Friday, January 27, 2006

Weekly readings - 27 January 2006

It May Look Authentic; Here's How to Tell It Isn't. Nicholas Wade. The New York Times. January 24, 2006.

In the digital age, photo-manipulation has proved particularly troublesome for science and others. In recent events, photos have been manipulated to misrepresent scientific tests. The Journal of Cell Biology editors recognized the likelihood that images were being improperly manipulated when the journal required all illustrations to be submitted in digital form. The guidelines state that nothing should be done to any part of an illustration that did not affect all other parts equally. Basically that it is all right to adjust the brightness or color balance of the whole photo, but not to obscure, move or introduce an element. Others are concerned about the authenticity of digital images. The editors are developing methods of detecting certain patterns of image manipulation.

EMC adds Google Desktop search to Documentum. Lucas Mearian. Computerworld. January 17, 2006.,10801,107811,00.html?source=NLT_SU&nid=107811

EMC announced that Google Desktop has been added to the Documentum 5.3 Enterprise Content Integration (ECI) Services. The search feature can access unstructured content stored on desktops, including documents, Web pages, XML, and audio and video files. Other Google applications for web and network have already been supported.

Data-Storage Essentials. Washington Post. From PC World. December 24, 2005.

For consumers the ideal storage is ultra cheap DVDs and CDs, which can store a lot of files permanently. For moving files around from one place to another, flash memory or an external hard drive are very useful. An external hard drive is good for backing up your data.

DoD First to Transfer Digital Records to National Archives. Steven Donald Smith. January 23, 2006.

The Defense Department became the first federal agency to transfer digital records to the National Archives and Records Administration using the new established Electronic Records Archive "pre-accession" guidelines. These guidelines st

Friday, January 20, 2006

Weekly readings - 20 January 2006

Building the UK's First Public Web Archive. Steve Bailey, Dave Thompson. D-Lib Magazine. January 2006.

In spite of our dependence on the internet, very little attention has been paid to the long-term preservation of websites. To remedy this, six UK institutions are developing a test project to archive UK websites. The article discusses their experience and the lessons they are learning from the project. The process follows the basic archival principles of Selection, Acquisition, Description and Access. The project has had some success, but there are also some very real difficulties that they have encountered. They have had difficulty in finding a suitable program. Some systems have no descriptive standards or no subject control. Some of the sites change so rapidly it is difficult to work with them. Technical skills are required to repair ‘broken’ sites. The project has allowed the technical IT staff to interact with the archival staff, giving them opportunities for greater collaboration. Selective archiving ensures maximum functionality and accurate and faithful reproduction of the sites. “The result is a high quality archive, whose content is selected along clear and agreed lines, that is robust and authoritative.” The site is at

Nikon to focus on digital cameras. BBC News. 12 January 2006. Nikon has said that it will stop making most of its film cameras and focus on digital cameras instead. This will allow it to meet the competitive needs in the digital market. Nikon said that the film market has continued to decrease while the digital market is increasing. Nikon will end production of all lenses for its large format cameras, as well as most of its film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and other related accessories. But it will continue to make the F6 film camera in a commitment to professional photographers.

Konica Minolta Exits Camera Market. Terry Sullivan. PC Magazine. 19 January 2006. Konica Minolta, a company that makes cameras, film, and other photographic products, has announced that they are closing their camera and photo divisions. The digital camera assets will be transferred to Sony. Instead, it will focus on copiers, fax machines, printers as well as its medical and graphic imaging technologies. Konica Minolta has been the third largest film maker in the world.

New perpendicular recording boosts hard-drive capacity. Computerworld. January 18, 2006.,10801,107832,00.html?source=NLT_SU&nid=107832 Seagate has started shipping hard drives that use perpendicular recording, where bits of data are stored vertically rather than horizontally. This increases the amount of storage space on the disk. This is a new way of doing things; it changes the way the heads and disks interact with each other. By reducing the number of disks needed, it can also make the computer run cooler, thus extending the life of the components.

