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Designing Games for Civic Action December 10, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, MIT5, Social Media, Trends.
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Some food for thought for designers, theorists, and activists on game design as insights, tools, and practices from gaming are increasingly integrated across different areas of life, leading to talk of the ‘gamification’ of everything – including civic media.

What are the possibilities of and challenges for civic games? Independent game designers, networks like Games for Change, and perhaps even major industry players are moving towards linking gameplay with realworld civic actions.

What is the state of play, and what is coming just over the horizon? In theorizing and developing civic games, what can we learn from games with civic content – as texts, processes, and points of community engagement? How can we understand game design itself as civic engagement, as communities become not only game players but increasingly also design, mod, develop, and critique games?

The age of e-mail is ending. A recent PEW study found that email is now the least used form of digital communication for young people, with 11% of teens engaging in daily email use. On the other hand, as of 2009, over half of teens were communicating daily via SMS, up almost 50% from 2006. For civic organizations, SMS open rates of texts are near 100%, whereas email open rates often hover between 5 – 15%.

Moving forward, organizations wishing to communicate effectively, especially with young people, must develop mobile strategies. What are the opportunities and limitations of SMS as a communication tool, particularly for driving user behavior?

This lunch talk at MIT will discuss learnings from some initial experiments designed to maximize engagement via SMS, as well as provide their insights into trends to watch for the coming years.


The Evolution of The Web November 18, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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Web technologies have evolved to give developers the ability to create new generations of useful and immersive online experiences. Today’s Web is a result of the ongoing efforts of an open cyber community that helps define technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and WebGL and ensure that they’re supported in all browsers.

Web design has come a long way since the first site was published by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. Early sites were entirely text-based, with minimal images and no real layout to speak of other than headings and paragraphs.

The Evolution of the Web presents an animated info graphic that delves deep into the evolution of technologies that made the Internet, which is still in its infant stages. This timeline shows the reign of major web browsers (remember Netscape?) and the advent of key Internet technologies. The timeline was produced by the Google Chrome team in celebration of the third birthday of their browser.

There’s a subtle marketing spin that has all of the lines converging behind the Google Chrome logo in 2008 and then exploding into the future. And the HTML5 line seems to imply that it will take over the Internet in 2012.

Google Adwords for Video October 3, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Reviews, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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The long-awaited Google AdWords for Video is finally here, in beta. Billed as a service that “combines the science of online advertising with the emotional engagement of video” Adwords brings Google’s auction-style advertising to the world of online video.

It’s something that the video community has been expecting ever since Google purchased YouTube in October, 2006. With AdWords for Video, advertisers pay only when their video is viewed; since viewers have to choose to watch the video, that ensures an interested audience.

The system offers four types of placement: In-stream (including pre-, mid-, and post-roll, with an opt-out option after five seconds), in-search (in the viewers’ search results), in-display (showing against similar content), and in-slate (the viewer chooses which ad to view while watching longer-form content). Video ads can show on YouTube or the Google Display Network.

AdWords for Video offers targeting options, so that advertisers can select the group they want to reach. They can target based on demographics, interests, and keywords. They can also choose to display an overlay ad on top of their video, giving more information or prompting an action. The advertising system ties in with Google’s existing analytics tools, so advertisers can monitor performance and make changes, if needed.

Google is offering a simple five-step setup guide for new customers. The steps include linking to an account, creating a campaign, creating an ad, creating a group to target, and then measuring the campaign’s performance. Go here for a ste by step guide to get started or watch Google’s video below:

How The Web Can Change Education July 18, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Essays, News, Reviews, Trends.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
The Web has freed people from the “tyranny of time and distance” and is now poised to create a culture for learning innovation, expanding classroom walls to bring the best learning resources for kids of the world.

No surprise Rupert Murdoch of News Corp has been enthusing about the commercial potential of eLearning, using the e-G8 Forum “The Internet: Accelerating Growth” in Paris to talk up the Web’s power to transform education in his presentation.

Of course, Murdoch lauds commercial educational initiatives and products while ignoring Open Access resources like MIT OpenCourseWare, and many others. While one should beware ruthless tycoons peddling their wares, the point is that even Murdoch sees the future of education, and his words are accurate in many respects.

If schools today have not changed much, and the classroom is still defined by a teacher with a book and a blackboard, what should change? Computers aren’t enough. Software that engage students are also critical. If possible, equip students with tablets to let them become more interactive in their learning.

