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Tech for Techies #16

This is the final episode of Tech for Techies. The show will return to the Twilight Zone from where it came (for the time being). Stephen talks about broadcast transmission, be it radio, television or cellphones. Another Federal Government PSA from the Census Bureau, Profile America. My close explains the present situation at Erie Looking Productions.

In connection with what I bring up in the close, I want you to read a recommendation from LinkedIn:

Tech for Techies #16 Delayed

Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Nevada production team, Tech for Techies #16 is delayed until further notice. Efforts are underway to ensure a release on Friday, though.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #78

This week's podcast brings you up to date in covering the Ohio libraries situation.

Unintentional Consequences of Legislation

"Hell is paved with good intentions" – Attributed to Cicero

To say that this has been a wild week would be quite the understatement. Ohio libraries are presently locked in a struggle to survive. Weeks like this are things that work against the weekly format of LISTen. For now there have been uploads of pre-release audio to the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons license appropriate to "free cultural works". This is quite unusual for the podcast production team in Nevada to do, mind you. According to what I have seen from the statistics given by the Internet Archive, somebody thought it appropriate to download the audio files made available.

There is perhaps a key to the whole story that is being missed. Sometimes it is necessary to step away from the state or local level and look for any pressures from the federal level. With the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the United States federal government has become increasingly involved in the operation of even the most local of governmental functions. Forgetting to include them in any analysis is fairly dangerous due to money being involved.

A key concept when the federal government gives money to states is called "maintenance of effort". With respect to funding for health grants the Public Health Service defines that term as: "A requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies that a recipient must maintain a specified level of financial effort in the health area for which Federal funds will be provided in order to receive Federal grant funds. This requirement is usually given in terms of a previous base-year dollar amount."

One area where this arises in the full text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is Section 14005. In that section, the requirement is made upon any state receiving money from that portion of the act that they must not reduce state funding for K-12 education below its 2006 level for fiscal years 2009 through 2011. The same requirement exists for public institutions of higher education except that capital projects as well as research and development could still be cut. Waivers of the maintenance of effort requirement are possible as Nevada sought one relative to higher education funding. Such waivers are not automatically granted and can be opposed like the opposition raised by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid against his own state. Recent reporting indicates that Nevada's waiver application has yet to be decided.

Keeping this in mind, one can look at the Ohio situation again from a different perspective. In an undated letter issued on June 26th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland noted that cuts to libraries were unavoidable. What is stated indirectly by Governor Strickland in his letter is that while he supports libraries, there are other programs that have a higher priority for funding. For the areas identified by Dr. Strickland as things that must be protected, there happens to be some amount of correlation with funding areas of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that have maintenance of effort conditions attached.

Libraries were left out of the stimulus package in terms of any real funding except for a broadband build-out program in which libraries are just one stakeholder group among many. Cutting libraries entails no penalty under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 when it comes to maintenance of effort requirements. Slashing funding for education or transportation cuts off federal funding and raises the possibility of being cut off from any future offers of federal dollars.

From that perspective, a truly unfortunate choice is presented to legislators. Triaging potential losses is part of any legislator's thinking when it comes to money bills. This situation in Ohio is likely not a one-off situation but something that we may see develop in other states.

The cruelest part of this for Ohio libraries is that the bursting of the housing bubble cut revenues from property tax levies and this bailout rooted in that bubble's bursting is forcing reductions in other revenue streams.

Creative Commons License
Unintentional Consequences of Legislation by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Hyperlinked History - High On Life by The Faceless Historian

Hi, hello, and how the heck are you! Welcome back to the annals of history and another trip from one side of the past to the other. Granted we'll be taking a scenic route as we discuss hedonistic Greeks, logical Franciscans, a heretical Pope, an unfortunate construction project, Polish kings, Russian Tsars, and Swiss scientists. We'll talk about the meaning of existence, the secret of life, and then we'll just drop out.

You don't need artificial euphoria when you can just get High On Life.

The Ohio Libraries Case

I've already seen questions being posed as to whether or not anything in-depth was being done to cover the cuts case in Ohio. Yesterday I was fairly busy recording back-to-back interviews in the matter. We had opportunities to talk to Ohio Library Council's Director of Government and Legal Services Lynda Murray as well as Columbus Metropolitan Library Executive Director Patrick Losinski.

Since it is a long time between now and the next episode of LISTen, I went ahead and posted an edited-down version of the two interviews with linking narration to Public Radio Exchange last night. Public Radio Exchange serves as the middleman between producers like the LISNews Netcast Network and NPR affiliates such as Ohio stations WKSU, WCPN, WOSU, WOUB, and others. The piece can be found here: http://www.prx.org/pieces/37502-ohio-libraries-at-risk

While normally such pieces have a cost attached to them for stations to pick them up, this one is being made available to stations for free instead. All that has to be done is that a station needs to log in, "buy" the free piece, and then slot it into their air schedule. For librarians curious about how to kickstart such, the best person to call at your local NPR affiliate is either the program director or the news director. Locating contact details can begin with NPR's station finder.

