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org Wed Oct 5 10:00:06 2005


From: hart at pglaf.org (Michael Hart)
Date: Wed Oct 5 10:00:15 2005
Subject: [gweekly] PT1A Weekly Project Gutenberg Newsletter
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.60.0510050958570.17059@pglaf.org>

Weekly_October_05.txt
*The Project Gutenberg Weekly Newsletter For Wednesday, October 05, 2005 PT1*
******eBooks Readable By Both Humans And Computers Since July 4, 1971********

PT1A

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***Introduction

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This is Michael Hart's "Founder's Comments" section of the Newsletter


*Headline News from Edupage

[PG Editor's Comments In Brackets]

YAHOO ANNOUNCES BOOK-SCANNING PROJECT


Yahoo has announced a plan to scan large collections of texts into an
online digital archive, though officials said their approach differs in
important ways from Google's similar venture, which has drawn
extensive criticism and legal action. Yahoo's initiative, called the
Open Content Alliance (OCA), represents a partnership with the
University of California, the University of Toronto, the Internet
Archive, and several other companies and organizations. Unlike
Google's project, they will not scan any copyrighted work without
explicit permission. Organizers of the project said the goal is to
digitize and make freely available as much of what is in the public
domain as possible. In addition, the archive will not be restricted to
users of Yahoo. David Mandelbrot, Yahoo's vice president for search
content, said the texts will be online in such a way that other search
engines will be able to locate them. Much of the scanning for the OCA
will be done by the Internet Archive, which has already been working
with the University of Toronto on scanning several thousand books in
its collection.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 October 2005
http://chronicle.com/free/2005/10/2005100301t.htm

WIKIBOOKS ENTERS TEXTBOOK PUBLISHING FIELD

[Yet Another Entry Into The eBook Field]

The Wikimedia Foundation launched the Wikibooks project to create a


kindergarten-to-college curriculum of textbooks based on an open source
development model. Material written for the new texts can be short or
long and easily modified, and the resulting Wikibooks would be freely
licensed. The goal is to produce thousands of books and smaller entries
on a range of topics by employing a worldwide community of writers and
editors. Any reader or student could create a personalized book or edit
an existing title. Wikibooks currently contains more than 11,000
submissions from volunteers (professionals in many fields, college and
graduate students, and professors). The project is still in the early
stages and faces competitors such as Google's digital library project,
which has run into copyright issues.
ZDNet, 28 September 2005
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5884291.html

FAB LABS ALLOW CREATION, NOT JUST CONSUMPTION

[Something In The Way Of A 3-D Project Gutenberg?]

With the help of host countries, MIT is setting up Fab Labs, or


fabrication laboratories, around the world. Fab Labs provide an
opportunity for individuals to use various technological means to build
things that solve local problems. For example, Haakon Karlsen, a
rancher who lives hundreds of miles north of the Artic Circle, used a
Fab Lab in Norway to devise radio collars for his sheep. The collars
help Karlsen locate his sheep in the conditions where he lives, and
they send information about whether the flock is moving, what the
temperature is, and other data he uses to care for the sheep. Neil
Gershenfeld, professor at MIT and director of the university's Center
for Bits and Atoms, said the labs take people out of the role of simply
being consumers of technology that is available and puts them in the
position of creating the technology they need. For each Fab Lab, MIT
pays for equipment, and the host country provides the location for the
lab. Officials in South Africa are currently working to introduce not
one but four Fab Labs in that country, starting with one just outside
Pretoria. Sushil Borde, who is directing the development of Fab Labs in
South Africa, said the country hopes the labs will open new avenues for
engineers and entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into tangible products.
BBC, 27 September 2005
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4276180.stm

