Code4Lib Journal Issue #20 Published; My Editorial: “It is Volunteers All the Way Down…”

Issue #20 of the Code4Lib Journal was just published, and I had the honor of being the coordinating editor for the issue. Being on the editorial committee of the Journal has been a heck of an experience, and I think I’ve had just a taste of what journal editors and publishers must go through to produce quality content.

My editorial focused on an issue that has banged around in my head for a while and has come up in multiple venues in recent years — how do we grow as a community while remaining responsive to the community and true to its roots. I suggest that there is a merit-based way to approach this, and I lay out my thoughts in that article.

What You’ll Find in My Twitter Stream

Earlier this month I found myself apologizing for some errant tweets that ended up in my Twitter stream1, and realizing that I had fallen into a pattern of sorts thought it would be useful to document. (This post, too, will be a good one to use as the ‘website’ link on my Twitter profile.) So here it goes. If you are following me on Twitter, these are the things you’ll see, in order of probability — from most likely to least likely.

Kids Birthday Parties in Libraries?

Do public libraries host birthday parties for children as part of their programming? I was with my son at a party for one of his friends a local bouncy inflatables place and happened to be thinking about library stuff while waiting for him to finish bouncing around. Suddenly (for me, at least) the two topics came together. A quick Google search for “library birthday parties” shows one promising hit at the Cambridge Springs Public Library but the rest seemed to be birthday parties for libraries or librarian-themed birthday parties. My son gave a noncommittal shrug when I asked him if he wanted his next party at the local library branch — that may be why they are not so common, but I wondered if anyone else had heard of libraries doing this.

Unglue.It — a service to crowdsource book licensing fees — launches

You could say “this is a service to watch” but that would be missing the point. Yesterday the ‘Unglue.It‘ service launched as a way to crowdsource the funding of a fee to authors to release their own works under a Creative Commons license.


Unglue.It's launch announcement

Setting Aside Time for Writing

It is time for New Year’s Resolutions, and the new habit I aim to pick up is setting aside some serious, concentrated chunks of time for writing each day. In taking a high-level review of goals and tasks at the end of the year, I found that I was tending to put off writing actions and had a significant number of them that had piled up. So I’ve decided to set aside the first 60 to 90 minutes of the work day focusing exclusively on writing. I know my mind is freshest at that early morning time, so I think it would be possible to knock out some good work then. Here are my thoughts on the process thus far.

What Happens When History Fights Back — A Review of “11/22/63: A Novel” by Stephen King

11/22/63 11/22/63Stephen King; Scribner 2011WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 
Pluck a string and it vibrates. As it vibrates there are points along the string where it is absolutely still. Pluck a companion string and sometimes those points line up. If you pull that string tighter there are more points of stillness and a greater chance that points will line up. If you pull it too tight, it snaps.

Campaign Contributions and Judiciary Committee Votes on SOPA (and a Plug for Rootstrikers)

I’ve been keeping an eye on the House Judiciary Committee markup session for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that have happened over the past two days along with the tweets that have been going out in reaction to the proceedings. One of the running threads in the commentary has been the theory of a correlation between campaign contributions from media creators and a desire by representatives to push SOPA through the committee. (Disclosure: I’ve come out publicly against SOPA.) By tabulating the roll call votes and using data from OpenSecrets.org, there does appear to be a correlation, and one that gets tighter the higher the percentage of contributions from media creators. I’ll show my work below.

In Opposition to the PROTECT IP Act (Also)


Earlier this month there was an amazing groundswell of opposition to SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. I participated in a 1-day anticensorship campaign designed to bring awareness to the proposed law, as did thousands of others around the country. It has been reported that this groundswell of opposition caught many in Congress by surprise.

In an interesting turn of events, SOPA’s parent — the PROTECT-IP Act in the U.S. Senate — may come up for vote on the Senate floor this week. (PROTECT-IP, in case you are wondering, is an acronym for “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011″.) This bill still contains many of the same troublesome definitions and technical issues of SOPA, and it deserves to be blocked as well. Senator Wyden of Oregon submitted a statement to the U.S. House hearing on SOPA warns of severe repercussions to a free and open internet if SOPA and PROTECT-IP were passed, and he has said he will filibuster an attempt to pass this in the Senate.

In Opposition to the Stop Online Privacy Act


This blog will be participating in the American Censorship Day awareness campaign on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 to show opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R.3261). There is an effort in the U.S. Congress to give power to the Department of Justice to disrupt the domain name service (DNS – the bit of internet infrastructure that makes human-readable things like “dltj.org” meaningful to machines) and order websites and search engines to remove links to targeted services (among other things). This legislation is supported in large part by the content creation industries to “address today’s gravest threat to the American film industry workforce: the illegal distribution of content online.”1

Footnotes

  1. From the Motion Picture Association of America. Citation: IFTA: Jennifer Garnick, NATO: Patrick Corcoran, MPAA: Howard Gantman, Deluxe: Cathy Main, (2011, October 26). Creative Community Hails New Bipartisan House Legislation to Shut Down Rogue Websites that Steal American-Made Content. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from MPAA. []

E-mail Phishing Attempts Get Trickier: Fake bounced mail and Fake mail-from-scanner

Two phishing1 attempts made it through the work spam filter earlier this month, and they show the creativity of bad guys as they try to get access to your machine. The attempts at social engineering were interesting enough I thought I’d describe them here. We’re getting pretty close the line where we can’t tell a legitimate e-mail from ones with nasty side effects.

The Fake Bounced Message


This message has the appearance of being a bounced e-mail from a server called ‘cyber.net.pk’.
Screenshot of a fake bounced e-mail message.

Screenshot of a fake bounced e-mail message.