Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Forget fingerprints, crimes could be solved by body shape: Just 8 measurements are needed to identify criminals - even through clothes

Source: Daily Mail, by Victoria Woollaston, 19 January 2015

Grainy CCTV footage in which a criminal’s face is obscured can make it difficult to identify perpetrators, and this job is even harder if no fingerprints are left at the scene.

But, in what’s been dubbed a biometric breakthrough, researchers have discovered that a person’s body shape could equally give them away.

Read more  

Is the Personal Robot Finally Here?

Robotbase's personal robot fulfills the role of personal assistant, home security guard and bedtime storyteller, among other things. Credit: Robotbase

Source: LiveScience, by Tanya Lewis, 22 January 2015

She's a personal assistant, photographer, butler and home security guard all in one — and she's a robot.

Robotbase, a robotics company headquartered in New York City, is developing a personal robot that can perform a variety of daily functions at home or at work— everything from turning on lights to managing social calendars.

Read full article  

College Claims Copyright On 16th Century Michelangelo Sculpture, Blocks 3D Printing Files

Source: Techdirt, by Mike Masnick, 23 January 2015

Jerry Fisher, a photographer in Sioux Falls South Dakota, was interested in 3D printing and 3D image capture. So he went and photographed two local bronze casts of Michelangelo statues, one of Moses which is on display at Augustana College and is co-owned by Augustana and the City of Sioux Falls, and another of David, which is in a local city park. He documented his efforts to take the photos and turn them into 3D printer plans. However, the folks at Augustana College demanded that he stop, arguing a bizarre mix of copyright and... "we don't like this."

Read full article 

BOOK (2015) The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem

Authors: Patricia Steele, David Cronrath, Sandra Parsons Vicchio, and nancy fried Foster for ACRL
Publisher: ACRL, 2015
154 pages, softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8740-7

The Living Library describes the evolution of one possible future for academic libraries: as laboratories for cross-disciplinary investigation. At the University of Maryland, a collaboration among the Libraries, the School of Architecture and the Department of Anthropology led to the participation of students, faculty and staff in an initiative to design a full renovation of the main library building with the guidance of professionals in anthropology and architecture. As part of the process, Anthropology students and library faculty and staff investigated how the broader university community undertakes its work in the library. Architecture students in graduate design studio analyzed the findings along with the building and then created a series of designs to support faculty, student and staff work practices. All of the work was reviewed by a leadership committee from a variety of disciplines. The authors – the library director, the dean of architecture, a practicing architect and an applied anthropologist – describe the project, explain the methods, and review the outcomes, sharing their experiences of the living library. 

BOOK (2015) Archives Alive: Expanding Engagement with Public Library Archives and Special Collections

Author: Diantha Dow Schull
Publisher: ALA Editions, 2015
432 pages, Softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1335-2

All too often the image of a public library archive is of a dusty collection of artifacts and documents occasionally exhumed for a neglected display case. But librarians and archivists across the country are turning that stereotype on its head, developing innovative ways to bring library users into new relationships with archival professionals and research collections. From social archives and citizen cartography to artist-curators and photovoice projects, special collections departments are demonstrating their value not only for preservation but also for outreach, education, and public service. In this book Schull canvasses the nation, showcasing exciting ideas that can be adapted for every public library. A must-have text for anyone with responsibilities for directing, managing or teaching archival services, as well as for those who are studying best practices and planning for change, this book
  • Offers examples of more than 100 projects that reflect the scope and variety of emerging practices that foster public engagement, culled from conversations with dozens of the nation’s leading public library archivists and special collections staff
  • Profiles 13 institutions and departments that are in the forefront of change
  • Analyzes trends in public programming, community documentation, and digital communications that are re-shaping the image, functions, content, and uses of public library archives and special collections
Sharing models for institutions seeking to expand connections with public audiences, this unique survey demonstrates how to make archives come alive for libraries and their communities. 

1st AfLIA Conference & 3rd African Library Summit (30 May - 5 June 2015)

AfLLIA, the umbrella Library Association for Africa formed in 2013, focuses on the development of libraries, information centres, library and information personnel to offer cutting edge modern services to people on the African continent.

AfLIA will be holding its 1st Conference as an Asssociation and the 3rd African Library Summit for LIS leaders, LIS educators, LIS policy makers, young emerging leaders who are the future of our profession and organisations and professionals working in partnership with African libraries.

