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30th April 2010

10:04am: For want of a nail...

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

So back in 7th grade, my science teacher once sent me to the shop teacher to retrieve a nail. He handed me a note that read something like "As Richard III once said, "For want of a nail...". The shop teacher, who unlike the classic stereotype, was very well-read (he was the first teacher I ever had with a PhD), thought this was hilarious, and gave me the nail, with his compliments.

I never got the joke. Until today.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail_%28proverb%29
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21st April 2010

12:32pm: Hitler, as "Downfall" producer, orders a DMCA takedown
This is both hilarious and depressing at the same time. But, I guess, most of life is.

From http://ideas.4brad.com/hitler-tries-dmca-takedown

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you have probably seen a parody clip that puts new subtitles on a scene of Hitler ranting and raving from the 2004 German movie Downfall (Der Untergang). Some of these videos have gathered millions of views, with Hitler complaining about how he’s been banned from X-box live, or nobody wants to go to Burning Man, or his new camera sucks. The phenomenon even rated a New York Times article.

And a direct link to the video on YouTube

4th March 2010

8:43am: When you're a Cat, you're a Cat all the way
Current Mood: silly

22nd February 2010

3:59pm: Time to be reflective again
Most of the last year for me has been spent with my head down, working like mad to get my master's degree done, which is now *DONE*. I anticipate that the next few months will involve some posts about how this has affected me, and my thoughts on the future of information science, and my future in particular. We'll see if I keep it up.
Current Mood: accomplished

5th December 2008

7:43am: Internet culture as shame-based culture

Social Network Profile Costs Woman College Degree
Written by Sarah Perez / December 5, 2008 6:05 AM

Forget losing your job, apparently your MySpace or Facebook profile and photos can now cause you to lose your degree. In what may be one of the most frightening rulings regarding social networks and privacy to date, a federal judge has ruled against a former student of Millersville University of Pennsylvania who was denied her college degree because of an unseemly online photo and its accompanying caption found on her social network profile.

The Case of 'Drunken Pirate', Stacy SnyderCollapse )

With all the hand-wringing that people in the information field do over the potential privacy violations inherent in social networks, the ultimate truth of it is that people only see what you post. If you don't want your boss to see you acting like a drunken moron, don't post pictures of yourself acting like a drunken moron publicly on your MySpace page! Or better yet, don't act like a drunken moron at all!! This cultural panopticon is nothing new. In anthropology, there is talk of shame-based culture vs. the guilt-based culture we currently live in. The accusations of unprofessionalism in this case are absolutely spot on, but Synder feels that she can protest her innocence, despite the fact that it is our perception of her behavior as an internet driven community that decides consequences, not any sense of guilt or innocence on her part.

Whoa... Heavy post to make before my morning coffee...
Current Mood: scholarly

12th November 2008

10:14am: I love my iPhone, but...
Why did Apple have to design the headphone jack so that only Apple headphones will fit in it?!? I forgot my iPod headphones at home this morning, and my spare pair of earbuds at work won't fit into the phone's jack.

And folks near my desk are very noise :-(

Edit: And I'm ok until they start playing Wagner. I hateses Wagner!
Current Mood: annoyed

22nd October 2008

9:40am: I could *totally* do this :-)

CALISTOGA, California (CNN) -- Bill and Sharon Kastrinos practice the ultimate in minimalism. They've squeezed into a 154-square-foot home that looks more like a kid's playhouse than their previous 1,800-square-foot home.

The Kastrinos moved into this tiny home from an 1,800-square-foot place.
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I love the idea of this kind of voluntary simplicity. When I'm seriously thinking about buying a house in a few years, I think I'd like to check something like this out.
Current Mood: interested

13th October 2008

8:22am: The problem with public libraries

"Well, my tax dollars pay for your library, don't they?"

Sure. Here, you bought the library this piece of paper. Don't use it all in one place.
Current Mood: cranky

10th October 2008

7:34am: When you see this, post in your own journal with your favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

"When I was your age, television was called books!"


"It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do."
"What's that?"
"Go through his clothes and look for loose change."
Current Mood: good

25th September 2008

1:47pm: Im more impressed by his Kelmscott than by his Sputnik
From Wired...

Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker's library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects—on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor—the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you—a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.

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16th September 2008

7:05am: Don't *even* say it...
Current Mood: blank

13th August 2008

1:35pm: I read bland books
Current Mood: amused

18th July 2008

10:06am: Copyright: so complex, here's a slide rule to decode it
From Ars Technica.

If you don't work in the fields of digital preservation, library science, or copyright law, you might have the impression that copyright is a fairly pedestrian beast—the milk cow of the legal world, if you will. What could be simpler than writing your book, recording your song, or drawing up your vessel hull design? Copyright law immediately grants you a set term of protection. Simple. Clear. Deliciously creamy.

It's also a pipe dream. The reality is that US copyright is a humped and horned animal with two heads, pebbly skin, and a ravenous stomach that gorges itself on the grain called "Complexity."
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A legal system of this complexity is untenable, especially given how the econtent market is churning publishers and content providers. Don't get me wrong, I do think that content creators deserve the right to profit from their creations, but the public domain cannot be treated as if it were an afterthought to copyright law. It is (or at least should be) the eventual destination of every intellectual creation of humankind, from fire and the wheel to the latest anti-cancer drugs.