LAMS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES COMMUNITY WEB SITE


The Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) Foundation has announced
the launch of a new Web site that will allow what it calls "open source
teaching," in which educators can share and modify digital lesson
plans. The LAMS Community Web site is based on the .LRN open source
platform, developed at MIT. Using the LAMS Community Web site, teachers
can search through various subset communities, looking for sequences of
learning activities particular to their field. Available communities
will initially include developers, technical support, and education,
which will offer subcommunities for K-12, higher education and
training, and research and development. New communities can be added
later, such as a community focused on math teachers in the Boston area.
The Web site will allow teachers to share their own learning sequences,
access others' sequences, rate them, and discuss them. All of the
content will be used under Creative Commons licenses.
LAMS Foundation, 30 September 2005
http://www.lamsfoundation.org/news/lamscomm.html

[A Similar Project Across The Pond]

IRELAND AND U.K. TO COOPERATE ON E-LEARNING


Education officials in the United Kingdom and Ireland have signed an
agreement to work together in support of an initiative called the
National Digital Repository, which is designed to support higher
education e-learning. The repository, which started in January 2005, is
to be a collection of components of higher education courses, allowing
users to develop online courses in various fields by picking and
choosing from among those components. Components can include images,
multimedia clips, text, maps, and other elements that can support
online learning. The repository is currently funded by the Irish Higher
Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Education and Science.
Under the agreement between the HEA and the United Kingdom's Joint
Information Services Committee, the two countries will cooperate "in
building a technology infrastructure that provides lifelong access to
programs of study for learners in a manner that is flexible and
convenient to their particular life circumstances," according to Tom
Boland, chief executive of the HEA.
Silicon Republic, 29 September 2005
http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/news.nv?storyid=single5459

GOOGLE OFFERS TO UNWIRE SAN FRANCISCO


Google is one of more than a dozen organizations that have submitted
bids in response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's call for a
citywide wireless Internet network. The network would provide free
Internet access to anyone in the city. Google finds itself flush with
more than $7 billion in cash after recent stock sales. Industry
observers speculated that setting up a municipal wireless network in
San Francisco could be the first step in a Google plan to establish
such a network nationwide, though the company said it currently has no
plans to expand beyond the Bay Area. Analysts said Google's interest
in facilitating increased Internet access directly serves the
company's goals of organizing the world's information. In addition,
providing Internet access to greater numbers of people means
potentially more visitors to Google's site, which would increase
advertising revenues.
Wired News, 1 October 2005
http://www.wired.com/news/wireless/0,1382,69059,00.html

[Related Article NOT From Edupage]

San Francisco receives more than 24 Wi-Fi bids

Mayor calls free wireless 'a fundamental right'

"City officials said participants ranged from Cingular, the largest


U.S. wireless carrier, to Atlanta-based Internet service provider
EarthLink Inc. to San Francisco wireless broadband start-up Feeva Inc."

Reuters

DIGITAL MUSIC SALES SURGE

[If sales "declined by nearly 7 percent in value and 3.4 percent in units,"
that means that somehow the dollar value change in the last year was
double that of the amount of music sold. . .this doesn't compute.]

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry


(IFPI), sales of online digital music more than tripled in the first
half of 2005, compared to the same period in 2004. Sales of legal music
downloads totaled $790 million (representing 6 percent of total music
sales worldwide), up from $220 million the year before. Most of the
gains were seen in the world's top five music markets: the United
States, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France. Sales of physical formats
declined by nearly 7 percent in value and 3.4 percent in units. The
IFPI said it will continue working to spur legal sales of online music
while limiting the illegal sharing of music. John Kennedy, chairman and
chief executive of the IFPI, said that "digital and physical piracy
remain a big threat to our business in many markets. Our industry's
priorities are to further grow this emerging digital-music business
while stepping up our efforts to protect it from copyright theft."
Wall Street Journal, 3 October 2005 (sub. req'd)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112834107711958392.html

