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A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web

The Associate Press has for some time claimed that people should pay for reprinting the title of an AP article and linking to the full text. I stopped quoting from AP stories when the AP claimed bloggers needed a license to quote more than 5 words from an AP story.  (Keep both of these things in mind, if you have students post research projects online!)  Now they’re announcing plans to…

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Mourning the Death of Handwriting

The cause of the decline in handwriting may lie not so much in computers as in standardized testing. The Federal Government’s landmark 1983 report A Nation at Risk, on the dismal state of public education, ushered in a new era of standardized assessment that has intensified since the passage in 2002 of the No Child Left Behind Act. “In schools today, they’re teaching to the tests,” says Tamara Thornton, a University of Buffalo professor and the author…

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MLA Update 2009

I’m teaching “Writing about Literature” this fall, so I should be up on the new changes in MLA format.  (Via the Reeves Library blog.) I like some of the changes in MLA 2009, including labeling the source of a publication (“Web” or “Print” or “DVD” or the like) and standardizing italics instead of underlining (which has become strongly associated with web hyperlinks).  I have mixed feelings about the de-emphasis of…

Mark Bernstein: Newspapers Are Big, Not Bloated

Mark Bernstein (hypertext publisher and theorist) makes some good observations about the print-based newspaper industry: I remember visiting the Chicago Sun Times/Daily News building as a kid, where my best friend’s dad was a columnist. The place was huge! But it wasn’t filled with middle managers; it was filled with compositors and pressmen and ad sales clerks. You didn’t just need someone to mark up the HTML; you had to…

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An Apology from Amazon – kindle Discussion Forum

This is a little late, but it’s still the right way to handle the criticism. From Amazon: This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received. We will use the scar tissue…

Happy Anniversary, Leigh

I’ve kept a running tally… I’ve been bored for a total of 4 and 1/2 hours during our 15 years of marriage. You’re the organizer and the schedule-keeper and the worrier, which frees me to camp with the kids in the backyard, marshal a pony army against the dollhouse fortress, and read to them until late at night. Home-schooling is so rewarding, so challenging and exciting.  I’m grateful that you…

Change or Die: Scholarly E-Mail Lists, Once Vibrant, Fight for Relevance

Listservs, a trademarked software for running e-mail lists whose name is often used to refer to the lists themselves, were once a “killer app” that tempted many professors to try the Internet in the first place, back when many established scholars were skeptical of computers. A Chronicle article nearly 15 years ago proclaimed the exciting new world of academic e-mail lists, calling them “the first truly worldwide seminar room.” “This…

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Restore the noble purpose of libraries

David Stanley pointed me to this thoughtful essay. Modern librarians who prioritize information over knowledge perpetuate a distraction from the real purpose of a library. A library facilitates the patient gathering of knowledge – whose acquisition is superior to almost every other endeavor. Religions have adapted to technology for the most part without being destroyed by it, so why can’t libraries? It might not be too late. Information on the…