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[News] British Library Still Corrupted by Microsoft and Microsoft Corrupts "Open Source"

  • Subject: [News] British Library Still Corrupted by Microsoft and Microsoft Corrupts "Open Source"
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:36:55 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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Microsoft And British Library Develop Open Source Research Tool

,----[ Quote ]
| The Research Information Centre (RIC) 
| Framework v1.0 released this week has been 
| designed to help international researchers 
| collaborate more effectively. Hosted via 
| Microsoft's open source Codeplex project 
| and based on Microsoft Office SharePoint 
| Server 2007 Platform, the "virtual research 
| environment" allows researchers to create 
| and share content and also work on specific 
| issues such as funding proposals, the 
| organisations claim.


How Microsoft uses open source to fight open source

,----[ Quote ]
| OK, whereâs the catch?
|     Built on top of Microsoft Office 
|     SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, the RIC 
|     extends the core MOSS functionality to 
|     meet the needs to academic researchers 
|     engaged in collaborative research 
|     projects
| Gee, doc, youâre not a Microsoft shop? Even 
| if you can connect with these resources, 
| youâre always going to be second-class in a 
| group project that depends on them.
| Which is sort of the point. To Microsoft 
| open source is not an end in itself. It is 
| a marketing tool. It is a way to gain lock-
| in with important customer sets.



The Lost Decades of the UK Web

,----[ Quote ]
| So, 20 years after Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented
| the technology, and well over a decade after
| the Web became a mass medium, and the British
| Library still isn't archiving every Web site?
| History - assuming we have one - will judge us
| harshly for this extraordinary UK failure to
| preserve the key decades of the quintessential
| technology of our age. It's like burning down a
| local digital version of the Library of
| Alexandria, all over again.


British Library's Bitter Digital Milestone

,----[ Quote ]
| That is: digitising content that is out of
| copyright, in the public domain, and then
| making us pay through the nose - us as in
| muggins public, which has kept the British
| Library going for two centuries thanks to
| our taxes, in case you'd forgotten - for
| the privilege of viewing it online.
| Thanks a bunch, BL, for locking up "an
| increasing proportion of the nation's
| intellectual output" behind a paywall,
| where few will ever see it: that's what
| spreading knowledge is all about, isn't it?
| Great work from a quondam great
| institution, more millstone than
| milestone...


British Library Turns Traitor

,----[ Quote ]
| This once-great institution used to be about opening up the world's knowledge
| for the benefit and enjoyment of all: today, it's about closing it down so
| that only those who can afford to pay get to see it.
| What an utter disgrace.


British Library fears loss of history

,----[ Quote ]
| Lynne Brindley, director of the British Library, said that data and
| information on our time that has been entrusted to the web is being lost as
| some sites close or the technology they have stored the information on
| becomes obsolete.



No need to burn books you can't read - DRM and public libraries

,----[ Quote ]
| As my correspondent says: "After all that I still couldn't open the document
| (which I've only opened once before) and got this. Now I know I haven't
| opened the document at another computer because this is my only computer with
| a printer - so I didn't open it anywhere else. I am never using this service
| again. The British Library, Microsoft and Adobe can go shove their DRM up
| their document delivery service exit. "
| This, let me reiterate, is a public body providing publicly paid-for research
| to a highly-qualified professional engaged in impeccable work for the public
| service.
| It is hard to imagine something more expensive, condescending, inaccurate,
| frustrating and enraging â nor something better calculated to restrict
| knowledge and broadcast ignorance.
| It's almost as if the parties involved actively want to prevent people
| learning. It certainly feels that way.


BL = Betrayed Library

,----[ Quote ]
| So the BL's idea of progress is locking down books - you know, those
| old-fashioned things without DRM - with patent-encumbered technology.
| That's "giving as wide an audience as possible the most accurate experience
| of reading the real thing"? Only in the minds of rather dim librarians who
| understand nothing about the broader implications of the shiny technology
| they choose. Me, I call it a betrayal of everything the once-great BL stood
| for....


Good bye, British Library

,----[ Quote ]
| This is an image from the good old days. Microsoft's Jean Paoli hands over
| the OOXML specification to Jan van den Beld, the general secretary of ECMA.
| And you find Adam Farquhar from the British Library, the bearded person on
| the right. The British Library was instrumental to legitimizing the whole
| ECMA and ISO OOXML standardisation process as an 'independent' participant in
| the committee work. ECMA did a brilliant job to mature the specification text
| to get it ISO fast-tracked. Or as the ISO BRM convenor and recent consultant
| for the British Library Alex Brown reflects1:
|     Ecma made the road very rocky though, by initially producing a text that
|     was so lousy with faults.


Ecma - a case study for vendor capture

,----[ Quote ]
| A small network of people of ECMA International dominated the whole ISO
| process around OOXML while technical experts of national ISO members were
| impeded by committee stuffing, rules bending and political intervention and
| the general restrictions of the revamped ISO/IEC fast-track process.
| [...]
| On the right you find a picture of Jan van den Beld, back then general
| secretary of ECMA international who received the 2000 pages from Microsoft
| represented by its employee Jean Paoli (center). Jean Paoli is probably best
| known for taking the Microsoft credit for the standardization of XML. The
| other person with the beard is Adam Farquhar from the British Library, chair
| of ECMA TC 45. You also find the picture on the right in Adam Farquhar's May
| 07 presentation which advocates for OOXML.


,----[ Quote ]
| And the company Griffin Brown, of which the BRM convenor Alex Brown is the
| director, sent out a press release 13 March 08 celebrating the 10th
| anniversary of XML:
| "Recent moves by Microsoft to standardise its Office products around XML file
| formats merely confirms that most valuable business data in the future will
| be stored in XML. â Alex Brown is convenor of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Ballot
| Resolution Process, and has recently been elected to the panel to advise the
| British Library on how to handle digital submission of journal articles."
| [PJ: A bit of background on the British Library here, but the short version
| is that it uses Microsoft, was a co-sponsor of having Ecma put what is now
| OOXML on the fast track, and says today it is "pleased".] - No OOXML


British Library books go digital

,----[ Quote ]
| Digitised publications will be accessible in two ways -initially through
| Microsoft's Live Search Books and then via the Library's website.


Britain: E-Mail Time Capsule in Works

,----[ Quote ]
| Now the British Library is appealing to ordinary Britons for their
| e-mails, saying it wants to create a snapshot of British life in 2007.
| [...]
| The e-mails will be collated and indexed by Microsoft Corp., which
| has previously partnered with the library to digitize books from
| its archive, and they will be available to researchers before
| the year's end.


Vista and British Library put da Vinci online

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft and the British Library have digitised two of Leonardo da
| Vincis' notebooks.
| [...]
| The British Library has created an updated version of its application
| called "Turning the Pages" which allows people to browse parts of
| its 150 million piece collection via a web browser. We heard how
| this works better using Vista.


Publish And Perish

,----[ Quote ]
| 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.


British Library calls for digital copyright action

,----[ Quote ]
| In a manifesto released on Monday at the Labor Party Conference
| in Manchester, the United Kingdom's national library warned that the
| country's traditional copyright law needs to be extended to fully
| recognize digital content.
| "Unless there is a serious updating of copyright law to recognize
| the changing technological environment, the law becomes an ass,"
| Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, told ZDNet
| UK.

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