Venue: Accra, Ghana

Pre-conferences: 31 May - 1 June 2015

Conference: 2 - 4 June 2015

AfLIA General Meeting:  5 June 2015

Conference theme: African Libraries Rising - Leadership and Innovation for Development

Sub-themes: Leadership excellence; Use of technology; Education and training; Service quality

For more information:  

What Facebook Addiction Looks Like in the Brain


Source: LiveScience, by Tia Ghose, 27 January 2015

For many Facebook users, the urge to like a kitten video or snoop on a high-school flame is almost irresistible.

As it turns out, this type of "Facebook addiction" may show up in the brain: A new study found that the brains of people who report compulsive urges to use the social networking site show some brain patterns similar to those found in drug addicts.

Read more 

Monday, January 26, 2015

SOUTH AFRICA - Vodacom plans connecting 150,000 homes to fibre broadband

Source: fin24, by Gareth van Zyl, 26 January 2015

Johannesburg - South Africa’s biggest mobile phone network Vodacom plans to connect 250 000 homes and businesses to fibre broadband over the next three years.

Read full article 

Am I going down? How to tell if your flight is going to crash

Source: Traveller24, 26 January 2015

Cape Town - While we'd never really want to admit it, there's always that brief moment of panic after boarding a flight - am I going to survive this?

Well, now, thanks to technology, you can actually indulge that fear and check what the chances are of you ending up in a crash with a brand new smartphone app called 'Am I going down?'

While we're inclined to think: 'Well, we'd really rather not know,' the apps developer says it's actually just meant to reassure nervous flyers. 

Read full article

NEW ZEALAND - Library book cuts hit schools hard

Source: Stuff, by Kim Knight, 25 January 2015

Student access  to specialist non-fiction National Library books will be cut from July.

Shocked teachers say they weren’t consulted about the move, expected to hit rural and technology-poor schools hardest.

Last year, 16,000 teachers made 40,000 requests for almost a million hard-copy items via the National Library’s curriculum topic support service.

That service is being dumped from term three, in favour of directing students to “curated online resources”..

Read full article 

UK - Victoria and Albert museum in row over self-censorship after Muhammad image is taken down

Source: The Guardian, UK, by Emma Graham-Harrison, 24 January 2015

The Victoria and Albert museum has attempted to conceal its ownership of a devotional image of the prophet Muhammad, citing security concerns, in what is part of a wider pattern of apparent self-censorship by British institutions that scholars fear could undermine public understanding of Islamic art and the diversity of Muslim traditions.

Similar images have been shown in exhibitions across Europe and America without prompting outrage, much less protests or a violent response. Made by Muslim artists for fellow Muslims, they come from a long but often overlooked tradition.

British museums and libraries hold dozens of these images, mostly miniatures in manuscripts several centuries old, but they have been kept largely out of public view. Fear of displaying them is apparently driven by controversy about satirical or offensive portraits of Muhammad by non-Muslims, despite the huge difference in form and purpose.

Read full article

UK - Classroom Rush To Keep Up With Advancing Tech

Source: Skynews, by Will Sargent, 23 January 2015

Coding became part of the UK national curriculum in primary and secondary schools in September - schools are battling to keep up.

Read full article 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

US reporter jailed for linking to stolen data

Source: BBC News, 22 January 2015

A journalist with connections to the hacking collective Anonymous has been sentenced to five years in jail after posting online links to stolen data.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources

Michael Ellis, (2015) "Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources", Reference Reviews, Vol. 29 Iss: 1, pp.15 - 16.


ARTICLE (2015) Co-working and innovation: new concepts for academic libraries and learning centres

Joachim Schopfel, Julien Roche, Gilles Hubert, (2015) "Co-working and innovation: new concepts for academic libraries and learning centres", New Library World, Vol. 116 Iss: 1/2, pp.67 - 78.


The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the debate on the development of academic libraries, by the introduction of the concepts of co-working and innovation to the learning centres.  

ARTICLE (2015) Towards a new library system: A paradigmatic shift in the Finnish library system planning and acquisition

Jarmo Saarti, Sinikka Luokkanen, Ari Ahlqvist, Lassi Lager, (2015) "Towards a new library system: A paradigmatic shift in the Finnish library system planning and acquisition", Library Management, Vol. 36 Iss: 1/2, pp.2 - 11.


