Intersect Alerts

Intersect Alert October 13, 2019

Libraries

Why Libraries Are Eliminating Late Fees for Overdue Books [CityLab]

“Chicago libraries will no longer collect late fees starting this month, becoming the largest public library system in the U.S. to do away with overdue fines. The city is also erasing all currently outstanding fees, which is good news to the more than 343,000 cardholders whose borrowing privileges have been revoked for accruing at least $10 in unpaid fines.”

“Chicago is one of a growing number of cities trying to make access to libraries more equitable. Its own data revealed that one in three cardholders in the public library’s south district, where many of the communities are of color and living in poverty, cannot check out books. That’s compared to one in six people in the wealthier north district. It’s likely that many who have unpaid fines fail to pay them because they don’t have the disposable income to do so.”

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/10/public-library-late-fees-chicago-san-francisco-equity-access/599194/

 

News from the Law Library of Congress Chatbot

In Custodia Legis – “Have you tried the Law Library of Congress Chatbot lately? The chatbot provides answers to frequently asked legal reference questions through Facebook Messenger. You can interact with it by clicking through a series of menu options or you can type in a natural language question. The chatbot debuted in October 2017, and since that time we have been able to learn from user interactions with the chatbot and make revisions to improve the user experience. For example, the chatbot’s natural language abilities have substantially improved since its debut. When the chatbot was released, slight variations from questions the chatbot anticipated, such as deviations in sentence structure, would likely cause the chatbot to return the default response. With the benefit of additional development time, the chatbot’s vocabulary is much more robust and can accommodate variations in sentence structure. Give it a try and let us know what you think. If you would like to try your hand at building your own chatbot, click here for more information…”

https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2019/10/news-from-the-law-library-of-congress-chatbot/

 

Education

‘Ultimate gift to future generations’: plan to laser map all land on Earth

  UK Guardian – Project to record cultural, geological and environmental treasures at risk from climate crisis  – “A project to produce detailed maps of all the land on Earth through laser scanning has been revealed by researchers who say action is needed now to preserve a record of the world’s cultural, environmental and geological treasures. Prof Chris Fisher, an archaeologist from Colorado State University, said he founded the Earth Archive as a response to the climate crisis. “We are going to lose a significant amount of both cultural patrimony – so archaeological sites and landscapes – but also ecological patrimony – plants and animals, entire landscapes, geology, hydrology,” Fisher told the Guardian. “We really have a limit time to record those things before the Earth fundamentally changes.”

The main technology Fisher hopes to use is aircraft-based Lidar, a scanning technique in which laser pulses are directed at the Earth’s surface from an instrument attached to an aircraft. The time it takes for the pulses to bounce back is measured, allowing researchers to work out the distance to the object or surface they strike. Combined with location data, the approach allows scientists to build 3D maps of an area…”

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/11/ultimate-gift-to-future-generations-plan-to-laser-map-all-land-on-earth

 

Copyright

One Weird Law That Interferes With Security Research, Remix Culture, and Even Car Repair

How can a single, ill-conceived law wreak havoc in so many ways? It prevents you from making remix videos. It blocks computer security research. It keeps those with print disabilities from reading ebooks. It makes it illegal to repair people's cars. It makes it harder to compete with tech companies by designing interoperable products. It's even been used in an attempt to block third-party ink cartridges for printers.

It's hard to believe, but these are just some of the consequences of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which gives legal teeth to "access controls" (like DRM). Courts have mostly interpreted the law as abandoning the traditional limitations on copyright's scope, such as fair use, in favor of a strict regime that penalizes any bypassing of access controls (such as DRM) on a copyrighted work regardless of your noninfringing purpose, regardless of the fact that you own that copy of the work.  

Since software can be copyrighted, companies have increasingly argued that you cannot even look at the code that controls a device you own, which would mean that you're not allowed to understand the technology on which you rely — let alone learn how to tinker with it or spot vulnerabilities or undisclosed features that violate your privacy, for instance.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/10/one-weird-law-interferes-security-research-remix-culture-and-even-car-repair

 

Digital Preservation

Digital Preservation Framework Released For Public Comment

“Today NARA is releasing the entirety of our digital preservation framework for public comment. This digital preservation framework consists of our approach to determining risks faced by electronic files, and our plans for preserving different types of file formats. The public is encouraged to join the discussion, September 16 through November 1, 2019, on GitHub.”

https://aotus.blogs.archives.gov/2019/09/16/digital-preservation-framework-released-for-public-comment/



Intersect Alert October 6, 2019

Research

600 Years of Grape Harvests Document 20th Century Climate Change

“Climate change isn’t just captured by thermometers—grapes can also do the trick. By mining archival records of grape harvest dates going back to 1354, scientists have reconstructed a 664-year record of temperature traced by fruit ripening. The records, from the Burgundy region of France, represent the longest series of grape harvest dates assembled up until now and reveal strong evidence of climate change in the past few decades. Science with Grapes As far back as the 19th century, scientists have been using records of grape harvest dates to track climatic changes. “Wine harvest is a really great proxy for summer warmth,” said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York not involved in the research. “The warmer the summer is, the faster the grapes develop, so the earlier the harvest happens…”

https://eos.org/articles/600-years-of-grape-harvests-document-20th-century-climate-change

 

Archives

Today's Document from NARA's Tumblr


Today’s Document started as a small feature on the Archives.gov website several years ago, as a way to highlight interesting documents in our holdings—both the well-known and the obscure—and to observe historical events (usually the significant events but sometimes just the curious ones). Today’s Document is now a popular feature and has inspired a new mobile App and even an independent tribute site. Over the years we have received suggestions and requests for new documents and started this blog as a way to collect and discuss those ideas. We’ll select the most highly rated documents and use them to populate future dates…”

https://www.bespacific.com/todays-document-from-naras-tumblr/


Libraries

Ancient scrolls charred by Vesuvius could be read once again

"When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, their inhabitants and their prized possessions – among them a fine library of scrolls that were carbonised by the searing heat of ash and gas."

"But scientists say there may still be hope that the fragile documents can once more be read thanks to an innovative approach involving high-energy x-rays and artificial intelligence."

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/oct/03/ancient-scrolls-charred-by-vesuvius-could-be-read-once-again


Down with Dewey

Melvil Dewey is a library icon. So why did librarians remove Dewey’s name from one of their most prestigious awards. 

“In June, the American Library Association stripped a familiar name from one of its top leadership honors: the Melvil Dewey Medal. As you may recall from grade school, Dewey was the man behind the Dewey Decimal Classification system, the schema of numbers and subject areas used at libraries around the world to categorize books. Founder of the nation’s first library school, co-founder of the ALA itself, and onetime director of the New York State Library, he’s usually revered as a library icon, his name perhaps the one most strongly associated with the institution. So what drove librarians to erase it from their own award? As it turns out, despite the wholesome associations Dewey has accrued in the public imagination since his death in 1931, the man was no saint…What does this shift portend for Dewey’s intellectual contributions? The DDC might be the world’s most widely used library classification system, but like the man himself, it’s not without controversy. Critics say the subjects are heavily Eurocentric and favorable to Christianity. The 200s of the DDC, for example, are devoted to the subject of religion. But the subcategories are nearly all focused on Christianity, with one section for “other religions.”

https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/09/melvil-dewey-american-library-association-award-name-change.html

 

Technology

This is how you kick facial recognition out of your town

"Bans on the technology have mostly focused on law enforcement, but there’s a growing movement to get it out of school, parks, and private businesses too."

"In San Francisco, a cop can’t use facial recognition technology on a person arrested. But a landlord can use it on a tenant, and a school district can use it on students." 

"This is where we find ourselves, smack in the middle of an era when cameras on the corner can automatically recognize passersby, whether they like it or not. The question of who should be able to use this technology, and who shouldn’t, remains largely unanswered in the US. So far, American backlash against facial recognition has been directed mainly at law enforcement. San Francisco and Oakland, as well as Somerville, Massachusetts, have all banned police from using the technology in the past year because the algorithms aren’t accurate for people of color and women. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has even called for a moratorium on police use." 

"Private companies and property owners have had no such restrictions, and facial recognition is increasingly cropping up in apartment buildings, hotels, and more. Privacy advocates worry that constant surveillance will lead to discrimination and have a chilling effect on free speech—and the American public isn’t very comfortable with it either. According to a recent survey by Pew Research, people in the US actually feel better about cops using facial recognition than they do about private businesses." 

"Anyone waiting for a quick federal ban to take shape, either for law enforcement or private industry, is likely to be disappointed, says AI policy expert Mutale Nkonde, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center. “From a federal perspective, anything that seems to undermine business or innovation is not going to be favored,” she says. In theory, bans in cities that have so far been aimed at cops could widen to include private interests. States could then take them up, which might finally spur action in Washington. But it’s going to take a while, if it happens at all."

"In the meantime, there is growing momentum toward curtailing private surveillance, using an array of tactics. From going toe to toe with big corporate interests to leaning on legal theory about what constitutes civil rights in America, here are three main approaches currently in play that could one day drastically change how facial recognition is used in our lives."

 https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614477/facial-recognition-law-enforcement-surveillance-private-industry-regulation-ban-backlash/



Intersect Alert September 29, 2019


Publishing

GPO Produces U.S. Code with New Digital Publ
ishing Technology

"GPO has taken a major step forward in the modernization of its publishing systems by beginning to publish the 2018 main edition of the United States Code through XPub, the agency’s new digital technology for XML-based publishing. With the implementation of XPub, GPO will be able to simultaneously publish all legislative documents in a variety of print and digital formats in a more timely manner. The 2018 Main Edition of the U.S. Code is the first, large-scale production job that GPO has published using the new composition system."

https://www.govinfo.gov/features/uscode-2018

Copyright

The Misadventure of Copyrighting State Law

"Abstract- Many states have asserted copyright over their own official state legal texts, limiting access to those materials and attempting to monetize them. This Article aims to provide helpful analysis for state officials deciding whether to pursue such policies and for courts reviewing challenges to such practices. Prior scholarship in this area has focused on the issue of whether such copyright assertions can be valid under federal law given the inherent conflicts they pose to due process and democratic ideals. This Article aims to expand this dialogue in a couple of ways — first, by situating the controversy within the broader arc of legal history, and second, by focusing on matters of present-day practicalities and economics. In so doing, the thrust of this Article is to go beyond arguing that states must surrender their copyright claims over state legal materials and to concentrate instead on providing reasons why states should see it in their own interest and the interest of their citizens to renounce such claims. The policy arguments this Article sets out — including with regard to business behavior, political engagement, and fiscal responsibility — end up providing not merely reasons for states to abstain from aggressive copyright claiming, but also reasons for reviewing courts to deny such claims, including by way of fair use analysis."

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3446229

Libraries

The Oldest Continuously Operating Library in the World is in this Egyptian Monastery

"One of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world still in operation, the Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai is home to almost 2,000 years of history — and many more years of legend: tradition claims, for example, that the main altar of the monastery is built on the spot where the Burning Bush first addressed Moses."

"But the monastery, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO, also holds other places of honor. For example, it accommodates the oldest continuously operating active library in the world."

https://aleteia.org/2019/08/19/the-oldest-continuously-operating-library-in-the-world-is-in-an-egyptian-monastery/

Privacy


The World’s Most-Surveilled Cities

"Cities in China are under the heaviest CCTV surveillance in the world, according to a new analysis by Comparitech. However, some residents living in cities across the US, UK, UAE, Australia, and India will also find themselves surrounded by a large number of watchful eyes, as our look at the number of public CCTV cameras in 120 cities worldwide found."

"Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras serve many purposes, ranging from crime prevention to traffic monitoring to observing industrial operations in environments not suitable for humans. The digital age has boosted the prevalence of CCTV surveillance. Cameras are getting better and cheaper, while live video streams can be remotely accessed, stored on the internet, and passed around. The adoption of face recognition technology makes it possible for both public and private entities to instantly check the identity of anyone who passes by a CCTV camera."

https://www.comparitech.com/vpn-privacy/the-worlds-most-surveilled-cities/

This AI Reads Privacy Policies so You Don’t Have to — and It’s Actually Pretty Good

"Don’t you absolutely hate how dense and confusing privacy policies are? Considering they’re full of gotchas and intentionally obscure legalese, it’s no surprise that hardly anyone bothers to even read them — we’ve simply accepted we’re giving up our data, and with it, our sense of privacy."

"But thanks to this new policy-reading AI, things won’t have to be this way for much longer. Guard is a recurrent neural network-based app that reads and analyzes privacy terms, so you don’t have to. While it can’t yet examine policies on request, the AI has rated the privacy terms of a slew of popular services like Netflix, Instagram, Twitter, and Tinder."

https://thenextweb.com/apps/2019/09/24/ai-privacy-terms-analysis-reads/

30-Second Privacy Fixes: 5 Simple Ways to Protect Your Data

"These days, the products we use have an annoying way of spying on us—from inside our cars, our homes, and our offices. That smartphone game you play in the waiting room at the doctor's office, the mobile app that gives you a weather forecast, the photo you share with online friends—all have the ability to reveal intimate details about your life."

"According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 60 percent of Americans now bar mobile apps from accessing the camera, GPS data, and contact list on their phones. And half protect their online accounts with two-factor authentication."

https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/30-second-privacy-fixes/

Thanks For Helping Us Defend the California Consumer Privacy Act

"The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect on January 1, 2020—having fended off a year of targeted efforts by technology giants who wanted to gut the bill. Most recently, industry tried to weaken its important privacy protections in the last days of the legislative session."

"Californians made history last year when, after 600,000 people signed petitions in support of a ballot initiative, the California State Legislature answered their constituents’ call for a new data privacy law. It’s been a long fight to defend the CCPA against a raft of amendments that would have weakened this law and the protections it enshrines for Californians. Big technology companies backed a number of bills that each would have weakened the CCPA’s protections. Taken together, this package would have significantly undermined this historic law."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/09/thanks-helping-us-defend-california-consumer-privacy-act



Intersect Alert August 25, 2019

Government

61% of Voters Say They Believe Russia Will Try to Interfere in 2020 Election

"With less than six months until the first presidential primary vote is cast in Iowa, more voters are saying it’s likely that Russia will try to interfere in the next presidential election, according to a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll. But the survey suggests that the prospect won’t deter them from heading to the ballot box.”
https://morningconsult.com/2019/08/21/61-of-voters-say-they-believe-russia-will-try-to-interfere-in-2020-election/

Libraries

On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive Detective

“Mitch Yockelson scours the country for its missing heritage. …Yockelson is one-half of the Archival Recovery Program, based in the National Archives and Records Administration’s office in College Park, Maryland.“
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/national-archives-detective

Privacy

You Can Finally See All Info Facebook Collected About You From Other Websites

“…Facebook collects information about its users in two ways: first, through the information you input into its website and apps, and second, by tracking which websites you visit while you’re not on Facebook. That’s why, after you visit a clothing retailer’s website, you’ll likely see an ad for it in your Facebook News Feed or Instagram feed. “
https://www.bespacific.com/you-can-finally-see-all-info-facebook-collected-about-you-from-other-websites/

Research

Data Management Law for the 2020s: The Lost Origins and the New Needs

“In the data analytics society, each individual’s disclosure of personal information imposes costs on others. This disclosure enables companies, deploying novel forms of data analytics, to infer new knowledge about other people and to use this knowledge to engage in potentially harmful activities. These harms go beyond privacy and include difficult to detect price discrimination, preference manipulation, and even social exclusion. Currently existing, individual-focused, data protection regimes leave law unable to account for these social costs or to manage them.This Article suggests a way out, by proposing to re-conceptualize the problem of social costs of data analytics through the new frame of “data management law.””
https://www.bespacific.com/data-management-law-for-the-2020s-the-lost-origins-and-the-new-needs/

NARA Drives Govt Transition to All-Electronic Records

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is embarking on an ambitious effort to phase out the acquisition of paper records by 2022 and to transition to all-electronic record keeping.”
https://www.bespacific.com/nara-drives-govt-transition-to-all-electronic-records/

Intersect Alert September 10, 2019

Public Data

Victory! Ruling in hiQ v. Linkedin protects scraping of public data

"In a long-awaited decision in hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that automated scraping of publicly accessible data likely does not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This is an important clarification of the CFAA’s scope, which should provide some relief to the wide variety of researchers, journalists, and companies who have had reason to fear cease and desist letters threatening liability simply for accessing publicly available information in a way that publishers object to. It’s a major win for research and innovation, which will hopefully pave the way for courts and Congress to further curb abuse of the CFAA."

"Passed in 1986, the CFAA is the federal anti-hacking law, which imposes both criminal and civil liability on anyone who accesses a computer connected to the Internet “without authorization” or “exceeds authorized access.” Because the statute does not define “without authorization,” interpreting its meaning in the context of modern Internet usages has been notoriously difficult for courts around the country. The hiQ case is just the latest in a series of high-profile Ninth Circuit decisions about the CFAA, in which the appeals court has too often vacillated between limiting the CFAA to its original purpose and adopting more expansive interpretations that risk criminalizing widespread, innocuous online-behavior."

Read more here: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/09/victory-ruling-hiq-v-linkedin-protects-scraping-public-data

Data Literacy

We’re in a Data Literacy Crisis. Could Librarians Be the Superheroes We Need?

"Qlik’s recently published global data literacy report found that just 24% of business decision-makers surveyed are fully confident in their ability to read, work with, analyze, and argue with data. Just 32% of the C-suite is viewed as data literate, potentially holding senior leaders back from encouraging their workforces to use data to their advantage."

"Perhaps most surprising, 60% of U.S. workers 16 to 24 years old—people who have been raised surrounded by technology—are overwhelmed by the data they must read and analyze as part of their jobs."

Read more here: https://fortune.com/2019/08/31/data-literacy-crisis-librarians-library/

Libraries

Truman Library Ground-Breaki
ng Ceremony

"The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO, is undergoing a year-long renovation that will result in a new Truman permanent exhibition, new amenities for visitors, and enhanced educational and community programming."

Read more here: https://aotus.blogs.archives.gov/2019/09/06/truman-library-ground-breaking-ceremony/

Automatic for the People

"Are self-service libraries a threat to the profession or an opportunity to better serve patrons?"

"When Jacob Grussing, director of Scott County Library (SCL) in Shakopee, Minnesota, spoke to the local paper about SCL’s investigation into self-serve library services, he wasn’t exactly prepared for the patron fallout. Comments poured in supporting SCL’s staffers after the resulting article ran online with the headline 'Libraries without Librarians?'"

"Automated and self-service libraries—which have been popular in Europe for years—are gaining a foothold in the US. Will these services eliminate librarian jobs, or are they a cost-effective way to stretch budgets and provide basic services while freeing staff for other work?"

Read more here: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/09/03/automatic-people-self-service-libraries/

Privacy

How Does Apple (Privately) Find Your Offline Devices?

"At Monday’s WWDC conference, Apple announced a cool new feature called 'Find My'. Unlike Apple’s 'Find my iPhone', which uses cellular communication and the lost device’s own GPS to identify the location of a missing phone, 'Find My' also lets you find devices that don’t have cellular support or internal GPS — things like laptops, or (and Apple has hinted at this only broadly) even  'dumb' location tags that you can attach to your non-electronic physical belongings."

"The good news is that Apple claims that their system actually does provide strong privacy, and that it accomplishes this using clever cryptography. But as is typical, they’ve declined to give out the details how they’re going to do it. Andy Greenberg talked me through an incomplete technical description that Apple provided to Wired, so that provides many hints. Unfortunately, what Apple provided still leaves huge gaps. It’s into those gaps that I’m going to fill in my best guess for what Apple is actually doing."

Read more here: https://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2019/06/05/how-does-apple-privately-find-your-offline-devices/

Firefox will Encrypt Web Domain Name Requests by Default

"Mozilla's Firefox privacy protections will soon include one of the most basic tasks for any web browser: fielding the domain name requests that help you visit websites. The developer will make DNS over encrypted HTTPS the default for the US starting in late September, locking down more of your web browsing without requiring an explicit toggle like before. Your online habits should be that much more private and secure, with fewer chances for DNS hijacking and activity monitoring."

Read more here: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/07/firefox-dns-over-https-by-default/

Copyright

The Decline of Online Piracy: How Markets - Not Enforcement - Drive Down Copyright Infringement

"Abstract - This article deals with the acquisition and consumption of music, films, series, books, and games through the various legal and illegal channels that exist nowadays, in a set of thirteen countries across the globe. The article has four aims. First, it provides an overview of the rules on liability for and enforcement of online copyright infringement in the countries studied. Second, it gives factual information about the state of authorized and unauthorized acquisition and consumption of these types of content. The third aim is to evaluate the underlying mechanisms and the link with enforcement measures and legal supply. Lastly, the article assesses the effect of online piracy on consumption from legal sources. To further these aims, the article combines different sources and empirical methods, including consumer surveys among nearly 35.000 respondents and comparative legal research. Our main conclusion is that online piracy is declining. The key driver for this decline is the increasing availability of affordable legal content, rather than enforcement measures. Where the legal supply of copyright-protected content is affordable, convenient and diverse, consumers are willing to pay for it and abandon piracy. Policymakers should therefore shift their focus from repressive approaches to tackle online infringement towards policies and measures that foster lawful remunerated access to copyright-protected content. "

Read more here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3437239

Research

A Comparative Study of Perceptions and Use of Google Scholar and Academic Library Discovery Systems

"Google Scholar and academic library discovery systems are both popular resources among academic users for finding scholarly information. By conducting an online survey with 975 users from more than 20 public research universities across the United States, this study comparatively investigates how and why academic users use these two resources. Results show that the ways participants used both resources were similar, and both were perceived as highly accessible and useful. Academic library discovery systems’ perceived comprehensiveness, subjective norm, loyalty, and intended use were higher than Google Scholar, while Google Scholar’s perceived ease of use, system quality, and satisfaction were higher than that of academic library discovery systems."

