Internet Archive Reaches Semifinals in MacArthur Foundation’s Competition for $100 Million Grant

by Wendy Hanamura

The Internet Archive headquarters: a temple to universal access to knowledge.

At the Internet Archive, we believe that libraries can be instruments of change.

So we are proud to announce that the Internet Archive is one of eight groups named semi-finalists today in 100&Change, a global competition for a single $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The competition seeks bold solutions to critical problems of our time. Here’s how we propose creating transformative, lasting change:

Our vision empowers libraries to unlock their rich analog collections for a new generation of learners, enabling free, long-term, public access to knowledge.

In today’s digital world, a new generation explores knowledge largely through their computers and phones. So as digital librarians, we worry when millions of books, representing a century of knowledge, are still not accessible online to scholars, journalists, students, and the public. Libraries have been stymied by huge costs, restrictions on eBooks, and missing technology. The legal path forward has not been clear. All of this means libraries haven’t been able to meet the digital demands of a new generation. And access to libraries is still not universal or equitable.

Our plan provides libraries and learners with free digital access to four million books. With our partners, we will curate, digitize, and enable digital lending of these digital volumes to any library in the country that owns the physical book. We plan to start with the books most widely held and used in libraries and classrooms. The scale of the project will help reduce digitization costs by 50 percent or more. How do we know this can work? We’ve been prototyping this model for six years at Open Library, digitizing 540,000 modern books originating from 100 partners.  Through Open Library, we lend books to the public in a manner that respects the rights of authors and publishers, in a process that mirrors the traditional way libraries circulate physical books.

What makes this a gamer-changer? Today, the Internet Archive already offers public access to 2.5 million books in the public domain, and 540,000 modern works. We need to be bigger and bolder. At the Internet Archive, we only lend one copy at a time, so in order to serve more learners, we seek thousands of libraries to join us. That can happen if we build the technical infrastructure that allows libraries everywhere to leverage those digital books. Plus, this is an issue of dollars-and-cents. Libraries should never pay to digitize a book more than once. Right now libraries pay an average of $17.50 for each interlibrary loan of a physical book. As books become electronic, those funds can be directed to more urgent needs. And above all, this grant will help all libraries become digital libraries, releasing the tremendous value in the collections they have curated over centuries.

With so many brilliant, effective thinkers applying to 100&Change, it always felt as if our chances were one in a hundred—and indeed they were! There was robust participation: 7,069 competition registrants submitted 1,904 proposals. Of those, 801 passed an initial administrative review and were evaluated by a panel of expert judges who each provided ratings on four criteria: meaningfulness, verifiability, durability, and feasibility. MacArthur’s Board of Directors made the final selection.  To be one of eight semifinalists from 800 qualified applicants is a tremendous honor.  

Eileen Alfaro, San Francisco fifth-grader. One day she could be carrying 4 million eBooks under her arm.

And as we work hard to hone our plans in the months ahead, here’s what propels us forward: Eileen Alfaro, the Internet Archive’s brightest rising star. Every day after school, this San Francisco fifth-grader does her homework at the Internet Archive, while her mother Roxana works. A straight-A student, Eileen loves nothing more than reading. We can put four million of the best books into her hands. Forever. For free.

Our proposal? Making libraries instruments of change for a new generation of learners like Eileen.

 

 

 

 

A summary of the Internet Archive’s solution, an overview video of its project and a MacArthur video describing our proposal is available here www.macfound.org/InternetArchive.

Posted in Announcements, News | 7 Comments

Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet Archive has long supported the efforts of the Free Law Movement to make the laws and edicts of government of the United States more broadly available. With our colleague Aaron Swartz and the efforts of numerous groups across the country including the Free Law Foundation and Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy, we host the RECAP repository of documents from the federal district courts.  Many of these public domain document were downloaded by users of the goverment’s PACER  system for $0.10 per page and uploaded to the Internet Archive. The RECAP repository is available for free, and in bulk, which is useful for researchers.