Tentatively the next episode of LISTen is going to have expanded coverage of the cuts case in Ohio. There are rallies planned for Wednesday and I am trying to get somebody on the scene to report. I still have an interview request out with a state legislator that I am waiting for a response on. Anybody reading this wanting to check in from a rally can make arrangements tonight with the production team by e-mailing the production team in Las Vegas.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #77

This week's episode ranges widely. First up we take a first look at Greenstone 2.82. After that we hear from the US Department of Agriculture about a new data set format for their Census of Agriculture. After that we have another installment of Apocalypse Radio that turns to discussing computer training on very specific topics.

Tech for Techies #15

This week we talked about microphone usage and communications interruptions.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #76

This week's episode is longer than our past couple. We feature two interviews this week. The first interview is with independent consultant Karen Coyle. In that chat we discuss the leviathan that is OCLC and breach questions as to OCLC's nature. Following the discussion with Karen Coyle, the next discussion was with Rangeview Library District Director Pam Smith. In this chat the depths of WordThink were further explored and explained.

Hyperlinked History - Here, There, and Everywhere by The Faceless Historian

Time for another wild ride through history! This time we begin in Ancient China with a repeating crossbow, explore more northerly kingdoms, invent modern writing, deal with pirates, have a couple of wars, deal with a monarch, meet a legend, and then just maybe we'll give peace a chance.

See, I told you it'd be a heck of a ride. After all we've got to go Here, There, And Everywhere.

An Interview With The Faceless Historian

On one of my previous shows, I talked about Ignite Phoenix and the whole Ignite thing. Among other things, I said it'd be good for librarians to get into something like this because, in five minutes, you can tell a huge group of people all about your library and/or whatever else you're passionate about.

Dani Cutler, a local Phoenix area podcaster, is working on a series of interviews with people who've presented at Ignite Phoenix. She and I sat down at one of the greatest coffee shops in the Valley of the Sun and talked about libraries and the funny things that happen in them, history, Hyperlinked History, and presenting at Ignite.

So if you have the interest, you can hear my alter ego speak with the lovely and intelligent Dani Cutler over on the Ignite Phoenix Podcast site.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #75

This week's podcast gets to deal with messy, emotion-laden, sometimes painful topics. First up we look at the Laporte-Arrington dispute and discuss how the corporate structures of media outlets can act as firewalls and buffers to prevent this. After that we highlight a case where a United States Attorney served a newspaper with a subpoena seeking every scrap of information possible to identify anonymous commenters who spoke about a pending grand jury investigation. Anonymity online may not be as secure or as thorough as you might imagine due to the underlying technical infrastructures involved. Related links: Summer 2009 promo piece authorized for use by other programs Profile America for June 8th Post by John C. Dvorak on the Laporte-Arrington matter Post by Michael Arrington on the Laporte-Arrington matter Comment read aloud Piece by the editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the subpoena served by the US Attorney seeking identifying details of all commenters Electronic Frontier Foundation Resources on Anonymity Tor, a project funded by the EFF to help remove digital footprints that undermine anonymous speech online Creative Commons License
LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #75 by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License except for United States Government works from the Census Bureau and Federal Aviation Administration included therein.
Based on a work at outlawarchives.com.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #74

This week's podcast brings an essay as well as a selection of news briefs.

Tech for Techies #14

This week on Tech for Techies, we explore the topic of audio formats to a greater depth. Not all media players are built alike. We explore why that matters to content creators and how to deal with it. Also presented is a discussion by writer Andy Ihnatko that originally aired on MacBreak Weekly that touched upon the thought processes of content creators. Related links: Zune Supported Formats List iPod Classic Supported Formats Zen MX Supported Formats FSF Vacancy Announcement for Campaign Manager PlayOGG Defective By Design RockBox Banshee PerlPodder BashPodder hPodder gpodder Juice VLC

Creative Commons License
Tech for Techies #14 by Michael J. Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at twit.tv.

Hyperlinked History - Building a Following by The Faceless Historian

Hi all, and welcome to the show!

We're off on a truly globe spanning historical adventure this time as we discuss how Egyptian pyramids, Greek historians, Persian mailmen, butt kissing British poets, international trade, samurai, taxes, Ben Franklin, and pneumonia have to do with the cultish devotion to... a soft drink?

Sure it sounds strange now, but it's really all about Building a Following.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast -- Episode #73

One thing missing in Drupal's audio module is the ability to put a time-delay trigger on putting up audio posts. This may be why the TWiT Network uses Drupal to run their site but does not use the audio module to serve up programs. With it being a holiday weekend in the United States, delay was inevitable.

This week's episode is brief. This is due to the holiday weekend and the marked paucity of stories. Some news briefs are presented, though.

Tech for Techies #13

This week sees Tech for Techies shift focus slightly. How does a podcast die? How can that be prevented? Is the Information Superhighway littered with roadkill made up of library-related podcasts? This week's episode looks at the matter and poses practical solutions.

Hyperlinked History Delayed Until Next Week

As they've said in broadcasting for years, "Due to circumstances beyond our control," Hyperlinked History will be delayed until next Thursday. Nothing bad, but among those "circumstances" is the fact that my ISP is having issues and I've not had Internet connectivity at my house for just under 14 hours now.

So I leave you with another timeless (aka ancient) broadcasting phrase: "Tune in next week" to find out how ancient tombs for divine kings links through time and history to another cultish fascination... with a soft drink.

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