Maxell focuses on holographic storage. Colin Barker. CNET November 28, 2005. Maxell is planning to launch its first holographic storage in September 2006. The removable drive will hold 300GB. The drive, which looks similar to a floppy disk, uses light-sensitive crystals and can use the whole drive to store the information, not just the surface. The disks will cost about $100. In 5 years they plan to expand the capability to 1.6 TB per disk. Maxell is working with InPhase Technologies.,39029473,40058607,00.htm

Imation buys Memorex in $330M deal. Elizabeth Montalbano. Computerworld. January 20, 2006.,10801,107929,00.html?source=NLT_PM&nid=107929 Imation announced a deal to acquire Memorex, a provider of CD and DVD storage products. The companies will integrate their businesses by the end of the year. The Memorex brand will be retained, and Imation hopes to use this to boost its storage business.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Microsoft Rebukes Blu-ray Statements

Microsoft Rebukes Blu-ray Statements

More on the Blu-ray and HD DVD war. "With Microsoft backing HD DVD and Sony backing Blu-ray, its still anybody's guess as to which format will win."

"Microsoft firmly stands behind the HD-DVD format as the best choice for our consumers. As we've said before, we're confident that HD-DVD will bring the excitement of high definition movies to the consumer faster and at a greater value. We believe that consumers have signaled what format they want to enjoy high definition DVD and we're going to follow them down that path. The question of whether Xbox 360 has the flexibility to adapt to consumers' needs is a different issue entirely. Xbox 360 is a future-proofed system -- one that allows us to add features as consumers demand them -- as evidenced by our offering of the HD DVD drive as an accessory."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Preservation Readings 13 January 2006

Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span? John Blau. PCWorld. January 10, 2006.,aid,124312,pg,1,RSS,RSS,00.asp

There are many views on how to store the digital materials, but optical discs have a short life span. There are a few things that can extend the life a few years, such as proper handling and storage. Cheap CDs may have a lifespan of 2 years. Hard drives have limitations and are also prone to failure over time. This article suggests using good quality magnetic tapes, which they claim are the superior storage and can last 30 to 100 years. But most important, have an archiving strategy that allows you to migrate to new technologies.

CDs, Lies, and Magnetic Tapes. Larry Medina. Computerworld. January 10 2006.

A response to the John Blau article about CD lifespan problems. The original article had little new to add, and was something that records managers have been saying for years. A sensible media migration policy, is needed. It should look at the usage pattern and methods for media storage and consider the value of information stored. Multiple copies and proper handling and storage will help extend the lifespan. But there are more things to consider, such as the format of the data and hardware obsolescence. Tape was stated in the original article as the better alternative, but there are additional problems with tape, such as heat, magnetism, vertical storage, other storage concerns, and it must be retentioned periodically. We need to diligently protect the information and not rely on things to remain the same forever.

HarperCollins to digitize 20,000 of its books. Reuters. December 12, 2005.

The publisher plans to digitize 20,000 of its existing books and the several thousand books it publishes each year, in order to protect author’s rights from mass digitization projects. They intend to allow internet search companies to create an index. It is also an attempt to control the number of digital copies of works. "If publishers don't do this, there are going to be too many digital copies of books out there."

Elsevier covers archiving with Portico deal. Mark Chillingworth. Information World Review. 22 December 2005.

Elsevier will deposit over 2000 titles from ScienceDirect in a permanent e-journal archive. It is working with Portico to do this. Portico is the electronic journal archiving arm of JSTOR. This project is part of the national preservation program funded through the Library of Congress. Over seven million articles will be deposited in the archive beginning in January 2006. Elsevier continues to work with the National Library of Netherlands in archiving content.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Preservation Readings 6 January 2006

Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives. June M. Besek. Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress. December 2005.

National Recording Preservation Board has been given the charge to study the state of audio preservation in the US. The Library of Congress is directed to create a comprehensive national plan for audio preservation. This 62 page document is part of that process. Before February 15 1972, federal copyright law did not protect sound recordings, though there are other laws in effect. There are various aspects of copyright discussed. US Code 108 allows libraries or archives to make up to three copies

of an unpublished copyrighted work ‘solely for purposes of preservation and security or for deposit for research use in another library or archives’. The work must be in the of the library collection, and the digital copy may not be made available to the public in that format outside the library premises. Other relevant sections include fair use, first sale doctrine, orphaned works, distance education, ephemeral copying, archival preservation, and some state laws. This article also looks at questions such as
· May Libraries Rely on Others to Make Digital Copies?
· Are Collaborative Digital Preservation Projects Permissible?
· Use of Digital Preservation and Replacement Copies
· Interactive, On-Demand Streaming, & Webcasting

