- Why did ERIC remove access to full text documents?
- What process did the ERIC team use to restore the PDFs?
- Why did it take almost two years for ERIC to restore the documents?
- What are the next steps?
Yesterday evening instead of attending the prologue of the 2014 Tour of Alberta as I had planned, I found myself at the Calgary stop of Richard Pietro's Open Government Tour. I totally made the right choice!
Over the past year I've found myself increasingly interested in both linked data and civic affairs, and this 3-hour event brought them together in a wonderful way, though it was much more about open data than linked data. I'm not going to attempt to recreate the discussion here, but as much for myself as for anyone else who's interested, I'm going to list the participants along with some of the sites and tools that were discussed.
Sameer Vasta – Data Catalyst, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto (via Skype)
DJ Kelly – Strategy Lead, Cultural Transformation, The City of Calgary
Bill Ptacek - CEO of Calgary Public Library
Grant Neufeld – Calgary Democracy, member Calgary eGovernment Strategy Advisory Comm.
Lori Stewart – Co-founder Hopper Dev, member Calgary eGovernment Strategy Advisory Comm.
Walter Simbirski – Open Data Strategist, The City of Calgary
Mark Gayler – Technology Strategist, Microsoft Canada
Paul Fairie – Political Science, University of Calgary
Sites of interest:
Here's a thought-provoking talk given by Simone Kortekaas of Utrecht University Library in the Netherlands at this year's UKSG conference. In it, she talks about how they decided to do away with their discovery tool and steer users to Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus. Utrecht appears to be a science-heavy institution. The title is a bit off, as they do still run their traditional catalogue for now, but still, their statistics showed their users were using tools other than those built by the library, so that's where they focused their efforts. Think you could get away with this at your school? Where are YOUR users actually starting their research?
Thanks for the link Heather!
Inspired by Peter in PEI, I went ahead and transcribed the PDF of the official Westmount Charter School (in Calgary) 2014/15 Calendar into Google Calendar and iCal formats so you can actually import them into the calendar of your choice, rather than have to read a PDF.
Update - August 18, 2014: Just got an email from Westmount indicating they're launching their own official version on Google Calendar, so I've taken mine down to avoid confusion and will link to the official one when it's posted. Yay!
Gartner claims that next year, for the first time, more tablet devices will be sold than desktop PCs: Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 4.2 Percent in 2014. This despite the report noting that tablets are actually cooling down - guess that means PCs are going cold?
A couple of good-looking posts from my aggregator today:
Here's a nifty feature to look forward to in the fall - the ability to record screencasts of your iOS apps in order to incorporate them in to tutorials, etc...
Once you connect an iOS 8 device to your Mac running OS X 10.10, it will be automatically available as a video camera. You can then capture anything you’re doing on-screen directly to your Mac using QuickTime Player.
Source: iPhone in Canada
Amanda Wakaruk, Government Information Librarian at the University of Alberta, has written a comprehensive article outlining the BS (my words, not hers), libraries in Canada have been dealing with over the past several years when it comes to accessing Federal information. Her entire paper is available on the UofA Institutional Repository: What the Heck is Happening up North? Canadian Federal Government Information, Circa 2014.
Here's a paragraph to whet your appetite:
Parks Canada removed hundreds of lesson plans from its website, the Aboriginal Portal of Canada was closed with two weeks’ notice, access to tables of 1665-1871 Census statistics disappeared with the decommissioning of E-Stat, and we started to notice serious lapses in content on once trusted websites (e.g., ministerial speeches were no longer being added to departmental websites). To make matters worse, we were learning about restricted access to publications which used to be freely available online. For example, in order to access dozens of reports on the Health Canada website you now have to fill in and submit a form before the pdf document will be sent via email. Because this requires the use of an identifying email address, some suggested that it was in violation of Section 4 of the Privacy Act. Furthermore, when a library staff member attempted to order multiple titles using these forms, she was informed that they would not be provided until she explained how she intended to use them.
Maybe BS isn't strong enough?
Here's a jab from Rick Mercer on the subject:
Hat tip to Dani for the info about this paper!
