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Jaron Lanier: SOPA Boycotts and the False Ideals of the Web | NYTimes Op-ed

Jaron Lanier: SOPA Boycotts and the False Ideals of the Web | NYTimes Op-ed | digital culture | Scoop.it

There is an outdated brand of digital orthodoxy that ought to be retired. In this worldview, the Internet is a never-ending battle of good guys who love freedom against bad guys like old-fashioned Hollywood media moguls. The bad guys want to strengthen copyright law, and make it impossible to post anonymously copied videos and stories. Our melodrama is driven by a vision of an open Internet that has already been distorted, though not by the old industries that fear piracy. 

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Come on Zuck, do you really mean it? | GigaOm

Come on Zuck, do you really mean it? | GigaOm | digital culture | Scoop.it

if Facebook and Zuckerberg really mean it — if they really want to come out with a real statement against SOPA — it is time for them to stand-up and show it. Involve the people — not the politicians, not the big companies, and definitely not the lobbyists — and have them weigh in on the future of our Internet.

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Internet 2011 in numbers | Royal Pingdom

Internet 2011 in numbers | Royal Pingdom | digital culture | Scoop.it
So what happened with the Internet in 2011? How many email accounts were there in the world in 2011? How many websites? How much did the most expensive domain name cost? How many photos were hosted on Facebook? How many videos were viewed to YouTube?

We’ve got answers to these questions and many more

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A GarageBand for ebooks: Simplifying publishing could mean a flood of new content

A GarageBand for ebooks: Simplifying publishing could mean a flood of new content | digital culture | Scoop.it

The first disruption of the web, after all, was making it possible for people to publish online without caring about money. Ebooks have already allowed a new generation of small-scale (and large-scale) publishers to reach an audience — sometimes for money, sometimes just for passion. But the process of ebook publishing today reminds me a bit of the early days of blogging, when publishing online was possible but still a pain.

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Sopa plans set to be shelved as Obama comes out against piracy | Guardian legislation

Sopa plans set to be shelved as Obama comes out against piracy | Guardian legislation | digital culture | Scoop.it

The news is a major blow for Sopa's backers in Hollywood, who had enjoyed broad support in Congress. But the Motion Pictures Association of America, one of the bill's biggest sponsors, said it would continue to press for new laws. "The failure to pass meaningful legislation will result in overseas websites continuing to be a safe haven for criminals stealing and profiting from America," the MPAA said in a blogpost.

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Hackers: Anthropological Introductions | Concurring Opinions

It is true that hackers can be grasped by their similarities: they tend to value a set of liberal principles: freedom, privacy, and access; they tend to adore computers—the glue that binds them together; they are trained in specialized and esoteric technical arts, primarily programming, system administration, security research, and hardware hacking; some gain unauthorized access to technologies, though the degree of illegality greatly varies; foremost, hacking, in its different forms and dimensions, embody an aesthetic where craft and craftiness tightly converge and thus tend to value playfulness, pranking, and cleverness and will often perform their wit through source code or humor or even both: funny code.

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Facebook Rolling Out News Feed Ads Ambiguously Marked “Featured” | TechCrunch

Facebook Rolling Out News Feed Ads Ambiguously Marked “Featured” | TechCrunch | digital culture | Scoop.it

Facebook today began the slow rollout of Sponsored Story ads within its home page’s main news feed. Instead of clearly marking them as “Sponsored” ads though, they’re labeled “Featured”. This could initially mislead users into thinking these ads are simply important stories about their friends or Pages they Like. Users might only learn they are paid ads after hovering over the marking. Facebook is trying to distinguish them from sidebar ads that are marked “Sponsored” but that can be bought by any advertisers. However, most people don’t associate the word “featured” with “paid ad”.

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Search, Plus Your World, As Long As It’s Our World | John Battelle's Search Blog

Search, Plus Your World, As Long As It’s Our World | John Battelle's Search Blog | digital culture | Scoop.it

The unwillingness of Facebook and Google to share a public commons when it comes to the intersection of search and social is corrosive to the connective tissue of our shared culture. But as with all things Internet, we’ll just identify the damage and route around it. It’s just too bad we have to do that, and in the long run, it’s bad for Facebook, bad for Google, and bad for all of us. (BTW, Google also doesn’t show Twitter or Flickr results either, or any other “social” service. Just its own, Google+ and Picasa.)

