Thanks to the New York Times for doing a great write-up of our annual celebration. Check it out!
Thanks to the New York Times for doing a great write-up of our annual celebration. Check it out!
The Internet Archive is hosting an Aaron Swartz Day Celebration on what would have been Aaron’s 28th birthday: November 8, 2014, from 6-10:30 pm.
Although we are looking ahead, rather than dwelling on the past, this year’s theme is “Setting the record straight.”
Now that we have brought people together and shared information with each other, the smoke has cleared a bit, and we can clearly explain to the world exactly what Aaron actually did and did not do.
Reception: 6pm-7pm – Come mingle with the speakers and celebrate Aaron’s accomplishments.
Speakers: 7pm-8pm – The Year in Aaron 2014: A comprehensive update.
Movie: 8-9:45 pm – Watch The Internet’s Own Boy with Director Brian Knappenberger (Q & A afterwards).
April Glaser (EFF, Freedom to Innovate Summit)
The Freedom to Innovate Summit is a collaboration between EFF and the Center for Civic Media at MIT that calls upon Universities to protect students who innovate at the boundaries of the law.
Yan Zhu (Yahoo, SF Hackathon Organizer)
Yan will explain the history, and evolution to the present day, of the Aaron Swartz International Hackathon.
Brewster Kahle (Digital Librarian, Internet Archive)
Internet Archive has just launched a new set of tools for building collaborative libraries online that were inspired by Aaron’s dreams and visions.
Cindy Cohn (EFF Legal Director – CFAA Reform)
A short and simple update on a very complicated subject: Why most attempts to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act have largely stalled in Congress.
Kevin Poulsen (Journalist – FOIA case that MIT intervened in)
An update on the most recent batch of documents and video from Aaron’s FBI and Secret Service files that have finally trickled out of the U.S. government over this last year, after undergoing further redactions by MIT.
Garrett Robinson and James Dolan (SecureDrop)
2014 was a big year for Aaron’s whistleblowing submission platform, with 15 new instances including: Forbes, Greenpeace New Zealand, The Guardian, The Intercept, The New Yorker, BayLeaks, and The Washington Post.
Daniel Purcell (Keker & Van Nest, one of Aaron’s lawyers)
Along with Eiliot Peters, Dan Purcell was hired by Aaron and his family in September 2012 to defend Aaron at his criminal trial, set for March 2013. Dan will talk about Aaron’s defenses to the criminal charges and the expert testimony the legal team planned to present.
The event will take place following this year’s San Francisco-based Aaron Swartz International Hackathon, which is going on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-6pm at the Internet Archive PLEASE CLICK HERE. Confirmed 2014 cities include: Berlin, Boston, Buenos Aires, Houston, Kathmandu, Los Angeles, Magdeberg, New York, Oakland, Oxford, and San Francisco.
On November 8, Pivot is airing Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Check local listings.
For more information, contact:
Lisa Rein, Coordinator, Aaron Swartz Day
Let’s work together to save all human knowledge. Today the Internet Archive is announcing a new beta site and new tools to encourage everyone to lend a hand.
We were founded in 1996 as an archive OF the Internet; we saved web pages and made them available through the Wayback Machine starting in 2001. In 2002 we became an archive ON the internet when we began digitizing and hosting movies, books, TV, music and software by working closely with libraries and online communities. Much of the work of building the current archive has been done by us and a relatively small number of selected partners.
Today marks a change in direction.
We are creating new tools to help every media-based community build their own collections on a long term platform that is available to the entire world for free. Collectors will be able to upload media, reference media from other collections, use tools to coordinate the activities of their community, and create a distinct Internet presence while also offering users the chance to explore diverse collections of other content.
In this future, communities and libraries will take the central role in building collections, leveraging the tools and storage of the Internet Archive.
Still in its early development, the Internet Archive is looking for feedback and help in this new direction. Shaping these tools will be a joint process with our library and community partners.
Introducing new tools today, with further developments to come:
The Internet Archive needs your help to create and use these tools. Your donations of time, money, digital and physical materials can help us Build Libraries Together.
