Submitted by Ieleen on September 10, 2001 - 7:01pm
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...
Submitted by Ryan on September 10, 2001 - 4:50pm
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.
Submitted by Matt on September 10, 2001 - 10:48am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on September 10, 2001 - 12:47am
The Indian government is investing in libraries in the southern state of Udupi:
All district libraries in the state would soon get computer and internet facilities, announced Babu Rao Chauhan, Minister for Adult Education and Libraries. He laid foundation stone to the Udupi District Library and commercial complex building here on Sunday. He said that the Udupi Library would be upgraded as City Central Library and would be renovated at a cost of Rs 45 lakhs. A purchase Committee has been setup for the bulk purchase of books and 20 per cent of that would be reserved for local writers, he added . . .
More from South Nexus.
Submitted by Ryan on September 10, 2001 - 12:24am
Here\'s a helpful index of Nature\'s ongoing forum on the future of scientific publishing, including \"No Free Lunch,\" Martin Frank\'s intelligent critique of the Public Library of Science boycott:
The American Physiological Association objected to E-Biomed because it would have undermined both our ability to safeguard the integrity of journal contents and the economic viability of our scholarly journals and the service activities that they support. As with many other scholarly societies, APS uses journal revenues to run and subsidize other programmes, particularly in the areas of education, outreach to under-represented minorities, public affairs, student awards and scientific meetings. . .
Submitted by Brian on September 9, 2001 - 7:38pm
In a short interview in the Chicago Tribune, Jim Trelease, the author of Read-Aloud Handbook, talks about the benefits of reading to kids. Nice plug for libraries, too: "A public library card is a ticket to the richest entertainment a child\'s mind is ever going to have."
Submitted by Ryan on September 9, 2001 - 1:23pm
Cryptome has helpfully posted the text of the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) which may actually be MORE odious than the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
It appears to require that computer manufacturers install government-approved filtering software on their equipment in a hamhanded attempt to prevent the exchange of private or copyrighted material:
The SSSCA and existing law work hand in hand to steer the market toward using only computer systems where copy protection is enabled. First, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act created the legal framework that punished people who bypassed copy protection -- and now, the SSSCA is intended to compel Americans to buy only systems with copy protection on by default . . .
More from Wired, with thanks to the always helpful Politech. There is also an informative thread on the SSSCA over at Slashdot.
Submitted by Ryan on September 9, 2001 - 12:49pm
The New York Public Library is planning to open a new branch in a converted 19th century chocolate factory in Manhattan.:
For the longtime residents who moved into SoHo in the 1970\'s, when the neighborhood was still largely a manufacturing district, the library is a long-sought triumph. \"It kind of represents that we\'re not a mall, we\'re not a center for tourism, we\'re a real neighborhood,\" said [resident] Sean Sweeney . . .
More from the New York Times (registration required.)
Submitted by Ryan on September 8, 2001 - 6:21pm
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued a call to arms regarding proposed changes to the Copyright Act that mirror many provisions
of the DMCA:
Canadian citizens, and others, are urged to contact the Canadian government and express their opposition to legislation, similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the U.S., that would outlaw circumvention of technological restrictions put in place by copyright holders. The Canadian government is accepting public comment until September 15, 2001 on its proposed \"Consultation Paper on Digital Copyright Issues\" which considers such measures. . . Canada is considering adopting anti-circumvention legislation in response to the World Intellectual Property Organization\'s (WIPO) 1996 Copyright Treaty. This treaty, however, does not require enacting national legislation that outlaws technology with many lawful uses. Given the dismal US experience with the DMCA, other countries should learn from and steer clear of the U.S. Congress\'s mistake.
More with thanks to Politech. The public comment period on modifications to the Copyright Acts ends 9/15/01. My apologies in advance for the icon-related cultural imperialism displayed here ;)
Submitted by Ryan on September 7, 2001 - 11:15pm
After 71 years, the Middle English Dictionary Project has born fruit:
The dictionary covers 15,000 pages and includes more than 55,000 entries. The numerous meanings and usages are illustrated with 900,000 quotations ranging from the time of William the Conqueror to the advent of printing. They come from Chaucer, the stories of King Arthur and early Bibles, as well as contemporary letters, wills and remarkably detailed medical treatises.
