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The News-Herald, a newspaper based in Lake County in Ohio between Cleveland and Ashtabula, carries an opinion piece by a philosophy professor at Brown University.
The lead to the piece provides an interesting set-up:
Do you know what your children are doing right now? Would it reassure you to think that they are curled up in the living room, with their noses in books?
It shouldn't. Books pose a major danger to children. Let me count the ways.
On "The Story" - American Public Media
Dick speaks with Brewster Kahle, who is collecting copies of all the books he can from around the world. Some are scanned and put online while others are in storage. His model is the Ancient Library of Alexandria and if someone wants to look at a copy of Euclid's Elements from centuries ago, all they have to do is search the database. You can also read at the Internet Archive a book that Dick’s grandfather wrote.
Download MP3 of the show
Page for the episode at "The Story" website.
The Call of the Future
Now that telephones are virtually everywhere, observed The New York Times, “telephone manners are, quite naturally, becoming equally complicated.” The year was 1986 (when a few people had car phones but the mobile phone was not yet widely distributed). Strikingly, it could have been last week—or it could have been around 1900, when, the German critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin noted, the phone arrived in his Berlin household, with an “alarm signal that menaced not only my parents’ midday nap but the historical era that underwrote and enveloped this siesta.”
EarlyWord (The Publisher | Librarian Connection) has a post telling about how they answered the question - What Does GCB Stand For?
They are reporting that this post has received 89,000 hits.
Our users don’t want most of the things we think they want. Even if you’re an old hand at user-centered design, they will surprise you. (I never saw using the search box to find a database coming.) Interview a variety of different users, and ask smart questions. Use the answers you get to build composite personas of different types of users. Whenever you are stumped about how to get past a design problem, go to your persona. That will help guide you to user-centered thinking.
Google vs. Bing - what's the difference?
And that's the biggest case against switching to Bing. If you're never really going to escape Google - and if Bing is pretty much exactly like Google - what's the point? Yes, Google and Bing are functionally identical. But Bing will need a lot more than parity with the most-popular search engine in the land if it wants people to switch en masse.
People in the Netherlands have reason to celebrate today, following the expected passing into law of new net neutrality regulation. The legislation in question was agreed upon back in June last year, but it's only on Tuesday that the nation's second legislative chamber gave its blessing to the move, making everything official. Under the new law, mobile internet providers like KPN won't be able to charge for access to particular services like Skype or throttle traffic through them — both techniques that the company was intent on using to manage its mobile traffic.
Some exceptional reasons, such as network congestion and security, are allowed for slowing down users' connections, but the general thrust of the law is that operators ought to be blind to the traffic they carry and treat all of it equally. Dutch lobbying group Bits of Freedom also notes that the net neutrality law includes anti-wiretapping provisions, making it unlawful to use deep packet inspection on users' internet communications without their express consent or a legal warrant. All in all, it's a good day for privacy and internet freedom in the Netherlands, now how about we spread the good cheer throughout the whole European Union? [ed- and North America?]
Considering how long Facebook dragged its feet to get into mobile in the first place, the data suggests they will be exactly as slow to change as Google was to social. Does the Instagram acquisition change that? Not really, in my view. It shows they’re really fearful of being displaced by a mobile upstart. However, why would bolting on a mobile app to a Web 2.0 platform (and a very good one at that) change any of the underlying dynamics we’re discussing here? I doubt it.