China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works

Indeed, China’s Firewall is far more sophisticated and multi-tiered than a simple on-off switch: It is an attempt to bridge one of the country’s most fundamental contradictions — to have an economy intricately connected to the outside world but a political culture closed off from such “Western values” as free speech and democracy.
From China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works. - The Washington Post
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How copyright law is being misused to remove material from the internet

...but censorship using the DMCA is common online. The act allows web hosts a certain amount of immunity from claims of copyright infringement through what is known as the “safe harbour” rules: in essence, a host isn’t responsible for hosting infringing material provided they didn’t know about it when it went up, and took it down as soon as they were told about it. In practice, however, this means that web hosts (and the term is broadly interpreted, meaning sites like YouTube, Twitter and Google count) are forced to develop a hair-trigger over claims of copyright infringement, assuming guilt and asking the accused to prove their innocence.
From Revealed: How copyright law is being misused to remove material from the internet | Technology | The Guardian
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97% of Research Library Searches Leak Privacy... and Other Disappointing Statistics.

Over the weekend, I decided to try to quantify the extent of privacy leakage in public-facing library services by studying the search services of the 123 ARL libraries. These are the best funded and most prestigious libraries in North America, and we should expect them to positively represent libraries. I went to each library's on-line search facility and did a search for a book whose title might suggest to an advertiser that I might be pregnant. (I'm not!) I checked to see whether the default search linked to by the library's home page (as listed on the ARL website) was delivered over a secure connection (HTTPS). I checked for privacy leakage of referer headers from cover images by using Chrome developer tools (the sources tab). I used Ghostery to see if the library's online search used Google Analytics or not. I also noted whether advertising network "web beacons" were placed by the search session.
From Go To Hellman: 97% of Research Library Searches Leak Privacy... and Other Disappointing Statistics.

Retro video games invade space at university libraries

Braydon Beaulieu stares intently at a screen as he plays a game on the Nintendo Entertainment System inside the U of C library. The 27-year-old PhD student wasn't even born when the system was released in 1983. "These things are like ancient artifacts to me, something I would expect to see in a museum, so it is really fun to play them." 
From Retro video games invade space at university libraries - Calgary - CBC News

People are hungry for real bookstores - Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are thriving

Blume doesn’t have to write because, at 78, she has embarked on a new career: she’s an independent bookseller. Together with her husband, George Cooper, she has opened a small, nonprofit bookshop in Key West, Florida, where she’s working almost every day. And she’s loving it. She had planned “to take a gap year” after she finished writing and promoting her last novel, In the Unlikely Event. “I was going to relax and read and have this whole time with no pressure. And then bingo – the chance comes along to open a bookshop, and there you go. I guess I like that in my life … To learn something new like this, at 78, makes it all the more exciting.”
From 'People are hungry for real bookstores': Judy Blume on why US indie booksellers are thriving | Books | The Guardian
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The Delicate Task Of Restoring One Of The World's Oldest Libraries

Called the medina, neighborhood streets lined with domes and archways take you back through the history of the dynasties and occupiers that ruled Morocco from the 9th century on. At the center of the square is the Qarawiyyin Library, founded more than a millennium ago.
From The Delicate Task Of Restoring One Of The World's Oldest Libraries : Parallels : NPR
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Renegade Librarian Jessamyn West On Information, Access And Democracy

Meet Jessamyn West, the radical librarian. She just got a big award from the Vermont Library Association for her role in the selection process for the next Librarian of Congress. She's behind one of the first librarian blogs, she's annoyed the FBI, and she's a crusader for keeping both sides of the digital divide in mind as we move further into the information age. Cory Doctorow of "Boing Boing" has called her an "internet folk hero."
From Renegade Librarian Jessamyn West On Information, Access And Democracy | Vermont Public Radio
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It’s the Data, Stupid: What Elsevier’s purchase of SSRN also means

The data produced by SSRN is not terribly sophisticated stuff: number of papers and authors, number of downloads, number of citations, per paper and per author. Lots of other companies and services attempt to collect the same kind of data. But what makes SSRN specific is that it is a well known node in the network—we might say, in the discourse or mind-space—of social science.
From It’s the Data, Stupid: What Elsevier’s purchase of SSRN also means | Savage Minds

Can text in different colors help you tackle the most difficult books?

Is an annotated version the best way to read The Sound and the Fury for the first time? Not necessarily. It takes away some of the challenge – and reward – of wrestling with the text alone, and it also inadvertently provides spoilers. I found out a major plot line involving Quentin long before I would have worked it out on my own. Colored text itself, on the other hand, feels like a breakthrough for publishing. It's a playful approach perfectly attuned to our era. Learning in general has already moved away from dusty tomes of monochrome text to brighter, shinier and more interactive methods.
From Can text in different colors help you tackle the most difficult books?
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New library shelves 3,400 bottles of wine at Cornell

The newest library on campus contains no books and offers no borrowing privileges. Located in the basement of Stocking Hall, it lacks the soaring windows and grand views of other locations. Students can’t access the library, and since it’s kept at a constant 54 degrees, it would not offer much of a study refuge anyway.
From New library shelves 3,400 bottles of wine | Cornell Chronicle