The Internet Archive is working with partners to preserve our musical heritage. The music collections started 8 years ago with the etree.org live music recordings and grew when we started hosting netlabels.
Now through new efforts and partnerships we have begun to expand and explore the music collections further. We are working with researchers, record labels, collectors, internet communities and other archives to gather music media, build tools for preservation and expand metadata for exploration.
We have already made tremendous progress. We have archived millions of tracks, we are working with the Archive of Contemporary Music to digitize portions of their extensive collections of physical media, the MusicBrainz.org community has provided meticulous metadata, and researchers from university programs have begun to analyze the music.
A prototype “listening room” in the Internet Archive’s building in San Francisco is available free to the public to listen to the full musical holdings. Access to these collections will also be provided to select computer science researchers via a secure “virtual reading room” in our data center. As tools and the collections grow, we will offer everyone access to the metadata to help them explore, and then offer links to commercial sites for listening or purchasing.
We invite interested people to participate:
Archives. The Internet Archive and the Archive of Contemporary Music in New York have started digitizing ACM’s holdings with consistent, high quality, standards-based methods to build a scalable workflow. We welcome other archives with similar projects, or who would like to help. “Digitizing our large physical collections is an important step for our archive to allow others to learn from this deep legacy,” said Bob George, Director of the Archive of Contemporary Music, NYC.
Collectors. Digitize, donate, or lend material for digitization. Improve metadata or provide context to help others understand the depth and cultural relevance of these collections. “Recycled Records is happy to have directed the donation of many thousands of LPs to the Internet Archive to help with their projects and for the love of music,” Bruce Lyall, proprietor of Recycled Records.
Labels. Preserving a complete collection of everything published by a label is best done by or with the record label. We would like to work with labels to get their releases archived and properly cataloged. “The upcoming Music Libraries program continues the very work that enables our label, and the musicians who record for us, to bring the music of earlier times to audiences today. We are proud to participate in a tradition of preservation that has brought joy to so many through music.” said David Fox, Co-founder of Musica Omnia.
Cataloging services. Commercial and non-commercial cataloging services can participate by making sure there are proper links from and to these collections. The musicbrainz.org open, community-created catalog has already been very helpful.
Commercial vendors and streaming services. Links from these collections to commercial services can help users buy and listen to full tracks. These services might have valuable metadata as well that can help users navigate.
Musicians and bands. Please create more great works that libraries can preserve and provide access to. We would like to hear your ideas about making the site useful for both musicians and the general public.
Researchers, historians, and music lovers. Annotate, organize, datamine, and surface music in the collections, and help us preserve those works not yet in the collections. “Access to a comprehensive archive of commercial music audio is the key missing link for research relating signal processing to listener behavior,” said Daniel Ellis, professor at Columbia University. By analyzing the rhythms, keys, instruments, and genres, researchers will help create more complete metadata and aid discovery.
Looking to the future, we hope to expand these shared music collections by uniting the work done by other archives and collectors. By bringing all of this music and its metadata into a shared library, we hope to bring the richness of our musical heritage to people all over the world.
Visit the Listening Room
300 Funston Ave
San Francisco, CA 94118
Hours: Fridays from 1-4pm, or by appointment.
If you would like to participate in any way, please email us.
When the personal record collection of music producer Bob George hit 47,000 discs, he knew something had to be done. “I wanted to give them away, but they were mostly punk, reggae and hip-hop,” he recalled, “and no established library or archive was interested.” The only thing to do, it would seem, was to turn his collection into a non-profit archive in New York called the ARChive of Contemporary Music. 29 years later, the ARC is one of the largest popular music collections in the world, with some three million sound recordings, 19,000 music-related books, and millions of photos, press kits and artifacts. Now this rich musical resource—used primarily by musicologists and the entertainment industry—is teaming up with one of the largest digital libraries in the world, the San Francisco-based Internet Archive, to create a music library that will preserve and provide researcher access to a wide range of music and the rich materials that surround it.
