Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Going Social

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  • Lilith __, in reply to Sacha,

    Isn’t the issue more that Facebook has constantly moved the goalposts over time so that privacy has been reduced?

    Not really. There have been multiple sets of changes over the last couple of years, and each new set-up comes with default privacy settings, which you can manually configure to how you want them. IMHO nobody with any sense would trust the default settings. The most recent privacy changes allow you to set general privacy rules for your content as well as having granular control of the privacy of each individual post, if you want it.

    Recent changes also saw the introduction of groups: if you set up a “secret” group you can make it and its content visible only to invited members, which can be quite handy for keeping certain chatter within a subset of your friends.

    Common sense still applies, though, as nzlemming has said: don’t put compromising stuff out there, and it can’t come back to bite you.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I love the [clique!] meme that's come out of that casual tweet Che made about his friend. I prefer [whanau!], though.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That said, I am on facebook, and use it as a glorified email service, and in that sense it's incredibly useful. I think it was Russell Brown who said that Twitter was illustrative, whereas Facebook was administrative. I think Noel McCarthy's comments on facebook are pretty apposite.

    Ahem. I actually said "Twitter is poetic, Facebook is administrative."

    But "illustrative" is good too, damn you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hi there – yes the intention with the page we set up on the Friday night was to provide a social media area for people to give messages of support and a focal point for disseminating information regarding the rescue operation (as it was at the time).

    We kept mention of 3 News to a minimum due to the sensitivity of the story – we wanted the page to be something people could own themselves rather than a branding exercise. The reaction we have had from the public has been heartwarming.

    Thanks for the background, James.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    IMHO nobody with any sense would trust the default settings

    A maxim you can apply to life generally.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm yet to get the killer tweet that would give me any reason to run Twitter as a background service, rather than something that I only ever check if there's actual live news going on.

    It's the best eclectic intelligence engine I've ever seen - but so much of that comes down to who you follow.

    Just taking astronomic science as an example, this little number blew my mind a few days ago - cosmic background radiation patterns suggest we're in a cyclic universe with successive Big Bangs, not just one as we've been told for so long. Copernicus, much?

    And today, informed speculation that NASA may have found arsenic-based life on Saturn's largest moon.

    What's not to love?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mrjamesmurray,

    Thanks for commenting, James.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    most people are nicer in the flesh than they are online.

    Twitter and Facebook may have differing effects..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Facebook lost all relevance for me when Parker Brothers closed down Zynga’s Risk! knock off: Attack!. What is with these phenomena?

    “Gordy ate parsnip today.”
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · Comment · Share

    6 people like this

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    Jock Shitscream I have a lot of time for root vegetables

    Tawny Gaff yea like telling randoms u can see her Camel toe!! lol poor girl

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Twitter? Emphatically.

    “This person has protected their tweets.”

    From what?

    MinXVI: @soulore & mike tyson looks like a pit bulldogg RT ifOuNdZAYBO: Hey no lie don’t 50tyson look like 50 cent lol http://jsf.hw.md/09srk

    This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Anonymous Author,

    This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.

    Error 404 this comment cannot be displayed.
    To view a cached page dial KLondike 5.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Informed speculation?
    Sometimes maybe, but not from that guy. Speculating on what might be in a press conference based on the project workers' CVs and what projects these people have been, in some way, involved in, is hardly what I'd call informed.

    Arsenic is used by bacteria as an energy source (well, electron donor/acceptor) to power other reactions, but by definition, it can't be used for photosynthesis (as photosynthesis is a specific chemical reaction involving carbon, oxygen and hydrogen). I know I sound pedantic, but while astrobiology news in general always promises to be pretty mindblowing (sadly the actual news fails to deliver), the chances that they've found life on Titan that uses arsenic instead of carbon (which is what an arsenic-based lifeform would have to be) is about 0%. Oh, and since I ripped into the other guy for not being informed, I say all this because I'm currently doing my post-doc in a lab which focusses on what happens to arsenic in weird environments (geothermal ones in particular).

    I'm sure it'll be an interesting press release, but completely rewriting everything we know about biochemistry? Nah. I'll be stoked to admit it if I'm wrong, but I'm not counting on it. To me, you highlight the major weakenss of the "new" media, in that there is a lot less critical evaluation of the information coming through, or at least that's how it seems to me anyway. As a method of spreading rumour though, it's awesome.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Nathaniel Wilson,

    the major weakenss of the "new" media, in that there is a lot less critical evaluation of the information coming through

    But Nathaniel, you've just critically evaluated the information so I guess the 'publish then filter' new media way is working. Though Jason Kottke is hardly a person of low credibility.

    And here's NASA's media advisory (now that Jason's tweet alerted me there was something to look for):

    NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

    Adding more information like that and your contribution above helps people bring their own analytical skills to bear on deciding how informed Kottke's speculation might be and whether to trust future information from him (and from me).

    Naturally some wags are already suggesting it's all just an orchestrated US government distraction from Wikileaks..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson, in reply to Sacha,

    You've got me there : )

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I’d still wager that sites such as this (I’m not sure how to categorize it- bbs? forums?) are immeasurably more useful in simplifying the process you mention Sacha, thinking specifically of specialist sites where you’d be privvy to the same info you’re getting on Twitter with more immediate detailed criticism on site. At its best, Twitter is severely handicapped by the word limit.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to chris,

    Workman, tools, sweets ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    At its best, Twitter is severely handicapped by the word limit.

