We're heading Straight for AOL 2.0

The biggest internet players count users as their users, not users in general. Interoperability is a detriment to such plays for dominancy. So there are clear financial incentives to move away from a more open and decentralized internet to one that is much more centralized. Facebook would like its users to see Facebook as ‘the internet’ and Google wouldn’t mind it if their users did the same thing and so on. It’s their users after all. But users are not to be owned by any one company and the whole power of the internet and the world wide web is that it’s peer to peer, in principle all computers connected to it are each others equals, servers one moment, clients the next.

From We're heading Straight for AOL 2.0 · Jacques Mattheij

The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences

Abstract: This article is a short (well, not that short) summary of our experiences in writing a free online text book known as Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (OSTEP for short, and sometimes pronounced "oh step"). It has been developed by myself (Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau) and my wife (Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau) over the past many years while teaching CS 537, the undergraduate Operating Systems course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The chapters of the book have been downloaded over 1/2 million times since 2012, and the web page for the book has been viewed nearly 3 million times in the past year, including a recent burst thanks to Hacker News and Reddit. In discussing our experiences, we make the case for Free Online Books (FOBs) - a now-serious alternative to classic printed textbooks.

From The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences with "Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces" | From A To RemZi

How To Secure Your Library's Social Media Presence

The ALA lost control of its Facebook page over the weekend so this seems like a pretty good time to review IT Security! Any size small or midsized organization is difficult, if not impossible to secure. It's very easy to overlook things and leave ourselves vulnerable to things like this.

Who/Why: That person that did it, it's probably their job. They're most likely professionals, either they get paid by others, or this is the life they've carved out for themselves. If you're lucky enough to have a considerable numbers of followers/friends, you'll be a target eventually. Chances are good it's not personal, it's just business. These people are probably just trying to make money. It may also be you're just a small step in a much larger campaign.

How: Mostly likely one of three ways. One of the people with the login credentials gave it away. Either they had their email account compromised, or maybe one of their devices was hacked. It could be someone used an infected public network and gave it away without knowing it. It could be someone was “spear fished” and replied to an email that looked like it came from someone else. Maybe someone lost a password in another compromise and that same password was reused.

Review Your Settings: Take a look at all the security and privacy settings. Now. And again every few months. Facebook has an especially wide range of settings you can change. Those controls are all there for you to limit risk, control who can see what on your profiles, and make things better for you. There are settings in there to help you recover from a comprimied account as well.

Passwords: Make them LONG, at least 20 characters. Make sure you know who has access and how they are storing those passwords. Every single accounts needs a long, strong, unique, rare password. Better yet, a different email account for every account as well. Change that password monthly. Checkout all the different password managers out there, I use LastPass, but there are many more.

Be suspicious: Funny looking emails or links in social media are DANGEROUS. If you're not 100% sure of the source, either ask or just hit delete.

Stay in control: Know who in the library has access to what. Your library needs to have control over who is posting what. The more people that have logins, the less secure things become. Try HootSuite or other managers and you can give access without giving away the credentials.

Who and what else has access: Check those 3rd party apps that have been authorized and make sure you know what they can do and why. Get rid of everything you don't need.

Know what to do if your account is compromised: Both Twitter ( And Facebook ( have pages devoted to this.

Lending Wi-Fi Program Chips Away at Digital Divide, For Now

The hotspot lending program means that, for a lucky few, going online no longer requires signing up to use a library computer a day in advance, lurking on the steps of public libraries after hours, or spending money at a coffee shop or fast food joint just to get a Wi-Fi password.

From Lending Wi-Fi Program Chips Away at Digital Divide, For Now


Prominent Features of Rumor Propagation in Online Social Media

Abstract: The problem of identifying rumors is of practical
importance especially in online social networks, since information
can diffuse more rapidly and widely than the offline
counterpart. In this paper, we identify characteristics of rumors
by examining the following three aspects of diffusion: temporal,
structural, and linguistic. For the temporal characteristics, we
propose a new periodic time series model that considers daily
and external shock cycles, where the model demonstrates that
rumor likely have fluctuations over time. We also identify key
structural and linguistic differences in the spread of rumors
and non-rumors. Our selected features classify rumors with
high precision and recall in the range of 87% to 92%, that is
higher than other states of the arts on rumor classification.


Doing Data Science at Twitter

One important lesson I learned at Twitter is that a Data Scientist’s capability to extract value from data is largely coupled with the maturity of the data platform of its company. Understand what kind of DS work you want to get involved, and do your research to evaluate if the company’s infrastructure can support your goal is not only smart, but paramount to ensure the right mutual fit.

From Doing Data Science at Twitter — Medium


Welcome to the Speakularity, Where Everything You Say Is Transcribed and Searchable

We are going to start recording and automatically transcribing most of what we say. Instead of evaporating into memory, words spoken aloud will calcify as text, into a Record that will be referenced, searched, and mined. It will happen by our standard combination of willing and allowing. It will happen because it can. It will happen sooner than we think.

From Welcome to the Speakularity, Where Everything You Say Is Transcribed and Searchable

Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens

Thanks to technology, we’re reading more than ever—our brains process thousands of words via text messages, email, games, social media, and web stories. According to one report, the amount people that read tripled from 1980 to the late 2000s, and it’s probably safe to say that trend continues today. But as we jam more and more words into our heads, how we read those words has changed in a fundamental way: we’ve moved from paper to screens. It’s left many wondering what we’ve lost (or gained) in the shift, and a handful of scientists are trying to figure out the answer.

From Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens | Co.Design | business + design

Human Curation Is Back

With search engines, we see a different kind of curator: algorithms. Indefatigable, capable of sifting through literally unimaginable amounts of data, algorithms have been proffered as an inexpensive, comprehensive, and impartial way to curate news, music, video — essentially everything.

From Human Curation Is Back | Monday Note


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%.



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