Digital technology allows for personalized or individualized learning. Students can work at their own pace with online tutors and videos featuring, for example, master teachers from anywhere in the world to monitor each student’s performance.

What does it look like when the Web positively impacts the daily practice of a learning community through communication and collaboration? Some schools have shifted their thinking to transform best practices, utilize project-based learning activities, and implement school communication initiatives that involve blogging, wikis, and social networking tools.

Education and creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson also criticized outdated schools in his classical 2008 A Change of Paradigms lecture at the Royal Society of Art. But he addressed technology from the viewpoint of its effect on cognition and culture, and how educational politics should take this into account. Certainly a more fruitful and far-sighted approach than Murdoch’s promotion of exclusively commercial tech solutions.

Animation: Changing Education Paradigms by Sir Ken Robinson

While Murdoch advocates for less government in education as a software seller, Lawrence Lessig advocates socially ethical “less government.” Below is a video of his e-G8 keynote which focuses on his slides.

We should say to modern democratic government, you need to beware of incumbents bearing policy fixes. Because their job, the job of the incumbents, is not the same as your job, the job of the public policy maker.

Their job is profit for them. Your job is the public good. And it is completely fair, for us to say, that until this addiction is solved, we should insist on minimalism in what government does.

The kind of minimalism Jeff Jarvis spoke off when he spoke of “do no harm”. An Internet that embraces principles of open and free access, a neutral network to guarantee this open access, to protect the outsider.

But here is the one thing we know about this meeting, and its relationship to the future of the internet. The future of the internet is not Twitter, it is not Facebook, it is not Google, it is not even Rupert Murdoch.

The future of the internet is not here. It wasn’t invited, it does not even know how to be invited, because it doesn’t yet focus on policies and fora like this. The least we can do is to preserve the architecture of this network that protects this future that is not here.

Lawrence Lessig, Professor, Harvard Law School

Keynote – e-G8 from lessig on Vimeo.

e-G8 – Rupert Murdoch: Education Is the Last Digital Holdout

Hypervisualization in a Screen Culture June 26, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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This is an interesting resource about the use of data visualization as a seductive material in the advertising business.

Webbys Honor the Best of Web 2011 June 18, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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The stars came out to celebrate the best of the Web at the 15th Annual Webby Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom! From the Red Carpet to the Show, see who shone at this year’s Webby Winners.

Through an innovative partnership with Facebook, fans were able watch this year’s ceremony, hosted by Lisa Kudrow, live on the Webby Awards official Facebook Page, as well as on participating partner pages including The Huffington Post, Martha Stewart, (RED), BuzzFeed, National Geographic and SportsNation.

On these pages, fans can now view the five-word acceptance speeches, backstage and red carpet footage and other special access footage from the live show.

About The Webby Awards

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: AOL, Vitamin T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Ford, Dentyne, Facebook, MLB Advanced Media, Rackspace Hosting, LBi, Buddy Media, (RED), YouTube, HP, USA Today, Financial Times, Business Insider, Geekosystem, 2advanced.Net, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Time Out New York and Guardian News and Media.

The Webby Awards Channel – YouTube
The Webby Awards – Facebook
Webby Awards 2011 Winners

Mobilizing for Web Policy Activism June 2, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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Major international decisions are being made about the Internet in the coming weeks – decisions that could affect the Web as we know it forever. Last week, tens of thousands of Web users successfully petitioned the G8 summit in Deauville, France to keep its hands off the Internet.

The show stoppers were activists of Access Now. This global movement is premised on the belief that political participation in the 21st century is increasingly dependent on access to the Web and other forms of technology. Determined to represent the interests of the non-invited, Access Now, staged an ad-hoc counter-forum civil society press conference where a petition, signed by citizen-users from over 100 countries, was presented.

Although it was the first time the Web and its determinant role in the global economy was explicitly discussed, the invitee list highlighted the flawed approach to the forum. Sure, industry and innovation digerati, from Schmidt to Murdoch to Zuckerberg, were at the Tuileries gardens to discuss Internet governance. But the real future of the Web – civil society bloggers and citizen-users – was not invited.

In fact, as Lawrence Lessig noted, this group does not even know how to be invited. Lessig, one of the few civil voices officially invited to this landmark occasion, called on participants to preserve its open architecture, explaining that the most groundbreaking innovations – Google, icq, skype, kazaa, youtube, and so on – were borne by kids, drop-outs and non-Americans.

