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A New Year’s Vision of the Future of Libraries as Ebookstores
As the New Year approaches, I have a vision of the future that brings bookstores to every town and invigorates libraries. In this vision, libraries of the future are our local bookstores. I see a future where libraries let people borrow digital books—or buy them.
What Surveillance Valley knows about you
This isn’t news to companies like Google, which last year warned shareholders: “Privacy concerns relating to our technology could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services.”
Little wonder then that Google, and the rest of Surveillance Valley, is terrified that the conversation about surveillance could soon broaden to include not only government espionage, but for-profit spying as well.
OpenHatch brings open source to campus
Our solution? Open Source Comes to Campus In a Box. We’re carefully documenting every part of our events, from the materials we present to the way we build our publicity websites, from food and space checklists to templates of all the emails we send. Our hope is that local organizers will be able to use our materials to run their own events, as has happened with our Python Workshops.
And no, it's not your library :-)
Today, New York-based startup Oyster is launching the beta version of its iPhone app. (You can request an invite at Oyster’s website). For $9.95 a month, you get unlimited access to the 100,000 titles from a range of publishers, including HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan are so far notably absent from the list of announced partners.) You also see what your friends are reading, get recommendations and staff picks, and find books sorted by curated categories, such as “Sports Stories,” “Business Essentials,” and “Popular Science.” All of this is packed into a highly usable mobile experience.
From The Washington Post: "The Library of Congress no longer needs the computer room that visitors once used to search its electronic card catalogue. These days the entire library has a wireless Internet connection, so workers this summer put a collection of old microfilm machines in that room instead. Meanwhile, the library’s old-school physical catalogues, the kind filled with carefully penned index cards, have long since been relegated to cool basement hallways where schoolchildren marvel at their obscurity. “I told them, ‘Before Google, this is what we used to do,’ ” said Fenella France, the library’s chief of preservation research. “They had never seen [card catalogues] before. Then I was teaching children another day, and I said, ‘Let’s go clockwise,’ and they just looked at me. I said, ‘Oh, no. Didn’t you learn analog?’” These are some of the several quiet moves that hint at much larger changes underway at the Library of Congress." Full Story
Read opinion piece here.
Library web hosting provider LISHost this month launched Library CMS, a modular, Drupal-based content management system template tailored to the needs of library websites. The move follows the March debut of Prefab, a WordPress-based CMS template designed for libraries by user experience (UX) consultancy Influx. Both are offered in conjunction with web hosting and are positioned as affordable, comprehensive website redesign services for individual libraries and small systems.
The NSA Has Some Really Cool Tools:
• XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
How TCP/IP eclipsed the Open Systems Interconnection standards to become the global protocol for computer networking
Beyond these simplistic declarations of “success” and “failure,” OSI’s history holds important lessons that engineers, policymakers, and Internet users should get to know better. Perhaps the most important lesson is that “openness” is full of contradictions. OSI brought to light the deep incompatibility between idealistic visions of openness and the political and economic realities of the international networking industry. And OSI eventually collapsed because it could not reconcile the divergent desires of all the interested parties. What then does this mean for the continued viability of the open Internet?