Technology

Don't Write Off Paper Just Yet

Discussion on the demand for paper in our digital world. The need for certain paper has even risen. The author of the book On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History makes a few comments and a graph in the story shows that the demand for book paper is down over 30%.

http://www.npr.org/2015/05/26/408794149/dont-write-off-paper-just-yet

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Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet

Facebook's Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there's a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.

From Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The internet is running out of room – but we can save it

The meeting sparked headlines warning of a "full" internet and the potential need for data rationing, but the reality is more nuanced. The crunch is real, caused by fast growth of online media consumption through the likes of Netflix and Youtube, but physics and engineering can help us escape it. The internet just needs a few tweaks.

From The internet is running out of room – but we can save it - tech - 15 May 2015 - New Scientist

The race to preserve disappearing data

THE IRONY of Cerf’s concern is that the digital age is anything but dark. We are in the era of big data, exploding with exponentially more bits and bytes each year. By one back-of the-envelope estimate, the number of digital photos we snap in two minutes exceeds all the photographs taken during the entire 19th century. Faster computing speeds; sensors on our phones, cars, and transit systems; and falling costs of technologies to sequence genomes and launch satellites contribute to the data deluge. We’re entering the era of the “Internet of Things,” in which virtually any object or organism on the planet could one day collect and transmit data.

From The race to preserve disappearing data - Ideas - The Boston Globe

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What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS EFF

Librarians have long understood that to provide access to knowledge it is crucial to protect their patrons' privacy. Books can provide information that is deeply unpopular. As a result, local communities and governments sometimes try to ban the most objectionable ones. Librarians rightly see it as their duty to preserve access to books, especially banned ones. In the US this defense of expression is an integral part of our First Amendment rights.

From What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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The Anti-Information Age

Two beliefs safely inhabit the canon of contemporary thinking about journalism. The first is that the Internet is the most powerful force disrupting the news media. The second is that the Internet and the communication and information tools it has spawned—like YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook—are shifting power from governments to civil society and to individual bloggers, netizens, or citizen journalists.

It is hard to disagree with these two beliefs. Yet they obscure evidence that governments are having as much success as the Internet in disrupting independent media and determining what information reaches society.

From The Anti-Information Age - The Atlantic

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Three Emerging Digital Platforms for 2015 | Fail!lab

‘Twas a world of limited options for digital libraries just a few short years back. Nowadays, however, the options are many more and the features and functionalities are truly groundbreaking.

From Three Emerging Digital Platforms for 2015 | Fail!lab

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Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.

From Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links - 28 February 2015 - New Scientist

Is there a library-sized hole in the internet?

David Weinberger is senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and has been instrumental in the development of ideas about the impact of the web. Shortly before his recent keynote presentation at OCLC’s EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Florence, he spoke with Sarah Bartlett about the library-sized hole in the Internet and how a ‘library graph’ might help librarians to fill it.

From Is there a library-sized hole in the internet? - Research Information

Is Google's algorithm making the web stupid?

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

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