Blog Rolls

Facebook Merges DMs for Instagram and Messenger

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 08:00
A new update allows for cross-platform messaging for the first time within the Facebook family of apps.
Categories: Just News

Trump To Appeal Removal Of 'Polarizing' Public Lands Chief

The White House says it will appeal a federal court ruling ousting William Perry Pendley, who led the Bureau of Land Management for more than 400 days without Senate confirmation.

(Image credit: Matthew Brown/AP)

Categories: Just News

How to Watch Google's Pixel Event Today—and What to Expect

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 07:00
There are two new phones coming, a new Nest smart speaker, and a Chromecast with a TV remote.
Categories: Just News

In an Odd Twist, Cleaner Air in China May Mean a Warmer Earth

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 07:00
Coal plant upgrades led to a dramatic reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions. But those particles also help reflect solar heat away from the planet.
Categories: Just News

Graham Plans New Political Offensive In Hearing With Old Foe Comey

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn't only intend to grill Republicans' least favorite ex-G-Man. He's also working with administration allies to surface unverified new allegations.

(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

The West’s Infernos Are Melting Our Sense of How Fire Works

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 06:00
42,000-foot plumes of ash. 143-mph firenadoes. 1,500-degree heat. These wildfires are a new kind of hell on earth, and scientists are racing to learn its rules.
Categories: Just News

Singer Helen Reddy, Known For 'I Am Woman,' Dies At 78

Helen Reddy, who co-wrote and performed the 1972 feminist anthem, was diagnosed with dementia in 2015. Her family says they are comforted in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.

Categories: Just News

Trump Derails 1st Presidential Debate With Biden, And 5 Other Takeaways

The president ran roughshod over debate moderator Chris Wallace and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden — and crossed many lines in the process.

(Image credit: Patrick Semansky/AP)

Categories: Just News

Juggling Financial Stress And Caregiving, Parents Are 'Very Not OK' In The Pandemic

The pandemic economy is squeezing families with kids: 74% of those earning less than $100,000 report serious financial woes, in an NPR poll. Experts worry about lasting impacts on kids' mental health.

(Image credit: Nicole Xu for NPR)

Categories: Just News

From Debate Stage, Trump Declines To Denounce White Supremacy

Asked to disavow white supremacists, President Trump addressed the Proud Boys directly, telling them to "stand back, stand by." He did not expand on what he meant.

(Image credit: Olivier Douliery/AP)

Categories: Just News

Trump-Biden Debate Twitter Recap: Politics Is a Metaverse

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 00:00
The first 2020 presidential debate was a series of interruptions and half-thoughts—like the internet IRL.
Categories: Just News

Census End Remains Uncertain After Judge Calls New Schedule 'A Violation'

A day after the Census Bureau tweeted out a new "target date" of Oct. 5 for ending 2020 census counting, a federal judge in California said she thinks the schedule change may violate a court order.

(Image credit: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

How to Change Your Background on a Video Conference Call

Gizmodo: “As we’ve all grown more used to video calling for everything from school to birthday parties, the importance of the right background has started to become noticeable. Depending on the scenario—and who you need to impress—you might want something plain or funny, but you have to make sure you always get it right. You probably don’t need us to tell you how seriously some people are taking the issue of video chat backgrounds, and a badly placed book can be the difference between a success or a failure. Luckily, you don’t actually have to rely on the real world at all if you have an appropriate image or illustration you can use instead. We’ll cover the native options in your most-used video-chatting software below, but there are also a slew of video chat plug-ins you can use to add even more options. Something like Mmhmm can plug into most video-conferencing tools, offering an even wider choice of backgrounds (like a live video feed, for example) and background settings…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Science and Scientists Held in High Esteem Across Global Publics

Pew Research Center – “As publics around the world look to scientists and the research and development process to bring new treatments and preventive strategies for the novel coronavirus, a new international survey finds scientists and their research are widely viewed in a positive light across global publics, and large majorities believe government investments in scientific research yield benefits for society. Still, the wide-ranging survey, conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak reached pandemic proportions, reveals ambivalence about certain scientific developments – in areas such as artificial intelligence and genetically modified foods – often exists alongside high trust for scientists generally and positive views in other areas such as space exploration. Public concerns around climate change and environmental degradation remain widespread. In most publics, majorities view climate change as a very serious problem, say their government is not doing enough to address it and point to a host of environmental concerns at home, including air and water quality and pollution. With renewed attention to the importance of public acceptance of vaccines, the new survey finds majorities in most publics tend to view childhood vaccines, such as those for measles, mumps and rubella, as relatively safe and effective. Yet sizable minorities across global publics hold doubts about this keystone tool of modern medicine…”

Categories: Law and Legal

RSS Feeds, PACER, and the Fight for Access to Federal Docket Information

Via LLRX – RSS Feeds, PACER, and the Fight for Access to Federal Docket Information – What is RSS and how do federal courts use it? Rebecca Fordon informs us that courts vary in the types of documents they provide via RSS feeds – only about 70% of bankruptcy courts and 50% of district courts provide full feeds. The effort urging courts to fully enable RSS feeds has many advocates and would have a significant positive impact for legal researchers in all sectors.

