The Weekend Links Post: No. 29

Welcome, again, to another entirely subjective selection of 15 links, humanely culled from my week’s online reading and roughly collated under the seven broad categories seen below:

Selected Highlights from Guardian Technology (Because otherwise I just don’t get around to reading it now it’s no longer in the print edition).

BT and TalkTalk force judicial review of the Digital Economy Act.

Google blocks Facebook from GMail contacts import data, admonishes Facebook for restrictive attitude to user data.

Major online travel firms unite against potential Google travel search monopoly.

Newsweek magazine to merge with The Daily Beast website. (See also: the Daily Beast’s official announcement).

The trouble with tweets: the arrested Tory councillor; the cricketer suing for libel; a verdict in the Twitter bomb joke trial appeal; and “I am Spartacus”, the protest.

Social Media

From Zadie Smith’s excellent New York Review of Books essay analysing The Social Network, Facebook and Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto:

“Perhaps Generation Facebook have built their virtual mansions in good faith, in order to house the People 2.0 they genuinely are, and if I feel uncomfortable within them it is because I am stuck at Person 1.0. Then again, the more time I spend with the tail end of Generation Facebook (in the shape of my students) the more convinced I become that some of the software currently shaping their generation is unworthy of them. They are more interesting than it is. They deserve better.”

Facebook to launch a competitor for GMail (but it’ll have to be a vast improvement on Facebook’s current mail system, if it’s going to get anywhere).

Books, Writing & Storytelling

Spike Magazine: The Book – a free PDF download of the online books-and-culture magazine’s “finest interviews, features and reviews.”

More detail on what they’re up to at Electric Literature. (See also: Weekend Links No. 28).

Useful Apps, Utilities & Downloads

RockMelt: the Facebook-friendly social browser (that isn’t Flock); currently in beta.


Silver Lines – Anna Rose Carter: a beautiful, mesmerising EP of solo piano compositions (free to stream at the link; or a more than reasonable £4 to download). More details and tracks at her Myspace page.

Games & Other Distractions

Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge: Alan Partridge returns to our (monitor) screens, in a new series of made-for-the-web videos.


The New York Times begins a new column rounding up the best new made-for-the-web “TV” series and movies.

Your brain on ads: the not-yet-quite-as-troubling-or-futuristic-as-it-sounds science of neuromarketing.

[T]he online newsletter of the Tories“: Clay Shirky takes a look at The Times behind its paywall. (See also: a round-up of the online responses).

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