Sunday, January 27, 2013

In a French Case, a Battle to Unmask Twitter Users; New York Times, 1/24/13

Eric Pfanner and Somini Sengupta, New York Times; In a French Case, a Battle to Unmask Twitter Users: "A French court on Thursday told Twitter to identify people who had posted anti-Semitic and racist entries on the social network. Twitter is not sure it will comply. And the case is yet another dust-up in the struggle over speech on the Internet, and which countries’ laws prevail."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On the Media: How social should the media be?; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/25/13

Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; On the Media: How social should the media be? : "Five years ago, it was unlikely any news organization had formal social media policies. Today, most -- including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- have fluid guidelines that address incidents on a case-by-case basis. "We don't have a formal social media policy, but we do have a social media editor who is our guide on training and advising people in the newsroom on best practices," said Susan Smith, Post-Gazette managing editor. "Basically we tell our staffers to use their best judgment and not to do anything on social media that would violate basic journalistic principles of fairness and non-partisanship or that is simply in bad taste and would reflect negatively on them and the Post-Gazette... Times associate managing editor for standards Philip B. Corbett responded with a staff memo. After reminding reporters, "your online behavior should be appropriate for a Times journalist," he quoted the paper's ethical journalism policy: "Civility applies whether an exchange takes place in person, by telephone, by letter or online.""

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Restaurants Turn Camera Shy; New York Times, 1/22/13

Helene Stapinski, New York Times; Restaurants Turn Camera Shy: "Mr. Chang is one of several chefs who either prohibit food photography (at Ko in New York) or have a policy against flashes (at Seiobo in Sydney, Australia, and Shoto in Toronto). High-end places like Per Se, Le Bernardin and Fat Duck discourage flash photography as well, though on a recent trip to the Thomas Keller restaurant Per Se, flashes were going off left and right, bouncing off the expansive windows overlooking Columbus Circle. “It’s reached epic proportions,” says Steven Hall, the spokesman for Bouley and many other restaurants, who has worked in the business for 16 years. “Everybody wants to get their shot. They don’t care how it affects people around them.” Moe Issa, the owner of Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, said he banned photography several months after opening when it became too much of a distraction to the other diners at his 18-seat restaurant... Jordy Trachtenberg, because of what he described as his obsessive-compulsive disorder and his love of food, has documented every bowl of ramen he’s eaten in the past two years and posted it on his blog, Ramentology. He was flabbergasted to learn there are restaurants that prohibit photography. “It’s shocking,” he said. “Is that even legal?”"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Daily Report: Even if It Outrages the Boss, Social Net Speech Is Protected; New York Times, 1/22/13

New York Times; Daily Report: Even if It Outrages the Boss, Social Net Speech Is Protected: "Employers often seek to discourage comments that paint them in a negative light. Don’t discuss company matters publicly, a typical social media policy will say, and don’t disparage managers, co-workers or the company itself. Violations can be a firing offense. But in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared many such blanket restrictions illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook."

In New Ad, Conservative Group Questions Hagel’s Ethics; New York Times, 1/22/13

Jim Rutenberg, New York Times; In New Ad, Conservative Group Questions Hagel’s Ethics: "The American Future Fund, a conservative group opposed to the nomination of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, is opening up a new front in its effort against him with a national television campaign painting him as ethically challenged."

Mixed Response to Comcast in Expanding Net Access; New York Times, 1/20/13

Amy Chozick, New York Times; Mixed Response to Comcast in Expanding Net Access: "Internet Essentials is not a government program, although that would be difficult to tell from the poster. Instead, it is a two-year-old program run by Comcast, the country’s largest Internet and cable provider, meant to bring affordable broadband to low-income homes. Any family that qualifies for the National School Lunch Program is eligible for Internet service at home for $9.95 a month. The families also receive a voucher from Comcast to buy a computer for as little as $150. The program is not charity: Comcast started Internet Essentials in order to satisfy a regulatory requirement to provide Internet access to the poor, which also happens to be one of the few remaining areas for growth for cable companies across the country. More than 100,000 households in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and other major markets have signed up for Internet Essentials. But as the program gains popularity, the company has come under criticism, accused of overreaching in its interactions with local communities — handing out brochures with the company logo during parent-teacher nights at public schools, for instance, or enlisting teachers and pastors to spread the word to students and congregations."

