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Submission + - Legislating the Language of "Illiegal Aliens" (ala.org)

tiltowait writes: Last month, the U.S. Library of Congress announced the Subject Heading "Illegal Aliens" would be replaced with the terms "Noncitizens" and "Unauthorized immigration." Subject Headings serve as standard cataloging labels to make tagged items easier to find, and have likewise evolved to more accurately reflect the language of the day (previous headings include "Negroes" and so on). Last week, Tea Party Caucus member Diane Black introduced a bill (the Stopping Partisan Policy at the Library of Congress Act) to halt this renaming process. More recently, an appropriations rider was added to force the Library of Congress to retail the "aliens" designation, as the term is used in the United States Code. Given that we can't use a dead tongue for taxonomy, what is the appropriate method of cutting the language down to the bone?

Comment Doctorow's Law (Score 0) 28

I'm glad this was fixed, but for several days I had a bricked device (you ended stuck on the activation screen, with no option to skip that process) and in a situation best summed up by Cory Doctorow: “Anytime someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn’t give you the key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.”

Submission + - 20 Hollow Copyright Claims

tiltowait writes: Slashdot readers should be familiar with most if not all of these, but the list of 20 Hollow Copyright Claims is a somber reminder of the current sorry state of intellectual property laws in the United States--as anyone who’s encountered a paywall or a takedown notice (or remembers Slashdot's run-in with Scientology) can attest. It serves as a call to arms that we not lose sight of the benefits to sharing knowledge.

Comment Re:This makes no sense (Score 1) 424

Old library catalogs and databases, which are still around, work this way. The problem is that unless you've been trained to do non-intuitive things like omit initial articles from titles ("Old Man and the Sea" instead of "The Old Man and the Sea"), they don't work. This causes far more problems than an expert searcher grousing about having to occasionally add back in +/- operators to search for a known it

Comment Another AOL example, phone booth (Score 1) 406

Here's a similar gem, made by Steve Case in 1997, in response to gripes from people unable to connect to swamped AOL servers after their switch to unlimited hours:

Just as you would be sensitive about using a public phone booth if others were waiting in line to use it . . . try to show some restraint at night during the next few months when we're in this transitional mode.

In other words, it's your fault for trying to use what you've paid for.

Comment Re:Low estimate (Score 1) 70

Yes, point taken... "My entire profession" should be "Libraries" above.

As a reference librarian, my main goal is to be Bablyon 5. I'd love it if we succeeded in creating a powerful enough search and retrieval tool with an intuitive interface that negated the need for library user instruction. My career mission is to work towards this ideal. It would, just as how B5 succeeded in its mission so much so that it was no longer necessary, make a large part of what librarians now do obsolete.

Books

Submission + - [Ponies!] Vatican to Digitize Prohibited Archives (tk421.net) 2

tiltowait writes: [in case you want to queue up something for tomorrow... :o] Hot on the heels of their successful iPhone app and drive-through confessional, the BBC News reports that the Vatican has announced plans to digitize their pornography collection and make it available online to paying subscribers. Given what the church has planned for the project's profits, here's hoping they learn lessons from the the New York Times paywall loopholes. Is anyone in on the Indulgentia beta?

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