May 2008

Google Fights for the Right to Hide Its Privacy Policy

What’s one way that Google is different from AOL, Yahoo and Microsoft? It’s the only one of the big Internet companies that doesn’t put a link to its privacy policy on its home page.

Indeed, Google believes so strongly that adding the phrase “privacy policy” to its famously Spartan home page would distract users that it has picked a fight with an advertising trade group over the issue.

Full story here.

Libraries must stay on cutting edge [But it makes us “old and cranky”]

Longtime Allentown Director Kathryn Stephanoff acknowledged that running a library today requires constant adjustments to new technology and community needs. ”One of the reasons I have become so old and cranky is that I’m always having to find the money to pay for what we need.”

Fricker said, ”You have to keep up and keep ahead. As soon as something is on the market, we’re investigating it.”

More Parents Outraged Over School Library Books

If you’re like me (and you know you want to be) you know what’s best for children. Not just your children, but all children. Here’s some more good folks just like me.

Parents: ‘Burn Journals’ Too Hot For School: Some parents in Lake County are complaining about a book they claim is too racy to be on the shelves of school libraries.

Mom says there’s “filth” on school shelves: “The Rain God” The pages are laced with profanity and references to sex… too graphic to be read on TV… and encouraged intolerance and hate.

Paper made from stone

Here is a company that makes paper called Terraskin that is made from stone. Wood based paper uses large quantities of water during manufacture. Bleaches are also often used on top of the fact that trees need to be cut down.

Borders Web Site Now Live

Publisher’s Weekly reports that Borders Web Site is now live.

After seven years of outsourcing its e-commerce function to Amazon, Borders relaunched its Web site today under its own control. The site contains many of the same features that the retailer had been beta testing for several months, including The Magic Shelf home page which allows browsers to scan 20 rows of books, face out, and click on any title to get more information on the book, few some text or to buy the title. According to Kevin Ertell, Borders v-p of e-business, the Magic Shelf is designed “to make customers feel they’re browsing one of the front tables at one of our stores.”

Complete story here.

W3C Launches Group to Help Bridge the Digital Divide

As part of the growing set of W3C initiatives related to social development, W3C invites participation in the new Mobile Web for Development (MW4D) interest Group, chartered to explore the potential of mobile technology to help bridge the digital divide. “We need to solve important challenges, such as lack of standards in end-user devices, network constraints, service cost, issues of literacy, and an understanding of the real information needs of rural communities,” said Ken Banks,, who Chairs the group. “To do so requires an multidisciplinary approach, a step we take through the creation of this new group.” Read more in the press release. This launch is part of W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative (MWI), which aims to identify and resolve challenges and issues of accessing the Web when on the move. This work takes place under the auspices of the European Union’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7), part of the Digital World Forum project.

Storage comes full circle

Storage comes full circle:

“And what storage format has zero energy consumption, a tiny carbon footprint, can sit for long periods of time without degrading and offers the easiest data destruction?”

Mrs. Rat rolled her eyes. “Paper.”

“Yes. The future of data storage is paper,” the Rat said, grinning as an entrepreneurial idea came to him. “And, of course, no one has the capacity to store all that paper because we got rid of all the filing cabinets.”

Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 2

The Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 2 is now available from Digital Scholarship.

This bibliography presents selected English-language articles and other works that are useful in understanding Google Book Search. It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories. Note that e-prints and published articles may not be identical.

For a discussion of the numerous changes in my digital publications since my resignation from the University of Houston Libraries, see Digital Scholarship Publications Overview.