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Sci-Hub Loses Domain Names, But Remains Resilient

Torrent Freak.com | Ernesto | 

Sci-Hub

Sci-Hub, often referred to as the “Pirate Bay of Science,” lost three of its domain names this week. The suspensions are likely the result of the lost court case against the American Chemical Society. Despite the setback, Sci-Hub remains resilient, pointing out that there are other ways to access the site including its own custom DNS servers. While Sci-Hub is praised by thousands of researchers and academics around the world, copyright holders are doing everything in their power to wipe the site from the web.

Following a $15 million defeat against Elsevier in June, the American Chemical Society won a default judgment of $4.8 million in copyright damages earlier this month. The publisher was further granted a broad injunction, requiring various third-party services to stop providing access to the site. This includes domain registries, which have the power to suspend domains worldwide if needed. Yesterday, several of Sci-Hub’s domain names became unreachable. While the site had some issues in recent weeks, several people noticed that the present problems are more permanent. Sci-hub.io, sci-hub.cc, and sci-hub.ac now have the infamous “serverhold” status which suggests that the responsible registries intervened. The status, which has been used previously when domain names are flagged for copyright issues, strips domains of their DNS entries.

Serverhold

This effectively means that the domain names in question have been rendered useless. However, history has also shown that Sci-Hub’s operator Alexandra Elbakyan doesn’t easily back down. Quite the contrary. In a message posted on the site’s VK page and Twitter, the operator points out that users can update their DNS servers to the IP-addresses 80.82.77.83 and 80.82.77.84, to access it freely again. This rigorous measure will direct all domain name lookups through Sci-Hub’s servers.

Sci-Hub’s tweet

In addition, the Sci-Hub.bz domain and the .onion address on the Tor network still appear to work just fine for most people. It’s clear that Ukraine-born Elbakyan has no intention of throwing in the towel. By providing free access to published research, she sees it as simply helping millions of less privileged academics to do their work properly. Authorized or not, among researchers there is still plenty of demand and support for Sci-Hub’s service. The site hosts dozens of millions of academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month. Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia and China. But even in countries where access is more common, a lot of researchers visit the site. While the domain problems may temporarily make the site harder to find for some, it’s not likely to be the end for Sch-Hub. – Courtesy

Sci-hub domains go down as American court order that included web-blocking comes into effect

Andy Malt | Published on Friday 24 November 2017

The website that has often been dubbed the ‘Pirate Bay of science’ has seemingly lost three of its domains, presumably as a result of the recent legal action by the American Chemical Society, whose academic papers Sci-Hub had distributed without licence. Although not a music case, the ACS v Sci-Hub legal battle in the US courts was of interest to the wider copyright industries, because – as well as awarding the plaintiff’s damages – the judgement in favour of ACS provided a pretty wide-ranging injunction ordering third party internet companies to stop facilitating access to the file-sharing site. One reading of that injunction suggests that the ruling is, among other things, ordering internet service providers to instigate web-blocks to stop their users from accessing Sci-Hub. That is significant because to date web-blocking has not been available to copyright owners as an anti-piracy tactic in America, even though music and movie companies have secured web-blocks aplenty against piracy sites in an assortment of other countries, not least the UK.

However, after the ruling, legal reps for ACS said they felt the injunction wasn’t as ground-breaking as some were suggesting, adding that they only planned to use the court order to target companies and organisations that directly provide services to Sci-Hub, such as domain registries, server hosting companies and outfits like CloudFlare. It is assumed that – as Sci-hub.io, sci-hub.cc and sci-hub.ac all went offline this week – that is a sign of ACS putting its court order into effect and demanding that registries that administrate web addresses used by Sci-Hub cancel those domains. Though the person behind Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan, is playing down the significance of those domains going offline. According to Torrentfreak, she posted an update to social media offering alternative ways for people to access her site. When copyright owners go after the domain names of piracy sites, said sites often subsequently register alternative domains in countries where American court orders have less sway. Plus there are other ways for people to access sites when domain names go down. Of course, most anti-piracy tactics – beyond pressuring piracy platform operators to voluntarily shut down their sites under the threat of mega-damages or prison time – only work to an extent, in that web savvy file-sharers can usually find a way around any sanctions. And the same is true of web-blocks, where ISPs are told to block their customers from accessing copyright infringing websites. However, once ACS has enforced its court order against amenable domain registries and server hosting companies – and assuming Sci-Hub continues to happily distribute its papers without licence – it will be interesting to see if the society then chooses to adopt a wider interpretation of its injunction in order to force more internet companies to help limit access to the piracy platform. Including possible web-blocks. Not that any one of those tactics would be a panacea by any means, but some copyright owners take the view that the more hurdles you can put in the way as people try to access piracy websites the better.  – Courtesy

