Keep track of Berkman-related news and conversations by subscribing to this page using your RSS feed reader. This aggregation of blogs relating to the Berkman Center does not necessarily represent the views of the Berkman Center or Harvard University but is provided as a convenient starting point for those who wish to explore the people and projects in Berkman's orbit. As this is a global exercise, times are in UTC.
The list of blogs being aggregated here can be found at the bottom of this page.
The Economist has an article on the potential hacking of the global financial system, either for profit or to cause mayhem. It's reasonably balanced.
So how might such an attack unfold? Step one, several months before mayhem is unleashed, is to get into the system. Financial institutions have endless virtual doors that could be used to trespass, but one of the easiest to force is still the front door. By getting someone who works at an FMI or a partner company to click on a corrupt link through a "phishing" attack (an attempt to get hold of sensitive information by masquerading as someone trustworthy), or stealing their credentials when they use public Wi-Fi, hackers can impersonate them and install malware to watch over employees' shoulders and see how the institution's system functions. This happened in the Carbanak case: hackers installed a "RAT" (remote-access tool) to make videos of employees' computers.
Step two is to study the system and set up booby traps. Once in, the gang quietly observes the quirks and defences of the system in order to plan the perfect attack from within; hackers have been known to sit like this for years. Provided they are not detected, they pick their places to plant spyware or malware that can be activated at the click of a button.
Step three is the launch. One day, preferably when there is already distracting market turmoil, they unleash a series of attacks on, say, multiple clearing houses.
The attackers might start with small changes, tweaking numbers in transactions as they are processed (Bank A gets credited $1,000, for example, but on the other side of the transaction Bank B is debited $0, or $900 or $100,000). As lots of erroneous payments travel the globe, and as it becomes clear that these are not just "glitches", eventually the entire system would be deemed unreliable. Unsure how much money they have, banks could not settle their books when markets close. Settlement is a legally defined, binding moment. Regulators and central banks would become agitated if they could not see how solvent the nation's banks were at the end of the financial day.
In many aspects of our society, as attackers become more powerful the potential for catastrophe increases. We need to ensure that the likelihood of catastrophe remains low.
With two or three cores at your disposal, you can now also arrange camping for a delicious meal. Whether you are opting for a gas burner (lead-free) or a gas canister depends on the availability of fuel. In sparsely populated areas are gas canisters hardly available and choose the best for fuel burners. In all other situations, a device for gas is better. Also, we will give you camping meal ideas
Gas rings are made of painted or stainless metal and sometimes come with a lid/wing. Some models even have a safety (thermocouple) which ensures that the gas supply stops when the sudden flame draft. Most campers use the great (blue) Camping Gaz bottles. They are available almost everywhere. You close the container with a pressure regulator on the gas stove on.
Pros and cons of gas
– Performance takes around freezing and colder off
– Not so economical in use
Pros and cons of gasoline
+ Fairly user
+ Available nearly everywhere
– Unhealthy fumes
At teen bitter little, you have the choice between gas, gasoline, kerosene or alcohol. Also, too (multifuel) burners available that operate on gasoline, kerosene and methylated spirits. Nice if you’re not sure which fuel is available in your area.
Eenpitsgasbranders working on an ordinary (Camping Gaz) gas tank (too heavy for lightweight campers), puncture cans or burners pattern with screw connection. The latter is more convenient because tin and stove can be stored and transported separately during the trip. Upon unscrewing of the burners can automatically close off the supply of gas.
When puncture cans is not possible. Only when it is empty, you can remove the heater. Furthermore, it is an automatic ignition (also called a piezo-ignition), a convenient feature. Note that you can create stable lamp. Buy up a copy with a security valve (anti-tip). Without such a provision, the gas stove can give to overturn a fire and cause a fire.
The dimensions of your tent or awning determine if you lost a super-deluxe kitchen can or need to buy a smaller one. Fortunately, you have plenty of choices. There are kitchen units with and without a sink, with and without a built-in stove, plastic, metal and lightweight aluminum versions, with or without open or lockable cabinets. Also, the size and weight can differ.
Whatever you choose, the important thing is the working height of the kitchen furniture. It is, therefore, essential that the piece of furniture is adjustable in height. It is best if all four legs have an adjustment possibility. The kitchen should also be stable.
Cooking on the camp can be a challenge. Often there are only 1 or 2 burners, and you have fewer resources and ingredients available. To do something easy and above all to put your goodies (camping) table I devised this even pans stir-fry recipe.
The recipe includes dried chorizo sausage which is ideal to take with you and need not be kept in the refrigerator.
Because the chorizo much flavor and salt contains do you add any spices or salt to the dish. That saves your own or buy additional jars again.
And you bring to the camp in the middle of nowhere and there are no fresh beans or peppers available you can also make beans and roasted peppers from a can or jar. For example, replace the potatoes with canned chickpeas.
Ingredients 4 persons:
One chorizo sausage a 225g
One large bell pepper
500g green beans
700 gr potatoes or potatoes
Be the potatoes and the beans in advance for yarn in a pan of water or the microwave (if available) to have the dish ready faster. Replace the 15 minutes in the recipe by 5 minutes.
Chop the onion and cut the chorizo sausage into slices. Heat a large (wok) pan and add the sausage and onion (because there is oil released from the sausage butter or oil add unnecessarily). Add after three minutes the potatoes and cook 15 minutes.
Add the green beans and cook another 15 minutes braking. Cut the bell pepper into rings and fry the last 3 minutes. Make the dish off with some feta (not too much because the chorizo is already quite salty). Tip: The stir-fry is also ideal for the winter.
For more information, visit http://www.familytentcenter.com/
The MIT Media Lab presents an architecture of light and transparency. Glass curtain construction and inside, open floor plans and walls of glass allow visibility into its workings. The closed and locked doors are at the perimeter of the labs, and the secrets are in the construction of the technologies themselves, concealed by patents and I.P. laws. It is a temple for Moore’s Law. I was there a few days ago for a conference on the topic of forbidden research. Ed Snowden was a headliner, and Stewart Brand, and a researcher who created a pirate site for free access to academic journals. The event was a wrapper for an argument for the necessity of disobedience.
By coincidence that week I was reading about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943, and the threshold of disobedience that led the Jews to fight back. Interestingly, in Warsaw there wasn’t a single heroic act of resistance, but an environment of competing priorities within factions, a gradual acceptance that resistance was necessary, a strategy for obtaining weapons from the Polish underground, and a halting, coordinated response. To your point, some time ago, about the human urge to conform and be part of a group: even disobedience benefits from the support of cultural norms.
Disobedience, like disruption, innovation and other buzzwords of the entrepreneurial class, is a tactic. It is not in itself a value but rather a path or process. I mention it here because this might offer us a way to see history as something other than an endless series of calamities. How do we resist the feeling that our time has become one of escalating violence, that we are helpless to intervene, and that intervention might simply add another layer to the multiplicity of causes of violence? What to do with my urge to tear the images before me, an act of transgression that requires that something be rent. As with your last, small act of photography, an accidental flash that disrupted a dream, that broke one thing to make another.
Selecting a tent is one of the most important steps for any camper. It depends mostly on your safety and comfort, as they are not inexpensive items to meditate good choice. If you still have doubts, perhaps we can help you with this comprehensive guide of suggestions and recommendations.
The proper choice of tents for sale is one of the issues that has prompted queries always www.acampante.com forum. What brand to buy, for how many, if igloo or Canadian, or many more questions, we try to answer in this note, gathering advice, technical analysis and -above all- lot of experience.
Ask your friend to recommend a tent is like asking you to recommend a car. There are fans of Ford and Chevrolet of coupes and 4 x 4. What we present below are some tips that apply to all tents, but as for brands and models should each buyer according to your budget, the activity to develop and even his taste for colors.
A tent is not an expense but an investment. Buy some low quality to save some money does not make sense. The tent is usually our main shelter in nature. So if it is good, it provides real and psychological security and one she trusts and investment pays because we accompany you for many years.
The brands provide greater confidence for his career, materials, and quality control, but this does not mean they are free of faults. Also, do not believe everything marketers say. Ask and consult with other campers used to remove his doubts and make the best investment.
Meditate well on the frequent use will be given. Four things are essential in this regard: the most common site of use (if it’s a campsite with all services or wilderness areas without other protection from the weather); the most common use (cold, wet, windy, sunny, etc.) climate; transport (if loaded into the backpack or trunk of a car, for example) and what the average number of occupants.
That about space. If possible, it is for one or two people more than originally going to use that. Manufacturers are always calculated very fair measures, and more space is safe to store equipment, etc.
These tents retain heat better and more protection from the rain. The color of the rainfly is not a minor detail: if it is evident, absorbs less solar radiation and therefore less heat inside, but let much light. If dark absorbs more, but if planted in the shade will be cooler and not so bright
If possible, have leaves or apse. Currently, almost all igloos have it, and is very useful for storing the equipment, cooking, wet clothes changed without entering the passenger compartment, etc. If the apse floor or wing has, the better. If you can not do very easily.
The more parents are better. A tent stability and wind resistance give studs because they are resistant structure. The duralumin is better than fiberglass, but only come in high-end tents, known as “expedition.”
As with studs, the more “winds” have, the greater its stability. They should always be placed all and, if necessary, you can even add some more (e.g., winds out two rather than one grips).
The thicknesses of fabric are critical, especially the floor as it is the area most exposed to damage by trampling, stones, branches, etc. It is also important that the fabric carrier is breathable or having cross-ventilation to prevent condensation. In igloo tents, there are three types of materials: the typical nylon, the aluminized nylon and ripstop (or ripstop). The latter is the better for being lighter than aluminized, does not wear. It allows a much greater passage of light and the armed, disarmed and wrinkled team does not suffer brands.
Today all the tents supported at least a water column of 1000 mm because that is what resists the fabric manufactured. But the leaks are never the fabric but at the seams. So you have to see that seams are waterproofed, in which a small rubber film between the seams note. If filtered water, it can be repaired quickly rubbing a candle, then “paint” with a waterproofing liquid purchased in the retail shoe store.
The coupling system is more resistant studs if they skewers that are inserted inside those, and if they are plastic tubes where the ends of the studs are fit.
You always have to see how is the armed model, instead of only the pictures on the box. The rainfly has to be well stretched, without wrinkles or deformations. If you fit the above the studs (there are other models in which first raises the rainfly and hangs inside the passenger compartment) must see the seams mimic the shape of the studs and not left twisty. For more information, visit http://www.familytentcenter.com/
No one can best me in my ElizabethWarrenLove, but if you want to know why Hillary picked Tim, watch this speech from their first event together:
It’s like mind-bleach for Donald Trump’s Harangue of Fear
Good essay pointing out the absurdity of comparing cyberweapons with nuclear weapons.
On the surface, the analogy is compelling. Like nuclear weapons, the most powerful cyberweapons -- malware capable of permanently damaging critical infrastructure and other key assets of society -- are potentially catastrophically destructive, have short delivery times across vast distances, and are nearly impossible to defend against. Moreover, only the most technically competent of states appear capable of wielding cyberweapons to strategic effect right now, creating the temporary illusion of an exclusive cyber club. To some leaders who matured during the nuclear age, these tempting similarities and the pressing nature of the strategic cyberthreat provide firm justification to use nuclear deterrence strategies in cyberspace. Indeed, Cold War-style cyberdeterrence is one of the foundational cornerstones of the 2015 U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Strategy.
However, dive a little deeper and the analogy becomes decidedly less convincing. At the present time, strategic cyberweapons simply do not share the three main deterrent characteristics of nuclear weapons: the sheer destructiveness of a single weapon, the assuredness of that destruction, and a broad debate over the use of such weapons.
I’ve been driving non-stop the last two days. The heat seemed to have made its way from you to me, we’ve had the two hottest days since a long time here in Europe. Storms predicted, and also, none came.
As you know, the journey I’m currently undertaking isn’t the happiest one. Time and again, I look for traces in stone, bronze, film, paint or words for reassurance that all will be fine after this machinery of annihilation 70 years ago. Is it even possible. And what about the other side of the spectrum, the serenity, the beauty, the positive? Hope? Are we a self fulfilling prophecy?
Am I looking too hard? Am I burdening with meaning?
The powerless angel, and the connection of past, present and future through Paul Klee’s painting. Unable to learn throughout and from history, piling mistake upon mistake, violence upon violence, destruction upon destruction. Ruin upon ruin.
Cataclysmic events happen at an ever greater speed and size. Maybe there should be a Moore’s law for humanity as well, defining that the cycle and magnitude of historical events halves and doubles in each generation.
