Acme Book News
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Virus Alert--And this one's not a hoax
Internet Worm Set to Delete Files on Wednesday
Computer security companies on Tuesday warned that a dangerous new Internet worm that is spreading will try to delete and overwrite files on infected computers beginning on Wednesday.
The worm, dubbed Klez.E, is programmed to delete and overwrite Word, Excel, video, image, and Internet files, among others, on the sixth day of every other month, said Mikko Hypponen, manager of antivirus research at F-Secure, a Helsinki-based company.
Klez, now listed as one of the 10 most common viruses worldwide, displays different subject lines, sometimes masquerading as a virus warning, and it tries to delete antivirus software as well, according to F-Secure.
The worm can infect computers running any e-mail system, but only sends itself to recipients listed in the address books of Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT.O Outlook, Hypponen said.
E-mail attachments containing the worm can execute automatically, infecting the system just by a recipient reading or viewing the e-mail message and not opening the attachment, the company said. [read more]
Extending Copyright Helps Corporations, Not Artists
Later this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether Congress violated the Constitution when it extended copyright protection four years ago. Individual creators will instinctively side with Congress, believing that control of copyrights should go on as long as possible. They are mistaken. Congress acted unconstitutionally and, by doing so, chose the economic interests of corporations over culture, knowledge and society.
In 1998, Congress extended the term of copyright from life plus 50 years for individual creators to life plus 70 years. In other words, my heirs can control any works I create and own for 70 years after my death. The law, known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, also added 20 more years of protection to "corporate" copyright. [read more]
A Library as Big as the World by Heather Green
Who invented movable type?
Brewster Kahle has the technology to assemble the ultimate archive of human knowledge. What's stopping him? Restrictive copyright laws.
Brewster Kahle is tackling a big task. And despite some looming clouds, he's pretty darn excited about it. Kahle, a 41-year-old serial entrepreneur, is building the Digital Age's equivalent of the ancient library of Alexandria.
The first installment of his project launched last October. That's when the public could finally use the Internet Archive, a collection of 10 billion pages, including Internet sites, movies, and Usenet postings five times larger than the amount of information at the Library of Congress. [read more]
Renaissance Secrets: What Did Gutenberg Invent?
3 years ago Paul Needham and Blaise Aguera y Arcas set out to find a method of dating books. Some letters get damaged, making their printed form more distinctive, and their use in different publications links them to the same printing shop and an approximate time period. Paul and Blaise collaborated on a system to identify these distinctive letters. In the process they made a discovery that was so controversial that they revised their methods over and over again to test their findings. But the incontrovertible truth was staring them in the face. [read more]
Scholars Who Dig-itize Gutenberg by Kendra Mayfield
When people think about the printing revolution, one name comes to mind: Johannes Gutenberg.
But what if Gutenberg didn't actually invent the revolutionary technique of mass-producing words as we know it today?
Scholars will soon get a chance to examine in exquisite detail what is considered the first book printed with moveable type.
A project is currently underway at the Library of Congress to digitize its copy of the Gutenberg Bible. The library has partnered with Octavo to photograph, scan and digitize every binding, endsheet and page of the three-volume Bible. [read more]
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Digital Domesday Book Doomed
Digital Domesday Book lasts 15 years not 1000
It was meant to be a showcase for Britain's electronic prowess - a computer-based, multimedia version of the Domesday Book. But 16 years after it was created, the £2.5 million BBC Domesday Project has achieved an unexpected and unwelcome status: it is now unreadable.
The special computers developed to play the 12in video discs of text, photographs, maps and archive footage of British life are - quite simply - obsolete.
As a result, no one can access the reams of project information - equivalent to several sets of encyclopaedias - that were assembled about the state of the nation in 1986. By contrast, the original Domesday Book - an inventory of eleventh-century England compiled in 1086 by Norman monks - is in fine condition in the Public Record Office, Kew, and can be accessed by anyone who can read and has the right credentials. 'It is ironic, but the 15-year-old version is unreadable, while the ancient one is still perfectly usable,' said computer expert Paul Wheatley. 'We're lucky Shakespeare didn't write on an old PC.' [read more]
The Top Librarian Personalities on the Web
The LISNews.com Top Librarian Personalities on the Web, is a list of people that, for one reason or another, have stood out in the crowded field of online librarians. The process to build this list worked something like this...