Sci-Hub’s Domain Inactive Following Court’s Order  –   Nov 24, 2017   Enago Academy

Following a recent ruling by a district court in Virginia in favor of the American Chemical Society (ACS), several domains of the controversial pirate website, Sci-Hub, have become inactive. In addition to slapping $4.8 million in damages, the ruling also stated that internet search engines and web-hosting services should refrain from providing access to such websites that engage in copyright infringement.  As of now, the domains for sci-hub.io, sci-hub.ac, and sci-hub.cc have now been made inactive and set to the status of “serverHold,” which indicates that the domain is deactivated in the DNS. With this change, users are not able to easily access Sci-Hub; however, the domain sci-hub.bz is still functional. Although the court order has resulted in the inactivation of several domains for Sci-Hub, Elbakyan reports that she intends to keep Sci-Hub functional and is currently working on a fix for the DNS issues.

For those unaware of Sci-Hub, Alexandra Elbakyan started it in 2011 with the aim to make research papers free by bypassing paywall barriers in academic publishing. In fact, earlier this year, Sci-Hub had faced a similar lawsuit from Elsevier, which it lost and the ruling awarded ~$15 million in damages to Elsevier. Martin Eve, a Literature, Technology, and Publishing professor at the University of London, Birkbeck, stated that such DNS takedowns might prove sufficient for academic publishers but it will not lead to the complete shutdown of Sci-Hub. Academics will find other means to continue accessing the website. He also added that publishers should instead develop better models for scholarly communication that involve open access to research studies thereby reducing the need for portals like Sci-Hub. – Courtesy

Click here…https://sci-hub.cc/        http://80.82.77.83/      http://80.82.77.84/      http://sci-hub.bz/    http://www.sci-hub.onion/ 

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Amazon announces new Kindle application

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Oct 24, 2017  | Technology |

The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as an over-the-air update starting this week.

 

The Kindle app features a new look and feel inspired by books. Details include larger book covers, new fonts, a new app icon, and new light and dark background themes to choose from

Amazon has announced a new Kindle app that is designed for book lovers and provides easy access to popular Kindle features—users can now move between the pages of their book, their library, personalised bookstore and more. The new Kindle app is available now in the App Store and Google Play, and will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting this week.

Key updates include:

 The Kindle app features a new look and feel inspired by books. Details include larger book covers, new fonts, a new app icon, and new light and dark background themes to choose from.  New bottom bar navigation automatically shows an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier to get back to reading at any time. The bottom bar also provides quick access to Kindle’s features. The search bar is now always available throughout the app, so whether a book is in your library or among the titles in the Kindle Store, it’s easier than to find it. – Courtesy  /   Click here to download the andriod app from Google Play Store     /        App Store

Amazon Kindle app gets new look, easier search & more –  Androidos.in

If you love reading on the Amazon Kindle Android app, there is good news for you. The company has released an updated version of the Kindle app, which includes a revamped look, better search and a lot more. According to Amazon, the updated Kindle app will be available in the Google Play Store beginning today. “We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place. It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time,” said Chuck Moore, Vice President, Kindle.

New look

The most important addition in terms of the visual changes in the Kindle app is the new light and dark background themes. You can now choose which background theme you want while browsing the app. Additionally, the Kindle is also getting new fonts including Amazon’s custom Bookerly font, larger book covers, and a brand new app icon.

One Tap Access

Apart from the fresh look, Amazon is adding a new One Tap Access feature in the Kindle app. The company notes that the new bottom bar navigation in the app will now automatically show an icon of the book you’re currently reading, making it easier than ever to get back to what you were reading.

This bottom bar also provides quick access to other Kindle features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more.

Easy Search

The Kindle is getting an always present search bar. So, no matter where you are in the app, you can always look for what you want.

Goodreads Integration

While the Android version of Kindle is getting all the goodies mentioned above, it will have to wait for something which is debuting the iOS version today itself – the Goodreads integration. The Android version will get the integration in a future update.

