Friday, May 25, 2018

‘Big Deal’ Cancellations Gain Momentum; Inside Higher Ed, May 8, 2018

Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed; ‘Big Deal’ Cancellations Gain Momentum

"Also last year, SPARC, an advocacy group for open access and open education, launched a resource tracking big-deal cancellations worldwide. Greg Tananbaum, a senior consultant at SPARC, said that there is a “growing momentum” toward cancellations.

According to data from SPARC (which may not be comprehensive, said Tananbaum), in 2016 five U.S. and Canadian institutions announced cancellations with big publishers such as Springer Nature, Wiley, Taylor & Francis and Elsevier. In 2017, seven more North American institutions said they planned to cancel their big deals, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Kansas State University, among others. 

Motivation for Cancellation 

Both Tananbaum and Anderson agree that one factor driving cancellations of big deals is that library budgets are not growing at the same rate as the cost of subscriptions. Given budget restrictions, “there’s just a reality that tough choices have to be made,” said Tananbaum."

Schools See Steep Drop in Librarians, New Analysis Finds; Education Week, May 16, 2018

and , Education Week; Schools See Steep Drop in Librarians, New Analysis Finds

"“When we’ve talked to districts that have chosen to put resources elsewhere, we really do see more than one who have then come back and wanted to reinstate [the librarian],” said Steven Yates, the president of the American Association of School Librarians. “Not only do you lose the person curating the resources for informational and pleasure reading, but you lose the person who can work with the students on the ethical side—how do you cite? How do you determine a credible source of information?”"

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ethics and tech – a double-edged sword; Computer Weekly, May 2018

James Kitching, Computer Weekly; Ethics and tech – a double-edged sword

"Big corporations can no longer afford to ignore ethics in their decision-making. Customers expect a higher level of social capital from the companies they deal with and this can have a big effect on whether those companies succeed or fail.

This is not a new conundrum specific to tech – remember the UK hearings relating to tax avoidance, which included the likes of Starbucks as well as Google. What accountants were advising their clients wasn’t illegal. The creative schemes they came up with were allowed under UK law – but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that the way they were dealing with tax was seen by the public and the media as immoral and unethical.

Organisations must think beyond the black-and-white letter of the law. In the current climate, this means saying: “Yes, this is legal, but I don’t necessarily think it is going to be viewed as socially acceptable.”

 Gone are the days when the excuse “but it is legal” will wash with the media, the government and the public at large."

Monday, May 21, 2018

What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand; CNN, May 21, 2018

; What the royal family and Donald Trump both understand

"At the root of Trump's appeal to his voters is a promise to check the disruptive forces of globalized economics and ethnic diversity that have been remaking the United States in recent decades.

Almost every week brings a new controversy over Trump's approach, from the failure to deal with undocumented migrants brought to the US as kids and his administration's plans for a more selective legal immigration system. 

That's where he and the royals differ. While Harry's bride sees a chance to use ethnicity to reboot the magic of the monarchy, Trump has more often used diversity to divide."

Thursday, May 17, 2018

We Need Chief Ethics Officers More Than Ever; Forbes, May 16, 2018

Dan Pontefract, Forbes; We Need Chief Ethics Officers More Than Ever

"It is from the medical community that the high-tech community may learn its greatest lesson.
Create a Chief Ethics Officer role, and an in-house ethics team made up not only of lawyers but educators, philosophers, doctors, psychologists, sociologists, and artists.
Furthermore, as universities such as Carnegie Mellon University begin introducing undergraduate degrees in artiticial intelligence, ensure the program has a strong ethics component throughout the entire curriculum.
Only then—when ethics is outside of the compliance department and it is interwoven into academic pedagogy—will society be in a better place to stem the tide of potentially unwanted, technological advances."

MIT Now Has a Humanist Chaplain to Help Students With the Ethics of Tech; The Atlantic, May 16, 2018

Isabel Fattal, The Atlantic; MIT Now Has a Humanist Chaplain to Help Students With the Ethics of Tech

"Even some of the most powerful tech companies start out tiny, with a young innovator daydreaming about creating the next big thing. As today’s tech firms receive increased moral scrutiny, it raises a question about tomorrow’s: Is that young person thinking about the tremendous ethical responsibility they’d be taking on if their dream comes true?

