Tuesday, March 24, 2015

TED TALK VIDEO (18:03) Fei Fei Li: How we're teaching computers to understand pictures

Published on Mar 23, 2015
When a very young child looks at a picture, she can identify simple elements: "cat," "book," "chair." Now, computers are getting smart enough to do that too. What's next? In a thrilling talk, computer vision expert Fei-Fei Li describes the state of the art — including the database of 15 million photos her team built to "teach" a computer to understand pictures — and the key insights yet to come.

PAPER by R David Lankes: “Expecting More From Our Libraries and Communities”

Presenter: R.David Lankes
Title: “Expecting More From Our Libraries and Communities” 
Professional Development Speaker Series. Toronto, Canada.

Abstract: Libraries are more important now than ever – but not the same libraries we have always had. Our patrons need to expect more of us, and we, in turn, should expect more of them. We must form a partnership based on aspirations and shared goals, not deficits, and collected materials. This session seeks to highlight the importance of librarianship and librarians in building stronger communities beyond a desk, a building, or a collection.

Slides: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2015/TPL.pdf
Audio: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/pod/2015/TPL.mp3 

ARTICLE (2014) Higher Education and Emerging Technologies: Shifting Trends in Student Usage

Cassidy, Erin D. Higher Education and Emerging Technologies: Shifting Trends in Student Usage. Journal of Academic Librarianship; 2014; vol 40; iss 2  doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2014.02.003

This study serves as an update to a previous study by Sam Houston State University librarians about the use and preferences of Internet, communication, and educational technologies among students. Since the previous study was initiated in 2010, the iPad has made its debut and significantly altered the educational technology landscape. In this new landscape, this study investigates student usage of such technologies as instant messaging, cell phones, e-readers, social networking, RSS feeds, podcasts, and tablets. In addition, this study aims to determine which technologies students prefer the library to utilize for a variety of services, such as reference assistance or book renewals, and which technologies may not be worth the investment, such as geosocial networking. The information gained from this survey is intended to provide guidance for libraries looking to provide services utilizing the most popular technologies with the most efficient use of resources. Survey results show an increasing use and dependence on educational technologies and a desire for basic library services to be available on a variety of platforms and technologies.

As Libraries Across the U.S. Embrace Desktop 3D Printing, UMass Amherst Opens First Large-Scale MakerBot Innovation Center at a University Library

Source: Forward Geek, 24 March 2015

Libraries throughout the U.S. are implementing new technologies to adapt to the changing habits of the digital age by adding additional services such as wireless Internet (97.5 percent), e-readers (25.4 percent) and tablets (16.5 percent). But technology is also driving a different trend that is redefining the very role that libraries play. By offering access to 3D printing, libraries nationwide are turning into labs of experimentation and innovation for aspiring entrepreneurs and help advance creativity for everyone. To date, MakerBot 3D Printers and Scanners are in an estimated 500 libraries across the U.S.

UMass Amherst is embracing this concept in a big and unprecedented way by teaming up with MakerBot to deploy the first large-scale 3D printing MakerBot Innovation Center in New England and the first ever at a university library. 

Read more  

Drug Information From the U.S. National Library of Medicine


Scope covers: 

    a) Drug questions are among the most frequently asked medical questions in the medical, public, and academic libraries. Patients want to understand the drugs being prescribed to them; 
    b) Physicians need information on new drugs and may also ask for confirmation of information they receive from the drug representatives; 
    c) Drug information is complicated by the variety of generic and product names; 
    d) The guide is not exhaustive in scope or coverage, but representative of drug information resources used by consumers, health providers, and researchers; 
    e) Resources are also selected by staff with past reference, bibliographic instruction, and collection development experience in consumer health, hospital, academic, and government medical libraries; and 
    f) The following resources were also reviewed: 
         i) ALA Guide to Medical & Health Sciences Reference. Chicago: American    Library Association; 2011;
         ii) Snow B. Drug Information: a guide to current resources. 3rd ed. Chicago: Medical Library Association; published by New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers; 2008. 

