Tech for Techies

Production Calendar Test

For better or worse an operational calendar is being updated using IceOwl with Google Calendar hosting it on the back-end. To keep up with the production calendar, use this link in your calendaring package:

http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/[email protected]/public/basic.ics

LISTen An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #144

This week's episode of LISTen brings the return of segment-sized Tech for Techies. A news miscellany is also presented. Listeners must re-point their podcast receiving software to the following address to continue to receive the podcast uninterrupted: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LISNewsNetcasts Related links: Twitter outage Google-bombing abortion to equal murder Iranian Cyber Army attacks The Voice of America Lianza updates on libraries affected in Christchurch The Tatler: Counties Dying The Associate Press: Counties Dying

Creative Commons License
Excluding United States Government content incorporated herein, LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #144 by The Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tools of Change Conference

The (O'Reilly)Tools of Change in Publishing Conference is happening right now in New York; the event is sold out, but there are a lot of streaming events and sessions that you can take in on line, for example, the Future of e-books Technology and Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights, and Licensing Issues in the Digital Era. Check them out here.

The Desk Setup: A Look At Librarian Computers

The Desk Setup

Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #120

This week's episode brings a zeitgeist recap, a programming note apologizing for a deviation from forecast content, a book review in the segment-sized Tech for Techies, and a packed miscellany.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #107

Technical issues continue to plague us at Erie Looking Productions. LISTen #107 is a lost episode as there will be no recorded audio for this one. The unedited script that has none of the usual handwritten corrections or any ad-libs by the presenter is instead released for consideration. Links to matters referenced are shown as footnotes in the attached PDF file. This peculiar release is made under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

While we plan to release LISTen #108 on March 1st, this is dependent upon us chasing down electrical shorts and other complications. Thank you for your patience and cooperation in this difficult time.

(Mirrored at Internet Archive)

E-readers v. books

All the buzz around the nook, the kindle, and other e-reading devices gave me pause to ponder if they might make such a great gift after all. I've been a fan of the "affordances" of paper in the office and at home, despite being something of a techie, but I'm certainly not alone in my suspicious take on "the future of the book": full article here: <a href="http://library.blogs.delaware.gov/2009/12/08/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-an-e-reader/">All I Want for Christmas is an E-Reader?</a>

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #98

This week's podcast looks forward into the past with a replay of archival audio of President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressing the US Congress after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The dateline for this episode is the 78th anniversary of the event. Also presented in the podcast was a brief discussion of the late-breaking story of Comcast's attempt to acquire a controlling interest in NBC Universal. There was originally going to be discussion of remarks by Rupert Murdoch concerning why news online should never have been free in the first place. The Comcast-NBC matter took precedence. Related links: FDR's speech at Archive.org This installment of Profile America MSNBC reporting on the Comcast-NBC matter Greg Sandoval at CNET discussing the Comcast-NBC matter One Reuters story on the Comcast-NBC matter Another Reuters story in the matter Discussion at the Erie Looking Productions blog of the recent coverage of remarks by Rupert Murdoch MSNBC relaying an AP report on Google's new attempt to restrict how users can reach news sites Linux Outlaws, a show produced by Sixgun Productions

Tech for Techies Quick Tip

You can subscribe to some of these sorts of video bits here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LISNewsVodcast

Libraries and Linux: The Strange Parallels of Stacks and Software

An Essay of the LISNews Summer Series

There are some obvious similarities between the quintessential Linux user and the classical image of the librarian, covering the gamut of good, bad and indifferent. Librarians foster the curiosity and intellectual growth of diverse patrons, connecting them with reliable sources of information and suggesting entertaining books, music and movies. The Linux community encourages users to examine, change, and take the operating system further -- regardless of whether "further" works out as modifying a kernel module or creating a new scalable vector graphic icon set for the desktop.

Linux users, when faced with a question that's been asked millions of times throughout the ages -- one with an easily discovered answer, if the soul asking had only taken a few seconds -- often respond with a resounding "RTFM" (read the f****** manual). Sometimes this response will be shaken up with a stray "Google is your friend." Librarians, by matter of course, prefer to teach a man to fish rather than feed him -- and sometimes patrons, quite capable of fishing when pointed towards the appropriate body of water, would really prefer to be fed their fish, with a couple side dishes, butter, lemon, dessert, and valet parking for good measure. That's when they tend to be greeted with the response, "Look it up." And yes, sometimes this response will be shaken up with a stray "Google is your friend."

By and large, the quintessential Linux user and classical librarian persona are stereotypes. Stereotypes generally have a grain of truth buried in there somewhere. I think what's most awe-inspiring about these two demographics -- similar, yet simultaneously so utterly different -- isn't the kindred philosophies or the occasionally pointed terms used to encourage others to seek answers on their own. It's the shocking way that skills learned in one setting (librarianship, fooling around with Linux in nearly any capacity) are so complementary and transferable.

In its elemental form: These settings are complementary because neither places high value on knowing the answer right from the start -- the value, the knowledge, the ability arises from understanding what question actually needs an answer, and then knowing how to track that answer down.

Think of troubleshooting an error as a reference interview. Think of a reference interview as troubleshooting an error. It works reasonably well both ways.

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