Yaay to free stuff! Columbia has a site on their free culture blog that can let you download a whole bunch of good course materials without having to pay for them.
Schulze Method Selected Method
The full results of this election ranked the candidates in order of preference (from most preferred to least preferred):
- Dr. Jorge Schmidt
- Dr. Agustin Irizarry
- Dr. Hector Huyke
- Dr. Cecilio Ortiz
- Dr. Douglas Santos
- Dr. Jorge Rivera Santos
About the Schulze Method
The Schulze method is a preferential voting system. It is based on the Condorcet method but includes a set of methods for resolving “circular” defeats.
The Schulze method is also known as Schwartz Sequential Dropping (SSD), Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping (CSSD), Beatpath Method, Beatpath Winner, Path Voting, and Path Winner.
Número final de votantes: 113
Número de personas que se registraron para votar: 653
Perdonen que nos hayamos tardado tanto en publicar los resultados. Selectricity.org nos estaba dando un error cada vez que tratábamos de acceder los resultados. Desde el lunes , hemos estado incesablemente intentando de contactar a los administradores de Selectricity.org pero no recibimos ninguna respuesta hasta hoy . Nos contactó el líder del proyecto para disculparse por tardarse tanto en contestarnos y nos dijo que iba a intentar de arreglarlo hoy mismo. Hace unos minutos nos escribieron para decirnos que habían podido arreglar el problema. Desafortunadamente este no fue el único problema que nos enfrentamos con Selectricity.
Varías personas nos informaron que no pudieron votar porque la página les estaba dando errores. También hubo que crear más de una elección porque hubo un error en la primera que se creó y Selectricity no tiene opciones para editar una elección después que comienza. Ésto pudo haber sido motivo de confusión para muchas personas. Finalmente, hubo gente que recibió su ¨ “token” para votar para en la primera elección que se creó pero no en el segundo intento.
Nosotros/as seleccionamos la plataforma de Selectricity por varias razones:
Desafortunadamente, Selectricity no estaba listo para aguantar nuestra elección ya que tuvo demasiados participantes registrados. Lamentamos muchísimo lo ocurrido y si hubiésemos sabido que Selectricity no iba a poder aguantar la carga pues hubiésemos optado por otra plataforma. Tengan en cuenta que nosotros creamos colegiodemocrati.co, inscribimos a más de 600 personas y preparamos la elección en menos de una semana. Tuvimos muy poco tiempo para preparanos. Aun así el proceso funcionó y logramos nuestro objetivo ; los resultados obtenidos son prueba de ello.
Sin embargo y más importante aún, éstos resultados ( a pesar de los problemas con la plataforma) significan algo verdaderamente importante y trascendental: es la primera vez que la comunidad universitaria del Colegio tuvo la oportunidad de expresarse de esta manera sobre sus preferencias para candidato a rector. Nuestra misión principal con este proyecto era crear aunque fuese solo un pequeño espacio en donde manifestar lo que queremos ver en el Colegio; más democracia participativa, más participación directa de la comunidad en la toma de decisiones, más transparencia y más personas informadas. Con este ejercicio hemos cumplido nuestra misión. Muchisimas gracías a todas las personas que sacrificarón su tiempo libre y colaboraron para poder hacer posible este proyecto. También le agradecemos al grupo de los 5 por inspirarnos a hacer este proyecto y por haber dicho “basta!” y hacer algo por nuestra Universidad. Sin ellos nada de ésto hubiese ocurrido.
P.S. Las personas que participaron del proceso pueden revisar los resultados y ver todos los detalles visitando Selectricity.org y poniendo su “token” de votación.
Durante los pasados meses, el sector estudiantil del RUM hemos exigido mayor participación en los procesos administrativos de nuestra universidad. Nos enfrentamos en poco más de una semana, ante el proceso de elegir un nuevo rector en nuestro Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez. El grupo de Free Culture se ha dado a la tarea de darle a toda la comunidad universitaria una herramienta de expresión pública para dejarles sentir a la administración nuestra opinión acerca del rector que queremos en nuestro recinto: un simulacro de elecciones. ¡Anímate a participar y a dejar saber tu sentir!