The drug resources listed in this guide include: 
    1) Primary organizations and databases developed for consumers and health professionals; 
    2) Web-based drug information that can be used to answer questions about United States and International drugs, prescription and over-the-counter as well as dietary supplements and herbals; 
    3) Statistics, regulations, directories, and bibliographic databases; 
    4) Some of the resources listed also include printed books and databases that may require a subscription but would be useful for a researcher; 
    5) Coverage of specialized aspects of drug information such as adverse effects, toxicology, and pill identification; 
    6) Resources for specific audiences such as consumers, nurses, dental personnel, and veterinarians are included; and 
    7) Resources for specific uses such as cancer, analgesia, and complementary medicine. See the Table of Contents for additional coverage of the guide.

Data security yet to grab hold in South Africa

Source: fin24, 24 March 2015

Johannesburg - Businesses in South Africa won't take a new local data privacy law seriously until there’s a high-profile hacking breach in the country.


BOOK (2015) Beyond Syria's Borders: A History of Territorial Disputes in the Middle East

Author: Emma Jørum
[Emma Jørum teaches Comparative Politics in the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden.]
Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date: 19 February 2015 
Series: Library of Modern Middle East Studies Series
288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781780767420 

Lebanon, together with the province of Hatay in Turkey (containing Antakya) and the Golan Heights were all part of French mandate Syria, but are now all outside the boundaries of the modern Syrian state. The policies and reactions of Syria both to the loss of these territories and to the states that have either absorbed, annexed or emerged from them (Lebanon, Turkey and Israel) are the focus of Emma Jørum's book. Jørum uses the differences in policy and discourse when it comes to each of these three cases to highlight the nature of territorial dispute in the region, and the processes of state-building and nationalism more generally. Through the examination of Syria's policies concerning these lost territories, Jørum plots and analyses Syrian-Turkish, Syrian-Lebanese and Syrian-Israeli relations, explaining why some losses have been pushed to one side and others remain at the forefront in Syria's international relations and diplomacy efforts. 

BOOK (2015) Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader

Authors: Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
Publisher: Crown Religion/Business/Forum
Publication date: 24 March 2015
464 pages
ISBN-13: 9780385347402 

There have been many books—on a large and small scale—about Steve Jobs, one of the most famous CEOs in history. But this book is different from all the others.

Becoming Steve Jobs takes on and breaks down the existing myth and stereotypes about Steve Jobs. The conventional, one-dimensional view of Jobs is that he was half-genius, half-jerk from youth, an irascible and selfish leader who slighted friends and family alike. Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time, ultimately transforming the daily life of billions of people?

Drawing on incredible and sometimes exclusive access, Schlender and Tetzeli tell a different story of a real human being who wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strengths over time. Their rich, compelling narrative is filled with stories never told before from the people who knew Jobs best, and who decided to open up to the authors, including his family, former inner circle executives, and top people at Apple, Pixar and Disney, most notably Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Eddy Cue, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Robert Iger and many others. In addition, Brent knew Jobs personally for 25 years and draws upon his many interviews with him, on and off the record, in writing the book. He and Rick humanize the man and explain, rather than simply describe, his behavior. Along the way, the book provides rich context about the technology revolution we all have lived through, and the ways in which Jobs changed our world.

Schlender and Tetzeli make clear that Jobs's astounding success at Apple was far more complicated than simply picking the right products: he became more patient, he learned to trust his inner circle, and discovered the importance of growing the company incrementally rather than only shooting for dazzling game-changing products.

A rich and revealing account that will change the way we view Jobs, Becoming Steve Jobs shows us how one of the most colorful and compelling figures of our times was able to combine his unchanging, relentless passion with a more mature management style to create one of the most valuable and beloved companies on the planet. 

BOOK (2015) Our Enduring Values Revisited: Librarianship in an Ever-Changing World

Author: Michael Gorman
Published: ALA Editions, 2015
256 pages; softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1300-0

In the almost 15 years since Our Enduring Values was published, there has been a sea change in the way much of the world thinks about and uses libraries. Young librarians and seasoned LIS professionals alike are experiencing increasing pressure to adjust to new economic, societal, and technological demands amidst the often-dire rhetoric currently surrounding the future of our institutions. In this stirring manifesto, public intellectual, librarian, and philosopher Gorman addresses head on the “existential panic” among library professionals caused by the radical shift in how libraries are viewed. He reconnects readers with the core values that continue to inspire generations of library professionals and scholars—while making the case that these values are doubly crucial to hold on to in the brave new shifting world of librarianship. Destined to become another classic of library literature, this book explores such contemporary issues as
  • The growing emphasis of the library as a cultural institution, placing libraries within their cultural context as gathering places for learning, access to information, and community
  • The impact of technological innovations on core values such as access and stewardship
  • Library places and spaces of the future
  • How the mass digitization of books, archives, and other materials affects the purpose and function of libraries
  • Intellectual freedom and privacy in the era of the PATRIOT Act, Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden
  • The role of libraries as both champions and facilitators of social justice
Inspirational yet clear-sighted, Gorman emphatically reaffirms the importance of libraries and librarians while proposing a path for future survival and growth.  