But to me it will always be the little things. Amidst all this calamity, I always still see our greatest power, our humanity, seeping through. In spite of, one may say, and that may well be so.
And you’re right, seeing can not make us complicit by default. I was too harsh. We can’t fully understand. Luckily, once in a while the veil is lifted, the fig leaf pushed aside to offer us a glimpse. We can’t understand and we can’t know. But we do get our glimpses, right?
Pia just had woken up and didn’t have the slightest interest in having her picture taken. Day breaking, the grogginess of her sleep visibly slowly leaving her, my flash fires by accident entirely. An angel.
What would she have dreamt about.
On the lastest edition of What’s in My Buds? we chat with David Brancaccio. David Brancaccio is a master of the industry: he is the former host of NOW on PBS, and current host and senior editor of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, where he runs two related podcasts per morning. He also hosts the Esquire Classic podcast from Esquire Magazine and PRX (check it out if you haven’t listened yet!). Find out what David is listening to now:
What show do you wake up or fall asleep to?
You want to hear my guilty pleasure? I mean, besides those sleep podcasts that bore you into unconsciousness (not by accident; the ones specifically designed to bore you to sleep). For something energizing, riveting and informative, often charmingly so, I listen to a podcast from the BBC’s domestic service, Radio Four. It is a great podcast that does obituaries, mostly British obituaries. Last Word is a series of profiles of fascinating people whom we lost over the previous week. These are people who had fascinating lives, often previously unknown to me. A punk poet; A Taliban leader; a British physicist who was expert on the electromagnetic properties of nuclear isotopes. Plus the podcast has a great title: “Last Word“.
What show do you rave to your friends about?
Besides my Esquire Classic podcast—which I ceremoniously stream into a big Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen while we are cooking, so there is no escape—my favorite podcasts are those produced by my buddies. They include Brendan and Rico on Dinner Party Download, Actuality with Marketplace’s Sabri Ben-Achour, and Codebreaker with Marketplace’s Ben Johnson.
If you were to start your own podcast, what would the subject be?
Last Word inspires a podcast I would like to host someday: How about an obituary show about people who are just fine and very much alive? We could could borrow from Monty Python and call my podcast “I’m not Dead!”. Readers of this blog are welcome to suggest a more respectful title.
How do you envision the future of the podcasting landscape?
I must tell you the word “podcasting” will go away. Subscribing to a series of podcasts, in the way one subscribes to a magazine, will go away. But on-demand audio will not go away. Audio storytelling, both factual and fictional, is woven into our DNA. We’ve been doing it since we lived in caves. The future version of “podcasts” will all be available at the flick of a finger or an iris-scanned flick of the eye. Audio had a great advantage: it can be absorbed as we do something else, cooking dinner, driving our not-quite-autonomous vehicles. For both audio creators and listeners, I believe, it will be a lush future.
We are thrilled to announce the people who will join our community at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University as fellows, faculty associates, and affiliates for the 2016-2017 academic year.
We are thrilled to announce the people who will join our community at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University as fellows, faculty associates, and affiliates for the 2016-2017 academic year.
“What better way to embark on our new beginning as the Berkman Klein Center than to welcome this incredible group of colleagues from different parts of the world, renewing our commitment to collaboration and mutual learning across boundaries,” said the Center’s Executive Director Urs Gasser.
This cohort brings a focus on the human stakes and values within dynamic technologies and systems. “Our fellows bring unprecedentedly diverse backgrounds, along so many dimensions,” Jonathan Zittrain, the co-founder of the Berkman Klein Center. “And each shares a commitment to seeing modern technology developed and applied in the public interest -- whose definition is itself thoughtfully debated.”
The class of fellows will primarily work in Cambridge, Massachusetts, alongside Berkman Klein faculty, students, and staff, as a vibrant community of research and practice. Honoring the networked ethos at the heart of the Center, faculty associates and affiliates from institutions the world over will actively participate as well. These relationships, as well as the countless fruitful engagements with alumni, partners, interns, and other colleagues, are fundamental to the Berkman Klein Center’s work and identity, and serve to increase the capacity of the field and generate opportunities for lasting impact.
The Berkman Klein Center’s Manager of Community Programs Rebecca Tabasky said, “As they spend time together and become invested in each others’ development and successes, our fellows make magic at the intersections of their broad range of expertise, perspectives, methods, and pursuits.”
As written in last year’s report on our fellowship program, we endeavor to “create a protocol, a culture, a spirit that puts the emphasis on being open, being kind, being good listeners, being engaged, being willing to learn from one another.” We are excited to start this next banner year together with the following people who will continue our work as a community in this light.
Joining the community in 2016-2017 as Berkman Klein fellows:
|Ifeoma Ajunwa recently received her Ph.D. at Columbia University and is a law professor at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law. While at the Berkman Klein Center, she will work on her forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press, "The Quantified Worker," among other projects related to privacy and antidiscrimination. website twitter|
|Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist, author of “Calm Technology,” and is the former co-founder of Geoloqi and CyborgCamp. Case will focus her research on how the shape of the web can create spaces of depression or creation. website twitter|
|Yasodara Córdova is an industrial designer, developer, co-founder of the Calango Hackerspace, member of the Coding Rights Collaborative Council, and member of the Open Knowledge Brazil Advisory Council. She will explore the preservation of online non-regulated spaces as windowless rooms for freedom of expression. website twitter|
|Kate Coyer is the director of the Civil Society and Technology Project at Central European University's Center for Media, Data and Society in the School of Public Policy. She will research the role of Internet companies in responding to violent extremism online and the impacts on privacy and freedom of expression, and continue her work supporting access to communication for refugees. website twitter|
|John DeLong will focus on cybersecurity research from a technology compliance & oversight perspective and will specifically support the Berklett Cybersecurity initiative. website|
|Mailyn Fidler is a scholar and advocate studying the exercise of power in the Internet society. She focuses on Internet legislation in developing countries, grassroots protests against government surveillance, and international politics and law relating to surveillance technologies and practices. She was a Marshall Scholar and studied international relations at Oxford University. twitter|
|Sue Gardner is executive-in-residence at Pierre Omidyar's First Look, and is the former longtime executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Sue's work with the Berkman Klein Center will focus on sustainability in the nonprofit tech sector, with a particular emphasis on Internet freedom tools and anti-surveillance work. website twitter|
|Kishonna L. Gray is a visiting assistant professor in Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT, and is the founder of the Critical Gaming Lab housed in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. She will focus on the punishment of Blackness in digital gaming culture, exploring it as a part of a hybrid state racialization that goes beyond mere visual symbols. website twitter|
|Natalie Gyenes works at the intersection of health and human rights, and will conduct research with the Berkman Klein Center and the MIT Media Lab Center for Civic Media. She will focus on how digital media portrays and influences issues of global health equity and access, human rights and social norms, and will explore how Media Cloud can be more useful for non-profits and intergovernmental organizations.|
|Elizabeth Hansen is a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Behavior and Sociology at Harvard Business School and a senior research fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. She will explore the re-emergence of podcasting as an open format and growing media industry. website twitter|
|Nani Jansen is a human rights lawyer specialized in strategic litigation and freedom of expression. She will focus on how multidisciplinary teams can better work together in internet-related litigation efforts. website twitter|
|Dean Jansen is the co-founder of Amara, a project focused on accessibility, inclusion, and modeling a different kind of on-demand economy. Dean will explore, and possibly integrate, shared decision-making models and other practices, from the world of cooperative businesses, into Amara’s crowd-work based business. website|
|Jonas Kaiser is an associated researcher at the Chair of Political Communication at Zeppelin University and at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and is interested in the networked public sphere, digital methods and political communication. At the Berkman Klein Center he will focus on right-wing populist movements online from a trans-national perspective. website twitter|
|Rachel Kalmar is a data scientist at the intersection of health and hardware, and holds the world record for number of wearable sensors worn continuously. She will research barriers and enablers to data sharing within and across organizations. website twitter|
|Simin Kargar is a human rights lawyer with specific focus on media and communication laws and policies in Iran. She will continue her examination of the legal and sociological aspects of new technologies, as well as politics and mechanisms of counteracting online tools and communities. twitter|
|Yarden Katz, a fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, will explore the politics and culture of sharing in biomedical science, and ways of rethinking the biomedical commons. website twitter|
|Chun-Hao Kuo is a prosecutor in New Taipei District Prosecutors Office of the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan. He will research the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and how international law and Taiwan’s domestic law interact, especially in the field of cybercrime.|
|David F. Lindsay, an associate professor at Monash Law School, Australia, will focus his research on building better understanding of public rights in copyright law and on the legitimacy of copyright and privacy law regimes that restrict access to offshore content. website|
|An Xiao Mina is director of product at Meedan and an independent researcher and writer. She will study the impact of language barriers in our technology stack as the internet extends into diverse communities around the world, and will continue her work on a book about internet memes and global social movements. website twitter|
|Crystal Nwaneri, a J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School, will study how applying existing laws online impacts access to content, and gender and minority dynamics, as individuals interact in online environments. twitter|
|Grif Peterson, the learning lead for Peer 2 Peer University, will continue his work developing Learning Circles: in-person study groups for people who want to take online courses together, in-person, at libraries and other community centers. website twitter|
|Karin Pettersson, the political editor-in-chief at Aftonbladet, Scandinavia’s biggest daily newspaper, will study how extreme right-wing and racist movements use digital platforms to reach audiences and how this affects the work of traditional media. Karin is the 2016-2017 Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellow in Journalism Innovation. twitter|
|Jonathan Sun, a comedian, architect, engineer, playwright, and doctoral student in Department of Urban Studies at MIT, will study how online communities use humor and language to influence the spread of ideas, and how social media is changing the way we use the city. website twitter|
|Jamie Susskind is a British barrister and writer. He will research and write about the future of political ideas. website twitter|
|Erica Tennyson is a Cambridge-based attorney representing technology startups. She will explore the interplay of ethics and the early stage investment process.|
|Micky Tripathi is the CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, a non-profit organization specializing in solving policy, technical, business, and legal issues related to digitizing health care delivery. He will focus on developing models for nationwide interoperability of electronic medical record systems. website twitter|
|Paola Villarreal is a self taught systems programmer/data scientist that works with the ACLU of Massachusetts on social justice projects that heavily rely on open technology and data. She will focus on The Data for Justice project which aims to strengthen access to justice and reduce inequality by developing data tools that inform the work of advocates, activists, community organizers, lawyers, and journalists and their communities. website twitter|
|Meng Weng Wong is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and computer scientist currently working on Legalese.com, a LegalTech startup building client-facing legal applications based on a formal language for computational law. Recently a visiting fellow at the University of Venice, Meng has lived in Philadelphia, Palo Alto, and Singapore. website twitter|
New faculty associates in 2016-2017 include:
Lionel Brossi, David Cox, Christian Fieseler, Tarleton Gillespie, Christoph Graber, Joshua Greene, Sharon Harper, David Malan, Thomas Margoni, James Mickens, Colin Rhinesmith, Benjamin Sachs, and Jessica Silbey
New affiliates in 2016-2017 include:
Gameli Adzaho, Scott Bradner, Ivo da Motta Azevedo Correa, Nighat Dad, Mariel Garcia Montes, Stephanie Hankey, Adi Kamdar, Michael Kende, Cheryl McGrath, Matt Olsen, Jessica Polka, Noopur Raval, Lauren Scholz, Ryan Shapiro, James Shulman, Gosia Stergios, Anke Sterzing, and Don Tapscott
The Berkman Klein Center remains proud of and grateful to the following returning community members who will retain affiliations in the coming year.
