RB 215: Prometheus and the Dolphins

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8086160955_ec43417d52_oListen:or download | …also in Ogg

Want to create artificially intelligent machines? Want to find aliens? You might want to try talking to nature first.

Philosophers, animal behaviorists, and scientists have worked for decades to get animals to speak “human.” Researchers have even cohabited with primates and dolphins to see if they could somehow connect. Some suggested that by bringing animals into the human community we could actually keep from killing ourselves with increasingly risky technologies.

Disappointingly, we’ve never quite reached that Dr. Doolittle ideal of sitting down and chatting with any member of the animal kingdom. There are huge gaps between animals and human beings that prevent a satisfying level of comprehension.

But these efforts can teach us a lot about how to develop machines that can communicate with us, and how we might understand extra-terrestrials (if and when that ever happens).

Matthew Battles of the Berkman Center’s MetaLAB has been looking at the cultural dimensions of science in the 20th century. He spoke with us this week about how science helps us understand animals, technology, and our place in the universe.

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Carrie James on Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap

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Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. A college student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in a multiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessories for high prices. How do youth, and the adults in their lives, think about the moral and ethical dimensions of their participation in online communities?

In this talk Carrie James — Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of “Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap” — explores how young people approach questionable situations online as well as more dramatic ethical dilemmas that arise in digital contexts.


Also in ogg for download

More info on this event here.

Carrie James on Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap [AUDIO]

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Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. A college student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in a multiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessories for high prices. How do youth, and the adults in their lives, think about the moral and ethical dimensions of their participation in online communities?

In this talk Carrie James — Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of “Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap” — explores how young people approach questionable situations online as well as more dramatic ethical dilemmas that arise in digital contexts.

Download the MP3

…or download the OGG audio format!

More info on this event here.

Nathan Freitas: The Great Firewall Inverts

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The world is witnessing a massive expansion of Chinese telecommunications reach and influence, powered entirely by users choosing to participate in it. In Usage of the mobile messaging app WeChat (微信 Weixin), for example, has skyrocketed not only inside China, but outside, as well. Due to these systems being built upon proprietary protocols and software, their inner workings are largely opaque and mostly insecure. (WeChat has full permission to activate microphones and cameras, track GPS, access user contacts and photos, and copy all of this data at any time to their servers.)

In this talk, Nathan Freitas — Berkman Fellow, director of technology strategy and training at the Tibet Action Institute. and leader of the Guardian Project — questions the risks to privacy and security foreign users engage in when adopting apps from Chinese companies. Do the Chinese companies behind these services have any market incentive or legal obligation to protect the privacy of their non-Chinese global userbase? Do they willingly or automatically turn over all data to the Ministry of Public Security or State Internet Information Office? Will we soon see foreign users targeted or prosecuted due to “private” data shared on WeChat? And is there any fundamental difference in the impact on privacy freedom for an American citizen using WeChat versus a Chinese citizen using WhatsApp or Google?


Also in ogg for download

More info on this event here.

Nathan Freitas: The Great Firewall Inverts [AUDIO]

0

The world is witnessing a massive expansion of Chinese telecommunications reach and influence, powered entirely by users choosing to participate in it. In Usage of the mobile messaging app WeChat (微信 Weixin), for example, has skyrocketed not only inside China, but outside, as well. Due to these systems being built upon proprietary protocols and software, their inner workings are largely opaque and mostly insecure. (WeChat has full permission to activate microphones and cameras, track GPS, access user contacts and photos, and copy all of this data at any time to their servers.)

In this talk, Nathan Freitas — Berkman Fellow, director of technology strategy and training at the Tibet Action Institute. and leader of the Guardian Project — questions the risks to privacy and security foreign users engage in when adopting apps from Chinese companies. Do the Chinese companies behind these services have any market incentive or legal obligation to protect the privacy of their non-Chinese global userbase? Do they willingly or automatically turn over all data to the Ministry of Public Security or State Internet Information Office? Will we soon see foreign users targeted or prosecuted due to “private” data shared on WeChat? And is there any fundamental difference in the impact on privacy freedom for an American citizen using WeChat versus a Chinese citizen using WhatsApp or Google?

Download the MP3

…or download the OGG audio format!

More info on this event here.

RB 214: CopyrightXXX

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Listen:or download | …also in Ogg

Not long ago, illegally downloading a movie could land you in court facing millions of dollars in fines and jailtime. But Hollywood has begun to weather the storm by offering alternatives to piracy — same day digital releases, better streaming, higher quality in-theater experiences — that help meet some of the consumer demand that piracy captured.