EOLAS RULING SWINGS BACK TO UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued its final ruling in
favor of the University of California in its patent dispute with
Microsoft. At issue is a technology used for launching certain
applications in Web browsers. The technology was developed at the
University of California at San Francisco and licensed to a company
called Eolas Technologies. Eolas and the university had earlier won a
$521 million judgment against Microsoft for violating the patent in its
software, but that ruling was appealed on the grounds that the patent
was not valid. Despite a preliminary ruling in which the Patent and
Trademark Office indicated its leaning toward Microsoft's position on
the Eolas patent, the final ruling upholds all of the university's
claims. The ruling rejects the assertions of both Microsoft and the
World Wide Web Consortium that the patent relies on "prior art." The
case now returns to district court for trial.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 30 September 2005 (sub. req'd)
http://chronicle.com/daily/2005/09/2005093001t.htm

MASSACHUSETTS PLAN WOULD PROVIDE LAPTOPS FOR ALL STUDENTS


The state of Massachusetts is considering a plan to provide a laptop
computer to every middle and senior high school student in the state.
The plan, offered by Governor Mitt Romney, includes other provisions,
such as adding 1,000 new science and math teachers. The nonprofit One
Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization was credited with the idea of
providing the laptops; in 2000, Maine began a program to equip all
seventh graders in that state with laptops. The initiative depends in
part on acquiring laptops for about $100 each, an idea put forth by
Nicholas Negroponte, founding chairman of MIT~Rs Media Laboratory.
Negroponte formed the OLPC to help provide such inexpensive computers
to children in developing nations. According to Negroponte, pencils are
"tools to think with, sufficiently inexpensive to be used for work and
play, drawing, writing, and mathematics." Computers, he says, can be
seen the same way, though they are "far more powerful."
Federal Computer Week, 29 September 2005
http://www.fcw.com/article90958-09-29-05-Web

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*HEADLINE NEWS AVOIDED BY MOST OF THE MAJOR U.S. MEDIA

[As requested adding sources, etc., when possible.]

None of the major US television network news shows even mentioned


Yahoo's effort to form a coalition to compete with Google Print,
whose media blitz covered the television, radio and print news
last December 14th. Apparently "once bitten, twice shy" is the
rule even for the major media. Even the BBC barely mentioned it,
sandwiched into Tanya Beckett's business news segment, between the
major news segments of Katty Kay and Mike Embley.

None of the major media would announce the total deaths of Katrina
when the new, and supposedly final, numbers were released yesterday,
most likely because that number exceeded 1,000.

972 in Louisiana
221 in Mississippi
??? in Alabama

For a total that will probably reach about 1300

CBS, NBC, BBC, etc.

Judith Miller was finally released from her imprisonment this week,
after serving about three months for refusing to divulge her source
for an article she never wrote about the White House "outing" of CIA
covert agent Valerie Plame, wife of Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV.
The incident was allegedly sparked by White House retaliation for
Ambassador Wilson's unwillingness to support President Bush's claims
of Weapons of Mass Destruction as per the now infamous "yellow cakes
of uranium" that apparently never existed. Now that she testified,
it appears this could cause trouble for White House insiders Karl Rove,
VP Cheney's Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, as well as for President Bush.

Washington Post
New York Times

*STRANGE WORDS OF THE WEEK

Many flood victims in St. Bernard Parish [New Orleans] were told by
federal officials they did not need flood insurance.

ABC News 10/04

DOUBLESPEAK OF THE WEEK

Callers to the federal map center were routed to a private


answering service in Tallahassee, Florida, when they called
to find out if they were susceptible to flooding in the New
Orleans area, and the calls were answered by people with no
expertise whatsoever on the subject. These people who have
now lost everything are "out of luck" as they "can't sue."

ABC News 10/04

*PREDICTIONS OF THE WEEK

Texas and Florida will continue to get better hurricane


relief than Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, simply
because Texas and Florida have so much more money and so
many more electoral votes that put the Bush administrations
in the White House.

Meet The Press


and/or
Face The Nation

*STRANGE QUOTES OF THE WEEK

Senator McCain bluntly declared that "things have not gone as we had
planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers."