Purpose:  Finnish libraries are using different integrated library systems. Higher education libraries funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture are using the same ILS in three different installations on the same hardware. Special and public libraries are using several different systems. Many of these library systems are reaching their end-of-life phase. During the spring and summer of 2011 all the Finnish library sectors together with the National Library of Finland formed a joint committee in order to assess the feasibility of a library system entirety, possibly an open source solution that would suit the needs of all the different types of libraries. The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the planning for the acquisition of a new library system initiated in year 2012; the concept is to try to establish a joint system with common databases for all the libraries in all sectors willing to collaborate in this effort. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Purdue OWL: Conducting Research

Good research and good writing go hand in hand. This site from the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) introduces students to the principles of conducting good research. 

The clear and helpful information on the site is divided into six digestible categories: Research Overview, Conducting Primary Research, Evaluating Sources of Information, Searching the World Wide Web, Internet References, and Archival Research. 

Within each of these categories are numerous informative subcategories, such as Research Ethics and Searching with a Search Engine. This last area is a great tool for students learning how to conduct better searches, including information on Boolean operators. 

Democratic Republic of Congo - Kinshasa restores internet, blocks mobile phones

Source: fin24, 22 January 2015

Kinshasa - Authorities restored internet access in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, but kept mobile phones blocked on the fourth day of violent protests against President Joseph Kabila.

Read full article  

VIDEO (2:42) Tech Trends 2015: Mobile

BOOK (2015) Future Smart: Managing the Game-Changing Trends that Will Transform Your World

Author: James Canton
Published: Da Capo Press, 27 January 2015
400 pages
ISBN-10: 0306822865
ISBN-13: 978-0306822865

Game-changing trends are coming in business, technology, workforce, economy, security, and environment. Climate change, energy demand, and population growth will redefine global risk and power. Exponential new technologies will emerge in digital money, mobile commerce, and big data. An explosive new middle class of over one billion consumers will enter the marketplace. Every nation, job, business, and person will be transformed. To thrive in this future you have to become predictive, adaptive, and agile—to become Future Smart. Dr. James Canton, a renowned global futurist and visionary business advisor, illuminates the pivotal forces and global power shifts that everyone must understand today to thrive in a rapidly changing landscape:

Regenerative medicine will extend our lifetimes and rebuild our bodies
Robots and drones will drive our cars, teach our kids, and fight our wars
Smart machines will design, manage, and service 40% of all global businesses—energy, commerce, finance, and manufacturing—without humans
Digital consumers who live always connected will challenge every business to change its strategy
Climate change wars will redefine security and resources

Most of us are not prepared to meet the challenges the future will bring, but these changes are coming fast. Armed with knowledge, those who are Future Smart can take action to reinvent themselves, their businesses, and their world. 

BOOK (2015) Getting Started with Demand-Driven Acquisitions for E-books: A LITA Guide

Author: Theresa S Arndt
Publisher: ALA TechSource, 2015
128 pages; Softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1314-7

Thousands of e-books are published each year; and rather than holding steady, e-book prices are rising—some 3.5% this year alone. With so many titles out there, how do you know which ones will actually circulate? Demand-driven acquisition (DDA) may be the answer for your library, and getting started needn’t be daunting. This LITA Guide includes more than 200 criteria questions to help you develop a DDA e-book program that’s right for your library, offering perspective on
  • Why DDA is worth considering, and how it increases instant access to more e-books for library users while holding down overall library book purchasing cost increases
  • Prioritizing goals to better negotiate with vendors
  • Workflow with library services providers and e-book aggregators
  • Managing trade-offs between staff time and direct costs
  • Factors in policy decisions, such as single or multiple vendors, short term loans, and mediating purchases
  • Using MARC records and discovery services
  • Vendor reporting, cost per use, processing costs, and other metrics for assessment
  • Incorporating DDA titles into your catalog
Focusing on the unique requirements and processes of e-book acquisition, this guide will help ensure that your library’s e-book collection is both vibrant and cost-effective. 

A very useful resource for those interested in open data

Here is a very useful resource for those interested in open data:

Harvard Features Panel Discussion (video): How Can Library Staff More Effectively Support the Academic Mission

Panel Discussion moderated by Carol Rolheiser, Professor with the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning and Director of the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation at the University of Toronto.

With Dr. Ian Lapp, Associate Dean for Strategic Educational Initiatives and Member of Faculty, Harvard School of Public Health; Professor Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard School of Education; Kristin Lofblad Sullivan, Program Director, Teaching and Learning Technologies,Harvard University Information Technology; Stephen E. Baker, President, Baker Design Group; Odile Harter, Research Librarian, Harvard College Library, and Harvard University alum.