Read more here:  https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/23532/30841


Intersect Alert September 16, 2019

Search

Elevating original reporting in Search

"Google Search was built to provide everyone access to information on the web—and with tens of thousands of web pages, hundreds of hours of video, thousands of tweets and news stories published every minute of the day, our job is to sift through that content and find the most helpful results possible. With news in particular, we always aim to show a diversity of articles and sources to give users as much context and insight as possible." 

"An important element of the coverage we want to provide is original reporting, an endeavor which requires significant time, effort and resources by the publisher. Some stories can also be both critically important in the impact they can have on our world and difficult to put together, requiring reporters to engage in deep investigative pursuits to dig up facts and sources. These are among the reasons why we aim to support these industry efforts and help people get access to the most authoritative reporting."

https://www.blog.google/products/search/original-reporting/

Libraries and Librarians

Chicago’s New Tool Library Is Awesome, Exactly What It Sounds Like

"Need audio equipment to record a podcast? Want to make your own tagliatelle pasta? Lacking the right wire strippers to build your own quadcopter drone?"

"The new Chicago Tool Library has your back, so you can explore your inner Leonardo DaVinci without having to buy and store gear you use once in a blue moon."

"Just launched this summer in Bridgeport, The Chicago Tool Library is a community-driven nonprofit organization that rents out donated tools. The inventory is stacked, ranging from power drills to masonry to woodworking to food-preparation hardware."

 https://www.insidehook.com/article/culture-chicago/chicagos-new-tool-library-is-awesome-exactly-what-it-sounds-like

The Crack Squad of Librarians Who Track Down Half-Forgotten Books

"The carpet was khaki, THE lights yellow, the walls a dishwater beige. The basement computer lab in Midtown Manhattan didn’t have much ambience. But 20 librarians from the New York Public Library were seated in the room—and they were there to crack mysteries. Their tools were a whiteboard, a marker, a series of screens, and a metal bell of the sort you’d find on a hotel-lobby desk. Whenever it dinged, it meant a case had been closed."

"Before we each had a little, flickering encyclopedia in our hands, we had librarians, and they’re still experts at finding the answers to tricky questions. Through the Ask NYPL portal, a decades-old phone and text service, the staff has triaged everything from queries about the Pope’s sex life to what it means if you dream about being chased by elephants. The library staff are ace researchers with a massive trove at their fingertips. A sense of mystery in their work comes when people approach them with vague questions and patchy details—particularly when they’re looking for books, but they don’t remember the authors or titles."

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/librarian-detectives-forgotten-books

Libraries and Archivists Are Scanning and Uploading Books That Are Secretly in the Public Domain

"A coalition of archivists, activists, and libraries are working overtime to make it easier to identify the many books that are secretly in the public domain, digitize them, and make them freely available online to everyone. The people behind the effort are now hoping to upload these books to the Internet Archive, one of the largest digital archives on the internet."

"As it currently stands, all books published in the U.S. before 1924 are in the public domain, meaning they’re publicly owned and can be freely used and copied. Books published in 1964 and after are still in copyright, and by law will be for 95 years from their publication date."

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a3534j/libraries-and-archivists-are-scanning-and-uploading-books-that-are-secretly-in-the-public-domain


Libraries Ensure That Our Future Is Connected and Informed. Let’s Help Them Keep It That Way.

"It should go without saying, but it’s worth shouting from the rooftops every now and then: Libraries are important! While all libraries, from the largest city libraries to the smallest local libraries, provide a diverse array of vital community services, perhaps their most important role is to preserve culturally and historically valuable works and to provide their communities with access to those works. Delivering many of these services has proven to be a challenge for libraries in the 21st century, now that our lives are fully entangled with the internet and access to knowledge happens through digital technologies like electronic books (eBooks)." 

"As is often the case in other areas of public concern, regulatory volatility coupled with the glacial pace of legal development has created obstacles for libraries seeking to fulfill their missions. Two key challenges for libraries are (1) their ability to access (and provide access to) quality, affordable broadband, and (2) their ability to expand the traditional library practice of owning and lending out physical works into the digital world. Policymakers must pursue sensible broadband and copyright policies to help libraries further their service to the public interest. This includes providing libraries with adequate funding for broadband and the freedom to adopt and employ technologies (such as controlled digital lending of works) that allow them to serve their patrons within the confines of current law. If these measures are left untaken, libraries are at risk of being unable to provide the benefits to individuals in the digital age that they have provided for centuries."

https://www.publicknowledge.org/libraries-ensure-that-our-future-is-connected-and-informed-lets-help-them-keep-it-that-way/

Publishing


Why Angry Librarians Are Going to War With Publishers Over E-Books

"If I wanted to borrow A Better Man by Louise Penny—the country’s current No. 1 fiction bestseller—from my local library in my preferred format, e-book, I’d be looking at about a 10-week waitlist. And soon, if the book’s publisher, a division of Macmillan, has its way, that already-lengthy wait time could get significantly longer."

"In July, Macmillan announced that come November, the company will only allow libraries to purchase a single copy of its new titles for the first eight weeks of their release—and that’s one copy whether it’s the New York Public Library or a small-town operation that’s barely moved on from its card catalog. This has sparked an appropriately quiet revolt. Librarians and their allies quickly denounced the decision when it came down, and now the American Library Association is escalating the protest by enlisting the public to stand with libraries by signing an online petition with a populist call against such restrictive practices. (The association announced the petition Wednesday at Digital Book World, an industry conference in Nashville, Tennessee.) What’s unclear is whether the association can get the public to understand a byzantine-seeming dispute over electronic files and the right to download them."

https://slate.com/business/2019/09/e-book-library-publisher-buying-controversy-petition.html

Cengage/Mcgraw-Hill Merger Would Make Students Pay Even More for Textbooks

"Almost a year ago today I unpacked my bags, put up my last poster in my dorm room, and prepared for my first day as a college student. One of the first items on my to-do list — apart from figuring out where my classes were — was buying the textbooks I would need for my classes. As I opened my laptop and looked up the titles I was shocked at what I was seeing. A mix of required readings that individually cost more than the concert ticket I had been saving up for. Apart from traditional print titles, I was equally amazed that some classes required books that were solely online — none of which I would own, but rather would have access to for a limited amount of time."

"The shock I experienced is not unique. Millions of students across the U.S. face a textbook market that is ever changing with prices that are exponentially rising. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, textbooks prices have risen 1,041% (three times faster than inflation) since 1977. According to the College Board, a student at a public, in-state university is expected to spend about $11,140 during their college career on books and supplies with the cost being even higher for out-of-state and private university students. These prices have led to 65% of students not purchasing required materials despite 94% of them being aware that it would hurt their grades."

https://www.publicknowledge.org/cengage-mcgraw-hill-merger-would-make-students-pay-even-more-for-textbooks/

Intersect Alert September 3, 2019

Publishing

Toward a New Kind of 'Big Deal'


“Making the transition from paying to read to paying to publish academic research won’t be easy for universities or publishers. But it is possible, attendees at an open-access-publishing event were told Thursday.”

“The University of California, which cancelled its ‘big deal’ with publisher Elsevier earlier this year after negotiations to establish a new agreement broke down, hosted a public forum discussing how libraries, publishers and funders can support a system where all research articles are made free to read at the time of publication -- a standard known as gold open access.”

“So-called transformative agreements, which increase gold open access and shift payments away from the traditional subscription model, will be essential to accelerating the progress of the open-access movement, said Jeff MacKie-Mason, university librarian at UC Berkeley.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/30/pursuing-new-kind-“big-deal”-publishers

Freedom of Information

How The Times Uses FOIA to Obtain Information the Public Has a Right to Know

“The anonymous note was secretly tucked into an envelope, behind an official letter from a government agency denying our reporter’s request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act.”

“It apparently came from someone deep in the agency’s FOIA bureaucracy. The request sought government documents related to the president’s business interests. Typed in large-font print on plain paper, the inserted note said: ‘The processing of the request was highly irregular. The withholding was entirely unjustified ... The document was probably withheld for political reasons.’”

“I had never seen such a whistle-blower note before, but it brought into sharp focus what we face every day in The New York Times’s legal department as we continue to push against government secrecy through the use of FOIA. Whether it is helping our reporters as they go after documents in Washington and the Virgin Islands related to Jeffrey Epstein, or suing the C.I.A. over its refusal to release information about the United States’ war efforts in Syria, we have made FOIA a centerpiece of our legal work at The Times.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/02/reader-center/foia-freedom-of-information-public-records.html

Libraries and Librarians

When the Public Feared that Library Books Could Spread Deadly Diseases

“On September 12, 1895, a Nebraskan named Jessie Allan died of tuberculosis. Such deaths were a common occurrence at the turn of the 20th century, but Allan’s case of “consumption” reportedly came from an unusual source. She was a librarian at the Omaha Public Library, and thanks to a common fear of the time, people worried that Allan’s terminal illness may have come from a book.”

“’The death of Miss Jessie Allan is doubly sad because of the excellent reputation which her work won for her and the pleasant affection which all librarians who knew her had come to feel for her, and because her death has given rise to a fresh discussion as to the possibility of infection from contagious diseases through library books,’ the Library Journal, published by the American Librarians Association, wrote in October of 1895.”

“Allan’s death occurred during what is sometimes called the ‘great book scare.’ This scare, now mostly forgotten, was a frantic panic during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that contaminated books—particularly ones lent out from libraries—could spread deadly diseases. The panic sprung from ‘the public understanding of the causes of diseases as germs,’ says Annika Mann, a professor at Arizona State University and author of Reading Contagion: The Hazards of Reading in the Age of Print.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/during-great-book-scare-people-worried-contaminated-books-could-spread-disease-180972967/

Dr. Donald Lindberg, 85, Dies: Opened Medical Research to the World

“Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, who as director of the National Library of Medicine — the world’s largest — computerized its vast holdings and made them accessible to researchers around the world, died on Aug. 17 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was 85.”

“His wife, Mary, said the cause was a cerebral hemorrhage sustained after he fell at home on Aug. 12.”

“Dr. Lindberg was a leader in medical informatics, the science of using computer technology to improve human health and the delivery of health care services. As the longtime leader of the library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, he modernized, expanded and transformed a trove of material, some of which dates to the 12th century.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/02/obituaries/dr-donald-lindberg-dead.html

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

"
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning."

http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/card

San Francisco Public Library - September Newsletter

At the library, events and happenings at the San Francisco Public Library

Read the newsletter here: https://sfpl.org/uploads/files/pdfs/ATL/sept19.pdf


Intersect Alert August 19, 2019

Government 

16 million Americans will vote on hackable paperless machines

"Despite the obvious risk and years of warnings, at least eight American states and 16 million American voters will use completely paperless machines in the 2020 US elections, a new report by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found."
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614148/16-million-americans-will-vote-on-hackable-paperless-voting-machines/

Librarians 

Librarians facing new tasks say crisis isn’t in the catalog

“When Jackie Narkiewicz switched careers and became a librarian, she thought she'd spend her workdays "drinking hot beverages and discussing literature with people.”

But during her 16 years as a librarian on New York's Long Island, Narkiewicz has also faced a man threatening to kill her and a patron screaming while cutting her own hair in the bathroom. For her job, Narkiewicz has been trained in CPR and mental health crisis response and carries the opioid overdose antidote naloxone with her.”
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/librarians-facing-tasks-crisis-catalog-64882595

Public Policy

Victory! California Supreme Court Blocks Sweeping Search Condition of Minors’ Electronic Devices and Social Media Accounts

"The California Supreme Court just rejected the government’s attempt to require a youth probationer, as a condition of release, to submit to random searches of his electronic devices and social media accounts."
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/08/victory-california-supreme-court-blocks-sweeping-search-condition-minors

Research

ABA Votes to Urge Legal Profession to Address Emerging Legal and Ethical Issues of AI

“The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, its policy-making body, voted this week to approve a resolution urging courts and lawyers to address the emerging ethical and legal issues related to the usage of artificial intelligence in the practice of law. Among the AI-related issues the profession should address, the ABA said, are bias, explainability, and transparency of automated decisions made by AI; ethical and beneficial usage of AI; and controls and oversight of AI and the vendors that provide AI…”
https://www.lawsitesblog.com/2019/08/aba-votes-to-urge-legal-profession-to-address-emerging-legal-and-ethical-issues-of-ai.html

Social Media

Facebook paid people to listen to voice recordings, too

"Facebook paid contractors to listen to, and transcribe, audio clips generated by people using its Messenger app, according to Bloomberg. They were not told where the clips were recorded, or how they were obtained, and the conversations were sometimes deeply personal. The contractors were employed to check if Facebook’s artificial intelligence software correctly interpreted the messages, which the company says were not traceable back to users. Facebook suspended the program a little over a week ago, a spokesperson told Bloomberg."
https://www.technologyreview.com/f/614158/facebook-paid-people-to-listen-to-voice-recordings-too/

Technology

Data leak exposes unchangeable biometric data of over 1 million people

"You can always change your password. Your fingerprints and face are another story.
A major leak of data discovered this week in the UK includes fingerprints of over 1 million individuals, face recognition information, unencrypted names and passwords, and other personal info from Suprema, a security company used by UK police, banks, and military contractors, according to a report in the Guardian."
https://www.technologyreview.com/f/614163/data-leak-exposes-unchangeable-biometric-data-of-over-1-million-people/
 

Google’s algorithm for detecting hate speech is racially biased

"Researchers built two AI systems and tested them on a pair of data sets of more than 100,000 tweets that had been annotated by humans with labels like “offensive,” “none,” or “hate speech.” One of the algorithms incorrectly flagged 46% of inoffensive tweets by African-American authors as offensive. Tests on bigger data sets, including one composed of 5.4 million tweets, found that posts by African-American authors were 1.5 times more likely to be labeled as offensive. When the researchers then tested Google’s Perspective, an AI tool that the company lets anyone use to moderate online discussions, they found similar racial biases."
https://www.technologyreview.com/f/614144/googles-algorithm-for-detecting-hate-speech-looks-racially-biased/

Intersect Alert – August 5, 2019

Copyright

Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub

"Sci-Hub (previously) is a scrappy, nonprofit site founded in memory of Aaron Swartz, dedicated to providing global access to the world's scholarship -- journal articles that generally report on publicly-funded research, which rapacious, giant corporations acquire for free, and then charge the very same institutions that paid for the research millions of dollars a year to access."
https://boingboing.net/2019/08/02/publicsphere-v-elsevier.html

Freedom of Information

California privacy act interpretation could make common newsgathering practice unlawful

"The California court of appeal is considering an expansive interpretation of state privacy law — in a pending lawsuit pending involving Yelp — that would make it unlawful to take notes during telephone conversations. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of 17 media organizations are urging the court to reject the argument that the California Invasion of Privacy Act prevents note taking."
https://www.rcfp.org/note-taking-should-not-violate-cipa/

Librarians

A librarian’s case against overdue book fines

"Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether?"
https://www.bespacific.com/a-librarians-case-against-overdue-book-fines/

Libraries

Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books

"Librarians to publishers: Please take our money. Publishers to librarians: Drop dead. That’s the upshot of Macmillan publishing’s recent decision which represents yet another insult to libraries."
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/opinions/libraries-fight-publishers-over-e-books-west/index.html

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Collaboration with Their Communities: An Introduction

"The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic. As communities across the country feel the epidemic’s impact, public health and human service organizations are implementing responses that include healthcare, education, law enforcement and the judicial system, emergency services, drug and addiction counseling, and community services. Public libraries around the country are choosing to be part of this response."
https://www.bespacific.com/public-libraries-respond-to-the-opioid-crisis-in-collaboration-with-their-communities-an-introduction/


This Tiny Traveling Bookstore Wanders the French Countryside

"Jean-Jacques Megel-Nuber’s first drawing of his imagined bookstore on wheels had little in common with its final design. “It looked like the cabins in a Christmas market," says Megel-Nuber, who is from the Alsace region of eastern France, known for its festive seasonal markets. He had originally thought about opening a brick-and-mortar bookshop but decided he wanted one that could travel to French country towns whose bookstores have often closed. He also wanted a space where he could live during his travels."
https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/tiny-traveling-french-bookstore

Social Media

Full Fact has been fact-checking Facebook posts for six months. Here’s what they think needs to change

"In December 2016, Facebook enlisted a handful of U.S.-based news organizations (ABC News, Snopes, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, and the AP) to help stem the flow of false information on the platform. Over time, it’s expanded these third-party fact-checking partnerships: It now has more than 50 partners globally, fact-checking in 42 languages."
https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/07/full-fact-has-been-fact-checking-facebook-posts-for-six-months-heres-what-they-think-needs-to-change

Concerns About Online Data Privacy Span Generations

"In an effort to help inform policymakers about the views of Americans across generations on internet privacy, the Internet Innovation Alliance, in partnership with Icon Talks, the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP), and the Millennial Action Project, commissioned a national study of U.S. consumers who have witnessed a steady stream of online privacy abuses, data misuses, and security breaches in recent years."
https://www.bespacific.com/concerns-about-online-data-privacy-span-generations/



Intersect Alert – August 5, 2019

Copyright

Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub

"Sci-Hub (previously) is a scrappy, nonprofit site founded in memory of Aaron Swartz, dedicated to providing global access to the world's scholarship -- journal articles that generally report on publicly-funded research, which rapacious, giant corporations acquire for free, and then charge the very same institutions that paid for the research millions of dollars a year to access."
https://boingboing.net/2019/08/02/publicsphere-v-elsevier.html

Freedom of Information

California privacy act interpretation could make common newsgathering practice unlawful

"The California court of appeal is considering an expansive interpretation of state privacy law — in a pending lawsuit pending involving Yelp — that would make it unlawful to take notes during telephone conversations. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of 17 media organizations are urging the court to reject the argument that the California Invasion of Privacy Act prevents note taking."
https://www.rcfp.org/note-taking-should-not-violate-cipa/

Librarians

A librarian’s case against overdue book fines

"Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether?"
https://www.bespacific.com/a-librarians-case-against-overdue-book-fines/

Libraries

Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books

"Librarians to publishers: Please take our money. Publishers to librarians: Drop dead. That’s the upshot of Macmillan publishing’s recent decision which represents yet another insult to libraries."
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/opinions/libraries-fight-publishers-over-e-books-west/index.html

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Collaboration with Their Communities: An Introduction

"The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic. As communities across the country feel the epidemic’s impact, public health and human service organizations are implementing responses that include healthcare, education, law enforcement and the judicial system, emergency services, drug and addiction counseling, and community services. Public libraries around the country are choosing to be part of this response."
https://www.bespacific.com/public-libraries-respond-to-the-opioid-crisis-in-collaboration-with-their-communities-an-introduction/


This Tiny Traveling Bookstore Wanders the French Countryside

"Jean-Jacques Megel-Nuber’s first drawing of his imagined bookstore on wheels had little in common with its final design. “It looked like the cabins in a Christmas market," says Megel-Nuber, who is from the Alsace region of eastern France, known for its festive seasonal markets. He had originally thought about opening a brick-and-mortar bookshop but decided he wanted one that could travel to French country towns whose bookstores have often closed. He also wanted a space where he could live during his travels."
https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/tiny-traveling-french-bookstore

Social Media

Full Fact has been fact-checking Facebook posts for six months. Here’s what they think needs to change

"In December 2016, Facebook enlisted a handful of U.S.-based news organizations (ABC News, Snopes, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, and the AP) to help stem the flow of false information on the platform. Over time, it’s expanded these third-party fact-checking partnerships: It now has more than 50 partners globally, fact-checking in 42 languages."
https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/07/full-fact-has-been-fact-checking-facebook-posts-for-six-months-heres-what-they-think-needs-to-change

Concerns About Online Data Privacy Span Generations

"In an effort to help inform policymakers about the views of Americans across generations on internet privacy, the Internet Innovation Alliance, in partnership with Icon Talks, the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP), and the Millennial Action Project, commissioned a national study of U.S. consumers who have witnessed a steady stream of online privacy abuses, data misuses, and security breaches in recent years."
https://www.bespacific.com/concerns-about-online-data-privacy-span-generations/



Intersect Alert – August 5, 2019

Copyright

Elsevier sends copyright threat to site for linking to Sci-Hub

"Sci-Hub (previously) is a scrappy, nonprofit site founded in memory of Aaron Swartz, dedicated to providing global access to the world's scholarship -- journal articles that generally report on publicly-funded research, which rapacious, giant corporations acquire for free, and then charge the very same institutions that paid for the research millions of dollars a year to access."
https://boingboing.net/2019/08/02/publicsphere-v-elsevier.html

Freedom of Information

California privacy act interpretation could make common newsgathering practice unlawful

"The California court of appeal is considering an expansive interpretation of state privacy law — in a pending lawsuit pending involving Yelp — that would make it unlawful to take notes during telephone conversations. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of 17 media organizations are urging the court to reject the argument that the California Invasion of Privacy Act prevents note taking."
https://www.rcfp.org/note-taking-should-not-violate-cipa/

Librarians

A librarian’s case against overdue book fines

"Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether?"
https://www.bespacific.com/a-librarians-case-against-overdue-book-fines/

Libraries

Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books

"Librarians to publishers: Please take our money. Publishers to librarians: Drop dead. That’s the upshot of Macmillan publishing’s recent decision which represents yet another insult to libraries."
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/opinions/libraries-fight-publishers-over-e-books-west/index.html

Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Collaboration with Their Communities: An Introduction

