Those who can do RSS have long been able to wrangle .MP3 audio of The Long Now’s series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking, without having to install iTunes. Now the video versions of the SALT talks are available to all to view — with a donation merely ‘invited’ and only the video file download and HD versions kept back for Long Now members.
These are long talks, not short TED-like skits. So there are a few SALT talks one might want to avoid, mostly because the speakers thought they could just trot out their usual spiel — Tim O’Reilly waffling and riffing on, as if he were at just another trade show. Anne Neuberger making a creaky attempt to sell the NSA to the Long Now crowd. But 95% of the talks are excellent.
The highlights of the SALT series, in my view, are:
* Stephen Pyne: Ecological wildfire (2016)
* Neil Gaiman: How stories last (2015)
* Stewart Brand, Paul Saffo: Pace Layers thinking (2015)
* Jesse Ausubel: Nature is rebounding (2015)
* Brian Eno, Danny Hillis: The Long Now, now (2014)
* Stefan Kroepelin: Civilization’s mysterious desert cradle – rediscovering the deep Sahara (2014)
* Stewart Brand: Reviving extinct species (2013)
* Steven Pinker: The decline of violence (2012)
* Matt Ridley: Deep optimism (2011)
* Rachel Sussman: The world’s oldest living organisms (2010)
* Peter Diamandis: Long-term X-Prizes (2008)
* Freeman Dyson and family: The difficulty of looking far ahead (2005)
* Brian Eno: The Long Now (2003. Poor audio, I seem to remember)
The website is obviously straining under the load, as the news of the free videos percolates through social media. Which, I suspect, means the above links may be unresponsive until the Twittergasm is over.
Another observation on Facebook’s Group search. Searching a Group’s archives for “winning” shows all posts with “won’t” in them, seemingly on the principle that “won’t” contains “won” in it.
Ars Technica has a new 12,000-word article “Open access: All human knowledge is there — so why can’t everybody access it?”. For those already versed in open access, it’s only really interesting for the final kicker idea…
“As the price of storage continues to fall, and capacities increase, in the not-too-distant future it will be possible for most people to have a local copy of every academic paper ever written if they wish to.”
Otherwise the article seems a prime example of ‘Wikipedia Envy Syndrome’, an unfortunate trend increasingly common among long-form journalists. In which the reader is forced to work through page after page of potted history on the topic, in the hope that a few interesting insights or connections may eventually be made. Which entails skim-reading that is fairly tedious on a Kindle ereader, and probably similarly annoying when slipping down the pages on a tablet.
To overcome this problem might we not re-invent the sidebar, which is where such background matter really belongs? For instance, one click on the button titled “I Know All This Already, Just Get To The Point” and the umpteen-page history-lesson-for-dummies would be snipped out and shunted to the foot of the article.
The OAPEN Annual Report 2015 has been published. For an annual subsidy of around $350,000 the service added 330 new open titles in 2015. By the end of 2015 OAPEN offered 2,589 open access book titles.
The fine search-engine DuckDuckGo is getting sort-by-date filters and website sub-section links very shortly.
Also, Google is now back to honouring site: searches in full. Over the last month or so, a site: search (with no additional keyword or phrase) only ever returned one lone link. Now the full set of links is showing up again, as they used to.
And Yandex has started enforcing word substitutions, when it ‘thinks’ a word is spelled incorrectly. This change makes Yandex useless for academic search, because there’s no way around it. For instance…
The monthly magazine Starlog is now available free on the Internet Archive, from 1977 through to about 2008. A famous pre-broadband monthly U.S. magazine of cult media, Starlog tried to survey or note just about everything released commercially in non-literary sci-fi. Alongside (what looks today like) large slabs of 1970s-90s cheese there were longish survey-articles written by devoted fans, plus in-depth interviews with industry creatives.
The magazine’s current ongoing equivalent is the British Starburst magazine, although these days that title is only about 50% real sci-fi (if you leave out the post-apocalyptic shlock and horror movies).
There’s a major new multi-part Reuters Investigates investigation into an apparent “thriving underground economy”, said to enable mass cheating and deception in the U.S. university system, including having stand-ins take examinations. Also a 30 minute podcast on problems with the SATs system.
VizioMetrix: Search Engine of Scientific Visual Information, from the eScience Institute at the University of Washington.
The A-Z list of 700 ecology/nature titles indexed in JURN is now hosted on this main blog. Please update your bookmarks and Web links.
GRAFT has updated. GRAFT now enables a Google search across 4,801 repositories, records and fulltext alike. Please access via the page linked above, rather than a bookmark, to enjoy the newly added range.
Just over 50 repositories have been added, since my April update. 25 ‘http: -> https:’ duplicates have also been removed, these having crept in since GRAFT started.
Distant Worlds (cultures of the ancient world)
Yearbook of the International Society of History Didactics (one year paywall)
Journal of Dracula Studies (was lost, now relocated)
Since the Beall’s List -listed publisher Asian Network for Scientific Information (ANSInet) no longer has titles in the DOAJ, they were yesterday removed from JURN.
I note that MDPI’s journal titles remain in the DOAJ, and thus remain in JURN (via indexing their “special issues” pages only).
So far as I’m aware, these were the only two ‘Beall-questioned’ publishers in JURN. Although Beall has sometimes nibbled at the MDPI, I note that they were removed November 2015 and the MDPI is no longer on his current List.
The only real loss, as regards ANSInet and JURN’s comprehensive coverage of eco titles, is their Plant Pathology Journal. I’m open to re-indexing that title, if anyone experienced in plant pathologies can persuade me that articles from that particular title should be findable via JURN.