Google wins Australia advertising case

Google wins landmark advertising case in Australia | Reuters: "The ruling helps Internet providers and search engines argue that they are not publishers, but simply carriers of information provided by third parties. . . . The finding ends a six-year legal battle between Google and Australia's consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which accused Google of engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct over paid advertisements. The ACCC based its case on search results in 2006 and 2007, where a search for Honda Australia would show a paid advertisement for a Honda competitor, CarSales. The ACCC said the ads were deceptive, as they suggested CarSales was linked to Honda Motor Co Ltd. Google argued that it was not responsible for the advertisements, as it was only the conduit for the advertiser. In a unanimous finding, five judges of Australia's High Court ruled in favor of Google, overturning a ruling from the Federal Court. The lower court had ordered Google to set up a compliance program to make sure paid advertisements on its search engine were not misleading. The five High Court judges said Google did not create the sponsored links and the company was not responsible for messages in the links. . . ."

The Verge Hires Writer Who Quit CNET in Protest - "Mr. Sandoval announced his resignation via Twitter on Jan. 14, less than an hour after The Verge published its report. CBS sought to portray its involvement as a one-time incident. In a recent statement, the company said: “CNET is not going to give an award or any other validation to a product which CBS is challenging as illegal, other networks believe to be illegal and one court has already found to violate the copyright act in its application. Beyond that, CNET will cover every other product and service on the planet.” Last week, the organizer of the Consumer Electronics Show cut its ties with CNET and reinstated the Hopper as the winner of the Best in Show award."

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LinkedIn as professional publishing hub

LinkedIn eyes future as professional publishing hub | Internet & Media - CNET News: " . . . You've seen this deliberate strategy partially play out with products such as LinkedIn Today, the professional e-zine that aggregates and features top news items for you, and LinkedIn Influencers, or anointed experts like Richard Branson who contribute exclusive content to LinkedIn. . . . LinkedIn sees its future as a professional publishing platform. . . .  Influencers, LinkedIn Groups, Slideshare, people are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to publish professionally relevant content," Weiner said. "We think that's going to create a very strong platform and very valuable context for large enterprises, for small-medium businesses who want to target [and] engage with professionals." That's a lot of buzzword bingo for this: LinkedIn plans to hook you with business content you can't get elsewhere -- whitepapers, news articles, educated discussion threads, and so forth. When you come back more often and stick around longer -- LinkedIn likes to use the term "engagement" to describe your attention -- the professional social network can get clients to list more jobs and spend more on ads.. . ."

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Korean lawmaker who exposed Samsung corruption forced from office

Korean lawmaker who exposed Samsung corruption forced from office | The Verge: "A South Korean politician who sought to expose corruption within Samsung's ranks has lost his seat in parliament. The Supreme Court upheld that by publishing transcripts of wiretapped conversations online, Roh Hoe-chan broke communications laws; the conviction means he cannot remain a lawmaker, and he has received a suspended prison sentence. In explaining its decision, the court said "Unlike distributing press releases to journalists, uploading messages on the Internet allows an easy access to anybody at any time." It added that the media publishes select information "with responsibility" rather than providing the public with "unfiltered access" to what it knows. . . ."

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Graffiti Artists - even in China

United colours of Beijing | South China Morning Post: "By their own estimates, between 30 and 40 graffiti artists work in Beijing, some more regularly than others, in comparison with the thousands active in cities such as Los Angeles, Paris and New York. Most here have creative-industry day jobs: building websites or laying out one of the growing number of glossy publications that sit on the shelves of the capital’s magazine stands. When graffiti first appeared in Beijing, in the early 1990s, it – along with much of the emerging contemporary art scene – was considered subversive. Today, graffiti is taking root in a culture that is much more tolerant, both socially and politically – one where government restrictions are playing less of a part and the public is becoming more accepting of a wider range of artistic expression."

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The Bookless Library

The library is a chance to expand the scope of opportunities for people to learn technology

A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library : NPR: "If your idea of a library is row upon row of nicely shelved hardcovers, then you'll be in for a surprise when a planned new library in San Antonio opens this fall. "Think of an Apple store," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says while explaining the layout of the new library, BiblioTech. In keeping with technological advances, the county will house a library of neatly arranged LCD screens and gadgets instead of the traditional banquet of dog-eared print and paper books. The public library will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind. With 50 computer terminals and a stock of laptops and tablets on-site, the building will also offer an array of preloaded e-readers available for the card-carrying customer to take home. "The library is a chance to expand the scope of opportunities for people to learn technology," Wolff explains. "The world is changing." He contends that the $1.5 million project will be cost-effective, as it'll be located in an existing county-owned building and available to many underserved communities where residents may not have access to at-home computers."