On Tuesday, February 14, the U.S. Congress will hold the first hearings in over a decade examining the operation of the PACER system. The hearing will be before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives. The Internet Archive was pleased to accept the committee’s invitation to submit a statement for the record and we have submitted the following, which includes an offer to host the PACER data now and forever to make the works of our federal courts more readily available to inform the citizenry and to further the effective and fair administration of justice.

Our courts must function in the light of day, and in this day and age that means on the Internet. The Internet Archive is happy to try to help.

February 10, 2017

The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman
The Honorable Jerry Nadler, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Committee on the Judiciary
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler,

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on the Judiciary Committee’s hearing entitled “Judicial Transparency and Ethics.” I write on behalf of the Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library that is based in San Francisco with facilities throughout the world.

For more than 20 years, the Internet Archive has been archiving digital collections and making them available at no cost and with no restriction on the Internet. The Internet Archive works with the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and numerous national libraries around the world to collect, store, and provide permanent access to millions of books, videos, audio and hundreds of millions of pages of U.S. government documents, including over 14,000 hours of video of Congressional hearings.

By this submission, the Internet Archive would like to clearly state to the Judiciary Committee, as well as to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and the Judicial Conference of the United States, that we would be delighted to archive and host—for free, forever, and without restriction on access to the public—all records contained in PACER.

People download more than 20 million books from the Internet Archive each month. We preserve 1 billion web pages each week for public access through the “Wayback Machine.” Indeed, the Wayback Machine is the only publicly accessible archive of all the websites of Congress. At any given moment, we are delivering about 30 gigabits of data per second. We host more than 20 petabytes of data in total.

By comparison, the PACER corpus is a fraction of a petabyte and does not use a significant amount of bandwidth. We have the capacity to host this information, and I know there are many other organizations on the Internet who would be able to make dramatic increases in the usability and utility of our Federal Judiciary’s database if it were made available in a more modern fashion and without artificial restrictions on use.

The stated purpose of PACER is to make public court records “freely available to the greatest extent possible.” Sixteen years ago, the United States Courts predicted that PACER would allow the public to “surf to the courthouse door on the Internet.” Today, anyone visiting a federal courthouse can view the public record for free. PACER, on the other hand, charges users per-page fees that are prohibitive for many members of the public. The Judiciary could resolve this unfortunate discrepancy—immediately—at no cost. This is our offer.

The Internet Archive has deep experience with collections of this kind. In fact, we already host the records from over a million federal court cases that have been donated by the public as part of the RECAP Project. However, a million cases is a small portion of the hundreds of millions of cases that PACER contains, and we are frustrated that it is so difficult to obtain and serve the workings of our federal courts to the public. This is a fairly trivial technical task, and we would welcome the opportunity to make much more data available.

I must also note that the Internet Archive is not alone in being well-equipped to offer this service. There are other large digital repositories that similarly serve the public for free. I cannot speak for them, but I believe that once the corpus is available for no fee and without restriction, they too will replicate it and offer similar service. Indeed, others may build useful tools for reading, searching, and studying the corpus of public court records that makes up our federal case law.

In order to recognize the vision of universal free access to public court records, the Federal Judiciary would essentially have to do nothing. We are experts at “crawling” online databases in an efficient and careful fashion that does not burden those systems. We are already able to comprehensively crawl PACER from a technical perspective, but the resulting fees would be astronomical. The Federal Judiciary has a Memorandum of Understanding with both the Executive Office for US Trustees and with the Government Printing Office that gives each entity no-fee access for the public benefit. The collection we would provide to the public would be far more comprehensive than the GPO’s current court opinion program—although I must laud that program for providing a digitally-authenticated collection of many opinions.

By making federal judicial dockets available in this manner, the Federal Judiciary would enable free and unlimited public access to all records that exist in PACER, finally living up to the name of the program. In today’s world, public access means access on the Internet. Public access also means that people can work with big data without having to pass a cash register for each document.

This PACER collection we would maintain and improve would have far more detailed metadata and contextual information than the GPO service or the PACER Case Locator service. And, that’s just for starters, because we know that there are thousands of eager researchers, journalists, and government workers (including Congressional staff) who would immediately jump in and work with us.

