Human Markup Language

OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, has founded a committee to develop methods for describing human characteristics through XML:

The OASIS HumanMarkup Technical Committee (TC) will work to develop Human Markup Language (HumanML), a schema for embedding contextual human characteristics -- cultural, social, kinesic (body language), psychological and intentional features -- within information. OASIS said HumanML would have applications in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, conflict resolution, psychotherapy, art, workflow, advertising, cultural dialogue, agent systems, diplomacy and business negotiation. . .

More from Internet News . Thanks to Slashdot.


Use of Reading Habits as Criminal Evidence is Growing

Is it an invasion of privacy or a means of catching a criminal? The law enforcement community considers using a citizen\'s reading, viewing, and listening habits a necessary edge in solving a crime. Privacy advocates and others see it as something much different. Last February an Ohio prosecutor wanted to provide him with information about customers who had purchased a sexually explicit CD-ROM in an attempt to link a northeast Ohio man to a crime. According to the article, \"It is these types of efforts that seem to be occurring in more alarming numbers by the law enforcement profession that have opened the eyes of the often quiet book-reading community.\" more... from The News Herald.


Europeans and the internet

Following the recent story that 60% of British people are now online, a study by the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Industry in France has found that only 20% of French people have internet access at home. More significantly, more than half of the people surveyed did not foresee ever going online from home. The only other Western European country with the same slow growth of internet use is Spain, also with only 20% online at home. The full story from the BBC tries to suggest some possible reasons for these cultural differences.


Pirated books herald the new Napster

British Internet monitoring company Envisional have carried out research which shows that over 7,000 copyrighted books are now available free on the internet. These pirated works are being swapped \"on Napster-like file-sharing systems\". The most popular are apparently science fiction and fantasy. Read the full story from Excite News.
Internet monitoring - hmm, sounds like what I do all day!


E-Textbook Craze Coming to a Campus Near You

Last spring the University of Virginia conducted an experiment in which they provided students with e-textbooks. Apparently it works. So much so that Microsoft is offering its reader through library vendor Follett, and some major publishers, including Harcourt and McGraw-Hill (not Tim and Faith), are jumping on the e-textbook bandwagon. The belief is that generation D will find the
e-textbooks much friendler to use than the traditional, and much more cumbersome tomes of bygone days. more... from On Magazine.

Tesco in Line to Sponsor British Library

British supermarket giant Tesco is among the corporations
lining up to endow curatorships and (possibly) profit from
the privatization of services at the British Library:

The British Library is planning a huge injection of private money that could see curators being sponsored by Tesco and services run for profit by big business. The Independent on Sunday can reveal that barely four years after its £520m London home was finally completed, the library is to undergo a radical commercial makeover to attract more funds.

Sponsorship ideas being floated by library directors include creating posts that might include a \"Tesco curator for cookery\" or an anthropology librarian funded by Endemol, producers of reality TV show Big Brother. . . Private bidders may also be asked to pay the salaries of new specialists in other \"fashionable areas\" such as gardening, sport and DIY. The libraryis also considering plans to invite private investors to build and run new facilities. . .

More from The Independent.


Amazon Wants Your PO

For CNet News, Erich Luening writes...

\"Online retail giant is looking beyond individual consumers with a new program intended to attract organizations such as libraries, schools and businesses.
The new Corporate Accounts Program allows institutional purchasers to create a managed account with a payment method other than credit card, by which they can buy books, software, videos and other goods online, the company announced Wednesday. \"Whether it is local librarians ordering hard-to-find titles, corporate librarians purchasing training materials or small businesses buying software printers, these customers will now be able to use purchase orders as a method of payment at,\" Jason Kilar, vice president of media products at, said in a statement.\" more...


Librarians Compared to Executioners

For the Indianapolis Star, Matt Schwartz writes...

\"The guillotine\'s blade is poised above a naked spine. The victim waits silently, his last words already written onto his body. Soon, the blade hits with a thunk. This is no medieval tale. This is right out of the 21st century. The executioner is a librarian. He is cutting out and photographing the pages from bound newspaper volumes and transferring the images to microfilm. His victim, critics say, is Indiana\'s history... Most of the newspapers were thrown away after the process was complete. About half came from bound volumes whose spines were cut away, disbound in library parlance, so the pages could lie flat as they were filmed.\" more...


Archival entrepreneur gains leadership honor

Someone writes \"Wayne State University recognizes librarian/archivist by naming her recipient of Emerging Corporate Leadership Award. Article also discusses archival services conducted by her company, which are somewhat unique to the archival world.

Also, a rather non-traditional article for you to include. Most of your material cited relate to \"mainstream\" librarianship. This services as just another reminder of how versatile librarians/archivists can be.

Full Story from Detroit News \"

Internet Makes Research \'Too Easy\'

Yahoo News reports on the results of a new survey conducted for the Associated Press showing half of respondents rating Internet skills as very important for school. Most students were able to find the majority of the resources they need for writing assignments on the internet:
``Most students depend on the Internet to get their stuff,\'\' said 16-year-old Jeff Sands of Horsham, Pa. ``You can most find anything by going onto Yahoo,\'\' an Internet search engine.
``The Internet makes it too easy sometimes,\'\' said Campbell, a 17-year-old from New London, Pa. ``I still think you should go to the library.


