Wednesday, March 31, 2010

State Services Integrity Talking Points 29 March - 2 April 2010

"A concern reflected in many speeches is the “wash up” process adopted in Britain to ensure the passing of legislation before Parliament is dissolved before a general election. The feeling was that the Parliamentary timetable trivialised matters of constitutional importance."

The Digital Economy Bill being an egregious example of this.

in reference to:

"The Second Reading in the House of Lords of the Constitutional Reform Bill"
- In Development » Integrity Talking Points 29 March - 2 April 2010 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Prostate Cancer Results While You Wait

"a volunteer presents his fingertip for a quick finger stick. A phlebotomist wicks up the small drop of blood with a specially made square of plastic, then snaps the plastic into a credit-card sized microfluidics cartridge and feeds it into a special reader. Fifteen minutes later, the device spits out the volunteer's prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, a protein used to monitor the return of prostate cancer after treatment."

in reference to:

"A new microfluidics device gives results in 15 minutes."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

The Internet Activity Survey (IAS) in Australia.


At the end of December 2009, there were 9.1 million active internet subscribers in Australia.
The phasing out of dial-up internet connections continued with nearly 90% of internet connections now being non dial-up. Australians also continued to access higher download speeds, with 62% of access connections having a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater.

Digital subscriber line (DSL) continued to be the major technology for connections, accounting for 51% of non dial-up connections. However, this percentage share has decreased since June 2009 when DSL represented 57% of non dial-up connections.

Mobile wireless via a datacard, dongle or USB modem was the fastest growing technology in internet connections, increasing to 2.8 million in December 2009. This represents a 40% increase from June 2009."

in reference to:

"8153.0 - Internet Activity, Australia, Dec 2009 Quality Declaration  Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/03/2010"
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path

“The quality of licensed imagery is virtually indistinguishable now from the quality of images they might commission,” Mr. Klein said. Yet “the price point that the client, or customer, is charged is a fraction of the price point which they would pay for a professional image.”

in reference to:

"the advertising downturn, the popularity and accessibility of digital photography, and changes in the stock-photo market."
- For Photographers, the Image of a Shrinking Path - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Digital Economy Bill: A taxation on salt

"People have tried to make abundant things scarce since time immemorial; all they need is to be able to control the factors of production and the supply chain. That’s all. So people have tried to hoard things, to corner markets, to create cartels, to act in concert. Thankfully, society hasn’t always allowed them to do so. Many of these things are seen as abuse of market power and are considered illegal in many places and at many times. Nevertheless, it hasn’t stopped people trying.

And sometimes they succeed. Because they’ve been able to control how something is made, how it is priced, how it is distributed. They’ve been able to control supply."

Like of bandwidth, distribution of information, etc. etc.

in reference to:

"And sometimes they succeed. Because they’ve been able to control how something is made, how it is priced, how it is distributed. They’ve been able to control supply."
- The Digital Economy Bill: A taxation on salt – confused of calcutta (view on Google Sidewiki)

The Australian #ACTA Factsheet vs the leaked text

"Interestingly, the leak of a consolidated text from January the day before this Factsheet allows us to test these claims against actual text apparently being contemplated by the parties. And the result is not pretty. If this is a genuine text, actually contemplated as the basis for a treaty, then the first two claims are false, and the third is true only in the most technical sense (ACTA perhaps does not focus on private, non-commercial acts – but it is so broadly drafted that it catches them nevertheless)."

Perhaps the MED's brochure deserves the once over.

in reference to:

"On 24 March, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a factsheet purporting to provide “additional background on the ACTA negotiations” and to address “some of the common concerns raised by stakeholders in a number of countries”. This factsheet reiterated three claims repeatedly made by the parties negotiating the ACTA:"
- The Australian ACTA Factsheet vs the Leaked Text | PublicACTA The Australian ACTA Factsheet vs the Leaked Text | (view on Google Sidewiki)

Patents On Breast Cancer Genes Ruled Invalid In ACLU/PubPat Case

"Patents on genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer are invalid, ruled a New York federal court today. The precedent-setting ruling marks the first time a court has found patents on genes unlawful and calls into question the validity of patents now held on approximately 2,000 human genes. The ruling follows a lawsuit brought by a group of patients and scientists represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a not-for-profit organization affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law."