So, what is this all about?

According to Amazon ,Goodreads is now built right into the Kindle app, unlike previously, when there were only bits and pieces of it here and there. The app will allow users to discuss books, get recommendations, share your views on books and other key Goodreads features.

Global Cyber Challenge – Peace-a-thon

With the objective of enablement and empowerment of cyber security, Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) and Policy Perspectives Foundation (PPF) in collaboration with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) and National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center (NCIIPC), are organizing the Global Cyber Challenge at the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), 2017.

Protection of Navigation Technology Infrastructure

Global positioning system (GPS) or more generically called Global global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is extensively used for navigation of aeroplanes, surface vehicles (road as well as water) by providing ephemeris data. They are also bec …

Mitigating Public Sector Cyber Cascades

Stuxnet and recent cyber-attacks on Ukrainian power grid has explored vulnerability of critical infrastructures like power network, water network, oil & gas network. With such borderless-wars becoming more lucrative and nation-states getting inv …..

Security of Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be the next industrial revolution and often referred to as Industry 4.0. Many applications are getting developed in IoT by interconnecting smart sensors, smart actuators with cloud computing platform for …..

Security of CII and Digital Payments

India is leading towards digital economy and critical Infrastructures are more dependent onInternet mostly dominated by devices, standards and implementations developed and manufactured by other countries.We need to work on varied areas of impor …..

Customer Empowerment for Digital Banking Security

Lack of awareness and redressal mechanism for digital payments. In spite of rigorous campaign on cyber security awareness though print media/ digital & social media, trainings / workshops being undertaken by banks and financial institu …..

Technology as a Resolve to Cyber Risks to Child

Children need to acquire digital intelligence to use technology appropriately and responsibly. Digital intelligence is generally understood as having the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to adapt one’s emotions and behaviour to deal wit …..

Driving Innovation to Monitor Online Sexual Abuse Against Children

“Across the world the production and distribution of images and video depicting the sexual abuse of children has reached a level that is exceeding the capabilities of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute. The projected growth in mobile …..

Honeypots

The internet houses millions of bots and humans waiting attack open systems and it is important to enable proactive protection controls to safeguard our systems, networks and data assets. A honeypot can help to identify and observe attack techni …..

Fake News

Fake news also referred to hoax news occupies large sphere of cyber space today world-wide.Cyber technology’s wide reach and fast spread contributes to its menace. Publicity through such fake news on cyber spacetoday has been adopted by States …..

Security of Women Online

One of the biggest issues women face online is trolling. Can a system be developed where this can be controlled as well as there is a data intelligence to collect information about trollers and report them accordingly. The problem isto identi …..

Integrated Recourse for Digital Fraud Victims

Technology has played an important role in transforming the lives by providing digital authentication, facilitating digital payments and extending the service to citizens through Digital means. Banking, communication, government services, ecomme …..

Mobile Security

Context: As per the GSMA Mobile economy, there were 4.8 billion unique mobile subscribers, 1.9 billion smart phones and 7.9 billion SIM connections globally in December 2016. The mobile traffic data is expected to grow globally by a CAGR of 47% …..

Digital Awareness

The last couple of years have seen most of the critical infrastructures such as banking, energy, telecommunication, defence etc. has seen implementation of information and ICT tools for its effective and efficient use across the globe. But these …..
Click here for more details :  https://innovate.mygov.in/cyber-challenge/

Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017 in New Delhi to host over 3500 cyber experts

NEW DELHI: Over three dozen events have been held in leading institutions in India and abroad over the last seven months, involving the participation of more than 3000 experts as a run up to the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017. The fifth edition of the conference is being hosted by India and will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 23, 2017. Over 3500 participants will take part in the weeklong event directly and millions virtually from India and abroad through video conference, webinars and webcast, the ministry said in a press release. Ravi Shankar Prasad , minister for electronics & IT and Law & Justice, said As we approach November, I look forward to warmly welcome 3000+ delegates at GCCS 2017, New Delhi. Cyber4All will be the main theme of the event with four sub-themes – Cyber4InclusiveGrowth , Cyber4Digitalinclusion , Cyber4Security and Cyber4Diplomacy and will provide an opportunity for discussion on topics such as Blockchain technology, Internet of Things, Proliferation of Indic languages and Smart Cities etc. GCCS will also host a global cyber challenge called Peace-a-thon. The open challenge to computer wizards will be hosted by top Universities worldwide for competing in a Hackathon and an Appathon. The 15 top winning teams and the CTF winners will then compete further in a 36-hour challenge in the Grand Finale being held in New Delhi on November 20 & 21.