By providing no-cost access to the Internet Archive to PACER and accepting our commitment to make this information available for use without restriction in perpetuity, we believe we can work with our government to make the workings of our court more usable to government attorneys, to members of the bar, and to the public at large.

Sincerely yours,

Brewster Kahle
Digital Librarian and Founder, Internet Archive

Notes:

  1. S. Rep. 107–174, 107th Cong., 2d Sess., at 23 (2002), https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CRPT-107srpt174/pdf/CRPT-107srpt174.pdf.
  2. Electronic Public Access at 10, THE THIRD BRANCH: NEWSLETTER OF THE FEDERAL COURTS, Sep. 2000, at 3, https://archive.org/details/thirdbranch32332200001fede/.
Posted in News | 7 Comments

Apple Pie Potluck and Constitutional Law Teach-In — Friday Feb 17th 5:30-9PM


Initial information — more details to come:
In honor of the General Strike:

Constitutional Law Teach-in at the Internet Archive with EFF and Others

EFF and other lawyers will lead a conversation about the current issues and threats in constitutional law. Focusing on specific sections and amendments we will talk about current cases on censorship, surveillance, search and seizure, and more.

Workshops on using encryption tools and maybe musical performances will accompany.
If you want to present, perform, or have other ideas, please email us.

When: Friday, February 17th 5:30pm-9pm (program 6-8)
Where: Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave. SF, CA 94118
Potluck-style: Please bring apple pie or other food
Reserve your free ticket here
Streamed via Facebook Live
Donations welcome

Lawyers Attending:

  • Cindy Cohn – Executive Director of EFF
  • Corynne McSherry – Legal Director of EFF
  • Victoria Baranetsky – First Look Media Technology Legal Fellow for the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Geoff King – Lecturer at UC Berkeley, and Non-Residential Fellow at Stanford Center for Internet and Society
  • Bill Fernholz – Lecturer In Residence at Berkeley Law

For those who cannot attend in person, we will stream the event on Facebook Live, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook.

Posted in Announcements, News | Comments Off on Apple Pie Potluck and Constitutional Law Teach-In — Friday Feb 17th 5:30-9PM

This week’s TV news highlights with fact checks

by Katie Dahl

As part of a new regular feature, the Internet Archive presents highlights from our national fact checking partners of TV news segments aired over the past week. These include President Donald Trump’s assertion that the number of police officers killed on the beat has increased; his latest attack on the press; his claim that sanctuary cities breed crime; the proposition that Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s apparel line was political;  several Trump statements from his Super Bowl interview with O’Reilly, and background on the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D., Mass., on the floor of the Senate. 

Claim: Number of officers shot and killed in line of duty increased (true)

Trump earned a rare “Gepetto’s checkmark” for truthfulness from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker when he told a gathering of law enforcement that, The number of officers shot and killed in the line of duty last year increased by 56 percent from the year before.” Reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee wrote, “Trump’s grim statistic seemed too remarkable to be correct:…But the figure is solid. Last year was a notable year in police deaths, largely because of the number of police officers who were fatally shot in ambush attacks across the country.”

Claim: press doesn’t want to report on terrorism (wrong)From our Trump Archive: in describing “radical islamic terrorist” attacks around the world, President Trump claimed the “very very dishonest press doesn’t want to report” them. The fact-checkers at PolitiFact found no evidence for this assertion, rating the claim as “Pants on Fire”: “The media may sometimes be cautious about assigning religious motivation to a terrorist attack when the facts are unclear or still being investigated. But that’s not the same as covering them up through lack of coverage.” Reporters at FactCheck.org called Trump’s claim “nonsense.”

Claim: Sanctuary cities breed crime (no evidence)

Also from the Trump Archive: in an interview on FOX News, host Bill O’Reilly asked for Trump’s reaction to news that officials in California are discussing whether to become a sanctuary state. Trump responded that he is opposed to sanctuary cities, saying they “breed crime.” PolitiFact reporter Allison Graves wrote that there isn’t much research on the impact of sanctuary cities on crime, but that at least one recent study shows no effect on crime rates. Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave the claim “three Pinocchios” from The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “Trump goes too far declaring that the cities “breed crime.” He not only makes a correlation, but also ascribes a causation, without facts to support either.”

