Technology

Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"

Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"
The Daily Show featured not one but two segments on SOPA last night, and with Wikipedia "dark," Jon Stewart had a dickens of a time figuring out just what the hell SOPA means. (What was he supposed to do to learn things, "go to the library like a common masturbator?") And so Stew-Beef reluctantly turned to the "notoriously unreliable news" for answers, discovering, to his horror, that this law could send violators to jail for up to five years for merely streaming copyrighted material.

FOSS4LIB registry now open for new packages/releases/providers/events/institutions

Peter Murray writes: "The project that I was seeking feedback on over the fall is seeing the light of day. http://foss4lib.org/ is now open for use by the community. For the Code4Lib audience, this mostly means you can create an account, log in, and create content nodes for specific packages, releases, and events. Seehttp://foss4lib.org/content/adding-information-foss4lib for links on how to get started.

For people or organizations that provide support for open source software in libraries -- implementation consulting, hosting, custom code development, training, etc. -- we especially want to encourage you to sign up and post your availability on the site. One of the overarching goals is to promote an ecosystem of open source support providers for packages that are specific to libraries. So we want to make this registry a better place to go to find those support options over a scattershot Google search. Please note that there is one bit of functionality in the registry that is not done right now. Some software packages have well developed lists of providers and institutions that use the software, and we're not trying to reproduce those in the registry. There is a capability coming that will allow URLs to these community lists to override the provider/using-institution functionality of the registry. More on that soon.

Speaking of additional functionality, I am very interested in hearing ideas about how the registry can advance the goal of supporting open source software in libraries. If you have any, feel free to discuss them here or send me a direct e-mail. A press release about FOSS4LIB will be going out in the next couple of hours, and it will include information about one-hour introductory sessions at Midwinter and webinars later in January and February.
Here's the instructions: -- Read More

Is The Web Really Just Links Or Is It Evolving?

Is The Web Really Just Links Or Is It Evolving?
A web of links can be limiting when looking at applications. When looking at reading a news story, links make sense, but reading articles is only part of the web. By looking at the data available, we are starting to create a more interactive and informative web. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch thinks this could be moving towards a web of apps, but that post is more focused on mobile apps. As I said previously, mobile apps tend to be limiting in their own ways.

Can First Sale Doctrine exist in a digital age?

Can First Sale Doctrine exist in a digital age?
If publishers could get together and agree on a service like this which would allow the right of first sale to exist on digital files it would go a long way towards not only adopting digital media but literally "buying" in. This is, of course, assuming you do not already prefer physical books, are not a collector of books and said books are not first editions, signed copies, leather bound, etc. In those instances this discussion is moot.

What do you think about digital books? Would a legal re-selling service make you more likely to buy e-books?

Great Librarian SOPA and Protect-IP Links

SOPA and Protect-IP Links

The harm that does to ordinary, non-infringing users is best described via a hypothetical user: Abe. Abe has never even so much as breathed on a company’s copyright but he does many of the things typical of Internet users today. He stores the photos of his children, now three and six years old, online at PickUpShelf* so that he doesn’t have to worry about maintaining backups. He is a teacher and keeps copies of his classes accessible for his students via another service called SunStream that makes streaming audio and video easy. He engages frequently in conversation in several online communities and has developed a hard-won reputation and following on a discussion host called SpeakFree. And, of course, he has a blog called “Abe’s Truths” that is hosted on a site called NewLeaflet. He has never infringed on any copyright and each of the entities charged with enforcing SOPA know that he hasn’t.

SOPA shelved until consensus is found

Controversial online piracy bill shelved until 'consensus' is found
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.

"While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House," Issa said in a statement. "Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote."

Getting serious about SOPA - what librarians need to do

Getting serious about SOPA – what librarians need to do
Jessamyn West: "So, I think we need to do a few things: understand how this bill is supposed to work, be clear in our opposition to it as a profession, work with other people to inform and educate others so that people can make their own informed choices. Here is a short list of links to get you started."

Knowledge is actually hard to lose nowadays

A Point of View: Why didn't Harry Potter just use Google?
In a world that is overwhelmed with ways of accessing information, we must decide what to remember and what to forget, says historian Lisa Jardine.

The danger today is rather that we are reluctant to let go of any information garnered from however recondite a source. Every historian knows that no narrative will be intelligible to a reader if it includes all the detail the author amassed in the course of their research. A clear thread has to be teased from the mass of available evidence, to focus, direct and ultimately give meaning to what has been assembled for analysis. Daring to discard is as crucial as safe-guarding, for effective knowledge management and transmission today.

David Weinberger on Science and Big Data

David Weinberger on Science and Big Data

There are three basic reasons scientific data has increased to the point that the brickyard metaphor now looks 19th century. First, the economics of deletion have changed. Second, the economics of sharing have changed. The Library of Congress has tens of millions of items in storage because physics makes it hard to display and preserve, much less to share, physical objects. Third, computers have become exponentially smarter. John Wilbanks, vice president for Science at Creative Commons (formerly called Science Commons), notes that "[i]t used to take a year to map a gene. Now you can do thirty thousand on your desktop computer in a day. A $2,000 machine -- a microarray -- now lets you look at the human genome reacting over time."

The coming war on general computation

The coming war on general computation
Cory Doctorow: The coming war on general computation
The copyright war was just the beginning

The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.

The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no airplanes, only computers that fly. There are no cars, only computers we sit in. There are no hearing aids, only computers we put in our ears. There are no 3D printers, only computers that drive peripherals. There are no radios, only computers with fast ADCs and DACs and phased-array antennas. Consequently anything you do to "secure" anything with a computer in it ends up undermining the capabilities and security of every other corner of modern human society.

Transcript: https://github.com/jwise/28c3-doctorow/blob/master/transcript.md

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