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CFM Home   CFM Blog   Join the Alliance   Moving? New Job? Let the Alliance know. September 18, 2014

 



News from CFM

Do you have the right to be forgotten?
Center for the Future of Museums
In May, the E.U. court of justice handed down a decision reaffirming that, in Europe, the right to privacy trumps the free flow of information. In the U.S., states struggle to draw boundaries around the American tradition of free speech in order to protect data about kids. Meanwhile, art/tech projects like the obsessively quantified journals of Nicholas Feltron, the “incorporated woman” and the “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” webtool dramatize how much of our data is already out there, accessible to all, and explore the personal choices we make about who has access to, and profits from, our information. This week on the CFM Blog, we recap recent stories related to TrendsWatch 2014’s “Privacy in a Watchful World.” (Complete with videos just the right length for a quick, mid-afternoon break.) Also, check out CFM recommendations on four blogs to add to your RSS feed.
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Trends


With tech taking over in schools, worries rise
The New York Times
At a New York state elementary school, teachers can use a behavior-monitoring app to compile information on which children have positive attitudes and which act out. In Georgia, some high school cafeterias are using a biometric identification system to let students pay for lunch by scanning the palms of their hands at the checkout line. Technology companies are collecting a vast amount of data about students, touching every corner of their educational lives — with few controls on how those details are used. Now California is poised to become the first state to comprehensively restrict how such information is exploited by the growing education technology industry.
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Personalizing climate change through open data and apps
The Guardian
Government-released open data is fuelling a whole new level of innovation in sustainability. Moving beyond hackathons, today’s climate data partnerships are creating unique ventures that cross boundaries between business, government and academia. In the U.S., “datapaloozas” — gatherings focused on creating open data innovations in the areas of health, education, energy and safety across sectors — are popping up all over the place. Recently, the geographic information system technology (GIS) company Esri held the Esri Climate Resilience App Challenge in conjunction with the White House’s Climate Data Initiative. The challenge’s winner, the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis app, identified the best sites for solar panel installations across the state.
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The digital wallet revolution
The New York Times
Apple’s digital wallet, if widely adopted, could usher in a new era of ease and convenience. But the really exciting part is the fast-emerging future that it points toward, in which virtual assets of all sorts — traditional currencies, but also Bitcoin, airline miles, cellphone minutes — are interchangeable, opening up enormous purchasing power for consumers and creating tough challenges for governments around the world. The idea is that you can buy anything, with anything. The wallet will find the best deal and execute it. In so doing, it will ignore the historical and cultural differences between dollars, points, coins and virtual property. It’s all bits anyway.
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Unhappy medium: The challenges with archiving digital videos
Washingtonian
Celluloid, the industry’s medium of choice for more than a century, has all but disappeared from American cinemas, with 95 percent of big screens already converted to digital projection and an ever-growing number of movies “born digital” — that is, shot on digital cameras. In Washington, the impact isn’t confined to the multiplex. To register a copyright, filmmakers must submit their work to the Library of Congress, which stores 123 years’ worth of American film at its 45-acre Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. The rise of digital may soon require those copyright regulations to be rewritten. For institutions dedicated to preserving millions of miles of footage for posterity, the end of film signals a wrenching technical, cultural and budgetary shift.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  The Power of Authenticity

People associate authenticity with honesty, truth, and integrity – essential elements of trust in any relationship. In PGAV’s nationwide study, 81% of guests indicated that destinations that had authentic attributes were viewed much more favorably, delivered higher satisfaction, and had greater intent-to-return than destinations without. How authentic is your museum?
 


Projections


Alone in the virtual museum
The New Yorker
The Google Art Project offers partial glimpses, via Google Street View, into great art and archeology sites around the world, under the aegis of the company’s Cultural Institute. Among other things, the Cultural Institute seeks to change the way that art is looked at on the Internet by displaying high-resolution images of a growing range of art works — street art was added this summer — and by ushering people through virtual tours of the places where those art works can be seen. Some critics complain that Google’s initiative to take us on virtual trips through museums and to show us great pieces of art on demand, as we sit gazing at our laptops, will discourage people from actually going to these institutions. This is flatly untrue. ♦ The author expresses confidence that the relationship between virtual and physical museum visits in the future will be complementary, not competitive, noting that “The particular familiarity that comes with experiencing a work of art first through a reproduction, whether in a book or on a screen, echoes the feeling of falling in love with a person through a long, intimate correspondence before finally meeting in the flesh.”
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Will teaching become a plastic profession?
World of Learning
What might teaching look like in ten years if we do not alleviate current stressors on the profession and do not make significant changes to the structure of today’s public education system? This scenario, from KnowledgeWork’s Katherine Prince’s recent paper on the future of teaching, projects that, as the federal accountability system continues to emphasize narrow measures of student and teacher performance and districts face daunting fiscal challenges, many public school teachers could find their creativity increasingly constrained.
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3-D printing technology will change the world and the way we live says expert Stuart Grover
The Daily Telegraph
A 3-D printer has been sent to outer space. Concrete houses are being printed in China, mud huts in Africa. The fashion world is printing previously impossible designs of shoes, dresses and jewelry. Prosthetics for amputees can be printed and even our own stem cells can be used to print new organs such as livers. The world of 3-D printing is still in its infancy despite being around for 30 years but recent advancements in printing technology have improved the software and the scanning equipment to such an extent, it seems almost anything can be printed with the right raw materials.
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Museum Innovations