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Endorsement-based Advertising and the FTC

The continuing issue of user endorsements--read the entire article (excerpt below) at the link below:

Endorsement-based Advertising Subject to Law Enforcement by FTC | Pillsbury Social Media, Entertainment & Technology Team - JDSupra: "User endorsements are becoming a more and more popular form of "advertising" as the use of social media and user-generated content continues to increase. These endorsements often take the form of reviews via blogs or Yelp, but can also include other less conspicuous communications. These endorsements can be quite powerful. As a result some companies will compensate users for giving them. In some cases, the compensation can bias the endorsement. While this is not illegal, it creates issues that need to be considered. In some cases, user endorsements leverage social media features. For example, a company's website may include a button that, when clicked by a user, causes a positive message about the company to be posted via the user's Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media account. When there is compensation for that endorsement--even soft compensation such as through loyalty program points or virtual goods--federal laws may come into play. . . . "

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New York Times Launches Incubator

From publishing to incubating?--

New York Times Launches Incubator | Adweek: "While programs like TimeSpace are exciting and indicative of the forward-thinking mindset organizations like the Times need to weather the coming years, these types of incubator programs haven't been without friction. In November, Adweek noted that an incubator at the Philadelphia Media Network outraged Newspaper Guild members, who felt the program was funneling resources and funds away from the newsroom. While the Times is most certainly looking for a feel-good story, the proximity to a very public series of buyouts could cue grumblings from the media chattering class. More than anything though, TimeSpace is indicative of the direction the paper is heading, where high-rent space at the top of the masthead is being traded for a more affordable shot at a nimble future."

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Web, Search, Computer to the Stream

Publishing: From Print to the Internet to the Stream?--

The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It | Wired Opinion | " . . . Every news source is a lifestream. Stream-browsers will help us tune in to the information we want by implementing a type of custom-coffee blender: We’re offered thousands of different stream “flavors,” we choose the flavors we want, and the blender mixes our streams to order. Every site’s content is liberated from the confines of space. It becomes part of a universal timestream. Instead of relying on Amazon the site to notify me if there’s a new Cynthia Ozick book or new books on the city of Florence, I can blend together several booksellers’ lifestreams and then apply my search since stream algebra allows any streams to be added (new and used books) and content (Florence, Ozick) to be subtracted. E-commerce changes drastically. We shouldn’t have to work to find what’s new, yet the way the web is currently architected it’s no different logically than having to visit a thousand separate physical shops. The time-based worldstream lets us sit back instead and watch a single, customized fashion show across sites. . . ."

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French publishers and Google settle

Google upholds its principles while offering help to French publishers trying to transition to the "digital world"--

Google cuts copyright deal with French publishers | PCWorld: " . . . The first component of the plan is a €60 million digital publishing innovation fund aimed at pushing French publishers into the digital age, "to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers," said Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in the blog post. . . . The second part of the plan is designed to improve Google's partnership with French publishers to increase their online revenues using Google's ad services. "A healthy news industry is important for Google and our partners, and it is essential to a free society," said Google's Schmidt. "This exciting announcement builds on the commitments we made in 2011 to increase our investment in France—including our Cultural Institute in Paris to help preserve amazing cultural treasures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls," he added. . . . The partnership aspect of the plan, however, suggests that Google and French publishers will be sharing certain technologies in an effort to avoid future copyright disputes. In that sense, the initiative is similar to the settlement Google reached with Belgian news publishers in December. . . . "

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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Eroding Press Freedom in Europe

A dangerous trend--under many guises worldwide--

Europe's Eroding Press Freedom - Hit & Run : " . . . Note that "removal of journalistic status" would seem to require licensing of journalists so that they would then have something that let them do their jobs that could be stripped from them by those media councils. That would be among the "real enforcement powers" that media councils could wield against journalists and media entities that piss them off by violating standards and values as defined by bureaucrats. Overall, it would seem to be a really good time to start writing an elegy for European press freedom — or at least for media outfits on the other side of the Atlantic to consider moving their Web servers to the United States."

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CES fires CNET

So much for journalistic ethics and standards at CBS and CNET--

CES tells CNET: You’re fired! | Ars Technica: "At the 2013 CES convention, CNET's editorial staff loved the Dish Hopper DVR and nominated it "Best in Show." That journalistic decision was quickly tossed out, however, by the legal department at CBS, CNET's corporate parent. CBS is involved in litigation against Dish over the Hopper. The censoring of CNET's decision has produced a fair bit of fallout for CBS already. The company has been criticized in many quarters for silencing its journalists. Greg Sandoval, a well-known writer for CNET, even left the company, saying he was concerned that his employer didn't respect editorial independence. Now, CES itself has put out a press release slamming CNET's behavior and announcing that CNET won't be allowed to produce the "Best of CES" awards anymore. Those awards are produced by CNET under contract with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which puts on CES. CEA said it will work to identify a new partner to run the Best of CES awards. "We are shocked that the ‘Tiffany’ network which is known for its high journalistic standards would bar all its reporters from favorably describing classes of technology the network does not like," said CEA President Gary Shapiro in the statement."

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Apple: ‘Want to criticize religion? Write a book’

Apple: ‘Want to criticize religion? Write a book’ — don’t make a game | VentureBeat: "One section of the guidelines resonated with me as a gamer: "We view apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate. If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store." Apple isn’t the only company that “views apps differently than books or songs,” but it is still strange for a company to state it so bluntly. Apparently, Apple doesn’t think games are capable of the same kind of social criticism as books and songs — but why?"

Kind of like "medium as message."


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