Who provides the content?

Being in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, journalism and media issues have snuck into library school curriculum. So it peaked my interest to learn that Postmedia has puchased most of Sun media and now both Calgary newspapers are owned by the same company. This is particularly odd because these papers have traditionally run a sort of competition with each other and have made their political and target market niches.

I was particularly interested to see their goals: “We need this scale, and of course time, to be able to compete with the giant foreignowned, digital-only companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, etc.” (sic; Friend, 2014). It seems odd, maybe just because journalism and media studies is not by forte, for news outlets to be competing with these corporations because I see  newspapers as content creators and disseminators of information; As a user I see social media and search engines as access points and rather than content creators so it seems unusual for media to think of themselves as social media and search engine competitors.

In my information policy course, we have talked about this in regards to net neutrality and the shift from infrastructure providers to content providers in the telecommunication/entertainment industry. In the future, apparently, journalism will no longer be content providers but telecommunication will? I’m curious to see how that pans out.

References:

Friend, D. (2014, Oct 7). Postmedia’s mega deal. Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/business/Postmedias-mega-deal-278360611.html

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova as a ‘Help Wanted’ Ad *SPOILER ALERT*

I read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova this summer and meant to post this ever since. If you haven’t read the books and plan to, there are spoilers here.

Wanted:

Dracula Library seeks 1 librarian.

Location: Only available upon extensive years of research
Job Description:
Enjoy cataloging a huge collection of books, manuscripts, pamphlets, maps, and art from ancient times to the present. Entirely unique items that don’t exist anywhere else! Book lovers, this position is for you! We only select the best candidates for consideration. Must be willing to travel to add to the library’s collections. Looking for long-term permanent position? Your problems are solved! No matter what, we’ll keep you here forever.

Qualifications:

Must be brilliant scholar at a preeminent university about to publish something

Must have a friend you don’t mind having die suddenly
Must be willing to drop everything in your entire life to go hunting mythology
Must never believe anything unless there are 3-5 medieval documents that corroborate the evidence
Must be willing to go into communist countries during the cold war
Must love travel
Must speak 3-5 languages. Candidates with Romanian or Bulgarian knowledge are preferred.
Must be willing to live in darkness
Must be unaffected by sight of blood

Thank you for your interest. We will notify you via random antique leather bound book with a picture of a dragon in it (but no actual instructions).

“Schneier Scheme” Secure Passwords

I was really excited to learn about Bruce Schneier’s “Schneier scheme” for secure passwords. For example, this password:

Ltime@go-inag~faaa! = Long time ago in a galaxy not far away at all.

A long time ago, in a province pretty far away, I used to teach computer technology courses to seniors and I think this method would be perfect for teaching digital security and digital literacy to people new to computer use. I think it is very important for libraries to emphasize privacy and surveillance issues to their patrons. This is a very easy way to introduce this topic into library instruction while teaching a very valuable skill.

DH Makerbus

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This week the Digital Humanities Makerbus came to FIMS.

What I liked most about the bus was the tactile ability to get right in there and interact with the resources. I made my own LED throwie, played on a play-dough keyboard, and saw a vibrating motor make art!

Makerspaces invite inquiry and afterwards I was inspired to finally tear apart my laser pointer and use the lens on my smartphone to turn it into a macro lens camera. Definitely worth the effort as now I know how easy it is to do.

See me talking a bit about it here.

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Free Ringtones at your Library

I just learned about this option from Freegal for downloadable ringtones for and it is something I will definitely try out. The worst part about ringtones on my phone is finding one that I don’t hate to act as my alarm clock! I’m sure there will be some good options on here that can lull me from sleep without driving me nuts in the process.

Amazon opening physical location in Manhattan

I was not expecting to see this pop up on my news feed, but it’s true that Amazon is opening their first physical location in New York.

When you think about Amazon as a book seller, this seems odd considering they’ve revolutionized online book sales—but the article makes it clear that this is more about electronics than book: The physical location “will also serve as a distribution center for couriers and likely one day will feature Amazon devices like Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphones and Fire TV set-top boxes, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking” (Bensinger & Morris, 2014, para 3). They are looking for a larger share of the market for phones, TV’s, and other electronics and it seems that they think it will be more successful with a business model that features a physical location. It will be interesting to watch how their plans proceed.

References:

Bensinger, G. & Morris, K. (2014, October 9). Amazon to open first brick-and-mortar site. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-open-first-store-1412879124

Fall at Western

IMG_1552The campus is looking lovelier than ever as the leaves change into fall colours. Whereas Calgary has already had snow fall more than once, here snow is no where in sight—so far! I’ve also just applied to graduate and, with less than 2 months left of my final semester, I’m really trying to savour the last few weeks of being in this magical land called ‘graduate school’. So to celebrate this time I’m trying to walk around campus and explore places I’ve never gone before as much as possible.