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  • Gerrit Eicker 11:19 on 31. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Reviewing 2011 and welcoming 2012: What’s been news and what’ll be news in the year ahead? http://eicker.at/2012


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  • Gerrit Eicker 10:11 on 20. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , Appification, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Journalism 2012 

    What will 2012 bring for journalism? Social media bubble burst? Tech criticism? Appification? http://eicker.at/Journalism2012

    • Gerrit Eicker 10:11 on 20. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NJL: “Predictions for Journalism 2012 – To close out 2011, we asked some of the smartest people we know to predict what 2012 will bring for the future of journalism.”

      NJL, Carrie Brown-Smith: “The social media bubble may burst, and more predictions for 2012In 2012 we will see a growing gap between newsrooms that are innovating and those that are…not. – 2011 saw a number of promising examples news organizations going beyond ‘digital first’ platitudes to actually trying things and making it work, and I’m optimistic we will see this trend continue. … 2012 will be a good year for local television.2012 *might* see a bursting of the social media bubble, or at least convince us that it is harder game to play than we thought. – This might seem odd coming from an avid social media user who developed two new courses on it for our journalism department and who even has been christened with that dreaded ‘social media guru’ title on more than one occasion [ack]. And assuredly, I do think social media is an incredibly important tool for news organizations to use to promote their content, improve their reporting, and engage their audiences… Journalism schools will increasingly step up to the plate to play a leadership role in journalism innovation in 2012.

      NJL, Dave Winer: “We need to improve tech criticism. Here’s how. – At the end of this year I’m thinking about the need for proper criticism of software, alongside other arts like theater, movies, music, books, travel, food and architecture. It’s finally time to stop being all gee whiz about this stuff. Tech is woven into the fabric of our culture, as much as or more so than the other arts. And it’s headed toward being even more interwoven. – We all need this, on all sides of the art. As users and creators. … The goal would be to move away from the lone inventor myth and see tech projects as more like film production or a even more apt, a TV series. Software is a process.

      NJL, Nicholas Carr: “2012 will bring the appification of mediaFor years now, the line between the software business and the media business has been blurring. Software applications used to take the form of packaged goods, sold through retail outlets at set prices. Today, as a result of cloud computing and other advances, applications look more and more like media products. … As traditional media companies have moved to distribute their wares in digital form – as code, in other words – they’ve come to resemble software companies. … The old general-purpose web, where everyone visited the same sites and saw the same stuff, is rapidly being supplanted by specialized packages of digital content geared to particular devices – iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Kindle, Nook, Xbox – or to particular members-only sites like Facebook and Google+. … Apps are as much content-delivery services as they are conventional software programs. Newspapers, magazines, books, games, music albums, TV shows: All are being reimagined as apps. Appified, if you will. – Appification promises to be the major force reshaping media in general and news media in particular during 2012. … Appification opens to newspapers the powerful marketing and pricing strategy that the Berkeley economist (and now Google executive) Hal Varian dubs ‘versioning.’ Long a cornerstone of the software business, versioning is the practice of creating many versions of the same underlying informational product, packaging them in different ways, and selling them at different prices to different sets of customers. … We already see versioning strategies at work in the ‘metered’ programs operated by a growing number of papers… The orthodox view among online pundits has been that paywalls and subscription fees won’t work for general-interest newspapers, that people simply won’t pay for a bundle of news online. … That won’t mean the end of the industry’s struggles, but it does portend a brighter future. And that’s good news.

    • Gerrit Eicker 20:47 on 20. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NJL, Robert Hernandez: “For journalism’s future, the killer app is credibility – We know that Content is King. There is no doubting this concept. If you don’t have ‘it,’ no one is going to engage with you. We know that Distribution is Queen. In this modern age, what’s the point of having ‘it’ if no one will find it? My prediction is that this ruling monarchy will be augmented by… a prince. Perhaps a duke? Whatever. And it’s called Credibility.We want to trust journalism. And to do so, we need to trust journalists. – And bypassing the blogger-vs-tweeter-vs-media company-vs-journalist debate, it is going to come down to one thing: Credibility. – Can I reliably trust you to tell me what is going on? If the answer is yes, then I don’t care if you work out of a newsroom or out of your garage.”

      NJL, Dan Gillmor: “2012 will be the year of the content-controller oligopoly – Journalists will start paying serious attention to an issue that will ultimately determine whether they can participate in the digital world: control. – We are moving rapidly from an era of an oligopoly of content providers to an oligopoly of content controllers: new choke points. … This consolidation, to a very few companies plus increasing government intervention, is even more dangerous – and information providers of all kinds are finally starting to grasp what’s happening. … Search engines… wire-line Internet service providers… mobile carriers… Apple… the copyright cartel… government: The forces of control are getting more powerful every day. They are a direct threat to journalism and innovation. Journalists are starting to take note – and we can only hope it’s not too late.

      NJL, Martin Langeveld: “A look back at my 2011 predictions, along with a fresh batch for 2012 – The Eurozone crisis gives way to the dollarzone crisis as Congress continues to deadlock over budget and debt issues. The Dow falters, dropping 10% by mid-year. The prospect of a President Gingrich lifts hopes briefly, but when Obama is re-elected while Republicans retain the House and retake the Senate, it sinks another 5%. Newspaper stocks fail to beat the market, but all the digital giants (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, AOL and Apple) are all in positive territory well ahead of the Dow.

