Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Orphaned works

For those like myself who missed the reminder the hearing on orphaned works is happening now.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The ALA is keeping busy

The president of the ALA has released a statement on the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT act. The library provisions of the bill that was passed haven't changed much. Which is understandable in an election year when the Democrats are trying to look tougher on security than Republicans.

The ALA also has joined with SUN, IBM and others in support of the Open Document Format. I've spouted my efusive praise on it before so I'll spare you the bromides. The announcement has already rekindled the format religious war (along with the usual Apple/MS bashing).

Both of these stories are pretty interesting for long term impact. The PATRIOT act can eventually irradicate the freedoms necessary for libraries to exist. In essence granting de facto limitless powers for library warrants. The format war can have everyone formally recognize the proprietary MS XML format. Part of the liscense states that rights to use the format expire with the release of a new version and that developers have to reapply for liscense rights. This has implications on the goal of accessibility of documents decades from now.

Philly Wi-fi news

I've been really busy with work and classes (cataloging and now library automation) so their has been a drought of posts.

Engadget has some news on the Wi-fi front in Philly. It is looking promising and while I'm not a huge Earthlink fan I can honestly say they are much better than Verizon or Comcast (the two locally based monpolies). This might force Verizon and Comcast to lower their prices, kind of doubt it since the last few months have shown increased prices and the same service or worse.

It will at least get the city wired for wireless and put people up to speed on the technology training portion. The portion of the profits that Earthlink is offering can be used to educate kids and adults in computer literacy, assuming of course that the usual money lost off the top to political corruption is kept to a minimum.