Check, plan, do

check plan do

http://stuhere.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/systems-thinking-summary-check-plan-do.html

Stuart Johnson has a good summary of Systems Thinking – which I’m guessing is A Thing now – and how it could be applied in a university careers/employability setting. I’m fighting, unsuccessfully, the temptation to write that surely this is all simply common sense?

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

"I wasn’t aware of the scale of the problem, but I knew it definitely happens. We do get occasional e-mails from good citizens letting us know where SCIgen papers show up,” says Jeremy Stribling, who co-wrote SCIgen when he was at MIT and now works at VMware, a software company in Palo Alto, California.

http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

Why Groklaw shut down

Groklaw, Pamela Jones’s website reporting on legal issues around the Free and Open Source Software community, closed down and she herself wants to “get off of the Internet to the degree it’s possible.” Loss of privacy, forced exposure, the dehumanising nature of total surveillance: issues I’ve been vaguely aware of recently, but never really thought about seriously. Her post explaining why she’s shut down her blog is the first thing I’ve read that I’ve understood, I think, with all this.

“Anyway, one resource was excerpts from a book by Janna Malamud Smith, ‘Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life’, and I encourage you to read it. I encourage the President and the NSA to read it too. I know. They aren’t listening to me. Not that way, anyhow. But it’s important, because the point of the book is that privacy is vital to being human, which is why one of the worst punishments there is is total surveillance.”

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175

'Hello World', right?

This is a blog post that was written via the Fargo website onto a Dropbox file that’s been pushed from Fargo to WordPress.

But wait, where’s my WordPress icon?

Oh, I see. It’s right down at the bottom of my screen. I hadn’t maximised Chrome and the WordPress icon had fallen out of view. I shall try again.

  • Everything seems to be working fine. This laptop’s running v slowly though, but that’s got to be a coincidence, right?

Netflix-like algorithm drives new college-finding tool

“PossibilityU’s data-driven approach to college matching isn’t new, but Mr. Jarratt’s recommendation algorithm is unique. Rather than starting with a list of questions about what students are looking for, PossibilityU asks users to enter up to three colleges that they are interested in. It then spits out a list of 10 other, similar colleges to consider. A premium paid subscription allows students to compare an unlimited number of colleges and provides application deadlines and other advice. It’s kind of like Netflix’s movie suggestions”

http://chronicle.com/blogs/data/2014/01/23/netflix-like-algorithm-drives-new-college-finding-tool

The new wave of information governance tools

“Is records management being subsumed into information governance – or is it a separate discipline that will help to shape information governance but will retain its own distinct identity and purpose?”

http://thinkingrecords.co.uk/2014/02/18/the-new-wave-of-information-governance-tools-what-do-they-mean-for-records-management/

James Lappin brings us a great roundup of the current tools and concepts in the records management market. I was about to add that none of this is getting any simpler, but perhaps it’s that over-simplifying push towards the middle that confusing us all.

Victims’ documents found in auctioned filing cabinet

Victims’ documents found in auctioned filing cabinet
The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland has been fined almost £150,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act after confidential documents were found inside a filing cabinet sold in an auction. … The ICO said that while there was an expectation within the agency that personal data would be handled securely, its investigation found limited instructions to staff on what that meant in practice, despite the highly sensitive information the office held.

Visualising The Rite of Spring

“To commemorate the 2013 centennial of its premiere, Stephen Malinowski and Jay Bacal collaborated on a graphical score of Igor Stravinsky‘s landmark composition The Rite of Spring

http://www.musanim.com/rite/

This is great stuff, a really wonderful, intuitive way to watch music – or rather, to watch sound. I need to ask the Mrs what she thinks of this. I have a theory that it impresses the hell out of people with no proper knowledge of musical scores and notation, but those that know their stuff (and she knows her stuff) might find this confusing. It looks like it should behave like a normal stave, but it doesn’t.

As you can see below, it starts simply enough and doesn’t look too dissimilar from what we’d expect. Then it goes a little strange as the frenetic stuff starts. “A magnificent way to see the order in what sounds like chaos.” And that ending, it’s just spot on: I loved being able to see it approach like that.

0017

0621

2827

3311

Twine, for telling interactive, non-linear stories

"You don’t need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when you’re ready. Twine publishes directly to HTML, so you can post your work nearly anywhere. Anything you create with it is completely free to use any way you like, including for commercial purposes."

http://twinery.org/

How to preserve an iPhone

We can take photos of them, with them, but how do we keep a record of how they’ve changed everything?

The iPhone and its ilk as museum exhibits for future generations
Putting an iPhone on display in an art museum is an easy, if still unusual, decision to make. Preserving an iPhone in such a way that museum-goers of the 22nd century will be able to appreciate its form and its function, as well as its role in cultural history, becomes somewhat trickier.

The 2014 Grant letter

The 2014 Grant letter: another epistolary triumph
But enough of the content, what about the important stuff like length? At 22 paragraphs, excluding the covering letter, or 26 if you include the substantive comments in the letter, it is shorter than any of its three predecessors from the BIS duo which have come in at 36, 35 and 28 paragraphs long. It is pleasing though that the Secretary of State’s signature remains as cheerful as ever.

vincecablesignature

I’m not so directly involved with this side of university business these days, but this is a great summary. And the Twitter stuff’s been good too.

