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Berkman Buzz: February 7, 2013

February 07, 2013

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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The Berkman Center is now accepting applications for its 2013 summer internship program. The application deadline is Sunday, February 10, 2013. More information is available here.

Doc Searls calls for a new kind of paywall

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I believe information wants to be free but value wants to be paid for. That means I’m willing to pay something for all the media I use, including music for which I hold rights to play (one doesn’t really “own” music, but instead holds rights to it). But this is impossible as long as media vendors supply all the mechanisms of relationship. There’s no handshake with that system. Just the sound of one hand slapping.

The promo-covered paywall in the screen shot above tells me the Globe’s subscription system has no idea that I was a loyal subscriber for a long time, and am willing to pay more than the $0 that I’m paying when I go around their wall. It also tells me the Globe values the data justifying its 99¢/week promo, but does not its relationship with me as a reader and a long-term subscriber. I’d be insulted by that if I knew there was an intelligence behind it; but there isn’t. There’s just a software routine.

From Doc Searls' blog post from Project VRM, "Wanted: a handshake across the paywall"
About Doc Searls | @dsearls

Herdict data contributes to Twitter transparency report

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On Monday Twitter released their latest transparency report covering the period from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Their report shows a slight increase in user information requests, a larger increase in content removal requests, and a slight decrease in copyright notices.

One thing we are proud of at Herdict is that Twitter’s transparency report also includes data from Herdict. The data we contributed is our crowdsourced accessibility data for the sites in Twitter’s queue on Herdict.

From Ryan Budish's blog post for Herdict, "Building a More Transparent Web: Twitter and Herdict"
About Herdict | @herdict

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"Coming and Going on Facebook" - new report from @PewInternet http://bit.ly/WOFAZX (61% of FB users have taken time off)
danah boyd (@zephoria)

David Weinberger ponders "humane microtargeting"

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At an amazing dinner last night — amazing because of the dozen people there, although the food was good, too — the conversation turned to shared cynicism about the lessons the 2012 presidential campaigns learned about the use of the Internet. Both sides seem to have taken away the idea that victory depends upon evermore tightly targeted ads. Once the campaign can figure out that you are a 37 year old woman, who is a lapsed Catholic who owns a hunting rifle but favors rigorous background checks, who has a daughter with a chronic medical condition, whose sister married a woman from Colombia, and who once ate a panda and secretly liked it, the campaign can target you with marketing material that will press all your buttons and only your buttons.

From David Weinberger's blog post, "Humane microtargeting is here"
About David Weinberger | @dweinberger

Yochai Benkler publishes new paper on wireless broadband policy

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The paper reviews evidence from eight wireless markets: mobile broadband; wireless healthcare; smart grid communications; inventory management; access control; mobile payments; fleet management; and secondary markets in spectrum. I find that markets are adopting unlicensed wireless strategies in mission-critical applications, in many cases more so than they are building on licensed strategies. If the 1990s saw what was called "the Negroponte Switch" of video from air to wire, and telephony from wire to air, the present and near future are seeing an even more fundamental switch. Where a decade ago most of our wireless capacity was delivered over exclusive control approaches-both command and control and auctioned exclusivity--complemented by special-purpose shared spectrum use, today we are moving to a wireless infrastructure whose core relies on shared, open wireless approaches, complemented by exclusive control approaches for special, latency-intolerant, high-speed mobile applications. The scope of the latter will contract further if regulation catches up to technological reality, and opens up more bands to open wireless innovation, with greater operational flexibility and an emphasis on interoperability.

From the Berkman Center, "Open Wireless vs. Licensed Spectrum: Evidence from Market Adoption"
About Yochai Benkler

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Understanding coverage of corruption in Spain with PageOneX, @numeroteca's remarkable front-page visualization tool: http://t.co/IQ6A02rj
Ethan Zuckerman (@ethanz)

metaLAB and the Arboretum partner with NuVu Studio, young students on interactive project

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For over a year, metaLAB has been working with the scientific and curatorial staff of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum to explore new digital lives for the institution—not only a much loved public park, but a collection of rare plants, a research site, and an evolving landscape—that will connect it to new audiences locally and globally. One of the most exciting projects we’ve shared so far recently wrapped up at NuVu Studio, a “magnet innovation center for young minds” headquartered in Central Square. Founded by Saeed Arida, a 2010 PhD in MIT’s Design and Computation program, NuVu offers a bracing vision of the power of STEAM: enlivening the left-brain work of making and investigating science, technology, engineering, and math with the expressive energy of the arts. Through a series of two-week studios, students develop media-rich, computationally-intensive projects exploring a heady variety of subjects, from climate change to urban affairs to the reinvention of lunch.

From Matthew Battles' post for metaLAB, "Arbonauts: of trees, data, and teens"
About metaLAB | @metalabharvard

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How online analytics are changing the college admissions process, from @peteyMIT: http://t.co/QF48joUf
Ethan Zuckerman (@ethanz)

Iran Sent One Monkey Into Space and Another Came Back

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Bloggers and news sources have challenged claims by the Iranian government that they successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved the animal alive on January 28, 2013. Official images — supposedly depicting the monkey before and after the launch — do not appear to match up, casting further doubt and raising suspicions that the launch may have been fake.

From Hooman Askary's blog post for Global Voices, "Iran Sent One Monkey Into Space and Another Came Back"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated February 07, 2013