Thursday, February 28, 2013
Bradley Manning, the private accused of leaking documents to Wikileaks, has pled guilty to 10 charges that he possessed secret papers including diplomatic cables, field reports, and other classified materials, and that he released those materials to unauthorized persons. He has justified his actions by telling a judge that he wanted to let the U.S. public know about what was actually going on in Afghanistan. The judge will now decide whether to accept Private Manning's guilty plea. Private Manning indicated that he had tried to speak to the mainstream press, including the New York Times, before contacting Wikileaks, but did not receive a response. Prosecutors could still proceed with a court martial of Private Manning on other charges.
The ABA has pointed out that, as in "real" life, "virtual" life can pose pitfalls for judges who seem overly friendly to one side or the other. Be careful that your social media "likes" don't seem to endorse a candidate, a lawyer, or an organization, says the venerable lawyer's group in an ethics opinion issue February 21st. Here's a link to the text of Formal Opinon 462: Judge's Use of Electronic Social Networking Media. It reads in part:
The Model Code requires judges to “maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times, and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives.” Thus judges must be very thoughtful in their interactions with others, particularly when using ESM. Judges must assume that comments posted to an ESM site will not remain within the circle of the judge’s connections. Comments, images, or profile information, some of which might prove embarrassing if publicly revealed, may be electronically transmitted without the judge's knowledge or permission to persons unknown to the judge or to other unintended recipients. Such dissemination has the potential to compromise or appear to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judge, as well as to undermine public confidence in the judiciary.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
From the New York Times, a discussion of a new deal that French publishers have agreed to with Google, concerning French publishing content (including websites and other digital material). Other European publishers are concerned, since they had wanted to present a united front and pursue legislation that would regulate the questions both of copyright and use of digital content in the EU.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Dale Askey, the McMaster University librarian facing a defamation suit from Edwin Mellen Press, is gaining support from librarians, faculty unions, and academics around the world. Those wanting to show their sympathy for Mr. Askey can sign an online petition at Change.org; as of 3:50 p.m. CST on 2/14/2013 it had nearly 2000 signatures. More here about support for Mr. Askey from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Below is the meeting agenda for the FCC's February 20th meeting.
Commission Meeting Agenda
A Public Notice of the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission News Media Information (202) 418-0500 445 12th Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20554
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov ftp.fcc.gov *
The summaries listed in this notice are intended for the use of the public attending open Commission meetings. Information not summarized may also be considered at such meetings. Consequently these summaries should not be interpreted to limit the Commission's authority to consider any relevant information.
February 13, 2013 FCC TO HOLD OPEN COMMISSION MEETING WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2013 The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. The meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
ITEM NO. BUREAU SUBJECT 1 WIRELESS TELE- COMMUNICATIONS TITLE: Amendment of Parts 1, 2, 22, 24, 27, 90 and 95 of the Commission’s Rules to Improve Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal Boosters SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Report and Order to significantly enhance wireless coverage for consumers, while protecting wireless networks from interference, by adopting new technical and operational requirements for signal boosters.
2 OFFICE OF ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY TITLE: Revision of Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) Devices in the 5 GHz Band SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to substantially increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum available to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology offering consumers faster speeds and less network congestion at Wi-Fi hot spots.
The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. 2Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202- 418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty). Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from Meribeth McCarrick, Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live web page at www.fcc.gov/live. For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu. Copies of materials adopted at this meeting can be purchased from the FCC's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (202) 488-5300; Fax (202) 488-5563; TTY (202) 488- 5562. These copies are available in paper format and alternative media, including large print/type; digital disk; and audio and video tape. Best Copy and Printing, Inc. may be reached by e-mail at FCC@BCPIWEB.com.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The UK Advertising Standards Authority has upheld objections to a Chanel ad featuring actress Keira Knightly, noting that it was scheduled during a time when children could easily have been watching. The ad "involved sexually suggestive content" which was "unsuitable for young children."
A TV ad, for the perfume Coco Mademoiselle, included scenes that showed the actress Keira Knightley being photographed on a bed. The photographer was shown unzipping her clothes before she undressed herself, showing her shoulders and part of her back. The actress was then shown dressed only in a bed sheet crawling towards the photographer before lying back on the bed. The photographer appeared about to kiss her when she put a finger to his lips and said "lock the door".
Said the ASA:
[T]he undressing in the ad took place in the context of a photo shoot but nevertheless [the ASA] considered those scenes involved sexually suggestive content. We noted that the photographer was directly involved in unzipping the actress's garments and that there was a suggestion that she was naked aside from a bed sheet. We also noted that there was clear sexual tension between the pair and that they appeared about to kiss on the bed. We noted that Ice Age 2 was of particular appeal to children. We considered the ad was suitable for older children, but that the sexually suggestive material was unsuitable for young children. We therefore concluded that the ad was inappropriately scheduled and an ex-kids restriction should have been applied to prevent the ad from being broadcast in or around children's programming.
Read the entire ruling here.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Friday, February 8, 2013
The Edwin Mellen Press has brought a defamation suit against Dale Askey over statements Mr. Askey made in a post on his own blog in September 2010. Among those comments was one particularly vivid one, that the Press is "a dubious publisher." Mr. Askey, currently a librarian at McMaster University, says he was commenting as a librarian on the quality of Edwin Mellen Press titles, in the area of philosophy. There's more, of course, which you can read in this story published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The Press has now filed its suit in an Ontario court. Here's more commentary at Leiter's blog, here from Inside Higher Education, and at the Academic Librarian, which has a link to the actual complaint.