A Peek @ The Web

Wired has Who Said the Web Fell Apart?. They say the Web was criticized for buckling under user demand and failing to provide help and information, but really it was merely a matter of knowing where to look. Sure, CNN and The NY Times crapped out for awhile, even Slashdot creaked along, but sites like Metafilter and Cam kept us up to date.
The FBI has also released a
cyberthreat advisory beef up physical and cybersecurity efforts.

CNN says Internet proves vital communications tool
, For many, one of the first reactions to the news of Tuesday\'s terrorist attacks was to turn to the Web.

The NYTimes also ran a Story that quoted Cam, and provided a nice look at how many different websites were doing.

\"The need to connect is intense,\" said Donna Hoffman, a professor who studies the Web and Web commerce at Vanderbilt University. \"While the network TV stations blather, the Internet carries the news and connects the masses in a true interactive sob.\"


Contrary to Early Reports, Web Shines During Crisis

Contrary to early reports that the Web buckled under the heavy traffic that followed the NYC/DC attacks, it appears to have provided a vital and flexible tool for communication. Wired\'s Leander Kahney writes:

The Web has been criticized in many corners for failing to adequately cover the unfolding horror of Tuesday\'s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

On a day when many people were glued to the TV, the complaint was that the Net initially failed to provide the kind of in-depth coverage available from the TV networks. People have complained that sites for the big news organizations, like CNN, The New York Times and the BBC, were unavailable for much of the day due to high traffic.
And what only newspapers and portals were available simply ran wire copy. But under the radar, the Net responded magnificently; it was just a matter of knowing where to look. Immediately after the attack, community websites, discussion groups and mailing lists immediately lit up with vast amounts of information about the attacks . . .

More, still more from CNN and even more from the Washington Post.


What libraries can do!

Bill Drew writes \"I have been trying to think how libraries might help their user communities in response to the attacks yesterday. I am helping by providing links to information resources I have found or that have been sent to me. I started with links from the Tourbus service sent to me by Jo Anne Ellis of SUNY ESF at Syracuse University. I am then adding others as I find them.
The URL is: morrisville.edu/library/timely.html

Other things we can do:
- listen to your patrons.
- provide a safe haven away from the news if it is needed.
- stay open to provide normality.
- be human and admit your own responses.
- share news and information sources with other libraries and librarians.

Any other suggestions are welcome.


World Trade Center Tenants

I just recieved a reference question asking about the tenants of each WTC building. The answer can be found here. They are in Excel format and the print is a bit small, but there you have it. Most of the big portals have not listed the tenents for building 7.


Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines

Danny Sullivan has posted Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines over at SearchEngine Watch.

This is both an analysis of how search engines reacted to the terrorist attacks in the United States and advice on how to find the latest information about the disaster..


NYC / DC Attack Reference Links

Research Buzz has assembled a great list of links for anyone trying to answer reference questions re: yesterday\'s attack.

Thanks to librarian.net for the tip.

What libraries can do to help

There is a discussion developing on WEB4LIB on What libraries can do to help at a time like this.

So far LC has said \"the Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service, and all of our librarians, are providing reference and information services and analysis to Congress as they deliberate today and over the coming days on \"What next\"...\"

Other people have said that they are staying open, and answering questions on NYC and The World Trade Center.

I am amazed at how everyone is pulling together on this, it\'s truly amazing. Corporations, individuals, everyone is really doing whatever they can to ease the pain, and help us as a country to move forward.

So what else can libraries do to help? Post your ideas below.


eBay Pulls Twin Towers Related Items Until 10/1

eBay had a change of heart today and banned the sale of
NYC attack related items until at least 10/1:

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Tuesday, people on eBay were apparently bidding up the prices of World Trade Center memorabilia, attempting, they said, to find some items with which to remember the buildings now completely destroyed. Some less savory practices appeared to be going on as well, with people attempting to sell disaster-related domain names and debris scavenged from the attack -- but eBay had been vigilantly combating those practices, taking down the pages as fast as they could go up. . .

More from Wired.


Feds Push Carnivore in Wake of Attacks

Declan McCullagh of Politech is reporting a spike in the use of the U.S. government\'s Carnivore Web surveillance system following yesterday\'s attacks:

Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday\'s deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Just hours after three airplanes smashed into the buildings in what some U.S. legislators have dubbed a second Pearl Harbor, FBI agents began to visit Web-based, e-mail firms and network providers, according to engineers at those companies who spoke on condition of anonymity. . . Microsoft\'s Hotmail service has also been the target of increased federal attention, according to an engineer who works there.

More from Wired. McCullagh\'s earlier comparison of the NYC/DC attacks to the Reichstag fire in terms of political effect may be right on the money.

Without Words


Updated, 9-11, 2002


Board Wants Contractor to Direct Library - Ethical Questions Raised

Most of the members of the Missaukee (MI) District Library board want to hurry up and hire a new director before the state enforces legislation that would require library directors to hold an MSLS. Residents are questioning the ethics of hiring on the basis that, among other things, the contractor could write off personal vacations as business expenses. Earlier this year 900 people signed petitions asking for the resignation of board members after they fired two library directors in one year. The members refuse to resign. more... from The Traverse City Record Eagle.


