News

Government Web sites attacked; N. Korea suspected

Their missiles aren't quite reaching the U.S., but North Korea is making its best efforts to get to us, this time by hacking.

BBC reports that a widespread computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of the Treasury Department, the Secret Service and other U.S. government agencies, according to officials inside and outside the government.

Sites in South Korea were also affected, and South Korean intelligence officials believe the attack was carried out by North Korean or pro-Pyongyang forces.

The U.S. government Web sites, which also included those of the Federal Trade Commission and the Transportation Department, were all down at varying points over the holiday weekend and into this week. South Korean Internet sites began experiencing problems Tuesday.

U.S. officials refused to publicly discuss details of the cyber attack that slowed down and, in some cases, shut government websites, including the site of the presidential office, for several hours.

Kit Hadley Named Director of Saint Paul Public Library

Hadley directed the Minneapolis Public Library system from 2003-2007. When MPL and Hennepin County Library merged, HCL director Amy Ryan assumed leadership of the new 41-library system (Ryan left HCL in 2008 to head the Boston Public Library system; Lois Langer Thompson is the current HCL director).

Hadley's new position is effective August 3. [Read story at Library Journal]

Google Apps Are Out of Beta

After more than five years of sporting a BETA tag, Gmail and all the other Google Apps have been deemed ready for prime time. Google software has become a trusted part of millions of lives but all of them: Calendar, Chat, Docs, and more have worn the beta tag ever since opening to the public.

Obviously, this doesn't mean that Google is going to just stop working with these web applications and they're already hinting at new improvements that are soon to come.

More from the Official Google Blog.

"Persepolis 2.0": Panels from Persepolis Remixed to Illustrate Iran Election & Protests

Payman and Sina have taken images from Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and remixed them with new captions and dialogue to illustrate the day before and the first few days after the election in Iran. Much attention is paid to social media's role in organizing and supporting protesters: Persepolis 2.0

How to get your name in the paper.

First. Be clever. But more importantly, be clever in a way that the reporter wants. How do you know what she wants? You don't. So be clever, and lucky, and maybe you'll get your name in the paper.

Back in May, I saw that USA Today had a request for story ideas called "status envy" on how people can post more interesting items on their Facebook and Twitter pages. I emailed this:

When you leave people out of the loop by posting, "now that's what I'm talking about" without letting us know what the hell you're talking about.
Or using microblog slang that I don't understand; or just posting, "watching House." Although "watching White House" might be interesting; or "watching Obama in White House from crawlspace in ceiling" would be really interesting.

and later that day, I had this message from their reporter:

Hello, thanks for message! I'm the reporter working on the Status Envy story and would like to use some of this - can I call you to confirm it's from you and get your details (age, occupation, town you live in, etc.)? If so, please call or email me your contact number.
Thanks much!
USA TODAY

I didn't believe she was an actual reporter; but phone calls are cheap, so I called her back. Now, here comes the interesting part:

She asked me how old I was, and when I told her just how ancient, she followed with, "Oh, then you're new to all this social networking stuff?" -- Read More

Ohio Governor Proposes Slashing Public Library Funding

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has proposed cutting Ohio Public Library Fund by a jaw dropping $227,000,000 in his biennium budget. This could possibly cause the closure of many libraries relying solely on state support. Ohio is home to many of the nations highest ranked and rated public libraries.

More information is available in an article on the Library Journal website.

City Of Detroit Spending Money Meant For Libraries

It's bad enough that libraries are in the financial situation they are today, but it only makes it worse when they wind up fighting their city government for money that's supposed to be theirs.

Such is the case in Detroit where the library learned that the City of Detroit is spending money out of the library's fund. The Detroit Public Library is a separate municipal tax corporation and the use of it by the City not only raises ethical questions, but several legal ones as well. Even worse, the library found out about this practice the same time Detroit Public Schools learned that the City has been dipping into their equally separate tax fund.

Since July 1 of last year, the City spent around $6.2 million in money that didn't belong to it. Library Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch said:

"It's horrible, and it's illegal. There's a piggy bank that our money is supposed to be in, and the city is basically going into our piggy bank to pay their bills."

The City's misuse of money garnered the attention of the State Legislature and an investigation may be launched.

More from Detroit Free Press.

Sex Monster Looks for 'Easy Targets' in Library

I don't know what to say. Just read the article and you won't know what to say either. Sex Monster Looks for 'Easy Targets' in Library.

Library and Archives Canada restricts access for music encyclopedia workers

Researchers working for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (EMC) have had their open access to Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa revoked due to security concerns.

Those working for EMC have had an office in the library's building in downtown Ottawa since the encyclopedia project began 30 years ago.

EMC editor in chief James Marsh told the newspaper that his staff are not a security risk: "I told [the archives] … I'll gladly submit my people to the RCMP."

Marsh says things were going well until archives head, historian Ian Wilson, was replaced three weeks ago by Daniel Caron, a civil servant.

More from the CBC and the Globe and Mai.

President Obama Requests $265,556,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services

From the press release at IMLS:

"Washington, DC—President Obama has requested $265,556,000 for fiscal year 2010 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The request, which was transmitted to Congress today, represents an increase of $1,453,000 over the FY 2009 enacted level for the Institute’s programs and administration. The proposed budget will support museums and libraries as they provide unparalleled value to the public, fuel knowledge sharing, and energize our economy, creativity, and competitiveness.

'We are pleased to have President Obama’s support for the nation’s museums and libraries,' said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director of IMLS. 'With this proposed budget, IMLS looks forward to continued support of these institutions as they connect people to information and ideas.'

The President requested $213,240,000 for the nation’s 123,000 libraries.

[click to continue reading release]

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