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Digital Culture Links: September 6th 2010
September 6, 2010 / 1 Comment on Digital Culture Links: September 6th 2010
Links for August 30th 2010 through September 6th 2010:
- The future of the internet: A virtual counter-revolution [The Economist] – A good overview article which looks at the potential “balkanisation” or fragmenting of the internet into different walled gardens of various sorts. The article focuses on three trends: national governments asserting their power in various ways to regulate their citizens’ access to the web; big IT companies building different walled gardens, from Facebook’s social network to Apple’s regulated iOS and App store; and lastly the push to by big internet providers for tiered internet provision and the push back in the form of net neutrality. (This is a short but useful overview of these issues for teaching purposes.)
- Computers as Invisible as the Air [NYTimes.com] – Useful historical reminder: “The personal computer is vanishing. Computers once filled entire rooms, then sat in the closet, moved to our desks, and now nestle in our pockets. Soon, the computer may become invisible to us, hiding away in everyday objects. A Silicon Valley announcement last week hinted at the way computing technology will transform the world in the coming decade. Hewlett-Packard scientists said they had begun commercializing a Lilliputian switch that is a simpler — and potentially smaller — alternative to the transistor that has been the Valley’s basic building block for the last half-century. That means the number of 1’s and 0’s that can be stored on each microchip could continue to increase at an accelerating rate. […] This is the fulfillment of Moore’s Law, first described in the 1960s by Douglas Engelbart & Gordon Moore, which posits that computer power increases exponentially while cost falls just as quickly”
- Stephanie Rice apologises for ‘offensive Tweet’ [TV Tonight] – “Channel Seven personality and Olympic swimmer Stephanie rice has apologised for a comment she made on her Twitter feed which has been branded as homophobic. After the Wallabies’ win over the Springboks in South Africa on Saturday night, Rice tweeted; “Suck on that f**gots”, adding; “Probs the best game I’ve ever seen!! Well done boys.” Rice has since removed the comment and apologised. “I made a comment on Twitter last night in the excitement of the moment,” she told news.com.au. “I did not mean to cause offence and I apologise. I have deleted it from the site.” Former NRL player, openly gay Ian Roberts slammed her actions. “She is an idiot and anyone who continues to endorse her as an athlete is an idiot as well,” he said. “And I say that with a very sad tone in my voice. What a fool.””
- YouTube Deal Turns Copyright Videos Into Revenue [NYTimes.com] – “Last month, a YouTube user, TomR35, uploaded a clip from the AMC series “Mad Men” in which Don Draper makes a heartfelt speech about the importance of nostalgia in advertising. Viewers wouldn’t notice, but that clip also makes an important point about modern advertising — YouTube is an increasingly fruitful place for advertisers. In the past, Lions Gate, which owns the rights to the “Mad Men” clip, might have requested that TomR35’s version be taken down. But it has decided to leave clips like this up, and in return, YouTube runs ads with the video and splits the revenue with Lions Gate. Remarkably, more than one-third of the two billion views of YouTube videos with ads each week are like TomR35’s “Mad Men” clip — uploaded without the copyright owner’s permission but left up by the owner’s choice. They are automatically recognized by YouTube, using a system called Content ID that scans videos and compares them to material provided by copyright owners.”
- Google’s Earth – William Gibson / Op-Ed Contributor [NYTimes.com] – An insightful and engaging look at today’s cyberspaces and Google’s Earth from William Gibson, over 25 years after he coined the term cyberspace: “We have yet to take Google’s measure. We’ve seen nothing like it before, and we already perceive much of our world through it. We would all very much like to be sagely and reliably advised by our own private genie; we would like the genie to make the world more transparent, more easily navigable. Google does that for us: it makes everything in the world accessible to everyone, and everyone accessible to the world. But we see everyone looking in, and blame Google. Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution. Google is made of us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products.”
- Introducing Wikileakileaks.org: Your Source for Wikileaks [Valleywag] – Gawker Media try and turn the transparency tables on Wikileaks’ secretive founder Julian Assange by setting up “Wikileakileaks.org: your source for Wikileaks-related secrets, documents and rumors!” The site aims to be an anoymous clearing house for Wikileaks-related material. While there is some merit on turning transparency back on its secretive champions, this also smacks of pettiness since, as Gawker admit, they’ve been blacklisted by Assange after an unfavourable reporting.