VIDEO (34:21) Summary by former Defence Minister of Canada Paul Hellyer on the major problems we face

Paul T Hellyer: Full Disclosure Speech (Recorded: March 2015)
Summary by Paul Hellyer on the major problems we face.

Hon. Paul T Hellyer important, heartfelt message to the world; "We have been given a few months, not years.....We are the ones destined to write our own history"

Former Defence Minister of Canada talks about urgent issues we face today, and how we can act on them as individuals, with a common coal of freedom and truth.

Paul touches on topics such as: US Politics and Secrecy; NATO; Obama; Islam; Christianity;  Judaism; War; 9/11; Exotic Energy; ISIS; Moral Leadership; ET Reality; Monetary Reform; Global Elite; Sovereignty of humans

Paul's Website: http://www.paulhellyerweb.com/
Produced by: http://www.modernknowledge.ca/
Video By: http://www.varietystoreproductions.com/
Music by: "Taking on the Shawl" - Written and preformed by: Marty Leeds

Facebook hoax suicide post ends in arrest for US man

Source: BBC News, 20 March 2015

A man who posted a hoax suicide threat on Facebook ending up being arrested and put in a psychiatric institution for nearly three days.

Read more  

BOOK (2015) How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery

Author: Kevin Ashton
Published: Doubleday, 20 January 2015
336 pages
ISBN-10: 0385538596
ISBN-13: 978-0385538596

As a technology pioneer at MIT and as the leader of three successful start-ups, Kevin Ashton experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. 

Now, in a tour-de-force narrative twenty years in the making, Ashton leads us on a journey through humanity’s greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it. From the crystallographer’s laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a twenty-five-cent bet, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse,” Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs.

Creators, he shows, apply in particular ways the everyday, ordinary thinking of which we are all capable, taking thousands of small steps and working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He examines why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. Drawing on examples from art, science, business, and invention, from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how “new” comes to be.  

BOOK (2015) Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public

Author: Steven M Druker
Published: Clear River Press, 20 March 2015
528 pages
ISBN-10: 0985616911
ISBN-13: 978-0985616915

This book uncovers the biggest scientific fraud of our age. It tells the fascinating and frequently astounding story of how the massive enterprise to restructure the genetic core of the world’s food supply came into being, how it advanced by consistently violating the protocols of science, and how for more than three decades, hundreds of eminent biologists and esteemed institutions have systematically contorted the truth in order to conceal the unique risks of its products–and get them onto our dinner plates.

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth provides a graphic account of how this elaborate fraud was crafted and how it not only deceived the general public, but Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and a host of other astute and influential individuals as well. The book also exposes how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was induced to become a key accomplice–and how it has broken the law and repeatedly lied in order to usher genetically engineered foods onto the market without the safety testing that’s required by federal statute. As a result, for fifteen years America’s families have been regularly ingesting a group of novel products that the FDA’s own scientific staff had previously determined to be unduly hazardous to human health.

By the time this gripping story comes to a close, it will be clear that the degradation of science it documents has not only been unsavory but unprecedented–and that in no other instance have so many scientists so seriously subverted the standards they were trained to uphold, misled so many people, and imposed such magnitude of risk on both human health and the health of the environment.  

Rare Copy of Old Testament Reunited with 'Twin' in Israel

Source: Yahoo.com, by Laura Geggel, 19 March 2015

A rare, 338-year-old copy of the Old Testament has been reunited with its twin, a copy of the same edition that was printed in Frankfurt, Germany, in the 1600s.

Read full article (includes photo) 

Video Recording & Transcript of Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) Update (1 February 2015)

The Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME) is a major community challenge to provide an alternative to the deeply embedded MARC formats that will be more compatible with the Internet and linked data environment, and that offers new opportunities to leverage information. This update at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association in Chicago, Ill., shares information on current developments as work continues on this significant effort. 

