Monday, February 29, 2016

Libraries’ Love Your Data Week raises awareness among research universities; Penn State News, 2/5/16

Penn State News; Libraries’ Love Your Data Week raises awareness among research universities:
"During the week of Feb. 8, university research libraries across the United States, including Penn State’s University Libraries — @psulibs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — are participating in a grassroots social media campaign to spread awareness about the importance of documenting, sharing, preserving and making available research data.
Love Your Data Week — hashtag #lyd16 — is about recognizing the ways in which individuals can start caring for data now, adopting consistent practices, modeling and implementing them for generations to come. Managing data in a conscionable way, with attention as well to affordances for reuse, is both a responsibility to the scholarly record and an important public good.
University students, in particular, are learning and researching in an era of increasing compliance with federal funding agencies’ requirements for public access to research results, including data. The themes of Love Your Data Week prompt faculty and staff to ask: How do we teach students to be responsible stewards of their scholarly outputs? How do we instill in them an awareness of potential future users of their work — a perspective that affects how data gets shared or not, is made accessible or not?"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rauschenberg Foundation Eases Copyright Restrictions on Art; New York Times, 2/26/16

Randy Kennedy, New York Times; Rauschenberg Foundation Eases Copyright Restrictions on Art:
"Images are vital in art scholarship and publishing, he added, and when they are not available, scholarship can be weakened or delayed or not pursued at all. The effects can filter down even to college art classes, where images necessary for teaching are sometimes too costly or complicated to obtain.
Whether other prominent foundations will follow the Rauschenberg’s lead remains to be seen. “In principle, I’m really for what” Ms. MacLear “is doing,” said Jack Flam, president and chief executive of the Dedalus Foundation, which represents the work of Robert Motherwell and has been active recently in public discussions about copyright issues. But Mr. Flam, an art historian, added that the current system still had a valuable role to play both in ensuring that the best images are used and in helping foundations and estates keep track of how those images are used. “It’s not a money issue; it’s a quality issue,” he said."

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sony Music Issues Takedown On Copyright Lecture About Music Copyrights By Harvard Law Professor;, 2/16/16

Mike Masnick,; Sony Music Issues Takedown On Copyright Lecture About Music Copyrights By Harvard Law Professor:
"Oh, the irony. First pointed out by Mathias Schindler, it appears that a copyright lecture about music copyright done by famed copyright expert and Harvard Law professor William Fisher has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Sony Music."

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Library of Congress Puts Rosa Parks Archive Online; New York Times, 2/25/16

Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times; Library of Congress Puts Rosa Parks Archive Online:
"The Library of Congress has digitized the papers of Rosa Parks, enabling free online access to everything from her first-hand recollections of the Montgomery bus boycott and personal correspondence with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to family photographs, tax returns and a handwritten recipe for “featherlite pancakes.”
The collection, which includes roughly 7,500 manuscript items and 2,500 photographs, is on loan to the library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which acquired the collection in 2014 after a dispute involving Parks’s heirs that had left the papers languishing in a warehouse for nearly a decade following her death in 2005. (If the archives move elsewhere, the digital files will remain at the library.)"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Patent scandal: Secret probe of top UN official completed;, 2/18/16

George Russell,; Patent scandal: Secret probe of top UN official completed:
"The WIPO staffers allegedly victimized by Gurry had also left the agency. They became embroiled in the alleged break-ins after anonymous letters circulated that made vague charges of financial impropriety against Gurry and his wife, in advance of his initial election as WIPO chief.
The DNA evidence collected against the staffers formed part of the tests subsequently performed by Swiss police on the staffers -- their diplomatic immunity was temporarily lifted to let that happen -- to determine their guilt or innocence in the letter-writing episode. They were cleared of being involved.
And it was when the staffers discovered mention of the DNA samples in testing paperwork that they said they realized it had come from illegal entry of their offices."

PCT – The International Patent System; WIPO

WIPO; PCT – The International Patent System:
"The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent Offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions. By filing one international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously seek protection for an invention in 148 countries throughout the world. Read more about the PCT."