Greg Epstein, the recently appointed humanist chaplain at MIT, sees his new role as key to helping such entrepreneurial students think through the ethical ramifications of their work. As many college students continue to move away from organized religion, some universities have appointed secular chaplains like Epstein to help non-religious students lead ethical, meaningful lives. At MIT, Epstein plans to spark conversations about the ethics of technology—conversations that will sometimes involve religious groups on campus, and that may sometimes carry over to Harvard, where he has held (and will continue to hold) the same position since 2005.

I recently spoke with Epstein about how young people can think ethically about going into the tech industry and what his role will look like..."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

USPTO Designates Durango, Colorado Public Library a Patent and Trademark Resource Center; Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), May 15, 2018

Press Release, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); USPTO Designates Durango, Colorado Public Library a Patent and Trademark Resource Center

"The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the grand opening of the newest Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) at the Durango Public Library in Durango, Colorado on Tuesday May 22, 2018. A free public program
(link is external), “Researching Patent and Trademark Information: Essential Information You Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property” will be presented.
The Durango Public Library will be the second PTRC in the State of Colorado. It will serve residents in southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico. The Durango Public Library is in the Four Corners region of Colorado, which includes the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Nations. The library will support entrepreneurs throughout the region seeking patent and trademark protection for their intellectual property. USPTO-trained librarians will assist patrons using the agency’s patent and trademark databases.
PTRCs are a nationwide network of public, state, and academic libraries that provide free services, including assistance in accessing patent and trademark documents, help in using USPTO databases, and aid in identifying resources on the USPTO website. They support inventors, intellectual property attorneys and agents, business people, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, historians, and members of the public unable to visit USPTO campuses. PTRCs also host public seminars on IP topics for novice and experienced innovators.
The PTRC Program began in 1871 when federal law first provided for the distribution of printed patents to public libraries. The addition of the Durango Public Library to the PTRC network makes a total of 86 resource centers located in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
A list of current PTRC libraries can be found on the USPTO's Web site at"

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

10 intellectual property tips for startup companies; Pittsburgh Business Times, April 30, 2018

  – Vorys, Pittsburgh Business Times; 10 intellectual property tips for startup companies

"Obtaining and securing intellectual property (IP) rights is often not a high priority with startup companies. Rather, startups commonly focus most efforts on obtaining financing, building a brand, and effective marketing strategies. 

Securing company IP, however, such as patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights, is vital since doing so creates a legal barrier to competition. Company IP can be a revenue generator through strategic licensing or IP transfer, and is often crucial in valuation for venture funding purposes. 

The following are some tips and strategies for startups to manage company IP."



"How can creatives defend their work from intellectual property theft? Partner, Steven Yeates, talks to Cape Talk’s Mpho Molotlegi about patents, designs, copyright and trade marks – and provides practical examples for monetising your creative assets."

Anthropology grad students bring Ethics Bowl home; Cornell Chronicle, May 1, 2018

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, Cornell Chronicle; Anthropology grad students bring Ethics Bowl home

"Cornell’s team won the Society for American Archaeology Ethics Bowl April 12 in Washington, D.C. Cornell was making its first appearance in the competition, which has been held for 14 years.

The Ethics Bowl pits teams of undergraduate and graduate students from different universities in debates about ethical dilemmas archaeologists encounter during their work. Teams are given hypothetical cases and must use their academic knowledge of various ethical guidelines and laws, as well as their research and fieldwork experiences, to formulate and defend their solutions.

Teams are graded on their responses and their handling of “curveball” questions. The cases for this year’s bowl were on occupational safety and heritage management, colonial monuments and indigenous rights, looting and the antiquities trade, plagiarism, and funding for research and ethics training."

Sainsbury's chief sings 'We're in the Money' after Asda merger; The Guardian, April 30, 2018

The Guardian; Sainsbury's chief sings 'We're in the Money' after Asda merger

"The chief executive of Sainsbury’s has been filmed singing “We’re in the Money”on the same day he announced a blockbuster merger with Asda.

Waiting to be interviewed by ITV, Mike Coupe started warbling one of the best-known songs from the musical 42nd Street. In the clip released by the broadcaster, he is shown singing: “We’re in the money, the sky is sunny. Let’s lend it, spend it, send it rolling along.”"

Time for journalists to fight back, not play party hosts; The Washington Post, April 30, 2018

Dana Milbank, The Washington Post; Time for journalists to fight back, not play party hosts

"Olivier Knox, the incoming president, has said he wants to make the dinner “boring.”