India announces 200 fellowships for scientists from neighbouring countries : ISRF 2018

ISRF 2018

Chennai, Oct 13 (PTI) Stepping up its cooperation in the field of science and technology, India today announced fully- sponsored academic fellowship to scientists and researchers of neighbouring countries.  The 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship (ISRF) scheme will provide a fully-paid fellowship to researchers, scientists and academicians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said. To support PhD scholars, a new element has been added in the 2018-India Science and Research Fellowship scheme.
“The scheme for the first time will also include doctoral students in science, engineering and medical fields to undertake project-related research work in any premier research and academic institution in India up to a period of six months,” Vardhan said.   He made the announcement at the India International Science Festival (IISF) here, which was attended by Afghanistan’s Minister of Higher Education Abdul Latif Roshan and Bangladesh’s Minister of Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman.  The IISF, which began today, concludes on October 16.

Two hundred travel slots every year were announced for the researchers from these countries to be supported by the Department of Science and Technology to enable them to make the best use of these advanced training programmes offered by India.   “This would help in capacity building and will also foster research networks with Indian scientific institutions in these countries,” Vardhan said.  India is engaged in active cooperation in the field of science and technology with more than 44 countries, including advanced, emerging and developing nations.  – Click here to download  ISRF 2018 Brochure      /        Call for Application & Guidelines

Want To Become A Billionaire? Study Engineering Or Become A Salesperson, Says Research

ND TV | Education | Anisha Singh |  September 20, 2017  |

Want To Become A Billionaire? Study Engineering, Says Research

New Delhi: The allure for Engineering will take some more time to die. According to a research by a British recruitment agency, more students who study engineering at University end up as billionaires than any other branch of study. The said research in question examined the Forbes’ list of 100 richest people in the world including what they studied, their first job and how much wealth they owned. The result of the research was in favor of those who studied engineering at University. Almost 30% of those who had a degree among the top 100 had a degree in Engineering. Of the 100 richest people on the list, 75 had a degree and 22 of these 75 had studied engineering. A Business degree and a degree in Finance and Economics come a close second and third with 16 and 11 of the 75 having a degree in these categories.

Billionaire or not, these degrees are definitely capable of giving a head start down the billionaire lane as according to QS World Ranking, these are also some of the degrees which an employer favors while recruiting. As per the same research some of the first jobs the billionaires held include sales and engineering related profiles. While 10 of the richest people held a salesperson job, stock trader came close second with 9 people in the category. The top five slots are rounded up by 5 software developers, 5 Engineers, and 4 Analysts. What is revealing is that 53% of the richest people in the world began working in a non-family owned business. This indicates that while the road to becoming a billionaire may be tough, it is not skewed in the favor of those coming from a traditionally rich business family.- Courtesy

Lord Parashuram must have been an engineer: Goa CM Manohar Parrikar

The New Indian Express | By PTI  |   15th September 2017 | Opinion |

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar (File | PTI)

PANAJI: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that Lord Parashuram who is believed to have created Goa must have been an engineer who reclaimed the land from the sea. Parrikar was addressing the Engineers Day function in the city. “This is a day when India recognises the importance of engineering talent,” the chief minister said. Referring to the origin of Goa as per mythology, Parrikar said “it is said that Lord Parashuram created Goa. I believe that Parashuram must have been belonging to the clan of engineers who reclaimed the land from the sea.” “It was thousand years back that we knew about the instances like Hastinapur or Pandava Palace which showed the use of all kind of technology.  “Engineering is a very old art and skill that existed in India, which is recognised in the  modern era,” he said. – Courtesy

Oldest recorded zero in Indian text is centuries older than initially thought

Hindustan Times, London | Sep 14, 2017 | Prasun Sonwalkar |

The surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript, which contains hundreds of zeroes, reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century, some five centuries older than previously believed.

