Protect Your Keyboards, Mice and Cables from Theft with a Flat Washer

You are using lockdown security cables to protect your PCs, but your accessories — keyboards, mice, and other cables — are still vulnerable to theft. You can use one of these specially built products to lock down the cables, or you can use a 20¢ flat washer from the hardware store to protect these components from minor mischief.

Thursday Threads: Disruption in Library Acquisitions, Publishing, and Remedial Education plus Checking Assumptions of Cloud Computing and a National Digital Library

If it is Thursday it must mean it is time for another in this series of Thursday Threads posts. This week there are an abundance of things that could fall into the category of “disruptive innovation” in libraries and higher education. If you find these interesting, you might want to subscribe to my FriendFeed stream where these topics and more are posted and discussed throughout the week.

Thursday Threads Bonus: Statistics (Election Polls) and Statistics (World Stats)

This is the second week of this Thursday Threads experiment and already we have a bonus edition. Two other items crossed my browser today that were just too good to pass up: how statistical techniques are improving the aggregation of political polling and a visual representation of lifespan versus income over time.

Thursday Threads: Technical Debt, QR Codes in National Parks, WebP Image Format, and SSL Cautions

Week #2 of this new project to highlight interesting tidbits from the previous seven days. Well, things that were interesting to me that I hope will be interesting to DLTJ readers. Time will tell.

A History of the OCLC Tax-Exemption Status

One of the baffling elements I’ve found in discussions of the history of OCLC is that of its tax exempt status under Ohio law. The latest example of this comes from documents filed in the SkyRiver/Innovative-vs.-OCLC case that make disparaging remarks about how OCLC got its state tax-advantaged status. (The text of the remarks in those documents are included below.) I was curious about this a while back and so did some research on the topic. I had set it aside and forgotten about it until this latest lawsuit brought it up again. So, to set the record straight, here is at least one version — hopefully written from a neutral perspective — of what happened nearly three decades ago.

Thursday Threads: Print-on-Demand, Video Changing the World, Puzzling Out Public Domain, and more

I’m starting something new on DLTJ: Thursday Threads — summaries and pointers of stories, services, and other stuff that I found interesting in the previous seven days. This is culled from entries that I post to my FriendFeed lifestream through various channels (Google Reader shared items, citations shared in Zotero, Twitter posts, etc.), but since I know not everyone is using those services, it might be useful to post the best-of-the-selected here once a week. Why Thursday? Somewhere long ago I read that Thursday at 11am is the best time to put a post on a blog because Thursday lunch through Friday are the most active time for readers. I have no idea whether that is true or not, but lacking any evidence to the contrary, Thursday morning will do fine. (Obviously I’m a little late on this first one, but I’ll try to do better next time. Or not — maybe this will be a one-off weekly thing.)

Views on Sharing (or, What Do We Want From OCLC?)

Within the span of a recent week we’ve had two views of the OCLC cooperative. In one we have a proposition that OCLC has gone astray from its core roots and in the other a celebration of what OCLC can do. One proposes a new mode of cooperation while the other extols the virtues of the existing cooperative. Both writers claim — independently — to “talk to librarians” and represent the prevailing mood of the profession. Can these two viewpoints be reconciled?

Now Working for LYRASIS

News of my joining Lyrasis has been officially reported (“Timothy Daniels and Peter Murray to Lead LYRASIS Technology Services” [PDF]) so I can talk about it here now. On September 10th I left OhioLINK to join LYRASIS on September 13th as the assistant director for the newly emerging LYRASIS Technology Services (LTS). Along with Tim Daniels, I’ll be forming a group to help members among the various open source and commercial software options works best for their situations, including options where LYRASIS can effectively and efficiently aggregate Software-as-a-Service hosting options.

Early September Summary of the SkyRiver/Innovative vs. OCLC Case

On September 9th, OCLC filed its first substantial response with the court to the antitrust lawsuit file by SkyRiver and Innovative Interfaces. And in a motion where OCLC requests a change of venue from the Northern District of California to the Southern District of Ohio — something seemingly mundane — they certainly pulled no punches:

Using Twitter For Service Outage Awareness

Emily Clasper of the Suffolk County Library posted about some work she had done to embed status messages in the catalog using Twitter. This sounded like a really great idea because it is an out-of-band (e.g. something that doesn’t rely on OhioLINK infrastructure for reporting downtimes) way to get messages to member staff and users. But I didn’t get a chance to work on my implementation for a while, so for over a year ideas have bubbled around in my head about ways to apply this technique and improve on it. I finally carved out some spare time to actually work on it, and came up with my take on the concept. The result is the OhioLINK Status-Via-Twitter service.

A demo of the TwitterJS implementation using a copy of the OhioLINK homepage.