Colm Tóibín: how Henry James's family tried to keep him in the closet; Guardian, 2/20/16

Colm Toibin, Guardian; Colm Tóibín: how Henry James's family tried to keep him in the closet:
"In his book Monopolizing the Master, published in 2012, Michael Anesko sought to outline the struggle that went on to control James’s posthumous reputation.
It began some years before James’s death as the novelist worked on the volume of his autobiography called Notes of a Son and Brother. As he began to use letters written by his brother William in this book, letters that had been given to him by his sister-in-law, he felt free to make amendments to suit his own purposes. Harry wrote to his uncle sharply when news of this leaked out. When Henry replied: “the sad thing is I think you’re right in being offended”, Harry wrote an exclamation mark in the margin. He wished to control publication of his father’s letters himself."

US Congressional Hearing On WIPO Accountability This Week; Intellectual Property Watch, 2/22/16

William New, Intellectual Property Watch; US Congressional Hearing On WIPO Accountability This Week:
"Several subcommittees of the United States Congress have scheduled a joint hearing this week on accountability and possible mistreatment of staff and whistleblowers at the UN World Intellectual Property Organization. The witness list for the hearing includes several high-level critics of WIPO Director General Francis Gurry who used to work for him. Meanwhile, observers are questioning what has happened to the report from an official UN investigation of WIPO.
The Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Establishing Accountability at the World Intellectual Property Organization: Illicit Technology Transfers, Whistleblowing, and Reform, is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 February. The hearing is expected to be publicly webcast."

‘Deadpool’ Technology Lands in Patent Fight; New York Times, 2/24/16

Jim Kerstetter, New York Times; ‘Deadpool’ Technology Lands in Patent Fight:
"Over the years, big tech companies have collected stock piles of patents and copyrights, both to protect their assets and sue other companies. Oracle sued Google. Apple sued Samsung. So-called patent trolls — companies that own patents, but don’t actually build products based on them — have sued scores of little and big companies.
Industry complaints that lawsuits were sucking innovation out of tech — and scaring people away from creating start-ups — led to calls in Washington for patent reform. But so far those efforts have gone nowhere.
Rearden has asked a judge to award it financial damages and block the distribution of movies and other entertainment that it claims have been made using infringing Mova patents and trademarks."

President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Carla D. Hayden as Librarian of Congress;, 2/24/16; President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Carla D. Hayden as Librarian of Congress:
"Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Carla D. Hayden as Librarian of Congress.
President Obama said, “Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress. Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today's digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.”
Carla D. Hayden, Nominee for Librarian of Congress, Library of Congress:
Dr. Carla D. Hayden is CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, a position she has held since 1993. Dr. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Dr. Hayden was Deputy Commissioner and Chief Librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an Assistant Professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Dr. Hayden was Library Services Coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the Young Adult Services Coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a Library Associate and Children’s Librarian from 1973 to 1979. Dr. Hayden was President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an afterschool center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Dr. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago."

Sara Fine Institute presents: Christine Borgman, "Big Data, Open Data, and Scholarship": Mon Feb 29th 3.00pm - 5.00pm, University of Pittsburgh

Sara Fine Institute presents: Christine Borgman, "Big Data, Open Data, and Scholarship" :
"Monday Feb 29th 3.00pm - 5.00pm
University Club, Ballroom A, 123 University Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
"Big Data, Open Data, and Scholarship"
by Christine L. Borgman
Distinguished Professor & Presidential Chair in Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
Scholars gathered data long before the emergence of books, journals, libraries, publishers, or the Internet. Until recently, data were considered part of the process of scholarship, essential but largely invisible. In the “big data” era, the products of these research processes have become valuable objects in themselves to be captured, shared, reused, and sustained for the long term. Data also has become contentious intellectual property to be protected, whether for proprietary, confidentiality, competition, or other reasons. Public policy leans toward open access to research data, but rarely with the public investment necessary to sustain access. Enthusiasm for big data is obscuring the complexity and diversity of data in scholarship and the challenges for stewardship. Data practices are local, varying from field to field, individual to individual, and country to country. This talk will explore the stakes and stakeholders in research data and implications for policy and practice.
Join us Feb. 29, 2016 at 3pm at the University of Pittsburgh’s University Club (Ballroom A). This event is free to attend and no RSVP is required. A reception will follow."

