Saturday, August 30, 2008

web archiving

The Library of Congress has a phenomenal Web Capture team, staffed with very dedicated people who take a lot of effort to identify web sites that best document an event, crawl and capture sites through partner Internet Archive, work with cataloging to get the sites described to enhance discoverability, do quality control to make sure the archived sites will run correctly, and then make the archived sites live for public access. This process can take a very long time to ensure that a site is fully captured, preserved, and accessible.

The Web Capture team is, as they have with previous years, documenting the 2008 elections. They don't crawl sites without permission, and they always send requests. A colleague at another library sent me a link to a post and series of comments on Wonkette that were a reaction to a LoC request to capture the site. The post itself is fine. It is more than a bit surreal to get such a request from LoC -- they're going to collect what I write? -- and making fun of it is OK.

Some of the comments, however, are another story.

The reaction to the notice of the request includes strings of profanity, vulgarity, and various exhortations to "archive this, LoC!" Some comment that it's possibly a fake request similar to a Nigerian scam, some liken it to FBI wiretapping, and one comment says that it's a waste of taxpayer dollars to have federal employees reading websites in order to identify what should be archived. One comment conjectures that by "capture," we mean print out the site and store it in a box next to the Ark of the Covenant. Some of the comments are obviously humorous and some are serious, and it's hard to tell with others.

I have a sense of humor, especially about political topics. Of course it's funny to the Wonkette participants that whatever is said, whether profound or mundane or profane, the Library of Congress will crawl it. I remember my own reaction when I was approached about submitting my email to the MCN archives covering the period when I was on its board, which contained such highlights as "The membership brochure is at the printer" and "Don't faint when you see how much the conference hotel wants to charge us for internet access." But for some reason this really struck a nerve because some of the commenters were so "f--- you, Library of Congress." That saddened and angered me.

It's a huge effort to collect ever-changing interactive born-digital resources compared to print materials, but we and many others libraries do it because it's an equally important form of publishing. Libraries collect whatever is relevant regardless of their form of publication. Sites like these are important because they reflect what's really being said and what people really think about the political process. What about that isn't worth collecting?

I'll cop to being a bit overly sensitive on this, but only because I place very high value on such collecting activities.

Friday, August 29, 2008

the omnivore's 100

The blog Very Good Taste has come up with a list of 100 items that every omnivore should try in his or her life. Not surprisingly, it has turned it into a meme that I found through Serious Eats. Basically, you copy the list from Very Good Taste's The Omnivore's 100 and post it to your blog, bolding the items you've tried and striking through any you would never try.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile [I've had alligator on a number of occasions -- would that count?]
6. Black pudding [I'll eat it but I don't seek it out]
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras [I've never understood foie gras worship]
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese [my mother loved it but couldn't convince me to eat it growing up]

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper [there was the incident with some peppers past their prime, the disposal, and the resultant evacuation of my kitchen]
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin [I don't much care for it, and Bruce is allergic to it]
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
[not a favorite, but I will eat them if I know the preparation will be excellent]
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette [are you noticing a trend that offal is a category I don't much care for?]
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost

75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail [only once, when a donor at an event handed it to me and I felt I had to eat it]
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant [a 2-star, yes, not yet at a 3-star]
85. Kobe beef [actually, wagyu, but I'm counting it]
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake [I had iguana once in Mexico ...]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

dead sea scrolls

When I was growing up, my mother had a small selection of books displayed between decorative bookends on her coffee table -- a set of 4 art history overview volumes with high quality color reproductions on glossy paper, and a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was fascinated by the volume on ancient art and the book on the scrolls because of their sheer antiquity. I don't remember there being many illustrations in the book, but the story of the discovery of the scrolls was a very engaging one. I don't remember every asking my Mom why she that volume on display, or, if I did, what her answer was.

The New York Times today reports on the project to digitize the Scrolls. It's interesting to read that they plan to create new digital images, as well as digitizing the infrared images created of the scrolls in the 1950s.

