Submitted by Blake on February 8, 2000 - 11:49am
Freedomforum.org, which is always a great resource for IF and censorship news, has a Story from the filtering front.
The House Public Utilities and Technology Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would block state funding to any public library that does not restrict minors from accessing obscene material.
The sponsor, state Rep. Marlon Snow, R-Orem, the bill is intended to ensure that children are not viewing obscene material, intentionally or unintentionally, at the public library.
Submitted by Steve on February 8, 2000 - 11:48am
Read this story Here. From ABCnews.com.
In America’s schools these days, students can learn more than the usual reading,writing and arithmetic. They can find out the benefits of asbestos insulation, the geography of
the U.S.S.R. or how man will someday walk on the moon.
Submitted by Blake on February 8, 2000 - 11:13am
Publishers Weekly has a very short Blurb on the groups rallying for Hary Potter.
A number of industry organizations are beginning to rally to the defense of the Harry Potter titles, which, according to the American Library Association, were the most frequently banned books last year.
The focal point for the industry initiative is the actions taken last November by Gary Feenstra, the superintendent of Zeeland, Mich., public schools, who prohibited the Potter titles from being read in classrooms and limited access to the books by placing them in the school library where students could only check them out with parental permission. In addition, Feenstra ruled that the district would not buy any forthcoming additions to the series.
Submitted by Blake on February 8, 2000 - 10:59am
First Monday, \"A Peer reviewed Journal\", has a short study on how people search. See it HERE,
This paper presents findings from a study of how knowledge workers use the Web to seek external information as part of their daily work. Thirty-four users from seven companies took part in the study. Participants were mainly IT specialists, managers, and research/marketing/consulting staff working in organizations that included a large utility company, a major bank, and a consulting firm.
The research presented here suggests that people who use the Web as an information resource to support their daily work activities engage in a range of complementary modes of information seeking, varying from undirected viewing that does not pursue a specific information need, to formal searching that retrieves focused information for action or decision making.
Submitted by Blake on February 8, 2000 - 10:52am
SFGate has an interesting opinion piece on the future of the newspaper.
Irony abounds today in the newspaper industry. I\'m convinced that its ink-on-paper product -- the one you\'re likely holding in your hands now -- is doomed. Yet this is hard for most people in my business to imagine, because net profit margins are a healthy 10 percent and ad revenues are booming.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 9:52pm
Ian Macintosh writes: \"tSA Consulting Pty Ltd, based in Canberra, Australia, has announced the release of Klarity (www.klarity.com.au
Klarity is a software program developed to automatically categorise documents based on the concepts found in the text.
Klarity is made available as an API, ready to incorporate into business systems. \"
I played around with the Demonstration online with mixed results. What\'s cool is it also works with the seldom used DC meta tags, which are an OCLC idea.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 9:40pm
Andrew Goodman wrote in to point out an interesting series from Traffick.com \"A Six-part series on innovations in web searching begins this week. At Traffick.com
First instalment is on \"popularity engines.\"
For the next six weeks: (1) popularity engines; (2) better meta-search; (3) meaning-based search; (4) natural language interfaces; (5) on the labor-intensive side, live human help that finds you information while you wait; and finally (6) pay-for-placement search engines.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 6:34pm
YAHOO! was down on
2/7/99 due a denial of service attack.
News.com has The
These pranks have generally targeted much
smaller sites to date. But
Yahoo\'s outage today shows that even Internet giants with
enormous networking resources are not immune from such
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 6:18pm
Maureen writes \"Probe of EBay Hinges On Rights to Data
Territorial Disputes On Web
Saturday, February 5, 2000
One of the fundamental issues of the Internet--the property rights of those who compile vast data storehouses on the global network--is now under scrutiny by lawmakers, regulators and the courts. \"
...the company\'s \"senior intellectual property counsel,\" Jay Monahan, acknowledged yesterday that the company has had \"some discussions with staff at the Justice Department regarding eBay and the online trading business generally.\" The company suggested that Justice was doing the bidding of Bidder\'s Edge and other competitors.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 6:13pm
Maureen writes \"Madam Cybrarian - Article from the Washington Post
, Sunday, February 6, 2000
\"She\'s a \"cybrarian,\" in charge of a \"cybrary\" that aims, among other things, to help young students become as comfortable downloading information from the World Wide Web as their parents were taking notes from an encyclopedia on 3-by-5 index cards. Around the region and the country, school libraries like hers have become focal points of the effort to bring education into the digital age.\" \"
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 6:02pm
Slashdot has a great letter entitled
Your Rights Online: Open Letter to the Family Research Council. It\'s a great resource for everyone interested in filtering.
It includes a great list of links to the best resources on filtering.
