Interviews by Paulo Nuno Vicente on foreign reporting

Paulo Nuno Vicente, currently visiting UT Austin from the Digital Media PhD program in Lisbon, is conducting a series of interviews on “International Journalism/Foreign Reporting in the Age of Digital Networks.”  The interviews are posted on his blog, Digital Storytellers.

Read the first interview with Richard Sambrook of the BBC:

«Foreign correspondents are not redundant, but their profession is going through huge changes and they must adapt»

Paulo Nuno Vicente

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Intellectual Property Importance

Sometimes when we have an idea or a way to do business, people forget to protect themselves regarding intellectual property rights. I will like to clarify what a Patent is, why it is important and how to get value out of Patents.

What is a Patent?
A Patent is the exclusive right to benefit from an invention in exchange for making the details of the invention public knowledge.
In order for an invention to be patentable it must satisfy several basic requirements. It must be:

-          Patentable subject matter: in the US this includes processes, machines, compositions of matter;

-          Novel: some aspect must be different from publicly available ideas, inventions or products;

-          Non-obvious: sufficiently different such that is not obvious to someone skilled in the field;

-          Useful: functional and provides some industry or real-world benefit.

Intellectual property vs. Patents: Intellectual property (IP) includes many types of innovation or creative activity for which governments will grant exclusive rights. IP includes trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks and patents. IP is a broad category that includes patents.

Patents are Property: Patents, like all intellectual property are just that: property. Although they can’t be touched or held like a car or house they possess monetary value and are owned by an individual or organization. As with tangible property, patents can also be bought, sold and traded.

Why are Patents important?
Keys to business success: ideas and innovation are becoming the foundations for business success. Organizations that own the distinctive parts of their business that create value are better able to serve customers, run more efficiently, and command higher prices for their products.

Level the playing field: Relatively small but innovative companies that develop ground breaking IPs are able to compete with larger more established organizations for revenue and market share. In some cases, the larger organizations are forced to buy or license IP from smaller companies to stay competitive.

Encourage innovation: The legal monopoly inventors get by filing patents gives them an incentive to develop new technology. In addition, because patents make their underlying inventions public knowledge, other inventors are given the opportunity to design around or improve on patented invention.

Provide a competitive edge: Companies that control the innovation in a market get better products to market faster and have higher profit margins.

How do Organizations Get Value from their Patents?
“Whoever owns the IP owns the profits”

Offensive patent strategies:

-          Developing technology related to targeted markets (weaken competitors, gain market share);

-          Finding infringers and asserting patents (block competitive products and business processes);

-          Licensing strong patents to other organizations (generate revenue from other companies).

Defensive patent strategies:

-          Protecting products and technology (command higher prices);

-          Blocking competitors from market (reduce competition and maintain market share).

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Digital Media Internship at Innography

Hi, my name is Nuno Martins and I’m an Intern under the UT Austin|Portugal Digital Media Leadership Program (DMLP). Through these internships, individuals will be placed with companies in Austin. Internships can be an important way for early career professionals to learn more about their areas of interest, gain valuable work experience and further their professional careers. The internship program also includes regular meetings and workshops dedicated to topics relevant to professional development.
I am from Portugal and I work at a company called Viatecla.  With UT Austin|Portugal’s DMLP, we saw the opportunity to expand my knowledge in Digital Media Markets along with the excellent experience of working in a foreign country. After I applied for this program a company in Austin called Innography was interested in the chance to work with me as a User Interface Developer.  In this capacity, I have the chance to work with new emerging technologies, work within my area of interest and gain more experience in these areas.
Innography has an online platform to search for Patents, Trademarks, Companies, litigation associated with patents and on top of this amount of data they provide a business intelligence layer to help users to achieve a better understanding of their search or analysis. I get the opportunity to improve the user experience in their platform along with a very capable team of professionals.

