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Berkman Buzz: Week of August 2, 2010

August 6, 2010

BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
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What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.

* Stuart Shieber defends publication-fee OA journals.
* Peter Suber intertwines search and open access.
* Ethan Zuckerman blogs Kate Crawford's "art of noise" talk.
* Radio Berkman 161: "A Brief History of Noise"
* David Weinberger, calling all flatfooted programmers!
* ProjectVRM previews the upcoming VRM+CRM Workshop.
* Doc Searls is not an eyeball.
* OpenNet Initiative on UAE vs. BlackBerry.
* Jonathan Zittrain puzzles through Blackberry encryption, via Yossarian's tent-mate.
* CMLP on warrantless FBI information gathering and ISPs.
* Harry Lewis isn't surprised about fully body scanners.
* Weekly Global Voices: "Cambodia: Mixed views on Duch Verdict"

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The full buzz.

"D expects publication fees to hyperinflate, with scholars unhappily having to acquiesce to a kind of extortion. This worry of runaway publication fees leads D to the conclusion that publication fees are an unsustainable business model for open access journals. The problem with the argument becomes transparent when one sees that it applies equally well to subscription journals. Nothing prevents subscription journals from charging publication fees, and many do."
From Stuart Shieber's blog post Will open-access publication fees grow out of control?

"In 1979, William Garvey made a remarkable claim: " ... in some disciplines, it is easier to repeat an experiment than it is to determine that the experiment has already been done." (See W.D. Garvey, Communication: The essence of science, Pergamon Press, Oxford 1979, p. 8.) Garvey was talking about research in the era of print, and we'd like to think that digital technologies have changed the picture. But Garvey's thesis is not false today. It's just true less often than it was in 1979. Of course digitizing research makes it easier to find. But when finding it is still hard (because search tools are weak or access barriers block crawlers) or when retrieval is hard (because the work is toll-access or TA) or when the original experiment is particularly easy to repeat, then repeating the experiment can still be the path of least resistance."
From Peter Suber's piece for SPARC Open Access News, Discovery, rediscovery, and open access. Part 1.

"Because we’re negotiating this in realtime, there are fears about “network noise” that seem to invoke a “myth of the fall”, positing a period when media didn’t impinge on our time. She cites Jaron Lanier as making this argument in “You Are Not a Gadget” and Giorgio Agamben, who made the case that the mobile phone as reshaping Italian gesture and speech, and homogenizing Italian society. But this isn’t a new problem – she notes that the philosopher Walter Benjamin was complaining about telephones as “uncanny and violent” in 1932."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post Kate Crawford: mobile media and the art of noise

This week on Radio Berkman: Kate Crawford, Associate Professor in Media Research at the University of New South Wales, discusses noise, information, and mobile technologies with David Weinberger...
Radio Berkman 161: A Brief History of Noise
More episodes of Radio Berkman

"There’s another dimension of the pleasure I get from “programming.” The Web is an incredible environment for the pure fun of learning. When it comes to software, you can almost always find an explanation that is just slightly over your head, so you’re stretched. You can do it in private, googling as many dumb questions as you want. (Note: Some questions are dumb. Believe me. I google them all the time.) Software development is such a deep, deep field that you’re never going to run out of things to learn. And, you get to actively observe a culture that is extraordinarily rich in norms, mores, and personalities."
From David Weinberger's blog post The flatfooted learning society

"The purpose is to get VRM and CRM developers and other interested parties (such as CRM customers) together to start building out the common ground between them. That common ground is potentially very huge. CRM is already a $15 billion business. What happens when customers start managing relationships too? Let’s start answering that. A number of VRM tools are now ready for vetting with CRM folks, and CRM interest in connecting to VRM is growing as well. Destination CRM will take place next week in New York. VRM+CRM 2010 will be a perfect place for VRM-CRM discussions started at Destination CRM to continue."
From Doc Searls post for ProjectVRM, The First VRM+CRM Workshop

"Here is the difference between an advertiser and an ordinary company just trying to sell stuff to customers: nothing. If a better way to sell stuff comes along — especially if customers like it better than this crap the Journal is reporting on — advertising is in trouble. Here is the difference between an active customer who wants to buy stuff and a consumer targeted by secretive tracking bullshit: everything. Two things are going to happen here. One is that we’ll stop putting up with it. The other is that we’ll find better ways for demand and supply to meet — ways that don’t involve tracking or the guesswork called advertising."
From Doc Searls' blog post The Data Bubble

(Dan Gillmor also blogged on online surveillance this week, in Salon.)

"On July 29th, Reporters Sans Frontiers reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrested one BlackBerry user, detained another, and are pursuing five activists. The activists were planning a protest via BlackBerry Messenger against the increasing price of gasoline, and, unable to get a special permit from security forces for the protest, the protestors called off their peaceful demo so as not to break the law. Despite this, authorities pursued them; they tracked down and interrogated the organizer through his BlackBerry PIN ("Saud"), and detained 18-year old BBM user Badr Ali Saiwad Al Dhohori on the 15th of July."
From Sarah Hamdi's blog post for ONI, United Arab Emirates Arrests Activists, Bans BlackBerry Services

"And it’s hard to infer what’s on the table since the Blackberry is a Swiss army knife-style digital appliance — it makes phone calls, supports instant messaging, texts, and email — in communication both with other Internet users (including those without Blackberrys) and within a corporate environment. When trying to figure out what RIM could share if it wanted (or were pressured) to, it helps to consider each service and environment separately. So how does RIM’s public statement fit in?"
From Jonathan Zittrain's blog post Blackberry-22

"Of course, the administration wants more. It wants the addresses of the user’s email recipients, the time stamps for any email transmissions, and (possibly) the user's browser history. It is open for debate if ISPs have already been offering up this information, in violation of the ECPA. Now, the administration wants to make sure there is no confusion by amending the ECPA: the ISPs are to surrender “electronic communication transactional records.”"
From Andrew Moshirnia's blog post for CMLP, The Giving ISP: White House Wants to Ensure Quick and Easy Warrantless FBI Snooping

"How many times were we told that the full body scanners at airports would be incapable of storing and transmitting images? Turns out they actually do have that capability. In one courthouse they have been used to store tens of thousands of images, apparently to reduce staffing demands... If something bad happens later, they can go back and check the images. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed suit about this."
From Harry Lewis' blog post In the category of anything that can happen, will happen

"More than 30 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia, the first guilty verdict was handed out last 26 July 2010 by the Trial Chamber of The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)-popularly known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. It was the conviction of Kaing Guek Eav aka Duch, one of four people including Nuon Chea aka Brother Number Two, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith (aka Khmer Rouge First Lady) and Khieu Samphan who have been brought to court for genocide, crime against humanity and other war crimes."
From Sopheap Chak's blog post for Global Voices, Cambodia: Mixed views on Duch Verdict

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The weekly Berkman Buzz is selected from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects: http://cyber.harvard.edu/planet/current/

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to syoung@cyber.harvard.edu

Last updated

August 6, 2010