Internet

On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

One of the leading contenders in the race to replace Google Reader is the recently relaunched Digg Reader. The man behind the effort is CEO Andrew McLaughlin. A former vice president of Tumblr, he also served as the White House's deputy chief technology officer and headed up global public policy at Google. As Wired magazine puts it in a recent profile, "Dude has bona fides."

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A Librarian Sets Us Straight

For years, thousands of children throughout the world have been studying a poem about sunflowers believing it to be the work of the 19th-century poet William Blake.

Reading lists have included it for study, websites have included it in lesson plans and four US state school boards have recommended it to students. There is even anecdotal evidence of one of Britain’s Ofsted inspectors accepting “the fact” of Blake’s authorship of the poem when it was presented to her by a group of young students via a project on their display board.

Now though, after a 12-year misunderstanding which illustrates how effectively the internet can spread misinformation, the record could finally be put straight thanks to the diligence of a Hertfordshire librarian and blogger.

Thomas Pitchford, aka “The Library Spider”, has verified that the poem – “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room” – was written by a 1980s US poet, Nancy Willard, and published in an anthology of hers dedicated to Blake’s work, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.

Story from The Independent.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #247

This week's program brings another retransmission from the Voice of America where the continuing cyber-snooping situation is discussed. Stephen tells a tale of how communications metadata can be used in a benign but contemporary way. A news miscellany is also presented.

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18:47 minutes (10.77 MB)
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No Country for Slow Broadband

The popular story going around about the state of America’s broadband networks is almost entirely false.

Opinion piece in the NYT

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #245

This special edition discusses the current news of revelations of government acquisition of Verizon cell phone customer call records and discusses some software solutions available for preserving privacy.

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Download here (MP3) (ogg) (FLAC) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

8:04 minutes (7.4 MB)
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Today's digital data could be gone tomorrow

"I'm not blaming Microsoft," said Cerf, who is Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. "What I'm saying is that backward compatibility is very hard to preserve over very long periods of time."

The data objects are only meaningful if the application software is available to interpret them, Cerf said. "We won't lose the disk, but we may lose the ability to understand the disk."

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #242

And we're back. The first episode after the production suspension has a series of brief essays followed by a news miscellany.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Torrent), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

18:24 minutes (8.44 MB)
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Another paywall

YouTube Is Said to Plan a Subscription Option

Newspapers have digital subscriptions. Record labels have iTunes and Spotify. And YouTube is about to have special programming for paying customers.

This week YouTube, the world’s largest video Web site, will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription to their channels. There will be paid channels for children’s programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas, according to people with knowledge of the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had been asked by YouTube not to comment publicly yet. Some of the channels — there will be several dozen at the outset — will cost as little as $1.99 a month.

Full article

Next-Generation Search: Software Bots Will Anticipate Your Needs

Now things have changed. First, and most obviously, mobile devices are everywhere. Second, there are now legions of interesting Web services to automate. The final ingredient is the most important: With the rise of Big Data, there is now enough information available for a software agent to actually use to perform anticipatory actions. In that context, the challenges of applying software agents and artificial intelligence to business solutions is nothing compared to the potential payoff to users.
The combination of automated agents, contextual search and a sea of data from our devices, services and the Internet of Things, search is poised to become vastly more useful and efficient than it already is. The pieces are getting there with agents like Siri and contextual search like Google Now. If it all works as promised, information we need will be delivered to us just when we need it, without our having to invest time and effort looking for it."

Happy 20th Birthday To The WWW!

Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know
Boffinry nerve-centre CERN has attempted to recreate the very first website to mark 20 years since the official launch of the World Wide Web.

It is feared the first ever web page is lost to the sands of time as it was changed daily and any backups are few and far between. However the team has pulled up a snapshot of the very first website dating from November 1992, which the eggheads say "may be the earliest copy we can find". The CERN bods are still hunting around for earlier versions.

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