2019/04/23: Our analysis suggests that a minimum of 1.4 billion users will pass away before 2100 if Facebook ceases to attract new users as of 2018. If the network continues expanding at current rates, however, this number will exceed 4.9 billion. In both cases, a majority of the profiles will belong to non-Western users. In discussing our findings, we draw on the emerging scholarship on digital preservation and stress the challenges arising from curating the profiles of the deceased. We argue that an exclusively commercial approach to data preservation poses important ethical and political risks that demand urgent consideration. We call for a scalable, sustainable, and dignified curation model that incorporates the interests of multiple stakeholders.
2018/11/02: A new free website spearheaded by the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School makes available nearly 6.5 million state and federal cases dating from the 1600s to earlier this year, in an initiative that could alter and inform the future availability of similar areas of public-sector big data.
Led by the Lab, which was founded in 2010 as an arena for experimentation and exploration into expanding the role of libraries in the online era, the Caselaw Access Project went live Oct. 29 after five years of discussions, planning and digitization of roughly 100,000 pages per day over two years.
The effort was inspired by the Google Books Project; the Free Law Project, a California 501(c)(3) that provides free, public online access to primary legal sources, including so-called “slip opinions,” or early but nearly final versions of legal opinions; and the Legal Information Institute, a nonprofit service of Cornell University that provides free online access to key legal materials.
The conversion, done in-house at the Harvard Law School Library to preserve the chain of custody of millions of cases it had collected, used a hydraulic cutter to trim the binding from thousands of volumes; and a machine similar to those employed in the meatpacking industry to vacuum-seal them after scanning. Scanning costs were in the millions of dollars. Scanned, resealed volumes were shipped out-of-state for long-term storage underground at a former limestone mine in Louisville, Ky. Pages were subsequently uploaded to an optical character recognition (OCR) vendor for extraction into text files.
The project, which was funded by venture capital-backed startup Ravel Law and the Harvard Law School, doesn’t aggregate every court battle. Its legal trove primarily focuses on supreme court and appellate decisions, but is limited, the Lab’s director said, by the extent to which bygone officials “cared enough at the time” to compile decisions. Director Adam Ziegler said the project has a high concentration of federal trial opinions and lots of trial opinions from the state of New York, an early legal center, but fewer from some other states.
In standing up the project website, Ziegler said the Lab hopes to provide “anyone and everyone” with easy access to the law via court opinions, but noted that concept will have different meanings to different groups and “definitely means things we don’t even envision ourselves.”
2006/10/15: The Digital Collections and Archives of Tufts University and Manuscripts and Archives of Yale University have recently completed a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) electronic records research grant (grant number 2004-083) entitled “Fedora and the Preservation of University Records.” The Tufts-Yale Project focused on three main areas of research: requirements for trustworthy recordkeeping systems and preservation activities, the ingest of records into a preservation system, and the maintenance of records in a preservation system.
The project aimed to combine electronic records preservation research and theory with digital library research and practice. In particular, the Tufts-Yale Project planned on answering the question: Does Fedora have the ability to serve as an electronic records preservation system. Tufts University has been using Fedora as the basis of the Tufts Digital Repository for several years. As it was already strongly invested in developing and managing this repository with an expanding set of services, Tufts was keen on exploring Fedora’s ability to serve as a preservation system for electronic archival records. At the start of this project, Yale had been considering various alternatives for a preservation system, including a Fedora-based solution.
The Tufts-Yale Project focused on university records because each institution has a primary responsibility to preserve these records. However, the findings of this project are not particularly university-specific and are easily applicable to the management and preservation of electronic records in most industries.
2018/04/05: Although their Indigenous language is extinct and their culture has changed in other ways over the centuries, the Lenca no longer want their knowledge to reside only in the minds of elders. They consider the Internet as a tool to empower their community. These people are curios and proud, they like to learn new skills while remaining true to their roots.
Azacualpa poses the greatest challenge our Chapter has ever faced. We are welcoming it with open arms for we understand the great impact that Internet access can have on their lives. We are going to connect 300 families and decrease the existing digital gap compared to the nearest city, La Esperanza, by at least 70% within 12 months. We will promote, through the establishment of a telecentre and hotspots in different points of the community, the human right to Internet access that was approved by the United Nations in the summer of 2016. We aim to document the entirety of this process so that our experience will help others to empower their communities and inspire them to take action.
Indigenous movements are attempting to revive the Lenca language, and recent press reports from Honduras indicate that elementary school textbooks in original language have been distributed to public schools. The Internet will give the opportunity to create spaces where Indigenous art, language, culture, and traditions can be shared, learned, and distributed. This project will make Lenca people free to digitize their oral culture and identify complementary knowledge from global resources to build a better future
A research group in Britain has recorded data into a crystal of nanostructured glass. This future storage with practically unlimited lifetime and capacity exceeding Blu-Ray's by 2,800 times might save civilization's data for aliens if humankind is gone.