Friday Five for August 25, 2017

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 at 10:01

Using Data Effectively: Carpentries Teach Tools and Best Practices 

Looking for contextually-based data and computational training in a supportive, collaborative environment? Come join us in the Young Research Library for an introduction to the Software, Data and Library Carpentry movements -- interconnected community-based global software and data skills instruction programs. The Community Development Lead for Software & Data Carpentry, Belinda Weaver, is in town from Brisbane, Australia to promote and catalyze the Carpentries at UCLA. We also have Juliane Schneider, Lead Data Curator of Harvard's Catalyst archive and maintainer of the Library Carpentry OpenRefine lesson to tell us about the newest Carpentry -- Library Carpentry -- and how it fits into the broader Carpentry movements. John Chodacki from CDL's UC3 is on hand to inform us about the next steps for Library Carpentry in the North Americas. In the afternoon, we'll provide hands-on activities on running a Carpentry workshop and using the lessons followed by socializing at the Luskin Center. On Friday 9/8, we will run an all day Library Carpentry workshop in the library: Come to any part of the two day event.

The event is hosted by and with introductory remarks provided by the Associate University Librarian for Research & Development Todd Grappone. Coffee and pastries provided. The Library Data Archive is organizing the event. Please contact us with any questions:



  • Presentations from 9:30-noon (coffee and pastries served at 9:30) - Presentation Room (Room 11348)
  • Hands-on activities for putting on a workshop 1:30-4:30 - West Electronic Classroom, YRL
  • Social gathering 4:30-on (Luskin Center)

Where: Young Research Library Presentation Room 11348

More information and schedule:

Do You Need a Virtual Private Network?

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have been in the news a lot since April, when the Federal Communications Commission's strict privacy regulations of 2016 were repealed. Although the regulations never had a chance to go into effect, the repeal still alters the personal privacy landscape. The FCC is now barred from introducing similar regulations to protect consumers, and Internet providers have the green light to track and sell consumer browsing data to advertisers without permission.
Many people are responding by installing personal VPNs to help guard their privacy. But not all VPNs are effective or trustworthy, and some even capitalize by selling consumer data in the same way that ISPs can.
Do you need a VPN, and how should you evaluate one before using it?
Read more:

Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots

Some of the world's leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.

Tesla's Elon Musk and Alphabet's Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.

The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns. Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots. 

Read more:

Ban against killer robots.

Ex-lottery worker who rigged winnings gets 25 years in prison

A former lottery worker was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Tuesday for rigging the system in several states so he could collect jackpots.

Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Multistate Lottery Association, received the maximum sentence from an Iowa judge, who mentioned Tipton's "greed" in his sentencing.

"I certainly regret my actions," Tipton told the court. "It's difficult even saying that with all the people that I know behind me that I hurt."

Tipton pleaded guilty in June to a charge of ongoing criminal conduct for a scheme involving seven lottery tickets in five states, according to court documents. He admitted to rigging computer codes to produce winning numbers -- netting Tipton and his accomplices millions of dollars.

Read more:
Not the Powerball but still...

Google's next Pixel smartphone rumored for October 5 debut

Google's next-generation Pixel devices could arrive in a little over a month, according to prolific (and often accurate) leak source Evan Blass. The Pixel 2 (or whatever they end up being called) will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 mobile system-on-a-chip, Blass claims, and based on previous rumors, these devices look like a solid follow-up to Google's debut premium Pixel phones.
There will reportedly be both a standard Pixel and an XL version, just like there were last year, with thinner bezels up front surrounding a screen with a narrower 2:1 aspect ratio, like the one foudn on the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6. The 6-inch AMOLED display on the larger XL model will be provided by LG, per reports, and the smaller device will be more of an entry-level offering when compared to last year, wehre they were basically indistinguishable save for their size.
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