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Conference call for Law Section, IAMCR 2011

Calls for papers are out for the 2011 conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research, July 13-17 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The theme of the 2011 conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research is “Cities, Creativity, Connectivity.” The full call for the conference, which will be in Istanbul from July 13-17, can be found at The deadline for submission of abstracts for consideration is February 8, 2011.

The Law Section of IAMCR welcomes papers and panels related to the conference theme.

Possible topics include:

- the legal context for creativity (eg, intellectual property rights, government support for and constraints on innovation and developments, etc.),

- adaptations of communication laws and regulations for specific types of city environments (eg, within free trade zones, along borders, or where violence is rife),

- the uses of laws and regulations to carve out different types of communicative spaces within cities (eg, zoning ordinances, laws pertaining to the use of large screens and other media in public spaces, public art, etc.),

- historical and contemporary effects of the increasing networking density of cities and changes in communication law and regulation,

- relationships between place as a medium for centers of creativity (as in innovation-rich environments like Silicon Valley) and intellectual property rights,

- differences in legal approaches to communication infrastructure and other issues in urban and rural environments, and

- the development of laws and regulations constraining and enabling speech in cities within virtual worlds and other online city-like environments.

Other paper and panel proposals pertaining to the section mission are also welcome. The section is open to all theoretical and methodological approaches, and particularly encourages attention to comparative, international, and global legal matters as well as research on communication law at the national and sub-national levels.

For further information, contact:

Chair Sandra Braman (

Co-Vice Chairs Slavka Antonova (, Mohammed Ullah Sahid (

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SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 Computer Animation Festival

The SIGGRAPH Asia 2010 Computer Animation Festival is now accepting submissions. The Festival, which will take place December 15-18, 2010 in Seoul, is taking submissions until July 15. The full text of the call is below.

Continue reading

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International School on Digital Transformation

If you are interested in participating in this year’s International School on Digital Transformation, the application is now up.

Applications are now open for the second annual International School on Digital Transformation, to be held July 25-30, 2010, at the University of Porto in Porto, Portugal. The School is accepting applications from advanced students and recent graduates from around the world with an interest in digital technology and the enrichment of civil society.

The International School on Digital Transformation is an intensive six-day residential program, conducted in English and bringing together emerging and established scholars and professionals from a variety of countries. During the week, innovators in digital communications will serve as teachers and mentors, presenting current projects and engaging in discussion. Presenters and students will be regarded as peers during the School.

Students of the School will have the opportunity to develop and apply research design skills to projects important to civil society. Consisting of approximately 30 students and 15 faculty members, the School seeks to create an atmosphere of scholarly collegiality, fostering dialogue among diverse perspectives including those of design, policy, and research backgrounds. The daily schedule will include time for presentations, workshop-style collaboration, and informal brainstorming sessions among faculty and students.

More information on the ISDT is available here at the program’s website.

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Contemporary Portuguese Cinema at Austin Film Society

VoyageToTheBeginningOfTheWo_{34533B16-E904-428C-B42E-56CF72A4D349}The Austin Film Society is showcasing a selection of contemporary Portuguese films as part of their ongoing Essential Cinema series. These screenings will provide a rare opportunity for Austin’s American audiences to view notable Portuguese films at the theater, and will likely be a good draw for Portuguese-speaking folks living and working in Austin.

The series begins next Tuesday, April 13 with Voyage to the Beginning of the World and runs through May 11, when the series concludes with A Talking Picture. Screenings are $6 for the general public and free for Austin Film Society members, advanced tickets are recommended as Essential Cinema screenings are often full to capacity. Further details about the screening series are available here.

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Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Podcast

Research Video Podcast Episode 1: DEFINING GAMBIT RESEARCH is available online. The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is a joint project of MIT and the Singaporean government to explore new ways to develop games as a medium. The podcast is available for viewing or download here. A new podcast will be released the last week of each month.

This particular podcast explains the purpose of GAMBIT, including how game production can serve as a complement to more traditional forms of academic publishing. The podcasts as a series are intended to introduce some transparency into GAMBIT’s academic process.