El proceso de votación tiene dos etapas y se llevará a cabo en el site: http://colegiodemocrati.co/ . En la primera etapa, durante estos días, comenzando lunes 24 de octubre hasta el jueves 27 de octubre la página estará abierta al público en general para que puedan registrarse y votar. Esto es así debido a que estamos usando un sistema de votación corrido por MIT Labs para garantizar la mayor transparencia y seguridad en el proceso. Luego aquellos que se hayan registrado recibirán un token en su email para poder votar. Las elecciones estarán abiertas desde el viernes 28 de octubre hasta el domingo 30 de octubre. Los resultados serán anunciados el lunes 31 de octubre.
¡No pierdas esta oportunidad! ¡Es nuestro primer escalón en la escalera de tomar control de nuestra universidad de manera informada y democrática! ¡Anímate a expresarte y a dejarte sentir!
P.D. ¡Nuestra inciativa, aunque joven, ya se ha dejado sentir en la prensa! Salimos en el periódico El Primera Hora (http://www.primerahora.com/organizacionestudiantildemayaguezinvitaaeleccionesparaescogerrector-570986.html). ¡Continuemos!
Free your PC is this week! We’ll be tabling at the Reitz Union colonnades from 10am ’til 2pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (10/25 - 10/27), installing UF licensed copies of McAfee anti-virus (free for students and faculty) and a wide assortment of free (open-source and zero-cost) software.
We’ll be playing some Creative Commons music as well, so even if you’re totally virus free and you’re an expert at using the GIMP, come out and hear some of our favorite publicly available musical selections. See you there!
The FreedomPack, a project of our chapter that provides a disc of free software for Windows and Mac OS X users, has been released to BitTorrent today. The software includes:
Free Culture at Virginia Tech will be hosting a LAN party for free games on Sunday. Games being played include Nexuiz, BZFlag, Wormux, and Battle for Wesnoth. If you have a suggestion (it must be multiplayer over a LAN and meet the definition of a Free Cultural Work) please let us know on our wiki.
Bring Ethernet cable and a decent PC. Most machines from the last year or so will be fine, so long as the graphics are discrete (ATI or NVIDIA, not Intel). We will provide copies of all games for all of the major operating systems at the event.
Florida Free Culture is hosting a Linux Installfest this weekend!
Date: Saturday, April 3rd
Time: 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Location Reitz Union Room 284
We will have flash drives and CDs with the most recent versions of several popular Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, and others.
Experienced Linux users will be on hand to guide you through the process, and free refreshments will also be available.
Remember to back up your files before coming. FFC cannot take responsibility for lost or corrupted files.
Many distributions come with “Live” installs, which don’t actually install anything on your machine but let you see how working in Linux will feel like for you. We will also have these available.
If you’ve always wanted to try it but never had the guts to go through with it, now is your chance to make the leap! Join Florida Free Culture for the Installfest this Saturday.
Excellent video essay on the stigma of appropriation and visual remixing from one its biggest practitioners, Oliver Laric. Surprisingly reminiscent of a Chris Marker film (maybe it’s the narrator).
Also, somewhat related…an interesting essay on the hypocrisy of the recent Pirate Bay arrests and what it could mean for the future of ye olde music industrie from the vice-president of the Berklee College of Music. LINK
Even as the content industry celebrates another false victory over file sharing, the world is moving on, to cloud-based, on-demand streaming services — some licensed — where you can hear music and watch videos faster and in a more social way than you can with bit torrent. And as content holders look to monetize those networks, P2P networks provide the only useful template, because they share so many characteristics with today’s social-media networks…
In addition to teaching them how to mine social networks for user data, file sharing taught the content industry that it’s often more efficient to address networks than users. On one hand, this sort of thinking led to The Pirate Bay lawsuit. On the other, we have Choruss, Warner Music Group adviser and digital music guru Jim Griffin’s plan to license universities, then ISPs, to allow subscribers to download and upload as much music as they want for an overall, royalty-like fee.
POSTED BY CHRIS
From RIAA vs the People:
“In its first opportunity to demonstrate its position on the constitutionality of the Copyright Act’s statutory damages provisions as applied to mp3 files having a market value of 99 cents or less, the Obama Justice Department — staffed by RIAA lawyers in its 2nd and 3rd highest positions — has filed a motion for intervention and brief in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum which attempts to support the RIAA’s statutory damages theory.”