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fair Use Week at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries: February 22-26, 2016

Fair Use Week at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries: February 22-26, 2016:
Thanks to Pitt SIS alumnus Andy Prisbylla with CMU Libraries for this information on CMU's Fair Use Week, February 22-26, 2016: "CMU will be having student demonstrations of work that incorporates Fair Use and a digital exhibit will be playing on the flat-screens here as well."

Friday, February 19, 2016

Google gets patents for advanced Glass and a driverless delivery truck; ComputerWorld, 2/18/16

Sharon Gaudin, ComputerWorld; Google gets patents for advanced Glass and a driverless delivery truck:
"Google is working on advancing its Google Glass technology, while also working on the concept of a driverless delivery truck.
Google, which holds a myriad of patents, was recently granted two U.S. patents, one for a more rugged and flexible version of its computerized eyewear, and another for an autonomous delivery truck."

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Librarians Find Themselves Caught Between Journal Pirates and Publishers; Chronicle of Higher Education, 2/18/16

Corinne Ruff, Chronicle of Higher Education; Librarians Find Themselves Caught Between Journal Pirates and Publishers:
"The rise, fall, and resurfacing of a popular piracy website for scholarly-journal articles, Sci-Hub, has highlighted tensions between academic librarians and scholarly publishers.
Academics are increasingly turning to websites like Sci-Hub to view subscriber-only articles that they cannot obtain at their college or that they need more quickly than interlibrary loan can provide.
That trend puts librarians in an awkward position. While many are proponents of open access and understand the challenges scholars face in gaining access to information, they are also bound by their contracts with publishers, which obligate them to crack down on pirates. And while few, if any, librarians openly endorse piracy, many believe that the scholarly-publishing system is broken."

Marvell Technology to Pay Carnegie Mellon $750 Million Over Patents; Reuters via New York Times, 2/17/16

Reuters via New York Times; Marvell Technology to Pay Carnegie Mellon $750 Million Over Patents:
"Marvell Technology Group Ltd on Wednesday said it will pay Carnegie Mellon University $750 million to settle a nearly seven-year-old lawsuit accusing it of infringing two hard disk drive patents held by the Pittsburgh school.
The accord was announced six months after a federal appeals court said an earlier $1.54 billion damages award against the chipmaker should be reduced significantly and that a new trial be held, but that Marvell must pay at least $278.4 million...
Carnegie Mellon had sued Marvell in March 2009 over patents issued that related to how accurately hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks.
The university said at least nine Marvell circuit devices incorporated the patents, which were issued in 2001 and 2002, letting the company sell billions of chips without permission."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Balancing Benefits and Risks of Immortal Data Participants’ Views of Open Consent in the Personal Genome Project; Hastings Center Report, 12/17/15

Oscar A. Zarate, Julia Green Brody, Phil Brown, Monica D. Ramirez-Andreotta, Laura Perovich andJacob Matz, Hastings Center Report; Balancing Benefits and Risks of Immortal Data: Participants’ Views of Open Consent in the Personal Genome Project:
An individual's health, genetic, or environmental-exposure data, placed in an online repository, creates a valuable shared resource that can accelerate biomedical research and even open opportunities for crowd-sourcing discoveries by members of the public. But these data become “immortalized” in ways that may create lasting risk as well as benefit. Once shared on the Internet, the data are difficult or impossible to redact, and identities may be revealed by a process called data linkage, in which online data sets are matched to each other. Reidentification (re-ID), the process of associating an individual's name with data that were considered deidentified, poses risks such as insurance or employment discrimination, social stigma, and breach of the promises often made in informed-consent documents. At the same time, re-ID poses risks to researchers and indeed to the future of science, should re-ID end up undermining the trust and participation of potential research participants.
The ethical challenges of online data sharing are heightened as so-called big data becomes an increasingly important research tool and driver of new research structures. Big data is shifting research to include large numbers of researchers and institutions as well as large numbers of participants providing diverse types of data, so the participants’ consent relationship is no longer with a person or even a research institution. In addition, consent is further transformed because big data analysis often begins with descriptive inquiry and generation of a hypothesis, and the research questions cannot be clearly defined at the outset and may be unforeseeable over the long term. In this article, we consider how expanded data sharing poses new challenges, illustrated by genomics and the transition to new models of consent. We draw on the experiences of participants in an open data platform—the Personal Genome Project—to allow study participants to contribute their voices to inform ethical consent practices and protocol reviews for big-data research."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Without Copyright Infringement, Deadpool Doesn't Get Made;, 2/16/16

