WikiLeaks and the cloud, YouTube goes long, everyone’s a publisher

Causing the sort of diplomatic incidents that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il and Prince Philip couldn’t even imagine (and if that line up doesn’t scream ‘dream dinner party’ to you then I don’t know what will), this week WikiLeaks has hardly been out of the news.

The whistle-blowing site’s release of thousands of secret US cables last week has even seen cloud computing displace social media on tech blogs – at least for a time. Thankfully, attempts by pro-WikiLeaks hackers to shut down Amazon, after it withdrew its cloud hosting services, were unsuccessful, thereby averting a real diplomatic catastrophe had Christmas shopping plans been thwarted.

In the meantime, spare a thought for the co-founders of the Pirate Bay. Not only is the filesharing site no longer the web’s enfant terrible, but Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom are still guilty of illegal filesharing after they failed to overturn their convictions on appeal and their fines have been bumped up from £1.3 million to £4.1 million.

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YouTube has increased its upload limits beyond 15 minutes. Or, as tech blog Mashable put it, “impossibly long videos featuring cats repeatedly slamming into mirrors are about to get even longer”.

To begin with only a select few will get the extended uploading privileges. YouTube omitted to say what the new limit was, preferring to dwell instead on how its copyright protection system Content ID had made the change possible.

This would be the same copyright protection system that’s regularly outfoxed by enterprising souls who upload feature films in 10 minute chunks, or fans of almost every conceivable genre of music, or, well, the list could go on and on.

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The internet has always offered anyone with the right technical nous a chance to become a publisher. But the range of options, particularly in blogging, has been steadily increasing with the growing popularity of the likes of Twitter and Posterous.

There are even options for when typing, even 140 characters at a time, is too much of a chore. One that has quickly gained a high profile is Paper.Li, which organises links shared on Twitter into a newspaper-style format. More than 100,000 of these papers have been created in four months and the numbers are increasing by 1,000 a day – all without any more marketing than word of mouth on Twitter.

The latest company to jump on this bandwagon is Microsoft with the not entirely useful, though still beta-stage, Montage. Ok, if you want a magazine about Christmas trees, it struggled to deliver anything worthwhile for me around ‘digital’, ‘marketing’, ‘pharma’ or even ‘social media’.

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Found: Twitter’s year in review has began with highlights of the celebrities who joined the microblogging service in 2010

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