Some of the readings for the search and seizure cases were rather dense, so I made some animations to get across the major points quickly and memorably. I’ve completed “overviews” for two cases so far and hope to get more in before the final deadline.
People are getting smarter about their privacy online. By now we all (hopefully) know to restrict our profiles so that only friends can see our personal information. But after 3, 4, 5+ years of social networking, how many people still know ALL of their Facebook friends? For our final project, we set out to design a fun, interactive website that would work to remind Facebook users of their overly extended networks.
After launching this weekend, we’ve seen over 700 users (Mostly college age students) tag 35,000 friends, and it turns out that the average player only knew 70% of their Facebook friends presented. Now, of course, the term “average user” is very skewed given our user base. Facebook reports that the average user has 130 friends, while our average player has boasted a whopping 880.
We argue that anything under 100% recognition of your “friends” should raise some privacy red flags. Every one of your friends can share your information with third-party apps (in fact it’s this that allows our app to function); we are able to pull all of your friends photos, without their permission–that is, unless they’re smart about their privacy settings. Even if you can’t bring yourself to defriend a long-lost acquaintance, at the very least you should consider creating managed friends lists with restricted privacy settings.
We also hope to remind people to consider their audience when sharing content. “Friends of Friends” is never a good idea. For the average Facebook user, that’s 17 thousand people you don’t know, and why would they need to see your information anyways? Entire networks are generally a bad idea as well. You have no idea how large those networks can be, and with companies asking alums to Facebook stalk you on their behalf, does all of Yale really need to see you with your solo cups?
You probably think you know all your friends. Maybe you even pruned the list recently. But you had names and faces, and it’s so much easier to identify someone with a name. Try out whatsherface-book.com and you’ll understand just what we mean when whatsherface from freshmen year comes up and you’re forced to think, “Who the hell is that?”
As part of our group project on creating awareness to stop the upcoming SOPA bill from passing, we just wanted to let you know that Charlie, Zach and Nick will be live-blogging the bill’s markup in Congress tomorrow. The session starts at 10:00 am, but we’ll get started at around 9:30, so check in early for insightful coverage and our witty banter.
I finally posted my 10th thing to Thingiverse! The road has been fun and the interactions I had with the community were better than I expected!
The idea of my final project was to ask friends and classmates for ideas for physical objects that they would like to have that could be 3D printed on the Makerbot. I designed them on an educational version of Solidworks, printed them out on my Makerbot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer and gave them to the people who requested them. I also uploaded the designs onto Thingiverse (an online site maintained by Makerbot Industries to facilitate sharing designs of physical objects with other users) which made them available to anyone else who wanted to use or improve them. I released all of my designs under an Attribution – Non-Commercial – Share Alike license. This project explored first hand the collaboration and network effects that we had been talking about in class. It allowed me to get some really neat ideas into people’s hands and onto the web community so others could benefit from the designs.
If you don’t know, the Thing-O-Matic is an open source, open hardware 3D printer developed by Makerbot Industries. The Thing-O-Matic is capable of making 3D parts out of ABS thermoplastic within a build envelope of approximately 4″ x 4″ x 4″. For those of you who didn’t get the chance to see my presentation in class, here is a time-lapse video of the device’s construction and the device printing out a toy bell.
Each design started out as an idea or suggestion. Many times I found designs online that served as a good starting point and I worked from there. When I had decided on a plan, I designed the object in Solidworks, a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) software package. Solidworks is a parametric feature-based modeling tool, where 2D sketches are extruded or cut to create 3D objects. Here is a quick run-through for creating a simple square cutout on the program:
With a lot of sketching, extruding and cutting (and a few other tricks) you can make any 3D object you can think of – when it comes to a generative hardware technology unconstrained by the vendor, this is where it is happening!
Did the project work out as well as I hoped? It sure did! All in all, I have nearly 100 combined “likes” (to date) from other Thingiverse users on the things I designed, which ranged from medical devices to toy planes. One of my designs was featured on Thingiverse, having caught the eye of an administrator as a particularly good design. I even had other users printing out my designs (and taking pictures of them to show off!).
So, you may ask, what did I end up designing? Here is a run-through of the 10 “things” that I made.
This thing was an integrated tool holder that attached to a pre-existing part on the Makerbot. It was something I had been thinking about for a while and wanted to make, and it served as a nice upgrade to my printer. Another user thought so too –
“Nice. I had been thinking about some kind of clip or mount for the wrench for some time.” – DigitalBytes, Okotoks, Canada
This design was featured the next day, having caught the eye of a Thingiverse Admin. For my first “thing”, it was such an exhilarating feeling to have been featured. In retrospect, this may very well have been by design (maybe all first time posts get featured?). In any event, it accomplished the goal of getting me excited to contribute more.
This thing was an ornament, which played with the printer’s ability to create enclosed negative space. I was asked to design an ornament by a friend and I was inspired by the tear-drop shaped ornaments and a whisk.