The Code4Lib Journal, Issue 27 (21 January 2015) is now available

The Code4Lib Journal, Issue 27 (21 January 2015) is now available online.

Editorial Introduction: A Brand New Year  
by Terry Reese

Digital forensics on a shoestring: a case study from the University of Victoria 
by John Durno and Jerry Trofimchuk

Homegrown WorldCat Reclamation: Utilizing OCLC’s WorldCat Metadata API to Reconcile Your Library’s Holdings
by Sarah Johnston

Using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics to track DSpace metadata fields as custom dimensions
by Suzanna Conrad

Using SemanticScuttle for managing lists of recommended resources on a library website
by Tomasz Neugebauer, Pamela Carson, and Stephen Krujelskis

Training the Next Generation of Open Source Developers: A Case Study of OSU Libraries & Press’ Technology Training Program
by Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Trey Terrell and Mike Eaton

Communication Between Devices in the Viola Document Delivery System
by Theodor Tolstoy

Query Translation in Europeana
by Péter Király

Windows 10 to get 'holographic' headset and Cortana

Microsoft says its helmet will blend 3D transparent graphics with the real world

Source: BBC News, by Leo Kelion, 21 January 2015

Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs.

It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world.

In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone.

Read more (videos included)  

SOUTH AFRICA - Apps to the rescue as Eskom blackouts bite

Soerce: fin24, by Duncan Alfreds, 22 January 2015

Cape Town - As the spectre of Eskom's rolling blackouts haunts South Africans, a number of local developers have built applications to alert users of when the load-shedding schedule will hit.

Read full article  

Smart keyboard cleans and powers itself—and can tell who you are

Source:, 21 January 2015

In a novel twist in cybersecurity, scientists have developed a self-cleaning, self-powered smart keyboard that can identify computer users by the way they type.

The device, reported in the journal ACS Nano, could help prevent unauthorized users from gaining direct access to computers.

Read  full article   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BOOK(2014) @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex

Author: Shane Harris
Published: Eamon dolan/Houghton Mifflin harcourt, 11 November 2014
288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0544251793

A surprising, page-turning account of how the wars of the future are already being fought today

The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @WAR shows, U.S. hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq. 

Shane Harris delves into the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. As recent revelations have shown, government agencies are joining with tech giants like Google and Facebook to collect vast amounts of information. The military has also formed a new alliance with tech and finance companies to patrol cyberspace, and Harris offers a deeper glimpse into this partnership than we have ever seen before. 

Finally, Harris explains what the new cybersecurity regime means for all of us, who spend our daily lives bound to the Internet — and are vulnerable to its dangers. 

BOOK (2015) If Kennedy lived: The First and Second Terms of John F Kennedy [An Alternate History]

Author: Jeff Greenfield
Published: Penguin Books, January 2015
ISBN: 9780451471321

What if Kennedy were not killed that fateful day? What would the 1964 campaign have looked like? 
Would changes have been made to the ticket? How would Kennedy, in his second term, have approached Vietnam, civil rights, the Cold War? With Hoover as an enemy, would his indiscreet private life finally have become public? Would his health issues have become so severe as to literally cripple his presidency? And what small turns of fate in the days and years before Dallas might have kept him from ever reaching the White House in the first place?
The answers Greenfield provides and the scenarios he develops are startlingly realistic, rich in detail, shocking in their projections, but always deeply, remarkably plausible. IKennedy Lived is a tour de force of American history from one of the country’s most brilliant and illuminating political commentators.

New Glasses Transform The Way Colorblind People See The World

Source: Huffington Post, by Kimberly Yam, 13 january 2015

EnChroma, a company in Berkeley, California, has created colorblindness correcting glasses, which allow those who are colorblind to see hues they may have never experienced before. While the sunglasses, which are meant for outdoor use in daylight, were first released two years ago, the company's new version is made from polycarbonate -- a material that's kid-friendly and usable in sports.

Read full article (photos included) 

Japan: Man sues women's university over rejection

Source: BBC News, 19 January 2015

A Japanese man is suing a women-only university for rejecting his application to study there, it's been reported.

The man, who hasn't been named, wants to become a dietician and applied to study at Fukuoka Women's University, in southwestern Japan.....