13 Classic Works of Literature With Upworthy Titles

On a rainy Thursday morning, Contently’s editorial staff cleared our calendars for an hour to dive down the rabbit hole of sensationalism. What we did wouldn’t make any of our old English teachers proud: We retitled 13 classic works of literature and did our best to rid of them of all prestige.
From 13 Classic Works of Literature With Upworthy Titles
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Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age

This would be a source of pure despair if the internet were not also enabling us to see that before it existed we never agreed about anything either. Before the net, what we read and saw was so tightly controlled by cartels of well-intentioned professionals that dissenting voices were barely heard. True, many of those dissenting voices were wrong and sometimes they were spouting lunacy, but we marginalized all but the one percent of the epistemically privileged. We achieved great science but at a high price throughout the rest of the cultural landscape, and sometimes within science, too. This fragmentation of knowledge is a fact that knowledge cannot overcome. How, then, do we best live with it? How do we flourish now that we can’t reason ourselves back together?
From Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age - Los Angeles Review of Books

Archiving a Website for Ten Thousand Years

Hi.co, a website that allows its users to post “moments” with a photo and annotation, plans a similar trip to the distant future. The operators, Craig Mod (who has also previously written for The Atlantic) and Chris Palmieri, announced today that the site will freeze service in September 2016. However, all posts present in the site’s database at that time will be microprinted onto a two-by-two-inch nickel plate. The entire site—2,000,000 words and 14,000 photos—should fit on a single disk. Several copies will be made and distributed across the globe; the Library of Congress has already been secured as a repository. The plates have a lifespan as long as 10,000 years, and they may be viewed with a 1,000-power optical microscope.
From Archiving a Website for Ten Thousand Years - The Atlantic
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Libraries And User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO

However Europe is equally resistant to even discussing copyright limitations and exceptions that don't currently exist in its law, and unfortunately the United States delegation doesn't care enough to push the matter, leaving the heavy lifting to nonprofit stakeholders such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Meanwhile, industry groups refuse to countenance any limit on their own monopoly powers, even when such a limit is plainly in the public interest and addresses a pressing need. For example, libraries and archives seek the legal authority to preserve orphan works, and to source and lend works across national borders, while people with disabilities other than blindness or vision impairment need similar flexibilities to those now extended to print-disabled people.
From User Content Platforms Take the Heat for Artists' Struggles at WIPO | Electronic Frontier Foundation
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Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away

The hysterical cheerleaders of the e-book failed to account for human experience, and publishers blindly followed suit. But the novelty has worn off
From Books are back. Only the technodazzled thought they would go away | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian
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Cancellation of subscriptions to 2,116 Springer journals

“We are trying to best meet the needs of our community despite budget cuts in the last few years, the greediness of commercial publishers, and the weak Canadian dollar,” said Stéphanie Gagnon, Collections Director.
From Communiqué - Cancellation of subscriptions to 2,116 Springer journals - Bibliothèques - Université de Montréal - English Version

Los Angeles Library Shop Reopens

From LAist, the shop at the Central Library, closed since last January has reopened and is a great place to buy everything a booklover wants. Check it out!

How Big Data Creates False Confidence

In the case of language and culture, big data showed up in a big way in 2011, when Google released its Ngrams tool. Announced with fanfare in the journal Science, Google Ngrams allowed users to search for short phrases in Google’s database of scanned books—about 4 percent of all books ever published!—and see how the frequency of those phrases has shifted over time. The paper’s authors heralded the advent of “culturomics,” the study of culture based on reams of data and, since then, Google Ngrams has been, well, largely an endless source of entertainment—but also a goldmine for linguists, psychologists, and sociologists. They’ve scoured its millions of books to show that, for instance, yes, Americans are becoming more individualistic; that we’re “forgetting our past faster with each passing year”; and that moral ideals are disappearing from our cultural consciousness.
From How Big Data Creates False Confidence - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus
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Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You'd be surprised

Given only the above numbers, the hasty conclusion would seem to be that everything is online and nobody uses academic libraries any more.

But not so fast.

Even while circulation and reference transaction numbers were tanking, the data show a steady increase in the number of people actually setting foot in academic libraries.

The cumulative weekly gate count for the 60 largest U.S. academic libraries increased nearly 39 percent from 2000 to 2012. Library gate count data for all U.S. institutions of higher education show a similar (38 percent) increase from 1998 to 2012.

From Has the library outlived its usefulness in the age of Internet? You'd be surprised

André Chiote Reimagines Libraries From Around the World as Minimalist Illustrations

André Chiote’s newest series of illustrations focuses on the unique architectural characteristics of modern and contemporary world libraries. Using the building facades as a starting point, Chiote turns the complex exterior geometries and shadows into more minimalist representations of facilities that include: OMA’s Seattle Public Library, Scmidt Hammer Lassen’s University of Aberdeen New Library, and Dominique Perrault’s National Library of France.

From André Chiote Reimagines Libraries From Around the World as Minimalist Illustrations | ArchDaily

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