This weekâ€™s 4cast:
1. The Straight Dope on DOPA
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill called the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) by a 410-15 margin. If it becomes law, schools and libraries receiving federal E-Rate funds will be required to prohibit access to a wide range of social networking websites like the enormously popular MySpace, as well as common “chat room” services like AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Chat.
- US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites (TechCrunch)
- DOPA Resources (Librarian in the Middle)
- DOPA, what? A wrap up, post vote. (librarian.net)
2. Net Neutrality: Can You Hear Me Now?
Meanwhile, as the net neutrality debate rages on towards an uncertain resolution, a recent study suggests that net neutrality actually has a detrimental affect on the quality of Internet phone services (VoIP), and could hinder the expansion of increasingly popular ones like Skype.
- Internet Phone Quality Drops Significantly and Steadily Over Last 18 Months (Brix Networks)
- Quality of VoIP calls dropping; will Net Neutrality make the problem worse? (Ars Technica)
- Net Neutrality Primer (HowStuffWorks)
- Analyst Roundtable: Net Neutrality (part 1) (eMarketer.com)
3.Not Enough Noses in E-books
Why is it taking so long for electronic books to catch on with readers? Probably because nobody has developed a reading device with the universal appeal of the iPod music player. But a handful of big companies will continue to try, including Apple (maybe).
- E-books still having a difficult time catching on (Canada.com)
- Apple to do eBooks? (engadget)
- Questions for Sony regarding the Reader (PRS-500) ebook reading device (MAKE)
- PDAs, Handhelds and Mobile Technologies in Libraries (Megan K. Fox)
4. Time for OPACs to Pack It In?
Librarians far and wide are waking up to the fact that their online catalogs just aren’t good enough.