Most malware restricts itself to stealing credit card numbers, tricking computers into sending spam and occasionally shutting down an Iranian nuclear power plant. This state will not last. As Internet traffic increasingly shifts to social networking sites, a new class of malware will steal identities, co-opt personal relationships and imitate people’s natural behaviors to avoid detection.
Writing in the online research website ArXiv.org, computer scientists from Ben Gurion University, in Beersheba, Israel, predict how these attacks will use an individual’s own personality to stealthily distribute information about their social circle to spammers. Although no malware of this variety has been discovered in the wild yet, the value of social network data makes its eventual appearance all but inevitable, the authors write.
» via Live Science
selected quotes: - In August, the company that owns Reader’s Digest filed for bankruptcy protection. … Reader’s Digest both identified and shaped a peculiarly American approach to reading, one that emphasized convenience, entertainment, and the appearance of breadth. An early issue noted that it was “not a magazine in the usual sense, but rather a co-operative means of rendering a time-saving device.” … In his renowned 1962 book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, Boorstin used Reader’s Digest as an example of what was wrong with a culture that had learned to prefer image to reality, the copy to the original, the part to the whole. Publications such as the Digest, produced on the principle that any essay can be boiled down to its essence, encourage readers to see articles as little more than “a whiff of literary ectoplasm exuding from print,” he argued, and an author’s style as littered with unnecessary “literary embellishments” that waste a reader’s time. … Over time, this attitude undermines our commitment to the kind of “deep reading” that researcher Maryanne Wolf, in Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (2007), argues is important from an early age, when readers learn to identify with characters and to “expand the boundaries of their lives.” … As Boorstin surveyed the terrain nearly half a century ago, his overarching concern was that an image-saturated culture would so distort people’s sense of judgment that they would cease to distinguish between the real and the unreal. He criticized the creation of what he called “pseudo-events” such as politicians’ staged photo-ops, and he traced the ways in which our pursuit of illusion transforms our experience of travel, clouds our ability to discern the motivations of advertisers, and encourages us to elevate celebrities to the status of heroes. “This is the appealing contradiction at the heart of our passion for pseudo-events: for made news, synthetic heroes, prefabricated tourist attractions, homogenized interchangeable forms of art and literature (where there are no ‘originals,’ but only the shadows we make of other shadows),” Boorstin wrote. “We believe we can fill our experience with new-fangled content.” … Boorstin wrote The Image before the digital age, but his book still has a great deal to teach us about the likely future of the printed word. Some of the effects of the Internet appear to undermine Boorstin’s occasionally gloomy predictions. For example, an increasing number of us, instead of being passive viewers of images, are active participants in a new culture of online writing and opinion mongering. … We have embraced new modes of storytelling, such as the interactive, synthetic world of video games, and found new ways to share our quotidian personal experiences, in hyperkinetic bursts, through microblogging services such as Twitter. … Our screen-intensive culture poses three challenges to traditional reading: distraction, consumerism, and attention-seeking behavior. … The “common reader” Virginia Woolf prized, who is neither scholar nor critic but “reads for his own pleasure, rather than to impart knowledge or correct the opinions of others,” is a vanishing species. Instead, an increasing number of us engage with the written word not to submit ourselves to another’s vision or for mere edification, but to have an excuse to share our own opinions. … Of greater concern was the attitude students expressed about the usefulness of writing: Most of them judged the quality of writing by the size of the audience that read it rather than its ability to convey ideas. … What Boorstin feared—that a society beholden to the image would cease to distinguish the real from the unreal—has not come to pass. On the contrary, we acknowledge the unique characteristics of the virtual world and have eagerly embraced them, albeit uncritically. But Boorstin’s other concern—that a culture that craves the image will eventually find itself mired in solipsism and satisfied by secondhand experiences—has been borne out. … The screen offers us the illusion of participation, and this illusion is becoming our preference. As Boorstin observed, “Every day seeing there and hearing there takes the place of being there.”
The book, that fusty old technology, seems rigid and passé as we daily consume a diet of information bytes and digital images. The fault, dear reader, lies not in our books but in ourselves.
"Full Title: Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media (Georgetown University
Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 2011)
Short Title: Discourse 2.0 (GURT 2011)
Date: 10-Mar-2011 - 13-Mar-2011
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Contact Person: Anna Marie Trester
Meeting Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site: http://www8.georgetown.edu/college/gurt/2011/index.html
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis;
Call Deadline: 10-Nov-2010
Electronic media have come to dominate our linguistic lives. Social media
such as Facebook and Twitter are reshaping people’s interactions. Texting
and instant messaging are transforming the very meaning of ‘conversation,’
while Blogs and websites are gradually replacing newspapers and television
as the primary news outlets.
