news aggregator

British Journal of Educational Technology - Volume 45, Issue 2 - March 2014 - Wiley Online Library

unalog - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:24
BJET/Wiley now have a responsive design for their journal articles ("Enhanced Article HTML"), so they are nice and readable on mobile devices. Hopefully more journals follow suit!

Deploying Django with Salt Stack

unalog - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:24

Deploying Django with Salt Stack

unalog - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:24

The Best of Python in 2013 | Pypix

unalog - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:24

The Best of Python in 2013 | Pypix

unalog - Wed, 2014-03-12 05:24

ALA Equitable Access to Electronic Content: Road blocks to federally funded research

planet code4lib - Tue, 2014-03-11 17:01

H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act (FIRST) was introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and to the Committee on Small Business. The ALA stands with SPARC in opposing Section 303 of this bill; a provision that would create unnecessary obstacles to the public’s ability to access research funded by tax-payers.

Now is not the time to create unwarranted challenges to the access of tax-payer funded research. After years of effort, the open access community celebrated the White House Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research and the addition to the FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Act to expand the National Institutes of Health’s access program to include the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. These programs would more rapidly make the results of this research available to the public; while Section 303 would create challenges to federal agencies as they endeavor to participate.

Among other things, Section 303 would:

  • Establish a minimum allowed embargo period of 24 months, and allow its further
    extension to 36 months. No provisions to reduce embargo periods are included in this legislation.
  • Sanction simply linking to full text of articles on publishers websites, without ensuring that federal agencies retain a copy of the text of the articles reporting on their funded research.
  • Require federal agencies to repeat the work that they have already done in drafting plans for policies as required by the White House Directive on public access, and introduce an additional 18 month minimum delay while this work is duplicated.

Please take a moment to contact your Representative to express your dismay of a bill that would delay the public’s right to information.

The post Road blocks to federally funded research appeared first on District Dispatch.

ALA Equitable Access to Electronic Content: Road blocks to federally funded research

planet code4lib - Tue, 2014-03-11 17:01

H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act (FIRST) was introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives by Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) and referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and to the Committee on Small Business. The ALA stands with SPARC in opposing Section 303 of this bill; a provision that would create unnecessary obstacles to the public’s ability to access research funded by tax-payers.

Now is not the time to create unwarranted challenges to the access of tax-payer funded research. After years of effort, the open access community celebrated the White House Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research and the addition to the FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Act to expand the National Institutes of Health’s access program to include the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. These programs would more rapidly make the results of this research available to the public; while Section 303 would create challenges to federal agencies as they endeavor to participate.

Among other things, Section 303 would:

  • Establish a minimum allowed embargo period of 24 months, and allow its further
    extension to 36 months. No provisions to reduce embargo periods are included in this legislation.
  • Sanction simply linking to full text of articles on publishers websites, without ensuring that federal agencies retain a copy of the text of the articles reporting on their funded research.
  • Require federal agencies to repeat the work that they have already done in drafting plans for policies as required by the White House Directive on public access, and introduce an additional 18 month minimum delay while this work is duplicated.

Please take a moment to contact your Representative to express your dismay of a bill that would delay the public’s right to information.

The post Road blocks to federally funded research appeared first on District Dispatch.

ALA Equitable Access to Electronic Content: Supreme Court: “Stop warrantless cell phone searches”

planet code4lib - Tue, 2014-03-11 16:57


Today, the American Library Association and the Internet Archive joined forces to file a “friend of the court” brief in David Leon Riley v. State of California and United States v. Brima Wurie, two Supreme Court cases examining the constitutionality of cell phone searches after police arrests. In the amicus brief, both nonprofit organizations argue that warrantless cell phone searches violate privacy principles protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Both cases began when police officers searched the cell phones of defendants Riley and Wurie without obtaining a warrant. The searches recovered texts, videos, photos, and telephone numbers that were later used as evidence. The Supreme Court of California found the cell phone search lawful in Riley’s case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, reached the opposite conclusion and reversed Wurie’s conviction.

In the brief, the Internet Archive and the American Library Association argued that reading choices are at the heart of the expectation of personal privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Allowing police officers to rummage through the smartphones of arrestees is akin to giving government officials permission to search a person’s entire library and reading history.

Today, ALA and Internet Archive leaders weighed in on the court case. Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association:

Today’s cell phones are much more than simple dialing systems—they are mobile libraries, holding our books, photos, banking information, favorite websites and private conversations. The Constitution does not give law enforcement free rein to search unlawfully through our private records.

Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive:

The fact that technology has made it easy to carry voluminous sensitive and personal information in our pockets does not suddenly grant law enforcement unchecked availability to it in the case of an arrest. Constitutional checks are placed on the search of, for instance, a personal physical library and these checks should also apply to the comparably vast and personally sensitive stores of data held on our phones.

William Jay, Goodwin Procter partner and counsel of record on the amicus brief, added:

The Supreme Court has recognized that people don’t lose all privacy under the Fourth Amendment when they’re arrested. And one of the strongest privacy interests is the right not to have the government peer at what you’re reading, without a good reason and a warrant. We are pleased to have the chance to represent both traditional and Internet libraries, which have a unique ability to show the Supreme Court why our electronic bookshelves deserve the same protection as our home bookshelves.

“In my experience as a former federal prosecutor, a person’s smartphone is one of the things law enforcement are most eager to search after an arrest,” said Goodwin Procter partner Grant Fondo, a co-author of the brief. “This is because it holds so many different types of important personal information, telling law enforcement what the arrested person has been doing over the past few weeks, months, and even years—who they have been in contact with, what they read, and where they have been. Simply because this information is now all contained in a small smartphone we carry with us, rather than at home, should not take the search of this information outside the scope of one of our most important Constitutional protections—the right to protection from warrantless searches.”

