Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies

Recommended

Date April 2017

Liliana Bounegru, Jonathan Gray , Tommaso Venturini and Michele Mauri from Public Data Lab put together this impressive guide to tracing fake news through digital methods.

http://fakenews.publicdatalab.org/downlo...

Date February 2017

Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson from the Pew Research Center have an excellent overview of perspectives on the social impact of algorithms. Their article summarizes findings from expert panels and the various views participants have concerning the role of algorithms in our knowledge economies.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/02/08/co...

Date December 2016

Hope Reese and Nick Heath have written an excellent article on the people who actually make a living from Amazaon's clickworker platform Mechanical Turk. They provide an insight into the transformation of labour and private space when automatically generated assignments dictate not only the labouror's life but also the lives of her family. The fascinating account also indicates how the distributed labour of a multitude of clickworkers is shaping the artificial intelligence applications that eventually will also start to carry out services.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/insi...

Date August 2016

An unknown author has recently published a paper about the neo-reactionary movement. I stumbled upon this paper through a read-worthy review by Ethan Chiel who is also wondering who might be hiding behind the pseudonym Josephine Armistead, the alleged author of the piece. This paper discusses how the neo-reactionary movement is intertwined with technology development in Silicon Valley, popular culture and pseudo-science. However, there is an excellent post on Reddit criticizing the author's understanding of history and economy as well as their interpretation of some cultural references. Nevertheless, the racism, the misogyny and the open contempt for democracy of the neo-reactionary movement pose a challenge for students of new media and society at large.

https://archive.org/details/the-silicon-...

Date May 2016

The LA Review of Books is running a fascinating series on digital humanities, opening the debate to wider audiences than those usually occupied with DH. The interviews and articles are a much needed critique and correctional view upon the overly hyped digital humanities. In this article, Daniel Allington, Sarah Brouillette, David Golumbia identify DH as part of neo-liberal campus politics. Although I agree with most of their critivizing of said policies, I cannot identify with their critique of digital humanities.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/neol...

Date February 2016

This article tells about the person behind Sci-Hub who built an efficient system for distributing scholarly articles for free. Scientific publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, Taylor and Francis or Sage charge universities hefty fees for making available scientific and scholarly articles. They thrive on low production costs as the authors, reviewers and editors are not paid for these activities. Receiving profit margins up to 30% this industry is guarding their monopolies anxiously through lobbying against open access, futile attempts of controlling digital distribution and aggressively suing platforms or persons who go against them.

http://bigthink.com/neurobonkers/a-pirat...

Date January 2016

The metaphor of the cloud is deeply misleading in creating an opaque image of de-materialised hardware. This photo essay by Peter Garritano is an excellent opportunity to peek behind the metaphor and get a glance of the hardware and infrastructure that facilitates much of our information processes.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ar...

Date November 2015

Michael Massing has an excellent article in the NY Review of Books where he describes at length how the 1 per cent and their lobby groups are covered or not sufficiently covered by journalism. Massing expresses hope that digital technology is prone to expose how the powerful and wealthy shape society to their benefit while they try to stay out of the limelight. For an informed electorate it is crucial to make their influence public.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives...

Date September 2015

Michael Massing has published two excellent articles on digital journalism in the New York Review of Books. In Digital journalism: How good is it? he looks back at how the pioneering online outlets, the Huffington Post, the Drudge Report and others have disrupted the practice of selling news. In the second article Digital journalism: The next generation, he discusses the emergence of new players, such as BuzzFeed, The Intercept, and a number of special interest feeds. Both articles provide a very informed and critical discussion of the practice and impact of digital journalism. The articles center on US media economy and public debate. A similar article on the situation in Europe or the Arab world would be great.

Date August 2015

Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung widmet sich kritisch dem Hype der künstlerischen Forschung. Hinter dem dem Label artistic research verbarg sich die Akademisierung der Kunstuniversitäten, die neue Studieninhalte, neue Berufsbilder und vor allem neue finanzielle Ressourcen etablieren sollte.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/fo...

Date July 2015

This very timely article by the Iranian 'blogfather' Hossein Derakhshan addresses critically the centralisation of the web through the popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Derakhshan mourns the loss of diversity that comes with the commodification of the web in easy to use interfaces. As much as I agree with him, I do not think that we can bring back the meritocracy of the early World Wide Web. Social media brought the masses from TV to Internet and by doing so idocracy marginalizes meritocracy. The diverse and rich web won't seize to exist, but is pushed into the fringes; it is now where critical thought and intellectualism has always been.

https://medium.com/matter/the-web-we-hav...

Date June 2015

Foreign Affairs has a general audience article on the pitfalls of algorithms. Referring to the analysis software Palantir, the article shows that the findings of the big data crawl can only be as good as the data that are processed behind the comprehensible user interface. Human error is merely hidden behind a rhetoric of big data analysis and computed objectivity.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/...

Date March 2015

Again it is Evgeny Morozov who addresses the utopian rhetoric of technology companies which speaks far too well to the wet dreams of technocratic policy makers. The instrumental take on public administration threatens to take politics out of our society and will undermine the democratic organization of states.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree...

Date February 2015

I am very interested in Foucault's investigation into the emergence of liberal thought and governance as developed in his later lectures, published as "Security, Territory, Population" and "Birth of Biopolitics". Recently Daniel Zamora has formulated a critique of Foucault's fascination for liberal governance. The Washington Post went as far as to summarize Zamora's argument as "Why Michel Foucault is the libertarian’s best friend." The Jacobin has a very interesting interview with Daniel Zamora about his take on Foucault.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/fouca...

Date January 2015

In this fantastic lecture, the distinguished media theorist John Durham Peters reflects on academia's virtues and challenges. Peters reminds us scholars of the calling that for most of us marked the beginning of embarking on that breathtaking quest for knowledge. The current crisis of the university casts a dark shadow on the beauty of thought, the excitement of learning and the privilege of teaching. Peters calls for an inner discipline that allows us to withdraw from hustle of administratin and the cool hunting for hip topics and focus on our core values, learning and teaching, and to enjoy and put to work the enormous freedom we have in this limited space.

http://www.natcom.org/uploadedFiles/Conv...

Date January 2015

The 2012 publication "Debates in the Digital Humanities" has been turned into an open access version which allows comments and which records the passages highlighted by readers. Additionally Debates in the Digital Humanities strives to become an online platform documenting the ongoing debates within the field of computer-aided research in the humanities.

http://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/

Date December 2014

Media artist Benjamin Grosser investigates the role of metrics in social media. These platforms thrive on the possibility to collect data on every single action users execute and to monetize the information for market analysis and targeted advertising. Grosser's work reveals that metrics implemented into the user interface do not only measure activity but drive activity.

http://computationalculture.net/article/...

Date November 2014

Hyperallergic has an interview with cultural analytics pioneer Lev Manovich who sees his work with data analysis tools in a line with artistic practices from the 20th century. This conversation discusses the scholarly value and the practice of analysing cultural phenomena through yet another cultural phenomenon: big data and tools to make sense of them.

http://hyperallergic.com/159820/painting...

Date August 2014

With verve and convincing arguments, Ethan Zuckerman explains why the advertisement-supported free web platforms made surveillance a default mode of internet business models.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ar...

Date June 2014

Jill Lepore dissects in this article for the New Yorker the currently overly hyped 'innovator's dilemma'. Lepore notes that Christensen cherry-picked his examples to make his theory appear sound and presents a number of examples that contradict his argument.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/...

Date April 2014

Distinguished historian of science, Peter Galison investigated the culture and practice of secrecy in a post 9-11 world in his documentary Secrecy. In this article he discusses how the security authorities surveillance programs and mass surveillance will render own actions and transform our conditio humana to a perpetual state of pervasive self-censorship.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/se...

Date April 2014

On invitation of Henry Jenkins, Nick Couldry and Nico Carpentier, a group of scholars (Allen, Danielle, Moya Bailey, Nico Carpentier, Natalie Fenton, Henry Jenkins, Alexis Lothian, Jack Linchuan Qiu, Mirko Tobias Schäfer and Ramesh Srinivasan) discussed participation, social media and politics. Our conversation is published in the International Journal of Communication.

http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/v...

