Internet

Internet & Web

2 New Services Offer Ready-to-Launch Websites for Libraries

Two New Services Offer Ready-to-Launch Websites for Libraries

Library web hosting provider LISHost this month launched Library CMS, a modular, Drupal-based content management system template tailored to the needs of library websites. The move follows the March debut of Prefab, a WordPress-based CMS template designed for libraries by user experience (UX) consultancy Influx. Both are offered in conjunction with web hosting and are positioned as affordable, comprehensive website redesign services for individual libraries and small systems.

The Ghost Of Melvil Dewey Haunts The Web

Unfortunately, far too many websites feature an information architecture and content strategy more akin to the Dewey Decimal System then to today's users needs. Dewey's classification of books into searchable sections of the library was an excellent service for researchers and library lovers, but it's a poor match for the online organization of information.

The categorical approach inspired by the Dewey Decimal System forces website visitors to spend more time and effort trying to figure out how what they want to learn fits into pre-assigned categories. Let's face it—patience isn't much of a virtue online. Web users want what they want, when they want it. There is no tolerance for designs that force them to forage from section to section. If users can't get their questions answered quickly, they leave.
4 Tips From Google To Make Your Website More Compelling...

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OSI: The Internet That Wasn’t

How TCP/IP eclipsed the Open Systems Interconnection standards to become the global protocol for computer networking
Beyond these simplistic declarations of “success” and “failure,” OSI’s history holds important lessons that engineers, policymakers, and Internet users should get to know better. Perhaps the most important lesson is that “openness” is full of contradictions. OSI brought to light the deep incompatibility between idealistic visions of openness and the political and economic realities of the international networking industry. And OSI eventually collapsed because it could not reconcile the divergent desires of all the interested parties. What then does this mean for the continued viability of the open Internet?

We Need To Rethink The Web Because of Ads and Apps

A really interesting read from Matthew Butterick: The Bomb in the Garden: "Because a lot of you, maybe most of you, are going to spend most of your design career putting things on screen, and on the web. Not on paper. So again, going back to my first point—my major point today is that I hope you feel invested in this struggle, because whatever happens, it’s going to affect you for a long time. As I said at the beginning—designers have always been vital to the web, in terms of exploring its capabilities and sharing those possibilities."

It's about design and ads and apps and money, but if you live on the web, it's worth the read. The quote that caught me:

"" But we’re ready to take off the training wheels. And now that the web has competition, we really have no choice. The costs of delay are getting more severe. Think about those ads popping up for apps—“use this, instead of using the web.”"

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Hoopla wants to be a free Netflix for library users

Hoopla wants to be a free Netflix for library users:
Hoopla, a new streaming service for libraries, lets patrons borrow digital movies, TV shows, audiobooks and music. The selection isn’t comparable to Netflix, but it is free if you have a card at participating library. Hoopla is based in Holland, Ohio, and is owned by library distributor Midwest Tape.
https://www.hoopladigital.com/

The key to cleaning up the internet is tackling the darknets, not letting censorship in by the back door

Simon Bisson
What the UK government should be concentrating on is an effort to break the financial ties that hold the darknets together. Finding who holds the purse strings is a complex task, but it's a technique that's been proven to work time and time again. And perhaps it should also be noted that it's an approach that's well within the capabilities of the powerful surveillance tools that government security agencies have put in place to monitor social connections and financial traffic online as part of their efforts to combat terrorism.

How ASCII Lost and Unicode Won

If you’ve ever heard someone complaining that “this system doesn’t support double-byte characters”, or asking whether “this data’s in Unicode”, and felt as though you really ought to understand what those things mean, then this post is for you.
How ASCII Lost and Unicode Won...

On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

One of the leading contenders in the race to replace Google Reader is the recently relaunched Digg Reader. The man behind the effort is CEO Andrew McLaughlin. A former vice president of Tumblr, he also served as the White House's deputy chief technology officer and headed up global public policy at Google. As Wired magazine puts it in a recent profile, "Dude has bona fides."

Full piece

A Librarian Sets Us Straight

For years, thousands of children throughout the world have been studying a poem about sunflowers believing it to be the work of the 19th-century poet William Blake.

Reading lists have included it for study, websites have included it in lesson plans and four US state school boards have recommended it to students. There is even anecdotal evidence of one of Britain’s Ofsted inspectors accepting “the fact” of Blake’s authorship of the poem when it was presented to her by a group of young students via a project on their display board.

