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Friday, April 30, 2010
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Monday, April 19, 2010
FRESH events
Birchwood Cafe is a sponsor of the FRESH film and Tracy Singleton (Birchwood owner) will be moderating the post panel discussions on Wed & Thursday.

FRESH returns to Minneapolis just in time for EARTH DAY!  FRESH is celebrating their theatrical release with showings this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night @ 7pm at the Riverview Theater. 

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.
Advance tickets can also be purchased through the link above, at the Birchwood Counter and at the Riverview the night of each show.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

Tuesday, April 06, 2010
bad news / good news when court says FCC can't require net neutrality

Court Says F.C.C. Cannot Require ‘Net Neutrality’By EDWARD WYATTPublished: April 6, 2010WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a sharp blow to the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to set the rules of the road for the Internet, ruling that the agency lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.

via NY Times

The bad news is that according to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the FCC has little clout in regulating net neutrality.

The good news is:

  1. Congress may want to look even more closely at the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal. If we don't have a neutral net, Comcast can slow access to competitors' content and favor NBC and...
  2. Our legislative branch may finally decide to put a Net Neutrality law on the books.

Posted via web from Peter's posterous

Is Yelp filtering reviews for a fee?

Yelp's Legal Troubles Mount

A San Francisco furniture store this week added its name (and court papers) to the list of small businesses accusing Yelp of extortion.

By Courtney Rubin |  Mar 18, 2010
Story at

Via @s4xton I just heard about the lawsuits (now numbering threee) alleging Yelp blocks positive site reviews unless a business pays for advertising or will filter out negative reviews if you do buy. Yelp is denying it and says that the complainants don't understand how Yelp's filtering works in protecting users from fake or "shill" reviews. My own guess is that there are some aggressive (and possibly rogue) Yelp salespersons who are writing their own scripts.

Posted via web from Peter's posterous

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Friday, April 02, 2010
Success: Seward Profile is sourced!
Following up on the last two posts, the Profile blog is sourced at Kathie Jenkins' Pioneer Press Restaurant column. Well, sort of. Seems somone forgot the opening "<" of the <a> element resulting in a missing link but a visible URL.

I did send along a note to Ms. Jenkins informing her of the issue.

Ms. Jenkins apologized and explained that it was a last minute item written under deadline and she simply forgot. Thank you, Kathie.

Accidents will happen. For me, I still have this lingering doubt that not sourcing the Star Tribune or New York Times would have triggered an alarm along the way. Somebody must look over the content besides the writer. Of course if I'm a copy editor and I see "neighborhood blog" I have no idea what blog she is talking about. It would seem a good starting point to refer to the name of the blog in full (in this case Seward Profile). Then if you forget the link, someone would have a clue as to where to look. I'm realizing I should have asked for naming the blog in my email. Darn. A name without a link is arguably better than a link without a name.

Erica at was kind enough to retweet and link here. I'll close with her (re)tweet as I think she makes a good point.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous


"Borrowing" content from Seward Profile

I've contacted the Pioneer Press via email about republishing the Birchwood story from the Seward Profile (see last post). I sent the email to Kathie Jenkins and Life editor Heidi Raschke.

In the email, I pointed out the Creative Commons license I publish under prohibits commercial use of the content and it requires attribution. Given "fair use" under copyright, I don't really have a problem with summarizing and quoting a portion of the content even in a commercial venue. But not attributing and linking to the source is not OK and it's not something I expect to see in the twenty-first century from a major daily.

I've asked for the link and suggested an apology might be in order. I'll keep you posted.

We are all vying for attention on the web. Still we need to play by some basic rules and I don't think the size of your operation should make it OK to steal content from any of the many excellent local blogs that are providing relevant content to neighborhoods. I doubt if the Pioneer Press would appreciate my republishing its content and attributing it to "a local newspaper."

from my email to Pioneer Press

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

Pioneer Press writer Kathie Jenkins forgets to link to Seward Profile

Kathie Jenkins at Pioneer Press read the Seward Profile story on the Birchwood Cafe expansion and then wrote about it in her Restaurant News column ("A Tree Grows in Seward"). She sourced a "neighborhood blog" and didn't provide a link.

