Monthly Archives: October 2012

On Open WiFi by the EFF (with props to Comcast) via LISNews

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is spearheading the Open Wireless Movement. In an announcement today it said:

To take advantage of the Internet, people should not have to attempt to skirt restrictive Terms of Service to attempt to tether their smartphones. And tethering would not be necessary if there were ubiquitous open wireless, so that anyone with a connection and power can share their network with the neigborhood.

Last year, we wrote a post titled “Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement.” Today, EFF is proud to announce the launch of the Open Wireless Movement—located at—a coalition effort put forth in conjunction with nine other organizations: Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.

Click here to read the article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on Open WiFi

On Sandy and other disasters:

In troubled times, it’s important to help each other out. Right now, we’re witnessing an unprecedented hurricane hitting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and the ensuing damage and power outages are crippling rescue efforts, businesses large and small, and personal communications.

Communication is critical in time of crisis, and the Internet allows for the most effective way of getting information in and out. With readily available networks, government officials could use tools like Twitter to quickly spread information, citizen reports could help focus assistance where it is needed most, and social media updates could help reassure friends and loved ones—keeping mobile phone lines open for emergencies.

This statement was at the top of the article and, as a Comcast customer, I was amazed. Delighted, but amazed. Gold star to Comcast.

Update: In response to the impact of Hurricane Sandy, Comcast is opening its XFINITY WiFi hotspots to non-Comcast subscribers in PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, MA, NH and ME until Nov. 7. Users should search for the network “xfinitywifi” and click on “Not a Comcast subscriber?” at the bottom of the sign-in page. Users should select the “Complimentary Trial Session” option from the drop down list. The Open Wireless Movement thanks Comcast for helping out!


crossposted to Joak


Wolfgang’s Vault-an archivist’s dream

I was wandering around on the information high and stumbled across an AMAZING music archive site called Wolfgang’s Vault. It is based on the collection of Wolodia “Wolfgang” Grajonca, who is better known as Bill Graham.

From Wikipedia:

Wolfgang’s Vault is a private music-focused company established in 2003 dedicated to the restoration and archiving of live concert recordings in audio and video format and the sale of music memorabilia. It began with the collection of the late promoter Bill Graham, and added multiple other music and memorabilia archives. It was called “the most important collection of rock memorabilia and recordings ever assembled in one business,” by The Wall Street Journal, Dec 13, 2005.

It is a subscription site, and I don’t know much about it. I’m not even sure how I got to it (Maybe Largehearted Boy, but I haven’t been able to trace back to an original post or comment, so maybe not) but I’m glad I did. It’s live music, recordings of concerts that are (some of them) legendary, from when rock and roll really was the king.


WebJunction Presentation Nov 6 2012 1pm CST

The Power of Image: Presenting With the Brain in Mind

The human brain is wired to respond to images. Scientific studies of the brain are providing powerful insights for designing and delivering presentations that grab the attention of the learner. Once you understand the key concepts of strong visual communication, you can get unstuck from the stale text-and-bullet format of presentation. You don’t need to be a designer to learn some simple tips and tricks that will punch up your presentations and wake up your audience.

Presented by: Betha Gutsche, program manager, WebJunction OCLC, and visual communications advocate.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 ♦ 1 pm CST  60 min  Cost $0

This looks interesting.


Our Library is Going to the Dogs

Personally, I’m more of a cat person, however:



Beware of Stress!

Therapy Dogs in the UGL Oct. 29-Oct. 30

Miss your dog at home? Research shows that interaction with dogs reduces stress by decreasing the level of cortisol and increases happiness by releasing endorphins. The Undergraduate Library, partnering with the International and Area Studies Library, has a bone-afied solution to your pet-less situation. The library will be hosting registered therapy dogs for students to walk, pet and play with as part of its ongoing stress reduction initiatives during midterms and finals.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 29, students will have the opportunity to spend time with therapy dogs and their handlers from the CU Registered Therapy Dog Group in the Undergrad Library. All dogs are available for petting, cuddling and short walks, and some dogs also are trained to play with toys during the therapy sessions. Among the dogs that will be available for sessions will be an Australian cattle dog mix named Hunny, a standard poodle named Raven, and an Alaskan malamute named Sam.