How about better than boring? Move the dinner back a week, to honor World Press Freedom Day, and cancel the comedians. Instead, read the names of journalists killed doing their jobs over the year; people such as Daphne Caruana Galizia , who reported on government corruption in Malta, killed on Oct. 16, when the car she was driving exploded; and Miroslava Breach Velducea , who reported on politics and crime in Mexico, shot eight times and killed on March 23, 2017, when leaving her home with one of her children. Also, read the names of some jailed journalists and their time behind bars: Turkey’s Zehra Dogan, 323 days; Egypt’s Alaa Abdelfattah, 1,282 days ; China’s Ding Lingjie, 221 days; Kyrgyzstan’s Azimjon Askarov, 2,877 days; Congo’s Ghys FortunĂ© DombĂ© Bemba , 475 days.

Media companies and personalities, instead of hosting glitzy parties, would make contributions to and solicit funds for groups that protect the free press. And they would pledge to devote more air time and column inches to exposing abuses of press freedoms at home and abroad. The Post did this, successfully, during my colleague Jason Rezaian’s imprisonment in Iran. We should all pledge to be unabashed advocates: to shine light on the journalists languishing in prisons, the unsolved murders of journalists and the erosion of press freedom at home."

Monday, April 30, 2018

Google's Mysterious AI Ethics Board Should Be Transparent Like Axon's; Forbes, April 27, 2018

Sam Shead, Forbes; Google's Mysterious AI Ethics Board Should Be Transparent Like Axon's

"This week, Axon, a US company that develops body cameras for police officers and weapons for the law enforcement market, demonstrated the kind of transparency that Google should aspire towards when it announced an AI ethics board to "help guide the development of Axon's AI-powered devices and services".

Axon said the board's mission is to advise and guide Axon's leaders on the impact of AI technology on communities. The board will meet twice a year and it held its first meeting on Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona.

"We believe the advancement of AI technology will empower police officers to connect with their communities versus being stuck in front of a computer screen doing data entry," said Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith, in a statement. "We also believe AI research and technology for use in law enforcement must be done ethically and with the public in mind. This is why we've created the AI ethics board — to ensure any AI technology in public safety is developed responsibly.""

The 7 stages of GDPR grief; VentureBeat, April 29, 2018

Chris Purcell, VentureBeat; The 7 stages of GDPR grief

"All of the systems we’ve built around handling personal data will need to be re-engineered to handle the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules that go into effect that day. That’s a lot to accomplish, with very little time left.

While the eve of the GDPR deadline may not start parties like we had back on New Year’s Eve 1999 — when people counted down to “the end of the world” — stakeholders in organizations across the globe will be experiencing a range of emotions as they make their way through the seven stages of GDPR grief at varying speeds.

Like Y2K, May 25 could come and go without repercussion if people work behind the scenes to make their organizations compliant. Unfortunately, most companies are in the earliest stage of grief – denial – believing that GDPR does not apply to them (if they even know what it is). Denial rarely serves companies well. And in the case of GDPR non-compliance, it could cost them fines of up to 20 million euros ($24 million) or four percent of global annual turnover, whichever value is greater.

Luckily, there are sure-tell signs for each grief stage and advice to help individuals and their employers move through each (and fast):..."

Sunday, April 29, 2018

At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives; The New York Times, April 28, 2018

Julie Creswell, Kevin Draper, and Rachel Abrams, The New York Times; At Nike, Revolt Led by Women Leads to Exodus of Male Executives

"Finally, fed up, a group of women inside Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters started a small revolt.

Covertly, they surveyed their female peers, inquiring whether they had been the victim of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Their findings set off an upheaval in the executive ranks of the world’s largest sports footwear and apparel company.

On March 5, the packet of completed questionnaires landed on the desk of Mark Parker, Nike’s chief executive. Over the next several weeks, at least six top male executives left or said they were planning to leave the company, including Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike brand, who was widely viewed as a leading candidate to succeed Mr. Parker, and Jayme Martin, Mr. Edwards’s lieutenant, who oversaw much of Nike’s global business.

Others who have departed include the head of diversity and inclusion, a vice president in footwear and a senior director for Nike’s basketball division.

It is a humbling setback for a company that is famous worldwide and has built its brand around the inspirational slogan “Just Do It.” While the #MeToo movement has led to the downfall of individual men, the kind of sweeping overhaul that is occurring at Nike is rare in the corporate world, and illustrates how internal pressure from employees is forcing even huge companies to quickly address workplace problems.