Powered by teams of volunteers, the two archives are partnering to digitize CDs and LPs and then use audio fingerprinting to match tracks with metadata from catalogs and other services. Using Internet Archive scanners, the ARC is digitizing its books and photographs at its New York facility. When complete, this music library will be a rich resource for historians, musicologists and the general public.
Starting today, the public can listen to millions of tracks for free, including many that are not available in Spotify or iTunes, at the Internet Archive’s new listening room in San Francisco. “The Internet Archive has allowed us to move forward at unprecedented speed, originally with book scanning and now with the digitization of a wide range of audio formats,” said Bob George. “The physical records from around the world that the ARC has archived are a unique treasure,” said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. “Soon these records will be studied in new ways because they will be digital as well.”
Since 1985, George, the ARC’s co-founder and director, has run the organization in Tribeca, New York City, supported by friends in the music industry including Paul Simon, David Bowie and Nile Rodgers. The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards endows a collection of blues and R&B recordings there. Filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme stop by when trying to track down hard-to-find songs. Yet for most of its almost three decades, the ARC has been a decidedly “analog” experience: records, CDs and cassette tapes line its walls; to experience a song you usually have to drop a needle into a pristine vinyl groove. The collaboration with the web-based Internet Archive represents a new direction. “We feel that our primary mission, to collect and preserve this material, is near completion,” said Bob George. “Now we are seeking ways to allow greater access to this incredible collection.”
The Internet Archive may be best known for the 435 billion web pages in its Wayback Machine, but this digital library has always been a place where live music collectors go to preserve concerts on the web. Its audio collections include some 130,000 live concerts by bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jack Johnson and Smashing Pumpkins—many with more than a million plays. Recently, the ARC shipped 46,000 seventy-eight rpm recordings to the San Francisco-based non-profit, and has donated tens-of-thousands of long-playing records. Music labels Music Omnia and Other Minds are making their entire collections searchable on www.archive.org, in part because the Internet Archive is one of the few online platforms that preserves audio, texts, musical manuscripts, photos and films and makes them accessible forever, for free.
The Internet Archive listening room is now open to the public for free on Fridays from 1-4 pm, holidays excepted, and by appointment at 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA. Those interested in donating physical music collections to the ARC or Internet Archive should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
A post by the Archive-It team
Today Phase 1 of the 5.0 release of the Archive-It web application was released for use by the 326 partners using the Archive-It service.
In 1996 when the Internet Archive was founded, we used automated crawlers to capture the web, snapping up millions of web pages and preserving them for history. Ironically, our digital record of humankind was being driven by computer algorithms.
As the years went by, it became clear that we needed people and communities to capture and save what is really and truly important. So in February 2006 we launched the Archive-It service, 1.0, which allowed traditional librarians and archivists to become web archivists by initiating focused, curated crawls of the live web using a simple web application with partner/tech support. Launching Archive-It meant we could help our colleagues create their own web collections for their own libraries and also foster a community around web archiving to work together to build a global digital public library at www.archive.org.
Now, as we expand to the next generation of Archive-It with our 5.0 release, we hope to provide even greater tools for collection development. Released this week, 5.0 phase 1 highlights a shiny new user interface and significantly enhanced post-crawl reports that include infographics with visual representations of the data.
Figure 1: Screenshot from the Reports section of the new Archive-It 5.0 user interface
Back in 2006 there was little understanding of web archiving and many organizations were questioning whether this was a valid activity that could or should be a part of their larger institutional collecting strategies. After all, the challenges were staggering: the quality of web content was all over the map; conflicting policies and organizational structures posed challenges; no one had yet established best practices for selecting the content, how to handle metadata, or how to integrate this new type of content into other holdings and existing catalogs at the institution. Also, back then we could not have predicted the extent to which material that once existed in physical form would now only appear on the web in digital form.