    • Gerrit Eicker 18:25 on 26. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NJL, Amy Webb: “Big data, mobile payments, and identity authentication will be big in 2012 – When Google launched its new social network Plus, it made headlines for requiring users to create accounts with their real names and identities. At the time, Google argued that people behave better when they use their real names – it even went so far as to call Plus not a social network, but a digital identity service. Some are now questioning how and when Google would be using our digital identities. Outside of social media, police departments in the U.S. have started using MORIS, which snaps on to an iPhone and enables officers to scan the irises of alleged criminals. In Brazil, police offers are starting to fit glasses with biometric cameras which can scan 46,000 data points on a face and query a criminal database in real-time. Siri, an application acquired by Apple for the iPhone, can recognize individual voices and infer contextual information based on the user. In 2012, our fingerprints may not matter nearly as much as our eyes, faces, and usernames.

      NJL, Gina Masullo Chen: “Next year, personalization platforms will bring us more choices, not fewer – News has always been about making choices among lots of information; technology just helps us make those choices more smartly. … If I were creating this future, a large component of it would include offering greater customization of news and information for readers. … People choose what they like, what interests them, what gratifies their own needs, and what fits how they see the world. – In 2012, technology may help them make those choices more quickly and easily.

      NJL, Tim Carmody: “Next year, Kindles, iPhones, and tablets will truly grow up – In consumer technology, five year cycles are really interesting. … Why does this matter for 2012? Well, besides five years of iPhone, we’re also looking at five years of Kindle. That’s two five-year anniversaries that really signal the point when mobile reading became mainstream. You could also call it the five-year anniversary of the tablet as a media device, because really, that’s what the Kindle is, form factor-wise. … With e-readers, in general, I don’t think we’ve really figured out how touchscreen reading devices are supposed to work, how to blend what we’ve learned from tablets with what we’ve learned from e-readers. … If I could make an analogy, 2011 for reading devices was like the first color/video iPod. 2012 will be the iPhone year. It seems like we made big leaps forward only because we don’t actually know what the real leap forward looks like yet.”

      NJL, Burt Herman: “In the coming year, social media journalists will #Occupythenews – Social media’s essential role in serious journalism can no longer be ignored. Next year, social media journalism will finally grow up. – Journalism will be more collaborative, embracing the fundamental social nature of the Internet. The story will be shaped by people involved in the news, curated by savvy editors from diverse sources and circulated back again to the audience. This is the new real-time news cycle. … Journalists have always taken masses of information and condensed it into something digestible for readers, adding context and insights. More than ever, journalists will curate sources outside their newsrooms to tell their stories. … It’s up to the new generation of social media journalists to #Occupythenews – and to make sure society doesn’t miss the stories that, diffuse and elusive though they may be, are crucial to understanding our world.

      NJL, Rex Sorgatz: “LA is the future (kill me now) – Let’s get this out of the way: I hate LA. – I hate LA the way that any good New Yorker hates LA, with a passion bordering on paranoid psychosis. I hate the faux culture, I hate the vapid people, I hate the unctuous politics. … But I am here to preach a new sermon: LA is the Future. It pains me to say, but it’s time we all sucked up the fresh sludge spewing from the organic juice pumper. … Let’s start here: Right now, I pay over $200 per month to have 1,600 TV channels pumped into my apartment. How many of those channels do I watch? A dozen, max. – This is clearly broken. Really broken. Stupid broken. – And we all know this has to end, somehow. And we all know it will end, somehow. … But I think we can all agree that this broken system is going to be fixed, somehow. – And when that happens, the fallout for the LA-based television industry will be catastrophic. … When the collapse hits, capital will rush out of the traditional entertainment industry faster than you can say ‘Lehman Brothers.’ … It will be fun, it will be exciting. And I might even hate LA a little less.

      NJL, Vadim Lavrusik: “Curation and amplification will become much more sophisticated in 2012 – A big question for the coming year: How will the right communities get the right kind of news? – Ladies and gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build a sustainable journalism model. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster. … For the last year, much of the focus has been on curating content from the social web and effectively contextualizing disparate pieces of information to form singular stories. … Because anyone can publish content today and report information from a breaking news event, the role journalists can play in amplifying – and verifying – that content becomes ever more important. … Curation itself will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. … The coming year will see a more balanced approach. … Information will, in this environment, inevitably reach the citizenry; at stake is the quality of the information that does the reaching. If content is king, distribution is queen.

      NJL, Steve Buttry: “From a dropped paywall to a social media Pulitzer, expect a year of transformation – We will see more newspaper-company transactions in 2012. … [P]eople with sufficient wealth appear to have bought the companies outright, taking on little or no debt. … The winner of the 2012 presidential election will work harder on reaching voters through social media than through the professional media. …Digital First Media will continue to lead the way in transforming the digital news business. … We will see some major realignment of journalism and news-industry organizations.

      NJL, Paul Bradshaw: “Collaboration! Data! 2012 will see news outlets turning talk into action1. 2012 will be the year we finally move away from the traditional homepage – The ‘stream’ as an interface will move from being the preserve of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to being a serious consideration for news website homepages. We’re all 24-hour news channels now. 2. In 2012, ‘Collaboration Is King’3. News organizations turn talk into action on data – Any news organization that is serious about its fourth estate role is building the skills to interrogate those datasets.”

