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Comment: Re:Amazon (Score 2) 165

by darnkitten (#47668547) Attached to: Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

Oddly enough, as a small rural librarian, (small library, that is--I am over 6' and overweight :) ), I also purchase obscure ex-library books on Amazon or half.com, for myself, for patrons who can't-or-won't-use-the-internet, and for my library's collection. I can't say I've had any interest in your reading list locally (though it sounds fascinating), but we've purchased reprints of obscure pre-colonial religious texts, archaeological texts on the Vikings, the Kievan Rus, and prehistoric Britain, German-language texts on the period of WWII, and a variety of sociological texts (sociology of American military base design, anyone?). most of these have been at the request of patrons.

Ask--you might well have a local librarian who can justify purchasing interesting reading material from Amazon so that others in your community can enjoy them as well.

BTW, have you thought of thought of joining an online book-lending program? You could be someone else's lending library and someone else could be yours, as well...

Comment: Re:selection (Score 1) 165

by darnkitten (#47668465) Attached to: Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

You might check if your library is considering joining a lending group or partnership. My library is currently a member of a 10-library lending group spread over three counties. We have a volunteer courier system that moves books between libraries fairly efficiently and a shared catalog that allows you to order or borrow from any library in the group. This allows us to specialize in some of the less popular or more obscure materials instead of all having to carry the "popular titles or oft-read items like magazines, romance novels, recent biographies, etc" and to tailor our collections in more interesting ways. My small rural library library has started collecting fiction and non-fiction books published in the UK and Australia, films based on books, and obscure mystery and sci-fi series, while another library in the group collects all the popular political books, thus sparing the rest of us that expense. This last month, almost a fifth of my library's physical checkouts were ordered from other libraries and and we loaned out about two-thirds of that total to other libraries (mostly from the obscure series). It works well enough we are negotiating to join a nearby 7-library system and another 90-something-library system, though that might require us to pay for courier services.

In addition, we offer interlibrary loan services, and have borrowed from as far away as Alaska and Florida. We have ordered academic materials in support of local patrons pursuing graduate degrees and for homeschooling families (we help to cover costs for academic .interlibrary requests, but request return postage for other requests beyond a certain amount). Additionally, many journal articles, some textbook chapters, and similar materials can be provided free as electronic copies through ILL.

I would ask your librarian directly, though. For some inexplicable reason, some libraries don't publicize the the many fine services they offer.

Comment: Re:My local library (Score 1) 165

by darnkitten (#47668351) Attached to: Why the Public Library Beats Amazon
More likely, your library provides e-books through Overdrive or a similar service, but because you have a Kindle or are downloading a Kindle-format book, Amazon requires your library checkouts to go through the Amazon site before you can download, so they can serve you a few ads and offer you the "opportunity" to purchase the book instead of checking it out. Other brands of e-readers may do something similar, or may allow you to check out through the Overdrive site and read if you have the appropriate DRM software installed. The publishers don't trust libraries enough to allow us to check e-books out to you directly or without DRM.

Comment: Re:Libraries are one thing Amazon is not (Score 1) 165

by darnkitten (#47668219) Attached to: Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

My library's online catalog is scheduled to have a "browse" function--you will be able to see a row of covers in shelf order that you can swipe/scroll along for that kind of discovery. Unfortunately, it won't duplicate the rows above and below, as I would have liked for that shelf-jumping serendipity of discovery, but it will allow a combined browse of all 10 libraries in our user group as if all our books were shelved together.

Of course, Sirsi-Dynix (the company providing the system) has been promising us this new version for, what, three years now? .

"Sometime this year, my arse...".

+ - Murder suspect asked Siri where to hide a dead body->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Florida man currently on trial for murder reportedly attempted to use Siri to garner ideas about where to bury the body of his dead roomate. According to police allegations, a University of Florida student named Pedro Bravo murdered his roomate via strangulation in late September of 2012 over a dispute involving Bravo's ex- girlfriend.

