Online Books

June 16, 2020

The Internet Archive has pulled in its digital tentacles. Are there collections of online books that will not attract law suits from increasingly stressed “real” publishers?

The answer is, “Sort of.”

For a listing of “over three million free books on the Web”, point your Mother Hen browser at “The Online Books Page.” Some exploration is needed. The categories are not exactly easy to use, but what online index is these days.

The “Search Our Listings” lets a user search by author’s last name and title. The problem is, as many grade school students know, is that an author’s name can return many listings. To see what I mean, plug in “Plato”. There you go. A list of books that will dissuade some from locating the old guy who argued with Socrates (not the football playing medical doctor from Brazil).

You can also access a feature called “Exclude extended shelves.” Despite the name, the NOT function delivers the goods. Why make Boolean into something that makes little sense?

The new listings option delivers an earthworm result. Like to browse, this is your Disneyland. Want magazines? Just click “Serials.” This page leads to more pages listing magazines. Some of the journals in the link to the Electronic Journals Library are not free. Well, free is relative, I suppose.

The effort to gather the information is admirable. Polishing, editorial control, and consistent presentation may arrive in the future.

Worth checking into an author with whom one is familiar. Browsing can be interesting. Years ago I told a former client that no firm had a comprehensive index of electronic books. That company’s young and confident managers did not believe me. Flash forward to 2020, the problem still exists. There you go.

Stephen E Arnold, June 16, 2020

Bookmarks and the Dynamic Web: Yes, Still a Problem

June 3, 2020

Apparently, bookmarks are a thing. Again. Memex from WorldBrain.io is an open source browser extension that allows users to annotate, search, and organize online information locally. The offline functionality supports both privacy and data ownership. It is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave browsers, and now offers a mobile app called Memex Go. The product page lists these features:

Full Text History Search: Automatically indexes websites you visit. Instantly recover anything you’ve seen without upfront work.

Highlights & Annotations: Keep your thoughts organized with their original context.

Tags, Lists & Bookmarks: Quickly organize content via the sidebar or keyboard shortcuts.

Quickly save & organize content on the go: Encrypted sync between your computer, iOS and Android devices.

Your Data and Attention are yours: Memex is offline first & WorldBrain.io introduced a cap on investor returns so we don’t exploit your attention and data to maximize investor profits.

The page illustrates each feature with a dynamic screen shot, so check it out for more details. You can also click here to learn more about their financial philosophy. The Basic version of Memex is free, while the Pro version costs € 2 per month or € 20 per year (after the 14-day free trial). WorldBrain.io hopes its software will contribute to a “well-informed and less polarized global society.” Based in Berlin, the company was founded in 2017.

Cynthia Murrell, June 3, 2020

DeepDyve Offers Viable Alternative To Academic Paywalls

March 30, 2020

Academic paywalls are the bane of researchers even in the midst of the current health crisis. Why? Unless you are affiliated with a university or learning institution, you do not have immediate access to credible academic databases. Sure, there are there public libraries, but their database resources are limited . There might be an alternative solution that is actually viable and affordable: DeepDyve.

What is DeepDyve?

“DeepDyve offers an affordable monthly subscription service that gives unlimited full-text access to an amazing collection of premium academic publications.”

Users have access to over eighteen million articles, including full text pieces from over 15,000 peer-reviewed journals. The great thing about DeepDyve is that it is free for freelancers to create accounts, save their searches, curate their content, and export their citations. The freelance version of DeepDyve is limited to articles from Google Scholar (a notoriously low quality database), PubMed, and abstracts from all other publications. DeepDyve has a Pro account option for $49/month or $360/year that gives users access to all content.

That is much cheaper than signing up for academic databases on an individual basis as well as allows users to research from their own home without an academic institution affiliation. However does the cheaper price offer decent research materials?

DeepDyve does not appear to be hiding anything, because it lists all the different resources users can access with a subscription fee. Users can explore resources by research topic and see what a Deepdyve subscription offers.

DeepDyve could be a newer model for academic database and journal access. The big academic publishers still hold tons of power, but companies like DeepDyve could turn the publishing tide.

Whitney Grace, March 30, 2020

JSTOR: Some Free Info

March 23, 2020

Navigate to this link. Enter a query like “Kolmogorov Arnold” and you will see:

image

No registration, no begging for dollars. Why? Building goodwill?

What’s JSTOR? Wikipedia says:

JSTOR originally was conceived as a solution to one of the problems faced by libraries, especially research and university libraries, due to the increasing number of academic journals in existence. Most libraries found it prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and space to maintain a comprehensive collection of journals. By digitizing many journal titles, JSTOR allowed libraries to outsource the storage of journals with the confidence that they would remain available long-term. Online access and full-text search ability improved access dramatically.

JSTOR has an interesting history. DarkCyber will leave that research up to you, gentle reader. You have JSTOR to use for the research. Tip: The good stuff about JSTOR is not available from JSTOR.