Tangentially, there was an article in The Australian a couple of week ago about the conservation and multi-spectral imaging of scrolls from the Villa dei Papyri at Herculaneum.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Executive Director of OCA named

A press release went out tonight naming Maura Marx -- founder of the Digital Library Program at the Boston Public Library -- as the first Executive Director of the Open Content Alliance.

“Maura's background in working both inside and outside the library system will help her communicate with a broad public audience the shape of the new public library services in this digital age." said Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Her dynamic style, deep-seated commitment to open principles, and demonstrated success at implementing partnerships and initiatives in the digital space will be a powerful combination in taking the OCA to the next level.”
I met Maura at a meeting this spring, and I know that she's an excellent choice!

Monday, August 25, 2008

concordance as word cloud

Eric Lease Morgan posted about a cool little hack to present a text concordance as a word cloud. A visualization of a concordance -- what a nice idea! It would be interesting to see one at a larger scale -- for every word in a book. I'd like to see how the visual metaphor scales.

Eric said one thing, though, that gives me pause:

"It is a trivial example of how libraries can provide services against documents, not just the documents themselves."

He is absolutely right -- it is a trivial effort to create this useful service. What is still unfortunately not as trivial as it should be is getting access to accurate transcriptions of all the texts once might want to analyze. There are ascii transcriptions for many, many works, but there is always a question of accuracy, and if the desired edition(s) are available. There's OCR, but it's a fair amount of effort to check and correct the output. Google isn't releasing its OCR, but even if they did that, too needs correction. Keyboarding is expensive. And many works in copyright haven't been touched for fear of legal action.

We have the ability to build extraordinary analytical tools. Where is the critical mass of text content?

Mickey Mouse copyright

Via Techdirt and the L.A. Times, an interesting overview on the copyright status of Mickey Mouse. The Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal article by Douglas Hedenkamp mentioned is available online through the "Opposing Copyright Extension" site, as is the original student work by Lauren Vanpelt.

vintage tech

I'm a sucker for vintage technology and vintage manuals. I have a small collection of the latter. I'm a big fan of The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. I love to read books about the history of computing.

The Alameda County Computer Resource Center (ACCRC) in Berkeley, California is a non-profit group that recycles hardware. The ACCRC has launched the blog "It Ain't Dead Yet" to showcase their more unusual finds, partly to share the wonder and partly to gauge the usefulness and value of the items. Now there's a feed I'm sure to read every day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects

I didn't know the Registry of U. S. Government Publication Digitization Projects existed:

"The Registry contains records for projects that include digitized copies of publications originating from the U.S. Government. It serves as a locator tool for publicly accessible collections of digitized U.S. Government publications; increases awareness of U.S. Government publication digitization projects that are planned, in progress, or completed; fosters collaboration for digitization projects; and provides models for future digitization projects."

The Registry has recently been updated, and they welcome additions. Institutions need to apply to contribute.

Ithaka's 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Ithaka has recently released the full findings from their 2006 surveys of the behavior and attitudes of faculty members and academic librarians. The faculty study focuses on the relationship between faculty and the library, faculty perceptions and uses of electronic resources, the transition from print to electronic journals, faculty publishing preferences, e-books, digital repositories, and the preservation of scholarly journals. The librarian survey complements the faculty study, exposing the similarities and differences between faculty and librarian views of key topics.

This is an extended quotes describe two very interesting key perceptual differences:

Over the course of these three surveys, we have tested three “roles” of the library – purchaser, archive and gateway. We have attempted to track how the importance of these three different roles has changed over time. Most highly rated among these roles is that of library as purchaser – faculty don’t want to have to pay for scholarly resources, a finding which holds across disciplines and has remained stable over time. There is slightly more variation by discipline in views on the importance of the library’s preservation function, but valuation of this role is also uniformly high and has remained static over time. The importance of the role of the library as a gateway for locating information, however, varies more widely and has fallen over time.

The declining importance assigned to the gateway role is cause for concern in general, and especially when considered by discipline. The importance to faculty of this role has decreased across all disciplines since 2003, most significantly among scientists. While almost 80% of humanists rate this role as very important, barely over 50% of scientists do so. Beyond the differences between these general disciplinary groups, there also exist substantial variations by individual discipline, as demonstrated by the perceptions of economists. Between 2003 and 2006, the percentage of economists indicating they found the library’s gateway role to be very important dropped almost fifteen percentage points. In 2006, the percentage of economists who believed this gateway role to be very important was actually below the average level of scientists, falling to 48%.

