The technology reporters and editors of The New York Times scour the Web for important and peculiar items. For Monday, selections include theater owners worried that Google Glass might aid film piracy, the history behind Facebook’s new emoticons, and how Bing Crosby and a German innovation from World War II helped foster the modern technological world. …
Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein has joined Qualcomm’s board of directors. The tech executive, who most recently served as senior vice president of product innovation for HP, brings more than 30 years of experience to the table, Qualcomm said in a press release on the matter. …
The president of the Skolkovo fund Viktor Vekselberg and Cisco Vice-president Michael Timmeny inked the deal.Following the meeting and speaking exclusively to RT, Vekselberg dismissed rumors the Russian government planned to phase out the Skolkovo project and said this agreement was the best proof of that.“Cisco believe today is the right time to extend our relations. This means our agreement with Cisco that we signed almost a year ago, which was about to create a center, was reasonably small. They are ready to invest more money and would like to extend the space they would like to use in Skolkovo up to 700 square meters and this means they are looking to place their engineering support. For us it is a clear signal our partners believe in us,” Vekselberg said.Additionally, Cisco has signed a letter of intent with the Institute of Science and Technology “SkolTech”.“We are now working more actively to establish the “SkolTech” institute. The team is formed and now we are embarking on a new phase of cooperation over the project, when we’ll create scientific and technical centers at the Institute, where Russian and American scientists together with researchers from other countries will work in the priority areas of Russia’s industrial policy,” Vladislav Surkov, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister said.The deputy prime minister expressed confidence that Russia would become an innovative economy.“I believe in it, and I am sure that without international cooperation, especially without a country like the United States, we will not succeed,” Surkov concluded.The Skolkovo innovation center was founded in 2009 and has established partnerships with many of the world’s leading IT and telecommunication companies, including Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia Siemens Networks, SAP, Siemens, Tata Group and others. …
Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty got booted from
his sweet gig as the big boss of D.C. thanks (at least in part) to
his staunch support of education reformist superintendent Michelle
Rhee. These days Fenty runs a traveling ed reform roadshow, which
brought him to Scottsdale, Arizona, today, where he is chatting up
education tech entrepreneurs at the Education Innovation
On a panel this morning with Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) education
henchman and former chairman of the Florida State Board of
Education ;Phil Handy, he dropped this line:
Fenty: “I’m a Democrat. I say this every time someone hands me a
microphone. My party is on the wrong side of education reform.”
Handy: “So is mine.”
And then there was laughter from the crowd. Sad, sad,
And they’re right. Neither party is taking education reform
seriously. Obama’s Race to the Top is a drop
in the ed spending bucket, and while Republicans sometimes have
better rhetoric, they mostly only
pick the fight when there are partisan points to be scored.
Asked how he knew it was time to get serious about education
reform, Fenty offered this depressing bit ‘o self-deprecation:
I’ve got about as much common sense and intelligence as most
politicians. But when I got elected in early 2007, DC schools were
ranked at the bottom of the entire country. Even I could figure out
that we had to do something different. ;
For years the entertainment industries have complained about American companies’ advertising appearing on and therefore financially supporting so-called “pirate” sites. Hollywood and the record labels believe that responsible companies should place their promotions elsewhere, for the sake of both their businesses and the U.S. economy.
To this end it’s common to publicly highlight the fact that U.S. companies are targeting potential customers on sites deemed offensive by the entertainment industries in the hope that their respective branding departments will feel nervous that continued exposure will cause damage to their image.
In advancement of this name-and-shame philosophy, since the start of the year the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California has produced a monthly report aiming to identify the online ad networks and companies offering the most support to “major illicit file sharing sites around the world.”
The third installment for March 2013 delivers more of the same. The University researchers say they have monitored the top 500 URLs receiving the most DMCA takedown notices as listed in Google’s Transparency Report and from that worked out which ad networks give the most support to “pirate” sites.
The technique is problematic, mainly due to the fact that just because a site receives a DMCA notice it doesn’t necessarily follow that they have refused to comply and therefore in non-compliance. Plus, these are notices sent to Google, not the sites themselves.
Of all companies online, Google receives the most DMCA notices to the tune of several million per week, but they aren’t considered a “pirate site” and rightly so. From the report there is no indication that the USC researchers have considered whether the sites in the top 500 are compliant or not.
