What a crap week. If you read Sunday’s post on technology, you already know how my iPod spoiled my weekend. On the same day, one of my wisdom teeth shattered, meaning I have some wonderfully painful days ahead before an even more painful surgical procedure. When the dentist starts talking about cutting away bone in the jaw, I remember why I hate them.
The iPod issue is now fixed, though. I picked up a new 80gb classic model (black, naturally) on Monday. Yes, I could have gone for the Touch version, but the extra $300 would have been the equivalent of domestic suicide and my back can’t cope with sleeping on sofas any more.
I Can See My House From Here!
Google’s Street View finally launched in Australia this week and already the furore over privacy has started. But, even better, the image spotting has started too – as Aussies start trawling the street views to find those hilarious moments captured inadvertently. At this stage, most of the images are about demonstrating the lack of privacy, but hopefully we’ll soon see wonderful blogs like these ones detailing the best street view shots from the States.
Thankfully, I wasn’t caught out the front of my house doing anything embarrassing, but I’d love to know who owns the blue ute illegally parked there. The real shame is that we never knew when the Google car was driving past. Imagine the potential if you knew the Google car was recording your neighbourhood on a particular day. Imagine hanging a massive banner across the front of your house ready for the car to immortalize the image forever online. It could be an advertisement, a protest or even a particularly cruel but interesting way to dump the girlfriend.
Some of the privacy complaints may well be valid, as Google seems to have missed blurring out all faces and license plates. Conversely, some of the complaints seem spurious. For example, a common cry this week has been that street view gives burglars a handy tool to scout locations for crime, plot escape routes etc. What the point misses is that street view allows ANYONE to plot a convenient route or see how a place looks before visiting. The criminal argument has no more validity than if we tried to ban cars because occasionally some people use them to evade police.
Steal This Film
One thing I learned this week. The global phenomenon “The Secret” started out as a Channel Nine Australia production before they declined to broadcast it, claiming it lacked mass appeal. Gotta love business execs, right? Ronda Byrne, the creator, managed to use the internet to virally spread the word, turning the DVD and ensuing book into huge best-sellers.
Why is this important? Previously, I encouraged you all to watch (or read) Mark Pesce’s brilliant lecture, “Piracy is Good”. (You can follow Mark on Twitter here.) Since then, Mark has sent me further reading as I research an article on the way the internet is transforming attitudes to copyright and distribution, turning everyone into individual broadcasters of content. If any of you are even mildly curious about the future of the internet and media, read Mark’s blog, “The Human Network”, particularly the article “Production Models for the 21st Century”, from which I gleaned the information about “The Secret”.
This article also pointed me towards the movie “Steal This Film”. An absolutely free download, where viewers are encouraged to share and spread the film as far as possible, it clearly outlines the war between old-guard business models and the new online economy. The internet has changed consumer behaviour forever. As long as businesses try to cling onto old notions of copyright and distribution, they will continue to lose money and lose power.
Kimota on the Web
The newly revamped ans sunglass-bright PlanetDomain Blog has a new post from me this week. With online shopping on the increase, I look at the dos and don’ts of shopping cart design in ‘Creating a Shopping Paradise’.
Listening to… Peter Gabriel – Melt. One of my favourite albums back in my teens, I finally picked up the CD Remastered version. It is always fun to rediscover music I once loved. I’m inspired to go on and pick up the rest of the classic Peter Gabriel albums this week.
Reading… Wertham Was Right by Mark Evanier. Don’t worry, I’m still on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the evenings. Mark Evanier’s web columns on comics have always been entertaining reading for a comic geek like myself. This volume collects some of his best columns, accompanied by illustrations from Sergio Aragones. Some wonderful opinion on the unique world of comics and a discussion of what Frederick Wertham’s campaign for comic censorship in the Fifties did for the industry.
As you were. Class dismissed.