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The Verge – Making sources clearer by cramming less news on the page – “Google is rolling out an update to the News tab of its desktop search function, with a refreshed design that sacrifices information density for clarity. The new design, which the company announced in a tweet, brings the look of the News tab closer to that of the dedicated Google News site. News stories are now displayed in a card format rather than a list, making headlines and the names of publishers more prominent. It also seems like the company is grouping stories together more clearly, so if you search for a broad topic (like “MLB”) it’s easier to distinguish different strands of coverage. The change itself is relatively minor, but it’s part of a larger effort by Google to improve its news products. The tech giant’s treatment of news sometimes seems like an afterthought, with the company content to have its search and aggregation features scoop up content. But anxiety over digital news has grown in recent years, with publishers worried by diminishing revenue and experts warning about the proliferation of low-quality source…”
AP via US News – “Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems. But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers. An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts. That’s significant because Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said Friday it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023. Critics say the situation is an example of what happens when private companies ultimately determine the security level of election systems with a lack of federal requirements or oversight. Vendors say they have been making consistent improvements in election systems. And many state officials say they are wary of federal involvement in state and local elections…”
“We collect samples once a week, and on the Sea Dog, our floating laboratory we test and analyze for E.Coli bacteria. The results are posted every Friday on SwimGuide, a downloadable app (get it!) so that the public can see where it’s safe to swim, paddle, or otherwise recreate on the water…”
“Everybody seems to be talking about artificial intelligence (AI). Some people laud its possibilities, whereas others envisage nightmare scenarios where robots take over. But what is AI exactly and how are countries dealing with it? The Oxford Dictionary defines AI as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” In a recently published report, ”Regulation of Artificial Intelligence,” the Law Library of Congress looks at the emerging regulatory and policy landscape surrounding AI, including guidelines, ethics codes, and actions by and statements from governments and their agencies, in jurisdictions around the world. An international part deals with approaches that United Nations agencies and regional organizations have taken towards AI. The country surveys look at various legal issues, including data protection and privacy, transparency, human oversight, surveillance, public administration and services, autonomous vehicles, and lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). However, the most advanced regulations were found in the area of autonomous vehicles, in particular for the testing of such vehicles. The report includes three maps on national AI strategies, a country’s position on LAWS, and the testing of autonomous vehicles. As the regulation of AI is still in its early stages and constantly evolving, this report offers a snapshot of the legal situation at the time the report was written (January 2019). Updates will be provided on the Global Legal Monitor (GLM) website..”
Library of Congress research guide – A comprehensive research guide on finding federal legislative history documents, including congressional committee reports and hearings, presidential signing statements, and the debates of Congress
Authors: Barbara Bavis, Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian, Law Library of Congress; Robert Brammer, Senior Legal Information Specialist, Law Library of Congress
“The age of automation, and on the near horizon, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies offer new job opportunities and avenues for economic advancement, but women face new challenges overlaid on long-established ones. Between 40 million and 160 million women globally may need to transition between occupations by 2030, often into higher-skilled roles. To weather this disruption, women (and men) need to be skilled, mobile, and tech-savvy, but women face pervasive barriers on each, and will need targeted support to move forward in the world of work.
A new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation finds that if women make these transitions, they could be on the path to more productive, better-paid work. If they cannot, they could face a growing wage gap or be left further behind when progress toward gender parity in work is already slow…”
The New Yorker interview – The Underworld of Online Content Moderation: “More than a hundred thousand people work as online content moderators, viewing and evaluating the most violent, disturbing, and exploitative content on social media. In a new book, “Behind the Screen,” Sarah T. Roberts, a professor of information studies at U.C.L.A., describes how this work shapes their professional and personal lives. Roberts, who conducted interviews with current and former content moderators, found that many work in Silicon Valley, but she also travelled as far as the Philippines, where some of the work has been outsourced. From her research, we learn about the emotional toll, low wages, and poor working conditions of most content moderation. Roberts never disputes that the work is crucial, but raises the question of how highly companies like Facebook and Google actually value it..”
The are 10 new articles and 10 new columns on LLRX for May-June 2019
- Five data lies that need to die … now streaming on Netflix – Using Netflix as an example and referencing a number of articles touting the company’s expert use of data analytics and algorithms, marketing savant Jason Voiovich argues that data helps make content decisions, but alone does not alone drive the decisions. Data is one asset among many – but humans decide what counts in the analysis. As data analytics increasingly drive corporate decision-making in all sectors, the lessons Voiovich highlights are critical to effective, accurate and responsible business practices.
- The T-Shaped Factor: An Exposure to Tech in Law School – Saba Samanian is a recent graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. She provides her perspective on the future of the legal profession concerning the intersection of law, technology, access to justice, and her responsibility to be technically competent as she enters the profession.