  • Library of Congress BIBFRAME Pilot Plans
    Beacher Wiggins, Director, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access, Library of Congress
  • Pilot Component – BIBFRAME Editor
    Paul Frank, Library of Congress
  • Pilot Component – Profiles and Search/Display
    Nate Trail, Network Development and MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress
  • BIBFRAME in Production
    Philip Schreur, Stanford University
  • OCLC and LC Collaboration
    Ted Fons, OCLC
  • Schema and BIBFRAME
    Eric Miller, Zepheira

SOUTH AFRICA - Rhodes Must Fall campaign gains momentum at UCT

A student protests near the Cecil Rhodes statue at UCT. (Twitter)

Source: News24, by Sipho Masonso, 23 March 2015

Cape Town - University of Cape Town students are demanding that management make public its stance on their calls to have the statue of Cecil John Rhodes destroyed.

Read more  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Latest issue of Information Research, volume 20, number 1 of 2015, is now available

The latest issue of Information Research, volume 20, number 1 of 2015, is now available. 

This issue celebrates its 20 yearsexhistance, and the founder and editor, Tom Wilson, comments on its achievements in his editorial.

Some of the articles in this issue are:

Hilary Yerbury: Information practices of young activists in Rwanda

Alisa Howlett and Zaana Howard: Exploring the use of evidence in practice by Australian special librarians

Sook Lim and Nick Steffel: Influence of user ratings, expert ratings and purposes of information use on the credibility judgments of college students

Christine Yates and Helen Partridge: Citizens and social media in times of natural disaster: exploring information experience

Reijo Savolainen: Expressing emotions in information sharing: a study of online discussion about immigration

To read this issue: http://www.informationr.net/ir/20-1/infres201.html 

Texifter - Search, Sift, Sort, Classify and Analyze


Texifter improves efficiency by streamlining the process of sorting large amounts of unstructured text. 

Texifter offers off-the-shelf enterprise class business applications specifically developed to meet the complex needs of researchers and federal rule writers. 

Texifter utilizes SaaS & cloud-based solutions for topic modeling, duplicate detection, and other information retrieval tasks involving users in an active learning loop.

The myopia boom - Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions

Image: Imagine China/Corbis

Source: Nature, by Elie Dolgin, 18 March 2015

Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

The southern city of Guangzhou has long held the largest eye hospital in China. But about five years ago, it became clear that the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center needed to expand.

Read full article  

BOOK (2015) Essential Classification, Second Edition (by Vanda Broughton)

Author: Vanda Broughton
Published: Facet Publishing, UK, 2015
2nd edition
336 pages, Softcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-78330-031-0

Essential Classification leads the novice classifier step by step through the basics of subject cataloging, with an emphasis on practical document analysis and classification. It deals with fundamental questions of the purpose of classification in different situations, and the needs and expectations of end users. The reader is introduced to the ways in which document content can be assessed, and how this can best be expressed for translation into the language of specific indexing and classification systems.

Fully updated to reflect changes to the major general schemes (Library of Congress, LCSH, Dewey and UDC) since the first edition, and with new chapters on working with informal classification, from folksonomies to tagging and social media, this new edition will set catalogers on the right path.

This guide will be essential reading for library school students, novice catalogers and all information workers who need to classify but have not formally been taught how. It also offers practical guidance to computer scientists, internet and intranet managers, and all others concerned with the design and maintenance of subject tools.  

Brown Dog - Bringing Long-Tail Data Into the Light

Brown Dog is part of the DataNet Partners program funded by NSF beginning in 2008. DataNet was conceived to address the increasingly digital and data-intensive nature of science and engineering research and education. Digital data are not only the output of research but provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new scientific insights and driving innovation. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop the new methods, management structures and technologies to manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams. DataNet addresses that challenge by creating a set of exemplar national and global data research infrastructure organizations (dubbed DataNet Partners) that provide unique opportunities to communities of researchers to advance science and/or engineering research and learning.

Brown Dog is, more specifically, part of a follow-on effort called DIBBs (Data Infrastructure Building Blocks, focused on building software to support the DataNet efforts. DIBBs projects target software cyberinfrastructure---stuff lots of people can use.  All of the DIBBs projects are meant to provide complementary services, each building on the others capabilities.  

Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days

Volcano. Image: Christophe Menenoeuf/Wikipedia Commons
Source: Science Alert, by Myles Gough, 20 March 2015

The Cental American country has achieved a major clean energy milestone, meeting 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy for 75 straight days.

