一樣是 Hacker News 上看到的:「Guidance to make federally funded research freely available without delay (whitehouse.gov)」,白宮的公告在「OSTP Issues Guidance to Make Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay」這邊。

開頭有重點,不得限制以及收費。所以 paywall 是一定不行,另外要註冊才能看也算是一種限制,應該也會被這次的政策要求改善:

In a memorandum to federal departments and agencies, Dr. Alondra Nelson, the head of OSTP, delivered guidance for agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost.

時間表的部份,短期是 2023 年中更新 policy,並且在 2025 年年底前全部施行:

In the short-term, agencies will work with OSTP to update their public access and data sharing plans by mid-2023. OSTP expects all agencies to have updated public access policies fully implemented by the end of 2025.


找了一下之前寫下來跟 open access 有關的消息,從學校方面給壓力的也不少,不過我記錄下來的主要都是跟 Elsevier 的中止合約:


Amazon Echo 會「聽」並且將資料送到第三方廣告平台

前陣子看到的研究報告,證實 Amazon Echo 會聽取資訊並且將這些資料送到第三方的廣告平台上 (會送到 Amazon 自家應該不算新聞):「Your Echos are Heard: Tracking, Profiling, and Ad Targeting in the Amazon Smart Speaker Ecosystem」。

先從 abstract 開始看,主要是目前這些 smart speaker 基本上沒有透明度,所以十位作者群們建立了一套評估用的 framework 用來測試各家 smart speaker 資訊蒐集已經影響的情況:

Smart speakers collect voice input that can be used to infer sensitive information about users. Given a number of egregious privacy breaches, there is a clear unmet need for greater transparency and control over data collection, sharing, and use by smart speaker platforms as well as third party skills supported on them. To bridge the gap, we build an auditing framework that leverages online advertising to measure data collection, its usage, and its sharing by the smart speaker platforms.

這次論文裡面提到的目標就是 Amazon Echo 會將聽到的東西分享給第三方的廣告平台,並且讓廣告平台可以調整競價 (賺更多的錢),而且這些資訊並沒有被揭露在 privacy policy 裡面:

We evaluate our framework on the Amazon smart speaker ecosystem. Our results show that Amazon and third parties (including advertising and tracking services) collect smart speaker interaction data. We find that Amazon processes voice data to infer user interests and uses it to serve targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web). Smart speaker interaction leads to as much as 30X higher ad bids from advertisers. Finally, we find that Amazon's and skills' operational practices are often not clearly disclosed in their privacy policies.

幾個比較重要的資訊,其中一個是「Network traffic distribution by persona, domain name, purpose, and organization」:

另外一個重點是哪些 3rd-party:

就心裡有個底,然後隔壁棚也有類似產品 (主業是做廣告的那家),大概要跑不掉...

Elsevier 限制加州大學的存取權限

三月的時候加州大學系統 (UC) 因為 Elsevier 不接受 open access 的條件而公開宣佈不續約 (參考「加州大學宣佈不與 Elsevier 續約」),後來 Elsevier 應該是試著看看有沒有機會繼續合作,所以在這段期間還是一直提供服務給加州大學系統。

前幾天在 Hacker News 上看到「Elsevier cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals (latimes.com)」,總算是確定要動手了:「In act of brinkmanship, a big publisher cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals」。

不過也不是直接拔掉,而是限制存取權,看不到新東西 (以 2019/01/01 為界):

As of Wednesday, Elsevier cut off access by UC faculty, staff and students to articles published since Jan. 1 in 2,500 Elsevier journals, including respected medical publications such as Cell and the Lancet and a host of engineering and scientific journals. Access to most material published in 2018 and earlier remains in force.

UC 提出的商業模式是讓投稿者負擔費用,而存取者不需要負擔,與現有的商業模式剛好相反。UC 提出的模式鼓勵「知識的散佈」,而現有的商業模式則是反過來,希望透過知識的散佈而賺~大~錢~發~大~財~:

UC demanded that the new contract reflect the principle of open access — that work produced on its campuses be available to all outside readers, for free.

That was a direct challenge to the business model of Elsevier and other big academic publishers. Traditionally, the publishers accept papers for publication for free but charge steep subscription fees. UC is determined to operate under an alternative model, in which researchers pay to have their papers published but not for subscriptions.

另外在 Hacker News 上的 comment 裡看到一些專案也正在進行,像是歐洲的「Plan S」也是在推動 open access:

The plan requires scientists and researchers who benefit from state-funded research organisations and institutions to publish their work in open repositories or in journals that are available to all by 2021.

另外「PubPub · Community Publishing」也是 open source 領域裡蠻有趣的計畫,後面看起來也有不少學術單位在支持。

加州大學宣佈不與 Elsevier 續約

加州大學 (這是一個大學系統,包括了十個校區,超過 25 萬的學生與 14 萬的教職員) 認為 Elsevier 沒有達到 open access 應有的標準,決定將不再跟 Elsevier 續約,並且發出新聞稿抨擊 Elsevier:「UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research」。

As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.


Facebook 花錢向使用者購買他們的行為記錄

這則從 Nuzzel 上看到的,國外討論得很凶:「Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them」。

Facebook 付錢給使用者,要他們安裝 VPN (以及 Root CA,看起來是為了聽 HTTPS 內容),然後從上面蒐集資料,這本身就不是什麼好聽的行為了,但更嚴重的問題在於包括了未成年人:

Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas” — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe.