Returning as fellows:
Ellery Biddle, Ken Carson, Sandra Cortesi, Jack Cushman, Kate Darling, Mary Gray, Ben Green, Samer Hassan, Felipe Heusser, Rosemary Leith, Andres Lombana, Patrick Murck, Sarah Newman, John Palfrey, Leah Plunkett, Hal Roberts, Bruce Schneier, Ben Sobel, Dave Talbot, Zach Tumin, and Alexandra Wood
Returning as faculty associates:
Virgilio Almeida, Meryl Alper, Chinmayi Arun, Geanne Rosenberg Belton, Susan Benesch, Fernando Bermejo, Herbert Burkert, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Rebecca Richman Cohen, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Primavera De Filippi, Juan Carlos de Martin, Jens Drolshammer, Niva Elkin-Koren, Mayo Fuster Morell, Eric Gordon, Shane Greenstein, Eldar Haber, Benjamin Mako Hill, Joichi Ito, Malavika Jayaram, Dariusz Jemielniak, Rey Junco, Leyla Keser, Dorothea Kleine, Beth Kolko, Harry Lewis, Catharina Maracke, Claire McCarthy, Nagla Rizk, Ricarose Roque, Cynthia Rudin, Brittany Seymour, Aaron Shaw, Clay Shirky, Alexander Trechsel, Lokman Tsui, Zeynep Tufekci, Effy Vayena, Josephine Wolff, and Dorothy Zinberg
Returning as affiliates:
Olivier Alais, Kendra Albert, Gerrit Beger, Doreen Bogdan, Griffin Boyce, Catherine Bracy, Amy Brand, Maria Paz Canales Loebel, Tim Davies, Shannon Dosemagen, Andy Ellis, Bruce Etling, Camille Francois, Nathan Freitas, Nicola Greco, Jason Griffey, Paulina Haduong, Jerome Hergueux, Amy Johnson, John Kelly, Danil Kerimi, SJ Klein, Kate Krontiris, Damon Krukowski, Amanda Lenhart, Greg Leppert, William Li, Mary Madden, J. Nathan Matias, Gabriel Mugar, Helmi Noman, Paulo Rogerio Nunes, Amanda Palmer, Matthew Pearl, Dalia Topelson Ritvo, Mayte Schomburg, Andy Sellars, Ivan Sigal, John Stubbs, Shailin Thomas, Emy Tseng, Tyler Vigen, Kevin Wallen, Waide Warner, Sara Marie Watson, Rebecca Weiss, Yana Welinder, and Sarah West
Returning as the Fellows Advisory Board:
Judith Donath, Eszter Hargittai, Colin Maclay, Wendy Seltzer, Jake Shapiro, David Weinberger, and Ethan Zuckerman
About the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society:
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities. More information at cyber.law.harvard.edu.
Two researchers are working on a system to detect spoofed messages sent to automobiles by fingerprinting the clock skew of the various computer components within the car, and then detecting when those skews are off. It's a clever system, with applications outside of automobiles (and isn't new).
To perform that fingerprinting, they use a weird characteristic of all computers: tiny timing errors known as "clock skew." Taking advantage of the fact that those errors are different in every computer -- including every computer inside a car -- the researchers were able to assign a fingerprint to each ECU based on its specific clock skew. The CIDS' device then uses those fingerprints to differentiate between the ECUs, and to spot when one ECU impersonates another, like when a hacker corrupts the vehicle's radio system to spoof messages that are meant to come from a brake pedal or steering system.
Paper: "Fingerprinting Electronic Control Units for Vehicle Intrusion Detection," by Kyong-Tak Cho and Kang G. Shin.
Abstract: As more software modules and external interfaces are getting added on vehicles, new attacks and vulnerabilities are emerging. Researchers have demonstrated how to compromise in-vehicle Electronic Control Units (ECUs) and control the vehicle maneuver. To counter these vulnerabilities, various types of defense mechanisms have been proposed, but they have not been able to meet the need of strong protection for safety-critical ECUs against in-vehicle network attacks. To mitigate this deficiency, we propose an anomaly-based intrusion detection system (IDS), called Clock-based IDS (CIDS). It measures and then exploits the intervals of periodic in-vehicle messages for fingerprinting ECUs. The thus-derived fingerprints are then used for constructing a baseline of ECUs' clock behaviors with the Recursive Least Squares (RLS) algorithm. Based on this baseline, CIDS uses Cumulative Sum (CUSUM) to detect any abnormal shifts in the identification errors -- a clear sign of intrusion. This allows quick identification of in-vehicle network intrusions with a low false-positive rate of 0.055%. Unlike state-of-the-art IDSs, if an attack is detected, CIDS's fingerprinting of ECUs also facilitates a rootcause analysis; identifying which ECU mounted the attack. Our experiments on a CAN bus prototype and on real vehicles have shown CIDS to be able to detect a wide range of in-vehicle network attacks.
This is a comment I couldn’t publish under this post before my laptop died. (Fortunately I sent it to my wife first, so I’m posting it here, from her machine.)
The human targets of the Great Ad Machine are actually taking the lead—by breaking it.
Starting with ad blocking and tracking protection.
Let’s start by answering the question raised by the headline in Ad Blocking and DVRs: How Similar? I can speak as an operator of both technologies, and as a veteran marketer as well. So look at the rest of this post as the speech I’d give if I was there at OMMA…
Ad blocking and DVRs have four main things in common.
1) They are instruments of personal independence;
2) They answer demand for avoiding advertising. That demand exists because most advertising wastes time and space in people’s lives, and people value those two things more than whatever good advertising does for the “content” economy;
3) Advertising agents fail to grok this message; which is why—
4) Advertising agents and the “interactive” ad industry cry foul and blame the messengers (including the makers of ad blockers and other forms of tracking protection), rather than listening to, or respecting, what the market tells them, loudly and clearly.
Wash, rinse and repeat.
The first wash was VCRs. Those got rinsed out by digital TV. The second wash was DVRs. Those are being rinsed out right now by the Internet. The third wash is ad blocking.
The next rinse will happen after ad blocking succeeds as chemo for the cancer of ads that millions on the receiving end don’t want.
The next wash will be companies spending their marketing money on listening for better signals of demand from the marketplace, and better ways of servicing existing customers after the sale.
This can easily happen because damn near everybody is on the Net now, or headed there. Not trapped on TV or any other closed, one-way, top-down, industry-controlled distribution system.
On the Net, everybody has a platform of their own. There is no limit to what can be built on that platform, including much better instruments for expressing demand, and much better control over private personal spaces and the ways personal data are used by others. Ad blocking is just the first step in that direction.
The adtech industry (including dependent publishers) can come up with all the “solutions” they want to the ad blocking “problem.” All will fail, because ad blocking is actually a solution the market—hundreds of millions of real human beings—demands. Every one of adtech’s “solutions” is a losing game of whack-a-mole where the ones with hammers bang their own heads.
For help looking past that game, consider these:
1) The Interent as we know it is 21 years old. Commercial activity on it has only been possible since April 30, 1995. The history of marketing on the Net since then has been a series of formative moments and provisional systems, not a permanent state. In other words, marketing on the Net isn’t turtles all the way down, it’s scaffolding. Facebook, Google and the rest of the online advertising world exist by the grace of provisional models that have been working for only a few years, and can easily collapse if something better comes along. Which it will. Inevitably. Because…
2) When customers can signal demand better than adtech can manipulate it or guess at it, adtech will collapse like a bad soufflé.
3) Plain old brand advertising, which has always been aimed at populations rather than people, isn’t based on surveillance, and has great brand-building value, will carry on, free of adtech, doing what only it can do. (See the Ad Contrarian for more on that.)
In the long run (which may be short) winners will be customers and the companies that serve them respectfully. Not more clueless and manipulative surveillance-based marketing schemes.
Winning companies will respect customers’ independence and intentions. Among those intentions will be terms that specify what can be done with shared personal data. Those terms will be supplied primarily by customers, and companies will agree to those terms because they will be friendly, work well for both sides, and easily automated.
Having standard ways for signaling demand and controlling use of personal data will give customers the same kind of scale companies have always had across many customers. On the Net, scale can work in both directions.
Companies that continue to rationalize spying on and abusing people, at high costs to everybody other than those still making hay while the sun shines, will lose. The hay-makers will also lose as soon as the light of personal tolerance for abuse goes out, which will come when ad blocking and tracking protection together approach ubiquity.
But the hay-makers can still win if they start listening to high-value signals coming from customers. It won’t be hard, and it will pay off.
The market is people, folks. Everybody with a computer or a smart mobile device is on the Net now. They are no longer captive “consumers” at the far ends of one-way plumbing systems for “content.” The Net was designed in the first place for everybody, not just for marketers who build scaffolding atop customer dislike and mistake it for solid ground.
It should also help to remember that the only business calling companies “advertisers” is advertising. No company looks in the mirror and sees an advertiser there. That’s because no company goes into business just so they can advertise. They see a car maker, a shoe store, a bank, a brewer, or a grocer. Advertising is just overhead for them. I learned this lesson the hard way as a partner for 20 years in a very successful ad agency. Even if our clients loved us, they could cut their ad budget to nothing in an instant, or on a whim.
There’s a new world of marketing waiting to happen out there in the wide-open customer-driven marketplace. But it won’t grow out of today’s Great Ad Machine. It’ll grow out of new tech built on the customers’ side, with ad blocking and tracking protection as the first examples. Maybe some of that tech is visible at OMMA. Or at least maybe there’s an open door to it. If either is there, let’s see it. Hashtag: #VRM. (For more on that, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vendor_relationship_management.)
If not, you can still find developers here .
The Project Coordinator will perform diverse research and coordination activities associated with various projects. S/he will join the Berkman Klein Center’s world-class community of scholars and digital architects, and work in close collaboration with faculty, staff, and fellows to advance a range of interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research related to the study and development of Internet & society.
This role will support a diverse portfolio of research activities and is an excellent opportunity for someone at the beginning of their research and project management career.
The Project Coordinator will perform diverse research and coordination activities associated with various projects. S/he will join the Berkman Klein Center’s world-class community of scholars and digital architects, and work in close collaboration with faculty, staff, and fellows to advance a range of interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research related to the study and development of Internet & society.
Reporting to the Associate Director of the Berkman Klein Center, and working alongside Berkman’s growing team of project managers and project coordinators, the Coordinator will be tasked with: integrating the efforts of multiple team members, including editing written materials to establish common voice; coordinating research activities, communicating with external partners; monitoring overall timelines and outputs including project and grant deliverables, events, and grant reports; and doing research and writing, from blog posts to grant proposals to longer thought pieces.
Additionally, the coordinator will interface with the administrative and communications teams on relevant aspects of the projects; help to manage events; maintain online project management tools such as mailing lists; and oversee projects’ web presences. The project coordinator will help to guide the work of interns and research assistants.
Based on the fast-paced and changing needs of the Berkman Klein Center, the project coordinator may be called upon for other tasks at short notice. Occasional evening and weekend work will be required. Travel opportunities may arise.
The right candidate will thrive in a committed, collaborative, and tight-knit community that encourages creativity, supports deep inquiry, values novel approaches to solving problems, strives for transparency, continually builds upon best-practices and lessons learned, and supports its community members’ independent and collective goals.
A full position description for the job can be found below and on the Harvard Human Resources website.
Three years of related administrative work experience. Solid writing, editing and proofreading skills are required, along with strong written and oral communications skills. The flexibility to work independently and also within teams is critical. Knowledge of current Internet issues is essential.
Bachelor’s degree preferred. Experience doing substantive and organizational work for non-governmental or academic organizations strongly preferred. Knowledge of Internet issues is essential. Progressive research skills required, including proficient knowledge of research tools, both Internet- and non-Internet based. Candidate must pay great attention to detail and be highly organized. Ability to work under tight deadlines a must. Solid writing, editing and proofreading skills required. Fluency in Internet research and publishing tools are highly desirable. Candidate would thrive in dynamic, entrepreneurial, self-motivated environment.
About the Berkman Klein Center:
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities. More information at www.cyber.law.harvard.edu.
Commitment to Diversity:
The work and well-being of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are strengthened profoundly by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. Our community actively seeks and welcomes people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities, as well researchers and practitioners from across the spectrum of disciplines and methods.
Applications for this job must be submitted through the Harvard Human Resources website. We will accept and review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Apply here.
Rickrolling is a prank in which misleading text links to a video of Rick Astley singing his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” For example, if I wrote “Here’s an incredible secret video of Hillary whispering to Bill that she lied about Benghazi,” and you click on the link, you’ve been rickrolled.” The video has been viewed over 224 million times, but no one knows how many times on purpose. (Interestingly, Rick Astley seems to have plagiarized the song from this awkward amateur version.)
Last night Melania said (transcript here):
He will never, ever, give up. And, most importantly, he will never, ever, let you down.
Here is the opening of the chorus of Never Gonna Give You Up:
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
This not such a unique, unexpected turn of phrase that it could only have been plagiarized. On the other hand: 224,238,266 views! This is the opposite of obscure.
So, if you were the speechwriter who not only put plagiarized text into Melania Trump’s introduce-yourself-to-America speech, but you took that text from Michelle Obama’s introduce-yourself-to-America speech eight years earlier, you might well want to flag that Melania’s speech rickrolled us and her: Melania’s words, uttered sincerely, turn out to “link” to an annoyingly lightweight pop song.