- Elder Resources on the Internet 2019 – The current estimated U.S. population 65 and older has reached a new milestone: 53,710,125 and growing daily. To provide come context to this number, “50 million seniors is more than the population of 25 states combined…” By 2030, the estimated population of those over 65 will be 70 million. This timely guide by Marcus Zillman identifies a range of online resources on aging, assisted living, senior health care and senior legal issues, as well as information on retirement.
- Harness the Melodic Robotic Voices of Our Eventual Overlords Now to Improve Your Proofreading! – As writer/editor for more than two decades, Sarah Gotschall’s article immediately piqued my interest. Gotschall writes that when she proofreads her own work product, she is doing so with what she think she wrote in mind, rather than than focusing specifically on the words on the page. The addition of Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Word will be of interest to writers, editors, researchers, librarians, InfoPros, students, and marketing folks too.
- Casetext’s New ‘SmartCite’ Citator Is Its Clever Answer to Shepard’s and KeyCite – Robert Ambrogi writes – “Knowing whether a case is good law is elemental to legal research. To do this, lawyers have long relied on citator services such as Shepard’s from LexisNexis and KeyCite from Westlaw. Now, the legal research service Casetext has introduced a citator of its own, called SmartCite, with many of the features you would expect to find in a citator, plus some that make it unique.”
- 3 Ideas To Future-Proof Your Law Firm – Nicole L. Black’s article is a call to action: ready or not, the legal marketplace is changing and 21st century legal clients are increasingly demanding that their lawyers use technology to increase efficiency and provide more accessible, affordable legal services. How does your law firm compare? What steps is your firm taking to set the stage for success in the new world order? Nicole delivers a road map that firms can use the benchmark their current and moving forward efforts.
- Terms, Tags, and Classification – It is helpful to classify documents or other content items to make them easier to find later. Searching the full text alone can retrieve inaccurate results or miss appropriate documents containing different words from the words entered into a search box. A document or content management system may include features for tagging, keywords, categories, indexing, etc. Taxonomist Heather Hedden identifies the difference between these elements to facilitate the implementation of more effective knowledge and content management.
- Whither Law Student Information Literacy? – Dennis Kim-Prieto, J.D., M.S.L.I.S., M.F.A. presented this paper, and the associated PowerPoint slides, at the Learning Information Literacy Across the Globe Conference, held in Frankfurt em Main, May 10, 2019. Information Literacy has only recently been applied to instructional frameworks and benchmarking assessment for legal research skills in the United States. This paper seeks to answer two simple questions: what has information literacy done for legal research since AALL has adopted Legal Research Competencies and Standards for Law Student Information Literacy, and what is the future of information literacy in legal research classrooms and the practice of law around the world?
- Moving to a Paperless Law Firm: 3 Tips for Working With PDFs – Nicole Black documents best practices for your firm’s process of transitioning to a paperless environment that includes an infographic on how to train your staff on the ins and outs of working with PDFs.
- Online Research Browsers 2019 – Marcus Zillman’s guide highlights multifaceted browser alternatives to mainstream search tools that researchers may regularly use by default. There are many reliable yet underutilized applications that facilitate access to and discovery of subject matter specific documents and sources. Free applications included here also offer collaboration tools, resources to build and manage repositories, to employ data visualization, to create and apply metadata management, citations, bibliographies, document discovery and data relationship analysis.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 1, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: You’re Not Alone When You’re on Google; Amazon Filed A Patent To Record You Before You Even Say “Alexa”; Moody’s downgrades Equifax outlook to negative, cites cybersecurity; and First American Financial Corp. Leaked Hundreds of Millions of Title Insurance Records.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 26, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint; Ari Mahairas and Peter Beshar on AI and 5G security risks; Age of fraud: Are seniors more vulnerable to financial scams?; Concern Growing Over ‘Nefarious’ Website Offering Individuals’ Personal Information, Reputation Rating.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 19, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: WhatsApp fixes bug that allowed hackers to hijack smartphones; Reclaim Your Privacy with These Privacy-Focused Alternatives to Google’s Services; How facial recognition is changing life as we know it – for better or worse; and Crippling ransomware attacks targeting US cities on the rise.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 11, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: The Challenges of Implanted Cardiac Device Security; Scammers Exploit Home Rental Listings With ‘Let Yourself In’ Link; New Rules On E-Evidence Could Streamline Criminal Investigations in the EU; and a Parental Advisory: Dating Apps.
- Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, May 5, 2019 – Four highlights from this week: Google to roll out auto-delete controls for location history and activity data; Rights groups challenge warrantless cellphone searches at U.S. border; U.S. cyber spies unmasked many more American identities in 2018; and Spies, Lies, and Algorithms.