"The nation is experiencing an opioid epidemic. As communities across the country feel the epidemic’s impact, public health and human service organizations are implementing responses that include healthcare, education, law enforcement and the judicial system, emergency services, drug and addiction counseling, and community services. Public libraries around the country are choosing to be part of this response."
https://www.bespacific.com/public-libraries-respond-to-the-opioid-crisis-in-collaboration-with-their-communities-an-introduction/


This Tiny Traveling Bookstore Wanders the French Countryside

"Jean-Jacques Megel-Nuber’s first drawing of his imagined bookstore on wheels had little in common with its final design. “It looked like the cabins in a Christmas market," says Megel-Nuber, who is from the Alsace region of eastern France, known for its festive seasonal markets. He had originally thought about opening a brick-and-mortar bookshop but decided he wanted one that could travel to French country towns whose bookstores have often closed. He also wanted a space where he could live during his travels."
https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/tiny-traveling-french-bookstore

Social Media

Full Fact has been fact-checking Facebook posts for six months. Here’s what they think needs to change

"In December 2016, Facebook enlisted a handful of U.S.-based news organizations (ABC News, Snopes, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, and the AP) to help stem the flow of false information on the platform. Over time, it’s expanded these third-party fact-checking partnerships: It now has more than 50 partners globally, fact-checking in 42 languages."
https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/07/full-fact-has-been-fact-checking-facebook-posts-for-six-months-heres-what-they-think-needs-to-change

Concerns About Online Data Privacy Span Generations

"In an effort to help inform policymakers about the views of Americans across generations on internet privacy, the Internet Innovation Alliance, in partnership with Icon Talks, the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership (HTTP), and the Millennial Action Project, commissioned a national study of U.S. consumers who have witnessed a steady stream of online privacy abuses, data misuses, and security breaches in recent years."
https://www.bespacific.com/concerns-about-online-data-privacy-span-generations/



Intersect Alert – July 21, 2019

Copyright
A Bad Copyright Bill Moves Forward With No Serious Understanding of Its Dangers

"The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act, aka the CASE Act. This was without any hearings for experts to explain the huge flaws in the bill as it’s currently written. And flaws there are. We’ve seen some version of the CASE Act pop up for years now, and the problems with the bill have never been addressed satisfactorily. This is still a bill that puts people in danger of huge, unappealable money judgments from a quasi-judicial system—not an actual court—for the kind of Internet behavior that most people engage in without thinking."
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/07/bad-copyright-bill-moves-forward-no-serious-understanding-its-dangers


Potential Pitfalls of the CASE Act

"On the surface, the bill has many attributes. It strives to help creators and copyright-holders protect their intellectual property. It intends to bypass the complexity and expense of federal court litigation. And it has bipartisan support in both chambers. But the CASE Act suffers from too many potential pitfalls—both legal and pragmatic. Others have addressed the pragmatic, including the fact that the Act would encourage even more copyright troll lawsuits and that a statutory damages cap of $30,000 is well above any reasonable view of “small claims” (and well above the cap in most—if not all—state small claims courts)."
https://www.rstreet.org/2019/07/16/potential-pitfalls-of-the-case-act/

Privacy:

Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People's Faces And Names

"Viral app FaceApp has been giving people the power to change their facial expressions, looks, and now age for several years. But at the same time, people have been giving FaceApp the power to use their pictures — and names — for any purpose it wishes, for as long as it desires."
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2019/07/17/viral-app-faceapp-now-owns-access-to-more-than-150-million-peoples-faces-and-names/#3342ebc862f1

Technology

Broken Links in the Discovery Layer—Pt. II: Towards an Ethnography of Broken Links

"What does it mean when we say a link is broken? The simplest definition would be: when a link that claims to lead to full text does not. But the way that many discovery layers work is by translating article metadata into a query in a separate database, which leads to some gray areas. What if the link leads to a search with only a single result, the resource in question? What if the link leads to a search with two results, a dozen, a hundred…and the resource is among them? What if the link leads to a journal index and it takes some navigation to get to the article’s full text? Where do we draw the line? ."
https://acrl.ala.org/techconnect/post/broken-links-in-the-discovery-layer-pt-ii-towards-an-ethnography-of-broken-links/

Law Librarians Push for Analytics Tools Improvement After Comparative Study

"Within the past few years alone, data analytics capabilities for law has exploded—and so has the software offerings providing those analytics. So how does a law firm or academic law library decide between platforms? A group of law librarians at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) ventured to find out with a study of their own. At the Monday “The Federal and State Court Analytics Market—Should the Buyer Beware? What’s on the Horizon?” session, a group of four law firm library directors walked a packed room through the results of the study—one that found no winner, but a number of issues and potential improvements for current analytics platforms."
https://www.law.com/legaltechnews/2019/07/15/law-librarians-push-for-analytics-tools-improvement-after-comparative-study/

TIME Launches New Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality App, TIME Immersive, “Landing on the Moon” is First Feature Released

"The first activation featured in TIME Immersive is Landing on the Moon, which allows viewers to experience a scientifically and historically accurate cinematic recreation of the Apollo 11 landing in photo-real 3D on any table top at home. "
https://time.com/5628880/time-immersive-app-ar-vr/

Values

But You Look Fine: A Reading List About Disabilities, Accommodations, and School

"Seeking accommodations in school has been addressed recently in essays like “Could the fallout from the admissions scandal hurt kids with disabilities?” and “The most reprehensible part of the college admissions scandal: faking disability accommodations” because of the college admissions scandal, but I believe this is a conversation we should be having regularly. Students with disabilities should receive accommodations without having to perform exhausting physical and emotional tasks. I will heed the voices of others fighting the same fight and listen to their testimonies as I work as a member of a university to make change. This reading list is a place to start."
https://longreads.com/2019/04/02/but-you-look-fine-a-reading-list-about-disabilities-accommodations/

Government

The Essential Guide to Legislation

“During a single Congress, hundreds of bills are enacted into federal law – but the initial legislation proposed by lawmakers in the House and Senate can number well over 10,000 bills per session of Congress. With so much proposed legislation flowing through the standard processes, tracking can quickly become difficult. This guide breaks down each step of the legislation proposal process in the House and Senate, the steps that can result in changes to legislation before it becomes law, as well as how the two houses resolve legislative differences. A key difference in the legislative process between the two chambers is that majority leadership wields more legislative power in the House than in the Senate, where individual senators have more control throughout the process, especially on the floor.”
https://www.bespacific.com/the-essential-guide-to-legislation/

Research

Video Recordings From “Libraries as Research Partner in Digital Humanities” Preconference Workshop (July 8, 2019)s

"Video recordings of sessions from the “Libraries as Research Partner in Digital Humanities” are now available online. The event was held as a preconference (during DH2019) at KB, National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague on July 8, 2019."
https://www.infodocket.com/2019/07/18/digitized-maps-online-the-library-of-congress-geography-map-division-posts-june-2019-issue-of-new-maps-this-month/

Census Bureau Debuts New Data Product: Business Formation Statistics

"The Census Bureau released the Business Formation Statistics (BFS), a new data product that tracks trends in business applications and formations at the state, regional and national levels."
https://census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2019/business-formation.html

Aesthetics of Research The Aesthetics of Research Initiative at Columbia College Chicago Wins the 2019 Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries

"The Aesthetics of Research is an ongoing initiative dedicated to exploring how resources shape and inform artistic practice across disciplines--from the tangible (print & electronic media, studios/workspaces, supply sources) to the intangible (workshops, tutorials, creative communities), With a slant toward non-traditional, indie, and underground art forms, the initiative seeks to connect artists to both resources and each other, forming a thriving network of similarly minded creatives."
http://www.aestheticsofresearch.com/

Libraries

Libraries Must Draw the Line on E-books

"Until now, I’ve been inclined to give publishers the benefit of the doubt. As co-chair of the ALA’s Digital Content Working Group from 2011 to 2014, back when libraries were working to get basic access to e-books, I came to recognize that some of the restrictions publishers place on libraries in the digital space are business decisions that, to some degree, reflect an economic reality the library community must learn to accept. But recent changes imposed by some of the major publishers have gone too far."
https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/80689-libraries-must-draw-the-line-on-e-books.html

Digital Public Library Releases Enhanced Mueller Report.

"On May 21, DPLA announced the release of its ebook of Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, or the Mueller Report, available for free as an EPUB file from DPLA’s website and on the Open Bookshelf collection within the SimplyE app. The previous DPLA edition has already been downloaded more than 40,000 times. 

Today DPLA is proud to release a better version of the report with improvements including links to more than 750 of the original documents referenced in footnotes and format and tagging enhancements to make the document more accessible to those with text impairments.

To create this enhanced version, DPLA collaborated with the Internet Archive and MuckRock, who provided the links to the footnotes. We discovered that Bill Kasdorf and Thad McIlroy at Publishing Technology Partners had initiated work on a more accessible version and we joined forces. codeMantra implemented the accessibility improvements,  and Digital Divide Data provided production support"
https://dp.la/news/enhanced-mueller-report-now-accessible-to-all

Intersect Alert – May 5, 2019

Search

Measure of Things

“The Measure of Things is a search engine for finding comparative or relative measurements of physical quantities.”

“With the Measure of Things tool, you can take a physical quantity - like 84 kilograms or 23 cubic meters - and see how it compares to a list of famous or well-known objects. For example, 84 kilograms is the weight of about 17 gallons of paint, while 23 cubic meters is about twice the volume of a cement mixer truck.”

“You can use the Measure of Things to research equivalent measures for several types of quantities, including weight, length, speed, time, height, area, volume, and computer data.”

https://www.bluebulbprojects.com/measureofthings/default.php

Library Extension

“The #1 Browser Extension that lets you instantly see book and e-book availability from your local library. Easily discover books and ebooks available at your local library!”

“Access to more than one library? No more searching across multiple library catalogs. All conveniently displayed on the sites you visit already!”

https://www.libraryextension.com/

 

Privacy

What Amazon Knows About You

“Depending on how much you shop, watch and read with Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth may know more about you than any other company on earth.”

“The big picture: Naturally, they know what you've browsed or bought on their main service. They also know what you've asked Alexa, watched on Prime, and read on your Kindle. They know even more thanks to their ownership of Whole Foods, Ring, Eero, Twitch, Goodreads, IMDB and Audible.”

“Details: As with Google or Facebook, what Amazon knows depend on how much you rely on its services. That said, these days Amazon's services are all around us. Here are some of the different types of information gathered by various Amazon services.”

https://www.axios.com/what-amazon-knows-about-you-2df28404-b975-4bc8-b2da-ac702e601cf8.html

Introducing Auto-Delete Controls for Your Location History and Activity Data

“Whether you’re looking for the latest news or the quickest driving route, we aim to make our products helpful for everyone. And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you—like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search. We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it.”

“You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity, and if you choose—to delete all or part of that data manually. In addition to these options, we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data. Here’s how they’ll work:”

https://www.blog.google/technology/safety-security/automatically-delete-data/

The EU Wants to Build One of the World's Largest Biometric Databases. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

“China and India have built the world’s largest biometric databases, but the European Union is about to join the club.”

“The Common Identity Repository (CIR) will consolidate biometric data on almost all visitors and migrants to the bloc, as well as some EU citizens—connecting existing criminal, asylum, and migration databases and integrating new ones. It has the potential to affect hundreds of millions of people.”

“The plan for the database, first proposed in 2016 and approved by the EU Parliament on April 16, was sold as a way to better track and monitor terrorists, criminals, and unauthorized immigrants.”

http://fortune.com/2019/05/01/eu-biometric-database-india/

Cloud Database Removed After Exposing Details on 80 Million US Households

“In a blow to consumers' privacy, the addresses and demographic details of more than 80 million US households were exposed on an unsecured database stored on the cloud, independent security researchers have found.”

“The details included names, ages and genders as well as income levels and marital status. The researchers, led by Noam Rotem and Ran Locar, were unable to identify the owner of the database, which until Monday was online and required no password to access. Some of the information was coded, like gender, marital status and income level. Names, ages and addresses were not coded.”

“The data didn't include payment information or Social Security numbers. The 80 million households affected make up well over half of the households in the US, according to Statista.”

https://www.cnet.com/news/cloud-database-removed-after-exposing-details-on-80-million-us-households/

Research

Evaluating Shepard’s, KeyCite, and Bcite for Case Validation Accuracy

“Abstract: This study evaluates and compares how accurately three legal citators (Shepard’s, KeyCite, and BCite) identify negative treatment of case law, based on a review of 357 citing relationships that at least one citator labeled as negative. In this sample, Shepard’s and KeyCite missed or mislabeled about one-third of negative citing relationships, while BCite missed or mislabeled over two-thirds. The citators’ relative performance is less clear when examining the most serious citator errors, examples of which can be found in all three citators.”

https://scholarship.law.wm.edu/libpubs/131/

Copyright

Media Alert: Court Hearing Monday for Redditor Fighting to Stay Anonymous

“San Francisco – On Monday, May 6 at 11am, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue that a San Francisco court should quash a subpoena from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society aimed at getting the identity of an anonymous Reddit commenter.”

“Watch Tower is the supervising body and publisher of all religious doctrines for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. EFF’s client is a lifelong member of the Jehovah’s Witness community, and has used the handle ‘darkspilver’ to share comments and spark discussion about the religious organization in one of Reddit’s online discussion groups. Watch Tower subpoenaed Reddit for information on darkspilver earlier this year, claiming it was part of a potential copyright lawsuit over material shared in the Reddit group.”

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/media-alert-court-hearing-monday-redditor-fighting-stay-anonymous

Intersect Alert - April 1, 2019

Books and Reading

Reading to Your Toddler? Print Books Are Better Than Digital Ones

"As a supporter of reading with children and a fan of traditional print books, I cannot say I am entirely surprised by the results of new research suggesting that print books are the best way to go when reading with young children."
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/well/family/reading-to-your-toddler-print-books-are-better-than-digital-ones.html

Libraries

National Archives Presents Rare Chance to View NATO Treaty

"In honor of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty and the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Washington, DC, the National Archives will display the landmark document in its museum through April 2, 2019."
https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/national-archives-presents-rare-chance-to-view-nato-treaty

You can now grab a fancy cocktail at the Boston Public Library

"Now you can order a cocktail with that free book.
The Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Wednesday is opening its revamped Map Room cafe as a tea lounge, complete with bar seating and specialty drinks wittily named after literary greats."
https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2019/03/19/you-can-now-grab-fancy-cocktail-boston-public-library/ODO2Jg7MC0umgSGtHvdKPL/story.html

Privacy

Consumer Data Protection: Action Needed to Strengthen Oversight of Consumer Reporting Agencies

“In 2017, a breach at Equifax, one of the largest companies, compromised at least 145.5 million consumers’ data. “Consumers have little control over what information these companies have, so federal oversight is important—and it could be improved. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau doesn’t routinely consider data security risk when prioritizing its company examinations. This testimony is based on a report in which we recommended improving federal enforcement of data safeguards and oversight of company security practices.”
https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/697893.pdf

A DNA Company Wants You to Help Catch Criminals

“Give us your DNA. Help catch a criminal. That’s the message of a recent ad from the genetic-testing company Family Tree DNA. The video stars Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth Smart was abducted at age 14, exhorting viewers to upload their DNA profiles to the company’s website.

Not so long ago, DNA-testing companies were known only for their promise to unlock medical secrets or trace family histories. What’s changed is the arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer. Since police tracked down a suspect in the notorious case by uploading crime-scene DNA and finding distant relatives on a genealogy website, the same technique has led to dozens more arrests for rapes and murders. Forensic genealogy has become, if not exactly routine, very much normalized.”
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/03/a-dna-company-wants-your-dna-to-catch-criminals/586120/

Trading privacy for survival is another tax on the poor

"In 1969, a woman named Barbara James walked into a neighborhood legal services office in New York City in search of help to fight the city’s home visit policy. Her case worker had told her that if she wanted welfare benefits for her and her 2-year-old son Maurice, she would have to allow a home visit as part of the welfare verification process. James didn’t want officials searching her home, and offered instead to provide documentation to demonstrate her eligibility. Her refusal eventually led the city to terminate her benefits."
https://www.fastcompany.com/90317495/another-tax-on-the-poor-surrendering-privacy-for-survival

Technology

Europe's copyright dispute shows just how hard it is to fix the internet's problems

"The EU has just passed the Copyright Directive: now small sites and tech giants alike will have to deal with the fallout and recriminations."
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613204/europes-copyright-row-shows-just-how-hard-it-is-to-fix-the-internets-problems/

Intersect Alert - April 22, 2019

Freedom of Information

Mueller Report Censorship Raises Question: What’s the Government Hiding?

"The National Security Archive has published hundreds of examples over the years of “dubious secrets” where U.S. government censors blacked out documents that had already been released in full – or redacted entirely different parts of the same document at different times.  This surprisingly common occurrence throws into relief how subjective the classification process is and how often agency declassifiers opt for the most sweeping rulings that wind up denying the public reasonable access to their government’s information."

Librarians

Why Doctors and Librarians Make Great Partners

"Raising a community of readers is a fundamental objective of public libraries. Libraries make it their primary business to build readers, with story times, readers advisory, thoughtfully developed collections, and more. But libraries don’t do all the heavy lifting on their own. They get plenty of help from their communities—even at the doctor’s office."
 

Publishing

Elsevier’s Presence on Campuses Spans More Than Journals. That Has Some Scholars Worried

"On a recent panel on challenges to the future of teaching and research, Colleen Lyon outlined what was, to her, a "dangerous" dynamic in the world of academic publishing. "


Technology

Why You Should Use a Password Manager

"Have you ever used ABCDE or 12345 as a website password? If so, you’re not alone. Too many people use weak or common passwords for their online accounts and often the same password for multiple sites.
 
That approach leaves your passwords wide open to hackers who can quickly figure them out. Password managers are one solution as they can create, store, and apply strong and complex passwords for all the websites you use."

Values

Earth Day 2019 – Protecting At-Risk Fish, Birds, and Animals

"It’s Earth Day; and this year’s theme is about broadening protection for at-risk species and their habitats. What is the nation doing on this front? Today’s WatchBlog examines some national and international efforts….”
 

Scientists propose bird conservation plan based on eBird data

"A blueprint for conserving enough habitat to protect the populations of almost one-third of the warblers, orioles, tanagers and other birds that migrate among the Americas throughout the year is detailed in research published April 15 in Nature Communications."  
 
 

Intersect Alert - April 29, 2019

Books and Reading

Sure, you could buy that book online for $15. But here’s what that book really costs us.

"Danny Caine, who is 32, was sitting in the tiny office of his bookstore the other day when he heard a customer at the counter say something he hears a lot.
 
Listening to the clerk patiently try to answer the customer’s complaint, he stifled his reflexive frustration and decided to do something productive."
 

Internet Users

Study identifies 80% of journalists falling for false online info

“In a new study conducted by the Institute for the Future, a California-based nonprofit think tank, researchers found more than 80% of journalists admitted to falling for false information online. The data was based on a survey of 1,018 journalists at regional and national publications in the United States. Perhaps more concerning: Only 14.9% of journalists surveyed said they had been trained on how to best report on misinformation…”
 

Libraries

Extraordinary' 500-year-old library catalogue reveals books lost to time

"It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years."
 

Is Shakespeare’s DNA Hiding in the Folger Library’s Vault?

"The Folger Shakespeare Library’s underground storage facility stretches a full block beneath the building, protected by a nine-inch-thick steel bank-vault door. It houses about 260,000 historically significant books, along with manuscripts, documents, and even costumes saved from 19th-century productions."

Yale students aren’t ready to close the book on the school’s libraries just yet

"During the past few years, Yale University has seen more than its fair share of student activism. In 2015, protests over issues of race and discrimination rocked the campus for weeks. After President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, more than 1,000 students rallied in opposition to the administration’s immigration policies. Over the past week, students have protested the shooting of an unarmed black woman by local police.
But another recent cause celebre in New Haven was notably geekier: Save the books."
 

Privacy

41% of voice assistant users have concerns about trust and privacy

“Forty-one percent of voice assistant users are concerned about trust, privacy and passive listening, according to a new report from Microsoft focused on consumer adoption of voice and digital assistants. And perhaps people should be concerned — all the major voice assistants, including those from Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung, as well as Microsoft, employ humans who review the voice data collected from end users…”

Intersect Alert - April 8, 2019

Internet Access

Net Neutrality Bill Passes Crucial Committee Vote

"Congress took a big step today toward protecting net neutrality, competition, and privacy for Internet users. The House Energy and Commerce Committee just voted 30-22 to approve an amended version of the Save the Internet Act of 2019 (H.R.1644). "

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/04/net-neutrality-bill-passes-crucial-committee-vote


Libraries

Boston Public Library’s 78rpm Records Come to the Internet

“Following eighteen months of work, more than 50,000 78rpm record “sides” from the Boston Public Library’s sound archives have now been digitized and made freely available online by the Internet Archive. ”

https://www.bespacific.com/netherlands-makes-trains-free-on-national-book-day/https://www.bespacific.com/netherlands-makes-trains-free-on-national-book-day/


Netherlands makes trains free on national book day

“Dutch book lovers got free rail travel across their country’s entire network this weekend as part of the Netherlands’ annual book week celebrations. Every year since 1932 the Netherlands has encouraged reading with Boekenweek – a celebration of literature marked with literary festivals and book signings across the country. Traditionally, a well-known Dutch author writes a special novel – the “book week gift” or Boekenweekgeschenk – which is given out for free to people who buy books during the festivities or sign up to a library. But the special book – this year the novel Jas Van Belofte by celebrated author Jan Siebelink, can also be presented instead of a rail ticket on every train in the country on the Sunday of book week. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch state railway company, has long been a sponsor of the annual festivities – and even organises book readings signings by top authors on its trains…”

https://www.bespacific.com/netherlands-makes-trains-free-on-national-book-day/https://www.bespacific.com/netherlands-makes-trains-free-on-national-book-day/


Washington Department of Corrections Quietly Bans Book Donations to Prisoners From Nonprofits

"The Washington State Department of Corrections quietly rolled out a new policy via a memo on their website last month which disallows books to be donated to prisons via nonprofit organizations. So quietly, in fact, that one of the largest nonprofits that works to get donated materials to prisoners was taken by surprise to discover the change. They weren’t informed before it was implemented."

https://bookriot.com/2019/04/03/book-ban-in-washington-prisons


Open Access

Affordable College Textbook Act Reintroduced in Congress

"Today, US Senators Durbin (D-IL), King (I-ME), Smith (D-MN) and Sinema (D-AZ) and US Representative Neguse (D-CO) re-introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act. The bill would create a grant program to support projects on open textbooks. The current bill is largely similar to the version introduced in the last Congress with a few key changes including new language to improve accessibility of materials created under the bill for students with disabilities and amending the Higher Education Act to require publishers to disclose whether material is an open educational resource (OER)."

http://policynotes.arl.org/?p=1833


Paywalls block scientific progress. Research should be open for everyone

"Academic and scientific research needs to be accessible to all. The world’s most pressing problems like clean water or food security deserve to have as many people as possible solving their complexities. Yet our current academic research system has no interest in harnessing our collective intelligence. Scientific progress is currently thwarted by one thing: paywalls."

