Friday, September 19, 2014

PhD (2013) Redefining the Internet service abstraction: from data pipes to information spaces

Title: Redefining the Internet service abstraction: from data pipes to information spaces
Author: Shvartzhnaider, Yan
Publisher: University of Sydney, Graduate School of Engineering & IT, School of Electrical & Information Engineering
Issue date: 3 December 2013
Abstract: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”— B. Fuller. The Internet has grown beyond simply interconnecting computers and has become a crucial enabler for today’s economy, also interconnecting people and businesses. It is a platform for innovation of systems and ideas. The Internet was originally designed for efficient data communication between end-devices, but this is an increasingly ill fitting model for today’s information centric services. We therefore argue for a network service model that instead focuses on interlinking information providers and consumers through a global information network (GIN). Information providers share information by publishing it into the GIN, so that it can be accessed and used by others for a variety of purposes such as annotation, synchronisation and creation of information. This global information network promises to provide a more robust and efficient service infrastructure on which distributed information-centric applications can be built. Internetworking information has the potential to lead to similar innovation leaps as the internetworking of data did over the last 30 years. This thesis describes the design goals and principals behind such service, a case study to illustrate how the service model is used and shows key substrates and their possible implementation.

ARTICLE (2013) Going places: challenging directions for the future of heritage studies

Dan Bendrups, (2014) Sound recordings and cultural heritage: the Fonck Museum, the Felbermayer collection, and its relevance to contemporary Easter Island culture. International Journal of Heritage Studies 20:, pages 1-11.

Heritage studies is reaching a key point of departure in its evolution in the academy. The stimulating reflections offered by Tunbridge et al. form part of a growing conversation about the future of research and teaching in the area. From their article,I feel the most important question they pose, and the theme I wish to respond to most directly here, is ‘Where is it all going?’

Thursday, September 18, 2014

VIDEO (1:52) Kindle Voyage hands-on - Amazon's new flagship e-reader

Tiny Implants Could Give Humans Self-Healing Superpowers

A concept drawing explains the goals of the ElectRX program. Credit: DARPA

Source: LiveScience, by Elizabeth Palermo, 18 September 2014

A new military-sponsored program aims to develop a tiny device that can be implanted in the body, where it will use electrical impulses to monitor the body's organs, healing these crucial parts when they become infected or injured.

Read full article  

Boom! Earth’s Population Could Hit 12 Billion by 2100

The years taken for every billion people to be added to the world's population, and the years that population was reached. (with future estimates). Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wired, by Brandon Keim, 18 September 2014

Earth is fast becoming a more crowded place — and it may become even more crowded than expected. According to a new projection of human population growth, there could very well be 12.3 billion people by century’s end, up to 2 billion more than some estimates.

Read full article  

IBM supercomputer Watson aims to help businesses

Source: BBC News, 17 September 2014

IBM's supercomputer Watson is being made available to businesses to answer tricky questions such as: "Which deals are most likely to close?"

Read full article  

BOOK (2014) Virtually human: the promise - and the peril - of digital immoratality

Title: Virtually human: the promise - and the peril - of digital immoratiality
Authors: Martine Rothblatt and Ray Kurzweil
Published: St Martin's Press, 9 September 2014
368 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250046635

Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness—simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives.  Meet Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone of Martine’s wife that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data in a Mindfile created by the real Bina.

If you’re active on Twitter or Facebook, share photos through Instagram, or blogging regularly, you’re already on your way to creating a Mindfile—a digital database of your thoughts, memories, feelings, and opinions that is essentially a back-up copy of your mind. Soon, this Mindfile can be made conscious with special software—Mindware—that mimics the way human brains organize information, create emotions and achieve self-awareness.

This may sound like science-fiction, but the nascent technology already exists. Thousands of software engineers across the globe are working to create cyberconsciousness based on human consciousness and the Obama administration recently announced plans to invest in a decade-long Brain Activity Map project. Virtually Human is the only book to examine the ethical issues relating to cyberconsciousness and Rothblatt, with a Ph.D. in medical ethics, is uniquely qualified to lead the dialogue. 

