Antitrust regulators in the US are reportedly focusing their investigation of Google, Inc. on key areas of its business. This includes the company's Android mobile-phone software and web-search related services.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, almost six weeks after serving Google with broad subpoenas, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawyers, together with several state attorney generals, have been enquiring whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitors' services. They are also looking into allegations that Google unfairly acquires information collected by rivals to use on its own specialised site and then devalues the rivals' services in its search results.
The European Commission, which has imposed restrictions on Microsoft Corp.'s ability to leverage its dominant computer operating system to promote other services, has been running its own broad antitrust probe against Google since 2010.
Google has denied that it engages in unfair or illegal competitive practices. According to the company, the growing number of antitrust investigations has been stimulated by rivals anxious about its aggressive push into new business sectors.
As part of its probe, the FTC is reportedly preparing to send out civil subpoenas to third parties to provide documents and evidence in its investigation. Investigators have already held a series of exploratory meetings and interviews with Google, its competitors and other third parties, providing inputs on the kinds of areas they're concerned about.
Online books retailer Amazon.com, Inc., US, has announced the Kindle Cloud Reader, its latest Kindle reading application. The app leverages HTML5 and enables customers to read Kindle books instantly using only their web browser - online or offline - with no downloading or installation required. As with all Kindle apps, Kindle Cloud Reader automatically synchronises the user's Kindle library, as well as the last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights for all of the user's Kindle books.
Kindle Cloud Reader, with its integrated touch optimised Kindle Store, is currently available for Safari on iPad, Safari on desktop and Chrome at http://www.amazon.com/cloudreader. It will be available on additional web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, the BlackBerry PlayBook browser, and other mobile browsers, in the coming months.
Kindle Cloud Reader on the iPad is optimised for the size and unique touch interface of iPad. Without even leaving the app, customers can start shopping in the Kindle Store and to find a shopping experience built specifically for iPad's Safari browser.
Green Chemistry experts have developed a roadmap to ensure emerging nanotechnologies are safe for use by humans before they are introduced into the marketplace. A white paper, issued by the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechologies Institute, stresses that more interdisciplinary cooperation could lead to better understanding of the potential risks of nanotechnology and the development of appropriate policies to address those concerns. These efforts, the authors say, will promote acceptance and use of 'green' nanotechnology worldwide.
The report, 'Green Nanotechnology Challenges and Opportunities,' outlines the promise of 'green' nanotechnology - which promotes the design of useful particles thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair in a way that reduces or eliminates waste or the production of hazardous substances. These nanoparticles could have multi-pronged uses in medicine, electronics, energy production and other industries. When successfully implemented, green nanotechnology could lead to a revitalised and sustainable US chemical and materials manufacturing base, the white paper says. The report is available at www.acs.org/greenreport.
The ACS Green Chemistry Institute works to catalyze and enable the implementation of green chemistry and engineering across the global chemical enterprise. ACS GCI organises industrial roundtables, conducts conferences, seminars and training, maintains an international network of 26 green chemistry chapters and is leading efforts to establish the first consensus standard for greener chemicals and processes information in the United States with its partner, NSF International.
STM publisher Springer has signed a book partnership agreement with the American Physiological Society (APS). Under the deal, Springer will publish titles in three APS book series as well as individual monographs and contributed volumes. The new publications are aimed primarily at researchers and will support Springer's growing physiology publishing programme.
The American Physiological Society will commission book projects, and Springer will provide editorial guidance, as well as production, marketing, sales, and distribution services. In addition to individual books, Springer will publish titles in three APS book series - Methods in Physiology, Clinical Physiology, and Progress and Perspectives in Physiology.
All titles will be published in print and electronically as part of Springer's Physiology eBook Collection. Additionally, Springer will digitise 32 of APS's previously published titles to be included in Springer's Online Book Archives. Under the agreement, the Society will be granted free access in perpetuity to the digital files of any works published.
Global library cooperative Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC), US, and OCLC Research, in collaboration with the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), are inviting research proposals for the 2012 Library and Information Science Research Grant Program (LISRGP). Awards of up to $15,000 are available to full-time academic faculty in schools of library and information science or related fields.
Electronically submitted proposals for the 2012 OCLC/ALISE Library and Information Science Research Grant Program are due by September 15, 2011.
