UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley to begin fall semester with remote instruction

UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley to begin fall semester with remote instruction. “As you are all aware, the trend lines regarding COVID-19 positive cases in Alameda county, the region, and the state, show that infections continue to increase. The increase in cases in the local community is of particular concern. Given this development, as well as it being unlikely that there will be a dramatic reversal in the public health situation before the fall semester instruction begins on Aug. 26, we have made the difficult decision to begin the fall semester with fully remote instruction. However, we continue our preparations to implement hybrid and/or flexible modes of instruction as soon as public health conditions allow.”

CALIFORNIA: A (Virtual) Day in the Life of A Berkeley Student

CALIFORNIA: A (Virtual) Day in the Life of A Berkeley Student. “Under shelter-in-place our lives have gone digital: distance learning, virtual conferences, online cocktail hours, and more. As Internet usage is up, bandwidth has been strained. According to BroadbandNow, which provides comparison data about Internet service providers, average download speeds in Berkeley dropped 15 percent between February and March. At least we have ways of staying connected while remaining physically distant—even if it means some buffering. Here we imagine a day in the life of a Berkeley student.”

Fiat Blocks: Students use Minecraft to build UC Berkeley (and its libraries) in stunning detail (Berkeley Libraries)

Berkeley Libraries: Fiat Blocks: Students use Minecraft to build UC Berkeley (and its libraries) in stunning detail. “Imagine a place where social distancing isn’t necessary — where you can gather with friends and resume life as normal, as if COVID-19 and the chaos it has wrought were but a distant memory. Such a place actually exists — and, no, it’s not Georgia. Enter Blockeley University, a student-led effort to build, one block at a time, the UC Berkeley campus on Minecraft, the wildly imaginative (and massively popular) video game. In the expertly crafted virtual world, you can walk through Sather Gate, gaze upon the iconic Campanile, encounter campus’s ubiquitous Kiwibots, and spot Berkeley’s famed peregrine falcons. And, even amid the closures, you can soak in the architectural glory of the campus’s libraries.”

Berkeley Haas: Open-source smartphone database offers a new tool for tracking coronavirus exposure

Berkeley Haas: Open-source smartphone database offers a new tool for tracking coronavirus exposure. “The Covid-19 Exposure Indices, created by Berkeley Haas Asst. Prof. Victor Couture and researchers from Yale, Princeton, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with location data company PlaceIQ, is aimed at academic investigators studying the spread of the pandemic. The data sets allow researchers to visualize how people can potentially be exposed to those infected with the virus, based on cell-phone movements to and from businesses and other locations where a great deal of the exposure happens.”

Berkeley News: New live online COVID-19 series connects experts with public

Berkeley News: New live online COVID-19 series connects experts with public. “Across the UC Berkeley campus, researchers are rising to meet the complex challenges of COVID-19, even as the crisis generates waves of news and information that can be confusing and contradictory at times. In response, the university is launching a new online video series, ‘Berkeley Conversations: COVID-19,’ to connect our experts with the public and each other. Through Q&As, seminars, and panel discussions, faculty from a wide range of disciplines – from epidemiology to economics to the computing and data now undergirding their work – will share what they know, and what they are learning.”

Berkeley Engineering: UC Berkeley professor influences Facebook’s efforts to combat deepfakes

Berkeley Engineering: UC Berkeley professor influences Facebook’s efforts to combat deepfakes . “Hany Farid, a Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was one of the researchers Facebook approached last year. The company ultimately invested $7.5 million with Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Maryland to develop technology to spot the deepfakes. In a brief interview, Farid, who has a joint appointment at the School of Information, said manipulated videos, which often portray politicians and celebrities saying or doing things they didn’t do, pose a serious threat to society.”

