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Berkman Buzz, week of September 1

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations.  If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here.

What's going on... take your pick or browse below.

Derek Slater comments on FairUse4WM.
* David Weinberger promotes Thinglink.
* John Palfrey discusses recent report featuring AOL 9.0.
* Rebecca MacKinnon reports on Chinese blogger-journalism collaboration.
* Global Voices celebrates BlogDay 2006.
* Berkman Center announces course to be taught through Second Life.
* Center for Citizen Media points to Wired wiki experiment.

The full Buzz.

"On the one hand, I've said that most users won't care about FairUse4WM because they already could easily get unencrypted copies. On the other hand, Janus DRM has discouraged music fans from subscribing and hurt online music businesses.  In what sense can both these statements be true?  In short, music fans would flock to a true all-you-can-eat mp3 subscription service, but, don't be surprised if FairUse4WM has little impact on user adoption of subscription services. Many users who currently rely on P2P would put down money for a slick Rhapsody-like
service that didn't restrict their uses, just like many online music
users already flit between iTunes and P2P depending on which happens to be more convenient at a given moment.  And, in the long run, an all-you-can-eat mp3 service may be where we're headed. But in the short run, I don't think that's how things will play out...."
Derek Slater, "Previewing Lessons Learned from FairUse4WM"

"Early this morning — so early, that you had to ask people if they were on their way up or down the path to Lethe — I had a chance to catch up with Ulla-Maaria Mutanen, who blogs about design tech, and is the founder of (I've written about Thinglink before.) It's a fascinating idea. Web pages have unique URLS, but how can people who make physical unique stuff refer to their things uniquely? Go to Thinglink (it's open source) and get a 6-character random code, which is expressed as THING:123ABC. Simple idea. Some big consequences could
accrue.For example, Ulla says that in April, the University of Art and Design in Helsinki issued a Thinglink ID for each item in its exhibit of work by graduating masters students...."
David Weinberger, "[foocamp2006] Thinglinks"

"A few days ago, at, we released a report on AOL 9.0, the free software on offer from one of the giants of the Internet industry. The back-story on this matter is that we wrestled hard with the right way to release this report. We followed our research process rigorously, following tips and leads from dozens of users who submitted reports to us via about AOL 9.0, and found that the application
didn’t meet our guidelines on multiple fronts. (And yes, we have tested the apps of other big, mainstream tech companies; we are not just “picking on” AOL.) We tested AOL 9.0 many, many times; we shared the draft with a number of trusted advisors and with AOL itself; and we are confident that the results of our testing are accurate. But we also didn’t want to mislead users into thinking that AOL is malicious, when we plainly think they are not. As I’ve said in every interview I’ve done on this topic, AOL does not belong in the company of the most malicious of spyware and malware providers...."
John Palfrey, "Good Companies sometimes release bad applications"

"Congratulations to China's bloggers and journalists!  While certain influential journalists in the U.S. can't seem to shake their tiresome bloggers vs. journalists arguments Chinese bloggers and journalists are working together to defeat enemies of free speech. Way to go!! A bit of background for those who need it: The Taiwanese-run iPod subcontractor Foxconn sued two Chinese journalists for libel after they reported about abusive conditions at Foxconn's iPod factory in Shenzhen (after the
British Mail on Sunday had already broken the story, which then led to an Apple investigation of the factory, the results of which cleared Foxconn of some of the abuses reported in the original story, though it did find some workers working unacceptably long hours)...."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "Chinese bloggers & journalists force Foxconn climbdown!"

"Today we celebrate the wonders of the growing and very global online conversation. Blog Day founder Nir Ofir suggests we celebrate by recommending five new blogs.  But I really want to take this opportunity to give thanks to our tremendously hard-working Global Voices editors - bloggers living around the world who work every day to aggregate and curate conversations coming from the blogs in their regions...."
Global Voices, "Happy Blog Day!!"

"Prof. Charles Nesson, co-founder of the Berkman Center, and Rebecca Nesson will be offering the first Harvard course to be open to the public as well as the the first Harvard course to be offered as an Extension/Distance education through virtual world Second Life. Check out this video...."
CyberOne, Announcement 

"Wired News has posted a draft of a story on wikis on its site and is inviting readers to help edit it...."
Center for Citizen Media, "Wiki Story by Wired News: Your Turn"