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Last post Author Topic: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links  (Read 19247 times)

IainB

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US courts agree to restore 10 years of deleted online public records (PACER)
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2014, 06:38:13 AM »
Some good news!
When I first read about 10 years worth of online public records being deleted in the US, as a result of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER, I was dumbfounded - simply couldn't understand it.
To make some sense of it, I figured that maybe someone had to have a real powerful reason for rewriting history by scrubbing those records, and I wondered what morsels of skulduggery a forensic search of them might have shown up in that regard. Something to hide, maybe? I mean, after Watergate, the government (IRS) must have surely set the modern precedent for deleting large amounts of inconvenient data, apparently to conceal evidence of state skulduggery.

It evidently wasn't all the US lawmakers who wanted this material expunged from online access though, since they were also apparently the group that objected to it the most - and hence the reversal by the US courts (bureaucracy?), those bastions of constitutional support and truth.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
US courts agree to restore 10 years of deleted online public records | Ars Technica
The restoration comes after pressure from lawmakers infuriated over the purging.
by David Kravets - Sep 19, 2014 9:35 pm UTC

The US bureaucracy agreed Friday to restore a decade's worth of electronic federal court documents that were deleted last month from online viewing because of an upgrade to a computer database known as PACER.

The move by the Administrative Office of the Courts, first reported by The Washington Post, comes amid a fierce backlash from lawmakers who urged it to restore the data that is among the few methods of delivering court documents to the public. It's a paid service, costing 10 cents a page, and has long been criticized as a deeply dated system that already does too little and charges too much for online access to things like judicial orders and court briefs.

To be restored are, combined, about a decade's worth of court dockets and all manner of documents at the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

At the time of the purging, the agency said that those records were maintained on "locally developed legacy case management systems" and weren't compatible to be culled into the new PACER system being built.

The deleted records are available for physical viewing at their respective courthouses in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. The bulk of them should be available on PACER by the end of October.

wraith808

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2014, 07:23:49 AM »
When they said deleted, they meant deleted from online access.  The paper ones would have been available (and are available) for physical viewing in their respective courthouses.  this is more a matter of ease of access than deletion of records.

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2014, 11:06:42 AM »
Eh? Um, yes, I kinda understood that the physical records had not been deleted...I mean, it was quite clearly the case that they hadn't been deleted, wasn't it?
I used the word "forensic" advisedly - as in "forensic data analysis".
"Access", you say?
I didn't really consider that access was likely to be a major issue - a temporary inconvenience, yes.
You see, I was/am curious to know, if/when the data is restored, how one would be able to verify with absolute certainty that all has been restored exactly as it was before.

Oh, never mind.

Still, it looks like good news, nonetheless.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 11:14:27 AM by IainB »

IainB

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5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2015, 08:00:33 AM »
I have posted this as the web site that originally posted the content below has removed it.
It was posted at edudemic.com: 5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks

When you go to that link you get a blank page with the message and no explanation:
Quote
"Sorry, the page you requested has been permanently removed."
I don't know why the post (made by one Katie Lepi) may have been taken down, because it is extremely helpful. (Katie Lepi was apparently an excellent and prolific reporter, but her page at edudemic.com gives a 404 error, so it looks as though all her content may have been "permanently removed"/expunged.)
Never mind, the page in question here is at Wayback, and I have made a full archive copy of it for anyone as wants it.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks
By Katie Lepi on January 26, 2013

Hunting down ebook reading classic literature and important manuscripts may mean more than a quick Google search for many of us. You may turn to paid sources like Amazon or even (the humanity!) turn to printed books in your library. The horror! We kid. We love the library and feature effective ways to use libraries all the time.

So what happens when Google, Amazon, and your local library come up short in your quest for free educational eBooks? Never fear, there are a few critical resources you should know about. From Harvard to Bartleby to the International Children’s Digital Library … there’s plenty of ways to find a quality epub or downloadable book for your classroom or pleasure reading. Here’s some of our favorites:

The Harvard Classics
Some of the most important works of literature are a part of the dozens of volumes available in The Harvard Classics. They were curated by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and were published in 1909. They’re available in open format here and here.. An interesting note about The Harvard Classics: President Eliot had originally referred to these works as the “3-foot-shelf” and said that one could “obtain the elements of a liberal education” by spending 15 minutes a day reading from the shelf. Let’s see if he’s right!

Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free e-books (free epub books, free kindle books, read online, or download them). They offer books that have been actually published, and the volunteers at Project Gutenberg have digitized and proofread them. You can read them all for free, but if it is something you use regularly, they do ask that you consider donating a bit to their cause.

Bartleby
The go-to source for the classics, Bartleby.com features Gray’s Anatomy, the Harvard Classics (see above), the King James Bible, and just about every major publication you could ever require. The best part of the site is the ease with which you can surface relevant content and sort / filter. You get quality search results with easy download links without all the muckity muck (that’s a technical term) of a Google or Amazon search.