Giving primacy to corporate interests, forcing intermediaries to police their customers, filter speech, fight terrorism, protect children online and punish copyright infringers is not the ‘future of the internet’. In fact, this approach risks destroying its innovating, democratizing and participatory characteristics.
Access Now

The final G8 communiqué committed to broadening quality access to ICT, recognizing that Internet access is vital to the flourishing of human rights in the 21st century and ensuring the protection of individual privacy online. But almost completely absent from the document was any commitment to uphold principles of net neutrality or the dangers of censorship by ISPs and governments.

This week Access Now steps up again! The United Nations Human Rights Council will receive its first ever official report on freedom of expression online – and this is one report to support. How UN members respond will determine how, and if, countries commit to protecting the rights of their citizens on the Web. And it is one step further toward access to the internet being properly recognised as a fundamental right.

Related read: World Rallies to Save the Internet from G8

Online News: Information Feast or Famine? April 27, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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Does the abundance of information on the Web make it possible to have a healthy media diet? Or are we just snacking on the news equivalent of junk food, and starved of the kind of information needed to be informed citizens?

How important is the element of mass in mass media, when the Web makes it possible for many more people to set the political agenda? In a world where Wikileaks can set the whole world talking, niche news sites collectively have clout, and may help fill a vacuum in public affairs reporting and agenda setting.

Research into changes in the nature of news supply and demand shows that people consider public affairs news anxiety-provoking, requiring a lot of cognitive effort, and pay attention to serious topics primarily during momentous times, after which they return to their normal news diet, rarely clicking on or tuning into stories journalists consider headlines.

As a result, news publishers in all media, in an increasingly competitive environment, feel pressure to cater to consumer demand. The growing tension in newsrooms between the logic of the profession and the market threatens to reduce public affairs coverage in many broad-based, traditional publications, leaving serious news to “niche sites.” This may lead to a “deepening of information inequality.”

Two panelists, Pablo Boczkowski and Joshua Benton debate the issue at a recent lecture at MIT, and differ on the basic questions.

Pablo Boczkowski and Joshua Benton at MIT Communications Forum from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

Presenting at MIT7 in Cambridge April 5, 2011

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by Joanne KY Teoh

I’m headed to Boston to speak at the Media in Transition 7 Conference, to be held May 13-15, 2011 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA. Here’s the abstract for a paper I’ll be presenting.

Spectacles of the Screen:
Video Sites as Alternative Forms of Citizenship

The arrival of the all-video culture has been so quick and quiet that the implications of what a screen culture may mean are just becoming part of the business, political and intellectual conversation. The need to easily and quickly create and publish all kinds of video to all of today’s online touch points for a 360-degree view of urgent social issues has spawned new forms of journalism and community engagement in Asia.

Video is now everywhere – a Web experience, a mobile experience, as well as an IPTV, cable and satellite experience. As audiences move online, the very nature of online channels is changing. Gone are the days of the static one-way Web site. Today’s Web is interactive, participatory and video rich. It is about community, and building a two-way conversation that requires new types of video content that is both professionally produced and also citizen-generated.

As we enter the age of “all video all the time,” what do these new technologies and cultural advances mean? How are participants, spectators and sense-makers empowered by spectacles of the screen to build capacity and spur collective problem solving? This presentation showcases news coverage at ground zero of the Asian tsunami (2004), cyclone Nargis (2008) Sichuan earthquake (2009) and post independent Timor Leste (2009) to reveal how oral cultures in under-represented Asian communities in crisis are being transformed by grassroots video advocacy.

Web Responds to Japan Quake March 11, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Social Media, Web Video.
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by Joanne KY Teoh
The unfolding disaster in Japan – with elements of Hiroshima, Kobe and the Asian Tsunami – is riveting the Web. Within minutes of a 9.0 magnitude quake which unleashed a deadly tsunami, millions of people around the world Twittered the news, shared footage captured in home-made videos and donated to help victims.

In the immediate aftermath, Japan’s mobile phones were largely silenced because of a spike in demand. For many, Facebook and Twitter became the best link to worried family members.

Google launched a Person Finder App for people looking for quake victims, or for those trying to let their loved ones know they’re okay. Google used this tool to help people locate loved ones and aggregate information during the Christchurch earthquake and the Egypt protests.

The Google Online Crisis Center provides information on missing persons and aggregates important resources, maps, news and lists link to warning centers, disaster bulletin boards, and train and blackout information. The Center shows up on top of searches for “Japan earthquake” and similar phrases.