Excellent and unexpected news today! BU will have a Free (non-commercial) archive of all of their scholarly research, old and new.
This BU today article by Art Jahnke and Jessica Ullian broke the story about what happened:
Boston University took a giant step towards greater access to academic scholarship and research on February 11, when the University Council voted to support an open access system that would make scholarly work of the faculty and staff available online to anyone, for free, as long as the authors are credited and the scholarship is not used for profit.
“We believe this is the first time that a university as a whole has taken a stand on behalf of the university as opposed to a single school or college,” says Wendy Mariner, the chair of the Faculty Council and a professor at the School of Law, at the School of Public Health, and at the School of Medicine. “We are looking forward to new forms of publication in the 21st century that will transform the ways that knowledge and information are shared.”
“The resolution passed by our University Council is a very important statement on the importance of open access to the results of scholarship and research created within the University,” says BU President Robert A. Brown. “The digital archive called for in the resolution will become a great repository for the creativity of our faculty and students.”
The council vote has approved an initiative to establish an archive of the research and scholarship produced by the faculty of the University. Mariner says that one goal is to make it easier for faculty to be able to share their own research with students. and colleagues.
The increased ownership and control is good news for researchers such as Barbara Millen, a professor and chair of the graduate nutrition program at the School of Medicine. Working on a book about nutrition research at one point in her career, Millen found herself in the paradoxical position of having to seek permission to use her own data after it was published in a journal that retained the copyright to her work. The challenge, says Millen, who cochaired the University Council committee that recommended the open access initiative, will be providing faculty with the tools to make their research available online.
“Open access will really highlight the tremendous productivity of our faculty,” says Millen. “Among the more important things needed to make it work is a collaboration between the libraries and our faculty to get their research onto the Web. It’s not an inconsequential task.”
Traditionally, academic journal publishers have used subscriptions to cover the costs of printing, marketing, and distribution. Many also charge a per-page fee to researchers whose work they publish, which can add up to thousands of dollars. The journals control access to the published papers, because they often hold exclusive copyright. Thanks to the Internet, printing presses and expensive distribution networks are no longer needed, but there are still costs for editing, marketing, and other logistics, even for online journals, and open-access journals typically charge scholars a flat processing fee to cover these costs. For example, BioMed Central, the for-profit publisher of Environmental Health, charges authors $1,700.
Some universities, such as the University of California, are footing the bill for their faculty’s open-access publishing fees, and in other cases, researchers have included these fees as a line item in their grant applications. At least one major source of grants, the National Institutes of Health, recently mandated that any research it funds must be open-access within a year after publication.
Last year, according to an editorial in Environmental Health, only about 10 percent of published scientific articles were accessible without restrictions. But a 2006 survey by the Washington, D.C.–based Association of Research Libraries found that 43 percent of its member universities and research institutions already had open-access archives and 35 percent were planning one. “Open access is an irresistible tide,” says David Ozonoff, a professor of environmental health at SPH and an editor-in-chief of Environmental Health. “The publishers see this. They’ve been trying to prevent it, but it’s impossible.”
News of the University Council vote was welcomed by Robert Hudson, the director of Mugar Memorial Library, and as cochair of the University Council committee on scholarly activities and libraries, a key force behind the move toward open access. Hudson says the effort to maintain an up-to-date collection of scholarly journals costs the University approximately $8 million a year. Annual subscription rates can reach $20,000 and tend to increase 6 to 10 percent each year; as a result, expanding the library’s scholarly archive has been a financial challenge.
“This vote sends a very strong message of support for open and free exchange of scholarly work,” says Hudson. “Open access means that the results of research and scholarship can be made open and freely accessible to anyone. It really has increased the potential to showcase the research and scholarship of the University in ways that have
not been evident to people.””
BUFC wasn’t actively pushing this (rather, we are pushing for OpenCourseWare), but this is still a huge, huge victory on the path to a free culture. I can’t wait to see this implemented!
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s technology policy white paper stated that “Intellectual property is to the digital age what physical goods were to the industrial age. Barack Obama believes we need to update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.”
