When you think of freedom, remember the Charter of the Forest, not the Magna Carta

800 years ago today, on Nov 6, 1217, the Charter of the Forest was sealed by King Henry III, making it "the first environmental charter forced on any government" in which were asserted "the rights of the property-less, of the commoners, and of the commons." Read the rest

Our public health data is being ingested into Silicon Valley's gaping, proprietary maw

In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now "Chief Commons Officer" for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who're using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to amass huge databases of vital health information that is not copyrighted or copyrightable, but is nevertheless walled off from open research, investigation and replication. Read the rest

Scholars' collaboration tool starts with cloning existing materials

Mark writes, "ACLS Workbench encourages scholars to share their materials and even allow others to copy or clone them." Read the rest

Marriott plans to block personal wifi hotspots

The hotel chain petitioned the FCC for changes that could let venues shut down personal networks. Microsoft, Google, and the cell industry are opposed.