ARTICLE (2014) A research and class model for future library instruction in higher education

Kirsten Kinsley , Leslie Brooke Hill , Daniel Maier-Katkin , (2014) "A research and class model for future library instruction in higher education", New Library World, Vol. 115 Iss: 9/10, pp. - 

Describes a university library instruction and research model that represents a collaborative effort between faculty, libraries, and the campus reading writing center. It utilizes rigorous research methods in order to measure whether the classroom intervention impacts student perceptions and success outcomes.  

Lasers deliver brighter 3D films

Image: BBC News
Source: BBC News, 15 September 2014

Printing in 3D has been described as the "future of manufacturing" and is increasingly being used to make everything from film props to food.

The technology is also being used to make parts for motor racing cars. 

Read more and watch video  

ARTICLE (2014) The Other End of the Scale: Rethinking the Digital Experience in Higher Education

Thomas, W.G. and Lorang, E. (2014, 15 September) The Other End of the Scale: Rethinking the Digital Experience in Higher Education. EDUCAUSE review online  

It is time to rethink the digital experience in higher education: we have a chance not only to reimagine our encounters with the large scale but also to embrace our opportunities at the other end of the scale. 

InfoExtractor - Extract Relevant Information from Various Sources Like Blogs, YouTube, and Wikipedia

As a web service, InfoExtractor is a framework that helps you extract structured information from a supplied URL. For example, you can enter a URL of a YouTube video and InfoExtractor will extract a number of associated attributes (title, tags, view count, comments, etc.) in a format that can be easily exported, analyzed, or plugged into something else. 

As a web service, currently InfoExtractor understand video pages and user profile pages on YouTube, Wikipedia entries, blogcatalog, Huffington Post, The Foundry, and Facebook profile pages.


ARTICLE (2014) Collaborative search using an implicitly formed academic network

Somu Renugadevi , T.V. Geetha , R.L. Gayathiri , S. Prathyusha , T. Kaviya , (2014) "Collaborative search using an implicitly formed academic network", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 66 Iss: 5, pp.537 - 552

The purpose of this paper is to propose the Collaborative Search System that attempts to achieve collaboration by implicitly identifying and reflecting search behaviour of collaborators in an academic network that is automatically and dynamically formed. By using the constructed Collaborative Hit Matrix (CHM), results are obtained that are based on the search behaviour and earned preferences of specialist communities of researchers, which are relevant to the user's need and reduce the time spent on bad links. 

ARTICLE (2014) Openness in scholarly research: LIS should be leading by open example

David Stuart , (2014) "Openness in scholarly research: LIS should be leading by open example", Online Information Review, Vol. 38 Iss: 6, pp. - 

Open data is increasingly recognised as having huge potential for the advancement of science, but most author guidelines in library and information science (LIS) journals either do not have an explicit data policy or only a weak policy. It is important that LIS lead by example and have far stronger policies.  

VIDEO (27:13) T.B. Joshua Speaks On SCOAN Building Collapse - Nigeria (67 South Africans believed dead)

Statement from the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), with regard to the Friday, 12 September 2014, incident (building collapse).

See also:
Minister: Announcing Lagos deaths not delayed (News24, 17 September 2014)
A multi-storey guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, killing dozens of people. On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma put the South African death toll at 67. Local residents were believed to have been part of at least five South African tour groups lodging at the church.

Nigeria collapse: Anxious families wait for news (News24, 18 September 2014)
According to the latest reports, at least 70 people died and 130 were injured when the guesthouse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos collapsed last Friday. President Jacob Zuma announced late on Tuesday that 67 South Africans were believed to be among the dead.

Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, Nigeria. (Sunday Alamba, AP)

SA woman found alive in rubble in Nigeria (News24, 18 September 2014)
Lagos - A South African woman who was trapped in the rubble of the collapsed Synagogue Church of All Nations guesthouse in Lagos, Nigeria, for five days has been found uninjured by rescuers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (articles published/posted on 15 & 16 September 2014)

Nigeria health official display a leaflet explaining Ebola Virus Disease at the arrival hall of murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, 4 August 2014.
Image: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

Can Sierra Leone's economy survive? (CNN, 16 September 2014) - includes video
Sierra Leone is facing its toughest test to date. The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.

CDC issues Ebola checklist: 'Now is the time to prepare' (Washington Examiner, 15 September 2015)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warning hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare,” has issued a six-page Ebola “checklist” to help healthcare workers quickly determine if patients are infected.

China ups medics in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone (News24, 16 September 2014)
China will send more medics to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to help boost laboratory testing for the virus, raising the total number of Chinese medical experts there to 174, the UN said Tuesday.

Don't sit on the fence, help fight Ebola - Kofi Annan to African Leaders (Citifmonline, 16 September 2014)
Former United Nations’ (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan has asked other African leaders to pitch in to help the fight against the deadly Ebola virus which has claimed over 2,300 lives.

Ebola fight will cost $1.0bn, 20,000 cases on horizon: UN (Medical Xpress, 16 September 2014)
Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations said Tuesday, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end.

Figures accurate to 8-11 September, depending on country. Death toll in Liberia includes probable, suspect and confirmed cases, while in Sierra Leone and Guinea only confirmed cases are shown

Ebola: Mapping the outbreak (BBC News, 16 September 2014)
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976. 

Ebola mathematics stark warning of disease's spread (Wired, 15 September 2014)
The Ebola epidemic in Africa has continued to expand since I last wrote about it, and as of a week ago, has accounted for more than 4,200 cases and 2,200 deaths in five countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. That is extraordinary: Since the virus was discovered, no Ebola outbreak's toll has risen above several hundred cases. This now truly is a type of epidemic that the world has never seen before. In light of that, several articles were published recently that are very worth reading.

Emergency UN Security Council meeting on Ebola (News24, 16 September 2014)
The United States called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council Thursday on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, saying the situation on the ground is "dire" and getting worse every day.

Medical workers of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital of Monrovia wearing a protective suit work at the high-risk area of the hospital, the surgical section where Ebola patients are being treated.  Image: AFP

End 'panic' measures undermining fight against Ebola: Ghana (Fox News, 16 September 2014)
Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called for the easing of restrictions on West African nations fighting Ebola, saying "panic" measures had led to isolation and undermined the battle against the disease.

Fact or fiction? The Ebola virus will go airborne (Scientific American, 16 September 2014)
Could Ebola go airborne? That’s the fear set off last week by a New York Times op-ed entitled “What We’re Afraid to Say about Ebola” from Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Although clinicians readily agree that the Ebola virus leaps from one person to the next via close contact with blood and other bodily fluids, Osterholm warned that the risk of airborne transmission is “real” and “until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.”

Obama to announce expanded plan to fight Ebola (USA Today, 16 September 2014) - includes video
President Obama is expanding a $763 million military-led plan to help West Africa nations fight the spread of the Ebola virus and prevent it from reaching the United States, officials said Tuesday.

Medical charity: Time running out to stop Ebola (Medical Xpress, 16 September 2014)
International efforts to stop the accelerating spread of Ebola in West Africa were ramping up Tuesday, but a medical charity warned that the response is still dangerously behind and time is running out to act.

Rampant Ebola fear takes toll on Africa tourism (Yahoo!, 15 September 2014)
KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ebola is thousands of miles away from Kenya's pristine Indian Ocean beaches, but the deadly disease appears to be discouraging tourism there and elsewhere in this vast continent.

Sierra Leone News: Ghana President joins Salone in Ebola fight (Awoko, 16 September 2014)
It was exactly 1:43pm yesterday, when the Executive flight of Ghanaian President, John Duramani Mahama touched down on the Freetown International Airport situated at Lungi, and received by President’s Ernest Bai Koroma’s high-powered entourage constituting ministers and foreign diplomats.