Date March 2014

Media artist and scholar Sandra Álvaro has published an accessible and informative article on the impact of algorithms on culture.

http://blogs.cccb.org/lab/en/article_el-...

Date January 2014

Collecting images from Google Earth, Clement Valla noted how the algorithmic processing of aerial photography and 3D model of the planets surface did not match up and resulted in amazing 'rubbery roads, stretched bridges, flowing buildings. His article and the 'postcards' remind us how algorithms shape representation.

http://rhizome.org/editorial/2012/jul/31...

Date December 2013

Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker writes how the need for security has constituted the emergence of a powerful security complex that undermines the United States. The article presents an informative overview of the past 15 years of security programs in the United States.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/...

Date October 2013

The latest Freedom on the Net report concludes that internet freedom is in decline. More countries than ever before censor their citizens' access to the internet and strike down harshly on freedom of speech, information exchange and civic organisation. The world wide web emerged as a political battlefield where the blocking of undesired information became pervasive, where the cyber attacks on activists have increased and extensive surveillance is growing rapidly. The recent PRISM and Tempora affair caused by Snowden's disclosure of secret service practices shows that vast surveillance systems are not only limited to repressive regimes.

http://freedomhouse.org/article/internet...

Date September 2013

The Web Index maps development, infrastructure and use of the world wide web in 61 developed and developing countries. Employing a wide range of data from multiple sources, its analysis aims to measure the social, cultural and econimical impact of the web.

http://thewebindex.org/

Date July 2013

Die FAZ führt seit geraumer Zeit die gesellschaftspolitische Debatte zu Internet und Gesellschaft in der deutschen Zeitungslandschaft an. Mit Rekurs auf technik-skeptische Positionen fordert die liberale Tageszeitung die mediengebildeten Bürger zur Verteidigung der Gesellschaft auf. In diesem Beitrag diagnostiziert Herausgeber Frank Schirrmacher die Verschmelzung von Staat und Markt zu einer politischen Informationsökonomie die "aus pathologischen Erscheinungsformen gesellschaftliche Normen macht." Gegen den Code der Überwachung muss der Code des Rechts gesetzt werden.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/bi...

Date June 2013

Big Data Gets Personal, a Technology Review report featuring case studies & articles on the challenges and opportunities of big data analysis. Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger address the pitfall of fetishizing quantitative analysis and models. In their article they refer to Robert McNamara, the numbers-loving Secretary of Defense who introduced the body count as means for measuring the success of the US American aggression in Vietnam. The body count turned out to be not only an immoral way to measure war efforts but appeared also methodologically completely wrong: "The underlying data can be of poor quality. It can be biased. It can be misanalyzed or used misleadingly. And even more damning, data can fail to capture what it purports to quantify."

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/514...

Date May 2013

In my book Bastard Culture! I refer frequently to Henry Jenkins but I never had the opportunity to discuss my thoughts on participatory culture with him. Therefore it was a great pleasure and honour when Henry invited me to speak with him about participatory culture and about new media research in general.

http://henryjenkins.org/2013/05/bastard-...

Date April 2013

Brett Scott, author of The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future, has written an excellent laymen's introduction to bitcoin

http://www.suitpossum.blogspot.co.at/

Date April 2013

In view of Google's decision to shut down Google Reader, economist Krugman proposes that information infrastructures should be public uitilities. Quite in opposite to our policy makers -who in general lack the interest, competence or courage to socialize commercial infrastructures that have emerged as vital elements of a public sphere- Krugman argues from an economical perspective for their public provision.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03...

Date March 2013

Digital Visual Culture is a compilation of the best and most innovative research papers written during the MA course 'Software Studies: Images' at the New Media & Digital Culture program at Utrecht University. Frank-Jan van Lunteren provided the fantastic layout and artwork.

http://newmediastudies.nl/magazine/editi...

Date February 2013

There is already a large control aparatus in place monitoring social media. But Raytheon's Riot works like a 'Google for spies' writes Ryan Gallagher over at The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb...

Date January 2013

The Verge has an interview with Andy Carvin, a senior strategist at the NPR and a pioneer of Twitter journalism. With Verge he speaks about media literacy, transformation of news media and the so-called Arab Spring.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/23/389067...

Date January 2013

Alessandro Ludovico is researching the transformation of print culture and as editor of the Neural magazine on new media art, he is also intimately familiar with the practice and business of publishing. In his book he pays attention to the role of avantgarde artists and early adopters who appropriate technology and artefacts and consequently shape new media practices.

http://monoskop.org/images/a/a6/Ludovico...

Date January 2013

Brian Knappenberger's documentary does a good job in debunking the myth of the secret hacker organization and presents Anonymous as media practice and cultural phenomenon that is closely related with customs shaped on image boards and in forums online. However, I agree with Slant Magazine's critique that the documentary remains shallow in its cheer-leading attitude.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_541KmGx...

Date December 2012

The Global Trends 2030 report by the National Intelligence Council summarizes trends that will most likely affect world politics in the years to come. Future geopolitics will be influenced by dwindling natural ressources, unbalanced demographics, individual empowerment and conflicting ideologies.

http://dni.gov/index.php/about/organizat...

Date October 2012

David Smith and Toby Shapshak describe in this article how new technologies and necessity-born ingenuity create needed information infrastructures and applications for a wide range of needs in Africa. Where state-run infrastructures are absent or insufficent grassroot initiatives and inventive entrepreneurs provide new solutions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct...

Date October 2012

Sasha Constanza-Chock from MIT's Civic Media Lab has been roaming the Occupy movement from its early days on. His impressive real-time research captured the ephemeral communication and the media culture of this major civic protest.

http://t.co/zEuIn6jP

Date August 2012

Ein sehr lesenswerter Artikel von Götz Hamann und Marcus Rohwetter in der der ZEIT beschreibt wie Google, Facebook, Amazon und Apple dem Internet und seinen Usern ihre Gesetze aufzwingen

http://www.zeit.de/2012/32/Zensur-Apple-...

Date May 2012

Laurence Allard schreibt in Le Monde Diplomatique wie das Mobieltelefon Diplomatie und Außenpolitik der USA beinflusst und neue Formen der geopolitischen Interessensdurchsetzung eröffnet.

http://www.monde-diplomatique.de/pm/2012...

Date March 2012

"Digitale Demokratie", die Februarausgabe der Zeitschrift Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, diskutiert die Öffentlichkeit im digitalen Zeitalter.

http://www.bpb.de/publikationen/VE1Q7C,0...

Date February 2012

A very informative article by Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica presents various initiatives that develop software applications to avoid government censorship & interception

http://arstechnica.com/business/the-netw...

Date October 2011

Der Beitrag der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung zur Enttarnung des Bundestrojaners durch den Computer Chaos Club ist großartiger Journalismus. Wie kein zweites Medium in Deutschland treibt die FAZ mit Frank Schirrmacher die gesellschaftsweite Debatte zu Gesellschaft und Internet voran. Ganz in aufklärerischer Tradition fordert der Abdruck von Auszügen aus dem Programm-Code der Überwachungs-Software die bürgerliche Gesellschaft auf, sich aus der Unmündigkeit zu befreien und die Rolle von Technik in unserer Informationsgesellschaft kritisch zu hinterfragen.

http://www.faz.net/dynamic/download/fas/...

Date October 2011

Wired author Noah Shachtman writes about the computer virus that has infected US Predator and Reaper drones and points out the sensitive vulnerabilities of sophisticated weapon systems

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/201...

Date August 2011

Ryan Paul over at Ars Technica looks back at 20 years of Linux; what started out as the hobby of a Finnish computer science student turned into serious technology, a global community and a strong industry, and it has ideological connotations as well.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/...