Pauline Phillips, Flinty Adviser to Millions as Dear Abby, Dies at 94; New York Times, 1/17/13

Margalit Fox, New York Times; Pauline Phillips, Flinty Adviser to Millions as Dear Abby, Dies at 94: "Long before the Internet — and long before the pervasive electronic confessionals of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, et al. — the Dear Abby column was a forum for the public discussion of private problems, read by tens of millions of people in hundreds of newspapers around the world. It is difficult to overstate the column’s influence on American culture at midcentury and afterward: in popular parlance, Dear Abby was for decades an affectionate synonym for a trusted, if slightly campy, confidante."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Swarming a Book Online; New York Times, 1/20/13

David Streitfeld, New York Times; Swarming a Book Online: "“Books used to die by being ignored, but now they can be killed — and perhaps unjustly killed,” said Trevor Pinch, a Cornell sociologist who has studied Amazon reviews. “In theory, a very good book could be killed by a group of people for malicious reasons.” ...Attack reviews are hard to police. It is difficult, if not impossible, to detect the difference between an authentic critical review and an author malevolently trying to bring down a colleague, or organized assaults by fans. Amazon’s extensive rules on reviewing offer little guidance on what is permissible in negative reviews and what is not."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Company Takes A Fair Shot At Facebook, LinkedIn, With Social Networking Patents; Intellectual Property Watch, 1/15/13

William New, Intellectual Property Watch; Company Takes A Fair Shot At Facebook, LinkedIn, With Social Networking Patents: "A Virginia-based company in the midst of a multi-million dollar merger is asserting patents on fundamental aspects of social networking it says have been infringed by Facebook, LinkedIn and three other companies. But even if the patents have validity, they come at a time of what may be a backlash against such lawsuits."

Alan Moore's Neonomicon censored by US library; Guardian, 12/6/12

Alison Flood, Guardian; Alan Moore's Neonomicon censored by US library: ""In looking at it (Neonomicon) again, as I say, it was purchased on the basis of being an award winner and on the reputation of the author, but then with further consideration, we decided that those qualifications were outweighed by some of the disturbing content of the item," the library's access services manager Barbara Yonce told WSPA. Neonomicon sees two FBI agents, Brears and Lamper, investigating a series of ritual murders. An exploration of the works of HP Lovecraft, it looks at issues of race and sexuality and contains a brutal rape scene. It is also the winner of the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. In June, the National Coalition Against Censorship and other free speech organisations said that the authors' "deliberately disturbing depictions of sexual violence are included as a critical comment on how such subject matter is handled elsewhere within the genre", and that the book's "critical acclaim testifies to its artistic value which is aided, not eclipsed, by its sexual content". Learning of the library's decision to remove the book this month, Acacia O'Connor, project coordinator for the Kids' Right to Read Project, said that "they may be calling it 'deselection' but we have another name for it: censorship"."

New Jersey Symphony President Quits After Questions on His Past; New York Times, 1/11/13

New York Times; New Jersey Symphony President Quits After Questions on His Past: "The development came as a New York Times investigation into Mr. Dare’s background raised questions about aspects of his résumé and business accomplishments. Former associates have suggested that he exaggerated the extent of his business dealings, and evidence to support some of his claims — like his having testified frequently before Congress — could not immediately be found."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mother finds lost wallet, then distributes cash to her kids; Yahoo News, 1/10/13

Yahoo News; Mother finds lost wallet, then distributes cash to her kids: "Joseph Smith had been shopping with his family at the Fayetteville, Georgia Kohl’s department store on a rainy day and was wrestling with a baby stroller when unbeknownst to him, his wallet fell out of the top part of the stroller. The next day he realized his wallet containing about $100 in cash & $200-$300 in gift cards was missing so he returned to Kohl’s in hopes of retrieving it. But instead he watched surveillance video that surprised him showing a woman picking up the wallet near the store entrance, and then handing out the wallet’s contents to her kids."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yes, You've Got Something To Hide;, 1/9/13

Mike Masnick,; Yes, You've Got Something To Hide: "We've tried a few times to debunk the ridiculous logic of "if you've got nothing to hide..." argument in favor of surveillance, but leave it the awesome Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal to do a much better job in the form of a simple webcomic."

