On Reading Issues of Wired from 1993 to 1995

In “Scenarios,” a special edition from 1995, the guest editor Douglas Coupland took it upon himself to compile a “reverse time capsule,” which he deemed “not a capsule directed to the future, but rather to the citizens of 1975.” What artifacts, he asked, “might surprise them most about the direction taken by the next 20 years?” Included in the capsule—alongside non-tech items such as a chunk of the Berlin Wall, Prozac, and a Japanese luxury sedan—were a laptop (“more power in your lap than MIT’s biggest mainframe”), an Apple MessagePad (“hand-held devices are replacing secretaries”), and a cellular phone. Scanning my apartment, I can spot progeny of all three. One suspects that, were we to engineer our own reverse time capsule today and ship it back to the citizens of 1995, they might not be all that surprised by the direction we’ve taken. They might think they’d seen this future already—in the pages of Wired.
From On Reading Issues of Wired from 1993 to 1995 - The New Yorker
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The Web’s Creator Looks to Reinvent It

Still, not all the major players agree on whether the web needs decentralizing. “The web is already decentralized,” Mr. Berners-Lee said. “The problem is the dominance of one search engine, one big social network, one Twitter for microblogging. We don’t have a technology problem, we have a social problem.” One that can, perhaps, be solved by more technology.
From The Web’s Creator Looks to Reinvent It - The New York Times
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The Web’s Creator Looks to Reinvent It

Still, not all the major players agree on whether the web needs decentralizing. “The web is already decentralized,” Mr. Berners-Lee said. “The problem is the dominance of one search engine, one big social network, one Twitter for microblogging. We don’t have a technology problem, we have a social problem.” One that can, perhaps, be solved by more technology.
From The Web’s Creator Looks to Reinvent It - The New York Times
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You May Soon Binge Books Just Like You Binge Netflix

But publishing company Farrar Straus and Giroux believes the TV model can lend momentum to a book series. In a move that takes as much from Victorian novels as from limited-run Netflix series, the publisher’s FSG Originals imprint is experimenting with serialized fiction. After releasing Lian Hearn’s fantasy novel Emperor of the Eight Islands in late April, FSG Originals will offer the three remaining books in her Tale of Shikanoko tetralogy—including Autumn Princess, Dragon Child, out today—before the end of September.
From You May Soon Binge Books Just Like You Binge Netflix | WIRED
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With Bookshots, James Patterson thinks he’s invented the “Uber of books”

If short, face-paced novels don’t seem particularly novel, that could be because innovation in publishing doesn’t seem to resonate with readers. Profitable book and reading “disruption” hasn’t born out: Speed reading apps had a moment a few years ago, as did snack-themed ebooks, but neither has stuck. So perhaps Patterson would do best to call these what they are—short, fast reads. If his track record is any indication, he’s sure to sell books.
From With Bookshots, James Patterson thinks he’s invented the “Uber of books” — Quartz
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Interview with a Bookstore: Galiano Island Books, on a tiny Canadian island

The owners of this family-run bookshop on Galiano Island (population 1,258) talk about getting bitten by the ‘bookstore bug’ and surreal customer exchanges
From Interview with a Bookstore: Galiano Island Books, on a tiny Canadian island | Books | The Guardian
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LitHub Launches Book Marks, a Rotten Tomatoes for Books

“Book Marks will help readers find books they will love by giving them access to the critical discourse that is an essential part of our ecosystem,” LitHub executive editor John Freeman said in an announcement. The book reviews come from over 70 outlets—when a book garners more than three reviews, they are aggregated on the site. The Book Marks staff assigns letter grades based on the criticism, which are then published as an average score.
From LitHub Launches Book Marks, a Rotten Tomatoes for Books | | Observer
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Libraries in care homes can improve residents’ mood and memory

A growing number of care homes are discovering that libraries and reading groups can transform the lives of their residents, including those with dementia. Residents at Mayflower Court can join the reading group which meets every Tuesday morning in the library. Former librarian and resident, Pat Marton, runs the reading group. “Reading is a fantastic way to encourage the group to keep mentally active and engaged,” she says.
From Libraries in care homes can improve residents’ mood and memory | Norman Miller | Society | The Guardian
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There's A Good Reason Canadians Won't Give Up Their Libraries 

Perhaps most importantly, libraries provide their programs and services to those who are often marginalized or can't afford to go elsewhere for enrichment. And it's not just knowledge that libraries give to those in need. A pioneer of the sharing economy, the library lending model is expanding to create greater community access to other useful things through innovative initiatives like toy and tool libraries. We agree with Singh that libraries really are a tremendous equalizing force.
From There's A Good Reason Canadians Won't Give Up Their Libraries | Craig and Marc Kielburger
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Wow, Books Inside Books

Check out this article from Smithsonian Magazine which reveals hidden books within the spines of incunabula. Cool!
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Escaping Poverty Through the Library

From Canada's Independent-Newfoundland,Labrador a piece explaining the importance of libraries to the poor and indigent.