To be honest, I kind of assumed they already talked to each other, but I guess the ability to record on one OS and edit on another is just new today. Camtasia Studio 8.4 & Camtasia for Mac 2.8 Now Available: Cross-platform Screen Recording.
We’ve updated our screen recording file format, so you can pass screen recordings freely between Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac. Using a single file format enables you to send a recording from one platform to the other effortlessly, including all the meta data, such as cursor effects and smart focus.
We hope users see the new .trec file format from TechSmith as an indication of our commitment to the cross-platform user experience.
A recent article of possible interest: Distance Students' Attitude Toward Library Help Seeking.
Distance students' attitude toward seeking library help was examined in a medium sized university. A web-based survey was conducted for indentifying library help seeking attitudes among distance students. A 30-mile radius of the campus was used to arbitrarily distinguish between near campus and far campus groups. The study concluded that distance students who visit library and seek help more frequently are more likely have higher self-efficacy on learning. Among all types of library help sources, Libguides were the most used. Near campus students preferred face-to-face consultation more than virtual service, and they also tend to seek help from peers. However, far campus students were more likely seek help with a distance librarian. Email continued to be the most common way of distributing and receiving library information. Social network tools for information seeking were not appreciated as had been anticipated. Implications of the findings for providing effective reference service are discussed. There is not one reference service model that fits all. A library should determine the best reference service that meets the changes of their communities and library's function over time.
"On April 29, 2014 the Interim Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Chantal Bernier, revealed that Canadian telecommunications companies have disclosed enormous volumes of information to state agencies."
This lead sentence comes from Citizen Lab's recent post, Responding to the Crisis in Canadian Telecommunications. I heard about that post after listening to the most recent episode (#31) of Jesse Brown's Canadaland podcast, Your Telecom Provider is Selling your Information to the Government. Well worth the 32 minutes!
Using the template in the blog post above I have sent requests to Telus (mobile), Fido (mobile) and Shaw (Cable, Internet, VOIP) asking them to disclose the personal information it collects, retains, manages, and discloses about me, and I plan to post the information I receive here because CitizenLab makes such a compelling case and I want this information generally to be public:
Why Your Requests Matter
Beyond simply exercising your legal rights, these requests matter on both the personal and the national level. Personally, by filing these requests you will be empowered to think about whether you’re OK with the amount(s) of information that your telecommunications companies collect or record about you, the duration of time they record that information, and their willingness to explain who they share information with. In effect, you won’t be at the mercy of pundits and talking heads to explain whether the collection of data matters to your life, in the abstract, because you’ll have the data in hand to make your own decisions and reach your own conclusions.
Beyond self-empowerment, it’s important for Canadians generally to file these requests to telecommunications companies because the companies have so steadfastly refused to communicate with the experts, with government bodies, and with interested members of the press. Almost all of the ‘polite’ ways of figuring out what these companies are up to have been exhausted: it’s time, unfortunately, to compel these companies to explain why they collect data, how much of it they collect, and explain why they disclose the information. To be clear, telecommunications companies in the United States and Europe have already begun releasing ‘transparency reports’, or documents explaining how and why the companies share information with state agencies. Those reports are the result of American and European publics supporting their civil advocates and privacy officers, lending their incredibly powerful voices to the policy and legal efforts that had been ongoing for years. Canadians are amongst the most digitally connected populations on earth: now it’s time for us all to figure out who’s been monitoring, and disclosing, who we’ve been connecting to and whether existing practices need to be reined in.
Requests were sent via email to Shaw and Telus on May 7, 2014, and via snail mail to Fido on May 8, 2014. I received an automated email response from Telus in 24 minutes, and nothing of the sort from Shaw.
I'll be back in early June or sooner with an update.
Earlier this year I mentioned a couple of useful tools to help you determine what CMS and plugins are being used on a given site.
Amit has an even better list of Online Tools To Know Everything About a Website, including things like what hosting company is being used, and a tool to determine whether a site is accessable from different countries. Definitely worth a bookmark!