      NJL, Dan Kennedy: “2012 will bring ‘the great retrenchment’ among newspaper publishers – Paywalls may become more popular in 2012; that doesn’t mean they’ll be enough to save a flailing industry. … The great newspaper retrenchment may prove to be more than a dead-cat bounce. As the economy slowly improves, the newspaper business may well enjoy a semi-revival. But before long, the forces that have been undermining newspapers since the rise of the commercial web in the mid-1990s will come back to the fore. … For the most part, though, you can be reasonably sure that newspaper companies will continue to cut costs, maximize profits (or minimize losses), and do their best ostrich imitations until they find themselves under siege once again. – They’re standing up for traditional values – and what could be more traditional than failing to plan for the future?

      NJL, Emily Bell: “2012 will be a year of expanded ‘network sensibility’ – Making predictions about journalism is a hopeless business: Jay Rosen, who is much wiser than I am, said he never does it, and I salute him for that. … The network sensibility will grow in newsrooms that currently don’t tend to have it as part of their process – it is still seen in the vast majority of places as more of a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have.’ … While this use of distributed tools and new platforms continues at speed, I think we will also see some much-needed closer scrutiny on what this new reality means for journalism and its constant redefinition of products and services. … Journalists have always been very skilled at stories and projects and fairly awful at thinking about platforms. We need more engineers who want to be journalists, and we need to teach students more about the implications of publishing in a digital environment – whatever the format their journalism originally takes.

      NJL: “Amazon conquers, Patch dies, a Facebook-only outlet is born…and more predictions for 2012 – [P]redictions about the business of, and platforms for, journalism, from and platforms for, journalism, from Brian Boyer, Rick Edmonds, Kevin Kelly, Joy Mayer, Alan Murray, Alan Mutter, Geneva Overholser, Howard Owens, and Sree Sreenivasan.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:01 on 6. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , StumbleBar, Stumbles, , StumbleUpon Channels, StumbleUpon Explore Box, Taste Graph, , , , ,   

    StumbleUpon Relaunch 

    StumbleUpon relaunches its brand and website, prepares for going international; http://eicker.at/StumbleUponRelaunch

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:01 on 6. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      StumbleUpon: “We’ve made some changes so it’s now easier than ever to Stumble and explore new and interesting things from every corner of the Web. Stumble more with a simpler and easier to use StumbleUpon.com and StumbleBar. Explore more with Channels from your favorite sites, people and brands. Find more using our Explore Box: type a word or phrase and see amazing Stumbles. – Follow Channels and uncover content from sites, people and brands that you already like while you’re Stumbling. – Find More with the Explore Box: Type a word or phrase and see amazing Stumbles related to whatever you’re interested in. – We’ve moved some stuff around so it’s easier to find your way around the things you’ve Liked and to discover even more.

      GigaOM: “StumbleUpon has undergone a major makeover. … It’s the largest and most comprehensive branding and redesign initiative StumbleUpon has made in the company’s history… The redesign is aimed at bringing StumbleUpon’s more granular features – such as the newly-implemented ability to Stumble according to specific interests – to the surface… Essentially, it’s designed to make StumbleUpon more ‘sticky’ than ever. … In all it’s a good move for StumbleUpon, and it’s one that seems long overdue. Once you compare the new look of the site to the old version, you realize how much was hidden under the surface.”

      RWW: “StumbleUpon is the inverse of a Google Web search. Instead of typing in a keyword and searching for relevant links within that search, StumbleUpon asks the user to define the parameters by selecting a topic, and then voting the content up or down. Using the Explore Box, users can type in an interest that’s more specific than one of the many comprehensive topic options. It gives a list of related interests, which broadens the breadth of topics to stumble. Over time the user develops an interest profile specific to them. … StumbleUpon is a prime example of the read/write web. Why? Because the user literally writes their own ‘taste graph’ by signaling to the service what interests they want to follow. In the e-commerce space, eBay acquired recommendation engine Hunch to do just that – serve up more relevant content to users.”

      Forbes: “One big reason for the changes and simplifying of the website is to make it easier for StumbleUpon to expand internationally, which is one of the company’s major priorities in 2012. StumbleUpon has more than 20 million registered users and is adding more than 1 million per month, but the majority of its users are currently in the U.S. The company wants to address that. … StumbleUpon was acquired by eBay in 2007 and bought back two years later by founders and venture investors.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:22 on 29. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1998, 2011, , , , , , , , , , , , Google Local, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Methodology, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Timeline, Universal Search, , ,   

    Google Search 

    Google: Another look under the hood of searchthe evolution of Google Search; http://eicker.at/GoogleSearch

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    • Gerrit Eicker 07:23 on 29. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Over the past few years, we’ve released a series of blog posts to share the methodology and process behind our search ranking, evaluation and algorithmic changes. Just last month, Ben Gomes, Matt Cutts and I participated in a Churchill Club event where we discussed how search works and where we believe it’s headed in the future. – Beyond our talk and various blog posts, we wanted to give people an even deeper look inside search, so we put together a short video that gives you a sense of the work that goes into the changes and improvements we make to Google almost every day. While an improvement to the algorithm may start with a creative idea, it always goes through a process of rigorous scientific testing. Simply put: if the data from our experiments doesn’t show that we’re helping users, we won’t launch the change. … In the world of search, we’re always striving to deliver the answers you’re looking for. After all, we know you have a choice of a search engine every time you open a browser. As the Internet becomes bigger, richer and more interactive it means that we have to work that much harder to ensure we’re unearthing and displaying the best results for you.

