Friday, January 19, 2007

Weekly readings - 19 January 2007

Microsoft Unveils Wave of New Products and Services at CES. Press release. Jan. 7, 2007.

Microsoft has unveiled their Home Server, which provides a central place to help store, protect and access all the digital content in the home. This is a new software product intended for homes with multiple PCs to connect their computers, digital devices and printers to help store, protect and share their digital collections. This is to help consumers deal with their rapidly increasing digital content (e.g. 273 billion digital images were captured worldwide in 2006). In the US over 40 million homes have more than one PC and over 30% have an MP3 player. The Home Server automatically backs up home PCs and is a central location for storing a photographs, music, videos and documents.

Architectural Considerations for Archive and Compliance Solutions. White paper. Computerworld. January 8, 2007.

Within the IT industry there is no agreement on a definition of ‘archive’. For some it means moving inactive data; for others it is permanent, managed storage. Long-Term Data Retention is becoming more important. Data retention periods have increased, in some cases to 100 years or more. U.S. regulations require all medical records to be retained for 30 years after a person’s death. And with today’s life expectancy rates, this could mean retaining records for well over 100 years. As the amount of data grows, the data management will become even more complex and costly to maintain. Data integrity assurance ensures that data is identically maintained throughout all operations, including transfer, storage, and retrieval. Checksum algorithms are a common form of data integrity assurance.

Maintaining data in a usable format is critical because we don’t know what applications will be used long term. Saving data in its native format may be a way to enable organizations to access it in the future.

E-Journal Archiving Metes and Bounds: A Survey of the Landscape. Anne R. Kenney, et al. CLIR pub 138. September, 2006.

This report summarizes a review of 12 e-journal archiving programs from the perspective of concerns expressed by directors of academic libraries in North America. It uses a methodology comparable to the art of surveying land by “metes and bounds” in the era before precise measures and calibrated instruments were available. It argues that current license arrangements are inadequate to protect a library’s long-term interest in electronic journals, that individual libraries cannot address the preservation needs of e-journals on their own, that much scholarly e-literature is not covered by archiving arrangements, and that while e-journal archiving programs are becoming available, no comprehensive solution has emerged and large parts of e-literature go unprotected.

SDSC Releases Open-Source iRODS Data Management System. January 10, 2007.

Large data collections are bringing dramatic results. Large collections can exceed 100 TB in size, and are difficult to manage. The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) has released the latest open-source version of iRODS, the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System, which represents a new approach to distributed data management. iRODS supports data grids, digital libraries, and persistent archives. Managing data consists of a large number of complex inter-related tasks.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Weekly readings - 12 January 2007

Digital Preservation News: January 2007. Library of Congress. January 2007.

The news of what is happening at the Library of Congress with digital preservation. It includes a number of items worth reading:

· The Birth of the Dot-Com Era. This closed archive will serve as a model of a trusted institutional repository.

· The ‘famous’ Cathy comic strip on digital preservation.

· The NDIIPP 2005 Annual Review which gives a good overview of what has been happening in this program.

LOCKSS - Floating electronic librarianship to a higher level. Stuart Weibel. Blog. January 09, 2007.

The LOCKSS model tries to make the Web behave more like library shelves. While this may not seem really exciting, it is “arguably among the most important missing links in making digital libraries solid enough to bear up as reliable stores of cultural assets.” Two questions about electronic library data are:

1. Who has custody?

2. Who gets access?

These questions must be decided and LOCKSS in part returns management of the collection back to the library rather than just renting data. It also addresses the problem of format migration by supporting HTTP content negotiation, which means giving the user the choice of different versions of a document that best fits their situation. Another prospect is using LOCKSS as a low-cost means of preserving unpublished or ephemeral materials, which fits with the role of libraries as managers of unique collections. LOCKSS is looking at blogs, institutional repositories, and other possibilities. The technology is carefully thought out, low in cost, high in impact, and which can use the collaboration that defines the library community.

Hitachi announces one terabyte hard drive. Press Release. Computer Technology Review. January 9, 2007.

Hitachi announced a one terabyte (TB) hard drive, the Deskstar 7K1000, will begin shipping to retail customers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of US$399. It uses the perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.

New tape specification 50% faster with 800GB. Deni Connor. Computerworld. January 10, 2007.

The new LTO tape specification was just released. It can store up to 800GB in uncompressed mode. It includes encryption and allows for an interchange between HP and IBM equipment, and can also read LTO2 and LTO3 tapes. “The Library of Congress collections could fit on six LTO 4 cartridges.”

A companion to digital humanities. Schreibman, Susan (ed). Blackwell Publishing. January 9, 2007.

The electronic version of this resource. comprehensive description of the history, development and current status of the digital humanities and humanities computing.

Divided into four parts - history; principles; applications; and production, dissemination and archiving

It includes sections on “The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Libraries” by Howard Besser and “Preservation” by Abby Smith. Some quotes include:

· “in the digital realm, the ability to know about, locate and retrieve, and then verify (or reasonably assume) that a digital object is authentic, complete, and undistorted is as crucial to "fitness for use" or preservation as it is for analogue objects”

· The general approach to preserving analogue and digital information is exactly the same – to reduce risk of information loss to an acceptable level – but the strategies used to insure against loss are quite different.

· a digital object's file format and metadata schema greatly affect its persistence and how it will be made available in the future.

· those who create intellectual property in digital form need to be more informed about what is at risk if they ignore longevity issues at the time of creation.

· scholars should be attending to the information resources crucial to their fields by developing and adopting the document standards vital for their research and teaching, with the advice of preservationists and computer scientists where appropriate.

· As long as those cultural and intellectual resources are under the control of enterprises that do not know about and take up their preservation mandate, there is a serious risk of major losses for the future, analogous to the fate of films in the first 50 years of their existence.

· Scholars cannot leave it to later generations to collect materials created today. They must assume a more active role in the stewardship of research collections….

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hybrid products unlikely to end DVD format war

Apparently a DVD player that supports both Blu-ray and HD DVD that was supposed to solve the format war has instead caused more concern about it causing consumer confusion and lengthening the battle.