- Crowdsourcing the Goldman-Sachs Investigation (Crowdflower) — Goldman-Sachs turned over “several hundred billion pages” of documents in response to a government investigation request. Crowdsourcing may be the solution, as with UK MPs’ expenses. Clearly, technology presents a double-edged sword for investigators and other regulators. On the one hand, companies under investigation can use technology to more efficiently bury investigators in terabytes of data (paging Goldman Sachs). On the other hand, technology provides tools for deftly sifting through the data (enter crowdsourcing). Another reminder that open data is necessary but not sufficient for improvement.
- Google-ViaCom Decision (PDF) — conclusion appears to be that you don’t lose safe harbour for knowing “YouTube is full of copyright violations”, so long as you act on DMCA takedowns. (via Google Blog)
- The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing — leaving aside the questionable value of the term “intellectual property”, this paper is interesting. Adrian Bowyer, coauthor, is the founder and leader of the RepRap open source 3D printer project. The effect of these exemptions is that many items attractive for 3D printing will not be protected as registered designs. Many spare parts are likely to be components or fall under the “technical function” or “must fit” exemptions. The latter also applies to the shape of accessories and customisation items such as covers for mobile phones (but not, as noted below, to copyright artwork decorating them). Furthermore, even if a spare part escapes these exemptions and is protected as a registered design, such protection is not infringed by its use for “the repair of a complex product so as to restore its original appearance”. This would cover the 3D printing of a part such as a car wing panel that was normally visible and not wholly constrained in design by its function or fit, but which had to be replicated in order to maintain the vehicle’s original appearance. (via teh_aimee on Twitter)
- VIDI Modules — open source Drupal data visualization modules.
Crowdsourcing Investigations, YouTube Wins, 3D IP, and Drupal Visualization
Whitehouse Source, Hot Android on iPhone Action, Geomapping, Open Data Fights Fraud
- Whitehouse Released Open Source Code — four modules for Drupal with features the White House needed, including integration with the Akamai CDN.
- Android on iPhone — it’s like constructing an apartment building out of lasagne: an astonishing feat of engineering, even if it’s not ultimately useful for anything. (via waxy)
- A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping — covers R, SAGA, Google Earth, and other tools. (via Flowing Data)
- Open Data Saves Canada $3.2B — interesting case of charities fraud, where official institutions were slow to respond but opening the data that revealed the fraud prompted action. Notable to me because the investigators as outsiders didn’t have power but the data gave power to the rest of the industry, who had a stake in making sure the fraud was fixed.
Yesterday, the new media team at the White House announced via the Associated Press that whitehouse.gov is now running on Drupal, the open source content management system. That Drupal implementation is in turn running on a Red Hat Linux system with Apache, MySQL and the rest of the LAMP stack. Apache Solr is the new White House search engine. This move is obviously a big win for open source. While open source is already widespread throughout the government, its adoption by the White House will almost certainly give permission for much wider uptake.