Patron Privacy in a Digital World; American Libraries, 12/19/12

Christopher Harris, American Libraries; Patron Privacy in a Digital World: "As content and patron interactions go online, there are a whole slew of new regulations to consider. There are the usual Section 508 compliance requirements to make resources accessible to people with disabilities, but other privacy requirements have been cropping up around the country. As of now, libraries are mostly exempt from these laws, but it may not hurt to be in compliance anyway."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Defending the Notorious, and Now Himself; New York Times, 1/5/13

Benjamin Weiser, New York Times; Defending the Notorious, and Now Himself: "IVAN S. FISHER, a prominent criminal defense lawyer in New York, has long believed in doing whatever it takes to win a case, “going to the line,” as he puts it — the line between putting on an aggressive defense and an unethical one."

If Lance Armstrong is coming clean, he owes hundreds of apologies to those he bullied; Yahoo Sports, 1/5/13

Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports; If Lance Armstrong is coming clean, he owes hundreds of apologies to those he bullied: "Maybe this is a redemption story if he acted differently in the past. Maybe it would be easier to understand that this was a lie that got so big, with so many people counting on it to be true, that he couldn't get out from under it. Maybe this would be easy. But after all the damage was done, after all the times his lawyers napalmed someone's reputation, after all the times Armstrong took the people closest to him, ones who understood the truth and tried to bury them, this can't be just admitting to something that any thinking person long ago was fairly certain he did. Only his sizeable ego could think that's enough. No, if this is a new day for Lance, then it needs to be about someone other than just Lance. This needs to be about making amends, publicly and painfully, one by one, name by name, to all the people he and his machine tried to run over, all the people whose crime was merely wanting to acknowledge the truth long before the schoolyard bully ran so short of friends he too finally realized it was his only option."

Yet Another Rankings Fabrication; Inside Higher Ed, 1/2/13

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed; Yet Another Rankings Fabrication: "Tulane University has admitted that it sent U.S. News & World Report incorrect information about the test scores and total number of applicants for its M.B.A. program. The admission -- as 2012 closed -- made the university the fourth college or university in that year to admit false reporting of some admissions data used for rankings. In 2011, two law schools and one undergraduate institution were found to have engaged in false reporting of some admissions data."

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt; New York Times, 12/31/12

Nicole Perlroth, New York Times; Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt: "Part of the problem is that antivirus products are inherently reactive. Just as medical researchers have to study a virus before they can create a vaccine, antivirus makers must capture a computer virus, take it apart and identify its “signature” — unique signs in its code — before they can write a program that removes it. That process can take as little as a few hours or as long as several years. In May, researchers at Kaspersky Lab discovered Flame, a complex piece of malware that had been stealing data from computers for an estimated five years... Symantec and McAfee, which built their businesses on antivirus products, have begun to acknowledge their limitations and to try new approaches. The word “antivirus” does not appear once on their home pages. Symantec rebranded its popular antivirus packages: its consumer product is now called Norton Internet Security, and its corporate offering is now Symantec Endpoint Protection."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Congressional ethics investigators could soon be silenced;, 12/29/12

Scott Bronstein, Joe Johns, and Rahel Solomon,; Congressional ethics investigators could soon be silenced: "Inside an ordinary office building six blocks from the Capitol, investigators sift through evidence of possible violations against ethics and laws committed by the nation's elected representatives. This is the Office of Congressional Ethics, also known as the OCE. It is one of the most important watchdogs in Washington. That's because the OCE is the only quasi-independent government body whose sole mandate is to formally investigate members of Congress. But it could soon be silenced by the very people it investigates. "What is outrageous about it is that you see members of Congress on both sides saying they have zero tolerance for unethical conduct," said Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now directs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). "But then behind closed doors they are quietly trying to kill the one body in Congress that is seriously going after unethical members.""