OCLC and ALISE encourage international proposals and collaborative projects under this programme. To aid new researchers, priority will be given to proposals from junior faculty and applicants who have not previously received LISRGP funds. Award recipients will be notified by the end of 2011 and will be honored at the 2012 ALISE Annual Conference, January 17-20, 2012, in Dallas, Texas.
Indiana University's Data To Insight Center (D2I) will lead a $600,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to fund the first investigation of non-consumptive research for a major mass digitised collection of content. Partners with D2I on this include the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) and the University of Michigan's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Non-consumptive research involves computational analysis of one or more books without the researcher having the ability to reassemble the collection. Rather than reading the material, researchers use specialised algorithms to analyse text as a massive data set. The Sloan grant will help ensure that work can be conducted in a secure environment. According to principal investigator Beth Plale, this funding will help pursue a research track around non-consumptive research uses of the HathiTrust digital corpus. Plale is professor in the IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing and director of the Data To Insight Center.
In some cases, HTRC would own the algorithms used by researchers, so HTRC needs to examine the security requirements for users, the algorithms and the data, all within the context of using the suite of algorithms available in the Software Environment for the Advancement of Scholarly Research (SEASR).
In other cases, researchers would own and submit their own algorithms for use. The Sloan Foundation funding will be used to create a 'data capsule framework' prototype that would allow the scholar the freedom to experiment with new algorithms on a huge body of information, but with technological 'trust but verify' mechanisms in place to confirm compliance with non-consumptive research policy.
The HathiTrust repository contains almost 8.6 million digitised volumes, and about 2.2 million of those - roughly 26 percent - are in the public domain and currently available for non-consumptive research.
The model for implementing non-consumptive research is founded on a principle of trust but verify where the researcher should generally be trusted to do the right thing and be given the freedoms to carry out creative research, but with mechanisms in place to ensure good behaviour and adherence to rules. The security aspects of the project leverage research by Atul Prakash of University of Michigan, also a principal investigator on the project with Plale.
Leveraging cyber infrastructure at Indiana University, including FutureGrid, and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the HTRC will provision a secure computational and data environment.
The Library Association of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Library Association of Barbados (LAB) recently became the latest members of the Campaign for the World's Libraries. The library associations join nearly 40 others that have previously joined the campaign and had the campaign's @ your library logo translated into their country's language. The @ your library logo is currently available in 32 languages and in the colours of each partner countries' flag colours.
The Campaign for the World's Libraries is a public education campaign of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the American Library Association and libraries around the world to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. It is designed to showcase the unique and vital roles played by public, school, academic and special libraries worldwide.
The Library and Information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA) launched its own @ your library campaign in partnership with the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), the Public Library Network and the School Library Network to provide reading activities under the theme 'Learn to Read-Read to Learn @ your library.' The objective of the partnership included developing lifelong voluntary readers and promoting the role and function of libraries and librarians. Through this collaboration partners shared resources and provided access to print and electronic reading materials to people of all ages while helping them develop literacy skills.
In Poland, the United States Embassy has launched 'Ameryka w twojej bibliotece' (America @ your library), a programme to provide books about America and English language learning materials and resources to local libraries in Poland. In support of its campaign, the @ your library logo is now available to all libraries in Polish from the @ your library website.
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The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published Socializing New Hires, SPEC Kit 323, which investigates the progress made in ARL member organisations to establish or enhance socialisation programmes and activities for all newly hired, paid employees. It explores the availability and types of programmes, activities, and resources currently offered in ARL institutions; staff involved in designing and coordinating socialisation programmes and activities; goals and budget for socialisation programmes; length of participation in programmes and activities; evaluation and assessment of programmes; and benefits of socialisation programmes, activities and resources.
The survey results clearly demonstrate that socialisation activities are widespread and growing in research libraries and archives. The volume of response and detailed sample documents provided are indicative of the prevalence of existing activities and institutional commitment to these programmes. There is a perception of the critical importance and value of these activities to the enhancement of organisational success.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes orientation, mentoring, and peer socialisation programs. It provides examples of orientation websites, orientation/socialization checklists, programme evaluation methods, and staff development resources.
Mobile access for Knowledgespeak is now available in a mobile browser version and a Java application version.
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