We launched the Archive-It service with a small band of believers and supporters, among them librarians and archivists from Indiana University, University of Texas at Austin, Library of Virginia, Montana State Library, and North Carolina State Archives and State Library. Partners were very patient with us and with Archive-It 1.0, which was bare bones. Collaborating and working with the library and archive community has always been a top priority for the Internet Archive, and a defining characteristic of the Archive-It service. There have been many times during the past 8+ years when we have not known the answer to a question and we say: “Let’s ask the community and see what they think!” And the community has always gotten back to us with supportive answers – both illustrative and specific.
Figure 2: Screenshot from the North Carolina State Government Web Site Archive of the North Carolina State Archives and State Library of North Carolina.
As time went on, the community of web archivists grew and we were able to produce some compelling answers to the question: why web archive? Here are just a few:
Figure 3: Screenshot from the Latin American Government Documents Archive, LAGDA of the University of Texas at Austin.
To date in 2014, 326 Archive-It partners have created 2700 public collections on a diversity and range of topics, subjects, events and domains. These collections have become integral to these organizations’ collecting strategies and have helped to raise awareness and understanding about why web archiving is so important.
We like to say that the Archive-It service is both a partner and a vendor. We are a service provider and we strive to consistently deliver a high level of customer support — which we believe partners notice and appreciate. We also strive to be a partner to our community and work collaboratively on initiatives that we share together; a few of which are: a) collaborative efforts around archiving spontaneous events (like the 2011 Japanese Earthquake collection), b) teaching web archiving in graduate level MLIS programs and professional development workshops and c) the K12 Web Archiving program (now in its 7th year) where we work with 3rd to 12 graders around the county and ask them what they would like to archive for future generations. As one of the student archivists put it, “500 years from now, kids will think we were really cool.”
Many of the features and functionality that we see in the Archive-It service today are a direct result of a partner making a suggestion or request. Through face to face brainstorming sessions, online surveys, webinars, and support tickets, partners have expressed their ideas as well as offered constructive criticism. And we have listened. We hope that as the service continues to grow and we launch Archive-It 5.0 that many of our partners will see themselves in Archive-It. Their collections will continue to be valuable to researchers, historians, scholars and the general public for many years to come.
Here are some links to just a few of those collections on the Archive-It website:
Columbia University’s collection on Human Rights: https://archive-it.org/collections/1068
National Museum of Women in the Arts’s collection on Contemporary Women Artists on the Web: https://archive-it.org/collections/2973
University of Alberta’s Circumpolar Collection: https://archive-it.org/collections/2475
Brigham Young University’s Mormon Missionary Collection: https://archive-it.org/collections/3609
Stanford University’s collection on Freedom of Information (FOIA): https://archive-it.org/collections/924
As we continue down this road – excited for the future and what comes next – we know that it takes a community to archive the web and we look forward to working with our partners to build libraries together.
Philadelphia-region Political Media Ad Watch is a pilot project that allows citizens and journalists to go online to search every political message in the Philly television market, compare all the ads from a single sponsor (sample: Tom Wolf for Governor) —positive and negative—and trace back who is paying for those ads.
He’s in Bed with an Accused Mobster!
This is what television audiences in Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey are hearing a lot of this season. And it’s not Judge Judy or the Jerry Springer Show. Nope. It’s the deeply disturbing reality television show of our nation’s mid-term elections.
Dark accusations run back-to-back with heartwarming assurances of compassion. All financed by increasingly unfettered flows of cash from ever more veiled donors.
Voters have a right to know who’s paying for these messages. And this flood of commercials begs a few critical questions for our democracy:
The project is a collaboration between the Internet Archive, Sunlight Foundation, Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy (a non-partisan government watchdog), University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service and the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania. It immediately enables local media to do a better job sifting between fact and fiction in political messaging and revealing financial sources of political influence.
In the coming year, University of Delaware researchers will sift project data to answer some basic questions about how local media is serving the public:
And in the long term, our pioneering work in the Philadelphia-region will help us create an affordable and technically scalable model to answer these questions in local markets nationwide leading up to the 2016 elections.