About time, pity though that the court "granted the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) request that it be released as a defendant in the lawsuit. The court found that it was unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claims against the USPTO because it had already ruled in favor of the plaintiffs."

in reference to:

"Myriad's monopoly on the BRCA genes makes it impossible for women to access alternate tests or get a comprehensive second opinion about their results and allows Myriad to charge a high rate for their tests."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Gattung admits Telcos not being straight

"Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It's used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that's fine," said Gattung in a speech recorded on March 20.

"You could argue that that's how all of us keep calling prices up and get those revenues, high-margin businesses, keep them going for a lot longer than would have been the case.

"But at some level, whether they consciously articulate or not, customers know that's what the game has been. They know we're not being straight up."

Is this in the book?

in reference to:

""We must re-engage with the hearts and minds of ordinary New Zealanders ... If there's anything I really have not done as well as I really wanted to in the last five years, it would be that.""
- Gattung admits Telcos not being straight - Technology - NZ Herald News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Submission on Enforcement in the Digital Environment

"I am a full-time professional artist and published author, and so I have considerable interest in NZ and international copyright law. I have had numerous books, stories and comics published in NZ, Australia, Europe and North America, and have worked with both small and large publishers, as well as self-publishing. I have been on Creative NZ selections panels, have advised creative writing and art students for universities and art schools here and abroad, and lecture frequently on comics, writing, art, and the future of the arts economy in the digital age. I have been the University of Auckland-Creative NZ Literary Fellow, have attended international literary festivals as a featured New Zealand author, and have received awards and honours in several countries"

in reference to:

"And note this in your diary, too: the PublicACTA conference, being held in Wellington on 10 April, just days before the (secret) ACTA talks open in Wellington."
- Make a submission on copyright in the digital environment. « Hicksville Comics (view on Google Sidewiki)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

30 days of ideas – 26: New Music Trust

"I am deeply suspicious of the presupposition that the mainstream recording industry would be the best custodian of a pool of money earmarked to invest in the careers of new artists, develop their talent, help them record, release, promote, tour and create value for large numbers of people.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if the major record labels have proven anything to us over the past two decades, it’s that they are the last people we should trust with this sort of thing. It’s hard to imagine a bunch of people who are less frugal, less strategically competent, less artist-friendly and less interested in the development of music than they have demonstrated themselves to be on repeated occasions."

in reference to:

"As far as coming up with sustainable models for young musicians to earn an income by composing, producing, distributing, promoting and performing – the major record labels have been about as good at investing in new artists as mining companies have been at investing in rainforests."
- 30 days of ideas – 26: New Music Trust by Andrew Dubber (view on Google Sidewiki)

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Offensive

"The first, and most interesting to me, was Karen Price’s statement, “quite frankly, I expected more from your publication.” My first question is, why? There is very little in Salient’s history to suggest that that particular comic wouldn’t be published – in fact, quite the contrary. Student media as a whole pushes boundaries and buttons all the time – often provoking people just for provocation’s sake. Why would someone expect “better” (or, for argument’s sake, “different”), from this publication then? Is it because there’s a female at the helm this year? I’d like to hope not; even if you accept that one’s personal politics and taste are determined by one’s gender (which is really dubious), one’s personal politics and taste still shouldn’t determine the content of the magazine. Unless you’re Rupert Murdoch. Or Donald Trump."

in reference to:

"Taking umbrage, raised ire, in a fit of pique, going into a rage, seething, wrathful, getting angry, getting (if you work at Salient) sandy – it’s interesting what offends people, and what doesn’t."
- Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Offensive | Salient (view on Google Sidewiki)

Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction

"A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. When rats consume these foods in great enough quantities, it leads to compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction, the study found."

in reference to: Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tweet-ups big in Wellington

"These new networks make for the most interesting nights out. The tables will be littered with smartphones and many of the people there will be talking to more than one group of friends and often in more than one city. Rather than creating a quiet space where everyone is hunched over their tiny keypads, the experience opens up and becomes multi-layered. Online discussions turn face-to-face, late friends show up and have already dispensed with the small talk of the day's events, friends have private conversations using electrons instead of whispers.

