Submitted by Blake on September 8, 2015 - 9:11pm
The biggest internet players count users as their users, not users in general. Interoperability is a detriment to such plays for dominancy. So there are clear financial incentives to move away from a more open and decentralized internet to one that is much more centralized. Facebook would like its users to see Facebook as ‘the internet’ and Google wouldn’t mind it if their users did the same thing and so on. It’s their users after all. But users are not to be owned by any one company and the whole power of the internet and the world wide web is that it’s peer to peer, in principle all computers connected to it are each others equals, servers one moment, clients the next.
From We're heading Straight for AOL 2.0 · Jacques Mattheij
Submitted by Blake on September 8, 2015 - 7:07am
Abstract: This article is a short (well, not that short) summary of our experiences in writing a free online text book known as Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (OSTEP for short, and sometimes pronounced "oh step"). It has been developed by myself (Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau) and my wife (Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau) over the past many years while teaching CS 537, the undergraduate Operating Systems course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The chapters of the book have been downloaded over 1/2 million times since 2012, and the web page for the book has been viewed nearly 3 million times in the past year, including a recent burst thanks to Hacker News and Reddit. In discussing our experiences, we make the case for Free Online Books (FOBs) - a now-serious alternative to classic printed textbooks.
From The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences with "Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces" | From A To RemZi
Submitted by Blake on September 4, 2015 - 10:16pm
If the internet is at its core is a system of record, then it is failing to complete that mission. Sometime in 2014, the internet surpassed a billion websites, while it has since fallen back a bit, it’s quite obviously an enormous repository. When websites disappear, all of the content is just gone as though it never existed, and that can have a much bigger impact than you imagine on researchers, scholars or any Joe or Josephine Schmo simply trying to follow a link.
Granted, some decent percentage of those pages probably aren’t worth preserving (and some are simply bad information), but that really shouldn’t be our call. It should all be automatically archived, a digital Library of Congress to preserve and protect all of the content on the internet.
From The Internet Is Failing The Website Preservation Test | TechCrunch
Submitted by Blake on September 2, 2015 - 7:17pm
The quality of web sources has been traditionally evaluated using
exogenous signals such as the hyperlink structure of the graph. We
propose a new approach that relies on endogenous signals, namely,
the correctness of factual information provided by the source. A
source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.
The facts are automatically extracted from each source by information
extraction methods commonly used to construct knowledge
bases. We propose a way to distinguish errors made in the extraction
process from factual errors in the web source per se, by using
joint inference in a novel multi-layer probabilistic model.
We call the trustworthiness score we computed Knowledge-Based
Trust (KBT). On synthetic data, we show that our method can reliably
compute the true trustworthiness levels of the sources. We
then apply it to a database of 2.8B facts extracted from the web,
and thereby estimate the trustworthiness of 119M webpages. Manual
evaluation of a subset of the results confirms the effectiveness
of the method.
From Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating
the Trustworthiness of Web Sources [PDF]
Submitted by Blake on September 1, 2015 - 8:05pm
The idea of words having relative meanings was not new, but Wittgenstein pioneered the controversial linguistic conception of meaning-as-use, or the idea that the meanings of words, relative or not, cannot be specified in isolation from the life practices in which they are used. Instead, language should be studied from the starting point of its practices, rather from abstractions to syntax and semantics. As Wittgenstein put it, “Speaking a language is part of an activity, or of a form of life.”
From Take a Wittgenstein class: He explains the problems of translating language, computer science, and artificial intelligence.
Submitted by Blake on September 1, 2015 - 7:25am
The internet has made it easier than ever to speak to others. It has empowered individuals, allowing us to publish our opinions without convincing a publishing company of their commercial value; to find and share others' views on matters we concern ourselves with without the fuss of photocopying and mailing newspaper clippings; and to respond to those views without the limitations of a newspaper letter page. In this sense the internet has been a great boon to the freedom of speech.
From 3quarksdaily: Can free speech survive the internet?
Submitted by Blake on August 28, 2015 - 7:49am
The AP sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI last year seeking documents related to the 2014 sting. It also seeks to know how many times the FBI has used such a ruse since 2000. The FBI responded to the AP saying it could take two years or more to gather the information requested. Unsatisfied with the response, the Associated Press has taken the matter to court.
From Associated Press sues FBI over fake news story | Ars Technica
Submitted by Blake on August 27, 2015 - 10:17pm
Call for Developers
We are planning to create a Digital Library Card Platform for The Wikipedia Library (see description below). We are looking for a developer, or team, with a history of successfully developing web applications in open development frameworks (such as Drupal, Angular, Ember, CiviCRM, etc.). Efficient production, clear communication, and well-structured and secure code are a must. Additional consideration will go towards applicants who have worked in the Library and Information Science field, on Open Source projects, or in the Wikimedia/Mediawiki communities. Our budget currently allows for $5000-$15,000 for development of a working version within 4- 6 months. We expect to expand the platform in two later phases to add additional functionality around standard online library services.
