by Stephen Downes
Jun 11, 2015
Why Apple is suddenly so obsessed with your privacy
Personal data is poised to become the most valuable commodity, bar none, on the internet. So, who should own it? Apple makes the case that it is the user's most trusted partner. "Apple, argues Apple, does not pass along your data to third parties or use it to profile you. It only uses it to make your services better. This is a seductive (and also probably reductive) argument, but it strikes at an undenial truth about the internet business in 2015: no company can hope to survive without access to user data."
Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated
As I read the report outlining the causes and possible solutions to Athabasca University's problems, I was struck more of all by its non-specificity. Blaming as it does the university's location, faculty structure, and staff contracts (and ignoring as it does systemic underfunding and administrative mismanagement) the report has drawn the ire of faculty and staff. Only one of the four options envisions the university continuing as is (and even this option highlights cost-cutting and contracting out core functions). You have to think that the committee and Board's response to the putative 'insolvency' crisis is what any businesses would be: fire sale. But that's not really an acceptable outcome for an essential public service.
Anti-Vaxxers Are Using Twitter to Manipulate a Vaccine Bill
Renee DiResta, Gilad Lotan,
According to Gary Finnegan, editor of Vaccines Today, "it is essential that when people go online for information they are left with the clear impression that vaccines are safe and effective.” As the author of this interesting article on the analysis of use of social networks to spread the anti-vaccine message. "If that’s going to change, the people fighting misinformation need to understand how it gets spread in the first place."
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