<-- The Filter --> September 2006

September 15, 2006
[0] From the Center
[1] Features
[2] Networked: Bookmarks, Webcasts, Podcasts, Tags, and Blogposts
[3] Global Voices: Digital Dose of Global Conversations
[4] Community Links
[5] Upcoming Conferences
[6] Staying Connected
[7] Filter Facts

[0] From the Center

As ever, the summer was not quite as relaxed as we expected, but thanks to the efforts of our top flight group of interns (along with faculty, staff, and fellows), we saw great progress on a range of projects including StopBadware, the OpenNet Initiative, and Interoperability.  As unique and irreplaceable as our summer interns were, the time has come to find new students to build upon their fine work. Enter: September.  The month is both exciting and hectic around the Center, with the start of classes, the definitive test of our new offices, and above all the return of students - and all the energy and ideas they bring.  In addition to working with student researchers, Berkman faculty are teaching a host of classes this fall, most notably Charles and Rebecca Nesson's course "CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion," <http://the-court-of-public-opinion.com> which represents the convergence of innovative Berkman teaching and involves the Law School, Extension School, a virtual world, and community access televsion.  It's already garnered tremendous attention from the media and an enthusiastic response from the extended Berkman community - so keep your eyes open. It's fall in New England, and things are happening - we very much hope you can join us!
~ Colin Maclay, Berkman's Managing Director

[1] FEATURES: a bit of what’s going on at Berkman and where to read more

"Spam Works"
"Spam Works: Evidence from Stock Touts and Corresponding Market Activity," published by Berkman Prof. Jonathan Zittrain and Prof. Laura Frieder at Purdue University, examines the relationship between stock touting in spam and stock prices. Published this past month on SSRN, "Spam Works" has been covered by Technology Review and the New York Times.
From the paper -- "We find a significantly positive return on the day of heavy spam touting of a stock, along with the day preceding our detection of such touting. Volume also responds positively and significantly to heavy touting. Returns in the day following touting are significantly negative. Though we have no way of directly knowing if the spammer actually has holdings in the spammed stock apart from the spammer's own admission, when it appears, and the surmise that some pecuniary motive inspires sending the spam, the evidence accords with a hypothesis that spammers tout stocks in order to increase trading activity and price enough to unload their positions at a profit. Selling pressure on the part of the spammer then results in negative returns following heavy touting. Our results are consistent with the model of Hong and Huang (2005) that suggetss that, in highly illiliquid markets (like Pink Sheets), traders with significant liquidity needs have an incentive to make costly investments that would increase liquidity and decrease the impact of their trades...."

To read "Spam Works," visit the Social Science Research Network here: <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract-id=920553>

"Good companies sometimes release bad applications"
~ Prof. John Palfrey

The following is excerpted from a blogpost written by Prof. John Palfrey following the release of StopBadware.org's report on AOL 9.0. Palfrey is a principal investigator of StopBadware.org, the Berkman Center's consumer-oriented project working to find collaborative solutions to the badware problem.
"A few days ago, at StopBadware.org, 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 StopBadware.org 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. No question about it, AOL has been a leader for the past several years in working to fight spyware, whether through its involvement in the Anti-Spyware Coalition that Ari Schwartz of CDT runs or any number of other initiatives overseen by Jules Polonetsky. On his blog, AOL Vice-Chairman Ted Leonsis, the senior executive who has been with the company the longest, wrote, “No company on the Internet has done more to protect users from the dangers of spyware and adware.” That strong statement may or may not be true, but it is certainly the case that AOL has been on the side of the angels in this matter in many ways and on many occasions. It’s important that the nuance is captured, by putting this report in a newly-created category of “open inquiries” on our reports page, rather than issuing a final statement, especially while the company is working to improve the application and says it intends to meet the standards set in the guidelines we’ve published. I admire many people who work at AOL, including one of my oldest friends, from high school. And it’s essential that we make clear that AOL has stepped up to the plate to make changes, many of which they say are already in the works, destined for a new release next month...."