One of the exciting features of this project is that it brings cutting edge technology together with campaign finance expertise and grassroots good-government advocates in Philadelphia to potentially provide vastly greater understanding on who funds our political system and how they influence campaigns on the ground. Each of these organizations by themselves have a strong potential impact—together, we have the ability to amplify the rich, revealing information that can move voters and sway debate toward better outcomes.
What We’re Doing
The Internet Archive is recording, indexing for search and presenting online Philadelphia TV Market Area television news—which includes 22 counties in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey; indexing for search all political ads therein; creating an interface for trained volunteers to identify and tag political advertising; joining indexed ads with sponsor information databases; making news and ads searchable, quotable and embeddable; capturing and presenting, in a full-text searchable database, much of the region’s Web media ecosystem..
The Sunlight Foundation is training volunteer political ad sponsorship coders, creating adaptations of the Influence Explorer interface and database to include real time Pennsylvania state campaign data; developing specialized optical character recognition algorithms for extracting Public Inspection File disclosures on sponsorship for TV political ad buys on its Political Ad Sleuth database; conducting outreach to journalists and others for their collaboration and use of resources for stories; integrating ad sponsor data into related Sunlight Foundation data tools and API’s; working with the Internet Archive to sync up sponsorship data with the actual ads in the same interface.
The Committee of Seventy is organizing a team of volunteers; acting as liaison with Philadelphia-region civic organizations; conducting outreach to area press; and providing guidance on issues and political candidates to track.
The University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service at the School of Public Policy & Administration will conduct an analysis of the broadcast news programs in the Philadelphia television market, aired September 1 through Election Day, November 4. After Election Day, the University team will conduct content analysis to address the research questions above and publish findings next year.
The Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania is providing technical support and advice regarding the Internet Archive’s broadcast monitoring in the Philadelphia area.
• View all identified political TV ads
• Watch video tour guide to using Philly-region TV news search
• Search just Philadelphia content from the TV News Archive
• Philadelphia stations’ political ad sponsor reports to FCC
• Archived Philadelphia web media ecosystem sites (key word searchable)
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication; and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Travis N. Ridout, the Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy and Associate Professor in the school of Politics, Philosophy and Public at Washington State University; and co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project.
David Westin, former president of ABC News, Founding CEO of NewsRight, a digital start-up spun off from the AP; and now Principal of Witherbee Holdings, LLC
Supported in part by grants and other contributions from:
Rita Allen Foundation
Hawthorn Family Fund
Buck Foundation (NYC)
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Philadelphia Foundation, from an anonymous contributor to their donor-advised funds
Project Collaborator Contacts
Internet Archive – Roger Macdonald firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunlight Foundation – Kathy Kiely email@example.com
University of Delaware – Danilo Yanich firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee of Seventy – Ellen Kaplan email@example.com
Linguistic Data Consortium – Denise DiPersio firstname.lastname@example.org
Please stand with the Internet Archive to Protect Net Neutrality by writing to your congressperson. Today, many organizations are putting “Internet Loading” symbols on their sites to bring awareness to the stakes to those of us that would be at the mercy of the Cable and Phone Companies to selectively slow down our sites for profit or just because they may not like our policies.
China started blocking the Internet Archive again a couple of months ago, we believe, because they do not like our open access policies. In this way, we have started to understand the power in the hands of the Internet service providers. Lets keep our access to Internet sites “Neutral” and not at the discretion of companies and governments.
Please write to your congressperson.
by Robert Miller, Global Director of Books, Internet Archive
“Reading a book from the inside out!”. Well not quite, but a new way to read our eBooks has just been launched. Check out this great BBC article:
Here is the fabulous Flickr commons collection:
What is it and how did it get done?
A Yahoo research fellow at Georgetown University, Kalev Leetaru, extracted over 14 million images from 2 million Internet Archive public domain eBooks that span over 500 years of content. Because we have OCR’d the books, we have now been able to attach about 500 words before and after each image. This means you can now see, click and read about each image in the collection. Think full-text search of images!
How many images are there?