If you’re on Twitter, you can also follow MIT Comparative Media Studies (CMS) @cms_mit.

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CFP: Special issue on Linking the Local with the Global within Community Informatics

Below find a call for papers for a special issue of the Journal of Community Informatics, co-edited by ISDT faculty member Douglas Schuler. I’ve included the entire call because it’s an interesting read and raises some great points — and questions — about the field.

Call for Papers for Special issue on Linking the Local with the Global within Community Informatics

Guest editors: Liisa Horelli and Douglas Schuler
The Journal of Community Informatics is a focal point for the communication of research of interest to a global network of academics, Community Informatics practitioners and national and multi-lateral policy makers.

We invite submissions of original, unpublished articles for a forthcoming special edition of the Journal that will focus on Linking the Local with the Global within Community Informatics. We welcome research articles from different disciplines, case studies and notes from the field. All research articles will be double blind peer-reviewed. Insights and analytical perspectives from practitioners and policy makers in the form of notes from the field or case studies are also encouraged. These will not be peer-reviewed.

What is Community Informatics?

Community informatics

…links economic and social development efforts at the community
level with emerging opportunities in such areas as electronic commerce, community and civic networks and telecentres, electronic democracy and online-participation, self-help and virtual health communities, advocacy, cultural enhancement, and e-planning among others.

…is concerned with carving out a sphere and developing strategies for precisely those who are being excluded from this ongoing rush, and enabling these individuals and communities to take advantage of some of the opportunities which the technology is providing. It is also concerned with enhancing civil society and strengthening local communities for self-management and for environmental and economically sustainable development, ensuring that many who might otherwise be excluded are able to take advantage of the enormous opportunities the new technologies are presenting.

- Michael Gurstein in Community Informatics:

Enabling Communities with Information and Communications

Why a special issue on Linking Local with the Global within Community Informatics?

Community informatics (CI) is the study and practice of information and communication systems (especially involving networked digital systems) in the community. Regardless of the agreement on the broad definition, there are inherent tensions within the CI community and with the CI perspective itself. The “simple” idea of community is the source of one tension since there are a multiplicity of definitions and usages of the word “community”, many of which are semantically loaded or ambiguous. Is, for example, a “virtual community” a real community?

Another source of tension is between the local and the global, the focus of this special issue. What’s local and what’s global? What is their significance in terms of our focus on “community”? How do we define the two terms so that they are meaningful and useful to our work? Perhaps these terms distract us from conceptualizing our enterprise in ways that are more useful? What characterizes phenomena or artifacts as belonging to one or the other (and how do they influence each other)?

Interestingly, the community of community informatics researchers, practitioners, and activists itself is part of a new hybridity that blurs local and global. The term glocalization has been coined to focus on the intermixing of local and global influences which are present and active everywhere. Although the phenomenon is not new, it has intensified in recent years due to the Internet, mass communications, mobile telephones, air travel, war, migration, economic interdependence, environmental impacts, and other aspects of 21st century mobilities. But identifying and naming a phenomenon is only the beginning. We must not mistake our use of a new term for understanding. For example, how would glocalization help us understand a network of local communities?

The availability of urban and community ICT could allow people to understand the larger impacts of their everyday decisions. It could also enable people to understand and promote not only the particularities of the local but also commonalities of the global, and to engage with the broader global “sphere”. Consequently, people could become actors who are engaged in the glocal networks of mobile people, goods and information.

However, glocal influence or interaction could be directed from the top-down, laterally, or from the bottom-up. CI implicitly embraces the tension between the local and the global. On some level, global and local pit two types of forces against each other. How does CI consider this clash or intermingling of forces? Does it advocate larger barriers, shelters, or hiding places, from these forces or does it inspire or promote the type of collective intelligence that goes beyond “using ICT?”

The recent debate on the CI-research list brought up the idea that CI could be used, in addition to the benefit of communities, to the benefit of global communities. This debate raised arguments that both supported and questioned the claim. On the one hand, there is the risk that glocalisation can dilute (and downgrade) the “community” to some larger (and less individually significant) whole. In that case, it may be important to preserve the ‘local’ as it maintains the community’s domains of control and power over the circumstances that impacts it.

