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4cast #75: Plugins, Copyright, Taxes, Biblioblogs

Posted in BlindSearch, blogs, copyright, Firefox, Google, URL shorteners, and YouTube

This week’s 4cast:

1. Plug Your Catalog into Firefox

A plugin is a small computer program that adds a specific, sometimes rather nifty, function to another computer program. Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox web browser, actively encourages its users to develop new plugins (called “Add-ons” in their parlance), thus extending their products’ usefulness. Libraries are starting to develop plugins that add their own catalogs to the search bar built into Firefox, which in turn allows patrons to search the catalog without having to navigate the library’s website.

2. Your Copyright is No Good Here

YouTube is still the land of copyright anarchy, but perhaps not for long. Google is trying to clean things up with a new tool designed to help identify copywritten material. At the same time, some are suggesting that Google, instead of pandering to the forces of online censorship, needs to use its growing power to push for changes in the way digital copyright works.

3. Give Me Liberty or Give Me Internet Taxes

The 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act, which bars the government from taxing Internet access, is set to lapse on November 1st. Federal, state, and local governments see the ‘Net as a potentially huge source of tax revenue, but proponents of a tax-free Internet (pretty much everyone else) see the Act as an important piece in bridging the digital divide and want to make the ban permanent.

4. Who’s Biblioblogging?

Meredith Farkas recently concluded her 2007 Survey of the Biblioblogosphere and has made the results available on her blog, Information Wants To Be Free.