Image pilfered from here.
A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from “rooms” in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website.
The BBC cover the story here.
It’s slightly more sinister than you might first think. It’s basically a bunch of kids that have used dodgy Phishing techniques to steal other people’s passwords, login and steal all their furniture (which has been paid for with real money). So it is a real crime and they probably should get into real trouble.
The story kind of reminded me a bit of the whole “will bobba for furni” story that was around a couple of years ago. That was ‘kids’ performing virtual ‘sex-acts’ in exchange for furniture. A kind of low-level virtual prostitution. The reason “bobba for furni” came about as a term is because of the bad-words filter on Habbo Hotel.
Pretty much any place that has any kind of economy ends up with its own version of thieves, rascals and hookers. Sad but true.
What about setting up the Crimternet? A kind of Australia where all the bad Internet people get sent.
I’ve been watching BBC Four’s Comics Britannia season and enjoying it very much.
I just caught the end of a show narrated by Ewan McGregor about The Broons, you’re unlikely to have heard of them (or Oor Wullie for that matter) if you’re not somehow connected to Scotland. But they’re both magic. They’re comic strips that have existed for over 60 years and somehow have managed to exist in an odd timeless bubble…
But there was one thing from last night’s program about the Beano and Dandy that really struck home with me. They were talking about the escapism of reading those comics as kids. And for me it brought back fond memories of camping out in a tent the back garden with a huge box of Beanos and being able to read them over and over again, and being totally engrossed.
But I never laughed.
Someone on the show pointed this out. And I’d never really considered it, although comics were really funny, entertaining and enjoyable, I don’t think they ever made me laugh either.
Faris has a good write up of a presentation by Simon Waldman of the Guardian: What is a media company?
I saw the same presentation (or a version of it) at a Microsoft day late last year. And I have to say I thought he put forward a really compelling case. I don’t want to rip-off Faris’ slides that he ripped-off from Simon ;-) So you’ll have to go here to see them.
I do share Faris’ reservation that it works for people like the Guardian, or MTV, and bits of the BBC. But I’m not sure if it holds true for De Agostini where their whole business model relies on transportation of physical stuff (binders, lord of the rings tiles, pony statuettes, etc.).
Interestingly, or not, De Agostini is one of the few things I’ve not manged to find in Wikipedia recently).
I know I’m a day late, but forgive me, I’ve been away.
The BBC write about how history was made on Sunday: Crazy by Gnarls Barkley went into the UK charts at number 1. Even though it’s not even available in physical shops yet.
It’s one of those tracks that’s been hammered on the radio for months and months before being released properly, so there was obviously a massive latent, constructed, demand. Cool though.
BBC news reports on this rather odd story from the US. A judge in the States has ruled that Google have violated the copyright of Perfect 10 magazine (a high end ‘adult’ title). The violation results from the fact that Google shows thumbnails from the magazine on their image search site.
The only upside for Google in the whole thing is:
The judge said the search company did not gain financially from the thumbnails.
Instead the websites hosting the pirated images were at fault, meaning that a damages claim against Google was unlikely to succeed.
To my mind the whole case should have been built around this. The whole point of Google is to index stuff online. To expect them to be able to filter out anything that may have a copyright infringement is absolutely insane. If you look closely almost every single website in the world will have some form of copyright infringement somewhere.
Just look at the image above. I haven’t got permission from Google for that screenshot. And even more worryingly I’ve got no permission from Perfect 10 (those scaled down thumbnails are images from their magazine). I guess that makes me guilty too…