\"I spent much of my presentation talking about the size of the Internet and why most blocking was done by robots. Then I spent several minutes just listing some of the sites found blocked in some of our earlier studies at the Censorware Project.
Then I turned to the keyboard to illustrate some bad blocks. I ran out of time before getting to most of them. Some I did show but so quickly that many of those watching may not have realized what was going on. \"
Submitted by Steve on February 7, 2000 - 5:55pm
Have a look Here. From the Contra Costa Times.
In the basement of the California State Library, among
historical archives on everything from bandits to the Gold Rush, sits an unlikely collection of art -- haiku art.
In fact, it\'s the nation\'s official haiku archive, and it\'s growing, despite the fact that a couple of Ivy League schools think Northern California is an odd place to house it.
Submitted by Steve on February 7, 2000 - 5:38pm
Read about J.k. Rowling\'s on-line visit to Avondale Elementary School Here. From the Birmingham News.
Last week when young fans of Harry Potter books at Avondale Elementary School wanted to learn how the characters got such odd names they turned to their neighborhood public library.
Instead of flipping pages in books, they gathered in clusters around the library\'s public computers for an
online visit with author J.K. Rowling.
Submitted by Steve on February 7, 2000 - 5:25pm
Read about this possible solution Here. From the Tacoma Washington News Tribune.
To offset budget cuts, Tacoma Public Library branches in East, Central and South Tacoma may lose materials but gain literacy and career-training programs.
Administrators say this \"magnet library\" concept would help avoid closing branches. Four of the system\'s sleepiest libraries - King, Mottet, South Tacoma and Swan Creek - would devote more space and materials to themes such as literacy or computers and drop some of their collections aimed at the general public.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 2:35pm
The Buffalo News, here in Buffalo, NY, has quite a Front Page Story, on privacy in the information age.Most well informed people already know, you have very little privacy anymore. The problem with this story, however, is they imply that the information the public library is somehow equal to the information contained in any number of commercial or medical databses. The first picture from the headline is even a book being checked out.
Is anyone bothered by this? While they don\'t come out and say it, it is implied that library records are somehow public information, or the records are sold.The public library is mentioned with a Video Store!
\"She stops at the library for a book, or the video store for a steamy movie and computers record those transactions.\"
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 2:10pm
Thursday, February 3, 2000; Page B02
The director of Prince George\'s County\'s library system has been placed on
paid administrative leave while library officials investigate his job
performance and whether he made a racially insensitive remark last month,
sources with knowledge of the probe said yesterday.
For full story:
The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 1:04pm
The Age, in AU has an interesting Story HERE on Harry Potter.
The on-line bookshop Amazon.com publishes an ongoing bestseller list of the books most in demand by its readers at any given moment. It makes fascinating reading, listing as it does hundreds of thousands of books in order of their popularity. At present, number one on the list, narrowly beating Delia Smith and Frank McCourt, is one of J.K. Rowling\'s Harry Potter books. It is the fourth volume in the series. There\'s only one thing about this that might cause the eyebrows to raise a little. The fourth volume of Harry Potter hasn\'t been published yet, and won\'t be until July. Amazon\'s bestseller, in short, is a book that doesn\'t exist.
But the world of these books is thin and unsatisfactory, their imagery is derivative, their characterisation automatic, and their structure deeply flawed.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 1:00pm
Robert Kent sent this press release in from The Friends of Cuban Libraries.
On February 3, as foreign publishers made travel plans to attend the
Havana International Book Fair (February 9-15), the Friends of Cuban
Libraries released an Open Letter to the publishers signed by more than
thirty authors. The letter, entitled \"Book Fair or Carnival of
Persecution?,\" urges publishers at the Fair to make protests to government
officials against the \"scandalous\" repression of Cuba\'s independent
librarians, whom the authors describe as \"the only librarians in the world
who are being subjected to systematic persecution.\"
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 10:50am
The Pittsburg Post Gazette has a Story here on the university of Pitt\'s practice of not providing those benefits is the subject of a lawsuit by seven current and former employees.
A group representing University of Pittsburgh librarians is calling on the university to begin extending health insurance to domestic partners of its gay and lesbian employees.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2000 - 10:46am
Chris Rodas writes \"Yahoo Health
Summarizes an article from PEDIATRICS about a study done in Italy on the accuracy of medical information on pediatric health sites.
Kind of scary!
\"Of the 19 Web pages that contained information on cough in children, 10 pages received a negative score for the quality of health information supplied because they contained more incorrect than correct information. None of the pages fulfilled all the criteria, five pages didn\'t show the name of the author, and only two pages revealed the date the information was last updated, which is important to include because rapid changes in health care recommendations make frequent updates necessary.\"