Technology

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

Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California

In November, researchers at UC Berkeley will begin a three-year project to restore and translate thousands of century-old audio recordings of Native California Indians. The collection was created by cultural anthropologists in the first half of the 20th century and is now considered the largest audio repository of California Indian culture in the world.

Nearly a third of the 2,713 recordings come from Ishi, the storied last member of the Yahi tribe who lived the last years of his life inside the University of California’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Ishi died in 1916 from tuberculosis. He was 54 years old.

From Restoring the Long-Lost Sounds of Native American California | The California Report | KQED News

Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

The new rules for exemptions to copyright's DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

From Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses | Electronic Frontier Foundation

LibraryBox offers users a chunk of the Splinternet

One of the pioneers is LibraryBox, an open-source hardware and software project put together by Jason Griffey, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

The box is a low-powered Wi-Fi router that can be run from a solar panel, battery or even a bicycle charger. Users can copy material from the internet, including entire websites, on to an attachable USB stick, then broadcast it to nearby users.

From LibraryBox offers users a chunk of the Splinternet | The National

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