The 70 leaves of birch bark that make up the Bakhshali manuscript are housed in this specially designed book at the Bodleian Libraries’ Weston Library, Oxford.(Image courtesy: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

The idea of ‘zero’ – crucial to mathematics and all calculations – is widely believed to have originated in India, but carbon dating at the University of Oxford has now proved that an Indian text mentioned it as early as the third or fourth century – much earlier than thought. Considered the oldest recorded origin of ‘zero’, its mention in the Bakhshali manuscript dates it to a period hundreds of years than previously thought. It was found in 1881 in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar, and has been in the Bodleian Library of Oxford since 1902. The library said on Thursday that the surprising results of the first ever radiocarbon dating on the Bakhshali manuscript which contains hundreds of zeroes reveals that it dates from as early as the third or fourth century – approximately five centuries older than scholars had previously believed. This means that the manuscript in fact predates a ninth century inscription of zero on the wall of a temple in Gwalior, which was previously considered to be the oldest recorded example of a zero used as a placeholder in India. The findings are highly significant for the study of the early history of mathematics, it said.

“The zero symbol that we use today evolved from a dot that was used in ancient India and can be seen throughout the Bakhshali manuscript. The dot was originally used as a ‘placeholder’, meaning it was used to indicate orders of magnitude in a number system – for example, denoting 10s, 100s and 1000s”, the library said. While the use of zero as a placeholder was seen in several different ancient cultures, such as among the ancient Mayans and Babylonians, the symbol in the Bakhshali manuscript is considered particularly significant for two reasons. First, it is this dot that evolved to have a hollow centre and became the symbol that we use as zero today. Secondly, it was only in India that this zero developed into a number in its own right, hence creating the concept and the number zero that we understand today. This happened in 628 AD, just a few centuries after the Bakhshali manuscript was produced, when the Indian astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta wrote a text called Brahmasphuta siddhanta, which is the first document to discuss zero as a number.The document will be displayed in the ‘Illuminating India: 5000 Years of Science’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London from October 4. It is part of a season of exhibitions and events that celebrates India’s contribution to science, technology and mathematics.

One of the pages of the Bakhshali manuscript, which was found in 1881 in a field in Bakhshali village near Peshawar. (Image courtesy: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford)

Although the Bakhshali manuscript is widely acknowledged as the oldest Indian mathematical text, the exact age of the manuscript has long been the subject of academic debate. The most authoritative academic study on the manuscript, conducted by Japanese scholar Hayashi Takao, asserted that it probably dated from between the eighth and the 12th century, based on factors such as the style of writing and the literary and mathematical content. The new carbon dating reveals that the reason why it was previously so difficult for scholars to pinpoint the Bakhshali manuscript’s date is because the manuscript, which consists of 70 fragile leaves of birch bark, is in fact composed of material from at least three different periods. Marcus du Sautoy, professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, said: “Today we take it for granted that the concept of zero is used across the globe and is a key building block of the digital world. But the creation of zero as a number in its own right, which evolved from the placeholder dot symbol found in the Bakhshali manuscript, was one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of mathematics”. “We now know that it was as early as the third century that mathematicians in India planted the seed of the idea that would later become so fundamental to the modern world. The findings show how vibrant mathematics have been in the Indian subcontinent for centuries.” – Courtesy

‘I’m not a sexist’: Fired Google engineer James Damore stands behind controversial memo

Washington Post | | 10 August 2017  |

The controversial memo written by James Damore, a 28-year-old former Google engineer, rattled Silicon Valley last weekend when it became public and stirred a fierce debate about diversity in the workplace. Google leaders billed the memo as “offensive” and “harmful.” The memo said that “genetic differences” may explain “why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”This week the company fired the author for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” he said. Until now, little has been known about Damore. But since his firing, he’s given at least two lengthy interviews with the hosts of right-wing YouTube channels and a significantly shorter interview with Bloomberg TV. “I’m not saying that any of the female engineers at Google are in any way worse than the average male engineer,” Damore told Stefan Molyneux, a vocal supporter of President Trump and the host of Freedomain Radio. “I’m just saying that this may explain some of the disparity in representation in the population.” Damore filed a complaint Monday with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging he was subjected to “coercive statements” by Google, according to the Associated Press. Damore told the AP that he filed the complaint before being fired later that day, and that he’s also weighing other legal options. “It’s illegal to retaliate against a NLRB charge,” he said. A Google spokesman told the AP on Tuesday that the company could not have retaliated because it was unaware of his labor complaint until reading about it in the media after his dismissal. Both YouTube interviews with conservative hosts lasted more than 45 minutes. Damore appeared reserved and composed, his words carefully chosen and interlaced with nervous laughs. He told Molyneux he decided to write the memo after attending a Google diversity program, where he heard things he “definitely disagreed with.” “There was a lot of just shaming and ‘no, you can’t say that, that’s sexist,’ Damore told Molyneux.

