tech

Oppose SOPA and PIPA

Speak out for the free and open internet!

Take action to keep the internet free and open. Google and Wikipedia among many others who pride themselves on providing free and open content are against the SOPA and PIPA legislation in their present form. Did you catch Wikipedia and Google blacked out?

See more details on SOPA at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more (which is not blacked out) and on PIPA at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act. See the inside conversation in the Drupal world at http://drupal.org/search/apachesolr_multisitesearch/sopa. We urge you to contact your representatives and make your opposition to this legislation known. Making your view known to Patrick Leahy might be helpful as he's one of the lead sponsors of PIPA.

I spoke to one of Leahy's staffers today and he told me that he didn't know why Google and Wikipedia were blacked out. He said PIPA would only effect overseas companies. After looking at the PIPA bill more closely and research on Wikipeida it appears he's wrong:

Search engines—such as Google—would be ordered to "(i) remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the [court] order; or (ii) not serve a hypertext link to such Internet site."

See the detail in the bill at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act#cite_note-13, etc. Think of how much work it would be for Google or any hosting service (GoDaddy, HotDrupal, 1and1, your_host_here) to pore through all their content and remove links to "rogue sites."

Also see http://www.savetheinternet.com/pipa-whiplist for PIPA supporters and the lowdown from the Huffington Post.

Koha Install for The Pringle Herbarium

Just put in place a server with a Linux Debian base system with a Koha library system installed for the Pringle Herbarium at UVM. This work is part of the Tryon Library at the herbarium.

On the right, see the Tryon's in this great shot from the 1950s with their cat Boriwog at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

I was happy to work with Dr. Michael Sundue on this project. He will be maintaining and configuring the library system and populating the library with all the great unique publications that the herbarium has to offer.

This is a great example of Open Source in action:

  • Solid Debian Linux base system
  • Robust Koha Integrated Library System
  • Cooperation between Academia and Unix/Linux
  • Sharing Academic resources through the Tryon Library

This solution gives the Library a solid base to build on and expand and it keeps their costs low. It allows them to handle things themselves and they can always call for support if they need it. Libraries are some of the oldest Open Source institutions out there and we're happy to be a small part of this project. Go Pteridophytes!

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