Even the drinks can be pre-ordered."

in reference to: Tweet-ups big in Wellington | (view on Google Sidewiki)

$1b from milking the cloud

"Federated Farmers may become the steward of a vast amount of data gathered from farms by cloud-based software applications, ensuring it can be combined to drive productivity improvements that one industry expert believes could be worth $1.1 billion annually to the dairy sector alone.

President Don Nicolson says several companies, including Telecom's Gen-i and privately owned firms Tru-Test and FarmWorks, are looking to establish portals for the farming sector.

These could aggregate data from farm management software systems and public databases such as the soon-to-be-established FarmsOnline database and details of herds recorded when the electronic tagging of cattle and deer becomes compulsory next year."

Farming the cloud.

in reference to:

"$1b from milking the cloud"
- $1b from milking the cloud | (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thinking about monkeys and engineers and copyright

"Song. Book. Video. A bit of Lego thrown in. More people involved than you can shake a stick at.

I think the Copyright Police should try and work stuff like this out every day. Because they’re going to have to."

Reminds me of my favourite, Barack Obama reading "Where The Wild Things Are" to a group of children, videoed and hosted on YouTube. Who's infringing, me watching, YouTube serving, the videographer and/or the PoTUS?

in reference to:

"Thinking about monkeys and engineers and copyright"
- Thinking about monkeys and engineers and copyright – confused of calcutta (view on Google Sidewiki)

Legal-Marijuana Advocates Focus on a New Green

“We need the tax money,” said Richard Lee, founder of Oaksterdam University, a trade school for marijuana growers, in Oakland, who backed the ballot measure’s successful petition drive. “Second, we need the tax savings on police and law enforcement, and have that law enforcement directed towards real crime.”

in reference to: Legal-Marijuana Advocates Focus on a New Green - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Harvard profs trash ACTA, demand oversight, threaten lawsuit

"Harvard Law School professors Lawrence Lessig and Jack Goldsmith took to the op-ed page of the Washington Post today to slam the Obama administration's approach to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)—and to threaten a lawsuit if ACTA is signed without Congressional oversight.

The US has positioned ACTA as an executive agreement rather than a treaty. Such a move means that ACTA doesn't need Senate approval, but it also means that the agreement should not alter US law, either. If you want to change the law, you go to Congress."

in reference to:

""The administration has suggested that a sole executive agreement in this instance would not trample Congress's prerogatives because the pact would not affect US domestic law," write the professors. "Binding the United States to international obligations of this sort without congressional approval would raise serious constitutional questions even if domestic law were not affected.""
- Harvard profs trash ACTA, demand oversight, threaten lawsuit (view on Google Sidewiki)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Telecommunications Society conference

"Call for papers

Papers addressing these themes are welcomed from members of the academic, industry and policy communities. Papers from KAREN users are especially welcome. Papers applying insights from other infrastructure industries (e.g. electricity, transport) to telecommunications are also welcome. Presenters of all accepted papers will be required to register for the conference (registration fee approximately US $500)."

Darn, can't afford to even offer.

in reference to:

"Presenters of all accepted papers will be required to register for the conference (registration fee approximately US $500)."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Contribute with Sidewiki: Sidewiki bookmarkletShare Print

"With the Sidewiki bookmarklet, you can utilize Google Sidewiki on any browser, even if you don't have the Google Toolbar installed. The Sidewiki bookmarklet is a small piece of code stored as a bookmark. When you click the bookmark, it opens a new window where you can write a new Sidewiki entry or see entries that others have written for the page you're viewing. Certain Sidewiki features available in Google Toolbar, like the notification bar, are not available with the bookmarklet."