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/mar/28/paywalls-block-scientific-progress-research-should-be-open-to-everyone

Intersect Alert – March 4, 2019

Values

If the map becomes the territory then we will be lost


"Many publishers – including Wiley, Taylor and Francis, IEEE, and IOP – already use a third party manuscript service called ScholarOne. ScholarOne integrates the iThenticate service which produces reports of what percentage of a manuscript has already been published. Journal editors have the option to set what extent a paper can make use of a researcher’s prior work, including their thesis. Manuscripts that exceed these set thresholds can be automatically rejected without human interjection from the editor. We are only just starting to understand how this workflow is going to impact the willingness of young scholars to make their theses and dissertations open access."

https://librarian.aedileworks.com/2019/03/03/if-the-map-becomes-the-territory-then-we-will-be-lost/

Bill To Bring Libraries To NYC Jails Faces Opposition From The Correction Department

"On Tuesday, the City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee heard testimony on Council member Daniel Dromm’s bill, Int. 1184, that requires the Department of Correction to provide access to the library for all incarcerated people within 48 hours of entering the jail system. The Department would be required to report on the number of books they receive, the source of those books and, if books are censored, the reason for the censorship."
http://gothamist.com/2019/02/27/nyc_jails_books.php

Privacy

"The first complete human genome sequence was published in 2003, after a 13-year international effort that involved hundreds of researchers and cost $2.7 billion. Since then, sequencing technology has gotten faster and much less costly. At the same time, the advent of supercomputing centers that can analyze and compare millions of genomes has turned the mountain of raw genomic data into a motherlode of invaluable information. National agencies, huge corporations, and tiny startups all are vying to amass the biggest and best collections of genomes and discover their marketable secrets. In 2017, investment in genomics businesses topped $3" billion.https://news.psu.edu/story/560655/2019/02/26/research/whose-genes-are-they-anyway

Archives

Canadian province digitizing centuries-old trading post records to mark Manitoba 150

"The Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA), which is part of the Archives of Manitoba, is getting help from The Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation for a mass digitization project, one of the first Manitoba 150 projects.

HBCA is digitizing over 1000 reels of microfilm copies of pre-1870 trading post records, making them available to the world online.

The records include post journals, accounts and district reports that provide information about the history of the fur trade, North American exploration and the development of Canada as a country.

“They provide a real snapshot into life here in Canada hundreds of years ago. You can get a real sense of Indigenous voice for example and these records continue to be used for land tenor rights and hunting rights even today," said Quarry."
https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/province-digitizing-centuries-old-trading-post-records-to-mark-manitoba-150-1.4317365

Research

Research Tool: American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) State Immunization Information System

"The AAFP has developed a web-based map that displays immunization rates and exemption laws in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. In addition, our searchable IIS Registry database provides state-by-state regulations for immunization registries across the U.S. These tools provide immunization data that can help family physicians identify populations that may be at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and pertussis (whooping cough), determine what additional resources and/or programs are needed to increase immunization rates, determine how immunization exemptions affect their state immunization rates, and advocate for stronger immunization legislation in their communities."
https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/public-health/immunizations/registry.html

Freedom of Information

Deloitte Launches FOIA-Processing Software

"One of FOIA’s perennial head-scratchers is why agency FOIA offices seem able to search for and review only hundreds of pages of documents a month for release – even when under court order – when existing eDiscovery tools allow lawyers to review tens of thousands of pages of records in a comparable amount of time. Deloitte has launched a new FOIA-processing software based on eDiscovery tools for its government clients as a possible solution to this imbalance."

https://unredacted.com/2019/02/28/deloitte-launches-foia-processing-software-foia-shows-interior-dept-issued-thousands-of-oil-drilling-safety-waivers-and-more-frinformsum-2-28-2019/


Intersect Alert February 3, 2019

Values:

A Design to Bring Life to Death

"NYT Special tribute to extraordinary black men, women who were left out of obituaries when they died."

"A special section in the Sunday paper paid tribute to extraordinary black men and women who were left out of The Times’s obituaries when they died. Its design aims to bring joy to readers. Andrew Sondern: “Death is not often a cause for joy. But a special edition of Overlooked, which tells the stories of a dozen extraordinary black men and women who were left out of The Times’s obituary pages when they died, is a reason to celebrate.” “I designed the print edition of the project, which marks the arrival of Black History Month with a special section in Sunday’s newspaper. These obituaries reanimate the legacies of the overlooked, so it was important that the design felt as joyful and respectful as the articles themselves.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/02/reader-center/overlooked-obituaries-news-design.html

Internet Access:

Why Won’t This Page Load? Net Neutrality Hits the DC Circuit

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments today determining whether the FCC was wrong to eliminate its own rules protecting an open internet. In a lively panel, Judges Millet, Wilkens, and Williams jumped in with questions less than a minute into the case, and kept all six advocates at the podium for wide ranging questions taking more than five hours to complete – almost double the allotted time for this case."

https://cdt.org/blog/why-wont-this-page-load-net-neutrality-hits-the-dc-circuit/

Research:

Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings The New York Times

The New York Times: “The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records. A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down. The costs of storing and transmitting data have plunged, approaching zero. By one estimate, the actual cost of retrieving court documents, including secure storage, is about one half of one ten-thousandth of a penny per page. But the federal judiciary charges a dime a page to use its service, called Pacer (for Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The National Veterans Legal Services Program and two other nonprofit groups filed a class action in 2016 seeking to recover what they said were systemic overcharges. “Excessive Pacer fees inhibit public understanding of the courts and thwart equal access to justice, erecting a financial barrier that many ordinary citizens are unable to clear,” they wrote. The suit accuses the judicial system of using the fees it charges as a kind of slush fund, spending the money to buy flat-screen televisions for jurors, to finance a study of the Mississippi court system and to send notices in bankruptcy proceedings”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/04/us/politics/pacer-fees-lawsuit.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Libraries:

Stanford Libraries’ transformative gift creates hub highlighting Silicon Valley history

"Stanford Libraries has received a $25 million gift from the Harold C. and Marilyn A. Hohbach Foundation to create a vibrant collections-centered research hub and endow the Silicon Valley Archives program. The first floor of the East Wing of the Cecil H. Green Library will be renovated and re-named Hohbach Hall. The newly renovated space in the East Wing of the Cecil H. Green Library will be named Hohbach Hall and will include a new Special Collections classroom, as well as spaces for group study, seminars, events and exhibitions."

https://news.stanford.edu/2019/01/31/stanford-libraries-transformative-gift-creates-hub-highlighting-silicon-valley-history/

The Relationship Between Publishers and Libraries

"Publishers and libraries need to recognize their shared responsibility to perpetuate the distribution of knowledge to researchers, academics, and students. Ultimately, this should be the top priority of any company and/or individual operating in this sphere. Of course, profit is paramount to the success of any business, but that should not come at the expense of libraries and education. Likewise, libraries must understand the commercial nature of resource provision and work with publishers to build a fruitful relationship for both parties."

http://www.infotoday.com/it/jan19/Rodenby--The-Relationship-Between-Publishers-and-Libraries.shtml

Privacy:

What We Should Learn From “Facebook Research”

“Once again, Facebook has broken the trust of its users—this time, through reportedly paying people to give up their privacy by installing an application that sucks up huge amounts of sensitive data, and explicitly sidestepping Apple's Enterprise Developer program rules. In doing so, the company has repeated several of the privacy-abusive practices that it’s been chastised for before. This underscores just how little the company has learned from a year of user complaints, privacy group criticisms, and Congressional hearings, and it emphasizes the need for legislators to pass new laws to protect the public.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/what-we-should-learn-facebook-research

Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated.

The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert January 21, 2019

Privacy


Privacy and Digital Rights for All

"The United States confronts a crisis. Digital giants invade our private lives, spy on our families, and gather our most intimate facts for profit. Bad actors, foreign and domestic, target the personal data gathered by U.S. firms, including our bank details, email messages, and Social Security Numbers."

"Our privacy laws are decades out of date. We urgently need a new approach to privacy protection. We must update federal laws and create a data protection agency specifically tasked with safeguarding the privacy of Americans. The time is now."

https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/privacy-and-digital-rights-for-all-framework.pdf


Toying with Privacy: Regulating the Internet of Toys

"Abstract - Recently, toys have become more interactive than ever before. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) makes toys smarter and more communicative: they can now interact with children by 'listening' to them and respond accordingly. While there is little doubt that these toys can be highly entertaining for children and even possess social and educational benefits, the Internet of Toys (IoToys) raises many concerns. Beyond the fact that IoToys that might be hacked or simply misused by unauthorized parties, datafication of children by toy conglomerates, various interested parties and perhaps even their parents could be highly troubling. It could profoundly threaten children's right to privacy as it subjects and normalizes them to ubiquitous surveillance and datafication of their personal information, requests, and any other information they divulge. While American policymakers acknowledged the importance of protecting children's privacy online back in 1998, when crafting COPPA, this regulatory framework might become obsolete in face of the new privacy risks that arise from IoToys. Do fundamental differences between websites and IoToys necessitate a different legal framework to protect children's privacy? Should policymakers recalibrate the current legal framework to adequately protect the privacy of children who have IoToys? Finally, what are the consequences for children's privacy of ubiquitous parental surveillance through IoToys — allegedly granted to safeguard children from online risks? And how might children's privacy be better framed and protected in this context?"

"This Article focuses on the privacy concerns that IoToys raise. Part I briefly outlines the evolution of IoToys while examining their capacity to collect and retain data. Then, in reference to the legal framework chosen to protect children from online datafication twenty years ago, the next part discusses the American perception of children's privacy, focusing on COPPA. Through this analysis, this part will show how key market players currently comply with COPPA regulation, and evaluate whether such compliance is relevant to IoToys' dangers and challenges. Part III revisits COPPA, challenges it, and in calling for its recalibration offers some practical solutions to IoToys' privacy threats. Thereafter Part IV normatively evaluates children's conception of privacy and argues that IoToys' monitoring practices could jeopardize the parent-child relationship and calls for recalibrating children's privacy in the digital era. The final part summarizes the discussion and concludes that children's privacy matters today perhaps more than ever before, and that the potential movement toward a ubiquitous surveillance era should not lead to its demise."

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3298054


DuckDuckGo Search Switches Mapping to Apple Maps

"Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo announced yesterday that the search engine's map and address related searches and functions are now powered by Apple's MapKit JS framework."

"The new functionality is live already for desktop and mobile devices that use DuckDuckgo for searches."

"DuckDuckGo highlights two main benefits that come out of the move: improved privacy and better mapping functionality."

"Users may see maps and related data when they run searches for places or addresses. A search for the best Thai, Vietnamese or Italian restaurant displays a map and related information in the sidebar or at the top on search results pages."

"Searches for addresses, geographical places, local businesses, a type of business, or nearby places return embedded maps usually."

https://www.ghacks.net/2019/01/16/duckduckgo-search-switches-mapping-to-apple-maps/

Facebook Algorithms and Personal Data

“About half of Facebook users say they are not comfortable when they see how the platform categorizes them, and 27% maintain the site’s classifications do not accurately represent them.”

“Most commercial sites, from social media platforms to news outlets to online retailers, collect a wide variety of data about their users’ behaviors. Platforms use this data to deliver content and recommendations based on users’ interests and traits, and to allow advertisers to target ads to relatively precise segments of the public. But how well do Americans understand these algorithmdriven classification systems, and how much do they think their lives line up with what gets reported about them? As a window into this hard-to-study phenomenon, a new Pew Research Center survey asked a representative sample of users of the nation’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, to reflect on the data that had been collected about them.”

http://www.pewinternet.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2019/01/PI_2019.01.16_Facebook-algorithms_FINAL2.pdf


Location Data is Ground Zero in Privacy Wars

"Our phones' GPS and location capabilities are a key part of what make them magical — enabling them to speed our commutes, hail rides and find the devices when we lose them. These capabilities are also ground zero for the looming fight over defining the boundaries of privacy and acceptable uses of our personal information."

"The big picture: Three recent stories show just how common problems with location data can be — and how thorny they've become."

https://www.axios.com/location-data-is-ground-zero-in-privacy-wars-6177bbc4-92df-4b8a-ba72-e0c956efc51f.html


'Right To Be Forgotten' By Google Should Apply Only In EU, Says Court Opinion

"The 'right to be forgotten', which enables claimants to request the removal of links to irrelevant or outdated online information about them, should not be enforceable globally, the European court of justice (ECJ) has found in a preliminary opinion."

"The controversial power, requiring search engines to prevent access to material on the internet, should be enforceable only in the EU and not worldwide, the court’s advocate general, Maciej Szpunar, said. Final judgments by the ECJ usually endorse initial opinions."

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/10/right-to-be-forgotten-by-google-should-apply-only-in-eu-says-court

Copyright


Now EVERYBODY Hates the New EU Copyright Directive

"Until last spring, everyone wanted to see the new European Copyright Directive pass; then German MEP Axel Voss took over as rapporteur and revived the most extreme, controversial versions of two proposals that had been sidelined long before as the Directive had progressed towards completion."

"After all, this is the first refresh on EU copyright since 2001, and so the Directive is mostly a laundry list of overdue, uncontroversial technical tweaks with many stakeholders; the last thing anyone wanted was a spoiler in the midst."

"Anyone, that is, except for German newspaper families (who loved Article 11, who could charge Big Tech for the privilege of sending readers to their sites) and the largest record labels (who had long dreamed of Article 13, which would force the platforms to implement filters to check everything users posted, and block anything that resembled a known copyrighted work, or anything someone claimed was a known copyrighted work)."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/now-everybody-hates-new-eu-copyright-directive


Copyright’s Safe Harbors Preserve What We Love About the Internet

"How is the Internet different from what came before? We’ve had great art, music, film, and writing for far longer than we’ve had the World Wide Web. What we didn’t have were global conversations and collaborations that millions can participate in. The Internet has lowered barriers to participation in culture, politics, and communities of interest. Copyright’s safe harbors for intermediaries are essential to making this possible. But today, those safe harbors are under threat from laws like Article 13 of the EU’s proposed Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive. And some voices in the U.S. want to gut the safe harbors here."

"In the U.S., the safe harbors of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act protect Internet companies of various kinds against the possibility of massive copyright infringement damages when one of their users copies creative work illegally. In return for that protection, Internet companies have to take some concrete steps, like adopting and enforcing a repeat infringer policy. Some companies—the ones that store user-uploaded content—have to register an agent to accept and act on takedown notices from rightsholders (the familiar 'DMCA notices'). The law is explicit that Internet companies aren’t required to surveil everything uploaded by users to find possible copyright infringement. It also provides a counter-notice process for users to get non-infringing uploads put back online."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/copyrights-safe-harbors-preserve-what-we-love-about-internet

Publishing


Editorial Mutiny at Elsevier Journal

“The entire editorial board of the Elsevier-owned Journal of Informetrics resigned Thursday in protest over high open-access fees, restricted access to citation data and commercial control of scholarly work.”

“Today, the same team is launching a new fully open-access journal called Quantitative Science Studies. The journal will be for and by the academic community and will be owned by the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI). It will be published jointly with MIT Press.”

“The editorial board of the Journal of Informetrics said in a statement that they were unanimous in their decision to quit. They contend that scholarly journals should be owned by the scholarly community rather than by commercial publishers, should be open access under fair principles, and publishers should make citation data freely available.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/14/elsevier-journal-editors-resign-start-rival-open-access-journal

Intersect Alert - April 15, 2019

Libraries

A bibliophile’s paradise: the National Library of France in a classic documentary from 1956

“Before there was the internet, there was la Bibliothèque nationale de France (the National Library of France) in Paris: an ever-expanding collection of books, manuscripts, maps and other cultural artifacts that has been operating continuously since the 15th century. The documentary Toute la mémoire du monde (All the Memory in the World), made by the influential and celebrated French filmmaker Alain Resnais in 1956, is an astounding tour of the institution before digitisation, when the world’s largest well of information wasn’t at our fingertips, but fastidiously collected and sorted behind library walls."
https://www.bespacific.com/a-bibliophiles-paradise-the-national-library-of-france-in-a-classic-documentary-from-1956/

‘Extraordinary’ 500-year-old library catalogue reveals books lost to time

“It sounds like something from Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and his The Cemetery of Forgotten Books: a huge volume containing thousands of summaries of books from 500 years ago, many of which no longer exist. But the real deal has been found in Copenhagen, where it has lain untouched for more than 350 years."

https://www.bespacific.com/extraordinary-500-year-old-library-catalogue-reveals-books-lost-to-time/

 

Obama’s Presidential Library Is Already Digital

"As the highly anticipated Obama Presidential Library in Chicago morphed into the Obama Presidential Center—without a place to hold the records of his administration—reactions ranged from slight confusion to rote dismissiveness. “The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t” led the coverage in The New York Times. Philip Terzian complained in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner that what was proposed was “not, in fact, a library at all.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/obamas-presidential-library-should-be-digital-first/586693/


Shh, No Roaring! When A Lion Lived In The Downtown Milwaukee Library Building

"In the file of "truth is stranger than fiction," the Milwaukee downtown library was once home to a lion cub. While it seems fantastical, he lived there back when the library shared a building with the Milwaukee Public Museum."

https://www.wuwm.com/post/shh-no-roaring-when-lion-lived-downtown-milwaukee-library-building#stream/0

Privacy

How Capitalism Betrayed Privacy

"For much of human history, what we now call “privacy” was better known as being rich. Privacy, like wealth, was something that most people had little or none of. Farmers, slaves and serfs resided in simple dwellings, usually with other people, sometimes even sharing space with animals. They had no expectation that a meaningful part of their lives would be unwatchable or otherwise off limits to others. That would have required homes with private rooms. And only rich people had those."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/sunday/privacy-capitalism.html

 

What e-books at the library mean for your privacy

"Back in 1995, printing company Quad/Graphics didn't let its employees in Saratoga, New York, access the internet. But that didn't stop the workers from figuring out a way to get online during business hours.

The employees dialed long distance -- that was a thing back then -- to a free dial-up internet service called Libraries Without Walls that was offered through the Southern Adirondack Library System and used their library cards to log on. Over a span of 18 months, they surfed a total of 1,770 hours and racked up $23,000 in phone bills."

https://www.cnet.com/news/what-e-books-at-the-library-mean-for-your-privacy/


Technology

Congress wants to protect you from biased algorithms, deepfakes, and other bad AI

"On Wednesday, US lawmakers introduced a new bill that represents one of the country’s first major efforts to regulate AI. There are likely to be more to come."

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613310/congress-wants-to-protect-you-from-biased-algorithms-deepfakes-and-other-bad-ai/

 

The First Machine-Generated Book by a Scholarly Publisher Is a Boring Read

"Amazon’s online book store is plagued with thousands of auto-generated ebooks crudely hacked together from other texts by shady authors” looking to make a quick buck. Most are unreadable, but it’s not always going to be that way. Springer Nature, a publisher serving the research community, just published its first book that was generated by an algorithm using machine learning. It’s no Stephen King page-turner, but that’s not why this book was created."

https://gizmodo.com/the-first-machine-generated-book-by-a-scholarly-publish-1833914900

Intersect Alert - March 11, 2019

Technology:

Elizabeth Warren says it’s time to break up Big Tech

The US presidential hopeful claims companies like Facebook and Amazon have become too powerful—and that it’s time to blow up their empires.

The great divide: In a blog post, Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, said that if she wins office in 2020, she’s going to push for legislation that labels companies running online marketplaces with revenue of $25 billion or more as “platform utilities.” These utilities would be forbidden from competing with companies that use their platforms to reach customers.

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/613096/elizabeth-warren-says-its-time-to-break-up-big-tech/

Automation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Automation often seems like a scary new problem, but it’s neither entirely scary nor entirely new.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h1ooyyFkF0

Research:

Extensive catalogue of CNN films, documentaries, interviews and content added to Academic Video Online

More than 450 documentaries, interviews and special films originally released by CNN are now available to academic libraries through the Academic Video Online streaming video collection, marking the first time CNN content is available in a video database for the library market.

