Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 1:40pm
The findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center highlight how this is a crossroads moment for libraries. The data paint a complex portrait of disruption and aspiration. There are relatively active constituents who hope libraries will maintain valuable legacy functions such as lending printed books. At the same time, there are those who support the idea that libraries should adapt to a world where more and more information lives in digital form, accessible anytime and anywhere.
From Which Americans Use Libraries and What They Do There | Pew Research Center
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 10:58am
After a year, you go to “inactive” status and begin getting emails saying the library misses you. These alone have brought back 13,000 people so far, Anderson said. Interestingly enough, the library’s found that the No. 1 thing inactive users do first is to actually go into a branch and check out a book.
More granular demographic clusters include “dependables,” or heavy users, “rising stars,” or children who check out books regularly, “audiophiles,” who use audiobooks, or “bedtime stories,” or people checking out a lot of fiction/nonfiction books.
The data project coincides with a special advertising campaign the library is introducing this fall. Beginning this month, the library will have billboards on I-77, I-85 and Independence Boulevard, each for eight weeks at a time.
From How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library convinced 13,000 people to come back - Charlotte Agenda
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 10:55am
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 10:22am
An extensive archive from comedian Jerry Lewis' career, including rarely seen films, long-lost TV recordings and home videos, will have a new home at the Library of Congress, curators announced Monday.
The collection includes thousands of documents and recordings. Lewis is donating some items, while others are being purchased by the library from his personal archive. Some materials will be available immediately to researchers in Washington.
From Jerry Lewis career archive enters the Library of Congress
Submitted by Blake on September 15, 2015 - 8:29am
federal law protects some of your email from government snooping without a warrant. But it doesn’t protect your email if it’s been left on a server for too long, and, worse, it doesn’t protect your metadata—information that can get you arrested and prosecuted, that can reveal intimate secrets about you, and that would expose the entire network of people you talk to. On Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to address the first problem, but reform efforts in both houses of Congress have largely passed over the second issue. In dodging the problem of metadata, legislators have missed the forest for the twigs.
From ECPA reform: The 1986 email privacy law might finally get updated.
Submitted by Blake on September 14, 2015 - 2:45pm
In an opinion (PDF) published this morning, the three-judge panel found that Universal Music Group's view of fair use is flawed. The record label must face a trial over whether it wrongfully sent a copyright takedown notice over a 2007 YouTube video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song. That toddler's mother, Stephanie Lenz, acquired pro bono counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF in turn sued Universal in 2007, saying that its takedown practices violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
From Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on September 14, 2015 - 10:36am
The United States' excessive copyright terms have led to an orphan works crisis in this country. Tens of thousands of books, films, music recordings, and other cultural works across decades have been made completely inaccessible by copyright's strict monopoly, which can last more than 140 years. That casts a shroud of legal uncertainty over orphan works—works where the author or rightsholder cannot be identified or located—which makes using, preserving, or sharing them risky and essentially renders them culturally invisible and forbidden.
From Users to USTR: Don't Sign Away Our Ability to Fix the Orphan Works Problem | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Submitted by Blake on September 14, 2015 - 9:13am
And even if memory institutions clear copyright hurdles—after countless hours of digital transformations and metadata documentation—they still need to make the sound and video clips findable. Their own online channels stand at odds with other online media platforms in engaging the public. YouTube will inevitably reach more eyes than a little-publicized Library of Congress sub-webpage. If going digital comes with so many caveats, is digitizing a country’s entire audiovisual history ultimately more trouble than it’s worth?
From The Trouble With Digitizing History | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Submitted by Blake on September 14, 2015 - 7:10am
My nominee for the post, and I'm far from alone in saying this, is Brewster Kahle. (Disclosure: He’s a friend.) For the past two decades he's led one of the genuine treasures of our age, as founder and director—he calls himself “digital librarian”—of the Internet Archive. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he's been a founder or co-founder of some of the most path-breaking technology projects in recent times, including the Wide Area Information Server, an early Internet publishing system, and the Alexa Internet catalog system, which he sold to Amazon in the 1990s. His biography is amazing, and his commitment to the public good is inspiring.
From Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive, should be the next Librarian of Congress.
Submitted by Blake on September 13, 2015 - 3:47pm
A lot is known about passwords. Most are short, simple, and pretty easy to crack. But much less is known about the psychological reasons a person chooses a specific password. We’ve analyzed the password choices of 10 million people, from CEOs to scientists, to find out what they reveal about the things we consider easy to remember and hard to guess.
