Posts tagged with "in the news"

Posted by Trixie on 11/29/13
Recently GoldieBlox, a California toy company, parodied “Girls” a Beastie Boys song. If you’ve never heard the song, it’s had its share of criticism for being sexist. Its lyrics joke that girls are only good for cleaning, doing the dishes, and laundry. GoldieBlox re-worded the song to encourage girls to explore the fields of science, technology, and engineering. Their use of the song without permission recently initiated discussion of copyright infringement versus fair use.
 
Copyright falls under the legal regulations, known as intellectual-property law, that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information. Copyright deals specifically with the rights granted to a creator, publisher, or other owner of original content to reproduce, adapt, or distribute said content. You might think that intellectual-property law has nothing to do with you, but if you’ve ever created a slideshow and used your favorite songs as the soundtrack, mashed up content to make a funny video, or made a copy of a CD/DVD for a friend, it does apply. Here’s a video that’ll give you a review of copyright principles.
 
 
Some copyright-related terms defined:
copyleft agreements: an alternative to placing works in the public domain or under traditional copyright laws; works can be modified as long as derivative works retain the same restrictions stipulated by the author of the original work. digital rights management (DRM): technological mechanisms to prevent content from being copied or shared over networks.
fair use doctrine: permits moderate use of copyrighted materials for education, news reporting, parody, criticism, and even home consumption in some cases as long as the use does not detract from the market value of the work.
intellectual-property law: legal regulations that govern an individual's or organization's right to use or disseminate ideas or information; encompasses copyright, patent, and trademark laws.
orphan works: copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or impossible to find.
public domain: legal status of a work that is not copyrighted by choice of owner or expiration of copyright term; anyone can use the work in any way they choose without cost.
 
If you want the details on copyright law and fair use, check out the US Copyright Office website.
 

Posted by emather on 12/18/13
“There is much difference between imitating a man and counterfeiting him.”
 
That was said by Benjamin Franklin, a dude so cool and smart that we put him on the hundred dollar bill.
 
A few weeks ago, we wrote a cool post about intellectual property and fair use in regards to the Beastie Boys' song “Girls” and a web video parodying it.  There are various rules, laws, and ethics telling us the right ways to use other people’s ideas.  Fair Use allows us to use other people’s intellectual property, but under certain conditions: how you use the copyrighted work, if you change or alter it, the amount of the work you use, etc.  One thing that always works in your favor when using someone else’s work is to attribute the original creator.  Taking someone else’s ideas and claiming them as your own is the ugly flipside to Fair Use, and is a use that is almost never ever ever never “fair.”
 
Using someone else’s ideas without giving them credit is called plagiarism.  As some of you may have read, the actor/filmmaker Shia LaBeouf (of Transformers and Even Stevens fame) is in some hot water about a short film he just released.  Titled HowardCantour.com, it is an almost direct adaptation of a comic written by famous artist Daniel Clowes (author of Ghost World and many others) called Justin M. Damiano.  Nowhere in the credits for the film did LaBeouf say that his film was inspired by Clowes, and he never once contacted the author for permission to adapt his work. (Ironic that the “credits” don’t give proper credit, no?) LaBeouf has since apologized, but some people are even questioning if his apologies are plagiarized, too!
 
It’s a good thing I said my quote up top was from Benjamin Franklin.  Leaving that out would have been bad.  Even worse would have been leaving the quotation marks off. That would make it seem like that was my own idea, and my own words. But it wasn’t.  It was Franklin’s ideas, and Franklin’s words.  As you all know, when writing a research paper or anything else, it is essential that you credit where you get your ideas from.  A bibliography or works cited page, and in-text citations or footnotes, help keep you in the clear when it comes to plagiarism.  It’s important to build your own ideas off of the awesome ideas that have come before, but acknowledging from where you get those first ideas is also important.  If you ever have questions, talk with any of the HUB staff, and we’ll help you get your citations in order and avoid “counterfeiting” your ideas.

Posted by Trixie on 12/12/13
I follow the Huff Post Teen blog. A couple of weeks ago, I came across a post written by Phoebe Dodds, a teen living in London, England. This post titled “Lost in Translation” explored foreign language books and films in a culture that predominantly speaks English. This post really piqued my interest since one of my duties at the Hub is to provide library resources like books, magazines, and DVDs to ESL students at Newcomer Center. This District 214 program assists high school students that have recently moved to the United States and are new to the English language. A large part of the items I send them are popular teen books originally written in English translated to their native languages.

An interesting fact that Dodds states in her post, “only 3 percent of all books published in English are translations”, blows my mind! Clearly, much more goes into translating a book from its native language. Nuance, mode of expression, and humor have to be considered and might not have a literal translation; however, there have to be more books out there worth translating! Reading this post prompted me to make a list of books translated to English. Some might surprise you, like The Three Musketeers. Some are new, like Ruby Red and 1Q84. Check one out and broaden your horizons.
 

Posted by Trixie on 09/08/13
You know how Tony Stark uses a cool, holographic computer to manipulate 3D models in the Iron Man trilogy and The Avengers? Well, the real-life "Tony Stark" was inspired by the movie and actually invented modeling software and an interface that allows a user to do that and more!
 
Billionaire Elon Musk, the inspiration for Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark and SpaceX CEO, unveiled video of this technology, what Musk calls immersive virtual reality, a couple of days ago. Watch the video below to see a rocket part 3D modeled using a holograph and hand gestures. Then see it 3D printed in titanium! Pretty cool, huh? Now, someone just needs to invent a Garbo Mansion à la Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series complete with talking and clothes producing walls...sans The Surge and Specials of course!
 
(Source: Venture Beat)
 

Posted by alice on 03/26/13
Hi there!  How is everyone’s spring break so far?  This winter weather is seriously not conducive to spring breaking.  I’m just going to go ahead and say it— Punxatawney Phil is a liar!

If you’re looking for a way to keep in touch with your friends during your week off, try out this new app called Voxer (http://www.voxer.com).  It basically turns your phone into a walkie talkie by recording a snippet of audio and sending it to your contact in real time.  Not only can you talk to your friends in walkie talkie fashion, but you can also send pictures and text through the app too.

The best news about the app is that you can use walkie talkie lingo and pretend to be a pilot!  Below are just a couple of walkie talkie codes you may want to use.

Breaker 1-9  I want to start a transmission
10-4  Okay
Big 10-4  Yes
Roger That  Understood
Over and Out  I’m done talking
Negatory  No
Affirmative  Yes
Do you copy?  Can you hear me?
Copy that  I heard you
What’s your handle?  What’s your nickname?
Got your ears on?  Are you on air and listening?
What’s your 20? Where are you?

The second best news about the app is that it’s free for both Apple and Android.

Also, while you’re here, make sure to vote on what you think is the best app!  The poll can be found to the right of this post. 
 
Over and out!