- Facebook’s now trying to trademark the word ‘face’ [Chicago Breaking Business] – It gets sillier: “Facebook, which has gone after sites with the word “book” in their names, is also trying to trademark the word “face,” according to court documents. But the social networking site has met with a familiar foe. As TechCrunch first reported, Aaron Greenspan has asked for an extension of time to file an opposition to Facebook’s attempt. Greenspan is the president and CEO of Think Computer, the developer of a mobile payments app called FaceCash. Greenspan, also a former Harvard classmate of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, claimed he had a hand in developing the social networking giant. The case was settled last year. In an interview with CNNMoney.com, Greenspan said the two extensions he filed now give him until September 22 to oppose the “face” trademark attempt. The original deadline was June 23.”
Digital Culture Links: August 30th 2010
August 30, 2010 / 1 Comment on Digital Culture Links: August 30th 2010
Links for August 27th 2010 through August 30th 2010:
- iPod sales drop to lowest quarterly number since 2006 [Business | The Guardian] – Sales of the traditional iPod are slowing in the face of the dramatic growth of iPhones, iPads and other competitor products. Apparently the music industry is concerned because they were betting on (presumably old-style) iPods to be the great saviour of the music industry, ensuring the next generation was downloading music legally, replacing slowing CD sales. The article also mentions the shift some canny bands have made to band-specific apps, meshing music and other experiences together via in bespoke applications, which better suit an iPhone/iPad environment. To be honest, nothing in this article should come as a shock, but it does point out that with 5 billion app downloads from the Apple store in just 2 years, this is definitely the peak growth area.
- The Trouble with the Fourth Estate [Snurblog] – A sobering but insightful analysis by Axel Bruns regarding the failings of political journalism and the limits of political blogging in Australia today. Axel argues that the ‘fourth estate’ is probably the wrong metaphor for political bloggers today, although they struggle perhaps to be a fourth branch at times, doing some work once in realm of good journalism. The short version, though: “we’re stuck in a muddle, where journalists won’t and bloggers can’t exercise the informative function with as much energy and commitment as it actually requires – and that’s a very problematic state of affairs, especially in a political situation that is as confusing as the one we now find ourselves in.”
- The Ballad of Cat Bin Lady: The Internet’s Latest Viral Villain [Mashable] – Coventry, England resident Mary Bale made a stupid decision when she pushed a local cat into a wheelie bin and shut the lid. By virtue of CCTV footage posted online, she was identified, named and shamed, and so forth. She’s become a meme, and a hated meme at that. But is the response too much? A ‘Death to Mary Bale’ Facebook group has just been shut down, suggested that in ‘citizen justice’ the penalties often vastly outweigh the crime.
- Facebook Trademark Lawsuit Aims to Limit Use of “Book” by Others [Mashable] – “Facebook has filed suit against Teachbook.com, an online community for teachers. The lawsuit accuses Teachbook of “misappropriating the distinctive BOOK portion of Facebook’s trademark.” The lawsuit argues that Teachbook’s use of “book” dilutes the Facebook (Facebook) brand name, impairs Facebook’s ability to remain unique and creates the facade of a false relationship between the two social networking entities. While Facebook does not own the rights to the word “book” in all its forms, the company believes its name trademark applies to the word “book” when used in connection with a website of similar purpose. Facebook also takes issue with the fact that Teachbook has attempted to trademark its name and makes claims about being “Facebook for teachers” on the Teachbook website.” (Oh noes: I’ve been using this trademark infringing NOTEBOOK all this time …)
Digital Culture Links: August 10th 2010
Links for August 4th 2010 through August 10th 2010:
- Women Set the Pace as Online Gamers [NYTimes.com] – “Although women are still slightly in the minority among global Web users, they are closing ground with men and, once connected, spend about two more hours online a month on average. […] Women also outpace men in photo sharing and shopping, and in what may come as a surprise, gaming, favoring casual puzzle, card and board games. Female gamers over 55 spend the most time online gaming of any demographic by far and are nearly as common as the most represented group, males 15 to 24.”
- Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars [Information is Beautiful] – Fantastic infographic showing a timeline of some of Wikipedia’s silliest editing wars.
- Omo GPS stunt opens doors for marketers [News.com.au] – Unilever Brazil has embedded 60 GPS trackers in OMO washing liquid bottles and then their teams have followed the pruchasers of these bottles home and given them prizes. Understandably, many privacy issues have been raised!
- Does Facebook unite us or divide us? [CNN.com] – Brilliant, and a little confronting, TED talk from Ethan Zuckerman (senior researcher at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society) looking at how globalisation might be a technical achievement, but not a social or mediated one (“cosmopolitan globalisation”). We look to our own social networks, and they increasingly narrow our perspective rather than broadening it.
- Update on Google Wave [Official Google Blog] – Google Wove: Wave development ceases, after users find it’s all too complicated.
- CommBank app lets people snoop on your house [SMH] – House-pricing information is apparently available to the public generally, but there is a real sense of privacy invasion at work here: “There’s a brand new property app on the block that gives iPhone users detailed information on the value of any house they care to point their handset towards, but privacy experts warn it may not sit well with the neighbourhood watch. Detailing sales prices of 95 per cent of Australian homes, the free app has been launched by the Commonwealth Bank in a bid to deliver more immediate buying and selling information to the public as they are actually viewing properties, helping them to ward off rogue sellers who attempt to talk up property prices. Just by pointing an iPhone at a particular property, they will be able to see the last sale price of the property, and if the home is actually for sale, the app will bring up a listing from realestate.com.au with details such as home layout and pictures.”
- Thunderous Bolt sensitive to parody [ABC The Drum Unleashed] – Jason Wilson weighs in on fake Twitter profiles in the wake of Andrew Bolt’s angry denouncement of (fake) himself: “Online fakery is something that draws on different strands in online and offline cultural history. Apart from drawing on early online examples like Fake Steve Jobs, Twitter faking has links with political impersonation, writing techniques like pastiche, and it also has some relationship to genres like fan fiction. After all, the best fakes don’t just go after their targets with blunt instruments, they create a narrative world for the fake persona to inhabit …”
Digital Culture Links: August 4th 2010
August 4, 2010 / 1 Comment on Digital Culture Links: August 4th 2010
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.”
Digital Culture Links: July 18th 2010
July 18, 2010 / 3 Comments on Digital Culture Links: July 18th 2010
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.”
Digital Culture Links: June 14th 2010
Links for June 10th 2010 through June 14th 2010:
- Pollies ‘twitspit’ in not-so-social media [The Australian] – NSW’s political twits: “Not content with their offline stoushing, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) and Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell), both keen tweeters, have now taken to using the social media site for slinging digital barbs. Last week’s exchange was triggered by Keneally making fun of O’Farrell’s claim that the fact he had walked the Kokoda Track proved he was a strong leader, commenting: “Well, so did Miss Australia, so congratulations, Barry.” O’Farrell took to Twitter to retort that Keneally, having seen her quip “blow up in her face”, “now tries to politicise Kokoda”. Keneally responded that it was O’Farrell “who uses Kokoda as political football”. O’Farrell struck back with a couple of obscure digs at Keneally for her “keen interest” in his tweets about his coffee meetings. He also taunted the Premier by calling her by her full initials, “KKK”, although in more recent tweets he has reverted to using “KK”.”