Ad Networks criticized
The ad networks topping the charts this month are:
6. Adsrevenue (New entry)
7. Yahoo/Right Media
8. Adserver (New entry)
9. Trix.net (New entry)
Google (Doubleclick) were present in the January report but have not appeared since. The same applies to Quantcast but for different reasons. USC appear to have retrospectively modified both of their previously issued reports when discussions with Quancast revealed the ad network had been included in error (they weren’t serving ads in many cases).
“In late February we have had productive talks with Quantcast about our January and February Ad Reports,” USC write. “We now believe that Quantcast was incorrectly identified as being among the top ten Ad Networks placing ads on infringing piracy sites.”
It’s also worth noting that SumoTorrent, which has appeared in previous USC reports but this month at its lowest position yet, is listed as a large advertising network in its own right. It isn’t. SumoTorrent uses ads from other providers and serves them only on its own sites, SumoTorrent and Seedpeer.
Furthermore, some very basic clickstream analysis reveals several ad networks successfully funding some of the biggest file-sharing sites warrants not a single mention anywhere in USC’s report, which raises serious questions about the validity of the techniques being used.
Brands said to be reporting “pirate sites”.
While noting that they may not have deliberately placed their ads on the sites in question, Annenberg Innovation Lab still lists many large brands who they claim are providing advertising revenue to sites that have received a lot of DMCA takedown notices.
There are some huge names, not least government related departments including the U.S. Army and National Guard.
From the world of fashion we see Adidas and Gucci. In the online and computing realm we see Amazon, Ancestry.com. AT&T, Bing, Google Play, HP, Verizon, World of Warcraft, Windows 8 and Xfinity. Motoring related brands include Firestone, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mini Cooper, Toyota. Sundry others include American Express, IKEA, Pizza Hut and Target.
Finally, and quite unusually, the report takes a shot at this week’s Times Square advertising campaign by the band Ghost Beach.
Speaking with TorrentFreak, band frontman Josh Ocean explained that they hoped the campaign would “..open a discussion up with our peers about how they felt about music distribution on the internet and the future of the industry,” but the USC researchers frame things differently.
They are suggesting a contrast between what the band are really trying to do versus the actions of a company that took efforts to end associations with piracy earlier this year.
“Whether this is just a publicity stunt or a real counter trend, we can’t help but contrast this to the moves of Levi Strauss to make sure its ads did not appear on pirate sites,” the researchers write.
While Levi Strauss did indeed withdraw advertising from certain sites in January, as far as we know Ghost Beach have never advertised on a ‘pirate site’ but in fact have spent significant amounts of money through their licensing deal with American Eagle to place advertising for their own product with a completely legitimate agency. Why this latest campaign is even mentioned in the report seems to defy reason.
Moving forward, if this research by USC is to maintain credibility next month and beyond it will need to consider its methodology and accusations more carefully.
While there is undoubtedly plenty of sites in the top 500 domains in Google’s Transparency report that are not DMCA compliant, there will be many that are. Simply looking at DMCA notices sent to Google and from that concluding that the sites they concern aren’t compliant is seriously flawed.
For example, RapidShare – a company that has made huge efforts to disassociate itself with piracy in recent years – is in the top 50 sites as listed by Google’s Transparency Report. Is this company not allowed to make a living through advertising anymore, even though it is DMCA compliant?
If it is to remain neutral, USC needs to look at DMCA notices sent to the sites themselves (or obtain data on the same) and then measure how many of those are being ignored before it can start judging what is and what isn’t a “pirate site”.
Source: ‘Pirate’ Site Ad Transparency Report Loses Credibility
Videnskaben er afmonteret, og universiteterne ved at degradere til producenter af tekniske løsninger, innovation og studenterårsværk. Det var budskabet fra filosoffen og den tidligere embedsmand i Videnskabsministeriet, David Budtz Pedersen, i weekendens Information…. …
Education reformers have a name for the
resistance they encounter: the education “Blob.” The Blob includes
the teachers unions, but also janitors and principals unions,
school boards, PTA bureaucrats, local politicians, and so on. They
hold power because the government’s monopoly on K-12 education
eliminates most competition. Kids are assigned to schools, and a
bureaucracy decides who goes where and who learns what. Over time,
its tentacles expand and strangle attempts to reform. Since they
have no fear of losing their jobs to competitors, writes John
Stossel, monopoly bureaucrats can resist innovation for