Tim Cushing,; Without Copyright Infringement, Deadpool Doesn't Get Made:
"Sure, leaking test footage isn't like leaking an entire film, but without that happening, nothing else does. The movie is never made and Fox doesn't have almost three times the budget grossed within the first four days of ticket sales. But because this leak happened, the studio is likely in control of a promising franchise, provided it can keep the lightning bottled and push forward without discarding everything that makes Deadpool Deadpool. And everyone involved can thank the unnamed person they won't rat out for shrugging off the insular "power" of copyright and mobilizing a fan base that is now making good on its promise to support the movie."

Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else; New York Times, 2/13/16

Quentin Hardy, New York Times; Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else:
"To Mr. Stephenson, it should be an easy choice for most workers: Learn new skills or find your career choices are very limited.
“There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop,” he said in a recent interview at AT&T’s Dallas headquarters. People who do not spend five to 10 hours a week in online learning, he added, “will obsolete themselves with the technology.”...
By 2020, Mr. Stephenson hopes AT&T will be well into its transformation into a computing company that manages all sorts of digital things: phones, satellite television and huge volumes of data, all sorted through software managed in the cloud.
That can’t happen unless at least some of his work force is retrained to deal with the technology. It’s not a young group: The average tenure at AT&T is 12 years, or 22 years if you don’t count the people working in call centers. And many employees don’t have experience writing open-source software or casually analyzing terabytes of customer data."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Leading Scientific Institutions Agree to Share Zika Research Data; Gizmodo, 2/10/16

George Dvorsky, Gizmodo; Leading Scientific Institutions Agree to Share Zika Research Data:
"Scientists are typically tight-lipped when it comes to their research, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In an effort to battle the ongoing Zika epidemic, a number of global health bodies—including academic journals, charities, and institutes—have committed to sharing data on the virus.
The statement, signed by over 30 organizations, is meant to ensure that any information relevant to combating Zika is made freely and openly available to the international community as “soon as is feasibly possible.” Signatories include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, PLOS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (along with the Chinese equivalent), the JAMA Network, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Researchers who signed the agreement were assured that their work would still be eligible for publication in science journals.
“Research is an essential part of the response to any global health emergency,” said Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust and a signatory of the statement. “This is particularly true for Zika, where so much is still unknown about the virus, how it is spread and the possible link with microcephaly.” It’s critical, he said, that results are shared rapidly and in a way that’s “equitable, ethical and transparent.”
This move follows a recent WHO consultation held in early September 2015 in which leading international stakeholders agreed that the “timely and transparent pre-publication” of scientific data and results “must become the global norm.”"

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge; Science Alert, 2/12/16

Fiona MacDonald, Science Alert; Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge:
"A researcher in Russia has made more than 48 million journal articles - almost every single peer-reviewed paper every published - freely available online. And she's now refusing to shut the site down, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit from Elsevier, one of the world's biggest publishers.
For those of you who aren't already using it, the site in question is Sci-Hub, and it's sort of like a Pirate Bay of the science world. It was established in 2011 by neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who was frustrated that she couldn't afford to access the articles needed for her research, and it's since gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of papers being downloaded daily. But at the end of last year, the site was ordered to be taken down by a New York district court - a ruling that Elbakyan has decided to fight, triggering a debate over who really owns science."

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pitt to merge SIS, CS department; The Pitt News, 2/11/16

Taylor Mulcahey, The Pitt News; Pitt to merge SIS, CS department:
"Within the next year and a half, Pitt’s computer science department and school of information science will become one.
The new undergraduate school, the School of Computing Informatics, is slated to accept its first students in the fall of 2017 and will combine the 32 SIS faculty with the 18 CS faculty and distribute the 50-person staff in three new departments: computer science, informatics and network systems and information culture and data stewardship...
A “shift from a singular focus on high performance computing to embracing big data, data analytics, [and] the interaction between computation and information, is driving the department merger,” Larsen said.
A growing number of other universities around the country, such as University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, Indiana University and Drexel University, have reorganized their programs in similar ways.
For Pitt, the change comes as the University looks to shift its focus to big data projects. In March 2015, Pitt teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University and UPMC to form the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, a partnership to find new ways to use large sets of patient data in health care.
In October 2015, Pitt collaborated with UPMC, CMU and other city and county officials to open the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, which has published city and county data, such as logs of the city’s 311 calls and information about opioid deaths, online."

