Links for April 10th

To Newspaper Moguls: You Blew It

The Newspaper Association of America is meeting in San Diego this week and they’re preaching up at their own choir loft with angry, self-righteous fire and brimstone about their plight. They need to hear a new message, a blunt message from the outside. Here’s the speech I think they should hear:

You blew it.

Free-access World Digital Library set to launch

Libraries and archives from around the world have come together in a project to share their collections of rare books, maps, films, manuscripts and recordings online for free.

Almost four years in the making, the World Digital Library will launch on 21 April, functioning in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – and including content in additional languages. A prototype of what will be on offer includes a voice recording of the 101-year-old grandson of an American slave, a 17th-century map of the world and 19th-century Brazilian photographs.

The brainchild of James Billington, from the US’s Library of Congress, the project has been developed by Unesco and the Library of Congress, along with 32 other partners from around the world, including national libraries from Iraq, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Uganda.

How can DRM be good?

Here’s a thought. I just had lunch with someone who works for a broadcaster and is wrestling with the idea of distributing content online and we both agreed that what’s missing from the whole DRM debate is a strong case for “just enough DRM”.

Phorm eyes launch after hard year

Online advertising firm Phorm is pressing ahead with plans to launch more than a year after it first drew criticism from some privacy advocates.

Phorm executives will meet with members of the public on Tuesday, following a similar meeting in 2008.

The service has proved controversial for some campaigners who believe it breaks UK data interception laws.

”Lap-dancing nun’ performs for Church

Anna Nobili is no ordinary nun.

The 38-year-old used to be a lap-dancer, and spent many years working in Italian nightclubs.

She is now using her talents in a rather different way – for what she calls “The Holy Dance” in a performance on Tuesday evening at the Holy Cross in Jerusalem Basilica in Rome, in front of senior Catholic clerics including Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Cultural Department.

Miss Nobili told the BBC World Service that the transformation from podium lap dancer to nun happened gradually.

No use crying over spilt ink

It’s the end of the party, the booze is all finished, almost everyone has gone home, and the rest are too drunk to make conversation. You decide to call it a night and, bidding your host farewell, you step over a pool of vomit and make your way out of the flat, heading for the stairs. It’s then that you hear her. The fat girl half way down the stairs, sobbing her fat little eyes out. You know the one – she’s always there, at the end of every party you’ve ever been to.

Science IS imagination

People don’t understand science.

And I don’t mean that your average person doesn’t understand how relativity works, or quantum mechanics, or biochemistry. Like any advanced study, it’s hard to understand them, and it takes a lifetime of work to become familiar with them.

No, what I mean is that people don’t understand the process of science. How a scientist goes from a list of observations and perhaps a handful of equations to understanding. To knowing.

And that’s a shame, because it’s a beautiful thing.