Sunday, October 28, 2007

Century’s Playlist

Century’s Playlist

This is a rather excellent introduction to The Rest is Noise a work by Alex Ross,who is, among many other things, the music critic for the New Yorker. I'm looking forward to reading this and this review supports my assumption, based on reading other '"Rossian" outputs that it is indeed both an excellent read and a fount of knowledge.

Take Five, and Call Me

Contuining on in the musical vein is also a review of MUSICOPHILIA: Tales of Music and the Brain. by Oliver Sacks. I picked this work up briefly in Barnes and Noble and I wasn't that impressed as the work is closer to those "penny dreadful" titles emerging this time of year. It's less a study of music's effects on people but more a study of people who happened to be affected or disaffected with music. Please don't take my word for it; the first chapter is available for perusal as well by following the link.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Composer and Computer: Partners Across the Years

German Border Threat: Cheap Books

German Border Threat: Cheap Books

This article is worth reading especially in light of the previous post on Jeff Gomez's Print is Dead work soon to be published on Nov. 13. A quote from the article indicates that "...Germans as a nation believe publishing quality books to be a cultural obligation."However the majority of the individuals interviewed were booksellers who believe in the power of books because of the physically printed media's role in their history. I believe that, however unfortunately, this article shows the beginning of the end for German booksellers. The last individual quoted in the article when asked why books will remain states, "Because we need them." The problem is that national economics rarely respect the individual's cultural needs especially in regards to private book sellers and private publishers.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web

Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web NY TIMES

October 22, 2007
Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google
and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they
are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new
digital collections.

The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston
area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a
nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.

Libraries that agree to work with Google must agree to a set of
terms, which include making the material unavailable to other
commercial search services. Microsoft places a similar restriction on
the books it converts to electronic form. The Open Content Alliance, by
contrast, is making the material available to any search service.

Google pays to scan the books and does not directly profit from the
resulting Web pages, although the books make its search engine more
useful and more valuable. The libraries can have their books scanned
again by another company or organization for dissemination more broadly.

It costs the Open Content Alliance as much as $30 to scan each book,
a cost shared by the group’s members and benefactors, so there are
obvious financial benefits to libraries of Google’s wide-ranging offer,
started in 2004.

Many prominent libraries have accepted Google’s offer — including
the New York Public Library and libraries at the University of
Michigan, Harvard, Stanford and Oxford. Google expects to scan 15
million books from those collections over the next decade.

But the resistance from some libraries, like the Boston Public
Library and the Smithsonian Institution, suggests that many in the
academic and nonprofit world are intent on pursuing a vision of the Web
as a global repository of knowledge that is free of business interests
or restrictions.

Even though Google’s program could make millions of books available
to hundreds of millions of Internet users for the first time, some
libraries and researchers worry that if any one company comes to
dominate the digital conversion of these works, it could exploit that
dominance for commercial gain.

“There are two opposed pathways being mapped out,” said Paul Duguid,
an adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of
California, Berkeley. “One is shaped by commercial concerns, the other
by a commitment to openness, and which one will win is not clear.”

Last month, the Boston Library Consortium of 19 research and
academic libraries in New England that includes the University of
Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts, said it would work
with the Open Content Alliance to begin digitizing the books among the
libraries’ 34 million volumes whose copyright had expired.

“We understand the commercial value of what Google is doing, but we
want to be able to distribute materials in a way where everyone
benefits from it,” said Bernard A. Margolis, president of the Boston
Public Library, which has in its collection roughly 3,700 volumes from
the personal library of John Adams.

Mr. Margolis said his library had spoken with both Google and
Microsoft, and had not shut the door entirely on the idea of working
with them. And several libraries are working with both Google and the
Open Content Alliance.

Adam Smith, project management director of Google Book Search, noted
that the company’s deals with libraries were not exclusive. “We’re
excited that the O.C.A. has signed more libraries, and we hope they
sign many more,” Mr. Smith said.

“The powerful motivation is that we’re bringing more offline
information online,” he said. “As a commercial company, we have the
resources to do this, and we’re doing it in a way that benefits users,
publishers, authors and libraries. And it benefits us because we
provide an improved user experience, which then means users will come
back to Google.”

