When Stanford University’s School of Engineering announced its free Artificial Intelligence class last month, the news took the geek world by storm and even worthy of note in the New York Times. The initial news articles made it sound like another example of open educational resources — a movement popularized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to put course materials and recordings of lectures online for anyone to use. But with registration for the class open and more details posted on the class homepage, I’m not so sure.
O’Reilly Media — my favorite technology publisher — is offering a contest in which they are giving away $500 worth of books from their catalog. To enter, one must post a public wish list to books, e-books, and videos from the O’Reilly catalog and send the URL to O’Reilly using a web form. As long as the total of all the items on your wish list is less that $500, you’re entered. The deadline is 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, and the sweepstakes is limited to U.S. residents only.
I just got the bill for the first month of hosting this blog on Amazon Web Services. The total for the month was $23.60, and includes:
- data transfer charges for all in-bound and out-bound content;
- a full-time use of a LINUX micro-sized Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance (with backup to the Elastic Block Store (EBS));
- use of the Amazon CloudFront content distribution network.
All told, I’m pretty pleased with the costs — particularly as I was considering the amortized cost of buying a new server to replace the one I had been using for the past five years. The itemized bill is included below.
DLTJ is in a bit of flux now. After updating some underlying packages on my 9-year-old Gentoo-based personal server, I’m finding that I can’t start the web server process without the 1-minute load average climbing to roughly 60 in the span of about 5 minutes. (Translation: the machine is working very hard but getting nowhere fast.) Increasingly, the server has also been hard to update — lots of strange errors, etc. — so after 9 years, it is clearly time to rebuild it. In the interim, I’m in the process of moving the blog over to an Amazon EC2 cloud computing instance. If you see this post, you are reading it on that virtual server. The DNS entries should catch up with the migration in a couple of hours.
I’m pleased to announce that the Fall 2010 issue of NISO‘s International Standards Quarterly (ISQ) is done and available online to NISO members and ISQ subscribers. Print copies are scheduled to be mailed on December 28th. The individual issue is available for purchase (see the form link to on the issue homepage), and some of the articles are freely available on the NISO website. The theme for the issue is resource sharing, and I was privileged to be the guest editor for the issue. Included below is my introduction letter to whet your appetite for the full issue.
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.
First, sorry about this getting posted prematurely through the DLTJ blog. I was trying the post-from-Flickr function, and it was telling me that the posting wasn’t working. So, it got posted here twice. And it got posted before I was ready; I was hoping it would land in the draft queue so I could edit it with further commentary. Oh, well; live and learn.
Joshua Kim, senior learning technologist and an adjunct in sociology at Dartmouth College, recently had a series of posts about working with software vendors. Although Joshua’s focus is with learning technologies (course management systems, lecture capture systems, etc.), these are general enough to be useful in a variety of library environments as well. His posts, hosted by Inside Higher Ed, were:
- “A Manifesto for Vendor Webinars” (January 31, 2010)
- “5 Questions Your Company Must Answer” (March 4, 2010)
- “Toward a Product Evaluation Framework” (March 7, 2010)
Here are descriptions or excerpts from each of the posts.
Ron Murray, a colleague at the Library of Congress (and no known relation to me), sent me a note about the history of the term “mash-up” in the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required). The definition of the first sense is “A mixture or fusion of disparate elements” with the notation that usage is rare before the late 20th century, and the OED includes this quotation:
1859D. BOUCICAULT Octoroon I. 13 He don’t understand; he speaks a mash up of Indian, French, and Mexican.