This thing was a coat hook for a friend who had run out of her 3M hooks and wanted something a little more aesthetically pleasing. I designed it to accept adhesive backing as well as a nail, for some flexibility in mounting.
What was exciting about this design was that another user MacGyver in Salt Lake City, UT liked the design and printed one out for himself! He commented:
“I’ve been looking for just this thing for awhile now. Thanks for the upload!” – MacGyver, Salt Lake City, UT
He also posted a picture of the design. This was electronic transmission of hardware! Talk about COOL!
This thing was an attempt to do some recycling while designing and was requested by a friend who is very environmentally conscious. I was inspired to create this design from a similar product by Chinese designer Xuan Yu. I thought this was a great way to recycle 2 bottles while utilizing the printer’s capabilities. Here is an image of the print before I cleaned off the support material and assembled it.
This was the most “liked” design that I put together and the comments were so encouraging –
“This idea is amazingly clever! What a wonderful way to combine a 3D printer and recycling bottles to make a useful product. ” – PolygonPusher, Sweden
This thing was suggested to keep a pair of glasses safe and cleaning cloth handy. It a “moustache stand” – a play on a design my girlfriend found here. The Makerbot is capable of printing out in different colors (depending on what color raw material you have). I had a spool of black ABS and I thought it would work well with the design.
This thing was suggested to me by a Physical Therapist who sufferers from pain due to Plantar Fasciitis to help alleviate discomfort. It was a resting splint for sleeping or relaxing (not walking) designed to apply tension on the ball of the foot. This was an improvement over current devices that put tension on the toe using a tight fitting sock, which causes discomfort to the toe. The printed component allows the foot to be supported with the commercially available straps.
This thing was the only design that featured two separate interlocking parts. A suggestion came along for a photo frame keychain for backpack or purse. One could place a photo within (1″x1.5″ size) along with a 1″x1.5″x.25″ piece of plexiglass and snap/glue the pieces together to create the keychain.
This thing was modeled after those watch stands they have in stores for holding watches up in display cabinets. A friend wanted one so that they could hold their watch up to the light to charge their solar watch during the wintertime.
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I want to thank everyone who contributed ideas and helped me make this final project possible!
If you would like to check out my things on thingiverse, visit Indigojin.
Technology is eroding individual privacy more rapidly than either the judiciary or the general population realize. Our project, through a series of hypothetical situations, seeks to (1) provide a clearer look at how today’s technologies put individual privacy at risk, and (2) draw attention to the judiciary’s current understanding of certain issues these developments have created.
Today’s judges do not entirely understand the ubiquity of new technologies in modern America, or the staggering amount of data these technologies (such as smartphones or laptops) contain. Scalia’s public embarrassment at the hands of a Fordham Law class indicates that he does not quite grasp the nature of privacy in today’s Internet age, and judicial opinions in a variety of cases (People v.Diaz, US v. Moreno) reveal that judges do not comprehend the scope with which new technologies affect personal privacy or control. Our Legal Background section describes these matters in more depth, and the Memorandum to the Judiciary enumerates specific proposals to improve judges’ understanding of these issues.
To gauge the public’s opinion, we surveyed Yale students. The survey enforced the notion of a gap in understanding modern privacy: it showed that information or data students hold “somewhat” to “very” private is often data they do not have control over. Students held the content of emails and text messages more private than almost every other piece of data, yet these data are archived by corporations in full. Internet searches and web browsing were considered rather confidential, but Google has no qualms about gathering and using these data. The survey also highlighted areas where law lags behind contemporary expectations. Every piece of data considered substantially private on the survey is collected by web-based corporations, but most Internet users do not realize. Income / Financial Aid Status was considered as private as Medical History, yet nothing like HIPPA exists to protect financial information. What students deem most private is not necessarily well-protected; these students should be aware of that fact, and the judiciary ought to take into account these new societal expectations in determining privacy law.
The privacy hyoptheticals deserve attention from both the judiciary and the broader public. We aim to educate both parties about the countless new ways an individual can lose their right to privacy in today’s world.
To see the project in its entirety please visit our website
Frances Douglas TC ’11 / Bobby Dresser PC ’14 / Stephanie Rivkin PC ’13 / Emily Rosenberg PC ’11 / Joel Sircus TC ’14
How much information could a stalker–or future employer–find out about you?
This question is precisely what our project aimed to answer. An increasing number of websites are advertising themselves as “people search engines” (Spokeo), which aggregate personal information on the Internet “for personal security and to inform the decision-making process” (Intelius). Many concerns have been voiced about these sites threatening personal privacy and their potential to harm reputations with false information. We set out to determine exactly how much information we could gather about an average college student, as well as the accuracy and damage potential of the data.
We examined three data aggregation sites–Intelius, Spokeo, and PeopleSmart–which required a fee . The costs ranged from $1.95 for an Intelius People Search Report to a $29.95 PeopleSmart Background Report.
