LISNews Netcast Network

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #92

This week's episode talks about two proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission that librarians have an interest in. Other notable headlines are also discussed. Related links: Daylight Savings Time Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Net Neutrality (PDF File)

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #91

This week's episode contains an interview with web celeb Cali Lewis about blogging today and recent rumblings from the Federal Trade Commission about disclosures bloggers must make. Related links: Cali Lewis on Twitter GeekBrief TV The Blog of Cali Lewis Linux Outlaws LISNews Account Registration

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #90

This week the podcast originates from our Ohio team. First up is a miniature installment of Tech for Techies where we discuss why you should not take LISTen #89 as a blueprint for your own endeavors. After that there is discussion of Google Books, Google Groups, and "Institutional Attention Deficit Disorder". The episode wraps up with a multi-faceted business statement.

An Ill Wind Blows

7 October 2009

There is a film titled "A Mighty Wind". It is a great film in the genre of the mockumentary. Unfortunately this piece is not about that film. Instead we get to talk about mighty winds.

Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, northeast Ohio was battered with high-velocity winds. Wind gusts were estimated at points around forty-five miles per hour. Rain was scattered. Branches were felled by this mighty wind. This was something that would lead into something worse.

I was already woke up once by the whistling winds outside my bedroom windows. After I caught another two hours of sleep, I woke up to find a lack of power. The first priority, though, was to secure down the facility in light of the winds. This meant running around locking up the barn, checking on the corn crib that doubles as the "cat house" and more. The barn cats were no dummies and seemed to fly inside as soon as a door was opened.

After waiting a while in case the power outage was transient, we departed for somewhere with power. This part of Ohio has two seasons: "snow" and "not snow". It was getting cold and when we called the outage in to First Energy we were not even given an estimated time of restoration.

The outage pointed out some problems. First and foremost, my battery-operated transistor radio worked fine. I could hear WWOW's morning program just fine. The time signal on shortwave from WWV was still audible. Computers in the house were fancy-looking door stops. Laptop batteries have a particular mean time between failure and unfortunately some batteries were miserable failures. Desktops could not be fired up without electricity. The Apple portable media player had a decent battery charge but it was preserved for as long as possible.

While we went driving, we saw what looked to be part of the problem. Kingsville Township Volunteer Fire Department was out responding to a downed electrical line. The line was sparking and the field it was being buffeted around in due to the high winds bore scorch marks from the fires it started. This felt all too reminiscent of the huge outage in 2003 that covered a significant chunk of the northeastern United States as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. In that case a tree that fell started a cascade that wiped out power to many.

For librarians, this presents some interesting points. While the data cloud might be proposed to be a great tool, it would have been a miserable failure in the face of a power outage. If a Kindle were possessed on the farm it would have been useless for downloading as Sprint has no coverage at the farm. Although news was just released that AT&T will be eventually providing data coverage for Kindles, that would still not help here. Power had to be shepherded in battery operated devices as there was no way to know when service would be restored. That would wipe out any hope of mobile broadband or similar backstops for accessing the cloud. Thankfully the backup power supplies at the cell towers were intact long enough to call in outage reports but I would not have pushed my luck in seeking data through those means.

This was a case where books won out. Candlelight or the light from a hurricane lamp would be sufficient provided I could find my glasses. Analog tools like that did not need power to operate and would have carried through.

Fortunately the outage only lasted a few hours and service was restored for us by the early evening. Not everybody in northeast Ohio affected by this have seen service restored yet. This does leave an issue for librarians to ponder. While issues like irregular power are normally thought of as things happening to the poor abroad, what happens when the homeland does not seem as impervious to such problems? How do you plan effective information access over digital means in light of such?

Creative Commons License
An Ill Wind Blows by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #89

The big networks have contingency plans with alternate studios. When ABC cannot produce evening news in New York, a back up is available in London. When our eastern US operating site isn't able to act, our western US site can sometimes take action. Through a great degree of improvisation this week's podcast was presented by our western engineer, Mike Kellat. First up we go through the zeitgeist review. Secondly we talk about the post-tsunami situation in American Samoa while mentioning one local religious group that is taking action. So far no needs have been heard from the territory's two lending libraries although one was within the immediate target area of a wave. The two elders who oversee Tafuna Church of Christ are respectively the territory's Chief Forester and a former head of the local bar association. Their mailing address mentioned in the episode is: Tafuna Church of Christ P.O. Box 326 Pago Pago, AS 96799-0326 Their contact telephone number is +1 684 699 8763. Their contact e-mail is [email protected] Be forewarned that even though the territory is a US jurisdiction calls to it are often billed on par with international calling. For cell phone users in the United States, expect the cost per minute for calling to range in dollars per minute. Skype is preferable for making contact. After that we take a look at the report of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. The report was released on Friday on a day normally known for bad news being buried. The episode wraps up with a miscellany of nuggets. Related links: Profile America Script Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy Knight Commission's Report Referenced post by Henry Jenkins Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #162 Reuters on talks between Comcast and NBC Universal CNET on talks between Comcast and NBC Universal Adrian Kingsley-Hughes on Amazon deletion policy David Bigwood on web services reliability Larry Dignan on Earthlink's plan to speed up dial-up

Hyperlinked History- Explosive Information

Hyperlinked History is back with a new episode in the continuing online documentary series!

Join Daniel Messer, The Faceless Historian, and go on a journey from the depths of space right into your own computer. Along the way you'll play a game, read a mystery, and get a little bit mystical. It's a circus of history and you're invited!

Check out the latest episode.

Update: I just confirmed that the video issue on iPods is fixed, so you can now sync the video to your iPod, iPod Touch, Nano, or whatever else works through iTunes. If you'd like to go that route, feel free!

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #88

This week's episode brings a discussion of the digital divide. The discussion is meant to start discussion about the issue while pointing out links to further non-LIS discourse in the matter. Some thoughts are thrown out at ways to bridge the digital divide that might involve materials reformatting.

A LISTen Special: Kiwi Surprise With A Side Of Buckeye Candy

Welcome to a LISTen special! First up we hear from Brenda Chawner of the School of Information Management at VUW about Software Freedom Day in Wellington. After that we discuss some pending legislation relative to newspapers in the United States. Related links: Profile America's script Bio page on Brenda Chawner IRS 501(c)(3) compliance guide

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #87

The news stories this week are not that major. This happens when the national debate on health care reform sucks the oxygen out of the arena. The podcast brings a headlines service this week of things you might have missed. Later this week there is planned to be a special episode in the aftermath of Software Freedom Day. Related links: Script of the Profile America piece Blog post by Room of Infinite Diligence on TANSTAAFL Professor Adler on USA Patriot Act Renewal Reuters on FCC & Net Neutrality Royal College of Psychiatrists against "thinspiration" sites The Register on Botnet Clean Up Zack Whittaker on whether or not Internet filtering does more harm than good Dent on by Fabian about gPodder News post at gPodder on the new version Daily Telegraph on atheists having more success in online dating

Filing documents on time

I rarely, if ever, get to write about government documents. This is one of those times.


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