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A June Miscellany
By Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS
Head Writer, Erie Looking Productions
The Search For Studio Space
With the main move out of the way, we are kinda lacking in studio space. This is why the hiatus is running as long as it is. We are attempting to raise money and are looking at real estate. Three possible partners have been contacted but it is too soon to have heard back from them. There is a building previously used by a Charismatic Episcopal Church for sale that costs roughly ten thousand dollars in the Ashtabula Harbor Historical District. While the building is quite tempting and would make for a lovely base of operations, it is not yet economically feasible to purchase. The local real estate market is in fairly bad shape where there are an infinitesimal amount of properties for rent/lease compared to properties up for sale.
The World Radio Network
A private company based in England, World Radio Network provides transmission services for quite a number of content providers. Considering that some of the content they air is geekier and appeals to a narrower niche compared to LISNews Netcast Network programming, they've been contacted to see what cooperation is possible. We have not heard back yet if there are any opinions positive or negative about the programming we produce.
Voting & Intentional Self-Destruction
Over a year into the presidency of Barack Obama, the economy of the United States is hardly recovered. A meme on conservative websites for a while was to plot against the unemployment change projections of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act what the actual unemployment rate happened to be. That such diverged was mocked. When the divergence was significantly out of line from the projections used to sell what was popularly known as “stimulus”, the laughter turned to grimacing.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was sold as a panacea. There were some fundamental kernels of nastiness deep within the bill that continue to produce unintended consequences. This has been clearly seen in New Jersey where Andy Woodworth has assumed a role akin to a minor prophet of the Old Testament documenting not the decline of ancient Israel but rather the decline of libraries.
It is without doubt that the Recovery Act disbursed money to put people back to work. A trip west from Conneaut to Ashtabula on Interstate Route 90 here shows in fairly graphic detail the impact of money as new lanes are added to the highway. The disbursement of money from the United States Treasury came with strings attached. As there are no free gifts from the federal government to grant recipients, it bears consideration as to the consequences of those strings.
The term “maintenance of effort” sounds more like a euphemism for benign accounting issues. That term is hardly benign. A key condition for quite a bit of education funding and funding for road works was that the states had to agree to sustain funding for those areas at or above a minimum benchmark. Failure to comply with funding above that benchmark would disqualify the state from receiving federal funding in that area for a set number of years. Maintenance of Effort, which a term of bureaucracy, would perhaps more appropriately be termed “Advance Commitment To Spend Certain Funds Without Regard To Changing Circumstances For A Fixed Period Of Years”.
Considering the proportions of state budgets spent on education, road works, and the like it is hardly surprising that governors like New Jersey's Chris Christie have done what they have after their predecessors signed up for stimulus dollars that had strings attached. No powerful lobby acted to get provisions included in the Recovery Act to exempt entities like public libraries, parks, mental health care services, and the like from possibly being cut. With the top-down imposition of spending priorities with draconian penalties attached if a state made cuts, public libraries were among the targets set up with very attractive targets painted on them.
Until the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act expires, libraries are in a bind. Libraries are deemed from the top down to not necessarily be a funding priority. As education matters and road works gobble up quite a bit of state budgets, any growth in their funding consumption will threaten libraries. The Recovery Act insures education and road works will never be cut unless a state had almost a death wish to lose access to federal funding. There are no financial consequences if libraries are dealt budget cuts, though.
In the end, elections have consequences.
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Strangely enough, this week's episode features appearances from all the air staff. We have an essay about practical electioneering with the New Jersey situation in mind that Andy Woodworth has written about. We also feature readings of a "DJ Read Script" that libraries can give to local radio stations to help keep the fire alive from National Library Week. An interview with the leader of Ubuntu Ohio is also presented as the Lucid Lynx release is discussed.
A production hiatus for LISTen is also announced. The target return date for the program is August 23rd. Special episodes will still be released as required, though. Advance warning of special episodes will be posted to the LISNews feed on Identica.