- I Can Has Cheezburger Blog Leads to a Web Empire [NYTimes.com] – “Three years ago Ben Huh visited a blog devoted to silly cat pictures — and saw vast potential. Mr. Huh, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, first became aware of I Can Has Cheezburger, which pairs photos of cats with quirky captions, after it linked to his own pet blog. […] Sensing an Internet phenomenon, Mr. Huh solicited financing from investors and forked over $10,000 of his own savings to buy the Web site from the two Hawaiian bloggers who started it. “It was a white-knuckle decision,” he said. “I knew that the first site was funny, but could we duplicate that success?” Mr. Huh has since found that the appetite for oddball Internet humor is insatiable. Traffic to the Cheezburger blog has ballooned over the last three years, encouraging Mr. Huh to expand his unlikely Web empire to include 53 sites, all fueled by submissions from readers. In May, what is now known as the Cheezburger Network attracted a record 16 million unique visitors…”
- Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! [Roger Ebert’s Journal] – Roger Ebert on finding his voice, and many conversations, on Twitter: “I vowed I would never become a Twit. Now I have Tweeted nearly 10,000 Tweets. I said Twitter represented the end of civilization. It now represents a part of the civilization I live in. I said it was impossible to think of great writing in terms of 140 characters. I have been humbled by a mother of three in New Delhi. I said I feared I would become addicted. I was correct. Twitter is now a part of my daystream. I check in first thing every morning, and return at least once an hour until bedtime. I’m offline, of course, during movies …”
- Inglis racial slur is unacceptable | Herald Sun – My complete respect to Tahu; it’s this level of dedication to stamping out racism that’s absolutely needed: “Andrew Johns last night quit the NSW Origin team after he admitted a racist sledge towards Queensland superstar Greg Inglis was behind Blues winger Timana Tahu walking out of the side. After one of Origin’s most dramatic days – with NSW team management at first trying to cover up the scandal – Johns said he had no choice but to resign as assistant coach after it emerged he had sledged Tahu’s long-time friend at a bonding session at a Kingscliff hotel on Wednesday night. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Johns told Blues centre Beau Scott: “You must shut that black c… down.””
- “for the lolz”: 4chan is hacking the attention economy [danah boyd | apophenia] – 4chan as the hackers of the attention economy? I’m not sure I’m 100% convinced by boyd here, but it’s certainly an idea worth thinking about: “I would argue that 4chan is ground zero of a new generation of hackers – those who are bent on hacking the attention economy. While the security hackers were attacking the security economy at the center of power and authority in the pre-web days, these attention hackers are highlighting how manipulatable information flows are. They are showing that Top 100 lists can be gamed and that entertaining content can reach mass popularity without having any commercial intentions (regardless of whether or not someone decided to commercialize it on the other side).”
- Govt wants ISPs to record browsing history [Zdnet] – Is Conroy TRYING to lose the next election? “Companies who provide customers with a connection to the internet may soon have to retain subscriber’s private web browsing history for law enforcement to examine when requested, a move which has been widely criticised by industry insiders. The Attorney-General’s Department yesterday confirmed to ZDNet Australia that it had been in discussions with industry on implementing a data retention regime in Australia. Such a regime would require companies providing internet access to log and retain customer’s private web browsing history for a certain period of time for law enforcement to access when needed. Currently, companies that provide customers with a connection to the internet don’t retain or log subscriber’s private web browsing history unless they are given an interception warrant by law enforcement, usually approved by a judge. It is only then that companies can legally begin tapping a customer’s internet connection.”
- Augmented Reality – Explained by Common Craft – [Common Craft] – Useful basic explanation of augmented reality using a smartphone. (It combines the ‘real’ world and information in a seemingly seamless manner on your screen.)
- In Hong Kong, Eternity Goes Online [NYTimes.com] – Hong Kong, one of the most wired societies in the world, is taking the Internet to a higher level. Bereaved users in this city of seven million got a new way of honoring and commemorating their loved ones Thursday: A Web site that enables them to set up online profiles for the dead, www.memorial.gov.hk. The creator of the site is not some Internet-savvy, 20-something college graduate, but the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department […] Hong Kong culture takes death very seriously. Elaborate ceremonies twice a year honor not just recently deceased relatives and friends, but also generations of ancestors before them. […] The Web site is free, but the site is restricted to individuals who were buried or cremated in facilities operated by the Hong Kong government.
