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This week's episode features an interview with the President of the ALA's counterpart in New Zealand, LIANZA. A new situation has arisen in New Zealand where a library may be starting to charge for loans of materials to adults. Barbara Garriock joined us via the magic of Skype to talk about the situation.
An LISNews zeitgeist recap as well as a miscellany of news bits are also presented.
LinkedIn profile of Barbara Garriock
Press Release: "LIANZA opposes library charges"
Dan Lynch's Review of the Nokia N900
Megan McArdle on unemployment
Thomas F. Bertonneau via the Pope Center on literacy
Miguel de Icaza on the iPad
Elizabeth Krumbach on the Ubuntu Community Learning Project
The Register on the Firefox Cross-Protocol Attack on Freenode
The Register on the Google DNS Extension Proposal
This week's episode brings an analytical essay. What is fueling this renewed drive for paywalls and exclusivity contracts for content? The essay talks about some of the economic pressures that may have been overlooked. Remember, the air staff used to work in print news which means that they have their bylines and photo credits in at least a vertical file out there somewhere.
A miscellany of brief items is also presented.
Andy Woodworth on paywalls and EBSCO exclusivity
China accuses US of online warfare
Reuters on the China situation regarding Internet freedom
Tom Foremski on a paywall hole
Usage of Mobile Internet in the UK
This Week in Fun Enters Hiatus
The death of Air America
Tech Liberation Front on Air America's death
Our indoor/outdoor tomcat is having problems. We had to rearrange things. Since I got back from the day job, the cat has been spastic. He's been far more expressive than normal with fairly strange physical antics. Here's what happened.
The space here on the farm where we record LISTen suffered some structural damage recently. I had a spaghetti pot catching the leak as water dripped down from the ceiling of that space. We just had a damage assessment that indicates that that whole space is going to have to be repaired. Before I had to shuffle off to the day job I worked with family to tear out that whole area and reconfigure another part of the farm house to compensate for the loss of space.
This truly sucks. I was worried that I was going to have to negotiate time to borrow somebody else's recording space to record the next episode. I was even more worried the podcast would be forced back into hiatus until I could figure out a solution.
After all that worry, I am pleased to say that we're still on the air barring any unforeseen complications. The acoustics profile has changed so things might sound slightly different. Listener discretion is encouraged.
This week's episode is truncated due to the holiday. A zeitgeist review is presented as well as a news bits miscellany.
Disclosure statement on the Erie Looking Productions blog
Ann Althouse on the New York Times paywall possibilities
New York Magazine on New York Times paywall possibilities
Gayle Van Horn on special BBC World Service broadcasts to Haiti
Australian Broadcasting Corporation on besieged aid workers in Haiti
CIA World Factbook profile on Haiti
Haiti in Internet user population ranking
Gayle Van Horn relaying word of ITU assistance to Haiti
By Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS
Head Writer, Erie Looking Productions
It has been discussed in blog posts, columns, and episodes of LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast that regulation may not be the best way to bridge the digital divide. Some thoughts were obliquely mentioned at times as to how to carry out alternative measures for ameliorating the divide. Now is perhaps the time for some specifics for one facet.
Part of the problem with the whole digital divide view of things is that it insists upon rugged individualism in interacting with data. Quite unlike visiting a swimming pool, there are no lifeguards to jump in and save you when you drown in the sea of information. Economies of scale that can be derived from changing individual experiences into group experiences become of further interest as this drowning in information goes on.
For the consumption of online audiovisual content, it can be expensive putting personal media players let alone appropriate network connections into the use of every individual. Even the experience of having a television in everyone's bedroom in a home is a relatively recent phenomenon. As NCM Fathom has already shown through continuing to operate as a going business, people will gather together for communal experiences in watching programs. There are at least three movie theaters within easy driving distance of the eastern operations of Erie Looking Productions where one can watch the February 4th simulcast of the live production of A Prairie Home Companion.
The question then is how to do this sort of thing at your own libraries. Surprisingly some popular web video productions are available under Creative Commons licensing. Assuming you have your general ASCAP/BMI style licensing in play you may be able to show some of these programs without problem. Check with your library's legal counsel first to make sure that everything is in order, though.
The first matter of concern is selecting what to show. News feature program Rocketboom is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Many releases from the White House are public domain and give you uncut views of what President Obama actually said compared to the editing decisions of a video editor. More than that is out there but it is up to you to choose it.
The second step after you choose your content to show is to select resources in your library that highlights what is in the video content. Why leave it all to video? There is a world beyond and quite likely it is already on your shelves somewhat. This is the time when reference librarians can sharpen their group speaking skills and also introduce people to resources that would not normally be touched upon in one-on-one reference transactions.
After selecting your video, finding your books, and picking somebody to speak you still have two things left to do. First and foremost you have to promote the event. If nobody know it is happening, does it really matter outside of just being wasted labor costs?
Once you promote the event sufficiently, put your best foot forward. Popcorn might even be called for and might be something a friends organization, if it exists, could help with. The biggest thing to remember in putting on the show is that the library is but one beach on the sea of knowledge that thankfully has lifeguards the others most often do not. The key distinctive for libraries in this respect that allow for differentiation is the focus on service to the information seeker that the seeker will not be getting from a computer system like Bing or Google.
Once upon a time news reels were collective experiences where people saw moving pictures from beyond their own town. After a period of varying degrees of rugged individualism, economic pressures may make communal experiences more prevalent again. Until somebody takes the plunge and tries to implement something along these lines, though, who will ever know?
Bridging The Divide: An Alternative Proposal by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
This week's episode features a chat with Blake Carver about the 2010 Blogs to Read list and the nascent essay contest. An essay as well as a miscellany of news bits are also presented.
