Technology

Bleak future looms if you don\'t take a stand

Bleak future looms if you don\'t take a stand.

1. Do you care if a few giant companies control virtually all entertainment and information?

2. Do you care if they decide what kinds of technological innovations will reach the marketplace?

3. Would you be concerned if they used their power to compile detailed dossiers on everything you read, listen to, view and buy?

4. Would you find it acceptable if they could decide whether what you write and say could be seen and heard by others?\"

You think filters are bad?
It\'s Only getting Worse.

Forbes interview with John Seely Brown

steven bell writes \"Forbes has a good, if brief, interview with John Seely Brown, co-author of The Social Life of Information. Brown was asked his opinion on whether print books will be replaced with electronic ones. Here is part of what Brown had to say. \"A book lets you skim through it, rapidly thumbing through the contents. The design of the book, the heft, the paper, tell you a lot. Right now we have no idea of what the affordances are with e-books. Eventually we\'ll find them.\"

Read the interview
\"

If you\'ve never read The Social Life of Information stop what you doing now and go read it.

Library uses homegrown DSL for branch

Someone writes \"The Twinsburg Public Library, Ohio, just installed a dry copper line between their branch and the main building. This is the equivalent of a DSL line at $20 a month. What makes it interesting is their SysAdmin is a Linux protegee trying to keep the local monopoly at bay. His story is posted Here, fore those trying to hook a branch to the main buildin for cents on the dollar.

Ask about his use of ThinkNICs as OPAC terminals. \"

Online Reference

LLRX writes \"The Reference Interview Online: A Cyber Dialog From Beginning to End
Robyn Rebollo focuses on the transition from research assignments that were once assigned in-person or by telephone now being processed via email. The online dialogs that result from this process require that that all parties involved provide as much detail as possible to facilitate a successful outcome. See The Full Story \"

Digital Imaging May Unseat Gutenberg

Research made possible by digital versions of the Library of Congress\' copy of the Gutenberg Bible has raised questions about the true origins of movable type:

When people think about the printing revolution, one name comes to mind: Johannes Gutenberg. But what if Gutenberg didn\'t actually invent the revolutionary technique of mass-producing words as we know it today? Scholars will soon get a chance to examine in exquisite detail what is considered the first book printed with moveable type. A project is currently underway at the Library of Congress to digitize its copy of the Gutenberg Bible . . .

Digitization has already allowed scholars to question Gutenberg\'s work. Last year, a pair of scholars used digital imaging and computer analysis to come up with their own conclusions about Gutenberg\'s method. Princeton librarian Paul Needham and scholar Blaise Agüera y Arcas discovered discrepancies between individual letters in Gutenberg\'s work, casting doubts on his techniques . . .

More from Wired.

Digital Domesday Book Lasts 15 Years, Not 1000

From the Guardian, with thanks to Metafilter:

It was meant to be a showcase for Britain\'s electronic prowess - a computer-based, multimedia version of the Domesday Book. But 16 years after it was created, the £2.5 million BBC Domesday Project has achieved an unexpected and unwelcome status: it is now unreadable.
The special computers developed to play the 12in video discs of text, photographs, maps and archive footage of British life are - quite simply - obsolete.

More. As Metafilter\'s commentators have pointed out, this article may be overstating the problem.

A Library as Big as the World

Business Week has This Story on Brewster Kahle, the guy behind Alexa, and the Internet Archive.
Now he\'s trying to develop tools that will make it easier to use the archive to answer involved questions and to expand its content to include digital copies of radio programs, TV shows, and copies of books that are in the public domain.

Of course now it\'s illegal to build a digital library.

Help beta test KeyLogger

Nicholas writes: \"I\'m looking for web sites --both Unix (Linux, BSD, Solaris) and
Windows NT servers to beta test KeyLogger, a very simple
search engine phrase harvesting program, demo at:
www.hastingsresearch.com/software.shtml. Testees get
free installation, PDF user manual when finished (actual literate
documentation), and free upgrades for a year. The program works
fine, I just need to make sure it\'s bulletproof, and get more feedback
for the user manual.

Putting Books Online for the Visually Disabled

Gary Price passed along This One on a nonprofit technology developer, has come up with a book-swapping website that is working to put books on line.


\"
Imagine spending hours tediously scanning hundreds of
pages and converting them to a special digital file every time you wanted
to read the latest bestseller. (Not to mention the cost of the scanner
itself.) Until now, many who are visually impaired have resorted to just
that. Less than 5 percent of books are available in Braille or audiotape
formats, by some estimates. But Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit
technology developer, has come up with Bookshare.org, a book-swapping
website that brings more than 10,000 books to people with visual disabilities.\"

Why Your Digital Data Could One Day Disappear


HBS Working Knowledge
has an Interesting
Story
that says data stored on discs and other
forms of
computer storage are anything but permanent. Worse,
companies that don\'t work to preserve digital data now
might face a dark future, says Harvard Medical School
professor Bryan Bergeron in this excerpt from
Dark Ages II: When the Digital Data Die.

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