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Pseudonyms, trolls and the battle over online identity

Pseudonyms, trolls and the battle over online identity | digital culture | Scoop.it

Although many critics of pseudonymous or anonymous comments — including those who have turned off comments on their blogs — suggest that a lack of real names leads to an overwhelming amount of hateful and offensive comments, the Disqus data seems to show that this isn’t really the case. According to the company’s quality rankings, more than 60 percent of comments using pseudonyms were positive, and almost 30 percent were rated as neutral, while only 11 percent were rated negative. In fact, the company says that a greater proportion of pseudonymous comments were positive than those that used real names (that is, logged in with Facebook or some other identity service).

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Essential IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) - Programming Workflows for Humans using the Web's Social Glue | Scott Hanselman

Essential IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) - Programming Workflows for Humans using the Web's Social Glue | Scott Hanselman | digital culture | Scoop.it

IfThisThenThat should be the next big thing on the social web. It's bloody brilliant. Here's the dull description I made for nerds: IFTTT is a cloud-based open-ended web workflow creator building on existing social APIs to create more sophisticated distributed aggregated tasks. Here's my description for non-technical friend: IfThisThenThat lets all your online stuff work together to do way more interesting stuff. It's the magic of OAuth and the proliferation of nice, clean public APIs that makes this possible.

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Douglas Rushkoff | HiLobrow

Douglas Rushkoff | HiLobrow | digital culture | Scoop.it

In this #longreads interview, Rushkoff locates the roots of the corporation in the Renaissance, explains how the corporation has made us over into its own image, reveals why there’s a God on the money, and warns what we’re really buying into when we buy that mortgage. But it’s not all talk. In addition to looking back, Rushkoff looks forward to offer some practical — and provocative — ideas on how to unincorporate, and better occupy, our lives.

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Chess and the Open Source Revolution | Concealed Politics

Chess and the Open Source Revolution | Concealed Politics | digital culture | Scoop.it

Starting with the release of the first open-source Fruit in mid-2004, and continuing with the release of subsequent versions of Fruit, open-source engine Stockfish, and especially the release of reverse-engineered Rybka derivatives, highly detailed recipes for building strong, modern chess engines have been in the public domain. Fledgling chess programmers as well as programming veterans have not failed to take notice and the state of the art has advanced rapidly. As a result of this spread of knowledge new programs receive a tremendous performance boost and become “fast climbers”.

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Top 1% of Mobile Users Use Half of World’s Wireless Bandwidth | NYTimes

Top 1% of Mobile Users Use Half of World’s Wireless Bandwidth | NYTimes | digital culture | Scoop.it

The world’s congested mobile airwaves are being divided in a lopsided manner, with 1 percent of consumers generating half of all traffic. The top 10 percent of users, meanwhile, are consuming 90 percent of wireless bandwidth.

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BitTorrent's New P2P Protocol Could Fix the Internet's Shoddy Streaming Video Quality

BitTorrent's New P2P Protocol Could Fix the Internet's Shoddy Streaming Video Quality | digital culture | Scoop.it

Conventional video streaming—through, say, YouTube or Netflix—eats up network resources because each user is pulling in their own individual feed. The live peer-to-peer streaming protocol created by BitTorrent founder and chief scientist Bram Cohen, instead works much like BitTorrent itself does. Everybody that requests a certain video stream shares the feed between themselves, rather than just leeching the content. This reportedly reduces lag drastically, network load and increases video quality for those watching. And, just like when torrenting, the more people that sign on to a stream, the better it looks for everybody.

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Hackers: Wizards of the Electronic Age

Hackers is a classic documentary about the midnight programmers that created the personal computer revolution: Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Lee Felsenstein, Richard Stallman, Richard Greenblatt, Steven Levy and others. It was produced over a decade before the advent of the Internet. All interviews were shot over a long week-end in 1984, at the first Hackers Conference, hosted by Whole Earth Catalog editors Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelley, in Sausalito, California.

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Access to the Internet and Human Rights - thanks Vint! | Association for Progressive Communications

Access to the Internet and Human Rights - thanks Vint! | Association for Progressive Communications | digital culture | Scoop.it

Dear Vint... You’ve helped to kick start 2012 with a healthy debate, the quality and depth of which is moving beyond a simple “yes” “no” polemic, to a richer, more nuanced and deeper discussion. While some of this will be very familiar to those who shaped the WSIS and developed the APC Internet Rights Charter and similar documents one thing is clear: The conversation about human rights and the internet is growing and the voices and views are getting more diverse.