“There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying,” he added. Molyneux is unabashed in his views against feminism and has generated a large YouTube following, with more than 654,000 subscribers. Damore told him he wrote the document on a 12-hour flight to China for a work trip, and shared the document internally multiple times a month ago. Initially, the reactions weren’t “explosive,” he said. But once it leaked outside of Google, he said he “couldn’t really get ahead of it at all.” “People got offended because it goes against the left’s ideology,” Damore said, adding that those on the right in Silicon Valley often feel the need to “stay in the closet” in a workplace culture he defined as a “progressive echo chamber.” Since his firing, Damore said he has received an outpouring of support in personal messages from individuals within and outside of Google, as well as a number of job openings. He told Molyneux that Google should attempt to become a more “female-friendly environment” by capitalizing on his viewpoint that women tend to be “more people-oriented” while men are “more things-oriented.” He suggested promoting more collaboration among coders, skills in which he says women tend to excel. Molyneux criticized the mainstream media’s portrayal of Damore’s memo and praised him for writing it. The host also said he believed critics targeted Damore in large part because he is a white man, and claimed white privilege is “the opposite of privilege.” In another interview, Damore spoke with Jordan B. Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, a critic of “political correctness,” feminist postmodernists and the concept of white privilege. He said that Damore’s memo was well-supported by scientific facts and is “certainly not an anti-diversity screed.” Damore told Peterson he has mostly declined to speak to the mainstream news outlets because they will “twist whatever I say towards their agenda.” Peterson, however, encouraged him to rethink that position.

Do Watch Bloomberg TV          /             Google Memo: Fired Employee Speaks Out! | James Damore and Stefan Molyneux

On Wednesday night, Damore told Bloomberg TV: “The whole point of my memo was to improve Google and Google’s culture and they just punished me and shamed me for doing it,” he said. “I’m not a sexist.” A number of Google leaders have spoken out about the memo in the days since it circulated. The most personal response came from one of the company’s highest-ranking women, Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive of YouTube, which is owned by Google. In an essay published by Fortune on Wednesday, Wojcicki wrote that her daughter asked her about the memo. “Mom,” her daughter asked her, “is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?” After some thought, her mother responded, “No, it’s not true,” she wrote. “I thought about the women at Google who are now facing a very public discussion about their abilities, sparked by one of their own co-workers,” she wrote. “And as my child asked me the question I’d long sought to overcome in my own life, I thought about how tragic it was that this unfounded bias was now being exposed to a new generation.” In response to Wojcicki’s essay, Damore told Bloomberg TV “there are simply fewer women” wanting to get into tech. “But if you’re a girl and you’re interested in technology, then that’s great,” he added. – Courtesy

A Google Engineer Writes That Women May Be Genetically Unsuited For Tech Jobs

ND TV | World | Cleve R. Wootson Jr.| The Washington Post | August 07, 2017 |

The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

  1. The engineer criticised the number of women working in Google
  2. Google is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality
  3. The engineer has faced harsh criticism and backlash

In a screed that rocketed around Silicon Valley this weekend, a software engineer at Google blasted the company’s efforts to increase the number of minorities and women in its ranks and leadership positions. The essay, reported by Motherboard and posted by Gizmodo, was posted on an internal Google forum by a male software engineer and titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” The author has not been publicly identified, but his words have sparked a backlash. Critics say his sentiments reflect a tech company culture that’s unwelcoming or even hostile to women and minorities. Another fear: The engineer’s words reflect the unspoken thoughts of many others in an industry dominated by white men. Google, which has announced efforts to increase diversity and is being investigated over allegations of gender pay inequality, did not respond to a message from The Washington Post seeking comment Sunday. The company did address the essay in an internal letter to employees.

The essay argues that Google should stop its campaigns to increase gender and racial diversity and focus instead on “ideological diversity.” It says the reason women don’t make up half of the company’s technological and leadership positions is because of “genetic differences” in their preferences and abilities. “These differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership,” the engineer wrote. “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.” The author says the company’s diversity efforts have “created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence” and makes it easier for “extremist and authoritarian policies” to take root. He says Google’s efforts to achieve more equal gender and race representation – special programs for HBCUs for example, or coding camps for girls – have led to “discriminatory practices,” specifically against conservatives. In the essay, the author says he has received support from others in the company for “bringing up these very important issues,” which others “would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired.”