Digital Culture Links: May 28th 2010
May 28, 2010 / 2 Comments on Digital Culture Links: May 28th 2010
Links for May 26th 2010 through May 28th 2010:
- CHART OF THE DAY: The Half-Life Of A YouTube Video Is 6 Days [Business Insider] – “A video on YouTube gets 50% of its views in the first 6 days it is on the site, according to data from analytics firm TubeMogul. After 20 days, a YouTube video has had 75% of its total views. That’s a really short life span for YouTube videos, and it’s probably getting shorter. In 2008, it took 14 days for a video to get 50% of its views and 44 days to get 75% of its views. Why? In the last two years, YouTube has improved its user interface, which helps videos get seen early on. Also, the world has gotten more adept at embedding and sharing videos in real-time via Twitter and Facebook. (And there’s probably more video to choose from.)”
- “Transparency Is Not Enough.” [danah boyd] – danah boyd making the important point that data transparency is only useful if we are also teaching the information literacy to responsibly employ that transparent data: “This is a country built on a mantra that “all [people] are created equal.” Those who are working towards transparency are doing so with this mission in mind. We desperately need an informed citizenry. But getting there is two pronged. We need information transparency and we also need to help people develop the skills to leverage that information to their advantage. And to help society writ large. The Internet radically increases the opportunities for information to be made available which is why we’re all here celebrating Gov2.0. But the Internet does not magically give people the skills they need to interpret the information they see. That’s why I need you. I need you to fight for information literacy alongside information transparency. Both are essential to creating an informed citizenry.”
- Twitter faux pas: 20 dreadful types of tweet [Telegraph] – Yes, this is silly, but there is some insight in there, too: “Twitter is frequently ridiculed by people who have never used the service. But fans of the micro-blogging site are more aware than anyone just how annoying some tweets can be. Below are 20 types of tweet that make our toes curl, from exchanges between celebrities who only engage with each other, to people who will type anything to win an Apple gadget.”
- Facebook to draw local police guidelines [The Age] – “Facebook appears to have bowed to police pressure to draw up a local law enforcement policy but will stop short of installing a police liaison officer in Australia as asked. In a telephone interview yesterday, Facebook US-based director of communications and public affairs Debbie Frost said a liaison team visited Australian authorities including the Attorney-General’s department last week and “was working on local guidelines”.”
- Facebook reveals ‘simplified’ privacy changes [BBC News] – A genuine response to widespread desire for better and more transparent privacy controls, or a half-way measure to ward off a tide of people leaving Facebook and stemming talk of government intervention in the way privacy is managed online? We’ll have to see once the new settings roll out: “Social network Facebook has said it will offer a one-stop shop for privacy settings in response to user concerns. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the settings had “gotten complex” for users. It follows a storm of protest from users over a series of changes on the site that left its members unsure about how public their information had become. “We needed to simplify controls,” he told a press conference. “We want people to be able to share information in the way that they want,” he told BBC News. “Our goal is not to make your information more private or more open.””
- BBC iPlayer integrates Twitter and Facebook [BBC News] – The BBC’s online video service, iPlayer, goes social: “The BBC iPlayer has launched a trial service inviting users to share favourite programmes via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. People can now choose to log-on to the revamped video player, allowing them to personalise the service and see recommendations based on prior viewing. It will also aggregate content from other broadcasters including Channel 4. Users will also soon be able to chat using Microsoft’s Messenger service while watching live TV streams. “We spent more time designing [the new interface] than building it,” said the BBC’s Anthony Rose, chief technology officer for Project Canvas, a new online broadcast initiative currently under development. “It’s a complete social ecosystem.””
Digital Culture Links: May 10th 2010
May 10, 2010 / 2 Comments on Digital Culture Links: May 10th 2010
Links for May 7th 2010 through May 10th 2010:
- An Early Look At Twitter Annotations Or, “Twannotations” [TechCrunch] – Twitter are adding annotations, or twannotataions, in the near future; it’ll let specific ‘things’ be identified. It’s a bit like turning Twitter into a semantic communication tool. Richard Giles asks if this will make Twitter (a privately owned) internet protocol be default, but either way annotations should make Twitter even more of a cultural barometer.
