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How things would work in a copyright-free universe

The National
has a rather I
nteresting Story
on copyright. Ilana Mercer
says the copyright system shoul be abolished because
there can be no justification for the use of force against
legitimate property owners.

\"And force is, very
plainly, what flows from the enforcement of the law.
Since ideas should not be treated as property, laws that
target those who have not violated person or property
are wrong.\"

I can\'t say I agree or disagree, but it is a very well
thought out argument.


WA Considering Dropping Prison Libaries

Gov. Gary Locke wants to save money by eliminating
prison law libraries, which some say blocks
reasonable access to the courts, which some also say
will cause a flurry of lawsuits. Full Story from Seattle P-I.

\"It\'s wholesome activity,\" Alexander said. \"It\'s not
like we\'re setting up a motorcycle club for


The President who reads, succeeds?

Interested in how history will remember the presidency of voracious reader Bill Clinton, Harold Evans ponders the question \"Does history suggest any correlation between a passion for serious reading and an ability to inspire and manage the nation?\" in this article from the New York Times.

Compiling a list of bibliophile presidents from biographies and histories, he compares them with presidential rankings from a 1994 Siena Research Institute tracking survey and the 1999 C-Span Survey of Presidential Leadership

Not surprisingly, the bibliophiles ranked higher overall.


Alabama Virtual Library

Bonnie Lee sent in a story on the Alabama Virtual Library, a $3 million cooperative effort that brings online resources to schools.
This article from provides an overview of the path they took to make this project a reality for Alabama, and spotlights the significant collaboration that was involved. It\'s quite an interesting and indepth how to guide on the entire process.


Drowning in Information

Jeanie writes:\"There is a short article in Smart Computing in Plain English V12 (3)
entitled Drowning in Information. Two professors from the Univ of
Calif/Berkeley released the results of a study designed to measure the
yearly production of new information in the US and the world. Findings:
Worldwide production of info equals 250 books of data for each man, women
and child on the planet. Other findings include 93% of all new data
produced in 199 was in digital format.\"

No Link for this one, though seems similar to This One or maybe This.


CIPA Not Unconstitutional?

MSNade writes \"For those interested to know why the Dec. 2000 Children\'s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) probably does not violate the First Amendment, a revised version of my spring 2000 Texas Law Review article is now available at

Among other things, the article notes that while CIPA requires libraries receiving federal funds to employ \"technology protection measures,\" software filters are not the only technologies that would fit this requirement. In fact, when the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) prepared an overview report of communications and information policy to Congress in the late 1980s, it adopted a broad definition of \"technology,\" which included not only physical apparatuses, but also \"technique\"s and \"social arrangements,\" which would likely include appropriate AUPs. For more details, see note 62D of the revised article. \"


The Pseduo Dictionary

Just found this on Yahoo! and it looks interesting.

\"is the place where all of your made up words, slang, webspeak and colloquialisms become part of the dictionary as well. we take the words you use everyday, but aren\'t in the dictionary, and put them into ours. all you have to is submit them. you\'ll even get credit and a link to your website (if you\'ve got one). help us grow our dictionary by sending us your entries now! everyday more entries are added, so check back often.\"


Net filter spies on kids\' surfing

I\'m hoping this will be one of the last stories I link to from ZD Net. The ads are beyond horrible, and I see no reason to continue to use the site. Anywhoo...

The Story is on Bess N2H2\'s filtering software. They say it\'s used by 12 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and of course if CIPA is actually enforced, that number will be much higher. Bess knows where the students go on the Web and how long they spend there. It also knows when students try to access a site that\'s on N2H2\'s blacklist for being too violent or containing pornography. Not suprisingly late last year, N2H2 began selling its data.

I would think whatever your views on filtering, you would not support this... but I could be wrong.


The Next Storage Medium Could Be Sitting Right On Your Desk

I found this on CNN
Don\'t throw away all those rolls of tape you have lying around. It seems that Stanford University and a private European lab are teaming up to begin a 5-year research project to develop a new storage medium, stating that \"the new technology is superior to current CD drives...\" [more...]