Tokyo Reporter is covering events from there on Twitter.

Thousands of videos are being shared on YouTube
as people used their cameras to capture and share the scenes around them with the world. Early videos show the horrifying scale of the disaster, with unstoppable waves destroying everything in their path:

The main areas affected are the prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki.

Aid organizations have rushed to leverage social media to collect funds for victims. The International Red Cross has set up a Website. People in Japan and abroad looking for family members can register on the site or consult the list, while those in Japan can inform family and friends that they are safe and provide their contact details.

Resources to follow the quake on the Web:

BBC Liveblog
CNN Video
Associated Press summary
Wikipedia page for Sendai quake
Live streaming translation of Japanese news reports
Google Crisis Response
Google’s Japan People Finder
RTDNA’s “Newsroom Planning for Crisis Coverage” Page
50 Questions to Ask During Crisis Coverage PDF

U.S. Geological Survey quake updates
Humanitarian Early Warning Service
Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

YouTube CitizenTube videos
CNN’s iReport videos
Buzzfeed collection
BoingBoing collection
Montage of TV news clips

Poynter social-media resources
Avoo social profile live tweets, news, links, wall, images, videos


Selected Video Reports

Reinventing Education for 21st Century March 11, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, News, Reviews, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Digital anthropologist Michael Wesch has produced thought provoking videos using Creative Common licensed materials about the web, education and online communities. In ‘Rethinking Education’ he compiles sound bites of thought leaders (Tim O’Reilly, Yochai Benkler, Brewster Kahle, Ray Kurzweil, etc.) in describing how technology is altering mainstream education. Michael Wesch is professor at Kansas State University and was keynote speaker at Open Video Conference in New York in Oct 2010.

Egypt: Web Videos Spur Facebook Revolt February 12, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Amid euphoric scenes on the streets of Egypt, it is clear that the Web is a potent catalyst of political change. As befits a revolution galvanized by social networking, the feeling on the streets is one of individual and collective empowerment as citizen videos show the historic moment, when Mubarak’s resignation as President of Egypt was announced at the hour of evening prayer.

This video shared by YouTube’s Citizen Tube through Twitter shows people at prayer in Tahrir Square holding off the celebration until it is finished before breaking into cheers.

Even though Mubarak has stepped down, the story of Egypt is not over, and neither is the work of cyber-activists. With the military now running the country, it is uncertain what level of digital freedom or online surveillance lies ahead.

Asmaa Mahfouz, a 26-year old Egyptian woman who began online political activism in 2008, is now credited for launching the video call that sparked the revolution. Mahfouz recorded the video below on January 18th, uploaded it to YouTube, and shared it on her Facebook. Within days, the video went viral:

Young people forwarded it on mobile phones – a communications tool that some 65 million Egyptians use. Soon after, the government blocked all mobile phone networks. This was not the first time a young activist used the Internet to mobilize, but it departed from the convenient anonymity of online activism.

Mahfouz is one of the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of young, Internet-savvy activists. Time will judge whether it is accurate to credit this one video and young woman with catalyzing the Egypt revolt. At the very least, her video advocacy captures the zeigeist of an important moment in history:

If Asmaa Mahfouz’s Web video captures the spirit of the political times, Egypt’s anti-Mubarak street movement found a hero to rally around in Wael Ghonim. The 30-year old Google marketing executive created an anonymous Facebook page, “We Are All Khaled Said” named in honor of a blogger beaten to death by police last summer.

The page, launched over six months ago, became a rallying point for demonstrations. What started as a campaign against police brutality grew into an online hub for young Egyptians to share their frustrations over the abuses of the Mubarak regime. Ghonim was detained for 10 days after starting the Facebook page.

The online organizing through Facebook, e-mail list serves and Google Docs that sprung out of it catalyzed cyber activists to collaborate on a kind of movement wiki that is being continually re-edited and improved upon by an expanding Web of contributors.

This is the revolution of the youth of the internet, which became the revolution of the youth of Egypt, then the revolution of Egypt itself.

Wael Ghonim

The Facebook page that Ghonim ran sounded the call for the initial protest on Jan. 25. As the page’s following approached 400,000 people, and word of the event spread, it hosted a constant stream of news, photos, and videos, downloadable fliers, and emotional entreaties for all Egyptians to join the push.