Many more CNN titles will be added in the coming years under this licensing agreement with CNN International Commercial (CNNIC). Like most content in Academic Video Online, the CNN films can be viewed and used worldwide.

https://librarytechnology.org/pr/24105

Values:

The Inextricable Link Between Modern Free Speech Law and the Civil Rights Movement

No excuse is needed to celebrate the civil rights icon Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. But this weekend is an especially appropriate time to recognize his contributions to First Amendment jurisprudence, and the inextricable link between modern free speech law and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This link remains pertinent: the Internet is as important a venue for protest and dissent as streets and newspapers were then, especially in light of recent attacks on this legal legacy.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/03/inextricable-link-between-modern-free-speech-law-and-civil-rights-movement

Intellectual Property:

Copyright at the Supreme Court

This week, the Supreme Court issued two unanimous decisions related to copyright. Although neither is likely to reshape the world of copyright, the Court’s opinions should at least provide more certainty for copyright litigants in the future.


https://cdt.org/blog/copyright-at-the-supreme-court/

Copyright Office Adds 24 Million Images to Virtual Card Catalog Proof of Concept

“The Copyright Office updated the Virtual Card Catalog (VCC) proof of concept yesterday with more than 24 million card images from 1870 through 1954. These images contain Copyright Registrations, Assignments, Notices of Use, Commercial Prints and Labels, Title Indexes, and Pseudonym Files. The addition of these card images expands the range of card images from 1870 through 1977, totaling more than 41 million card images. The Office welcomes the public to browse the newly added indexes and provide feedback through the Virtual Card Catalog website at vcc.copyright.gov.”


https://www.bespacific.com/copyright-office-adds-24-million-images-to-virtual-card-catalog-proof-of-concept/

Open Access:

Plan S and the UC-Elsevier negotiations—publication as part of research funding

The first quarter of 2019 is replete with open access significance—from the public comment filings on Plan S, to the news last week that the University of California canceled its system-wide subscription to Elsevier journals over the company’s unwillingness to meet a set of faculty-endorsed principles of scholarly communication. The full set of principles is a magnificent document, made all the more powerful as an expression of faculty and senior university administration will. But one aspect in particular marks a noteworthy shift within the research community—a recognition that fully funding research ought to include the open dissemination of that research. Plan S was conceived by a group of national research councils. The UC proposed agreement included an explicit commitment on the part of the university to fund open dissemination of research (through publishing fees) when external funding isn’t present.
http://policynotes.arl.org/?p=1827



Intersect Alert - March 18, 2019

Libraries

The Secret Service Uses This Massive Ink Library to Catch Forged Documents

"You might know that the Secret Service is on guard against counterfeit currency. You might not know, however, that it also keeps a one-of-a-kind International Ink Library with more than 11,400 specific writing ink fingerprints on hand. The ink library handles a variety of cases, from threat letters — the Secret Service protects not only the President but also other high-profile government officials — and ransom letters, baseballs, and phony documents where someone is 'trying to obscure the truth in some way,' says Joseph Stephens, ink library document analyst." https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/news/a13875/secret-service-ink-forensics-library/

Medieval Masterpiece the Book of Kells, Is Now Digitized & Put Online

"In our digital age, you need not go to Dublin to see this fabulous historical artifact, or a digitization of it at least, entirely viewable at the online collections of the Trinity College Library. The pages, originally captured in 1990, “have recently been rescanned,” Trinity College Library writes, using state of the art imaging technology. These new digital images offer the most accurate high resolution images to date, providing an experience second only to viewing the book in person.”

http://www.openculture.com/2019/03/the-medieval-masterpiece-the-book-of-kells-is-now-digitized-put-online.html

Internet Users

The mass shooting in New Zealand shows how broken social media is

"A gunman live-streamed the murder of dozens of innocents in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday—and the world got a terrible reminder of how flawed existing social-media policies and algorithms are for policing violent and offensive content."

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/613132/the-mass-shooting-in-new-zealand-shows-how-broken-social-media-is/

Values

Umberto Eco: 'We Like Lists Because We Don't Want to Die'

"The list is the origin of culture. It's part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order -- not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. "

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/spiegel-interview-with-umberto-eco-we-like-lists-because-we-don-t-want-to-die-a-659577.html

Digital Preservation

A new way to track Web censorship under Trump: Gov404

"The Web Integrity Project’s Censorship Tracker aggregates and verifies examples of the most significant cases of online information censorship on the federal Web since November 2016. The cases come from reporting by the Web Integrity Project (WIP) team, the news media, and other accountability organizations. "

https://sunlightfoundation.com/gov404/

Privacy

People’s online photos are being used without consent to train face recognition AI

"In January IBM released a data set of almost a million photos that had been scraped from photo-sharing website Flickr then annotated with information about details like skin tone. The company pitched this as part of efforts to reduce the (very real) problem of bias within face recognition. However, it didn’t get consent from anyone to do this, and it’s almost impossible to get the photos removed. " https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/613118/peoples-online-photos-are-being-used-without-consent-to-train-face-recognition/

Why the Debate Over Privacy Can't Rely on Tech Giants

"In his opening statement, CEO and Founder of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg said that, “Privacy legislation is not anti-advertising…[our] ads won’t follow [the user] around, because we don’t know who you are, where you’ve been, or where you go. It’s contextual advertising versus behavioral advertising.” Press investigations have exposed, time and again, that large tech companies will often choose their profits over your privacy. This underscores the need for stronger privacy laws across the country, and it helps to have another tech CEO tell the Senate that well-drafted privacy legislation can spur more competition and innovation." https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/03/why-debate-over-privacy-cant-rely-tech-giants

Technology

How voice computing will transform the way we live, work and think

"The move toward one-shot answers has been just slow enough to obscure its own most important consequence: killing off the internet as we know it. The conventional web, with all of its tedious pages and links, is giving way to the conversational web, in which chatty AIs reign supreme. The payoff, we are told, is increased convenience and efficiency. But for everyone who has economic interests tied to traditional web search—businesses, advertisers, authors, publishers, the tech giants—the situation is perilous. "

https://www.wired.com/story/amazon-alexa-search-for-the-one-perfect-answer/

Googling Strangers: One Professor's Lesson On Privacy In Public Spaces

"Whether you're in a cheering stadium or a packed commuter train, it's easy to assume that no one is paying attention to you. And before smartphones, even if someone overheard your conversation, they'd usually have a hard time piecing together whatever information they gathered. The level of effort required to get a complete picture of your identity would, effectively, serve as a deterrent and a privacy protection.

Not anymore. With Google at our fingertips, it's increasingly easyto learn a lot about a stranger, even with just a few details."

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/10/702028545/googling-strangers-one-professors-lesson-on-privacy-in-public-spaces

How library professionals are approaching blockchain technology and its potential impact

"What a particular librarian or library worker needs to know about blockchain technology is incredibly context-dependent; answering reference questions about Bitcoin requires an entirely different breadth and depth of knowledge from making decisions about a blockchain implementation to manage interlibrary loans. That said, as information professionals, everyone in the library world should have familiarity with what blockchain is because it’s likely to become increasingly common in spaces where parties have low trust but still want to cooperate. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that no one’s word in the blockchain space is gospel. Because this is such a new, evolving technology, we haven’t even agreed on what a blockchain is yet."
https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/library-blockchain-reaction/

Intersect Alert January 14, 2019

Privacy

Please Forget Where I Was Last Summer: The Privacy Risks of Public Location (Meta)Data

"Abstract—The exposure of location data constitutes a significant privacy risk to users as it can lead to de-anonymization, the inference of sensitive information, and even physical threats. In this paper we present LPAuditor, a tool that conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the privacy loss caused by publicly available location metadata. First, we demonstrate how our system can pinpoint users’ key locations at an unprecedented granularity by identifying their actual postal addresses. Our experimental evaluation on Twitter data highlights the effectiveness of our techniques which outperform prior approaches by 18.9%-91.6% for homes and 8.7%-21.8% for workplaces. Next we present a novel exploration of automated private information inference that uncovers “sensitive” locations that users have visited (pertaining to health, religion, and sex/nightlife). We find that location metadata can provide additional context to tweets and thus lead to the exposure of private information that might not match the users’ intentions."

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.00897.pdf


(Don't) Return to Sender: How to Protect Yourself From Email Tracking

"Tracking is everywhere on the Internet. Over the past year, a drumbeat of tech-industryscandals has acclimated users to the sheer number of ways that personal information can be collected and leaked. As a result, it might not come as a surprise to learn that emails, too, can be vectors for tracking. Email senders can monitor who opens which emails, when, and what device they use to do it. If you work for a business or a non-profit that sends mass emails, maybe you’ve used tools to perform this kind of tracking before. Even if you have used them, this might be the first you’ve heard of it — because unfortunately, in email marketing software, tracking is often enabled by default."  

"There are a lot of different ways to track email, and different techniques can lie anywhere on the spectrum from marginally acceptable to atrocious. Responsible tracking should aggregate a minimal amount of anonymous data, similar to page hits: enough to let the sender get a sense of how well their campaign is doing without invading users’ privacy. Email tracking should always be disclosed up-front, and users should have a clear and easy way to opt out if they choose to. Lastly, organizations that track should minimize and delete user data as soon as possible according to an easy-to-understand data retention and privacy policy."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/stop-tracking-my-emails


Remember the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules? The Motherboard Exposé Takes Us Down Memory Lane

"On Tuesday, Motherboard published an articleexposing the jaw-dropping ease of data collection and commercialization practices that can allow a stranger to find a cell phone’s location with just a phone number and $300. Motherboard’s investigation found that telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, would sell location data with an aggregator, which sold the data to MicroBilt, which then sold it to a Motherboard investigator for 'dirt cheap'.”

"It was just last year when Senator Ron Wyden wrote to the Federal Communications Commission about Securus, a firm that that was offering geolocation of phones to low-level law enforcement without a warrant, thereby jeopardizing cell phone locations of not only inmates, but anyone with a phone number – which is pretty much everyone."

https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/remember-the-fccs-broadband-privacy-rules-the-motherboard-expose-takes-us-down-memory-lane#When:20:20:00Z

Podcasts


The Room of Requirement - This American Life

"Libraries aren't just for books. They're often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It's actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required."

https://www.thisamericanlife.org/664/the-room-of-requirement

Open Data

What Makes a Good Open Data Use Case?

"Cities have made great strides in publishing foundational open data, and are constantly working to release more and better data. But many city officials still wonder: what will this data do for the community? Who is actually using it?"

"Understanding how data will be applied in the public domain is a key element of planning and allocating the limited resources dedicated to open data programs. Ground-truthing data in its potential use cases can ensure that when data is opened, it is for a purpose."

https://sunlightfoundation.com/2019/01/11/what-makes-a-good-open-data-use-case/

Copyright


The Internet is Facing a Catastrophe For Free Expression and Competition: Sweden, Germany, Poland and Luxembourg Could Tip The Balance

"The new EU Copyright Directive is progressing at an alarming rate. This week, the EU is asking its member-states to approve new negotiating positions for the final language. Once they get it, they're planning to hold a final vote before pushing this drastic, radical new law into 28 countries and 500,000,000 people."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/internet-facing-catastrophe-free-expression-and-competition-only-europeans-can

Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated. The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert February 24, 2019

Archives:

Online Oral Histories of the Manhattan Project

“’Voices of the Manhattan Project’ is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. The Manhattan Project was a great human collaboration. Participants included recent immigrants who fled anti-Semitism in Europe, young men and women straight from high school or college, and numerous Hispanics, Native Americans, and African-Americans. Some 125,000 people worked in secret locations in communities developed by the government for the sole purpose of the project. Most surprisingly, very few knew that they were working on an atomic bomb.”

“Launched in October 2012, this website captures the stories of Manhattan Project veterans and their families. Thanks to grants from the Crystal Trust, Department of Energy-NNSA, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Kerr Foundation, and the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society are digitizing and transcribing our oral history collections and adding the interviews to this website. We hope that in time others will add to these oral histories. Our goal is to provide a sense of both the commonality and diversity of the Manhattan Project experience for scholars, students and the public. There are many ways to search this site. In addition to the search bar and the filters used to organize by location and subjects (which are intended to emphasize important themes), you can also click on ‘tags’ to find out more about a specific topic on the oral history and location pages. For example, the location page for Metallurgical Laboratory includes a tag for Enrico Fermi. Click on the tag, and all the key pages on this website discussing Fermi will pop up…”

https://www.manhattanprojectvoices.org/oral-histories/


How Do You Preserve History On The Moon? : NPR

“Historic preservationists are hoping that the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this summer will persuade the United Nations to do something to protect Neil Armstrong's footprints in the lunar dust. Some of his boot marks are still up there, after all, along with other precious artifacts from humanity's first steps on another world. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left behind tools and science equipment, a plaque that read, "We came in peace for all mankind," and the U.S. flag, which has likely been bleached white by five decades of harsh ultraviolet light.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/21/696129505/how-do-you-preserve-history-on-the-moon

 

 

Libraries:

Drag queen story hour in America's Bible Belt

Drag queen story hours - events where drag performers read to children - are moving out of the big cities and coming to conservative southern US states.

A group of drag queens stand in a small room at the back of a public library in South Carolina, their bright outfits in contrast with the beige walls.

Children file in and quickly scan the larger-than-life characters before turning their attention to running around and playing.

"There are five drag queens walking around this room and not one kid has walked up to us and said 'you're so weird'," says drag queen Rylee Hunty. "Kids exist in their own fantasy world and we fit into that."

The children assemble on the floor in front of Rylee as she starts to read. After a page or so, she is interrupted by a young girl who stands up and offers Rylee her bracelet because she's "a princess".

Outside the library, armed police watch over groups of protesters and counter-protesters chanting at each other in the rain. Each side representing a different view of the future of the American South.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47203976


Obama Library to Depart From Status Quo, Signs of Life for Central FOIA Portal, and More: FRINFORMSUM 2/21/2019

For Better or Worse, The Obama Library to Depart From Status Quo

“The National Archives and Records Administration has released its agreement with the Obama Foundation that outlines how the Foundation’s plan to depart from the traditional NARA-run presidential library model – in favor of digitizing all of Obama’s 30 million unclassified paper records – will comply with the Presidential Records Act.”

“While all of Obama’s unclassified documents will be released through both the New Obama Library website and the NARA catalog, there will be no research library on site. This change has prompted concerns that presidential scholarship may suffer, and begs questions about what this model could mean for future presidents unconcerned with preserving ‘nonpartisan public history,’ according to the New York Times.”

https://unredacted.com/2019/02/21/obama-library-to-depart-from-status-quo-signs-of-life-for-central-foia-portal-and-more-frinformsum-2-21-2019/

 

 

Books and Reading:

'I can't even look at the cover': the most disturbing books

From hiding from a copy of The Exorcist to being unnerved by the likes of Shirley Jackson, Stephen King and Iain Banks, here are The Guardian Reader's most alarming reading experiences

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2019/feb/21/i-cant-even-look-at-the-cover-the-most-disturbing-books


How to Read 80ish Books a Year (And Actually Remember Them)

Reading is a skill that once you’ve learned, you probably don’t spend much time trying to get better at. (Not all that different from, say, breathing.) And yet, many of us don’t have to look far to see signs that there’s plenty of room for improvement. We only read at the end of the day—and only for the three minutes between cracking open a book and falling asleep. We’re halfway through about nine books. And our bookshelves are littered with titles that we remember reading but don’t exactly remember anything about.

https://www.gq.com/story/how-to-read-good

 

Research:

The Stanford Open Policing Project

“Currently, a comprehensive, national repository detailing interactions between police and the public doesn’t exist. That’s why the Stanford Open Policing Project is collecting and standardizing data on vehicle and pedestrian stops from law enforcement departments across the country — and we’re making that information freely available. We’ve already gathered 130 million records from 31 state police agencies and have begun collecting data on stops from law enforcement agencies in major cities, as well. We, the Stanford Open Policing Project, are an interdisciplinary team of researchers and journalists at Stanford University. We are committed to combining the academic rigor of statistical analysis with the explanatory power of data journalism.”

 

https://openpolicing.stanford.edu/

 

What’s the Weather Like on Mars? NASA has a site for that

Weather Report at Elysium Planitia – “This plot is being updated daily throughout the duration of the InSight mission. The plot shows the latest three sols (Martian days) of weather data at InSight’s landing site near the equator of Mars. Time runs along the bottom of the plot with the most recent data at the right. Numbers along the bottom show hours of local time at the InSight lander (Local True Solar Time, based on Sun angle). Lighter and darker vertical bands indicate daytime and nighttime at the lander, respectively. The corresponding Earth time is also shown at the top of the plot, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). All data points are one-hour averages of the calibrated data from the spacecraft.”

https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/

 

Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated.

The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert – July 15, 2019

Internet Access

The Internet Is Drowning

"A vast web of physical infrastructure undergirds the internet connections that touch nearly every aspect of modern life. Delicate fiber optic cables, massive data transfer stations, and power stations create a patchwork of literal nuts and bolts that facilitates the flow of zeros and ones. Now, research shows that a whole lot of that infrastructure sits squarely in the path of rising seas."
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/07/news-internet-underwater-sea-level-rise/

Privacy

Google's 4,000-Word Privacy Policy Is a Secret History of the Internet

"Over the past 20 years, [Google's] privacy policy has been rewritten into a sprawling 4,000-word explanation of the company’s data practices. This evolution, across two decades and 30 versions, is the story of the internet’s transformation through the eyes of one of its most crucial entities. The web is now terribly complex, and Google has a privacy policy to match." https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/07/10/opinion/google-privacy-policy.html

Internet Users

The Underworld of Online Content Moderation

"More than a hundred thousand people work as online content moderators, viewing and evaluating the most violent, disturbing, and exploitative content on social media. In a new book, “Behind the Screen,” Sarah T. Roberts, a professor of information studies at U.C.L.A., describes how this work shapes their professional and personal lives. Roberts, who conducted interviews with current and former content moderators, found that many work in Silicon Valley, but she also travelled as far as the Philippines, where some of the work has been outsourced. From her research, we learn about the emotional toll, low wages, and poor working conditions of most content moderation."
https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/the-underworld-of-online-content-moderation

The State of Internet Shutdowns in 2018

In 2018, "STOP project has documented 196 cases of internet shutdowns (see full report for details). Almost every shutdown we counted told us the same story – shutdowns are an arbitrary, often illegal measure taken by governments to silence dissenting voices and control information."
https://www.accessnow.org/the-state-of-internet-shutdowns-in-2018/

Values

Truth and Consequences

Conventional wisdom has it that for democracy to work, it is essential that we—the citizens—agree in some minimal way about what reality looks like. We are not, of course, all required to think the same way about big questions, or believe the same things, or hold the same values; in fact, it is expected that we won’t. But somehow or other, we need to have acquired some very basic, shared understanding about what causes what, what’s broadly desirable, what’s dangerous, and how to characterize what’s already happened.
https://hedgehogreview.com/issues/reality-and-its-alternatives/articles/truth-and-consequences

International

UK: Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Releases “Spotlight on Research Support” (Analysis of Data From Annual Statistics 2017-18) UK: Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Releases “Spotlight on Research Support” (Analysis of Data From Annual Statistics 2017-18)

"Over recent years the role libraries play in supporting research has deepened and widened. This spotlight investigates the role of the library in a range of research support activities in the UK, including open access, research data management, digital literacy training, journal subscriptions and inter-library loans. This spotlight on the 2017–18 SCONUL Annual Statistics investigates the role of the library in a range of research support activities in the UK."
https://www.infodocket.com/2019/07/15/uk-society-of-college-national-and-university-libraries-sconul-releases-spotlight-on-research-support-analysis-of-data-from-annual-statistics-2017-18/

Research

NARA Digitizes More than 500 Volumes of U.S. Navy Muster Rolls

"The National Archives partnered with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the University of Washington to digitize more than 500 volumes of U.S. Navy muster rolls, making them accessible to the public through the National Archives Catalog."
https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/navy-muster-rolls-digitization

Major Update for America’s Inventory of Parks and Other Protected Areas: Protected Areas Database of the United States

"A new version of the Protected Areas Database of the U.S., or PAD-US, has major federal, state and easement updates, an easier-to-use data structure, new web services, national-scale printable maps, and more."
https://www.usgs.gov/news/major-update-america-s-inventory-parks-and-other-protected-areas-protected-areas-database

Technology

The AI technique that could imbue machines with the ability to reason

"Deep learning, the category of AI algorithms that kick-started the field’s most recent revolution, has made immense strides in giving machines perceptual abilities like vision. But it has fallen short in imbuing them with sophisticated reasoning, grounded in a conceptual model of reality. In other words, machines don’t truly understand the world around them, which makes them fall short in their ability to engage with it. New techniques are helping to overcome this limitation—for example, by giving machines a kind of working memory so that as they learn and derive basic facts and principles, they can accumulate them to draw on in future interactions." https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613954/the-next-ai-revolution-will-come-from-machine-learnings-most-underrated-form/

This blockchain-based card game shows us the future of ownership

"Gods Unchained hasn’t even fully launched, but the collectible card game already has more hype around it than any blockchain game ever. This week a beta version opened to the public after months of private testing. But Fuel Games, the startup developing the game, says it has already sold millions of game cards and generated $4 million in revenue thanks to pre-sales." https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613944/this-blockchain-based-card-game-shows-us-the-future-of-ownership/

Intersect Alert – July 1, 2019

Technology

Machine learning has been used to automatically translate long-lost languages

"It’s not hard to imagine that recent advances in machine translation might help [translate ancient scripts like Linear A]. In just a few years, the study of linguistics has been revolutionized by the availability of huge annotated databases, and techniques for getting machines to learn from them. Consequently, machine translation from one language to another has become routine. And although it isn’t perfect, these methods have provided an entirely new way to think about language."
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613899/machine-learning-has-been-used-to-automatically-translate-long-lost-languages/

Seeing Isn't Believing: the Fact-checkers Guide to Manipulated Video

"The Internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos. These videos — spread by politicians, advocacy groups and everyday users — are viewed by millions. The Fact Checker set out to develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable. We have found three main ways video is being altered: footage taken out of context, deceptively edited or deliberately altered."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/politics/fact-checker/manipulated-video-guide/

Mobile Technology and Home Broadband use – new Pew Research Center Report

37% of Americans now go online mostly using a smartphone, and these devices are increasingly cited as a reason for not having a high-speed internet connection at home.
https://www.pewinternet.org/2019/06/13/mobile-technology-and-home-broadband-2019/

Values

Video: The Library as a Movement

"A conversation between Marie Østergaard, Library Director Aarhus Public Libraries in Denmark and R. David Lankes, Director of the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science on the idea that the library is a movement of communities members, librarians, politicians, partners and more."
https://vimeo.com/343348136

The Love of Books: The Brave Librarians of Sarajevo

"In a brave act of collective personal defiance and self-sacrifice, the library staff risked their lives to rescue over 10,000 precious books and manuscripts while the Bosnian War raged around them.