Health workers waering personal protective equipment inside the contaminated area at the Elwa Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa (The Washington Post, 16 September 2014) - includes video
President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, according to senior administration officials.

US works to step up Ebola aid, but is it enough? (Yahoo!, 15 September 2014)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American strategy on Ebola is two-pronged: Step up desperately needed aid to West Africa and, in an unusual step, train U.S. doctors and nurses for volunteer duty in the outbreak zone. At home, the goal is to speed up medical research and put hospitals on alert should an infected traveler arrive.

Why the Ebola crisis won't end without military intervention (BloombergBusinessweek, 16 September 2014) 
Ebola has evoked our worst nightmares as it continues to outrun containment efforts. The staggering death toll of the disease, projected to rise exponentially, means the modern world faces a global crisis on par with the plagues of history. Unlike seven centuries ago, there are viable options to fight the disease on a global scale. The longer the world takes to exercise those options, however, the less effective and more costly they will become.  

Dell unveils new ultra-thin tablet

Source:, by Brian Gaar, 16 September 2014

Dell Inc. this week unveiled what some are calling the thinnest tablet on the market.

Company founder and CEO Michael Dell showed off the eight-inch device - which is only 6 millimeters thick, 20 percent thinner than an iPad Mini - this week at the 2014 Intel Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Read full article  

Stonehenge surrounded by mysterious buried monuments

Stonehenge in 2014 [Image: Wikipedia]

Source: NewScientist, by Sumit Paul-Choudhury, 10 September 2014

The landscape around Stonehenge has yielded hidden treasure: 17 previously unknown ritual monuments, a "house of the dead" predating the stone circle, and what appears to be a ceremonial route around Stonehenge itself.

Read full article  

Dungeons and Dragons vs the art of business strategy

Source: Bits and pieces, by Simon Wardley, 26 August 2014

For anyone under the illusion that business is some bastion of strategic play then can I suggest you spend a few minutes either watching an experienced group play D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) or an organised raid on WoW (world of warcraft). Those people tend to use levels of strategic and tactical play that businesses can only dream of.

Read full article  

Omaha Public Library's Book Bike

Thr Book Bike [Image: Lisnews]

Source: Omaha Public Library

Omaha Public Library is committed to not only inviting the community into its libraries, but also to meeting them where they are with needed library services. Thanks to funding through the Omaha Public Library Foundation, the library will be able to travel to community events using its new Book Bike! The Book Bike offers a variation to traditional bookmobile services, delivering books, information, library cards, and so much more to the community.

Read more 

Uncovering Hidden Text on a 500-Year-Old Map That Guided Columbus

The 1491 Martellus map
Image: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript library, Yale University

Source: Wired, by Greg Miller, 15 September 2014

Christopher Columbus probably used the map above as he planned his first voyage across the Atlantic in 1492. It represents much of what Europeans knew about geography on the verge discovering the New World, and it’s packed with text historians would love to read—if only the faded paint and five centuries of wear and tear hadn’t rendered most of it illegible.

But that’s about to change.

Read full article  

How Africa's first education tablet computer was created

The Qelasy tablet is pre-loaded with the entire school curriculum
Image: BBC News

Source: BBC News, by Tamasin Ford, 15 September 2014

Thierry N'Doufou's three eldest children tumble out of the car; the little one trips over her school bag as she tries to work out what to do with her break-time snack.

"We continue to go to school here as we went to school 100 years ago," says the 36-year-old entrepreneur.

"The same heavy backpack, the same blackboard with the same chalk."

And that heavy backpack is what Mr N'Doufou is hoping to lighten by introducing a bespoke tablet computer made specifically for schools in Ivory Coast. 