Just for fun, here’s an autotuned version of Melania singing her lyrics, created by redditor cbuntz:
I think the best hacks are the ones that are obvious once they're explained, but no one has thought of them before. Here's an example:
Instagram ($2000), Google ($0) and Microsoft ($500) were vulnerable to direct money theft via premium phone number calls. They all offer services to supply users with a token via a computer-voiced phone call, but neglected to properly verify whether supplied phone numbers were legitimate, non-premium numbers. This allowed a dedicated attacker to steal thousands of EUR/USD/GBP/... . Microsoft was exceptionally vulnerable to mass exploitation by supporting virtually unlimited concurrent calls to one premium number. The vulnerabilities were submitted to the respective Bug Bounty programs and properly resolved.
The Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School -- based at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society -- is seeking attorneys to join its unique practice and teaching team: a Clinical Instructor and one or two Clinical Fellows. These positions will round out and expand the Clinic's cohort of faculty and staff, which manages and supervises cases and projects involving intellectual property, civil liberties, privacy, human rights, speech, and beyond.
Job listings are available via Harvard, as follows:
Instructor -- http://brk.mn/CI2016
Fellow(s) -- http://brk.mn/CIF2016
Clinic clients and collaborators include mission-driven startups, non-profit advocacy organizations, scholars and researchers, government institutions, and creators of all stripes. The Clinic employs a fairly traditional law school clinical teaching model to offer pro bono legal services on tech issues. HLS students enroll for credit and gain practice experience by advising and representing clients, under the supervision of experienced practitioners. Details about the Clinic and the kinds of cases and projects that comprise its docket are available at http://clinic.cyber.harvard.edu.
The Fellow(s) and Instructor will be involved in leading teams of Harvard Law students as they complete pro bono work for clients, ranging from transactional works to advisory to advocacy. They will also participate in the greater Berkman Klein Center community.
The Cyberlaw Clinic team is passionate about technology and its power to promote innovation in the public interest and about educating and mentoring future lawyers. The Clinic is open to hearing from a wide variety of applicants with a range of areas of legal specialization. The Clinic would be particularly happy to hear from candidates with transactional backgrounds; an interest in government use of technology and civic innovation; and -- generally -- experience with and curiosity about law and policy issues that lie at the intersection of IP, privacy, and speech.
About the Cyberlaw Clinic:
The Clinic provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate clients on issues relating to the Internet, technology, and intellectual property. Students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit by working on real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, and transactional / licensing projects and cases. The Clinic strives to help clients achieve success in their activities online, mindful of (and in response to) existing law. The Clinic also works with clients to shape the law’s development through policy and advocacy efforts. The Cyberlaw Clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. The Clinic works independently, with law students supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys. In some cases, the Clinic collaborates with counsel throughout the country to take advantage of regional or substantive legal expertise.
As often happens during the heat of the New England summer, we on the Cyberlaw Clinic team find ourselves thinking about the past academic year and looking ahead to the next. It is a great time to pause and reflect on the work of our students and the overall state of our program, which has now served the HLS student body and the broader technology law and policy community for more than sixteen years. This post serves as something of an “academic year in review” for the 2015-16 school year and a preview of things to come.
The Clinic settled into an energized and productive routine over the last two years due in large part to the fact that our stellar students have been led by a stellar teaching team — Clinical Professors Chris Bavitz and Susan Crawford, Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law Dalia Ritvo, Clinical Instructor Vivek Krishnamurthy, Clinical Fellow Andy Sellars, and Project Coordinator Kira Hessekiel. Given all our successes of the past couple of years, it is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to two integral members of that team — Dalia Ritvo and Andy Sellars — each of whom is moving on from the Clinic this summer. Dalia, our former Assistant Director, is heading home to Colorado, where she will be closer to family. And, Andy is taking the helm of a brand new tech clinical program just across the Charles River at Boston University, where he and his students will serve BU and MIT students. Both Andy and Dalia will maintain ties to the Berkman Klein Center in 2016-17 as Affiliates, and we know that they will continue to be friends, colleagues, and collaborators in years to come.
In the midst of these changes, we are pleased to report that Vivek Krishnamurthy has been promoted to Assistant Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic and will play a vital role in managing the program going forward. Vivek has also been appointed Lecturer on Law for the coming academic year and will co-teach the Cyberlaw Clinic Seminar with Chris Bavitz. Vivek joined the Clinic in fall 2014, and his diligent work in recent years has significantly expanded the Clinic’s focus on issues relating to human rights, digital civil liberties, and corporate social responsibility. We could not be more excited to have Vivek on board in these expanded roles.
And, as if that weren’t enough excitement on the staffing front… we’re hiring! Multiple positions, in in fact — a Clinical Instructor and one or two Clinical Fellows. Please help spread the word far and wide as we look to expand our team.
Members of the Clinic teaching team taught a number of courses at Harvard Law School during the past academic year, including:
Cyberlaw Clinic: Student Engagement
The Cyberlaw Clinic enrolled 30 students in Fall 2015, 4 continuing students in Winter 2016, and 31 new and continuing students in Spring 2016, for a total of 65 student slots during the 2015-16 academic year. Those students enrolled for a total of 167 credits over the course of the year, and the Clinic’s supervising attorneys managed more than 10,000 hours of student work. We have a summer intern with us this summer — Griffin Davis from University of Pennsylvania Law School — who is keeping our projects afloat.
Cyberlaw Clinic: Substantive Practice and Client Base
During the 2015-16 academic year, the Clinic continued to focus its work on a number of key subject areas, including: litigation; intellectual property; privacy; online safety; free speech and media law; digital civil liberties; government innovation; communications infrastructure; regulatory compliance; and technology and access to justice. The Clinic’s work in these areas ran the gamut from preparing legal research memoranda for clients to drafting transactional and public-facing policy documents to representing them in court proceedings as litigants or amici curiae.
The Clinic served a growing number of clients and a wider range of clients than ever before, including individuals, small start-ups, non-profit organizations, academics, and government entities. Simultaneously, the Clinic intensified its strategy to integrate student representation and legal support with research projects at the Clinic’s home institution — now known as the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. For example:
Clinic students provided representation to a wide variety of non-Berkman-affiliated clients throughout 2015-16 as well, including mission-driven startups, governmental organizations, advocacy groups, and arts and cultural institutions.
Cyberlaw Clinic: Representative Cases and Matters
A few notable examples of cases and projects handled by Clinic students during the past academic year include the following:
(a) Litigation. The Clinic, both directly and working in tandem with law firms located around the United States, has represented individuals and organizations in connection with pre-litigation disputes and active litigation across subject areas ranging from intellectual property to media law. Of particular note in 2015-16, the Clinic handled several matters involving freedom of information laws, including an administrative appeal of a federal agency’s denial of a researcher’s request for documents made under the Freedom of Information Act in which the Clinic and its client prevailed. The Clinic also represented a website operator in an ongoing domain name dispute with a government entity.
(b) Intellectual Property. Copyright and other intellectual property issues remained near the top of the Clinic’s docket during the past year — a reflection of both client demand and student interest. Of particular note:
(c) Privacy and Data Security. As public concern continues to mount over the privacy and security of the information people entrust to the digital devices and services they use everyday, privacy has grown into the Clinic’s single-busiest practice area. A significant majority of the projects the Clinic takes on now involve a privacy component, but some of the highlights of our work last year include:
(d) Online Safety. The Cyberlaw Clinic continued to promote online safety — especially youth online safety — through a wide range of collaborations concerning privacy and related issues. Of particular note, Cyberlaw Clinic Assistant Director, Dalia Topelson Ritvo, with the help of Clinic students, Crystal Nwaneri and Makala Kaupalolo, published an updated guide to help K-12 schools navigate the federal laws that apply when introducing networked technologies both in and out of the classroom. The goal of the guide is to help schools, administrators and teachers make more empowered decisions on how to use networked technologies in a way that complies with federal laws protecting student privacy.
(e) Free Speech and Media Law. The Cyberlaw Clinic has been very active in addressing the broad spectrum of legal issues faced by those who express themselves online or host the expression of others on services that they operate. The Clinic has provided advice and counsel in matters involving First Amendment issues, defamation claims, and anonymous speech online. Of particular note this year:
(f) Digital Civil Liberties. From local police forces seizing and searching an individual criminal suspect’s electronic devices to the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs that were disclosed by Edward Snowden in his 2013 revelations, the question of how our civil liberties should be protected against government incursions big and small in this “golden age of surveillance” continues to be headline news. During the past year, the Clinic has continued to work with leading domestic and international civil liberties organizations to study the legality of a range of surveillance and investigative techniques used by governments here in the U.S. and around the world. Our work has ranged from evaluating how various actors can shed more light on the scope and scale of government information requests, to advising our clients on possible avenues for reform through legislation and litigation. Of particular note:
(g) Government Innovation. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Clinic students worked on a number of government technology projects in partnership with the mayor’s offices of the City of Boston and the City of Cincinnati, including creating a one-stop online shop for senior/low-income programs, work on city ordinances that affect access to poles for fiber optic lines, creating “data governance” relationships between the mayor’s office and city agencies, and work on privacy issues arising from government releases of open data privacy issues.
(h) Technology and Access to Justice. The Cyberlaw Clinic continued to do work to promote the use of technology to facilitate the delivery of legal services and, thus, access to justice. Among other things, in fall 2015, the Clinic collaborated with another HLS clinical program to develop a protoype of a tool that helped applicants for certain state benefits evaluate eligibility and calculate their likely benefits. The prototype was built using the A2J Author platform.
Cyberlaw Clinic: Events and Outreach
Clinic staff organized and participated in a variety of events and outreach to the HLS community and beyond during the past year, including the following:
Members of the Clinic’s teaching team continued to engage with the broader public through writing and interactions with media. Notable examples include:
In addition to staffing changes, several exciting developments are underway at the Cyberlaw Clinic for the 2016-2017 academic year. With the announcement of a generous gift by Harvard Law School alumnus Michael Klein (L.L.M. ‘67), the newly-christened Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society will have — in the words of Berkman faculty chair Jonathan Zittrain, a “rare and precious liberty to plan and build according to imagination and conscience.” Per the Center’s Executive Director, Urs Gasser, the Center will “build new and enhanced interfaces between the worlds of computer science, engineering, law, governance, and policy through powerful research initiatives, educational programs, and outreach efforts, bringing together the best know-how from both academia and practice, and engaging the next generation of technology and policy leaders and makers.”
In the short term, for us in the Clinic, this means a new logo (up top) and a new URL for our website (http://clinic.cyber.harvard.edu, though links to the old site should redirect to the appropriate place). Big-picture, we expect that spirit of interdisciplinarity and thoughtful, forward-thinking engagement with issues at the heart of the Center’s mission will inform the Clinic’s practice, along with the work of our colleagues throughout the Berkman Klein Center.
On a more practical note, of interest to incoming students who will enroll in the program, Cyberlaw Clinic students who enroll in the program starting this fall will have the opportunity to get more credits for the work they do in the Clinic. Harvard Law School has adjusted the clinical credit scales to reflect the growing importance of practical experience in legal education and the depth and breadth of the student experience in HLS clinics, which means students may enroll for 3, 4, or 5 credits a semester, with each credit correlating to approximately 4 hours of work per week.
As for the substance of our work, we will continue to keep our collective ears to the ground to remain on top of the latest developments. Although we never quite know where our students and clients will take us, a cursory reading of the tea leaves tells us the following:
We thank our students for their diligent efforts and our clients and collaborators for entrusting us to advocate in their interests over the past year. We look forward to a productive and invigorating 2016-17 academic year!
Monday: Make America Safe Again
Headliners: Melania Trump, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, and veterans activist Jason Beardsley.
Also speaking: Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, actor Scott Baio, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. Jeff Sessions and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others.
Tuesday: Make America Work Again
Headliners: Donald Trump Jr., West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Dr. Ben Carson and actress-businesswoman Kimberlin Brown.
Also speaking: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among others.
Wednesday: Make America First Again
Headliners: Lynne Patton of the Eric Trump Foundation; Eric Trump; Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista; and Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Also speaking: Radio host Laura Ingraham, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz, among others.
Thursday: Make America One Again
Headliners: Business leaders Peter Thiel and Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump.
Also speaking: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., among others.
This is a piece of near-future fiction about a cyberattack on New York, including hacking of cars, the water system, hospitals, elevators, and the power grid. Although it is definitely a movie-plot attack, all the individual pieces are plausible and will certainly happen individually and separately.
Worth reading -- it's probably the best example of this sort of thing to date.
All day we were hammered flat by the heat. Toward evening the wind arrived, and tossed and bent the bamboo behind the house. I hurried to finish my work in the garden as the sky spat. A single crash of thunder, the peaty scent of ozone, and then, nothing. The night arrived and the heat stayed, with no rain to give us relief.
