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Submission + - Saylor Foundation awards prizes to free college textbooks (saylor.org)

Brad Lucier writes: "The Saylor Foundation has a vision: Free and open materials for a complete undergraduate university education. To that end, they've announced the first winners in their Open Textbook Challenge: Four textbooks were relicensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY 3.0) Unported license, the most open of the CC licenses, and in return the authors were awarded a prize of $20,000 for each book. See the blog entries and the accompanying press releases for details. The second wave of submissions will be accepted until May 31, 2012."

Submission + - The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets (wsj.com)

Brad Lucier writes: Hidden inside Ashley Hayes-Beaty's computer, a tiny file helps gather personal details about her, all to be put up for sale for a tenth of a penny. The file consists of a single code---4c812db292272995e5416a323e79bd37---that secretly identifies her as a 26-year-old female in Nashville, Tenn. The code knows that her favorite movies include "The Princess Bride," "50 First Dates" and "10 Things I Hate About You." It knows she enjoys the "Sex and the City" series. It knows she browses entertainment news and likes to take quizzes.

Ms. Hayes-Beaty is being monitored by Lotame Solutions Inc., a New York company that uses sophisticated software called a "beacon" to capture what people are typing on a website—their comments on movies, say, or their interest in parenting and pregnancy. Lotame packages that data into profiles about individuals, without determining a person's name, and sells the profiles to companies seeking customers. Ms. Hayes-Beaty's tastes can be sold wholesale (a batch of movie lovers is $1 per thousand) or customized (26-year-old Southern fans of "50 First Dates").


Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.

Comment What have telecoms done with subsidies? (Score 1) 341

A rhetorical question. The telecoms have accepted billions in government subsidies to build out the internet infrastructure, but now when we, the people, need it, it isn't there. This isn't a game; it's fraud when people take the money from the government for infrastructure and don't provide the it.

Comment Re:Holy shit? (Score 1) 950


The insurers want information that will enable them to remove expensive-to-insure people from coverage where possible, or at least to put them in a much more expensive pool.

No, they do not. They refuse to audit medical statements made on application for insurance (not minding when they collect your premiums) and then they want this information to deny claims when it comes time for your insurance to pay out when you're sick.

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