Technology

Computers Get Busy for National Novel-Generating Month

Last month nearly 200 entries turned up in a strange event on GitHub challenging programmers to write computer code that can generate 50,000-word novels. “The only rule is that you share at least one novel and also your source code at the end,” posted the event’s organizer, Darius Kazemi, who’s been staging “National Novel-Generating Month” every November since 2013.

From Computers Get Busy for National Novel-Generating Month - The New Stack

Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you’re already using it.

In a televised address on Sunday, President Obama even alluded to the issue, saying he "will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice." And now, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is calling for a commission on encryption and security threats.

So let's take a step back and talk about this technology and why it's in the spotlight.

From Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you’re already using it. - The Washington Post

Newspaper archives reveal major gaps in digital age

In-depth interviews about the archiving practices at nine legacy newspapers and one born-digital publication reveal that legacy newspapers maintain archives of their print editions in paper, microfilm and PDF versions. Archiving of Web-only content and multimedia elements, however, is spotty or nonexistent. The public has limited or no access to digital photo and graphic archives at most newspapers.

From Newspaper archives reveal major gaps in digital age

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Will a Nebraska community tech center force us to consider libraries without books?

With a $7 million investment, an Omaha foundation hopes to make technology as readily available as books to the public in a unique new library.

From Will a Nebraska community tech center force us to consider libraries without books? | netnebraska.org

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The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps

I’m not talking about basic literacy. What has become exceedingly scarce (and therefore, valuable) is the physical, emotional, attentional, and mental capability to sit quietly and direct focused attention for sustained periods of time.

From The Secret Power of ‘Read It Later’ Apps — Forte Labs — Medium

This is how to store human knowledge for eternity

So, where and how should we store humanity’s knowledge for posterity? There is one way: use the fundamental code of life itself. Researchers Robert Grass and Reinhard Heckel of ETH Zurich in Switzerland believe you could fit all the data on Facebook and Wikipedia into a few droplets of liquid; all of civilisation’s knowledge could exist within a few cubic metres. Watch the video at the BBC to find out how.

From BBC - Future - This is how to store human knowledge for eternity

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Researchers study motivations of open-source programmers

It seems illogical for software developers to give away their skills and efforts from an economic point of view. The authors hypothesized that a different set of motivations was required for the successful development of such a large software environment. They sent surveys to about 4,300 software package developers, and ultimately received around 764 responses.
Analyzing the collected data, the authors concluded that hybrid motivations and social characteristics were broadly responsible for the success of the R project. Hybrid motivations refer to both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations; among R project developers, purely intrinsic motivations like personal satisfaction and purely extrinsic motivations like receiving compensation were found to be less important.

From Researchers study motivations of open-source programmers

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Some Thoughts On Digital Objects and ArchivesSpace

The digital object component records might also include extent information, more specific rights information, or...???

It's been exciting to think about the possibilities of ASpace's digital object record, but the fairly wide-open nature of the endeavor is also daunting, as there's no established best practices to fall back on.  What do you think?  How are (or would) you proceed?  We'd love to get your feedback and/or reactions!

From ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace Workflow Integration: Digital Objects and ArchivesSpace

Digitizing The World's Libraries Using Smartphones

What if we crowd sourced the work of digitizing libraries? Instead of libraries relying exclusively on dedicated staff who sit at specialized machines costing tens of thousands of dollars and scanning just a few books a day, what if we empowered ordinary smartphone-wielding citizens around the world into a vast army of volunteer book scanners?

From Digitizing The World's Libraries Using Smartphones - Forbes

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How eBay's CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility

A user interface control not only needs to look like a certain control, it must be described as that control too. Take for example a button, one of the simplest of controls. There are many ways you can create something that looks like a button, but unless you use the actual button tag (or button role – more on roles later), it will not be described as a button.

Why does it need to be described as a button? Users of AT (assistive technology), such as a screen reader, may not be able to see what the control looks like visually; therefore it is the job of the screen reader to describe it aurally. A screen reader, such as VoiceOver for Mac OSX and iOS, can do this job only if we, the developers, ensure the correct semantics are present in our HTML code.

From How Our CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility | eBay Tech Blog

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