      Google: “Following up on our video on how we make improvements to search, we wanted to share with you a short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade-and a taste of what’s coming next. – Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this video highlights some important trends like universal results, quick answers and the future of search. – For more information, go to Google.com/insidesearch

      SEL: “Google released a short video today highlighting some of its key milestones in search over the past decade. It’s both a fun blast from the past and a worthwhile reminder of how much things have changed over the years. The video is also a nice follow-on to the look under the hood of search that Google released in August.”

      TC: “One anecdote centers on the attacks of September 11: in the wake of the attacks, many people were searching for ‘New York Twin Towers’ and related queries as they attempted to get the latest news – only to find that Google’s index didn’t have any relevant news stories because it was weeks old (Danny Sullivan has written more about this failure). Google’s quick-fix was to post links to relevant news articles on its homepage, and its stumble eventually led to the launch of Google News.

      ATD: “So, what would be a hard query that Google wants to answer in the future? Complex questions that take reasoning, says Google Fellow Amit Singhal. ‘In my ideal world, I would be able to walk up to a computer and say, ‘Hey, what is the best time for me to sow seeds in India, given that monsoon was early this year?’‘ Singhal says in the video.”

      RWW: “4 Big Trends in the Evolution of Google SearchUniveral Search – Google’s introduction of universal search in 2007 was the beginning of a trend away from separating Web search results by type and toward putting it all in one place. … Google Goes Mobile and Local – Before long, Google was deep into the business of local commerce. With the rise of Android, Google had an end-to-end business of finding location-based results for local businesses, restaurants and destinations. … Google Search and Time – Google has changed the impact of time on search, as well as place. It has tweaked the way timeliness of content appears in search multiple times, and its latest update calculates when a search is probably looking for recent results rather than historical ones. … Google+: Google’s New Identity – Identity is the final piece of the puzzle. Google has personalized results for a while using Web history and sharing data. But with the launch of Google+, Google has introduced a form of social SEO. Social activity is now a fundamental part of how search results appear for users logged into Google’s ubiquitous Web services.

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:16 on 26. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    JIM 2011 

    JIM-Studie 2011 (PDF): In Sachen Datenschutz im Internet wiegen sich Jugendliche in Sicherheit; http://eicker.at/JIM2011

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:16 on 26. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      JIM: “2/3 der Jugendlichen sind der Ansicht, zum Thema Datenschutz insgesamt gut oder sehr gut informiert zu sein: Allerdings spiegelt sich diese subjektiv empfundene Kompetenz nicht bei allen im Handeln wider. Mehr als die Hälfte der Jugendlichen gibt an, die AGBs ihrer Community gar nicht gelesen zu haben. Drei Viertel von denjenigen, die die AGBs zwar gelesen haben, geben zu, diese jedoch nur überflogen zu haben. – Die Möglichkeiten im Internet über Communities, sogenannte soziale Netzwerke, zu kommunizieren und in Kontakt zu bleiben, werden von Jugendlichen wie selbstverständlich genutzt: 4/5 nutzen diese Plattformen zumindest mehrmals pro Woche. Diese Angebote haben eine sehr hohe Alltagsrelevanz für Jugendliche. 57 Prozent der Internetnutzer loggen sich täglich in ihre Community ein, ein Großteil davon sogar mehrmals täglich. Am häufigsten werden Communities genutzt um miteinander zu chatten und Nachrichten zu versenden. Die Auswahl der Jugendlichen bei sozialen Netzwerken beschränkt sich auf wenige Anbieter, an erster Stelle steht hier Facebook, das 72 Prozent der 12- bis 19-jährigen Onliner nutzen. – Sind Jugendliche im Netz unterwegs, hinterlassen sie deutliche Spuren: 65 Prozent haben ein eigenes Foto oder ein Video von sich hochgeladen. 2/5 haben Bilder oder Filme von Freunden oder Familienangehörigen eingestellt. Die Angaben in der Community werden zunehmend vor dem Einblick Fremder geschützt. 79 Prozent haben in ihrem Profil eine Privacy-Option eingestellt, die den Zugriff Dritter einschränkt. – Trotz der vielen persönlichen Daten in sozialen Netzwerken fühlen sich die meisten Jugendlichen mit ihren Daten bei ihrer Community gut aufgehoben: 2/3 haben Vertrauen in den Anbieter ihrer Plattform und betrachten ihre Daten dort als sicher. Vergleicht man die meistbenutzten Angebote Facebook und schülerVZ, fühlen sich die Nutzer von schülerVZ mit ihren Daten dort deutlich sicherer. Insgesamt betrachtet nimmt das Misstrauen gegenüber dem Anbieter bei älteren Jugendlichen zu: Jeder zweite der 18-/19-jährigen Nutzer fühlt sich mit seinen Daten in seiner Community nicht sicher. – Jugendliche Community-Nutzer haben im Schnitt 206 ‘Freunde’, also andere Community-Mitglieder, mit denen sie verlinkt sind. Mit 96 Prozent geben fast alle Community-Nutzer an, die Freunde aus ihrem Profil auch persönlich zu kennen. Die Community spiegelt also nach eigenen Angaben weitgehend die Strukturen der realen Welt wider.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:48 on 18. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , , , Civil Rights, COICA, , , Demand Progress, E-Parasite Act, , Fight For the Future, , , , , , , , , H.R.3261, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , PPF, PRO-IP Act, , Public Knowledge, , , , S.986, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Internet Censorship: SOPA and PIPA 

    Internet censorship made in the USA: SOPA and PIPA are a major attack on Internet freedom; http://eicker.at/InternetCensorship

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:49 on 18. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R.3261 and the E-Parasite (Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation) Act, was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. – The bill’s sponsors and advocates say it’s needed to help U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders fight online traffic in copyrighted intellectual property and ensuing revenue and job losses. Its opponents say it will ‘break the internet’, cost jobs, and threaten whistleblowers and other free speech. Now before the House Judiciary Committee, it builds on the similar PRO-IP Act of 2008. The Senate’s corresponding bill, the Protect IP Act, was prevented from passing in early 2011 with a hold placed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). – The bill is divided into two titles with the first focusing on combating ‘foreign rogue sites’, websites outside U.S. jurisdiction that enable or facilitate copyright infringement, and the second focusing on increased penalties to combat intellectual property theft via digital means.

