On March 13th, Google announced that its Reader application would disappear on July 1, 2013. Dan Seifert wrote at The Verge about the matter where it was indicated that Google is doing this as part of a regular service reduction exercise and that Google clims usage of Google Reader has declined. Chris Ziegler later noted at The Verge that this has generated some backlash.
Debian developer Richard Hartmann noted that this shows some of the dangers of relying solely on cloud services. Work is underway to bring the self-hosted reader Newsblur into the JuJu Charm Store for easy deployment to the Amazon Web Services public access cloud to have your own personal web-based RSS reader. The personal cloud platform ownCloud is available with an RSS reader mode added to the latest version. Ars Technica writer Casey Johnston speculates this closure is an attempt to make RSS reading social by moving it into Google+ perhaps.
The situation continues to develop especially as librarians like Michael Sauers explain how to migrate from Google Reader back to Bloglines.
A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain's beleaguered public libraries.
In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: "Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?"
Winterson was referring to the meeting at parliament's public accounts committee last Monday which saw executives from the three companies vigorously quizzed by MPs over their tax affairs, and accused of diverting UK profits to tax havens. Her lecture was to mark the 10th anniversary of the independent charity The Reading Agency, and was attended by fellow authors including David Nicholls, Julian Barnes, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.
Two new developments in the two big cases concerning book scanning and fair use: first up, we've got the somewhat unsurprising news that the Authors Guild is appealing its rather massive loss against Hathitrust, the organization that was set up to scan books from a bunch of university library collections. As you may recall, Judge Harold Baer's ruling discussed how the book scanning in that case was obviously fair use. It was a near complete smackdown for the Authors Guild.
A nice, non-legalese summary of the Google Books story from Read Write Web:
"Google's long-running fight to digitize the world's written works has closed two more chapters, but the story hasn't quite reached the end. Despite stakes that include millions of dollars of ad revenue for Google versus the potential loss of revenue and royalties for publishers and authors, however, the epic saga's climax is turning out to be surprisingly muted.
There are three parts to this story so far, with Google Books the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your point of view) at the center of all of them. Following two separate court decisions this week and last, two of those parts are now concluded, leaving only one more thread of the tale to wrap up."
In an earlier, more innocent era, the shocking rumors about the past of a former first lady of Germany would have stayed put in the drawing rooms of the political elite. Nowadays, they appear unbidden on Google.
Say a schoolchild writing a homework assignment about Bettina Wulff entered her name into the search engine. “Bettina Wulff prostitute,” Google’s autocomplete function would helpfully but perhaps slanderously suggest. “Bettina Wulff escort” would pop up for good measure.
“I was stunned,” Ms. Wulff, who vehemently denied the accusations, told the weekly newsmagazine Stern, one of several publications to feature her on the cover in recent weeks. “I felt powerless and cried a lot.”
Note: Story posted because I am sure there are many librarians that have experienced the oddities of Google auto-complete.
Since Google Scholar launched nearly eight years ago, we’ve been helping people find the research they’re looking for. But often the spark for discovery comes from making a new connection or looking in a direction that you hadn’t yet considered and that -- before your aha! moment -- you wouldn’t have known to look for. Today we hope to start fostering these new connections with Scholar Updates.
We analyze your articles (as identified in your Scholar profile), scan the entire web looking for new articles relevant to your research, and then show you the most relevant articles when you visit Scholar. We determine relevance using a statistical model that incorporates what your work is about, the citation graph between articles, the fact that interests can change over time, and the authors you work with and cite. You don’t need to configure updates or enter any queries. We’ll notify you about new updates by displaying a preview on the homepage and highlighting a bell icon on search results pages:
After years of battling, the fight between Google and the Authors Guild is finally coming to a head, and the Guild has just presented a key piece of evidence, showing what Google’s intentions may have been all along, and possibly blowing up Google's entire case.
How Google Organizes the World: Q&A With the Manager of Knowledge Graph
In May, Google launched a major overhaul of its search results. The Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side of the page displays facts and images about the subject of your query alongside the usual Web results. Google is moving away from basic keyword matching and toward recognizing real-world things and their relationships. We sat down with Emily Moxley, Google's lead product manager for the Knowledge Graph, to learn how Google is tackling this challenge.