Read full article  

Monday, September 15, 2014

VIDEO (9:08) Channels Book Club: Pyramid Education Advancement Community Library Project

Traces of the past: rock art and life in ancient North Africa

Source: British Museum Blog, by Victoria Suzman, 15 September 2014

The African rock art image project team here at the British Museum is currently cataloguing photographs of rock paintings and engravings from Libya, Morocco and Algeria to add to the British Museum’s Collection database. Already, over 4,000 records from these countries, as well as from Egypt and Sudan, can be seen online. You can find out why we’re cataloguing almost 25,000 images from the archives of the Trust for African Rock Art by reading our previous blog post.

Read full article  

New algorithm enables MIT cheetah robot to run and jump, untethered, across grass

Source:, by Jennifer Chu, 15 September 2014

Speed and agility are hallmarks of the cheetah: The big predator is the fastest land animal on Earth, able to accelerate to 60 mph in just a few seconds. As it ramps up to top speed, a cheetah pumps its legs in tandem, bounding until it reaches a full gallop.

Now MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for bounding that they've successfully implemented in a robotic cheetah—a sleek, four-legged assemblage of gears, batteries, and electric motors that weighs about as much as its feline counterpart. The team recently took the robot for a test run on MIT's Killian Court, where it bounded across the grass at a steady clip.

Read full article and watch video  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Will Apple's digital wallet kill the card swipe?

Apple iPhone. Image: Duncan Alfreds, Fin24

Source: fin24, 14 September 2014

New York - Apple wants the plastic credit card to become as rare as the paper check.

On Tuesday, the company announced Apple Pay, a digital payment system that lets people pay for retail store purchases using their phones rather than cash or credit cards.

Read full article  

Shakespearean academics clash over 'conspiracy theories'

The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. National Portrait Gallery, London.
Image: Wikipedia

Source: The Telegraph, by Graeme Paton, 11 September 2014

Shakespeare wasn’t immune to throwing around the odd insult, penning some of the greatest put-downs in the history of the English language.

“Thine face is not worth sunburning”; “Thou art as fat as butter”; “You are as a candle, the better part burnt out”.

But now the Bard himself is at the centre of some distinctly colourful language after academics traded blows over the publication of a Shakespearean journal.

The row erupted when one professor submitted a paper in which he cited evidence that poems and plays attributed to the “man from Stratford” were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. 

Read full article  

South Africa Business Forecast Report (22 July 2014)

The South Africa Business Forecast Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in South Africa and is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market. 

An influential new analysis of South Africa's economic, political and financial prospects through end-2018, just published by award-winning forecasters, Business Monitor International (BMI). 

Key Uses: 

  • Forecast the pace and stability of South Africa's economic and industry growth through end-2018. 
  • Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation. 
  • Assess the critical shortcomings of the business environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability. 
  • Contextualise South Africa's country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Rankings system. 
  • Evaluate external threats to doing business in South Africa, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies. 

The South Africa Business Forecast Report by Business Monitor International (BMI) includes four major sections: Economic Outlook, Political Outlook, Business Environment and Key Sector Outlook. 

Core views:

  • The South African economy will grow at a tepid rate over the medium term, with real GDP expanding by just 1.8% in 2014 and 2.3% in 2015. Our below-consensus view is predicated on several factors including weak investment sentiment and the ongoing retrenchment in the gold and platinum mining sectors. 
  • South Africa's current account deficit will shrink to 4.6% of GDP in 2014 and 3.9% in 2015 - following a shortfall of 5.8% in 2013 - thanks to recovering export growth and subdued import demand. The deficit will be covered by capital and financial inflows, meaning that a repeat of the sharp rand depreciation seen in mid-2013 is unlikely. 
  • President Jacob Zuma's position looks more secure due to the relative success of the ruling African National Congress at the May 2014 elections. The composition of the new cabinet suggests that more indecision on economic policy lies ahead, but some of the appointments are positive for investors and there are early signs of progress regarding the hugely damaging strike in the platinum sector.

More information:   

Sega unveils interactive sandbox arcade machine

Images are projected over the sand based on the shapes created by the players. Image: BBC News

Source: BBC News, 12 September 2014

Japanese video-game company Sega is developing an arcade machine that is controlled by shapes made in a box full of specialised sand.

