Summary of “Let’s make private data into a public good”

All are designed to maximize the advantages of sticking with Google: if you don’t have a Gmail address, you can’t use Google Hangouts.
The bulk of Google’s profits come from selling advertising space and users’ data to firms.
Let’s not forget that a large part of the technology and necessary data was created by all of us.
The low tax rates that technology companies are typically paying on these large rewards are also perverse, given that their success was built on technologies funded and developed by high-risk public investments: if anything, companies that owe their fortunes to taxpayer-funded investment should be repaying the taxpayer, not seeking tax breaks.
Measuring the value of a company like Google or Facebook by the number of ads it sells is consistent with standard neoclassical economics, which interprets any market-based transaction as signaling the production of some kind of output-in other words, no matter what the thing is, as long as a price is received, it must be valuable.
There is indeed no reason why the public’s data should not be owned by a public repository that sells the data to the tech giants, rather than vice versa.
The key issue here is not just sending a portion of the profits from data back to citizens but also allowing them to shape the digital economy in a way that satisfies public needs.
Mariana Mazzucato is a professor in the economics of innovation and public value at University College London, where she directs the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

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Summary of “Why we may never know if British troops committed war crimes in Iraq”

The collapse of Ihat seems likely to mark the end of serious attempts to investigate alleged crimes by British soldiers in Iraq, leaving questions about the scale of abuses and accountability unanswered.
One of the central questions raised by Ihat is who, ultimately, is responsible for crimes committed by British personnel in war? Individual service personnel bear criminal responsibility for crimes they commit in war, such as murdering civilians or torturing prisoners.
If it didn’t, Britain and the politicians and generals in power at the time of the Iraq war might have a case to answer in the ICC. The view within government under Labour, when Ihat was set up, was that it would show Britain was taking responsibility by punishing the worst cases of abuse, while simultaneously proving that there were relatively few serious incidents.
Initially, Ihat’s investigative team were mostly drawn from a branch of the British military police that had been active in Iraq during the occupation.
As the verdict in another inquiry into alleged crimes in Iraq became a national scandal, the controversy engulfed Ihat.
Although the al-Sweady case was separate to Ihat, in retrospect it is clear that the judgment marked the beginning of the end for Ihat – and helped transform the public conversation about British military conduct in Iraq.
“It’s all been vague and incomprehensible. The Iraqi courts have no authority over the British, while reaching British courts presents obstacles like language, visas and people’s ignorance. Ihat followed up some cases but failed to achieve justice.”
Ministers in successive governments had hoped Ihat would finally put to bed the idea that British troops committed widespread abuses against civilians in Iraq.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We can’t forget about mass transit when we talk about the ‘future of transportation'”

For an event that was supposed to be about the “Future of transportation,” and part of a broader week-long festival about the “Future of everything,” it was oddly focused on personal – not public – transportation.
Typically, public transportation involves citywide systems that are complex and require a lot of money to be operated.
Fixing public transportation requires cooperation, planning, and the acceptance of the community.
Co/THHGntRMjC.- The New York Times May 12, 2018 Another problem, perhaps, is that the best ideas for improving public transportation are simply not flashy.
Neither does mobile ticketing, which seems like something that could have been widely implemented years ago, but has still not been adopted by some of the biggest transportation systems in the world.
It’s just not as exciting a solution as “Self-driving cars.” So if we’re going to have to drag our cities into the future, we need to be vigilant in remembering public transportation when we talk about the flashy stuff.
You can argue with the companies methods for expansion so far – and many are – but at least CEO Toby Sun mentioned public transportation.
The most salient point about public transportation came from someone who was showing off a product that isn’t even meant to move people: Sasha Hoffman, the COO of Piaggio Fast Forward, a robotics wing of Italian scooter giant Piaggio.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Who should hold the keys to our data?”