    Some may consider this a blessing.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Yes and Yes, not wanting to be too dismissive of the functionality, merely skeptical as to whether it warrants the hype. Both Twitter and Facebook are blocked here, so I'm a total newb to the Twitter, but with the window currently open (...) I'd like to find some of the best of what Twitter has to offer to make a more informed assessment, if anyone has any recommendations, post them.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I'm not on Facebook. Except for photos that I am in that may have been tagged, and posts made by those around me that feature my actions, and the pieces of content I've created over the years that others have displayed and created back to me. So Facebook will have a fairly tight advertising profile of me without me taking part, it is just they have no way of delivering ads to me. This may change if they successfully implement their 'use Facebook for all your communications to everyone' idea.
    Putting aside Facebook's specific ethical breaches, you would face the same kind of potential problems with any pervasive, centralised, social networking site.
    Twitter I will search, without being a tweeter or tweetee, for it's immediacy. After we felt the earthquake that turned out to be in Christchurch, twitter was one of the sources I turned to to quickly find out what unfiltered news I could.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to David Hood,

    That’s a good point, David. The key, good or bad, to Twitter is its immediacy, and to Facebook its pervasiveness.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    nobody with any sense would trust the default settings.

    A maxim you can apply to life generally.

    You can change the default settings on general life? Man, how come nobody told me this, like, years ago? No wonder it's all felt so wrong for the last few decades!

    There's about 10 seconds of "Hi, how's it going? What have you been doing?", then it's straight down to whatever you were last talking about.

    Heh. Earlier this year, I caught up with a good mate I hadn't seen for probably six, seven years. On the drive over to his place, I was wondering how it would be: awkward? Odd? Would we have changed much? Would out lives have diverged? Would we still have anything to talk about?

    Ten seconds after we met, we were talking about pretty much what we were last talking about. Music, since you didn't ask.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    You can change the default settings on general life? Man, how come nobody told me this, like, years ago? No wonder it's all felt so wrong for the last few decades!

    Echo. <loving these shortened quote tags>

    Any one else here reading Iain M. Banks Surface Detail? Page 322. When I want to pretend I'm calling someone a 'twatcock' without them knowing, I can now use 'Bulbitian'.

    Guess you had to be there.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Oops. Wrong thread.

    Damn default settings...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Okay, I’ve just seen The Social Network. A fascinating film in that it’s ultimately very conventional in its rise-and-fall “Rosebud” narrative, something that even the the filmmakers acknowledge, and yet there’s something strangely hypertextual about it- not just in the way it criss-crosses all over the place in terms of story-telling (the legal battles are so entangled that there are at least half-a-dozen “flashbacks within flashbacks”), but in the sense it’s indulged in mythmaking in something that’s still very much ongoing. Jesse Eisenberg deserves all the plaudits he has and will get- it’s an oddly controlled, and even muscular (intellectually if not physically) performance, the very essence of the avenging nerd, while the support cast all off good, rounded work, even if Timberlake’s gadfly Sean Parker offbalances things just a tad.

    There are probably too many loose ends, and yet you did get a sense of something epic in minature, and although the framing device (we start in a crowded bar and end in an empty office with a computer) was obvious, it felt earned. Mainly, I got the sense that the filmmakers knew exactly what they were playing at, unlike, say, Fincher’s Zodiac, which despite the excellent performances and direction, felt oddly hollow and confused.

    It’s a generational lightning rod of a sort, but in some ways, it’s also charmingly quaint- perhaps every generation needs its rosebud.

    That said, they deserve special plaudits for finding a way to enliven one of the most static, visually boring activites there is- computer programming. The scenes where they’re developing the various codes and programs really come alive, the whole film seems hepped up of the cinematic equivalent of vodka and red bull, which is strangely appropriate given the age of all the lead players.

    I’m pretty sure the factual veracity of a good percentage of it is doubtful, but then again, they do acknowledge that in an offhand way- I think one of the lawyers says something along the lines that 85 percent of testimony is emotional exaggeration and the other 15 percent is perjury. And in a weird way, Zuckenberg should be strangely flattered by the portrayal here- it’s very much about his character’s attempt to make sense of a world that isn’t built around code, although he tries his damndest to bend it that way.

    One bit did feel off though- when Zuckerberg hits California, it’s Ronnie Hudson & The Street People’s “West Coast Poplock”, and not 2Pac’s California Love (the 1996 smash song which sampled it) which plays in the background. I don’t quite buy that, knowing that Zuckenberg’s my age, he’s more likely, I assume, to play the latter. But who I am to argue?

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 445 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    I should also add that it succeeds mostly because it’s not really about facebook at all, but about the sort of personalities who would create such a venture, and how all of them were liable to turn, along with the strangely opaque social networks within Ivy League universities, and that Sorkin’s dialogue is at once hyper-mannered and paradoxically naturalistic- it hurtles at an unstoppable rate, but it sounds as good as it scans.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 445 posts Report Reply

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