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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Brexit Dream Likely to Turn into a Nightmare

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I was involved in an experiment on Impakter: we launched a "Brexit Opinion Tracker" gathering the opinions and statements of major influencers and politicians as the Brexit referendum unfolded on 23 June, using the articles uploaded on our social media platform Thingser under the hashtag "Brexit" - this way we tracked what was happening in real time. Then, today, with the stunning vote announced, I quickly dashed off a "wrap up note" to assess the situation. Here it is:
Wrap-Up Note: The Brexit Dream Likely to Turn into a Nightmare While the vote on 23 June was carried out with quiet and dignity, as exit polls were (wisely) banned which contributed to the maintenance of order, the outcome is stunning: 52% for leaving the EU, over 17 million voters, against 15.9 million for the Remain camp. UKIP's secretary Nigel Farage exulted, "“Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom.” Unfortunately, that dream could quickly turn…

Google's Digital News Initiative Decrypted

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Another one of my articles published on Impakter - this one about a fascinating new initiative that Google has launched (for the time being) only in Europe, to support the news industry (it will probably come to America later, once it has shown it works). Also included in the initiative, a fund to finance innovation, and the closing date for applications is 11 July. Anyone thinking of applying should read this - while others may be intrigued, wondering what Google is up to...


GOOGLE’S DIGITAL NEWS INITIATIVE: SUPPORTING INNOVATION OR WOOING EUROPEAN JOURNALISM?

Ever wondered about the myth of start-ups launched in a garage?
The story of Google’s founding proves that it’s not entirely a myth: the story starts in 1994 with the launch of the Digital Library Initiative (DLI) by three US government agencies, the National Science Foundation, NASA and DARPA. The aim was to promote innovation in “digital library research”, i.e. find ways to improve access and use of the information that by the…

WILL THE UK REALLY EXIT THE EUROPEAN UNION? WHAT BREXIT MEANS

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On June 1,2016, Impakter published this essay that I wrote after many months of following Brexit, uploading onto Thingser all the articles that I found of interest, over 60 of them (see here - many were - and still are - uploaded by other Thingser members which I found very useful for my research). From my standpoint as a dispassionate observer of political and cultural events, I honestly attempted to really understand Brexit, i.e. Britain's exit from the UK, something that could really happen on 23 June, as the Brits go to vote on the Brexit referendum.

As the date gets nearer and the pro-Brexit camp surges ahead (according to the latest news), this article is ever more relevant and I hope you'll find it useful to understand better what is going and what the real risks are - very high, not just for Europe but also for America. Should the UK choose to leave the EU, the consequences are truly incalculable and devastating, for the UK first, but the rest of the world too.



IMPAKTER …

AUTHOREA: A STARTUP FOR SCIENTISTS TO SHARE AND ADVANCE RESEARCH

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Another one of my articles published on Impakter - I interviewed the founder of Authorea, a startup for scientists to share and advance research. Here is his picture, his name is Alberto Pepe, he's a young Italian astrophysicist who now lives in New York:


And here is the start of the article:

You’d think that writing scientific papers today, with all the digital tools at hand, would be a breeze. But you’d be wrong. Scientific work is not helped along by the Internet but challenged by it.

Why?

Because scientists, for the most part, still follow traditional methods for sharing their research findings. Or, as young Italian astrophysicist Alberto Pepe put it in an interviewwith Il Corriere della Sera, a major Italian daily, “Scientists today produce 21st century research; they use the writing tools of the 20th century and force their writing into formats similar to those of the 18th century.”

In short, the way scientific articles are written goes back 400 years, and the ability to sha…