The article about my relative’s math is available to you. “Quantum analogue of the Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser Transition in Field Induced Barrier Penetration in a Quartic Potential” is much more interesting than battles with STM publishers, Aaron Swartz, and outflanking Ebsco.

Stephen E Arnold, March 23, 2020

British Maps Online: Finding a Map Is Challenging

February 26, 2020

The British Royal Collection recently added a brand new addition to their online collection. The blog Ian Visits explores the new collection in the post: “Huge Archive Of Old Military Maps Published.” The post explains that over three thousand maps that King George III collected have been digitized. Dr, Yolande Hodson headed the project and spend ten years cataloging George III’s collection. This is the first time in history that these documents have been available free to the public.

Scholars are amazed at the breadth and wealth of information available in the maps, but the average user will find the maps fun due to their age and information. The map collection contains items from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, consisting of maps drawn in the field, uniform depictions, fortification plans, and presentation maps of sieges, battles, and marches. King George III loved maps:

“Maps were an important part of George’s early life and education, and he built up a huge collection of more than 55,000 topographical, maritime and military prints, drawings, maps and charts. Upon the King’s death, his son, George IV, gave his father’s collections of topographical views and maritime charts to the British Museum (now in the British Library), but retained the military plans due to their strategic value and his own keen interest in the tactics of warfare.”

These maps offer a window to the past. They show how common soldiers and people dealt with in the daily lives. They are not photographs, but they offer more details than many a picture can.

Keep in mind that browsing may be needed to locate a particular map.

Whitney Grace, February 26, 2020

Are Media Worthless? Matt Taibbi Says Yes

January 3, 2020

Robert Steele, a former US spy whom I know, and also the top reviewer for non-fiction books in English, has published Review: Hate Inc. Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi and given the book five stars, calling it “”totally brilliant.”

I was drawn to this statement in Steele’s review:

There will come a time, guaranteed, when Americans pine for a powerful neither-party-aligned news network, to help make sense of things.

Steele’s review appears to provide a concise summary of the book that those who worry about accuracy, data integrity, ethics, and the concept of social value should find interesting. Steele concludes the review by noting:

The same is true of the intelligence community, and the academy, of non-profits and governments. Keep the money moving, never mind the facts.

Facts? Are facts irrelevant? Steele and Taibbi appear to agree that facts remain important. Dissenters: Possibly the “media?”

Stephen E Arnold, January 3, 2020

Find PDF Books. Exercise Caution, However

November 12, 2019

DarkCyber spotted a list of services which purport to find PDF books. The information appeared in “7 PDF Search Engines To Search And Download Free PDF Books.” For the complete list, navigate to the original story. Be aware, there are some annoying popups to distract one from the content of the article. We noted these three, but we are not prepared to offer a value judgment about the comprehensiveness of the index or the ultimate availability of the PDF document:

  • SoPDF. This service has an alleged 43,000,000 free PDF books. Here’s the link.
  • FreeFullPDF. This is a collection of sci-tech-med content, allegedly 80,000,000. Here’s the link.
  • FileSearch Box PDF Search. This is a Google custom search engine. In theory, one can find these documents via the Google search box, but your mileage may vary. BERT and Ernie now have jobs at Google. Here’s the link.

Oh, some of the items in the original article may be malicious. Exercise judgment in your quest for free information.

Stephen E Arnold, November 12, 2019

Machine Learning Tutorials

October 16, 2019

Want to know more about smart software? A useful list of instructional, reference, and learning materials appears in “40+ Modern Tutorials Covering All Aspects of Machine Learning.”

Materials include free books about machine learning to lists of related material from SAP. DarkCyber noted that a short explanation about how to download documents posted on LinkedIn is included. (This says more about LinkedIn’s interesting approach to content than DarkCyber thinks the compiler of the list expresses.)

Quite useful round up.

Stephen E Arnold, October 16, 2019

Black Vault: A Useful Resource

September 23, 2019

The Black Vault is a news site covering intelligence, military, and related topics. DarkCyber wants to highlight the site’s Document Archive. The site states that Black Vault is

the largest privately run online repository of declassified government documents anywhere in the world. With more than 2 million pages of documents to read, on nearly every government secret imaginable.

The content comes via Freedom of Information Act requests.

Examples of documents available without charge include:

A collection of unsealed documents related to the Epstein matter.

Documents related to the US Army Nuclear and Chemical Agency. These date from the 1970s to the 1980s.

Information about metamaterials. These innovations are significant and point to interesting use cases for stealth applications.

The documents DarkCyber reviewed were in PDF format. Quality varied, which is not unusual for government archives.

The site contains discussion groups. This is a useful resource.

Stephen E Arnold, September 23, 2019

More FOIA Content: Blackvault

September 3, 2019

DarkCyber was reorganizing and located a file card pointing to The Blackvault.com. The site is an archive. The content is a collection of documents obtained via FOIA requests. We did not pay much attention to the UFO reports, but there were some interesting documents in other parts of the archive. There is a discussion/forum section, but the traffic seems light. Worth a look.

Stephen E Arnold, September 3, 2019

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