'It would have been better to die together with the books than to live without them,' says Abbas Lutumba Husein, who was the night-watchman at the time."

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2019/06/love-books-brave-librarians-sarajevo-190624131307367.html

Privacy

WaPo Help Desk: How to fight the spies in your Chrome browser

"Is your Web browser spying on you? My recent column about the stark privacy differences between Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox generated a lot of conversation — and questions from readers about what you can do to avoid surveillance while you surf."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/06/27/help-desk-how-fight-spies-your-chrome-browser/

Freedom of Information

Looking for a better way to teach public records? Read what we’ve learned in Make FOIA Work

"Last August, with support from the Online News Association, we partnered with the Engagement Lab at Emerson College and the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism to explore new ways of teaching public records to students and the broader community.

Five workshops, four articles, and a hundred public records requests later, our partners at the Engagement Lab have put together a new website, Make FOIA Work, and downloadable guide on what we’ve learned, ideas to make Freedom of Information work more exciting and accessible, and a blueprint for others to build on."
https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2019/jun/24/make-foia-work/

DoD Doctrine on Nuclear Operations Published, Taken Offline

"The Joint Chiefs of Staff briefly published and then removed from public access a new edition of their official doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. But a public copy was preserved. See Joint Publication 3-72, Nuclear Operations, June 11, 2019."
https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/06/nuclear-operations/

Intellectual Property

First Amendment Case Against Restrictive Copyright Law Can Proceed, Says Judge

A federal judge has ruled that litigation can go forward to determine whether Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act violates the First Amendment as applied. EFF brought this litigation on behalf of security researcher Matt Green, technologist bunnie Huang, and bunnie's company Alphamax, in order to vindicate the right to speaklearn, and innovate despite this overly-broad and harmful law.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/06/first-amendment-case-against-restrictive-copyright-law-can-proceed-says-judge

Intersect Alert February 10, 2019

Archives:

First African American Congresswoman Featured at National Archives

WASHINGTON, February 8, 2019 — “The life and contributions of Shirley Chisholm—the first African American woman elected to Congress—will be celebrated this month at the National Archives and Records Administration.”

“A new ‘Featured Document’ display at the National Archives Museum in the East Rotunda Gallery marks the 50th anniversary of Shirley Chisholm’s historic entry into the U.S. House of Representatives. The display features her oath of office and a record from her service on the House Rules Committee.”

https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/first-african-american-congresswoman-featured

Open Access:

Thousands of scientists run up against Elsevier’s paywall

"Researchers at German institutions that have let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse while negotiating a new deal are hitting the paywall for the publisher’s most recent articles around 10,000 times a day, according to Elsevier — which publishes more than 400,000 papers each year. But at least some German libraries involved in negotiating access to Elsevier say they are making huge savings without a subscription, while still providing any articles their academics request."

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00492-4

Research:

Think with Google

“We know how important it is for marketers to have their pulse on the latest consumer insights and industry trends. To help you easily stay up-to-date we organized hundreds of Google insights and facts by industry, platform, and theme. Search through to find inspiration, or the perfect insight to power your thinking. Insight cards are shareable and downloadable, so you can easily use in a presentation, or send as inspiration to your colleagues…”

“Digital innovation continues to propel the marketing industry forward, and the pace is mind-blowing. As marketers, we rely on data, analysis, and insights to stay informed and inspired. Think with Google is our way to share all of this and more with you. Think of us as your resource for everything from high-level insights to deck-ready stats to useful tools. Here you will find the data we’re exploring and the trends we’re tracking along with forward-looking perspectives and behind-the-scenes looks at digital campaigns—across industries, platforms, and audiences. We hope you find it helpful and visit often.”

https://www.bespacific.com/think-with-google/

Technology:

Trump has a plan to keep America first in artificial intelligence

“Artificial intelligence may have been invented in the United States, but other nations, including China, Canada, and France, have made bigger moves to back and benefit from the technology in recent years.” “President Donald Trump will seek to change that Monday by signing an executive order that launches the US government’s own AI play.” “The key focuses of the “American AI Initiative” have been released ahead of time by the Office of Science and Technology Policy.”

“The initiative is designed to boost America’s AI industry by reallocating funding, creating new resources, and devising ways for the country to shape the technology even as it becomes increasingly global.” “However, while the goals are lofty, the details are vague. And it will not include a big lump sum of funding for AI research.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612926/trump-will-sign-an-executive-order-to-put-america-first-in-artificial-intelligence/

Libraries & Privacy:

New Library Bill of Rights Provision Recognizes and Defends Library Users’ Privacy

"The Library Bill of Rights — first adopted in 1939 and last amended in 1980 — has been updated to include an article focused on the concept of ensuring privacy and confidentiality for library users."

"The new article of the Library Bill of Rights, Article VII, states: ‘All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.'

'Libraries across the nation now have the support needed to protect and fight for the privacy rights of their patrons,' said Erin Berman, chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee's Privacy Subcommittee and co-leader of the working group that drafted the new article. “They may use the privacy article to update policies and practices, bringing the new article to governing bodies, vendors, funders and their patrons.'"

"Helen Adams, an IFC member and co-leader of the working group, commended the working group and those who contributed to the privacy article. She also noted the article’s significance to school libraries.

'With the addition of Article VII, students in K-12 public schools are promised the right of privacy and confidentiality in their library use,' said Adams. 'Adding the core values of privacy and confidentiality to one of the profession’s foundational documents places school librarians in a stronger position from which to advocate for and educate about library privacy for minors.'"

http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2019/02/new-library-bill-rights-provision-recognizes-and-defends-library-users

Freedom of Information:

State Department Makes FOIA Reading Room Less User-Friendly

"The Department of State has inexplicably made its FOIA reading room significantly less user-friendly. The previous version allowed researchers to sort the reading room’s tens of thousands of documents by date or title, among other filters, or search through curated collections. The current iteration has no such features and the documents are now unsortable. The move is a frustrating head-scratcher from an agency that – until recently – had one of the best examples of the kind of FOIA reading room that is required by 2007 FOIA amendments. The change shows, as Alex Howard points out on Twitter, 'how technical changes to searchability can degrade public access & impeding the public’s rights to know.'"

State Department Makes FOIA Reading Room Less User-Friendly: FRINFORMSUM 2/7/2019

Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated.

The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert – June 23, 2019

Privacy:

Digital Privacy is a Class Issue


As corporations mine data and monetize the web, the divide between rich and poor on the Internet grows wider.

"Our digital spaces are increasingly organized around our capacity and propensity to spend. The apparatus of observational intelligence that dominates the web was established by private companies, and assesses our worth as individuals through the lens of consumerism, according to Shoshana Zuboff, as described in her book Surveillance Capitalism. All kinds of companies pick through our online behavior for clues about how we might be convinced to spend money. These practices particularly affect poor people, who are more dependent on cheap or free online services. The services appear to cost nothing, but payment is in data rather than dollars. Such a transaction renders the user into a source to be mined for information and—in a way that is not obvious to the web consumer—transforms the experience of online life into one saturated by the logic of the market. As Michael Fertik, the founder of reputation.com, bluntly put it: 'The rich see a different Internet than the poor.'"
https://newrepublic.com/article/154026/digital-privacy-class-issue

"Consumer DNA testing kits like those from 23andMeAncestry.com and MyHeritage promise a road map to your genealogy and, in some cases, information about what diseases you’re most susceptible to. They also ask for a lot of trust with your DNA information — trust that, in some ways, may not be earned. Here’s how to protect and delete your data if you use any of these services."
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/smarter-living/how-to-protect-your-dna-data.html

Internet Users:


Fans are Better than Tech at Organizing Information Online

On AO3, users can put in whatever tags they want. (Autocomplete is there to help, but they don't have to use it.) Then behind the scenes, human volunteers look up any new tags that no one else has used before and match them with any applicable existing tags, a process known as tag wrangling. Wrangling means that you don't need to know whether the most popular tag for your new fanfic featuring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is Johnlock or Sherwatson or John/Sherlock or Sherlock/John or Holmes/Watson or anything else. And you definitely don't need to tag your fic with all of them just in case. Instead, you pick whichever one you like, the tag wranglers do their work behind the scenes, and readers looking for any of these synonyms will still be able to find you.

AO3's trick is that it involves humans by design—around 350 volunteer tag wranglers in 2019, up from 160 people in 2012—who each spend a few hours a week deciding whether new tags should be treated as synonyms or subsets of existing tags, or simply left alone. AO3's Tag Wrangling Chairs estimate that the group is on track to wrangle over 2 million never-before-used tags in 2019, up from around 1.5 million in 2018.

https://www.wired.com/story/archive-of-our-own-fans-better-than-tech-organizing-information/


Values

How to battle an octopus: Keynote remarks from this year’s Global Fact-Checking Summit


"I first became interested in the harm done by misinformation because of a false rumor about vaccines that emerged, not online – in a WhatsApp group, or a hidden space on the dark web – but which started in a Nigerian mosque or mosques, spread to local newspapers, was picked up by a prominent local politician, reported as fact by national papers, and, when the false claims when unchallenged, saw him create bad policy — a vaccine ban — in his state of Kano in the north of the country. Misinformation is often described as spreading like a virus. Two years after those events of 2002, I saw how it caused the spread of a real virus."

https://www.poynter.org/ifcn/2019/how-to-battle-an-octopus-keynote-remarks-from-this-years-global-fact-checking-summit/

When a book disappears, it turns up here

"When Argentinian artist Marta Minujin wanted to build a replica of the Parthenon out of banned books, UBC professor Florian Gassner was one of the first people she turned to for help. Gassner, a senior instructor in UBC’s department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European studies, was a visiting professor at the University of Kassel (Germany) at the time. He and colleague Nikola Roßbach came up with list of 70,000 titles that Minujin used in her work. But they weren’t done. After The Parthenon of Books was unveiled in 2017, Gassner, Roßbach and a team of students went to work on an online database, fully searchable, listing—at this point—125,000 books that have been, or currently are, banned or censored somewhere in the world."
https://news.ubc.ca/2019/06/11/when-a-book-disappears-it-turns-up-here/

Open Access

The war to free science

How librarians, pirates, and funders are liberating the world’s academic research from paywalls.

“Everyone agrees, in some way, the future is open access,” UVA’s Butler says. “Now the question is, in that future, how much control do the big publishers retain over every step in the scientific process? They’ve been working for over a decade to ensure the answer is the most possible control.” Academic publishing isn’t a hot-button political topic. But it could be. “If citizens really cared, they could talk to their representatives and senators and tell them open access matters,” MacKie-Mason says, “and the government should get involved in changing this.“
https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/6/3/18271538/open-access-elsevier-california-sci-hub-academic-paywalls

Education

Discovery and the Disciplines: An Inquiry into the Role of Subject Databases through Citation Analysis

"The widespread adoption of web scale discovery services by academic research libraries has been accompanied by a general consensus that these tools are poised to meet user expectations for a streamlined research experience. A Google-like single search box is one of the defining features of web scale discovery tools, promising access to content from disparate source databases via a preharvested central index. However, in many cases, this single search box continues to serve as one option among many that libraries provide. The full assortment of search interfaces that libraries continue to offer, including catalogs as well as subject-specific databases, comprises a complex discovery ecosystem with myriad options for where and how users may begin and proceed with their research process."

https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16946/19430<

Libraries

Librarian of Congress Names Joy Harjo the Nation's 23rd Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position – she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-19-066/librarian-of-congress-names-joy-harjo-the-nations-23rd-poet-laureate/2019-06-19/

Lilly Library's unique Vonnegut collection allows teleplays to take the stage for the first time

Bold underlining in Sharpie, scribbling in between paragraphs and tape holding together sheets of typewriter paper -- some of Kurt Vonnegut's original teleplays stored in Indiana University Bloomington's Lilly Library bear the marks of an involved writer. For this year's Granfalloon festival, two of those adaptations of Vonnegut short stories transitioned from the Lilly Library's archives to the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center stage for the first time. They were performed by Bloomington's professional theater company, Cardinal Stage.
https://news.iu.edu/stories/2019/06/iub/18-vonnegut-teleplays-lilly-library.html

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Program (EAP) Releases Six New Projects Online

"These new collections demonstrate the diverse variety of archives the EAP digitises, and includes eighteenth-century Brazilian royal orders, artwork and photography by Lalit Mohan Sen, colonial archives, Coptic manuscripts and prayer scrolls, war photography, and historic newspapers."
https://blogs.bl.uk/endangeredarchives/2019/06/new-june-2019.html

Israeli library offers glimpse of old Jewish life in Europe

Israel’s National Library has digitized a rare collection of communal ledgers from long-lost Jewish communities of Europe, offering the public a chance to study an era seen as a golden age of Jewish self-governance. The documents, known as pinkasim, were used by European Jewish communities hundreds of years ago to keep track of financial transactions, political happenings, relations with non-Jewish government bodies, and even funny moments.https://apnews.com/3b3811a99f1041e1a4d5909141c3a883

Research


UIS Releases New Data on Cultural Activities

"For the first time, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics has published time series data on the international trade of cultural goods in the global database. The data span from 2004 to 2017. Disaggregated by cultural sub-sector, the internationally-comparable trade data can be used to help monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, SDG Target 17.11 calls to “significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries' share of global exports by 2020”. The newly-published data show that the global trade in merchandise has stagnated since 2011, but the slowdown began even earlier in least developed countries. From 2004 to 2007, the share of world exports of cultural goods increased from 0.5% to 0.8% in least developed countries, falling back to 0.5% in 2017, the same share that was seen in 2004."
http://uis.unesco.org/en/news/uis-releases-new-data-cultural-activities

Historical Trends at the Caselaw Access Project

Today we’re excited to share Historical Trends, a new way to explore U.S. case law made available by the Caselaw Access Project at Harvard Law School. Historical Trends is a way to visualize word usage in court opinions over time. We want Historical Trends to help you ask new questions and understand the law in new ways.
https://lil.law.harvard.edu/blog/2019/06/19/historical-trends-at-the-caselaw-access-project/

Freedom of Information:

Is the CIA Bypassing Senate Judiciary with New (B)(3) FOIA Exemption?

A provision in the pending intelligence authorization bill would allow the CIA to indefinitely withhold information on “the identities of all undercover intelligence officers, and United States citizens whose relationship to the United States is classified, regardless of the location of the individuals’ government service or time since separation of government service.” (Current law prohibits the disclosure of the identity of intelligence officers who are currently serving abroad or who have done so within the past 5 years.)
https://unredacted.com/2019/06/20/is-the-cia-bypassing-senate-judiciary-with-new-b3-foia-exemption-frinformsum-6-20-2019/

ICE Detainee Records Schedule Nears Completion

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is in the final stages of its records scheduling review process with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for schedule DAA-0567-2015-0013, Detainee Records. This schedule was originally proposed to NARA on October 26, 2015. NARA published notice of the pending schedule in the Federal Register on July 14, 2017. The schedule, which covers records related to deaths of detainees and allegations of sexual assault and abuse of detainees, received a record number of public comments. NARA has published a response in the Federal Register and consolidated reply to comments on Regulations.gov. The public now has an additional 45 days to submit comments to NARA specifically related to items proposed for disposition on the schedule. Comments can be made on Regulations.gov, which also has copies of the revised schedule and appraisal memorandum.
https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases-2

Removal of ICE Speeches Collection Demonstrates Weaknesses in Federal Agencies’ Archiving Practices

In the dying minutes of the Obama administration’s final term, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed from its website a collection of almost 200 speeches and testimonies delivered by agency leadership dating back to 2004. With a couple of clicks of a mouse, access to a federal government web resource containing 12 years of primary source materials on ICE’s history was lost. In our most recent report, the Web Integrity Project (WIP) documents the removal of this collection.

The removal of the ICE speeches collection represents the loss of a primary source history of the early days of ICE, dating back to its creation during the George W. Bush administration in 2003. It would have been especially useful for social scientists and historians wishing to understand the way ICE, in its formative years and while mired in controversy, interacted with the public and understood its role. The collection is revealing because ICE deliberately curated it over many years, choosing which testimonies and speeches to publish (and which to omit) based on its priorities and the public image it wished to project.
https://sunlightfoundation.com/2019/06/11/removal-of-ice-speeches-collection/

International Outlook:

Australia’s top librarian tells how the National Library fosters a culture of in-house innovation. In two words: ‘radical incrementalism’

"'Radical incrementalism' is the term Marie-Louise Ayers uses to best describe the approach that delivered the new Australian Web Archive this year — charting a direction and taking small steps that lead to profound change over time, through learning and evaluation along the way. In theory this allows organisations to achieve goals that would have previously sounded too big, ambitious or risky."
https://www.themandarin.com.au/110303-australias-top-librarian-tells-how-the-national-library-fosters-a-culture-of-in-house-innovation-in-two-words-radical-incrementalism/

World's largest database uncovers Australia's secret reading passions

Researchers from the Australian National University's literature school will launch this week the new Australian Common Reader website, giving a historical snapshot of the nation's reading habits drawn from what the university says is the world’s largest database of library borrowing records. The records show borrowing habits – not catalogued books – from six Australian libraries between 1861 and 1928, not including the state libraries of Sydney and Melbourne.
https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/world-s-largest-database-uncovers-nation-s-secret-reading-passions-20190614-p51xpd.html

The future of AI research is in Africa

Both IBM Research’s offices in Kenya and South Africa and Google’s AI lab in Ghana share the same mission as their parent organizations: to pursue fundamental and cutting-edge research. They focus on issues like increasing access to affordable health care, making financial services more inclusive, strengthening long-term food security, and streamlining government operations. The list is not unlike that for a lab located anywhere else in the world, but the context adds nuance to the objectives. “Research cannot be detached from the environment in which it is performed,” says Moustapha Cisse, the director of Google AI Ghana. “Being in an environment where the challenges are unique in many ways gives us an opportunity to explore problems that maybe other researchers in other places would not be able to explore.”
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613848/ai-africa-machine-learning-ibm-google/

Intersect Alert February 17, 2019

Public Policy:

A Look at Past and Future Climate Change in Less Than a Minute

Two new videos visualize how drastically global temperatures have changed since 1900 — and how much worse they will get by the end of this century. The data visualizations, created by Antti Lipponen, a research scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, depict 200 years of climate change in each of the world’s 191 countries in less than a minute.

"'Rapid global warming really exists, has been global in the past, and has affected all the countries in the world,' Lipponen told Yale Environment 360. “Unfortunately, the future does not look different — temperatures will continue rising rapidly and all countries will be affected by climate change.'"

https://e360.yale.edu/digest/a-look-at-past-and-future-climate-change-in-less-than-a-minute

National Emergencies: Constitutional and Statutory Restrictions on Presidential Powers

"When a president threatens to exercise the power to declare a national emergency, our system of checks and balances faces a crucial test. With President Trump threatening such a declaration in order to build his proposed physical border wall, that test could be an important one that could quickly implicate your right to privacy and a transparent government."

"EFF has long tangled with governmental actions rooted in presidential power. From mass telephone records collection to tapping the Internet backbone, and from Internet metadata collection to biometric tracking and social media monitoring, claims of national crisis have often enabled digital policies that have undermined civil liberties. Those policies quickly spread far beyond their initial justification. We have also seen presidential authorities misused to avoid the legislative process—and even used to try to intimidate courts and prevent them from doing their job to protect our rights."

"So when the President threatens to use those same emergency authorities to try paying for a border wall after Congress has refused, we watch closely. And so should you."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/02/national-emergencies-constitutional-and-statutory-restrictions-presidential-powers

Open Access:

Public Knowledge Applauds Bill Eliminating Paywalls from Public Court Records Access

"Yesterday, Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced the 'Electronic Court Records Reform Act' (ECRRA) to remove any and all paywalls on public court records. Currently, users must pay to obtain public court records through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. The ECRRA would guarantee free public access to these records through PACER by waiving all fees. Furthermore, the bill would also mandate updates to the PACER system, including a search function for court documents."

https://www.publicknowledge.org/press-release/public-knowledge-applauds-bill-eliminating-paywalls-from-public-court-records-access#When:17:58:00Z

Technology:

The Secret History of Women in Coding

"Computer programming once had much better gender balance than it does today. What went wrong?"