Book Riot: “In his keynote speech for the American Library Association’s 2019 annual conference, Jason Reynolds spoke of libraries as “sacred” spaces. I’m inclined to agree. There are many of us for whom libraries are very close to sacred spaces of worship, and the architecture of many of them rivals some of the world’s most famous cathedrals, mosques, and Buddhist temples. I also find it no coincidence that many of the best libraries in the world have ties to holy places as well. While the library of my dreams is a fictional one (Beauty and the Beast), there are many in this world that give it stiff competition. Here’s some of the best libraries in the world: the oldest, the largest, and more.“
Vox – The war to free science: “The 27,500 scientists who work for the University of California generate 10 percent of all the academic research papers published in the United States. Their university recently put them in a strange position: Starting July 10, these scientists will not be able to directly access much of the world’s published research they’re not involved in. That’s because in February, the UC system — one of the country’s largest academic institutions, encompassing Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis, and several other campuses — dropped its nearly $11 million annual subscription to Elsevier, the world’s largest publisher of academic journals. On the face of it, this seemed like an odd move. Why cut off students and researchers from academic research? In fact, it was a principled stance that may herald a revolution in the way science is shared around the world. The University of California decided it doesn’t want scientific knowledge locked behind paywalls, and thinks the cost of academic publishing has gotten out of control.
Elsevier owns around 3,000 academic journals, and its articles account for some 18 percent of all the world’s research output. “They’re a monopolist, and they act like a monopolist,” says Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, head of the campus libraries at UC Berkeley and co-chair of the team that negotiated with the publisher. Elsevier makes huge profits on its journals, generating billions of dollars a year for its parent company RELX. This is a story about more than subscription fees. It’s about how a private industry has come to dominate the institutions of science, and how librarians, academics, and even pirates are trying to regain control. The University of California is not the only institution fighting back. “There are thousands of Davids in this story,” says the head of campus libraries at the University of California Davis MacKenzie Smith, who, like other librarians around the world, has been pushing for more open access to science. “But only a few big Goliaths.” …”
LitHub – On the Unsung Chinese and Korean History of Movable Type: “If you heard one book called “universally acknowledged as the most important of all printed books,” which do you expect it would be? If you were Margaret Leslie Davis, the answer would be obvious. Davis’s The Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey, released this March, begins with just that descriptor. It recounts the saga of a single copy of the Gutenberg Bible—one of the several surviving copies of the 450-year-old Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg, the putative inventor of the printing press, in one of his earliest projects—through a 20th-century journey from auction house to collector to laboratory to archive. Davis quotes Mark Twain, who wrote, in 1900, a letter celebrating the opening of the Gutenberg Museum. For Davis, Twain’s words were “particularly apt.” “What the world is to-day,” Twain wrote, “good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source. . . .” Indeed, Gutenberg’s innovation has long been regarded an inflection point in human history—an innovation that opened the door to the Protestant Reformation, Renaissance, the scientific revolution, the advent of widespread education, and a thousand more changes that touch nearly everything we now know.
The only problem? The universal acclaim is, in fact, not so universal—and Gutenberg himself is a, but not the, source of printing. Rather, key innovations in what would become revolutionary printing technology began in east Asia, with work done by Chinese nobles, Korean Buddhists, and the descendants of Genghis Khan—and, in a truth Davis acknowledges briefly, their work began several centuries before Johannes Gutenberg was even born…”
NPR – “Instagram is rolling out a feature that will urge users to think twice before posting hateful comments, in an effort to minimize cyberbullying on the massive social media platform. The new feature uses artificial intelligence to screen content and notify users if their post may be harmful or offensive. Users will see a message: “Are you sure you want to post this?” They will then have the option to remove or change the comment before anyone else is able to see it. Early tests of this feature found that some users are less likely to post harmful comments once they’ve had a chance to reflect on their post, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post. Gmail has a similar feature that gives users 30 seconds to cancel an email after pressing send…”
MIT Technology Review – “The UK’s National Health Service hopes that its partnership with Amazon could help to reduce demand on its services.
- The news: From this week, when UK users ask their Amazon smart speaker health-related questions, it will automatically search the official NHS website, which is full of medically-backed health tips and advice.
- The aim: The government believes it will ease the burden on over-stretched doctors and hospitals, but also help elderly, disabled or blind patients who may struggle to access this information otherwise.
- The worries: There are concerns that the voice service might discourage genuinely ill people from seeking proper medical help. It being Amazon, there are also concerns over data privacy, especially over an area as sensitive as health. The firm says all data can be deleted by customers…”
“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) have digitized volumes of The Public Papers of the Presidents for Presidents Herbert Hoover (1929) through George H.W. Bush (1990), with the exception of the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidency. The papers of President Franklin Roosevelt were published privately before the commencement of the official Public Papers series. Each volume of The Public Papers of the Presidents is comprised of a forward by the President, public writings, addresses, remarks, and photographs. This digitization effort joined the already digital version of Public Papers for Presidents George H. W. Bush (1991−1992), William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama. The Public Papers of the Presidents are currently published twice a year and covers a six-month period. They may be accessed for free on GPO’s govinfo, the one-stop site to authentic, published Government information.
