Copyright Hardliners Adopt the Language of Reform — Sadly, in the end, Barnier’s “copyright fit for the Internet age” looks depressingly like the current, dysfunctional version: one based on a non-existent scarcity, on treating the public as passive consumers, and on pursuing unachievable enforcement goals with ever-harsher punishments.
Mars and Sleep in Air New Zealand Flights (Idealog) — Air New Zealand in-flight entertainment to include advertisements for Martian timeshares and relaxing music set to a slow continuous shot along a New Zealand country road. Beats the hell out of the Nashville Top 20 channel and that gloaty “still many more hours to go!” map.
Google Drones Target Poachers (World Wildlife Fund) — that’s not the real message of this piece, announcing Google has given a $5M grant to WWF to use technology to protect animals, but that’s the vision I have. I look forward to being able to switch on the reticule on Google Savannah View and smoke a few poachers straight from my phone’s maps app.
Is It The Internet of Things? — we’ve moved from “they ignore you” to “they laugh at you”. Next up, “they fight you”, then finally the earless RFID-enabled location-aware ambient-sensing Network of All wins. (via BERG London)
The 2012 We Could Have Had — list of famous and interesting works which would have entered the public domain had we not had the 1976 extension of copyright law.
Web Engineer’s Online Toolbox — a list of online, Web-based tools that Web engineers can use for their work in development, testing, debugging and documentation.
Wing Man — Mac app for source control management with git, implements workflow rather than simply being a wrapper for git commandlines.
CodeKit — Mac app for web developers, automates (invisibly, thanks to watching filesystem changes) much of the web site tools.
LazyTruth — Chrome plugin for gmail that detects bogus forwarded email and gives you the option to reply with the truth. RoboSnopes for the win! (via The Atlantic)
Verizon to Throttle Pirates (BBC) — unable to solve their business model problems though the courts, Hollywood “partners” with ISPs to extra-judicially punish alleged infractions. ISPs win when heavy downloaders are throttled, of course, because it lets them have higher contention ratios (sell the same upstream cable to many more downstream email-checking residences instead of just a few torrenters). These five ISPs are mall-cops, private tax collectors, and regional monopolists, all in one nasty bundle of evil.
Helping Drones Play Nice With Other Aviation — The U.S. airspace is quickly being filled with simultaneously flying drones. To such an extent, unmanned aircraft could soon become a nightmare for the ATC controllers. The ADS-B will improve Predator B’s crew situational awareness making the drone capable to operate more freely and safely in domestic and international airspace in accordance with civilian air traffic and airspace rules and regulations.
Reclaiming NZ’s Digitised Heritage — Out of a sample of 100 books: 50% of NZ Heritage Books (published before 1890) have been digitised; 90% of digitised texts are fully accessible; 98% of accessible texts are downloadable; Despite all works being in the public domain, only one did not have any licencing restrictions applied to its use. Most groups who digitise then go on to put restrictions around their use. [T]here are also many instances where arbitrary restrictions are being applied to the detriment of the public good.
Self-Spy (GitHub) — Log everything you do on the computer, for statistics, future reference and all-around fun!
Turing Complete User — General Purpose Users can write an article in their e-mail client, layout their business card in Excel and shave in front of a web cam. They can also find a way to publish photos online without flickr, tweet without twitter, like without facebook, make a black frame around pictures without instagram, remove a black frame from an instagram picture and even wake up at 7:00 without a “wake up at 7:00” app. [… They are] users who have the ability to achieve their goals regardless of the primary purpose of an application or device. (via BoingBoing)
Bootstrap Live Editor — a WYSIWYG HTML5 Editor built for Bootstrap. It offers a nice and elegant way to edit and beautify html content with Bootstrap-ready UI elements. I love how Bootstrap has become this framework for simpler website creation. I’m just disappointed they’re all startups chasing $ instead of being open source infrastructure.
DCMA Exemption Recommended for Remix — recommended expanding the noncommercial remix exemption to cover both DVDs and online services. The reference to “motion pictures” covers “movies, television shows, commercials, news, DVD extras, etc.”
