Critical Information Studies

I liked the concept of Critical Information Studies when Siva Vaidhyanathan first made his bibliographic manifesto available on his website. After a semester of “Doctoral Research and Theory I” at the School of Information, I like it much, much more. I’m currently working on a paper about copyright research in “the field” I study in, and CIS provides a great way to look at the field. More on this when I’m done.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And in the news, the Library of Congress has approved a few other exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, including provisions for blind users, film professors, software archivists, and security researchers. These exemptions should stick around for three years- now I just wish they’d change the law altogether before they’re up for renewal… but what are the odds?

Of course, I missed an important part- the censorware exemption is gone. Boo.

And this is why we need to teach ethics related to research…

From the University of Texas Police Department’s Campus Watch:

ART BUILDING, 2300 San Jacinto BLVD

Assault-Physical Contact-Offensive/Provocative: A class was conducting a
class project on the 4th floor deck. As part of his project, a UT
student threw a five gallon bucket of water on a group of students and
began referring to the group as “Nazis.” The group had no
advanced warning that they were going to be doused with cold water.
Occurred: 11-21-06, at 10:30 PM.

Grants.gov

I was appalled when Grants.gov, the U.S.’s site for academics and others to apply for Federal grants, implemented and mandated the use of a Windows-only client. Who thought that was a good idea? Who checked for possible problems before mandating it?

It was painful last year, and it hasn’t greatly improved this year. At least now they’re acknowledging that there are problems with that approach, sort of. They’re providing a Citrix server for Mac and Unix users to connect to in order to start a Windows session to apply for grants. However, it’s slow and has been described to me as a nightmare to go through. It only allows a limited number of connections, and you have to save very often or you could get knocked off and lose all of your data. They’re switching to Adobe forms by April 2007 in order to support Mac and Unix users as well. (Still not ideal in my mind, but a great deal better than what is currently available.)

They are also touting IBM’s early release of a Mac version of Workplace. IBM has created and is providing this early relase (read: buggy), but it doesn’t support large documents (> 40 MB, which you’d better believe we have in grants), it’s not accessible at all and we’re warned of crashes and loss of data. Right now we’re checking out a Windows laptopto our faculty because of all of the problems associated with applying for grants on the platforms that some of our professors actually prefer. This situation is ridiculous.

Georgia Harper’s blog; UT Libraries

Copyright attorney Georgia Harper is now attending the iSchool and has an interesting blog.
http://georgiaharper.blogspot.com/index.html

She’s currently working for the University Libraries, which is a great thing. The libraries have made some interesting decisions recently. One of decisions I’m troubled by is that they no longer public post their Tea with the Vice Provost or Director’s Meeting minutes. They still exist, but they’re now behind the UT EID, staff-only. They’ve also gone and removed all previous notes that were up, so links from previous blog entries here no longer work (although I still have copies). Of course, I could ask to see them, or even make an open records request, but I found them more useful where they were where everyone could see and discuss.