The essay comes as the Mountain View, California, company has been trying to increase the stubbornly unbudging percentage of women and minorities in its ranks and is being investigated by the Labor Department for a disparity in pay between men and women. Responding to the essay in a message to Google employees, Danielle Brown, the company’s new vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, said the essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” Brown said. “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.” As The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor wrote in March, just 1 percent of Google’s technology employees are black – a percentage that hasn’t moved since 2014. To become more diverse, McGregor wrote, “the company has expanded its recruiting to a broader range of schools, trains its workers on ‘implicit biases’ and re-examines resumes to make sure recruiters don’t overlook diverse talent.”

Slack engineer Erica Baker, whom CNBC called an “outspoken critic of systematic bias in the tech industry,” said the engineer’s diatribe was shocking but not surprising. “Google has seen hints of this in the past, with employees sharing blog posts about their racist beliefs and the occasional internal mailing list question, ‘innocently’ asking if Black people aren’t more likely to be violent,” she wrote on her blog Saturday. “The most important question we should be asking of leaders at Google and that they should be asking of themselves is this: Why is the environment at Google such that racists and sexists feel supported and safe in sharing these views in the company?” Yonatan Zunger, a former senior Google employee, also took issue with the software engineer’s post. He wrote on Medium that the essay shows a misunderstanding of the way Google tries to address the world’s problems: “Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I’m very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to.”- Courtesy

Google Fires Employee Behind Anti-Diversity Memo : ND TV, | Reuters |  August 08, 2017 |

James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal, saying in an email to Reuters on Monday that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” …Read More …

Sunder Pichai condemns anti-diversity memo, Google sacks engineer, The New Indian Express, Read More…

Sci-Hub – A pirating service for academic journal articles could bring down the whole establishment

Quartz | Keith Collins | July 28, 2017 |

 

The subscription fees charged by academic publishers have risen so high in recent years that even wealthy American universities have said they can’t afford them. When Harvard Library reported its subscription costs had reached $3.5 million per year in a 2012 memo, for example, it said the fees were “fiscally unsustainable,” and the university asked its faculty to stop publishing research in journals that keep articles behind paywalls. But regardless of where Harvard researchers have published their work since then, it’s likely that all of it is currently available for free on Sci-Hub, a rogue pirating service for academic research. According to a new study, Sci-Hub contains 68.9% of all academic research. More to the point: 85.2% of all papers originally published behind paywalls are available on the website for free. And even if a given article isn’t already available in Sci-Hub’s repository, the site can quickly fetch it using donated credentials for services like JSTOR, Elsevier, and Sage.

Sci-Hub was founded in 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan, a Kazakh national who lives in Russia. The website, originally at sci-hub.org, has been forced by court orders and law enforcement to change its domain address several times, and is now available on the dark web and over the encrypted messaging app Telegram. The operation is primarily funded through bitcoin donations. Data scientist Daniel Himmelstein of the University of Pennsylvania, who conducted the new study, concluded that Sci-Hub’s extensive catalogue is making the subscription publishing model “unsustainable.” “For the first time, the overwhelming majority of scholarly literature is available gratis to anyone with an Internet connection,” he writes. That’s as it should be, advocates of open research say. They argue, among other things, that a substantial portion of the research that publishers attempt to lock behind paywalls was funded with grants paid for by taxpayers, and that the public should therefore have unfettered access to it. Meanwhile, the publishers aren’t going down without a fight. The publisher Elsevier sued Sci-Hub, claiming copyright infringement, in 2011—and a New York district court ruled last month that Elsevier is owed $15 million in damages. – Courtesy  /