New Tool Gives Structural Strength to 3-D Printed Works (Science Daily) — Findings were detailed in a paper presented during the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in August. Former Purdue doctoral student Ondrej Stava created the software application, which automatically strengthens objects either by increasing the thickness of key structural elements or by adding struts. The tool also uses a third option, reducing the stress on structural elements by hollowing out overweight elements. (via BoingBoing)
Improving Content ID (YouTube) — finally they’re adding some human intervention to lower the number of false positives.
OECD’s Internet Economy Outlook (OECD) — lots of stats, from growth of streaming media to crime and EHRs. This caught my eye: In 2010, on average, 35% of all businesses with ten or more persons employed used the Internet for purchasing, and only 18% for selling goods and services.
Half Of What You Know Is False — The field of scientometrics – the science of measuring and analyzing science – took off in 1947 when mathematician Derek J. de Solla Price was asked to store a complete set of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society temporarily in his house. He stacked them in order and he noticed that the height of the stacks fit an exponential curve. Price started to analyze all sorts of other kinds of scientific data and concluded in 1960 that scientific knowledge had been growing steadily at a rate of 4.7 percent annually since the 17th century. The upshot was that scientific data was doubling every 15 years.
Copyright Enforcement Bots Killed Hugo Streaming (io9) — automated content policing ‘bots killed the live stream, and uStream wouldn’t bring it back. This is the problem with automated enforcement: bots can’t tell all permitted uses, let alone fair use.
Network Theory to Identify Origins of Outbreaks (MIT Technology Review) — “By monitoring only 20% of the communities, we achieve an average error of less than 4 hops between the estimated source and the ﬁrst infected community”. The paper says it depends on good knowledge of the network, which makes me wonder how useful it will be for government tracing of Anons and the like.
Mobile Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — eBay’s mobile shoppers and mobile payers are 3 to 4 times more valuable than Web only […] Yelp runs ads on the mobile web, and those ads see a higher clickthrough rate than their desktop counterparts.
Data-Driven Restaurants (Washingtonian) — Did Elizabeth bring your Pinot Gris within three minutes of the time you ordered it? Were your appetizers delivered within seven minutes, entrées within ten, desserts within seven? Were these plates described at the table before they were set in front of you? Were napkins refolded when you went to the restroom? Was non-bottled water referred to as “ice water” (correct) or “water” (incorrect)? (via Daniel Bachhuber)
Content Detection Fail (Ars Technica) — five other media organizations (mostly television stations, including some from overseas) had claimed the content of his video through YouTube’s Content ID system. That video? A Google+ hangout where he played NASA videos of the Mars landing. Shonky rights verification is a problem, as Google pays ad royalties to those who claim the rights–creating incentives to lie. And as Google doesn’t pay any royalties while material is disputed and the dispute is unresolved, it’s not really in Google’s interest to make this work either. (via Andy Baio)
Britain To Provide Free Access to Scientific Publications (Guardian) — the Finch report is being implemented! British universities now pay around £200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay “article processing charges” (APCs) to have their papers peer reviewed, edited and made freely available online. The typical APC is around £2,000 per article.
Trustworthy Online Controlled Experiments: Five Puzzling Outcomes Explained (PDF) — Microsoft Research dug into A/B tests done on Bing and reveal some subtle truths. The statistical theory of controlled experiments is well understood, but the devil is in the details and the difference between theory and practice is greater in practice than in theory […] Generating numbers is easy; generating numbers you should trust is hard! (via Greg Linden)
Data Sequencing Costs (National Human Genome Research Institute) — Cost-per-megabase and cost-per-genome are dropping faster than Moore’s Law now they’ve introduced “second generation techniques” for sequencing, aka “high-throughput sequencing” or a parallelization of the process. (via JP Rangaswami)
The Internet of Things That Do What You Tell Them: Cory Doctorow passionately explains how computers are already entwined in our lives, which means laws that support lock-in are much more than inconveniences.