From Archive.org: "The A/V Geeks Film Archive is an ephemeral film collection curated by Skip Elsheimer. What started as a hobby more than ten years is now a lifetime commitment. His collection has grown to over 24,000 films gathered from school auctions, thrift stores, closets and dumpsters." Includes such hits as "Wink Martindale Talks about "Year 1999 AD"! Disney's "VD--Attack Plan"! DoD's "Red Nightmare"! [more inside]
The Department of Justice has postponed its NPRM on the accessibility requirements of websites for places of public accommodations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, from March 2015 to June 2015. The NPRM for accessibility requirements of government websites was due in December 2014. [more inside]
The Government of India in the last week of 2014 asked Internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites including code repository Github, video streaming sites Vimeo and Dailymotion, online archive Internet Archive, free software hosting site Sourceforge and many other websites on the basis of hosting anti-India content from the violent extremist group known as ISIS. The blanket block on many resourceful sites has been heavily criticized on social media and blogs by reviving the hashtag #GoIblocks that evolved in the past against internet censorship by the government. [...] After agreeing to remove anti-India content posted by accounts that appeared to have some association with ISIS, some were unblocked.via Global Voices
The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, which has been in Crested Butte, CO since 1988, announced a few months ago they would be moving to Marin County, considered the birthplace of the sport. It seems like a natural move to many, but others (including many in bike forums) point out the irony of moving to an area where bike trail access has become so limited. The Angry Singlespeeder is not happy.
PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data "PLOS has always required that authors make their data available to other academic researchers who wish to replicate, reanalyze, or build upon the findings published in our journals. In an effort to increase access to this data, we are now revising our data-sharing policy for all PLOS journals: authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article. Beginning March 3rd, 2014, all authors who submit to a PLOS journal will be asked to provide a Data Availability Statement, describing where and how others can access each dataset that underlies the findings." Openscience.org also have a primer on why open science data is important.
The Accessible Icon Project seeks to change public perception of the disabled by subtly redesigning the traditional blue-and-white accessibility icon. New York City is one of the first to embrace the new design.
Also: OpenDyslexic, a free font designed to lessen confusion between visually similar letterforms.
Also: OpenDyslexic, a free font designed to lessen confusion between visually similar letterforms.
Supreme Court Expands Right to Counsel in Plea Bargains. In a legal landscape that has enforced a right to counsel for criminal defendants, but not, practically speaking, a right to effective counsel except in extreme circumstances (ie: when you can prove that but for the gross incompetence of your counsel, the outcome of the case would have been different) and where the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargaining, these two cases may be hugely influential in increasing the rights of the accused.
SOPA and PIPA dropped by Congress. The ideas present in both SOPA and PIPA may return, but both bills in their present form—and with their present names—are probably done for good.
Why Might A Publisher Pull Its eBooks From Libraries? PaidContent takes a look at Penguin's recent move to pull all of its titles from Overdrive's public library ebook program, a program that even some librarians are upset about.
As a part of their new open access policy, Yale is releasing their vast digital images collection for free. Although it will take years to upload everything, the online collection is starting with 250,000 images. A sampling includes original Mozart manuscripts, maps from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and John Trumbull's iconic Declaration of Independence. [more inside]
Nearly one million people who seek help for civil legal problems, such as foreclosures and domestic violence, will be turned away this year. A new report by the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit established by Congress in 1974 to ensure equal access to justice, finds that legal aid programs turn away one person for every client served. The full report, "Documenting the Justice Gap in America" is available here (pdf). The 2009 report is an update and expansion on a 2005 report (available here) finding that 80% of the poor lacked access to legal aid. [more inside]
In 1984, the Cable Franchise Policy and Communications Act (along with legislation dating back to the 70s) forced cable companies to create public access television. Thanks to this foresighted policy, we can all now enjoy programming that might never have existed otherwise. Case in point: Los Angeles's Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show. Many more examples inside (some videos NSFW). [more inside]
Timewarner has set a precedent by creating tiered internet use that is capped at certain levels. Pricing will be about $29.95 per month for a 5 GB monthly cap to $54.90 per month for a 40 GB cap.
Much of the Middle East has been without reliable internet access recently due to the somewhat suspicious cutting of four seperate underwater cables, in seperate locations, within a few days of each other. The problem has been alleviated by re-routing of traffic until ships can reach the cables to repair them, a process which may take several weeks. The problem was initially believed to be caused by anchors of passing ships, but that has since been retracted and deals have already been signed by several companies for new cables. [more inside]
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the bed and banks under all rivers, lakes, and streams that are navigable, for title purposes, are owned by the states, held in trust for the public. Mineral extraction interests and other parties often challenge this 'public use' designation by using/abusing the navigabilty designation to keep out fisherman and other recreational users in order to exploit the rivers for private gain. The Upper Sacramento River and McCloud Rivers of Northern California are the latest battleground in recreational river access. In what has become all too common, an ugly fight pitting sportsmen and nature enthusiasts against private interests is unfolding. One blogger has led the good fight to keep the rivers public. He could use your help... but it doesn't look good, and there is not much time!
Brian Dewan, "The Vice Principal of Rock," sings a selection of campaign songs... because zither is the last word in rock this campaign season. Hearken! (previously)
Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family. The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, MySpace, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365, and Photobucket on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
New Zealand is a backwater when it comes to high speed internet. Today the government has done something about it.
Usability Exchange -- a testing service determining site accessibility for disabled users. They're only in the UK now, but it seems like a great idea. Organisations set up their tests online and submit them directly to disabled testers in our database. Testers are then free to complete these tests in their own time, earning money for each test they complete. As tests are completed by users, organisations can view test results, web page logs and other information in real time. More here at BBC, including some concerns.
The Pimping of the President --Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist Billing Clients for Face Time with G.W. Bush: ...He had just concluded his work on the Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior. He had sent his personal assistant Susan Ralston to the White House to work as Rove’s personal assistant. He was a close friend, advisor, and high-dollar fundraiser for the most powerful man in Congress, Tom DeLay. Abramoff was so closely tied to the Bush Administration that he could, and did, charge two of his clients $25,000 for a White House lunch date and a meeting with the President. ... Jack Abramoff, in the news due to his shady dealings with DeLay, and Grover Norquist, and the White House. Norquist has not responded to inquiries about using the White House as a fundraiser.
Copy-art.net is an ongoing curatorial project that aims to create an online platform to exchange works between artists, curators and the public and give the audience free access to works of art. Artists have been invited to submit work to Copy-art in any medium that will then be available online, making it possible for visitors to use these works in any possible way and without restrictions. Submitted works can be downloaded, changed, distributed, exhibited and used by all visitors for free. All submitted works will be present online in an archive, and available to the public to access. Commercial use of the works is excluded.
The dicey dynamics of exposing untruths. An interesting bit in the Columbia Journalism Review on why journalists tend to focus on politicians' small lies and let the big ones slide.
Starbucks announces wireless Internet access in stores and plans to charge customers for it: $29.99/month for access in one store, or $49.99/month for access in all equipped stores nationwide. Seems a little pricey to me. And besides, don't cool coffeehouses offer free wireless Internet access? They're sure getting lots of coverage of the announcement in any case.