Friday, March 02, 2007

Weekly readings - 2 March 2007

Library Copyright Alliance Strongly Supports H.R. 1201, the FAIR USE Act. Jonathan Band. District Dispatch. February 28, 2007.

The FAIR USE Act would make a film clip exemption applicable to all classrooms not just college media studies classes. It would also allow a library to legally circumvent technological protections in order to preserve encoded works in a library's collection. Preservation is one of the most critical library functions. The DMCA provides obstacles to a library’s ability to preserve some objects; the FAIR USE Act will remove the obstacle without harming copyrights.

Hard Disk MTBF: Flap or Farce? David Morgenstern. eWeek. February 28, 2007.

Computer hard drive reliability is rated in hours: known as MTBF (mean time between failures). Some drives are rated at 1.5 million hours, which is over 100 years. Now some are questioning this statistic. They have found that replacement rates are sometimes as high as 13%, and there is little difference between SCSI, FC, and SATA drives. In reality, there isn't a reliable way to statistically determine the reliability of disk drives that are in use. Expecting that data won’t get lost is not realistic, even with a Raid array. Budgets must include regular hard drive replacement.

Back stage at the Oscars with Martin Scorsese: The press interview. Movie News. February 27, 2007.

This interview contains a brief discussion with Martin Scorsese about film archiving and preservation. He is a proponent of film preservation and film archiving. “It's very important. We don't know what new technology is coming down the line. Digital also fades. We have to be very careful.” There is so much to be done, but choices have to be made. They are trying to restore older films on celluloid, but it is expensive and only a very few can be done. If the only thing you can do is transfer them to digital to preserve them, then that may have to be done. With small budgets, preservation is a serious problem.

Adobe to take Photoshop online. Martin LaMonica, Mike Ricciuti. CNET News. February 28, 2007

Adobe plans to release an online version of Photoshop within six months. The lower-end version is expected to be free and will be an entry-level version of the full products. Adobe is trying to find how to use web services for their products. Other vendors have already started doing similar things. Google’s free Picasa program allows users to manage images and to read Adobe Photoshop files.

California may join rush of states toward ODF. Eric Lai. Computerworld. February 27, 2007.

A bill in the California legislature would mandate open, XML-based document file formats in the state government starting next January. Several other states are also considering this. This initiative seems to support the Open Document Format used in OpenOffice.

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