Read more  

TED TALK VIDEO (10:47) Joseph DeSimone: What if 3D printing was 100x faster?

Published on Mar 19, 2015
What we think of as 3D printing, says Joseph DeSimone, is really just 2D printing over and over ... slowly. Onstage at TED2015, he unveils a bold new technique — inspired, yes, by Terminator 2 — that's 25 to 100 times faster, and creates smooth, strong parts. Could it finally help to fulfill the tremendous promise of 3D printing? 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Aurorasaurus - Reporting Auroras From the Ground Up


Aurorasaurus is a citizen science project that gathers real-time data about aurora sightings and sends out notifications to users when the Northern Lights are likely visible in their area. 

Aurorasaurus will significantly improve forecasting of the aurora using citizen science reports and crowd-sourced (Twitter) ground truth observations of aurora. 

Registered users get location-based notifications, a real-time monitor of space weather activity, the capability to help verify tweets and search for real sightings, answers to science and aurora questions, and more. Aurorasaurus was built by scientists for the public. 

This project was funded by an award from the National Science Foundation. 

EBOLA - current news (19 & 20 March 2015)

19 March 2015
Deep in the jungle, hunting for the next Ebola outbreak, The Washington Post, 19 March 2015
More than 3,000 miles from the fading Ebola crisis in West Africa, a team of U.S.-funded researchers is hunting deep in a remote rain forest for the next outbreak.

 They aren’t looking for infected people. They’re trying to solve one of science’s great mysteries: Where does Ebola hide between human epidemics?

Ebola diaries: Hitting the ground running (press release), World Health Organization, 19 March 2015
Already, when you have a localized outbreak in the middle of nowhere, everything is a problem at the beginning. There is a lack of resources, lack of people to do the job. When an outbreak crosses borders, it’s even more difficult to manage, even if those infected are from the same tribe and speak the same language.

DARPA wants to solve Ebola with DNA, money, and institutional knowhow, io9, 19 March 2015
Colonel Dan Wattendorf is a program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office. His goal: To dramatically suppress Ebola, and infectious diseases like it, with a new, unconventional vaccine. And according to Wattendorf, the biggest hurdles he faces in accomplishing this mission "aren't scientific, but institutional."

Ebola: Sierra leone plans second lockdown to stem epidemic, The Guardian, 19 March 2015
Sierra Leone has said it will confine around 2.5 million people to their homes across the capital and in the north in a three-day shutdown aimed at stemming the Ebola epidemic.

Ebola Air? Inside the plane that flies Ebola patients, CNN, 19 March 2015
If it were easy, any company or government could do it.

But flying an Ebola patient halfway around the world -- while keeping that person alive, and everyone safe -- is complicated.

Probably no one knows that better than Phoenix Air, a Georgia-based company that is the go-to for transporting Ebola victims by air.

Guinea reports highest weekly Ebola case total so far this year, new UN data shows, UN News Centre, 19 March 2015
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has reported the highest weekly number of Ebola cases in Guinea so far this year and noted that while transmission was confined to a narrow geographically contiguous arc straddling the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, the population is highly mobile, thus creating a challenge “to prevent the seeding of new outbreaks.”

In the latest update (See some data from this WHO report below) on Ebola reissued today, Liberia reported no new confirmed cases for the third consecutive week and Sierra Leone had the lowest weekly total recorded since June 2014.

Confirmed, probable, and suspected cases reported by Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

CountryCase definitionCumulative casesCases in past 21 daysCumulative deaths
Sierra LeoneConfirmed84871943325
Total11 7511943691
TotalConfirmed14 603398
Total24 66639810 179
20 March 2015
Emails reveal WHO delayed declaring Ebola emergency due to political considerationFox News, 20 March 2015
By early June of last year, the Ebola epidemic centered on Guinea was the deadliest ever recorded. Foreign workers were being evacuated. Top disease-fighters warned that the virus could soon spread across West Africa.

But the World Health Organization resisted sounding the alarm until August, partly for political reasons, despite the fact that senior staff in Africa proposed doing so in June, The Associated Press has found. The two-month delay, some argue, may have cost lives. More than 10,000 are believed to have been killed by the virus since WHO first announced the outbreak a year ago.

