Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh well, onwards and upwards......

As mentioned previously, I went for an internal job promotion. Unfortunately, I gave a terrible interview and didn't get the job. Oh well, at least I got an interview.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Utrecht ruling causing mininova to go legit......

Seems that bit torrent site Mininova has had to go legitimate after Dutch Court of Utrecht ruled that BitTorrent platform Mininova acts unlawful. Seems that Bittorrent is taking a bit of a battering with Peter Mandelson hoping to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and Piratebays case in Sweden.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Labour to try and Amend copyright law to deter fileshare in UK

The Guardian has an interesting article on Peter Mandelson in that he seeks to amend copyright law in new crackdown on file sharing. Mandelson is hoping to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The amended bill is expected to set out a "three strikes" policy under which people who are found to be illicitly downloading copyrighted material have their Internet connections withdrawn after three warnings.
The Guardian interestingly points out that if this became law the Tory Government (if/when it wins the election 2010) would assist Rupert Murdoch point out:-

But the proposal to alter the Copyright Act in this way has caused alarm within government, where some fear that an incoming Tory administration could use it to curry favour with Murdoch, head of the News International publishing group.......

Murdoch has recently said that he believes that copyright is being abused, particularly by organisations such as Google, which uses short extracts from online newspapers to create its Google News page, and the BBC, which he has accused of "stealing from newspapers".

Cory Doctorow has described Mandelson as Pirate Finder General. Doctorow points out the following:-

Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is planning to introduce changes to the Digital Economy Bill now under debate in Parliament. These changes will give the Secretary of State (Mandelson -- or his successor in the next government) the power to make "secondary legislation" (legislation that is passed without debate) to amend the provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988).
What that means is that an unelected official would have the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight or debate, provided it was done in the name of protecting copyright. Mandelson elaborates on this, giving three reasons for his proposal:
1. The Secretary of State would get the power to create new remedies for online infringements (for example, he could create jail terms for file-sharing, or create a "three-strikes" plan that costs entire families their Internet access if any member stands accused of infringement)

2. The Secretary of State would get the power to create procedures to "confer rights" for the purposes of protecting rights holders from online infringement. (for example, record labels and movie studios can be given investigative and enforcement powers that allow them to compel ISPs, libraries, companies and schools to turn over personal information about Internet users, and to order those companies to disconnect users, remove websites, block URLs, etc)

3. The Secretary of State would get the power to "impose such duties, powers or functions on any person as may be specified in connection with facilitating online infringement" (for example, ISPs could be forced to spy on their users, or to have copyright lawyers examine every piece of user-generated content before it goes live; also, copyright "militias" can be formed with the power to police copyright on the web)

Its interesting if this highly unpopular and unworkable legislation comes out. But hell, its not if its not happened before.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nesta Event on twitter

Next week Nesta is holding an event on twitter entitled Social Media - a force for good? The description of the event is thus:-

Date: 19.11.2009 12:00 - 13:00
Location: London
Stephen Fry, actor, journalist and celebrity 'Tweeter' and self-confessed technophile; Biz Stone, Founder and Chief Executive of
Twitter; and Reid Hoffman, Founder and Chief Executive of LinkedIn will discuss the phenomenon of social media and its future impact.
Due to limited space, this event is by invitation only. But we'll be live streaming the discussion from this web page, so don't forget to tune in from 11:45am on 19 November.
You can also join the conversation by posting a question for any of the speakers - all you need to do is add #svuk to your question on

I am off the day reporting then......

Monday, November 16, 2009

Being a librarian is a serious matter.....

(Found via here). I was interested to read the cataloguing librarian's article discussing how when she mentioned to a second hand card salesman that she was a librarian there response was:-

he laughed. Yes, laughed. As he leaned back in his chair, he went on to say derisively “ahh, I know Dewey is going the way of the dodo.”

Firstly, you don't laugh at your clients if your trying to provide something to them (do you laugh at patrons because they may want to read?).
Secondly, what is so laughable about being a librarian?
thirdly, I often get this reaction from people ask what i do. Some say 'what do you do all day? Go shhhhhhhh all the time?' Others think the Google revolution of having all information makes us redundant? Poppycock.

Its a shame more people don't take us more seriously. Anyway, I am going to make sure there is silence in the building.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good review of why people should support library 101

I was interested to read the article entitled Why I Support Library 101 (And so should you). Having previously mentioned library 101, it was good to see that the author had the following to say about the project:-

And as the video is one component of the overall Library 101 project, let us examine the essays section. Perhaps the term ‘essay’ is a misnomer for some of the submissions, but they do offer personal takes on the kinds of skills and paradigms that libraries should have now and in the future. Or, for a better description, a collection of entries by well respected online library professionals describing what they feel are the basics of the libraries of the present and the future. For myself, these entries act as a barometer of thought as common themes emerge (such as customer service and technology) as well as food for thought about my own place in my library, my system, and the greater library universe. The points contained within this section cultivate an inner dialogue, challenging the reader to accept or reject the premise and support their viewpoint. How exactly, pray tell, is this sort of self examination a bad thing? According to David in his post, Library 101 is intended to start these kinds of conversations.

.......I highly doubt that it was the intent of Michael and David to turn every librarian into a techno-jargon spewing 2.0 web savvy librarian. The appeal of the list is far more basic and primal, reaching out to the sense of curiosity that resides in us all. To me, the denial every item of the list and offering of no additions is to say that they is nothing new or interesting in the middle of the largest information explosion in the history of mankind. That’s inconceivable and unacceptable.

I really like the library 101, and will hopefully soon get a chance to read all the essays included on the site.

Book of interest........

(Found via here). I was interested to hear about the book called This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. Rick Roche describes the book and author thus :-

While Johnson extols the virtues of the profession, she points out that it has some members that resist change, usually trying to preserve services and procedures that served well in the past. She also repeats the often heard cry that librarians fail to promote themselves well in our highly contentious world. Her praises, however, greatly overshadow her criticisms. She believes that most librarians knock themselves out serving their clients regardless of pay, institutional support, or appreciation from society at large.

The book is not due out until 10.02.10. Hears to the new year then.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Job promotions and possibilities......

I have recently gone for a job promotion at work, and thankfully have an interview on the 24th of November. Although I'm doubtful I'll get the role, I am taking the process seriously and trying to cram as much information as possible for the interview. Even if I don't get the role it will still be something I can add to my Cilip chartership portfolio.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Boys with toys

I got a brand new toy. A new mobile, the blackberry curve. Hell its good. Push email, great video recorder and camera. Help, am I sad.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Joining the Union.....

I recently joined Unison, I just feel that sometimes in today's economy, you just need some advice and legal assistance. It allows me to hum ertain tunes to.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vendors turning Librarians benders

(Originally found here) seems that SirsiDynix is making some rather unfriendly comments about Open Source vendors to some of there users saying:-
"This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. According to our source it has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein."
This has caused a great deal of debate with Stephen Abraham (vice president of Innovation for Sirsi Dynix) writing in a blog post entitled it's about a respectful discussion. On the other side we have Meredith Farkas looking at the subject of open source and the part of vendors in the library role. Her discussion is well more interesting look at things.

Library 101

David Lee King and Michael Porter have release a new video and Library resource called Library 101. They have essays, learning resources and obviously the video. Its even been mentioned on BoingBoing.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Boolean for Idiots

(Found via here) I was interested in this simple Boolean search tool. Really easy to use, simple for students of most ages to get there head around to. You could also try these videos to (1 and 2). For the video links thanks Colin.