The active early participants in the “We Are All Khaled Said” community were young activists and dissident bloggers, many of whom knew one another and had been organizing against Mubarak’s policies for years. Emboldened by their cyber-purpose, activists took their collective confidence to the streets, giving each other the sense that they just might bend history on the ground.

Web Users Counter Egypt Net Blackout January 30, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video.
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In an action unprecedented in Web history, the Egyptian government on 27 Jan ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet after blocking access to Facebook and Twitter earlier in the week. Some countries routinely block access to specific Websites, but this is the first time a country has voluntarily cut its own Web connection.

Internet intelligence authority Renesys confirmed the blackout soon after the outages occurred. The Egyptian authorities’ efforts to limit communications within the country has triggered a wave of activism from a group of free speech activists on the Web called Telecomix.

Organizing using chat rooms, wikis, and collaborative writing tools, this largely anonymous group is working to inform Egyptians about their communications options while receiving incoming messages from them. Egypt has been identified as a “top priority” for Telecomix on one of its network sites, We Re-Build. It has a wiki set up as a one-stop shop with the latest chat rooms and resources.

Telecomix has worked on free speech efforts in Tunisia, Iran, China and other countries which have tried to censor or block parts of the Web. Chat administrator Christopher Kullenberg from Sweden, likens Telecomix to “an ever growing bunch of friends that do things together.”

Graph visualizing sudden halt of Web traffic in Egypt, based on data from 80 global carriers:

Timeline of recent events for Telecomix:

When Web and mobile services were cut off in Egypt on 27 Jan, though landlines were operational, members immediately got to work to send information to Egyptian fax numbers. Searching for a common string of characters found in Egyptian fax machines numbers on Google, they discovered a large amount of numbers.

At first, they sent out Wikileaks cables to these numbers, but then they determined the Egyptians didn’t need additional motivation. Instead, they were interested in information on how to communicate with each other and the outside world. The activists thus began providing instructions for using dial-up modems and amateur radios, known as Ham radios, which the Egyptian people could use to communicate.

The group says it’s also worked on receiving and decoding amateur radio messages, sent on frequencies recommended by the group of activists. While these groups have only been able to receive a small amount of messages of a short length with an unknown source, the Egyptian people’s use of amateur radio to transmit messages represents an interesting utilization of old-fashioned technology to circumvent government restrictions.

Source: Huffington Post

Besides Telecomix, other Web groups have assisted, including “Anonymous,” which has helped by sending out large amounts of faxes into Egypt. “Anonymous” was also involved in denial of service operations against organizations who took actions against Wikileaks.

Egyptian ISP Noor stayed online largely because it connects the country’s Stock Exchange and many Western companies to the outside world. Many people and businesses who are signed up to Noor have removed the passwords from their wi-fi routers so others can piggy-back on their connection.

Some users could get at websites such as Google, Twitter and Facebook by using the numeric addresses for the sites rather than the English language name. A crowd-sourced document, 20 Ways to Circumvent the Egyptians Governments’ Internet Block has compiled the best ways for Egyptians to keep communicating.

Related reads
Egypt Internet Blackout Teaches Important Lesson
WikiLeaks: A Case Study in Web Survivability
Support for the Disconnected of Egypt

Anonymous in Tactical Protest Shift January 15, 2011

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News.
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Online protest group “Anonymous” have called for a global day of action on 15 January in defence of freedom of expression and attempts to close down Wikileaks, an amorphous organization based in Sweden that publishes anonymous leaks of sensitive documents from governments and other organizations, while preserving the anonymity of their sources.

The self-styled Web freedom fighters have in recent months staged some of the most stunning and audacious cyber-attacks yet seen on key corporate Web infrastructure, gaining notoriety for targeting Websites of companies it deems anti-Wikileaks.

A new video published to their central communications blog Anonops Communications calls for a series of offline protests:

The internet needs champions and we will rise…We are Anonymous and so are you. Stand up and fight. Every city, everywhere.


Details of the actual protests are hard to find because of the anonymous and loose-knit nature of the group, but the call for a real world protest signals a tactical change from the group’s distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDOS.)

In the DDOS carried out in support of Wikileaks, Anonymous members bombarded target websites with huge amounts of data in a bid to knock them offline. The targets were companies that had cut ties with whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.

DDoS attacks are more akin to sit-in protests than cyberterrorism. While a real-world protest is a change in tactics for “Anonymous,” it’s not unfounded for the group, which has no real individual leadership save but for the prevalence of ideas that gain popularity online.