U.S. the Best for Intellectual Property; U.S. News & World Report, 2/10/16

Isabella Gutierrez, U.S. News & World Report; U.S. the Best for Intellectual Property:
"For the fourth consecutive year, the U.S. has been listed as having the best environment in the world for intellectual property, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday, although the country ranks only fifth when it comes to enforcing intellectual property rights.
The chamber's annual International IP Index compared 38 countries that together account for around 85 percent of the world's gross domestic product, assessing them on major factors involved in intellectual property like patent and copyright protections and the safeguarding of trade secrets.
In the U.S., intellectual property industries account for 40 million jobs and 38 percent of GDP, Donohue said. The country took first place for its overall intellectual property environment in part because of its trade secret and copyright protections and membership in international treaties.
Behind the U.S. were the United Kingdom, Germany and France, surpassing countries like China, Japan and Canada."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Martin Shkreli Sued by Artist Over Wu-Tang Clan Album; Associated Press via New York Times, 2/9/16

Associated Press via New York Times; Martin Shkreli Sued by Artist Over Wu-Tang Clan Album:
"A Long Island artist sued ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli and others Tuesday over the use of his art in a Wu-Tang Clan album, saying he never expected portraits he posted on a fan blog two years ago to be used without his permission.
Artist Jason Koza said in the Manhattan federal court copyright infringement lawsuit that his portraits of members of the New York-based hip-hop group were used without authorization on an album Shkreli bought for $2 million."

Appeals court upholds Warner Bros.’ Superman rights;, 2/11/16

Kevin Melrose,; Appeals court upholds Warner Bros.’ Superman rights:
"A federal appeals court has again sided with DC Comics and Warner Bros. in the long-running feud over the rights to the Man of Steel.
As first reported by THR, Esq., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a 2013 ruling that the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel relinquished their claim to the character in a 2001 settlement with DC, and therefore are not able to terminate the copyright.
This legal dispute has proved as resilient as the Man of Steel, so we won’t label this a “definitive judgment.” However, the Siegel family would appear to have few options left beyond a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. For now at least, Superman remains in the hands of Warner Bros. and DC."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

’80s X-Men characters come to life in rocking music video;, 2/10/16

Brett White,; ’80s X-Men characters come to life in rocking music video:
"In addition to a spot-on Lila Cheney (performed by singer Sage Montclair in full ’80s Joan Jett glory) and Dazzler (Gentry Roth) on backing vocals, the fan-made music video features the complete nine-person New Mutants roster (that’s Cannonball, Sunspot, Mirage, Karma, Wolfsbane, Magma, Magik, Cypher and Warlock), the team’s dance instructor Stevie Hunter (complete with a shout-out to Kitty Pryde) and Strong Guy. Yes, Strong Guy. If you’re a fan of the X-Men and don’t mind having a super catchy song stuck in your head for the rest of the day, then “I Will Steal Your Heart!” is necessary viewing."

‘Happy Birthday to You’ Is Finally Out of Copyright; New York Magazine, 2/10/16

Samuel Lieberman, New York Magazine; ‘Happy Birthday to You’ Is Finally Out of Copyright:
"The rights to the song “Happy Birthday to You” have been the subject of 80 years of legal battles, but they're coming to an end on March 14. On that day, the seven-note tune will finally go into the public domain, as the music publisher Warner/Chappell — which has been charging moviemakers and TV networks many thousands of dollars whenever they film people singing around a cake — has agreed to pay a $14 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought by people who've paid to use the song."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

How Google Stole the Work of Millions of Authors; Wall Street Journal, 2/7/16

Roxana Robinson, Wall Street Journal; How Google Stole the Work of Millions of Authors:
"Last week publishers, copyright experts and other supporters filed amicus briefs petitioning the Supreme Court to hear the copyright-infringement case against Google brought by the Authors Guild."