It can be reasoned that greater globality essentially removes self-control and self-governance. On the other hand, glocalisation provides new strategic options for movements who seek resources and support far beyond national boundaries, such as the Chiapas, in Mexico. The global opportunities even begin to play part in the way local activists frame the issues they raise locally. Thus, the “outside world” affects communities, but communities exert forces outwards as well. Local communities can also share experiences and strategies, thus mutually strengthening each other. We need to figure out, how we are going to make the glocal or translocal connections work most effectively. This special issue is intended to help surface the opportunities, challenges, and risks around this theme.

These issues give rise to a large number of research questions. Some of these are listed below but there are many yet to be identified and researched. What processes underlie the forces of globalization? Which are forces of localization? How are people affected by each? How do these forces originate, diffuse, and make their effects felt? Do these forces affect all communities equally or are gender, ethnicity, or other features significant factors? And what should CI researchers /practitioners do in relation to those forces? Is the issue trying to help communities use ICT more effectively, or is it working in a general way to develop communication systems that will help local communities intelligently address the problems that they (and the rest of the world) face? In some situations, for example, this means helping to develop collective problem-solving tools so people can more effectively resist oppression or fight the status quo. Or should their inhabitants be full citizens of the world with the rights and responsibilities that accompany that status? How can we characterize the new diversity of global / local relationships? What patterns exist? In what ways might (hyper?) localism breed parochialism and isolationism? Can we embrace CI without unnecessarily valorizing the local community? What are the opportunities (and what should the limits be) to our research and activism on behalf of and with the local community?

Because CI is a brand new field of research and practice we have the rare opportunity to define our field. Is it useful — or even possible — to conceptualize a social enterprise that is relevant today without explicitly acknowledging climate change, environmental degradation, oppression, poverty, human rights, war and militarism, and other “global” problems that face us all, however indirectly. How should these manifest “global” concerns be factored into our enterprise? And how does the role of information and communication, the foundations of our enterprise, change — if at all — the way we answer these questions? This positioning of our enquiry at such a point should enable a new set of opportunities. CI integrates research and engagement. So its view of localism and globalism needs to be informed through those perspectives.

We invite authors to submit in English both full articles for peer-review, as well as short pieces on specific experiences and/or policy and regulatory issues, to be reviewed by the guest editors.

Please note the deadlines:
Deadline for abstracts: 28 February 2010
Deadline for submissions: 30 May 2010
Publication date is forthcoming
For information about submission requirements, including author
guidelines, please visit:

For further information, clarifications, comments or suggestions, and to send abstracts of papers for consideration, please contact:

Dr. Liisa Horelli
Helsinki University of Technology
Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
liisa.horelli at

Douglas Schuler
The Public Sphere Project and The Evergreen State College

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TEDxAustin to stream

We just got word via press release that the TEDxAustin talks set to happen in the Austin City Limits KLRU studio on February 20 will be broadcast via free live feed. The talks will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (U.S. central time, which is 4 p.m. to midnight Portuguese time).

The feed will be at, and is made possible by a sponsorship from theTexas Evening MBA and Texas Executive MBA programs. Texas Ventures and the Texas Advertising Group are sponsoring an overflow room in Gearing 105, where folks can watch the talks on big screens live as a community event.

The independently organized (that’s what the “x” is for) event is boasting that it will feature:

A civic futurist
A sage from the streets
A coastal visionary
An international tastemaker
A digital media seer
A gravity-defying renaissance person
A genetic culturist
A spiritual sparkplug
A world-class social entrepreneur
A dancing storyteller
A voice of hope

While some of these descriptors are pretty vague, we suspect at least a few of these folks will be of interest to digital media types specifically. If the event lives up to the precedent set by TED proper, they should all be of interest generally — disciplinary overlap or not.

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