Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2015 - 6:36pm
In Is Google making the web stupid?, Seth Godin suggests that the declining prominence of organic results in Google searches is significantly to blame:
If you want traffic, Google’s arc makes clear to publishers, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Which is their right, of course, but that means that the ad tactics on every other site have to get ever more aggressive, because search traffic is harder to earn with good content. And even more germane to my headline, it means that content publishers are moving toward social and viral traffic, because they can no longer count on search to work for them. It’s this addiction to social that makes the web dumber. If you want tonnage, lower your standards.
(Don’t miss the cited Aaron Wall article as well.)
From Google and blogs: “Shit.” – Marco.org
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2015 - 12:54pm
This new wiki is composed of a server and a client written in CoffeeScript. The server is a minimal persistence engine that's designed for scenarios ranging from laboratory control systems to academic server farms. The pages it stores contain only JSON, rendered by the client, which does most of the work. Two JSON objects comprise a page: the story (a set of items) and the journal (which remembers how items were added, edited, moved, or deleted). You add items to the page by means of plug-ins that inject paragraphs of plain text, HTML, or markdown, as well as images, video, equations, raw data, charts, and computations.
From Wiki creator reinvents collaboration, again | InfoWorld
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2015 - 12:53pm
It’s their very detachment, what you might call the cold-bloodedness of science, that makes science the killer app. It’s the way science tells us the truth rather than what we’d like the truth to be. Scientists can be as dogmatic as anyone else — but their dogma is always wilting in the hot glare of new research. In science it’s not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe.
From Why science is so hard to believe - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2015 - 10:03am
Google Research, Google’s portal to the academic world, is making major investments right now, building up an innovation and research program dedicated to the nascent collection of products and technologies collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT). It's created a research grant program called Open Web of Things to attract talent to the company, as well as to fund and give technical support to promising research groups in academia. The application process is now closed, and Google will choose the recipients by this spring.
From Google's Secret Weapon In The Battle For The Internet Of Things: Academia | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 9:56pm
Data breaches increased 49% with almost 1 billion data records compromised in 1,500 attacks in 2014 – a 78% increase in the number of data records either lost or stolen in 2013, a new report by digital security firm Gemalto said. The Netherlands-based firm said about 575 million records were compromised in 2013.
Identity theft was by far the largest type of attack, with 54% of the breaches involving the theft of personal data, up from 23% in 2013.
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 8:29pm
I went on to teach Shakespeare’s Othello, Emerson’s Self-Reliance, and other classics with the same fervor. Although James didn’t always seem engaged, many of my students were. So when you are determining what to teach this Black History Month, by all means, teach Baldwin and Wright and Ellison and Hurston and Walker and Hughes and Morrison and Brooks and Angelou—but don’t do so in isolation. Teach Lincoln on his birthday this February, and read from Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama this President’s Day. Black history, after all, is American and world history.
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 8:26pm
That got me wondering about a great library experience. We librarians would always wish for our library-using community members to tell their friends and family – especially the ones who don’t use the library – about their (hopefully great) library experience. Word of mouth marketing can’t be beat – right. How do other people react to those library stories? If librarians better understood the impact of people sharing their library stories would it change anything about the way we approach the delivery of the library experience?
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 7:14pm
Philadelphia—a city whose school system ranks among the nation's worst—has a major reading problem on its hands. On Sunday, Philadelphia Inquirer's Kristen Graham reported that the city’s school librarian population has dropped by an astonishing 94 percent since 1991. Twenty-four years ago, there were 176 certified librarians throughout the city’s 218 schools—there are now 11. This comes on the heels of the city's 2013 closure of its top schools’ libraries—victims to an unmerciful budget crisis.
From Philadelphia's Librarian Dilemma - Pacific Standard
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 3:57pm
The crucial element in libraries getting involved in 3D printing is that it is free. While it’s not so hard to get your hands on or get to a PC or printer, it is for most people nearly impossible to get to a 3D printer or, even further, to buy their own. Affordability in general is one of the biggest issues with 3D printing — and while desktop 3D printers are becoming more and more affordable, there is still expense involved, not to mention software, materials, and maintenance. Many individuals want to try their hand at the new technology, and prefer to dip their toes in gingerly at first before diving head — and wallet — first into the maker movement. With a learning curve associated with digital design and 3D printing, libraries offer a great benefit, doing what they do best: offering a safe, quite haven for learning.