In a video on its YouTube channel, the firm shows children sculpting landscapes and objects, which are recognised by the device.

A detailed image is then projected on to the sand, marking out water, greenery, and even wildlife.

Read full article    

BOOK (2013) Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice

Title: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice
Editors: Rory McGreal, Wanjira Kinuthia and Stewart Marshall
Managing Editor: Tim McNamara
Published by Commonwealth of Learning and Athabasca University, Vancouver, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-894975-62-9  

Contributions in this volume provide insights, experience-based case studies and analyses which will help readers grasp the essential contours of the OER value chain. 

College in a Box - Textbook gaints are now teaching classes

Source: Slate, by Gabriel Kahn, 4 September 2014

This summer, Chad Mason signed up for online general psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This spring, Jonathan Serrano took intro to psychology online at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey.

Though the two undergraduates were separated by more than 600 miles, enrolled in different institutions, and paying different tuitions, they were taking what amounts to the same course. That’s because the course wasn’t produced by either school. Instead, it was a sophisticated package devised by publishing giant Pearson PLC and delivered through a powerful online platform called MyPsychLab.

Read full article  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Red Cross digitizes World War I prisoner files

Source: The Local, Switzerland, 4 September 2014

Marking the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross has digitized its files documenting the fate of two million prisoners during the 1914-1918 war.


The haul of files is searchable at 

Read full article   

Publishers Gave Away 122,951,031 Books During World War II

U.S. soldiers reading books from a military library in their barracks in Northern Ireland February 24, 1942. Image: AP

Source: The Atlantic, by Yoni Appelbaum, 10 September 2014

In 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, America's book publishers took an audacious gamble. They decided to sell the armed forces cheap paperbacks, shipped to units scattered around the globe. Instead of printing only the books soldiers and sailors actually wanted to read, though, publishers decided to send them the best they had to offer. Over the next four years, publishers gave away 122,951,031 copies of their most valuable titles.

Read full article  

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Pipe - Self-Published Design, Technology, and Business eBooks Hand-Picked Just For You

Andy Johnson, a UI, UX, visual product designer from Columbus, Ohio, USA, explains:

"During my casual strolls around the internet I’m frequently running into books written by really smart people on the topics of design, technology, and business. These books are typically self-published, promoted on the authors' own websites, and raved about by a small following of fans. The Pipe is my own curated list of these books, some of which I’ve read, while others I look forward to reading.

I try to avoid listing any self-published books on The Pipe that feel too spammy, or that give the impression of being filled with only fluff. If the book’s website looks like an 80s infomercial with a shrewd ulterior motive, I usually won’t give it a second look. But if I’ve read a book and recommend it, or have a good reason to trust the author, and the topic is something that catches my attention, I’ll add it to The Pipe.

I’m hoping as The Pipe grows it becomes a useful resource for both readers and authors, especially those who focus on the topics of design, technology, and business. If a reader discovers a new book that provides some answers and entertainment, or an author receives some helpful promotion because of this site, then mission accomplished."


WHO: World Health Statistics

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a vast array of materials on global public health statistics for policy makers, journalists, and other such folks. On the site, visitors can look over reports dating back to 2005 and they are welcome to download specific sections or the entire report if so desired. Reports are usually available in at least three languages (French, Spanish, and English) and they include coverage of the health-related millennium Development Goals, global health indicators, and a number of appendices. Additionally, users can also look over specific country statistics and an elaborate map gallery.  


Friend or foe? Robots could be either. You might even marry one

Source:, by Eric Matson, 11 September 2014

When Purdue University professor Eric Matson teaches his robotics class, he asks his students a simple question on the first day. Would you consider marrying a robot? 

Generally, after they stop laughing, about 99 percent of the class will say no, no way. But by the end of the semester, with the students now schooled in robotics and the possibility of advancing technology that could lead to a truly human-like robot, Matson finds that 40 to 50 percent of the class now sees enough merit in a robot spouse to at least consider it.

