Online library reaches million book milestone
| The Universal Library Project is the brainchild of researchers at Carnegie
| Mellon University, and has received $3.5 million in seed funding from the
| National Science Foundation. The project has also received in-kind
| contributions from the Zhejiang University in China and the Indian Institute
| of Science in India that have been valued at $10 million each, and has more
| recently forged a partnership with the Library at Alexandria in Egypt.
Watch the references at the bottom. Microsoft is using the British taxpayers
and government as agents of monopolisation by making old books (national
assets) Microsoft Windows-only. Revolting.
China's Ancient Treasures Go Digital
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| Hundreds of workers at museums, academic institutions and government
| offices in Taiwan are contributing to the National Digital Archives
| project. The research institute Academia Sinica, for example, is
| leading the software and database development effort, mainly
| using Linux and MySQL.
Microlibraries Project: 20,000+ books available on demand
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| The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL) has organized
| the Microlibraries Project, making over 20,000 Project Gutenberg
| books available at minimal cost through a simple print-on-demand
| The entire library can be accessed here. The software used to
| convert these books is open source, and will be available soon.
Publish And Perish
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| Alexander Rose, the executive director of the futurist Long Now
| Foundation, worries about the impermanence of digital information.
| "If you save that computer for 100 years, will the electrical plugs
| look the same?" he asks. "The Mac or the PC--will they be around?
| If they are, what about the software? " So far there's no business
| case for digital preservation--in fact, for software makers like
| Microsoft, planned obsolescence is the plan.
| "The reality is that it's in companies' interest that software should
| become obsolete and that you should have to buy every upgrade,"
| Rose says. We could be on the cusp of a turning point, though, in the
| way businesses and their customers think about digital preservation.
| "Things will start to change when people start losing all of their personal
| photos," Rose said.
From: "[H]omer" <spam@xxxxxxx>
Subject: [News] [Rights] Open Content Alliance digitises libraries using
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 06:39:46 +0100
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| Internet Archive Challenges Google
| | richards1052 writes "The Internet Archive, whose main claim to
| | fame is the Wayback Machine, designed to archive the internet's web
| | history, has created a new project: the Open Content Alliance. It's
| | purpose is to open the nation's library collections to universal
| | web search. A number of major library systems, including the Boston
| | Public Library and Smithsonian, have refused to sign up with
| | competing ventures by Microsoft and Google because they do not
| | provide for universal access to digitized books. These commercial
| | ventures prohibit books being accessed by competing search engines.
| | So far, 80 libraries and research institutions have signed on with
| | Open Content Alliance. They must pay for the scanning of their
| | books while Google and Microsoft offset that cost for their
| | participating institutions."
| Microsoft "saves" British National Library and National Archive from
| "Digital Dark-age" which /it/ created, using false "open" standards:
| Defending against the digital dark age
| | Rather than making Microsoft appear heroic about a problem that it
| | had contributed to, the release highlighted a bigger issue that
| | goes to the heart of digital preservation. As well as using the
| | Virtual PC 2007 software to emulate older versions of Microsoft
| | software, the NA also commented on its ongoing work to convert
| | documents into open file formats. Mentioned as it was in a
| | Microsoft press release, some concluded that this meant the NA
| | planned to adopt Microsoft's Open XML document format, which has
| | been criticised by open-source advocates for not being very open at
| | all.
| | "If it were, Microsoft wouldn't need to make Novell and Xandros and
| | Linspire sign NDAs and then write translators for them," wrote
| | Pamela Jones, open-source expert and editor of the Groklaw blog.
| 100,000 books freed by the IA
| | Milestone Achieved
| | The Internet Archive announced on December 20, 2006 that it had
| | achived a milestone in having digitized and made available to date,
| | a total of 100,000 books on its servers. The bulk of these books
| | are from members of the Open Content Alliance. All are available
| | without restriction to public access and enjoyment. A copy of the
| | press release can be seen at the right. Within hours of the
| | release, over 60 news organizations had picked up the AP newswire
| | story. Congratulations to all!
| Those 100,000 texts can be found here:
| Uses TXT, HTML, and an online interactive format called Flipbook, which
| is an Ajax standards-based viewer that works in any standards compliant
| browser, without the need for a plugin:
| | Internet Archive’s Flipbook viewer
| | Roy Tennant on Web4Lib pointed out a blog posting by one of the
| | developers of Flipbook, the Internet Archive’s new Ajax-based page
| | turner for its OpenLibrary. This type of page turner is not unique
| | — the British Library has had one for some time — but it’s great to
| | see new implementations of it.
| Unfortunately, the British Library's implementation is /not/ quite so
| standards compliant:
| | Turning the Pages™ uses the Shockwave plug-in, which can be
| | downloaded from the Adobe website, to simulate the action of
| | turning the pages of a real book. For Mac OS X users there is an
| | alternative download. The volumes may not open if you block popups
| | on your computer.
| | NEW! A new version, called Turning the Pages 2.0™, has been
| | developed for the Microsoft Vista operating system and was launched
| | on 30 January. It will also run on Windows XP with the .NET 3
| | framework. Find out if you have the necessary software and hardware
| | now.
| There's an "accessibility" area for those who choose not to use
| Microsoft's Slopware, with static content only.
| The IA's Open Content can also be downloaded in various formats,
| including this rather interesting Book Format, called DjVu:
| Cross-platform and GPL licensed, unlike Microsoft's "Turning the Pages".
| And let's not forget the one that started it all - Project Gutenberg,
| which began in 1971 by Michael Hart as a community project to make plain
| text versions of books available freely to all:
| Provides texts in Free Formats, unlike Microsoft's "Turning the Pages".