Within 48 hours, the data had been turned from a pile of figures into a resource that could save lives and that could help people to pressure government to deal with black spots.
There is big data, personal data, open data, aggregate data and anonymised data.
The single thing that every citizen and every corporate decision-maker needs to understand is that the enormous data stores that government, government agencies, corporations, trusts and individuals hold are as much a key part of national and international infrastructure as the road network.
Several companies have practical designs that offer each individual their own data account, on a cloud independent of any agency or commercial organisation.
The data would be unreadable as a whole to anyone other than the individual owner, who would allow other people access to selected parts of it, at their own discretion.
There are real gains to be made if citizens hold their own data and huge organisations don’t.
Yes, yes, the spooks and cops want to keep their own files about terrorists and not discuss the morals of data retention much with the lucky names on the list, and we are perfectly happy with that.
The central requirement is that, if you own a car, that fact and details of your car must be in your data store, whether you like it or not; authorised agencies must be able to look simultaneously at everyone’s store, to find a car they are interested in and must be able to do it without you knowing.

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Summary of “Copenhagen Architect Jan Gehl Takes on Smart Cities”

Architect and planner Jan Gehl looks back on how he helped transform Copenhagen into one of the world’s most livable cities and talks about how people can reclaim the streets.
Bringing hard data is the only way the government will listen, according to Jan Gehl, the pioneering Danish architect, urbanist, and planner who helped turn Copenhagen into one of the world’s most livable cities over the past 50 years.
In a conversation with Annette Becker and Lessano Negussie, the curators of the new exhibit “Ride a Bike! Reclaim the City,” now open at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany, Gehl discusses his observations and philosophies of how cities can become as bike-friendly, people-friendly, and climate-friendly as Copenhagen famously is.
One of the cities that has done the most is Copenhagen.
Since 2009, the Copenhagen city council has adopted a strategy saying: “We will be the best city for people in the world.” That means the entire city should be organized so that it becomes more convenient, comfortable, and safe for people to walk.
One of the reasons Copenhagen has gone so far with public spaces and bicycles is that we at the school of architecture at the University of Copenhagen started to study back in the 1960s how people use the city, and we became the world’s center for these kinds of studies.
The cities knew everything about traffic and nothing about people, and how and why people use the city.
What we have done in Copenhagen is to make the people who use the city visible and to document what is going on: Where people go, how many there are, how long they sit on benches, how many café chairs we have.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Open, Closed, and Privacy – Stratechery by Ben Thompson”

The ongoing debate about data and privacy is directly related to the question of encryption in some important ways, as Mossberg’s tweet notes: messaging content is data that users would like to keep private, and encryption accomplishes that.
That gets at the more important way that the relationship between open/closed and encryption is relevant to data and privacy: just as encryption at scale is only possible with a closed service, so it is with privacy.
Just as a closed garden makes the user experience challenge of encryption manageable, so does the centralization of data make privacy – of a certain sort – a viable business model.
One does wonder how much that allegation drives the outrage about the fact that Facebook shared that data to begin with, but leaving that aside, what is noteworthy is that the outrage stems from the sharing of the data, not its collection.
The implication is quite far-reaching: being open, at least to the extent that openness involved user data of any sort, is increasingly unacceptable; that new companies and user benefits might result from that data no longer matters, a fate that all-too-often befalls the not-yet-created.
Most of their competitors for digital advertising, on the other hand, are modular: some companies collect data, and other collect ads; such a model, in a society demanding ever more privacy, will be increasingly untenable.
Brussels wants its new General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, to stop tech giants and their partners from pressuring consumers to relinquish control of their data in exchange for services.
Specifically, if an emphasis on privacy and the non-leakage of data is a priority, it follows that the platforms that already exist will be increasingly entrenched.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A ‘thrilling’ mission to get the Swedish to change overnight”