Hoarding data – are you buried alive?

"I had a long day at the office the other day. And it really had been a long day. I’d spent what felt like an eternity talking to a client about developing a business case for cleaning up their network shared drives and improving the way the use it. The whole notion just seemed so silly – not the improvement part mind you – the part where we have to bend over backwards to quantify the problems they were having with the network shared drive."

http://idm.net.au/article/009907-hoarding-data-are-you-buried-alive

Saving digital mementos from virtual worlds

Tom in Minecraft

“I never gave much thought to their virtual gaming activities, aside from monitoring how much time they spend on their electronic devices. But I like that Minecraft lets my kids invent universes and play inside them together and I can tell that it feeds an important part of their intellectual growth as they make things, investigate things and solve problems. So I decided that I’d like to save what I can of the worlds they create, just as I save the rest of their crafts and artwork”

http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/02/saving-digital-mementos-from-virtual-worlds/

A handmade Steve

Case studies on capturing executive e-mail

"I found the first report helpful because even though the team was unsuccessful in selecting an email solution, they shared a detailed explanation of their experiences and lessons learned. The second report touches on a number of issues surrounding email management: auto-classification, user motivation and time available for categorization, training, and scalability."

http://saarmrt.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/capturing-executive-email-at-the-university-of-michigan-campus-case-studies/

Sounds like an uphill struggle all right. I’m finding it hard to visualise an e-mail management system that will actually work as well as we want them to, without significant buy-in from the user. It’s not that we lack the self-discipline- well, no, it’s not just that we lack the self-discipline, there needs to be a considerable time-investment made by the user in actively managing all this – methodically, consistently, deliberately moving e-mail out of their good-for-reading-and-sending-e-mail system and into a good-for-storing-and-searching system.

I mean, we all have an hour and a half scheduled into our calendars every Friday afternoon for this, right? I can’t see how it all would work if not. Surely it’s up to us, the users, to get us out of this mess ourselves, rather than waiting for a technological solution?

Nicholas Felton's new app, Reporter

reporter

Nicholas Felton, the man behind the Feltron Reports and Daytum, has a new app out, Reporter. He says on his blog

“Reporter’s random prompts to answer a survey had made tracking the year a breeze and helped me to investigate questions that would have been impossible to answer using other methods. I was interested in who I spent time with, but to track this in an ongoing basis is a full-time job. I added questions for what I was wearing, eating or drinking and if I was working or not… and we streamlined the process to ensure that a report only took seconds to answer. We also added in background sampling to get information from the phone on the weather, my location and the ambient noise level.”

I loved Daytum and at one point was using it quite extensively. I wanted to use it to track which of my ties are my favourites, but couldn’t find a way of neatly naming them (the blue-ish purple-ish TM Lewin one, the more regimented gold-ish Van Buck one). I can’t see this new app helping with that question especially, but it’ll be fun to do the quantified self thing again for a while.

Let the sunshine in

Sunlight pills by Vaulot&Dyèvre
Every winter the same picture: Moodiness, flaccid skin, looking dull and the tendency to a depression hit right in. Though this shouldn’t be a problem anymore as Vaulot&Dyèvre designed a range of supplements for our lack of sunshine and to restore our vitality. The sunshine from Borabora to the Maldives, Haiti and the Bahamas is available as a healthy little pill.

let-the-sunshine-in-1

Sing it with me!

What if all these things were invented in the 80s

instagram

After seeing the British BBC show ‘Look around you’, Jo Luijten was inspired by the idea of creating a nonexistent world in the past. Using old software, like QuickBASIC 4.5 and MS-Paint, he created several ’80s and ’90s versions of contemporary social media and video games. Jo Luijten’s girlfriend Kinna McInroe is the voice-over of the ‘Wonders of the World Wide Web’ videos.

http://www.squirrel-monkey.com/

E-Ark gets £6 million to save digital data

Professor Anderson said a major issue to overcome is navigating different legal systems and records management traditions. He said the task of creating and building an infrastructure usable by all countries across different types of organisation as an enormous jigsaw with hundreds of pieces that need to be examined and assessed. “We will take the best bits from the systems we see and our aim is to create something that we know large organisations and archivists alike are crying out for," said Professor Anderson.

http://www.itpro.co.uk/storage/21528/e-ark-gets-6-million-to-save-digital-data

There’s more on this project on the University of Portsmouth’s website. I feel like I ought to wish this well and be full of enthusiasm (they certainly have some great records management tools and guidance they’ve been gracious enough to let me re-use at my previous institution), but they have an absolute mountain to climb. An “enormous jigsaw with hundreds of pieces”? Yeah, and then some!

Farting angels and ass-slapping aristocrats, what more do you want?

Toot toot

“Shackles broke, kings fell, and heads rolled. The French Revolution was one of the most dramatic social explosions in history, and its aftershocks still ripple through Western culture 200 years later. And now, thanks to the French Revolution Digital Archive, any Francophiles with an Internet connection has access to over 14,000 newly released images from the bloodbath. Quel bonheur!”

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/farting-angels-and-ass-slapping-aristocrats-a-web-archive-reveals-the-weird-side-of-the-french-revolution