Thursday Threads: Google Book Search summary, Bad Side of Filtering, Academics Editing Wikipedia

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School is out and the summer heat has started, but there is no signs yet that the threads of technology change are slowing down. This week’s threads include a healthy review of the Google Book Search lawsuit settlement, the downside of recommendation engines, and how academics are contributing to Wikipedia.

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Thursday Threads: Beyond MARC, Library-controlled DRM, Spam Study

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Threads this week without commentary. (It has been a long week that included only one flight of four that actually happened without a delay, cancellation, or redirection.) Big announcements are one from the Library of Congress to re-envision the way bibliographic information travels, one from Douglas County (Colorado) Library’s experiment with taking ownership of ebooks and applying its own digital rights management, and a study on the ecosystem of spam.

Digital Public Library of America Sends Out Call For a Beta Sprint

Earlier today, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Steering Committee put out a call for a “Beta Sprint” to bring to the surface “innovations that could play a part in the building of a digital public library.” From the announcement:

The Beta Sprint seeks, ideas, models, prototypes, technical tools, user interfaces, etc. – put forth as a written statement, a visual display, code, or a combination of forms – that demonstrate how the DPLA might index and provide access to a wide range of broadly distributed content. The Beta Sprint also encourages development of submissions that suggest alternative designs or that focus on particular parts of the system, rather than on the DPLA as a whole.

Retro Thursday Threads: Ideas for Publishers, New Reading Experiences, Internet Operating System

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I recently started reading content from a tablet device and in doing so re-encountered a list of web pages stashed in a Read It Later queue that are over a year old. Not only were these pages interesting enough to read a year ago, but in light of a year’s worth of “internet time” of innovations some of them are down right fascinating. So the DLTJ Thursday Threads this week are weaved from new reflections on old stories. First is a 13-month-old view of what publishers can do to reverse the perceived decline of their relevance in a digital publishing era. 15 months ago was an outline for a new role for publishers to engage authors and readers. And a little over a year ago came the first explorations of the “internet operating system”.

Thursday Threads: Digital Legacies, Zettabytes of Information, Digital Books, Alternate Network Architectures

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Mind-expanding topics this week. The threads start with a potentially morbid, but definitely intriguing, topic: what is to become of our personal digital legacies? If that isn’t enough to blow your mind, the next topic is an accounting of the amount of information processed in 2008. Still hanging in there? Then think about what could become of the book if we take advantage of its digital nature. You might not have much room to think big thoughts after those threads, but if you do the last one explores what could become of how our machines talk to each other.

“The Challenges of User Consent” — Handling Shibboleth User Attributes

One of the great things about the Shibboleth inter-institution single sign-on software package is the ability for the Identity Provider to limit how much a Service Provider knows about a user’s request for service. (Not familiar with those capitalized terms? Read on for definitions.) But with this capability comes great flexibility, and with the flexibility can come lots of management overhead. So I was intrigued to see the announcement for an online webinar from the InCommon Shibboleth Federation with the title “The Challenges of User Consent” covering the issues of managing who gets access to what information about users.

Encryption of Patron Data in Modern Integrated Library Systems

“How much effort do you want to spend securing your computer systems? Well, how much do you not want to be in front of a reporter’s microphone if a security breach happens?” I don’t remember the exact words, but that quote strongly resembles something I said to a boss at a previous job. Securing systems is unglamorous detail work. One slip-up plus one persistent (or lucky) attacker means years of dedicated efforts are all for naught as personal information is inadvertently released. See, for example, what happened recently with Sony Online Entertainment’s recent troubles.

Recordings from Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks Available

Thanks to everyone for participating in the first Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks on Friday. In particular, my gratitude goes out to Ed Corrado, Luciano Ramalho, Michael Appleby, and Jay Luker being the first presenters to try this scheme for connecting library technologists. My apologies also to those who couldn’t connect, in particular to Elias Tzoc Caniz who had signed up but found himself locked out by a simultaneous user count in the presentation system. Recordings of the presentation audio and screen capture video are now up in the Internet Archive.

Name Topic
Edward M. Corrado CodaBox: Using E-Prints for a small scale personal repository

Full Text of ARL SPEC Kit 278 on Library Patron Privacy Now Online

Almost a decade ago while at the University of Connecticut I conducted a survey of ARL libraries on their patron privacy practices. The full text of that survey and ARL member responses are available from Google Books and from HathiTrust. Lee Anne George of ARL confirmed via e-mail that permission has been given for full view of SPEC Kits up through 2005 as well as other ARL publications. Lee Anne said that there are over 400 titles now in full view.

Thursday Threads: Cloud Computing and Data Centers — Amazon, Facebook, and Google

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This week’s DLTJ Thursday Threads is about data centers — those dark rooms with all of the blinking lights of computers doing our bidding. Data centers hit the mainstream news this week with the outage at one of Amazon’s cloud computing clusters. And since computers and their associated peripherals consume a lot of energy, researchers are proposing to run data centers on renewable energy. And finally Facebook and Google release separate videos that give glimpses into how large data centers are run.