The decreasing importance of this gateway role to faculty is logical, given the increasing prominence of non-library discovery tools such as Google in the last several years. Since 2003, the number of scholars across disciplines who report starting their research at non-library discovery tools, either a general purpose search engine or a specific electronic resource, has increased, and the number who report starting in directly library-related venues, either the library building or the library OPAC, has decreased. Despite the rising popularity of tools like Google, overall, general purpose search engines still slightly trail the OPAC as a starting point for research, and are well behind specific electronic research resources. This overall picture, however, hides a number of variations by discipline; scientists typically prefer non-library resources, while humanists are more enthusiastic users of the library.

The declining importance of this role to faculty stands in stark contrast to the perceptions of librarians, as shown by our 2006 librarian survey. Although the importance of the library’s role as a gateway to faculty is decreasing, rather dramatically in certain fields, over 90% of librarians list this role as very important, and almost as many – only 5 percentage points less – expect it to remain very important in 5 years. Obviously there is a mismatch in perception here.

Librarians at all sizes of institutions see this gateway role as among their primary goals; this, along with the licensing of electronic resources and maintaining a catalog of their resources, are by far the roles most broadly considered important. They expect most of the roles of the library to rise in importance, or at least hold steady, over the next five years, with some notable exceptions to be found in roles focused on nondigital materials, such as roles relating to traditional print preservation and the maintenance of a local print journal collection, which are expected to decline in importance. There are some variations by institution size. Several roles, most notably the development and maintenance of special collections and several more technical tasks such as the management of datasets, are significantly more important at larger libraries than smaller ones. And unlike smaller libraries, larger libraries view licensing as their single most important activity, with less emphasis put on the gateway and catalog roles. This may be a sign that leading-edge libraries are beginning to change their priorities to match those of faculty and students. Still, the mismatch in views on the gateway function is a cause for further reflection: if librarians view this function as critical, but faculty in certain disciplines find it to be declining in importance, how can libraries, individually or collectively, strategically realign the services that support the gateway function?

... and

Perceptions of a decline in dependence are probably unavoidable as services are increasingly provided remotely, and in some ways these shifting faculty attitudes can be viewed as a sign of library success. One can argue that the library is serving faculty well, providing them with a less mediated research workflow and greater ability to perform their work more quickly and effectively. In the process, however, they may be making their own role less visible. This indicates a challenge facing libraries in the near future – as faculty needs are increasingly met without the direct intermediation of the library, the importance of the library decreases. Libraries must consider ways which they can offer new and innovative services to maintain, or in some cases recapture, the attention and support of faculty.

Read their full white paper, or review the raw data from the faculty survey or the librarian study.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

is everything moving into the cloud?

There's an essay entitled "The Future of the Desktop" by Nova Spivack of Twine on ReadWriteWeb. It's a pretty thoughtful opinion piece on the trend where users are moving away from desktop applications towards Web-hosted ones that run in browsers.

He mentions something that I think is vital: everyone has a sense of the personal and "mine," so there has to be some sort of place that each of us can consider to be our "home." He rightly declares that it's not going to live in any one location or on any one device. His "Webtop" paradigm is that instead of launching the browser from the desktop, one would launch the "desktop" from the browser, and that desktop is the personal location where we do our work and interact with the world.

I'm not sure that I fully buy his metaphor that we'll give up being "librarians" ("filing" and managing resources) and fully become "daytraders" (discovering, filtering, and monitoring of trends), in part because search will replace the need to "file" things.

For one, librarians _actually_ do all of the above, but I'm not going to fault him just because he doesn't know what librarians do in their jobs.

