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Internet Archive

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Original author: 
Scott Gilbertson

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is deceptively simple — plug in a website and you can see copies of it over time.

What you don’t see is the massive amount of effort, data and storage necessary to capture and maintain those archives. Filmmaker Jonathan Minard’s documentary Internet Archive takes a behind the scenes look at how (and why) the Internet Archive’s efforts are preserving the web as we know it.

The interview with Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, especially offers a look at not just the idea behind the archive, but the actual servers that hold the 10 petabytes of archived websites, books, movies, music, and television broadcasts that the Internet Archive currently stores.

For more on the documentary, head over to Vimeo. You can learn more about the Internet Archive on the group’s website.

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ebooks are a new frontier, but they look a lot like the old web frontier, with HTML, CSS, and XML underpinning the main ebook standard, ePub. Yet there are key distinctions between ebook publishing’s current problems and what the web standards movement faced. The web was founded without an intent to disrupt any particular industry; it had no precedent, no analogy. E-reading antagonizes a large, powerful industry that’s scared of what this new way of reading brings—and they’re either actively fighting open standards or simply ignoring them. In part one of a two-part series in this issue, Nick Disabato examines the explosion in reading, explores how content is freeing itself from context, and mines the broken ebook landscape in search of business logic and a way out of the present mess.

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itwbennett writes "Hadoop, Hive, Lucene, and Solr are all open source projects, but if you were expecting the floors of the Strata Conference to be packed with intense, boostrapping hackers you'd be sorely disappointed. Instead, says Brian Proffitt, 'community' where Big Data is concerned is 'acknowledged as a corporate resource', something companies need to contribute back to. 'There is no sense of the grass-roots, hacker-dominated communities that were so much a part of the Linux community's DNA,' says Proffitt."

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David sez, "Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, reads the last paragraph of 'A Manual on Methods of Reproducing Research
Materials' by Robert C. Binkley,
a 1936 book on preserving the media types of the day, which is oddly prescient."

The present generation should not be surprised at the conclusion of a
technological revolution that has as its seed [sic] of a cultural
revolution. Such may indeed be true in this instance. The cultural
revival of the monopoly of the metropolis and the democratization and
deprofessionalization of scholarship are on the horizon which seems to
lie ahead. And these things themselves accord with other elements of
our social and economic prospects, notably the possible decline in the
centralization of population in cities and the development of a new
leisure in the hands of a well-educated people. The same technical
innovations that promise to give aid to the research worker in his
cubicle may also lead the whole population toward participation in a
new cultural design.

Brewster Kahle reads from a prescient book

(Thanks, David Weinberger!)

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