One of the last bastions of the old-school Web just got ruined, from the point of view of speedy search. Flickr’s bloated and slow “crammed lightbox” style of page display is now mandatory, and there’s no way to change back. It also effects the Creative Commons search. It’s going to make a Flickr search twice or three times as long to do, at least until we get Stylish / GreaseMonkey scripts to force it back to a fast and more user-friendly style. There are no such scripts out there yet, I looked.
A 30 minute BBC Radio 4 documentary on An Intimate History of the Arts Scholar. The actual history starts at 5:15 minutes.
A neat new search-visualiser tool, being developed just down the road from me at Staffordshire University… demo shown from 1:00 onwards.
The possibility of restricting a search to only “peer reviewed journals” seems likely to corral students into the commercial systems, and may block out a lot of open access journal articles in the arts and humanities.
The journal College & Research Libraries is now free from 1939-present. Was formerly free after six months.
Techdirt suggests that commercial journal publishers seem to have ‘captured’ the levers of the UK’s new open access policy.
Inkling is making its $30m digital publishing platform, Habitat, available free to everyone. There’s even a special academic version, with tight Google Search integration. Inkling takes a 30 percent cut of each sale via the Inkling store, but waives that if you’re a bona fide academic.
It seems Inkling is going free in order to compete with Amazon — Inkling only has around 400 titles in its store and so obviously needs more if it’s going to match Amazon. Might be worth a look if you need to create ePub and HTML5 publications with…
“interactive e-books with HD video, interactive features and 3D content”.
The drawback seems to be that the DRM sounds ferocious, and there’s no mention in the FAQ of the ability to produce a DRM-free ePub. Which seems to imply that you get locked into Inkling as your sole distribution system?
The Washington Post is having a go at building a real-time fact checker for mainstream news and political speeches.
A conference on “Open Access Monographs in the Humanities and Social Sciences“, 1st and 2nd July 2013 at The British Library, London.
“a dedicated [free] search-engine and education content provider for the Indian & Asian Arts, Culture and World Cinema.”
“[Divided into the categories] antiquities, fine arts, books, cinema, craft, economic data, cultural events, print data and photography. [...] The database includes information on Hindi films, sale and auction in the field of art over the last 25 years; photography from 1840s from architectural to print, calendar art, masks, rare novel covers, print making, advertisements, lobby cards, posters and lithographs. [...] the first phase will focus primarily on Hindi and Bombay cinema [Bollywood] and the history of Modern Indian and contemporary fine arts, the second phase will deal with the architectural heritage of India. “
The laudable aim is to provide a means of…
“cutting through the politics of access to knowledge and education which has plagued India” [because in India as] “a country we are insensitive and disrespectful of the plethora of [historic] visual images. There’s a lack of respect for our history because of the fundamental ability to abuse history [for religious and political purposes], which has led to its distortion.”
Theosianama seems to be part of a future MOOC, called the Osianama Learning Experience.
Sadly the developers have wasted the mainstream media launch publicity generated by the Delhi launch event and press release, since going to the website reveals nothing more than a bare PHP password box.
An Omeka 2.0 Release Candidate is now available for download. Omeka is a handy WordPress-like online catalogue publishing software, designed for academics.
Among the streamlining and new features:
* creation of thumbnail images for a fuller range of files
* the availability of a new site-wide search
* addition of Dublin Core Metadata fields
Free open online course in Semantic Web Technologies, starting on the 4th of February 2013 for six weeks.
* Limits of today’s Web, and the vision of the Semantic Web.
* Basic architecture of the Semantic Web including: URI, RDF, RDFS, SPARQL, RDFa, Microdata and Triple Stores.
* Knowledge representation and logics.
* Ontologies, Reasoning with propositional logic and first order logic, Fundamentals of description logics, and the Web Ontology Language (OWL).
* Applications in the Web of Data.
* Ontological Engineering, Knowledge Discovery, Linked Data, Semantic Search.
