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The Great Disk Drive in the Sky: How Web giants store big—and we mean big—data
The impact of these distributed file systems extends far beyond the walls of the hyper-scale data centers they were built for— they have a direct impact on how those who use public cloud services such as Amazon's EC2, Google's AppEngine, and Microsoft's Azure develop and deploy applications. And companies, universities, and government agencies looking for a way to rapidly store and provide access to huge volumes of data are increasingly turning to a whole new class of data storage systems inspired by the systems built by cloud giants. So it's worth understanding the history of their development, and the engineering compromises that were made in the process.
The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality
Allen Yu: "While I cheer on the defeat of SOPA-PIPA (copyright is really broken; many also consider SOPA-PIPA to be truly evil), I also have no false hopes that my interests on the Net can be best guaranteed by the likes of Google or Wikipedia or Facebook. For now, I am celebrating RELIEF not FREEDOM ."
Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"
The Daily Show featured not one but two segments on SOPA last night, and with Wikipedia "dark," Jon Stewart had a dickens of a time figuring out just what the hell SOPA means. (What was he supposed to do to learn things, "go to the library like a common masturbator?") And so Stew-Beef reluctantly turned to the "notoriously unreliable news" for answers, discovering, to his horror, that this law could send violators to jail for up to five years for merely streaming copyrighted material.
Peter Murray writes: "The project that I was seeking feedback on over the fall is seeing the light of day. http://foss4lib.org/ is now open for use by the community. For the Code4Lib audience, this mostly means you can create an account, log in, and create content nodes for specific packages, releases, and events. Seehttp://foss4lib.org/content/adding-information-foss4lib for links on how to get started.
For people or organizations that provide support for open source software in libraries -- implementation consulting, hosting, custom code development, training, etc. -- we especially want to encourage you to sign up and post your availability on the site. One of the overarching goals is to promote an ecosystem of open source support providers for packages that are specific to libraries. So we want to make this registry a better place to go to find those support options over a scattershot Google search. Please note that there is one bit of functionality in the registry that is not done right now. Some software packages have well developed lists of providers and institutions that use the software, and we're not trying to reproduce those in the registry. There is a capability coming that will allow URLs to these community lists to override the provider/using-institution functionality of the registry. More on that soon.
Speaking of additional functionality, I am very interested in hearing ideas about how the registry can advance the goal of supporting open source software in libraries. If you have any, feel free to discuss them here or send me a direct e-mail. A press release about FOSS4LIB will be going out in the next couple of hours, and it will include information about one-hour introductory sessions at Midwinter and webinars later in January and February.
Here's the instructions: -- Read More
Is The Web Really Just Links Or Is It Evolving?
A web of links can be limiting when looking at applications. When looking at reading a news story, links make sense, but reading articles is only part of the web. By looking at the data available, we are starting to create a more interactive and informative web. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch thinks this could be moving towards a web of apps, but that post is more focused on mobile apps. As I said previously, mobile apps tend to be limiting in their own ways.
Can First Sale Doctrine exist in a digital age?
If publishers could get together and agree on a service like this which would allow the right of first sale to exist on digital files it would go a long way towards not only adopting digital media but literally "buying" in. This is, of course, assuming you do not already prefer physical books, are not a collector of books and said books are not first editions, signed copies, leather bound, etc. In those instances this discussion is moot.
What do you think about digital books? Would a legal re-selling service make you more likely to buy e-books?
The harm that does to ordinary, non-infringing users is best described via a hypothetical user: Abe. Abe has never even so much as breathed on a company’s copyright but he does many of the things typical of Internet users today. He stores the photos of his children, now three and six years old, online at PickUpShelf* so that he doesn’t have to worry about maintaining backups. He is a teacher and keeps copies of his classes accessible for his students via another service called SunStream that makes streaming audio and video easy. He engages frequently in conversation in several online communities and has developed a hard-won reputation and following on a discussion host called SpeakFree. And, of course, he has a blog called “Abe’s Truths” that is hosted on a site called NewLeaflet. He has never infringed on any copyright and each of the entities charged with enforcing SOPA know that he hasn’t.
Controversial online piracy bill shelved until 'consensus' is found
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.
"While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House," Issa said in a statement. "Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."
Getting serious about SOPA – what librarians need to do
Jessamyn West: "So, I think we need to do a few things: understand how this bill is supposed to work, be clear in our opposition to it as a profession, work with other people to inform and educate others so that people can make their own informed choices. Here is a short list of links to get you started."
A Point of View: Why didn't Harry Potter just use Google?
In a world that is overwhelmed with ways of accessing information, we must decide what to remember and what to forget, says historian Lisa Jardine.
The danger today is rather that we are reluctant to let go of any information garnered from however recondite a source. Every historian knows that no narrative will be intelligible to a reader if it includes all the detail the author amassed in the course of their research. A clear thread has to be teased from the mass of available evidence, to focus, direct and ultimately give meaning to what has been assembled for analysis. Daring to discard is as crucial as safe-guarding, for effective knowledge management and transmission today.