As women — and men — continue to come forward with complaints, Nike has begun a comprehensive review of its human resources operations, making management training mandatory and revising many of its internal reporting procedures."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Facebook finally explains why it bans some content, in 27 pages; The Washington Post, April 24, 2018

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tracy Jan, The Washington Post; Facebook finally explains why it bans some content, in 27 pages

"“We want people to know our standards, and we want to give people clarity,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said in an interview. She added that she hoped publishing the guidelines would spark dialogue. “We are trying to strike the line between safety and giving people the ability to really express themselves.”"

Monday, April 23, 2018

What Harley Davidson’s $19.2M Throttling Of Sunfrog REALLY Means… And It’s Not The Money; Above The Law, April 23, 2018

Tom Kulik, Above The Law; What Harley Davidson’s $19.2M Throttling Of Sunfrog REALLY Means… And It’s Not The Money

When it comes to intellectual property rights, companies ignoring their impact do so at their own risk.

"The point here is that rapid growth and success makes being proactive even more essential to the business.   Rather than follow-through with significant steps to stop the printing of infringing products, something got lost in the process and Sunfrog simply couldn’t get its arms around the scope of the problem.  In effect, Sunfrog’s failure to effectively address this problem  made Sunfrog a counterfeiter — it permitted the printing of infringing designs on T-shirts sold through its website, making Sunfrog a nice profit in the process. Of course, this was never Sunfrog’s intent — it set out to create a highly successful platform for printing custom T-shirts online, and in fact, succeeded in doing so.  That said, it also underestimated the extent to which a sizable part of its business model required intellectual property oversight — an oversight that is now costing them in both monetary and reputation damages.

Ultimately, the Sunfrog case is highly instructive on a number of levels, but the failure to appreciate the scope and extent of intellectual property oversight by Sunfrog is telling.  Whether your company or client is a startup or an already successful going concern, the use of intellectual property can never be taken for granted. When it comes to intellectual property rights, companies ignoring their impact do so at their own risk.  The good news is that warning signs usually present themselves at some point.  The bad news is that such signs can be ignored or otherwise under-appreciated.  That is the real point here, and a risk that your company (or client) shouldn’t take — just ask Sunfrog."

Starbucks won’t have any idea whether its diversity training works; The Washington Post, April 23, 2018

Hakeem Jefferson and Neil Lewis, Jr., The Washington Post; Starbucks won’t have any idea whether its diversity training works

"Without the expertise to know what makes an intervention more or less successful, it is hard to imagine that Starbucks or any other organization stands much of a chance of developing a successful diversity training program that has long-term, sustainable effects on its culture. Moreover, Starbucks claims that it is interested in knowing whether the training program it will implement will be effective. As social scientists, we know firsthand how difficult it is to measure the effects of an intervention, and we wonder who on Starbucks’s team is sufficiently equipped to do this. The track record of those Starbucks has included in its announcement is remarkable, but it is social scientists — not lawyers or activists — who are trained to adequately and rigorously assess whether this intervention works, or if it will join the long list of those that don’t.

The inclusion of social scientists at every stage of the process can make diversity training more than feel-good PR moves that are of little consequence. Yes, engaging the scholarly community will mean that the process will be slower. But as bias expert Brian Nosek said, if Starbucks and its corporate peers think interventions like this are worth doing, they should certainly think that it’s worth doing well."

Friday, April 20, 2018

Why Tech Companies Need a Code of Ethics for Software Development; Entrepreneur, April 19, 2018

Dave West, Entrepreneur; Why Tech Companies Need a Code of Ethics for Software Development
With so much potential for software to go bad, it's important that developers commit to doing good.

"As the race heats up among companies looking to be first-to-market with the next best product or service, considerations about the implications these systems and gadgets may have on society often are overlooked...

Academically, this movement is already in the works. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are jointly offering a new course on the ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence, the University of Texas at Austin recently introduced its Ethical Foundations of Computer Science course and Stanford University is developing a computer science ethics course for next year...

With the absence of an international standardized code of ethics, one solution organizations can implement immediately is to foster a culture among their delivery teams that places ethics in high regard...

One of the most effective ways organizations can achieve transparency is to create their own internal code of ethics. A baseline organizations can use to develop their code of ethics are the five values of Scrum...