 

Claim: Putin’s a killer (experts say yes)

In the Super Bowl interview, O’Reilly pressed President Trump about his respect for Putin, saying “Putin’s a killer.” Trump’s response was “We got a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?” PolitiFact’s Graves reported on O’Reilly’s assertion that Putin is a killer, writing that “the political climate in Russia is responsible for a sizable amount of journalists murders in the country…. Many of the perpetrators are thought to be government and military officials and political groups.”

Claim: Three million undocumented immigrants voted illegally in November elections (no evidence)

Trump continued his unsubstantiated claim that three million undocumented immigrants voted illegally in the November election. When pushed on the need for evidence, Trump was undeterred, saying “[m]any people have come out and said I’m right. You know that.” PolitiFact repeated its finding that there is no evidence for this kind of voter fraud: “Trump’s claim is undermined by years of publically available information such as a report that found just 56 cases of noncitizens voting between 2000 and 2011.”

Claim: Nordstrom’s decision to drop Ivanka Trump’s apparel line was political (No evidence)

After Nordstrom dropped his daughter Ivanka Trump’s apparel line, President Trump attacked the decision as political. His press secretary, Sean Spicer, followed at a news conference saying, “[T]his is a direct attack on his policies and her name.” Reporting for The Washington Post Fact Checker, Lee cited an internal company email from November 2016, which states the company would continue to sell the brand as long as it was profitable. Then on February 2, Nordstrom announced it was dropping the line, because of “poor sales.” Lee gave the claim “four Pinocchios.”

Explainer: what is “Senate rule XIX” (rarely invoked)

During a Senate floor debate about the nomination of then Sen. Jeff Sessions, R., Ala., to be attorney general, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R., Ky., silenced Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D., Mass., as she read from a letter by Corretta Scott King. In doing so, he cited an obscure rule, known as Senate rule XIX, which reads: “[N]o Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” PolitiFact reporter Louis Jacobson provided a useful primer on the rule, including statistics on how often it’s been invoked in Senate history: most likely, only twice, once in 1915 and another tie in 1952.

Katie Dahl is a research associate with the TV New Archive.

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Upgraded Secure Communications Applications I am Now Using

I am upgrading the security of my communications while still being easy to use. I thought I would share what I currently use in case it is helpful to copy and I would appreciate comments.

I want end-to-end encryption so nobody can intercept what I am saying (unless they have infected my phone or computer, but that is another issue), and bonus points for making it so that it is unknown who I am communicating with and when (private metadata and traffic). Skype, phonecalls, sms/texts, slack and email are now known to not be private (at least by default) thanks to Edward Snowden. This is too bad since I still use these. (Slack is not end-to-end encrypted even for direct messages, which it could and should.) So far I have only partially achieved the first step: end-to-end encryption. I am migrating to:

  • txt and sms replacement, somewhat phonecalls: Signal for point-to-point instant messaging replacing sms and skype. Free software, free of cost, and open source, works on smart phones.I have donated.
  • skype texting replacement: Signal for laptops and with a chrome-based desktop Signal app on my Mac (which is what I mostly use). It uses phone numbers as identifiers, which is kind of a pain. EFF friend called this “best of breed” for security. Small development staff.   There is a tip for updating it to have names rather than phonenumbers: go to the … menu, go to settings, at the bottom is update contacts.
  • skype video/slack audiovideo replacement:    appear.in for 1-on-1 and small group video chat that is end-to-end encrypted replacing Skype for me. This does not require a download or an account. Go to the homepage, type a bunch of characters to make a meeting room, then send the resulting url to someone and they can use that throw-away meeting room. Super easy. Uses webrtc (now standard in browsers), and https with it, they say it is end-to-end encrypted. They have a iphone app as well, but don’t know about security. This does not seemed designed for super high security, but seems to be pretty good.
  • webex replacement:   zoom.us for larger group video chats replacing Webex for me. Free of cost for most of my uses, easy to use (requires download, but is super easy) . It says it is end-to-end encrypted with a little lock icon when in use and encrypted.
  • Facetime occasionally on my iphone replacing cellphone calls to friends with an iphone. Apple says that it is end-to-end encrypted.
  • Thunderbird + Enigmail to sign all email, receive encrypted email, and sometimes sending encypted Email, with an organizational email server (archive.org not gmail). Enigmail is moderately hard to set up, I had help in a meetup. Cost free, and I believe free and open source software. I am donating.
  • encrypted notes file (the mac Notes app) on my mac for high priority secure notes. It syncs the encrypted file with my iphone via icloud.
  • Breadwallet, bitcoin wallet on my iphone, for small amounts of bitcoin for casual purchases. Super easy and a full wallet (does not hang off a server). Love this wallet. Cost free. I invested a tiny amount of money in the company– great guys.
  • Torbrowser for private web browsing beyond Firefox’s Private browsing feature. Free and open source software, cost free. I have donated.
  • On Macintosh os/x it’s easy to turn on full disk encryption (FileVault). Go to the “Security and Privacy” setting and turn on FileVault. If you do, be sure *not* to accept its offer to store the key in iCloud. Write down the “recovery key”, and hide it somewhere away from the computer. The security of this approach is based on the security of your normal login password, so if it’s lame, change it to something that can’t be guessed or brute forced easily.  (from a commenter, Eric Blossom)
  • Web search: DuckDuckGo or StartPage.com. (from a commenter, Reinout)

Any comments or ideas are welcome. I realize have traded off security for ease of use. I hope stronger tools get easier and I suggest we all invest in tools based on donations and development help. I wish I knew my mac and iphone were not compromised. Not sure how to do that.

I have tried ricochet as an instant messaging client that secures who I am talking to via Tor, easy to use, but few I know use it, so I don’t use it often. I have tried encrypting my email using pgp via enigmail but have run into trouble with others being able to read it, so I do not encrypt email by default. As an aside, encryption is related in a funny way to content-addressible systems, which is a different subject, but this is magic and the future.

(earlier version of this post is on http://brewster.kahle.org )

Posted in Announcements, News | 4 Comments

Micropayments to Archive.org by using the Brave Browser (and bitcoin)

I hope Ted Nelson is proud. The Internet Archive just signed up for getting micropayments from participating Brave Browser users.  Brave Browser is an alt-browser for controlling ads, mostly, but they added a micropayments feature (beta).

You need put in some bitcoin that will then be distributed to the sites you visit in a month. Cool! (they help you get bitcoin)

We don’t expect it will raise the money we need to make a copy of archive.org in Canada, but we are glad to participate in this program.  Thank you, Brave, and our intrepid users.

Posted in Announcements, News | 2 Comments

If You See Something, Save Something – 6 Ways to Save Pages In the Wayback Machine

In recent days many people have shown interest in making sure the Wayback Machine has copies of the web pages they care about most. These saved pages can be cited, shared, linked to – and they will continue to exist even after the original page changes or is removed from the web.

There are several ways to save pages and whole sites so that they appear in the Wayback Machine.  Here are 6 of them.

1. Save Page Now

Put a URL into the form, press the button, and we save the page.  You will instantly have a permanent URL for your page.

save page now

At the moment, there are a few exceptions for this method – some sites prohibit crawling, a few have SSL (security) settings that make it break – but this method will work for most pages.  The feature saves the page you enter including the images and CSS.  It does not save any of the outlinks, and can’t be used to initiate a crawl of an entire web site. We do not keep your IP address, so your submission is anonymous.

2. Chrome extension

Install the Wayback Machine Chrome extension in your browser.  Go to a page you want to archive, click the icon in your toolbar, and select Save Page Now. We will save the page and give you a permanent URL.

Chrome extension allows save page now

The same provisos from “Save Page Now” apply – there are some pages where it won’t work, and it only saves one page at a time.  One plus to installing the extension though is that now as you surf around, when you run into a missing page we will alert you if we have a saved copy.

We also have a Firefox add-on; it will have Save Page Now functionality soon.  We are working on a Safari extension as well.