New York Public Library Buys Kerouac Archive

The New York Public Library has aquired the literary and personal archive of Jack Kerouac:

The archive, the largest Kerouac holding in any institution, contains manuscripts, notebooks, letters, journals and personal items saved from the time he was 11 until his death at 47 in 1969. . . Meticulously organized by Kerouac himself, the archive comprises more than 1,050 manuscripts and typescripts, including novels, short stories, prose pieces, poems and fragments, a handful of them in scroll form; 130 notebooks for almost all of his works, published and unpublished; and 52 journals, from 1934 to 1960, which include material used in \"The Town and the City,\" \"On the Road\" and \"Big Sur.\"

More from the New York Times (registration required) and even more from the Boston Globe.

The NYPL has provided a bit more information on the contents of the collection here .


NZ Authors Threaten to Pull Books from Libraries

Authors in New Zealand are threatening to pull their books off the shelves of public libraries in protest over a funding cut for writers. Apparently the government has decided to take away $100,000 from the $1.1 million fund. The fund was established as a means of compensating writers for lost royalties as a result of libraries freely distributing their work. more... from The News Room


Prisoners Record Childrens Books on Tape

The Orange County Public Library (CA) has a cool program to help illiterate parents learn to read to their kids. They have inmates at the jail record childrens books on tape. Jill Klubek, the library\'s family-literacy specialist, says, \"what matters is the voice, not where it\'s coming from.\" The inmates are doing other things for kids too, such as \"knitting hats for kids with cancer, recording books for the blind, and repairing bikes for poor kids.\" Judging from the article, it looks like everyone benefits, even the inmates. more... from The Orange County Register.


Digital Library Lets You Virtually Pull Books Off the Shelf

For, Charles Greifenstein writes...

\"With the assistance of a National Leadership Grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has begun to develop a digital resource, The Historical Medical Digital Library.
The digital library is not intended to provide complete digital copies of historical medical books. Instead, it allows patrons to browse selected books electronically; a virtual pulling the book off the shelf.\" more...


MD Community Seen as Role Model in Library Effort

In Grantsville, MD they\'re building a new library, thanks to support from the community. So far, the town has raised $160,000. According to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, \"The most important thing is what this says about your community. Libraries across the country are being neglected as people spend hours in front of the TV. If this was a typical community, I would have a lot more faith in America. This community could be a role model for the rest of the country.\" more... from The Times News.


Filtered Web Snares Students Seeking Legit Info

For News-Press, Jennifer Booth Reed writes...

\"Cyber porn. Online cults. Electronic crime manuals. Parents, relax. The virtual bad guys are out there, but children are safe from Internet smut — at least as long as they’re at school. But some question whether the safety precautions create too great of a roadblock to online research and study. The Lee County School District this year, in compliance with a new federal law, has cracked down even further on Internet use and strengthened its barriers against harmful materials. The 2001 Children’s Internet Protection Act requires school districts and public libraries to block access to pornography and other harmful materials. It threatens to yank money from districts and libraries that don’t comply. In Lee County $1 million per year is at stake.\" more...


Huge Harry Potter Editorial Cartoons Compilation

Sue Jones writes \"Since Harry\'s been a topic here, thought your readers might enjoy this compilation
. \"

It\'s a big archive of 20 something Harry cartoons from the editorial pages of papers from all over.
Many of them seem to stay with the \"Harry got my kid off of TV/Computers\". Funny Stuff!


Illiteracy in UK Worse Now Than Before WWI

According to an article at ITN, in regard to a study conducted by the University of Ulster, \"At least two million people in Britain are totally illiterate and unable to make sense of basic information such as bus timetables or supermarket labels.\" more...

A Harry Encounter - Readers Respond

Florida Today recently had a reader write-in for those wishing to express whether they are for or against Harry Potter. The event was in response to the release of the video \"Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged - Making Evil Look Innocent.\" The original LISNews posting can be found Here. If you like reader opinions, these are sure to give you a boost. One, in particular, is just downright funny. A reader responds...\"...Will all Sunday school kids have charred action figures of Harry Potter, who was burned in the fires of hell? This sounds like a case of my occult is better than your occult.\"

Click here for Harry Lovers or
Click here for Harry Haters


Harry Potter Compared to Jesus Christ

For Syracuse Online, Jerry Rosen writes...

\"From the halls of Hogwarts to the Quidditch fields, the wizardry of J.K. Rowling\'s Harry Potter books have cast a spell over young and old alike. The first four books of a planned seven-book series describing the coming of age and education of Potter, a young wizard, have sold well over 24 million copies. While the worldwide reception of the books has been generally spectacular, some groups, primarily fundamental Christians, have protested against their use in schools. They claim the books promote witchcraft and the occult over Christian values. Madeline Loiacono, religious educator at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Clay, doesn\'t see that side of the books. What she sees are parallels between Harry Potter and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.\" more...



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