Meltdown and Spectre Attacks Could Threaten Computing Devices from Cellphones to Servers

The threat to computing devices by Meltdown and Spectre is widespread.

Research Data Curation Bibliography, Version 8 | Digital Curation and Digital Preservation Works | Open Access Works | Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Sitemap

"7 Things You Should Know About Federated Identity Management"

EDUCAUSE has released "7 Things You Should Know About Federated Identity Management."

Here's an excerpt :

Identity management refers to the policies, processes, and technologies that establish user identities and enforce rules about access to digital resources. With an enterprise identity management system, rather than having separate credentials for each system, a user can use a single digital identity to access all resources to which the user is entitled. Federated identity management permits extending this approach above the enterprise level, creating a trusted authority for digital identities across multiple organizations. It results in greatly simplified administration and streamlined access to resources; eliminating the need to replicate databases of user credentials for separate applications and systems offers improved security. Federated identity management puts the focus on users of information and services rather than on entities that house those resources.

The Economic Downturn and Its Impact on IT: Suggestions for EDUCAUSE Response

EDUCAUSE has released The Economic Downturn and Its Impact on IT: Suggestions for EDUCAUSE Response.

Here's an excerpt:

  • Two-thirds of respondents indicate that their institution has experienced budget cuts of an average of 7% overall. These cuts are expected to rise to 9%.
  • The average cut for IT units is the same as for the total institution (7%), with about half currently facing budget reductions.
  • Public institutions are more affected than private colleges and universities. Also, large public institutions are more likely to have cuts, and the cuts are larger compared to smaller, public institutions. Variances by FTE for private institutions were not significant.
  • CIOs report cuts more frequently than do faculty. Among faculty who report cuts, however, a larger proportion report deeper cuts, compared to the CIO respondents.
  • Most CIOs (88%) have at least some discretion in how to allocate cuts, but 61% have had mandatory restrictions. Among those without complete discretion, the most common budget reduction strategy is a hiring freeze, either through leaving positions unfilled (75%) or not hiring new positions (69%). Nearly half (43%) have travel freezes.

New Report Says U.S. Lags Far Behind in Internet Speed Race

The Communications Workers of America have released Speed Matters: A Report on Internet Speeds in All 50 States.

Here's an excerpt:

The median download speed for the nation [the U.S.] was 2.3 megabits per second (mbps). In Japan, the median download speed is 63 mbps, or 30 times faster than the U.S. U.S. also trails South Korea at 49 mbps, Finland at 21 mbps, France at 17 mbps, and Canada at 7.6 mbps. The median upload speed from the test was just 435 kilobits per second (kbps), far too slow for patient monitoring or to transmit large files such as medical records.

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) Wiki Established

A team of librarians has established the Digital Research Tools (DiRT) Wiki.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

DiRT lists dozens of useful tools for discovering, organizing, analyzing, visualizing, sharing and disseminating information, such as tools for compiling bibliographies, taking notes, analyzing texts, and visualizing data. We also offer software reviews that not only describe the tool’s features, strengths, and weaknesses, but also provide usage tips, links to training resources, and suggestions for how it might be implemented by researchers. So that DiRT is accessible to non-techies and techies alike, we try to avoid jargon and categorize tools by their functions. Although the acronym DiRT might suggest that it’s a gossip site for academic software, dishing on bugs and dirty secrets about the software development process, we prefer a gardening metaphor, as we hope to help cultivate research projects by providing clear, concise information about tools that can help researchers do their more work more effectively or creatively.

DiRT is brand new, so we’re still in the process of creating content and figuring how best to present it; consider it to be in alpha release and expect to see it evolve. (We plan to announce DiRT more broadly in a few months, but we’re giving sneak previews right now in the hope that comments from members of the digital humanities community can help us to improve it.) Currently the DiRT editorial team includes me, my ever-innovative and enthusiastic colleague Debra Kolah, and three whip-smart librarians from Sam Houston State University with expertise in Web 2.0 technologies (as well as English, history, business, and ranching!): Tyler Manolovitz, Erin Dorris Cassidy, and Abe Korah. We’ve committed to provide at least 5 new tool reviews per month, but we can do even more if more people join us (hint, hint). We invite folks to recommend research tools or software categories, write reviews, sign on to be co-editors, and/or offer feedback on the wiki.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Resources and Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Resources and Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Are Laser Printers Safe?