Now, as President-Elect, Barack Obama can make concrete decisions to ensure American intellectual property policy encourages innovation. The first major decision that the Obama team will make in the area of patent and copyright policy will be the selection of the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator,” popularly known as IP Czar. This position could be used to fight piracy and apply outdated copyright rules to the digital economy. Or, this position has the potential to update American IP policy and spur innovation, expand consumer choice and lead to the development of new services and jobs.
Georgetown University Students for Free Culture is encouraging President-Elect Obama to pursue the latter policy. You can join this effort by joining the Facebook Cause here to let the Obama team know that the public wants an IP czar who will support innovation and consumer choice.”
Join here: http://tinyurl.com/9ujgqs
Wondering what Open Access is about and why should you care? See the resources below by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC):
Open Access (PDF): Why OA matters and how you can benefit from it.
We Support Open Access (PDF): What OA means for students, teachers, researchers, scientists and librarians.
What’s Driving Open Access (various formats)
AUC FreeCulture is in the process of setting up an Open Access awareness session on October 14th. More details will be available very soon.
From a Slate article about Genetically Modified (GM) food:
“Even if GM companies do manage to improve crops that truly matter for food security, these miracle seeds won’t help if they’re not accessible to poor farmers. That means companies must either price seeds cheaply enough for farmers to buy each year or stop objecting when poor farmers save and reuse the seeds the following year. Today, Monsanto and other seed companies object strenuously to seed saving, which they call “seed piracy” and which they claim deprives them of profits. Yet seed saving is central to food security for the billions of farmers too poor to buy new seeds every season. More to the point, while pirated profits are a real issue among wealthy Western farmers, it’s a bogus concern in the developing world, where poor farmers were never going to buy new seeds—and certainly not expensive GM seeds—every year anyway.
In fact, many critics believe the GM industry’s objections to seed saving have less to do with lost profits in the developing world than with the industry’s long-term goal of owning, literally, the seed sector. When seeds are conventionally bred, breeders don’t own them—anyone can use or improve the seeds. But genetic modification allows a company to claim property rights over a particular DNA blueprint and to charge a licensing fee for each and every copy—much as Microsoft now claims an interest in each and every copy of Windows. By relaxing its proprietary zeal and allowing seeds in the developing world to be “open source,” the GM industry could do much to bolster claims that it is really trying to help poor farmers.”
SFC @ RPI is training a cabal of Wikipedians this Thursday, from 2-6pm in the Nason classroom. On the agenda is bringing as many RPI Wikipedians together to improve RPI-related articles, and to try to hook new editors. We’ll provide guidance about how to edit the ‘pedia to all the n00bs who show up.
Check out our wiki page on the event.
Thanks to everyone who helped by working the table, making obnoxious announcements between shows, or just making a donation. we gave away 100 cd’s (also a bunch of creative commons fliers and a couple tattoos) and made $510, 10 more than our goal.
Students for Free Culture at Rensselaer was not established as a 1st Amendment activist group, to push the envelope of free speech and free expression. The mission of Students for Free Culture is “to build a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture” and to educate the next generation of leaders about issues of digital rights and digital freedom. In light of the recent censorship of Wafaa Bilal, however, an important question arises: how can such a participatory structure develop when a culture and tradition of free speech and free expression are in doubt?
The events occurred the week before spring break, and have continued with a minimal student presence at RPI. SFC@RPI has been aiding community collaboration using our wiki, and endeavoring to be a neutral clearinghouse of information regarding this chain of events. If you want to know the whole story, read all about it, and if you see something you can add, contribute to it.
Students for Free Culture at RPI believes that, to the best of our knowledge, the administration is completely within its legal rights to censor any work they so choose. Says the administration, “as stewards of a private university, we have the right and, indeed, the responsibility to ensure that university resources are used in ways that are in the overall best interests of the institution.” But we think that censoring Wafaa Bilal and shutting down his exhibit was the wrong decision. It is relatively easy to give in to angry letters from outraged community members calling for the removal of art they find offensive. But the purpose of that art was to elicit a response in order to foster a discussion. Censorship sends the wrong message: instead of engaging in rational discourse when we disagree with something, we will silence the object of our disagreement.
