirate broadcast on Beijing’s airwaves.” [Via @mpesce]
- It’s public so what’s the privacy issue with Google’s Street View? [The Courier-Mail] – Peter Black tells it like it (legally) is regarding Google Streetview in Australia: “What Google did was perfectly legal. They took photographs of houses, buildings and streets from a public place. If anyone can legally walk up and down your street taking photographs of houses, why can’t Google? They can. Once this is accepted, the argument then becomes one about people randomly caught in the lens of the camera. “Surely they don’t have a right to take a photo of me?” Yes they do. You can have no reasonable expectation of privacy, let alone a right to privacy, when you are in a public area, such as your street.”
Interesting links for July 4th 2008 through July 7th 2008:
- Iran: death penalty for “corrupt weblogs” [Boing Boing] – “New legislation has been proposed in Iran that could make blogging a crime punishable by death. … A translated English copy of the proposed legislation is here.”
- Watching you, watching YouTube [BBC NEWS | dot.life] – A thoughtful and cautionary response to the release of YouTube viewing data to Viacom. Also, see YouTube’s official response to user concerns about the ruling.
- The Top 100 Liberal Arts Professor Blogs [Online University Reviews] – Proof that many good academics write many good blogs (on many, many different subjects). I read about a dozen of these. [Via Chuck]
- Google must divulge YouTube log [BBC NEWS | Technology] – “Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, a US court has ruled. The ruling comes as part of Google’s legal battle with Viacom over allegations of copyright infringement.”
- Fox News: The return of yellow journalism and photoshop [Dennis Dunleavy] – Fox News photoshops images of their press critics. Dunleavy: “promulgating a use of technology that imperils journalistic standards and deceives its viewers.” [More.]