Friday, October 07, 2022

300+ authors pen open letter supporting libraries’ rights in the digital age

 The friendship of Nina Totenberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg demonstrates the perils of  insider based journalism »

Using an Infographic to Encourage Deep Reading – Prof. Cindy Guyer, Senior Law Librarian and Adjunct Assistant Professor Law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, has been experimenting with incorporating infographics in her teaching to present information and knowledge visually, using graphs, flowcharts, timelines, and diagrams, which are components of instructional design.

The Verge: “A fun little AI art widget named Text-to-Pokémon lets you plug in any name or description you like and (you guessed it) generate a pokémon matching your prompt. The model’s output isn’t flawless, but it’s incredibly entertaining all the same. 

You can try punching in the names of celebrities or politicians (see “Boris Johnson” and “Vladimir Putin” in the image above) or just general descriptions of the sort of pokémon that would tickle your personal fancy (the one below is my “skeleton priest”). (A little tip for using the tool more efficiently: make sure you select “4” from the “num_outputs” drop-down menu to get four images per prompt rather than just one.)..”

Jeremy Singer-Vine: ” The Data Liberation Project is a new initiative I’m launching today to identify, obtain, reformat, clean, document, publish, and disseminate government datasets of public interest. Vast troves of government data are inaccessible to the people and communities who need them most. These datasets are inaccessible. The Process:

  • Identify: Through its own research, as well as through consultations with journalists, community groups, government-data experts, and others, the Data Liberation Project aims to identify a large number of datasets worth pursuing.
  • Obtain: The Data Liberation Project plans to use a wide range of methods to obtain the datasets, including via Freedom of Information Act requests, intervening in lawsuits, web-scraping, and advanced document parsing. To improve public knowledge about government data systems, the Data Liberation Project also files FOIA requests for essential metadata, such as database schemas, record layouts, data dictionaries, user guides, and glossaries.
  • Reformat: Many datasets are delivered to journalists and the public in difficult-to-use formats. Some may follow arcane conventions or require proprietary software to access, for instance. The Data Liberation Project will convert these datasets into open formats, and restructure them so that they can be more easily examined.
  • Clean: The Data Liberation Project will not alter the raw records it receives. But when the messiness of datasets inhibits their usefulness, the project will create secondary, “clean” versions of datasets that fix these problems.
  • Document: Datasets are meaningless without context, and practically useless without documentation. The Data Liberation Project will gather official documentation for each dataset into a central location. It will also fill observed gaps in the documentation through its own research, interviews, and analysis.
  • Disseminate: The Data Liberation Project will not expect reporters and other members of the public simply to stumble upon these datasets. Instead, it will reach out to the newsrooms and communities that stand to benefit most from the data. The project will host hands-on workshops, webinars, and other events to help others to understand and use the data.”

300+ authors pen open letter supporting libraries’ rights in the digital age

“Signed by a vast and diverse list of authors, the letter decries conduct from major publishers and trade associations, including their lawsuit against the Internet Archive, demanding that they cease efforts to undermine the essential contributions of libraries to an accessible and inclusive world of books. Over 300 authors including Neil Gaiman, Alok Menon, Naomi Klein, Saul Williams, Hanif Abdurraqib, Lawrence Lessig, Chuck Wendig, and Cory Doctorow have released an open letter in support of the continued role of libraries in the digital age. It reads in part:

 “Libraries are a fundamental collective good. We, the undersigned authors, are disheartened by the recent attacks against libraries being made in our name by trade associations such as the American Association of Publishers and the Publishers Association: undermining the traditional rights of libraries to own and preserve books, intimidating libraries with lawsuits, and smearing librarians.“ The letter demands that publishers, distributors, and trade associations:

  1. Enshrine the right of libraries to own, preserve, and loan books on reasonable terms regardless of format
  2. End lawsuits aimed to intimidate libraries or diminish their role in society
  3. Halt industry-led smear campaigns against librarians

…The suit seeks to end the Internet Archive’s Open Library Project, which partners with 80+ libraries including Boston Public Library, Milton Public Library, University of Arizona, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art to loan out digital scans of physical books the Internet Archive Library owns. 

The suit’s scope reaches to the core of the right to own digital books. Briefs in the case are due October 7th. If publishers prevail, they will effectively terminate the rights of all libraries across the US to own, preserve, and loan digital books by “blocking” a practice called controlled digital lending—locking in licensing models with grave implications for readers’ safety.”

In the Mind of a Whale Hakai Magazine

Fish fossils found in China shed light on human evolution: Researchers Daily Sabah

How a School’s ‘Bike Bus’ Won Over Students and Charmed the Internet Route Fifty

No end in sight for Fed-delivered beatings Politico

The Cost of the Fed’s Challenged CredibilityMohamed A. El-Erian, Project Syndicate

It is hard to overstate how far free and unlimited central bank liquidity has rewired the financial system. As central bankers extract themselves from the monetary rabbit hole they have burrowed their way into, the damage to traditional portfolios is likely to be considerable.

Swimming naked Ruffer

Musk’s texts are a who’s who of power players — and everyone had an angle Protocol

Zombie capitalism is unravelling Yanis Varoufakis, The New Statesman


Twitter reverses account lock on Will Lehman, rank-and-file candidate for UAW president, without explanation WSWS


Bruce Willis Sells Deepfake Likeness Rights So His ‘Twin’ Can Star in Future Movies