Category Archives: News

Microsoft Kinect Sign Language Translator

Microsoft Research Connections Team
Kinect Sign Language Translator – part 1
Guobin Wu

There are more than 20 million people in China who are hard of hearing, and an estimated 360 million such people around the world, so this project has immense potential to generate positive social impact worldwide.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/msr_er/archive/2013/10/29/kinect-sign-language-translator.aspx

Kinect Sign Language Translator – part 2
Stewart Tansley
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/msr_er/archive/2013/10/30/kinect-sign-language-translator-part-2-of-2.aspx

FTC Staff Report Recommends Ways to Improve Mobile Privacy Disclosures

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s chief privacy agency, issued a staff report recommending ways that key players in the rapidly expanding mobile marketplace can better inform consumers about their data practices.

The report makes recommendations for critical players in the mobile marketplace: mobile platforms (operating system providers, such as Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft), application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations. Most of the recommendations involve making sure that consumers get timely, easy-to-understand disclosures about what data they collect and how the data is used.

http://ftc.gov/opa/2013/02/mobileprivacy.shtm

Facebook Timeline rollout, Mandatory for All Users

The Facebook Blog

Last year we introduced timeline, a new kind of profile that lets you highlight the photos, posts and life events that help you tell your story. Over the next few weeks, everyone will get timeline. When you get timeline, you’ll have 7 days to preview what’s there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.

https://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=10150408488962131
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/facebook-timeline_n_1228800.html

Google announces privacy changes, users can’t opt out

Updating our privacy policies and terms of service
1/24/2012 01:30:00 PM
In just over a month we will make some changes to our privacy policies and Google Terms of Service. This stuff matters, so we wanted to explain what’s changing, why and what these changes mean for users.

First, our privacy policies. Despite trimming our policies in 2010, we still have more than 70 (yes, you read right … 70) privacy documents covering all of our different products. This approach is somewhat complicated. It’s also at odds with our efforts to integrate our different products more closely so that we can create a beautifully simple, intuitive user experience across Google.

So we’re rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it, in a much more readable way. While we’ve had to keep a handful of separate privacy notices for legal and other reasons, we’re consolidating more than 60 into our main Privacy Policy.

Regulators globally have been calling for shorter, simpler privacy policies—and having one policy covering many different products is now fairly standard across the web.

These changes will take effect on March 1, and we’re starting to notify users today, including via email and a notice on our homepage.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/updating-our-privacy-policies-and-terms.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/google-privacy-policies_n_1229470.html

Reid shelves PROTECT IP Act

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is putting the PROTECT IP Act on hold. “In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT IP Act,” he said in a tweet.

“There’s no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can’t be resolved,” he said. “Counterfeiting & piracy cost 1000s of jobs yearly.”

“Americans rightfully expect to be fairly compensated 4 their work. I’m optimistic that we can reach compromise on PROTECT IP in coming weeks,” he concluded.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/reid-shelves-protect-ip-act-in-response-to-recent-events.ars

Don’t mess with the Internet

The New York Times

WASHINGTON — When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street — the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider’s insider.

Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don’t mess with the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/technology/web-protests-piracy-bill-and-2-key-senators-change-course.html?_r=1&comments#permid=610

Wikipedia: Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge

Google

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/18/sopa-blackout-day-of-action-live?newsfeed=true

Mark Zuckerberg
The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.

The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet.

You can read more about our views here: https://www.facebook.com/FacebookDC?sk=app_329139750453932.

https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10100210345757211

English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout

To: English Wikipedia Readers and Community
From: Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
Date: January 16, 2012

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States —the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate— that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.

Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.

On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia_anti-SOPA_blackout