Internet

Library research databases have the worst UI in the whole world

Google-Trained Minds Can't Deal with Terrible Research Database UI
"The librarians quoted here understand most of the key problems, and are especially sharp about "the myth of the digital native" -- about which see also this deeply sobering Metafilter thread -- but there's one vital issue they're neglecting: research databases have the worst user interfaces in the whole world."

Burning Circle Episode 59

This program is double counted as LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #186

This week's program provides a bit of a news recap. Links to the issues mentioned and more can be found at the Erie Looking Productions blog.

Download here (MP3) (Ogg) or subscribe to the podcast MP3 to have episodes delivered to your media player. Although we suggest subscribing by way of a service like my.gpodder.org, you can also subscribe to the Burning Circle via FeedBurner's email tool to receive show posts in your inbox with links to episode audio.

Creative Commons License
Burning Circle Episode 59 by The Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. -- Read More

Op-ed: What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You

On popular Web sites, misinformation about antipiracy legislation amounted to an abuse of trust and a misuse of power.

Opinion piece here.

Facebook

Two article on Facebook - articles look at data privacy and ownership

Austrian Law Student Faces Down Facebook
Max Schrems's crusade against the information collected by the social network has become a cause célèbre in parts of Europe, looming over the company as it prepares to go public.

Disruptions: Facebook Users Ask, ‘Where’s Our Cut?’
Without the free content created by its 850 million users, Facebook would surely not be on the verge of a multibillion-dollar initial public offering.

Google to censor Blogger blogs by country

Google to censor Blogger blogs by country
Google says some blogs on Blogger, its blogging platform, will be blocked on a "per country basis," in order to comply with "removal request" laws of nations where freedom of speech is not cherished or allowed.

The move seems to coincide with Twitter's recent announcement that it will censor tweets, or posts, in various countries at the request of governments, although the Blogger change was posted Jan. 9, but only reported on Tuesday by the website TechDows.

Study says humans now use the internet as our main 'memory'

"In the age of Google, our minds are adapting so that we are experts at knowing where to find information even though we don’t recall what it is.
The researchers found that when we want to know something we use the Internet as an ‘external memory’ just as computers use an external hard drive.
Nowadays we are so reliant on our smart phones and laptops that we go into ‘withdrawal when we can’t find out something immediately’."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2091127/Google-boggling-brains-Study-says-hum...

The Great Disk Drive in the Sky: How Web giants store big BIG data

The Great Disk Drive in the Sky: How Web giants store big—and we mean big—data
The impact of these distributed file systems extends far beyond the walls of the hyper-scale data centers they were built for— they have a direct impact on how those who use public cloud services such as Amazon's EC2, Google's AppEngine, and Microsoft's Azure develop and deploy applications. And companies, universities, and government agencies looking for a way to rapidly store and provide access to huge volumes of data are increasingly turning to a whole new class of data storage systems inspired by the systems built by cloud giants. So it's worth understanding the history of their development, and the engineering compromises that were made in the process.

The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality

The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality
Allen Yu: "While I cheer on the defeat of SOPA-PIPA (copyright is really broken; many also consider SOPA-PIPA to be truly evil), I also have no false hopes that my interests on the Net can be best guaranteed by the likes of Google or Wikipedia or Facebook. For now, I am celebrating RELIEF not FREEDOM ."

The History, and Future, of Web Protest

The History, and Future, of Web Protest
This week, many of the web's most popular sites shuttered their doors in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the pair of bills that had been winding their way through congress with the stated intent of fighting piracy and the unfortunate side effect of fundamentally threatening the web. After this concerted outburst of activism from the web community (which even extended to a first-of-its-kind offline protest by the New York Tech Meetup community), the sponsors of the bills have withdrawn their support, many undecided or former supporters of the bills changed their positions and in all, people who love the web are claiming a victory. Hooray! And it's still not too late to express your displeasure to your elected officials if you'd like to make sure they know how you feel.

But. There are a number of unanswered questions about this victory, and some important questions about what it means going forward, not just for web freedom, but for the technology community as a driver of public policy and legislation. We should start, as always with a brief look back.

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