The post Supreme Court: “Stop warrantless cell phone searches” appeared first on District Dispatch.

ALA Equitable Access to Electronic Content: Supreme Court: “Stop warrantless cell phone searches”

planet code4lib - Tue, 2014-03-11 16:57


Today, the American Library Association and the Internet Archive joined forces to file a “friend of the court” brief in David Leon Riley v. State of California and United States v. Brima Wurie, two Supreme Court cases examining the constitutionality of cell phone searches after police arrests. In the amicus brief, both nonprofit organizations argue that warrantless cell phone searches violate privacy principles protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Both cases began when police officers searched the cell phones of defendants Riley and Wurie without obtaining a warrant. The searches recovered texts, videos, photos, and telephone numbers that were later used as evidence. The Supreme Court of California found the cell phone search lawful in Riley’s case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, reached the opposite conclusion and reversed Wurie’s conviction.

In the brief, the Internet Archive and the American Library Association argued that reading choices are at the heart of the expectation of personal privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Allowing police officers to rummage through the smartphones of arrestees is akin to giving government officials permission to search a person’s entire library and reading history.

Today, ALA and Internet Archive leaders weighed in on the court case. Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association:

Today’s cell phones are much more than simple dialing systems—they are mobile libraries, holding our books, photos, banking information, favorite websites and private conversations. The Constitution does not give law enforcement free rein to search unlawfully through our private records.

Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of Internet Archive:

The fact that technology has made it easy to carry voluminous sensitive and personal information in our pockets does not suddenly grant law enforcement unchecked availability to it in the case of an arrest. Constitutional checks are placed on the search of, for instance, a personal physical library and these checks should also apply to the comparably vast and personally sensitive stores of data held on our phones.

William Jay, Goodwin Procter partner and counsel of record on the amicus brief, added:

The Supreme Court has recognized that people don’t lose all privacy under the Fourth Amendment when they’re arrested. And one of the strongest privacy interests is the right not to have the government peer at what you’re reading, without a good reason and a warrant. We are pleased to have the chance to represent both traditional and Internet libraries, which have a unique ability to show the Supreme Court why our electronic bookshelves deserve the same protection as our home bookshelves.

“In my experience as a former federal prosecutor, a person’s smartphone is one of the things law enforcement are most eager to search after an arrest,” said Goodwin Procter partner Grant Fondo, a co-author of the brief. “This is because it holds so many different types of important personal information, telling law enforcement what the arrested person has been doing over the past few weeks, months, and even years—who they have been in contact with, what they read, and where they have been. Simply because this information is now all contained in a small smartphone we carry with us, rather than at home, should not take the search of this information outside the scope of one of our most important Constitutional protections—the right to protection from warrantless searches.”

The post Supreme Court: “Stop warrantless cell phone searches” appeared first on District Dispatch.

Rochkind, Jonathan: Agility vs ‘agile’

planet code4lib - Tue, 2014-03-11 12:33

Yes, more of this please. From Dave Thomas, one of the originators of the ‘agile manifesto’, who I have a newfound respect for after reading this essay.

Agile Is Dead (Long Live Agility)

However, since the Snowbird meeting, I haven’t participated in any Agile events, I haven’t affiliated with the Agile Alliance, and I haven’t done any “agile” consultancy. I didn’t attend the 10th anniversary celebrations.

Why? Because I didn’t think that any of these things were in the spirit of the manifesto we produced…

Let’s look again at the four values:

Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools
Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation
Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation, and
Responding to Change over Following a Plan

The phrases on the left represent an ideal—given the choice between left and right, those who develop software with agility will favor the left.

Now look at the consultants and vendors who say they’ll get you started with “Agile.” Ask yourself where they are positioned on the left-right axis. My guess is that you’ll find them process and tool heavy, with many suggested work products (consultant-speak for documents to keep managers happy) and considerably more planning than the contents of a whiteboard and some sticky notes…

Back to the Basics

Here is how to do something in an agile fashion:

What to do:

  • Find out where you are
  • Take a small step towards your goal
  • Adjust your understanding based on what you learned
  • Repeat

How to do it:

When faced with two of more alternatives that deliver roughly the same value, take the path that makes future change easier.

And that’s it. Those four lines and one practice encompass everything there is to know about effective software development. Of course, this involves a fair amount of thinking, and the basic loop is nested fractally inside itself many times as you focus on everything from variable naming to long-term delivery, but anyone who comes up with something bigger or more complex is just trying to sell you something.

http://pragdave.me/blog/2014/03/04/time-to-kill-agile/

I think people tricked by others trying to sell them something isn’t actually the only, or even the main, reason people get distracted from actual agility by lots of ‘agile’ rigamarole which is anything but.

I think there are intrinsic distracting motivations and interests in many organizations too: The need for people in certain positions to feel in control; the need for blame to be assigned when something goes wrong; just plain laziness and desire for shortcuts and magic bullets; prioritizing all of these things (whether you realize it or not) over actual product quality.

Producing good software is hard, for both technical and social/organizational reasons. But my ~18 years of software engineering (and life!) experience lead me to believe that there are no ‘tool’ shortcuts or magic bullets, you do it just the way Thomas says you do it: you just do it, always in small iterative steps always re-evaluating next steps and always in continual contact with ‘stakeholders’ (who need to put time and psychic energy in too).  Anything else is distraction at best but more likely even worse, misdirection.

And there’s a whole lot of distraction and misdirection labelled ‘agile’.


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