- The Tell-All Generation Learns When Not To, at Least Online [NYTimes.com] – Privacy concerns online cross all generational barrier, despite the myth of the millennial mindset: “The conventional wisdom suggests that everyone under 30 is comfortable revealing every facet of their lives online, from their favorite pizza to most frequent sexual partners. But many members of the tell-all generation are rethinking what it means to live out loud. While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, Berkeley, found that more than half the young adults questioned had become more concerned about privacy than they were five years ago — mirroring the number of people their parent’s age or older with that worry. They are more diligent than older adults, however, in trying to protect themselves.”
- Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative [Wired.com] – Ryan Singel takes Facebook to task for the continual failings in respecting user privacy both in terms of their architecture (so many things simply can’t be turned off now) and their policies (basically, screwing with privacy one step at a time, while using a raft of lawyers to ensure it’s not illegal … but maybe unethical). Singel argues that everything Facebook currently provides could be achieved by a series of open tools and protocols which provide real and clear choices about what we do and don’t share with the world. Singel argues we need to make these choices now because Facebook, for many, has almost become our online identity.
- Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing [NYTimes.com] – From November 6, 2008: “On stage at the Web 2.0 Summit on Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, was cheerfully unruffled. Mr. Zuckerberg pinned his optimism on a change in behavior among Internet users: that they are ever more willing to tell others what they are doing, who their friends are, and even what they look like as they crawl home from the fraternity party. “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before,” he said. “That means that people are using Facebook, and the applications and the ecosystem, more and more.” Call it Zuckerberg’s Law.” The great thing about controlling the privacy settings for more than 400 million people, is it’s pretty easy to change things so more and more and their information is shared … even if many users don’t understand how and don’t think this is what they signed up for!
- The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook [mattmckeon.com] – A really useful inforgraphic by Matt McKeon which demonstrates five stages of Facebook’s default settings and how much information is public by default at each stage (short version: 2005 – not much; 2010 – almost everything!)
- Most pirates say they’d pay for legal downloads [News.com.au] – Peer-topeer sharers want legal options in Australia: “Most people who illegally download movies, music and TV shows would pay for them if there was a cheap and legal service as convenient as file-sharing tools like BitTorrent. That’s the finding of the most comprehensive look yet at people who illegally download TV shows, movies and music in Australia, conducted by news.com.au and market research firm CoreData. The survey canvassed the attitudes of more than 7000 people who admitted to streaming or downloading media from illegitimate sources in the past 12 months. It found accessibility was as much or more of a motivator than money for those who illegally download media using services like BitTorrent. More respondents said they turned to illegal downloads because they were convenient than because they were free … [More results here.]
- What Happens When You Deactivate Your Facebook Account [Read Write Web] – Facebook is a big part of millions and millions of peoples’ lives, but what happens when you pull the plug? Last night I met a man who walked to the edge of the cliff and nearly deactivated his Facebook account. He took a screenshot of what he saw after clicking the “deactivate my account” link on his account page – and it is pretty far-out. That man considered quitting Facebook because it was having an adverse emotional impact on him and I’ll spare him and his contacts from posting the screenshot he shared with me. I have posted below though a shot of the screen I saw when I clicked that button myself. Check it out. I bet you haven’t seen this screen before, have you? […] Can you believe that? How incredibly manipulative! And what claims to make. Facebook has undoubtedly made it easier to keep in touch with people than almost any other technology on the planet, but to say that leaving Facebook means your friends “will no longer be able to keep in touch with you” is just wrong.”
Digital Culture Links: May 5th 2010
May 5, 2010 / 2 Comments on Digital Culture Links: May 5th 2010
Links for May 4th 2010 through May 5th 2010:
- Twitter is the New CNN | Lance Ulanoff [PCMag.com] – A pretty solid argument about why Twitter is better at sharing news and information than being a social network as such. The inequality of links (ie you don’t agree with a twitter contact to mutually interact, you can follow without being followed) is one of the strongest arguments against SNS use although, ultimately, I think is still depends on how individuals use the platform.