Categories: Law and Legal

Investing in Libraries is the Right Thing for Administrators To Do, Even if There Are Fewer Resources Overall

Via LLRX – Investing in Libraries is the Right Thing for Administrators To Do, Even if There Are Fewer Resources OverallTodd A. Carpenter advocates for libraries at this critical juncture when remote learning is now pervasive for academic institutions around the country. Although digitized resources delivered via IP-based authentication were the norm before the pandemic, users of library resources were only vaguely aware that the services they regularly use are provided by the library because of IP-based authentication. Carpenter argues that the need for budget cuts must be weighed against the expanded and critical need for students and faculty to have uninterrupted access to digital resources provided by their libraries.

Categories: Law and Legal

Academic publishing practices are making ebooks unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible to university libraries

Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market – “We are a group of academic librarians, researchers and university lecturers who have compiled an open letter asking the UK government to urgently investigate the academic publishing industry over its ebook pricing and licensing practices. The current situation is not working and it needs to change. Librarians are increasingly unable to provide the resources students, lecturers and researchers need. We call on all impacted by the deeply flawed ebook publishing industry to add your names to our open letter. In the first instance, with support from Alex Chalk MP for Cheltenham, it will be delivered to the the Chair of the Education Select Committee and we will endeavour to bring the letter to the attention of other relevant government ministers and public bodies. You can help by also bringing it to the attention of your own MP.  If you are from outside the UK, please feel free to copy our letter and to use it to lobby your leaders to do the same. This is a global issue impacting us all in the Higher Education sector. Johanna Anderson, Subject Librarian”

Categories: Law and Legal

This database shows eight years of polling place locations

Poynter – “While reporting two years ago, Carrie Levine heard from voters that polling place closures were an issue. Levine, a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, also read about the closure and moving of polling places, “all of which seemed limited by the fact that detailed location data wasn’t available,” she told Poynter in an email. “I wondered if we could assemble it, and started brainstorming with my colleague, Pratheek Rebala, a data reporter and news developer.” After more than a year and 1,200 public information requests, the results of their work are available today in an open-source database that contains every polling place in 30 states from general elections in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, with more state data coming soon. “It will allow users to track polling place changes for jurisdictions over time, and report out which voters have been affected by them — important information as polling places are set for the 2020 election,” Levine said. Collecting the data, in some cases, meant going county by county in 12 states and standardizing records that came in a variety of formats. It’s also already led to a story. This week, Public Integrity and Stateline published a piece on polling place changes following 2016 floods in Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish. “Our analysis of polling place locations and voter file data found that 26% of Black voters in the parish had their polling place changed between the 2012 and 2016 general elections, compared with 15% of white voters in the parish,” Levine said. “The changes added confusion for voters already preoccupied with the fallout from the flooding, a story that has lessons for this year as voters struggle with the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic and vast changes in how to vote.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata

Transitioning to the Next Generation of Metadata synthesizes six years (2015-2020) of OCLC Research Library Partners Metadata Managers Focus Group discussions and what they may foretell for the “next generation of metadata.” The firm belief that metadata underlies all discovery regardless of format, now and in the future, permeates all Focus Group discussions. Yet metadata is changing. Innovations in librarianship are exerting pressure on metadata management practices to evolve as librarians are required to provide metadata for far more resources of various types and to collaborate on institutional or multi-institutional projects with fewer staff.  This report considers:

  • Why is metadata changing?
  • How is the creation process changing?
  • How is the metadata itself changing?
  • What impact will these changes have on future staffing requirements, and how can libraries prepare?…”
Categories: Law and Legal

Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

EFF – “On September 11, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intention to significantly expand both the number of people required to submit biometrics during routine immigration applications and the types of biometrics that individuals must surrender. This new rule will apply to immigrants and U.S. citizens alike, and to people of all ages, including, for the first time, children under the age of 14. It would nearly double the number of people from whom DHS would collect biometrics each year, to more than six million. The biometrics DHS plans to collect include palm prints, voice prints, iris scans, facial imaging, and even DNA—which are far more invasive than DHS’s current biometric collection of fingerprints, photographs, and signatures.  (For an incisive summary of the proposed changes, click here.)…”

Categories: Law and Legal


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