Read more  

BOOK (2015) The Handbook for Storytime Programs

Authors: Judy Freeman and Caroline Feller Bauer
Published: ALA Editions, 2015
336 pages, Softcover
ISBN: 978-0-8389-1265-2

Librarians, teachers, parents, and caregivers can energize storytimes and curricula with this informative and entertaining resource filled with engaging and creative ways to integrate storytelling and story-related materials into programs for children, ages birth-12. Readers will find a treasure trove of tales, books, songs, and poems to share, plus a host of exciting and easily adaptable children’s literature-based activities. This handbook provides
  • Descriptions of a variety of programs for young children, from lap times for babies to programs for toddlers and nursery school age children, on up to grade 2
  • A “quicklist” of 150 thematic program-starters for children ages 1-7, on popular topics such as animals, the natural world, families, vehicles, and holidays
  • Story jokes, think stories, convoluted logic puzzlers, scary tales, funny stories, and dozens of other thematic program-starters for tweens
  • Methods for telling stories using pictures, objects, crafts, puppetry, songs, creative drama, and magic
  • Materials such as story scripts, songs, wordplay, poems, annotated booklists, and non-narrative sources for storytelling
  • Guidance to help story programmers pull together cohesive themed programs and story hours

No storytelling programmer will want to be without this expansive and instantly useful handbook. 

Mystery of the phantom islands solved: Lands that disappeared on ancient maps are revealed as mistakes, mirages and myths

This map shows the location of phantom islands that appears on maps from the early 16th century, but later disappeared or were renamed

Source: Daily Mail, UK, by Victoria Woollaston, 20 January 2015

Today it’s easy to explore foreign lands and oceans simply by using Google Maps, but centuries ago, when these worlds were first discovered, people had no choice but to rely on the tales of explorers.

Read full article  

ARTICLE (2014) PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews

Methley, A. et al. (2014) PICO, PICOS and SPIDER: a comparison study of specificity and sensitivity in three search tools for qualitative systematic reviews. BMC Health Services Research, 14:579.


There's an open access version at

Qualitative systematic reviews are increasing in popularity in evidence based health care. Difficulties have been reported in conducting literature searches of qualitative research using the PICO search tool. An alternative search tool, entitled SPIDER, was recently developed for more effective searching of qualitative research, but remained untested beyond its development team.

In this article we tested the `SPIDER? search tool in a systematic narrative review of qualitative literature investigating the health care experiences of people with Multiple Sclerosis. Identical search terms were combined into the PICO or SPIDER search tool and compared across Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE and EBSCO CINAHL Plus databases. In addition, we added to this method by comparing initial SPIDER and PICO tools to a modified version of PICO with added qualitative search terms (PICOS).

Results showed a greater number of hits from the PICO searches, in comparison to the SPIDER searches, with greater sensitivity. SPIDER searches showed greatest specificity for every database. The modified PICO demonstrated equal or higher sensitivity than SPIDER searches, and equal or lower specificity than SPIDER searches. The modified PICO demonstrated lower sensitivity and greater specificity than PICO searches.

The recommendations for practice are therefore to use the PICO tool for a fully comprehensive search but the PICOS tool where time and resources are limited. Based on these limited findings the SPIDER tool would not be recommended due to the risk of not identifying relevant papers, but has potential due to its greater specificity. 

Words emerge from ancient scrolls charred during eruption of Vesuvius

The charred remains of the rolled papyrus scroll from Herculaneum. Photograph: E Brun 
Source: The Guardian, by Ian Sample, 20 January 2015

Ancient scrolls that were burned black and buried in ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly two thousand years ago have begun to give up their secrets.

Researchers in Italy used a powerful x-ray procedure to read out the first words from two of the Roman scrolls, which belong to the only library to have survived from the ancient world.

Read full article (and watch a video) 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SOUTH AFRICA - Gauteng digital school initiative 'doomed to fail'

Source: fin24, by Duncan Alfreds, 20 January 2015

Cape Town - Paperless education in SA will remain a pipe dream, unless there is definitive and sustainable funding to implement the policy, says a retailer.

News24 reported that the Gauteng Provincial government was intent on rolling out a R17bn digital education project that would see pupils equipped with mobile technologies to boost education efforts.

Read full article

Which Has More Bias? Wikipedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica

Source: Working Knowledge, 19 January 2015
Michael Blanding writes: By identifying politically biased language in Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia, Feng Zhu hopes to learn whether professional editors or open-sourced experts provide the most objective entries.