Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.
Former Redditor Aaron Swartz Dies at Age 26 (SocialTimes)
Aaron Swartz, an early employee of the link-sharing site reddit, is dead at the age of 26, the Associated Press has confirmed. The 26-year-old programmer and Internet activist reportedly hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment weeks before he was to appear in court for illegally downloading millions of scholarly articles. Politico Swartz allegedly attempted to download much or all of the JSTOR database, a massive collection of academic papers that is available to students and researchers at many academic institutions but is not freely available on the Internet. Swartz allegedly made the effort by placing a laptop in a wiring closet of an MIT building. VentureBeat His charges included copyright violations as well as more serious hacking charges. JSTOR declined to press charges, but reports suggest that MIT urged the U.S. Attorney’s office to pursue the case, which it did, aggressively: The charges filed against Swartz may have carried a maximum sentence of 35 years in jail and up to $1 million in fines. Mashable Leo Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced in a statement Sunday that the school will be conducting an investigation of its involvement in the case of Swartz. “I have asked Professor Hal Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT’s involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present. I have asked that this analysis describe the options MIT had and the decisions MIT made, in order to understand and to learn from the actions MIT took,” Reif wrote. PC Magazine A number of researchers and supporters – activists in their own right – are taking to Twitter to participate in a large protest as a reaction to Swartz’s suicide. The online event, running under the hashtag #pdftribute, has thousands of users contributing links to academic papers – regardless of whether they technically have permission due to the papers’ copyrights – as a virtual representation of Swartz’s beliefs in the availability of information in the academic world.
Dropbox Update for Android Targets Photo-Sharing (SocialTimes)
Photo-sharing is a red-hot area of competition among software companies right now, and Dropbox upped its game last week with updates to its mobile apps. The more substantial Android update allows users to organize photos into albums and share them with others who aren’t Dropbox users. The Next Web Dropbox has always allowed you to share photos with a public link to anyone, but this makes it easier to grab a clump of photos and share them all at once. The recent dramatic redesign of Dropbox’ apps displayed a renewed focus on sharing photos, something that the team told me was a big way that people use its product.
Twitter Enlists Stars to Live-Tweet the Golden Globes (LostRemote)
This year, Twitter has enlisted actors and directors in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to live-tweet the awards ceremony and to share red carpet photos, backstage happenings, and for those celebrities unable to score an invite – thoughts from their couches. With a more laid-back setting compared to other high-profile award shows, the Golden Globes is a perfect opportunity for celebrities to engage with fans before, during, and after the telecast.
Facebook Offers Admins the Ability to Promote Page, Get More Likes (AllFacebook)
Facebook has long allowed page administrators to promote individual posts, but now the site is apparently pushing more options for marketers to pay to amplify pages themselves. As Jon Loomer points out, some pages have the option to quickly create ads to get more likes.
Groupon Acquires Location Service Startup Glassmap (SocialTimes)
Groupon has acquired the Y Combinator-backed startup Glassmap, whose business products target deals to customers nearby. The deal was announced by Glassmap on Friday, and terms were not disclosed.
Twitter Releases Report Detailing its Impact on Social TV (AllTwitter)
Twitter is taking over TV, and both entities are very happy about the blossoming partnership. A report released by Twitter detailing its impact on this “Social TV ” phenomenon tells you why.
Who is the ‘Happy Hacker’? (SocialTimes)
Alleged cyber-criminal Hamza Bendelladj was arrested in Bangkok last week after the FBI reportedly tipped off local law enforcement. But all the 24-year-old Algerian could do at the arraignment and the press conference that followed was smile.
Social Media Stock Tracker: Investors Bet on Upcoming Q4 Results (SocialTimes)
The social media sector performed well last week with an average weekly gain of 2 percent as investors continued to make bets ahead of upcoming earnings. In the next several weeks, several notable companies (including EBAY, GOOG, AAPL, NFLX, YHOO and FB) will report Q4/12 earnings and set the tone for investor sentiment on the social media and Internet sector over the next several months.
Court Ruling Opens Window for Netflix Rivals (SocialTimes)
GameFly, a company that rents computer games on DVD, dealt a blow to video rentals giant Netflix’s business model on Friday, when a district court of appeals found that the United States Postal Service gave Netflix an unfair advantage by hand-sorting its DVDs for free and must develop a plan to handle all DVDs the same way at the same price. The post office’s automatic sorting system often damages disks, particularly those being returned to the company.