The Rise of Plagiarism in the Age of Self-Publishing Books on Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble

Many authors who sell their work directly on platforms like Amazon are having their stories plagiarized, which can take an emotional and financial toll.
From The Rise of Plagiarism in the Age of Self-Publishing Books on Amazon, Google Play, and Barnes & Noble - The Atlantic
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Curbs on free speech are growing tighter. It is time to speak out

Free speech is under attack in three ways. First, repression by governments has increased. Second, a worrying number of non-state actors are enforcing censorship by assassination. Third, the idea has spread that people and groups have a right not to be offended. “Never try to silence views with which you disagree. Answer objectionable speech with more speech. Win the argument without resorting to force. And grow a tougher hide.” http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21699909-curbs-free-speech-are-growing-tighter-it-time-speak-out-under-attack
From Under attack | The Economist
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Robotic librarians hit the books in Singapore

This autonomous robotic shelf-scanning (AuRoSS) platform scans RFID tags on the books and produces a report. In the morning, the human librarians can check the results and can easily see which books are in the wrong spot and where they belong. There's still a need for human labor, but it's far less time-consuming than manually searching every shelf for misplaced titles.
From Robotic librarians hit the books
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The best nonfiction books add up to a biography of our culture

Unlike fiction, nonfiction is not a genre. It’s a headache. Compiling 100 great books of nonfiction in English takes the reader into a universe of titles unrestricted by the limitations of a canon or the strictures of critical theory. Anything goes – so long as it’s in English (once again, to keep things manageable, we have excluded translations).
From The best nonfiction books add up to a biography of our culture | Books | The Guardian
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A guy trained a machine to "watch" Blade Runner. Then things got seriously sci-fi.

Last week, Warner Bros. issued a DMCA takedown notice to the video streaming website Vimeo...Warner had just DMCA'd an artificial reconstruction of a film about artificial intelligence being indistinguishable from humans, because it couldn't distinguish between the simulation and the real thing.

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11787262/blade-runner-neural-network-encoding

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Why Libraries Have So Many Toys

I'd had it. I called my library branch to ask them why on earth they lumped those dingy virus-hosting toys with all the magnificent books. I half-expected to get a nodding librarian on the other end, lamenting the end of childhood imagination and cursing the downfall of humanity as we know it. Instead, I was told this was "a new trend in libraries," and that in my city, upwards of 14 institutions now have similar "play spaces." In fact, many are now loaning out toys like they do books. Fine. But when I asked why the toys were set out in the open, it was as if I asked for documentation to prove elementary school is actually educational. The librarian went on about the importance of play in early childhood learning.
From Why Libraries Have So Many Toys | POPSUGAR Moms
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How Are Libraries Doing Around the World?

The Annual Library Budget Survey, a global study that queries 686 senior librarians about their budget spending predictions for the year, was published last week by the Publishers Communication Group (PCG), a consultancy wing of Ingenta, the self-described “largest supplier of technology and related services for the publishing industry.” The survey found uneven growth expectations for libraries worldwide. For North American libraries, the survey was more cautious than optimistic, with librarians in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico expecting only a 1% increase in budget spending. In other developed or “mature markets,” the report says, growth expectations were negative. In Europe, for example, budgets are expected to fall by 0.1%.
From How Are Libraries Doing Around the World? – Flavorwire
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Literary Dopplegängers and interestingness

I started this post with a few digital-humanities posturing paragraphs: if you want to read them, you'll encounter them eventually. But instead let me just get the point: here's a trite new category of analysis that wouldn't be possible without distant reading techniques that produces sometimes charmingly serendipitous results. I'll call it dopplegänger books. A dopplegänger is, for any world-historically great work of literature, a book that shares many of the same themes, subjects, and language, but is comparatively obscure, not widely read, and--most likely--of surpassingly mediocre quality.
From Sapping Attention: Literary Dopplegängers and interestingness
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DPLA Launches Full Support for HTTPS

DPLA is pleased to announce that the entirety of our website, including our portal, exhibitions, Primary Source Sets, and our API, are now accessible using HTTPS by default. DPLA takes user privacy seriously, and the infrastructural changes that we have made to support HTTPS allows us to extend this dedication further and become signatories of the Library Digital Privacy Pledge of 2015-2016, developed by our colleagues at the Library Freedom Project. The changes we’ve made include the following: Providing HTTPS versions of all web services that our organization directly controls (including everything under the dp.la domain), for both human and machine consumption, Automatic redirection for all HTTP requests to HTTPS, and A caching thumbnail proxy for items provided by the DPLA API and frontend, which serves the images over HTTPS instead of providing them insecurely.
From Digital Public Library of America » Blog Archive » Open, Free, and Secure to All: DPLA Launches Full Support for HTTPS
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