"As a teenager in Maryland in the 1950s, Mary Allen Wilkes had no plans to become a software pioneer — she dreamed of being a litigator. One day in junior high in 1950, though, her geography teacher surprised her with a comment: “Mary Allen, when you grow up, you should be a computer programmer!” Wilkes had no idea what a programmer was; she wasn’t even sure what a computer was. Relatively few Americans were. The first digital computers had been built barely a decade earlier at universities and in government labs."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/13/magazine/women-coding-computer-programming.html

The technology behind OpenAI’s fiction-writing, fake-news-spewing AI, explained - MIT Technology Review

The language model can write like a human, but it doesn’t have a clue what it’s saying.

Last Thursday (Feb. 14), the nonprofit research firm OpenAI released a new language model capable of generating convincing passages of prose. So convincing, in fact, that the researchers have refrained from open-sourcing the code, in hopes of stalling its potential weaponization as a means of mass-producing fake news.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612975/ai-natural-language-processing-explained/

We should gene-sequence cave paintings to find out more about who made them

Standard archeological techniques can’t determine whether the prehistoric artists were hunter-gatherers or farmers. Analyzing the paintings’ surfaces with techniques from biology offers much more information about howStandard archeological techniques can’t determine whether the prehistoric artists were hunter-gatherers or farmers. Analyzing the paintings’ surfaces with techniques from biology offers much more information about how they worked and when they lived. they worked and when they lived.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612918/we-should-gene-sequence-cave-paintings-to-find-out-more-about-who-made-them/

Machine learning is contributing to a “reproducibility crisis” within science

Scientific discoveries made using machine learning techniques cannot be automatically trusted, a statistician from Rice University has warned.

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/612982/machine-learning-is-contributing-to-a-reproducibility-crisis-within-science/

Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated.

The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert - June 23, 2019

Intersect Alert – June 9, 2019


Research:

The Rise of Junk Science

Fake publications are corrupting the world of research—and influencing real news

“In early 2017, Eduardo Franco, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, sent an email to his colleagues, warning them of a global “epidemic” of scams by academic journals that was corrupting research and, in effect, endangering the public. As head of the oncology department, where he oversees approximately 230 people, Franco promised to comb through every CV and annual evaluation in the department to flag any colleagues’ resumés that listed journals and conferences that weren’t reputable or, in some cases, even real. He didn’t spell out the consequences, but the implication was clear: the faculty members would be held accountable.”

“A scholar for forty years, Franco has followed the rise of junk publishers for about a decade. He has seen them go from anomalous blights on academics’ credentials to widespread additions on scholarly resumés, nearly indistinguishable from legitimate work. Now, he says, “there’s never been a worse time to be a scientist.” Typically, when a scholar completes work they want to see published, they submit a paper to a reputable journal. If the paper is accepted, it undergoes a rigorous editing process—including peer review, in which experts in the field evaluate the work and provide feedback. Once the paper is published, it can be cited by others and inspire further research or media attention. The process can take years. Traditionally, five publishers have dominated this $25 billion industry: Wiley-Blackwell, Springer, Taylor & Francis, RELX Group (formerly Reed Elsevier), and Sage. But, before the turn of the century, a new model of online publishing, ‘open access,’ began opening doors for countless academics—and for thousands of scams in the process.”

https://thewalrus.ca/the-rise-of-junk-science/

 

How to Teach with JSTOR Text Analyzer 

JSTOR Text Analyzer provides students with an additional resource for finding scholarly material – Rachel Hermann – “Many first year undergraduates enter university not knowing how to manage their time. They have extra-curricular activities. Or jobs at the local grocery store. And then there are all those assignments—they always seems to be due at once! My students, I’ve found, need help learning how much time to spend researching, writing, and editing their assignments—and help locating the appropriate tools to do so. One of the most rewarding aspects of first year teaching is helping them develop these skills, and I’ve tried to do so especially in teaching my History in Practice class, which focuses on research methods. It’s essentially “how to be a historian” for history majors. In teaching History in Practice, I’ve used JSTOR Text Analyzer, a research tool built by JSTOR Labs, to help students hone their researching and editing abilities. The easiest way to describe Text Analyzer is that it lets you upload files you’ve read or are working on, then uses the data in this file to provide additional reading recommendations…”

https://daily.jstor.org/how-to-teach-with-jstor-text-analyzer/

 

Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs To Be Fixed

Pew – Politicians viewed as major creators made-up news, but journalists seen as the ones who should fix it – “Many Americans say the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation and needs to be stopped, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 6,127 U.S. adults conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019, on the Center’s American Trends Panel. Indeed, more Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way. Additionally, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say made-up news and information greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions, and roughly half (54%) say it is having a major impact on our confidence in each other.”

https://www.journalism.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2019/06/PJ_2019.06.05_Misinformation_FINAL.pdf

 

Digital Preservation:

Metadata is the biggest little problem plaguing the music industry [The Verge]

“Recently, a musician signed to a major indie label told me they were owed up to $40,000 in song royalties they would never be able to collect. It wasn’t that they had missed out on payments for a single song — it was that they had missed out on payments for 70 songs, going back at least six years.”

“The problem, they said, was metadata. In the music world, metadata most commonly refers to the song credits you see on services like Spotify or Apple Music, but it also includes all the underlying information tied to a released song or album, including titles, songwriter and producer names, the publisher(s), the record label, and more. That information needs to be synchronized across all kinds of industry databases to make sure that when you play a song, the right people are identified and paid. And often, they aren’t.”

“Metadata sounds like one of the smallest, most boring things in music. But as it turns out, it’s one of the most important, complex, and broken, leaving many musicians unable to get paid for their work. “Every second that goes by and it’s not fixed, I’m dripping pennies,” said the musician, who asked to remain anonymous because of ‘the repercussions of even mentioning that this type of thing happens.”

 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/29/18531476/music-industry-song-royalties-metadata-credit-problems

 

Technology:

Facebook’s AI system can speak with Bill Gates’s voice

The company’s AI researchers have developed a speech synthesizer capable of copying anybody’s voice with uncanny accuracy.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613647/facebooks-ai-system-can-speak-with-bill-gatess-voice/

 

Open Access:

Chrome Extension to block search results from specific sites

From Bespacific: “uBlacklist blocks specific sites from appearing in Google search results. This Chrome extension prevents blacklisted sites from appearing in Google search results. The same function is already provided by Personal Blocklist (by Google). However, sites blocked by Personal Blocklist appear in search results for a moment and then disappear, which annoys me. uBlacklist prevents blacklisted sites from appearing in search results as far as possible. You can add rules on search result pages, or on sites to be blocked by clicking the toolbar icon. Rules can be specified either by match patterns (e.g. *://*.example.com/*) or by regular expressions (e.g. /example\.(net|org)/)…”

https://www.bespacific.com/chrome-extension-to-block-search-results-from-specific-sites/

 

 


Intersect Alert – June 2, 2019


Research

Want to feel less anxious about the state of the world? Try diversifying your online news sources

NeimanLab – “Participants who reported actively trying to diversify their online news streams by interacting with people and content espousing different points of view also reported lower levels of anxiety related to current events. “A new study suggests that consumers who actively take steps to diversify their news consumption — following accounts and news outlets that post a wide range of viewpoints, and interacting online with people who have different views from their own — feel less anxious about current events than people who don’t take such actions. Hunkering down in a self-created news echo chamber, however, does not seem to reduce anxiety. Democrats also report feeling more anxious about current events than Republicans, which isn’t surprising considering who’s in the White House.

The paper is “Factors motivating customization and echo chamber creation within digital news environments,” by Brooke Auxier and Jessica Vitak of the University of Maryland. Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, they surveyed 317 U.S. adults about their news consumption habits, categorizing whether they were “echo chamber builders” or “diversity seekers.” The echo chamber folks “find content providers (both people and news sources or other websites) they agree with and follow them; when they come across a person or source they disagree with, that content or user is removed.” The “diversity seekers,” meanwhile, “purposefully seek out a variety of perspectives in their content feeds. These users’ responses suggest they view social media as a way to expand their world view and engage with unlike others.”

https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/05/want-to-feel-less-anxious-about-the-state-of-the-world-try-diversifying-your-online-news-sources/


Technology

The AI gig economy is coming for you

"
The artificial-intelligence industry runs on the invisible labor of humans working in isolated and often terrible conditions—and the model is spreading to more and more businesses"

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613606/the-ai-gig-economy-is-coming-for-you/


Reviewing 35 AI Applications for Law - A Comprehensive View of 35 Current Applications

Emerj (via Joe Hodnicki) –  “Artificial intelligence (AI) companies continue to find ways of developing technology that will manage laborious tasks in different industries for better speed and accuracy. In the legal profession, AI has already found its way into supporting lawyers and clients alike. The growing interest in applying AI in law is said to be slowly transforming the profession and closing in on the work of paralegals, legal researchers, and litigators."

"In this article, we’ll discuss the different ways in which AI is currently applied in the legal profession and how technology providers are trying to streamline work processes. We break down AI’s current legal applications into the following categories of applications:

  • Helping lawyers perform due diligence and research
  • Providing additional insights and “shortcuts” through analytics
  • Automating creative processes (including some writing) in legal work"
"Because of the breadth of our research (and hence the length of this article), we encourage readers to feel free to skip ahead to the applications areas of greatest interest for them. We’ll conclude this article with some thoughts on AI’s promise and limitations across the legal industry.”

tps://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-law-legal-practice-current-applications/


Blockchain Explained: A Reuters Visual Guide


"A blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. Once a record has been added to the chain it is very difficult to change. To ensure all the copies of the database are the same, the network makes constant checks. Blockchains have been used to underpin cyber-currencies like bitcoin, but many other possible uses are emerging."


http://graphics.reuters.com/TECHNOLOGY-BLOCKCHAIN/010070P11GN/index.html



Archives


National Archives Celebrates Walt Whitman's Birthday


"WASHINGTON, May 31, 2019 — Perhaps no poet captured the exuberance of the American experience than Walt Whitman. Born 200 years ago on May 31, 1819, Whitman remains a fixture in the nation’s literary canon, and his major work, Leaves of Grass, is an American epic that is read and taught and loved to this day."
"The National Archives has several unexpected connections to this great poet. Some of the most iconic images of Whitman are from the Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenesin the Records of the War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer. No surprise that Whitman is included in this collection, for he lived and worked in Washington for over a dozen years."
https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/whitman-200-nhprc


Stanford Univ – ePADD – Open Source Downloadable Software for Archival Analysis


“ePADD is free and open source software developed by Stanford University’s Special Collections & University Archives that supports the appraisal, processing, preservation, discovery, and delivery of historical email archives.
Visit the Discovery Module for Stanford University’s Special Collections & University Archives to see ePADD in action.
ePADD has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum & Library Studies (IMLS) to build out functionality that furthers the development of a National Digital Platform. Phase 2 of ePADD development commenced on November 1, 2015. Additional information can be found on the About page and in the IMLS announcement…”
https://www.bespacific.com/stanford-univ-epadd-open-source-downloadable-software-for-archival-analysis/


Privacy


Facebook reportedly thinks there's no 'expectation of privacy' on social media


"Facebook on Wednesday reportedly argued that it didn't violate users' privacy rights because there's no expectation of privacy when using social media.
"There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy," Facebook counsel Orin Snyder said during a pretrial hearing to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to Law 360.
The company reportedly didn't deny that third parties accessed users' data, but it instead told US District Judge Vince Chhabria that there's no "reasonable expectation of privacy" on Facebook or any other social media site."
https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-reportedly-thinks-theres-no-expectation-of-privacy-on-social-media/



Intersect Alert – May 27, 2019

Document Management

Moving to a Paperless Law Firm: 3 Tips for Working with PDFs

“In the past year, there has been an increased interest in moving to paperless law firms. This is because in many jurisdictions, e-filing is becoming a requirement. As the courts make this transition to e-filing, law firms are feeling the pressure to digitize their documents and establish a paperless workflow.”

“The problem is that this is easier said than done. After all, there’s more to a paperless law firm than simply creating digital documents. Processes need to be established that will ensure that every document that enters the firm is scanned, entered into the firm’s document management or law practice management system using appropriate naming conventions, and filed in a way that makes the document easily searchable and accessible.”

https://www.llrx.com/2019/05/moving-to-a-paperless-law-firm-3-tips-for-working-with-pdfs/

Publishing

How I Became Easy Prey to a Predatory Publisher

“I was nursing my wounds from my latest manuscript rejection when the email arrived. I was about 2 years into my assistant professorship, with the tenure clock running at full speed, and the pressure to publish was immense. I knew that navigating rejection was part of the job, but I was also starting to wonder whether my study—a modest project designed to be feasible with the minimal lab space and skeleton crew of a new professor—would ever see the light of day. So when I received the email from a newly launched journal inviting me to publish with them, I saw a lifeline. That’s when my troubles started.”

“I had heard about ‘predatory’ journals during my graduate training but had no experience with them. The email appeared legitimate. It spelled my name correctly, referenced some of my previous work, and used correct grammar. The journal wasn’t on Beall’s List of Predatory Journals and Publishers. I thought I had done my due diligence. I submitted my manuscript. Shortly after, I celebrated the first round of favorable reviews. Things were going great—or so I thought.”

https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2019/05/how-i-became-easy-prey-predatory-publisher

Copyright

Reddit Commenter's Fight for Anonymity Is a Win for Free Speech and Fair Use

“A fight over unmasking an anonymous Reddit commenter has turned into a significant win for online speech and fair use. A federal court has affirmed the right to share copyrighted material for criticism and commentary, and shot down arguments that Internet users from outside the United States can’t ever rely on First Amendment protections for anonymous speech.”

“EFF represents the Reddit commenter, who uses the name “Darkspilver.” A lifelong member of the Jehovah’s Witness community, Darkspilver shared comments and concerns about the Jehovah’s Witness organization via one of Reddit’s online discussion groups. Darkspilver’s posts included a copy of an advertisement asking for donations that appeared on the back of a Watch Tower magazine, as well as a chart they edited and reformatted to show the kinds of data that the Jehovah’s Witness organization collects and processes.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/reddit-commenters-fight-anonynmity-win-free-speech-and-fair-use

Search

Online Research Browsers 2019

“This guide highlights multifaceted browser alternatives to mainstream search tools that researchers may regularly use by default. There are many reliable yet underutilized applications that facilitate access to and discovery of subject matter specific documents and sources. Free applications included here also offer collaboration tools, resources to build and manage repositories, to employ data visualization, to create and apply metadata management, citations, bibliographies, document discovery and data relationship analysis.”

https://llrx.com/2019/05/online-research-browsers-2019/

Investigating the Impact of Gender on Rank in Resume Search Engines

“ABSTRACT - In this work we investigate gender-based inequalities in the context of resume search engines, which are tools that allow recruiters to proactively search for candidates based on keywords and filters. If these ranking algorithms take demographic features into account (directly or indirectly), they may produce rankings that disadvantage some candidates. We collect search results from Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder based on 35 job titles in 20 U. S. cities, resulting in data on 855K job candidates. Using statistical tests, we examine whether these search engines produce rankings that exhibit two types of indirect discrimination: individual and group unfairness. Furthermore, we use controlled experiments to show that these websites do not use inferred gender of candidates as explicit features in their ranking algorithms.”

https://cbw.sh/static/pdf/chen-chi18.pdf

Libraries

The FY2019-2023 Digital Strategic Plan of the Library of Congress

“The Library of Congress’s mission is to engage, inspire, and inform the Congress and the American people with a universal and enduring source of knowledge and creativity. To accomplish that mission, the Library is adopting a digital-forward strategy that harnesses technology to bridge geographical divides, expand our reach, and enhance our services. This document describes how we will secure the Library’s position in an increasingly digital world as we realize our vision that all Americans are connected to the Library of Congress.”

“The Digital Strategy complements the Library’s 2019-2023 strategic plan, Enriching the User Experience, which enumerates four high-level goals: expand access, enhance services, optimize resources, and measure results. The Digital Strategy describes what the Library plans to accomplish, in terms of digital transformation, over the next five years to achieve these goals. The transformation we describe below applies to all of the Library’s programs, including our collections, researcher services, the United States Copyright Office, the Congressional Research Service, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.”

https://www.loc.gov/static/portals/digital-strategy/documents/Library-of-Congress-Digital-Strategy-v1.1.2.pdf

Privacy

Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good

“MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google products are designed to be helpful. They take the friction out of daily life (for example, by showing you the fastest route home at the end of a long day) and give you back time to spend on things you actually want to do. We feel privileged that billions of people trust products like Search, Chrome, Maps and Android to help them every day.”

“It’s a trust we match with a profound commitment to responsibility and a healthy dose of humility. Many words have been written about privacy over the past year, including in these pages. I believe it’s one of the most important topics of our time.”

“People today are rightly concerned about how their information is used and shared, yet they all define privacy in their own ways. I’ve seen this firsthand as I talk to people in different parts of the world. To the families using the internet through a shared device, privacy might mean privacy from one another. To the small-business owner who wants to start accepting credit card payments, privacy means keeping customer data secure. To the teenager sharing selfies, privacy could mean the ability to delete that data in the future.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/opinion/google-sundar-pichai-privacy.html

Reclaim Your Privacy with These Privacy-Focused Alternatives to Google’s Services

“We put up with Google because the apps are awesome. But there are downsides to living in the panopticon. If you’d prefer not to have a corporation and all its buddies breathing down your neck, consider these privacy-focused alternatives to Google’s services.”

“While free services were preferred in our analysis, paid services are the reality of the privacy-first space. Companies can’t make money off your data, so advertisers don’t pay the bills. It’s up to you to pay. ‘If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.’”

https://www.maketecheasier.com/google-services-alternatives-2/

San Francisco Takes a Historic Step Forward in the Fight for Privacy

“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted today by 8-to-1 to make San Francisco the first major city in the United States to ban government use of face surveillance technology. This historic measure applies to all city departments. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance also takes an important step toward ensuring a more informed and democratic process before the San Francisco Police Department and other city agencies may acquire other kinds of surveillance technologies.”

“Face recognition technology is a particularly pernicious form of surveillance, given its disparate propensity to misidentify women, and people of color. However, even if those failures were addressed, we are at a precipice where this technology could soon be used to track people in real-time. This would place entire communities of law-abiding residents into a perpetual line-up, as they attend worship, spend time with romantic partners, attend protests, or simply go about their daily lives.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/san-francisco-takes-historic-step-forward-fight-privacy

Intersect Alert - May 20, 2019

Privacy

Alexa, Are You Spying on Me?

“In May, an Amazon Echo device arbitrarily recorded the private conversation of a Portland family and sent it to a random person in their contacts list, reigniting concerns over the security flaws of smart speakers.”

“And to be fair, smart speakers like the Echo and Google Home have had their fair share of nightmare incidents to justify suspicions and mistrust in their reliability. But while installing a smart speaker in your home does come with security tradeoffs, we often misunderstand them, exaggerating the less critical ones while neglecting the more serious risks.”

“Here’s what you need to know about the security and privacy implications of smart speakers, both the myths and the realities.”

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/alexa-smart-speaker-vulnerabilities/

California: Tell the Senate to Empower You to Protect Your Own Privacy

“Californians have a constitutional right to privacy, and 94 percent of Californians agree they should be able to take companies that violate their privacy to court.”

“S.B. 561, authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, would provide consumers with that right and also improve existing tools for the state attorney general to enforce the California Consumer Privacy Act. This bill is the only one in the California legislature today to strengthen enforcement of the CCPA.”

“California State Sen. Anthony Portantino, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will make the decision about whether to move this bill forward next week.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/california-tell-your-legislators-stand-your-privacy

Consumer Groups Accuse Amazon of Illegally Collecting Data on Children

“A coalition of 19 consumer and privacy groups plans to file a complaint Thursday alleging that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally collecting voice recordings and other identifying information on users under 13 and that the system’s parental controls are flawed.”

“The complaint says that the Echo Dot Kids Edition — a colorful, youth-oriented version of Amazon’s popular “smart speaker” systems that allow users to ask questions, play music or control thermostats with voice commands — violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA. The 1998 law sharply limits what data companies can collect without permission from parents.”

“The 96-page complaint is the latest in a series by consumer and privacy groups urging the Federal Trade Commission to intensify its enforcement of how leading technology companies treat children and their personal data. The Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center served as counsel to the groups on the complaint.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2019/05/08/2af2d282-71cc-11e9-b5ca-3d72a9fa8ff1_story.html?utm_term=.348afc21e4d4

Publishing

Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing

“Abstract: Each state has its own method for officially publishing the law. This article looks at the history of legal publishing for the fifty states before looking at how legal publishing even in moving to electronic publishing may not ensure public access to the law. The article addresses barriers to free access to the law in electronic publishing including copyright, contract law, and potentially, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The article concludes with prescriptions for how different actors, including state governments, publishers, libraries, and others can ensure robust public access to the law moving forward.”

https://osf.io/preprints/lawarxiv/xnbcp/

Professional Development

NNLM Resource Picks Webinar: NLM’s Data Discovery and Pillbox

“NNLM Resource Picks is a collaborative, bimonthly, webinar series featuring the National Library of Medicine resources to increase awareness of these resources as well as encourage their integration by libraries and other organizations to more fully serve their colleagues and communities.”

“Attend the next webinar session, “NLM’s Data Discovery and Pillbox” on Wednesday, May 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET (please adjust to your time zone).”

“As the National Library of Medicine transitions to become a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health, one area of focus is building a workforce for data-driven research and health. In support of this strategic goal, NLM launched Data Discovery, an online platform for making data findable, interoperable, accessible, and reusable (the FAIR principles). In addition to browser-based exploration, filtering, and visualization of data, Data Discovery includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to help researchers and developers build applications that leverage its datasets. Pillbox, NLM’s pill identification and reference resource, long overdue for redesign, was rebuilt using Data Discovery as its foundation to showcase the power of this platform.”