Rock ‘n’ roll, clowns, and Roberta Flack: An inside look at a massive new collection of music photography at The Bancroft Library (Berkeley Library News)

Berkeley Library News: Rock ‘n’ roll, clowns, and Roberta Flack: An inside look at a massive new collection of music photography at The Bancroft Library. “Looking through the photographs is like flipping through stacks of vinyl at Amoeba Music, a satisfying exercise in nostalgia. Scanning through the folders, you’ll see Judy Collins, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, and so many in between… The photographs, 60,000 in all, make up the Howard Brainen photo archive. A recent gift to Bancroft, the archive is a time machine into a moment in music history, offering a glimpse into the local scene and the larger-than-life figures who came through the Bay Area.” It’s worth reading the article just to see the pictures included with it.

CNET: Adobe AI can spot facial manipulations in Photoshop

CNET: Adobe AI can spot facial manipulations in Photoshop. “In a world filled with manipulated photos, deepfakes and even totally fake human faces, Adobe says it’s working on an artificial intelligence tool to spot fake images. Citing ‘the ethical implications’ of Photoshop, Adobe partnered with researchers from the University of California at Berkeley to work on the issue.”

Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security

Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security. “Love military strategy games like Risk and Diplomacy? Try SIGNAL, a new online game that lets you satisfy your appetite for virtual global domination while simultaneously helping researchers understand the risks of real-world nuclear conflict.”

University of California: UC Berkeley students investigate war crimes using social media

University of California: UC Berkeley students investigate war crimes using social media. “A ‘super-experimental’ lab launched at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 to teach students to mine social media for potential human rights violations and war crimes today is producing a new generation of human rights investigators — and they’re being scooped up by employers including Amnesty International, The New York Times, the BBC and the International Criminal Court.”

Just use it: Change in UC Berkeley Library permissions policy lowers barriers for researchers (Berkeley Library)

Berkeley Library: Just use it: Change in UC Berkeley Library permissions policy lowers barriers for researchers. “Driven in part by a desire to track the use of their collections, for decades, many museums, archives, and libraries — including the UC Berkeley Library — have required researchers get their approval and, sometimes, pay for permission to include excerpts or images in their scholarship. With the aim of fostering a more researcher-friendly environment, a progressive new policy across all of UC Berkeley’s libraries does away with these hurdles, making it easier for scholars to use a trove of Library materials in their publications.”

Berkeley: CalLands maps cropland ownership across California

Berkeley: CalLands maps cropland ownership across California. “To build the CalLands’ interactive website, Luke Macaulay and Van Butsic — both assistant UC Cooperative Extension specialists based in UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management — combined satellite-generated maps of land cover created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with publicly available land ownership records. Next, they anonymized ownership identity and pulled data from all 58 California counties to include parcels of land larger than five acres. The result is a database that features 543,495 privately-owned properties across the state, creating a data-rich map of crops and ownership boundary lines in every county.”

Daily Californian: UC Berkeley transportation research center releases interactive website for reporting road safety issues

Daily Californian: UC Berkeley transportation research center releases interactive website for reporting road safety issues. “Street Story, a new website developed by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, or SafeTREC, allows California residents to report unsafe road conditions, accidents or near misses, with the goal of creating a data set that engages the community and provides useful, publicly accessible information for city and transportation planners.”

The Mercury News: How to 3D print your own Rodin

The Mercury News: How to 3D print your own Rodin. “For all the hype over three-dimensional printing, it’s done little to revolutionize the world of manufacturing. An innovation out of two Bay Area labs could change that. The new method creates near-instantaneous objects that are smoother, more complex and far more elegant than current 3D printers produce. Called Computed Axial Lithography, it was conceived by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Berkeley.”

Berkeley Library: UC Berkeley Library takes key step to expand digital access to its collections

UC Berkeley Library: UC Berkeley Library takes key step to expand digital access to its collections . “The UC Berkeley Library took an important step forward today in improving widespread digital access to its vast collections. Along with the UC Davis and UCSF libraries and the California Digital Library, the Library became an early signatory to a newly released position statement supporting rights for libraries to digitize in-copyright works in their collections, then lend them according to the same lending terms as the original print copies. The position statement, developed by copyright scholars from multiple institutions, as well as policy counsel for the Internet Archive, is accompanied by a white paper that outlines legal rationale for how controlled digital lending can be implemented to enable electronic access to certain library collections.”