Today I am writing from a teahouse. Every table is full and the voices and laughter of the patrons rub together to create a kind of aural heat. I’ve been thinking about the distances you’ve been traveling in time, backward to the Medici, and then looking back at our time from a distant, imagined future. It has compounded a feeling of stuckness I’ve been struggling with lately, these scales of time you’re playing. Walter Benjamin’s angel of history being blown into the future, looking back, is the obvious reference, and I wasn’t going to mention it, but lately I’ve come to wonder if his angel was helpless and terrified, or detached and bemused, or something else. Maybe Benjamin’s conceit is inadequate to our needs in relation to the events we’ve been discussing.
I’ve been reading a history of Central Europe in the 1930s and 1940s that analyzes, in great depth and with considerable precision, the mechanisms of mass death invented by Stalin’s NKVD and Hitler’s SS. Of course, Benjamin was contending with that time. His helplessness in the face of the forces that killed him and so many others is understandable. To the point: I implied recently that seeing might make us complicit in the acts we witness, but seeing is not knowing, much less understanding. Perhaps we burden sight and the images we make with meanings they cannot carry. Instead we have our glances and glimmers, the latent or suggestive, as the arrows on the road in your last image, which might urge us onward.
The children miraculously survived the devastation of Stalingrad, and indeed the only image I ever remember seeing was that of Evzerikhin, along with one other image of a man saving what I think I remember was a contrabas from a devastated building. Poignant. If not that, then what are we fighting for.
Just a few days ago I passed through Nice on my way to where I am now. I just heard about the terrible tragedy there yesterday, and it’s weighing on me. I find it difficult to write.
We keep trying desperately to put complex things into flawed reductive contexts. It feels like this time only distant retrospect will be able to explain and properly contextualise, and that we have no choice but to undergo, failing to understand why.
When the next history books are printed. When our era is added alongside all the others. Thinking forward that no matter what, we will be reduced to a simple chapter in history. A speck of dust in the scale of the universe. Our chapter could be terrorism alongside the human genome, internet, AI, climate change, migration, waste, and the depletion of fossil fuels. And Higgs Boson. I might miss quite a few here, I admit… I fail to even properly delimit in time.
How would history name our era? And what if we’d fictionally try to write this single future-past chapter, using the templates of how we describe our past? And of course, not without the obligatory quantities of Carrara marble sprinkled in here and there.
A Clockwork Orange had a serious impact on me when I first saw it at my university screening exactly 20 years after its initial release. Ultra-violence. I found it a disturbing and important film.
Clouds roll over the hilltops in the distance, south of Parma, where I’m heading. Lighting strikes and heavy raindrops start falling. I hear no thunder. We both seem to be traveling a lot. My journeys pale in comparison to what I imagine the weight of the journey of your father’s family must have been.
Abstract: Objectives -- Informed by situational crime prevention (SCP) this study evaluates the effectiveness of the "West Bank Barrier" that the Israeli government began to construct in 2002 in order to prevent suicide bombing attacks.
Methods -- Drawing on crime wave models of past SCP research, the study uses a time series of terrorist attacks and fatalities and their location in respect to the Barrier, which was constructed in different sections over different periods of time, between 1999 and 2011.
Results -- The Barrier together with associated security activities was effective in preventing suicide bombings and other attacks and fatalities with little if any apparent displacement. Changes in terrorist behavior likely resulted from the construction of the Barrier, not from other external factors or events.
Conclusions -- In some locations, terrorists adapted to changed circumstances by committing more opportunistic attacks that require less planning. Fatalities and attacks were also reduced on the Palestinian side of the Barrier, producing an expected "diffusion of benefits" though the amount of reduction was considerably more than in past SCP studies. The defensive roles of the Barrier and offensive opportunities it presents, are identified as possible explanations. The study highlights the importance of SCP in crime and counter-terrorism policy.
Unfortunately, the whole paper is behind a paywall.
Note: This is not a political analysis of the net positive and negative effects of the wall, just a security analysis. Of course any full analysis needs to take the geopolitics into account. The comment section is not the place for this broader discussion.
While we're on the subject of terrible 9th Circuit Court rulings:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has handed down a very important decision on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.... Its reasoning appears to be very broad. If I'm reading it correctly, it says that if you tell people not to visit your website, and they do it anyway knowing you disapprove, they're committing a federal crime of accessing your computer without authorization.
I was supposed to give an opening talk at the 9th annual Ethics & Publishing conference put on by George Washington Uinversity. Unfortunately, a family emergency kept me from going, so I sent a very homemade video of the presentation that I recorded at my desk with my monitor raised to head height.
The theme of my talk was a change in how we make the place better — “the place” being where we live — in the networked age. It’s part of what I’ve been thinking about as I prepare to write a book about the change in our paradigm of the future. So, these are thoughts-in-progress. And I know I could have stuck the landing better. In any case, here it is.
In a truly terrible ruling, the US 9th Circuit Court ruled that using someone else's password with their permission but without the permission of the site owner is a federal crime.
The argument McKeown made is that the employee who shared the password with Nosal "had no authority from Korn/Ferry to provide her password to former employees."
At issue is language in the CFAA that makes it illegal to access a computer system "without authorization." McKeown said that "without authorization" is "an unambiguous, non-technical term that, given its plain and ordinary meaning, means accessing a protected computer without permission." The question that legal scholars, groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and dissenting judge Stephen Reinhardt ask is an important one: Authorization from who?
Reinhardt argues that Nosal's use of the database was unauthorized by the firm, but was authorized by the former employee who shared it with him. For you and me, this case means that unless Netflix specifically authorizes you to share your password with your friend, you're breaking federal law.
While the majority opinion said that the facts of this case "bear little resemblance" to the kind of password sharing that people often do, Judge Reinhardt's dissent notes that it fails to provide an explanation of why that is. Using an analogy in which a woman uses her husband's user credentials to access his bank account to pay bills, Judge Reinhardt noted: "So long as the wife knows that the bank does not give her permission to access its servers in any manner, she is in the same position as Nosal and his associates." As a result, although the majority says otherwise, the court turned anyone who has ever used someone else's password without the approval of the computer owner into a potential felon.
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has been a disaster for many reasons, this being one of them. There will be an appeal of this ruling.
In my twenty years of using speeching recognition I've had a number of setups. I began at MIT's Accessibility Lab with discrete speech—articulating ... every ... single ... word ... discretely. IBM's ViaVoice was the first that allowed me to dictate in phrases—much less of a strain—and ran on Linux for a brief time. Sadly, IBM handed this off to Scansoft, which buried it, and they were then bought my Nuance. This meant that at the start of the naughts, Nuance's NaturallySpeaking was the only game in town. In 2003, I used NaturallySpeaking alongside Linux by running it on a headless or virtual machine. This was the approach I then used for the next 13 years.
In the past year, I've been impressed by Google's speech recognition. Big data and new machine learning techniques have advanced the state of the art. Sadly, you can't customize Google speech for your particular vocabulary, nor can you use it to control your desktop. Still, mainstream mobile applications (and voice assistants) have revitalized the speech recognition field. This doesn't immediately serve the accessibility market, but it gives me hope that there will be spillover.
The need to eventually upgrade my OS (from Kubuntu 14.04) and the news that Simon/KDESpeech was discontinued led me to the conclusion that it was time for a change. I want simple, native desktop dictation. As intriguing as Windows Bash is, I decided MacOS offered the best potential for a Unix desktop with speech recognition. Apple is behind others in the accuracy of their speech recognition—not nearly as good as Google—but their enhanced dictation provides useful control of the desktop, and Nuance's Dictate runs on MacOS as well. Unfortunately, Dictate 5 is a disaster on El Capitan: it crashes right out of the box.
So, I'm still using NaturallySpeaking in a virtual machine. But I have two hopes. First, I hope Nuance's Dictate, which is very accurate and permits custom vocabularies, will eventually run well on MacOS. Second, I hope Apple's Enhanced Dictation will permit customization and improve in quality. Both of these are much more likely than seeing speech recognition on a Linux Desktop.
Which brings me to my current setup. I continue to use the Kinesis Advantage keyboard; I'd be screwed without it. I continue to use the Plantronics Savi W440 wireless headset, seen in the back, for most of my dictation in the Windows virtual machine. If I need to transcribe notes or interviews, or intensively write or edit, this provides the best recognition. The new bit of hardware is the Buddy 7G FlamingoMic, which I use as the Mac's microphone: I use it for desktop control and dictating short emails.
The first thing I did upon getting the iMac was cover the webcam and microphone with electrical tape—masking tape won't completely silent the microphone. As this was my first PC that's fully USB3, I also learned that USB3 and wireless headsets don't work well together. So the webcam, headset transmitter, and Flamingo mic are all plugged in to a small USB2 hub with individual power switches and LEDs for each device, making it easy to disable each. The Buddy 7G microphones, like the SpeechWare ones, are not general purpose mics: they won't be good for music, for instance. They have circuitry built in for filtering out noise and picking up voices. I bought the Buddy 7G because I suspect it is as nearly good as the SpeechWares. I bought the Flamingo because it is portable and much cheaper than the version with the built in base. The USB2 hub I'm using cost $6 and is easily mounted to the desk using double sided tape; desktop units cost hundreds more though they offer no more functionality than a hub.
Finally, here's the accuracy of dictating the rainbow passage using the two microphones and Mac Enhanced Diction and Nuance Speech Recognition.
|Buddy 75||Savi W440|
Naturally Speaking 13
Enhanced Dictation El Capitan
You can see that the Buddy 7G desk mic is quite good, but not as good as a headset, and that El Capitan's Enhanced Dictation is okay but frustrating for serious use.
Thinking about your mountain of Italian marble, both its physical mass and the historical burden we’ve asked it to bear. An image for you in response, something playful, perhaps an antidote. Recently at the Imperial War Museum in London I spent some time with a newsreel of the battle of Stalingrad, including an image of the famous Barmaley fountain, of six children dancing around a crocodile. You might have seen the picture by the Soviet war photographer Evzerikhin, which has also made its way into pop culture – Clockwork Orange and other films use it as a symbol of innocence amidst war. It’s didactic and kitsch of course, and we’re talking about Stalingrad, and come to think of it, the story that it’s modeled on is a Russian poem by Chukovsky that’s sort of racist: “Little children, for nothing in this world, do not go to Africa.” Maybe it’s not an antidote after all.
Once out of the imposed distance of conflict of eastern Ukraine, it only takes a day or so to go, in this case, from Mariupol to Dnipropetrovsk, a flight via Vienna to London, then Washington DC, and soon New York. I’m presently traveling by train along the Northeast corridor, looking at the decaying backside of North Philadelphia, the miles of row homes, factories and warehouses.
Here there’s the summer overgrowth of English ivy and the tree of heaven, the ailanthus, an urban weed tree everywhere in the world. I saw an abundance of ailanthus in Mauripol in the old town, also filled with elegant, shabby pre-revolutionary houses. This neighborhood was the city’s old commercial center, decayed because of the proximity to the then-new factories and the toxic air, overtaken by industry. And I’m reminded of something else – the Ukrainians, Poles, Belorussians, and Jews who left Ukraine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries often ended up here in eastern Pennsylvania, in the coal towns of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, and the steel town of Bethlehem, where my father’s family landed after fleeing Ukraine in the 1890s.
News has been bubbling about an announcement by Google that it's starting to experiment with public-key cryptography that's resistant to cryptanalysis by a quantum computer. Specifically, it's experimenting with the New Hope algorithm.
It's certainly interesting that Google is thinking about this, and probably okay that it's available in the Canary version of Chrome, but this algorithm is by no means ready for operational use. Secure public-key algorithms are very hard to create, and this one has not had nearly enough analysis to be trusted. Lattice-based public-key cryptosystems such as New Hope are particularly subtle -- and we cryptographers are still learning a lot about how they can be broken.
Targets are important in cryptography, and Google has turned New Hope into a good one. Consider this an opportunity to advance our cryptographic knowledge, not an offer of a more-secure encryption option. And this is the right time for this area of research, before quantum computers make discrete-logarithm and factoring algorithms obsolete.
Passing through the city of Carrara here in Italy I’m reminded of parts in our recent conversation when we talked about stone and columns and memory. The marble quarries here in the mountain provided for so many sculptures and columns all over the world, linking Michelangelo’s Pietà to the steps of the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, to the Grande Arché de Défense in Paris and Marble Arch in London, to the Pantheon in Rome and Washington’s Peace Monument. This single mountain, cut piece by piece since Roman times, is the invisible centre point of all that mankind wanted to celebrate. Yet the mountain itself, dying a slow death of a thousand cuts, suffers silently, losing almost a million tonnes every year. I feel a possible project here. I might call it Lingchi.