BBC – “Experts at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, selected 11 seeds from plants and trees that may be better suited to climate change than other species. Using a scanning electron microscope, artist Rob Kesseler created striking colourised images of the seeds in extraordinary detail. The five experts at Kew in London chose the species based on characteristics such as resilience to drought and diseases, and suitability to increased global temperatures. Eleanor Wilding, a technical officer in the Crop Wild Relatives Project at Kew, chose the Daucus carota, the wild relative of the carrot. Kesseler produced an image of the seed magnified 30 times to reveal a spiky star-like shape, and coloured it with an orange hue…”
“Description – As the volume of digitized heritage collections continues to grow, memory institutions are challenged to making this open content discoverable and usable across repositories. At this mini-symposium in Leiden, guests… learn[ed] about research & development work done in the area of digital image interoperability (IIIF), corpus-building and deep interactions with open collections by OCLC, and latest developments at Europeana and the Global Digitised Dataset NetworkProgramme: Introducing the Theme (0:00-24:28 – slides)
- Short overview of findings from the OCLC Open Content Survey—Titia van der Werf, OCLC Research
Promoting the Discovery of Open Collections
- IIIF and OCLC product development—Shane Huddlestone, OCLC Digital Collections Services (24:34-50:11 – slides)
- The state of IIIF at Europeana—Antoine Isaac, Europeana (50:30-1:13:30 – slides)
- The Global Digitised Dataset Network—Paul Gooding, University of Glasgow (1:13:54-1:45:33 – slides)
Deep-interactions with Open Collections (2:09:25-2:52:53 – slides)
- Building corpora of open content in Philosophy: findings from the CatViS project—Rob Koopman (Architect, OCLC Global Engineering)
- Interacting with open collections: Ariadne, BolVis and KantVis—Shenghui Wang (Research Scientist, OCLC Research), Thom Castermans (PhD student at Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of TU Eindhoven), Annapaola Ginammi (Researcher at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam)…”
MIT Technology Review – How policy innovation is promoting data sharing and AI. “Data in some form underpins almost every action or process in today’s modern world. Consider that even farming, the world’s oldest industry, is on the verge of a digital revolution, with AI, drones, sensors, and blockchain technology promising to boost efficiencies. The market value of an apple will increasingly reflect not only traditional farming inputs but also some value of modern data, such as weather patterns, soil acidity levels and agri-supply-chain information. By 2022 more than 60% of global GDP will be digitized, according to IDC. Governments seeking to foster growth in their digital economies need to be more active in encouraging safe data sharing between organizations. Tolerating the sharing of data and stepping in only where security breaches occur is no longer enough. Sharing data across different organizations enables the whole ecosystem to grow and can be a unique source of competitive advantage. But businesses need guidelines and support in how to do this effectively. This is how Singapore’s data-sharing worldview has evolved, according to Janil Puthucheary, senior minister of state for communications and information and transport, upon launching the city-state’s new Trusted Data Sharing Framework in June 2019…”
NOAA – Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, about 40 miles south of Washington, D.C., will be the first national marine sanctuary designated since 2000. “The designation of Mallows Bay as a national marine sanctuary is an exciting milestone for NOAA and an opportunity for the public to celebrate and help protect this piece of our nation’s rich maritime history,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “We look forward to working with the state of Maryland, Charles County and other local partners to foster education and research partnerships as well as support and enhance local recreation and tourism along this historic stretch of the Potomac River.”
- For more information, visit: https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/mallows-potomac/
National Geographic – Rising seas imperil the delicate web of cables and power stations that control the internet. “When the internet goes down, life as the modern American knows it grinds to a halt. Gone are the cute kitten photos and the Facebook status updates—but also gone are the signals telling stoplights to change from green to red, and doctors’ access to online patient records. A vast web of physical infrastructure undergirds the internet connections that touch nearly every aspect of modern life. Delicate fiber optic cables, massive data transfer stations, and power stations create a patchwork of literal nuts and bolts that facilitates the flow of zeros and ones. Now, research shows that a whole lot of that infrastructure sits squarely in the path of rising seas. (See what the planet would look like if all the ice melted.)
Scientists mapped out the threads and knots of internet infrastructure and layered that on top of maps showing future sea level rise. What they found was ominous: Within 15 years, thousands of miles of fiber optic cable—and hundreds of pieces of other key infrastructure—are likely to be swamped by the encroaching ocean. And while some of that infrastructure may be water resistant, little of it was designed to live fully underwater…”