Lurking among the big tech stories this week — the launch of a new iPhone, the unveiling of Amazon Key, a new vulnerability in Wifi transmissions — were a few unrelated stories all orbiting a common theme: dating apps. Last year, the Pew Research Center found that 15% of American adults reported using a dating website or mobile app, with the actual number probably being much higher. Developers are finding increasingly clever ways to match us all up, but where there is data, there is the risk of breaches and other abuses.
The Future of Online Dating is Unsexy and Brutally Effective [Gizmodo | Dale Markowitz] “In the future, apps like Tinder may be able to infer more about our personalities and lifestyles through our social media activity than an eHarmony questionnaire ever could capture. Researchers already think they can predict how neurotic we are from our Foursquare check-ins, whether or not we’re depressed from our Tweets and the filters we choose on Instagram, and how intelligent, happy, and likely to use drugs we are from our Facebook likes.”
Tonight is a new dating app optimized for real dates [TechCrunch | Anthony Ha] “You sign on when you’re free for a date that very evening. If both you and one of your matches is free, the app will give you a time and a place to meet up. You’ll need to sign in by 6pm to get a date that night, which will hopefully discourage people who are just looking for a hookup. In addition, users get penalized for flaking out, and they’re eventually removed if they keep doing it.”
Online dating apps riddled with security risks [ITProPortal | Michael Moore] “The Kaspersky Labs team investigated nine of the leading dating apps, and discovered that many fail to protect users from criminals, who could identify customers through finding out details on social media profiles, or even track them down in the real world using geolocation data.”
Gay Dating Apps Are Protecting Users Amid Egypt’s LGBTQ Crackdown [Vice | Mike Miksche] “A recent update to Grindr in Middle Eastern, Gulf and North African areas enables users to change the Grindr thumbnail on their phone into something less conspicuous, and set a passcode to open the app and protect the content inside. And the Egyptian crackdown has prompted Hornet and Grindr to send safety tips to users in Arabic, reminding them to take extra steps to confirm the identity of users they might meet from the app and tell others where they’ll be beforehand.”
Back in 1988, one of my OCLC colleagues worked at The Ohio State University Law Library as a work-study student. Recently, he told me a story about going deep into the basement to the compact storage units to retrieve an 1870s law book to photocopy some Ohio municipal codes for a library in Japan. He mailed the document to the library the next day using the US Postal Service.
Today, almost 30 years later, the world of international interlibrary loan is alive and well but with fewer trips to the ‘dungeon’ and the post office, thanks to digitization, electronic publications, and advances in scanning technology. These advances, along with the web and the emerging global library data network, are making international borrowing and lending easier and more commonplace.
But it’s the stories behind these international transactions that make them memorable, inspiring, and fun.
As I prepared to attend IFLA’s International Interlending and Document Supply Conference this month to moderate a panel discussion, I sent out a request for international ILL stories from OCLC members. Here is a sampling. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Digging into the secret student archives at the Universidad de Chile
Submitted by Dana Von Berg, University of Arizona
“Two years ago, a graduate student needed the first edition of a Chilean publication entitled La Ciruela from 1979. I tried contacting the National Library of Chile since they had some issues of this publication in their collection. They weren’t able to supply so I tried the Universidad de Chile using an ALA request. A librarian from there contacted me to let me know that this was a clandestine publication of the Federation of Students of the University of Chile that is not held in any Chilean libraries but it’s held in-house! She asked the student federation if she could get a digitized copy of this publication and they agreed to provide her with one. It took over a month to arrive but I received a PDF of the issue from the librarian that I was able to send to the customer.”
Chasing a Honduran tsunami with the University of Tegucigalpa
Submitted by Kurt I. Munson, Northwestern University
“We have a faculty member who studies tsunamis and earthquakes. In June 2015, he needed a newspaper article about a tsunami that hit the east coast of Honduras in the mid-1860s. We had to track down the newspaper to see if it even existed since it was Honduran. We emailed the University of Tegucigalpa, which was the only library that owned the title. They found it, took a cell phone picture of the article, and emailed that to us.”
