Libraries

George Orwell's 1984 Is Now the #1 Bestselling Book on Amazon

George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, has suddenly surged to the very top of the Amazon’s bestseller list. Though first published in 1949, it’s back with a vengeance. And George only has the new administration to thank.
From George Orwell's 1984 Is Now the #1 Bestselling Book on Amazon | Open Culture
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The Internet Is a Lot Bigger Than Wikipedia

The Internet Is a Lot Bigger Than Wikipedia “But we need Wikipedia for an overview of the topic!” the students yell from the back of the room. I mean, sure. I’m a student too and I get it. Wikipedia is a great way to get a very brief overview of the topic and introduce key terms and topics. You may find, however, that specific Wikis with different content guidelines provide better coverage of your specific topic. For example, individuals interested in sustainability studies may find Appropedia a better resource than Wikipedia. Try searching your general area of study + “wiki” to see if there is a similar online encyclopedia for your topic.
From Ugh, Still Using Wikipedia? These Alternatives Are More Reliable
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Librarian's list of 'predatory' journals reportedly removed due to 'threats and politics'

“Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, has decided to no longer maintain or publish his research or blog on open-access journals and ‘predatory publishers,’” the spokesperson said. “CU Denver supports and recognizes the important work Professor Beall has contributed to the field and to scholars worldwide. CU Denver also understands and respects his decision to take down his website scholarlyoa.com at this time. Professor Beall remains on the faculty at the university and will be pursuing new areas of research.”
From Librarian's list of 'predatory' journals reportedly removed due to 'threats and politics'
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St. Louis Public Library regains control after ransomware attack

From the article:

After working on the problem through the night, tech experts regained control of the server, Jen Hatton, PR and content manager, said Friday.

She said the staff would work to restore checkout capabilities, which are handled by an outside vendor. As of 7 p.m. Friday, checkout and computer services remained suspended.

The library did not pay the ransom demanded by hackers and reported the attack to the FBI, Hatton said.

More from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber”

There are several things going on here: first, what is the “talking rubber” technology? After talking to several historians of science and technology, I’m pretty sure it’s not a term that ever caught on. But it turns out that’s because this actual technology never caught on; although on first glance, this ad seems to describe magnetic tape—the technology behind cassette and VHS tapes—“talking rubber” describes actual rubber, not tape! In 1952, The Bell System Technical Journal chronicled “a magnetic recording medium composed of rubber impregnated with magnetic oxide and lubricant,” that was “particularly suited to applications requiring the continuous repetition of short transcribed messages.”
From A really obscure forgotten audio format: “Talking rubber” | Ars Technica
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STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack

Jen Hatton, PR manager for the library system, says a hacker organization has blocked their server and is demanding tens of thousands of dollars to release their computers back to them. The attack has affected all 700 computers at 16 library branches. No library visitors can currently use the computers until the problem is solved. The library's technology staff is working with the FBI.
From STL Public Library hit by ransomware attack | KSDK.com
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In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline

In an era of extensive building and remodeling, the state Department of Education reports drops in the number of visits, registered users and loans of material. 
From In a glitzy era for libraries, core mission shows signs of decline - StarTribune.com
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How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories

"What cannot be automated is the understanding of the implications of these findings for people," said Dr. Tom Lansdall-Welfare, who led the computational part of the study. "That will always be the realm of the humanities and social sciences, and never that of machines."
From How a computer sees history after "reading" 35 million news stories
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SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate

But here’s the thing: The characters will probably be white. Despite a push by book lovers for more ethnic diversity in published books, library shelves have remained largely uniform, with white authors penning tales about white people, statistics show. Those books fail to reflect the rich diversity of San Francisco, and point to a persistent problem across the country, librarians say.
From SF Public Library’s quest to put diversity on shelves - SFGate
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Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals

The bar is a result of the Gates Foundation’s policy in support of open access and open data, which was first announced in 2014 but came into force at the beginning of 2017. “Personally, I applaud the Gates Foundation for taking this stance,” says Simon Hay, a Gates-funded researcher who is director of geospatial science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington. “The overwhelming majority of my colleagues in global health and fellow Gates grantees with whom I have chatted are highly supportive of these developments,” he says.
From Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals : Nature News & Comment
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