Later in the post Palfrey describes core principles for identifying badware. To continue reading his blogpost, please go here: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/08/30/good-companies-sometimes...

For StopBadware's AOL 9.0 report, go here: <http://www.stopbadware.org/reports/reportdisplay?reportname=aol082706>

Links to Berkman conversations happening online
Internet Politics, Governance, and Regulation:

[REPORT] "Internet Filtering in Vietnam," OpenNet Initiative: <http://www.opennetinitiative.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=a...

[BLOGPOST] David Weinberger transcribes and partakes in MA Network Neutrality Debate: <http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/massnetcomms_net_neutrality_pa...

Citizen Media and the Future of Journalism:

[PODCAST] Center for Citizen Media podcast featuring "YourHub.com": http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/audioberkman/2006/08/17/center-for-citizen-...

[BLOGPOST] Jake Shapiro maps relationship between listnership and funding for public radio stations: <http://www.jakeshapiro.com/2006/09/05/ooh-it-makes-me-wonder/>

[BLOGPOST] Rebecca MacKinnon defends citizen journalism: <http://rconversation.blogs.com/rconversation/2006/08/real_journalism.html>

[BLOGPOST] Bill McGeveran contemplates bloggers and freedom of the press issues: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2006/07/31/lithwick-on-privacy-and-...

Digital Media:

[ARTICLE] Harvard Political Review, "The Trials and Tribulations of the Global Music Industry" featuring Professors William Fisher, John Palfrey, Jonathan Zittrain, and Urs Gasser, along with former Berkman student fellow Derek Slater. <http://hprsite.squarespace.com/revolution-in-sound-062006/>

[BLOGPOST] Prof. Urs Gasser weighs in on Swiss-DRM Protection Bill: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/ugasser/2006/08/25/testifying-on-swiss-drm-...

[BLOGPOST] Prof. John Palfrey examines benefits of software patents: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/08/03/what-should-web-20-entre...

Internet, Education, and Knowledge:

[PODCAST] Produced by AudioBerkman - "Bloggership: How Many Faces of Law Professor Blogs": <http://cyber.harvard.edu/home/bloggership/agenda>

[PODCAST] Produced by AudioBerkman - "The Digital Learning Challenge": <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/audioberkman/2006/08/10/the-digital-learnin...

[BLOGPOST] Bill McGeveran responds to his "Digital Learning Challenge" white paper: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/infolaw/2006/08/14/web-braille-and-cautious...

Security and Anonymity:

[FORUMS] Prof. Jonathan Zittrain responds to questions about generativity: <http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20060731223301384>

[BLOGPOST] Prof. John Palfrey discusses StopBadware.org AOL report: <http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/08/30/good-companies-sometimes...

[3] Global Voices:
Digital Dose of Global Conversations

David Sasaki, Global Voices Latin America Regional Editor, put together the monthly digest below, a collection of links to the most interesting conversations happening in the global blogosphere. Please check out Global Voices at <http://www.globalvoicesonline.org>

While the mainstream media's gaze was focused intently on Lebanon, Ethiopian bloggers kept a nervous eye on yet another volatile border: their own. Andrew Heavens gives the context and gathers the quotes on a renewed conflict with neighboring Somalia.

Some Indian states are banning Coke and Pepsi or, as one blogger refered to the soda, “Pesticola.” Kamla Bhatt explains why. Meanwhile, is it worth blanketing Bangalore in Wi-Fi? Ravi Kumar of Bangalore Metroblogging doesn’t seem to think so.

Mother + Modern = “Mothern”. It began as a Brazilian blog, started a movement, turned into a book, and, as Jose Murilo Junior explains, will soon launch as a television show. Find out why MommmyBlogging is a “radical art”.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent membership to the select club of blogging heads of state has caught the mainstream media’s eye. But what do long-time Iranian bloggers think about their president’s dive into the blogosphere?

Oi wan Lam helped sort the wave of cyber-coverage on Ipod subcontractor Foxconn’s legal action against two journalists from China Business News who helped break the now-infamous iPod sweatshop story.

