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Technology, Culture, Policy

Last Build Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 21:32:18 +0000


NYTimes “Tees Up” A Discussion of Winner’s “Frankenstein’s Problem”

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:00:49 +0000

I always enjoy my class discussions around Langdon Winner’s “Frankenstein’s Problem: Autonomous Technology,” but I so rarely see a precise analog in the public press. But todays Facebook’s Frankenstein Moment [pdf] is a great example for a technology and policy cohort. Unfortunately, the article perpetuates the damaging perception that engineers are only stewards of technological … Continue reading "NYTimes “Tees Up” A Discussion of Winner’s “Frankenstein’s Problem”"

“Patent Exhaustion” Sustained

Wed, 31 May 2017 16:35:18 +0000

From Supreme Court Rules Patent Laws Can’t Be Used to Prevent Reselling regarding Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc. [local pdf] The Supreme Court on Tuesday placed sharp limits on how much control patent holders have over how their products are used after they are sold. The case concerned Lexmark International, which makes toner … Continue reading "“Patent Exhaustion” Sustained"

Fake News

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 22:17:32 +0000

The NYTimes has decided to run with the issues of “fake news” — the generation of clickbait articles grounded in the principles of urban legends, turbocharged by the combination of heightened political fervor and digital interconnectedness.  Both stories are sobering and troubling: How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study, and  This Pizzeria Is Not a … Continue reading "Fake News"

The Battle Never Ends

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 18:01:53 +0000

Because, of course, the distinctions between “shall” and “will” are a prima facie demonstration of copyrightable innovation: ‘We Shall Overcome’ Copyright Case Moves Closer to Trial Along with the recent suits involving “Happy Birthday to You” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” the case has focused attention on one of the central questions … Continue reading "The Battle Never Ends"

Archives Reloaded

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 17:52:45 +0000

Well, got the archival posts from the base WordPress site back into the system.  And I moved over the PDF/image archive directories, so at least some of the old links will have PDF equivalents that work. It looks like some of this is OK; but I expect that there will be seams (e.g., the old … Continue reading "Archives Reloaded"

Furdlog Redux

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:38:31 +0000

After the site got hijacked and, thus, shutdown, I’ve been a little overwhelmed with lots of other things, so it’s lain fallow for some time.  With the 2016 election, however, it seems that I need an outlet, even though it might also mean getting put on all sorts of lists. The old content on digital … Continue reading "Furdlog Redux"

I’ll Take “Exploiting Tragedy” for $500, Alex!

Tue, 17 Nov 2015 17:46:40 +0000

Because, if Mike Huckabee and Republican (+1) US governors can do it, why can’t the US security apparatus? Encrypted Messaging Apps Face New Scrutiny Over Possible Role in Paris Attacks [pdf] American and French officials say there is still no definitive evidence to back up their presumption that the terrorists who massacred 129 people in … Continue reading "I’ll Take “Exploiting Tragedy” for $500, Alex!"

Legality Questions About Use of Stingray

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:15:56 +0000

Covert Electronic Surveillance Prompts Calls for Transparency [pdf] Law enforcement officials across the United States have become enamored of the StingRay, an electronic surveillance device that can covertly track criminal suspects and is being used with little public disclosure and often under uncertain legal authority. Now, though, some states are pushing back, and are requiring … Continue reading "Legality Questions About Use of Stingray"

There Goes A Classic Classroom Copyright Example!

Wed, 23 Sep 2015 12:51:55 +0000

Happy Birthday ruled public domain as judge throws out copyright claim [pdf] A federal court judge in Los Angeles has declared the song Happy Birthday to You belongs in the public domain, dealing a blow to the music publishing company that has been collecting royalties from the song for decades. US district judge George H … Continue reading "There Goes A Classic Classroom Copyright Example!"

Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud and Open Source

Wed, 23 Sep 2015 12:19:45 +0000

It was nice to see that someone at the NYTimes made this connection: Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud Makes Critic of Secret Code a Prophet [pdf]: “Proprietary software is an unsafe building material,” Mr. [Eben] Moglen had said. “You can’t inspect it.” That was five years ago. On Tuesday, Volkswagen admitted it had rigged the proprietary software … Continue reading "Volkswagen’s Diesel Fraud and Open Source"