Michelangelo was assigned to restart the marble production from pope Leo X, who was Lorenzo de’Medici’s son. From 1515 to 1518 he worked here to literally design the roads to and from Seravezza, along which huge 25 ton marble blocks were manually transported with an ancient system of sleds and pulleys by 14 year old workers on the steepest of slopes. Up until the 1966. No wonder the contemporary anarchist movement rooted here very strongly.
Your image reminds me of the Srebrenica genocide, Milosević, and Ratko Mladić’s Scorpions, even though I don’t remember seeing tattoos. Predators again. I was young, and it was the first time that I felt the closeness of a war. A city besieged. Their streets were our streets. Their clothes were our clothes. No artificial distance anymore, in time in culture or otherwise. This was home. The red resin of the Sarajevo Rose.
Later that night I hear that Portugal won the soccer cup. Somehow, even though I’d avidly followed every game up until then, I fail to see the value of the game that evening. I take note and move on, things fallen into other perspectives.
My soul feels heavy and thick as marble. I hope all is well, my friend.
How to choose a pillow? Ergonomic pillow or classic pillow? When changing pillow? How to maintain my pillow? All answers in our guide for choosing the right pillow.
An essential element in the choice of bedding and which we do not necessarily think is the pillow. And yes, the pillow is essential, both for our sleep as our spine. We will see together what are the elements to consider when choosing a pillow. It is recommended to opt for bamboo memory foam pillow.
You should know that many people have a pillow, especially when they have an electric bed. A pillow is used to relax, read or watch TV, another is exclusively reserved for sleep.
Conventional pillows are they good for your back? How to choose a pillow? What is a classic pillow?
We will present here what a pillow and told how classical choose a classic pillow.
It is not called so for reasons pejorative but in contrast with the pillow ergonomic says that has appeared much later and that we present later. The name is due to its shape: in fact, the conventional pillow has a square or rectangular and has no recesses or bumps as ergonomic pillow. Its forms are relatively traditional for a pillow that is why he is called classic pillow.
The term classic pillow, refers only to the shape of the pillow, and in any case to which it is composed. We call this the lining, as regards the conventional pillows, they may be either composed of natural materials or of synthetic materials of a mixture of the two as is the case with many latex pillows.
What are the advantages of a conventional pillow?
Conventional pillows are known to be often more comfortable, soft, and especially cheaper than ergonomic pillows. They are indeed very popular with sleepers for their cozy appearance.
You have a bad back? Have torti-package? Your pillow should not you? You sleep on your side and you feel a break in your neck? You are in the right place.
Also called cervical pillow, ergonomic pillow is a pillow of a very specific form. The ends are bulged, the central portion is hollow so that your head comes to rest directly in this section. Your neck will not be broken, your head will be perfectly in line with your spine. That is why it is said that this pillow contours to your body.
Be careful to several elements when choosing an ergonomic pillow:
– The shape of the ergonomic pillow:
Some pillows ergonomic say while they do not fall into this category, make sure that the ends are curved and hollow center.
– The height of the ergonomic pillow:
We often think that the pillow should be as thick as possible to be very comfortable, but be careful, the indicated height is often the center height. We suggest a center height of about 11 centimeters for optimal comfort.
– The weight of the ergonomic pillow:
The weight of a pillow will tell us about the amount of matter in it. More it will weigh heavier, it will be more dense and it will close. For ergonomic pillow size 65 x 45 cm with a height of 11 cm we recommend a weight between 1 kg and 1.1 kg for comfort.
Ergonomic pillows are particularly recommended for people who sleep on their side. Indeed, if you sleep on your back, you will not enjoy the benefits of this pillow that is too high, in which case we recommend instead a traditional pillow.
Ergonomic pillow is defined only by its form, and not by its packing. There are several kinds of ergonomic pillows:
Ergonomic latex pillows, we recommend the latex pillows, most ventilated and most comfortable pillows shaped memory foam.
It is essential to combine a good pillow with good bedding as it is essential to combine a good mattress with a good mattress. We advise you to opt for a latex mattress or shape memory foam for your bed if you like the ergonomic pillows.
Not sure if you need a classic ergonomic pillow or pillow? How to choose between a traditional ergonomic pillow and a pillow?
With our comparison you will know what is the most suitable pillow for you! If you meet some of these needs, simply count the number of cross about which pillow suits you best.
|Classic pillow||Ergonomic pillow|
|I sleep on my back||XXX||X|
|I sleep on your stomach||XXX||X|
|I sleep on the side||XX||XXX|
|I like a cozy place comfort||XXX||XX|
|I read or watch TV in bed||XXX||X|
|I have back problems||X||XXX|
|I have pain in the neck||X||XXX|
Now, according to your needs, you can choose the pillow you.
If you still hesitate, we must know that more and more sleepers opt for a pillow: that is to say, according to their needs, they can change pillow. It is true that we do not always sleeps in the same position, so it is convenient to keep on hand a pillow depending on the position in which we sleep. Similarly, it is possible to couple a classic pillow with ergonomic pillow as the activity practiced in bed, a classic pillow to watch television or read and an ergonomic pillow to sleep on the side.
For further information, visit http://www.bedtimefriends.com/
The audio storytelling landscape is a vast, potentially daunting place for amateurs and radio veterans alike. Questions frequently arise like: How do you find your new favorite show? How do you listen to great pieces that aren’t part of an ongoing series? How do you fill your day with high-quality content with which you aren’t already familiar? How do you cut down on time spent browsing and get to listening faster? Cue PRX Remix.
Remix is a never-ending, highly curated storytelling channel from PRX.
We believe people fall in love with shows by listening to, not reading about, them. With Remix, all you need to do is hit ‘play’ and we do the rest.
At any moment you can tap into a curated bounty of fantastic stories via Remix. You’ll hear from popular podcasts like Gravy, Criminal, and The Longest Shortest Time as well as more under-the-radar pods like Scene On Radio, Rumble Strip Vermont, and Sift. Remix also houses the most creative broadcast pieces from stations like KALW, KFAI and WBEZ and fresh station-based series like Out Of The Blocks from WYPR, Kind World from WBUR and Radio Rookies from WNYC. Hear live storytelling from The Moth, Mortified, TEDTalks, and Live Law and archival interviews from Blank on Blank. We also include audio storytelling orgs like Long Haul Productions, Now Here This, This Land Press, and Third Coast. You’ll even hear scored voicemails from One Hello World, 8-year old hosts from Third Grade Audio, and random tape from Random Tape. That’s only a tiny fraction of what’s on there!
Because of the huge amount content on Remix, each month I’m featuring three of my favorite new pieces on our blog to whet your appetite. Without further ado…
This piece comes from PoetryNow, a series from The WFMT Radio Network and the Poetry Foundation. The show is an audio immersion into the concept behind a single poem. You’ll hear the poet read his or her poem and then discuss the (often surprising) motivations for writing it. It’s a simple, short (four minutes), and effective format that delivers poetry to listeners in a way that feels both relatable and compelling.
“Ode to Coffee” is a wonderful installment in the series. It focuses on a rhythmic poem about the pleasures of coffee, how different cultures affect that pleasure, and what coffee means to poet Urayoan Noel. It’s charming, and gets at the deeper tensions that arise from identifying with multiple cultures and speaking different languages. It made me crave a steaming cup of joe, even though I’m not a coffee drinker.
This piece is a documentary about a reporter’s experience dealing with cancer at a young age. She features powerful tape captured in the hospital when she first became sick, mixed with her reflections 10 years later. Moments when Ibby shares her diagnosis with her dad or describes the “chemo tree” next to her bed give listeners raw, heartbreaking and wonderfully specific insights into an unexpected struggle. Even seemingly mundane actions, like ordering room service, feel profound under the circumstances.
We should all be thanking Ibby for sticking with this piece and giving listeners access to such a personal part of her life–the result is quite beautiful. Ibby is a Boston-based journalist whose work has aired on a huge variety of programs, from WGBH’s The World to Australia’s Radiotonic.
Yes, this piece is exactly what it sounds like: famous actor Alec Baldwin does a dramatic reading of the side effects of the sedative Ambien. It’s pretty amazing, especially considering Ambien is a slightly terrifying drug that can cause side effects like giant hives, sleep cooking, and even a loss of one’s own sense of reality. It’s a silly, surprising, thoroughly entertaining diversion that made me literally laugh out loud in the middle of the PRX office.
This is just one of many installments from a series called The Phone Book, featuring other well-known people doing dramatic readings of mundane things, like Dick Cavett reading newspaper corrections, Barbara Rosenblat reading a list of Roman Catholic patron saints and Garrison Keillor reading reasons for admission to a 19th-century insane asylum.
How To Listen to PRX Remix:
Download the PRX Remix app or go to prx.mx and press ‘play’. If you’re a satellite radio kind of person, check out channel 123 on Sirius XM or XM radio. If you’re a traditionalist and stick to the radio dial, check these listings to find Remix on a station near you.
I have written before on the vulnerabilities equities process (VEP): the system by which the US government decides whether to disclose and fix a computer vulnerability or keep it secret and use it offensively. Ari Schwartz and Rob Knake, both former Directors for Cybersecurity Policy at the White House National Security Council, have written a report describing the process as we know it, with policy recommendations for improving it.
Basically, their recommendations are focused on improving the transparency, oversight, and accountability (three things I repeatedly recommend) of the process. In summary:
These all seem like good ideas to me. This is a complex issue, one I wrote about in Data and Goliath (pages 146-50), and one that's only going to get more important in the Internet of Things.
Interesting research: Debora Halbert, "Intellectual property theft and national security: Agendas and assumptions":
Abstract: About a decade ago, intellectual property started getting systematically treated as a national security threat to the United States. The scope of the threat is broadly conceived to include hacking, trade secret theft, file sharing, and even foreign students enrolling in American universities. In each case, the national security of the United States is claimed to be at risk, not just its economic competitiveness. This article traces the U.S. government's efforts to establish and articulate intellectual property theft as a national security issue. It traces the discourse on intellectual property as a security threat and its place within the larger security dialogue of cyberwar and cybersecurity. It argues that the focus on the theft of intellectual property as a security issue helps justify enhanced surveillance and control over the Internet and its future development. Such a framing of intellectual property has consequences for how we understand information exchange on the Internet and for the future of U.S. diplomatic relations around the globe.
EDITED TO ADD (7/6): Preliminary version, no paywall.
Interesting paper: "Anonymization and Risk," by Ira S. Rubinstein and Woodrow Hartzog:
Abstract: Perfect anonymization of data sets has failed. But the process of protecting data subjects in shared information remains integral to privacy practice and policy. While the deidentification debate has been vigorous and productive, there is no clear direction for policy. As a result, the law has been slow to adapt a holistic approach to protecting data subjects when data sets are released to others. Currently, the law is focused on whether an individual can be identified within a given set. We argue that the better locus of data release policy is on the process of minimizing the risk of reidentification and sensitive attribute disclosure. Process-based data release policy, which resembles the law of data security, will help us move past the limitations of focusing on whether data sets have been "anonymized." It draws upon different tactics to protect the privacy of data subjects, including accurate deidentification rhetoric, contracts prohibiting reidentification and sensitive attribute disclosure, data enclaves, and query-based strategies to match required protections with the level of risk. By focusing on process, data release policy can better balance privacy and utility where nearly all data exchanges carry some risk.
The pores in an osmosis membrane are so small that they can be called a pore. Water molecules likely to pass, thanks to the distribution of molecular structure. “Diffusion” relates to the continuous movement of molecules, thereby exchange takes place. Water molecules have to diffuse the property and to be deposited on the reverse osmosis membrane. By the diffusion movement ‘collide’ more and more molecules against the membrane, thereby forming a layer on the membrane surface. When the pressure of the water is increased far enough, the water molecules will move through the membrane. The pores of the wall are so small that, in principle, only water molecules can pass through the membrane.
The correct operation of the best reverse osmosis system is, moreover, guesswork, because the pores in a reverse osmosis membrane are so small that they can be made visible with no single technique. The most scientific approach is SFPF of. Dr. Sourirajan. (Source <)
The pores of the membrane in the reverse osmosis process are so small that there is a driving force is needed to push the water through the membrane; this pressure is usually supplied by a pump. The technical principle of reverse osmosis is as follows
There are many devices on the market even further through reverse osmosis filter your tap water or your water supplier has already done. There are several factors that affect the efficacy of such an osmosis apparatus for home use (so for individuals/consumers). It is mainly about material quality and factors that influence the force with which water is forced through the filtration membrane. These could include:
For what concerns the sediment filter is preferably a filter housing in which a cartridge can interact with polypropylene fibers, and therefore not a ‘disposable’.
