Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung

Angeblich sollen Springer-Anwälte dem Gericht in einem Verfahren gegen die Macher von Adblock Plus folgendes erklärt haben:

Das Kerngeschäft der Klägerin ist die Vermarktung von Werbung. Journalistische Inhalte sind das Vehikel, um die Aufmerksamkeit des Publikums für die werblichen Inhalte zu erreichen.

Nicht, dass das jetzt überraschend kommt … dennoch beunruhigend.

White Space As Unused Advertising Space

has a few points on why it’s stupid to think of all white space as unused advertising space.

[Look,] here is an “inefficient” use of space that could instead be used to “inform” the public of “opportunities.”

It’s interesting to see how one of the most wasteful industries of our society claims to make things more efficient by wasting people’s time and cluttering up everything.

Whispers of Betrayal

The Guardian exposed in a series of articles how the creators of the Whisper app track individual and group behavior.

Whisper violated their own claims made in their terms of service and privacy policy which was updated just days before the Guardian article was published, but after being asked for comment for the publication. :/

    • They had tools to track and build profiles of users although claiming they would be “anonymous”
    • They tracked the location of people who explicitly opted-out of geolocation
    • They cooperated with the DoD, sharing infos about messages from military personnel
    • They shared information with law enforcement bodies like the FBI and MI5 with a lower legal threshold than is common practice

They process data with a staff of over 100 in the Philippines although claiming to process and store all data in the US.

Update: The Guardian has since published a clarification, removing some of the previous claims. It seems like Whisper really planned to change their ToS for quite some time and doesn’t store data on non-US servers. The claims about geolocation tracking for those who’ve opted out is based on Whisper’s ability to geolocate IP addresses (which may be a quite rough estimation).

They Used to Say That About Content

Facebook wants you to help them optimize their ads. You’re supposed tell them which ones you like or dislike so they can replace the ones you didn’t like with other you might “like more.” … This seems so bizarre … In essence Facebook is telling you to curate their ad stream for you the way you curate your own content stream. In doing so they blurt out things like

giving people more control about the ads they see

and

show you the ads that are most relevant to you

Is it just me, or is this exactly the way they used to talk about content?!? o.O

KAZ: Pushing Product Placement

After reading on arstechnica about a new documentary called Kaz I was psyched to watch it. I’m no console player, but Gran Turismo is a household name by now. 😉 The documentary is about Kazunori Yamauchi the producer of this legendary game series. It promised insight into the thoughts and ambitions of a perfectionist mind funneled though the game making process to produce one of the most acclaimed racing car simulation games out there.

But what I went to see was utterly disappointing!

I expected insight into the process of capturing the “soul” of complex machines–that cars have undeniably become–and how they managed to produce a “piece of art” (in a visual and “feeling of realism” sense) so that they each car they put into the game feels and acts subtly, but recognizably different. I expected something along the lines of creator’s vision, technical process and production anecdotes (very much like the Oral History of Street Fighter 2).

How do you capture the very tactile nature of car racing and delivering it through a gaming console?

How do you deliver the sense of speed and deafening sound into the living room?

How do you make this livable so that people really think they have tasted a drip of the real experience?

Wouldn’t this be interesting to know?

There have been very different but good examples set by companies like Blizzard or id Software when it comes to this. (I’m only counting one-way communication here. so only videos, talks, interviews, etc.)
I loved the battle reports before StarCraft 2 came out or interviews with game director Dustin Browder talking about balance changes and giving insight into their weighing and thinking in the process.
On the other side you have people like John Carmack do after-the-fact (sometimes very technical) analyses of games his company produced on both very specific or very broad game development issues.

I have seen several documentaries that try to capture the fascination of gaming from the players side (e.g. The King of Kong) as well as some that try to show how certain very prominent games were made (e.g. Indie Game, Minecraft).

But this is nothing like any of them. It is a string of sterile interviews, shots in random (“industrial” looking) sceneries, with people (at best) vaguely related to the game, the industry, racing, the film or anything.

  • There are a bunch of random interviews with arists/crafts(wo)men neither of whom is involved in gaming or racing or anything todo with the movie.
  • Product placement
  • Interviews with a young racers and their families and trainers who have basically nothing to do with the game.
  • Pointless and empty phrases by car company representatives, etc. (e.g. Kevin Hunter makes me cringe)
  • Product placement
  • Endless adulation on how successful the GTAcademy is, without really going into how they actually recruit and train drivers
  • Irritating camera action (e.g. useless depth changes in interviews), superfluous shots and scenes just for product placement
  • And the list goes on …
  • Did I mention the product placement?

The only glimpse of how the game was actually made were in two short scenes: where they show how they digitize tracks and an interview with one of the games’ visual designers working on a track’s scenery.

The interviews with “Kaz” are interesting if it wasn’t for the over-the-top and totally artificial settings. There are also some rather bizarre outdoor shots with him in a forest and in a traditional around-the-corner restaurant. They seem like they were forcefully inserted to create the facade of a “happy” and “balanced” person … which seems odd … having a rough idea of the kind of mindset in both the (Japanese) corporate and the general gaming world.

It seems they were desperate to make one of the biggest game company’s largest and probably most expensive game productions look like a inspiring one-man handcrafted artsy garage project.

They basically failed really hard to portray it like an indie game (in spirit). The blatantly obvious and nonsensical product placements didn’t help either. So for a film trying to capture “feeling” it is a rather “over-engeneered” PR tool. Basically Sony achieved with KAZ what Morgan Spurlock couldn’t with The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

So thats why I’m angry … there is no feeling, no emotion, no insight in this film … it’s a piece coming out of a soulless marketing machine … sadly …

Real Fake Likes

Facebook offers you to pay for likes, which will generally come from people who don’t really like your page, but probably get paid for it. This in turn will drag down engagement on your posts, because now many of your (artificially limited) post views will go to them instead of genuinely interested people. Then Facebook offers you to pay to throttle your posts less so that they reach more people. … See? Win/Win!