ENTRIES TAGGED "law"
Science Needs Open Source, ACTA Wrongitude, iOS Layout, and Mobile Make Lab for Schools
- Open Science Requires Open Source (Nature editorial) — Our view is that we have reached the point that, with some exceptions, anything less than release of actual source code is an indefensible approach for any scientific results that depend on computation, because not releasing such code raises needless, and needlessly confusing, roadblocks to reproducibility.
- What’s Still Wrong With ACTA — the fist-sized jewel in the crown of hypocrisy is USTR has repeated assured Congress that it is not bound by ACTA, and that no changes in US law will be made to comply with ACTA, even in those areas where ACTA conflicts with US law, such as our many limitations on damages from infringement for copyright and trademarks. The US government does intend for ACTA to be binding on developing countries, as part of a “do as we say not as we do” foreign policy.
- WeViews — open source library for laying out UIViews for iOS. (via Hacker News)
- SparkLab — With your help, we’ll find and outfit a delivery truck with cutting-edge maker tools and software (like laser cutters, 3D printers, and hand tools) and drive from school to school bringing teachers and students the resources and equipment they need to create engaging, educational activities. A KickStarter project made of solid Maker awesome. (via Dan Meyer)
Corruption Remains, Automated Instruction, Eolas Victory Incomplete, and CI Arduino Hack
- Why I Hate The STOCK Act (Clay Johnson) — an attempt to reform insider trading within government, but because Congress exempts itself from substantial penalties then it has little effect where it’s needed most. We won’t see change on the issues that matter to us (copyright, due process for Internet takedowns, privacy, etc.) while the lawmakers are distracted by money.
- Instruction Medium is the Message (Dan Meyer) — Print is a medium. Same as digital photos. Same as a teacher’s voice. Same as a YouTube video. Same as a podcast. These are all different media. And as we know, the medium is the message. The medium defines and constrains and sometimes distorts the message. The math that can be conveyed in a YouTube video is not the same math that can be conveyed in a digital photo or a podcast or a print textbook. Anything that can be replaced by a computer should be; it’s doubtful that successful widespread education consists only of things a computer can replace.
- Eolas Patent a Hollow Victory (Simon Phipps) — those who were extorted by the patent troll will go uncompensated, and the loss of one patent leaves their business model still intact. The patent system is extremely broken in the US, it’s a giant cost of doing business, a regulation-created tax that is paid to trolls instead of to the US Government. What idiot supports a tax that doesn’t go to the government? An ethically-corrupted one (see point 1 above).
- Monitor your Continuous Integration Server with Traffic Lights and an Arduino — nifty little hardware hack. It’s an example of making physical objects which control or portray virtual systems, and it’s tied into this Continuous Integration trend whereby software changes go live as soon as possible rather than being held off until 2am on the first Thursday of the month, when the IT team come in to manage the rollout of the new code. CI, in turn, is an example of failing early on something small rather than failing later and larger. (via Sandy Mamoli)
Hosting Jurisdiction, Net Serendipity, Kindle Autographs, and Text Box Hackery
- Data Jurisdiction — information from the NineFold hosting company in Australia. Has some Aussie-specific content, but would be great to see this internationalized. (via Lachlan Hardy)
- Anatomy of an Idea (Steven Johnson) — people who think the Web is killing off serendipity are not using it correctly. Lovely glimpse at how he works, chasing trails of ideas down and using Google and Twitter for research. (via Maria Popova)
- Autograph Stickers for Kindle Books (Clay Johnson) — clever solution to the “but I can’t get my Kindle book autographed!”.
More iPhones Than Babies, Pirate Bay Book, New Corporation Types, and Big Zynga Data
- Every Day, More iPhones Sold Than Babies Born — Malthusian explosion of iPhones predicted once there’s an iPhone-to-3D-printer dongle. (via Luke Wroblewski)
- No Safe Harbour — a collection of political essays, texts, and discussions that help explain and educate about Pirate Party positions. Available for purchase or free download, natch. (via BoingBoing)
- Patagonia Roadtests New Sustainability Legal Status — California has new corporation types: Flexible Purpose Corporations and Benefit Corporations, which are aimed at permitting directors to consider more than purely “maximizing shareholder value” (e.g., environmental impact, social consequences, etc.).
- Zynga Adds 15Tb/Day of Data (Dell) — Zynga’s goal is to drive player actions that improve financial conversion (i.e. player paying real money for elements of the game) and player retention. To accomplish this Zynga uses the results of continuous data analyses of player actions to test, iterate, and fine tune features in their games. Don’t bother clicking through–the rest of the post is basically PR for Dell’s analytics partnerships. That data point is awe-inspiring, though.
CAPTCHA Commerce, Tech Policy, Mobile Data, London Event
- Virtual Sweatshops Defeat CAPTCHAs — I knew there was an industry around solving CAPTCHAs (to spam comments on blogs, sign up for millions of gmail accounts, etc.) but this is the first time I’ve seen how much you can be paid for it: employees can expect to earn between $0.35 to $1 for every thousand CAPTCHAs they solve [...] Most of our staff is from China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam. (via BoingBoing)
- Lockdown — transcription of Cory Doctorow’s excellent talk, “The Coming War on General-Purpose Computation”. The entertainment industry is just the first belligerents to take up arms, and we tend to think of them as particularly successful. [...] But the reality is that copyright legislation gets as far as it does precisely because it’s not taken seriously by politicians. [...] Regardless of whether you think these are real problems or hysterical fears, they are, nevertheless, the political currency of lobbies and interest groups far more influential than Hollywood and big content. Every one of them will arrive at the same place: “Can’t you just make us a general-purpose computer that runs all the programs, except the ones that scare and anger us? Can’t you just make us an Internet that transmits any message over any protocol between any two points, unless it upsets us?”