3. Wikipedia JavaScript Bookmarklet

Nobody loves a primary source more than a Wikipedia editor.  To that end, they offer a Wayback Machine JavaScript Bookmarklet that allows you to quickly save a web page from any browser.

wikipedia wayback bookmarklet

4. Volunteer for Archive Team

Archive Team is an entirely volunteer driven group who are interested in saving Internet history.  Many of the sites and pages they save end up in the Wayback Machine.  Visit the Archive Team site to learn more about how to volunteer with them.

Archive Team

5. Sign up for an Archive-It Account

Archive-It is a subscription service provided by Internet Archive that allows you to run your own crawling projects without any technical expertise.  Tell us what to crawl and how often to crawl it, and we execute the crawl and put the results in the Wayback Machine.

Archive-It

Archive-It is a paid subscription service with technical and web archivist support. This option is most appropriate for organizations that have a mandate to save certain types or categories of web content on a regular basis. If your institution is a current Archive-It partner, contact them for how you can contribute.

6. End of Term Archive

Every time the US government administration changes, Internet Archive works with partners to make a copy of government-related sites and web presences.  We call it the End of Term Archive.  You can help us discover new government sites by using the Nomination Tool to suggest pages or sites.  These nominations are added to the crawl and end up in the Wayback Machine.

End of term archive nomination tool

 

The Internet Archive has been saving web pages for 20 years.  This archive has been built by thousands of people, and we would like you to help.  Use one of the methods above to make sure we have the pages you care about.

 

Posted in Announcements, News, Wayback Machine - Web Archive | 13 Comments

In the news: Trump Archive, end-of-term preservation, & link rot

News outlets have been getting the word out on Internet Archive efforts to preserve President-elect Donald Trump’s statements; the outgoing Obama Administration’s web page and government data; as well as preventing that nasty experience of encountering a “404” when you click on a link online, aka “link rot.”

Trump Archive 

A number of journalists have been exploring the riches contained within the newly launched Trump Archive, a TV news clips of the president-elect speaking peppered with links to more than 500 fact checks by national fact-checking groups.

Annie Wiener, writing for The New Yorker, immerses herself in Trump statements and discovers 56 mentions of the escalator in Trump tower, and that Trump:

“is a fan of the word “sleaze,” and of the phrase “tough cookie,” which he has used to describe policemen, his opponents’ political donors, Paul LePage, “real-estate guys in New York and elsewhere,” an unnamed friend who is a “great financial guy,” isis, three professional football players, Reince Priebus, Lyndon Johnson, and Trump’s father, Fred. After watching long stretches of video, she writes, “It occurred to me that spending time online in the Trump Archive could be a form of immersion therapy: a means of overcoming shock through prolonged exposure.”

Geoffrey Fowler, tech columnist for The Wall Street Journal, bemoans the lack of easy-to-use tech tools to help people be responsible citizens overall, but also notes the promise–and challenge–of a curated collection like the Trump Archive:

“The Trump Archive shows what’s hard about using tech to hold officials accountable. It’s assembled and hand-curated by humans. Yet even using the transcripts, it can be hard to tell the difference between a spoken name and a person who’s actually speaking. Archive officials say making their database applicable to hundreds or thousands more politicians would require help from tech firms with capabilities in machine learning and voice and facial recognition.”

Fowler also published this video, featuring plenty of Trump, an interview with Roger Macdonald, director of the TV News Archive; and ample footage of the Internet Archive’s San Francisco headquarters.

The Trump Archive also was featured in Marketplace Tech®, The HillForbesNewsweek, Buzzfeed News TechPlzVentureBeat, engadgetand more.

Preserving Obama Administration websites, social media

The Internet Archive’s efforts to help preserve government websites via the Wayback Machine during and after the transition has continued to garner attention. Wired reports on a group of climate scientists working against the clock to archive government websites related to global warming:

One half was setting web crawlers upon NOAA web pages that could be easily copied and sent to the Internet Archive. The other was working their way through the harder-to-crack data sets—the ones that fuel pages like the EPA’s incredibly detailed interactive map of greenhouse gas emissions, zoomable down to each high-emitting factory and power plant.

The New Scientist also writes on efforts to archive climate data:

Fears that data could be misused or altered have prompted crowd-sourcing to back up federal climate and environmental data, including Climate Mirror, a distributed volunteer effort supported by the Internet Archive and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Toronto.