      Wikipedia: “PIPA – Protect IP Act, or (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011), is also known as United States Senate Bill S.968. It was introduced on May 12, 2011 by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 11 initial bipartisan co-sponsors. Its goal is to give the government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to ‘rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods’, especially those registered outside the U.S. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on it. – The Protect IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to pass in 2010. A similar House version of the bill, theStop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced on October 26, 2011.

      American Censorship: “American Censorship Day: Nov 16, 2011 – Congress holds hearings of the first American Internet censorship system. This bill can pass. If it does the Internet and free speech will never be the same. Join all of us to stop this bill. … Website Blocking – The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users. … Risk of Jail for Ordinary Users – It becomes a felony with a potential 5 year sentence to stream a copyrighted work that would cost more than $2,500 to license, even if you are a totally noncommercial user, e.g. singing a pop song on Facebook. … Chaos for the Internet – Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats. People trying to keep the internet more secure wouldn’t be able to rely on the integrity of the DNS system. … Supporters: Public Knowledge, EFF, Free Software Foundation, Mozilla, Demand Progress, Fight For the Future, PPF, Creative Commons, Wikimedia

      Mashable: “Tumblr, Firefox and Reddit drew broad black lines on their websites Wednesday to protest a proposed U.S. law that Internet companies have dubbed ‘censorship’ and entertainment companies ‘piracy protection.’ – Tumblr has blacked out all user-generated content you see when you first log in. When you click on the gray lines to investigate, you’re told: ‘Congress is holding hearings today and will soon pass a bill empowering corporations to censor the Internet unless you tell them no,’ and then have an option to leave a phone number to be connected to your elected representative.”

      TC: “Among numerous other issues, SOPA and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, would allow copyright holders to easily obtain court orders to stop US payment and ad providers from doing business with foreign sites, force search engines to block links to allegedly infringing sites, and require domain service providers to block domains of allegedly infringing sites from being accessible. Be sure to check out Devin Coldewey’s excellent teardown of SOPA and PROTECT IP for more details on why we and many (but not all) other internet users are opposed.”

      Guardian: “Stop Sopa now – The Stop Online Piracy Act will kill online innovation and serve the interests not of ordinary web users but a corporate cartel – America is fond of chiding other nations about freedom of speech in the internet age. Leaders including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are constantly reminding their global counterparts, especially in places like China, that internet censorship is a detriment to open government and honest self-rule. Yet, the Obama administration has used tactics that smell of censorship, and Congress is making common cause with a corporate cartel that wants to turn the internet into little more than an enhanced form of cable television. … The damage Sopa would cause to existing services is bad enough. But the longer-range damage is literally incalculable, because the legislation is aimed at preventing innovation – and speech – that the cartel can’t control. … Meanwhile, the major media have been essentially silent on the issue. I’m not surprised. Big Media is an ally and member of the copyright cartel – and there may be more than a few people in traditional news organisations who fear the internet more than they worry about stifling speech.”

      GigaOM: “The Internet isn’t just pipes; it’s a belief system – Draconian new anti-piracy laws that are being pushed through both the Senate and the House of Representatives are about more than just an academic debate over different legislative methods for fighting copyright infringement. … As the Stop Online Piracy Act – and its cousin the E-Parasite Act – have worked their way through the Senate and the House, a loose coalition of technology companies and open-Internet advocates have come together to oppose the legislation – including companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo… The Internet by its nature is – among other things – a giant copyright-infringement machine. Because anyone can grab whatever content they wish and change it, mash it up with other content and instantly republish, it’s hugely frightening and threatening for many media companies and content owners. … That doesn’t mean we should encourage piracy, or deprive content owners of the tools to fight it when it occurs, but the reality is that they have those tools already in the DMCA and other existing legislation. SOPA and the E-Parasite Act aren’t just an expansion of those tools, they would alter the balance of power on the internet in fundamental ways and threaten the openness and freedom that generates a lot of the web’s value, both for businesses and for society as a whole. That’s not a trade we should make lightly, if at all.”

      EFF: “This week the House of Representatives opens hearings on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that EFF – along with a number of prominent organizations and other actors – has opposed loudly and vigorously. – Though the bill would have grave implications on free expression for American Internet users, website owners, and intermediaries, its effects on the international community are even worse. In light of that fact, a coalition of international civil society and human rights groups have penned a letter expressing their opposition to the bill.

      SOPA Letter From Int’l Human Rights Community: “As press freedom and human rights advocates, we write to express our deep concern withH.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). While this is a domestic bill, there are several provisions within SOPA that would have serious implications for international civil and human rights which raise concerns about how the United States is approaching global internetgovernance. … Through SOPA, the United States is attempting to dominate a shared global resource.SOPA puts the interests of rightsholders ahead of the rights of society.Censoring the internet is the wrong approach to protecting any sectoral interest in business. By adopting SOPA, the United States would lose its position as a global leader in supporting a free and open Internet for public good. – The international civil and human rights community urges Congress to reject the Stop Online Privacy Act.

