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Wednesday News: The Plagiarism Edition

Wednesday News: The Plagiarism Edition

The frequency of pilferings from Wikipedia suggests he viewed the site as an open-source document. Another theme: He pulled stuff from the Federal Register for his piece on the president’s swag gifts; from a “government website” for his post on “25 Amazing, Official White House Petitions”; from a U.S. Senate Web site for his piece “24 Delightful Inauguration Firsts,” a post that, according to the BuzzFeed editor’s note, should have credited that Web site “as the source for almost all of the information in this piece”; from the U.S. Botanical Garden for the piece on the giant flower — all of which suggests that Johnson felt entitled to material created with the help of his tax dollars. –Washington Post

To their credit, the Times is paying more attention this time. In an email to Gawker, spokesperson Eileen Murphy wrote: “We’re aware of the situation and are looking into it.” –Gawker

By the end of this year’s tournament, which was contested from June 23 to July 6, the 2013 annual had been removed from the Wimbledon bookshelves. It has also been removed from Wimbledon’s online shop. The book should have disappeared from circulation long before that. Months earlier, as first reported today in the U.K. magazine Private Eye (the article is not currently available online), Wimbledon employees had learned that the author, Neil Harman, had plagiarized large swaths of the 2013 book. Regardless, the title remained on sale until just before the tournament’s end, when the All England Club was confronted by a writer whose work had been pilfered. Harman, who had written the Wimbledon annual for 10 consecutive years, was not assigned that task for 2014. He did, though, still write a piece on Andy Murray for the tournament program. In addition, Wimbledon allowed him to keep his credentials, and invited him to attend the tournament’s exclusive Champions’ Dinner. The club also failed to notify writers whose work they knew had been plagiarized. –Slate

Stories of lead researchers stealing the work of their grad students is not uncommon, but this represents a major twist. It seems that in this case, a proud parent (and close friend of a college professor) encouraged his daughter to conduct a science fair project that was largely based on the work of that professor/friend’s graduate student. Arrington’s science fair project seems to have been inspired by the work of a grad student, Zack Jud, who published very similar results back in 2011 — work that Arrington’s father was an author on. –i09

Thursday News: Feedly & Evernote attacked, abuse allegations against Marion Zimmer Bradley , Amazon sells a lot of Hachette e-books, and Lego to sell female scientist figures

Thursday News: Feedly & Evernote attacked, abuse allegations against Marion Zimmer...

Note: Some comments contain discussion and descriptions of abuse and sexual assault.

Feedly, Evernote And Others Become Latest Victims Of DDoS Attacks – So in case you haven’t been online in the past two days, Feedly and Evernote were hit with giant DDOS (denial of service) attacks that included a ransom from the attackers. Evernote seems to have recovered relatively quickly, but as of yesterday, Feedly was still trying to work around the attack to get back online. User information was supposedly still secure on both sites. On a side note, Tweetdeck was hacked yesterday, as well, wreaking havoc with people’s RT streams.

These attacks seem to be increasing in frequency, and now leave a long line of victimized sites in their wake, including Meetup, Basecamp, Vimeo, Bit.ly, SAY Media/TypePad, Namecheap, Plenty of Fish and Moz, to name a few of the more recent victims. –Tech Crunch

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child abuser – says her own daughter – Yesterday it was revealed that Marion Zimmer Bradley allegedly abused, among many others, her own daughter, making her far more than collaterally culpable in her husband’s long history of abusive behavior. In fact, Bradley’s daughter, Moira Greyland, says that her mother was actually worse, because she was an angry and violent abuser. Beyond the horrific nature of these violations, Greyland’s revelations also double down on the question of whether Bradley’s work can be separated from the facts of her life. I often think it’s easier to keep a good opinion of someone’s work is you read it before these types of situations are revealed. But once you know, it becomes very difficult to read the work without having it tainted by the personal details.

Well, for those who argue that the biography or rap sheet doesn’t matter, and that literature is indifferent to the actions and morality of the creator, here’s a test for you. Marion Zimmer Bradley, celebrated science fiction and fantasy author, recipient of the, cofounder of the Society for Creative Anachronism, posthumous recipient of the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, has just been revealed by her own daughter Moira Greyland as a repeat child molester, who not only countenanced her sometime husband Walter Breen‘s relationship with an underage boy, but also violated her own daughter, and other children, of both sexes, repeatedly, over many years. –Tele Read

Amazon Accounts for 60% of Hachette’s eBook Sales in the US, 78% in the UK – So this is pretty interesting. According to an investor’s brief for Hachette’s parent company, “Amazon accounts for around 60% of Hachette’s digital revenues in the US and 78% of digital revenues in the UK,” Nate Hoffelder reports. Which means, among other things, that both Amazon and Hachette have a very substantial investment in making a deal that benefits their own interests. Which probably also means that it’s going to be a long game of chicken between the two corporations.

On a related note, that slide focuses on just the 2 markets because the rest of the markets where Hachette Livre operates have negligible ebook sales. It’s only in the US and UK that ebooks make up 30% and 27%, respectively. –The Digital Reader

LEGO To Release Female Scientist Figurines – Swedish geochemist Dr. Ellen Kooijman came up with a winning idea for Lego Ideas, namely a “Research Institute” populated by female scientists. This is super-cool and much happier news than the rest of the stories today. So go check it out, and decide which of the figurines — astronomer, paleontologist, or chemist — you’re going to buy first when they release in a couple of months.

The motivating behind her submission, she explained on her blog, was that “as a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available LEGO sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures. It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female minifigures in interesting professions to make our LEGO city communities more diverse.” –Mental Floss