The Vietsch Foundation announces a new grant to Opscidia for the Science Checker project. The project aims at building a free to access search engine, developing a novel approach that verifies scientific claims by means of analysing the pertinent and available scientific literature.
The subject of fake news is a very topical one. With social networks, and the advances of artificial intelligence, it is increasingly easier to create fake news and make them circulate quicker and quicker. Health and sciences are particularly nasty topic for fake news. Scam medicine, and worrisome information circulate, often based on absolutely no scientific facts. The current context of Covid19 pandemic has made the need to tackle this crisis in the scientific information even more serious.
The grant was awarded to Opscidia, a startup which develops artificial intelligence tools that make use of open access articles to accelerate innovation, promote sound policies and help providing rigorous information to the general public. Thanks to the Vietsch Foundation grant, Opscidia will build a prototype online application that allows to check scientific fake news. This prototype will consist in different types of indicators based on the analysis of large volumes of scientific articles. These indicators will be easy to understand in order for the non-specialists to form quickly a good idea of whether an information is backed by the scientific literature, is under debate, or is totally groundless.
The second edition of “Free and Open Source: Law, policy and practice” edited by Amanda Brock, will be published by Oxford University Press, in summer 2020, as an “open access title” with pdf, html and e-reader freely available on an attribution basis, thanks to the generous funding of the Vietsch foundation.
Amanda Brock, told us that “ having managed to persuade an amazing group of contributors to write chapters for the second edition, we will create what I believe will be one of the most important collaborations in open source in 2020. It’s great that the legal and other advisory and support communities around open source, have been willing to pull together and commit their time to create this work. We will be going beyond the European slant of the first edition to a global viewpoint with authors from the US, including Stephen Walli and Ross Gardler on community and governance, Mark Radcliffe on Blockchain and McCoy Smith on copyright. All areas of IP will be covered. Miriam Ballhausen, will pick up on copyright litigation considering recent actions in her home country, Germany and Canonical’s Jilayne Lovejoy will write about contribution agreements. On the patent front, as well as an update of the existing chapter on Patent litigation from the Origin team, Peter Langley and Colm McKernan and Malcolm Bain’s introduction to patents, we will be joined by Knut Blind writing on standard essential patents and his recent report from the Commission. Pam Chesteck is of course covering trade marks while Carlo Piano considers competition and antitrust issues.
Mirko Böhme will explain the economic of open source and Andre Katz will look at All Things Open and open hardware. The Linux Foundation’s Shane Coughlan will write on Open Chain and Kate Stewart on SPDX while Redhat’s Richard Fontana and David Levine will write on Cloud. Iain Mitchell will look at public sector and Open Forum Europe’s Sachiko Muto public policy.
As well as editing, I will be looking at commercial and operational models in open source.
It will be an incredibly practical and useful text for lawyers, open source offices and people working on compliance, suitable for academics and those working at the code face.
The icing on the cake for me as editor of this book is to know that the book will be available to all through open access thanks to the Veitsch Foundation.
Look out for further updates on the book status over the next few months.”
Funded in 2019 – The Vietsch Foundation funds a study by the European Campus Card Association (ECCA) that will encompass requirements for cross-border trusted student eID credentials, and provide recommendations for a trusted student eID framework to support the provision of secure identification and authentication on a cross-border basis in Europe.
The study started on 10 September 2019 and will end in May 2020 with the publication of a report surveying state of the art and business aspects and issuing recommendations for the establishment of a cross-border Student eID Project.
Funded in 2019 – The project aimed to create and develop the software application programming interface (API) and perform the necessary integration and validation steps for the DKS hardware security module, the Diamond-HSM™, to support and function with the Microsoft CryptoAPI (often referred to as “CAPI”). Developing this integration to communicate with the Microsoft operating system will dramatically increase the reach of security solutions among non-profit higher education networks driving scientific research and innovation.