      GigaOM: “What the web is saying about SOPA – We’ve gathered a sample from various sources to help readers get a feel for the comments out there and see the big picture. Happy reading.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:41 on 27. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , 2011, , , , , , Content Takedown, , , Electronic Communications Privacy Act, , , , , Google Government Requests, Google Transparency Report, , Government Requests, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Private Information, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Transparency Report 

    How do governments affect access to information? Google’s Transparency Report 2011; http://eicker.at/GoogleTransparencyReport

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:42 on 27. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “How do governments affect access to information on the Internet? To help shed some light on that very question, last year we launched an online, interactive Transparency Report. All too often, policy that affects how information flows on the Internet is created in the absence of empirical data. But by showing traffic patterns and disruptions to our services, and by sharing how many government requests for content removal and user data we receive from around the world, we hope to offer up some metrics to contribute to a public conversation about the laws that influence how people communicate online. – Today we’re updating the Government Requests tool with numbers for requests that we received from January to June 2011. For the first time, we’re not only disclosing the number of requests for user data, but we’re showing the number of users or accounts that are specified in those requests too. … We believe that providing this level of detail highlights the need to modernize laws like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which regulates government access to user information and was written 25 years ago – long before the average person had ever heard of email.”

      Google: “Transparency is a core value at Google. As a company we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that we maximize transparency around the flow of information related to our tools and services. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual. – We’ve created Government Requests to show the number of government inquiries for information about users and requests to remove content from our services. We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests. – Our interactive Traffic graphs provide information about traffic to Google services around the world. Each graph shows historic traffic patterns for a geographic region and service. By illustrating outages, this tool visualizes disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it’s a government blocking information or a cable being cut. We hope this raw data will help facilitate studies about service outages and disruptions.

      GigaOM: “Any lingering fantasies of the web as a no-man’s land where content is free from the restraints of geographical boundaries probably should be put to rest. Google Tuesday morning released a treasure trove of data relating to content-takedown requests, and the numbers speak for themselves: requests are up worldwide and Google complies with the majority of them. … When it comes to requests for user data, all that Google and companies of its ilk really can do is ensure that requests are within the bounds of the law and notify users of requests for their data. But in the United States, at least, the laws regarding web-user data are still fairly lax and don’t require a search warrant in many instances. It’s yet another example of the web and the law not being anywhere near on the same page. – It’s easy to poke them for being too willing to bend to the wills of government officials and authorities, but web companies can’t flaunt the laws of the countries in which they want to operate, either. Otherwise, as separate Google data illustrates, the lights might go out on their services in those countries.

      RWW: “Google has updated its Government Requests tool with data from the first half of this year. For the first time, the report discloses the number of users or accounts specified, not just the number of requests. Google also made the raw data behind government requests available to the public. … Electronic communications have changed a bit since 1986. They form a ubiquitous, always-on fabric of our lives now. Fortunately, Google isn’t any happier with the status quo than privacy-aware users are. It’s among a number of major Web companies pushing for better laws. And Google and other data-mining companies take their roles in public policy seriously. Both Google and Facebook’s lobbying efforts broke records this year.

      TC: “Google Declines To Remove Police Brutality Videos, Still Complies With 63% Of Gov’t Takedown Requests – US Government requests for user data jumped, however: 5950 versus 4287 during the same period in 2010, asking for information on 11,057 users. 93% of these were complied with, ‘fully or partially.’ So while they’re making something of a stand on removing data, they don’t seem to have any trouble giving it out.

      Guardian: “Figures revealed for the first time show that the US demanded private information about more than 11,000 Google users between January and June this year, almost equal to the number of requests made by 25 other developed countries, including the UK and Russia. – Governments around the world requested private data about 25,440 people in the first half of this year, with 11,057 of those people in the US. – It is the first time Google has released details about how many of its users are targeted by authorities, as opposed to the number of requests made by countries.

      VB: “Notably, in the United States, Google refused to remove YouTube clips showing police brutality. In these cases in particular, we are seeing how relatively neutral platforms such as YouTube can have great social impact depending on the intentions of the person posting the content and the integrity of the content host in keeping that content online.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 06:42 on 16. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, BAD11, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Blog Action Day: Food 

    Allen: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage; http://eicker.at/BAD11

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 1987, 1996, 2007, 2011, 2016, A5, , , , Apple Futureshock, Apple Knowledge Navigator, Apple Siri, , , , Artificial Intelligence Applications, , CALO, , , , , Conversational Interaction, , , , , , , , , Futureshock, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iPad 2, , , , Knowledge Navigator, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Natural Language Processing, , , , , , , , Personal Assistant, Personal Assistant Application, Personal Interaction, , , , , , , , , Siri Beta, , , , Spin-off, SRI, , , , , , , , , , , , , Voice Command, , , , , , ,   

    Siri: Let’s Talk! 

    Potentially Apple’s Siri changes how we interact with computers entirely: Siri, let’s talk! http://eicker.at/Siri

    (More …)

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:38 on 9. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “Siri. Your wish is its command. – Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it. … Talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like ‘Tell my wife I’m running late.’ ‘Remind me to call the vet.’ ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ And Siri answers you. It does what you say and finds the information you need. And then it hits you. You’re actually having a conversation with your iPhone. … Siri not only understands what you say, it’s smart enough to know what you mean. So when you ask ‘Any good burger joints around here?’ Siri will reply ‘I found a number of burger restaurants near you.’ Then you can say ‘Hmm. How about tacos?’ Siri remembers that you just asked about restaurants, so it will look for Mexican restaurants in the neighborhood. And Siri is proactive, so it will question you until it finds what you’re looking for.”