On Technological Protection Issues: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) prohibits circumventing a technological measure that “effectively controls access” to a copyrighted work. There is no exception for archiving, nor is there a general “fair use” type exception in the statute. There is an administrative method for handling exceptions. “If an archives has legally defensible reasons for seeking to circumvent access controls, it could seek an exemption pursuant to the rule-making procedure.” “Technological protections are a potential hindrance to certain library preservation and replacement activities and may require a legislative solution.” Preservation efforts are hampered by legal restrictions. How should a library proceed? Some ways are discussed, such as choosing projects where the risk is low, make copies for preservation but not for current use, focus on older recordings, provide an opt-out mechanism, stream recordings only to other libraries or archives.

“The copyright law has historically granted special privileges to libraries and archives to enable preservation of our cultural and intellectual heritage, and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to adapt to preserve these privileges in the digital world, balancing the needs of libraries and archives with the legitimate interests of right holders. A new study group has been formed to consider the exceptions for libraries and archives in the copyright law and to make recommendations by mid-2006 for possible changes to reflect new technologies.”


Perspectives on Trustworthy Information. H.M. Gladney. Digital Document Quarterly. December 2005.

For some, digital preservation means “measures to mitigate the deleterious effects of technology obsolescence, media degradation, and fading human memory.” Others appear to have a broader definition. Using a different phrase for different meanings makes it difficult to understand the topic. Cost estimating should include professional accountants because of their expertise with this. Comparing digital preservation costs between different institutions will be difficult because:
· Costing assumptions differ between institutions, such as the cost of labor, how costs are allocated between projects that share resources, etc.
· Comparing the cost of digital preservation with paper preservation may not work because the objectives may be different
· The cost of facilities to store paper are very different from the ability to store digital items
· The “bottom line” number might not be the most important result of cost estimation. In contrast, the organizational and technical insights accumulated in the exercise can have enduring utility.

There is a hesitancy by many to use checklists such as the Audit Guidelines, because most find them too time consuming and tedious. But there are many detailed requirements needed, so there really is no alternative.

There is slow progress toward practical digital preservation systems. The reasons may be partitioning systems into components, and failing to understand existing software and the additions needed. There are over 70 non-commercial repository packages, too many to really for the marketplace. Most commercial packages are not aware of even the leading non-commercial software. “Much of the current work on digital repositories seems wasteful because it reproduces what might be acquired at less expense than its likely development costs.”


Your Data At Risk Why you should be worried about preserving electronic records. The National Council on Archives. September 2005.

This report is a good overview of digital preservation and is aimed at those who direct information management organizations in the UK, but it is useful to all. “Sustainable digital preservation of records successfully requires a strategic direction and policy commitment from the top of the organisation that translates into operational effectiveness below that level.” “Digital preservation is about a series of actions that need to be taken and managed to make sure there is continued access to digital materials for as long as is necessary.” Digital materials are more ephemeral than traditional materials; they need to be cared for and preserved. This is about cultural memory, but also is needed for a healthy democracy. This is an important part of good records management. It ensures that information is authentic and reliable.

More than just a technological need, the main issue is knowing what you have, what to keep, and how to organize it. “You can’t preserve a record without managing it first.” Preservation requires strategy, structure, processes and responsibility for the entire organization. In addition, it needs clear communication and collaboration from the point of creation. Digital reservation needs the skills of records managers and archivists to select, identify and manage records. They must be involved in the process at the outset—this is critical. The costs to preserve the record cannot be separated from the cost to make it accessible. These costs are an investment and will save money in the long run.
· Developing a Digital Preservation Strategy and a budget
· Identifying a senior management team champion


Broadcom unveils chip that plays Blu-Ray, HD-DVD. Tom Krazit. Computerworld. January 03, 2006.,10801,107441,00.html?source=NLT_SU&nid=107441

To avoid incompatibilities, Broadcom Corp. has introduced a chip with technology will allow PCs or DVD players to play video recorded with either the Blu-ray or HD-DVD standard. The chip will support the H.264 and VC-1 recording standards, used by Blu-Ray and HD DVD, as well as the high-definition MPEG-2 format.