Medics wear full protective gear to shield themselves from the virus

'Ebola-proof' tablet device developedBBC News, 20 March 2015
A tablet device that can withstand being doused in chlorine has been developed to help doctors caring for patients with Ebola. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Digital tsunami to hit South African workplace

Source: fin24, by Gareth van Zyl, 19 March 2015

Johannesburg - Rising smartphone use in South Africa is boosting local internet growth, resulting in a wave of technology that is forecast to also impact places of work.

This is according to the Managing Director of research firm World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck, who was speaking at a Sony Mobile event in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Goldstuck said that smartphone usage in SA is expected to top 23.6 million users this year, up from 19 million in 2014.

This means that over half of all of South Africa’s estimated 42 million phone users have switched to smartphones.

Read more 

Amazon drone trial gets US regulator approval

Source: BBC News, 19 March 2015

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Amazon's plans to begin testing drones for online deliveries.

Read full article  

RDA Blog or Resource Description & Access Blog


RDA Blog or Resource Description & Access Blog is a blog on Resource Description and Access (RDA), a new library cataloging standard that provides instructions and guidelines on formulating data for resource description and discovery, organized based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), intended for use by libraries and other cultural organizations replacing Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). 

TED 2015: Terminator-inspired 3D printer 'grows' objects

The printer could be used to make replica bones or other medical appliances

Source: BBC News, by Jane Wakefield, 17 March 2015

A 3D printing process that harnesses light and oxygen has been demonstrated at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

Carbon3D said its "game-changing" process could make objects such as car parts, medical devices or shoes.

The technique was inspired by the film Terminator 2, in which the T-1000 robot rises from a pool of metallic liquid.

Read full article (includes video)

NISO Launches New Projects to Develop Standards for Bibliographic Vocabulary Exchange

Source: National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Announcement, 18 March 2015

The voting members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved three new projects to develop standards to better support exchange and interoperability of bibliographic data.

These projects were identified as high priorities in NISO’s Bibliographic Roadmap pre-standards initiative, which was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The goal of that project was to collectively determine the needs and requirements of the new bibliographic framework in a global, networked information environment and to develop community consensus for a roadmap of activities needed in this space. Following the issuance of the Bibliographic Roadmap final report in April 2014, NISO’s Content and Collection Management (CCM) Topic Committee evaluated the recommendations and prepared a new work item proposal focusing on three of the top prioritized areas: Vocabulary policies on use and reuse, Vocabulary documentation, and Vocabulary preservation requirements.

Read full announcement 

BOOK (2015) Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists

Editors: Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Laura Braunstein and Liorah Golomb for ACRL
Published: ACRL, 2015
312 pages, Softcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8767-4

Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists is a collection of essays focusing on the role of the subject specialist in creating, supporting, and promoting digital humanities projects.  Chapter authors include experts from diverse areas, such as humanities subject specialists, digital humanities librarians, special collections librarians, and professors and graduate students from many disciplines. 

This book, published in collaboration with the ACRL Literatures in English Section and with a foreword by Joan K. Lippincott, provides valuable discussions around the role of subject specialists in digital humanities, gives practical advice regarding support of and collaboration with digital humanities projects, and describes real-world examples to inspire subject specialists to increase their own knowledge and expertise.

Digital Humanities in the Library was edited by Arianne Hartsell-Gundy, Laura Braunstein, and Liorah Golomb, and is appropriate for all types of academic libraries and collections devoted to Library and Information Science.  

BOOK (2015) Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

Author: Bruce Schneier
Published: W.W. Norton & Company, 2 March 2015
400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0393244816

You are under surveillance right now.

Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you’re unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.

The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.

Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day. You’ll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again.  

Real-time holographic displays one step closer to reality

Rendered schematic of holographic pixels
in operation showing switching states.
Credit: Calum Williams
Source: Phys.org, 17 March 2015

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have designed a new type of pixel element and demonstrated its unique switching capability, which could make three-dimensional holographic displays possible.

Real-time dynamic holographic displays, long the realm of science fiction, could be one step closer to reality, after researchers from the University of Cambridge developed a new type of pixel element that enables far greater control over displays at the level of individual pixels. The results are published in the journal Physica Status Solidi.

Read full article  

Gunmen in Tunisia shoot dead tourists at National Bardo Museum

Paying respects ... Tunisians light candles at the entrance gate of the National Bardo Museum. Picture: AP/Michel Euler Image: AFP
Source: news.com.au, 19 March 2015

Prime Minister Habib Essid said the militants, who were dressed in military uniforms burst from a vehicle and began gunning down tourists climbing out of buses at the National Bardo Museum. The attackers then charged inside to take hostages before two were killed in a firefight with security forces.