Now though, after a 12-year misunderstanding which illustrates how effectively the internet can spread misinformation, the record could finally be put straight thanks to the diligence of a Hertfordshire librarian and blogger.

Thomas Pitchford, aka “The Library Spider”, has verified that the poem – “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room” – was written by a 1980s US poet, Nancy Willard, and published in an anthology of hers dedicated to Blake’s work, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.

Story from The Independent.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #247

This week's program brings another retransmission from the Voice of America where the continuing cyber-snooping situation is discussed. Stephen tells a tale of how communications metadata can be used in a benign but contemporary way. A news miscellany is also presented.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Matériel purchasing needs of the Air Staff can be found from time to time via Amazon where such can be purchased and sent to them.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

No Country for Slow Broadband

The popular story going around about the state of America’s broadband networks is almost entirely false.

Opinion piece in the NYT

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #245

This special edition discusses the current news of revelations of government acquisition of Verizon cell phone customer call records and discusses some software solutions available for preserving privacy.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (ogg) (FLAC) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Today's digital data could be gone tomorrow

"I'm not blaming Microsoft," said Cerf, who is Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. "What I'm saying is that backward compatibility is very hard to preserve over very long periods of time."

The data objects are only meaningful if the application software is available to interpret them, Cerf said. "We won't lose the disk, but we may lose the ability to understand the disk."

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #242

And we're back. The first episode after the production suspension has a series of brief essays followed by a news miscellany.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Torrent), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Another paywall

YouTube Is Said to Plan a Subscription Option

Newspapers have digital subscriptions. Record labels have iTunes and Spotify. And YouTube is about to have special programming for paying customers.

This week YouTube, the world’s largest video Web site, will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription to their channels. There will be paid channels for children’s programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas, according to people with knowledge of the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had been asked by YouTube not to comment publicly yet. Some of the channels — there will be several dozen at the outset — will cost as little as $1.99 a month.

Full article

Next-Generation Search: Software Bots Will Anticipate Your Needs

Now things have changed. First, and most obviously, mobile devices are everywhere. Second, there are now legions of interesting Web services to automate. The final ingredient is the most important: With the rise of Big Data, there is now enough information available for a software agent to actually use to perform anticipatory actions. In that context, the challenges of applying software agents and artificial intelligence to business solutions is nothing compared to the potential payoff to users.
The combination of automated agents, contextual search and a sea of data from our devices, services and the Internet of Things, search is poised to become vastly more useful and efficient than it already is. The pieces are getting there with agents like Siri and contextual search like Google Now. If it all works as promised, information we need will be delivered to us just when we need it, without our having to invest time and effort looking for it."

Happy 20th Birthday To The WWW!

Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know
Boffinry nerve-centre CERN has attempted to recreate the very first website to mark 20 years since the official launch of the World Wide Web.

It is feared the first ever web page is lost to the sands of time as it was changed daily and any backups are few and far between. However the team has pulled up a snapshot of the very first website dating from November 1992, which the eggheads say "may be the earliest copy we can find". The CERN bods are still hunting around for earlier versions.

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When Your Data Wanders to Places You’ve Never Been

A FEW weeks ago, a friend received a flier in the mail inviting her to an event in Manhattan for patients with multiple sclerosis.

“What’s in it for you?” said the flier from MS LifeLines, a support network for patients and their families that is financed by two drug makers, Pfizer and EMD Serono. “Strategies for managing and understanding your symptoms. Information about available treatments for relapsing M.S.”

The thing is that my friend, who requested that I keep her name out of this column, does not have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.

But last year, she did search online for information about various diseases, including M.S., on a number of consumer health sites. She also subscribed to an online recommendation engine where she looked up consumer reviews of local physicians.

Full article

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #241

As aggravated circumstances have continued longer than expected, the engineer also took on duty as acting producer this week since we continue to be short-handed.

What Does Amazon Mean to You?

When you see the word "Amazon", what's the first thing that springs to mind – the world's biggest forest, the longest river or the largest internet retailer – and which do you consider most important?

From Guardian UK:

These questions have risen to the fore in an arcane, but hugely important, debate about how to redraw the boundaries of the internet. Brazil and Peru have lodged objections to a bid made by the US e-commerce giant for a prime new piece of cyberspace: ".amazon".

The Seattle-based company has applied for its brand to be a top-level domain name (currently .com), but the South American governments argue this would prevent the use of this internet address for environmental protection, the promotion of indigenous rights and other public interest uses.

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