Artur Fischer, Inventor With More Patents Than Edison, Dies at 96; New York Times, 2/8/16

William Grimes, New York Times; Artur Fischer, Inventor With More Patents Than Edison, Dies at 96:
"Artur Fischer, a German inventor who registered more than 1,100 patents, including the first synchronized camera flash and an anchor that millions of do-it-yourselfers use to secure screws into walls, died on Jan. 27 at his home in Waldachtal, in southwestern Germany. He was 96...
“What Bill Gates was to the personal computer, Artur Fischer is to do-it-yourself home repair,” Der Spiegel wrote in its interview.
Mr. Fischer’s other inventions included Fischertechnik model-making kits, cup holders with retractable lids, ventilation nozzles and edible play-modeling material made from potato starch.
“I am interested in any problem to which I can provide a solution,” Mr. Fischer told the German magazine Technology Review in 2007.
His total number of inventions put him just ahead of Thomas Edison, who had 1,093 patents to his name. In recognition of Mr. Fischer’s work, the European Patent Office gave him a lifetime achievement award in 2014."

Monday, February 8, 2016

Give Up Your Data to Cure Disease; New York Times, 2/6/16

David B. Agus, New York Times; Give Up Your Data to Cure Disease:
"HOW far would you go to protect your health records? Your privacy matters, of course, but consider this: Mass data can inform medicine like nothing else and save countless lives, including, perhaps, your own.
Over the past several years, using some $30 billion in federal stimulus money, doctors and hospitals have been installing electronic health record systems. More than 80 percent of office-based doctors, including me, use some form of E.H.R. These systems are supposed to make things better by giving people easier access to their medical information and avoiding the duplication of tests and potentially fatal errors.
Yet neither doctors nor patients are happy. Doctors complain about the time it takes to update digital records, while patients worry about confidentiality. Last month the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons went so far as to warn that E.H.R.s could “crash” the medical system.
We need to get over it. These digital databases offer an incredible opportunity to examine trends that will fundamentally change how doctors treat patients. They will help develop cures, discover new uses for drugs and better track the spread of scary new illnesses like the Zika virus."

YouTube stars U-turn on trademarks after online fury; BBC News, 2/2/16

Chris Baraniuk, BBC News; YouTube stars U-turn on trademarks after online fury:
"One YouTuber who had expressed disappointment over the trademark applications was Jon, from Many a True Nerd.
"I'm delighted, but not hugely surprised," he told the BBC after hearing about the U-turn.
"Given the huge subscriber number falls they've seen, sometimes over 10,000 lost subscriber per hour, the risk to their business was too great to ignore."
Jon added, though, that he felt The Fine Brothers would struggle to regain trust among those alienated by the episode.
"I think this movement and its consequences represent that YouTube as a community is quite determined to stay a free and open platform, and that makes me optimistic for the future," he said."

Saturday, February 6, 2016


"The National Archives of the United States just released a coloring book full of strange patents. It’s all available now as a free PDF, and it’s 17 glorious pages of sheer inventive weirdness. The patents range for chicken goggles to a hat that automatically salutes to the landing craft used in D-Day. It’s an utter delight.
Why the coloring book? Coloring books for adults are having something of a cultural moment not seen since the sarirical coloring books of the 1960s, with the task heralded for its mindfulness and derided as something merely for children."

Friday, February 5, 2016

When a Public Family Is Publicly Attacked; New York Times, 2/5/16

KJ Dell'Antonia, New York Times; When a Public Family Is Publicly Attacked:
"While Ms. Howerton and her supporters report Twitter accounts for abuse, she is also asking YouTube to take down the video commentary that makes use of her video and other family images. She has filed a privacy complaint, which YouTube rejected, and is waiting for it to respond to her new complaint, alleging copyright violation. Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University and author of “Intellectual Privacy: Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age,” said he thinks Ms. Howerton’s belief that she can regain control of the footage may be overly optimistic.
“The use of home video and family images for political debate is something that has real consequences,” he said. “She has made her life choices, her experiences, her children’ experiences, a matter for public debate. When people do this they do expose themselves to criticism and attacks and some of them are quite unpleasant.”
Eric Goldman, a professor of law and director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, agreed that because Ms. Howerton herself used family video as part of a political discussion, she may have little legal recourse when that video is used as part of a larger video engaged in social commentary on the same topic. In many situations, videos or pictures posted online can become “fair game” for critics to use in online attacks against the poster’s position or for other undesirable political or social statements, Mr. Goldman said in an email."

