Tag Archive | Scientific American

Is Your User Content Online Legally Yours?

by David Pogue, Scientific American, March 5, 2013

Instagram, the phone app that lets you take pictures, apply artsy filters and then share them, is huge. …Then, late last year, Instagram did something massively stupid: it changed its terms of use, the document of rules for using the service. The new terms included this gem: “You agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos … without any compensation to you.The backlash was swift and vicious. …People quit Instagram en masse. Lawyers filed a class-action suit….

For full text of this article, please visit Scientific American Is Your User Content Online Legally Yours?: Scientific American.

 

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U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American

By Lisa Friedman, Scientific American, March 19, 2012

University of Texas researchers have developed a sophisticated new mapping tool showing where vulnerability to climate change and violent conflicts intersects throughout the African continent. More than a year in the making and part of a $7.6 million, five-year Department of Defense grant, the Climate Change and African Political Stability project culls data on riots, civil unrest and other violent outbursts dating back to 1996. It overlaps with information about climate-change-induced vulnerabilities like drought, as well as the type of aid that is being delivered to various parts of Africa.

For full text of the article in Scientific American, visit U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American.

Parsing the Twitterverse: New Algorithms Analyze Tweets: Scientific American

By Francie Diep, Scientific American, July 22, 2011

Researchers have been trolling Twitter for insights into the human condition since shortly after the site launched in 2006. In aggregate, the service provides a vast database of what people are doing, thinking and feeling. But the research tools at scientists’ disposal are highly imperfect. Keyword searches, for example, return many hits but offer a poor sense of overall trends.When computer scientist James H. Martin of the University of Colorado at Boulder searched for tweets about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, he found 14 million. “You can’t hire grad students to read them all,” he says. Researchers need a more automated approach. …

For full text of the article, visit Parsing the Twitterverse: New Algorithms Analyze Tweets: Scientific American.

Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses

Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses

By Robin Lloyd, Scientific American | Feb 18, 2011 01:35 PM |

Social media has scored big successes in helping crowds to gather and communicate online to challenge oppressive regimes in recent weeks, but digital gathering places that are basically public—and the crowd-sourced data they generate—also carry risks. Crowds are forming so rapidly online—the photo-sharing app Instagram reported enrolling one million users in the past six weeks—that many platform managers fail to take full responsibility for protecting the users who post reports online, or for anticipating how the data might be abused by authorities.

For full text, visit Observations: Crowd-sourced data hold potential for positive change and human rights abuses.

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