As of today, 2.6 million of the 14 million images have been uploaded to Flickr Commons. Soon we will be able to add continuously to this collection from the over 1,000+ new eBooks we scan each day. Dr. Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library says, “This way of discovering and reading a book will help transform our medical heritage collection as it goes up online. This is a big step forward and will bring digitized book collections to new audiences.”
What is fun to do with this collection?
Trying typing in the word “telephone’ and enjoy what images appear? Curious about how death has been characterized over 500 years of images – type in “mordis”. Feeling good about health care – type in medicine and prepare to be amazed. Remember, all of these images are in the public domain!
We will be working with our wonderful friends at Flickr and our great Library partners to make this collection even more interesting – more images, more sub-collections and some very interesting ideas of how to use some image recognition tools to help us learn more about, well, anything!
Questions about this collection, projects or things to come?
Email me at email@example.com
July 12, 2014 marked the passing of an extraordinary librarian, Zoia Horn. Ms. Horn was best known in library circles for spending three weeks in jail in 1972 for having refused to testify before a grand jury regarding information relating to Phillip Berrigan’s library use. Ms. Horn stated: “To me it stands on: Freedom of thought — but government spying in homes, in libraries and universities inhibits and destroys this freedom.”
Throughout her life, Ms. Horn was on the forefront of the protection of academic and intellectual freedom, especially in libraries. She was an outspoken opponent of the PATRIOT ACT. She won numerous awards for her work, and a Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award was inaugurated in 2004 by the California Library Association.
The Internet Archive is proud to have been a recipient of that award in 2010, and Brewster Kahle was presented with the award by Ms. Horn herself.
Along with so many others who have fought for freedom, we will greatly miss Ms. Horn, and we honor her memory by continuing her work.
As the Archive moves more widely into the archiving of software, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s going to be an awful lot of programs online without much indication of what they are. With many thousands of programs or program collections to choose from, determining what might be inside becomes a pretty involved task.
In the case of movies, images and texts, there are previews that help show what is contained in the files in a given item. These are extremely helpful, as they not only show the quality or style of the works, but give all sorts of information that might not be reflected in the metadata.
Starting now, the same will be true for many types of software.
Using a combination of the JSMESS emulator and screen capturing software, the Archive has begun automatic “playing out” of sets of programs, snagging shots of what the software does, and then providing it as a guidepost of what is to come with that program.
For example, work has just been completed on the playable Sega Genesis Library, where the directory view of the items in the collection show helpful screenshots, and individual games show animated playthroughs of the beginning of the cartridge.
The process is still evolving – currently it requires real-time capture (that is, capturing the first five minutes of a program takes an actual five minutes), but with multiple machines moving through collections, screenshots will be available for huge amounts of programs in coming weeks and months.
Along with the obvious graphical prettiness comes an even greater cultural benefit: the freeing of screenshots.
As these shots have often been done manually or have been gathered by hand, there has risen a tendency to put watermarks or credits with the images to indicate who did the work. While it’s an understandable urge to want some kudos for the effort, it meant that the very work being lauded (the graphics of the program) was being vandalized to ensure credit where credit was due.
None of the screenshots we are generating will have watermarks, and can be used freely for other purposes as you see fit.
To celebrate this, we’ve created a compilation of all the Sega Genesis screenshots generated by the project so far. The compilation is here. Be warned – it’s 4.3 gigabytes of 16,900 screenshots of 573 cartridges! (There’s a way to browse it at this link.)
Many screenshots are simply informative, but many more are truly works of art, as artists and programmers strained the edges of these underpowered machines to create the most evocative images possible. With this screenshotting effort underway, that work will hopefully get a new life and respect on the web.
Free the Screenshots!
The Internet Archive joined Our Fair Deal along with EFF and Public Knowledge to stop the US from using the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty from changing our copyright laws. The coalition sent two open letters to TPP negotiators today on critical issues that you can learn about here. Let’s foster open debate and proper process before further changes to copyright laws restrict public access even more.
Please consider joining this coalition.
The Long Now Foundation works to encourage long term thinking in our increasingly “now” oriented culture (read more about them and their projects below).
