copiesofcopies/youtube-transcription · GitHub -
Open government developer Waldo Jaquith had a problem: he wanted transcripts for videos of the Virginia legislature but didn’t have the resources to fund their creation nor time to transcribe sessions himself.
When he talked to Matt Cutts at the Newsfoo unconference last December, Google’s lead for Web spam suggested to Jacquith that he make use of YouTube ability to automagically created machine-generated transcripts of video.
Last week, Jaquith posted a $500 bounty for a speech transcription program, funded by 95 backers for a Kickstarter campaign to liberate Virginia’s legislative video.
That’s when something interesting happened, as Jacquith blogged today: Aaron Williamson, a lawyer for the Software Freedom Law Center, created a Python script to fix the problem.
Jaquith intends to use the code in the Richmond Sunlight project — and because it’s open source, anyone else can press it into service as a means to generate transcripts of video.
The quality of YouTube’s machine-generated transcriptions are, to be fair, mixed, although they are improving. That said, they’re better than none at all.
Williamson told Jaquith that he’ll donate the Kickstarter cash to charity.
The obfuscation of culture (how to hide your s-t online) -
One of my favorite bits from Jacob’s post on “seapunk” was this bit about keeping subcultures “sub”:
It is an impossibility for a subcultural style to be “owned”. Sub-culture exists when gazed at by mass-culture. The only way to ensure that your aesthetic is not going to become used by others is to never share it with anyone. Another approach is to protect your aesthetic with physical violence (see: gang colors). Otherwise, once you allow your presence to be seen, it can be consumed.
Most communities protect their culture through some form of obfuscation: hiding the meaning of their communication by making it hard to interpret.
This is a practice I’ve been studying for some time and some of it is incredible.
- Tum bl r an d L J u sers sep ar ate w ords thr ou gh o dd spacin g in o rde r to fo ol sea rc h en g i nes.
- Chinese users hide political messages in image attachments to seemingly benign posts on Weibo.
- General Pretraeus communicated solely through draft mode.
- 4chan scares away the faint of heart with porn.
- More technically astute groups communicate through obscure messaging systems.
If you want your subculture to go undetected, all of these techniques are moderately effective at keeping your activity away from people and their machines. Until they *want* to find you. Then they’ll find ways around the gates you throw up.
update #1:rickwebb replied to your link: The obfuscation of culture (how to hide your shit online)We see a lot of people posting whole posts in tags, so that they’re only visible in the dashboard and not their external-facing blogs, too.
update #2: Alex Leavitt points me to this First Monday piece by Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, ‘Vernacular Resistance to Data Collection & Analysis: A Political Theory of Obfuscation’
Nat linked up this post in Radar today.
Dale Dougherty and Anil Dash talk about the Maker movement -
Last week in New York City, MAKE founder Dale Dougherty talked with entrepreneur Anil Dash about making and participatory design. Video of their conversation is embedded below.
Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government -
Today, the White House responded to the We The People e-petition on open access.
John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, released a memorandum directing agencies with “more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.”
Today’s White house #OA directive & #FASTR = watershed for US public’s right to access taxpayer-funded research bit.ly/VBnwC6
Great the Pres. is joining the fight to provide free & open access of taxpayer funded research to the American public 1.usa.gov/15Bsenx
As Hayley Tsukayama notes in the Washington Post, the White House acknowledged the open access policies of the National Institutes of Health as a successful model for sharing research.
Was this a policy change? An open question on Twitter received clear answers:
@digiphile It’s a marked policy change — the administration hadn’t taken a stance previously.
From the day they were announced, one of the biggest question marks about We The People e-petitions has always been whether the administration would make policy changes or take public stances it had not before on a given issue.
ThThe Obama administration has been considering access to federally funded scientific research for years, including a report to Congress in March 2012. The relevant e-petition, which had gathered more than 65,000 signatures had gone unanswered since May of last year.
While the memorandum and the potential outcomes from its release come with caveats, from that $100M threshold to national security or economic competitions, an answer from the director of the White House Office of Science Policy accompanied by a memorandum directing agencies to make changes is a substantive outcome.
While there are many reasons to be critical of some open government initiatives, it certainly appears that today, We The People were heard in the halls of government.
‘Bioconcrete’ Uses Bacteria to Heal Self | ThisBigCity
No product evokes a sense of solidity and sturdiness the way concrete does. However, the tiniest of cracks in an otherwise colossal slab will inevitably lead to structural degradation, leakages and costly repairs.
It is precisely this problem that two Dutch researchers from Delft Technical University have been working on. Beginning in 2006, Henk Jonkers, a microbiologist, and Eric Schlangen, a specialist in concrete development, sought to develop a self-healing cement [pictured] that would stop cracks from forming in the concrete, thereby extending the life of constructions.