Checking Out Salinger

Howard Bagwell wants to pull \"The Catcher in the Rye\" off the bookshelves in school libraries, he thinks it\'s inappropriate for teens, unfortunatly he is a School Board member in South Carolina. Bagwell checked out one copy of \"The Catcher in the Rye\" at Summerville High School\'s library last week. He checked another out at Fort Dorchester High on Wednesday. He plans to buy them from the schools instead of returning them.

\"It is a filthy, filthy book,\" Bagwell said. \"It has 269 some odd pages or so, and if you took out all the (profanity), the sarcasm, the mockery of old people, the mockery of women and decent people, you would get to read about 10 minutes\' worth. I can\'t figure out for the life of me why it is considered an important book.\"

I honestly can\'t figure out why it\'s important, or why someone would hate it, either.
Full Story from charleston.net, with props going to Mefi.


Library director : \'Island life\'

Mary Musgrave told us CNN has a Lovely Tale of Elizabeth Connor, the library director for Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Commonwealth of Dominica. Sounds like working on an island paradise...

\"To relieve stress \"I walk down to the shore and look out at the horizon. If that doesn\'t work, I stop by the bookstore and buy some Twizzlers red licorice.\"

FirsrSearch Statistcs Problem!

Bill Drew writes \"I just discovered and reported to OCLC a very critical error in the reports generated for FirstSearch Usage statistics. The tech support contact told me that they are aware of it and have been for some time. It is fixed with reports after this Month. They are unable (or unwilling) to fix it for statistics generated before that date. What I found was in doing the Searches Used report where individual databases are used, if a database was not used for the month I selected to generate the report on it does not appear in the report at all.



Feeling the Web

A short and simple article on haptic technology - hardware and software that endow digital objects with tactile qualities:

Although scientists are still far from simulating the feel of corduroy or velvet on the computer screen, haptics have made mainstream inroads in the past year. In August 2000, Logitech unveiled the iFeel Mouse and the iFeel MouseMan--the first mainstream mice to transmit vibrations when a person scrolls over a hypertext link on a Web page or passes the cursor over a pull-down menu . . .\"Touch is part of the trinity of the user experience of sight, sound and touch,\" said Bruce Schena, chief technical officer of Immersion. \"Several years from now, we\'ll think of the sense of touch as integral to the computer experience--the same way we think of sight and sound now.\"

More from CNET, with thanks to Slashdot.


County to address sex books

From Alaska to Florida sex education books are upsetting
adults. This in from the Star Banner in Ocala, FL.\"Debate
over two
sexually explicit books geared toward young people has prompted
county commissioners to arrange a panel discussion designed to
ease perceived tension concerning the Marion County Library\'s
collection which includes both books.\" The books are
\"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" and \"Deal With It\". Full Story

\"It\'s Perfectly Normal\" was also challenged in Anchorage, AK as
posted in this
earlier story


Porn access irks council

This article from Recordnet.com in Stockton, CA reports that
\"the City Council says it wants more control over what is offered
at the library in response to a Manteca resident\'s complaint that he
saw a man looking at pornographic materials on a library
computer in full view of children.\"

The patron who reported the offense asked, \"Does our library
need to come with a warning label like a pack of cigarettes?\"

Full Story


That\'s Why I Go the Public Library, Where I Can Look Up Anything

Groan...After a brief vacation, which evaporated all too quickly, I\'ve found myself back at my desk under a mountain of e-mail which I suspect I\'ll have finished answering sometime after the next ice age. I did receive a link to the following story, however, which I have decided to share. David Grebe has written a column for the Ames (IA) Tribune entitled \"Worldwide Puritanism.\" He talks about employers cracking down on \"inappropriate use of the Internet,\" and how one little typo, such as inputting \".com\" rather than \".org,\" and haven\'t we all done it, may have resulted in a meeting of the minds at his workplace over the issue. Obviously, when Internet activity logs are maintained, such a \"boo-boo\" can result in a somewhat embarrassing incident, which, of course depends upon one\'s sense of humor. more...


Giving Away E-Books to Sell the Printed Word

In the same year that the National Academy Press began offering 2,100 titles free through its web site, the
company also experienced a record growth in sales of printed books. How?
They acted on some simple but revolutionary insights into the way each medium is used:

It would seem axiomatic that giving away pages means that fewer people will buy the books, but that confuses the content with the product. Sugar, butter, flour, eggs, and vanilla are the contents of a pound cake, but quite obviously more than those contents is required to create something pleasing to the palate. It\'s clear to us that the material we publish -- the final printed book -- has a value quite distinct from the content itself, and a utility independent of any particular page. The handy, readable, formatted, bound volume is still the way most people want to read a book-length work . . . To my knowledge, no book by any publisher has ever sold less than expected because it was available free online.

More from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Authors Give Parts in Novels to Highest Bidder

Ananova reports that authors are auctioning off parts in their new novels. This reminds me of a book of Mother Goose I had as a kid where my name had been printed in as the main characters\'. Apparently this is no joke, with Margaret Atwood, Terry Pratchett, Ken Follett, and Pat Barker signed on to participate. The auction is October 16th and proceeds go to charity. Reminds me of some of the more strange items auctioned on ebay.



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