Date July 2011

Researchers at Brown University have published an extensive survey on costs & effects of the so-called War on Terror. The crushing results show that there is little or no democratic progress in the invaded countries, human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an erosion of civil liberties in Western countries, millions of displaced persons, tremendous economic costs, and an estimate of 225,000 killed (of which the vast majority are civilians). The survey also finds poor strategic planning & a complete shortfall of the US administration to seek alternatives to military action.

http://costsofwar.org/

Date July 2011

The McLuhan Galaxy Conference took place in May in Barcelona, focusing on questions of understanding today's media. Now, the proceedings are available for download (.pdf).

http://www.mcluhangalaxy.net/

Date June 2011

Award winning documentary 'Inside Job' (by Charles Ferguson) now freely accessible at Internet Archive. It shows how the financial sector unopposed by our incompetent and/or corrupt political leaders brought the crisis upon us. The film lines out the various factors building up to the financial meltdown and shows the architects of the crisis, now serving in political administrations instead of serving time in jail. This documentary is compulsory viewing for critical citizens.

http://www.archive.org/details/Inside_Jo...

Date June 2011

Jovan Kurbalija from the Diplo Foundation provides an informative book on Internet Governance, briefly sketching the main issues from DNS to net neutrality. The book is available from the Diplo Foundation's weblog.

http://igbook.diplomacy.edu/

Date May 2011

As universities are increasingly forced to act like businesses and to recruit sponsors they learn that you have to comply to your donors wishes. This article at Bloomberg shows academia's slippery slope towards intellectual decline and loss of integrity

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-05...

Date May 2011

There has been quite some debate lately on the role of humanities in 'the digital age' or rather in late capitalism. Culture Machine devotes its recent edition on issues the humanities are confront with in this day and age.

http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/...

Date March 2011

With their study on Twitter feeds and Twitter follower structures Shaomei Wu et al. convincingly show that a tiny percentage of users accounts for more than 50% of attention. Further more the study shows that the distribution of communication confirms the two-step-flow of communication where messages are passed on through intermediary opinion leaders.

http://research.yahoo.com/pub/3386

Date February 2011

Ars Technica's Nate Anderson tells the thrilling story of Aaron Barr, an IT security executive who tried to unmask the 'Anonymous organisation' and got totally pwned. In an update Ars presents excerpts from IRC chats Anonymous members had with Barr.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date January 2011

Jaron Lanier provides an important critical notion on Wikileaks

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ar...

Date January 2011

Technology policy think tank TechFreedom published a book with essays on the future of the Internet. The authors are known scholars, policy makers and technology experts, concerned with the implementation of technology into law, and national and international policy. The essays "address questions such as: Has the Internet been good for our culture? Is the Internet at risk from the drive to build more secure, but less 'open' systems and devices? Is the Internet really so 'exceptional?' Has it fundamentally changed economics? Who—and what ideas—will govern the Net in 2020?" The book is available as a free pdf download.

http://nextdigitaldecade.com/

Date November 2010

Technologizer has a look back onto the operating systems that back in the days were competing with MS Windows and did not make it. A beautiful review of dead-end technology.

http://technologizer.com/2010/11/22/the-...

Date November 2010

In the recent edition of Scientific American, Tim Berners-Lee pleas for defending the web against companies and policies that threaten its basic principles. Based on egalitarian ideals, universal access, ubiquitous availability and vendor-independence made. Tim-Berners Lee calls for a civil society to defend the world's largest largest cultural resource and information infrastructure against corporate greed and repressive politics.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/articl...

Date November 2010

Twitter has been praised as a revolutionary technology with the potential of bringing down dictators and enabling dissent. Malcom Gladwell has second thoughts about this premature enthusiasm. His critical commentary is very much needed and dead-on.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/...

Date October 2010

The Economic Mobility Project (affiliated with the PEW Research Center) investigated the collateral damage increased imprisonment causes for economic mobility in the USA. The figures do not only reveal the insanely high costs of prisons (requiring annual expenses of more than 50 billion US-Dollars) but also how incarceration of a family member degrades their children's future prospects significantly.

http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/p...

Date September 2010

Ars Technica has a read-worthy article on Thomas Edison's attacks on the young film industry. Similar to today's film, music and software industry patents and copyrights were used by Edison to regulate the market and to keep competitors out of it.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date July 2010

Evgeny Morozov has a very readable comment on Zuckerberg's naïve views on privacy. He critically reviews the fuzzy rhetoric on so-called social media.

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/...

Date June 2010

Last year I served as external respondent for a section of the broad EU survey on The Social Impact of ICT. Now the final report is available as pdf-download. The document consists of reports on participation in policy making, education and life-long learning, work, consumption, health and innovation. The various reports do not only represent the current situation of ICT in the European Union in a meta-survey but also formulate advice for future policy making. It is part of the European Commission's Digital Competitiveness Report on the social and economic impact of ICT.

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/...

Date May 2010

It is fascinating to compare the news coverage by the New York Times and the Guardian with the amazing PR spin of British Petroleum. Their website boasts of optimism, communicating a determined and efficient action against the "relatively tiny" (BP CEO Tony Hayward) oil spill.

http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongeneric...

Date May 2010

The current special issue of First Monday edited by Yong Ming Kow and Bonnie Nardithe revolves around the relations between users and corporate companies concerning their accidental or deliberate co-production of products and services.

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs...

Date April 2010

The mashup movie on mashup culture, RIP - A Remix Manifesto will be screened at Louis Hartlooper Complex, Sunday April 18th 2010. Subsequent to the screening a panel discussion will revolve around copyrights, fair use and cultural production online.

http://www.culturelezondagen.nl/cz/do.ph...

Date March 2010

Already in 2007 Molleindustria launched this game as a critical commentary to the Vatican's policies of covering up sexual harassment and abuse

http://molleindustria.org/en/operation-p...

Date February 2010

Over the past 20 years the Web has emerged as a crucial aspect of our everyday life. The BBC documents its profound impact on culture, social organisation and politics.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/

Date January 2010

Ars Technica features an article on the emergence of the Web and the many socio-political debates, the metaphors employed to constitute the utopian connotation of the Internet and the communities involved to fight for a new frontier, alternative reality and better politics. A great look back at the political and cultural battlefield of the emerging web.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date December 2009

On its Trailblazing website, the Royal Society celebrates 350 years of modern science by showcasing over sixty most memorable and exceedingly interesting papers published between 1665 and 2010. They provide a well edited 110 pages document with introductions to each paper; it allows a time-lapse ride through the history of modern science, from blood transfusion experiments with dogs, the invention of electric batteries, to the DNA helix and concepts of geoengineering.

http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/pdf...

Date November 2009

Hosted by the Institute for Network Cultures, the conference Society of the Query critically discusses the role of search engines in digital culture and the consequences for managing and accessing information. An international cast of speakers addresses issues of civil rights and media literacy, Google and alternative search engines, as well as media art. November 13th - 14tn 2009, Trouw Amsterdan.

http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/query/

Date November 2009

Cory Doctorow explains why the copyright industry's quest for stopping file sharing will only result in unfair laws and a decrease of civil rights.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment...

Date October 2009

They claim to promote free and fair trade for all, but they facillitate profits for only a few and poverty for the rest. Get some background information on the scandalous achievements of the World Trade Organization.

http://gatt.org/trastat_e.html

Date October 2009

Ars Technica looks back on 100 years of big content fearing technology

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date August 2009

The Telegraph on the lack of socio-political regulation in the military technology development of killing machines

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopi...

Date July 2009

Critical texts on the changing concepts of war and the power relations involved in the reality of war

http://dictionaryofwar.org/

Date June 2009

Ben Goldacre on the music industry's attempt to back their case with bogus research

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/...

Date February 2009

A great paper by Christophe Prieur et al. on Flickr using an impressive sample, the entire Flickr user base, to analyze user activities and social interaction.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0802.2317

Date January 2009

An issue of Culture Machine on Piracy and copyright issues in cultural production, edited by Gary Hall

http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/...

Date January 2009

Just in case your browser wants Tourette syndrome, or you want to experience the censored Chinese version of the Web...

http://artzilla.org/

Date December 2008

Talks given at the conference "Deep Search" on search engines, information management and socio-political consequences.

http://world-information.org/wii/deep_se...

Date March 2017

Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, and Ethan Zuckerman have sifted through 1,25 million stories published between April 2015 and Election Day last year; they revealed a right-wing media ecosystem and its mediating mainstream media outlets.

https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-m...