But the porn industry is not Hollywood.

While the web has created incredible new economic opportunities for adult entertainers — independent production has flourished, as well as new types of production, which we won’t go into here simply to preserve our G-rating — few other industries on the web face the glut of competition from services that offer similar content for free or in violation of copyright.

Simply put, there’s so much free porn on the net that honest pornographers can’t keep up.

It’s hard to get accurate numbers on how much revenue is generated from online porn. It’s believed to be in the billions, at least in the United States. But it’s even more difficult to get a picture of how much revenue is lost in the adult entertainment industry due to copyright violation.

Surprisingly though, the porn industry doesn’t seem that interested in pursuing copyright violators. Intellectual property scholar Kate Darling studied how the industry was responding to piracy, and it turned out that — by and large — adult entertainment creators ran the numbers and found that it simply cost more from them to fight copyright violators than it was worth.

For today’s episode, Berkman alum and journalist Leora Kornfeld sat down with Kate Darling to talk to her about how porn producers are losing the copyright battle, and why many don’t care.

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Jessica Silbey on The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property

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Why do people create and innovate? And how does intellectual property law encourage, or discourage, the process?

In this talk Jessica Silbey — Professor at Suffolk University Law School — discusses her recent book The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators, and Everyday Intellectual Property, which investigates the motivations and mechanisms of creative and innovative activity in everyday professional life.

Based on over fifty face-to-face interviews, the book centers on the stories told by interviewees describing how and why they create and innovate and whether or how IP law plays a role in their activities. The goal of the empirical project was to figure out how IP actually works in creative and innovative fields, as opposed to how we think or say it works (through formal law or legislative debate). Breaking new ground in its qualitative method examining the economic and cultural system of creative and innovative production, The Eureka Myth draws out new and surprising conclusions about the sometimes misinterpreted relationships between creativity, invention and intellectual property protections.


Also in ogg for download

More info on this event here.

Jessica Silbey on The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators and Everyday Intellectual Property [AUDIO]

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Why do people create and innovate? And how does intellectual property law encourage, or discourage, the process?

In this talk Jessica Silbey — Professor at Suffolk University Law School — discusses her recent book The Eureka Myth: Creators, Innovators, and Everyday Intellectual Property, which investigates the motivations and mechanisms of creative and innovative activity in everyday professional life.

Based on over fifty face-to-face interviews, the book centers on the stories told by interviewees describing how and why they create and innovate and whether or how IP law plays a role in their activities. The goal of the empirical project was to figure out how IP actually works in creative and innovative fields, as opposed to how we think or say it works (through formal law or legislative debate). Breaking new ground in its qualitative method examining the economic and cultural system of creative and innovative production, The Eureka Myth draws out new and surprising conclusions about the sometimes misinterpreted relationships between creativity, invention and intellectual property protections.

Download the MP3

…or download the OGG audio format!

More info on this event here.

Tim Davies on Unpacking Open Data: Power, Politics and the Influence of Infrastructures

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Countries, states & cities across the globe are embracing the idea of ‘open data': establishing platforms, portals and projects to share government managed data online for re-use. Yet, right now, the anticipated civic impacts of open data rarely materialize, and the gap between the promise and the reality of open data remains wide.

In this talk, Tim Davies — Berkman affiliate and a social researcher focussing on the development of the open government data landscape around the world — questions the ways in which changing regimes around data can reconfigure power and politics, and considers opportunities to re-imagine the open data project, not merely as one of placing datasets online, but as one that can positively reshape the knowledge infrastructures of civic life.


Also in ogg for download

More info on this event here.

BONUS: watch Willow Brugh’s live animation of this discussion.

Tim Davies on Unpacking Open Data: Power, Politics and the Influence of Infrastructures [AUDIO]

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Countries, states & cities across the globe are embracing the idea of ‘open data': establishing platforms, portals and projects to share government managed data online for re-use. Yet, right now, the anticipated civic impacts of open data rarely materialize, and the gap between the promise and the reality of open data remains wide.

In this talk, Tim Davies — Berkman affiliate and a social researcher focussing on the development of the open government data landscape around the world — questions the ways in which changing regimes around data can reconfigure power and politics, and considers opportunities to re-imagine the open data project, not merely as one of placing datasets online, but as one that can positively reshape the knowledge infrastructures of civic life.

Download the MP3

…or download the OGG audio format!

More info on this event here.

BONUS: watch Willow Brugh’s live animation of this discussion.

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