Students, faculty and staff may come to the collaboration rooms on the upper level of the UGL on Monday, Oct. 29 between 2pm-5pm and on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 2-5pm and 7pm-9pm to visit with the dogs. UGL and IAS librarians and graduate assistants will be on hand to answer questions and provide voluntary assessment surveys for those who spent time with the dogs. You can also follow the action on Twitter: add @askundergrad and watch for the #UGLBFF hashtag.

UGL and IAS will reprise the event in December for finals week, dates and times TBA.

For more information: David Ward Undergraduate Library; Mara Thacker International and Area Studies Library http://www.library.illinois/edu/ias; CU Registered Therapy Dogs Group

Fair use victory for universities-via Wired

Fair use is a defense to copyright infringement and may be invoked for purposes such as criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research, the judge noted. He said the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) also played a major factor.

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a copyright infringement lawsuit against universities that participated in a massive book-digitization project in conjunction with Google without permission from rights holders.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of New York dismissed an infringement lawsuit brought by the Authors Guild and other writers’ guilds, saying the universities had a fair use defense. The guild accused the University of California, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Cornell University and University of Michigan of wanton copyright infringement for scanning and placing the books into the so-called HathiTrust Digital Library.

Read the rest of the article here.

his decision comes in the wake of the settlement between Google and several large publishers and I count this as a moral victory for libraries and education. Certainly authors (musicians,artists) should get their cut. At the same time, it is important to make content, especially of educational materials, available to scholars. I’m not sure I see the difference between going to a library and reading research material in the library and accessing it virtually. There is also the whole “orphan works” issue.  Wikipedia defines an orphan work thusly:

An orphan work is a copyrighted work for which the copyright owner cannot be contacted. In some cases the name of the creator or copyright owner of an orphan work may be known but other than the name no information can be established.[1] Reasons for a work to be orphan include that the copyright owner is unaware of their ownership or that the copyright owner has died or gone out of business (if a company) and it is not possible to establish to whom ownership of the copyright has passed.

I’m not saying it’s fair for Google to control access to scanned material, but I’m not sure I trust the government to control access to information either.


RIP Reference?????????????????

I saw a reference to this post from Hack Library School on mod librarian. It pissed me off. I don’t have time to write about it now…Check back later maybe

One Book, One Campus–This I Believe

2012 One Book One Campus Program

The Illini Union Bookstore announces the 2012 One Book One Campus selection, “This I Believe.” Chosen by Chancellor Phyllis Wise, this book is a compilation of personal philosophies, including those of several U. of I. alumni. A free lecture by the book’s co-editor, Dan Gediman, will be at 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 4) in the Illini Rooms A, B and C of the Illini Union. [via eweek]

I didn’t realize that the “This I Believe” essay project had been revived, but I was delighted. The first time I heard about the Edward R. Murrow CBS Radio program “This I Believe” was when I was working on the Heinlein Centennial, because Robert A. Heinlein was one of the essayists featured. You can read his essay here. (Check out the Heinlein Society. I’m a lapsed member, but I plan to re-up soon. Should have done it at Chicon.)

Robert A. Heinlein wrote these words in 1952 and delivered them to a national radio audience in a broadcast interview by Edward R. Murrow. His wife, Virginia Heinlein, read them when she accepted on his behalf NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal on October 6, 1988, awarded him posthumously.

If you want to hear Heinlein read this essay, you can hear him on this clip of the Murrow broadcast.

This I Believe, Inc. 

This I Believe, Inc., was founded in 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives.

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.

In reviving This I Believe, executive producer Dan Gediman said, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”

[check back later for my “This I Believe” essay]