Facing an surge of violent deaths, Salvadoran artist Mayra Barraza created a new weblog titled “100 Days in the Republic of Death” to document every day and every death in her country. But support for the project is not unanimous among Salvadoran bloggers. Tim Muth explains why.

When Housing Minister Yusuf Asy’ari followed the lead of Minister of Defense Juwono Sudarsono and decided to start his own weblog, he sought out a well-known member of the Indonesian blogging community for advice. The blogger, Harry Sufehmi, used the occasion to better understand the Indonesian government’s newfound enthusiasm for blogging.

*** Global Voices, a non-profit global citizens' media project, was launched from the Berkman Center by Berkman Fellows Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman and is sponsored by the Berkman Center, the MacArthur Foundation, and Reuters. ***

Featuring our friends and affiliates

Center for Social Media, "The Future of Public Media": <http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/resources/public_media/>

Electronic Frontier Foundation, "Action Center": <http://action.eff.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ADV_homepage>

Center for Democracy & Technology, "Evaluating DRM: Building a Marketplace for the Convergent World": <http://www.cdt.org/copyright/20060907drm.pdf>

Cambridge Communication Television (CCTV), "Citizen Journalism: From Pamphlet to Blog": <http://blip.tv/file/60931>

Chilling Effects Weather Reports: <http://www.chillingeffects.org/weather.cgi>


* September 17-22: 10th ECDL (European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries) @ Alicante, Spain:

* September 18-22: Shared Services Summit 20006, USA @ Scottsdale, Arizona:

* September 19-20: Learning on Screen @ Birmingham, United Kingdom:

* September 21: Making e-learning More Fun @ London, United Kingdom:

* September 25-26: 2006 Communications Policy & Research Forum @ Sydney, Australia:

* September 25-27: E-Learning 2006 @ Atlanta, Georgia:

* September 27-28/29: Moving towards open access: A JISC conference for research funders, authors, publishers and librarians @ Oxford, UK & Logan, UT:

* September 27-29: ICL2006 – 9th International Conference on Interactive Computer aided Learning @ Villach, Austria: <http://www.icl-conference.org>

* September 28-29: Podcast and Portable Media Expo @ Ontario, California:

* September 29-30: SSCEL @ Macon, Georgia:

* October 8: Global Learn Day X (online):

* October 8-10: Words to Deeds: Collaboration in the Realm of Digital Preservation (iPRES 2006) @ Ithaca, New York:

* October 9-11: LAWTECH 2006: The Fourth IASTED International Conference on Law and Technology @ Cambridge, Massachusetts:

* October 9-12: Educause 2006 @ Dallas, Texas:

* October 10-12: FuturePlay @ London, Ontario, Canada:

* October 11-14: Idea Festival @ Louisville, Kentucky:

* October 11-14: ACCESS 2006 @ Ottawa, Ontario, Canada:

* October 12-13: Governing the Knowledge Society @ Hamburg, Germany:

* October 13-14: ConvergeSouth @ Greensboro, North Carolina:

* October 13-17: E-Learn 2006 @ Honolulu, Hawaii:

* October 16-17: Internet Librarian International 2006 @ London, United Kingdom:

* October 17-19: Technology Connected Futures @ Sydney, Australia:

* October 18-20: Open Scholarship 2006: New Challenges for Open Access Repositories @ Glasgow, Scotland:

* October 18-20: Europe-China Conference on Intellectual Property in Digital Media @ Shanghai, China:

* October 22-25: HighEdWebDev 2006 @ Rochester, New York:

* October 23-25: Internet Librarian 2006 @ Monterey, California:

* October 25-27: eChallenges 2006 @ Barcelona, Spain:

* October 25-27: Building Communities: Strategies for Collaborative Learning Online @ Orlando, Florida:

* October 30 - November 4: The e-volution of Information Technology in Cultural Heritage: Where Hi-Tech Touches the Past: Risks & Challenges for the 21st Century @ Nicosia, Cyprus:

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The Filter is a publication of the Berkman Center at Harvard Law School.
Editor: Amanda Michel

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Last updated

January 16, 2008