The Valentine’s Day Treaty

“In negotiating the Valentine’s Day Treaty of 1864, [Elijah] Steele and the Klamath Basin Indian headmen envisioned a future in which settlers and Indians would compromise, in which Native Americans would be integrated into the emerging economic systems of the West rather than segregated on isolated reservations,” wrote York University Professor Boyd Cothran in the New York Times Feb. 14. “The failure of that vision in the face of Washington opposition, however, paved the way for the horrors of the Indian Wars that dominated the postwar West.” Read full story.

Watching the watchers
“Over the past number of months, Canadians have come to learn an unprecedented amount about CSEC, the acronym for Communications Security Establishment Canada. This is one of our spy agencies, the other main one being CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service,” wrote George Takach, adjunct professor in computer law at Osgoode Hall Law School, in Lexpert magazine Feb. 18. “CSEC’s job is to collect ‘signals information outside of Canada’, which today means principally electronic surveillance. In an age when so much of our lives unfolds on computer screens, including smartphones, it’s worth asking some important questions about CSEC and the nature of legal and other oversight we have in place for this agency.” Read full story.

Recourse for intellectual-property theft in China is improving, but new risks are emerging
David Johnston, professor of operations management and information systems at York University’s Schulich School of Business, says operational techniques and processes can often be just as valuable as intellectual property to those looking to knock off a product. “That’s almost as powerful as the stuff you can patent,” he said in the Financial Post Feb. 19. “It’s one thing to be able to know how to design a high-tech product like a smart phone, it’s another thing to know how to produce it. How you produce it is often something that’s all the little tips and tricks and know-how that’s not patentable.” Read full story.

Executive training
It is back to school for the head of Toronto Community Housing, Gene Jones. Guest host Piya Chattopadhyay spoke with Alan Middleton, executive director of York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre, on CBC’s “Metro Morning” Feb. 18. Listen to full interview.

Luminato Festival launches Copycat Academy, an annual art intensive
The Luminato Festival is getting its own academy, reported Yonge Street Feb. 19. In an announcement made early last week, Luminato organizers introduced the Copycat Academy, an artist training program that will coincide annually with Toronto’s 10-day arts festival. . . . Confirmed faculty for this year’s pilot program includes Toronto-based filmmaker Bruce LaBruce and Philip Monk, the director of the Art Gallery of York University and former curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Read full story.

Two Canadian tech manufacturers find niche success in face of adversity
Vaughan, York Region-based Mircom Group of Companies has become North America’s largest independent manufacturer of fire and life safety systems, reported Techvibes Feb. 19. . . . Mircom Group collaborates on product design with both local universities and colleges. For example, working with York University, Mircom Group developed OpenGN smart building technology, incorporating geomatics and new visualization tools. Firefighters can now have an interactive, easy-to-use, 3-D visualization of a building’s interior for faster response. Read full story.