The Los Angeles Times and Quartz offer reports on archiving climate data.

Internet Archive works against link rot

Tech publications were quick to inform their readers about the Internet Archive’s new chrome extension that fights link rot by directing users to archived web pages. Here is Mashable:

Now Internet Archive has built a Wayback Machine Chrome extension. It works like this: If you click on a link that would normally lead to an error page (think 404), the extension will instead give users the option to load an archived version of the page. The link is no longer simply gone.

Also writing on the fight against link rot: NetworkWorldVenture BeatThe Tech PortalBleeping Computer, and ZDNet.

 

 

 

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Lost Landscapes of San Francisco: Fundraiser Benefitting Internet Archive — Monday, January 30th, 2017

By Rick Prelinger, Prelinger Archives

Internet Archive presents the 11th annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco show on Monday, January 30 at 7:30 pm. The show will be preceded by a small reception at 6:30 pm, when doors will open.

Get tickets here!

While this is the seventh year we’ve been presenting this participatory archival film show at the Archive, the story goes back much further. I’ve been collecting historical footage of San Francisco and the Bay Area in earnest since 1993, when we acquired the collection assembled by noted local historian and film preservationist Bert Gould. Since that time I’ve worked to collect film material showing the history of this dynamic and complex region. Much of it is online for free viewing, downloading and reuse as part of the Prelinger Collection.

In 1996 Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott of Shaping San Francisco encouraged me to put together a little show of historical footage for a talk at CounterPULSE. Shaping SF, by the way, is a highly active local history organization, a longtime partner of the Archive and presently working with IA to digitize a large collection of San Francisco community newspapers. I made a program and planned a narration. The little CounterPULSE dance studio theater filled quickly on show night and we had to turn many away, but the people who were able to get in talked their way through the show, asking questions, identifying places and people and arguing over precise identifications with their neighbors. It was a wonderful event — nothing like the kind of film showing that takes place in church-like silence, but an active, participatory event where people freely shared their knowledge and experience of San Francisco’s history. A new show the year afterward was also jammed. Long Now Foundation stepped up and offered to make this event part of their Seminars on Long-Term Thinking talk series, and in year 3 we moved to the 400-seat Cowell Theater at Fort Mason. This was at once a wonderful experience and an occasion for great chagrin, because at least 250 people who showed up were unable to get in. And so we moved to the beautiful Herbst Theater and in 2011 to the 1410-seat Castro Theatre, where we’ve been every year since then. And for the last eight years we’ve also been putting on Lost Landscapes at Internet Archive. Many great things have happened at the Archive showings: people have recognized their relatives in the films, and many have seen their own streets and neighborhoods as they’ve never before seen them.

Combining favorites from past years with this year’s footage discoveries, the 11th annual feature-length program shows San Francisco’s neighborhoods, infrastructures, celebrations and people from 1906 through the 1970s. This year’s program features new scenes of San Franciscans working, playing, marching and partying during the Great Depression; unseen footage of Seals Stadium and the Cow Palace in the late 1930s; newly-discovered footage of the San Francisco Produce Market in operation; glimpses of neighborhoods now gone; Cathedral Hill on the cusp of redevelopment; 1960s antiwar activism; newly found footage of Tom Mooney’s victory parade after his release from Alcatraz in 1939; Bay ferries in operation; rare images of southeastern San Francisco and the Hunters Point drydock; the 1975 Gay Freedom Day parade; a 1940s-era ode to our fog; and many more newly discovered gems.

As always, the audience makes the soundtrack! This is a great room for the show, as the shape of the Great Room makes it easy for participants to hear one another’s comments. Come prepared to identify places, people and events, to ask questions and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members, and look for hints of San Francisco’s future in the shape of its lost past.

Monday, January 30th
6:30 pm Reception
7:30 pm Interactive Film Program

Internet Archive
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118

Get tickets here!

Posted in Announcements, News | 3 Comments

See Trump Archive fact checks in one place

Robin Chin, Katie Dahl, Tracey Jaquith, Roger Macdonald, Nancy Watzman, and Dan Schultz are contributing research and engineering for the Trump Archive. 