      Wikipedia: “Siri is a personal assistant application for iOS. The application uses natural language processing to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to an expanding set of web services. The iOS app is the first public product by its makers, who are focused on artificial intelligence applications. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. on April 28, 2010. – Siri’s marketing claims include that Siri adapts to the user’s individual preferences over time and personalizes results, as well as accomplishing tasks such as making dinner reservations and reserving a cab. … Siri was founded in December 2007 by Dag Kittlaus (CEO), Adam Cheyer (VP Engineering), and Tom Gruber (CTO/VP Design), together with Norman Winarsky from SRI’s venture group. … It was announced on October 4, 2011 that Siri will be included with the iPhone 4S. The new version of Siri is deeply integrated into iOS, and offers conversational interaction with many applications, including reminders, weather, stocks, messaging, email, calendar, contacts, notes, music, clocks, web browser, Wolfram Alpha, and maps. Currently, Siri only supports English (US, UK, and Australia), German and French. … Siri is a spin-out from SRI International’s Artificial Intelligence Center, and is an offshoot of the DARPA-funded CALO project, described as perhaps the largest artificial-intelligence project ever launched.”

      TC: “The integration with iOS seems to be just as impressive as we’ve been hearing: you can ask it to remind you to call someone before you leave the office, and it’ll automatically create an entry in the Reminders app, complete with a geo-fence just to be sure. You can also ask Siri to read your queued messages to you and make an appointment in the Calendar app. – The worst part so far? Siri indeed seems to require the iPhone 4S’s extra horsepower, because it appears to be a 4S exclusive. The kicker? Siri was originally a run-of-the-mill iPhone app. What a shame. – Siri will be a beta for the time being, as it only supports English, German, and French voice input, but there are more language add-ons and tweaks to come.

      WP: “As rumored, Apple’s doing some all-new voice-control AI stuff in iOS 5. It’s called Siri, which is the name of the app Apple bought for $200 million a couple years ago. … You can also ask Siri to look things up on Wikipedia for you, and Siri can use Wolfram Alpha to do more complicated calculations. Siri’s list of capabilities is near endless, including asking it to play genres of music for you, look up something on maps, or what the weather is. Our favorite question? ‘Siri, who are you?’ Siri responds: ‘I am your humble personal assistant.’ … The bad news? All this great stuff is only available for the iPhone 4S – Apple had to do something to force an upgrade! In all seriousness, some of this AI functionality can be incredibly processor intensive, so Siri might be leaning on the A5 chip quite heavily.”

      MLS: “Siri Search, makes use of Yelp’s business ratings, thus this makes instantly makes Yelp a strong local competitor to Google Places. Yelp is now very relevant to your small business rankings. Google Places has been the big dog in local optimization or as I call it, Local Awesomeization… And your places ranking and profile completion has become very important for your local marketing.- Now, Siri, which is a virtual assistant will be able to find you anything you want… and it is using the Yelp Reviews to rank the recommendations. … Nuture your Yelp account now. Claim it, and begin getting good reviews. Local search is a science, and you have to get that information out there.

      GigaOM: “Apple’s intent when it bought Siri was rumored to be building a search engine, though Jobs defused that speculation by saying, ‘We have no plans to go into the search business. We don’t care about it – other people do it well.’ But Jobs also said earlier last year: ‘On a mobile device, search is not where it’s at, not like on the desktop. They’re (consumers are) spending all their time on these apps – they’re using apps to get to data on the internet, not generalized search.‘ – With Siri, Apple doesn’t have to get into the search game if it can use Siri to direct people to the apps, services and information they need. That’s probably not a big money-gainer for Apple, but it could put a hurt on rival Google, which relies on search advertising.

      TUAW: “Curious about the iPhone 4S’s new voice assistant feature? So were we. – [We] tracked down a set of example phrases that the new Siri voice assistant is capable of understanding. It turns out that Siri can handle many categories of voice interaction. – Without further ado, here they are, ordered by interaction category, along with Apple-supplied examples of using each category.”

      FC: “Don’t let her dulcet voice and easygoing, eager-to-please manner fool you. Behind Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant app destined to power Apple’s iPhone 4S, lies the heart of a hardened combat veteran. That’s because the technology was spun out of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s high-tech research and development arm. … For now it can only respond to simple commands, but the technology underlying it is anything but. The problem with most speech recognition technology has been that it has a hell of a time with all-too human variations in speech – accents, dialects, intonation, enunciation, and slang. Tell it you want to hide under ‘a rock’ and it might tell you about ‘Iraq.’ Like the dream of the paperless office, which the advent of the personal computer was supposed to herald, speech recognition often makes more work than it saves. Siri promises to change all that, and you should thank the wizards at DARPA. While they didn’t create the technology, they incubated it. … I can’t wait to tell that to my Siri-powered iPhone, although I doubt it’ll know how to respond – not yet, anyhow.