The Library of Congress has a pilot program with Google to digitize
some books. But in January, it announced a project with a more
inclusive approach. With $2 million from the Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation, the library’s first mass digitization effort will make
136,000 books accessible to any search engine through the Open Content
Alliance. The library declined to comment on its future digitization

The Open Content Alliance is the brainchild of Brewster Kahle, the
founder and director of the Internet Archive, which was created in 1996
with the aim of preserving copies of Web sites and other material. The
group includes more than 80 libraries and research institutions,
including the Smithsonian Institution.

Although Google is making public-domain books readily available to
individuals who wish to download them, Mr. Kahle and others worry about
the possible implications of having one company store and distribute so
much public-domain content.

“Scanning the great libraries is a wonderful idea, but if only one
corporation controls access to this digital collection, we’ll have
handed too much control to a private entity,” Mr. Kahle said.

The Open Content Alliance, he said, “is fundamentally different,
coming from a community project to build joint collections that can be
used by everyone in different ways.”

Mr. Kahle’s group focuses on out-of-copyright books, mostly those
published in 1922 or earlier. Google scans copyrighted works as well,
but it does not allow users to read the full text of those books
online, and it allows publishers to opt out of the program.

Microsoft joined the Open Content Alliance at its start in 2005, as
did Yahoo, which also has a book search project. Google also spoke with
Mr. Kahle about joining the group, but they did not reach an agreement.

A year after joining, Microsoft added a restriction that prohibits a
book it has digitized from being included in commercial search engines
other than Microsoft’s.

“Unlike Google, there are no restrictions on the distribution of
these copies for academic purposes across institutions,” said Jay
Girotto, group program manager for Live Book Search from Microsoft.
Institutions working with Microsoft, he said, include the University of
California and the New York Public Library.

Some in the research field view the issue as a matter of principle.

Doron Weber, a program director at the Sloan Foundation, which has
made several grants to libraries for digital conversion of books, said
that several institutions approached by Google have spoken to his
organization about their reservations. “Many are hedging their bets,”
he said, “taking Google money for now while realizing this is, at best,
a short-term bridge to a truly open universal library of the future.”

The University of Michigan, a Google partner since 2004, does not
seem to share this view. “We have not felt particularly restricted by
our agreement with Google,” said Jack Bernard, a lawyer at the

The University of California, which started scanning books with the
Open Content Alliance, Microsoft and Yahoo in 2005, has added Google.
Robin Chandler, director of data acquisitions at the University of
California’s digital library project, said working with everyone helps
increase the volume of the scanning.

Some have found Google to be inflexible in its terms. Tom Garnett,
director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a group of 10 prominent
natural history and botanical libraries that have agreed to digitize
their collections, said he had had discussions with various people at
both Google and Microsoft.

“Google had a very restrictive agreement, and in all our discussions
they were unwilling to yield,” he said. Among the terms was a
requirement that libraries put their own technology in place to block
commercial search services other than Google, he said.

Libraries that sign with the Open Content Alliance are obligated to
pay the cost of scanning the books. Several have received grants from
organizations like the Sloan Foundation.

The Boston Library Consortium’s project is self-funded, with
$845,000 for the next two years. The consortium pays 10 cents a page to
the Internet Archive, which has installed 10 scanners at the Boston
Public Library. Other members include the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and Brown University.

The scans are stored at the Internet Archive in San Francisco and
are available through its Web site. Search companies including Google
are free to point users to the material.

On Wednesday the Internet Archive announced, together with the
Boston Public Library and the library of the Marine Biological
Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, that it would
start scanning out-of-print but in-copyright works to be distributed
through a digital interlibrary loan system.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Iron and Wine: Songs of Love and Death

Iron and Wine: Songs of Love and Death

You really have to admire NPR for their music selection. I know I've said it before but their selection is truly awesome. This interview and in-studio performance by Sam Beam is fantastic especially as Beam plays one of my personal favorites "Naked as We Came". The combination of the interview with the performance balances out the traditional writing on the artist with the artist's own words. It's a decent recording as well. Continued kudos to WXPN and World Cafe for their hosting of these artists.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Left on the shelf

Left on the shelf
Jeff Gomez, who among other things, maintains the stellar blog Print is Dead, has a fantastic article on the book's need to embrace the digital world.
Gomez also practices what he preaches by putting excerpts from his soon to be published book, Print Is Dead: Long Live The Digital Book , online at
( I believe Nov 13 is the publish date)

Powered by ScribeFire.

