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Category Archives: Internet

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

Atlas Obscura – Reuniting stumped readers with the books from the edges of their memories. “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.  A few years ago, staffers in the New York Public Library’s reader services division drafted a blog post about how to track down a book when its title eludes you. This post spurred a follow-up, in which reader services librarian Gwen Glazer recommended library resources and a number of other strategies (among them are Goodreads groups, a sprawling Reddit thread called whatsthatbook, an indie bookseller in Ohio who is happy to poke around for a $4 fee). Thanks to Google—“how to find a book”—many stumped people seem to land on that post, and they have often written about their enduring puzzles in the comments section. The messages now number in the thousands. Glazer says she often arrives at work to see another 10 title requests…” [h/t Lea Wade]

Key findings about the online news landscape in America

“The digital news industry in the United States is facing a complex future. On one hand, a steadily growing portion of Americans are getting news through the internet, many U.S. adults get news on social media, and employment at digital-native outlets has increased. On the other, digital news has not been immune to issues affecting… Continue Reading

More than two-thirds of Americans have little confidence in what the White House says

Washington Post: “The Trump administration has asked a federal court to reconsider a ruling that opened the door for potential payments to millions of federal employees and others due to the cybertheft of their personal information. The Justice Department request, filed last week, involves what it calls “massive litigation” stemming from hacks of two government… Continue Reading

Millennials stand out for their technology use but older generations also embrace digital life

“Millennials have often led older Americans in their adoption and use of technology, and this largely holds true today. But there has been significant growth in tech adoption since 2012 among older generations – particularly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. More than nine-in-ten Millennials (93% of those who turn ages 23 to 38 this year)… Continue Reading

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

Vice – Millions of books are secretly in the public domain thanks to a copyright loophole, a new project seeks to put them on the Internet Archive – “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… Continue Reading

If you asked Equifax for $125, you need to update your request

Follow up to previous posting – Equifax data breach settlement: How to file a claim for $125 or free credit reporting – see The Verge – “If you requested money from Equifax for leaking your personal data, you’ll need to provide more information by October 15th. The Equifax settlement administrator sent an email with details… Continue Reading

JPMorgan Creates ‘Volfefe’ Index to Track Trump Tweet Impact

Bloomberg – “Two of the largest Wall Street banks are trying to measure the market impact of Donald Trump’s tweets. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. have created an index to quantify what they say are the growing effects on U.S. bond yields. Citigroup Inc.’s foreign exchange team, meanwhile, report that these micro-blogging missives are… Continue Reading

Appeals court rules web scraping doesn’t violate anti-hacking law

arstechnica: “Scraping a public website without the approval of the website’s owner isn’t a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an appeals court ruled on Monday. The ruling comes in a legal battle that pits Microsoft-owned LinkedIn against a small data-analytics company called hiQ Labs. HiQ scrapes data from the public profiles of… Continue Reading

How does Apple (privately) find your offline devices?

Matthew Green – Cryptography Engineering Blog: [June 5, 2019] 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… Continue Reading

The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law: Basic Questions

Surden, Harry, The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Law: Basic Questions (August 22, 2019). Forthcoming chapter in Oxford Handbook of Ethics of AI, 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3441303 [h/t Joe Hodnicki] “Ethical issues surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in law often share a common theme. As AI becomes increasingly integrated within the legal… Continue Reading