If there is deionization, take a round filter deionization (DI) filter preferably with refillable cartridges containing a mixed bed resin. And so no specialist / selective nitrate, silicate or phosphate filters.
Bluntly goes through feed water (tap) the following steps in a quality osmosis device: → 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter → Actiefkoolgranulenfilter (GAC) → Block carbon filter or carbon block filter → RO membrane or osmosis membrane → Small charcoal filter → deionizer (resin filter) → Possible UV disinfection → finished product: osmosis water.
A filter/sediment filter traps coarse particles, such as sand and rust particles; an activated carbon filter removes smaller particulate components and dissolved chemicals; the osmosis membrane has 99% of all dissolved molecules and ions in the water therefrom; The ion exchanger removes even the smallest ions; the carbon-to-final filter will remove color, odor, and flavorings. The UV-filter kills any bacteria and viruses.
Result: purified water. There are several brands and types v.w.b. osmosis equipment, both models fitted as tabletop models; some examples are as follows:
A reverse osmosis system with five i.p.v. Six phases (i.e., without deïonisator) will cost around 350 euros. Osmosis device with ion exchange takes soon
I’ve been watching the football in the hip bars and steakhouses of Mariupol. Microbreweries, craft hamburgers, bearded and coifed patrons, tattoos of flowers, Chinese characters, other markers of global fashion. Some of the cafes are run by IDPs from Donetsk. They have families across Europe and North America; some receive international development funds. They are all on social networks, of course.
When we think about war, we often imagine it as remote and unreachable, but it is woven into the fabric of our global lives. The trope of the faraway war leads us to misunderstand modern conflict; distance is strategic, not romantic. We create physical distance to the front by the suspension of flights, by the checkpoints that slow passage into the border zone. We create social distance by the language we use to describe war, by the legal regimes we impose on the people caught in it, by the conditions we place on reporting and the depiction of violence, by our own need for psychological distance from violence. In other words, the romance of distance is itself a strategy that allows us to not implicate ourselves in war.
Mariupol, a city of half a million, has factories that pump out steel for the global market, financed internationally since their inception in the late 19th century. The city is still more production than consumption, and the steel workers bring their own fashions, the safety clothing of factory workers everywhere, gardening shirtless in small dachas, old army pants, colorful prints, canvas shoes and tattoos from military service, shoulders adorned with lions, bears and other predators.
The militias are the third presence here; less seen than felt. Men buff, groomed, also often bearded, and jackbooted. Their tattoos are obscure, engorged with action, and narrating the lives of their possessors. It is difficult to see these men. They operate in the periphery of our vision, for a direct gaze might make us their accomplices.
I shudder hearing about your experience. Eli Wiesel passed away only a few days ago in NYC, a man who taught us that there are moments we can not and should not remain silent. In times like this, one wishes to control space and time to give the gift of experience to the provocateurs, hoping they would then at least fully understand and contextualise their actual provocation and reduction. A deliberate choice to choose a too narrow context. I doubt many would still hold a same opinion after actually experiencing what they are judging.
Too many still turn away. Kitty Genovese. I Imagine I was there, and I honestly do not know what I would have done. Of course reason tells me I would always intervene, but at the same time we also know that all the witnesses in 1964 honestly felt the same. Yet they did not intervene. Kitty died with eyes watching her. I would find the weight on my shoulders impossible to bear.
Arles is magical by the way. I don’t know why, and I know my view is flawed by necessity, only being here a few days every year, my vision way too narrow to be representative in any way. But somehow every time a weight – whichever weight it is at the time – falls off my shoulders. Right away upon arrival. Bam. I’m sitting here in la Roquette and wonder if it’s the sunshine, the architecture, the people, the Rhône. Then I realise what I should have known all along: Mistral. The wind that shapes it all. Blessing and curse. Clearer of minds.
Maybe it’s the ritual of driving from home to here, exactly 1075km, a number – as you already know – with a deep meaning to me. The wind picks up the curtains and i see the world outside. France won the soccer game, and la Roquette celebrated all night long as only la Roquette can do.
Two researchers have discovered over 100 Tor nodes that are spying on hidden services. Cory Doctorow explains:
These nodes -- ordinary nodes, not exit nodes -- sorted through all the traffic that passed through them, looking for anything bound for a hidden service, which allowed them to discover hidden services that had not been advertised. These nodes then attacked the hidden services by making connections to them and trying common exploits against the server-software running on them, seeking to compromise and take them over.
The researchers used "honeypot" .onion servers to find the spying computers: these honeypots were .onion sites that the researchers set up in their own lab and then connected to repeatedly over the Tor network, thus seeding many Tor nodes with the information of the honions' existence. They didn't advertise the honions' existence in any other way and there was nothing of interest at these sites, and so when the sites logged new connections, the researchers could infer that they were being contacted by a system that had spied on one of their Tor network circuits.
This attack was already understood as a theoretical problem for the Tor project, which had recently undertaken a rearchitecting of the hidden service system that would prevent it from taking place.
No one knows who is running the spying nodes: they could be run by criminals, governments, private suppliers of "infowar" weapons to governments, independent researchers, or other scholars (though scholarly research would not normally include attempts to hack the servers once they were discovered).
The Tor project is working on redesigning its system to block this attack.
Design your embroidery patterns with your home embroidery machine allows you to create meaningful, playful and personal designs: embroidery artwork your child a photo of your cat, or an image with sentimental value. You can make simple drawings integral embroidered baby, adult shirts, placemats, pillows or frame. You do not need a unique ability to design a simple embroidery, and you will require very few elements.
You will need:
Find your source of inspiration. It could be a photograph, a flower from your garden or drawing your son did. You can also bring your designs, using paper and pencil or pen. If you decide to make your design, draw straightforward and clear lines.
Edit the desired image with the corresponding software. If necessary, change the size or intensifies the contrast. Print the image the correct size high contrast.
Trace the picture with tracing paper thin or image adhering tape to a well-lit window. Use pencil or crayons quality according to your design drawing.
Moves the embroidery design to a fabric by placing carbon paper or tracing paper dressmaker on it. Place the drawing up and calc embroider through all layers. You can also choose to hold the tracing paper with fabric and work directly on all layers; tracing paper is removed when the embroidery is completed.
Work your embroidery design using two to four strands of silk thread. To give texture and depth to your design, use different embroidery stitches. Satin stitches can be used to fill large surfaces; the contour point, backsight point or string to outline ways; petal point, ingot, and French knot, to accentuate.
Hand embroidery is an activity for people to create a design in different types of fabric; the felt is a prime example. Drawn original designs create a unique and custom object felt embroidery. It is important to remember that all plans shall be transferred to the fabric mirror embroidery. Transfer a prefabricated design or the original one requires the use of a pencil oil and butter paper. The best way to transfer an image to said fabric is heat.
You will need:
1. Place the clip art or drawn on a flat, stable surface work. Take the amount of wax paper roll enough to cover the image, plus at least one edge of one inch (2.5 cm). Cut the butter roll paper. Center it and place it on the picture, making sure that the shiny side thereof facing up.
2. Trace the image on the paper using a pencil butter oil. Draw the outline and all lines of interior and exterior detail of it. Press the pen firmly to make a solid line on the parchment paper. Remove the image on the paper.
3. Centra and places the picture of parchment paper on a sheet of brown wrapping journal. Zooms contour to form a frame of an inch (2.5 cm) in this article. Cut it out so that it is a border of an inch (2.5 cm) around the image of parchment paper.
4. Turn on the iron and preheated in the position of cotton. Place the plate in a safe place while it preheats.
5. Centra the desired area for embroidery design on the board. Place the felt fabric in it. Centre and puts the image of parchment paper in the desired location making sure that the pen stroke is the reverse side of the parchment paper.
6. Centra and place the brown paper wrapping on the image of parchment paper. Be sure to cover the latter completely.
7. Place the plate preheated in the upper left corner of brown wrapping paper. Keep the iron in place for 10 seconds. Move it wide plate to the right and hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat the process through the top of the image of parchment paper.
8. Move the iron down a long plate. Place it on the left edge of the picture of parchment paper. Press for 10 seconds. Move the iron plate width to the right and press for 10 seconds. Repeat the process until the entire image is pressed.
9. Place the plate in a safe place. Let the brown wrapping paper dry for 10 seconds. Hold the lower right corner of brown paper and butter the paper image. Carefully remove the upper left corner of felt fabric. Note that the image has been transferred. Replaces the picture and the wrapping paper and board again if necessary.
10. Let the wrapping paper to cool for 10 seconds. Remove the latter and the image of parchment paper fabric felt. Discard the transfer of wax paper. Save brown paper for future use if desired. Felted fabric is now ready for the embroidery process.
BBC has the story. The confusion is that a scan of a passport is much easier to forge than an actual passport. This is a truly hard problem: how do you give people the ability to get back into their accounts after they've lost their credentials, while at the same time prohibiting hackers from using the same mechanism to hijack accounts? Demanding an easy-to-forge copy of a hard-to-forge document isn't a good solution.
Interesting research: "Characterizing and Avoiding Routing Detours Through Surveillance States," by Anne Edmundson, Roya Ensafi, Nick Feamster, and Jennifer Rexford.
Abstract: An increasing number of countries are passing laws that facilitate the mass surveillance of Internet traffic. In response, governments and citizens are increasingly paying attention to the countries that their Internet traffic traverses. In some cases, countries are taking extreme steps, such as building new Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), which allow networks to interconnect directly, and encouraging local interconnection to keep local traffic local. We find that although many of these efforts are extensive, they are often futile, due to the inherent lack of hosting and route diversity for many popular sites. By measuring the country-level paths to popular domains, we characterize transnational routing detours. We find that traffic is traversing known surveillance states, even when the traffic originates and ends in a country that does not conduct mass surveillance. Then, we investigate how clients can use overlay network relays and the open DNS resolver infrastructure to prevent their traffic from traversing certain jurisdictions. We find that 84% of paths originating in Brazil traverse the United States, but when relays are used for country avoidance, only 37% of Brazilian paths traverse the United States. Using the open DNS resolver infrastructure allows Kenyan clients to avoid the United States on 17% more paths. Unfortunately, we find that some of the more prominent surveillance states (e.g., the U.S.) are also some of the least avoidable countries.
In the past year or so I've fully transitioned to editing my prose like code. I've been using markdown for a while now, but my transition to semantic linefeeds, using one sentence per line, has been great. It makes editing paragraphs and viewing changes so much easier. I use NaturallySpeaking with Word—[configured] as a simple text editor—but I also use text editors, which rarely have a print function. So here is a gist that pretty prints markdown source with line numbers and minimal formatting. That makes it easy to print out and edit. When I'm back in front of the computer, I need not search for that annoying comma splice, for example, I know exactly what line it is on.
The New York Times wrote a good piece comparing airport security around the world, and pointing out that moving the security perimeter doesn't make any difference if the attack can occur just outside the perimeter. Mark Stewart has the good quote:
"Perhaps the most cost-effective measure is policing and intelligence -- to stop them before they reach the target," Mr. Stewart said.
Sounds like something I would say.
in Mariupol I’ve been avoiding the mid-day sun. The light refracts off the Sea of Azov, harsh and clear, unless the wind blows haze over the city from the Illich and Avostal steel plants. Which has led me to a belated realization: when you speak of finding your sunshine, you don’t mean it only as a conventional metaphor for happiness, or as literal heat and light. You mean it as a concept, I think, in which sunshine stands for emptiness, or, to be more precise, for something sparse and enduring. Words I’ve used before to describe what you’re doing, I know.
Perhaps you have other words. To your point about the limits of language, and context. The past few days I’ve been trying to make images that create an idea about Mariupol that I’m also having trouble naming. This is a city under pressure, an object of interest for both Ukrainians and Russians, and many versions of what that means. Yet it has mostly avoided the destruction visited upon other towns. The residents are keeping their heads down. Reticent comes to mind, as does fugitive. But I’m not sure that’s right. Maybe that’s how I’m feeling.
I keep trying to find the space to tell you a story about something that happened last week in London. I was having a quiet drink with a friend. Sitting next to us were three men, and one began jew-baiting us. For 10 minutes he explored every grammatical form of jew available in English, mumbling jewy jew jews jews, jew and so on. I usually ignore this kind of provocation, as acknowledging it leads to escalation. Yet saying nothing allows a kind of impunity for the abuser. Shift this to the social scale, and we arrive in our current situation, the veiled rhetoric of bigotry allowed more and more public space, until it becomes the norm, and blooms in political upheaval, in public violence.