Profile is one of my projects and Kathie, I'm happy to provide you with easy-to-serve copy-and-paste material but how about at least linking back to the source? Hey this is the web! You can still fix it! Just send folks to: Thanks.

All will be forgiven.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous


Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee seeks new blood!

In the 2006 negotiations with US Internet (USI) to implement a mesh wireless (802.11) network over Minneapolis, the City was able to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement that included $500,000 in payments to a Digital Inclusion Fund (along with 5% of pre-tax income after the network was up and running). (See page C-1 of the contract.) The money is granted to support non-profit digital inclusion projects in Minneapolis.

So far the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee (DIFAC) has disbursed $400,000 of that $500,000—$200,000 over 2007 and another $200,000 in 2008. We (I am a member of DIFAC) plan on requesting proposals this year and disbursing at least some of the remaining $100,000.

During 2009, DIFAC finally drafted its rules for governance which includes terms for advisors and a plan to rotate off the current advisors over the next few years. Two advisers will be finishing their terms this year. (I'm one of them.)

We are beginning the application process for new advisors.

If you are interested in forwarding the cause of digital inclusion in Minneapolis, consider applying and download the description and application and send them in by June 1. Details are in the documents.

DIF Advisors Description
DIF Advisor Application (PDF)
DIF Advisor Application (MS Word)

Update: The application doesn't include contact information. You can send your completed application to Valerie Lee or contact her if you have questions:

Valerie C. Lee
Community Philanthropy Officer
The Minneapolis Foundation
800 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
tel: (612) 672-3849
fax: (612) 672-3846

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Viacom vs. YouTube

Google and Viacom (owner of MTV, BET, Paramount, and more) are fighting it out in court with Viacom contending that Google is no longer a "safe harbor" under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and must do more to ferret out and remove copyrighted material -- like Viacom's. Viacom is supporting its case with some old emails supposedly proving that Google relaxed its copyright policies after its 2006 YouTube purchase and that it knew very well that YouTube was a pirate haven of illegal video goods. Let's not forget to mention the "sour grapes" component here: Viacom wanted to buy YouTube too and Google beat them out.

Whatever Google authorized in the past, in recent times they have added content ID tools to help companies identify and find pirated content on YouTube. They've done this to such a degree that they've fallen somewhat afoul of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

One issue that has surfaced is Viacom "continuously and secretly" uploading its own stuff to YouTube (self-pirating?). (Viacom disputes this and claims it only happened a few times.) From the YouTube blog:

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

The Law Librarian Blog has a nice summary of points around these issues and links to articles in the last paragraph. Although I agree with Law Librarian that "neither party to the suit has any lock on legal or moral purity," if I had to choose a side to cheer, it would be Google. Although both companies are looking at revenues and bottom lines, Viacom is trying to control content distribution in a media market that arguably should be moved towards more sharing. YouTube on the other hand may not be perfect but it is involved in sharing content globally at no direct cost to producers. For me, that's very much a move in the right direction.

Posted via web from Peter's posterous

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Posterous adds "page breaks" + timed releases
Over the last couple of days Posterous has added new features. Most welcomed (by me anyway) are the "page breaks" which let you display a shortened version of a post on your main listing pages. You won't have to scroll and scroll now at sites that have longer posts (like my Seward Profile site where the neighborhood e-newsletter can stretch out a ways). The feature is a new icon ( )in the web editor or you can type "#more" on a new line in an email post like I'm going to do right now.
The second feature is timed releases. I don't have a need for this right now but as more people want to post to the Profile site, I could see spacing the announcements and posts out over the day. One downside of this feature is that there still is no time zone chooser in Posterous so you have to time your releases for Pacific time.

Posted via email from Peter's posterous

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