Daily Archives: 2019-10-30

Computer files are going extinct

Source: OSNews

Article note: I started thinking about this ("removal of user agency by hiding the file abstraction) at least 10 years ago, had some arguments about it ... and I under-estimated the degree to which it would be used coercively.

I love files. I love renaming them, moving them, sorting them, changing how they’re displayed in a folder, backing them up, uploading them to the internet, restoring them, copying them, and hey, even defragging them. As a metaphor for a way of storing a piece of information, I think they’re great. I like the file as a unit of work. If I need to write an article, it goes in a file. If I need to produce an image, it’s in a file. I’ve had a love of files since I first started creating them in Windows 95. But I’ve noticed we are starting to move away from the file as a fundamental unit of work. There are forces at work to create as large a distance between the user and her files as possible, because not only do files represent a certain amount of user agency and control, they also represent a massive data mine for companies to profit from.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Twitter to ban all political ads from its platform

Source: OSNews

Article note: There are going to be some brutal fights about this whole situation. For just the "No political ads" case: Can you advocate for issues, like civil rights? Such a policy can't can't do anything about obviously astroturf "organic" advertising, so will it just change who gets paid for propagating bullshit? Will the "organic" bullshit's volume, visibility, or distinguishably be different?

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, about Twitter, on Twitter: We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address. Both candidate ads and issue ads will be banned, although ads to encourage people to register to vote will still be allowed. This is clearly a case of Twitter simply not wanting to be part of the problem during the 2020 election cycle in the US, and it’s an easy goal to score for Dorsey after Facebook said earlier last week that it has no issues with allowing lying ads or nazi publishers on its platform.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

College athletes permitted to be paid for name, image, likeness

Source: Inside Higher Ed (news)

Article note: Huh. The NCAA blinked. Good. It's not a complete fix for the fictional amateurism situation, but it is an improvement. I'm curious what kind of bullshit Senator Richard Burr is into that he came out with a claim that letting athletes receive money from third parties should uniquely subject their scholarship money to taxation.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association will allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, a decision that appears to diverge from the association’s long-held standard of amateurism in college sports.

The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to direct the association’s three divisions to “modernize” their rules and allow athletes to enter into contracts with corporations and other parties to receive compensation for their personal brand or celebrity. However, the association made clear that any changes must be “consistent with the collegiate model” and ensure college athletes do not become employees of the university. 

The decision came after months of accelerating pressure on the NCAA from state and federal legislators. More than a dozen states and two U.S. congressmen began to discuss bills this year to overrule the association’s governance -- the NCAA currently bars athletes from competition if they are found to be benefiting from their name, image or likeness.

Michael V. Drake, chairman of the NCAA's Board of Governors and president of Ohio State University, told the Associated Press that the NCAA is hoping to avoid legal battles in the federal courts on “pay for play” legislation if state and federal bills become law. Through such laws, politicians could make it illegal for the NCAA to ban players from competition if they receive financial compensation.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” Drake said in a statement after Tuesday’s vote. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education.”

The biggest push came from California in late September, when Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay for Play Act into law. Though the law will not go into effect until 2023, politicians in other states hope to push through legislation that is implemented earlier.

The NCAA has long drawn a line between collegiate and professional sports by upholding its definition of amateurism and disallowing payment to athletes, other than in the form of colleges paying for the full cost of attendance or providing other types of scholarships. But the association began to ease its opposition and created a working group in May to explore how it could adjust bylaws to allow athletes to be compensated while maintaining “its belief that student-athletes are students first.”

The NCAA is acting fast, threatened by legislation that seeks to do away with all rules for athlete compensation that would destroy its business model and subject the association to antitrust and labor laws, ESPN reported. Some proposals do not suggest any limitations on payment, such as a bill introduced earlier this year by U.S. representative Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina. Walker suggested that the NCAA’s tax-exempt status should be revoked if it does not allow players to be paid by third parties, and he did not offer any guardrails in the bill that ensure athletes are “students first.”

On the other hand, U.S. representative Anthony Gonzalez, a Republican from Ohio who played football for Ohio State, would like to craft legislation while engaging in discussions with the NCAA on measures to maintain the line between college and professional athletics. Gonzalez plans to continue pursuing federal legislation on the name, image and likeness issue, he said in a statement.

“I look forward to continuing to work alongside coaches, players, universities and the NCAA to ensure there is one consistent, nationwide policy on this issue and that appropriate guardrails are met to protect college athletes from bad actors and maintain the collegiate environment that makes college sports so special,” Gonzalez said.

Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, said if the NCAA allows college athletes to be paid through sponsorships, he would introduce a bill that subjects athletes' scholarships to income taxes. He said the legislation would apply to athletes who decide to participate in third-party compensation.

If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income. I’ll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to “cash in” to income taxes. https://t.co/H7jXC0dNls

— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) October 29, 2019

If scholarships are income, that makes them employees, not student-athletes. This isn’t about income. It’s about basic rights that every other American has to their own name. #StudentAthleteEquity https://t.co/iQ4whjnaaV

— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) October 29, 2019

The Federal and State Legislation Working Group delivered its recommendations to the Board of Governors on Tuesday -- the recommendations include eight principles for division leadership to follow as changes are drafted -- and will continue its work through April 2020, according to a release from the NCAA. Division bylaws must be updated no later than January 2021.

The eight guidelines uphold the NCAA’s priority to ensure college athletes are not elevated to the status of professionals within their universities. According to the NCAA, bylaws must enforce that schools treat athletes similarly to students who are not athletes with limited exceptions, prioritize academics and prohibit schools from directly paying college athletes for use of their name, image and likeness. While athletes can enter into contracts for merchandise and endorsements, they cannot be paid for participation or performance of their collegiate sport, the guidelines say.

Divisions will need to be transparent about rule changes and uphold diversity and gender equality, and there must be a distinction made between college-level and professional payment opportunities, the NCAA stated.

The guidelines also state that bylaws should “protect the recruiting environment” from being corrupted by third parties -- players cannot be coerced into attending or transferring institutions for a sponsorship. This is intended to address concern among college athletics leaders and personnel who believe allowing athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness would welcome into collegiate athletics nefarious agents or company representatives who could take advantage of players.

“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student-athletes,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”

Editorial Tags: 
Is this diversity newsletter?: 
Newsletter Order: 
Disable left side advertisement?: 
Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 
Magazine treatment: 
Display Promo Box: 
Posted in News | Leave a comment