in reference to: Sidewiki bookmarklet : Contribute with Sidewiki - Toolbar Help (view on Google Sidewiki)

James Cameron: Innovation trumps digital piracy

"LAS VEGAS- Oscar-winning director James Cameron says the key to combating digital piracy in the movie industry is to use technology to create an experience that is unmatched anywhere other than the theater.
While "Avatar," Cameron's blockbuster 3D-film, has made more money than any other movie in history topping $2.6 billion at the box office worldwide, it is also the most pirated movie. This is despite the fact that the movie was shot in bandwidth hungry high-definition 3D video and is more than three hours long, which should make it harder to distribute via the Net. Cameron joked his next movie would be five hours long.
"In film we have definitely felt threatened by piracy," he said. "We saw the music industry crash and burn in its efforts to stop it. But with G4 (I think he meant 4G wireless) and Moore's Law, you can't fight it."

Though there was considerable DRM on the digital distribution of Avatar, even to the extent of delaying a preview in Germany. It's also ironic to me that copyright is claimed to drive innovation and yet here's Cameron saying it's "piracy" (AKA infringement) that is the key...

in reference to:

"James Cameron: Innovation trumps digital piracy"
- James Cameron: Innovation trumps digital piracy | CTIA 2010 - CNET Reviews (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ending the Internet’s Trench Warfare By Yochai Benkler

In reference to:

"These countries realize that innovation happens in electronics and services — not in laying cable. If every company has to dig its own holes, the price of entry is too high and competition falters; over time, innovation lags, and the goal of broader and better access suffers."
- Op-Ed Contributor - Ending the Internet’s Trench Warfare - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Passion and Reason

"Over my life, I have become deeply skeptical of efforts to force choices between apparent opposites – stability vs. change, freedom vs. discipline, stocks vs. flows, nature vs. nurture, risk vs. safety. Most of what makes life interesting are the tensions created by these contradictions. Seeking to resolve these contradictions by picking one or the other side only creates the appearance of simplicity, while blinding us to the richness that makes life so damn interesting"

PS. New Sidewiki add-on for Chrome is much improved. Continues to vanish on loss of focus, but doesn't lose the content. Thank you.

in reference to:

- Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Passion and Reason (view on Google Sidewiki)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Diversity training has swept corporate America. Just one problem: It doesn’t seem to work.

“My experience is that a lot of these studies make good points, but they tend to fall into one particular trap,” says Howard Ross, a leading diversity consultant. “When we talk about diversity training as a megalith, it’s similar to saying, ‘Are restaurants good places to eat?’ The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ depending on the restaurant.”

Ironic that diversity training should suffer from a generalisation, Or is that a stereotype?

Another panacea debunked.

in reference to:

"Diversity training has swept corporate America. Just one problem: It doesn’t seem to work."
- Who's still biased? - The Boston Globe (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Think before you tear up an unwritten contract

"The economic perspective emphasised that, in most commercial situations, it was impossible to specify all the contingencies that might arise. The formal contract was necessarily incomplete. Enforcement by reference to the explicit terms of the contract was therefore uncertain, expensive and largely irrelevant. The effective mechanism of enforcement was the need of the parties to go on doing business with each other."

in reference to: (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The State of the News Media

"In the meantime, perhaps one concept identifies most clearly what is going on in journalism: Most news organizations — new or old — are becoming niche operations, more specific in focus, brand and appeal and narrower, necessarily, in ambition.

Old media are trying to imagine the new smaller newsroom of the future in the relic of their old ones. New media are imagining the new newsroom from a blank slate."

in reference to: The State of the News Media 2010 (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spy Cameras Won't Make Us Safer

"If universal surveillance were the answer, lots of us would have moved to former East Germany. If surveillance cameras were the answer, camera-happy London, with something like 500,000 of them at a cost of $700 million, would be the safest city on the planet. We didn't and it isn't, because surveillance and surveillance cameras don't make us safer. The money spent on cameras in London, and in cities across America, could be much better spent on actual policing. "

in reference to: Spy Cameras Won't Make Us Safer (view on Google Sidewiki)