👓 White House distances itself from reports that Trump could target Facebook, Google and Twitter with a new executive order | Washington Post

Read White House distances itself from reports that Trump could target Facebook, Google and Twitter with a new executive order by Tony Romm and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post)

Trump slams Google for 'RIGGED' results

The White House sought to dis­tance it­self Sat­ur­day from re­ports that President Trump is con­sid­er­ing an ex­ec­u­tive ord­er that would sub­ject tech giants like Facebook, Goo­gle and Twitter to federal in­ves­ti­gat­ions into al­leged po­lit­i­cal bias.

For weeks, top tech com­panies have been on edge, fear­ing that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion could seek to regu­late the in­dus­try in re­sponse to the president’s tweets at­tack­ing so­cial media sites for si­len­cing con­ser­va­tives online. Their worst sus­pi­cions seemed to come true Fri­day night, with the e­mer­gence of a draft ex­ec­u­tive ord­er that called for near­ly every federal a­gen­cy to study how com­panies like Facebook police their plat­forms and re­fer in­stan­ces of “bias” to the Justice Department for further study.

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👓 The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley | Kara Swisher for New York Times

Read Opinion | The Expensive Education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley by Kara SwisherKara Swisher (nytimes.com)
They have weaponized social media, and we are all paying the price.

I’m definitely just biding my time until their export feature improves. Then I’m moving out of this toxic space.

I still find it interesting that no one seems to be taking him to either enough task or calling him out on potential political bids. He could very easily and quickly use the platform to drastically reshape the political scenery in America and around the world.

Aside: Interesting to note that Kara Swisher’s byline here doesn’t have a link on it, even to a default NY Times page for her.

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👓 How regulators can prevent excessive concentration online – A new school in Chicago | The Economist

Read How regulators can prevent excessive concentration online (The Economist)
Conventional antitrust thinking is being disrupted from within

It is not the data that are valuable, he says, but the services powered by them. Some firms are just better at developing new offerings than others.  

So big piles of data can become a barrier to competitors entering the market, says Maurice Stucke of the University of Tennessee.  

“When feedback data from large players is available to smaller competitors, then innovation…is not concentrated at the top,” he argues in “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data”, a new book co-written with Thomas Ramge, a journalist.  

This sounds like something which could be worth reading.

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👓 12 Things Everyone Should Understand About Tech | Anil Dash

Read 12 Things Everyone Should Understand About Tech by Anil Dash (Anil Dash)
Tech is more important than ever, deeply affecting culture, politics and society. Given all the time we spend with our gadgets and apps, it’s essential to understand the principles that determine how tech affects our lives.

One of the more important things I’ve read in the past month. This short article should be required reading for every lawmaker in the land (and everyone else for that matter). Thanks Anil!

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BIRS Workshop: Advances and Challenges in Protein-RNA: Recognition, Regulation and Prediction (15w5063)

Bookmarked 15w5063: Advances and Challenges in Protein-RNA: Recognition, Regulation and Prediction (Banff International Research Station | birs.ca)
BIRS 5 day worksop, arriving in Banff, Alberta Sunday, June 7 and departing Friday, June 12, 2015

In the years since the first assembly of the human genome, the complex and vital role of RNA and RNA binding proteins in regulation of the genome expression has expanded through the discovery of RNA-binding proteins and large classes of non-coding RNA that control many developmental decisions as part of protein- RNA complexes. Our molecular level understanding of RNA regulation has dramatically improved as many new structures of RNA–protein complexes have been determined and new sophisticated experimental technologies and dedicated computational modeling have emerged to investigate these interactions at the whole-genome level. Further deep insight on the molecular mechanisms that underline genome expression regulation is critical for understanding fundamental biology and disease progression towards the discovery of new approaches to interfere with disease progression.

The proposed workshop will bring together experts in RNA biology with structural biologists that focus on RNA-protein complexes, as well as computational biologists who seek to model and develop predictive tools based on the confluence of these experimental advances. The workshop intends to foster new collaborations between experimental and computational biologists and catalyze the development of new and improved technologies (such as single cell binding methods) that merge experimental analysis with novel mathematical and computational techniques to better understand the rules of protein-RNA recognition and RNA-based biological regulation.

The organizers of the workshop are both leaders in the field of protein-RNA recognition and interactions: Yael Mandel-Gutfreund has been working in the field of protein-Nucleic Acids interactions since 1994. Her main research interest is protein-RNA recognition and regulation. She has developed several tools and web servers for predicting RNA binding proteins and RNA binding motifs. Yael is the head to the computational molecular laboratory at the Technion and the president of the Israeli society of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Gabriele Varani has been working in the field of RNA structure and protein-RNA interactions since 1987. His main research interest is the structural basis for protein-RNA recognition and the prediction and design of RNA-binding proteins. He determined some of the first few structures of protein-RNA complexes and developed computational tools to analyze and predict the specificity of RNA -binding proteins. His group applies these tools to design RNA-binding proteins with new specificity to control gene expression. Our invitation to participate in the workshop has been met with great enthusiasm by the researchers. More than 20 principle investigators have already confirmed their interest in attending. Six of the confirmed participants are female scientists including the organizer Yael Mandel-Gutfreund as well as Traci Hall, Lynne Maquat, Elena Conti, Susan Jones, Drena Dobbs. We also have invited and confirmed the participation of young and promising researchers including Markus Landthaler, Gene Yeo, Jernej Ule, Uwe Ohler and others. Our confirmed participants come from many different countries: US, Canada, UK, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Israel. Two confirmed participants as well as the organizer have attended the BIRS workshops in the past.

A key objective of the workshop is to bring together researchers with experimental, mathematical and computational background to share results and discuss the main advances and challenges in the prediction, analysis and control of RNA-protein recognition and RNA-based regulation of gene expression. Towards this aim, we plan to adopt the format of previous BIRS meetings in which invited participants (including selected students) will present relatively short presentations of 20 minutes plus 10 minutes of active discussions. This format will leave aside ample time for informal discussions to foster exchanges between participants. To stress the collaborative, multidisciplinary nature of the workshop, we plan to dedicate each of the workshop sessions to a specific topic that will comprise presentations of structural, experimental and computational approaches, rather than create session focused on a particular approach. Each session we will include at least one lecture from a young scientist/postdoctoral fellow/student to be chosen among attendees by the organizers.

Suggested preliminary schedule:

  • Day 1: Modeling and high throughput approaches to genome-wide analysis of protein-RNA interactions
  • Day 2: Predicting and designing new RNA binding proteins
  • Day 3: Generating and modeling RNA-based regulatory networks
  • Day 4: Principles of RNA regulation by RNA binding proteins
  • Day 5: Conclusion round table discussion on the present and future challenges of the field
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