In partnership with the Vietsch Foundation, Diamond Key Security (DKS) is excited to make available under a permissive BSD clause 3 open-source license software, software installation, and related documentation to enable DKS and CrypTech solutions to integrate with and support Windows networking environments.
The installation documentation provides information and instructions so that the software can be installed in a Windows network environment for either usage for signing by a Windows Certificate Authority (CA) (for various applications like DNS) or for a developers utilizing Diamond-HSM solutions or CrypTech solutions.
The Vietsch Foundation has decided to fund a new project under the NLnet Research and Higher Education Technology Fund :
Algorithms are the technological solution to the information overload: they are as powerful as necessary to manage the overflow of data that reaches us. Unfortunately, they can also conceal the existence and use of assessments and judgments that impact the dissemination of ideas and culture. No one should be allowed to abuse such power over connected people. At this stage, consent is nor informed nor optional.
The main objective of the project is to put a spotlight on users’ tracking, profiling, on the data market and on the influence of algorithms. As long as these phenomena are shielded from view or understood only by experts, they cannot be tackled with the political determination that problems of such magnitude deserve. That is why we strive to explain the issue, test and promote new solutions, developed to benefit the community.
Project URL https://tracking.exposed/
Funded in 2018 – The project aims to build a user-friendly connected telemetry appliance with just enough configuration to teach democratic communication while keeping the learning curve flat. The main deliverable will be a Opensource design of cheap yet high performance LoRa devices in form factors appropriate for one low-power platform (like BBC Micro:bit) and one high-power platform (like Minnowboard Turbot). Work will include a sample production run of 1000 units for one of the form factors and suitable documentation for educational purposes. This project is jointly supported by the Vietsch Foundation and the NLnet Foundation.
Funded in 2018 – Open source technical solutions for analyzing, recommending, and querying open educational materials within the context of higher education. This collaborative project between the Web Information Systems group of TU Delft and FeedbackFruits, aims at piloting new and more effective access paradigms for Online Open Courseware. In most cases, online educational material is intended to be consumed in a traditional course-based manner. The project is working on making access to educational material easier, targeted and direct, re-usable and more tailored to life-long learning scenarios.
Project URL https://explain.direct/
Funded in 2018
– The Referoo project aims to create a set of tools to address some of the most critical inefficiencies of the traditional peer-reviewing process of scientific publications. In particular, it will build a web portal for managing the refereeing tasks of researchers. The portal will be designed in such a way as to encourage referees to perform their duties conscientiously and efficiently, and provide them with clearer incentives. At the same time, the portal will implement tools to avoid the inefficiencies and the work duplication of the usual refereeing process.
Funded in 2017
– eduVPN is an initiative to make VPN technology commonly available, by building better and more user-friendly tools.
We live in a society that wants to be online whenever possible, and WiFi is popular technology for achieving this. Unlike the “home” situation which could be described as a trusted network, we also make heavy use of public offerings of WiFi, which we describe as guest networks, and which are in a special position that could make them perform a number of rogue attacks on our connections.
A number of dangers of using WiFi on such guest networks has been identified, and methods of running a trusted network over such potentially rogue connections have been devised. EduVPN is an implementation of such facilities which was originally designed with educational institutions as an audience.
Funded in 2017
– Searsia is an open source engine and a protocol, created by academic researchers. The Searsia software is open source and available from the Searsia project website.
Searsia provides the means to create a personal, private, and configurable search engine, that combines search results freely from a very large number of sources. Searsia enables existing sources to cooperate such that they together provide a search service that resembles today’s large search engines. In addition to using external services at will, you can also use it to integrate whatever private information from within your organisation – so your users or community can use a single search engine to serve their needs.
Using Searsia you can :
* Manage and share large collections of independent sources;
* Select for each query the most relevant sources;
* Combine sources in an aggregated search interface;
* Searsia learns over time what kind of information each source provides.
To see it in action check the search engine of the University of Twente that combines the results of about 30 sources, including results from Google’s web crawl, from Courses, from News, the Telephone directory, the Timetables, as well as results from social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Flickr.