This figure doesn’t seem to come from the report, so I don’t know if it includes the 7 million that aren’t online, but either way, it’s a fairly large number. I’m guessing there are many more than that in the U.S., which is a problem when you consider how much government information is now only online.
Let’s face it: Google is an academic resource. We all use it – students, researchers, and yes, even us librarians. I unashamedly include “Google literacy” in my library instruction – teaching students how to be better Googlers, how to link to the library from Google Scholar, and how to evaluate the sources they find on Google.How good a Googler are you? Did you know that you can use Google to…
A South Pacific island, shown on marine charts and world maps as well as on Google Earth and Google Maps, does not exist, Australian scientists say.
The supposedly sizeable strip of land, named Sandy Island on Google maps, was positioned midway between Australia and French-governed New Caledonia.
But when scientists from the University of Sydney went to the area, they found only the blue ocean of the Coral Sea.
The phantom island has featured in publications for at least a decade.
» via BBC
This part was key for me:
Australia’s Hydrographic Service, which produces the country’s nautical charts, says its appearance on some scientific maps and Google Earth could just be the result of human error, repeated down the years.
I’m familiar with this phenomenon in article citations (i.e. people re-cite something they obviously never actually saw/read, because the citation is incorrect to the point that the article cannot be located), so it doesn’t surprise me that it might occur in other situations.
Though you’d think with as much satellite info that Google has, they would’ve figured that the island wasn’t there long before now…
The point of all this is that it is not the existence of knowledge but the convergence and cross-pollination of knowledge that drives progress.
Now, the challenge with the internet is that it’s a medium increasingly well-tailored for helping us find more of what we know we’re looking for, but increasingly poorly suited to helping us discover what we don’t yet know exists and thus don’t yet care to be interested in.
So how do we discover what we don’t yet know we’re interested in and take an interest in what doesn’t appear to be “useful”?
Seems to me that reading widely (perhaps with the help of your local library? ;)) is a good step in the direction of finding things you don’t yet know you’re interested in. Social media and internet sources of information can be quite useful in this way as well.
Work is currently underway to transition the ArchiveGrid database of archival collection descriptions from a subscription service to a free service on a new interface developed and managed by OCLC Research.
A beta version of the new interface developed by OCLC Research is available at no charge at http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/. This beta has been designed to support OCLC’s efforts to expand support for this type of data, engaging with the library/archive community as we work together to create more sustainable ways to grow the collection of data and represent it appropriately in WorldCat.
As one of the people at my library who usually ends up answering history-type questions, I’m having fun poking around the beta site. :)
However texting can only do so much. Right? Wrong! I read an article yesterday about how people can leverage SMS texting to surf the Internet (Google), get email, even use Twitter and Facebook. Doing this allows you to stay in touch with events without relying upon your phone needing a decent data stream from a cell tower.
Personally, I’ve set up my Twitter account so I can text to it, and I have Selective Tweets on Facebook so any tweets with #fb also post to Facebook—it’s easier than texting both places to say I’m okay. :)
Here’s something to add to the ‘ol RSS reader (or twitter @crunchgov if that’s your thang. TechCrunch, one of the better sites for news and information about tech and the tech industry, today launched CrunchGov to track on government and tech policy-making. The site will have 3 three initial CrunchGov products (report card, policy database, and legislation crowdsourcing). Read more about it on their post explaining the CrunchGov roll-out as well as their methodology/FAQ behind the site.
…the NY Times published an article “Nonpartisan Tax Report Withdrawn After G.O.P. Protest” which points to the increasing politicization of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the non-partisan think tank of the US Congress.
To the NY Times’ credit, they posted a copy of the report in their story. We’re hosting a copy on FGI servers for your convenience.
A couple of comments:
1. I’m not qualified to conclude whether or not the methodology of the report is sound (I’m sure others will do/have done that), but that there have been attempts to suppress/take it down bothers me. Slap a disclaimer on it if you must, update it to correct anything that’s wrong, but don’t just remove it from circulation.
2. What goes on the internet stays on the internet. As CRS is no doubt now aware, removing something that had been publicly available only draws more attention to the document. (They should have asked USDA about that…)
Written with businesses in mind, but I think these suggestions might also be helpful for libraries and related organizations.
So let’s assume, for a moment, that as the technology marketing writer, you don’t have buy-in from senior leaders to write about controversial issues, negative messaging, or anything that might portray your company in a negative light. Let’s say you’re working in a traditional environment where managers don’t really understand how trust and transparency work on the web. What do you do?
In these situations, you can take another approach to your blog articles. Whereas on my personal blog I like to ask questions and explore problems, on a corporate blog, what works well are more information-driven posts. I break these information-driven posts up into five categories: What’s New Posts, Industry Trends Commentary, Tech How-to Tips, Beta Testing Opportunities, and Instructional Collateral.
Few things are more explicitly ephemeral than a Tweet. Yet it’s precisely this kind of ephemeral communication – a comment, a status update, sharing or disseminating a piece of media – that lies at the heart of much of modern history as it unfolds. It’s also a vital contemporary historical record that, unless we’re careful, we risk losing almost before we’ve been able to gauge its importance.
But what I wonder is: what can we do about it?
The “I Know…” series of blog posts shows relatively simple tricks [malicious] websites can use to coax a browser into revealing information that it probably should not. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing scam black lists, and even patching your browser was not going to help.
Fortunately, if you are using one of today’s latest and greatest browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), these tricks, these attack techniques, mostly don’t work anymore. The unfortunate part is that they were by no means the only way to accomplish these feats.
One of the characteristics of the modern media age — at least for anyone who uses the web and social media a lot — is that we are surrounded by vast clouds of rapidly changing information, whether it’s blog posts or news stories or Twitter and Facebook updates. That’s great if you like real-time content, but there is a not-so-hidden flaw — namely, that you can’t step into the same stream twice, as Heraclitus put it. In other words, much of that information may (and probably will) disappear as new information replaces it, and small pieces of history wind up getting lost. According to a recent study, which looked at links shared through Twitter about news events like the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, this could be turning into a substantial problem.
The ancient art of password cracking has advanced further in the past five years than it did in the previous several decades combined. At the same time, the dangerous practice of password reuse has surged. The result: security provided by the average password in 2012 has never been weaker.
The average Web user maintains 25 separate accounts but uses just 6.5 passwords to protect them, according to a landmark study (PDF) from 2007. As the Gawker breach demonstrated, such password reuse, combined with the frequent use of e-mail addresses as user names, means that once hackers have plucked login credentials from one site, they often have the means to compromise dozens of other accounts, too.
The article goes pretty in-depth into the hacking/cracking methods used, but the early parts and the very end should be enough for the less technical folks. This is something to keep in mind, both for your personal accounts and anything you’re responsible for at your library/workplace.
The fact that there are still people with dial-up seems to be widely ignored and it really shouldn’t be.