- Mobile Data Consumption Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — the most eye-catching statistic is 1% of bandwidth consumers account for half of all wireless traffic worldwide in the World. The top 10% of users are consuming 90% of wireless bandwidth. In my land of pay-through-the-nose-for-a-modicum-of-mobile-bandwidth, this was also of note: Voice recognition software Siri has prompted owners of the iPhone 4S to use almost twice as much data as iPhone 4 users.
- Monkigras — event in London that looks interesting. The Redmonk chaps are fellow travellers on the O’Reilly storytelling path: they see many of the same interesting trends as we do, and their speakers cover everything from platform services to open source, startups, and alpha geeks (Biddulph, I’m looking at you). And, also, beer.
Multiple Browsers, Computational Science, Public Spaces, and Academic Advice
- shim (GitHub) — a node.js-based browser-compatibility tool that lets you synchronize several devices/browsers and surf the same pages simultaneously on all of them. Useful, of course, for the painful business of ensuring browser compatibility of web apps. (via Tom Armitage)
- Moore’s Law Squared — John D. Cook found this great note in In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman which explains why computational science is now raging ahead: Three orders of magnitude in machine speed and three orders of magnitude in algorithmic speed add up to six orders of magnitude in solving power. A model that might have taken a year to solve 10 years ago can now solve in less than 30 seconds.
- Private Services Are Not Public Spaces (BoingBoing) — public spaces are where freedom of speech rules; private spaces are where owners decide what you can and cannot do. Don’t mix the two up.
- Advice To A Student (Reddit) — . People fail to graduate from MIT because they come in, encounter problems that are harder than anything they’ve had to do before, and not knowing how to look for help or how to go about wrestling those problems, burn out. The students that are successful look at that challenge, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and stupidity, and begin to take steps hiking that mountain, knowing that bruised pride is a small price to pay for getting to see the view from the top. This should be printed out and given to every student.
Maximum MySQL, Digital News, Unbiased Mining, and Congressional Clue
- How Twitter Stores 250M Tweets a Day Using MySQL (High Scalability) — notes from a talk at the MySQL conference on how Twitter built a high-volume MySQL store.
- How The Atlantic Got Profitable With Digital First (Mashable) — Lauf says his team has focused on putting together premium advertising experiences that span print, digital, events and (increasingly) mobile.
- Data Mining Without Prejudice — an attempt to measure fit without pre-favouring one type of curve over another.
- It Is No Longer OK Not To Know How Congress Works (Clay Johnson) — looking for a specific innovation to try and change the way Washington works by the time Congress votes on SOPA is about as foolish as Steve Jobs trying to diet his way out of having pancreatic cancer.
Newton's Notebooks, Creative Commons, Node HTTP, and Data Business
- Newton’s Notebooks Digitised — wonderful for historians, professional and amateur. I love (a) his handwriting; (b) the pages full of long division that remind us what an amazing time-saver the calculator and then computer was; (c) use of “yn” for “then (the y is actually a thorn, pronounced “th”, and it’s from this that we get “ye”, actually pronounced pronounced “the”). All that and chromatic separation of light, inverse square law, and alchemical mysteries.
- Creative Commons Kicks Off 4.0 Round — public discussion process around issues that will lead to a new version of the CC licenses.
- Holding Back the Age of Data (Redmonk) — Absent a market with well understood licensing and distribution mechanisms, each data negotiation – whether the subject is attribution, exclusivity, license, price or all of the above – is a one off. Very good essay into the evolution of a mature software industry into an immature data industry.
Copyright, Copyright, Patents, and Copyright
- No Copyright Intended (Andy Baio) — Thoughtful piece on how copyright ignorance may lead to copyright reform. Everyone over age 12 when YouTube launched in 2005 is now able to vote. What happens when—and this is inevitable—a generation completely comfortable with remix culture becomes a majority of the electorate, instead of the fringe youth? What happens when they start getting elected to office? (Maybe “I downloaded but didn’t share” will be the new “I smoked, but didn’t inhale.”)
- How to Fix Copyright — new book, written by Google’s Senior Copyright Counsel, which lays out the confused current copyright laws and the ways in which they aren’t working. As Cory’s review says, Patry offers two important (but rare) commodities: facts, and solutions. The solutions are simple: stop making copyright laws until you know whether the ones you have are working; and require strong evidence for further changes.
- Oblivious Supreme Court Poised to Legalize Medical Patents — Prometheus claims much more than its specific testing process. It claims a physician administering thiopurine to a patient can infringe its patent merely by being aware of the scientific correlation disclosed in the patent—even if the doctor doesn’t act on the patent’s recommendations. (via Ed Yong)
- You Have Downloaded — site which collects information from trackers and lets you see what was downloaded from a particular IP address. One ISP in NZ wrote: I plugged in the IPs for the last 6 infringement notices I received as an ISP. It turned up: a) all of the downloads that these IPs had been pinged for; b) as many downloads again that they had not been pinged for.