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New post by me on the OTW's main blog, about the importance of open access for fan studies and what I think open access really means. It also includes a small teaser for an upcoming project that I and a few other OTW folks have been hammering away at for months. (Why yes, I am kind of preoccupied with this open access thing.)

Many thanks to everyone who helped improve the text!
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Here's a lovely video about why open access for academic articles is so important. It touches upon many key problems with academic publishing, and it's animated by the guy who makes the awesome PhD Comics.

Open access explained! (8min)

Read more... )
unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
It's Ada Lovelace Day! Here's a fascinating intro to the Countess, her work, and especially to how people have been trying to disparage and minimize her contribution to computer science for a century. The first sentences for anyone who's not familiar with this amazing woman:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (known as Ada Lovelace) is probably a familiar figure to most of our readers. She is the world’s first computer programmer, writing the instructions to carry out a computer program on what would have been the world’s first computer if it had been built – the Analytical Engine, designed by famous inventor Charles Babbage.
Tech and open culture sites all over the internets have been posting Ada-related posts, from the Free Software Foundation to the AO3 and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. However, my favorite quote of all the Ada Lovelace Day-related content floating around is this absolutely damning assessment:

This whole "recruit non-white, on-male, non-heterosexual people" is nothing more than feminism.
They're on to us. (Found via Tom Morris)

If you have money you urgently need to get rid of, a good way to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day would be donating to the Ada Initiative or the OTW, both projects that are doing great work for women in tech and open culture. Both also happen to be holding fundraisers right now, so any contributions or signal-boosting would be very welcome.


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Rebecca Tushnet has posted a transcript of a hearing on the DMCA exemption that allows makers of non-commercial remix videos like vids and AMVs to circumvent the DRM on DVDs (something that's technically illegal) so they can create quality works with no more hassle than necessary. Along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The OTW was one of the organizations who helped get that exemption in 2010, and now they're fighting to have it renewed, because it was only valid for three years. (This page has all the links about how all this has been unfolding.)

The post includes the full text of Tushnet's own remarks, and a transcript of the remarks made by other proponents and opponents of the exemption. It's a great read overall, because it touches on so many reasons why DRM makes no sense for vidders - reasons that are nearly all applicable to several other fannish media as well. But the post is a bit long, so here are some snippets.

Read more... )
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The OTW has been doing a survey on people's experiences with the org. It closes today, so best be quick if you were planning to take this excellent opportunity to gush, vent, and tell the org what you want from it.

By the way, the annual membership drive has been accompanied by a couple of really nice introduction posts about various OTW projects, what they're about, what their goals are, and so on. Brief but very informative:
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Graphic displaying text 'I Voted!' in black on a white field. A red OTW logo replaces the letter O

Less than 12 hours until the polls close, everyone. Cast your vote, it matters.
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unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
In this post:

*Grumblings about the "I don't speak for the OTW" disclaimer and about diversity
*Very lengthy rantings about copyright legislation and why the OTW should do its utmost to make sure all fans feel comfortable approaching it for tools and resources
*An endorsement of Betsy Rosenblatt for the board

If you're pressed for time, please skip the grumblings and rantings and go straight to the endorsement. Lucy Pearson withdrew her candidacy while I was writing this, so I feel it's doubly important to stress why Betsy deserves a vote. Also, [personal profile] general_jinjur explained the OTW's voting system with pictures of smarties on a pai sho board yay very clear graphical representations, and what it comes down to is, the order in which we rank candidates during voting can matter a lot.

Read more... )
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unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
Any time is a good time to donate to and/or become a member of the OTW. But everyone who gives $10 or more before October 17 can vote in next month's elections, so right now would be an especially good time.


Support amateur artists and donate!

screencap of sokka holding up his drawing for Piandao, with OTW logos worked in
 
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