The US Department of Homeland Security has mentioned “Anonymous” among a list of groups they believed could fuel a “resurgence in radicalization.” However, an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development report dismisses the risk of cyber war as over-hyped.

The OECD study says a vast majority of hi-tech attacks described as acts of cyber war do not deserve the name. Unlike pandemics and financial instability, trouble caused by cyber attacks is likely to be localised and short-lived.

Attempts to quantify potential damage that hi-tech attacks could cause and develop appropriate responses are hampered by the hyperbolic language used to describe these incidents. Under the heading of cyber weapons the report included viruses, worms, trojans, distributed-denial-of-service using botnets and unauthorised access to computers ie hacking.

Related read
Anonymous names Saturday a global day of protest to defend free speech
Anonymous urges global protests

Webs@Work 2010 in Review January 1, 2011

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 28 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 261 posts. There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was December 8th with 218 views. The most popular post that day was Wikileaks: Web Censorship Won’t Work.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were search.conduit.com, singaporedaily.net, en.search.wordpress.com, bshistorian.wordpress.com, and bigextracash.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for reykjavik, wikileaks, map of the internet, tigers girls, and singapore political blogs.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Wikileaks: Web Censorship Won’t Work February 2008


Top 10 YouTube Tips and Tricks October 2007


Top 20 Singapore Political Blogs July 2007
1 comment


Tiger Woods as Web Fodder December 2009


An Offshore Journalism Haven? February 2010
2 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

Wikileaks Iraq War Logs October 24, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Web Video.
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Whistle blowing Website WikiLeaks has released nearly 400,000 pages of classified military logs chronicling the Iraq War, despite attempts by the Pentagon to stop the document dump. In the largest leak of its kind in US military history, the logs offer an incomplete, yet graphic portrait of one of the most contentious issues in the Iraq war — how many Iraqi civilians have been killed and by whom.

The documents themselves are known at the Pentagon as ‘SIGACTs,’ raw field reports chronicling “Significant Action” in the conflict as seen by U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq. The archive is the second cache obtained by Wikileaks and made available to news organizations.

Shedding new light on the war, the secret logs allegedly show the US ignored systemic abuse, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to news reports. Der Spiegel, Al-Jazeera News, The Guardian and Le Monde have been collaborating with WikiLeaks on the latest leak.

To search the Iraq documents, click here.
To view documents in an interactive map click here.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ‘a hacker fighting for the freedom of information.’ At 39, the former journalist has built his life around an uncompromising quest for information. He has no home and travels the world with one bag containing his clothes, and another holding his computer. The Iraq papers is the latest stage in a life of action against vested interest.

Wikileaks’ operators and volunteers – five full-timers, and another 1,000 on call – are almost all anonymous. The intentions are laudable – to “allow whistleblowers and journalists who have been censored to get material out to the public.” Who will watch the watchdogs? The Web has its own wisdom, and the crowds will provide the needed context, analysis and background.

Wikileaks’ most high-profile previous success came with the release of a helicopter cockpit video that showed civilians shot in Baghdad. The publicity from video added US$1m to the group’s coffers and prompted more people to come forward with leaks of their own. Read more.

Related reads:
Iraq war logs: WikiLeaks v Washington
Wanted by the CIA: Julian Assange – Wikileaks founder
Wikileaks: How website shines light on world’s darkest secrets
Wikileaks: Web Censorship Won’t Work

Hockney iPad Doodles Debut in Paris October 23, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Trends.
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One of the most influential artists of the 20th century is helping to herald a new movement: digital art. British artist David Hockney opened an exhibition at the Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent in Paris – harnessing mobile technology to draw the most traditional of artist’s subjects, the still life.

The computer-generated botanicals in Fleurs Fraiches (Fresh Flowers) feature iPhones, iPads and iPod touches bearing images of flowers created by Hockney using the Brushes app in his home in East Yorkshire in the UK.

David Hockney with iPhone on an easel in his London studio

Three of Hockney’s iPad drawings

The flowers are indeed fresh – Hockney will email new images of the blooms for the duration of the exhibition to help ensure the exhibit is always fresh with new images. Dozens of the apparatuses are bolted onto the walls, their flat screens aglow with art. So if you fancy braving strikers in Paris, the exhibition runs until 30 Jan 2011.