Long Now just opened a new cafe, bar and event space called The Interval at Fort Mason Center. It features prototypes and artifacts from the 10,000 Year Clock they are building, thousands of books on floor-to-ceiling shelves, art created by Long Now co-founder Brian Eno, and a cocktail menu designed by Jennifer Colliau (Slanted Door / Small Hand Foods) There’s a great article at eater.com on their recent launch.
July 8, 2014 at 6pm
2 Marina Blvd.
Fort Mason Center Building A
San Francisco, CA 94123
RSVP on meetup
On Tuesday, July 8th please join us at The Interval to enjoy their amazing cocktails–they also serve beer, wine, Sightglass coffee, tea and cocktail-worthy no-alcohol drinks. Long Now Foundation staff will be on hand to tell you more about the organization and how you can follow, participate, and support what they do. (Memberships start at $8 / month and include free tickets to their Seminar series!)
All this in their amazing, inspiring space along with your fellow Humanitarians, a great chance to meetup, hang out, and get to know each other better over some delicious drinks. The night starts at 6pm and we’ll hang out for a little less than a millennia (The Interval is only open until midnight anyway).
About The Long Now Foundation
The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996 to encourage and foster long-term thinking and responsibility through a variety of projects including a Clock designed to last 10,000 years, a monthly Seminar series about long-term thinking, Revive and Restore which is focused on genetic rescue for endangered and extinct species, and the Rosetta Projectwhich preserves the diversity of human languages. In short their goal is to make long-term thinking more automatic and common rather than difficult and rare.
The term “Long Now” was coined by co-founder Brian Eno after observing that in New York City the word here meant “this room” and now meant “about five minutes”. It led Brian to reflecton the importance of living in a bigger here and a longer now.
What does “the long now” mean?
The 10,000 Year Clock is a project to build a monument scale, multi-millennial, all mechanical clock as an icon to long-term thinking.
The Rosetta Project is Long Now’s first exploration into very long-term archiving. The project is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers building a publicly accessible digital library of human languages. Below is an image of the Rosetta Disk: thousands of pages of language information micro-etched on a nickel disk in order to preserve them without the risk of digital obsolescence.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin, November 15, 1755
A year ago today, Glenn Greenwald published the first article on the extent of NSA surveillance, based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Prior warnings by members of the US Congress, whistleblowers and others had gone un-headed. Effective Congressional oversight was circumvented by secret Executive Branch interpretations of relevant laws.
After the June 5th revelation last year, most members of Congress were shocked, even the author of the Patriot Act.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently attempted to end mass government surveillance of Americans via the USA FREEDOM Act. Some initial supporters, like House Judiciary Committee member, Zoe Lofgren, withdrew their support for the Act after amendments modified its effectiveness. The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the Act “gutted”.
The USA FREEDOM Act moves to the Senate for debate and likely further modification. The public debate over the relationship between freedom and safety in our increasingly digital world continues to deepen.
Edward Snowden frames the choices between Liberty and Security confronting Americans today as dire as Ben Franklin did in 1755.
Our experimental library presents more than 1,100 chronologically ordered television citations drawn from the Internet Archive’s television news research library. TV quotes can be browsed by rolling over clip thumbnails, queried via transcripts and sorted for specific speakers. Citations, context, source broadcasters, and options to share, quote or borrow can be explored by following links on each thumbnail.
Thanks to the exceptional curatorial efforts of Robin Chin, a media researcher for the Internet Archive, you can use this library to reflect upon one of the great issues of our times.
Twenty five years ago Tiananmen Square was splashed with the blood of protestors. For seven weeks they had banded together to advocate a democratic future for the Peoples Republic of China. Their voices were stilled June 4, 1989 by the guns of China’s army. The protestors’ optimistic vision of reform was reflected later that year in the fall of the Berlin Wall and has persisted in China to this day.
In respectful remembrance of the terrible sacrifices exacted in Tiananmen Square, and to inform thoughtful reflection, we offer a few glimpses gleaned from the Marion Stokes Archive of how U.S. media told the story.