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggests

There is no doubt that Sci-Hub, the infamous—and, according to a U.S. court, illegal—online repository of pirated research papers, is enormously popular. (See Science’s investigation last year of who is downloading papers from Sci-Hub.) But just how enormous is its repository? That is the question biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues recently set out to answer, after an assist from Sci-Hub. Their findings, published in a preprint on the PeerJ journal site on 20 July, indicate that Sci-Hub can instantly provide access to more than two-thirds of all scholarly articles, an amount that Himmelstein says is “even higher” than he anticipated. For research papers protected by a paywall, the study found Sci-Hub’s reach is greater still, with instant access to 85% of all papers published in subscription journals. For some major publishers, such as Elsevier, more than 97% of their catalog of journal articles is being stored on Sci-Hub’s servers—meaning they can be accessed there for free. Given that Sci-Hub has access to almost every paper a scientist would ever want to read, and can quickly obtain requested papers it doesn’t have, could the website truly topple traditional publishing? In a chat with ScienceInsider, Himmelstein concludes that the results of his study could mark “the beginning of the end” for paywalled research. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: What made you want to look at the size of Sci-Hub’s coverage?

A: It all started when Sci-Hub tweeted the list of all the articles that they had stored in their repositories on March 19. I thought: “Wow, we can learn so much about their operations and coverage that we couldn’t before.” Most people knew that Sci-Hub provided access to some of the scholarly literature, but the question was how much.

Q: How did you approach this calculation?

A: The main step was figuring out how many scholarly articles existed. For that we used data from Crossref, which has a database of journal identifiers or DOIs [digital object identifiers]. It’s not the only one, but it’s by far the most common one for scholarly publishing. After making some exclusions, we compiled a list of 81.6 million articles. This step was important because it gave us the denominator for the equation. Previous people who’ve looked at Sci-Hub coverage didn’t really get this step right—to see what percent of the literature Sci-Hub has, you need to know the total amount.

Q: What were the main findings of your study? 

A: The most simple result was that Sci-Hub contains 69% of all scholarly articles. We also found that the site preferentially covers articles from closed-access publishers and high-impact journals. [Editor’s Note: A breakdown can be found here.] I think it’s interesting that Elsevier and the American Chemical Society had some of the highest coverage and those are the publishers that have sued Sci-Hub. Maybe they realized that basically their entire corpus was in Sci-Hub. There were a lot of journals where Sci-Hub has every single article.

Q: What about the other 31%?

A: Just because an article isn’t in Sci-Hub’s database, that doesn’t mean it can’t get it for you. We estimated that Sci-Hub was able to fulfill requests 99% of the time—that suggests the 31% of articles that aren’t covered by Sci-Hub are things that people really aren’t requesting.

Q: Did you look at how coverage varied by academic discipline?

A: Yes. There was some variation between fields, but I think it’s probably less than people have speculated in the past. The top was chemistry with 93% coverage, and at the low end was computer science at 76%. The results could be linked to publishing practices in those fields—we found closed-access journals had more coverage than open access.

Q: Sci-Hub has faced a number of legal challenges—do you think these will stop it?

A: In our paper we have a graph plotting the history of Sci-Hub against Google Trends—each legal challenge resulted in a spike in Google searches [for the site], which suggests the challenges are basically generating free advertising for Sci-Hub. I think the suits are not going to stop Sci-Hub.

Q: How do you think Sci-Hub will evolve in future?

A: In the paper we mentioned that there are technologies coming that would allow you to host files without any central point of failure, so going forward Sci-Hub, or a service like it, could still provide access to all these papers, but there wouldn’t be any domain or one person behind it. Right now, if the servers for Sci-Hub were found they could be seized and destroyed.

Q: Do you really foresee a time when librarians would endorse Sci-Hub over paying for journal access?

A: I don’t think librarians would ever endorse it, given the legal issues of instructing someone to do something illegal. But in a way they already do. There are many libraries nowadays that can’t provide 100% access to the scholarly literature. Globally, it’s a pretty small percentage of universities that offer full access.

Q: Is there anything publishers could do to stop new papers being added to Sci-Hub’s repository?

A: There are things they could do but they can really backfire terribly. The issue is the more protective the publishers are, the more difficult they make legitimate access, and that could drive people to use Sci-Hub.

Q: What do you hope the impact of this study will be?

A: I think the larger picture of this study is that this is the beginning of the end for subscription scholarly publishing. I think it is at this point inevitable that the subscription model is going to fail and more open models will be necessitated. One motivation for doing the study is that I want to bring that eventuality into reality more quickly. Courtesy  /    Click here to Take a Loot at  Sci-Hub    /     https://sci-hub.cc/

Sci-Hub Stat Browser : This webapp provides coverage and usage statistics for Sci-Hub  – Click here…. https://greenelab.github.io/scihub/#/