A study by Congrong He, Lidia Morawska, and Len Taplin in Environmental Science & Technology titled "Particle Emission Characteristics of Office Printers" raises questions about the safety of laser printers.

Here's an excerpt from a related Environmental Science & Technology news article:

When researchers in Australia discovered that particulate matter levels were five times higher during the workday inside a nonsmoking office building than outside near a freeway, they looked for indoor culprits. After testing more than 50 printers throughout the building, they found that particle emissions varied depending on the type and age of the printer. In one case, standing near a working printer was much like standing next to a cigarette smoker.

Here's an excerpt from a related Scientific American article:

When the researchers investigated emissions from all 62 printers in the entire six-story building, they found that 25 of them (40 percent) were emitting particles. Among those, 17 (27 percent) were "high emitters" (including HP LaserJet and HP Color LaserJet models, and one Toshiba Studio model), which caused the concentration of particles in the surrounding air to jump tenfold when just one page was printed. The majority of particles were ultrafine, or less than 0.1 micrometer in diameter.

"Because these particles are so small, there is a very high probability for these particles to deposit in the deepest alveoli in the lung. . .; from there they can enter the bloodstream," Morawska says. This could cause changes in blood properties that lead to cardiovascular disease, she notes. If the particles contain cancer-causing agents, exposure could also increase the risk of cancer, but Morawska says researchers did not test the chemical composition of the particles. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the concentration of ultrafine particles emitted by laser printers.

More coverage: "HP Dismisses Laser Printer Health Risks," "Is Your Printer Polluting the Air You Breathe?," "Printer Emissions as Bad as Cigarettes?," "Some Top Laser Printers Called Office Polluters," "Study: Laser Printers May Pose Health Risks," and "Warning: Laser Printers Could Be a Health Hazard."

Sources: He, Congrong, Lidia Morawska, and Len Taplin. "Particle Emission Characteristics of Office Printers." Environmental Science & Technology Articles ASAP, 1 August 2007; Lubick, Naomi. Printer Particle Emissions Add Up. Environmental Science & Technology: Science News, 1 August 2007.

Web/Web 2.0 Resources and Tools

Here’s a list of a few Web/Web 2.0 resources and tools that developers may find useful.

Web/Web 2.0 Tools and Techniques

Here’s a list of a few overviews of Web/Web 2.0 tools and techniques that developers may find useful.

Code4Lib Journal Established

The newly established Code4Lib Journal has issued a call for papers.

Here’s an excerpt from the call:

The Code4Lib Journal (C4LJ) will provide a forum to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.

Submissions are currently being accepted for the first issue of this promising new journal. Please submit articles, abstracts, or proposals for articles to (a private list read only by C4LJ editors) by Friday, August 31, 2007. Publication of the first issue is planned for late December 2007.

Possible topics for articles include, but are not limited to:

* Practical applications of library technology. Both actual and
hypothetical applications invited.
* Technology projects (failed, successful, proposed, or
in-progress), how they were done, and challenges faced
* Case studies
* Best practices
* Reviews
* Comparisons of third party software or libraries
* Analyses of library metadata for use with technology
* Project management and communication within the library environment
* Assessment and user studies . . . .

The goal of the journal is to promote professional communication by minimizing the barriers to publication. While articles in the journal should be of a high quality, they need not follow any formal structure or guidelines. Writers should aim for the middle ground between, on the one hand, blog or mailing-list posts, and, on the other hand, articles in traditional journals. . . .

The Journal will be electronic only, and at least initially, edited rather than refereed. . . .

Code4Lib Journal Editorial Committee

Carol Bean
Jonathan Brinley
Edward Corrado
Tom Keays
Emily Lynema
Eric Lease Morgan
Ron Peterson
Jonathan Rochkind
Jodi Schneider
Dan Scott
Ken Varnum

Web/Web 2.0 Toolkits

Here’s a list of a few information-packed directories of Web/Web 2.0 tools that developers may find useful.

The IBM Gameframe

If you thought the era of big iron was dead, think again.

According to the New York Times, IBM is rolling out a "gameframe" that is "capable of permitting hundreds of thousands of computer users to interact in a three-dimensional simulated on-screen world described as a ‘metaverse.’"

Meanwhile, Sun is rolling out a video server that is "potentially powerful enough to transmit different standard video streams simultaneously to everyone watching TV in a city the size of New York."

Source: Markoff, John. "Sun and I.B.M. to Offer New Class of High-End Servers." The New York Times, 26 April 2006, C10.