Date January 2017

This article describes the excellent and admirable work carried out at the Citizen Lab. Directed by Ron Deibert, this amazing research group unmasks those who try to stifle civil rights (such as freedom of speech, privacy etc.) through monitoring or blocking internet access, intercepting messages or intruding and breaching private communication.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Passcode/...

Date September 2016

ProPublica runs an outstanding investigation into algorithmic injustice. In this article Julia Angwin makes a compelling case for making algorithms accountable.

https://www.propublica.org/article/makin...

Date July 2016

In this compelling article Kathrine Viner argues that the distinct qualities of social media contributed to the deterioration of public discourse. Where news are replaced by click-bait, where fact are not verified but simply don't matter and where emotions prevail over reason and argument, truth and reason are eroding. Katherine Viner presents a number of convincing examples and explains why this trend is not only affecting journalism but society at large.

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/j...

Date April 2016

Lindsay Caplan has published an excellent article at eFlux, questioning the seductive mode of data visualisations. Caplan argues that the currently popular analysis of data often has more aesthetic than epistemic value. Worse, researchers seem to cut corners and neglect social contexts and historic perspectives of their research objects. Her criticism is to be taken seriously if researchers want to achieve more than mere aesthetization of social and cultural phenomena in data visualisations.

http://www.e-flux.com/journal/method-wit...

Date February 2016

Facebook has emerged as powerful brokers of awareness. Hence, the algorithms managing the dissemination affect the reach of messages and the quality of public debate on these platforms and beyond. As a private company, Facebook is less invested in our public affairs but rather into its immediate profits. Therefore it is inclined to monetize awareness and throttle the so-called organic reach to make you pay for views. B. Traven over at ValleyWag has some interesting insights.

http://valleywag.gawker.com/facebook-is-...

Date December 2015

This amazingly well researched article in the Netherlands most innovative and courageous news outlet De Correspondent names the Think Tanks that influence the debate on TTIP with so-called research paid for by lobby organisations. (the article is in Dutch)

https://decorrespondent.nl/3755/Bij-deze...

Date October 2015

This excellent article by Adrienne LaFrance follows our digitally originating cultural production and convincingly shows how ephemeral online content is. Despite the tremendous efforts of archival institutions such as the Internet Archive, content might vanish any time a server is taken from the net, any time a platform provider goes bankrupt or decides to discontinue a service.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ar...

Date August 2015

Frank Pasquale, author of the fantastic book The Black Box Society, discusses in this article how data collection and algorithmic analysis can enforce discrimination and inequality. His case examples show that regulation is desperately to prevent unfair and non-transparent algorithmic decisions. Pasquale calls for the implementation of accountability into algorithmic decision making.

http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/judge...

Date August 2015

A group of distinguished AI and computer scientists expresses concern for the emerging race to build autonomous weapons. They fear for the devastating effects of sophisticated technology which autonomously makes kill decisions; we already see the lack of accountability as well as the terrible effects of conventional warfare. Autonomous weapons will -as most military inventions- reduce the hazardous effects of combat for soldiers while increasing the impact on the civil population. And as with the nuclear arms race during the cold war, another arms race will tie up resources that are very much needed elsewhere; it also will constitute serious challenges in controlling this technology. Quite in contrast to nuclear arms, autonomous weapons will be much cheaper and far easier to acquire.

http://futureoflife.org/AI/open_letter_a...

Date July 2015

Jörg Heiser from Frieze Magazine asked artists and scholars to think about how art can respond to the challenges of big data, surveillance and algorithms. Their responses provide insight into the diversity of issues that are raised in this profound transformation of our societies and inspiration how to address them.

http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/safe...

Date March 2015

Literature scholar and pioneer of 'distant reading' Franco Moretti teamed up with historian of science Dominique Pestre to sift through the words of World Bank reports of the past 70 years. It reveals how the language of the World Bank changed from reporting facts, explaining actions and formulating plans to a self-referential, vague newspeak that lacks any context with empirical reality.

http://newleftreview.org/II/92/franco-mo...

Date March 2015

The Lapsed Historian delves into a prehistory of networked media and covers the pneumatic messaging network of London in this long article. These tubes could compete with electric telegraphy within city limits as they delivered messages quicker and at lower cost.

http://lapsedhistorian.com/get-blower-lo...

Date February 2015

Salon.com has an exceprt of Ethan Zuckerman's book  "Digital Cosmpolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't and How to Rewire It"

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/29/the_inte...

Date January 2015

Peter-Paul Verbeek explores the consequences of information technology as active agent of change, transforming the public sphere.

http://doc.utwente.nl/92459/1/chp%253A10...

Date December 2014

The latest edition of the Journal of Mobile Media revolves around forecasting, prediciting and imaganing the future. This edition features an afterword by the esteemed historian of technology David Nye.

http://wi.mobilities.ca/introduction-new...

Date November 2014

Contemporary digital culture critic Evgeny Morozov reads the current notion of big data through a historic account of the Chilean Cybersin project. The cybernetics synergy machine was as much a bureaucrats wet dram as the the promise for governmentality through big data is. Morozov reminds us of the uncanny presence of the cybernetic dark ages within the current hype for big data.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/1...

Date October 2014

In het meest recente magazine Nationale veiligheid en crisisbeheersing schrijf ik over ‘het onzinnige sociale mediabeleid in de integrale aanpak van Jijadisme’. In haar reactie op mijn kritiek gaat de programmadirectie Contraterrorisme bij de Nationale coördinator voor terrorismebestrijding en veiligheid met geen woord in op de mogelijke schade voor demoactie en burgerrechten maar benadrukt een vage bedreigingssituatie die dit beleid noodzakelijk maakt.

http://socialmediadna.nl/social-media-ce...

Date July 2014

In midst of an overly enthusiastic chorus of techno-optimists praising the benefits of big data, Evgeny Morozov remains the critical voice raising issues about the pitfalls and dangers of a world where every device and every user activity contributes to a real-time dragnet investigation of citizens.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/20...

Date June 2014

Inside Higher Education points fingers to the outragous practices of publishers to bully libraries into paying unjustified prices for scientific journals.

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/libr...

Date April 2014

The second installment of Alexandra Greer's series of articles on scientific publishing describes the impact of open access publishing and the politics of traditional publishers to deal with it.

http://synapse.ucsf.edu/articles/2014/04...

Date March 2014

Marcus Hurst is discussing questions concerning the environmental impact of the Internet at CCCBLab. The article is structured in a series of questions considering the energy use of data centers and individuals, the pollution of environment due to Internet use and what could be done about it.

http://blogs.cccb.org/lab/en/article_qua...

Date February 2014

With her dissertation "Transcoding the Digital. How Metaphors Matter in New Media" Marianne van den Boomen delved into the practices of speaking of and using new media. Her excellent account provides the means of cutting through the metaphors of today's media practice and to reveal their agency in shaping our perception and understanding of technology.

http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/ha...

Date December 2013

German weekly Der Spiegel reveals information about the NSA's hacking unit Tailored Access Operation and how they infiltrate computers around the world, tap cables and intercept communication.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/worl...

Date November 2013

In this dead-on article, Evgeny Morozov attacks the commodification of everyday life through internet industry leaders. He emphasizes how Silicon Valley does not only invade politics but all aspects of our personal lives, shaping it according to the little choices we have in the information bubble they have tailored for us.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/de...

Date October 2013

In this timely piece Evgeny Morozov addresses the questionable reputation of internet intellectuals. Morozov argues that instead of selling superficial talks to corporations, politically desired solutionism and security sector, internet intellectuals should inform a critical society wide debate on the role of technology and how its design and regulation affects our everyday life.

http://www.zeit.de/digital/internet/2013...

Date July 2013

In this article, the 'Art of Thinking Clearly' author Rolf Dobelli points out convincingly why news are to the brain, what sugar is to the body. As a media scholar I couldn't agree more that news are overrated, mostly irrelevant and deeply misleading. But I would not be able to present this argument as eloquent and accessible as Dobelli does. The article is a shorter (fit to news business demand size) version of his excellent essay Avoid News [pdf].

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr...