- Keeping Your Photos Off Facebook & Other Privacy Concerns [The Age] – Stock-standard piece reminding everyone that stuff on Facebook and other social networks often isn’t private (and you should check if you think it is). I’m not sure quoting a “Cyber psychologist” talking about young people having a yet-to-mature frontal cortex is really the winning argument, though! Equally, the advice at the end (basically: be aware and check your Facebook settings) would be a little more genuine if it linked to something which actually illustrated HOW to make those changes (the complexity of Facebook’s privacy settings is one of the biggest privacy challenges today!)
- Viacom v YouTube is a microcosm of the entertainment industry [guardian.co.uk] – Cory Doctorow’s fighting words about Viacom Vs YouTube: “From the Digital Economy Act to the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, Big Content’s top brass are looking for ways to increase the liability borne by “intermediaries” – the companies that host and transmit user-uploaded material – in order to give them the footing from which to put pressure on tech firms to pay them off and go into bankruptcy. The lawmakers who say that they favour these draconian copyright powers are not on the side of creators. The creators are the ones busily shovelling their creative works on to YouTube. These laws are designed to provide full employment for the litigation industry, and to encourage the moral hazard that has TV and record companies turning into lawsuit factories.”
- ‘One Book, One Twitter’ launches worldwide book club with Neil Gaiman | Books [guardian.co.uk] – Twitter as global book club: “The brainchild of Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and a contributing editor at Wired magazine, the One Book, One Twitter scheme launches tomorrow. Readers have been voting for the book which they’ll be tackling for the past month, with Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods eventually triumphing […] “The aim with One Book, One Twitter is – like the one city, one book programme which inspired it – to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss,” explained Howe at Wired.com. “Usually such ‘Big Read’ programs are organised around geography. […] This Big Read is organised around Twitter, and says to hell with physical limitations.””
- Choose Privacy Week Video [Vimeo] – Fast-paced largely talking-head style video advocating better attention to privacy online. The video is US-based and features lots of candid interviews along with notable privacy advocates including Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman. Launched as part of the first US Privacy Week, 2-8 May, 2010. (Downloadable as 1280×720, 344.57MB Quicktime movie.) [Via BBoing]
Choose Privacy Week Video from 20K Films on Vimeo.
Digital Culture Links: April 19th 2010
Links for April 19th 2010:
- Why the Library of Congress cares about archiving our tweets [Ars Technica] – Interesting look at the motivations behind the US Library of Congress twitter archive – and their perspective on how Twitter has changed communication – and why Facebook hasn’t. Some of the challenges the Library of Congress archive will face are important issues for researchers, including dealing with shortened urls through third parties such as bit.ly and tinyurl; and whether or not to archive photos on twitter specific photos (eg twitpic) – this one seems unlikely.
- Twitter Chirp Conference – Videos [Justin.tv ] – A video archive of Twitter’s first official conference – Chirp – in April 2010.
- Facebook Ads Will Use Your Web History [Mashable] – “Facebook will soon use your activity on other web pages to target ads based on your interests, Financial Times reports. That’s potentially a big boon for advertisers, but it won’t sit well with privacy advocates. Note that Facebook already targets ads using information from your profile, and this new system will not track all of your browsing. Rather, Facebook will offer sharing buttons to interested websites. Readers will be able to click on them to share the links with their Facebook friends via Facebook Connect […] Once the user shares a link with his friends, Facebook will assume that person shared it because he or she liked it, so the company will include content from that web page in the data it uses to target ads based on user interest. The ads will appear whenever the user visits the Facebook website.”
- Internet dating [SMH] – “Australians are changing the way they date and mate, a survey shows. A Nielsen poll found one in four adults have used the internet to find a partner and another 38 per cent are considering using online dating. The other 37 per cent – many presumably in relationships – said they would never go online to meet someone. Of those who had used online dating, 33.6 per cent reported a short-term relationship, 16.2 per cent said they had a long-term relationship, 8.9 per cent said they had married or were in a defacto relationship, and 2.7 per cent had children. […] The survey shows that:
* Of those who had used online dating, 62 per cent had dated someone they met online;
* Men were slightly more likely than women to use online dating services; and
* Most of those polled (72 per cent) were seeking a serious relationship, but many were looking for friendship or just sex.
Nielsen polled 3057 people online in November and 3764 in January, with the data weighted to the general population.”
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