One Book, One Philadelphia Picks Dave Eggers' What Is the What for 2008

One Book, One Philadelphia Picks Dave Eggers' What Is the What for 2008
This is awesome; Philadelphia has picked the work What is the What for the One Book, One Philadelphia reading period. I picked this book up at random in our library and it is fantastic. It is fiction but it is powerfully written and well done as well as being based on actual events. I would highly recommend it especially if you want to pick me up a copy. That would be great.
(I'm also looking for a job in a library so if you find one, or if you're hiring please let me know. Especially if it deals with cataloging, archiving or anything that I can work 45 hours a week in a library. I have very little experience, none really, but I'm a fast learner. I am enrolled in the MLIS program at UPitt. I understand this sounds desperate but desperate times call for desperate measures.)

Powered by ScribeFire.

The Nobel Prize in Literature from an Alternative Universe

The Nobel Prize in Literature from an Alternative Universe
This is worth checking out simply because the writer, Ted Gioia, took the time and effort to go through every Nobel prize awarded and picks a writer who should have won the award as their contribution to literature has proven to be much richer and deeper than the actual winner.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Books in the landfill

Books in the landfill

Check out this article from which is a pretty good blog on literature and its overall effects and possible future as well.

Also check out

eBook Hunting at the Highstreet Brands

The writer is taking a sabbatical from all physical books and only buying/reading ebooks. Good post on the current availability of ebooks. What's especially interesting is that he refers back to booktwo's post, the first link, in regards to why he decided to make this decision.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's here

I did it; got the new Radiohead album and it was worth the 7.25 pounds I paid for it. Willingly I might add. Because Radiohead is worth it and because it's what we're doing anyway. We=music fans. We pay for the music we think is worth it; we pay for the bands we want to support and then rip the music for the bands that we are interested in. I do have to confess that I have ripped the last two mewithoutYou Cd's instead of buying them but I plan to make that up in merch at the show on December 7th @ The Electric Factory.
Also, if I have not mentioned it, the In Rainbows album is unbelievably good. It is a fantastic mix of standard rock instrumentation infused with the "radiohead" touch of rhythmic and electronic shifts that inform and support each song.
And please enjoy this. ( I can laugh at it because I get it) Check out more at

Exploits of a Mom

Leadership and Library

In light of the current semester's assignment of planning and organizing a working library, this essay is particularly poignant. Reflections of a former CIO: Leadership lessons learned.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Google Hints at Social Network Plan

Google Hints at Social Network Plan

Please note the especially interesting line of "...Google is planning to use information it has about the connections between its users..." tell me that's not a little invasive and/or scary

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Digging Up Thelonious Monk's Southern Roots

Digging Up Thelonious Monk's Southern Roots

I started subscribing to the NPR music feed and it is one of the best around. A HUGE range of music from Messian to Maddonna to Monk. You can also listen to different selections and check out additional web resources. Please enjoy the article and check out the rest of NPR; it's straight with no chaser.

Powered by ScribeFire.

In Radiohead Price Plan, Some See a Movement

In Radiohead Price Plan, Some See a Movement

Check out where all the sweet, sweet hype is at
If you're going to get the album, bloody well pay something.

Radiohead, Big Enough to Act Like a Baby Band

“Digital technology has reintroduced the age of the troubadour. You are
worth what people are prepared to give you in the digital age because
they can get it for nothing."

Support the Rainbow!

Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Stand and rhyme


Douglas Goetsch has written six collections of poems, the most recent of which is
Your Whole Life. He taught high school for 21 years for the City of New York, where he now writes full-time. This essay pulls from The American Scholar online and is a wonderful idea where for a term students work on poetry in its various forms and then hosted a poetry stand writing poems on demand for passersby. It's really an excellent article.

Powered by ScribeFire.


Siva Vaidhyanathan is at it again. In conjunction with the IF:Book he working on a book in a progress entitled : The Googlization of Everything. (and why we should worry) (The ironic part is that I track the updates to this using my customized iGoogle page and am typing this entry via blogger which is, you guessed it, run by the Google)
The project is interesting because it invites open interaction by the readers of the blog as well as the opportunity to participate in the project via the forum of open questions. This is old news but I was excited about it again.
so please toddle on over to and add it to your list of favorite feeds and read it as well. It's really not much good if you just hoard it.
"It's not culture if you keep it in your living room." My paraphrase: "It's not helpful if you don't open it.
and read it
and interact
and do something about what you have read."

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Frontier Foundation
check it out; this is a good copyright site and knowledgebase.
I also stumbled across this site:
I can't tell if it's still functional; hope so.

Powered by ScribeFire.