Authorities launched a manhunt for two or three accomplices in the attack.

Read full article (includes video) 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sony Pictures | CHAPPIE — Hugh Jackman Sci-Fi Movie

Video Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release Date: March 6, 2015 

In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. But now, the people are fighting back. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. As powerful, destructive forces start to see Chappie as a danger to mankind and order, they will stop at nothing to maintain the status quo and ensure that Chappie is the last of his kind. 

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp 
Written by: Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell 
Produced by: Neill Blomkamp & Simon Kinberg 
Executive Producer: Ben Waisbren.

Robot capable of sorting through and folding piles of rumpled clothes

Source: Phys.org, 16 March 2015

Advancements in robotics have enabled humankind to automate a whole range of industrial processes, leading to more efficient and safer production and helping to expand our knowledge through scientific discovery. Why is it, however, that we can send a robot into space to take samples of Martian rocks, but still can't delegate the ironing to a household robot? 

The recently completed EU-funded CLOPEMA project may finally have a solution to this problem.

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Stolen Artifacts Returned to Iraq

This head of Sargon II has been returned to Iraq.
Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 

Source: LiveScience, by Megan Gannon, 16 March 2015

U.S. authorities turned over more than 60 stolen artifacts to Iraq Monday (March 16), including gold-plated items from Saddam Hussein's palace and a limestone head of the Assyrian king Sargon II from an ancient city that was recently wrecked by ISIS militants.

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BOOK (2015) AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World's Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors, and Unexplained Phenomena

Authors: Mitchell moffit and Greg Brown
Publisher: Scribner, 17 March 2015
256 pages
ISBN-13: 9781476756219

Bill Nye always maintains that science should be fun and nobody demonstrates that principle better than Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, the founders and keepers of YouTube's popular AsapSCIENCE vlog. 

In their very first book, this robust Canadian pair tackles questions large and pesky; from our need for sleep and whether cold temperatures really give us colds to a cure for hiccups and the cause of early morning eroticism. Entertaining illustrations and fun facts: the perfect combination for quirky science at its best. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

'Free' broadband fibre roll-out for South Africa

Source: fin24, by Duncan Alfreds, 17 March 2015

Cape Town - The dream of unlimited fibre broadband is a step closer for South Africans with the anticipated national roll-out of 123Net Fibre.

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VIDE0 (19:09) Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling: How not to be ignorant about the world

Published on Sep 11, 2014
How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.

Aeromobil's flying car will go on sale in 2017, company says

Source: CBC News, by Emily Chung, 15 March 2015

Ever wanted to buy a flying car? You only have a couple more years to wait, says a company that has built prototypes that can both drive and fly.

The flying roadster, a sporty two seater that transforms into a light sports aircraft, aims to go on sale in just two years from Slovakia-based Aeromobil.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

BOOK (2015) Library Robotics: Library Programs to Teach Technology Literacy and Reading, Ages 8 through 24

Author: Sarah Kepple
Publisher: Libraries Unlimited
Publication Date: 30 August 2015
140 pages
ISBN-13: 9781440835582

Robotics in the library? Absolutely. Robotics can add a new dimension to library programming—one that can help America's youth build the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) and 21st-century learning skills they will need to be successful in an international, technology-infused workforce. This book provides a complete guide for launching a robotics program in the library and demonstrates the links between robotics programming and learning. It also includes complete instructions for various program models that employ robotics.

Robotics programs are an ideal way for public and school libraries to demonstrate their vital roles as the hubs of community learning, and the subject is universally popular with students as well as parents and industrial funders. The book's clearly and succinctly written chapters begin by providing the information that librarians will need for stakeholders and to select equipment, then move logically into addressing guided activities and expansion ideas. Children's librarians, teen librarians, school media specialists (particularly those focused on middle school students), and adult and technology librarians looking to connect with "new adults" will find this book useful and appealing.  

Destiny surprises at the Bafta video game awards

Source: BBC News, by Leo Kelion, 12 March 2015

Destiny has been named as best game at 2015's British Academy Game Awards.

The post-apocalyptic first-person shooter was developed by Bungie. It was the US studio's first release after quitting the Halo series.

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