      TC: “The most talked about element of … Apple event had to be Siri. The new feature of the iPhone 4S, born out of Apple’s purchase of the company by the same name in 2010, looks amazing. But one thing never mentioned during the keynote was a key piece of technology behind Siri: Nuance. – We first reported that Siri would be a key part of iOS 5 back in March. As we dug deeper, we learned that Apple and Nuance were involved in negotiations to make sure this could be a reality. You see, Siri does not work without Nuance. … So, is Nuance a part of Apple’s implementation of Siri as well? Yes. Though, don’t bother trying to get anyone to admit that. …Nuance is powering Siri. But Apple clearly struck a deal with Nuance which precludes them from talking about it. This is Apple technology, this is not about Nuance, is how I imagine Apple may put it. Apparently, Nuance is happy enough with Apple’s undoubtedly large check for this licensing agreement that they are willing to keep quiet.

      RWW: “Apple finally introduced the availability of the voice-command personal assistant app it paid $200m for today, called Siri. The military spin-off technology was both widely loved and often panned when it was available independently; it was either lovable Skynet or a fish on a bicycle, depending on who you ask. I tended towards thinking it the latter, myself. … But what do I want as a user – on my iPhone? I want Swype! Swype is a keyboard program available on almost every smartphone in the world except the iPhone. … It’s the fastest way to provide input on a mobile device. It’s fabulous and it’s incredible that Swype isn’t on iOS yet. I assume it’s because of Apple’s strict control over interface design and unwillingness to provide options in design. … Time will tell, but I don’t think Siri is going to be a killer app on the iPhone. Will it be used more than the current iPhone voice control? We’ll see.

      TUAW: “Since the iPhone 4S features the same A5 processor as the iPad 2, owners of Apple’s current-gen tablet have wondered if it’s possible that Siri, Apple’s new voice assistant, might be offered on the iPad 2. … Voice Control as it now exists on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 doesn’t function on the iPad or iPad 2, but there’s a reason for that: the existing commands would be essentially useless on those devices. … On the other hand, Siri’s commands would be immensely useful on the iPad. … In fact, we’ve done some digging into Siri and found that most of the actual work of understanding voice commands gets offloaded to external servers. In essence, the iPhone 4S and its built-in processing functions determine what you said, while Apple’s servers translate that into what you meant and send that information back to your iPhone. … For the time being, Siri remains an iPhone 4S exclusive and one we have yet to test for ourselves. We look forward to putting this innovative feature under our interrogation lights once the iPhone 4S is released on October 14.

      Waxy: “In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator [the rest of the video is newer, probably circa 1996 or so, but the Knowledge Navigator part is from 1987], a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer. … Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written ‘about five years ago,’ setting the year as 2011. – And … at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S. – So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

    • katrce 05:21 on 10. March 2012 Permalink | Reply

      hi siri

    • Baby 00:16 on 27. September 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi siri

    • Yo Mama 06:02 on 27. October 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

    • Adrianna 00:56 on 7. March 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Sometimes she has a little attitude

    • Doll 01:09 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hey siri.

      how you doing today.

    • bigL 22:36 on 4. February 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Siri

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:09 on 29. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , 2011, , , , , , , Civic Life, , , Community Events, Community Information, , , , Crime, Cultural Events, , , , , , , , , , Government Activities, Housing, , , Job Openings, , , , , , Local Information Ecosystem, Local Information Environment, , , Local News Ecosystem, , , , , , , Local Subjects, Local Topics, , , , , , , Media Platforms, , Mobile Connections, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Events, , , , , , , , , , Popular Local News Topics, Popular News Topics, Popular Topics, , , , Real Estate, , , Schools, , , , , , , Social Services, , , , , , , Tax Issues, , , , , Transportation, , , , , , , Zoning   


    Pew: How people learn about their local community. Topics, Newspapers, TV news, Internet; http://eicker.at/Localisation

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:10 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Contrary to much of the conventional understanding of how people learn about their communities, Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age… Most Americans, including more tech-savvy adults under age 40, also use a blend of both new and traditional sources to get their information. Overall, the picture revealed by the data is that of a richer and more nuanced ecosystem of community news and information than researchers have previously identified.”

      Pew: “The local news and information environment is changing in ways that most people believe makes it easier for them to get the specific information they want about their communities. More than half of Americans (55%) say it is easier today to get the local information they want than it was five years ago. … Top Popularity of Different Local Topics: Weather (89%), Breaking News (80%), Politics/Campaigns/Elections (67%), Crime, Arts/Cultural events, Local Business, Schools/Education, Community/Neighborhood events, Restaurants/Clubs/Bars, Traffic/Transportation, Taxes/Tax issues, Housing/Real estate, Government activities, Job openings, Social services, Zoning/Building/Development”

      Pew: “The survey indicated that newspapers play a far more complex role in the civic life of communities than many Americans believe. … Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. … [W]hen asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites.

      Pew: “Local TV (which for the purposes of this survey includes both televised broadcasts and local television websites) is the most popular source for the two topics that almost everyone is interested in – weather and breaking news.”

      Pew: “The internet has already surpassed newspapers as a source Americans turn to for national and international news. The findings from this survey now show its emerging role as a source for local news and information as well. … Among the 79% of Americans who are online, the internet is an even more significant source for local news and information. Looking just at this group, the internet is the first or second most important source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined.”

      Pew: “Two other factors seem to drive people to the internet when it comes to getting information about local subjects: mobile connections via smartphones or tablet computers and participation in the digital environment by sharing or creating local material themselves.”

      Pew: “In addition to the three biggest media platforms – newspapers, television and the internet – the local news and information ecosystem involves a complex mix of other sources as well. And for several local topics, citizen-based systems such as word of mouth (which does not include online social networking), print newsletters and bulletins, and the local government itself make appearances as sources that some residents rely upon.”

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