Orchid Labs is Developing a Blockchain-Based Internet Protocol to Defeat Censorship and Surveillance

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From Axios:

Orchid Labs says that it has developed blockchain-based protocol that lets users access the internet free of censorship, restrictions, and surveillance.

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The main idea is to incentivize people with unused internet bandwidth to share it with other users (presumably in places with restrictions), in exchange for payment via Orchid’s Ethereum-based tokens. The company also says it’s a more viable option than Tor and virtual private networks (VPNs), which are increasingly difficult to access in places like China.

Read the Complete Article

Direct to Orchid Protocol Web Site and FAQ

In Their Own Words (via FAQ):

2017-10-29_09-50-18Orchid is an open-source project committed to ending surveillance and censorship on the Internet. The Orchid protocol uses an overlay network built upon the existing Internet, which is driven by a peer-to-peer tokenized bandwidth exchange, creating a more inclusive, liberated Internet. Orchid Labs Inc. is a Delaware company with the mission of promoting and supporting the research and development of the Orchid Protocol. Orchid Labs Inc. was founded in 2017 by leading technologists and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Orchid protocols are available in private alpha to select recipients today. Later this year, all Orchid software will be published to the open source community. Early in 2018 we plan to offer a public beta of the Orchid Protocol to help billions of users on all corners of the globe make Internet Freedom a reality.

See Also: Orchid White Paper About Protocol: “Orchid: A Fully Distributed, Anonymous Proxy Network Incentivized Through Bandwidth Mining”
47 pages; PDF.

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Massachusetts: Amazon Will Stop Supplying Textbooks to UMass at End of 2018

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From MassLive.com:

Amazon will stop providing the University of Massachusetts campus with textbooks at the end of December 2018, exercising an opt-out clause in its contract with the university.

In 2015, Amazon and UMass signed a five-year contract that replaced the Follett Corp. textbook operation, although that company continued to run the store in the Campus Center. The arrangement was expected to save students about 30 percent. Amazon was one of six companies that bid to provide the service.

Amazon decided to end the arrangement, said UMass spokesman Daniel J. Fitzgibbons in an email. He did not know why. No one could be reached at Amazon.

UMass will release an RFP for a new supplier and the school hopes to have a new contract in place by the Summer of 2018.

Read the Complete Article

See Also:  Amazon Textbook Contract Ending in December 2018 (via The Massachusetts Daily Collegian)
October 19, 2017.

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Cal Poly Launches Digital Transformation Hub for Innovation

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Cloud Technologies

Cal Poly Launches Digital Transformation Hub for Innovation

A new project at California Polytechnic State University will focus on problem-solving and innovation around public sector technology challenges. Created to “accelerate digital transformation in the government, education and nonprofit sectors through the application of cloud technologies,” the Cal Poly Digital Transformation Hub (DT-Hub) is a joint effort between the university and Amazon Web Services.

“Cal Poly is proud to be a part of the world’s first cloud innovation center developed as a collaboration between AWS and an educational institution,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, in a statement. “We have the unique opportunity to use our ‘Learn by Doing’ philosophy to work with the worldwide leader in innovation to define the standard for digital transformation in government, education and nonprofits.”

The DT-Hub will convene “innovation communities” made up of experts from the California State University System, California state and local government, and commercial enterprises, to share ideas on addressing a variety of digital challenges. Possible topics include creating more efficient methods for storing and using police body camera data, reducing the cost for agricultural research, and using technology to fight human trafficking.

The problem-solving efforts will adapt the “AWS innovation process” to “engage communities of stakeholders, AWS resources and Cal Poly/CSU subject-matter experts to quickly understand problems from the viewpoint of the customer and then formulate solutions that address those needs,” according to a news announcement. The resulting solutions and ideas will be made publicly available.

For more information, visit the DT-Hub website.

About the Author


About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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The Job Outlook: In 2030, Librarians Will Be in Demand | Editorial

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A fascinating new report takes a fresh look at what the workforce is going to look like in the future and which skills will be highly sought after. According to “The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030”, there will be an increased call for librarians, curators, and archivists, among other occupations.

That’s just the start of the finds in this exploration of where humans will fit in the future, complementing rather than being completely supplanted by automation. The report—released on September 28 by Pearson, Nesta, and Oxford University—asks how work will be impacted by the intersection of seven “megatrends.” Change driven by new technology, including the rise of automation, is right up top. The others are globalization, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanization, rising inequality, and political uncertainty.

The report considers globalization but focuses solely on the impact on the UK and the United States. “In the U.S., there is particularly strong emphasis on interpersonal skills. These skills include teaching, social perceptiveness, service orientation, and persuasion,” it notes. The “findings also confirm the importance of higher-order cognitive skills such as complex problem solving, originality, fluency of ideas, and active learning.”

“The Future of Skills” is something to read when thinking about the evolution of our work in libraries [as is our annual report on placements and salaries “Librarians Everywhere” (p. 28–34), which provides a look at what’s happening today]. Perhaps more important, it can help inform library leaders’ strategic direction as they consider how to shape services to support people of all ages through a time of rapid evolution. How will the people libraries serve be impacted by these megatrends, how will they need to learn, and what skills will they need to develop in order to thrive?