In any case, it’s unclear to me whether laying low is the right strategy for Mariupol, or what the alternative might be. There is near-daily shelling 20 km from here. We can hear it when the wind blows west.
The victor writes history as he sees it. I concur, I believe that the culture, the identity of a nation determines its way of looking at events and of writing its history. How else could two differing descriptions of the same event exist? Is there even such a thing as a neutral representation?
The fallen depicted as heroes. A powerful scene for sure, those men, women and children displayed dramatically, turned into martyrs, presumably intended to invoke feeling rather than display dry fact. “J’accuse…!”, Émile Zola famously wrote in an open letter to his president in 1898 on the subject of anti-semitism. The Dreyfus affair divided France for nearly 12 years and became the archetypical example for miscarriage of justice while accusing the government’s misuse of power.
The limits of any given language. Turmoil. Telling any story in any shape or form alters it undeniably, again and again, the only safeguard between the actual reality and the story of it being told being the context of the person telling the story. His or her upbringing, his or her views of the world, his or her language, photography, painting, talking, writing skills. His or her mood. His or her health. His or her worries and aspirations.
A message of a deep reality that is by definition extremely faceted with a magnitude and multitude of factors like branches and trees all interplaying at an exact way in an exact point in time, all conveyed by a person that is himself constantly changing and limited in capacity to speak… it seems impossible.
We rely on categorisation, reduction and interpretation more than anything, and we trust our lives to others to reduce and interpret in a way that fits our own. Yet we mustn’t forget to constantly be aware of the extremely limited context we are only capable of.
Our world view is very local indeed. But that’s not a bad thing at all… just once in a while, we need to stop our urge to be victors all the time.
We're pleased to announce that Michael R. Klein LL.M. ’67 has made a generous gift of $15 million to the Berkman Center. In recognition, the Center will now be known as the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Harvard Law School and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University are pleased to announce that Michael R. Klein LL.M. ’67 has made a generous gift of $15 million to the Berkman Center. In recognition, the Center will now be known as the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
“This gift helps ensure that Harvard Law School will remain at the forefront of problem solving as we confront and take advantage of the global and digital future,” said Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean of the Law School. “In 1997, a remarkably farsighted gift from the late Jack N. Berkman ’29 and Lillian R. Berkman created the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The scope of the Center’s work and the global reach of the Internet have grown dramatically over the last two decades. Now, as the Center approaches a third decade of innovation, we are deeply grateful for Mike Klein’s gift, which will build on the Berkman family’s generosity to sustain the Center’s leadership position and allow for continued exploration in the years to come.”
Klein’s gift is the largest individual gift to the Law School’s Campaign for the Third Century to date. The Campaign is part of the University-wide, $6.5 billion Harvard Campaign that runs until 2018.
“A generous Brandeis Fellowship enabled me to attend Harvard, and that education opened extraordinary opportunities for me,” Klein said. “Now, the ability to give back to Harvard Law School is a privilege that I am deeply grateful for, particularly because my contribution can be directed to an exciting, entrepreneurial Center that is in the vanguard of cyberspace research.”
A Center—and a gift—for the future
The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, the Center has tackled the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Its faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, and form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities.
At a time when the opportunities and challenges of an increasingly networked world abound and digital transformations are profoundly shaping the future of society, this gift will not only provide vital core support, but will also allow the Center to start new explorations, launch innovative programs, and incubate novel collaborations both nationally and internationally.
“Mike Klein’s extraordinary commitment joins the Berkman family’s in allowing us the rare and precious liberty to plan and build according to imagination and conscience,” said Jonathan Zittrain ’95, the Center’s co-founder and current faculty director. “The Center was premised on the idea that the Internet’s design invites contribution, and that difficult problems can be understood and solved through thoughtful and sensitive combinations of technical and institutional innovations, both public and private.”
“In particular, this gift will help us to build new and enhanced interfaces between the worlds of computer science, engineering, law, governance, and policy through powerful research initiatives, educational programs, and outreach efforts, bringing together the best know-how from both academia and practice, and engaging the next generation of technology and policy leaders and makers,” said Urs Gasser LL.M. ’03, professor of practice at HLS and executive director of the Berkman Klein Center.
The Center has catalyzed dozens of initiatives concerning the Internet, particularly in the areas of law and policy, education and public discourse, and access to information. These endeavors include rigorous academic research with the aim of achieving tangible, real-world impact, such as the recent high-profile “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate” report released by the Center’s Berklett Cybersecurity project, which garnered widespread attention from policymakers and the media. Other key initiatives include building tools that preserve and monitor access to information, such as Amber, an open source tool that preserves content and prevents broken links; the Lumen database, which serves as the definitive source for worldwide requests to remove content from the Internet; and Internet Monitor, a project that aims to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and other activity around the world.
The Center is also committed to building bridges and fostering connections among diverse communities and perspectives, such as by incubating the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC), a collaborative initiative among academic institutions with a focus on interdisciplinary research on the development, social impact, policy implications, and legal issues concerning the Internet.
The Cyberlaw Clinic, in which HLS students provide pro bono legal services and earn course credit, is also part of the Center. The clinic was the first of its kind, and it continues its tradition of innovation in its areas of practice. Students are supervised by experienced and licensed attorneys as they provide service to clients on issues relating to the Internet, new technology, and intellectual property. Students also work with clients to shape the law's development through policy and advocacy efforts.
In 2008, the Center was elevated from a research center at the Law School to a University-wide interfaculty Initiative. Since then the Center has expanded to include more than 500 community members from 40 countries. This growth stems from both an expansion of the Center’s human network and its entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take risks in pioneering new areas of study. With support from Mike Klein, as well as that of other generous donors and foundations, the Berkman Klein Center aims to continue to grow in areas where it can have the biggest impact.
Philanthropy with purpose
Klein received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Miami before earning an LL.M. at Harvard Law School in 1967. From 1974 through 2005, he was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (now WilmerHale). In 2004, he made a gift to endow the Michael R. Klein Professorship of Law, a chair held by Professor Randall L. Kennedy. Klein has also generously supported the Law School’s Annual Fund and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, and he serves on the HLS Dean’s Advisory Board.
Today, Klein is focused on business and non-profit ventures. He is chairman of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit group that he co-founded in 2005 to bring greater transparency to the workings of Congress. The Sunlight Foundation has participated in several Berkman Center events. Klein is also the chairman of CoStar Group Inc., a publicly traded provider of commercial real estate information that he co-founded in 1987. In 2013, he established Gun Violence Archive, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that provides free online public access to information about gun-related violence in the United States. Additionally, he is vice chairman of the board and lead outside director for the Tutor-Perini Corporation, a major general contractor.
Klein’s non-profit commitments include service as chair of the board of trustees for the Shakespeare Theatre Company, a member of the boards of directors for both the American Himalayan Foundation and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and a trustee of The Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Photo of Michael R. Klein, Credit: Martha Stewart
The Department of Canine Security urges dogs to remain on high alert and employ the tactic of See Something, Say Something. Remember to bark upon spotting anything suspicious; e.g. firecrackers, sparklers, Roman candles, cats, squirrels, mail carriers, shadows, reflections, other dogs on TV, etc.
With more than 10 million users, the Scratch online community is the largest online community where kids learn to program. Since it was created, a central goal of the community has been to promote “remixing” — the reworking and recombination of existing creative artifacts. As the video above shows, remixing programming projects in the current web-based version of Scratch is as easy is as clicking on the “see inside” button in a project web-page, and then clicking on the “remix” button in the web-based code editor. Today, close to 30% of projects on Scratch are remixes.
Remixing plays such a central role in Scratch because its designers believed that remixing can play an important role in learning. After all, Scratch was designed first and foremost as a learning community with its roots in the Constructionist framework developed at MIT by Seymour Papert and his colleagues. The design of the Scratch online community was inspired by Papert’s vision of a learning community similar to Brazilian Samba schools (Henry Jenkins writes about his experience of Samba schools in the context of Papert’s vision here), and a comment Marvin Minsky made in 1984:
Adults worry a lot these days. Especially, they worry about how to make other people learn more about computers. They want to make us all “computer-literate.” Literacy means both reading and writing, but most books and courses about computers only tell you about writing programs. Worse, they only tell about commands and instructions and programming-language grammar rules. They hardly ever give examples. But real languages are more than words and grammar rules. There’s also literature – what people use the language for. No one ever learns a language from being told its grammar rules. We always start with stories about things that interest us.
In a new paper — titled “Remixing as a pathway to Computational Thinking” — that was recently published at the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) conference, we used a series of quantitative measures of online behavior to try to uncover evidence that might support the theory that remixing in Scratch is positively associated with learning.
Of course, because Scratch is an informal environment with no set path for users, no lesson plan, and no quizzes, measuring learning is an open problem. In our study, we built on two different approaches to measure learning in Scratch. The first approach considers the number of distinct types of programming blocks available in Scratch that a user has used over her lifetime in Scratch (there are 120 in total) — something that can be thought of as a block repertoire or vocabulary. This measure has been used to model informal learning in Scratch in an earlier study. Using this approach, we hypothesized that users who remix more will have a faster rate of growth for their code vocabulary.
Controlling for a number of factors (e.g. age of user, the general level of activity) we found evidence of a small, but positive relationship between the number of remixes a user has shared and her block vocabulary as measured by the unique blocks she used in her non-remix projects. Intriguingly, we also found a strong association between the number of downloads by a user and her vocabulary growth. One interpretation is that this learning might also be associated with less active forms of appropriation, like the process of reading source code described by Minksy.
The second approach we used considered specific concepts in programming, such as loops, or event-handling. To measure this, we utilized a mapping of Scratch blocks to key programming concepts found in this paper by Karen Brennan and Mitchel Resnick. For example, in the image below are all the Scratch blocks mapped to the concept of “loop”.
We looked at six concepts in total (conditionals, data, events, loops, operators, and parallelism). In each case, we hypothesized that if someone has had never used a given concept before, they would be more likely to use that concept after encountering it while remixing an existing project.
Using this second approach, we found that users who had never used a concept were more likely to do so if they had been exposed to the concept through remixing. Although some concepts were more widely used than others, we found a positive relationship between concept use and exposure through remixing for each of the six concepts. We found that this relationship was true even if we ignored obvious examples of cutting and pasting of blocks of code. In all of these models, we found what we believe is evidence of learning through remixing.
Of course, there are many limitations in this work. What we found are all positive correlations — we do not know if these relationships are causal. Moreover, our measures do not really tell us whether someone has “understood” the usage of a given block or programming concept.However, even with these limitations, we are excited by the results of our work, and we plan to build on what we have. Our next steps include developing and utilizing better measures of learning, as well as looking at other methods of appropriation like viewing the source code of a project.
This blog post and the paper it describes are collaborative work with Sayamindu Dasgupta, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, and William Hale. The paper is released as open access so anyone can read the entire paper here. This blog post was also posted on Sayamindu Dasgupta’s blog and on Medium by the MIT Media Lab.
I’m on a train south from Kyiv. It’s early, I’m drowsily scanning the fugitive patterns in the worked and ordered land. The scrubby forest, the sandy tracks that snake through the trees, occasional stands of fir. Villages with wooden homes, dachas, and ubiquitous concrete-clad apartment buildings. The megaliths of Ukraine’s industrial heartland, the factories that stretch for kilometers along the Dnieper River. I’ve been on the move, and approaching by steps Europe’s newest border, between Ukraine and its separated eastern territories, the Donbass.
Yesterday in Kyiv I decided to compare the Soviet treatment of Europe’s wars to that of the French, and spent a few hours in the memorial formerly known as “The National Museum of the Great Patriotic War,” renamed since the separatist conflict as the “Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II.” The museum occupies the plinth of the famous statue of “Motherland,” which at over 60 meters dominates Kyiv’s skyline.
The whole complex is a manifestation of the cliche we call the weight of history. Soviet-era exhibits didactic and unsubtle – ranks of machine guns, flame-filled panoramas, dioramas displaying the personal effects and official documents of martyrs and heroes, maps in extruded metal showing advances of armies westward, a noose lit by a spotlight to dramatize death in Nazi camps, a hall of thousands of portraits of the dead.
In the museum’s foyer a new exhibit memorializes the heroes of the Donbass war: dioramas of the artifacts of fallen men that roughly mimic the Soviet encasements: keys, watches, religious icons, guitars, handwritten letters, photos of children.
In truth, I thought I’d perceive these exhibits as musty, laden kitsch. But our talk of systems and industries has led me to consider our systems of memorialization. Individuals, then lists of names, then iterations of image, then data and patterns, the cumulation of which leaves me in a sort of conceptual turmoil. Perhaps, underlying all this, stands an accusation.