What I'm having trouble with is the notion that just because we're working in the cloud we'll stop organizing resources. The "search will replace cataloging" argument that we've heard in libraries is one that I can't buy. Search doesn't work worth a damn if there isn't some level of organization and filing, aka metadata or cataloging. How will these daytraders efficiently filter what they discover and note trends if they aren't organizing and filing? It is true that we'll be managing fewer files _locally_, but we'll be organizing even more files in the cloud. He rightly identifies that there will be more shared, social spaces, and he says that communities will "seamlessly and collectively add, organize, track, manage, discuss, distribute, and search for information of mutual interest." Maybe it's a semantic distinction, but to me that's a resource management activity, just in a much larger and more social realm.

And ah, the dream of semantic search. And the dream of the smart webtop or desktop, where context is easily understood and parsed for data coming in and being queried. I want to believe. I'm waiting.

Where I do buy into the cloud is from a standpoint of portability. Even moving between work and home on two machines, I have found myself storing and organizing more of my resources out there rather than in here. Flickr. Delicious. Bloglines. LibraryThing. Web mail. It would waste more time than I could imagine to keep my life in sync between just two locations, let alone more.

I worry about security and preservation a lot. I lost my home desktop PC drive last year. What if that drive I lost was my only copy (it wasn't) AND flickr suffered a catastrophic failure? There goes the documentation of the past three and a half years of my life. As someone whose career is centered on digitization and management and use of digital files, I have been trained through experience to think in terms of the catastrophic. And to think about rights and ownership. The cloud must become more secure, aware of identities, distributed, and replicated in its file management to assuage my concerns before I fully buy in.

digital is not to blame

I just read a Wired essay entitled "The Critics Need a Reboot. The Internet Hasn't Led Us Into a New Dark Age." In one of those great moments in synchronicity, over the weekend I started reading a blog written by the daughter of a colleague: Generation Underrated. She was spurred to blog as a reaction to Mark Bauerlein's The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30), which is also mentioned in the Wired essay. I haven't read the book, but I am reasonably sure that it would make me crazy to do so. From Janna Brancolini's blog, referring to studies noted in the first chapter of Bauerlein's book:

A test was given to high school seniors in 1955. The same questions appeared on a Gallup survey given to college seniors in 2002. The college seniors in 2002 scored no better than the high school seniors had in 1955. (29)

In other words, the first chapter doesn’t given a single statistic that demonstrates that people under 30 know less than previous generations, either now or when the members of those generations themselves were under 30.

Bauerlein acknowledges this lack of empirical comparisons by saying, “Even if we grant the point that on some measure today’s teenagers and 20-year-olds perform no worse than yesterday’s, the implication critics make seems like a concession to inferiority. Just because sophomores 50 years ago couldn’t explain the Monroe Doctrine or identify a play by Sophocles any more than today’s sophomores doesn’t mean that today’s shouldn’t do better, far better.”

Janna greatly simplifies Bauerlein's argument thusly:
In a nutshell: we’re dumb because we don’t know anything, we’re dumb because we’re letting the Internet and cell phones be used for evil instead of good, and we shouldn’t be dumb since we have so much technology available to combat our overwhelming dumb-ness.
From the Wired essay:
But the latest crop of curmudgeons fail to acknowledge that there is not much new in this parade of the preposterous. The US has a long and colorful history of being taken in by the erroneous and irrational: Salem witches, the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, phrenology, and eugenics are just a few choice examples. The truth is that Americans often approach information — online and off — with a particular mindset. "Antirational junk thought has gained social respectability in the United States during the past half century," notes Susan Jacoby in The Age of American Unreason. "It has proved resistant to the vast expansion of scientific knowledge that has taken place during the same period." Jacoby argues that long-standing American values like rugged individualism and the need to question authority have metastasized into reflexive anti-intellectualism and disdain for "eggheads," "elites," and pretty much anyone who might be described as credentialed. This cancerous irrationalism isn't pretty, but it isn't technology's fault, either.
Readers of this blog know that I have a very negative reaction to generalizations like "digital generation" and "digital natives." In the same vein, blaming technology and saying that this generation is the dumbest seems ludicrous to me. IF we accept that this is the dumbest generation (and I don't), there are other places to identify causation/lay blame. Underfunded school systems with a focus on standardized testing rather than critical thinking. The self-esteem movement, which, when taken to extremes, does away with competition and realistic assessment. But technology? Please. There is increased ubiquitousness of technology and media access (and increased media targeting of younger consumers), but its use or lack of use hasn't made an entire generation less educated.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Patry restoring old posts

William Patry has decided to restore many of his posts which he deleted when he closed down his blog. He has been laboriously identifying the posts and plans to restore them very soon.

