Monday News: Twitter is tracking you, Yahoo sells Flickr images, Jacqueline Woodson interview, and video game marries tradition and technology
How to stop Twitter from seeing what mobile apps you’ve installed — Unless you have intentionally blocked access, Twitter is now tracking the apps you have installed on your mobile phone. This Gigaom post provides instructions on how to block Twitter from doing this for both iOs and Android devices.
According to Twitter, this indexing is being done to help“build a more tailored experience for you on Twitter” — in other words, to come up with recommended content you might be interested in. It plans to do this by a) using the apps to help improve “who to follow” suggestions by comparing the apps you have to those other users have, b) adding “tweets, accounts or other content to your timeline” that Twitter thinks you’ll find interesting, and c) showing you what it thinks will be more relevant “promoted content,” otherwise known as advertising. — Gigaom
Fight Over Yahoo’s Use of Flickr Photos — Yahoo is selling images uploaded by Flickr users that have a Creative Common (aka “CC) license. While some amateur photographers are happy to see their work being distributed more broadly, others feel that they are being unfairly exploited, since Yahoo is monetizing their work without paying them, Although perfectly legal, this practice is not universal:
A competing photo-sharing site, 500px, helps photographers sell digital copies of their work and keep up to 70% of the revenue. Only about 100,000 photos on its site of around 50 million are licensed using Creative Commons, and 500px doesn’t sell them. The site’s co-founder, Evgeny Tchebotarev, said Yahoo’s decision to sell those images violates users’ intent. Even if legal, “it doesn’t make it moral from our standpoint,” Mr. Tchebotarev said.
Another site, DeviantArt, has more than 50 million Creative Commons-licensed images and lets artists share revenue from poster sales. CEO Angelo Sotira said Yahoo’s move “shows a lack of respect and is a disservice to the notion of open distribution on the Internet.” — Wall Street Journal
Four Questions for…Jacqueline Woodson — Although she has been nominated for a National Book Award three times, this win for Brown Girl Dreaming was particularly sweet because it was unanimous. Woodson talks about her reaction to the news and the appeal of her book and the other nominees:
Of the five finalists in the Young People’s Literature category, three of the books deal with race and the struggle for civil rights in the mid-20th century. Why are such books resonating with readers?
Readers are hungry to have their stories in the world, to see mirrors of themselves if the stories are about people like them and to have windows if the stories are about people who have been historically absent in literature. People want to know and understand each other across lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability. Stories that finally reflect (and are well written) can’t do anything other than resonate. — Publishers Weekly
Updating Centuries-Old Folklore With Puzzles And Power-Ups — A very cool video game project that is aimed at keeping the Native Alaskan storytelling traditions alive for the younger generations, this partnership with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council has also provided an opportunity to contemplate the nature of storytelling and change:
[We found] that the last living person to tell the story was a master storyteller named Robert Cleveland. Amy and her team did an amazing job and they located the oldest living offspring of Robert — a woman named Minnie Gray who is in her 80s, I believe. They discovered that Minnie lived just a few blocks from the Cook Inlet Tribal Council headquarters. And we brought her in and we were able to start a series of conversations with her. We introduced her to the team and what we wanted to do. And we were delighted when she really was encouraging us not only to use her father’s story for inspiration, but to adapt it and evolve it for the game context. One of the things she taught us was that storytelling is not a fixed act. Different storytellers bring their own sensibilities and their own attitudes and they change a story based on the context and the situation. So she said that based on the work we had done so far, she felt that it was clear that we were handling this appropriately and that we were doing what we needed to do. — NPR