Even for only $1.95, the Intelius People Search Report was a rip-off. The only information on the report was address and possible relatives, and even then, the relatives’ names were wrong. Intelius also had the most difficult information removal policy, requiring faxed state-issued ID, which would take 4 to 6 weeks for removal. The shadiest portion of Intelius, though, occurred when purchasing the People Search Report. Mid-transaction, a page resembling a normal verification page popped up containing this section:
But it isn’t a verification page. Entering your e-mail in the box acts as your electronic signature, authorizing Intelius to sign you up for a third-party subscription service (about $24.95/month). The fine print is easy to gloss over, and the link to decline the offer is even easier to miss.
Spokeo, advertised as “not your grandma’s white pages,” sells “in-depth” reports on people using information compiled from the Internet. However, once you use the site, you quickly realize that the information is often inaccurate. It listed our test subject, Cece, as 37 years old! (She’s actually 20.) Most of the information that Spokeo provides can be found within five minutes using a search engine such as Google (with Google Street View)–certainly not worth the price of membership. Simple information such as age, address, and home value are all things that a stalker would know about you before conducting an online search, anyway.
Our most expensive purchase, the PeopleSmart Background Report for $29.95, was at least the most accurate report. There were no glaring errors in names, address, or age. However, it still did not tell us any information which we had not already found via Intelius or Spokeo. The process for editing or removing information was also extremely simplistic, requiring no verification of identity before filling out an online form. All in all, it was extremely disappointing given the hefty price tag.
In addition to purchasing personal reports, we also examined our “online preferences” on eXelate and BlueKai, two data aggregation companies which sell user information (based on tracking cookies) to corporations. Although many of the results we obtained for ourselves were decently accurate, a number of topics listed under our interest profiles seemed entirely irrelevant (i.e. parenting). The good news, though, is that editing information or opting out is extremely straightforward and can be done instantly with a click of the mouse.
Overall, the information from personal data reports was woefully uninteresting–elementary at best, and laughably inaccurate at worst. Data report sites don’t live up to their promises of delivering really personal (or even accurate) information, seeking instead to benefit from naiveté and ignorance. They’re scams. So rest assured: Stalkers and employers gullible enough to buy into these sites will only hurt their wallets, not your reputation.
Choreographic works were not recognized as copyrightable until the Copyright Act of 1976. Although many choreographers have taken the opportunity to register their works in the thirty-five years since then, many have not and for this reason and the nature of the dance community, few cases have come to the court on this subject; leaving little precedence for future cases to rely on.
But given that registrations are on the rise, it stands to reason that the complications of choreographic works need more investigation in order to predict future case outcomes. Therefore, after reviewing Horgan v. MacMillan, Inc. and many articles covering that case, we’ve put together a short video about choreographic copyright and the way in which photography may or may not infringe on such works.
Using video and still screenshots from the dance movie Center Stage, we compile a few examples of photography based on choreography and ask you to decide what you think might be infringement.
After studying the video and photographs, if you believe that photography could plausibly infringe on copyright, ask yourself what other example could be created to show photography crossing the line.
Given the recent emergence of YouTube as a major channel of expression for musical artists, we decided to film a short Q&A documentary on one of Yale’s own YouTube celebrities – Kurt Schneider and Jake Bruene. Initially brought together by a short-film project called College Musical, the group rose to fame through the Michael Jackson Medley, performed by Sam Tsui and written by Schneider, which currently has 25 million views. These YouTube artists have continued to collaborate on many other works, including College Musical the Movie, which just premiered last Sunday, May 1, at the Yale Whitney Humanities Center. With nearly 1 million subscribers, KurtHugoSchneider is currently the fifth most popular channel on YouTube. Here’s a quick look at their thoughts on YouTube as a medium of musical expression.
The film was made by Daniel Ayele, Daniel Esannason, Lynn Wang, and Adam Payne.
Special thanks to Jake Bruene, Kurt Schneider, and TJ Smith.
We wondered how Yale, Stanford, MIT, and Harvard’s intellectual property policies have affected the process of launching a start-up as an undergrad at these schools, and we wanted to know how students have had to negotiate with their school’s tech transfer offices on the terms of IP rights ownership, licensing, and royalty sharing.
After talking with several students & start ups at each of these universities, what we found is that most student start-ups simply avoid the tech transfer offices. In general, the IP policies are not well publicized, but most students who are trying to launch a venture have the foresight to investigate the policy and then operate outside of its bounds.
In the process, we created a short video that seeks to give you a glimpse into how much students know about intellectual property policies (specifically, Yale’s patent and copyright policies) and what misconceptions they may have surrounding student start ups.
Please do visit YalePwnership.info for more on what the policies are on paper versus reality and concepts established by students concerning them.
-Misbah Uraizee, Anna Doud, Camille Chambers, & Charles Amoako