Senator Rob Portman to Oppose Pacific Trade Pact; New York Times, 2/4/16

Jackie Calmes, New York Times; Senator Rob Portman to Oppose Pacific Trade Pact:
"In a clear sign of the trouble facing President Obama’s trade pact with Pacific Rim nations, one of the most influential congressional Republicans on trade issues announced on Thursday that he would oppose it unless significant changes were made.
The lawmaker, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, who was a trade ambassador under President George W. Bush, objects to the accord’s provisions on currency manipulation, auto parts and pharmaceutical industry protections. Lawmakers in both parties have raised the same issues, but Mr. Portman’s authority on trade is certain to carry extra weight with colleagues...
The separate objection of many Republicans, that the pact weakens patent protections for pharmaceutical companies to make drugs more affordable and accessible globally, has been led by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and chairman of the Senate committee responsible for trade, a longtime proponent of the drug industry...
Only Malaysia has ratified it so far."

[Press Release] WVU Press and Libraries launch open access reader on West Virginia history, 1/15/16

[Press Release] WVU Press and Libraries launch open access reader on West Virginia history:
"West Virginia University Press and the WVU Libraries have launched West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader, a free, online collection of previously published essays drawn from the journal West Virginia History and other WVU Press publications.
The collection covers the history of the territory that became West Virginia from European settlement to mountaintop removal, and is especially suitable for use in courses on state history. It is available at
“I love everything about this project – serving the needs of students, sharing the history of West Virginia, harnessing the power of technology, and collaborating between West Virginia University and Marshall,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “This is the kind of responsive and innovative work that we want to become the ‘new normal’ for higher education in meeting the needs of our state.”"

African Avengers: the comic book creators shaking up superhero genre; Guardian, 2/3/16

David Barnett, Guardian; African Avengers: the comic book creators shaking up superhero genre:
"“I don’t think Africa and Africans are well represented in mainstream western comics. That is why we are here ... to give us a place in this genre and to show the world what Africans are capable of.”
Interestingly, half the digital downloads from Comic Republic come from outside Africa – specifically, the US and the UK. Martin says the general response has been “amazing” and adds, “Africa and the world in general has welcomed us with open arms and we are grateful."...
And could the rise of the African comic industry also herald a sea-change in the way the continent is portrayed in mainstream comics over here? It wouldn’t be that difficult, according to Richardson. “We live in an information age,” she says. “Go out and do a little damn reading. No one is keeping that from you. But this is a great opportunity for someone to tap into a narrative not yet being utilised. I notice fictional media and entertainment in general, will paint a very one-sided representation of African countries and its people. I imagine the world would have an obscured view of the United States if all that was ever seen of its people were the ghettos, the impoverished, the starving and the vitriolic, you’d probably not want to visit."

Cops will adapt big data platform to secure Super Bowl;, 2/5/16

Alex Koma,; Cops will adapt big data platform to secure Super Bowl:
"Law enforcement agents and first responders in Northern California are turning to some software that harnesses the power of data to help keep fans safe at the Super Bowl, one of the most daunting security challenges of the year.
The state first started using the program last year — known as the “California Common Operating Picture” and powered by Haystax Technology’s “Constellation” analytics platform — and now law enforcement agencies of all shapes and sizes are preparing to use it to collect thousands of pieces of data about potential threats ahead of the big matchup in Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium.
In a briefing here at Haystax’s headquarters, Chief Technology Officer Bryan Ware laid out just how federal, state and local agents across the region have been using the system to keep a close eye on potential trouble makers and targets ahead of the Super Bowl, and how 13 different monitoring centers run by various government agencies will use it the night of the game to stay ahead of any security concerns."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If China Ever Uses Copyright to Censor Tank Man, It Will Be America’s Fault; Motherboard, 2/1/16