The initial nominees were gathered from the LISNews authors. I then contacted each of those initial nominees, and asked for a list. I then contacted those who they nominated, and so on. In the end I had a list of about 80 people from around the world.
I was shocked at almost 100% response rate and an almost universal excitement for the results. I decided to make the nominating criteria informal, to explore just what people thought a "Top Librarian Personality on the Web" actually was. I wanted to keep it fun and informal.
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Acme to move T1 line
On Monday, March 4th at 4:30 pm EST, we will be moving our T1 line to a more secure location. We expect this to only disrupt service for a short time. Allow up to 1 hour for this change over to take place and please accept our apologies, in advance, for any inconvenience
It's all there
Linus Pauling Research Notebooks
Read any good e-books lately?
As with many scientists, Linus Pauling utilized bound notebooks to keep track of the details of his research as it unfolded. A testament to the remarkable length and diversity of Dr. Pauling's career, the Pauling Papers holdings include forty-six research notebooks spanning the years of 1922 to 1994 and covering any number of the scientific fields in which Dr. Pauling involved himself. In this regard, the notebooks contain many of Pauling's laboratory calculations and experimental data, as well as scientific conclusions, ideas for further research and numerous autobiographical musings. [read the notebooks]
Though the dot-com boom is over, e-book sales still on the rise
Read any good websites lately?
The theme at this year's annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers seems left over from the dot-com boom: ``Protecting Intellectual Property in the Digital Age.''
The recent shutdown of electronic imprints at Random House and AOL Time Warner Inc. makes e-books look like a dying fashion. Between the slow economy and the events of Sept. 11, publishers apparently had higher priorities than worrying about hackers and electronic copyrights.
The e-market continues to expand nevertheless. While annual numbers for individual publishers remain small -- in the tens of thousands of copies sold -- Simon & Schuster, St. Martin's Press, HarperCollins and others report double-digit growth over the past year. [read more]
The Literary Web: Web sites featuring the word are thriving
In the fickle world of the Web, it's nice to know there are sites that are resistant to shifts in fashion and economy. Literary Web sites, for example, traffic in a form that moves at a less frenetic pace than other online media does. Communities of writers, especially those poets, spoken-word artists and experimental-prose writers whose works rarely make it to the shelves at Barnes and Noble, or even into the farther reaches of Amazon.com's warehouses, have made effective and enduring use of literary webzines -- and they may barely have noticed the fallout of the technology crash.
For a publishing cottage industry of small, independent presses and copy-machine poetry rags that, in pre-Internet days, were by necessity limited to three-figure circulation, the advent of the Web has made the prospect of distributing new, difficult, highbrow or edgy pieces of writing cheap and globally accessible. As one poet jests, "When those poems go live, everybody and their mother will be reading them." [read more]
Senators talk tough on digital piracy
At a hearing over a proposed bill that could require security technology on computers and other digital devices, the Senate Commerce Committee chairman gave technology and media companies a deadline for working out their differences.
Hollings gave media and technology companies 12 to 18 months to come up with their own solution before federal agencies set a standard, according to Reuters.
"Almost no legal high-quality content (is) available on the Internet" because companies can't agree on one open standard for providing anti-copying features, Hollings, a Democrat from South Carolina, said in his statement to the committee.
Hollings and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, are co-sponsoring a bill that could require computer and device makers to install a government-approved anti-copying technology intended to thwart piracy of digital works.
The proposed Security Systems Standards and Certification Act (SSSCA) would prohibit people from removing or altering such technology. The bill would also make it illegal for someone to make a copyrighted work publicly available after its protections have been removed or altered. [read more]