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Archive for December, 2008

Newton TAB publisher sues New York Times Co. over Web site

The national media syndicate GateHouse Media owns 125 local newspapers in Massachusetts, and runs the Wicked Local local news sites. The Boston Globe is not part of GateHouse Media. The Globe has started its own local sites, such as this one in Newton, MA. The Globe’s local sites run lots of news from the Globe, but they also aggregate local headlines from other sources, including from GateHouse. Those headlines link to the original sites, of course.

So, GateHouse now has sued the Globe’s parent for copyright and trademark infringement, because GateHouse would prefer that no one know about or care about what it writes.

GateHouse is apparently unsure of how this whole Web thang works. Plus, the company’s lawyers skipped class the day Fair Use was discussed. Bad combination. Bad for GateHouse. Bad for the Web.

By the way, the title of this post is the headline from the Newton Tab, a GateHouse publication.

PS: There’s some feisty coverage of this in Cape Cod Today. [Tags: ]

Later: Dan Gillmor raises good points, unsurprisingly. He usefully complicates the issue.

Free the metadata!

The University of Huddersfield is making publicly available the metadata about the circulation of its books — 3 million transactions — over the past thirteen years. This includes a book’s ISBN, number of times it’s been checked out, by which academic department. (It does not include information about individual borrowers.)

BTW, the library used LibraryThing’s ISBN lookup service to derive some of the ISBNs, and it includes “FRBR-ish” data, i.e., other books that may be closely related.

(Thanks to Seb Schmoller’s post for the tip.)

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BugLabs has named a breakout board after Eric von Hippel, open innovation guru and Berkman Fellow. Here’s an interview with Eric, in which he says, among other things: “Users are becoming the dominant innovators”:

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On air: My love-hate relationship with my Kindle

Well, hate is too strong a word. But so is love.

Anyway, here’s a segment I did for the public radio show Here and Now on the little buff beast.

The show (quite reasonably) edited out my ragging on the Kindle as a tool for scholarly research: Not only are the note-taking and underlining functionalities too poorly implemented to actually use, but Kindle’s data format doesn’t note where the physical pages begin and end so there’s no good way to cite a passage that you read on the device.

I hope and assume that the next version will take care of the problem caused by the fact that almost all the edges of the Kindle are buttons so it’s hard to hold it without turning a page. But I doubt the next rev will make the big change I’m waiting for: A networked reading device that redefines reading as a social, networked activity.

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Media Re:Public from Berkman

The Berkman Center’s Media Re:Public project assessing the state of the media (old school and citizen/participatory) is now out. (The papers are here.)

The report points to six issues, which I’m paraphrasing rather crudely:

1. Traditional media are scaling back their reporting because they’re going broke.

2. Their webby equivalents are not replacing all their functions.

3. Online news sources are not uniformly reliable, and not everyone knows that.

4. Not everyone is online anyway.

5. Some of the functions not being replaced online are really important, but we don’t yet have good business models for them.

6. We don’t have good data about what’s really going on.

This status report tries to bring some empiricism to the cheerleading (guilt as charged). It also pairs up nicely with a 2005 report about a Berkman conference that brought bloggers and mainstream journalists together for 1.5 days of frank discussions.

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Twalala for Twitterflittering

Mamamusings points to Twalala, which shows you your Twitter stream on your iPhone (of which I don’t have), but includes what look to be some useful filters. For example, you can “mute” someone who perhaps is twittering some event excessively (= me). You can use Twalala in your Web browser, too.

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Ethanz on the danger of like loving like

No, Ethan Zuckerman has not come out against same sex marriage. Rather, the Christian Science Monitor has a perfectly wonderful article by Vijaysree Venkatraman about Ethan’s concern that we spend too much time on line reading that which confirms our views and hanging out with people like us. Nice photo of him as well…

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Tagging the Twittersphere

Tweetag automatically creates tags for tweets and shows you the tag cloud for any term you’re looking for. At the moment, it only looks at the past 24 hours’ tags, a limitation the Belgian folks behind this hope to remove if they get a little money coming in.

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Multimedia aggregation point

Apture, a free app I’ve been using on this site for many months, enriches links. You select a phrase in your blog and click the magic button, and Apture suggests links to you from multiple sources and in multiple formats. You select the ones you want, and Apture then puts a link in your post that, when clicked, pops up the selected info, and will play even play the selected video or whatever that. For example, here’s an Apture link that will display info about Madonna that I’ve selected.

Now Apture has done a special data collection for Congresspeople. Great idea. In this sample from the Washington Post, Click on the little Congressional dome next to the linked Congressperson’s name to see an example.

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Connecting authors and books

Seb Chan blogs about the fascinating possibilities opened by the OCLC connecting their WorldCat record of library holdings with their collection of info about authors (WorldCat Identities), and making it available via an API. (Via Hanan Cohen)

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