January 16th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

The Wire takes a tour of the British Library’s Sound Archive, deep below its London residences on the Euston Road, to talk about sound conservation and take a tour of its collections with some of its key sound curators.

“The 20th century was about audiovisual material, our memory of the 20th century is heavily audiovisual, but our sense of the 21st century is going to be a different kind of audiovisual… archiving is not going to be so much about what we can bring in, but about what to exclude,” says Will Prentice, British Library Audio Engineer and Conservation Specialist.

Nathan Budzinski interviews Popular Music Curator Andy Linehan, Audio Engineer, Conservation specialist Will Prentice, and Wildlife Sounds Curator Cheryl Tipp.

Posted in Libraries, video Tagged with: , ,

March 28th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Bly-ray discsTo most consumers it is common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this is currently illegal.

After a public consultation and a thorough inspection of local copyright legislation, the UK Government decided to change current laws in favor of consumers. The changes have been in the planning stage for a few years, but this summer they will finally be implemented.

Starting in July people are free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as it’s for personal use. To inform the public about these upcoming changes the Government has just released a consumer guide, summing up citizens’ new rights.

“Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office writes.

“The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

Read the full post @ Torrent Freak.

Posted in Politics & Law Tagged with: , ,

January 28th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Misty comic pageBoys in the late 1970s probably assumed the girls comic Misty was all boring romance, puppies and ponies. How wrong they were. They were full of “incredibly dark, weird, psychologically harrowing” stories with “trippy and odd” artwork, said John Harris Dunning.

Dunning is co-curator, with Paul Gravett, of what will be the UK’s biggest exhibition of British comics, taking in everything from newly discovered Victorian comics to modern classics such as V for Vendetta.

The summer show, entitled Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, is being staged by the British Library which holds the complete output of the British comics industry but said it had not in the past done the genre justice.

Roly Keating, the library’s chief executive, said: “It is fair to say, if we are being honest, that we haven’t devoted to that sector of our collection the scholarly and curatorial effort we have devoted to some of the higher culture parts of our collection. This year we are addressing that with a vengeance.”

Read the full article @ The Guardian.

Posted in Books, Libraries Tagged with: ,

December 20th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

FacepalmSo, the Brits are creating a massive digital archive. Sure, you’ll be able to access it “online” but only from certain locations.

“Its not a public archive. That’s the absolute key point,” said Angela Mills Wade, executive director of the European Publishers Council in response to reactions from some quarter of the digital archive being only accessible from a physical location. “The [internet archive] legislation has always been constructed for people who go into the Legal Deposit libraries – for the readers, with a capital R. It’s an archive for preservation and for research,” further added Angela obviously referring to the 2003 Legal Deposit Libraries Act that makes it mandatory for digital archives to be treated on par with the archives of yors that comprised of printed material.

However, with such a huge collection of information that provides immense potential for research, its only a select few that will have the privilege to savor the details as permitted by the space that the library locations are able to spare.

Legal Deposit Libraries’ manager Richard Gibby too opposed unrestricted access to the digital archive citing problems it might create for companies that rely on advertising to drive business.

Read the full article @ GoodEreader.com.

Posted in Libraries, Politics & Law Tagged with: , ,

December 19th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

BT FilterFor those that keep insisting “filters are smarter than they used to be…”

Among the sites TalkTalk blocked as “pornographic” was BishUK.com, an award-winning British sex education site, which receives more than a million visits each year.

TalkTalk also lists Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre website as “pornographic.”

The company also blocked a programme run by sex education experts, and taught to 81,000 American children, that has been in development for more than 20 years.

TalkTalk’s filter is endorsed by Mr Cameron but it failed to block 7% of the 68 pornographic websites tested by Newsnight.

Read the full article @ BBC News.

Posted in Politics & Law, Tech Tagged with: , , ,

June 14th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Doctor Who and the Grandfather Paradox

I don’t generally post rumors but this would certainly be amazing if true.

What I’ve been hearing, and some of it is attributed to an eccentric engineer who worked for broadcasters across Africa with a taste for science fiction and a habit of taking things for “safe keeping”, is that the BBC have secured a large number of presumed-wiped episodes of early Doctor Who.

And there are lots. Lots and lots. Completed serials that we’ve only had incomplete before, full series that nothing existed of. Not everything. But heaps and heaps. Possibly even The Full Hartnell.

And come November, or before, we’ll get to see them.

Read the full article @ BleedingCool.com.

Posted in Fun Tagged with: , ,

June 14th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Neil Gaiman and me, Nebula Awards, ChicagoThis week’s podcast heads into strange territory, guided by the Books site’s editor-for-a-day, Neil Gaiman.

First, we follow Damien Walter on the trail of Weird London, a parallel city that has been built on the banks of another Thames by writers of fantasy fiction. He explores why the capital has made such fertile ground for writers who look beyond the real, along with Tom Pollock, M John Harrison and the owner of the Atlantis Bookshop, Geraldine Beskin.

Back in the studio, Cory Doctorow outlines how the digital revolution is transforming writers’ lives. But how are authors to make money? The agent Jonny Geller and the head of Faber Digital, Henry Volans, investigate how writers can survive in a new publishing landscape.

We finish with a live reading by Neil Gaiman of the haunting story he contributed to the Guardian’s Water stories, Down to a Sunless Sea.

Listen @ Guardian.co.uk.

Posted in Audio, Books, Fun Tagged with: , , ,

April 26th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

The Islanders word cloudI’m a big fan of the work of Christopher Priest. Many US readers will only be aware of him through a little movie titled The Prestigebased on his book by the same name. This past week I picked up the UK hardcover copy of his book The Islanders and have placed it high on the to-be-read-pile. However, the reason for blogging it here is what’s on the back of the dust jacket: a word cloud from the book. I’ve seen this done for books by third-parties, but this is the first time I’ve known of it being done by the author/publisher and placed prominently enough to give you a rough idea of what the books about. Though, this being a Christopher Priest novel, I wouldn’t take any of the information at face value. (I do not know if this image appears on any of the US editions, but the front cover is the same so maybe it does.)

Posted in Books Tagged with: , ,

April 18th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

GOV.UKYes, a government Web site has been awarded a design prize!

…at a ceremony in London, the site was named the 2013 Best Design of the Year by the Design Museum, beating out 99 shortlisted buildings, inventions, and cars for the honor. It’s the first website to ever win the six-year-old title, too—which illustrates just how remarkable the achievement really is.

Here’s what makes it so deceivingly special.

Why does a straightforward, cut-and-dry website deserve the award? Because of that straightforwardness, actually. “There were thousands of websites, and we folded them into Gov.uk to make just one,” says Ben Terrett, head of design at the UK’s Government Digital Service, in a Dezeen-produced video. “Booking a prison stay should be as easy as booking a driver’s license test.”

Read the full article on Gizmodo.

Posted in Internet Tagged with: , , , ,

April 14th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Blakes 7 logoYou can read the press release over on io9. But I just want to point out that it looks like the new version, beyond giving Blake a dead wife to avenge, is going to be using an apostrophe in the title. Blasphemy!

Posted in Fun Tagged with: , , ,