From US Libraries Begin Offering Free 3D Printing to Public Amidst Learning Curves and Legal Questions - 3DPrint.com
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 3:55pm
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 3:28pm
All of this is a reminder of one of the core principles of modern communication: that nothing is private on the Internet. But it also raises a question about the real nature of the privacy threat. Law enforcement requests are only part of the picture. The NSA, for instance, has used Facebook in its plans to hack computers on a mass scale, according to The Intercept. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg put it in a blog post last year: "This is why I've been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the U.S. government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."
From Uncle Sam and the Illusion of Privacy Online - The Atlantic
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 3:25pm
"We have virtual customers now. So people that are coming to just utilize our downloadable materials … don't even need to walk in anymore," said Cindy Kolaczynski, district director and county librarian.
From Phoenix libraries chasing vanishing readers online
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 3:24pm
I want a world of people who do what Yeon-mi Park did. After escaping North Korea, she “read and read and read, even when I didn’t know what I was reading.” She read Orwell, too, and found that “it made complete sense to me. I was still so angry and hateful at this time because of the way I’d been treated.” Reading Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, she says, taught her compassion to balance that anger.
From Save Little Free Libraries from Uncultured Killjoys
Submitted by Blake on February 15, 2015 - 10:43am
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a fantastic, touching speech about why online privacy matters
History has shown us that sacrificing our right to privacy can have dire consequences. We still live in a world where all people are not treated equally. Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion, or love who they choose. A world in which that information can make the difference between life and death. If those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right of privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money, we risk our way of way of life. Fortunately, technology gives us the tools to avoid these risks and it is my sincere hope that by using them and by working together, we will.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-on-online-privacy-2015-2
Submitted by Blake on February 14, 2015 - 10:54am
At least 500 classical books, which were stolen from Italian libraries three years ago, were returned by German authorities on Friday. Polish Renaissance mathematician, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Italian physicist, Galileo Galilei, authored some of the books that are worth over 2.5 million euros.
The books were seized at an auction house in Munich, Germany.
Submitted by Bearkat on February 13, 2015 - 8:17pm
Many times, these (abandoned) buildings will just sit there untouched and slowly fall into ruin. They are often covered in graffiti, decked in spider webs, and they look like something out of a horror film...McAllen is a town in the southern section of Texas that saw one of its Walmart locations go out of business and sit idle for many years. After the store shuttered, it eventually fell into the property of the city, and the decision was made to turn the building into a public library.
Submitted by Blake on February 13, 2015 - 8:43am
Research is inherently collaborative with the sharing of information and expertise essential to advance our collective understanding and knowledge. STM would like to make sharing simple and seamless for academic researchers, enhancing scholarly collaboration, while being consistent with access and usage rights associated with journal articles.
Submitted by Blake on February 13, 2015 - 8:36am
Submitted by Blake on February 13, 2015 - 8:32am
Vint Cerf, a "father of the internet", says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost.
Currently a Google vice-president, he believes this could occur as hardware and software become obsolete.
He fears that future generations will have little or no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he describes as a "digital Dark Age".
Submitted by birdie on February 12, 2015 - 10:03am
Be on the lookout says CNN:
The suspect is furry. Only a couple of feet long. Two big teeth. And, it would seem, he has it in for the people of the American Northeast. He's Punxsutawney Phil, and he's a wanted groundhog, according to police in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
Fed up with the more than 4 feet of snow their region has gotten this winter, police issued a tongue-in-cheek arrest warrant for the notorious whistlepig.
"We have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty," the department posted on its Facebook page. "He told several people that Winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!
"If you see him, do not approach him as he is armed and dangerous," the department said. "Call Merrimack Police, we will certainly take him into custody!"
Phil isn't the only groundhog with a record this year. Wisconsin's version of Phil, Jimmy, bit the mayor of Sun Prairie this month, according to CNN affiliate WISC.