“You are encouraged to attend the live session but the webinar will be recorded. The webinar is free but be sure to register to receive login information prior to the webinar!”

https://news.nnlm.gov/bhic/2019/05/nnlm-resource-picks-webinar-nlms-data-discovery-and-pillbox/

Libraries

To Fight Misinformation, Bring our Libraries Online

“Misinformation -- how it develops, how it spreads, and why people believe it -- is an unavoidable topic in current information policy debates. And though headlines have largely focused on the high-profile impacts of misinformation on everything from public health to voting behaviors and technological literacy, there’s another, more important question at stake: How do we combat it when it emerges?”

“Misinformation takes advantage of the unavoidable fact that no one can be an expert at everything. People’s impressions about the world, its contours and rules, are based on some combination of personal experience and knowledge imparted by outside sources. This is why fights about how we teach U.S. history to young children resonate so strongly; for many of those kids, that’s all the history instruction they’ll ever receive. The rest of the knowledge is just what they absorb from the media they consume and the other people they talk to.”

“Misinformation exploits this basic fact of human nature -- that no one can be an expert in everything -- by meeting people where they naturally are, and filling in the gaps in their knowledge with assertions that seem “plausible enough.” Sometimes, these assertions are misleading, false, or flatly self-serving (though they do lead to some spectacular twitter fights). In aggregate, these gap-fillers add up to construct a totally alternate reality whose politics, science, law, and history bear only a passing resemblance to our own. And in the absence of accessible, high-quality, primary source information, it’s next to impossible to convince people that what they’ve been told isn’t true.”

https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/to-fight-misinformation-bring-our-libraries-online#When:15:51:00Z

Library Systems Report 2019

“The library technology industry, broadly speaking, shows more affinity toward utility than innovation. Library automation systems are not necessarily exciting technologies, but they are workhorse applications that must support the complex tasks of acquiring, describing, and providing access to materials and services. They represent substantial investments, and their effectiveness is tested daily in the library. But more than efficiency is at stake: These products must be aligned with the priorities of the library relative to collection management, service provision, and other functions.”

“Outdated automation systems can reinforce work patterns that no longer reflect priorities as core library activities change. Bursts of innovation can create new products better aligned with current library realities. The products that emerge out of these creative booms then become mainstays that support the next phase of library operations. The academic library sector can be seen as a cycle of innovation that began eight years ago with the inception of an automation product substantially different from previous systems. The trajectory of innovation for public and school libraries has followed a different course, characterized by incremental change layered on top of longstanding systems with aging architectures.”

https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/05/01/library-systems-report-2019/

Colliding Values at Doane

“Doane University in Nebraska shuttered a library exhibit and put a librarian on leave over historical photos of students in blackface. The university says the images ran counter to its values and, as presented, served no educational purpose. Some of the librarian’s faculty supporters disagree and say that Doane interfered in a learning moment, albeit a painful one, that their colleague was already working to right.”

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/05/06/doane-u-suspends-library-director-over-exhibit-included-1920s-era-students-blackface

Intersect Alert January 28, 2019

Knowledge Management


10 x 10: 100 Insightful KM Resources

"I am very thankful for my colleagues in knowledge management (KM) and the knowledge they share."

"To express my gratitude, I am sharing ten categories of KM resources, each with ten links to useful sources of knowledge about the field. The ten resources in each category are recommended starting points for those who want to learn more about KM."

"Each category heading is linked to a more extensive list for greater exploration. I hope you will find this information helpful. If so, please share this article further, adding links to other resources you have used."

https://llrx.com/2019/01/10-x-10-100-insightful-km-resources/

Privacy


Survey: Few Americans Willing to Pay for Privacy

"Only one in four Americans want online services such as Facebook and Google to collect less of their data if it means they would have to start paying a monthly subscription fee, according to a new survey from the Center for Data Innovation."

"Few surveys of Internet users’ attitudes toward online privacy ask about such tradeoffs, so the Center probed Americans’ reactions to a series of likely consequences of reducing online data collection. The survey found that when potential tradeoffs were not part of the question approximately 80 percent of Americans agreed that they would like online services such as Facebook and Google to collect less of their data. But that support eroded when respondents considered these tradeoffs. For example, initial agreement dropped by 6 percentage points when respondents were asked whether they would like online services to collect less data even if it means seeing ads that are less useful. Support dropped by 27 percentage points when respondents considered whether they would like less data collection even if it means seeing more ads than before. And it dropped by 26 percentage points when respondents were asked whether they would like less data collection even if it means losing access to some features they use now. The largest drop in support (53 percentage points) came when respondents were asked whether they would like online services to collect less of their data even if it means paying a monthly subscription fee. Only 27 percent of respondents agreed with reducing data collection in that circumstance."

https://www.datainnovation.org/2019/01/survey-few-americans-willing-to-pay-for-privacy/

Copyright


Copyright and Visual Works: The Legal Landscape of Opportunities and Challenges

"The internet age has dramatically affected the lives and livelihoods of visual artists both positively and in ways that were not expected. Photographers, graphic artists, and illustrators have highlighted a growing list of issues in recent years, including whether copyright law adequately addresses the new challenges facing visual artists today. The Office has reviewed how certain visual works, particularly photographs, graphic artworks, and illustrations, are registered, monetized, and enforced under the Copyright Act. In April 2015, the Office sought commentary on the marketplace for these visual works, as well as observations regarding the obstacles that creators and users of visual works face when navigating the digital landscape. The Office’s resulting review builds upon previous studies and public inquiries in a number of areas, including small claims, orphan works, moral rights, section 512 notice and takedown, and overall Office modernization."

"The Copyright Office’s review both reinforces the importance of visual works to this nation and identifies common obstacles that Congress and the Office itself may be able to alleviate. A number of stakeholders, including photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, and licensees, raised specific issues they face on a regular basis regarding current copyright law and practices. These challenges fall within three general categories: (1) difficulties with the registration process; (2) challenges with licensing generally and monetizing visual works online; and (3) general enforcement obstacles."

https://www.copyright.gov/policy/visualworks/


Washington Post Tries to Take Down Parody Site Announcing Trump's Resignation

"If you were in Washington, D.C. last week, you had a chance to be one of the lucky recipients of a parody newspaper spoofing the Washington Post and crowing about the 'Unpresidented' flight of Donald Trump from the Oval Office as he abandoned the presidency. The spoof, created by activist group the Yes Men, is also visible on the website democracyawakensinaction.org."

"The Washington Post’s lawyers were not amused, calling the parody an act of trademark infringement and raising copyright threats. We have responded to explain why the parody is protected by the First Amendment and fair use law."

"Dated May 1, 2019, the parody features a series of increasingly unlikely articles, including a mea culpa by the media for Trump’s rise to power and a story pointing out that the paper’s date is several months in the future in case the reader missed it."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/01/washington-post-tries-take-down-parody-site-announcing-trumps-resignation-0

Online Courses


400 Free Ivy League University Courses You Can Take Online in 2019

"The eight Ivy League schools are among the most prestigious colleges in the world. They include Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania."

"All eight schools place in the top fifteen of the US News and World Report 2017 national university rankings."

"These Ivy League schools are also highly selective and extremely hard to get into. But the good news is that all these universities now offer free online courses across multiple online course platforms."

"So far, they’ve created over 494 courses, of which around 396 are still active. Here’s a collection of all of them, split into courses in the following subjects: Computer Science, Business, Humanities, Social Sciences, Art & Design, Science, Health & Medicine, Data Science, Education & Teaching, Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Personal Development, and Programming."

https://qz.com/1514408/400-free-ivy-league-university-courses-you-can-take-online-in-2019/

International Outlook


Once Centers Of Soviet Propaganda, Moscow's Libraries Are Having A 'Loud' Revival

"The Chistye Prudy neighborhood is one of Moscow's liveliest, with restaurants and cafes clustered along a boulevard with a tram line and grand old apartment buildings."

"Before the bars fill up in the evenings, the neighborhood's most popular hangout is the Fyodor Dostoevsky Library, named for the 19th century Russian writer. While young people huddle over laptops as city traffic growls past the large windows in the main reading hall, a theater group is rehearsing a play in another room. A constant stream of visitors comes through the entrance, with the front door banging behind them."

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/21/685585591/once-centers-of-soviet-propaganda-moscows-libraries-are-having-a-loud-revival

Libraries


Minneapolis Central Library Opens Vinyl Listening Room to Share Collection

"Right now, thousands of vinyl records are stored in the third floor of the Minneapolis Central Library downtown."

"They’re not easy to find — the stacks are in a remote room, far from where patrons usually look for books, CDs and movies. But librarians are now beginning to bring the collection out, little by little, to the public."

"On Saturday, Hennepin County Library hosted the first event in its new 'Vinyl Revival' series, which aims to bring attention to the thriving audio format. Through June, artists will present vinyl-themed programming and curate records from the library’s stacks, many of which are the works of local musicians."

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-central-library-opens-vinyl-listening-room-to-share-collection/504603881/?fbclid=IwAR1OaqKcfcLB3Qv-k4NXspg8H9XXQYIJ6yEPYwbqQCeEELB0PR0PqEoLqi4


Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated. The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.

Intersect Alert - May 20, 2019

Privacy

Alexa, Are You Spying on Me?

“In May, an Amazon Echo device arbitrarily recorded the private conversation of a Portland family and sent it to a random person in their contacts list, reigniting concerns over the security flaws of smart speakers.”

“And to be fair, smart speakers like the Echo and Google Home have had their fair share of nightmare incidents to justify suspicions and mistrust in their reliability. But while installing a smart speaker in your home does come with security tradeoffs, we often misunderstand them, exaggerating the less critical ones while neglecting the more serious risks.”

“Here’s what you need to know about the security and privacy implications of smart speakers, both the myths and the realities.”

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/alexa-smart-speaker-vulnerabilities/

California: Tell the Senate to Empower You to Protect Your Own Privacy

“Californians have a constitutional right to privacy, and 94 percent of Californians agree they should be able to take companies that violate their privacy to court.”

“S.B. 561, authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, would provide consumers with that right and also improve existing tools for the state attorney general to enforce the California Consumer Privacy Act. This bill is the only one in the California legislature today to strengthen enforcement of the CCPA.”

“California State Sen. Anthony Portantino, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will make the decision about whether to move this bill forward next week.”

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2019/05/california-tell-your-legislators-stand-your-privacy

Consumer Groups Accuse Amazon of Illegally Collecting Data on Children

“A coalition of 19 consumer and privacy groups plans to file a complaint Thursday alleging that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally collecting voice recordings and other identifying information on users under 13 and that the system’s parental controls are flawed.”

“The complaint says that the Echo Dot Kids Edition — a colorful, youth-oriented version of Amazon’s popular “smart speaker” systems that allow users to ask questions, play music or control thermostats with voice commands — violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA. The 1998 law sharply limits what data companies can collect without permission from parents.”

“The 96-page complaint is the latest in a series by consumer and privacy groups urging the Federal Trade Commission to intensify its enforcement of how leading technology companies treat children and their personal data. The Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center served as counsel to the groups on the complaint.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/2019/05/08/2af2d282-71cc-11e9-b5ca-3d72a9fa8ff1_story.html?utm_term=.348afc21e4d4

 Publishing

Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing

“Abstract: Each state has its own method for officially publishing the law. This article looks at the history of legal publishing for the fifty states before looking at how legal publishing even in moving to electronic publishing may not ensure public access to the law. The article addresses barriers to free access to the law in electronic publishing including copyright, contract law, and potentially, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The article concludes with prescriptions for how different actors, including state governments, publishers, libraries, and others can ensure robust public access to the law moving forward.”

https://osf.io/preprints/lawarxiv/xnbcp/

Professional Development

NNLM Resource Picks Webinar: NLM’s Data Discovery and Pillbox

“NNLM Resource Picks is a collaborative, bimonthly, webinar series featuring the National Library of Medicine resources to increase awareness of these resources as well as encourage their integration by libraries and other organizations to more fully serve their colleagues and communities.”

“Attend the next webinar session, “NLM’s Data Discovery and Pillbox” on Wednesday, May 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET (please adjust to your time zone).”

“As the National Library of Medicine transitions to become a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health, one area of focus is building a workforce for data-driven research and health. In support of this strategic goal, NLM launched Data Discovery, an online platform for making data findable, interoperable, accessible, and reusable (the FAIR principles). In addition to browser-based exploration, filtering, and visualization of data, Data Discovery includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to help researchers and developers build applications that leverage its datasets. Pillbox, NLM’s pill identification and reference resource, long overdue for redesign, was rebuilt using Data Discovery as its foundation to showcase the power of this platform.”

“You are encouraged to attend the live session but the webinar will be recorded. The webinar is free but be sure to register to receive login information prior to the webinar!”

https://news.nnlm.gov/bhic/2019/05/nnlm-resource-picks-webinar-nlms-data-discovery-and-pillbox/

Libraries

To Fight Misinformation, Bring our Libraries Online

“Misinformation -- how it develops, how it spreads, and why people believe it -- is an unavoidable topic in current information policy debates. And though headlines have largely focused on the high-profile impacts of misinformation on everything from public health to voting behaviors and technological literacy, there’s another, more important question at stake: How do we combat it when it emerges?”

“Misinformation takes advantage of the unavoidable fact that no one can be an expert at everything. People’s impressions about the world, its contours and rules, are based on some combination of personal experience and knowledge imparted by outside sources. This is why fights about how we teach U.S. history to young children resonate so strongly; for many of those kids, that’s all the history instruction they’ll ever receive. The rest of the knowledge is just what they absorb from the media they consume and the other people they talk to.”

“Misinformation exploits this basic fact of human nature -- that no one can be an expert in everything -- by meeting people where they naturally are, and filling in the gaps in their knowledge with assertions that seem “plausible enough.” Sometimes, these assertions are misleading, false, or flatly self-serving (though they do lead to some spectacular twitter fights). In aggregate, these gap-fillers add up to construct a totally alternate reality whose politics, science, law, and history bear only a passing resemblance to our own. And in the absence of accessible, high-quality, primary source information, it’s next to impossible to convince people that what they’ve been told isn’t true.”

https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/blogs/to-fight-misinformation-bring-our-libraries-online#When:15:51:00Z

Library Systems Report 2019

“The library technology industry, broadly speaking, shows more affinity toward utility than innovation. Library automation systems are not necessarily exciting technologies, but they are workhorse applications that must support the complex tasks of acquiring, describing, and providing access to materials and services. They represent substantial investments, and their effectiveness is tested daily in the library. But more than efficiency is at stake: These products must be aligned with the priorities of the library relative to collection management, service provision, and other functions.”

“Outdated automation systems can reinforce work patterns that no longer reflect priorities as core library activities change. Bursts of innovation can create new products better aligned with current library realities. The products that emerge out of these creative booms then become mainstays that support the next phase of library operations. The academic library sector can be seen as a cycle of innovation that began eight years ago with the inception of an automation product substantially different from previous systems. The trajectory of innovation for public and school libraries has followed a different course, characterized by incremental change layered on top of longstanding systems with aging architectures.”

https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/05/01/library-systems-report-2019/

Colliding Values at Doane

“Doane University in Nebraska shuttered a library exhibit and put a librarian on leave over historical photos of students in blackface. The university says the images ran counter to its values and, as presented, served no educational purpose. Some of the librarian’s faculty supporters disagree and say that Doane interfered in a learning moment, albeit a painful one, that their colleague was already working to right.”

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/05/06/doane-u-suspends-library-director-over-exhibit-included-1920s-era-students-blackface

Intersect Alert January 7, 2019

Libraries


Library of Congress Web Archive

"The Library of Congress Web Archive selects, preserves, and provides access to archived web content selected by subject experts from across the Library, so that it will be available for researchers today and in the future. Web sites are ephemeral and often considered at-risk born-digital content. New web sites form constantly, URLs change, content changes, and web sites sometimes disappear entirely. Web sites document current events, organizations, public reactions, government information, and cultural and scholarly information on a wide variety of topics. Materials that used to appear in print are increasingly published online."

"This site provides general information about program activities, information for researchers who are interested in using the web archives, and information for site owners who might be included in the archives."

https://www.loc.gov/programs/web-archiving/about-this-program/?loclr=blogloc

Copyright


'Party Like it's 1923': New Out-of-Copyright Works and Where to Find Them

"The year 2019 got off to a sweet start for librarians and copyright nerds as a slew of books, films, and music compositions entered the public domain in the U.S. for the first time in 21 years."

"The works, which include poetry by Robert Frost and novels by Agatha Christie and Joseph Conrad, are out of copyright, which means anyone can use them without fear of a nasty letter from intellectual property attorneys."

"The public domain, of course, is not a new concept—it’s what makes works by Shakespeare or Beethoven available to all—but, in the United States, it has been dry since 1998."

http://fortune.com/2019/01/02/public-domain-1923/

Search


How to Use Google Reverse Image Search

" Using Google to reverse image search is a useful method for researching the origins of a photo found online. Whether it’s a historical picture presented with little context or an image that seems doctored, you can search the web for other instances of its use with Google Images. "

https://www.lifewire.com/use-google-reverse-image-search-4582422


Overlooked No More: Karen Sparck Jones, Who Established the Basis for Search Engines

"When most scientists were trying to make people use code to talk to computers, Karen Sparck Jones taught computers to understand human language instead."

"In so doing, her technology established the basis of search engines like Google."

"A self-taught programmer with a focus on natural language processing, and an advocate for women in the field, Sparck Jones also foreshadowed by decades Silicon Valley’s current reckoning, warning about the risks of technology being led by computer scientists who were not attuned to its social implications."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/obituaries/karen-sparck-jones-overlooked.html

Privacy


How Apps on Android Share Data with Facebook - Report

"Previous research has shown how 42.55 percent of free apps on the Google Play store could share data with Facebook, making Facebook the second most prevalent third-party tracker after Google’s parent company Alphabet. In this report, Privacy International illustrates what this data sharing looks like in practice, particularly for people who do not have a Facebook account."

"This question of whether Facebook gathers information about users who are not signed in or do not have an account was raised in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal by lawmakers in hearings in the United States and in Europe. Discussions, as well as previous fines by Data Protection Authorities about the tracking of non-users, however, often focus on the tracking that happens on websites. Much less is known about the data that the company receives from apps. For these reasons, in this report we raise questions about transparency and use of app data that we consider timely and important."

"Facebook routinely tracks users, non-users and logged-out users outside its platform through Facebook Business Tools. App developers share data with Facebook through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK), a set of software development tools that help developers build apps for a specific operating system. Using the free and open source software tool called "mitmproxy", an interactive HTTPS proxy, Privacy International has analyzed the data that 34 apps on Android, each with an install base from 10 to 500 million, transmit to Facebook through the Facebook SDK."

https://privacyinternational.org/report/2647/how-apps-android-share-data-facebook-report


Data Privacy Scandals and Public Policy Picking Up Speed: 2018 in Review

"2018 may be remembered as the Year of the Facebook Scandal, and rightly so. The Cambridge Analytica fiasco, Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, a massive hack, and revelations of corporate smear campaigns were only the tip of the iceberg. But many more companies mishandled consumer privacy in 2018, too. From the Strava heatmap exposing military locations in January to the gigantic Marriot hack discovered in November, companies across Silicon Valley and beyond made big mistakes with consumer data this year—and lawmakers and the public have taken notice."

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/data-privacy-scandals-and-public-policy-picking-speed-2018-year-review

Open Access


Will the World Embrace Plan S, the Radical Proposal to Mandate Open Access to Science Papers?

"Since the September 2018 launch of the Europe-backed program to mandate immediate open access (OA) to scientific literature, 16 funders in 13 countries have signed on. That's still far shy of Plan S's ambition: to convince the world's major research funders to require immediate OA to all published papers stemming from their grants. Whether it will reach that goal depends in part on details that remain to be settled, including a cap on the author charges that funders will pay for OA publication. But the plan has gained momentum: In December 2018, China stunned many by expressing strong support for Plan S. This month, a national funding agency in Africa is expected to join, possibly followed by a second U.S. funder. Others around the world are considering whether to sign on."

"Plan S, scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2020, has drawn support from many scientists, who welcome a shake-up of a publishing system that can generate large profits while keeping taxpayer-funded research results behind paywalls. But publishers (including AAAS, which publishes Science) are concerned, and some scientists worry that Plan S could restrict their choices."

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/01/will-world-embrace-plan-s-radical-proposal-mandate-open-access-science-papers

Research


Plants of the World Online

"In 2015, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew launched its first Science Strategy establishing its vision to document and understand global plant and fungal diversity and their uses, bringing authoritative expertise to bear on the critical challenges facing humanity today. The Science Strategy also committed Kew to delivering nine strategic outputs with the overarching aim to disseminate Kew’s scientific knowledge of plants and fungi to maximize its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management. The Plants of the World Online portal (POWO), is one of the nine strategic outputs and its aim is to enable users to access information on all the world’s known seed-bearing plants by 2020."

"With over 8.5 million items, Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world in the Victorian Herbarium and Fungarium in West London. They represent over 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera and yet, only 20% of this knowledge is available online. POWO is Kew’s way of turning 250 years of botanical knowledge into an open and accessible online global resource."

"POWO draws together Kew’s extensive data resources including its regional Floras and monographs, alongside images from the digitisation of the collections. The portal has been designed to maximise accessibility and enables the dissemination of plant information to its users via a mobile, tablet or desktop computer."

http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/


Please feel free to pass along in part or in its entirety; attribution appreciated. The Intersect Alert is a newsletter of the Communications Committee, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, Special Libraries Association.