The Supreme Court has refused to hear Oracle v. Google.
“The Supreme Court has declined to hear Oracle v. Google, sending the long-running case back to a lower court where Google will have to argue that it made fair use of Oracle’s copyrighted APIs. This has been a closely watched case, as the final decision could have a major impact on software development; a ruling in favor of Oracle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says, could give certain tech firms ‘unprecedented and dangerous power’ over developers by making it substantially more difficult for upstarts to create new software. That’ll be the case unless fair use laws turn out to protect the use of APIs.
The Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin has initiated an open access policy and started a new project.
“In conjunction with the release of the policy, the Ransom Center launches Project REVEAL (Read and View English and American Literature), a year-long initiative to digitize and make available 25 of its manuscript collections of some of the best-known names from American and British literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Among the authors represented in Project REVEAL are Joseph Conrad, Hart Crane, Thomas Hardy, Vachel Lindsay, Jack London, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sara Teasdale.”
Oooh. A study claims that Google is delivering “degraded” search results by ranking its own content higher than other, competing content. “In a study sponsored by Yelp – one of the companies listed as a complainant in the EU antitrust case against Google, former FTC advisor Tim Wu from Columbia Law School and Harvard Business School’s Michael Luca found, when given the option, users were more likely to click on results ranked by relevancy versus results that gave preference to Google’s self promoted content.”
The government of India has launched an new digital library for school books.
“Now, under Digital India initiative, the Government has launched a platform that extends may help Indian school students tremendously. Aptly called eBasta (Basta means school bag in Hindi), this new platform was unveiled today by the Government that will provide digital and eBook versions of school books and other study material to school students through-out India…. The school or teachers can log on to the portal and search for eBooks and other digital content. They can then logically organize it by creating eBasta for their own students. It’s exactly like you create a bag full of schools books that are related to each standard or course.”
Do you like Twitch? There’s something like that for coding.
“The way Livecoding works is pretty simple. Developers stream live video of themselves coding, and users watching can ask questions or give feedback. Since launching a beta in February, Livecoding has seen 40,000 people sign up across 162 countries. Users have streamed in a variety of spoken languages, including Portuguese, Russian, and German, as well as coding languages, including C#, Python, and PHP.”
Interesting stuff from Nature: exploring ways to automatically pull fossil data from research papers.
“For a field whose raison d’être is to chronicle the deep past, palaeontology is remarkably forward-looking when it comes to organizing its data. Victorian natural history museums meticulously organized their collections with handwritten cards that survive to this day. And over the past 15 years, researchers have collectively entered records of more than a million fossils into an online database, allowing them to track broad trends in the history of life. Now, palaeontologists are exploring the use of machine algorithms to pull fossil data from their research papers automatically.”
More Bing: it will start powering the search at AOL. “The 10-year deal with AOL is the latest to validate the exceptional quality of our search results and marketplace. No longer just a destination search engine, Bing is becoming an integral part of many popular third party devices and services, and Microsoft experiences including Windows, Cortana and Office.”
Make sure you have your Flash patched up, there are some exploit kits floating around. “French researcher Kafeine said on Sunday that a sample he encountered was dropping two instances of Cryptowall ransomware against a Windows 7 computer running Internet Explorer 11. Cryptowall is a strain of ransomware that encrypts files on a victim’s computer and demands a ransom, generally paid in Bitcoin.”
From the always-awesome Mary Ellen Bates, a couple of super searcher tricks. One of the tricks she mentions is restricting search to .gov sites only. If you want to search just government sites but want to search a slightly larger data pool than just .gov, check out this Google custom search engine I put together that restricts results to government Web sites (but it uses .gov and .us, so it’s got more resources to search. You can also narrow your results by city or county if the mood takes you.)
Research: Could Facebook be useful for online learning?
“In a first-of-its-kind study, Michigan State University’s Christine Greenhow found that high school and college students engaged in vigorous, intelligent debate about scientific issues in a voluntary Facebook forum….[Christine] Greenhow, recognized as one of the most social media savvy professors in America, analyzed the students’ activity on the Facebook app and found their discussion on various science issues to be largely on-topic, civil and sophisticated.”
A campaign is underway to preserve the reel-to-reel recordings of Owsley “Bear” Stanley.
This is going to be a huge endeavor as there are over 1300 reels and they’re kind of racing against time at this point before the reels degrade. “Although our campaign opens with a goal of $10,000, that’s just the start. The cost of digitally preserving these recordings is estimated to be US $300,000 to US $400,000 to fund two to four years of professional sound engineers’ studio time. Much of the work is a labor of love, but there is simply too much to do and not enough time for just unpaid volunteers.”
Google Earth is ten years old and has some new features.
My favorite is Voyager. “The world is a big place, and it can be hard to know where to begin your virtual journey. Now you can jump straight to the newest and most interesting imagery around the globe with a new layer, Voyager, available in desktop versions of Google Earth.”
Okay, this just got extra-real: Uber has acquired part of Bing’s mapping assets.
“Uber will acquire assets from Microsoft Bing, including roughly 100 employees focused on the product’s image collection activities. In short, Uber is absorbing data-collection engineers from Microsoft to bolster its own mapping work.”
Chattanooga, Tennessee now has an online archive of historical film footage.
“More than 400 reels of film depicting snippets of life in Chattanooga during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s were donated to the Chattanooga History Center in 2009. Many of those films are finally available for viewing as a part of the center’s online digital archive. The collection originated from the Continental Film Co. of Chattanooga and primarily features industrial film, advertisements, tourism ads and documentary films from a variety of companies.”
The Digital Library of Georgia is teaming up with the Columbia Theological Seminary and launched three new digital collections.
“The three new digital collections that have just been made available from Columbia Theological Seminary include: Charles Colcock Jones papers, 1831-1856 This collection includes manuscript sermons, 1831-1856, preached by Charles Colcock Jones, Presbyterian minister and educator at First Presbyterian Church (Savannah, Ga.) and other Georgia locations…James Woodrow papers, 1808, 1836-1916 [bulk 1850-1867] This collection contains correspondence by and to Presbyterian minister, educator, and editor James Woodrow and his family and associates… John Newton papers, 1783-1797 This collection consists primarily of sermon notes and sermons (1783-1797) delivered by John Newton, Presbyterian minister and founder of the Beth-Salem Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Georgia.”