From Unmasked: An Analysis of 10 Million Passwords
Submitted by Blake on September 13, 2015 - 10:03am
The best things in life are free, and libraries offer bountiful proof. Some are destinations in themselves, boasting spectacular architecture, secret gardens, hip lounges and free thrills for the whole family.
From Libraries worth traveling for | Dallas Morning News
Submitted by Blake on September 13, 2015 - 8:34am
So he’s not just sitting around waiting for that to happen. Spanfeller said he’s already looking at potential workarounds, whether that involves hiding content until people turn off their ad blockers (“But we’ll say it nicer than that”) or asking users to pay if they don’t want to see ads. He acknowledged that those tactics might anger readers — but, well, those are readers he’s not making money from anyway, so he’s not sure they provide much value.
“Are people pissed when they walk into a store and they don’t get a car for free?” he asked.
From What We Talk About When We Talk About Ad Blocking | TechCrunch
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 12:14pm
Most of us get to be thoroughly relieved that our emails weren't in the Ashley Madison database. But don’t get too comfortable. Whatever secrets you have, even the ones you don’t think of as secret, are more likely than you think to get dumped on the Internet. It's not your fault, and there’s largely nothing you can do about it.
Welcome to the age of organizational doxing.
From Ashley Madison, Organizational Doxing, and the End of Online Privacy - The Atlantic
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 12:09pm
Shakespeare has not lost his place in this new world, just as, despite the grim jeremiads of the cultural pessimists, he has not lost his place in colleges and universities. On the contrary, his works (and even his image) turn up everywhere, and students continue to flock to courses that teach him, even when those courses are not required.
But as I have discovered in my teaching, it is a different Shakespeare from the one with whom I first fell in love.
From Teaching a Different Shakespeare Than the One I Love - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 10:05am
Open source is the foundation on which the Internet is built. For its continued success, it's critical to incorporate diverse voices and engage people with different experiences, talents, and viewpoints. Otherwise we risk a world of technology created by, and supporting, a non-inclusive and hostile monoculture.
Together we can make things better. OS4W aims to be a resource for connecting all women, including women of color and transgender women, to open source projects that are welcoming, inclusive, and appreciative of diversity in their contributors.
Let's start changing things and making the world of open source a better place for everyone.
From OS4W: Open Source for Women
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 9:43am
Google is working with the social media service Twitter and major news publishers like The Guardian and The New York Times to create a new kind of web link and article storage system that would load online news articles and digital magazine pieces in a few milliseconds, according to several people involved in the project. That is a fraction of the five to 10 seconds it can take to load a typical website.
From Google, Twitter and Publishers Seek Faster Web - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 9:42am
For regular folks, like me that want to make stuff and get work done, it is not an easy feat to do so with 100% privacy. To keep private you should spend a lot of time and work on it to setup and maintain the complicated systems. You have to change burner phones all the time and live like Harold from Person of Interest.
From Is it futile to un-Google? - Tasos Sangiotis
Submitted by Blake on September 12, 2015 - 9:39am
Today, the project sits in a kind of limbo. On one hand, Google has scanned an impressive thirty million volumes, putting it in a league with the world’s larger libraries (the library of Congress has around thirty-seven million books). That is a serious accomplishment. But while the corpus is impressive, most of it remains inaccessible. Searches of out-of-print books often yield mere snippets of the text—there is no way to gain access to the whole book. The thrilling thing about Google Books, it seemed to me, was not just the opportunity to read a line here or there; it was the possibility of exploring the full text of millions of out-of-print books and periodicals that had no real commercial value but nonetheless represented a treasure trove for the public. In other words, it would be the world’s first online library worthy of that name.
From What Ever Happened to Google Books? - The New Yorker
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2015 - 8:58pm
The average scientist is not statistically more likely than a member of the general public to have an artistic or crafty hobby. But members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society -- elite societies of scientists, membership in which is based on professional accomplishments and discoveries -- are 1.7 and 1.9 times more likely to have an artistic or crafty hobby than the average scientist is. And Nobel prize winning scientists are 2.85 times more likely than the average scientist to have an artistic or crafty hobby.
From The Correlation Between Arts and Crafts and a Nobel Prize
Submitted by Blake on September 11, 2015 - 3:00pm
And almost everyone gets it wrong. This is the most remarkable thing about “The Road Not Taken”—not its immense popularity (which is remarkable enough), but the fact that it is popular for what seem to be the wrong reasons. It’s worth pausing here to underscore a truth so obvious that it is often taken for granted: Most widely celebrated artistic projects are known for being essentially what they purport to be.
From Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Is Our Most Misread Poem