Monday, November 05, 2012

I finally connected with my brother back in New Jersey. He is estimating that electricity should be back on by the end of the week – maybe...
His house in Cape May was undamaged and all city services there are working, and the house on the Delaware River (clear across the state) is undamaged but was inaccessible for a few days due to downed trees.
A cousin is still trying to reach his house at the shore. He was turned back because of two houses (not just random debris) on the highway.
On the “silver lining” side, another homeowner asked my cousin to check his house. After reporting that the house looked largely undamaged except for the deck in front which seemed to have become detached, a tool shed that was tilted at a bit of an angle and a jet ski on it's side, he commented that it looked like the homeowner was lucky. “Real lucky,” was the reply. “Before the hurricane, I didn't have any of that stuff!”

It's good to know nerds in high places... “Where does it say we have to be fair?”
Google has customized results for Obama, but not Romney
Google isn't treating searches related to Presidential candidates fairly, a new report charges.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that it commissioned a study on the way in which search results related to President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are displayed on Google. The study found that when users search for "Obama" or "Romney," Google displays standard results. Future searches, however, are treated differently.
For example, the Journal tried search for topics ranging from Iran to Medicare. Those folks that had already searched for "Obama" found that their results were customized to relate in some way to the president. Searches on those topics yielded no such customizations for Romney seekers.

Is this a mere upgrade from DRM (Digital Rights Management) or are we looking at the birth of URM (Ubiquitous Rights Management)?
"Just when you think the cable TV viewing experience couldn't get any worse, GeekWire reports on the Microsoft Xbox Incubation team's patent-pending Consumer Detector, which uses cameras and sensors like those in the Xbox 360 Kinect controller to monitor, count and in some cases identify the people in a room watching television, movies and other content. Should the number of viewers detected exceed the limits of a particular content license, the system would halt playback unless additional viewing rights were purchased."
[“No tickee, no TV!” Bob]

“It's less work for us.”
Twitter has prompted user confusion by implementing a new copyright policy that censors contentious tweets rather than deleting them altogether, a shift that the microblogging service argues is more transparent. According to Twitter’s legal policy chief, Jeremy Kessel, the change offers “more transparency by processing copyright reports by withholding Tweets, not removing,” though some users have still criticized the approach for potentially censoring first and investigating second.
According to Twitter’s official DMCA policy, the company reserves the right to restrict access to a contentious tweet before a final decision on whether copyright infringement has actually taken place...
… A Twitter spokesperson claims that the blocking system is preferable to the old approach, which saw the company manually recreating tweets that had been deleted but then deemed not to infringe...

So far, only Federal legislation, but that's better than nothing. Perhaps they could add a section for seminars like those of the Privacy Foundation, where we debate the pros and cons of issues impacting Privacy.
TechCrunch’s tech policy platform, CrunchGov
Welcome to TechCrunch’s tech policy platform, CrunchGov, a portal for sourcing the most thoughtful people and ideas to facilitate more informed policymaking. Currently, it consists of three areas: a congressional report card, a database of technology legislation, and a crowdsourced legislative utility for contributing ideas to pending bills.
In the wake of mass online protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), officials were eager to learn more about the concerns of those who work in technology and find ways to craft more informed policy. CrunchGov is our attempt at helping policymakers become better listeners, and technologists to be more effective citizens.
To learn more about our CrunchGov, read our launch blog post, or our methodology FAQ page.

de l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace” George C, Scott in Patton quoting Napoleon(?)
"So it turns out that is only part of Kim Dotcom's resolution for 2013. Even though he's still facing extradition to the U.S. for alleged piracy, Dotcom has plans to resurrect Pacific Fibre's failed project to construct a fiber optic cable across the Pacific to the U.S. The new line will bring free high-speed broadband to New Zealanders and double the nation's Internet bandwidth, setting Dotcom back about $400m."
Some of that funding is based on optimism: "Dotcom plans on getting the majority of his funds by suing Hollywood studios and the US government for their 'unlawful and political destruction of [Megaupload].'"

Click on a word and hear it pronounced. Might be useful for lawyers who deliberately confuse chauffeur with shofar – you know who you are.
November 03, 2012
Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States
Pronouncing Dictionary of the Supreme Court of the United States: "Although the United States is famously a nation of immigrants, Americans often struggle with the pronunciation of foreign words and names. Mispronunciation of even common foreign words is ubiquitous (Eye-rack and Eye-ran spring to mind). Foreign names in legal matters present a particular challenge for legal professionals. The purpose of the Pronouncing Dictionary of United States Supreme Court cases, compiled by YLS students Usha Chilukuri, Megan Corrarino, Brigid Davis, Kate Hadley, Daniel Jang, Sally Pei, and Yale University Linguistics Department students Diallo Spears and Jason Zentz, working with Florence Rogatz Visiting Lecturer in Law Eugene Fidell, is to help conscientious lawyers, judges, teachers, students, and journalists correctly pronounce often-perplexing case names. Drawing on textbooks, recordings, accounts by litigants or counsel, pronunciation guides, journalism, and surveys, we identified those Supreme Court cases that are most susceptible of mispronunciation and determined the proper pronunciation. To be sure, several factors—including the passage of time, idiosyncratic pronunciation, and Anglicization—make this an inexact process. Where possible, we have ascertained and followed the litigant’s preferred pronunciation. Failing this information, we employed two methods. Where possible, we discerned the etymology of the name, consulted a native speaker of the pertinent language, and Anglicized the pronunciation during the process of transcribing the name. Otherwise, we surveyed five individuals with the surname in question and, where at least four used the same pronunciation, that pronunciation was controlling. The Dictionary is, inevitably, incomplete, but we hope it will be a useful tool for those seeking accuracy and authenticity. Special thanks go to Jason Eiseman of the Lillian Goldman Law Library for technical assistance and advice."

Was it the business model or the managers?
"In a surprising blow to the movement to create free textbooks online, an upstart company called Flat World Knowledge is dumping its freemium model. The upstart publisher had made its textbooks free online and charged for print versions or related study guides, but company officials now say that isn't bringing in enough money to work long-term."

(Related) Perhaps they should have considered...
Should Your Startup Go Freemium?
Over the last several months, there has been an intense debate about the viability of freemium business models. For some, freemium is a costly trap, a business model that sacrifices revenues and forces a startup to support freeloaders who will never become paying customers. For others, freemium is the future of business, the logical conclusion of a world in which the cost of bandwidth, storage, and information processing approaches zero. Both sides agree that the model is extremely powerful. As Rob Walling of HitTail notes in a recent Wall Street Journal article, freemium is like a Samurai sword: “unless you’re a master at using it, you can cut your arm off.”
… we’ve put together the following six lessons for freemium software businesses. Use them wisely!

More from the guy whose motto is “Too much is not enough!”
November 04, 2012
New on LLRX - Employment Resources on the Internet
Via, Employment Resources on the Internet - Web research guru Marcus P. Zillman's guide is a comprehensive listing of employment resources available on the Internet. Zillman identifies links, search engines and resume writing sources from across many professional sectors which will help you discover, review, leverage and incorporate actionable information into a successful job search strategy.

Dilbert suggest a use for 3D Printers that I had never considered!

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