Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Plagiarism: a plot element on NCIS on 6 Oct 09

In the episode of NCIS titled " Inside Man " (Oct. 6, 09), the character "Thomas Victor " is a (former) judge, whose nomination to the Supreme Court (and judicial career) were de-railed by a blogger who accused him of plagiarism in a speech.

As to the part about a plagiarism de-railing (part of) a political career, the Thomas Victor fact pattern evokes Joe Biden's run for the president in which he copied part of a speech by Neil Kinnock, got exposed, and stopped running. Biden, of course, didn't have to quit his job as Senator, and later became Vice-President.

The "Thomas Victor" character wasn't so lucky. The blogger, who was accurate as to the speech plagiarism, made false accusations about Thomas Victor as to infidelity, taking kick-backs and cheating in law school. [Recall that Biden committed plagiarism in a class paper at Syracuse Law by copying, without attribution, from a law review, got caught, and was failed for the course.] Victor not only lost his Supreme Court nomination but also lost his judicial job. When interviewed by Tony on a park bench, Victor's job was at a community college. Victor noted one of his students spelled "justice" as --justiss--.

Note also the blogger ended up dead. Ironically, killed by someone who thought the blogger knew more than the blogger did in fact know.

See also

Went to a garden party: does Joe Biden hide in your shoes?

**In passing, Google on 7 Oct 09 recognized the anniversary of the invention of the barcode.

Andrew Heining wrote:

The Web was buzzing about barcodes today because Google decided to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the first ever patent on them with one of their popular doodles.

Many commenters on Amy Farnsworth’s post talked of trying to scan the Google logo rendered in “Code 128″ with limited degrees of success – using everything from commercial barcode scanners to cellphone cameras. Others jumped in with conspiracy theories – that barcodes are somehow related to the devil, or would in some future time be used to catalog a society overrun by machines. It’s all pretty fantastic.

The patent in question is US 2,612,994 to Woodland and Silver. The anniversary is referenced to the patent issuance, dated 7 Oct 52. [the filing date was Oct. 20, 1949, so the real 60th birthday of the disclosure is coming up shortly.] Claim 1 of the '994 patent is directed to an apparatus for classifying articles having thereon concentric circular lines. HOWEVER, claim 2 recites "positionally characterized classifying markings."

**Also in passing note Publisher drops claim of plagiarism concerning Christos Negakis, associate professor in the department of accounting and finance at the University of Macedonia in Greece.

TimesHigherEducation wrote:

Rebecca Marsh, publishing director of Emerald, says in a statement: "While an initial notice was posted on the website, this was later removed following a comprehensive review with the author. It was identified that certain references in the author's works had been omitted from the published articles due to a communication error. As a result, Emerald removed the articles from the electronic database so that they could be correctly referenced by the author and resubmitted.

**In passing, note the appearance of "texthog."


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