The LISNews notices on Identica
The RSS feed to LISNews notices on Identica
Ubuntu Ohio team
Lucid Lynx release notes
Ashtabula County Board of Elections, where you can learn about the ballot issues referenced
Erie Looking Productions website
The primary contact details for Erie Looking Productions
The secondary contact details for Erie Looking Productions
Stephen is on sick leave from the podcast so I pinch-hit. The zeitgeist is reviewed and I ask a stumper that I seek answers to. Answers to the stumper question should be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org:48 minutes (3.85 MB)
A short episode is presented this week with a zeitgeist recap. The team is hunkering down to prepare the LISNews Bulletin for release at Computers in Libraries 2010. As such there will be no episodes on April 12th and April 19th. LISTen #114 is provisionally scheduled for April 26th.
E-mail the producer with questions about the LISNews Bulletin
Shortcut to join the LISNews Bulletin's Patrons Page
One of the novels being read currently at The Sheffield Field Activity
Another novel currently being read at The Sheffield Field Activity
Yet another novel currently being read at The Sheffield Field Activity
This week's episode brings a zeitgeist check for stories and blog posts, an essay on price versus value, and a miscellany review.
Feed aggregator known as "rawdog"
BBC cuts to radio drama due to labor costs
Monitoring Times on shortwave's importance
Radio station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado
Neil Stevens at RedState about net neutrality and broadband roll-out
VLink project at the University of Waterloo
KeyLink technology in VLink
Andrew Nusca on bad user interface design
The Commodore 64 rides again
News Corp to start charging for online access to the Times
Forth Magazine on numbers stations
First we have a word from producer Gloria Kellat:
Folks! The team behind LISTen is getting set to bring you a print supplement to LISNews. Would you like to immortalize yourself in the very first LISNews Bulletin? Since we are trying to raise capital to cover printing costs so that we can give out the Bulletin as a free market test at Computers in Libraries 2010, we are putting together a patrons page. For USD$10 you can be listed as a supporter of an offline counterpart to LISNews. With just 10 patrons we can have 70-100 copies of the Bulletin to give out at Computers in Libraries 2010. For more details please contact me at email@example.com before April 1st and make sure you put "Patron Page" on the subject line.
And now back to the regularly scheduled show post...
Recognizing that Health Care Reform is dominating the news in North America and squeezing out other news channels, we have a miscellany this week in addition to leaking more details about what this LISNews Bulletin is envisioned to be.
What on earth we were referring to as to the posting time
The Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License
Jessamyn West on her bridging the Digital Divide presentation
Access to the slides from Jessamyn's presentation
PDF of the essay on online censorship
Dan Lynch on the Digital Economy Bill
BBC News on Chinese fears of intimacy between Google and the US Government
Declan McCullagh on the toning down of the cyber-security bill before the US Congress
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Pennsylvania municipalities going bankrupt
Room of Infinite Diligence relative to New Zealand filtering
This week's podcast took a different operational stance in recording. Instead of the usual cassette deck, we shifted instead to a reel-to-reel system:
If you click the picture above you can see a larger version of that snapshot. The computer pictured functioned essentially as an overgrown cart machine. This week's episode was recorded on a 1978 TEAC 3340S deck at 7.5 ips on normal bias. The other deck we were working with was intended to give more of a 1970's audio vibe but the recorded results sounded like chipmunks on a methamphetamine binge.
News was slow this week and budget constraints dictated that South by Southwest Interactive was not happening for the air staff. A miscellany is presented as well as a zeitgeist review.
National Bookmobile Day
Omeka in the Cloud
StatusNet Cloud Service Enters Public Beta
LISNews Pinger On Identica
LISFeeds Pinger on Identica
John C. Dvorak on the media dead pool
Whitney Georgina Hess on learning leadership
The Register on the Ubuntu theme makeover
The Register on BBC cuts -- Read More
This week's episode brings word of a developing story relative to the logistics back-end to interlibrary loans in the United States as well as discussion of the digital divide from a practical perspective. The BBC World Service is used as the example in the essay.14:20 minutes (5.75 MB)