These new worlds of words occasion innovative uses of language and new
spaces for constructing identities, forming relationships, and expressing
social meanings. GURT 2011 will explore how these ever-changing
technologies affect ever-adapting discourse. The conference will bring
together leading researchers from around the world and from various
analytic perspectives, including anthropological linguistics, conversation
and discourse analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, multimodality,
variation analysis, and visual analysis.
Explorations into the discourse of new media place this year’s GURT at the
frontier of discourse as well as media studies.
Call For Papers
Deadline for submission of abstracts: November 10, 2010
- Jannis Androutsopoulos, University of Hamburg
- Naomi Baron, American University
- Susan Herring, Indiana University
- Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University
- Crispin Thurlow, University of Washington
We invite submissions in all areas relevant to language and new media,
- The language of Facebook, twitter, and other new media
- The language of texting, hypertext, and other new technologies
- Identity, Indexicality, and Intertextuality
- Language and gender, performance, and narrative
Possible themes may include:
- How the medium shapes language and social interaction
- How language and social interaction affect media
- Intergenerational/intercultural communication
- Language in medical, educational, legal, workplace, and other contexts
We welcome a range of approaches, including:
- Anthropological linguistics
- Conversation or discourse analysis
- Interactional sociolinguistics
- Variation analysis
- Visual analysis”
Here’s my informal list of people and/or books:
Laurence Lessig The Future of Ideas
Jonathon Zittrain The Future of the Internet
Arjun Appadurai “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Economy” This essay is 20 years old but it remains a…
Thank you! And that was really fast (thank you Internet - tumblr in particular - for delivering once more). I will hunt down the items on this list. Cheers!
sorry i have been absent from the internet lately. class is back in session, and my language-learning has become largely a function of reading and discussion rather than internet-crawling… however, i am making an effort to keep in the loop (if only to share with you anonymous eyeballs).
We never imagined that artificial intelligence would be like this. We imagined discrete entities. Genies. We also seldom imagined (in spite of ample evidence) that emergent technologies would leave legislation in the dust, yet they do. In a world characterized by technologically driven change, we necessarily legislate after the fact, perpetually scrambling to catch up, while the core architectures of the future, increasingly, are erected by entities like Google.
Cyberspace, not so long ago, was a specific elsewhere, one we visited periodically, peering into it from the familiar physical world. Now cyberspace has everted. Turned itself inside out. Colonized the physical. Making Google a central and evolving structural unit not only of the architecture of cyberspace, but of the world. This is the sort of thing that empires and nation-states did, before. But empires and nation-states weren’t organs of global human perception. They had their many eyes, certainly, but they didn’t constitute a single multiplex eye for the entire human species.
» via The New York Times
A wide swath of the net’s top websites, including MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd, were sued in federal court Friday on the grounds they violated federal computer intrusion law by secretly using storage in Adobe’s Flash player to re-create cookies deleted by users.
At issue is technology from Quantcast, also targeted in the lawsuit. Quantcast created Flash cookies that track users across the web, and used them to re-create traditional browser cookies that users deleted from their computers. These “zombie” cookies came to light last year, after researchers at UC Berkeley documented deleted browser cookies returning to life. Quantcast quickly fixed the issue, calling it an unintended consequence of trying to measure web traffic accurately.
» via Wired
You know those YouTube videos with that manly Old Spice guy and his hilarious responses to Twitter fans? Of course you do. So does everybody, it seems, because Old Spice body wash sales have increased 107% in the past month thanks to that social media marketing campaign.
» via Mashable
On Tuesday, Amazon.com took a step toward making the shopping experience on its Web site more social.
For many people, shopping is as much about socializing as it is about buying something — a chance to run into neighbors at the farmers’ market or spend time with a friend at the mall. And people who go shopping with a friend inevitably ask advice before buying. But it’s hard to do that when online shopping.
Now, Amazon shoppers who connect their Amazon and Facebook accounts transport their Facebook friends to Amazon — and can get recommendations from those friends on what to buy.
» via The New York Times
“The OpenLearn website gives free access to Open University course materials. This is the LearningSpace, where you’ll find hundreds of free study units, each with a discussion forum. Study independently at your own pace or join a group and use the free learning tools to work with others.”
Are Palestinians the only group so blocked from making pages? Well, not really… after a little fiddling around, I discovered that al-Qaida Refugee ResearchNet and Nazi Refugee ResearchNet are filtered too.
It does seem a bit odd, however, that a population of up to 12 million people, receiving more than a billion dollars in international aid, recognized by the UN, and enjoying a degree of formal diplomatic recognition from the United States — is placed in the same filtered category as Nazis and al-Qaida.
I’ve sent an email to Facebook customer service—we’ll see what they say.
Just to be sure, I tried myself to create a “Palestinian sports” page — not allowed.