Date June 2013

Glenn Greenwald who is an avid advocate of privacy and an alert investigator of governments and corporations stifling civil rights exposed the far-reaching surveillance program PRISM. Greenwald made public various top secret documents that demonstrate the extent to which the U.S. government is invading their people's and other nations' citizens private conversations. These documents also convincingly support allegations made by whistle-blowers and activists over the past years concerning the U.S. administrations' (first Bush, now Obama) violations of privacy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun...

Date May 2013

Independent game developer Emeric Thoa from The Game Bakers has written an excellent post on developing games for Apple's App Store. He screened so called post-mortems to reveal figures about the development process in order to estimate costs and revenues. His post debunks many myths of getting rich quick through the App Store.

http://thegamebakers.com/money-and-the-a...

Date May 2013

Morgan Marquis-Boire and his colleagues from the Citizenlab have published a new report that shows how surveillance software produced by European companies is used to target citizen & human rights advocates in repressive regimes. It is a disgrace that our Western politicians lack the competence & courage to ban the export of technology that undermines the basic rights our constitutions hold in highest regard and which threatens the lives and freedom of democracy and human rights activists.

https://citizenlab.org/2013/04/for-their...

Date April 2013

Patrick Meier comments on a recent UN OCHA survey on power shifts through networked aid agencies, (local) communities and information technology. He summarizes the profound impact those 'digital formation' have on aid work and on power relations.

http://irevolution.net/2013/04/09/humani...

Date March 2013

A special issue of First Monday on critique of social media monopolies. This programmatic collection sets out to not only criticize commercial social media platforms but also the way media studies researches media practices and power structures.

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs...

Date March 2013

The Institute for Network Cultures has provided a platform for discussion and critique of social media. Through the UnlikeUs mailing-list and a series of conferences important aspects such as privacy, user agency, free labour and corporate governance have been addressed and alternative solutions have been presented. In view of the upcoming third edition of the UnlikeUs conference, Miriam Rasch and Geert Lovink edited a book packed with essays on theory of social media, platform analysis, alternative media platforms, activism and artistic interventions. The volume is available as a free hard copy and free download.

http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/portal/p...

Date February 2013

Simon Klose's documentary on the controversial platform The Pirate Bay has received raving reviews. The film covers the trial of the Pirate Bay admins Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Peter Sunde. The documentary can be watched at YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl...

Date January 2013

This research maps the distribution and use of surveillance technology. Results show that US American software to filter and monitor internet communication are widely used in repressive regimes to stifle democratic change. It shows the need for a legal and political regulation of an industry that thrives on providing dictators with tools for repression.

https://citizenlab.org/2013/01/planet-bl...

Date January 2013

Game companies, media festivals and media labs operating in the Netherlands are listed in this comprehensive guide to Dutch digital culture provided by Virtueel Platform.

http://virtueelplatform.nl/activiteiten/...

Date December 2012

Nobel Peace Prize Laureaute Barack Obama has launched an unprecedented aereal warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq were remotely operated drones are used for surevillance and targeted killing. This SPIEGEL article sheds some light on the reality of this tele-war and reveals how it affects its operators.

Date November 2012

Digital Humanities, is a carefully edited book by Peter Lunenfeld, Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Todd Presner and Jeffrey Schnapp exploring contemporary knowledge production and covering tools and practices for conducting research within the humanities. The book is available in an open access edition at the MIT's website.

http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/digitalhum...

Date October 2012

The buzzword 'digital humanities' has polluted discourse in humanitiies departments around the globe. Often its use indicates a techno-deterministic mindset and a structural lack of questioning the tools we use. Luckily this failure sparked some critique. Here, Stephen Marche attacks the shortcomings of treating literature as data

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?i...

Date September 2012

Frank Rieger schreibt in der FAZ über die Automatisierung des Krieges und betont auf die Notwendigkeit einer gesellschaftsweiten Debatte hin.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/de...

Date June 2012

The Dutch paper NRC covers our research on Twitter communication networks in the political sphere of the Netherlands. The displayed infographic shows an @reply-network of participants hwo have received @replies from at least ten members of parliament. The visualisation represents the Twitterati in Dutch politics

http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2012/06/06/info...

Date March 2012

Jon Matonis at Forbes discusses what would happen when Bitcoin becomes the currency for the shadow economy. As one of the biggest economies in the world it could turn the controversial crypto-currency into a major payment instrument

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2...

Date March 2012

Ars Technica covers an exciting piece of software history and shows how open source developer Red Hat tweaked their product to shape a succesful business model

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/201...

Date December 2011

VJ Um Amel from R-Shief invited activists and academics to dig deep into some 12 million tweets related to the Occupy movement. Three days teams from around the globe were participating in a concerted effort to make sense of these data. This exciting experience has been preserved eloquently in this documentation

http://www.r-shief.org/r-shief-blog/unpr...

Date October 2011

After the amazing coup of the Computer Chaos Club reverse engineering the government malware & surveillance software the German weekly Der Spiegel covers the affair for the English speaking readers

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germ...

Date September 2011

Handy interface to search the most notorious Wikileaks dump and to store a choice of cables in a personal cart

http://www.cablegatesearch.net/search.ph...

Date August 2011

Auf Telepolis findet sich ein guter Artikel zu den Bestrebungen der Regierungen das Internet möglichst weitgehend zu regulieren. Während die Politik die Allianz mit den führenden Internet-Unternehmen sucht, bleibt die Zivilgesellschaft außen vor.

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/35/35256/...

Date July 2011

Visualizations, infovis and infographics receive raving attention lately. The use of interactive data visualization is popular in news media and shaped the term data journalism. Stanford University hosts very informative video on the development of software applications for data visualization and how they are used as storytelling medium

http://datajournalism.stanford.edu/

Date June 2011

Abolishing the breeding ground for creativity and innovation, the Netherlands have opted out of the global knowledge economy. Bruce Sterling has a dead-on commentary on the profoundly wrong and seriously damaging decisions made by the right-wing populists irresponsibly ruling the country

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2...

Date June 2011

The World Bank provides open access to their latest data sets of world development indicators

http://data.worldbank.org/news/WDI-2011-...

Date June 2011

The latest edition of Policy & Internet takes an interdisciplinary approach on issues of cybercrime.

http://www.psocommons.org/policyandinter...

Date May 2011

The affects of information technology for the environment are a mostly neglected issue. Since a while, Greenpeace raises attention for the environmental effects of producing computer technology and disposing electronic waste. Now, Greenpeace has issued a report on the energy consumption of our 'beloved' social media, mapping the energy choices of IT companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/...

Date May 2011

Slashdot features an article by Bennett Haselton content review on social media platforms. It appears that flag functions on user generated content are frequently abused. Haselton argues for a meta-moderation of content similar to Slashcode's moderation of comments

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/04/15/...

Date March 2011

Far too easy, the internet is perceived as an immaterial sphere like a large library in the sky. However, our social interaction in e-mails, chats, micro-blogging etc. runs on data carriers and our digital culture is stored on servers around the globe. PC Pro has an exciting feature on highly secured data centres harbouring websites and data bases in former nuclear bunkers or in strong rooms of banks.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/365875/t...

Date February 2011

Groklaw responds to the question what is blocking innovation in the US. In a very informative post IP laws are identified as stifling innovation

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story...

Date January 2011

Jim Belcher over at Ars Technica walks us through the development of computer displays from white or green blinking lights to full colour and high resolution graphical user interfaces. A very brief history of computer displays.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011...

Date December 2010

Culture Machine has a special edition on the devastating trend of economising universities and establishing a ill-conceived concept of efficiency in academic education.

http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/...

Date November 2010

Recently Gizmodo investigated the case illegally stored body scans. Bruce Schneier has a follow up on the debate revolving around reliability of body scans, the services of the TSA and airport security in general.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/20...

Date November 2010

Referring to a 2008 research project that accidentally disclosed profile data from Facebook users Michael Zimmer discusses ethical issues and codes of conduct in researching social networking sites

http://www.springerlink.com/content/q1v7...

Date November 2010

Nate Anderson over at Ars Technica hopes that the emerging 3D printing won't be stifled by intellectual property concerns. But what will happen once average consumers will be able to reproduce 3D objects with their off-the-shelf printers?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date October 2010

John Graham-Cumming over at O'Reilly writes about Babbage's Analytical Engine, a concept of a mechanical computer, 100 years ahead of its time. Graham-Cumming wants to finish what Babbage started and aims at building a working prototype of the Analytical Engine.

http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/10/the-100...