“Although the advance of automation and artificial intelligence may feel like a losing battle to some, individuals will need to focus on developing the uniquely human skills identified in this research,” the report states in a section on the implications for individual people.

According to the report, we will all also need to learn new things and develop new skills throughout our lifetimes. To help, the authors include an extensive “Glossary of Skills” mentioned in the document and offer recommendations for educators and employers.

There’s no doubt in my mind that libraries and those who work in them are here for the long haul. This report can and should stimulate conversation about how to make the long run ahead as relevant as possible for the many people who depend on libraries for the tools they need.

THE TOP 10 OCCUPATIONS

Below are the occupations classifications most likely to experience increased demand in 2030 out of the 772 tracked by the U.S. government.

  1. Preschool, Primary, Secondary, and Special Education School Teachers
  2. Animal Care and Service Workers
  3. Lawyers, Judges, and Related Workers
  4. Postsecondary Teachers
  5. Engineers
  6. Personal Appearance Workers
  7. Social Scientists and Related Workers
  8. Counselors, Social Workers, and Other Community and Social Service Specialists
  9. Librarians, Curators, and Archivists
  10. Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers

SOURCE: THE FUTURE OF SKILLS: EMPLOYMENT IN 2030

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Supporting Social Justice in the Community

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Karen PhillipsBy, Karen Phillips
SVP Global Learning Resources
SAGE Publishing

Part of a series that celebrates innovators in libraries across the U.S., I have the privilege of diving deeper into the work of a segment of the 2017 Movers & Shakers announced by Library Journal in the spring. This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Kelly McElroy, Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries & Press, who supports students from marginalized communities. Read about her impactful work below.

 

Tell us a little about how you support students with diverse backgrounds or special needs.

SageI partner closely with other university staff who work with specific communities of students. For example, I work with the TRiO/Student Support Services staff to organize library tours and orientation for their bridge program at the beginning of the year, as well as scheduling library instruction sessions for the transition courses that their students take. I can send them information to share with their students, and they keep me in the loop about their activities and issues students have raised. These staff already have strong relationships with students in their programs, so it makes it easier for me to then connect with those students. I also learn so much from the folks who run these programs—the expertise that they have includes deep understanding of student experiences but also sophisticated approaches to issues like equity and student development.

How do you garner support from other faculty and administration at your institution?

To be clear, I am most often in a role of bringing the library as support to other units, but these partnerships often present opportunities for stronger advocacy. Authentic relationships and trust really have to come first. I sometimes kid about my standing lunch and coffee dates, but it is so important to stay in touch with people on a regular basis. One project that came out of a regular lunch date was a textbook lending program at the Human Services Resource Center (HSRC) on our campus. The HSRC serves students experiencing homelessness and poverty, and I meet up with the center’s coordinator every few months. When she told me about a textbook lending project they were starting and the issues they were facing around buying, storing, and checking out books, it was an easy connection to make to things the library is very, very equipped to do. Together, we could advocate to our administrators with the result of stronger support for these students.

You are known as one of the founding creators of the critical librarianship movement. Can you tell us a little bit about what critical librarianship is and how it became a movement?

This is a great opportunity for clarification. When Nicole Pagowsky started the #critlib chats on Twitter, I was one of the original group of moderators. However, critical librarianship has been around for a long time before those chats started. Just because we started using a hashtag doesn’t mean that we just started this work—it has been going on as long as librarians have been working for social justice in their communities. Emily Drabinski has said that #critlib is a meeting place, which resonates for me. People may share information or make connections on Twitter, but the real work happens out and about in real life. Kenny Garcia gives a great introduction in his Keeping Up With…Critical Librarianship, which also includes a helpful reading list. Organizationally, groups like Radical Reference, the Progressive Librarians Guild, Reforma, AILA, APALA, and within ALA, SRRT, BCALA, the GLBTRT and others have been supporting different kinds of critical librarianship—and many individuals have quietly been doing this work in their communities, whether or not they had a name for it.

How do you balance these types of responsibilities with your normal, day-to-day responsibilities?

To be honest, they are largely intertwined with my work. Although my position description explicitly calls out support for specific communities of students, all library workers have opportunities to bring critical librarianship into their work. Where is there injustice in your community? How can you support and stand in solidarity? Social responsibility is one of the core values of librarianship as recognized by ALA. So, although critical librarianship may seem extracurricular, in many ways it is at the core. The work of catalogers to update offensive and archaic subject headings is one example of this work, which is ultimately about improving access to materials. In addition, as a tenure-track faculty member, I have a great deal of freedom and support to choose my research agenda, and have been supported in the writing and editing projects I have chosen so far.

How can other librarians become involved in the movement?

Meeting people is a great way to connect to existing projects or to find potential partners. Virtual spaces like Twitter can be one way to do that, but there have been some lovely in-person meetings, including several #critlib unconferences in addition to all the groups I mentioned above, plus others like We Here, Storytime Underground, and We Need Diverse Books. Library workers can also build relationships outside the library: whether you are in a public, academic, school, or special library, there are folks in your broader community doing great work who could use your help. There are also so many wonderful things to read. This Zotero group is a start, but hardly comprehensive.


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Sage Publishing

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