這個計畫在 iOS 平台下架了,但 Android 平台看起來還是會繼續:

[Update 11:20pm PT: Facebook now tells TechCrunch it will shut down the iOS version of its Research app in the wake of our report. The rest of this article has been updated to reflect this development.]

Facebook’s Research program will continue to run on Android. We’re still awaiting comment from Apple on whether Facebook officially violated its policy and if it asked Facebook to stop the program. As was the case with Facebook removing Onavo Protect from the App Store last year, Facebook may have been privately told by Apple to voluntarily remove it.



在「Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions」這邊看到歐洲 11 個研究機構資助者成立了「cOAlition S」,推動研究論文的開放存取。

目標是在 2020 年開始,由這些機構所資助的研究都必須投在符合完全開放條件的平台上:

cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.

而現在大約只有 15%:

According to a December 2017 analysis, only around 15% of journals publish work immediately as open access (see ‘Publishing models’) — financed by charging per-article fees to authors or their funders, negotiating general open-publishing contracts with funders, or through other means.


出租 GPU 的服務...

前陣子在「Rent out your GPU compute to AI researchers and make ~2x more than mining the most profitable cryptocurrency.」這邊看到的消息,服務網站是「Vectordash: GPU instances for deep learning」。

起因是搞計算的弄不到顯卡計算,而雲服務的 GPU 又太貴,所以再找方法解決... 結果注意到 cryptocurrency 計算的獲利與雲服務的 GPU 中間有不少差價,於是就弄出一個服務來媒合手上有顯卡與需要科學計算的人,一邊提供較高的獲利給本來在挖礦的人,另外一邊提供較低的價錢給需要科學計算的人。

目前支援的平台有限 (Nvidia 的顯卡,另外不支援 Windows,不知道是不是 Linux only),其他支援目前都還沒列 ETA,不過感覺是個解決大家痛點的服務 (而且挖礦這邊就是在拼獲利),應該有機會弄得很大...

繼續觀望... XD

Elsevier 讓德國的研究機構在還沒有續約的情況下繼續使用

德國的研究機構在 2017 年年底前,也就是與 Elsevier 的合約到期前,還是沒有續約,但 Elsevier 決定還是先繼續提供服務,暫時性的為期一年,繼續談判:

The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017.

The institutions had formed a consortium to negotiate a nationwide licence with the publisher. They sought a collective deal that would give most scientists in Germany full online access to about 2,500 journals at about half the price that individual libraries have paid in the past. But talks broke down and, by the end of 2017, no deal had been agreed. Elsevier now says that it will allow the country’s scientists to access its paywalled journals without a contract until a national agreement is hammered out.

Elsevier 會這樣做主要是要避免讓德國的學術機構發現「沒有 Elsevier 其實也活的很好」。而不少研究人員已經知道這件事情,在大多數的情況下都有 Elsevier 的替代方案,不需要浪費錢簽那麼貴的費用:

Günter Ziegler, a mathematician at the Free University of Berlin and a member of the consortium's negotiating team, says that German researchers have the upper hand in the negotiations. “Most papers are now freely available somewhere on the Internet, or else you might choose to work with preprint versions,” he says. “Clearly our negotiating position is strong. It is not clear that we want or need a paid extension of the old contracts.”

替代方案有幾個方面,像是自由開放下載的 arXiv 愈來愈受到重視,很多研究者都會把投稿的論文在上面放一份 pre-print 版本 (甚至會更新),而且近年來有些知名的證明只放在上面 (像是 Poincaré conjecture)。而且放在人家家裡比放在自己網站來的簡單 (不需要自己維護),這都使得 arXiv 變成學術界新的標準平台。

除了 arXiv 外,其他領域也有自己習慣的平台。像是密碼學這邊的「Cryptology ePrint Archive」也運作很久了。

除了找平台外,放在自家網站上的論文 (通常是學校或是學術機構的個人空間),也因為搜尋引擎的發達,使得大家更容易找到對應檔案可以下載。

而且更直接的攻擊性網站是 Sci-Hub,讓大家從 paywall 下載後丟上去公開讓人搜尋。雖然因為常常被封鎖的原因而常常在換網址,不過透過 Tor Browser (或是自己設定 Tor Proxy) 存取他們的 Hidden Service 就應該沒這個問題。

希望德國可以撐下去,證明其實已經不需要 Elsevier...

Facebook 自己找人研究,Social Media 是否對人類有害 XDDD

之前看到「Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?」這篇,一直不知道要怎麼吐槽... 然後看到 Twitter 上的這則 tweet XDDD


真的不知道怎麼吐槽 XDDD


歐盟在 2014 年做了關於盜版與銷量的研究,結果一直被壓到最近才發表出來 (於是就大概可以猜到結論了...):「EU Piracy Report Suppression Raises Questions Over Transparency」。

“In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements,” the study notes.


The study found that piracy had a slightly positive effect on the videogames industry, suggesting that those who play pirate games eventually become buyers of official content.

另外也描述了現有電影與 TV-series 定價策略偏高:

“Overall, the analysis indicates that for films and TV-series current prices are higher than 80 per cent of the illegal downloaders and streamers are willing to pay,” the study notes.