Date August 2010

In a somehow polemic inspection Chris Anderson and Micheal Wolff over at Wired write about the technological changes in web applications and how it affects media practice. They argue that the application becomes the primary access point to web services. Further more they see the general openness of the web to become marginalized. However, as O'reilly points out in a commentary, recent web applications show that the new business models thrive on the back-end and the exploitation of harvested data.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/08/ff...

Date July 2010

What appears as user generated content on YouTube, Myspace, FB etc. is screened by software and content reviewers. Via Slashdot, I stumbled upon this NYT article that gives a glance on the job of content reviewers for Web 2.0 applications. It provides a to often unconsidered notion of the Web 2.0 user generated content as subject to strict review processes and corporate editing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/19/techno...

Date June 2010

The first international congress on Web Studies took place in March in Toluca, Mexico. Those who could not attend but are interested in the presented papers can now download the entire proceedings as well as audio recordings and presentation slides.

http://webstudies.info/

Date May 2010

Stanford researcher Clifford Nass and colleagues have put the persistent legend of multitasking to a test in their study Cognitive control in media multitaskers (2009). Especially those who are considered to be excellent multitaskers are particularily bad at it. They seem also to unlearn to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant getting, caught up in the multiple distractions they are trying to deal with simultaneously.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2009/augus...

Date May 2010

This appeared already a while ago. In "My Manhattan Project. How I helped to build the bomb that blew up Wallstreet" Michael Osinski provides a thrilling first-hand report to mathematical models and software used for trading.

http://nymag.com/news/business/55687/

Date March 2010

Evgeny Morozov has second thoughts about the utopian notion of the Internet as enabling technology, spreading democracy and freedom. In this article at Wall Street Journal, he convincingly argues how the Internet can be effectively used for cracking down dissent.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

Date March 2010

Ars Technica investigates the technologies in air traffic control

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010...

Date February 2010

Students at Utrecht University protest against the increasing confinement of academic freedom and quality of research and teaching.

http://studentenprotestutrecht.wordpress...

Date January 2010

Barry Collins at PC Pro travels through Second Life wondering why he went there in the first place.

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/354457/w...

Date December 2009

cnet features a very informative interview with Last.fm's head of web development Matthew Ogle

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/digitalmusic/0,3...

Date November 2009

Ars Technica has a very informative review on a most promising book: "Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars" by US copyright law expert William Patry

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date November 2009

TechRadar has an article on computers and their difficulties with calculations, and how it can be a matter of life and death.

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/...

Date October 2009

If sanity and reason is not enough, here is a survey on the effects of Internet blocking, which is lately prominently promoted by copyright industry and repressive politicians. The findings show clearly that Internet blocking threatens to violate "the rights to private life, the right for freedom of expression, and the right for disabled persons to access electronic communications."

http://www.aconite.com/sites/default/fil...

Date October 2009

Excerpt from Virilio's "Bunker Archaeology" and photo gallery.

http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/g...

Date July 2009

AT features an article on computerized stock markets and high frequency trading

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/...

Date May 2009

an independent monitoring website of EU politics.

http://votewatch.eu/index.php

Date April 2009

A great documentary on the history of the computer and the emergence of global networks

http://waxy.org/2008/06/the_machine_that...

Date February 2009

Beyond the realm of the established and somehow doomed music industry the netlabels flourish.

http://phlow-magazine.com/feature/1076-n...

Date January 2009

Brett Gaylor's documentary on remix culture and copyright issues. Participate by remixing the online footage as you like.

http://www.opensourcecinema.org/

Date December 2008

The first collection of critical responses to YouTube. Download from Networkcultures.

http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/portal/p...

Date June 2008

Rolling Stone Magazine features an exceedingly interesting article by Naomi Klein on China's surveillance technology industry that is reaching out for markets in democratic societies. But won't we import along with the surveillance technology China's repression of civil rights as well?

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/sto...

Date March 2017

As algorithms immerse deeper into more areas of everyday life this growing list is a great resource: Algorithm Tips is a great project by Daniel Trielli, Jennifer Stark and Nick Diakopoulos. They collect information about algorithms that are used by government organizations and provide information and description as far as available on this platform.

http://algorithmtips.org/

Date December 2016

This is a very informative documentary that cuts excellently through the buzzwords and the hype shaping our understanding of 'big data'. The Joy of Data shows how data are captured, used for calculations and how results are applied for decision making, and to what extent data transform society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6oKriR-...

Date September 2016

Metaphors shape our understanding of technology and the way we speak about technology reveals our understanding of it. Many politicians show an astonishing lack of understanding when speaking about the internet. But Donald Trump's use of "the cyber" expresses an astonishing amount of ignorance and incompetence. The Atlantic has read-worthy article on this issue.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ar...

Date May 2016

Pro Publica investigated the COMPAS software that is used across the U.S. to assess the recidivism rate of criminal defendants. They found significant bias in the models that calculate the probability of recidivism with a clear favour for whites and a strong bias against coloured defendants. In this article Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, Lauren Kirchner and Julia Angwin explain how they analysed the recidivism algorithms. Their findings are alarming about the trust users put into machine calculated results.

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-w...

Date March 2016

In this excellent essay, Shoshana Zuboff discusses the emergence of business models that depend and thrive on user data. Zuboff explains convincingly how paying with data is invading privacy, transforming public space and remodelling democracy towards what she calls surveillance capitalism.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/de...

Date February 2016

Michael Massing who has written outstanding articles on the digital journalism now explores how effective reporting on the agenda of the super-rich elite should look like. In this article Massing revisits philanthropy in US American history and questions the political agenda most philanthropic donations are tied to. He calls for novel ways of reporting these activities, tracking money streams and making information publicly available.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/01/...

Date December 2015

This article does not particularly deal with new media and digital culture, but it reminds me in a good way of the years I studied film at the University of Vienna. Alex Ross, the distinguished music critic at The New Yorker and author of The Rest is Noise has written this excellent piece on Orson Welles. He is referencing the most relevant books while discussing the popular and the lesser-known works of Orson Welles. A fantastic read!

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/1...

Date October 2015

Christie Aschwanden has a dead-on articel at FiveThirtyEight where she discusses the latest headlines reporting on faulty scientific practice. Using an interactive tool, Aschwanden lets the readers learn how tweaking data into the desired correlations. Rather than following the popular outcry about an alleged systemic problem in science, the article emphasizes the difficulties of establishing facts.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/scie...

Date August 2015

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Iceland recognized as no other country the need for a fourth estate in order to hold corrupt elites from politics and finance accountable. When court orders tried to prevent insight into the criminal activities of the Icland banksters and their friends, the need for establishing better legal frameworks for investigative journalism became clear. Iceland now strives to develop the most solid legal protection for journalism.

http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/now/m...

Date July 2015

Here is great interview with Giorgio Agamben on his notion of the Latin empire that should confront the technocratic Germanic domination of Europe. His plea for a political and cultural union is much needed especially in times where technocrats threaten to destroy the cultural and political values of the European Union. Mr. Agamben points out how 'crisis' is structurally used by the political elite to justify the ongoing deterioration of social welfare and civic rights. Like the mythical 'war on terror' crisis serves as an instrument for coercion.

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/1318-the...

Date July 2015

Unfortunately, I was not aware of the symposium on the Politics and Practices of Secrecy held at KIng's College, let alone able to attend. Luckily, Regine Debatty from We Make Money Not Art has taken notes and presents them in an excellent review of the symposium. (Part 1) and (Part 2)

http://we-make-money-not-art.com/archive...

Date March 2015

The unprecedented access to large quantities of data also affects traditional research practices. With Internet Research Ethics, edited by Hallvard Fossheim and Helene Ingierd, the authors present critical investigations to how standards of research ethics are affected by the emerging practices and to what extent they should be adapted. Hopefully this important volume sparkes a debate and leads eventually to improved guidelines of research integrity. Free download (pdf)

http://press.nordicopenaccess.no/index.p...

