Tendências emergentes, factos e dados reveladores da evolução dos media, cultura, economia e sociedade. Impacto social, económico e cultural da tecnologia.


domingo, agosto 28, 2005

Consensus that news was the preserve of serious men who brought portentous and usually dire information to a mass market is over

By far the most convincing apotheosis of Lewis's teaching, though, is being done by the market. The president of ABC News, David Westin, said recently: "I think morning television news may be an early indicator of where a good portion - not all - of TV news may be headed. By that I mean a balance of male and female, but with more of a female component; more storytelling; and looking at story-telling as a way to access news stories." Morning TV news, the most profitable and popular news offering, is positive news - news that deliberately seeks to start the day on an upbeat, news that people want to hear, because it's cheerful, or quirky, or hopeful, as much news isn't.

Is this what Lewis meant? Not wholly: he simply meant that the world was incomprehensible if the bulk of broadcast and newspaper news was taken as an adequate description of the world. It's incomprehensible because experience shows people in rich and settled countries that nothing is all bad, as most news is. Indeed, most material things are getting better, and have done for many decades.

The time when there was a consensus that news was the preserve of serious men who brought portentous and usually dire information to a mass market is over, though it is taking a long time to die. The market has decreed it for years: most people have simply ceased to be in thrall to the view that a grasp of the (bad) news is necessary for full citizenship. Journalism, bit by bit, is catching up, seeking to save what it can of the serious news agenda, to discover in which niches those who still want to get it reside and to determine if money can be made from them.


FT.com / By industry / Media & internet - Seriously good

sábado, agosto 27, 2005

Pearl Jam to offer 'bootleg' downloads

Hours after their completion, full concerts from the group's fall tour will be available for $9.99 as 192K MP3s, whose bit rate is almost 50 percent higher than the standard.

Each show will feature special artwork, including a slide show with photos from the performance that will run while the files download. The initial plan is to make all of Pearl Jam's upcoming shows in Canada and the United States available to download, excluding an Aug. 29 concert in Missoula, Mont., that is doubling as a fund-raiser for U.S. Senate hopeful Jon Tester.

As with past incarnations of the bootlegs, which were initially available only on CD, the material will be mixed on the fly by longtime Pearl Jam engineer Brett Eliason. Eliason's company, Basecamp Productions, also developed the software to power the download store.

The idea to embark on such an endeavor has been floating around the Pearl Jam camp for several years. "The thing we were looking for was a really good way to manage the thing," Tim Bierman, manager of Pearl Jam's Ten Club fan organization, told Billboard.com. "That's where Basecamp came in. They developed a killer application I'm really confident the fans are going to love."

Pearl Jam to offer 'bootleg' downloads | CNET News.com

One in 11 Africans is now a mobile subscriber.

Used handsets are available for $50 or less in South Africa, an amount even Skhakhane's husband was able to finance with the little he saves from his factory job.

It turned out that Africans had never been big phone users because nobody had given them the chance.

One in 11 Africans is now a mobile subscriber.

Demand for air time was so strong in Nigeria that from late 2002 to early 2003 operators there were forced to suspend the sale of subscriber identity module cards, or SIM cards, which activate handsets, while they strengthened their networks.

Cell phones catapult rural Africa to 21st century | CNET News.com

Shoplifting as Social Commentary

Yomango's arrival in Germany may open a new front for what is largely a Latin American movement -- the phenomenon has roots in Argentina, where some angered by the 2001 collapse of the national economy began claiming goods without paying after witnessing the apparent implosion of capitalist doctrines.

But the web could push the pilfering further afield, according to counterculture commentator R.U. Sirius, author of Counterculture Through the Ages.

"I think it's great, spirited, irreverent fun -- instead of rejecting fashion, they are turning it into something rebellious and spontaneous," he said.

"Can I take it seriously as a strategy for changing the world? Not on its own and not as a form of political organizing. But as an embodied expression of the general spirit of open-source, file-sharing culture that could ultimately overwhelm systems of ownership in the increasingly digitized economy, it works."

Representatives of Yomango franchises did not respond to requests for comment. ~

Wired News: Shoplifting as Social Commentary

terça-feira, agosto 23, 2005

Student Arrested For Robbing Another Player Inside An Online Game

A Chinese exchange student was arrested in Japan last week for using bots to run virtual stick-ups in the Lineage II: The Chaotic Chronicle online game, stealing items from players then reselling them on eBay.

Police in Kagawa prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, arrested the student, the Mainichi Daily News reported. He used game bots -- automated characters that have been tweaked -- to beat up and rob other players' characters, said police.

The items, which could have included Lineage II staples such as the "Earring of Wisdom" or the "Shield of Nightmare," were then fenced on e-auction sites, claimed NCsoft, the Korean maker of Lineage II. Players of the game noted on message boards that the items had appeared on eBay.

Bots are a problem for online game developers and providers. Unethical players create characters that can do repetitive tasks automatically (to, for instance, earn game "currency") or very quickly (such as in this case).

"The player arrested was, as near as we can tell, using a bot program and PKing [Player Killing], then selling the drops on eBay," wrote one poster on the Linage II player message board. "There is no 'hack' involved other than the usual bot program."

The line between real and virtual cash is already gone. While players sometimes buy, sell, and trade items in black or gray markets, some game makers, like Sony, have sanctioned online trading. In April, Sony opened an official sales site for its popular EverQuest online game.


EU data retention plan set for "climactic battle"

A draft of the EC's proposal was recently obtained by the European Digital Rights group, EDRI. The EC wants calls and email traffic to be retained for six months to a year, while member states proposed up to 48 months. The council plan wants all web addresses people use to be logged but the EC draft makes no mention of this. More than 27,000 people have already signed an EDRI online anti-logging petition.
Telecom firms outside the European Union also worry a lengthy retention period would become the norm for them as well.

Stephen Trotman, a senior vice president at US carrier industry group CompTel in Washington, said: "What benefit is only half a call record? If American carriers are either originating or terminating an international call, then they are in fact covered by this requirement. What's going to happen is that the additional cost of retaining, storing and sorting that data is going to be shifted to the consumer. The consumers will pay for their own privacy to be invaded."
A study by Dutch Erasmus University shows in nearly all 65 cases where traffic data was useful in combating crime, the police got the information they needed from data going back three months - the typical period data is already stored by telecom firms for billing purposes.

The EU's Alvaro said: "Three months in general should be enough for storing data."

German industry bodies BDI, Bitkom and VATM said a solid and adequate impact study of the proposals has not been done and that any retention period must not exceed six months.

Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

terça-feira, agosto 16, 2005

Video Downloads Make Up 61% Of All File Sharing Traffic: Survey

Video downloads make up 61% of file-sharing traffic and audio downloads make up 11% of the four leading peer-sharing networks, according to a new market study by CacheLogic.

The company claims this is the first time such a study has been done on peer-sharing networks. It was based on actual packet data and traffic levels analyzed at Tier-ONE ISPs worldwide. CacheLogic analyzed terabytes of data in compiling the survey.

The study found that BitTorrent is increasingly being used for the distribution of legitimate content, although eDonkey is now the network of choice for video file trading