According to a detective working the case, Bravo subsequently fired up Siri on his iPhone and asked it "I need to hide my roomate.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down as Sole Astronaut Quits->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The entire South Korean space programme has been forced to shut down after its only astronaut resigned for personal reasons.

Yi So-yeon, 36, became the first Korean in space in 2008 after the engineer was chosen by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to lead the country's $25m space project.

Her resignation asked questions of KARI regarding whether she was the right person to lead the programme and whether the huge cost of sending her into space was a waste of taxpayer's money."

Link to Original Source

+ - Fugitive child sex abuser caught by facial-recognition technology

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A US juggler facing child sex abuse charges, who jumped bail 14 years ago, has been arrested in Nepal, after the use of facial-recognition technology. Street performer Neil Stammer travelled to Nepal eight years ago using a fake passport under the name Kevin Hodges. New facial-recognition software matched his passport picture with a wanted poster the FBI released in January. Mr Stammer, who had owned magic shop in New Mexico, has now been returned to the US state to face trial. The Diplomatic Security Service, which protects US embassies and checks the validity of US visas and passports, had been using FBI wanted posters to test the facial-recognition software, designed to uncover passport fraud. The FBI has been developing its own facial-recognition database as part of the bureau's Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme."

+ - Eliminating comments on publication websites? -> 1

Submitted by sixoh1
sixoh1 (996418) writes "Nicholas Jackson at Pacific Standard suggests that internet comments are permanently broken (in response to an issue Jezebel is having with violent misogynist GIFs and other inappropriate commentary). He argues that blogs are a good-enough solution to commentary and dialog across the internet.

This seems to hold true for most broad-interest sites like newspapers and magazines where comments can be downright awful, as opposed to sites like Slashdot with a self-selected and somewhat homogenous audience. It seems unlikely that using only blogs for responsive dialog with authors and peers could come close to matching the feedback and community feel of comments such as we see here.

Is there a technical solution, or is this a biological problem imposed on the internet..."

Link to Original Source

+ - DEFCON's Latest Challenge: Hacking Altruism->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "A casual observer at the latest DEFCON conference in Las Vegas might not have noticed much change from last year — still tons of leather, piercing, and body art, still groups of men gathered in darkened ballroons furiously typing commands. But this year there's a new focus: hacking not just for the lulz, but focusing specifically on highlighting comptuer security problems that have the potential to do real-world physical harm to human beings."
Link to Original Source

+ - Safeguard Justice! (.sj)

Submitted by howcome
howcome (618813) writes "Norway has two unused TLDs: one for the Svalbard and Jan Mayen (.sj) and one for Bouvet Island (.bv). I have an idea for how to use them to enhance privacy: when opening these domains for registration, we require registrants to follow certain rules. For a start, we could require files to be stored in Norway (to ensure Norwegian jurisdiction, which is slightly better than som other places) and mandatory encryption. Further, there could be restrictions on cookies (time-outs?), and standardized URLs for deleting personal information (e.g., www.example.com/forgetme). Maybe we should require registrants to provide legible user agreements rather than today's confusing legal documents which we all claim to have read and understood. I've written up the idea in an article and there will be an open hearing (in Norwegian) on in September. I need help formulating more concrete proposals which balance meaningful privacy enhancements with creating compelling domains for registrants. Can the names of remote arctic islands give us shelter?"

Comment: Re:I am not colorblind (Score 1) 267

by darnkitten (#47626447) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Also, color sensitivity may decrease with age. My maternal grandmother was, by the time she died, was only able to perceive highly saturated colors--everything else was either muddy brown or grey. I've also noticed that my mother, who is an artist now in her 60s, is losing the ability to distinguish subtle shades of various colors. As for color-blindness, my father was red-green colorblind, but while its effects was barely noticeable when he was in his 20s-30s, by the time he was in his 70s it was becoming a serious problem.

I get my eyes tested annually.

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel

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