Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
Last week, approximately 100 leading education experts from the public and private sectors engaged in a conversation addressing the steps the United States can take to best prepare American students to compete in our 21st century economy.
The @Microsoft conversation, “Securing American Competitiveness: Effective Strategies for Teaching STEM,” featured Council of Chief State Schools Officers Director of Federal Relations Peter Zamora, National Education Association Secretary-Treasurer Becky Pringle and Montgomery County Springbrook High School Computer Science Teacher Pat Yongpradit. Microsoft Partners in Learning General Manager Andrew Ko moderated the discussion.
This morning the U.S. Copyright Office posted Microsoft’s comments regarding orphan works and mass digitization. Microsoft has worked for orphan works reform for nearly a decade, participating in and supporting efforts by the Copyright Office, Congress and others to devise a solution to this critical problem.
Orphan works – works still under copyright whose owner is unknown or unidentifiable – remain an issue with significant implications for the development of technology, the fostering of creative activity and the preservation of our cultural heritage. The problem is in need of a solution that both protects rights holders and avoids works lying fallow, thereby maximizing the public benefit of the copyright system.
Microsoft’s comments focus on four specific themes that have developed in recent years and must inform any solution, including:
1. The promise and benefits of mass digitization are enormous. 2. The orphan works problem remains an impediment to mass digitization. 3. Additional solutions to enhance the 2008 legislative proposal may be needed. 4. Any solution must be structured to further the public interest and not merely benefit private parties motivated by self interest.
Microsoft continues to support the Copyright Office and the end goal of resolving the issue of orphan works and mass digitization through a solution that takes into account the interests of all stakeholders, including copyright owners, users of orphan works and the public more broadly.
Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereDirector, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
Typically, when leave our homes, we lock our doors. We take this simple and, perhaps, habitual step to help protect our families and our belongings. Yet, when we go online, we don’t always take the same precautions with our personal information.
Today, on Safer Internet Day (SID), we want to remind consumers the world over to promote responsible use of the Internet and mobile technology. Organized by Brussels-based Insafe and co-founded by the European Union, this year marks the tenth celebration of SID and, once again, Microsoft is playing an active role.
We’ve released results of our second annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), a survey of consumer online safety behaviors in 20 countries. This year, we added a mobile component to the study, enabling comparisons between people’s PC and mobile practices.
Posted by Paul Garnett, Director, Technology Policy Group and Louis Otieno, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Africa Initiatives, Microsoft.
Despite our increasingly interconnected world, many people are still unable to access the benefits provided by technology. In Kenya, only 2% of Kenyans subscribe to broadband services, as defined by the Communications Commissions Kenya. In many countries in Africa, even fewer are connected. This digital divide is perpetuated by business models, technologies, and regulatory frameworks not suited for delivering low-cost, high-quality broadband access.
To help address this challenge, Microsoft has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that presents a framework of cooperation with the Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communications and industry partner Indigo, a Kenyan Internet Service Provider (ISP). Through this framework of cooperation and as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, we installed and today launched a project that is delivering low-cost, high-speed wireless broadband access to locations previously unserved by even basic electricity.
The technology making the project possible is called dynamic spectrum access, which enables wireless devices to opportunistically tap into unused radio spectrum to establish broadband connections. The project in Kenya utilizes TV white spaces, the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the television frequency band, as well as solar-powered base stations. TV white spaces are particularly well-suited for a range of applications from better in-home networks to rural broadband, to hotspot access and mobile traffic offload to machine-to-machine applications. As television has begun to switch from analog to digital around the world, even more of this spectrum can be used to fulfill those needs.
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