“Thrilling” is the word repeatedly used by Jan Ramqvist to describe how he felt about participating in a nationwide mission to get all Swedish motorists and cyclists to change the habits of a lifetime and begin driving on the right-hand side of the road for the first time.
The day was officially known as Högertrafikomläggningen or simply Dagen H. Its mission was to put Sweden on the same path as the rest of its continental European neighbours, most of which had long followed the global trend to drive cars on the right.
Peter Kronborg, a Stockholm-based traffic consultant and author of a book about Dagen H, Håll dig till höger Svensson, was 10 years old on the day of the switch and recalls excitedly riding his bicycle on the right-hand side of the road for the first time, as well as a buzz around global media gathering in the Swedish capital to report on the day’s events.
A large part of the government’s budget for Dagen H was also spent on communication initiatives designed to educate the Swedish public and get them behind the change.
The prevailing sentiment among those who’ve studied Dagen H closely is that today’s political, economic and media climates would present numerous fresh challenges to those that existed at the time Dagen H. Peter Kronborg’s key argument is that ministers and public authorities would struggle to shift public opinion and shape a new consensus so dramatically.
From an economic perspective, Lars Magnusson estimates that the financial cost of implementing Dagen H today would be greatly increased due to Sweden’s road networks and infrastructure being “Much more developed” than 50 years ago.
The financial cost of implementing Dagen H today would go up at least 10 times.
Even Sweden’s current transportation strategists are sceptical that an equivalent to Dagen H could be implemented anywhere near as smoothly today as it was in 1967.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Prepare for an I.P.O. Wave”

A wave of tech I.P.O.s would have implications for Silicon Valley’s start-up ecosystem.
That gives venture capitalists a fresh set of companies to invest in, renewing the cycles of innovation and experimentation that sit at the heart of Silicon Valley.
The I.P.O.s will also earn the venture capitalists big returns – and bragging rights.
According to an annual ranking of venture capitalists by CB Insights, a research firm that follows start-ups and venture capital, many of the top-ranked investors backed companies with 2017 I.P.O.s, including the software maker MuleSoft; Stitch Fix, a mail-order clothing service; and Snap.At the top of the CB Insights list for the second straight year was Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark, which was a Stitch Fix backer and one of the biggest investors in Uber.Photo.
While private capital has been so accessible that start-ups have been able to get ample funding without the headaches of an I.P.O., several factors are encouraging companies to go public now, investors and bankers said.
Some start-up executives are eager to prove themselves as public company chief executives after founders like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey have said going public improved their discipline and focus on profits.
Matthew Kennedy, an I.P.O. analyst at Renaissance Capital, said nearly all private companies valued at more than $1 billion were strong candidates to go public in the next two years.
An I.P.O. boon would be good for the venture capitalists, too.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These 1923 Copyrighted Works Enter the Public Domain in 2019”

For the first time in twenty years, as the Atlantic points out, a whole year’s worth of copyrighted works will enter the public domain in the U.S. on January 1, 2019.
Under the terms of the Sonny Bono Copyright Act, works first published in 1923 will enter the public domain, meaning anyone can re-publish them, or chop them up and use them in other projects, without asking permission or paying the old rights holders.
You can even make new copyrighted works based on the old works-the way Disney made all its cartoons based on public-domain fairy tales-and people can’t copy any of the new parts you include.
Even worse, rights over music recorded until 1972 is governed by state law, and if its copyright was registered and renewed, it doesn’t automatically enter the public domain until 2067.Literature.
Many 1923 works, like the blockbuster film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, are already in the public domain, as the owners failed to renew their copyrights.
According to the LibraryLaw Blog, not everything published in 1923 will be public domain; only works with an authorized publication in 1923.
Double-check before you use anything listed above, and watch out for all the many ways that works can enter, or not enter, the public domain.
Check out the many existing collections of already rights-free works, and freely available copyrighted works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Public-Speaking Tips From Seasoned Experts”

What are you most afraid of? If you’re like most Americans, public speaking bothers you more than heights, bugs, snakes, enclosed spaces, flying, strangers, clowns and the prospect of drowning.
More than a quarter of the U.S. population has a fear of public speaking.
As an entrepreneur, you likely need to get comfortable with public speaking – at least on some level.
Dale Carnegie, the famed author of How to Win Friends and Influence People and founder of the Dale Carnegie Institute, which teaches a public speaking course, encouraged people to speak about topics they know a lot about.
He’s also a seasoned speaker, and one of his best tips is to speak slowly.
Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party, is known for her public speaking.
As you get used to public speaking, those nerves might decline but they won’t go away entirely.
Public speaking, like any other skill, can be improved and refined through understanding and practice.

The orginal article.