links for 2010-10-14

  • "Gay issues have been in the news a lot lately, from the debate over same-sex marriage in Congress to a sickening rash of gay-bashing here in New York City. We see a lot of emotion out there, instead of information, and we wanted to provide some data-based context on sexuality so that people might make better choices about what they say, think, and do.

    We run a massive dating site and therefore have unparalleled insight into sex and relationships. Here's what we've found, in numbers and charts."

  • Interesting event coming up in April 2011
  • "Why is this happening? Is it because there’s much less defamation or invasion of privacy today? I strongly doubt that’s the reason. Instead, I can think of several reasons for the decline in defamation and privacy trials:

    1. Defamation lawsuits are very hard to win. Only about 13% are successful. It is thus hard to find lawyers who will take the case.

    2. Invasion of privacy lawsuits are also hard to win. The privacy torts are fossilized into the forms they were in circa 1960, and they haven’t evolved to address modern privacy problems. Moreover, courts cling to antiquated notions of privacy that make it hard for plaintiffs to prevail in a data-soaked world.

    3. Focusing on trials might be the wrong thing to focus on. Trials themselves are becoming a rarity.

  • "Currently the New York Times is facing no libel suits, and the parent company faces just one in the U.S. “There’s been a fairly steep decline” in the last few years, he says. “The real question is whether it’s cyclical, as sometimes happens, although never quite to this degree, or whether there are other factors at play.”

    "The Times is definitely not alone, and the trend appears to have rolled out over two or three decades—not years—according to research from the Media Law Resource Center. The number of trials of libel, privacy and related claims against the media fell from 266 in the ’80s to 192 in the ’90s to 124 in the 2000s. In 2009, only nine such trials were held."

    (tags: media law trends)
  • "It used to be that part of the cost of doing good journalism (or making the occasional mistake) was a libel suit. So imagine reporter John Koblin's surprise when he discovered that in the last few years domestic libel suits against the big media companies have quietly stopped. He offers some theories as to why they’re suddenly extinct."

links for 2010-10-13

  • Adobe has just released its Flash Player for Mobile 10.1–empowering certain smartphones to play flash content on the Web. Curious timing, since Apple's just shipped its new Flash-free iOS4. Is Adobe trying to make a point?

    The software is available for Apple-competing Android platforms, including smartphones from a broad spectrum of manufacturers. When when these companies get their update systems running (assuming they actually choose to roll out Flash capabilities) then millions of users will benefit from the ability to play Flash content… and sap their batteries, slow down their cell phones, and open themselves up to viruses– at least according to all the allegations about how Flash performs on mobile devices. Adobe has tried to tackle this and announced that it's "completely redesigned and optimized" the code, including reducing the memory demands of Flash by 50%.

  • "Four and a half months after an Apple license change led Adobe Systems to scrap a project to bring Flash-derived applications to the iPhone, Apple has reversed the ban.

    Apple undid license restrictions for software developed for iOS devices on Thursday, saying it was taking developer feedback to heart. "We are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code," Apple said in a statement.

    According to the developer agreement (PDF), Apple removed the extra words it had added to section 3.3.1 of that license in April that blocked the Flash-derived apps."

  • "HTML5 adds many new features, and streamlines functionality in order to render these processor-intensive add-ons unnecessary for many common functions.

    Assuming content providers sign on (and many are), this means you won't have to worry about installing yet another plugin just to listen to a song embedded in a blog or watch a video on YouTube. Similarly, this is a big deal for platforms that either don't support Flash (e.g., iPhone and iPad), or have well documented problems with it (e.g., Linux). It will be a particular boon to those smartphones for which supporting Flash has proven problematic."

  • 175 million U.S. Internet users watched online video content in September for an average of 14.4 hours per viewer. The total U.S. Internet audience engaged in more than 5.2 billion viewing sessions during the course of the month.

    Americans viewed more than 4.3 billion video ads in September…  Video ads reached 45 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 32 times during the month.

links for 2010-10-12

  • "A recent study by mobile ad network InMobi and comScore uncovered some good news for marketers: Consumers are getting more comfortable with seeing ads on their mobile devices. Of the nearly 4,400 US mobile phone users surveyed, 38% felt mobile ads “serve an important purpose,” while an additional 25% stated they are getting accustomed to viewing mobile ads. While 10% of respondents described themselves as somewhat uncomfortable with mobile ads, only 12% felt they were intrusive."
  • "Unlike legacy marketing, where promotions overshadows advertising, online advertising has historically gotten far more attention from marketers than online promotions. But changes are coming. Online promotions will top $24 billion next year, up 10% from this year's totals. Much of this increase will be due to the rising use of online couponing, forecast to grow almost 14%, to $9.1 billion, in 2011. Proximity advertising is also on the rise, up 11% next year. Mobile devices that can tell users when a particular merchant is in their immediate vicinity continue to sell briskly, and advertisers are expressing interest in this form of advertising.

    Mobile marketing continues to grow, fueled by ubiquitous apps, user-friendly browsers and 3G/4G speeds. As smartphone ownership now comprises 25% of all cellphone ownership, mobile ad sales will enjoy growth of more than 20 cents of every online ad dollar spent next year."

links for 2010-10-11

  • "In this "Hive," we’re seeking to collect your best ideas for transforming the American school. We’re asking you to describe or even design the classroom for today, a fifth-grade classroom that takes advantage of all that we have learned since Laura Ingalls’ day about teaching, learning, and technology–and what you think we have yet to learn. We will publish all your ideas on Slate; your fellow readers will vote and comment on their favorites; expert judges will select the ideas they like best, and, in about a month, we will pick a winner. That top design may be built as a model classroom in a new charter school."
  • "In July, 2 out of 3 U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.4 percentage points versus the prior three month period, while browsers were used by 33.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 2.5 percentage points). Subscribers who used downloaded applications comprised 31.4 percent of the mobile audience, representing an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the previous period. Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 1.9 percentage points, representing 21.8 percent of mobile subscribers."
  • " The $649.99 no-contract price (probably still locked to T-Mobile USA) seems a bit high for a tablet form factor half the size of a $529 3G iPad. While $399 also sounds reasonable, we don’t yet know what the monthly wireless cost will be and if it is like the typical carrier netbooks we will see something like $50+ per month just for the data."

links for 2010-10-09

  • "Just as the video brought justice to King and Grant, it brought exposure, ridicule, and, ultimately, death to Clementi.

    Cephus Johnson will speak, as well as educators and social activist like Bobby Seale and blues musician Taj Mahal. We will hear from young scholars like George Hayes, a master’s degree candidate in the UC Berkeley School of Information, who will discuss what minorities can expect from mobile cell phones in the future.

    Our panelists will discuss some social and cultural complexities of the fastest-growing of all new media, the cell phone. In having the event in the heart of Fruitvale, we seek to do what UC Berkeley and othe institution have not done: integrate our education to include people of color."

  • "The fifth year of the Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest funded and run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will open for entries on Oct 25, and for the first time will feature experimental categories: Mobile, Authenticity, Sustainability and Community."

links for 2010-10-06

  • "Most states base their polygamy laws on the Model Penal Code section 230.1, which provides that a person is guilty of the third-degree felony of polygamy if he or she marries or cohabits with more than one spouse at a time in purported exercise of the right of plural marriage. The crime is punishable either by a fine, imprisonment, or both, according to the law of the individual state and the circumstances of the offense. The crime of polygamy is deemed to continue until all Cohabitation with and claim of marriage to more than one spouse terminate."
    (tags: polyamory law)