New Media Technology

“Library Trend Watch”

Discussing the future of libraries at the 11th InetBib Conference / photo: Ralph A Stamm, ISN

If you think librarians are old-fashioned people dressed in checkered shirts, I tell you: they’re not. At least not those attending the 11th InetBib Conference.

I entered an auditorium populated by people sitting with computers on their laps, listening, thinking and twittering about the future of libraries. Encouraged by an atmosphere of open discussion and criticism, participants would, from time to time, raise their voice and challenge the presenter’s views.

For the session I attended this morning, the organizers invited five people to give five-minute presentations on technological trends that might influence the future of libraries. “Let’s look into the crystal ball,” Patrick Danowski, the moderator, said. Fittingly, his introductory talk was entitled “Library Trend Watch”.

Dr. Rudolf Mumenthaler from ETH Library, talked about the future of e-readers. He argued that only multifunctional tablets such as iPad will become popular, with classic e-book readers remaining a niche product. It is the libraries’ job to provide their users with electronic content, on which they could cooperate with publishers.

Christian Hauschke from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover, talked about Linked Open Data. He called on libraries to open access to their bibliographical information and follow the four principles of linked data.

Andreas Kahl introduced us to Google Wave, an open-source collaboration tool currently under development. Wave would allow librarians to log themselves into the work process of students and make suggestions like: Have you considered this source? At the same time, Google Wave allows users to delegate certain processes to the machine, such as including biographical references.

Security Technology Internet

Buzzword ‘Cyberwar’

Cyberwar: Concept, Status Quo, and Limitations
Cyberwar: Concept, Status Quo, and Limitations (

For all the talk about cyberwar, what does it actually mean?

In a recent policy brief, Myriam Dunn defines it as “warlike conflict in the virtual space that primarily involves information technology means.”

According to her, it’s the last rung on the ladder of cyberconflict, as measured by potential damage.

While milder forms of cyberconflict Рcybervandalism, internet crime and cyberespionage Рare relatively frequent, we lack established knowledge on potentially more destructive forms such as cyberterrorism and cyberwar.  This is why the debate on cyberwar is extremely prone to speculation, she warns.

You can download the paper here.

Also, you may want to check the ISN’s Digital Library for further resources on information and cyber warfare.


The ISN at the OIC

The ISN will attend the Online Information Conference 2009 in London 1-3 December. Consisting of an exhibition hosting over 9,000 visitors¬† from 70 countries, a conference and a show floor seminar program, the event provides an annual meeting place for the global information industry. The ISN will have a stand and our head of OSINT and strategy, Chris Pallaris, will give a talk entitled “The ‘Intelligence Potential’ of Corporate Libraries and Knowledge Repositories,” scheduled in the Libraries and eBooks section for Wednesday, 2 December, 12.45-13.15.

Chris will also give a talk on 3 December at the London School of Economics entitled Empires of the Mind: Information, Technology and the Geopolitics of Knowledge. Please see the event listing for more information.

Intelligence Security Internet

ISN Weekly Theme: The Fog of Cyberwar

Photo: wokka/flickr
Photo: wokka/flickr

Nebulous at best, incomprehensible at worst: International norms surrounding cybersecurity have left some countries trailing in their efforts to secure their data and networks. We’re focusing on these issues and more in the ISN Weekly Theme: The Fog of Cyberwar.

And as always, feel free to follow us on Twitter.

New Media Social Media Health

Is Twitter Eroding our Humanity?

Fire Hydrant with quote / Will Lion, flickr
Fire Hydrant with quote / Will Lion, flickr

First it was TV, then it was video games, now Twitter? Are these things really contributing to the decay of the human psyche, our morality and our ability to concentrate? Or is this just paranoid blame-seeking, intent on vilifying the entire spectrum of modern day tools part of our everyday life?

The ISN blog presents two viewpoints- mine and that of my co-worker Cristina Viehmann. Let the debate begin!