Date March 2015

400 of the probably 50.000 documents Edward Snowden has turned over to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are now archived at the Snowden Surveillance Archive. This great resource also provides a comprehensive overview of the journalists and their publications covering the individual documents.

https://snowdenarchive.cjfe.org/greensto...

Date January 2015

Jill Lepore over at The New Yorker has an outstanding article about the political dimension of memory. Being able to retrieve evidence, points of view and statements is crucial for informed political debate and opinion forming. Archiving the web is as much a political endeavour as it is a technological challenge. This informative article tells about the history of the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine and discusses the fragility of memory.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/0...

Date January 2015

Twitter becomes increasingly a resource for data to conduct research on political debates, awareness for issues, social interaction and communication during large scale events and other phenomena. However, it remains unclear what the scope of the collected data actually represents. In this paper, Kevin Discroll and Shawn Walker provide a comparative analysis of the publicly accessible Streaming API and the commercial “fire hose” provided by Gnip PowerTrack.

http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/v...

Date December 2014

My Utrecht Data School colleagues Karin van Es, Daniela van Geenen and Thomas Boeschoten analysed the Facebook posts related to the Black Pete debate. They found significant differences in the ways various Facebook pages channeled a debate which was widely a catalyst for open racism. Their findings are published in the latest edition of First Monday.

http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/...

Date November 2014

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange describes in this chapter from his recent book When Google Met Wikileaks, how Google CEO Eric Schmidt wove tight ties with the political establishment at Washington. Next to other idustry giants in energy or manufacturing, Google emerged as yet a new actor whose commodities became assets in political policy making. As Assange reveals, Schmidt and his Google head of ideas, Jared Cohen promote their companies objectives through aligning with and actively shaping US foreign and domestic policy.

https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what...

Date October 2014

Social media platforms are painstakingly monitored in order to prevent inappropriate content. Little is known about the workers who actually sift through the flagged and reported material. This informative Wired article sheds some light on the co-creation process of user generated content.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/content-mod...

Date July 2014

Reporters Without Borders has released their latest report on the state of press freedom in the world.

http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.ph...

Date June 2014

Florian Cramer stellt in seinem treffenden Kommentar fest, dass sowohl die Jury des Friendenspreis des deutschen Buchhandels als auch weite Teile des Feuilletons Jaron Lanier entweder nicht gut gelsen oder aber nicht verstanden haben.

Date April 2014

Alexandra Greer published a series of three articles at Synapse on scientific publishing. The first installement describes how the new practices and technologies transform publishers.

http://synapse.ucsf.edu/articles/2014/03...

Date March 2014

TeleGeography presents an updated version of their Internet submarine cable map displaying 285 cable systems facilitating internet traffic around the globe.

http://www.telegeography.com/telecom-map...

Date January 2014

Stephen Shukaitis has an excellent interview with Liz and Hans from Ubermorgen.com at Mute Magazine. Contrary to the romantic legend of net art, Ubermorgen.com are no activists at all. They explicitly claim to be rather media 'actionists' than activists. Their art deals with experimental media configurations or hacks (which are sometimes 'fictional' anyway). The interview provides a very accessible account to the work of Ubermorgen.com and reveals their attitude as artists.

http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articl...

Date December 2013

'Cultural Analytics' pioneer Lev Manovich describes in this article how algorithms emerged as agents affecting and shaping our everyday life. The cultural significance of software has led Manovich to develop novel ways of doing research. His software studies approach relies on algorithms itself; Manovich uses software to reveal patterns of cultural production and media use through data visualization: Software Studies

https://chronicle.com/article/The-Algori...

Date November 2013

The Guardian has put together an comprehensive dossier on the Edward Snowden disclosures. The websites consists of reactions, commentary and interpretations concerning the US and UK intelligence community activities and how they breach privacy, stifle civic rights and affect the sovereignty of nation states.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/interac...

Date October 2013

This informative article about art auction house Phillips move towards digital art highlights many challenges of trading and archiving new media art.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

Date July 2013

The visionary computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart passed away earlier this month (July 2). Here's an article by Howard Rheingold on Engelbart's legacy and his yet uncompleted dream of augmented intellect.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/517...

Date June 2013

Amar Toor explains in an article in The Verge how the image of a young woman tear-gassed by a police officer emerged as an iconic symbol of the Turkish protests against Erdogan and his AKP regime.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/7/4405412...

Date May 2013

German weekly Der Spiegel has a cover story on the application and economy of big data

http://www.spiegel.de/international/busi...

Date April 2013

Media artist, software developer and Flusser Award laureaute Denis Roio aka Jaromil frames revisits Bitcoin's potential cultural impact. His essay provides a rigorous inquiry of the origins of Bitcoin and its technological qualities.

http://jaromil.dyne.org/writings-files/B...

Date April 2013

The technology discourse critic Evgeny Morozov investigates how O'Reilly shapes our perception of technology and how his publishing activities frame internet technologies. O'Reilly replied to Morozov's criticism here.

http://thebaffler.com/past/the_meme_hust...

Date March 2013

This World Bank report identifies best practices of ICT use in Africa and shows how communication technologies transform economy, government, agriculture and education in Africa.

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTIN...

Date February 2013

Jeffrey Stanton provides a comprehensible introduction (suited for non-technical readers) to Data Science.

http://jsresearch.net/groups/teachdatasc...

Date January 2013

This volume by Wolfgang Sützl, Felix Stalder, Ronald Maier, Theo Hug consists of essays on sharing practices in media, knowledge and education. The contributions reflect on the success of sharing as a practice of distribution and revisits its conditions and possibilities.

http://monoskop.org/images/f/fd/Suetzl_S...

Date January 2013

Trained as anthropologist, Gabriella Coleman took Malinowski's credo "follow the natives" seriously. Three years she lived and worked among San Francisco hackers. Her recently published book on her findings and experiences is available for a free download.

http://gabriellacoleman.org/Coleman-Codi...

Date January 2013

How are digital media changing production, audience engagement, communication activities and sales? A Pew survey summarized how ICT affect arts organizations.

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/...

Date December 2012

Markus Beckedahl und Andre Meister haben die Netz-politischen Themen und Debatten in einem übersichtlichen Jahrbuch aufbereitet. Das Buch repräsentiert das Ringen um ein 'bürgerliches', offenes und liberales Internet, das sich repressiver Kontrolle und Kommerzialisierung zu verweigern sucht.

https://netzpolitik.org/jahrbuch-2012/

Date November 2012

Nobel peace price laureate Barack Obama launched an unprecedented program of aerial warfare. Drones are unmanned vehicles used for reconnaissance and lethal attack. A research by Stanford University and New York University shows that these air strikes are killing indiscriminately civilians and are inappropriate measures for combating international terrorism. It also shows how the Obama administration sugar coats the devastating effect of the drone warfare on civilians.

http://livingunderdrones.org/

Date October 2012

Wired has a fascinating article on the physical infrastructure of Google and provides a peak into Google Data Centers (with great photography)

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/201...

Date August 2012

Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica has an informative article about decreasing costs of surveillance and the consequences of 'petabyte-scale analytics'

http://arstechnica.com/information-techn...

Date May 2012

Matthew Lasar at Ars Technica has written a beautiful article on how computers were marketed in the 60s & 70s. With reference to the Computer History Museum's exhibition 'Selling the Computer Revolution' he reviews the promises made in vintage brochures and ads.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/05/...

Date March 2012

Foreign Policy has an eye-opening & thrilling article on the fastest growing economy on the planet, a shadow economy beyond the legal and taxable markets

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/20...

Date February 2012

Gawker has an excellent article on Facebook's outsourced content monitoring and managing squad, revealing the parameters and practices that shape the advertiser friendly culture on Facebook.

http://gawker.com/5885714/

Date December 2011

While some techno-optimists praise new media for liberating people from repressive regimes, dictators rely on Western technology to spy on their citizens, intercept their communication, monitor their internet traffic and block their access to information. The needed release of the Spy Files by Wikileaks identifies companies that thrive on repression.
The evidence provided on the Wikilekas platform consists of detailed brochures, price lists, manuals and presentations that clearly show that this industry is not only well aware of the way their products are used by repressive regimes but is explicitly advertising those activities.
Next step is to push for policies to outlaw the export of surveillance technology to repressive regimes.

http://wikileaks.org/the-spyfiles.html

Date October 2011

Matthew Braga at Ars Technica writes about the peril and promise of social media use in companies. He emphasizes that companies should try harder to understand the inherent risks of social media.

http://arstechnica.com/business/consumer...