Now it’s easier to find fact checks of specific statements by President-elect Donald Trump in our new Trump Archive, an experimental collection of TV news clips featuring Trump–including fact checks of his press conference on January 11, his first since July 2016.

We’ve got 500+ fact checks by FactCheck.org, the Pulitzer-prize winning PolitiFact, and The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker embedded within the Trump Archive; these are now viewable on this dedicated page, with the option of downloading a csv containing links to fact checks, links to TV news clips, date of airing, and topics covered.

The Internet Archive’s Trump Archive launched on January 5 with 700+ televised speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts related to President-elect Donald Trump, and it continues to grow.

We created the Trump Archive in response to journalists and scholars who had trouble finding clips of Trump speaking through the caption search function in our TV News Archive library. We are hand-curating this collection as an experimental prototype for learning how to engineer solutions so similar archives can be created–whether by the Internet Archive or members of the public–about other elected officials and topics of interest. We are looking for collaborative partners to explore artificial intelligence approaches to creating such collections, with an ease and scale far beyond what can be accomplished now by hand.

The list of fact checks in the Trump Archive includes claims made by Trump during his press conference on January 11 covering issues from health care to ISIS to Trump’s connections to Russia. Here’s a sampling.

Health care

Trump said: “Obamacare is a complete and total disaster. It’s imploding as we said. Some states have over 100 percent increase.”

FactCheck.org: “Only Arizona has an average increase that high, and 84 percent with marketplace coverage in 2016 received tax credits to purchase insurance.”

PolitiFact: “While the average premium increase in Arizona rose by 145 percent in 2017, it is the only state with a triple-digit increase. Alabama saw the second highest increase, 71 percent. On the other end, a few states saw decreases. The average premium increase across all states was 25 percent.”

The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker: “Trump exaggerates here, and appears to misunderstand a fundamental part of the Affordable Care Act. State-by-state weighted average increases range from just 1.3 percent in Rhode Island to as high as 71 percent in Oklahoma. But the most common plans in the marketplace in 2017 experienced an average increase of 22 percent. These plans have been used as the benchmark to calculate government subsidies.”

ISIS

Trump: “I mean if you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. The void was created, ISIS was formed.”

FactCheck.org: “Trump continues to oversimplify the situation by placing the entirety of the blame for the creation of ISIS on Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq.”

PolitiFact: “This is a more tempered version of Trump’s previous Pants on Fire claim that Obama and Clinton “founded ISIS.” Experts told PolitiFact that you can reasonably criticize the Obama administration’s withdrawal from Iraq, lack of support to anti-Assad rebels in Syria, and intervention in Libya for contributing to the power of ISIS. But the timeline was set in motion by the Bush administration.”

The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker: “Trump greatly simplifies a complex situation.”

Russia

Trump: “I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia.”  

PolitiFact:  “It’s true that Trump has yet to build a hotel or tower in Russia, but he has eyed the Moscow skyline for decades.

We don’t know for sure about the extent of Trump’s business dealings in Russia, because he hasn’t released his tax returns. But his son, Donald Trump Jr., said in a 2008 real estate conference that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”

We do know that Trump agreed to host the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, a $20 million deal facilitated by a Russian real estate mogul and billionaire Aras Agalarov. (Trump also cameoed in Agalarov’s son’s dance-pop music video). He also made millions selling a 17-bedroom Florida mansion to a Russian billionaire.

The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker: “Trump is being misleading when he says he has stayed away from Russia. Trump repeatedly sought deals in Russia. In 1987, he went to Moscow to find a site for luxury hotel; no deal emerged. In 1996, he sought to build a condominium complex in Russia; that also did not succeed. In 2005, Trump signed a one-year deal with a New York development company to explore a Trump Tower in Moscow, but the effort fizzled.

In a 2008 speech, Donald Trump Jr. made it clear that the Trumps want to do business in Russia, but were finding it difficult. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Trump’s son said at a real estate conference in 2008, according to an account posted on the website of eTurboNews, a trade publication. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

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