Berkeley in the News Archive

The links to the stories summarized on this page are time sensitive, so stories might no longer be online at that URL. We also include links to the original source publication itself.

Monday, 7 July 2014

1. How deft bid-riggers harmed ex-owners of foreclosed homes
San Francisco Chronicle

An investigation led by UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program fellow Matt Isaacs studied thousands of property records and court documents and conducted dozens of interviews with bidders to gain a behind-the-scenes look at the world of foreclosure auctions during the recent housing collapse. The investigation found that intimidation was commonplace and millions in cashier's checks were exchanged daily. Full Story

2. 10 Surprising Signs You're Sleep-Deprived
Huffington Post

A list of signs that you may be sleep-deprived includes a citation of Berkeley research. Under "You're fighting with your partner," it says: "A 2013 U.C. Berkeley study found that couples have more frequent and serious fights when they don't get enough sleep. The researchers note that the lack of shut-eye makes it harder to avoid and handle conflict." Full Story

3. Why many Democrats have turned against teachers unions
Washington Post

Associate public policy professor Jesse Rothstein commented recently that the verdict in Vergera v. California, which threw out state statutes giving job protection to teachers, "will do little to address the real barriers to effective teaching in impoverished schools, and may even make them worse.” Full Story

4. Morning Edition: Facebook Apologizes For Manipulation; Data Research Likely To Go On

Economics professor Edward Miguel is interviewed about Facebook's controversial study about how emotions work online. Weighing in on Facebook's "manipulation" of the people who were its research subjects, he says: "When scientists and social scientists talk about manipulation, it does not have a negative connotation. ... Voters aren't necessarily aware they're being manipulated, but social scientists have sent them particular newspapers with certain ideological slants." Referring to the kind of data science Facebook was doing, he says: "I think it's a new field, and a lot of us are trying to figure out exactly what it is." Link to audio. Full Story

5. Marketplace: Walmart to highlight women-owned businesses

Walmart is now planning to label items in their stores if they are made by women-owned businesses. The decision stems from consumers' respect for items made by such companies, and business professor Laura Kray explains, “There might be a sense of trust, and confidence in the fair dealings in the organization.” Link to audio. Full Story

6. They Have Seen the Future of the Internet, and It Is Dark
New York Times (*requires registration)

Information professor Steven Weber comments on a new Pew Research Center report about "Net Threats," which warns that government crackdowns on online freedoms, greater surveillance, less trust, and increasing control by big companies will lead to dark times on the Internet. Professor Weber responds: “I spend a lot of time in the United Arab Emirates, and people there might say that this ‘free Internet’ is a kind of subsidized oligopoly of Western cultural imperialism." The Pew experts and these Arabs might agree, he says, that “they also think it’s a place where the N.S.A. spies on you.” He concludes: "'Is the world becoming less free and creative?’ is overhyped rhetoric I’ve heard from the same ‘experts’ for the past decade.” Full Story

7. Sara Seager’s Tenacious Drive to Discover Another Earth

A story about an astronomer's drive to find another Earth includes the following note: "In 1995, researchers found the first known planet orbiting another Sun-like star. Dubbed 51 Pegasi b, it was about as massive as Jupiter but circled so close to its star that it must have baked at a temperature of almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the following year, Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley, and his collaborator Paul Butler discovered six more exoplanets, three of which were also big and broiling. Humanity finally had hard proof that the universe is full of other solar systems, something that until then had been an act of Star Trek-style faith." Full Story

8. Marketplace: Fireworks spark up a black market economy

Information professor Steve Weber, co-author of a book on the Black Market Economy of the 21st Century, comments on illicit sales of fireworks. "If it is ... profitable enough, then there are big criminal enterprises working in this area -- quite professionalized. ... The mistake is to think of this as fly by night stuff -- these are really serious people and they are as entrepreneurial, innovative and venturous as anyone you’d meet in Silicon Valley." Full Story

9. Obituary: Bruno Zumino Dies at 91; Sought to Tie Together Laws of Universe
New York Times (*requires registration)

Emeritus physics professor Bruno Zumino has died at the age of 91. He was best known for a theory called supersymmetry, which promised to bind the fundamental laws of the universe but has yet to be proven in experiments. That theory is the focus of particle collision experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Full Story

10. Obituary: Ira Ruskin dies; former Assembly member, Redwood City mayor
San Jose Mercury News (*requires registration)

Alum Ira Ruskin ('68), a former California Assembly member and Redwood City mayor, has died at the age of 70. The United Farm Workers wrote a tribute to him on their Facebook page, saying: "As a UC Berkeley undergrad, Ira took part in the Free Speech Movement and responded when Cesar Chavez asked students to give the Delano grape strikers their lunch money in October 1966 during a rally at Sproul Plaza. ... His commitment to good causes never wavered." Full Story

11. Op-Ed: Ron Takaki, Vincent Chin and Asian American Leadership
Psychology Today

This article is about the legacy of ethnic studies professor Ronald Takaki, who died in 2009. "Through his teaching, writing, and speaking, Takaki showed America a new perspective: that we can take pride in our cultural heritage and be successful Americans at the same time," the writer says. "Equally important, Takaki reminded us that part of what it means to be a successful American is to attempt to understand the experiences of other ethnic groups, and develop cross-cultural empathy and competence. Takaki’s work has become standard curriculum in high schools and colleges across the country, offering U.S. history lessons that reflect the diversity of students in classrooms, and leaving an indelible mark on generations of American youth." Full Story

12. Op-Ed: The Uses of Being Wrong
Chronicle of Higher Education (*requires registration)

An international politics professor at Tufts University writes about his attempt to figure out how he and so many other scholars were wrong about predicting the imminent collapse of the global economic order in the fall of 2008. His review of rare "confessions of wrongness in academic research" found that Berkeley political scientist Ernst Haas was an exception among scholars in this regard. In 1958, he developed a theory of "neofunctionalism" to explain European integration a half-century ago. By the 1970s, with Europe’s march toward integration appearing to reverse itself, he acknowledged that his theory had become "obsolete." Full Story

13. Dan Morain: Long ago, a liberal Republican helped win passage of the Civil Rights Act
Sacramento Bee

A column about Thomas Kuchel, a former Senate Republican whip who helped end segregation, mentions that his papers are at the Bancroft Library. Full Story

14. UC Berkeley Student Attacked With Knife After Refusing Cigarette Request: Police
KNTV Online

A Berkeley student was attacked by a man wielding a knife early Wednesday morning at UC Village in Albany after he refused a request for a cigarette. The attack occurred at 2:47 a.m. near Ohlone Avenue and Jackson Street, and police were not able to locate the suspect after he ran. The victim was treated at a local hospital. Full Story

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