OER Commons
Open Educational Resources (aka OER Commons) boasts more than 40,000, well, resources for teachers. When you first hit the website, you immediately feel like you’re about to do a Google search. But once you get your results, you can see that you can then ‘remix and share’ multiple resources to form some sort of Voltron-eque super-resource. Or, to put it another way, you can create the resource that you want thanks to the benefit of open access to all the resources.

ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library
Just like a brick-and-mortar library, the ICDL feels just like what you’re accustomed to. It lets you become a member, take out books, and do even more. For example, you can read a book (on any device) and translate most of the text, enlarge the text, and navigate with ease. But remember these are children’s books so when you’re given the ability to enlarge the text … that’s something pretty rare. Definitely worth checking out ICDL if you’re a K-12 educator, student, or parent!

Thumbnail courtesy of GoodEReader
______________________________
Katie was a teacher, graduate student, and is now the lady who makes sure Edudemic is as useful as possible. She oversees the editorial process and is basically a Swiss Army Knife of solutions.

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2015, 08:21:08 AM »
The opening post in this discussion thread was edited thus:
Edit 2015-02-18 2238hrs: I was fossicking around today for some stuff that I felt sure had been linked to in this discussion thread, and after mucking about for a while with no success I felt that I and others might be able to save time and benefit from maintaining some kind of index. So, more as an experiment than anything, below is a list of useful links for accessing libraries and archives. I know it will now need maintaining.
Some of these links are from the comments posted in this discussion topic, others are sourced from other areas of DCF and the WWW in general. If you know of any links that should be added to this list, please post them in the comments in this thread, together with a brief description of what they relate to, and I shall add them to the list. (Thanks in advance.)
---(Table follows)
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IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2015, 04:49:42 AM »
2015-02-19: Added:
- to the index table in the opening post.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 05:01:15 AM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #56 on: March 05, 2015, 04:18:18 PM »
2015-03-06: Added:
- to the index table in the opening post.
[/quote]

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2015, 11:11:00 AM »
2015-03-30 0509hrs: Added:
- to the index table in the opening post.

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2015, 05:47:34 AM »
2015-05-25 2238hrs Added:
- to the index table in the opening post
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 05:54:21 AM by IainB »

tomos

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Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links
« Reply #59 on: May 25, 2015, 07:43:11 AM »
Cheap and/or free international shipping is important to me, so thank you for those links :up:
These days, I can get most English language books on amazon.de, but some can be expensive, and it is good to have alternatives.

In the past I have gotten a couple of bargains here:
http://www.kennys.ie/ - it's mostly new books, so might not be one for your list, but worth a mention down here, as also with free international shipping. Has a broad range of books, with some focus on books of Irish interest.

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - The amazing Internet Archive
« Reply #60 on: June 28, 2015, 11:07:57 PM »
The Archive.org website has been transformed/overhauled.
Now there are even more good reasons for being a member/user of the Internet Archive, including:

- but be aware of the Internet Archive's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Copyright Policy

(These links have been added to/inserted in the opening post.)

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - Wayback helps Wikipedia repair broken links (404).
« Reply #61 on: October 28, 2016, 05:26:59 AM »
Interesting:
More than 1 million formerly broken links in English Wikipedia updated to archived versions from the Wayback Machine

Potentially useful tip in the comments:
Quote
Steven Snedker says:
October 26, 2016 at 11:59 am
Protip: anyone with a Drupal installation can fix broken links fairly quickly using a module
https://www.drupal.o...oject/wayback_filter
http://vertikal.dk/l...nkrot-solved-problem

IainB

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Reader's Corner - 10 free ePub Readers for Windows 10
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2016, 04:41:08 PM »
I reckoned this post was worth mentioning here as it could be quite useful: (I already use Calibre, which is one of those mentioned, and which I did a Mini-Review of on DC Forum)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
10 best free ePub Readers for Windows 10
E-Books and e-book readers are probably one of best things to happen over the past few years. They don’t only let you carry too many books around in one device but also let you do your part in the conservation of the environment. ePub is a digital file format meant for e-books, and here in this post, we’ve discussed some of the best ePub readers available on Windows 10.

Free ePub Readers for Windows 10
We have covered some desktop freeware as well as some Windows Store ePub readers here. Let us take a look at them.

1. Calibre
Calibre eBook Reader is probably the best e-book library management tool you can ever have. And also if you own an e-book reader like Amazon Kindle or the likes, this software comes to your rescue. It lets you maintain a digital library of books and also lets you sync them across the devices. It can convert e-books to various other formats including the .txt and .pdf formats. The support for plugins lets you add more functionality to the tool and do a lot more.