Jean Schulz: Snoopy license plates could fund museums
The Fresno Bee
The popularity of the comic dog, Snoopy, is leading to something big — a new program that will result in California museums reaching new audiences and serving communities in exciting ways. The California Association of Museums (CAM) is on the verge of making history with an official Snoopy license plate that will provide a new funding stream for museums. All that is left to do is pre-sell 7,500 Snoopy license plates and the organization is halfway to its goal. The idea was the brainchild of CAM as a way to create a stream of income which would be available to California's museums through a competitive grant process — and not be a drain on the state's limited resources.
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Newest Canadian museum set to open in Winnipeg celebrating human rights
The Canadian Press via CTV Winnipeg News
When Canada's newest national museum opens, it will mark the end of a 14-year journey sparked by one family's desire to have Canadians learn about the struggle for — and the fragility of — freedom. The road to create the Canadian Museum For Human Rights has not always been a smooth one. Costs rose sharply, which led to a renewed search for donors and government aid. And deciding which groups and what milestones to recognize has been a thorny issue with some interest groups. The museum is filled with interactive exhibits, and there are seven theaters for live performance and film.
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Tools for the Future


IBM's new Watson Analytics wants to bring big data to the masses
Tech Crunch
IBM recently announced a new product called Watson Analytics, one they claim will bring sophisticated big data analysis to the average business user. Watson Analytics is a cloud application that does all of the the heavy lifting related to big data processing by retrieving the data, analyzing it, cleaning it, building sophisticated visualizations and offering an environment for communicating and collaborating around the data. Eric Sall, V.P. of Worldwide Marketing for Business Analytics at IBM says, “The goal of the product is to put 'powerful analytics in the hands of every business user.' People understand they should be making better decisions to leverage data and analytics, but the reason they don’t is it’s too hard.”
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The FBI just finished its insane new facial recognition system
Gizmodo
After six years and over one billion dollars in development, the FBI has just announced that its new biometric facial recognition software system is finally complete. Starting soon, photos of tens of millions of U.S. citizen's faces will be captured by the national system on a daily basis. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) program will logs all of those faces, and will reference them against its growing database in the event of a crime. It's not just faces, though. Everything from tattoos to scars to a person's irises could be enough to secure an ID. What's more, the FBI is estimating that NGI will include as many as 52 million individual faces by next year, collecting identified faces from mug shots and some job applications.
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These anti-sized radios might power the Internet of Things
Gizmodo
The jury is still out on whether the Internet of Things will make our lives any easier. If, and when, it does, a lot of it might be powered these tiny, ant-sized radios. These radios that are made of silicon and measure just a few millimeters each, have been developed by researchers at Stanford University. You can fit dozens of them on a penny and the good news is that they're dirt cheap to manufacture. How did they achieve this? No batteries, for one, says PC World. The power requirements of these radios are so little that they can harvest the energy that they need from nearby radio fields, such as a reader device.
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How your iPhone could alter notifications based on your location
Cult of Mac
Apple recently filed a new patent, describing a “self-adapting alert device” that would vary the volume or style of user notifications to your iPhone or Apple Watch depending on where you are at the time. Alerts would vary based on sensing the operating environment of an iOS device (for example, indoors, outdoors, or contained in a purse or bag) through a series of sensor measurements. From there the patent would be able to work out if you’re likely in a busy shopping mall or a conference room and alter its alerts accordingly. ♦ Holding out the delightful prospect of a future in which digital devices automatically mute themselves when their owner enters a museum.
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TRENDING ARTICLES

Hacking the museum (CFM)
Bloomberg Philanthropies gives museums $17 million in push toward digital (The Wall Street Journal)
New 'Dreadnought' dinosaur most complete specimen of a giant (Scientific American)
30 attributes of next gen learning (Getting Smart)
Images from 500 years of books are now on Flickr — and they could change the way we see books permanently (The Washington Post)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.
 

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