Berkman Buzz: Week of January 3, 2011

January 7, 2011

What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.

* Peter Suber reviews the open access movement in 2010
* Ethan Zuckerman ponders how to rewire Facebook for serendipity
* The OpenNet Initiative covers the recent DDoS attacks on Tunisian government websites
* Harry Lewis discusses the implications of computer vision
* StopBadware is holding an "unconventional T-shirt design contest"
* Weekly Global Voices: "Our Most Read Posts in 2010"

SPECIAL NOTE: The Berkman Center is now accepting applications for its 2011 summer internship program.

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The full buzz.

"The growth of OA over the past year was deep, wide, and steady. While this has been true every year since my first year-end review in 2003, the difficulty of documenting that growth with useful detail has become nearly unmanageable.... But with these caveats, here's a feast of the OA highlights from 2010. As always, apologies to the many projects I had to omit."
From the SPARC Open Access Newsletter by Peter Suber

"Facebook is utterly brilliant in finding people I used to know, from elementary school classmates to ex-girlfriends. I suspect if I used it better, it would do an excellent job of helping me maintain closer ties with these friends, turning weak ties into stronger ones. What I’ve not found a good way to do is to use Facebook to discover people I don’t know and would like to (something that happens to me all the time through retweets on Twitter). Are there ways to rewire Facebook to try to create a specific sort of serendipity – discovery of people, places and things outside of your ordinary orbit, but exciting and interesting nevertheless? What would an algorithm look like, and does Facebook expose enough data to make it possible to build such a tool?"
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Algorithms, Unbirthdays and Rewiring Facebook"

"The repercussions of Tunisia’s strict online censorship reached an apex in the Arab country this week as multiple DDoS attacks continue to target the government. Hackers known collectively as the Anonymous group took down at least eight government websites beginning on January 2, according to the New New Internet. In their online manifesto, the group cites government censorship as their primary reason for launching their series of attacks."
From Qichen Zhang's post for the OpenNet Initiative, "Tunisian Government Websites Attacked Via DDoS"

"There are many, many tasks people do by watching or seeing that computers could do, imperfectly to be sure, but well enough to pay for themselves. I am thinking of things like watching for shoplifters (defined, say, as people who leave a store with more stuff than they entered with and did not go through a checkout process). I think one of the developing issues will be how to deal with false positives, when the computers alert authorities to something suspicious and really nothing untoward has happened."
From Harry Lewis' blog post, "Watching You"

"We’ve been racking our collective badware-busting brain this past week to come up with a great StopBadware T-shirt design. After much arm wrestling, chest beating, and rending of garments (okay, not really), we made an executive decision: we’re opening this up to all of you. After all, we’re working to protect you and yours online, so it’s only fair that you decide how we’re artistically represented."
From Caitlin Condon's blog post for StopBadware, "StopBadware announces an unconventional T-shirt design contest"

"Often the stories that are most popular are the ones that relate to a story that is making major headlines around the world, like the earthquake in Haiti, or the World Cup in South Africa. Other times, it's something the media isn't talking much about."
From Solana Larsen's post for Global Voices Online, "Our Most Read Posts in 2010"

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The weekly Berkman Buzz is selected from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects and sometimes from the Center's wider network

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to

Last updated

January 7, 2011