TSA Master Keys, Threat Models, and Encryption

This is the perfect illustration of why security that has backdoors for law enforcement isn’t actually security. Once there is an intentionally created hole in your security strategy, you should assume that anyone that you are attempting to prevent accessing your luggage/email/passwords will ALSO have access to your intentionally created security hole. This is the same concept that Cory Doctorow uses in his condemnation of DRM (you can’t lock something up with a key and then give the key to the person you are trying to prevent accessing your thing) as well as the argument against giving backdoor access keys for encryption algorithms to governmental agencies. It is simply impossible to have security, whether that term is used for physical objects, communication, storage of information, or anything else, and also to have holes intentionally added to the system for the benefit of “the good guys”. Once the key exists, anyone can make their own copy of it.

From TSA Master Keys, Threat Models, and Encryption | Pattern Recognition

Jessamyn West, Technology Lady

Let me just start by saying that Jessamyn West is kind of internet famous. She was one of the original moderators for the community blog Metafilter, which is like the civilized version of Reddit. She was recently contacted by the White House for her thoughts on their choice for the next Librarian of Congress. And she speaks internationally about the digital divide. Talking with Jessamyn is a little like being on a really fast ride at the Tunbridge Fair. In this interview, we sat in her kitchen in Randolph, Vermont, and talked about her passion for public libraries and the role of the modern librarian. We also talked about how different people manage their personal relationships with their personal computers. Welcome.

From Jessamyn West, Technology Lady — Medium


What makes great kids picture books quite so great?

I own all these books, read them to my kids, and had them read to me as a child. They are utterly charming as products and book reading experiences. But it’s only recently I’ve noticed the incredibly clever product design.
In this post I’m going to geek out a bit and consider them as products and explain why they are so clever as a portfolio.

From The Janet and Alan Ahlberg product portfolio teardown — Medium


Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

When you edit Wikipedia to include a claim, you are required to substantiate that edit by referencing a reliable source. According to a recent study, the single biggest predictor of a journal’s appearance in Wikipedia is its impact factor. One of the exciting findings, writes Eamon Duede, is that it appears Wikipedia editors are putting a premium on open access content. When given a choice between journals of similar impact factors, editors are significantly more likely to select the “open access” option.

From Impact of Social Sciences – Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

Publishers Straddle the Apple-Google, App-Web Divide

Apple wants mobile devices to be filled with apps. Google supports a world where people browse the web for most things. Now websites are increasingly caught in the middle of those competing visions.

From Publishers Straddle the Apple-Google, App-Web Divide - The New York Times

Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says

The King James Bible is the most widely read work in English literature, a masterpiece of translation whose stately cadences and transcendent phrases have long been seen, even by secular readers, as having emerged from a kind of collective divine inspiration.

But now, in an unassuming notebook held in an archive at the University of Cambridge, an American scholar has found what he says is an important new clue to the earthly processes behind that masterpiece: the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators who worked on it.

From Earliest Known Draft of King James Bible Is Found, Scholar Says - The New York Times


Metadata that kills

Descriptive metadata is never neutral. It reflects our understanding of our society, and our interpretation of how we think the world should be. It is unavoidably evocative of not just a book, film, or song, but rather the whole society which gave it genesis. When developed, particularly Western, countries wind up determining codes and classifications, a very specific illustration of the world is drawn which is a slim sliver of human understanding of the world.

From Metadata that kills — Medium

Why Do We Love Henry David Thoreau?

This vision cannot survive any serious reading of “Walden.” The real Thoreau was, in the fullest sense of the word, self-obsessed: narcissistic, fanatical about self-control, adamant that he required nothing beyond himself to understand and thrive in the world. From that inward fixation flowed a social and political vision that is deeply unsettling. It is true that Thoreau was an excellent naturalist and an eloquent and prescient voice for the preservation of wild places. But “Walden” is less a cornerstone work of environmental literature than the original cabin porn: a fantasy about rustic life divorced from the reality of living in the woods, and, especially, a fantasy about escaping the entanglements and responsibilities of living among other people.

From Why Do We Love Henry David Thoreau? - The New Yorker


We Say We Want Privacy Online, But Our Actions Say Otherwise

As consumers spend an increasing amount of their time in cyberspace, companies are developing techniques to maximize the marketing capabilities afforded by cookies and other online surveillance tools. Yet companies first need to understand how consumers think about their privacy online, which isn’t entirely rationally. In an upcoming chapter of the Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Psychology, I draw on insights from behavioral psychology and the social sciences to explain the prevalence of the privacy paradox; I have summarized the reasons for consumers’ inconsistent views about privacy below

From We Say We Want Privacy Online, But Our Actions Say Otherwise

Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that Google's massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected infringement claims from the Authors Guild and several individual writers, and found that the project provides a public service without violating intellectual property law.

From Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court | Reuters


Hilarious Tweets for Book Nerds

From Buzzfeed Books.

Happy weekend! Anyone doing the #Deweyreadathon tomorrow?

Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West

"It seems to me the battle for free expression was won 100 years ago," the 68-year-old told an audience at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, under heavy security.
"The fact that we have to go on fighting this battle is the result of a number of regrettable, more recent phenomena."

From Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West - Yahoo News Canada

Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson

From 2011...

You can tell the term still holds some magic for him, perhaps even more so now that it is passing into obsolescence. The opposite is true for ­cyberpunk, a neologism that haunts him to this day. On a short walk to lunch one afternoon, from the two-story mock-Tudor house where he lives with his wife, Deborah, he complained about a recent visit from a British journalist, who came to Vancouver searching for “Mr. Cyberpunk” and was disappointed to find him ensconced in a pleasantly quiet suburban patch of central Vancouver. Mr. Cyberpunk seemed wounded by having his work ­pigeonholed, but equally so by the insult to his home, which is quite ­comfortable, and his neighborhood, which is, too. “We like it quiet,” he explained.

From Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson


Shelf Life: Comics Conning Their Way Into Libraries

This summer, like most summers, I appeared at a few comic conventions. I also appeared at two libraries; not terribly unusual, as I've done a number of library lectures before. But these appearance were actually for comic conventions at the public libraries in Saratoga Springs, NY and Utica, NY.

The connection between libraries and comics is strong and growing stronger. Where comics might have been frowned upon in bygone eras, now many libraries sport well-stocked graphic novel sections. The bond is also expanding to convention-style events held at the libraries, complete with guests, cosplayers, vendors and more.

From Shelf Life: Comics Conning Their Way Into Libraries - Comic Book Resources


Identity crisis: Downtown Omaha library's quest to be welcoming to all makes it unwelcoming to many

Holly Barrett has heard a lot of things on the sidewalk in front of Omaha’s downtown library.

“Hey, pretty lady, can I have your phone number?”
“Can I take you to dinner?”
Barrett said a man who hung out in front of the library’s steps for a few weeks last summer escalated to: “You know I don’t want to rape you, so why won’t you just give me your phone number?”

Barrett, who is the executive director of the Downtown Improvement District and lives downtown, said she walks by the W. Dale Clark Library often, and it’s not a comfortable place.

Full article:


Illegal to film in the library?

Illegal to film in the library? This video raises that question.

Library policies: https://multcolib.org/policies-manuals/behavior-rules-governing-use-multnomah-county-library

Flooding Threatens the NYT Picture Archives

From the New York Times:

A pipe burst in the Times’s morgue which occupies the sub-subbasement of the former New York Herald Tribune building on 41st Street. Morgue manager Jeff Roth is quoted as saying "this was the stuff of nightmares. It’s always been a worry."

Roth stated that most likely 90% of the photos could be salvageable. But it raised the question of how in the digital age — and in the prohibitive Midtown Manhattan real estate market — can some of the company’s most precious physical assets and intellectual property be safely and reasonably stored?

Week in Review photos protected the card catalog.

Here's the popular NYT Photo Archive tumblr account, the Lively Morgue.


Internet Companies: Confusing Consumers for Profit

The ubiquitous blue “Like” or “Share” buttons that you see all over the Internet are hiding an ugly secret. Starting this month, Facebook will use them to track your visit to every Web page that displays the buttons—even if you don’t click on anything. Facebook will use the data it collects to build a detailed dossier of your browsing habits, meticulously logging every site you visit, so it can finally learn those last few details about your life that it doesn’t already know. And there’s nothing you can do about it, short of staying totally logged out of the social media site or tracking down and installing a special browser extension to protect from this kind of sneaky behavior.

From Internet Companies: Confusing Consumers for Profit | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Crowdsourced research: Many hands make tight work

Crowdsourcing research can balance discussions, validate findings and better inform policy, say Raphael Silberzahn and Eric L. Uhlmann.

From Crowdsourced research: Many hands make tight work : Nature News & Comment

The Internet's Dark Ages

It is not just access to knowledge, but the knowledge itself that’s at stake. Thousands of years ago, the Library of Alexandra was, as the astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote, “the brain and heart of the ancient world.” For seven centuries, it housed hundreds of thousands of scrolls; great works of philosophy, literature, technology, math, and medicine. It took as many centuries for most of its collections to be destroyed.

The promise of the web is that Alexandria’s library might be resurrected for the modern world. But today’s great library is being destroyed even as it is being built. Until you lose something big on the Internet, something truly valuable, this paradox can be difficult to understand.

From The Internet's Dark Ages - The Atlantic


Subscribe to LISNews: RSS