Berkman Buzz: May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

The Berkman Buzz is a weekly collection of work, conversations, and news from around the Berkman community.
Congratulations to the team for winning a 2015 Webby Award!

Urs Gasser congratulates Tim Berners-Lee for pioneering achievements


Indeed, as Sir Tim envisioned more than 25 years ago, the universal Web of connections has fulfilled its potential as the foundation of new ways in which we can communicate, work, play, and socialize together, across boundaries. The Web has deeply changed our degree of interconnectedness and provides a platform for communication and relationship building across all sectors, from private to public. This is perhaps the greatest contribution among the many: The story of the Web is ultimately not a story about technology. Rather, Sir Tim programmed the Web to serve as a platform that enables and fosters a deeply social space, opening up new possibilities for human interaction and flourishing. This potential, in my opinion, is Sir Tim's greatest gift to the world.

From his laudation for Tim Berners-Lee upon his acceptance of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize.
About Urs | @ugasser

Fern and Charlie Nesson call for the Supreme Court to overrule Crawford


Crawford's 'testimonial' formulation misconceived the right of confrontation from inception. Its vulnerability is on clear display in Ohio v. Clark, now pending decision by the Court. A conviction and 28-year sentence rests on statements by a three-year old child as reported by his teacher. Whether Ohio can base a case an absent child's reported accusation is the real confrontation question presented. This is not an issue of 'admissibility' and has nothing to do with whether the child's teacher is a 'mandated reporter' or whether the child's hearsay is 'testimonial'.

More in their Harvard Law Record piece, "Confrontation"
About Charlie

Felipe Heusser announces the beta launch of


The occasion we picked for the beta launch couldn't have been better to illustrate the power of The 117th Boston Marathon served as the perfect scenario to test an app that is designed for sharing individual voices that exist within a broader social context. In spite of the rain and a chilly morning in Massachusetts, more than one thousand beta testers experienced the excitement of the Boston Marathon through the eyes of people watching runners from different points throughout the race. Rhinobird beta viewers were able to jump from one live stream to the next, in real time, among all live videos published using the hashtag #bostonmarathon in a unique experience of collaborative broadcasting, overcoming problems of live video discoverability that exist in other live video services.

From his post on the Rhinobird blog, "Rhinobird beta is out, and ready to serve as the People driven live video network"
About Felipe | @fheusser | @RhinoBirdtv

Joseph Reagle explains the limits of the social graph for online reviews


In early 2015, the Belfast Telegraph sent reporter Kim Kelly undercover to visit Northern Ireland's "worst" hotel - according to its on online reputation. Kelly reported that although some TripAdvisor reviews had called it a "hell hole" and "dustbin," she was pleasantly surprised with the "clean and compact" rooms.

This story is indicative of how important online reviews have become and the skepticism many have toward them. In a 2014 survey of Americans by the market research firm YouGov, 90% of respondents said that checking online reviews was an important part of shopping. An equal percentage believed that such reviews are sometimes manipulated - for motives not difficult to discern.

From his piece on The Conversation, "The social graph won't save us from what's wrong with online reviews"
About Joseph | @jmreagle

Pro-Russian Videos Get Fake Views With Help From Malware


Some pro-Russian videos appear to have gone viral, and not in a good sense. Motherboard reports that a group of unknown hackers has been infecting Internet users’ computers with viruses and using them to inflate views on news videos with a pro-Russian slant, as well as some other content.

New research by security firm Trustwave shows that victims got infected by visiting a compromised website that installed an exploit kit (an off-the-shelf software package allowing for easy attacks) on their computer, along with a trojan virus. The infected computers would then stealthily rack up views on the videos.

From Global Voices | @globalvoices

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Last updated

May 5, 2015