Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 14th, 1998

It's 4:38:51 AM on Tuesday right now and I think this is the final version of this program's Web page. I've included a late breaking item on Larry Bensky's nationally syndicated program being taken off the air, just because it's more Pacifica stuff that some of you may find interesting.

In a non-Earth shaking event, Pickles of the North had her birthday during this past fortnight and there was a little party for her at an undisclosed location in Manhattan. Among the attendees were several WBAI folks. It's all been immortalized. Atop Pickles' head is her crown of holly and sitting next to her is her crown of thorns.

History is joining most other information in being digitized these days. If you're into the details of it you might want to check out how the U.S. Library of Congress digitized some “printed ephemera.”

The Library of Congress has quite a hodge podge of old paper documents that they're really saving from the ravages of time and making available to those of us with Web access into the bargain. They have everything from ads to political broadsides to illustrations from the American Anti-Slavery Almanac for 1840. The best thing I can suggest for this site is to just browse around seeing what you can find that's interesting. And of course interesting is in the monitor of the beholder.

Unfortunately, a lot of the other digitized archival collections are proprietary and charge a fee to browse. The Research Libraries Group only allows you to view a demo about how to search for documents, but it is interesting.

A site I have bookmarked is the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. It includes maps of both current and historical interest.

As mentioned on the air, the University of Virginia has some digitized history at its “Valley of the Shadow” exhibit which tells the story of Franklin County, Pennsylvania and Augusta County, Virginia, two rather similar communities situated in what they call “the Great Valley of the United States,” and which the rest of us simply call the Shenandoah Valley. You can really spend a lot of time on this detailed site, which I think is the forerunner of many such free access sites which will become available in the future.

These are the early days of digitizing documents, so only some things have been preserved in this way so far. It's kind of quirky, what has been and what hasn't been digitized so far. Duke University has a nice archive accessible to the public on line.

There's an interesting thing going on which could only exist in cyberspace: “The 12hr-ISBN-JPEG Project” began December 30, 1994. A guy named Brad Brace posts an image to the news group alt.12hr every 12 hours. He has all sorts of images; most of them that I've seen are a bit unusual. You can visit his site and/or view the images he's posted to the news group.

The Winter Solstice will occur on Monday, December 21, at 20:56.

The 33 member nations of the “Wassenaar Arrangement” have caved in to the demands of the National Security Agency and will be enacting restrictions on the exporting of mass-market software with numerical keys above 64 bits in length. Earlier this year John Gilmore of San Francisco showed that he could crack a message encrypted with a 56 bit key in only 56 hours, using a computer he'd built himself. A 64 bit key is not that much more secure than the cracked 56 bit key.

For more on why you might want to encrypt your data, and for some free software that will do it, try the PGP Web site. Get it while you still can. There's also a USENET news group that will keep you current on these issues.

The primary issue, of course, is one of privacy and the citizen's right to conceal information from various governments, not just his or her own. Here's a list of some more places you can go to which relate to encrypting data:

FLASH! This just in: Larry Bensky's program, Living Room, was suddenly axed by Pacifica Management last week with a two sentence note that was handed to Bensky as he got off the air. Produced out of WBAI sister station KPFA (Berkeley, CA), Living Room has been one of Pacifica's nationally syndicated programs for some months now.

Mr. Bensky's dismissal is not fully supported by some elements in KPFA and he was interviewed on that station regarding his ouster from the high profile national program. A transcript of this interview was posted on the Living Room web page, but it was taken down after a short time. That Web page is part of the Pacifica Web site. However, through the efforts of Lyn Gerry of Free Pacifica! you can still read a transcript of the interview with Mr. Bensky as broadcast on KPFA.

I think that Pacifica's national programming now consists of only the Pacifica Network News and a couple of programs originating from WBAI.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an internet list called "Free Pacifica!" which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the Free Pacifica! list just click on this link and fill out the form, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Union bulletin #11

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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