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Things are apparently developing in Egypt. There is an unconfirmed report that Egypt is totally offline. The Electronic Frontier Foundation posted to Identica about a separate report about the Internet being cut off in Egypt. Caroline McCarthy at CNET notes that Twitter is presently being blocked in Egypt. Later reporting by Elinor Mills at CNET notes that blocking is on the rise in Egypt and Associated Press reporters are unable to communicate. Nina Shea at National Review Online's group blog The Corner notes that these reports of disruption are not anomalies which is echoed by Matthew Shaffer there as well. Agence France-Presse notes that cellular telephone service is disrupted in addition to the reports of Internet disruption.
The situation in Egypt, much like the recent case in Tunisia, illustrates fundamental flaws in the nature of Internet access. Even though the system is purportedly designed to route around outages like this, failure seems to be easily caused. In conjunction with the proliferation of computer sound cards and software like fldigi, the deployment of radiofax service by outside powers to distribute information may be advisable. Examples of what this might look like are available online. Though such would have required specialist equipment twenty years ago that method for information distribution can take advantage of consumer-grade computer and radio hardware.
This situation continues to develop...
The Lights Are Going Out by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at erielookingproductions.info. -- Read More
This week's episode contains a replay of the most recent episode of TVO's program Search Engine about the censorship situation in Tunisia. We follow up last Tuesday's release of Search Engine by bringing the story up to date with events that happened since.
Another episode of LISTen will be released late Tuesday night/early Wednesday overnight with content that is more traditional.
The episode of Search Engine being replayed
Ars Technica on Twitter vs. Tunisia
Committee to Protect Journalists on Tunisian Censorship
BBC News reporting on Tunisian censorship...in 2005...
The Voice of America on the Tunisia situation
Story by Aidan Lewis on BBC News about the situation in Tunisia
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news on the ex-President of Tunisia fleeing to Saudi Arabia
France24 on the possibility of more incidents like this
18:12 minutes (7.29 MB)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at www.tvo.org.
This is an artist's illustration of the recently completed Kenmore Library in Brisbane, Australia, which residents are encouraged to utilize to check the internet and recharge their cellphones and laptops during the current flooding crisis.
From the ABC Local station:
"Residents that can get to Kenmore Library are able to access the internet and charge up mobile phones and laptops at this location."
Here is the same library on Library Thing for Libraries.
Art galleries and libraries in Brisbane, Australia, are shifting their collections to upper levels as floodwaters that struck rural areas move toward the city as reported by CBC News.
Waters are rising close to the city's major cultural institutions, including the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland Museum and the State Library.
The library, Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery are close to the Brisbane River, which is expected to reach a flood peak at 5.2 metres sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday.
The art galleries and library have closed and the performing arts centre has cancelled performances. A car park for the cultural institutions is already flooded.
GoMA is currently hosting a summer exhibition, Art In The 21st Century, featuring contemporary art from 40 countries. Doyle said the art in the blockbuster show is not at risk because it is displayed on an upper level.
State librarian Rory McLeod said staff at the library have been quietly preparing for the flood for weeks and have moved collections out of the basement and ground floor.
However, he said, he is concerned that days of prolonged power cuts amid Queensland's summer humidity could result in damage to books and other collections.
"All of us have got climate controlled repositories where they are stored which will retain their ambient temperatures for a while, but after a few days there may be some humidity," McLeod said.
Librarians on bikes, unite! From the website:
We (Finnish librarian Kai Halttunen, Tampere University) – me with a team of keen library lovers – will arrange this tour supported by library associations and collaborators in different countries and I am sure it will be an unforgettable experience for all you who like cycling, get-together and passionate and visionary conversations about a variety of library topics.
Our aim is also to bring libraries, their highly proactive staff and the work all librarians do more to publicity and media. We mean to make this public by using internet and social media and making a documentary about how we handle this challenge of cycling 650 km --from Copenhagen to Berlin in spring-summer 2011 (We leave Copenhagen 28.05.2011 and arrive in Berlin 05.06.2011; 6th and 7th of June we have programme in Berlin).
We all know that good ideas are generated in cafes and hallways and not so much on lecture halls’ benches or somewhere we expect them to generate. That is why we go to this courageous venture of cycling about 10 days together – to see what kind of spectacular performances the library staff can reach if they just wish to. This is a challenge for you, and I hope that you accept it. Let’s go cycling for libraries! The participation is open to all librarians and everybody interested in the field of libraries.
Stay tuned by following this site or our Facebook page.
Kenilworth is a small and historic town in the "green heart of Warwickshire". But they can't afford to keep the front desk of their police station open, so the police are moving into the library.
On Monday February 28, the force is teaming up with Warwickshire County Council and Warwick District Council to provide the services currently available from the front desk enquiry office at Kenilworth police station, from the Warwickshire Direct facility next door. There you will be able to report crime, anti-social behaviour incidents and place lost and found property enquiries.
And borrow books...
With 6500 meals to prepare this week for the largest conference to be held in Dunedin for about three years, University of Otago (NZ) catering staff are busy. Otago U website reports on culinary preparations for the Conference.
They are catering for about 630 at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand's centennial conference - more than 500 delegates and about 90 exhibitors - producing breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas, lunches and cocktail event food.
That included catering to more than 80 vegan, lactose-intolerant and gluten-intolerant people with specialised dietary requirements, University Union general manager Stephen Baughan said yesterday.
The conference, spread over several university lecture theatres, began on Sunday and finishes today.
Another article on the conference profiles a former New Zealand national librarian, Mary Ronnie, now in her eighties, and still doing her Scottish dancing. Ms Ronnie emphasised she was optimistic that public libraries - and books - would still be going strong in New Zealand in another 100 years.
A recent visit to a city public library had confirmed that it was filled with members of the public, and this was a good sign for the future. -- Read More
This week's episode brings some quick hits and references WikiLeaks.
Open Network Libraries project in New Zealand
Reuters on the new WikiLeaks dump
BBC News on the new WikiLeaks dump
Australian Broadcasting Corporation news on the new WikiLeaks dump
Voice of Russia on the new WikiLeaks dump
Archives.gov with a quick overview of the infamous Zimmerman Telegram which helped draw the United States into World War I
News from the mother country, the UK: Writers Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse and Will Self have criticised government cuts that could see up to a quarter of librarians lose their jobs over the next year. Widespread library closures are expected as councils cut their services and look to volunteers in an attempt to balance budgets hit by the coalition's spending review.
Mosse said "frontline support for literacy" was being cut, while Pullman declared that the librarian "is not simply a checkout clerk", and Self condemned the "crude calculus of cost-benefit analysis" involved.
North Yorkshire is considering reducing its 42 libraries to 18 over four years, while Leeds is proposing to axe 20 smaller libraries. Cornwall, Brent, Lewisham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond, Barnsley and Warrington are also planning closures. In Buckinghamshire, 14 libraries could become volunteer-run; in Gloucestershire, 12 will be closed if volunteers do not step forward. Camden, Westminster, Oldham, Southampton and Cambridgeshire are among the councils whose plans include greater use of volunteer staff.
Guardian UK reports.
Portsmouth's UK university library has won a top award for being the best-designed new building.
The eco-friendly building, in Cambridge Road, beat stiff competition to win the first Solent Design Awards.
The inaugural awards scheme tracked down buildings or spaces which have been well-designed and also add value to the community.
One of the city's most eye-catching buildings, Admiralty Quarter, in Queen Street, Portsea, was highly-commended at the award ceremony in Winchester.
University staff received their accolade from famous designer Wayne Hemingway