Learning the Korean language with the help of a web browser
Submitted by Graham Fredrick, Indiana University – Purdue University
“Technology has made foreign-language articles easier to obtain. A few years ago, one of my faculty members requested several Korean-language journal articles. I have no Korean language experience, so I used in-browser translation to help me search several sites and verify citations. The articles were not freely available from publishers, so I then requested them from the National Library of Korea. Fortunately, they could supply several of the born-digital articles for free as PDFs.”
The thrill of reaching lands far away with a crusty old microfilm article
Submitted by Andi Wall, Cleveland University-Kansas City
“I have worked in ILL in two different libraries and both libraries stopped lending to international libraries, with the exception of Canada, Guam, and Puerto Rico, soon after I arrived due to publisher contracts or copyright concerns. However, just a week ago, I sent an old article—like crusty microfilm old—to Australia. For some reason, it felt great to supply information to another country again. I guess I’m still amazed at the ease of exchange to far-off lands.”
What’s your international ILL story?
The 15th IFLA International Interlending and Document Supply Conference was held in Paris October 4–6. Attendees shared their challenges and experiences in extending the reach of their libraries. Librarians in attendance were interested in such topics as open access articles, IFLA vouchers, license management of e-collections, and storage and retrieval of physical collections.
Does your library have a story of pain or joy in one of these topics? How does international ILL look different in your library today than it did five, ten, or 20 years ago? What do you want it took look like in another five, ten, or 20 years?
Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share with the community.
Registration open for 2018 OCLC Resource Sharing Conference
OCLC invites all ILL professionals to Jacksonville, Florida, USA, to share the latest in resource sharing, including innovative approaches to patron service and interlibrary loan workflows. At this year’s conference, you’ll find ways to improve operational efficiency, save time, and better connect end users to the information they need. Register today for this unique opportunity to interact with a very knowledgeable community of resource sharing professionals.
The Pixel 2 XL is Google’s latest phone, and it’s been all over our news feeds for the past couple of weeks, with new developments coming in seemingly by the hour. On the one hand, it has the new Google Lens, an on-demand object recognition tool. Lens lets the camera understand what it’s seeing, and connect that to a task. It can recognize the type of flower in a photo, connect you to a home’s Wi-Fi network by snapping a photo of the sticker on the router, or tell you the name of a painting’s artist. Google made a further splash when it announced that Google Lens was going to be backported to the original Pixel devices, not just the model 2 or 2 XL. On the other hand, while Google Lens seems like a pretty nifty addition, the problems plaguing the Pixel 2 XL are varied.
Some Pixel 2 phones are making strange noises [Engadget] “According to around 100 buyers on Google’s Pixel product forum, the Pixel 2, and to a lesser extent, Pixel 2 XL are emitting clicking and/or high frequency sounds from the call speaker.”
Pixel 2 XL: What’s up with that screen? [CNET] “Depending on whom you ask — see: Reddit, XDA Developers — the phone’s LG-made P-OLED screen has muted colors, a bluish tint or a blotchy, grainy texture that’s visible when you scroll down webpages. The short answer: It’s basically all true. But after a close comparison of five different phones here in the CNET offices — two Pixel 2 XL, two LG V30 and a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus for comparison — it’s more of a nuanced issue, and less of an open and shut case.”
Two-week-old Pixel 2 XL displays are already showing burn-in [Ars Technica] “The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the best Android phones you can buy, but boy does the 2 XL have a lot of display issues. In addition to graininess and a weird blue shift at certain viewing angles, the 2 XL is now experiencing burn-in on units that are just a week or two old.”
Forget the Pixel 2’s display problems, Google’s new flagships are far too fragile [BGR] “Forget about the Pixel 2 XL’s screen issues, which may be fixed via a software update in the future. Not to mention that LG will certainly improve the quality of its OLED displays in the coming years if it truly is fighting for Apple’s business. The Pixel 2 has much worse problems, in my opinion, when it comes to overall quality. A new test shows that the phone will scratch quite easily… and it bends!”