Red Island Repository Institute

This week the Red Island Repository Institute took place, with a week-long immersion in all things Fedora. The instructors were Sandy Payette, Richard Green, and Matt Zumwalt. It would be hard to think of people who are a better choice to teach the institute besides these three!

Powerpoints from presentations are online, and they provide a great overview of Fedora.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

free copyright licenses upheld

Great news from Larry Lessig:

I am very proud to report today that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (THE "IP" court in the US) has upheld a free (ok, they call them "open source") copyright license, explicitly pointing to the work of Creative Commons and others. (The specific license at issue was the Artistic License.) This is a very important victory, and I am very very happy that the Stanford Center for Internet and Society played a key role in securing it. Congratulations especially to Chris Ridder and Anthony Falzone at the Center.

In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license.

Important clarity and certainty by a critically important US Court.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

LibraryThing covers

Last week LibraryThing announced that they were making a million free book covers available. A LibraryThing Developer Key is required, which any LibraryThing member can get.

There are some rules:

  • Retrieve no more than 1,000 cover per day.
  • If covers are fetched through an automatic process (e.g., not by people hitting a web page), you may not fetch more than one cover per second.
  • Do not make LibraryThing cover images available to others in bulk. You may cache bulk quantities of covers.
  • Use must not involve or promote a LibraryThing competitor.

Tim Spalding admits that this service competes with Amazon web service and other commercial vendors, but LibraryThing’s Terms of Service are far more open.

After the announcement I wondered how this was legally possible for such a large number of covers since there are so many variations of rights regarding cover designs. Who holds the rights? The publishers? The designers? Third parties? It's likely it's a wide variety of all of the above. Should we start talking about orphan work book cover designs?

Yesterday Mary Minow posted about this at LibraryLaw Blog. She posits an interesting possibility that this could fall under section 113. Read the comments for more discussion from Peter Hirtle about whether this might also be transformative use of thumbnails that could possibly be covered under fair use. Peter also rightly mentions the market for cover images, since effect on the market is one of the tests for fair use.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Mozilla Labs is sponsoring a Concept Series -- "... a forum for surfacing, sharing, and collaborating on new ideas and concepts. Our goal is to bring even more people to the table and provoke thought, facilitate discussion, and inspire future design directions for Firefox, the Mozilla project, and the Web as a whole."

The first featured concept is Aurora, from Adaptive Path, a vision for the future of browsers and the web. This isn't a product, it's a visualization of an interactive 3-D navigational paradigm tied to ideas about personalization, authentication, and mobility of a user's preferences, history, and context.

It's worth looking at. There's a quick guide to Aurora's interface and a descriptive concept document.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

on the mastering of new technologies

Dorothea wrote a post to which my only reply can be "Amen, Sister!" She references a great post by Steve Lawson.

I also feel that I'm at the upper end of the technological middle ground. I'm a journeyman scripter and not really a programmer. I still have digital content production chops. My XML markup skills and metadata fu are strong. I can tell you a lot about the inner working of Fedora. I can haul out my atrophying JavaScript, SQL, and Perl skills, and dredge up my minimal PHP skills. I fondly remember my ColdFusion days, and my days employing Lingo in Director to create Shockwave apps.

I'm not really up on the tools that are all the rage these days -- Python, Ruby, Django, or even Java. I've been so focussed on managing projects that I've lost some of my technological edge. Where do I go to regain/retain it? Especially since I am no longer following a path where I spend any time writing any forms of code. I am often asked why I don't go to code4lib -- it's not exactly that I feel over my head, but I'm just not doing the hands-on thing anymore and I don't think there's much I can contribute to a conversation about Python libraries or Lucene optimization.

I'm a fan of DLF Forums. I learn a lot about what tools folks at other institutions are using. But I don't always learn enough about why they use them and what those tools are especially good for. Something I can take back to my own projects and say "Hey, let's consider this solution because it's a great fit for XYZ."

