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Berkman Buzz, week of October 20, 2006

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.

* MediaBerkman releases podcast regarding digital challenges to copyright in education.
* Lawrence Lessig argues for network neutrality legislation.
* Timo Hannay describes evolution of scientific journals
* Tim Armstrong ponders complications of eternal online data.
* Derek Slater speculates YouTube deal may foreshadow P2P possibilities.
* Dan Gillmor forecasts citizen media as the future newsbearers.
* CyberOne takes on 'Law in the Court of Public Opinion'. Lecture 11. Lecture 12.
* Ethan Zuckerman narrates PopTech2006: "Dangerous Ideas."

The Full Buzz.

"Many teachers … are, increasingly, now relying on digital materials to provide either assigned readings or supplementary readings to their students. Technologically, this is very easy to do … but it implicates, much more than did the clumsier system of paper distribution, copyright questions. ..."
Comment by Prof. Fisher excerpted from MediaBerkman podcast, "The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age"

“The US is facing a competitive crisis in broadband deployment. Yet as it continues to fall behind its competitors, the Federal Communications Commission continues to live in denial. The more it has “deregulated” telecommunications, the worse (comparatively) broadband competition and service have become. …”
Lawrence Lessig"Congress Must Keep Broadband Competition Alive"

"Scientific publishing is dominated by journals and databases. They tend not to talk with one another. But the chemical structures discussed in Nature Chemical Biology are entered into PubChem, an NIH database. Likewise, another site renders molecules into 3D and makes them available. But, as journals have moved online, they are becoming databases themselves. The articles are themselves structured entries, including article metadata, scientific metadata (e.g., which chemical entities, proteins, genes, etc. are described in the paper), structured data sets (e.g., System Biology Markup Language) accompanying articles, and more structure within the articles themselves (e.g., identifying genes as they are discussed) , including interactive figures that have the data underneath it. (The interactive figures are not yet online, he says.) Likewise, he says, databases are starting to do peer review, further merging the publishing and database models....."
David Weinberger's blogpost, "Timo Hannay on Web Science"  Watch or listen to Hannay's talk via MediaBerkman. About Timo Hannay

"[I]f you're a job applicant (or even a camp counselor), anything that has ever been written by (or about) you online is at least, potentially, still there. ... Once information is online, it turns out, it may become quite hard ever to get it back offline again. ..."
Tim Armstrong, "Digital is Forever"

"It's a simple concept with potentially profound implications. Artists get paid, while fans can keep on sharing remixed tunes on the site and push the boundaries of user generated media even further. No fans or innovators get sued in the process. That raises an important question: why can't P2P users get a similar deal? ..."
Derek Slater, "Record Label-YouTube Deals: One Step Closer to Blanket Licensing for P2P?"

"Newspapers simply don’t have the resources to cover everything that matters. ... And the local broadcasters? Forget it. ... So who’ll cover the truly local news? Well, there are little weeklies and small dailies. They do some of it, but even they are facing some of the economic pressures that are causing such turmoil in the news business. Which is why the bloggers and other citizen journalists are going to be so important. ..."
Dan Gillmor, "Who'll Cover the News?"

"Pop!Tech 2006, the tenth anniversary of the conference, is titled “Dangerous Ideas”. I suspect you can characterize many of the ideas that come up at a conference like Pop!Tech as “dangerous”, if only because you can spend far too much time in contemplation of the topics that get covered here. You can participate in the danger as well - the conference is being streamed live, and you’re able to post questions online as well. Brian Eno - musician, philosopher, perfumer, futurist and producer - leads the conference by taking on one of the most dangerous ideas - Darwinian evolution - quoting Daniel Dennett’s book title, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”. It’s so dangerous, he suggests, that it has not yet been assimilated into global consciousness. (He apologizes - this isn’t meant as an anti-American comment, which gets some laughs.) The dangerous idea of Darwin’s is that simple things can give rise to the very complex. We tend to believe that humans - very complex things indeed - design things that are slightly simpler, like 747s and cathedrals. But evolution teaches us that it’s not an intelligence that dictates a reality, but a reality that creates intelligence. This worldview leads us to realize that we’re no longer the privleged species in the web of life. As we understand the magnitude of the universe, we realize how small we actually are. As Hildegard van Bingham wrote, we are “a feather on the breath of god”. The magnitude of the universe should introduce some humility. ..."
Ethan Zuckerman, "Brian Eno and Will Wright - from the simple to the complex"

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