Of course, SFC@RPI does not and will not endorse the work in question. Indeed, we will not agree with it, disagree with it, or take any other critical position on the work itself. The important point here is that there are any number of perfectly reasonable, rational stances on how to feel about such an exhibit. But just because you disagree with an act of self expression does not mean you have the right to silence that act. Summarizing the belief of Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
One last point we want to make explicit: The issue has spun out of control because of the radical positions on both sides of the discourse. When the College Republicans called the Department of the Arts “a Haven for Terrorists,” it was borderline libelous. But that didn’t stop some people from responding in kind.
Important as the message we are expressing is the way we express it. We will respond to every vitriolic attack and every intolerant diatribe with a calm and reasonable response that asserts the fundamental goals of the movement: a culture of participation and vigorous free thought that engages the whole campus community. Sensationalism and petty bickering may be easy, but these tactics marginalize those moderate voices who want to see a reasonable middle ground reached. It is our right and responsibility to rewrite the spirit of dissent at RPI on our own terms.
We hope that an appeal to common sense and rational discussion will elicit buy-in and support from the whole community, and not only those of us who already feel strongly one way or the other. Only in this way can a free culture succeed and thrive.
Hey Everyone, big news to announce.
The USC “Association for Computing Machinery” (ACM) and “Free Culture USC” are partnering on an upcoming “Code for a Cause” programming event on the USC campus. The last “Code for a Cause event”, called “SS12″ had students develop innovative, empowering software projects for disabled persons. This upcoming event will focus on the theory and the technology behind open-source software and the emerging “One Laptop Per Child” (OLPC) platform. In case you have not heard about the OLPC, it is the organization making the famed “$100 laptop” that is being sent to the world’s poorest children to give them a chance at education. The OLPC’s “XO” laptop is itself based on open-source software and is set up to easily allow people to make software for it.
Like in the SS12 event, we hope to attract students ranging from freshmen undergraduates all the way through Ph.D candidates and put them in mixed teams of about five people. After an in-depth introduction to the OLPC platform and a kickoff ceremony, student teams will be challenged over a week-long period to develop open-source software for the OLPC platform. Teams will be given guidelines for their projects, but be left enough discretion to leverage their own creativity to produce unique solutions. Software experts and OLPC hardware will be made available during office-hours throughout the week of the event. At the end of the week, students will submit their projects and receive prizes for their work at a closing ceremony. The goal of this event is to raise awareness for open-source software, to promote the OLPC platform, and to be educational and fun for all participants.
While the web site for this new event is under construction, you can visit http://ss12.info to learn more about our last event.
To learn more about the OLPC, visit http://laptop.org.
More news to follow shortly. Feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions - dhodge at usc dot edu
Internet radio has to pay a type of copyright fee that terrestrial radio does not.
Why? What justifies this difference? Was there any study of the economic consequences from Internet radio that would justify these differences? Was the motive to protect artists against piracy?
In a rare bit of candor, one RIAA expert admitted what seemed obvious to everyone at the time. As Alex Alben, vice president for Public Policy at Real Networks, told me,
“The RIAA, which was representing the record labels, presented some testimony about what they thought a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, and it was much higher. It was ten times higher than what radio stations pay to perform the same songs for the same period of time. And so the attorneys representing the webcasters asked the RIAA, ... “How do you come up with a rate that’s so much higher? Why is it worth more than radio? Because here we have hundreds of thousands of webcasters who want to pay, and that should establish the market rate, and if you set the rate so high, you’re going to drive the small webcasters out of business. ...”
And the RIAA experts said, “Well, we don’t really model this as an industry with thousands of webcasters, we think it should be an industry with, you know, five or seven big players who can pay a high rate and it’s a stable, predictable market.” (Emphasis added.)
Translation: The aim is to use the law to eliminate competition, so that this platform of potentially immense competition, which would cause the diversity and range of content available to explode, would not cause pain to the dinosaurs of old. There is no one, on either the right or the left, who should endorse this use of the law. And yet there is practically no one, on either the right or the left, who is doing anything effective to prevent it.
-- Lawrence Lessig, Free Culture