As quoted in The New York Times on October 3, 2005

Ex-Chief of FEMA, Michael Brown, attacked Governor Blanco and other


local officials as the cause of problems related to Hurriana Katrina
in one of his first speeches after being re-hired by FEMA in his new
consulting position only a week after his resignation. Blanco was a
bit more politic about the name calling and refused to comment.

Lehrer News Hour

"In the future, computers will weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

"By the year 2000, all computers will weigh under half a ton."
[Popular Electronics, 1950][?]

"In the future, computers will weigh less than a ton."


Unknown, 1949 [Popular Mechanics, 1949][?]

"In the future, computers will weigh no more than a ton."


[Popular Science (1940)][?]

*ODD STATISTICS OF THE WEEK

The current cost of Katrina has passed 35 billion dollars.

Interesting that so much is reported by the foreign news


that is not reported by the US media.

[BBC]

INTERNET ADS TAKE OFF IN U.S.


According to numbers from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and
PricewaterhouseCoopers, online advertising revenues in the first half
of 2005 hit a new high of about $5.8 billion, an increase of 26 percent
over the first half of 2004. The percentage of total online ad revenues
earned by keyword-based search ads has held steady at 40 percent, but
income increased. The same holds true for display ads, which accounted

for 20 percent of total online ad revenue. The Internet Advertising


Revenue Report will be published in early October.
The Register, 28 September 2005
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/28/us_internet_advertising_soars/

Still hoping for more statistical updates and additional entries.

"If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely


100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same,
it would look something like the following. There would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both North and South America
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth
and all 6 would be from the United States
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer [I think this is now much greater]
1 would be 79 years old or more.

Of those born today, the life expectancy is only 63 years,


but no country any longer issues copyrights that are sure
to expire within that 63 year period.

I would like to bring some of these figures more up to date,


as obviously if only 1% of 6 billion people owned a computer
then there would be only 60 million people in the world who
owned a computer, yet we hear that 3/4 + of the United States
households have computers, out of over 100 million households.
Thus obviously that is over 1% of the world population, just in
the United States.

I just called our local reference librarian and got the number
of US households from the 2004-5 U.S. Statistical Abstract at:
111,278,000 as per data from 2003 U.S Census Bureau reports.

If we presume the saturation level of U.S. computer households


is now around 6/7, or 86%, that is a total of 95.4 million,
and that's counting just one computer per household, and not
counting households with more than one, schools, businesses, etc.
I also found some figures that might challenge the literacy rate
given above, and would like some help researching these and other
such figures, if anyone is interested.

BTW, while I was doing this research, I came across a statistic


that said only 10% of the world's population is 60+ years old.

This means that basically 90% of the world's population would


never benefit from Social Security, even if the wealthy nations
offered it to them free of charge. Then I realized that the US
population has the same kind of age disparity, in which the rich
live so much longer than the poor, the whites live so much longer
than the non-whites. Thus Social Security is paid by all, but is
distributed more to the upper class whites, not just because they
can receive more per year, but because they will live more years
to receive Social Security. The average poor non-white may never
receive a dime of Social Security, no matter how much they pay in.

POEM OF THE WEEK

Joy is when you close your eyes


And see that the flowers of happy feelings are in bloom
A forest of bright colors and sweet scents
In which you wander careless and free

Joy is when you open your eyes


And see the mountains of doubt crumble and fall
Leaving behind the golden sand of sunny beaches
Where loves step together, holding hands

Joy is when the everlasting trees of your life experience


Share their wisdom with the singing birds
Who then tell it to your senses
And you grow.

Joy is when your action seeds are purposely planted


On fertile ground for future springlings of happy thoughts.

Joy is when you reach the white innocence of the clouds


Just by closing your eyes.

Your inner eye, the most truthful one,


Is now watching over your world.

Copyright 2005 by Simona Sumanaru and Michael S. Hart


Please send comments to: simona_s75 AT yahoo.com & hart AT pobox.com

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