From Call for Developer: The Wikipedia Library, Digital Library Card Platform - Google Docs
Submitted by Blake on August 20, 2015 - 2:24pm
There have been a lot of rumors about the decline in traffic Google is sending Wikipedia’s way. There have been reports from SimilarWeb that Wikipedia has shown a “sudden” and “massive” decline in traffic from Google’s organic search results.
But Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, said this week that this is not a sudden or drastic drop in traffic from Google, but rather a “long-term issue with decreasing traffic from Google.”
From Jimmy Wales Says Wikipedia Is Losing Traffic From Google
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 12, 2015 - 6:02pm
Submitted by Blake on July 7, 2015 - 10:59am
These lending programs perform a critical role: in addition to providing basic broadband access to low-income residents, they allow patrons to access free e-books and other digital library resources, and they enable users to complete online job applications and perform other critical web-based processes at home. Outreach efforts are also aimed at the elderly and disabled, who often need access to healthcare information.
From Why City Libraries Are Lending WiFi Hotspots to Low-Income Residents | PublicCEO
Submitted by Blake on June 22, 2015 - 7:20am
That’s right: A 17th century English word that means “coming together through the binding of two ropes,” according to a 1627 publication housed at the New York Public Library’s Rare Book Division, was, until this month, dead to the digital world—and to almost every living person.
From The Word the Internet Didn't Know
Submitted by Blake on June 19, 2015 - 7:41am
I’ve also learned that the real story is not at all the one you commonly hear—the tale of a gigantic space below our usual web, where hard-to-find vices are traded among sordid individuals totally beyond the grasp of the authorities. That is not what the dark web is.
From The Dark Web as You Know It Is a Myth | WIRED
Submitted by birdie on June 17, 2015 - 10:47am
A project in utilitarian data visualization...or an absurdist poetic gesture?
From The New York Times:
IT is a mammoth undertaking by College of Staten Island teacher Michael Mandiberg.to convert the online encyclopedia Wikipedia onto the printed page possibly in hundreds of volumes.
“When I started, I wondered, ‘What if I took this new thing and made it into that old thing?’ ” he said in a recent interview in his studio in Downtown Brooklyn. “ ‘What would it look like?’ ”
On Thursday, he and the rest of the world will find out, when the exhibition “From Aaaaa! To ZZZap!” based on his larger project “Print Wikipedia,” opens at the Denny Gallery on the Lower East Side. There, Mr. Mandiberg will hit “start” and a computer program will begin uploading the 11 gigabytes of very compressed data from a Mac Mini to the print-on-demand website Lulu.com.
Submitted by Blake on May 19, 2015 - 9:05am
Facebook's Internet.org project, which offers people from developing countries free mobile access to selected websites, has been pitched as a philanthropic initiative to connect two thirds of the world who don’t yet have Internet access. We completely agree that the global digital divide should be closed. However, we question whether this is the right way to do it. As we and others have noted, there's a real risk that the few websites that Facebook and its partners select for Internet.org (including, of course, Facebook itself) could end up becoming a ghetto for poor users instead of a stepping stone to the larger Internet.
From Internet.org Is Not Neutral, Not Secure, and Not the Internet | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Submitted by Blake on May 18, 2015 - 11:07am
Submitted by Blake on March 23, 2015 - 8:57am
If you quiet your mind and allow yourself to stop judging everything you will find that you have more potential for innovation (at work, in the kitchen, in the garage, in the bathroom [this just got weird – bringing it back], with your hobbies, with your thoughts) than you thought before. You were using the same brutal quality filter on yourself that you used on viral videos, talk radio, and blog posts. You deserve better.
From The Dangerous Effects of Reading | Certain Extent
Submitted by Blake on March 12, 2015 - 5:02pm
When we worry about the pace of change, Bell suggests, we’re focusing on the wrong variable. What is important is not that the pace of change is accelerating but that “the scale on which changes have taken place has widened, and changes in scale, as physicists and organization theorists have long known, requires essentially a change in form.” The question we should be asking is not what utterly unpredictable new things will turn up to annihilate our businesses but what form of organization is appropriate to capitalize on them. A knotty question to be sure, but not an impossible one.
From What We Know, Now, About the Internet’s Disruptive Power - HBR
Submitted by StephenK on March 10, 2015 - 9:51pm
Remember FriendFeed? It used to be a live social media network popular with librarians. The Register
reports that Facebook is killing it off
in one month. As of April 9th the service will disappear and it appears that content posted to the service will not be transportable to other formats/networks.
Submitted by Blake on March 4, 2015 - 4:47pm
Stoll predicted that the Web would be a fount of misleading information and outright lies, that it would be oversold as a tool for education and governing, and that it would isolate people more than bring them together. "A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee," he wrote. "No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who'd prefer cybersex to the real thing?"
From Actually, that 'off target' 1995 anti-Internet column was amazingly on-target - LA Times