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Will social networks become regulated utilities?

Now, no, probably not. But in the near future this could happen. Will Social Networking Sites Invite The Buzzsaw Of Regulation? | TPM Idea Lab
. . . In a recent inaugural speech fired off as a warning shot of sorts at the new Google Institute for Internet and Society in Berlin, Callas predicted that social networks such as Facebook and Google’s Google product will face more heavy-handed regulation if the companies don’t start treating their account holders as respected citizens rather than vegetables to be watered, kept cultivated and taken care of and to be sold off at market. “Social networks need to be more sensitive to the needs of their users,” he said in an interview after the speech with TPM’s Idea Lab. Though the idea of social network as regulated utility sounds preposterous, looking ahead, and with founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions, it can almost seem a certainty. Acknowledging this essential role that Facebook is taking on in our lives, Fortune’s Jessi Hempel even recently called Zuckerberg the “Robert Moses of his generation, building out not just an operating system for the web or a way to organize it — but the web itself.” Strict oversight of the social networks and how they use their account holders’ data in the United States doesn’t sound like as if it’s something that’s going to happen in any meaningful way anytime soon, but regulators in Europe and especially Germany have been active in investigating Facebook everytime it rolls out new features and causes a stir with those new features. Germany’s widely-respected newspaper Die Zeit liked the ideas in Callas’ speech so much its editors ran it in full as an editorial the day after he delivered it. . . .

October 01, 2011

Genius Recipce: Sugar Cookie Bowls

Essentially you flip over your muffin tin and mush cookie dough around the protuberant anti-muffins. Sugar Cookie Bowls

It's like The Sims for rural cult leaders

It's a free browser-based game called SUPER CULT TYCOON 2. IndieGames.com - The Weblog Browser Game Pick: Super Cult Tycoon 2 (Eddie Cameron & Radiator Yang)
Nothing says a lazy Saturday like red Kool-Aid, suspicious FBI agents, servitude to a cult and aliens. Created by Eddie Cameron and Radiator Yang, Super Cult Tycoon 2: Deluxe Edition is exactly what it sounds like. Yes, you get to play as the pseudo-religious dictator that everyone loves to hate. As the leader of rural cult, you will have to indoctrinate innocent citizens, coax them into diligent service and amass a large sum of money in order to summon the MotherShip. In between all of that, you're going to have to ensure that they stay loyal and that the FBI does not attempt to shut down your operations. . . .

September 30, 2011

Warren Ellis on Instagram 2.0

Warren Ellis -- The Authenticity Filter
The iOS photo-sharing service changed all the filters one can apply to one’s iPhone photos. The Gotham filter, as favoured by Ben Templesmith – here’s one of his shots with Gotham applied – went away entirely. (And so has Ben, now). All the filters are now very… is mild the word? None of the filters apply heavy change to the image any more. Which tends to eliminate the most interesting thing about Instagram. The application of patina filters made them feel to people like authentic memory: like they were already placed in a treasured past context. Now they’re just digital photos. Just new.

September 29, 2011

VASSAL, the open source boardgame engine

It's a free engine that runs on pretty much every platform. It lets people play boardgames over the internet and brother, let me tell you, it already supports a ton of games. HeroQuest. Arkham Horror Axis and Allies BattleTech and hundreds more VASSAL

September 25, 2011

Amazon KindleTab may come bundled with Amazon Prime

Amazon Kindle Tablet Could Shake Up Tablet Wars: Here's How...

September 16, 2011

It's Awesome that Steam is Giving Away Downloads of their Game "Portal" . . .

. . . but sucks that the CAPTACHA on their...

September 04, 2011

This is why Dwarf Fortress is fun

It's a sort of infographic ccomic strip, explaining the sad story of the Bronzemurder expedition. Saying Dwarf Fortress is insane doesn't quite do it justice. It's odd. Very, very odd. And not in the wacky skate-boarding dog way, but more like what would happen if David Lynch was in charge of a fantasy novel about Dwarven immigrants making a go of it in a hostile wilderness. It's free, by the way. [dwarf fortress] I illustrated a thing that happened to my latest fortress - NZFortress - New Zealand's Team Fortress Community