3rd July 2008

7:06am: Emergency Librarian
How could I not have known about this before?!? These are all my (now former) classmates. I particularly like Kristin and her highly trained K9 counterpart Maggie at :40 here.

20th June 2008

3:22pm: What I've been up to lately

    Finishing school for the year

    Attending Jasmine's first musical theater performance

    Running down recalcitrant publishers at SLA

    Trying to breathe... That can wait, though.
Current Mood: busy

9th June 2008

9:09pm: Unicode Lament
It is my considered professional opinion that ebooks suck.

Current Mood: aggravated

15th May 2008

7:55am: More t3xtua1 studies
Researchers: written English language will weather LOL storm

Concerned parents and disgusted Internet elitists often criticize teenagers for their use of abbreviated speech and shorthand online, frequently arguing that it is ruining their language skills. It turns out that's not the case, however, according to new research from the University of Toronto to be published in the spring 2008 issue of American Speech. In fact, not only is "IM speak" not destroying anyone's language skills, it is actually being characterized as "an expansive new linguistic renaissance."
Teh t3xting ain't hurt mah leet engrish skillz!Collapse )

23rd April 2008

3:51pm: June gloom
This quarter at school feels a little bit weird. My cohortmates, with whom I have worked so hard over the last two years, are preparing to graduate. Portfolios were due this Monday, and seeing the relief on their faces makes me a bit jealous. But, on the other hand, I do feel like, from what I've heard of their thoughts on the subject, that I'm more or less ready now. So I have the next two years to leisurely put it all together. Not that I'm really just going to sit around and do nothing. I have a plan to try to write an article for publication over the next year. I need to look around for journals that I think might be interesting to publish in. Also, with their completion of portfolios comes the job hunt. I don't envy them for that. I spent enough time in that hellhole over the last 5 (no... 10...) years that I'd never want to trade my current wonderful position to be done with the degree quicker.

Still, the thought of continuing on this track for two years does not thrill me. And then there are my continuing plans for a second masters degree. solcita asked me recently why I was still thinking about doing that, given how much this program is taking out of me, and I had no answer for her. It's just something I feel like I have to do.
Current Mood: determined

8th April 2008

12:39pm: Why I love Seattle reason #5678
A bald eagle just flew by my office window.

Current Mood: calm

13th March 2008

9:37am: Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?
From Found History

Sometimes friends in other disciplines ask me the question, “So, what are the big ideas in history these days?” I then proceed to fumble around for a few minutes trying to put my finger on some new “-ism” or competing “-isms” to describe and define today’s historical discourse. Invariably, I come up short.

Growing up in the second half of the 20th century, we are prone to think about our world and our work in terms of ideologies. Late 20th century historical discourse was dominated by a succession of ideas and theoretical frameworks. This mirrored the broader cultural and political discourse in which our work was set. For most of the last 75 years of the 20th century, Socialism, Fascism, Existentialism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Conservatism, and other ideologies vied with one another broadly in our politics and narrowly at our academic conferences.
But it wasn’t always so.Collapse )

5th March 2008

4:30pm: History suggests copyright crusade is a lost cause
From Ars Technica this morning.

Recently, the Los Angeles Times's Jon Healey kicked off a new round in the long-running debate about the moral status of file-sharing. Critics of the practice analogize copyrights to property rights, suggesting that file-sharing is a form of theft. Property rights have emotional resonance across the political spectrum. As a result, those who want to increase the power of copyright owners have tended to stress the similarities between copyrights and property rights. In contrast, those who who favor less restrictive copyright laws, as well as those who oppose copyright altogether, have resisted this analogy.

In a sense, this is obviously just a semantic dispute. But there are also important philosophical and legal issues underlying these arguments. As a strong supporter of property rights, I'm very interested in the similarities and differences between copyrights and traditional property rights.
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3rd March 2008

8:28am: Be the doorway, not the doormat
A good lesson for all libraries, and anyone else in public service.

22nd February 2008

8:34am: More real world indexing problems
From CNN...

NEW YORK (AP) -- It can stop you from voting, destroy your dental appointments, make it difficult to rent a car or book a flight, even interfere with your college exams.

More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers are still getting confused by the apostrophe. It's a problem familiar to O'Connors, D'Angelos, N'Dours and D'Artagnans across America.
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Current Mood: geeky

21st February 2008

3:34pm: Thought for the day
The test of any cognitive framework for classification is how it deals with its exceptions.

8th February 2008

11:06am: Party like it's 1998
From the NYT

Seattle Taps Its Inner Silicon Valley

Published: February 8, 2008


Many communities dream of becoming the next Silicon Valley. This one is actually doing it.

Stroll through the hip Fremont District and you will sense the Valley vibe. Google recently opened a research lab here, its second in Microsoft’s backyard. Technology start-ups are sprouting up amid quirky neighborhood landmarks like a bronze statue of Lenin and the Fremont Troll, the giant concrete creature lurking beneath the George Washington Memorial Bridge.
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