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Petition To Unlock Cell Phones Update

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The  petition asking President Obama to oppose a new rule restricting cell phone owners from unlocking their devices has passed the 100,000 signatures needed, meaning the White House now must respond.

The petition,  that now has more than 102,000 signatures, protests a regulation from the Library of Congress that prohibits unlocking phones without the carrier’s permission — even when a customer’s contract with the carrier has expired.

CTIA general counsel Michael Altschul wrote in a blog post  It “makes our streets just a little bit safer by making it harder for large-scale phone trafficking operations to operate in the open and purchase large quantities of phones, unlock them, and resell them in foreign markets”.

The petition is partly symbolic: The Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office are part of the legislative branch, not the executive branch, meaning that Obama cannot overturn the decision even if he disagreed with it.

Congress has the power to rewrite the law, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which hands the Library of Congress the effective power to regulate certain gadgets in the name of copyright law. And a nudge from the administration would speed up any DMCA legislative fixes. Under the DMCA, Americans are broadly prohibited from “circumventing” copyright-related technologies, with criminal penalties targeting people who profit from doing it. But the DMCA gives the Library of Congress the authority to grant exemptions, which it did for cell phone unlocking utilities in 2006 and 2010.

The Library of Congress reversed their position last fall, after lobbying from CTIA, which represents carriers including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and Sprint Nextel. It ruled (PDF) the exemption was no longer necessary because there are no “adverse effects” relating to locked phones, and unlocked phones are now readily available.

The Library of Congress’ regulatory turn around doesn’t affect jail breaking or rooting mobile phones, which is currently permitted through at least 2015.

 

Petition To Unlock Mobile Phones

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There’s a Petition to reverse a decision by the Library of Congress making the unlocking of mobile phones illegal that needs 15,000 more signatures by Saturday.

Over 85,000 people have signed a Whitehouse.gov petition asking President Barack Obama to reverse a decision by the Library of Congress making the unlocking of mobile phones illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

As of Wednesday morning, the petition, started by phone unlocking entrepreneur Sina Khanifar, still needed nearly 15,000 signatures by Saturday to trigger a response by the Obama administration.

Unlocking a phone is typically used to switch carriers. Jailbreaking a phone for the purposes of adding software unauthorized by the carrier or phone maker remains legal under the DMCA. It’s unlikely mobile carriers will seek prosecution for individual phone users, but operators of businesses that help consumers unlock their phones could face penalties of up to a $500,000 fine under the DMCA.

Khanifar said this week he’s optimistic 100,000 people will sign it by Saturday. The petition has recently won endorsements from Representative Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat,

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Big Data

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After having been accustomed to terms like MegaByte, GigaByte, and TerraByte, we must now prepare ourselves for a whole new vocabulary, such as PetaByte, ExaByte, and ZettaByte which will be as common as the aforementioned.

Dr Riza Berkan CEO and Board Member of Hakia provides a list of  Mechanisms generating Big Data

  • Data from scientific measurements and experiments (astronomy, physics, genetics, etc.)
  • Peer to peer communication (text messaging, chat lines, digital phone calls)
  • Broadcasting (News, blogs)
  • Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Authorship (digital books, magazines, Web pages, images, videos)
  • Administrative (enterprise or government documents, legal and financial records)
  • Business (e-commerce, stock markets, business intelligence, marketing, advertising)
  • Other

Dr Riza Berkan says Big Data can be a blessing and a curse.

He says that although there should be clear boundaries between data segments that belong to specific objectives, this very concept is misleading and can undermine potential opportunities. For example, scientists working on human genome data may improve their analysis if they could take the entire content (publications) on Medline (or Pubmed) and analyze it in conjunction with the human genome data. However, this requires natural language processing (semantic) technology combined with bioinformatics algorithms, which is an unusual coupling at best.  Two different data segments in different formats, when combined, actually define a new “big data”. Now, add to that a 3rd data segment, such as the FBI’s DNA bank, or geneology.com and you’ll see the complications/opportunities can go on and on. This is where the mystery and the excitement resides with the concept of big data.

Super Big Data Software

Dr Riza Berkan asks are we prepared for generating data at colossal volumes? and we should look at this question in two stages: (1) Platform and (2) Analytics “super” Software

Apache Hadoop’s open source software enables the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of commodity servers, aka cloud computing. IBM’s Platform Symphony is another example of grid management suitable for a variety of distributed computing and big data analytics applications. Oracle, HP, SAP, and Software AG are very much in the game for this $10 billion industry. While these giants are offering variety of solutions for distributed computing platforms, there is still a huge void at the level of Analytics Super Software . Super Software’s main function would be to discover new knowledge which would otherwise be impossible to acquire via manual means says Dr Berkan.

Discovery requires the following functions:

  • Finding associations across information in any format
  • Visualization of associations
  • Search
  • Categorization, compacting, summarization
  • Characterization of new data (where it fits)
  • Alerting
  • Cleaning (deleting unnecessary clogging information

Moreover, Dr Berkan says that” Super Software would be able to identify genetic patterns of a disease from human genome data, supported by clinical results reported in Medline, and further analyzed to unveil mutation possibilities using FBI’s DNA bank of millions of DNA information. One can extend the scope and meaning of top level objectives which is only limited by our imagination.”

Then too, Dr Berkan says big data can also be a curse  if the cleaning (deleting) technologies are not considered as part of the Super Software operation. In his  previous post, “information pollution”, he emphasized the danger of uncontrollable growth of information which is the invisible devil in information age.

credits: Search Engine Journal/SEG

 

Author’s Guild Appeals HathiTrust Decision

The Library Copyright Alliance Statement

Big Data and the Legal Profession

 

Read More

IBM’s Understanding Big Data e-book

 

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New York City Show Promising Sign to Becoming The Next Silicon Valley

Tech Giants Google and Facebook have shown their presences in New York in recent years. Some big-name newcomers are headquartered here. Plans for an elite technology graduate school, attracted with city money, are getting enough attention that a federal patent officer is being stationed on campus in a first-of-its-kind arrangement.

Entrepreneurs say New York also faces particular challenges, including problematic broadband access in a few areas and a limited tech talent base, though the city is trying to address the concerns. New York solid ground so to speak in financial technology and online publishing, but the growth of social media and digital marketing opens new prospects for a city known for communications, design and advertising. Some prominent start ups  include Foursquare, Tumblr, Kickstarter and Gilt Groupe. They were established in New York in the past five years.

The city’s biggest  move was : offering 12 acres of land and up to $100 million in improvements for a tech-focused graduate school. Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology won a competition to run the school, set to start with a handful of students in January. It will be the first institution in the country to boast about an on-campus patent officer, acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank announced this month. Columbia University and New York University were also offered $15 million apiece in incentives to create new technology programs.

 

Online Education K-12

Report On Online Education K-12

Implications of Online Learning

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