The popular Spiderman phrase "with great power comes great responsibility" could not be more applicable to the organizations who are creating and releasing the products that define society. After all, these products are influencing the way people live and interact with each other, every day. This is why big tech companies must take the lead and create their own code of ethics."

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Transcript of Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing; Transcript courtesy of Bloomberg Government via The Washington Post, April 10, 2018

Transcript courtesy of Bloomberg Government via The Washington PostTranscript of Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing

"SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TEX): Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg, for being here. I know in — up until 2014, a mantra or motto of Facebook was move fast and break things. Is that correct?

ZUCKERBERG: I don't know when we changed it, but the mantra is currently move fast with stable infrastructure, which is a much less sexy mantra.

CORNYN: Sounds much more boring. But my question is, during the time that it was Facebook's mantra or motto to move fast and break things, do you think some of the misjudgments, perhaps mistakes that you've admitted to here, were as a result of that culture or that attitude, particularly as it regards to personal privacy of the information of your subscribers?

ZUCKERBERG: Senator, I do think that we made mistakes because of that. But the broadest mistakes that we made here are not taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. And while that wasn't a matter — the “move fast” cultural value is more tactical around whether engineers can ship things and — and different ways that we operate.

But I think the big mistake that we've made looking back on this is viewing our responsibility as just building tools, rather than viewing our whole responsibility as making sure that those tools are used for good."

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Public Outcry Against a Wall Street Titan’s Name on a High School; The New York Times, April 13, 2018

Kate Kelly, The New York Times; A Public Outcry Against a Wall Street Titan’s Name on a High School

"Naming-rights deals are common, but they increasingly risk provoking fierce reactions — sometimes leading to embarrassing retreats by the wealthy patrons and the recipients of their largess."

Friday, April 13, 2018

Scott Pruitt’s actions at the EPA have triggered a half-dozen investigations; Vox, April 12, 2018

Umair Irfan, Vox; Scott Pruitt’s actions at the EPA have triggered a half-dozen investigations

"The pressure on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is building as inauspicious details keep emerging about what he’s been up to since taking office."

Trump Body Man Turned EPA Whistleblower Is Violating Ethics Rules, the Agency Says; ProPublica, April 12, 2018

Derek Kravitz and Alex Mierjeski, ProPublica; Trump Body Man Turned EPA Whistleblower Is Violating Ethics Rules, the Agency Says

"The Ethics in Government Act requires that all political appointees file financial disclosures with the agency they work at within 30 days of their start date. The disclosures serve two purposes: transparency and identifying potential liabilities tied to financial conflicts of interest. They include staffers’ assets, debts, and stock and other financial holdings. Staffers can get 90-day extensions from agencies.

EPA officials say Chmielewski has not been granted any extensions, and he’s still obligated to provide a financial disclosure even though he has left the agency...

Marilyn Glynn, former general counsel and acting director of the Office of Government Ethics in the George W. Bush administration, said Chmielewski’s failure to file the government paperwork is “highly unusual.”
“Never filing anything seems unusual to me,” she said. “He was still under the obligation to recuse himself [in the event of a conflict of interest], so presumably the ethics office would’ve told him that he’s liable for criminal prosecution should he step over that line.”
It’s unclear if Chmielewski simply forgot to file the required paperwork or chose to dodge the requirement."

MIA Ethics Bowl Team Best in State; Coastal Breeze News, April 12, 2018

Barry Gwinn, Coastal Breeze News; MIA Ethics Bowl Team Best in State

"Ground zero for this change at MIA is the Ethics Bowl Team, a little known group who have been immersed in ethical issues for the past three years. On January 27, the current team won the Florida State Ethics Bowl championship and will get a shot at a national championship, beginning on April 20 at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The issues they discuss are provided by the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB), headquartered on the campus of the University of North Carolina. The NHSEB oversees both regional and national competitions.

Mentoring and coaching the MIA team is math teacher, Chris Liebhart, who doubles as head baseball coach and assistant coach on three other varsity teams at the school...

For the national championships, the NHSEB had provided them with 16 case studies which were laid out like a law school hornbook, complete with references and case citations. The topics ranged from the Electoral College, Confederate monuments, male circumcision, and eminent domain, to dating on Tinder. The team would have to be prepared to discuss eight of these cases, but would not know in advance which ones they would draw."