I'm going to highlight NPR's revised linking policy once and (hopefully) only once. As Cory notes over at Boing Boing and as David notes over at TeleRead, NPR still doesn't seem to "get it." Apparently the form for formally requesting to link is gone, but they still reserve the right to withdraw the permission they aren't formally giving anymore.
Here's how I think the folks at NPR should think of linking: news sources. When NPR does a story about any given subject and they interview someone, it doesn't imply an endorsement. Their reporters don't stop using quotes or audio excerpts because in a sense, that's journalistic linking. You get to hear that person's words from the horse's mouth, in context. And that's all linking is - providing a direct route to the horse's mouth. A linker might add commentary around the link, but the link itself points back to the original without the commentary. Therefore, no endorsement.
So if the NPR staff takes a moment to think about linking in that context, they'll realize how unrealistic and restrictive their policy is. Imagine NPR without external sources for their stories. It's difficult to do because it would pretty much become talk radio. Better yet, imagine an interviewee in an NPR story calling them up after a segment airs and saying, "I disapprove of what you said, I don't endorse your story, and I demand that you take it down from your site immediately." All of a sudden, NPR calls journalistic smackdown on the interviewee, cries ethics, and refuses. As they should - no self-respecting capital "J" Journalism outfit should ever rescind a story because the subject doesn't like it.
Same thing with the web. Why should bloggers or anyone else have to get sanction from NPR in order to link to the horse's mouth? The web without unrestricted linking is like NPR without external sources - it just doesn't work because it removes the very foundation upon which the service is built. It takes away the connectedness, context, and flow.
Hopefully NPR will eventually come to this realization, because all they're really going to do is waste their own time and resources tracking links, sanctioning links, and paying lawyers to send threatening letters, all the while becoming the butt of an ever-growing web joke meme. You can bet that every story about linking ever will refer to NPR and that it will become the poster child for web cluelessness.
I don't think that's the end of the horse NPR wants to be seen as.
Now this is an excellent resource! Put up by the Government Information Locator Service (GILS) folks in Utah, this one-page tutorial gives a brief overview of RSS, what it looks like, aggregators (they call them "viewers"), how to locate feeds, how to create your own feeds, how to validate your RSS, and more.
I r-e-a-l-l-y need to get these people to talk to the folks at the Illinois State Library so that they'll understand my vision of news aggregation for Illinois libraries.
Amen, hallelujah, and pass the salt! This is a good overview of why you want RSS in your life, a complement to Steven's article that goes into more depth (another good electronic handout). And the author is right that it's the fact that I get to choose the links (the mix of capital "J" Journalism, little "j" journalism, flotsam, jetsam, and favorites) that's the key.
Here's the thing, though. I need a second generation aggregator, like, yesterday. I need to be able to filter my aggregator the way I do my email, and today was a perfect example of that. I need to be able to send every post with the word "Worldcom" or "pledge" into a trash folder. Oy vey already.
Just got back a little while ago from seeing Minority Report. I'm trying to think of something witty or profound to say about it, but the only word I can think of at the moment is "wow." Ernie - go tomorrow! It's easily the best movie I've seen in the last year or longer, and it's definitely the best science fiction movie to come along in quite some time (probably since The Matrix). Why? Because the science is integrated, integral yet in the background, and consistent. Well, except for one thing that is the movie's one major weakness, but I won't go into that because it could spoil a plot point for others.
Naturally, I was enjoying the realizations of e-ink, animated ads, and wireless.
I don't even like Tom Cruise and I give this one three thumbs up!
I wish this was available now!
Can someone please explain to me why all of a sudden the media has chosen this exact moment to note that digital files can be circulated to more than one patron at a time? This is not new(s). Then please find me a single example of a library doing this, on its own, with copyrighted material. netLibrary, eBrary, Books24x7, Audible, etc. are companies, NOT LIBRARIANS, and these companies impose strict restrictions on simultaneous use. With each one, libraries can let more than one person at a time use a file ONLY IF THEY PAY FOR SIMULTANEOUS ACCESS.
In other words, libraries have to buy multiple copies of digital files if they want to circulate multiple copies of digital files. It's no different than in the print world, thanks to the companies behind these services. I challenge you to find a single library that is circulating copyrighted content to more than one patron at a time without paying for the privilege of doing so.
And by the way, the 5.8 million ebooks downloaded from the University of Virginia - they're all public domain works at their Electronic Text Center, not titles from the library's catalog. It's disappointing to see Darwin fanning the flames of a fire that doesn't need to exist. The author would have had no foundation for this article if he'd bothered to even talk to a librarian.
Shame on him and shame on Darwin for publishing this.
I'd post the picture, but I'm afraid of copyright violations (is the photo copyrighted?), although you can see it on MSNBC's site. Besides just being cool, this story highlights the problems faced by preservationists. How much of the content that was on 5-1/4" floppies has been preserved? Not that anyone saw it as a serious format for historical preservation, but anything contained solely on those disks is probably gone. The more you lock something up in one format - especially one that is encrypted and proprietary (yeah, I'm looking your way, Mr. Entertainment Industry) - the less of a chance there is that it will be around in ten years, let alone 50 or centuries.
This round-up of online music services illustrates perfectly the problem with this industry. Here's the service they recommend:
Check out the RealOne review, where CNET rates the service a 7 out of 10. That's generous, compared to the 93% of 63 user opinions that give it a thumbs down. One of the positive reviewers doesn't even use RealOne for what should be the main purpose - purchasing and listening to digital music. Instead, the person says it's "not a bad subscription to preview music before you buy the CD." Talk about missing the point. I shouldn't have to pay to preview any music, thank you very much.
Then head over to the Pressplay review, which gets a 6 out of 10 rating. At least more users like the service than not, but check out CNET's list of bads for this product: "Limited music selection; CD burning is limited; awful search function; no Macintosh version; low streaming bit rates; no premium content." Tell me again why I would pay them money?
The handy dandy Feature Comparison Chart is nice, and CNET even tested the catalogs of each by comparing holdings of 10 artists from multiple genres. They used some interesting selections, too. Unsurprisingly, only one service had titles from half of the artists (BurnItFirst didn't have a single one). Of sixty boxes in the table, 17 say yes, they have content by that artist. I'll do the math for you - that's 28%, which is pretty sad.
So even if you want to be a legitimate consumer, there's really nowhere for you to go to hand your money over to the record labels. If that "perfect music service" ever comes along and you switch to it, you will most likely lose the majority (if not all) of the titles you've accumulated to date with one of these existing services.
Here's a tough call: which is in a sorrier state at the moment - ebooks or online music services? Difficult to say, although at least there's a market for online music right now. Too bad the record labels don't want to exploit it.
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Why You Should Fall to Your Knees and Worship a Librarian