SFU People in the News
Media Matters, a report on Simon Fraser University in the news, is compiled and distributed by SFU Public Affairs & Media Relations (PAMR).
This edition is a weekend roundup that lists the main items of known media coverage from 8:30 a.m. Monday June 11 to 8:30 a.m. today, Tuesday June 12.
- Science Daily picked up an earlier story about SFU researchers unlocking secrets about quantum computers.
What physicist Mike Thewalt and his colleagues have found is that a special silicon allows certain processes to take place and be observed in a solid state that scientists used to think required a near-perfect vacuum.
And, using this special silicon they have extended to three minutes—from a matter of seconds—the time in which scientists can manipulate, observe and measure the quantum processes.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/GkMMFd
SFU news release: http://at.sfu.ca/mjIzjI
- Communications professor Peter Chow-White was quoted in a CBC article about the accusation that review amalgamator Yelp has been manipulating customer reviews.
Chow-White says consumers should realize sites like Yelp do this simply to boost their own bottom line, so any of the reviews are not purely “grassroots.”
“They are there for generating and making money,” he says. “The way that they do that is either help businesses promote themselves through advertising [or] draw on users in order to make their sites look more popular. Then they can charge more for that kind of service.”
However, he says if complaints escalate, Yelp could face more challenges.
"There’s not much in terms of policy in place to deal with this right now,” he says. “It has to be found out somehow that these practices are creating unequal business practices. And if governments find that out and if people lobby them enough then perhaps they will look into it.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/vtTBTP
- Sing Tao Daily, a Chinese newspaper, published a story about SFU student Fahad Yasin’s experiences with co-op and how it has better prepared him for the post-university experience.
- Robert Gordon, director of SFU Criminology, was quoted in a Globe and Mail article about teenage vigilantes exposing would-be child molesters.
Three Fraser Valley teenagers pretended to be 15-year old girls in online chat rooms and lured men seeking underage sex out, before “shaming and berating them” in public, and on camera. The videos were then posted on YouTube and Facebook.
Despite the videos leading to the arrests of three men, the RCMP says it does not encourage any type of vigilante justice. However, Gordon says the act is representative of an "emergence of e-justice.
"Citizen surveillance is becoming a more important and more potent form of surveillance than anything the criminal justice system could pull out of a hat, " he says.
"Not only is it exposing people, it's also condemning people on the basis of footage, and it's a condemnation that is going to last an enormous amount of time because it will be on the Internet for an enormous amount of time."
Gordon does caution that spreading misinformation could have serious consequences.
“If they willfully transmit something that is incorrect, what they are effectively doing is defaming the person, and if the consequence is some kind of physical hurt, then there is going to be civil actions against those people,” he says.
“If there’s a message to people who take pictures of other people purportedly doing things, it’s that they’re going to have to be very careful about the consequences, because they’re not going to be able to hide behind any kind of anonymity for very long.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/QTOWMB
- Public policy professor Doug McArthur was in last week’s Georgia Straight article about how to handle the increasing population density of Vancouver’s core.
To remain as sustainable as possible, McArthur says the city needs massive “towerization.” The approach is similar to that of former Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan, who wanted more towers, less commuting and thus less greenhouse gas emitted.
McArthur has, however, a different formula: more towers, more housing units, and a reduction of untenable real-estate prices. He says towers will eventually create housing affordability.
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/UEvrSK
- CTV reports many economists are predicting a real estate downturn in downtown Vancouver, mostly because too many condos being built. Business professor Andrey Pavlov agrees.
“There are a lot of investors buying in Vancouver, especially from overseas,” he tells CTV.
“If they stop seeing the price increase that they’ve seen the past few years, I think they’re likely to walk, and then we’ll see prices decline.”
CTV Video Player (Pavlov appears at the 8:52 mark of Monday, June 11’s edition): http://at.sfu.ca/ixjPzV
- Top News New Zealand ran a brief about the research done by SFU researchers that has lead to a breakthrough in HIV/AIDS research.
The article, which incorrectly refers to SFU as SFY in its title, says the researchers have “asserted that fighting against the infection doesn't depend upon the number of white-blood cells, but it depends upon their potential and how they carry out their work.”
Full story: http://at.sfu.ca/aCtAEO
SFU news release: http://at.sfu.ca/CqMKEi
- Surrey Now ran a version of an SFU news release about SFU’s involvement in a public lecture by the Surrey Pride Society.
Two pioneering gay activists will deliver the first joint public lecture to be hosted by Surrey Pride Society and SFU’s Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
ted northe (who spells his whole name in lower-case letters) and Paul Therien will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14 at the Surrey campus.
The event is billed as "Preserving Queer History: Stories from a Seasoned Activist."
SFU news release: http://at.sfu.ca/MDcAlO
- Earlier issues of Media Matters are online at http://at.sfu.ca/GzJvYO
SFU NEWS RELEASES
- SFU’s news releases are online at http://at.sfu.ca/APbezp