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Daily Archives: June 3, 2018

New York’s last remaining independent bookshops

The Guardian – With small traders struggling to stay afloat, writer Philippe Ungar and photographer Franck Bohbot travelled across the Big Apple to meet 50 indie booksellers in their habitats

“…around 50 New York indie booksellers [are] featured in a series of portraits by Philippe Ungar and Franck Bohbot, a pair of bibliophilic Frenchmen who met and befriended each other in Brooklyn. The two, writer and photographer respectively, have taken great pleasure in travelling across the city, to neighbourhoods in every borough, to meet and photograph booksellers in their habitats. Despite their diversity, the way their distinct personalities and passions are reflected and amplified in their shops, they are all, says Ungar, “looking for the same thing – a generous vision of sharing culture”. Ungar mentions Corey Farach, owner of the scruffy, adored and longstanding feminist bookshop Bluestockings. Farach, as Ungar recounts with admiration, encourages those people who can’t afford to buy a $40 book to take a seat, make themselves comfortable, and just read it in the shop. “That is to me,” says Ungar, “the spirit of the indie booksellers.” Because, as he sees it, “a bookstore is much more than a bookstore, it’s much more than selling books. It’s a public shelter. Whoever you are, you don’t have to buy anything, they won’t ask you for your ID. You’re free – you can stay for hours and browse. There’s a generosity, an optimism. And that’s what we wanted to enhance.”

Blockchain, Smart Contracts, and The Law

LexPredict: “When we first open-sourced ContraxSuite, we emphasized the role contract analytics will play in migrating legacy contracts to new smart contracts that are blockchain-enabled. The distributed ledger technology of blockchain has the potential to mitigate risk, streamline processes, and lower the barrier to entry for all market actors. It has the potential to enhance… Continue Reading

Can social media have a positive effect on democracy?

Columbia Journalism Review: “Given the seemingly never-ending litany of transgressions we find all around us on social-media platforms—whether it’s Facebook giving up data to Cambridge Analytica and being manipulated by Russian trolls, or Twitter’s complicity in racism and online harassment—it’s difficult to imagine a case being made that social media in general is anything but… Continue Reading

“It was information based”: Student Reasoning when Distinguishing Between Scholarly and Popular Sources

“It was information based”: Student Reasoning when Distinguishing Between Scholarly and Popular Sources. Amy Jankowski, Alyssa Russo and Lori Townsend. In the Library with the Lead Pipe, May 16, 2018. We asked students to find an article and answer the following questions: Is this a popular or scholarly article? How can you tell? We analyzed… Continue Reading

8 Reasons to Catalog Your Books (and How to Do It)

BookRiot: 8 Reasons to Catalog Your Books (and How to Do It) – “There’s something about being a bookselling book nerd that makes you want to bring your work home with you. Which is why, about a week after doing our store’s inventory, I decided I wanted to inventory all my books in my personal… Continue Reading

In secret memo Trump’s lawyers argued he has full power over DOJ investigations

The New York Times: “President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have… Continue Reading

15 default privacy settings you should change right now

Say no to defaults. A clickable guide to fixing the complicated privacy settings from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. Geoffrey A. Fowler: “Give me 15 minutes, and I can help you join the 5 percent who are actually in control. I dug through the privacy settings for the five biggest consumer tech companies and… Continue Reading

A study finds nearly half of jobs are vulnerable to automation

The Economist: “A wave of automation anxiety has hit the West. Just try typing “Will machines…” into Google. An algorithm offers to complete the sentence with differing degrees of disquiet: “…take my job?”; “…take all jobs?”; “…replace humans?”; “…take over the world?”  Job-grabbing robots are no longer science fiction. In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and… Continue Reading

UN representative reports on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to US

Via Common Dreams: “The United Nations has released a scathing report on poverty and inequality in the United States. The findings, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, follow an official visit to the United States by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,… Continue Reading

The Oldest Cookbooks From Libraries Around the World

Atlas Obscura: “For as long as libraries have been repositories of wisdom and knowledge, there has been a place on the shelf for cookbooks. In fact, many early cookbooks were more than just recipe collections—instructions for concocting medicine often jostled with dinner ideas for page space. Atlas Obscura has previously displayed ancient recipe collections, such… Continue Reading

Alaska Refuge May Be the Most Contested Land in the U.S.

The National Geographic [includes photos and graphics]: Congress voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Here’s what’s at stake for America’s wild frontier. “…the current U.S. administration is eager to proceed with the two lease sales, of at least 400,000 acres each, ordered by the new law. Assuming various regulatory and… Continue Reading