The Scholarly eJournal

The Current Geotimes (Jan 2001) has a story on Scientific e-Journals in which they say we can\'t rely on libraries to archive these eJournals because it\'s not a static document that can be maintained by a \"multitude of different care givers using different systems\".
Also an interesting From the Editor article on how electronic communication changed the way things work. Libraries have to offer digital formats for everything because \"if it ain’t digital, it ain’t\"

Books in Retrogression

I love this quote from Arts & Letters Daily about the book publishing industry.
\"Once upon a time, the major American publishing houses could be counted on to bring controversial new ideas, trenchant political criticism, and works of enduring literary merit to the reading public. No longer. Instead, we get a steady stream of diet books, celebrity biographies, quasi-spiritual self-help manuals, formulaic technothrillers, Jacqueline Susann knock-offs, and warmed-over tabloid journalism about the scandal of the moment.\"

One may or may not easily argue the accuracy of such a statement, depending on reading tastes and also given the fact that a trip to the library or to the closest bookstore, whether it be physical or virtual, will yield quality literature aplenty for someone. The saga continues at The American Prospect


Internet Filtering ..... Big Business?

I found this particular item today on The American Prospect while news cruising through cyberspace.

Although the issue is a legitimate one, it is interesting to realize the role played by big business in the whole scheme of things. Much of the noise surrounding Internet Filtering is being made by those who stand to gain a profit (Go figure). The point is clearly made when considering the following, as quoted from an advertisement for filtering software: \"The Internet caused the problem. It\'s only fitting it should also provide the solution.\"
One hates to rain on the parade of the Internet personifying folks out there, but isn\'t it people who are the problem? Well, read on and judge for yourself...


Mining the \'Deep Web\' With Specialized Drills

The NYTimes has an Interesting Story on search engines. They say regular search engines have access to only a fraction of 1 percent of what exists on the Web and as many as 500 billion pieces of content are missed. They talk about specialty search engines like Moreover, a site I use all the time for LISNews. It\'s nice to see some very positive things said about librarians in this one.

\"People may know to come to the library, but they probably do not know which reference books to pull off the shelf. Of course, in such cases, patrons can at least consult a reference librarian. On the Web, people are usually fending for themselves.\"


Google bug or feature?

Brian writes \"If you\'re looking for George W. Bush merchandise, there\'s an easy -- and, for half the country, intuitive -- way to find some on Google. Wired News has the
Story \"
Here\'s the explanation, and if you want to try the search yourself, Try This.


Wine Library

Finally, A library you can drink!
The University of British Columbia is setting up a wine library, the wine industry is providing about $335,000 for the 1,264-square-foot Wine Research Library, and will have a capacity of 22,000 Canadian bottles, plus 8,000 bottles from other countries.Imagine the resume you\'ll need to be a librarian here..... has the Full Story


Library Web Suit Revived

SF Gate has a story on a woman whose 12-year-old son downloaded pornography at a CA public library, has reinstated her lawsuit that would require parental consent for minors to access the Internet at libraries.

\"We have to do a little more to protect children from themselves than to protect adults from themselves,\"

UPDATE from SF Gate. Hearing Was Held.
A panel of three justices of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco did not indicate when or which way it would rule. But one justice noted that a Virginia library was subjected to a successful suit when it blocked pornographic access and was ordered to reinstate full access.


Becoming Digital

Diane Writes:This month\'s issue of Geotimes has a one page (p.5) comment from Sharon N.
Tahirkheli on \"Becoming Digital\" that is most intersting. She\'s Director
of Information Systems for the American Geological Institute.

She discusses the fact that some digital archivers consider adding only
originally digital material to their databases, ignoring digitised print
A quote: \"When libraries decide to eliminate unused books, it\'s called
weeding. Perhaps we\'re on the verge of weeding by default.\"


The Eclectic Journal

Gerry McKiernan writes:

Based upon a review of E-journals for my new Web
registry, EJI(sm)
I have concluded that the present-day
"Electronic Journal" is evolving to become what I call
"The Eclectic Journal".

By the "Eclectic Journal", I mean a Web-based resource
that at its core provides access to e-journals that offer not
only the conventional content of a digital form of a journal but
also provides or permits interaction with novel and innovative
_features and functionalities_ (e.g., reference linking, cross-publisher
searching, page customization, open peer review, etc.) _AND_
novel and innovative _content_ (e.g., e-Books, pre-publication
history, electronic discussions, translation services, e-prints,
bibliographic databases, etc.)

FCC Seeking Comment on CIPA

Just got this one off of Slashdot

The FCC is seeking comments on CIPA.
Thave several issues they are seeking comments on, see: for the issues they have.

Best way to contact them is through the web based form they have at:
Docket # is - 96-45, you\'ll need it for the FCC form.


John Gilmore on Content Protection

As seen on the Freenet page and elsewhere, this essay by John Gilmore (of the EFF) explains why you should care about the efforts of industry to protect content through arbitrary technical means. Read it and send a copy to your colleagues. :)



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