There are things I need to learn about at a pretty deep technical level, but I may never personally apply them. Where do I go for that?

And circling around to another of Dorothea's topics ... I am still too often one of the few women in the room. A recent event I attended had 40 men and 4 women. But then, I am often just the sort of woman who thinks she's not technical enough to attend such events. Perhaps I need to face my own wariness about events like code4lib and just go. And/or stand up alongside others of my kind and start another type of event.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Via Digital Koans, I came across an open-source collection management systems called OpenCollection. from their site:

OpenCollection is a full-featured collections management and online access application for museums, archives and digital collections. It is designed to handle large, heterogeneous collections that have complex cataloguing requirements and require support for a variety of metadata standards and media formats. Unlike most other collections management applications, OpenCollection is completely web-based. All cataloging, search and administrative functions are accessed using common web-browser software, untying users from specific operating systems and making cataloguing by distributed teams and online access to collections information simple, efficient and inexpensive.


OpenCollection is intended as an alternative to expensive proprietary software solutions that have traditionally been used for collections cataloguing and publishing by museums, archives, libraries and other organizations.
Having worked for many years in the museum community and had responsibility for the design, care and feeding of a number of collection management systems, this is pretty stripped down. It has very strong support for the linking of media files. At first I thought it was lacking elements to manage those fiddly details that were so ubiquitous in managing physical collections -- storage location, exhibition history, publication history, valuation, insurance, condition -- but once I created a test object through the basic entry screen the other screens became visible to me. The only thing I didn't find (but may have missed) are elements having to do with packing and shipping, which requires very detailed record keeping. I would have also expected to see more on condition, such as the ability to track a treatment history and document treatment, since there are professional record keeping requirements for conservators.

One annoyance -- the OpenCollection product site has this ribbon of images that kept crossing on top of the text and blocking it. I'm not even using Firefox 3.0, so who knows what caused this.

issues with blogger?

Has anyone else noticed any odd Blogger behavior? When I put up a new post I'm not seeing it on my blog site for a while, sometimes not until the next day. I first noticed it on July 29. The really odd bit it that I don't see what I just posted on my blog index page, but if I click on the current month in the archive I _do_ see it. I didn't worry about it too much until today a colleague in my department said that he noticed it, as well as for some other sites. The feeds are working fine, but the sites are not.

I thought I'd ask if anyone else has seen anything like this before we lay the blame on our IT environment.

i am rich

The brouhaha over the $999 "I am Rich" iPhone app is very amusing. Eight people bought "I am Rich" -- which presents a glowing, animated red jewel -- before Apple pulled it from the App Store. Is it a scam? Conceptual art? Just something funny to do if you've got the money to burn? Is it an apocryphal story that one of the purchasers didn't mean to buy it?

The best article I found was at the Los Angeles Times. Read it quick before it disappears behind a wall ... There's also this posting on Silicon Alley Insider and this article in the Times.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

time for links and nothing more

I'm really swamped these days, and only have time to post some links to things that caught me eye during the past week: seems like a really interesting social bookmarking tool for images. Perhaps they'll learn what delicious learned and give up the tortured . 's.

William Patry stopped blogging
. I'm not surprised if folks thought his personal blog was the word of Google. It's sad that he also decided to erase his archives, but I understand that he didn't want his past postings to live on and continue to be misunderstood.

It seems that Google is making some of its machine-translation technologies and translation management tools available to human translators, at least as a beta. I'm working with a project that requires translation into 7 languages. Managing this process is very challenging, and I've seen some very bad tools for the process.

Following the Digitization and the Humanities Symposium, Jennifer Schaffner and Merilee Profitt wrote a brief report, The Impact of Digitizing Special Collections on Teaching and Scholarship: Reflections on a Symposium about Digitization and the Humanities. The report acts as a summary of the symposium, and also gives some calls to action, especially about metrics for success.

Duke has launched its Open Library Environment Project with Mellon support. Its focus on back-end open tools is worhtwhile, but I'm not sure I know how this will be integrated with other activities in the community.