Hockney gained renown in the 1960s as a member of the Pop Art movement. He discovered Brushes 18 months ago after getting an iPhone and then iPad, and started doodling with his thumb to build images of flowers on the screen. He would email the images to his friends.

Among friends who got the emails was curator and cultural historian Charlie Scheips, who immediately saw the potential for an exhibit. An innovative exhibit are six animations showing Hockney’s creative process in fast motion. Days before his show, Hockney was filmed painting the Eiffel Tower on his iPad at the Hotel Lutetia. That mini-documentary has been added to the show’s lineup

Fleurs Fraiches opening cocktail at the Tokyo Art Club in Paris

With the iPad, I use my fingers to zoom in for details, then zoom back out. There’s magic in an iPad. It’s the same magic that’s in pencil or pen or brushes. With this show, one of the great difficulties was, how will people see the paintings? When I sent them personally, on an iPhone, I knew people would be holding the iPhone in their hand, and that my hand made the paintings in that size.

When you put an iPhone on a wall, it’s a bit too small. Twenty iPads look good together on a wall, but 100 together are a little too bright. We tried that in England. The way it’s done here, on a mixture of screens, some measuring up to four-and-a-half meters, they really glow marvelously. You don’t see any pixels.

David Hockney, Artist

Brushes has become something of a Web phenomenon with its own blog, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as a dedicated Flickr group where Brushes artists can share their work. Portuguese illustrator, photographer and graphic designer Jorge Colombo has even used the app to paint a number of covers for The New Yorker magazine.

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I Pad, I write, I paint, I am
David Hockney’s iPad art

Open Video Under Threat October 23, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video.
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Ex-Obama advisor Susan Crawford points to the threats to the Web from increasing monopolization of broadband supply in the US.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/hYhSgoDRMgI%2Em4v%5D

Guggenheim Debuts Web Video Biennial October 10, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Reviews, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Fresh from my engagement at the Open Video Conference in NYC, I am convinced that no other medium is pushing the boundaries of creativity like video. Much is in store for Web video advocates, activists and artists.

The Guggenheim Museum is recognizing the importance of video art by creating YouTube Play, its first biennial of online creative video. The collaboration with YouTube combines an online site, a juried contest, and showings at Guggenheim museums in New York, Bilbao, Venice, and Berlin.

The 20 videos shortlisted from 23,000 submissions will be announced at the New York Guggenheim on October 21 at an event streamed live on the YouTube Play channel. The selected videos will be screened at Guggenheim museums and will be archived online.

So what makes the cut? The shortlist is reviewed by a panel that includes film director Darren Aronofsky, visual artist Takashi Murakami, recording artist Laurie Anderson, video artist Douglas Gordon and museum curator Nancy Spector.

While online video art is not new, the biennial shows the form is being recognized by the art establishment. YouTube is one of the platforms where people are sharing creative video. The biennale exposes viewers to work that they would not normally see. Viewers can then interact by posting comments.

“We wanted to look at what’s happening right now online and be part of it,” says Hanne Mugaas, territorial associate for the YouTube Play biennial. “There’s a history of artists working online. For the new generation of artists, the Internet has always been there while they were growing up, so it’s an everyday tool. It’s a tool not only for artistic production, but also for distribution and inspiration, and a platform for sharing.”

Visit YouTube Play to see the short list of finalists and come back on the 21st to see which 20 were selected.

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See It Now! Video journalism is dying. Long live video journalism. – CJR

Building Solutions for Human Rights Video October 8, 2010

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Convergence, Journalism, News, Social Media, Web Video, YouTube.
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Webs@Work participated in a “ hack day ” at the 2010 Open Video Conference in New York City. We gathered t at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) on Sunday Oct 3 for an all-day open space gathering of innovators, HTML5 developers and transmedia storytelling experts. Some of the stuff we did:

– Make interactive HTML5 video with WebMadeMovies tech like popcorn.js
– Map a transmedia strategy for content
– Build a custom HTML5 player for Websites
– Create robust video sites with Kaltura CE 2.0 self-hosted software stack.

The hack lab was a follow up from the previous day’s workshop where we came up with three areas to cover: 1) Safety and Security 2) Distribution (including low/no bandwidth) 3) Data Driven Storytelling. Taking the ideas from the brainstorming, we sought to build prototyped mobile video solutions in response.

Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project led the really geeky part, using the built in facial recognition libraries in the Android platform to build a prototype of a mobile video tool for advocacy activists.


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