Postscript rendering of the LISNews 2009 Summer Series
Rendering of the LISNews 2009 Summer Series through the print-on-demand service Lulu
Symposium on mobile libraries
Open source hardware workshops coming up in Ireland
FCC Chairman Genachowski at CES
Special Column on Net Neutrality Released on 9 January 2010 (PDF)
FCC Requests Delay Submitting Broadband Plan
Galactic Watercooler #202 talking about Chuck & War of the Worlds
Snapshot by Kevin Pereira at CES
Walt Crawford on HDTV & Judder
Reuters on tech possibilities at CES 2010
Disruptive Library Technology Jester on why he uses PGP
Erie Looking Productions on the use of PGP to securely contact the air staff
WBCQ Propagation Models
Internet: Concept Not A Thing
By Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS
Head Writer, Erie Looking Productions
The District of Columbia circuit is interesting among the federal courts of appeal. This is the main circuit in which the decisions and orders of federal regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission can be appealed. As might be imagined, the Federal Communications Commission does wind up there at times too.
Wired recently reported that a panel of the circuit has questioned whether or not the FCC actually has the authority to enforce net neutrality. Marguerite Reardon of CNET reported that the Chief Judge of that circuit does not want any regulatory agency acting on its own without proper statutory authority. Tony Bradley of PC World stated that Comcast claimed there was no federal law for the Commission to interpret let alone apply or enforce in the case and that the author thought Comcast had a valid point. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a statement reaffirming his belief that the Commission has the statutory authority to do what it is trying to do.
The Commission presently has a proceeding underway to codify net neutrality within the Commission's rules. If the appeals court rules against the FCC, all current efforts to codify net neutrality fail. Stretching interpretation and implication to the limits to reach desired policy outcomes may backfire when it comes to the Commission's goal of preserving an open Internet.
In the midst of all this action from above it is almost totally discounted that action can also come from below. Breaking free of the notion of the Internet being an agglomerated whole is the first step. The Internet is merely a collection of autonomous systems that interact with each other. That terminology may sound rooted in the Internet's early days in the late 1970's but age does not mean it is not still true.
The time seems to have come to start changing the Internet's topology from below. If communications companies have problems with what traffic is being carried, alternative methods of data transport should be explored. While the companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have complications with file downloading and a rich media world, older technology remains quite mature to handle less intense datagrams.
Bulletin Board Systems, UUCP (Unix-to-Unix Copy), Freenets, FidoNet, and the rest remain mature technology. Even though they are old, they do work. Before there was Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, Internet e-mail was possible through a Freenet or even through a FidoNet-based gateway. The author's very first e-mail address from days gone by seemed a mile long and was from a Bulletin Board System that participated in FidoNet and passed traffic over the FidoNet to Internet gateway.
Removing the more "mundane" traffic from what is called the Internet today would help deflate the calls for much of these fairly aggressive network management practices. Letting the Internet become a place where only intense video game traffic and NetFlix streaming video happens would take the wind out of the sails of those broadband providers waiting to aggressively manage their networks. That such would also create an incentive to compete with their own video-on-demand offerings against NetFlix would also potentially help drive prices down. Those companies know how to provide content on-demand and would have a more level playing field upon which they could compete.
To remove the "mundane" traffic would require shifting towards different access topologies. Shifting things back to dial-up modems would mean a change for some while for others nothing would change. After all, there are still dial-up users of the Internet out there connecting to Earthlink and AOL through dial-up modems. For businesses clearing credit card transactions dial-up modems are still out there in use as backup systems in the event of the main connectivity tool's failure. There is one text published by O'Reilly detailing how community wireless networks using WiFi backbones could be created. The current access paradigm is neither inevitable nor desirable in today's world.
The easiest thing to do in this case is to throw hands in the air and claim that net neutrality is a lost cause. Libraries have long been centers of public access computing. Some even hosted Freenets back in the day. Since the imposition from above of net neutrality seems assuredly in danger of not happening it seems subversion from below is now the order of the day.
Older yet more mature tools remain viable ways to carry out the subversion. The question now, though, is whether or not there is will to carry such through. Using UUCP over an Iridium satellite telephone is just a somewhat costlier way of carrying the theme above. Worrying about the means now is far less important than simply starting to take action.
Where do you stand?
Internet: Concept Not A Thing by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
(Yes, the air staff knows the episode is earlier than usual. We have our reasons...)
This week's episode is the first one for 2010. In this episode we discuss why LISTen will not be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yet again and also get into a miscellany of briefs from allied fields. Unusually enough a musical number performed by a member of the board of directors of the Guitar Society of Las Vegas, Erie Looking Productions western engineer Mike Kellat, is also included in this episode.
Discussion of the TWiT Network presence at CES 2010
ALA Mid-Winter 2010
Matt Asay talking about Canonical & focus
Alan Pope on an Ubuntu sighting on Doctor Who
Virginia Postrel on media company exploitation of workers
Radio New Zealand National on French anti-piracy efforts relative to the Internet
The Register discussing the French agency known as HADOPI
The Digital Economy Bill before the United Kingdom Parliament presently
Section 44 of the Digital Economy Bill relative to UK public lending right and how library loans of books will be codified as not being copyright infringments
The Register on UK ISP rage over the Digital Economy Bill
Breitbart.tv relaying Agence France-Press about electricity rationing in Venezuela
Information about the Guitar Society of Las Vegas
Although it might be sought by some, it must be noted that there is no special episode of LISTen: An LISNews.org Podcast to be released for New Year's Eve let alone New Year's Day. With the new year ringing in so late in the week, we do not want to cannibalize available material for the next regular episode. The next episode will be released according to the normal schedule and should be released on or near 0400 UTC on January 4th.
In the meantime, you can still listen to the most recent episode.