This news may hit CNET tomorrow as a New York Times cross-post, but I haven't seen anything about it yet so I wanted to be sure it was reported here.
According to the Times, Verizon, one of the nation's two largest wireless carriers, told NARAL that it would not allow the reproductive rights organization to send text messages through a program using Verizon's mobile network, on the grounds that Verizon has the right to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages.… Read more
When Creative Commons first surfaced, it was heralded as a means to share media without being ensnared by the complications accompanying traditional copyright.
With six different licenses available, media creators were provided the opportunity to dial in the exact rights they wanted. Or at least that was the plan.
In reality, this bevy of choices has led to significant confusion and as CNN reports, 16 year-old Alison Chang recently learned her picture is being used for a Virgin Mobile ad campaign in Australia. She didn't give her permission, and it appears that the ads exploit confusion around Creative Commons.
Last week The New York Times ended its TimesSelect subscription program in favor of providing free access to all its current issues and archives back to 1987. This is a positive development for readers and the Times alike. Now bloggers and other journalists can link to this key new source without sending their readers to a page that can only be read with a paid subscription.
If this development had happened two weeks ago, I might not have thought much more about it than that. But since then I have had the opportunity to meet Shireen Mitchell, executive director of Digital Sisters, a non-profit that seeks to close the digital divide. In addition to a legislative and media advocacy role, Digital Sisters provides hands-on tech education and support to underserved women, crossing race, class and gender lines.
People who read CNET are by definition digitally connected, and for us, the privilege of our wired existence is naturally accompanied by a kind of blindness to the barriers of living without computer access. The problem is, if we develop social systems that assume online access, we may be unintentionally leaving other people behind. Filing a government form, applying for a driver's license, or sending in a resume electronically are only expedient conveniences if you have computer access, equipment and skills.… Read more
The public radio producer American Public Media has launched an interactive game called Consumer Consequences that allows users to model their own ecological footprints. The game prompts users to describe their lifestyles in terms of house size, car travel, energy use, food and shopping consumption, and the mathematical model behind the game translates the information into an easy-to-understand visual summary.
The bottom-line result tells you how many "Earths" of natural resources it would take to sustain all 6.6 billion humans...if everyone lived like you.… Read more
A group of kids from one of our local elementary schools has formed a "mini-laptop club." They don't use electronic machines. Instead, these first-, second- and third-graders draw their own laptops on construction paper and pretend to e-mail each other. They dedicate a surprising amount of time to this activity. I once had a chance to examine one of their "keyboards." I was fascinated to learn which Internet functions had sunk into the minds of these kids, who are just getting their first exposure to computers from watching their parents work, and from using kid-friendly sites. Follow the page jump to see one of their designs.… Read more
It's hard to believe that 10 years ago a cell phone was still a novelty. Now it's nearly impossible to imagine life without mobile communication.
As new modes of communication open up, will others go by the wayside? There may be a generational divide opening here, as younger adults in particular start asking themselves what good is a landline anyway? About a quarter of adults age 18 to 29 rely on a mobile phone as their only telephone service.
I am tempted to dump my landline, not because I have an amazing relationship with my mobile phone, but because telemarketers have turned my ringing landline into an incredible nuisance. An admittedly unscientific study of my caller ID log reveals that I've been getting four junk calls for every call I actually want to receive.… Read more
Quechup describes itself as "the social network platform sweeping the globe." But users are not happy with the kudzu-like growth of Quechup, as invitations to join are being spread through a controversial viral marketing campaign that is ticking off a lot of people.
When you join Quechup, the program searches your address book and sends an invitation out to everyone in your book. Users are somewhat accustomed to having contact lists searched to find out who else they know is already using the social network. The mass auto-invitations to everyone you know, sent in your name, forms a new and unwelcome twist. … Read more