Date August 2011

A very informative report by the Center for American Progress reveals the funding structure of Islamophobia. Tracing various donors and cross-referencing their ties with right-wing politicians and opinion makers the CAP presents a comprehensive mapping of nationalistic ideology, Christian-fundamentalist reactionaries and the connections to media and politics.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2...

Date July 2011

It has been frequently pointed out that software patents stifle innovation, regulate markets and help monopolists to keep competition out. This documentary investigates the legal activism that led to the emergence of software patents and how they affect software development and the wider economy.

http://patentabsurdity.com/

Date July 2011

Tobias Escher over at Oxford Internet Institute has published two exciting surveys on citizen participation. His evaluation of TheyWorkForYou.com and WriteToThem.com shows how web interfaces lower the bar for interacting with public administration and how it increases citizens' engagement.

http://people.oii.ox.ac.uk/escher/2011/0...

Date June 2011

Network World has a good article on the research of NYU's Finn Brunton. Brunton traces the uses and distribution of dated technologies and keeps an impressive archive on 'Dead Media'

http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/06...

Date June 2011

The World Bank issued a new report on global developments in economy and politics. It notes that the six emerging powerful economies Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Russia lead to a significant shift of economic power, constituting a global economy of multipolarity.

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL...

Date May 2011

Corporate Europe and LobbyControl map the additionally income of EU parliament members. Some of these corporate pay-checks raise concerns about possible conflicts of interest as documented in the report.

http://www.lobbycontrol.de/blog/wp-conte...

Date May 2011

A publication by the Berkman Center addresses a number of issues that concern the transformation of music, music licensing and distribution. The book is related to the Center's Rethink Music Conference.

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/publication...

Date April 2011

Google released a glossy publication on 'data' on Think Quarterly. Originally aimed at Google partners and advertisers the publication is a good read for anybody interested in data, data visualizations and information politics. It features interviews with people professionally working with data, such as visualization guru Hans Rosling, Vodafone CEO Guy Laurence, Google Chief economist Hal Varian and Tim Berners-Lee, and some articles on 'open data', 'data websites', 'near field communication' etc. An archived copy is accessible here

http://thinkquarterly.co.uk/

Date March 2011

Ars Technica has a brief but informative overview on the emergence of IPTV

http://arstechnica.com/telecom/news/2011...

Date January 2011

There is quite some inconsiderate commentary on the role of 'social media' in Tunisia and Egypt. Marc Lynch reminds us that Al Jazeera deserves credit for shaping a pan Arabian media space and constituting formation of opinion and a civic public sphere

http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/201...

Date January 2011

The NYT has a thrilling article about the Stuxnet worm, jointly developed by the US and Israel, and how it has been tested at an Israeli power plant.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/world/...

Date December 2010

In The Chronicle for Higher Education, El Dante, a professional ghost writer for students and academics writes frankly about his trade. The article gives insight into the world of professional ghost writing for students who rather pay than work.

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Shadow-...

Date November 2010

Wired has an interesting article on Stuxnet, the virus that infected Iranian power plants

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/11...

Date November 2010

NYT has a thrilling article on Albert Gonzalez, a hacker who recently has been sentenced to 20 years for credit card theft.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/magazi...

Date November 2010

The students at Utrecht University's MA programme New Media and Digital Culture created the department's new website. The site reflects more the dynamic interaction between students, alumni and staff. It features articles, events and student projects and internships in the realm of the Dutch new media scene.

http://newmediastudies.nl/

Date September 2010

TechCrunch has an article on the Facebook alternative Diaspora which for the first time revealed more information on how the final application will look like.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/15/diaspor...

Date August 2010

Patent Absurdity is a movie on software patents. The documentary explores the history of software patents and shows how they constitute a threat to software development, innovation and economic growth.

http://patentabsurdity.com/

Date July 2010

On the occasion of Clay Shirky's new book "Cognitive Surplus" on how to harvest collective production for a better world, Salon.com features a discussion between Shirky, Andrew Keen and James Mustich on the future of the book, mashing up issues of technological design with the usual legends from utopia to dystopia.

http://www.salon.com/books/writing/?stor...

Date June 2010

Here (at the New Yorker) is another interesting article on Wikileaks based on an interview with Julian Assange.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/...

Date May 2010

The Australian newspaper The Age has an article on Wikileaks' Julian Assange worth reading

http://www.theage.com.au/national/keeper...

Date April 2010

Frank Schirrmacher, co-publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments on the European aircraft grounding and criticizes the premature trust in simulations.

http://www.faz.net/s/Rub117C535CDF414415...

Date March 2010

The Institute for Networkcultures is hosting a two day conference on Wikipedia. It serves as a platform for a critical reflection on Wikipedia-based knowledge processes and politics, bringing together scholars, law experts and Wikipedians. The Amsterdam conference follows up on the event WikiWars held in Bangalore in January 2010. Topics revolve around editing and community politics on Wikipedia, practices of analysing and framing Wikipedia as well as the ongoing socio-political debate on collective knowledge production. Wikipedia, A critical Point of View: March 26th-27th, Amsterdam, Public Library

http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/cpov/

Date March 2010

Rachel Dretzin and Douglas Rushkoff meet the so called 'digital natives' in this PBS Frontline documentary on media use, relationships, war and education in the 21st century.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...

Date January 2010

In November 2009 Trebor Scholz organized a conference where an impressive crowd of scholars, activists, programmers and artists gathered to reflect criticisms of the Web 2.0 and its media practices. Questions revolving around power structures, control, censorship and the 'unpaid' labour of users. On his website he provides a great overview of the discussion, links to presentations, interviews and other resources.

http://www.collectivate.net/journalisms/...

Date December 2009

The Rotterdam-based hacker lab Moddr released the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. In case you are fed up with your time consuming activities on LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace, the Suicide Machine will delete your account irrevocably. A nifty Web 2.0 style advertising video explains the process.

http://suicidemachine.org/

Date November 2009

Neglecting the EU parliament and the European citizens, the EU justice and home affairs ministers are about to grant the USA nearly unlimited access to European banking data. Of course this deal is not mutual. European authorities won't be able to access US banking data. Giving up even more of European citizen's rights is scheduled for Monday 30th November, one day before the EU parliament will receive more power to intervene in such affairs.

http://brusselsblogger.blogactiv.eu/2009...

Date November 2009

In this programmatic article on the digital transformation of the public sphere, Frank Hartmann argues against the reactionary attempts to stifle open access and the free flow of information. Hartmann's arguments are not only rooted in the ideals of enlightenment but profoundly based on the quality of digital technology and its media practices.

http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/31/313...

Date October 2009

EU commission funded survey on 'user created content', the use of blogs, twitter, youtube and social networking sites.

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/...

Date October 2009

Interesting research by the RAND Corporation on the implications of information warfare

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG87...

Date October 2009

Edward Castronova on virtual economies in online games.

http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/20...

Date June 2009

A feature in The Globe and Mail on the history of downloading music

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tech...

Date April 2009

Deutschland auf dem Weg zur totalen Überwachung seiner Bürger.

http://www.golem.de/0904/66609.html

Date March 2009

article on the decline of the music industry at Torrentfreak

http://torrentfreak.com/how-to-kill-the-...

Date February 2009

A survey by Rebecca MacKinnon on Chinese companies censoring bloggers.

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs...

Date January 2009

Wired magazine features an article on Microsoft's and AT&T's efforts to fight Google.

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine...

Date December 2008

Bernhard Rieder eloquently criticizes the inflationary and superficial publications on the so-called Web 2.0 and their enthusiasm for crowds, folksonomies, users as producers etc.

http://thepoliticsofsystems.net/2008/05/...

Date April 2008

Michael Zimmer from Yale Law School has edited a First Monday edition on the Web 2.0.

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs...

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