2. FBReader
FBReader or Favourite Book Reader is a multi-platform tool that lets you read ePub files on various devices. Other than ePub format, FBReader can work with fb2, mobi, rtf, html, plain text, and a lot of other formats. It is a simple yet amazing tool. You can customize your reading experience completely by adjusting the looks and the feel of the book. You can have custom colors schemes and also create and save bookmarks in the book. Click here to download FBReader.

3. Bibliovore
Available to download on Windows Store, Bibliovore is a great ePub reader that supports Windows 10. It comes with synchronization features and uses Microsoft’s OneDrive to share the same files across different devices with the same account logged in. Bibliovore comes with the features like Day/Night reading mode and the ability to edit metadata of the files. Also, you can adjust font parameters and set bookmarks. Visit Windows Store to download Bibliovore.

4. Bookviser
Bookviser is another e-book reading application available for Windows phone as well as PC. Bookviser gives you access to over thousands of e-books available for free to download. If you are an avid reader, Bookviser may create an amazing bookshelf for you where the books are neatly organized and easily accessible. There are tons of amazing features available such as instantaneous share button lets you share clippings of text from books to various social networks. And the other features like text to speech and automatic backups makes this tool more usable and advance. Bookviser comes with all the basic features such as Day/Night mode, bookmarks, etc. Click here to download Bookviser.

5. Freda
Freda is again a similar application available for Windows phone as well as PC. It lets you read ePub, TXT, HTML and FB2 files. It offers free downloading of e-books from websites such as Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks, etc. You can look up dictionary definitions and translations while reading your book along with. Themes can be easily adjusted, and bookmarks can also be easily managed. Freda is dyslexic friendly and includes OpenDyslexic font making it easier to read for people affected by dyslexia. Visit Windows Store to download Freda.

Tip: CDisplay Ex is a free Comic Book Reader for Windows.

Advt

6. Icecream Ebook Reader
Another e-book reader with great features is Icecream Ebook Reader. Amazing UI and overall feel of this tool make it preferable. Comes with all the features of an e-book reader such as text themes, annotations, bookmarks, inbuilt dictionary and much more. A paid version of this application is also available which comes with more features and support. Icecream Ebook Reader is a fine e-book reader, and it does what is says.

7. OverDrive
OverDrive is another Windows Store application that lets you read ePub and other e-book formats on your computer screen. Other than e-books you can also listen to tons of audiobooks available on the internet. Moreover, you can even borrow e-books from digital libraries to which you have already subscribed, and you can automatically return titles to avoid any late charges or fees. You can create reading lists, wish lists, etc. OverDrive is a perfect tool for you if you have already subscribed to a digital library or of you have a digital library setup at your school or college. Visit Windows Store to download OverDrive app.

8. Books Bazaar Reader
It is a Windows Store application available for free to download. Books Bazaar gives you access to thousands of free titles available online. You can customize the entire reading experience by customizing themes and switch between Day/Night modes. The application also supports bookmarks, annotations, and highlights. Moreover, you can create reading lists and also share highlighted pieces of text from a book. Visit Windows Store to download Books Bazaar Reader.

9. Sumatra PDF
Sumatra PDF is basically meant to read PDF files, but it supports ePub and various other e-book formats as well. So you get the functionality of a full-fledged PDF reader with the ability to read ePub files too. Sumatra PDF is fast, fluid and portable application that you can carry around. Click here to download Sumatra PDF.

Read: 5 websites to download free eBooks legally.

10. Cover
Cover is a Windows Store application which was basically meant to read Comic books but you can for sure read ePub files and other e-book formats as well. All the basic settings can be adjusted, and you can edit your books/comics as well. A library is automatically created for you, and you can arrange your books properly in virtual shelves. You can highlight text, take snapshots and easily send them too. Visit Windows Store to download Cover.

Tip: Martview is a cool free animated eBook reader for Windows 10.
_____________________________________
These were the ePub readers available out there for Windows 10. Did we miss out any? If so, please mention them in the comments section below. Some of you may be interested in following this link for eBook readers for Windows 10 Mobile Phone.

I happen to own an Amazon Kindle, and I personally use Calibre to continue reading books on Windows that I was reading on my device. Also, I sometimes edit the metadata for the documents that I create personally and Calibre can handle that part too pretty well.
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« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 05:17:58 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: Reader's Corner - online encyclopaedias Wikipedia + Infogalactic added.
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2017, 11:17:39 PM »
2017-01-22:
Just added these to the table of links in the OP:
Online encyclopaedias:Wikipedia
Infogalactic (a fork of Wikipedia)

I gave up on Wikipedia because of its bias/fakery, years ago, and started using Google Knol, until that was disappointingly closed by Google. However, though Infogalactic is a fork of Wikipedia, it seems intended to take a more liberal, hi-tech, hands-off  and non-censorial approach than Wikipedia - and for all the right reasons (objectivity, apolitical, freedom of speech, etc.). This novel approach just might work. We shall see. They had a press release on Oct. 2016:
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
PR 20161010
From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 10, 2016

INFOGALACTIC: an online encyclopedia without bias or thought police

Zürich, Switzerland. All around the world, thousands of users are accessing and editing the new online encyclopedia for the 21st Century, Infogalactic, which styles itself the Planetary Knowledge Core™. Conceived as a next-generation replacement for Wikipedia, the troubled online encyclopedia, Infogalactic is a dynamic fork of Wikipedia that is designed to supplant its predecessor by addressing the problems of bias, vandalism, harassment, abuse, and inaccuracy that have plagued the Wikimedia Foundation’s flagship project for years.