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Scarcity Is A Shitty Business Model | A VC

Scarcity Is A Shitty Business Model | A VC | digital culture | Scoop.it

Making movies is expensive and risky. I totally get that the studios need to make a lot of money on those movies to make their business model work. But denying customers the films they want, on the devices they want to watch them, when they want to watch them is not a great business model. It leads to piracy, as we have discussed here many times, but more importantly it also leads to the loss of a transaction to a competing form of entertainment... But for some reason the fim industry doesn't want to move to the new model. They want to stick with scarcity.

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Good bye, Google Maps… thanks for all the fish | Sebastian Delmont

Good bye, Google Maps… thanks for all the fish | Sebastian Delmont | digital culture | Scoop.it

We at StreetEasy decided to build our own maps using, among other tools, OpenStreetMap, TileMill, MapBox and Leaflet, instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to Google. And yes, the money pushed us into doing it, but we're happier with the result because we now control the contents of our maps.

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Schmidt: Google+ Not Favored, Happy To Talk Twitter & Facebook Integration

Schmidt: Google+ Not Favored, Happy To Talk Twitter & Facebook Integration | digital culture | Scoop.it

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt says Google+ content is not being favored over Twitter and Facebook by Google’s search engine. Rather, those companies can be treated the same if they grant Google the right permissions to access their content.

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Tablets: What Amazon and Apple know that all the CES tablet peddlers are still missing | TechRepublic

Tablets: What Amazon and Apple know that all the CES tablet peddlers are still missing | TechRepublic | digital culture | Scoop.it

Services should be front-and-center in the product. That’s a critical mistake, and a doesn’t bode well for the destiny of most of the tablets at CES.

The issue is especially critical for Android tablets, but it will eventually become critical for Windows tablets later in the year. Both Google and Microsoft need to put the services ecosystem front and center and stop acting like we’re still in a PC clone market selling products mostly to people who are interested in the technology. The market has moved on. So have Amazon and Apple, and that’s why they’re winning.

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Why I Hate Android | parislemon

Why I Hate Android | parislemon | digital culture | Scoop.it

Why do I hate Android? There’s no denying that there are upsides to open — a lot of them. But in the case of Android, “open” has been hijacked and wildly contorted so as to mask the shady side of what’s really been going on. And it’s working.

So that, ladies and gentleman, is why I hate Android. It has nothing to do with the actual product (which continues to improve every year and is quite good now). It has to do with a promise that was broken and swept under the rug.

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Tackling Business Problems | HBR

Tackling Business Problems | HBR | digital culture | Scoop.it
Vendors have been amassing and mining customers’ personal data for years, armed with increasingly sophisticated and aggressive techniques and dazzled by fantasies of “personalizing” marketing to the maximum extent possible. Customers naturally see this trend as a gross invasion of their privacy and are starting to resist providing accurate information—or any information at all. But the main reason for vendors to quit this practice is not that it’s bad manners. It’s that businesses soon will no longer own the data anyway—customers will. And when that happens, vendors will end up reaping greater benefits than they do now.
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The Year Ahead: The Future, It's Complicated! | TechPresident

The Year Ahead: The Future, It's Complicated! | TechPresident | digital culture | Scoop.it

As you will see from reading what Dominic Campbell, Peter Corbett, Susan Crawford, Dan Gillmor, Gideon Lichfield, Eli Pariser, Mark Pesce, Marko Rakar, Douglas Rushkoff, and Daniel Sieradski had to say, life in the mix of ups and downs that was 2011 strongly colors how they see the future. They are telling us, "Yes, networking is fueling a massive wave of protest and change, but look who is still in charge. Why aren't smarter, more net-savvy people? How do we focus on what is most important and avoid the distractions of the shiny new baubles our peers keep producing and playing with?"

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Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 full details leaked, 720p camera and new flight modes? -- Engadget

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 full details leaked, 720p camera and new flight modes? -- Engadget | digital culture | Scoop.it
Over at AR Drone Flyers we've spotted what looks to be an official press release detailing everything about the new UAV, most notable being an improved 720p camera. You can apparently use this to record footage from the drone and even program it to fly in any direction automatically. In other words, this could be the low-cost aerial camera DIY extreme sports filmmakers have waited for.
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Hacking for Humanity | the hub magazine

Hacking for Humanity | the hub magazine | digital culture | Scoop.it

Hacking is as American as apple pie - and becoming a powerful driver of platform strategies. In today's world, intellectual property is also an intellectual prison: Opening your platform to hacking lets you spread your investment in the future among your customers while engaging them in a deep and honest way--one that keeps them coming back for more.

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