Submitted by Ryan on September 12, 2001 - 1:50pm
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.
Submitted by Ryan on September 12, 2001 - 1:24pm
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.
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2001 - 12:59pm
Submitted by Ieleen on September 11, 2001 - 12:10pm
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.
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2001 - 9:45am
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.
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2001 - 9:20am
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.\"
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2001 - 9:15am
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.
Submitted by Ryan on September 10, 2001 - 11:39pm
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.
Submitted by Jill on September 10, 2001 - 11:33pm
From Alaska to Florida sex education books are upsetting
adults. This in from the Star Banner in Ocala, FL.\"Debate
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
Submitted by Jill on September 10, 2001 - 11:06pm
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?\"
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.