Not indexed by JURN, but I love the idea. The Appendix…
The Appendix is a quarterly journal of experimental and narrative history; though at times outlandish, everything in its pages is as true as the sources allow. The Appendix solicits articles from historians, writers, and artists committed to good storytelling, with an eye for the strange and a suspicion of both jargon and traditional narratives.
First issue is “sort-of” out now, with around half the articles published.
Massive Open Online Courses move into the humanities for the first time…
Since the Huffington reports that… “The backlash against so-called ‘Digital Humanities’ (DH) has begun in earnest,” I thought I’d spend a merry hour with Photoshop and put together a quick at-a-glance map of the way I see the digital humanities at January 2013. It might be useful, at the start of such a
flame-war debate, to have at least one neat visual of what the digital humanities seem to encompass.
Digital humanists may already be popping their pods at the upstart presumption of my doing this, yet I can’t find any online evidence that they’ve published anything similar. Concise corrections and suggestions are welcome…
By “new media familiarisation” in pedagogy I mean structured programmes of hands-on experience: “profs play videogames, etc” but also “students venture outside their own little tech-bubble”.
By “real-time virtual-real feedback” I mean our ability to place cheap sensors in the real world that feed data into online services in real-time, and thus affect people’s behavior in the real world. Behaviors which the sensors then feed back into the virtual environments, in a never-ending loop.
“Quantifying the unquantifiable” might have read, for clarity: “Quantifying those aspects of the real world which were formerly unquantifiable”, but that was a tad too long to fit. And yes, I do realise that the idea of “the real” as something separate from human culture is contested. A bridge is an objectively real structure yet it arises from human culture, for instance — but we only wish to cross a bridge if it rests on immutable and objectively real laws of physics and geometry. Thus, “the real”.
Those outside of the arts and humanities may wonder why I included the most basic layer. It’s because the research shows that many of our academics are still very much dragging their feet in the use of even basic digital tools, and it seems to me to be part of the digital humanities project to hope to bring them into the 21st century.
New academic search-engine, Scholr.ly. Launched late summer 2012, and currently only… “indexing computer and information science”.
JSTOR’s Register & Read beta service has been letting anyone sign up to read up to three JSTOR articles per fortnight, for free. Just to read, mind you — not to download or copy-and-paste. Until now R&R access has been to a mere 77 journals…
But a new Jan 2013 press release proclaims a much meatier “1,200 journals” for the R&R offer…
“more than 1,200 journals [titles .xls] are now available for limited reading by the public. This is part of a major expansion of JSTOR’s experimental program Register & Read…”
R&R access can be had by registering for a MyJSTOR account.
If you need to quote from an R&R article, don’t struggle with retyping the quote into your essay. The Microsoft Office 2007 OneNote ‘screen clipping’ OCR function is your friend, in such cases. OneNote works extremely well at “reading” screengrab images and turning them into editable text, even when the text is very small and a bit rough…
Daniel Nehring’s blog post from the end of December, “And Then There Were No Books”, brings me news that…
“it seems that Argentina has banned, or almost banned, the import of foreign books” [and, in addition] “Amazon steadfastly refused to sell me certain electronic books due to my location in Argentina”.
Seems very curious. Stories in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere appear to confirm the bizarre news. You’d think they might have better things to ban. This is a nation that still has routine mass torture endemic in its institutions.
Daniel also writes that he worries about citing page numbers in ebooks, in a Kindle-tastic world of reflowable text. But many Kindle books now have “real” page numbers…
“[Amazon are] adding real page numbers that correspond directly to a book’s print edition. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, [...] Page Numbers are only displayed when you press the Menu button.”
Even if your Kindle ereader book is obscure and doesn’t have “real” page numbers by default, simply go to Google Books and type a unique fragment of your quotation enclosed “in quote marks”. For most recent academic books you can now get a full-text image-preview of the relevant page, but even for older works Google Books should tell you the required page number and edition.