California bans employers from demanding your password for Email, Twitter, Facebook

From California Governor Jerry Brown:

“Today I am signing Assembly Bill 1844 and Senate Bill 1349, which prohibit universities and employers from demanding your email and social media passwords,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “California pioneered the social media revolution. These laws protect Californians from unwarranted invasions of their social media accounts.”

I didn’t know this was a problem, companies demanding passwords from employees for their email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. I can’t imagine how this would come up and how I would react. Though, I have heard stories and there are, from c|net, “more than 100 cases currently before the National Labor Relations Board that involve employer workplace policies around social media.”

Good to see this practice banned before it becomes more widespread.

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For the first time, Korean Buddhism available to Western world

Never before has the buddhism of Korea been available to the West, until now. Scholars across America have united to translate a 13-volume anthology covering 1,700 years – and the entire guide is available online, free with a creative commons license.

View all thirteen volumes here (scroll to bottom).

More about this work, from the Preface:

Buddhism has a 1,700 year history in Korea and the tradition continues to thrive still today on the peninsula. The thirteen volumes of this anthology collect the panoply of Korean Buddhist writing from the Three Kingdoms period (ca. 57 C.E.-668) through the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). These writings include commentaries on scriptures as well as philosophical and disciplinary texts by the most influential scholiasts of the tradition.

 

Read the press release – UCLA scholars bring Korean Buddhist works to English-speaking world

 

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Beethoven drank buckets of black coffee – Creativity advice from 90 artists

It’s nice to have creative friends, especially when you hit a creative block. You can call them up and ask them for advice. That’s exactly what Alex Cornell did and he turned it into BreakThrough! 90 Ways to Spark Your Imagination.

Each one is a personal thought from an artist, writer, or musician – like the one below from Alexi Murdoch. Browse the book on Amazon or visit Brain Pickings for more quotes.

From Alexi Murdoch:

Beethoven drank buckets of strong, black coffee. Beethoven was creatively prodigious. (He also went deaf and, perhaps, mad.) Sound syllogism here? I’d like to think so.

The idea that creativity is some abundantly available resource waiting simply for the right application of ingenuity to extract, refine, and pipe it into the grid seems so axiomatic at this cultural juncture that the very distinction between creativity and productivity has been effectively erased.

And so it is that, when faced with a decreased flow in productivity, we ask not what it might be that’s interfering with our creative process, but rather what device might be quickly employed to raise production levels. This is standard, myopic, symptomatology-over-pathology response, typical of a pressurized environment of dislocated self-entitlement.

At the risk of going off brief here, can I just ask: What’s wrong with creative block? Might it not just be that periods — even extended ones — of productive hiatus are essential mechanisms of gestation designed to help us attain higher standards in our pursuit of creative excellence?

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The wirelessly charged electric bus line

From Charged:

The city of Milton Keynes will replace the diesel buses on one route with eight electric buses that will use wireless charging. The route currently transports more than 775,000 passengers a year over a total of 450,000 miles. Electrification is expected to remove about 500 tons of tailpipe CO2 emissions per year, and cut running costs by between £12,000 and £15,000 per year.

The busses will charge when parked over a primary coil in the ground. In 10-minutes the coil can send enough energy to the secondary coil in the bus that it can complete its route. The plan is to place the primary coils at the beginning and ending locations for the bus route and coordinate charging with bus driver breaks.

If all goes well this technology could be “real contender in the future of public transport.”

 

Learn more –  UK city to add wirelessly charged electric buses to fleet

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Celebrate the freedom to read – Banned Books Week – Sep 30 – Oct 6

source: Banned Books Week

 

Everyday in America someone tries to ban a book. The American Library Association reports 326 challenges in 2011. A challenge is more than a person being annoyed with a book, it is a person telling the library they don’t want anyone else to read the book. That is censorship in its most basic form.

And these books are not always the most controversial ones – sometimes they are classics that have been on the shelf for years. Here are the most challenged books of 2011:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
  2. The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa
  3. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (series)
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy by Dori Hillestad Butler
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  6. Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  9. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Celebrating Banned Books Week is about the freedom to read and that takes us beyond the printed paper. For the internet it means supporting free and open access to information – a fundamental right and need in countries all around the world.

So take a chance this week, read a banned book and support someone else’s right to do so.

A final word from David Brin on freedom of speech:

Freedom of speech is not a gift from on high. It was not declared by God. It is not holy, or even natural. No other human society ever practiced it. Even we, who are loony enough to consider it sacred, don’t practice it very well. Yet, although it runs against every tyrannical impulse of human nature… impulses to suppress whatever that loudmouth fool over there is saying… the fact is that we try to live by it. Not because free speech is holy, or natural, but because it works. Because it is pragmatic. Because it allows the rapid generation of a multitude of ideas, most of which are chaff, and then allows those notions to be criticized by other egotistical people, so that a fair percentage of the best ideas rise, and most garbage eventually sinks.

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