Monthly Archives: November 2011

New on “Files that Last”

Here’s the first post with “real content” on FTL: Metadata: What’s it all about?”

Closed access at Harvard

Sorry about the off-topic post, but this is the best channel I have for reaching the academic world.

Whatever Robert Frost may have said, something there is that really loves a wall. Specifically, fear does. The fear that looks askance at every foreign-looking person, that puts fortifications on our borders, that sees only the danger in contact from others.

Locked gate at Harvard Yard

Locked gate at Harvard Yard

A small, non-violent (with perhaps an exception or two) mob assailed Harvard Yard last Thursday night, and Harvard gave in to fear. The gates were shut or put under guard for the night, which may well have been necessary. They’ve remained that way ever since. To get into Harvard Yard, you must show an ID or have an invitation. Today employees received an email giving the weekday and weekend schedules for the gates, suggesting this won’t go away quickly.

This is inconvenient for Harvard people and more so for others who have reason to visit. The tours of Harvard Yard are on hiatus. If you have an appointment or a conference, your host has to provide a list of the people attending so they can be allowed in. Lamont Library contains a repository of government records which is open to the public without an ID — but you can’t get to Lamont.

I don’t know how long this will go on. When vague fears drive a policy and no risk is too small to ignore, there’s no reason ever to stop.

New blog: Files That Last

Today I’m launching a new tech blog, called “Files That Last.” As you might guess, its subject is digital preservation. Why do we need another preservation blog? Perhaps “we” don’t, where we’re mostly people closely connected with libraries and archives, but it’s a topic that’s ripe for more attention from the general computer-tech community, as everyone relies increasingly on computer files for long-term memory. Its focus will be practical guidance. Since it’s a solo operation, I’ll be able to say things the Library of Congress really shouldn’t.

I’ll be running that blog on a more regular schedule than this one, with weekly posts. Please drop by, and if you like what you see please spread the word.

Adobe getting out of Flash for mobile

Steve Jobs gets a posthumous victory as Adobe will not be developing Flash for mobile devices past version 11. Adobe states that:

HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook. We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.