Sarah Jeong, Motherboard; If China Ever Uses Copyright to Censor Tank Man, It Will Be America’s Fault:
"Imagine a future where news agencies, historical archives, academic resources, and humanitarian organizations across the world all receive the same US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice, sent by a Chinese firm: Take down the Tank Man photo, or be sued for copyright infringement.
There is perhaps no better-known image associated with the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre: an unknown man in a white shirt and black trousers, grasping a bag in one hand, stands in front of a line of tanks, halting their progress.
Tank Man is a subversive image for the Chinese government, and for internet users in that the country, the photo—like many other references to the 1989 protests—has been censored by the authorities. It would be insanity if copyright were used to expand that censorship beyond China’s borders, but thanks to the United States copyright lobby, this absurd hypothetical is a little more realistic than you’d expect.
There’s more than one photograph of Tank Man, but for such a long, momentous stand-off, the photographs are surprisingly few. At least one of these photographs now belongs to Visual China Group, which purchased it from none other than Bill Gates himself, included inside of a massive bundle of copyrights to “historic news, documentary, and artistic images” that includes images of the Tiananmen Square protests.
Visual China Group has announced a partnership with Getty to license the images, so censorship doesn’t look like it’s in the cards."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Out of a Rare Super Bowl I Recording, a Clash With the N.F.L. Unspools; New York Times, 2/2/16

Richard Sandomir, New York Times; Out of a Rare Super Bowl I Recording, a Clash With the N.F.L. Unspools:
"Haupt owns the recording but not its content, which belongs to the N.F.L. If the league refuses to buy it, he cannot sell the tapes to a third party, like CBS or a collector who would like to own a piece of sports history that was believed to be lost. He would like to persuade the league to sell the tapes jointly and donate some of the proceeds to their favorite charities. His mother said that she would give some of her share of the sale to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“They’re not doing anybody any good sitting in a vault,” he said. “Let’s help some great charities.”
But that is unlikely to happen. A letter from the league to Harwood last year provided a sharp warning to Haupt. “Since you have already indicated that your client is exploring opportunities for exploitation of the N.F.L.’s Super Bowl I copyrighted footage with yet-unidentified third parties,” Dolores DiBella, a league counsel, wrote, “please be aware that any resulting copyright infringement will be considered intentional, subjecting your client and those parties to injunctive relief and special damages, among other remedies.”
The law favors the league, said Jodi Balsam, a professor at Brooklyn Law School.
“What the league technically has is a property right in the game information and they are the only ones who can profit from that,” said Balsam, a former N.F.L. lawyer."

At Berkeley, a New Digital Privacy Protest; New York Times, 2/1/16

Steve Lohr, New York Times; At Berkeley, a New Digital Privacy Protest:
"While some of the professors criticize the monitoring program as one that invades their privacy, the University of California has responded that “privacy perishes in the absence of security.”
It’s part of the larger challenge that fast-moving technology poses for social values. Every day, corporations, government agencies and universities must balance the need for computer security with the expected right to privacy of the people who use their networks. In different settings, there are different rules, expectations and levels of threat.
“We’re really just starting to sort out the risks and rules for digital security and data collection and use,” said Elana Zeide, a privacy expert at New York University’s Information Law Institute."

Adele tells Donald Trump to stop pinching her songs for his campaign; Guardian, 2/1/16

Mark Tran and Amber Jamieson, Guardian; Adele tells Donald Trump to stop pinching her songs for his campaign:
"Was there anything artists could do to make sure someone with completely different political views to them stays away from their music?
“Not really,” said Gordon."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Unpublished Black History; New York Times, 2/1/16

Rachel L. Swarns, Darcy Eveleigh, and Damien Cave, New York Times; Unpublished Black History:
"Hundreds of stunning images from black history, drawn from old negatives, have long been buried in the musty envelopes and crowded bins of the New York Times archives.
None of them were published by The Times until now.
Were the photos — or the people in them — not deemed newsworthy enough? Did the images not arrive in time for publication? Were they pushed aside by words here at an institution long known as the Gray Lady?...
Every day during Black History Month, we will publish at least one of these photographs online, illuminating stories that were never told in our pages and others that have been mostly forgotten...
Many of these photographs, and their stories, are equally intriguing. But the collection is far from comprehensive. There are gaps, for many reasons."