“Every notable public figure who has a page devoted to them knows very well what an inaccurate nightmare Wikipedia is,” said Vox Day, Lead Designer of Infogalactic, a computer game designer and bestselling philosopher. “The page about me there has had everything from my place of birth to the number of times I’ve been married wrong. And that’s not even counting the outright abuse, such as when Wikipedians replaced the entire page with a definition of a sexually-transmitted disease or with a string of obscenities.”
Infogalactic plans to solve the structural problems of a community-edited online encyclopedia through objectivity, proven game design principles, and a sophisticated series of algorithms. Currently in an operational Phase One, the Planetary Knowledge Core has a five-phase Roadmap that its founders claim will eliminate edit warring, significantly improve accuracy, neutralize vandalism and other forms of griefing, and render all forms of political bias on the part of administrators and editors irrelevant.

“The primary challenge facing any online wiki is the individual editor’s incentive to impose his perspective on everyone else,” said Renegade, the Operations Director of Infogalactic, who, as per the organization’s pro-anonymity policy is known only by his handle. “Most people who contribute to an online knowledge base do so because they want to have their say, but in the end there can be only one perspective that is enforced by the site’s administrators. Infogalactic has solved that problem by embracing true objectivity and eliminating the enforcement incentive by moving from a centralized, vertically-stacked orientation to a decentralized, horizontally-distributed model.”

Infogalactic’s anti-bias architecture will permit users to select their preferred perspective and automatically see the version of the subject page that is closest to it based on a series of algorithms utilizing three variables, Relativity, Reliability, and Notability. This means a supporter of Hillary Clinton will see a different version of the current Donald Trump page than a Donald Trump supporter will, as both users will see the version of the page that was most recently edited by editors with perspective ratings similar to his own.

“The single biggest problem with Wikipedia isn’t Jimmy Wales or its outmoded 1995 technology, but the fact that it is patrolled by 532 left-wing thought police who aggressively force their biased perspective on the rest of the world,” Vox Day, aka “Fenris” on Infogalactic, added. “This isn’t Conservapedia 2.0 and we aren’t replacing Wikipedia’s admins with their conservative equivalent, we are making the function of thought police irrelevant through technology. Our design philosophy is based on the idea that only the user has the right to define what his reality is.”

The Planetary Knowledge Core is also distinguishing itself from its predecessors by its corporate-friendly policies. Corporations, large and small, are welcome to participate on the site, advertising by page and by category is permitted, and a number of strategic partners have been established, including Gab, the popular new Twitter alternative that already has over one hundred thousand active users.

Andrew Torba, the CEO and co-founder of Gab, said: “At Gab our mission is to put people first and promote free speech for all. Part of this mission includes working with others who share our core values, specifically around promoting and protecting free speech online. This is why we are incredibly excited to work with Infogalactic. We look forward to building a strong partnership that puts people first and promotes free expression for all.”

Even prior to its public announcement, tens of thousands of people have made the switch to Infogalactic. “The support from the community has been tremendous,” said Rifleman, the Technical Director of Infogalactic. “We haven’t even launched and we’ve already signed up subscriptions to cover more than one-third of our current server-and-storage burn rate. It’s clear there is a tremendous appetite for an alternative to Wikipedia’s institutional left-wing bias.”

Infogalactic has replaced the well-known Five Pillars of Wikipedia with its own Seven Canons™, which refer to the fundamental philosophy by which the Planetary Knowledge Core intends to operate. They are explained in detail on the Seven Canons page:
   1. Infogalactic does not define reality.
   2. Infogalactic is written from an objective point of view.
   3. Infogalactic is free content.
   4. No griefing.
   5. Play nice and play fair.
   6. Rules are guidelines for users, not chew toys for lawyers.
   7. Facts are facts.

While the 5-million-page Phase One Infogalactic is virtually identical to the English-language Wikipedia, in the Planetary Knowledge Core’s next phase, Infogalactic developers will introduce a number of new features to distinguish it from other online encyclopedias. These innovative features include Context and Opinion sub-pages, dynamic page updates, Autobio sub-pages for Verified editors, and an alpha version of perspective filtering.

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