Read more 

Training computers to understand the language of music

Researchers could make life easier for music producers. Image: BBC News

Source: BBC News, by Michael Eyre, 10 September 2014

We often describe songs using terms like "warm" and "dreamy" - but do these words mean anything to a computer?

New software presented at the British Science Festival aims to give music producers the power to manipulate sounds more intuitively.

Read full article  

ARTICLE (2014) Beyond the Scanned Image: A Needs Assessment of Scholarly Users of Digital Collections

Title: Beyond the Scanned Image: A Needs Assessment of Scholarly Users of Digital Collections 
Authors: Harriett E Green and Angela courtney
Source: College & Research Libraries, 1 July 2015 (Preprint accepted: 25 July 2014) 
(37 pages, pdf)

This paper presents an analysis of how humanities scholars utilize digital collections in their research and the ways in which digital collections could be enhanced for scholarly use. The authors surveyed and interviewed humanities faculty from twelve research universities about their research practices with digital collections and present analysis of the resulting responses.

The paper also analyzes a sample of qualitative responses from the Bamboo Technology Project’s workshops with faculty, librarians, and technologists about the use and functionalities of digital materials for humanities research. This paper synthesizes these data analyses to propose the critical need for interoperability and data curation in digital collections to increase their scholarly use, and the importance of user engagement in development of digital collections.  

Macmillan titles now available to consortia!

Source: OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog (11 September 2014)

Macmillan Publishers has made the decision to begin selling their eBooks to library consortia!


Macmillan eBooks are Metered Access eBooks available for 52 checkouts or a 24-month timeframe, whichever comes first. Independent library systems will continue the access they previously enjoyed, and are not impacted by this announcement. 

Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Public Library and Its Relationship to Leader-Member Exchange and Perceived Supervisor Support

Title: Organizational Citizenship Behavior in the Public Library and Its Relationship to Leader-Member Exchange and Perceived Supervisor Support
Author: Rubin, Rachel G, PhD
Source: Simmons College, 2014 [DAI-A 75/08(E), Feb 2015]
Source type: Dissertation
ISBN: 9781303873881

Abstract (Summary):
Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) has been studied extensively in a variety of settings for the last thirty years. There has been no research, however, on OCB in the public library environment. OCB is grounded on the premise that helping others in the organization, even when such behavior is unrewarded, has a cumulative effect that is beneficial both for individual staff members and for the organization as a whole. This focus on "helpful" behaviors is especially relevant for a field such as public librarianship, given its foundation on altruistic ideals.

This dissertation begins to address the lack of research on organizational citizenship behaviors in public libraries by examining the relationship among OCB and two of its correlates: Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and perceived supervisor support. Analysis of data reveals that OCB shows a statistically significant correlation with both LMX and perceived supervisor support, but that perceived supervisor support is a more powerful predictor of OCB in the workplace studied. One of the primary findings of this research is that institutions wishing to encourage OCB must focus not only on the citizenship behaviors of front-line staff, but also on the skills of the middle managers and other managerial leaders who directly oversee them. Immediate supervisors play a critical role in facilitating OCB by maintaining high quality exchange relationships with, and demonstrating consistent support for, their supervisees. This finding has practical importance not only for how managerial leaders should be expected to perform, but also for their hiring, training, and development.

Organizational citizenship behavior has been shown to impact positively traditional work outcomes such as effectiveness and productivity, as well as attitudinal and behavioral outcomes such as organizational commitment and engagement. This research affirms the importance of OCB as an organizational construct and highlights its potential for the public library environment. Further, it provides practical methods for fostering and maintaining a workplace culture that values and encourages citizenship behaviors. This study will be of particular interest to library administrators, human resource managers, and those in managerial leadership positions as they seek to hire for, train, develop, and retain both managerial and front-line staff who demonstrate behaviors that improve interpersonal relationships and organizational effectiveness.