The Middle English Dictionary is \"a labor of love . . . that is practically unrivaled in scale by any historical dictionary project of the modern era--and perhaps of any reference work project as well,\" said Richard Ekman, a former officer with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which since 1975 has provided the bulk of the financing for the $22-million project. . .
More from the Los Angeles Times . Thanks to Slashdot.
Submitted by Celine on September 7, 2001 - 5:51pm
Submitted by Blake on September 7, 2001 - 5:40pm
It\'s the first National Book Festival. It takes place on Saturday, September 8, on the grounds of the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will celebrate the joys of reading.
The Have a WebCast if you can\'t make it.
Submitted by Celine on September 7, 2001 - 3:30pm
Librarian career development newsletter Info Career Trends is seeking article contributors. The immediate need is for the November issue on \"networking and mentoring,\" but queries are also welcome for future issues. For more information, see the web page
- click on \"Contributor Guidelines\" for more on contributing and a list of upcoming themes. Back issues and an online subscription form are also accessible from this page.
Rachel, the editor, mentioned that the theme of January\'s issue will be \"keeping current\" and she thought some of the LISNews authors might have something to say, hint, hint!
Submitted by Ryan on September 7, 2001 - 2:23pm
A heavily hypertexted article that argues for \"experimentation and a lack of dogmatism\" as scientific publishing undergoes a sea change:
\"The Internet is easier to invent than to predict\" is a maxim that time has proven to be a truism. Much the same might be said of scientific publishing on the Internet, the history of which is littered with failed predictions. Technological advance itself will, of course, bring dramatic changes — and it is a safe bet that bright software minds will punctually overturn any vision. But it is becoming clear that developing common standards will be critical in determining both the speed and extent of progress towards a scientific web . . .
More from Nature, with thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.
Submitted by Brian on September 7, 2001 - 1:40pm
The Park Ridge (Illinois) public library has ended its summer trial of allowing food in the library. Patrons are still permitted to consume non-alcoholic beverages, though. Story in the Chicago Tribune.
Submitted by Blake on September 7, 2001 - 1:27pm
Always alert Bob Cox sent along This Story from the Chicago Tribune on The citywide \"One Book, One Chicago\" program.
The Mockingbird has flown off the shelves at book stores and libraries around Chicago Land, and a daily, e-mail quiz on the book is being conducted in the Office of Budget and Management in Chicago City Hall.
The windy city has certainly taken wing to this book.
Submitted by Matt on September 7, 2001 - 12:55pm
The Barrington Courier-Review reports that most Chicago public libraries remain undecided or will not implement filtering to comply with federal law.
The amount of money lost by an individual library by noncompliance can vary a lot, from $15,000 to less than $700. Many librarians say they are waiting for the law to be struck down as unconstitutional.
Submitted by Matt on September 7, 2001 - 12:37pm
Troy L. Williams, founder and CEO of Questia Media Inc., has authored a piece in the Houston Business Journal on how fabulous online libraries are for, \"students and educators.\" When he says libraries, he naturally means companies like Questia, which are not libraries in my book.
many college students are extremely computer savvy and do all of their research on Internet.
It may be computer savvy to do all your research on the Internet, but it sure isn\'t smart. For the other side of the coin see \"The Computer Delusion\" in The Atlantic
Submitted by BrianS on September 7, 2001 - 12:16pm
*Updated link, sorry about that*
Here is a story from the Chicago Sun-Times about an alderman who is trying to figure out why his regional library is removing \"books in good condition.\" Ald. Eugene Shulter has community activists \"up in arms\" over what seems to be routine weeding. Security has twice attempted to have him removed from the library. Folks, this is not a good example of community relations.
Submitted by Ryan on September 7, 2001 - 11:41am
An unofficial experiment by student, programmer, concerned citizen, and Canadian Brendan Wilson suggests that many members of Parliament may not be aware of the importance of the Web:
Overall the experiment demonstrated that the average Canadian cannot contact their MP office [via email] and expect a response in a reasonable length of time, if at all. My point here is not to ridicule the MPs themselves, or their offices, but rather point out the need for a more effective and interactive form of government. Our current form of government was built on the assumption that the general public did not have access to information on current events, or mechanisms to have their opinion communicated efficiently; with modern telecommunications technology, this is no longer the case. . .
What impact will this ignorance have on the forthcoming changes to Canadian copyright law? More from Brendan Wilson\'s site, with thanks to Politech.