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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Paper – the last luxury

FT.com – Once touted as redundant, the most quotidian of materials is now a hot commodity again: “…Frith-Powell is using early-Victorian equipment to make paper in the same way it was made in the 1600s, but the Paper Foundation, based in a 19th-century country house in Cumbria’s Burneside, is not a historic enterprise. Launched five years ago by Mark Cropper, chair of bespoke and luxury paper mill James Cropper, it was born out of an aspiration to preserve the waning craft of making paper by hand. The mill is part of a broader craft rehabilitation project that will see an arts centre established in the manor next to the mill, housing an exhibition space, print studios, library and archive. They’re already producing paper for artists and conservationists, and have launched a collection of handmade paper products such as sketchbooks, watercolour pads and notecards. Paper hung out to dry in the Paper Foundation’s mill Paper hung out to dry in the Paper Foundation’s mill. Papermaking in Europe has been in decline for the past 100 years: where the continent used to boast thousands of mills, increased volumes and mechanisation have seen that number dwindle to fewer than 1,000. Of the mills making paper by hand, the Foundation is now one of only a handful worldwide, and one of two in the UK…”

Lawless Surveillance

Friedman, Barry, Lawless Surveillance (February 1, 2022). 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. (2022), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 22-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4111547 “Here in the United States, policing agencies are engaging in mass collection of personal data, building a vast architecture of surveillance. License plate readers collect our location information. Mobile… Continue Reading

Study: Americans Own More Than 415 Million Firearms

English, William, 2021 National Firearms Survey: Updated Analysis Including Types of Firearms Owned (May 13, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4109494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4109494 “This report summarizes the findings of a national survey of firearms ownership and use conducted between February 17th and March 23rd, 2021 by the professional survey firm Centiment. This survey, which is part… Continue Reading

You can ban a book, but can you stop teens from finding it online?

Washington Post – Online resources are at the center of the national battle between limiting and expanding book access for teenagers: “Books are being banned in U.S. school libraries in record numbers, led largely by conservative lawmakers and activists. This week, libraries and anti-censorship groups are among those hosting Banned Books Week to call attention… Continue Reading

House GOP Agenda Signals Push for Social Security and Medicare Cuts

Common Dreams – “House Republicans on [September 21, 2022] unveiled parts of a policy agenda that indicates the party would push for cuts to Social Security and Medicare if it retakes the majority in November. A one-page summary of the agenda that House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), are expected to formally… Continue Reading

This site tells you if photos of you were used to train the AI

Tech Crunch: “Deepfakes, AI-generated porn and a thousand more innocent uses — there’s been a lot of news about neural network-generated images. It makes sense that people started getting curious; were my photos used to train the robots? Are photos of me in the image-generating training sets? A brand new site tries to give you… Continue Reading

4-Day Workweek Brings No Loss of Productivity, Companies in Experiment Say

The New York Times: “Most of the companies participating in a four-day workweek pilot program in Britain said they had seen no loss of productivity during the experiment, and in some cases had seen a significant improvement, according to a survey of participants published on Wednesday. Nearly halfway into the six-month trial, in which employees… Continue Reading

Where Online Hate Speech Can Bring the Police to Your Door

The New York Times: “Battling far-right extremism, Germany goes further than other Western democracies in policing online behavior, testing the limits of free speech on the internet…Hate speech, extremism, misogyny and misinformation are well-known byproducts of the internet. But the people behind the most toxic online behavior typically avoid any personal major real-world consequences. Most… Continue Reading

Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Federal Role and Issues for Congress

CRS Report – Injection and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Federal Role and Issues for Congress, September 22, 2022: “For several decades, the federal government has funded efforts to explore the feasibility of mitigating the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) while burning fossil fuels as a source of energy. Carbon capture and storage (CCS)—the process… Continue Reading

2022’s Happiest States in America

WalletNews: “Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy. It’s harder to be happy in some years than in others, though. The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest stressors during… Continue Reading

Bay Area ship voyage recovers 96 tons of plastic from Pacific ocean

ABC7: “Nearly every day cargo ships arrive here in the Bay Area, carrying everything from cars to consumer goods. But one ship that just docked in Sausalito is delivering cargo that’s probably more valuable, at least for the environment. Striding across the deck of the recovery ship KWAI, is like taking a voyage straight into… Continue Reading

Remote workers are wasting their time proving they’re actually working

Vox: “People who work from home say they’re working, and numerous objective studies show that’s true. But many managers are still worried that they aren’t. In a new study by Microsoft, nearly 90 percent of office workers reported being productive at work, and objective measures — increased hours worked, meetings taken, and amount and quality… Continue Reading