Berkman Buzz: May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011

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

* Wendy Seltzer applauds Mozilla for standing up to a DHS takedown request
* Media Cloud relaunches; Ethan Zuckerman covers the highlights of the updated tool
* bin Laden's death prompts Dan Gillmor to reflect on the past decade of media
* Jonathan Zittrain muses over the future of the PC
* David Weinberger has a big question
* Weekly Global Voices: "Special Coverage: The Death of Osama Bin Laden"

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The full buzz.

"Not satisfied with seizing domain names, the Department of Homeland Security asked Mozilla to take down the MafiaaFire add-on for Firefox. Mozilla, through its legal counsel Harvey Anderson, refused. Mozilla deserves thanks and credit for a principled stand for its users’ rights."
From Wendy Seltzer's blog post, "In DHS Takedown Frenzy, Mozilla Refuses to Delete MafiaaFire Add-On"

"What our tools let you do with Media Cloud are really just the tip of the iceberg. The code behind our system is published under an open source license, so other researchers can build systems to monitor media in other countries and other languages. (We’ve got a system monitoring Russian media and blogs that you’ll hear more about soon.) We are publishing huge sets of data that include information on word frequencies in different stories for researchers who want to analyze American media without collecting their own data. And we’re hoping to collaborate with researchers around the world who’d like to use our tools and data to ask and answer pressing questions about what’s covered and how."
From Ethan Zuckerman's post for Media Cloud, "Media Cloud, relaunched"

"Like every other American for whom Sept. 11, 2001 is seared into memory, I had a sense of relief and satisfaction that this epic murderer hadn’t died of old age in some sanctuary. I also reflected, as I watched a streaming broadcast of BBC News on my computer, on the continuing evolution in news over the past decade — accelerating changes in the ways we experience and participate in the flow of news and information in a digital age."
From Dan Gillmor's blog post, "Media Shifts in a Turbulent Decade"

"Rumor — and that’s all it is — is that Google will announce a $10/month Chrome OS laptop rental. That such a rumor could be credible, whether or not it actually bears out, is a testament to how much our IT ecosystem has evolved in just the past few years."
From Jonathan Zittrain's blog post, "Why buy a PC when you can rent an un-PC?"

"Social forms and major institutions, many set in the Earth on stone foundations, fell down at the flick of a hyperlink. How could that have happened?"
From David Weinberger's blog post, "A big question"

"The death of Osama Bin Laden was first reported on May 2, 2011. He was killed by United States Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He was the founder of the al-Qaeda network, which is believed to have been responsible for the September 11 terrorist attack. Bin Laden topped the USA's most wanted list for over a decade."
From Global Voices Online, "Special Coverage: The Death of Osama Bin Laden"

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Compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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

May 7, 2011