Marion Stokes, an African American librarian and social justice advocate, dedicated the last thirty five years of her life to recording television news so that we might consider the past through the lens of contemporaneous media. Her devotion resulted in an extraordinary collection of 40,000 video cassettes. We are in the very early stages of beginning to index the collection and experiment with digitizing it.
Back on the day after Christmas, we announced the Console Living Room, a collection of console games dating from the 1970s through the 1980s that could be played right in your browser, with no plugins or installation necessary. With over 800 cartridges emulated from five game consoles, the chance to relive old memories, make new ones, and experience video game history were huge.
In the months since, there have been college courses assigned to study the old games in the Living Room, reviews written by players trying these games for the first time, and a crowd of tens of thousands of players checking the whole thing out.
So, it’s time to make the Living Room a little bigger.
As of today, the Console Living Room now supports 2,300 cartridges for 21 consoles.
It is 100% guaranteed that you have never heard of all of these consoles, even if you were playing video games at the time they were around. Some flamed out spectacularly, only creating a handful of cartridges. Others were the victim of bad timing or needless delays, making their technology significantly out of date upon release. One of them had a short lifespan and was only ever released in Taiwan.
All of them are a part of history.
These consoles (now spanning from the 1970s through to the 1990s) represent the uniqueness of the video game revolution, as living rooms were transformed from watch-only television shrines into places of activity and competition, often against the machines themselves. Only a small percentage of companies now release home consoles, investing many millions and huge armies of support/development staff to do so – these online exhibits harken back to when a comparatively small number of people could pull off what now takes many hundreds to do.
The relative stability of the market now is a quiet meadow compared to the intense battles that came before.
As for the games themselves, there’s an untold mass of creativity, triumphs, tears and near-misses throughout the thousands of cartridges. Games that should have been big but weren’t, games that make you wonder what they were thinking, and games that have taken on the patina of warm regard but… just aren’t as good as they say.
Some other notes about this expanded collection:
Adding 2,300 cartridges to the collection at once means that a significant number lack the documentation or information they deserve. A team of volunteers has been working to shore up descriptions, cover images, and screenshots for these many programs, but the work is ongoing. In a notable amount of cases, there exists very little information about the game cartridge at all. Games that sold well or had a notable brand tend to have more information available, while short-selling products fell between the cracks. If you would like to volunteer to help backfill some of these items, please contact Jason Scott, software curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, we continue to have no sound available on these emulations. We have experimentally proven sound works, and we are now working with multiple teams of people who are involved in emulation, the browser audio standards, and other aspects to get this dealt with. When it’s ready, we’ll announce it.
The new 50,000 square foot warehouse will be used to house 160 shipping containers to hold over 6 million books, but for now is ours to play in!
Come celebrate with us! Food will be served and we will host a variety of carnival-style games and activities.
Bring your families and friends!
Please help us and RSVP here
Wednesday, May 21 2014
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The Authors Alliance embraces the unprecedented potential digital networks have for the creation and distribution of knowledge and culture. We represent the interests of authors who want to harness this potential to share their creations more broadly in order to serve the public good.
Unfortunately, authors face many barriers that prevent the full realization of this potential to enhance public access to knowledge and creativity. Authors who are eager to share their existing works may discover that those works are out of print, un-digitized, and subject to copyrights signed away long before the digital age. Authors who are eager to share new works may feel torn between publication outlets that maximize public access and others that restrict access but claim to provide value in terms of peer review and prestige, or even fame and fortune.
The mission of Authors Alliance is to further the public interest in facilitating widespread access to works of authorship by helping authors navigate the opportunities and challenges of the digital age. We provide information and tools designed to help authors better understand and manage key legal, technological, and institutional aspects essential to a knowledge economy of abundance. We are also a voice for authors in discussions about public and institutional policies that might promote or inhibit broad dissemination.
If you are interested in our mission, please join us at our launch, 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday May 21st at the Internet Archive in San Francisco.
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA
For more details and to RSVP please visit authorsalliance.eventbrite.com