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Berkman Buzz: Week of June 23, 2008

June 27, 2008

BERKMAN BUZZ:  A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations.  If you'd like to receive this by email, just sign up here. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

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*Wendy Seltzer takes a look at the FCC's dip into the Internet filtering pond
*Rebecca MacKinnon examines what's troubles mean for video sharing sites in China
*David Weinberger live blogs Karim Lakhani and Ned Gulley's talk at the Berkman luncheon series
*Digital Natives intern Jacob Kramer-Duffield reads into Google Book Search and the public domain
*Ethan Zuckerman discusses citizen media, from left to right
*Weekly Global Voices: "Morocco: Shutting down Al Jazeera?"
*Weekly Publius essay: "Charlie Leadbeater: The Good Governance Mix"

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The full buzz.

"What could be bad about free wireless Internet access? How about censorship by federally mandated filters that make it no longer “Internet.” That’s the effect of the FCC’s proposed service rules for Advanced Wireless Service spectrum in the 2155-2180 MHz band, as set out in a July 20 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  Acting on a request of M2Z Networks, which wants to provide 'free, family-friendly wireless broadband,' the FCC proposes to require licensees of this spectrum band to offer free two-way wireless broadband Internet service to the public, with least 25% of their network capacity. So far so good, but on the next page, the agency guts the meaning of 'broadband Internet' with a content filtering requirement. Licensees must keep their users from accessing porn..."
Wendy Seltzer, "The FCC Stumbles into Internet Filtering"

"Ever since June 3rd, visitors to, one of China's video sharing 'YouTube clones,' have been unable to access any other part of the site, other than this message below claiming that the site is undergoing 'maintenance' and a 'major upgrade:'...Due to the vast quantity of material, the message says that the process will require 'a certain amount of time.' Users' forgiveness is requested..."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "Behind the Great Firewall, Net Nannies work overtime for companies"

"Karim Lakhani of Harvard Business School and Ned Gulley of MathWorksMathLab are giving a Berkman talk called 'The Dynamics of Collaborative Innovation: Exploring the tension between knowledge novelty and reuse.' Karim begins by looking at research by Meyer on the airplane’s hidden collaborative history: It didn’t spring whole cloth from the brow of the Wright brothers. E.g., Chanute served as a hub for pre-Wright research and innovation. The Wright brothers actively corresponded with him. Once the Wright brothers patented their inventions, innovation moved to Europe (which is why so many of our aviation terms are French … l’fusilage, anyone?)..."
David Weinberger, "Berkman lunch: Karim Lakhani and Ned Gulley on collaborative innovation"

"Google Book Search has inspired passionate feelings and responses from many people since Google announced the project. Some, like Larry Lessig, view its scanning and indexing of copyrighted books as a legitimate activity under Fair Use. Others, like Siva Vaidhyanathan, are more skeptical of Google Book Search (and in Siva’s case, Google generally). Either way, there’s no doubt that Google Book Search is a big deal. A key fact to keep in mind is one that Lessig makes repeatedly..."
The Digital Natives Project, "Google Book Search, Orphan Works and the Public Domain"

"I’m not much of a political blogger, unlike many of the folks at the Personal Democracy Forum conference. (Okay, that’s not true. I just write about African politics, not US issues, which puts me decidedly in the minority in this room.) So I wasn’t familiar with either Jane Hamsher, of Firedog Lake, a left-wing blog, or Patrick Ruffini, a Republican activist, organizer and blogger. They reminded me that I’m spending too much time at journalism conferences these days - it was a surprise for me to hear from speakers who are decidedly partisan, decidedly activist and doing work that’s decidedly journalistic..."
Ethan Zuckerman, "PDF: Citizen Media - left, right, left, right…"

"After a clash between protestors and police in Sidi Ifni lead to injuries and possible deaths, Al Jazeera issued a report at a news conference held by the Moroccan Human Rights Centre that several protestors had been killed. The Moroccan authorities, angered by the report, charged Al Jazeera's Rabat bureau chief with publishing false information on June 13.  Unfortunately, few news sources and few bloggers have spoken up about the issue. Notably, North Africa Notes, an expatriate blogger based in Morocco, had this to say..."
Jillian York for Global Voices, "Morocco: Shutting down Al Jazeera?"

"One of the outstanding features of David Weinberger’s writing about the web is his unwillingness to fall into the trap of making all or nothing, simple dichotomies. More than anyone writing about the web he understands and enjoys its miscellaneous messiness.  So I was slightly surprised when I read his apparently cut and dried argument in favor of tacit norms over explicit rules. (Thanks to James Cherkoff for alerting me to the debate.) David’s argument, if I have it straight, is: Norms organise us without being imposed top down. Rules are usually imposed because norms fail..."
Charlie Leadbeater for the Publius Project, "The Good Governance Mix"

Last updated

June 27, 2008