[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

I am pleased to announce that the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives released a memo yesterday afternoon to the heads of executive departments and independent agencies on managing email. Over the past few weeks, this issue has been brought into focus through testimony that I delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In addition, we have received questions from agencies as they are reviewing our Capstone Bulletin to determine if this approach is feasible for them. This is also important in light of the requirement in the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18) for all email to be managed electronically by December 31, 2016.

The memo reinforces the importance for each agency to manage their email properly and includes a new NARA Bulletin to assist agencies. NARA Bulletin 2014-06 reminds agency heads of existing NARA guidance and resources to assist in managing email.  The memo also reminds agencies of the upcoming deadline in the Directive to develop suitable training for all agency personnel.

Our Office of the Chief Records Officer is leading our efforts to work with agencies to meet all the goals in the Directive. For more information about this work, and other initiatives they are undertaking, please visit their Records Express blog.… [ Read all ]

erika: (st aos: your mom (jtk))
[personal profile] erika
I can feel the rumble of the trains as I wait outside.

Robot of Sherwood/Listen

Sep. 15th, 2014 09:38 am
[personal profile] yendi
So after two awful episodes, we get two really good ones. I'm not totally shocked about "Listen," since standalone horror tends to be a good genre for the Doctor and for Moffat, but I'm really surprised at the first one.

Putting everything beneath one tag for simplicity, since it's hard to separate out speculation.

Read more... )

Rereading The President’s Daughter

Sep. 14th, 2014 08:41 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

I spent quite a lot of this weekend rereading Ellen Emerson White’s The President’s Daughter, the updated 2008 edition that has email and cell phones that are curiously underused. (The original, which I’ve never seen, was published in 1984. Hmm, liberal-fantasy presidency 15 years before West Wing?)

I took it with me to get the car’s oil changed. I read it on the porch with many glasses of ice water. (I read it in the bathroom.) I finished it tonight in the back yard, while Sang worked on a story and hummingbirds navigated the lilac boughs overhead. (I speculated that the small-even-for-a-hummingbird male might be this year’s nestling. “Is that why we keep having to duck?” Sang said. “Do they need a tiny DRIVER IN TRAINING plaque?”)

Oh, thorny teenage girls named Meg! Oh, large number of commas, and pets who get patted instead of petted. I love how friends and family play in this book: deadpan verbal jousting, with one taking up the other’s lead.

I first read this in 2009. (My note then: “Nice to read a book about a rich girl that’s not all glitz and shopping.”) But it’s this time around that so much of it reminds me of President Obama’s inauguration. Meg and her family spend a lot of time deciding what to wear–remember how it was a big deal that Malia and Sasha wore J Crew coats to the inauguration? And the first time Meg and her brothers tour the White House reminded me of the Obama girls talking about the Bush twins showing them around, and how nice they were.

But the Vaughns don’t get a new puppy.

It does make me wonder how this book would read to me if we’d had a Hillary Clinton presidency instead. More echoes? Maybe not, though, as Chelsea wasn’t a kid anymore in 2008.

I hadn’t really planned on reading the whole series again, necessarily, but now I know I’m going to.

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

Web Components punch list

Sep. 14th, 2014 02:27 pm
[syndicated profile] paciello_a11y_feed

Posted by Steve Faulkner

Considerations for web component and custom control design:

If your control has the stuff below covered, excellent! If not then please implement it before shouting to the world about it being the next big thing. Or at least document its deficits and provide a health warning that the control is incomplete and not fit to use in production.

design consideration description Yes/No
focusable Can you get to the control via the keyboard?
operable Can you use the control with the keyboard?
expected operation Can you use the standard keys for the control type to operate it.
clear indication of focus Can you easily see it when the control has focus?
label The control has a text label that is exposed as an accessible name in accessibility APIs
role The control has an appropriate role exposed in accessibility APIs
states and properties The control has any UI states and properties that it has exposed in accessibility APIs

Take note:

The ARIA design patterns provide a most excellent and comprehensive set of requirements, for expected keyboard interaction and what role, state and property information needs to be exposed, for a large variety of custom controls.

Accessibility APIs

If the term accessibility APIs has you scratching your head, read Why accessibility APIs matter by the one and only Marco Zehe.

The accessibility tree

Tree of accessible objects that represents the structure of the user interface (UI). Each node in the accessibility tree represents an element in the UI as exposed through the accessibility API; for example, a push button, a check box, or container.

Example baseline test using the native HTML button element

Most of the considerations listed below do not need to be checked for a native HTML button as you get them for free (thanks to the browser implementers). If you build a custom control (for example, a custom button web component) you need to add most of this stuff yourself.

design consideration description Yes/No
focusable Using a test file attempt to tab to the control. (except when it is disabled) yes
operable Using a test file attempt to make something happen (except when it is disabled) yes
expected operation Buttons have standard expected keystrokes (enter or space) that will make something happen. Using a test file ensure that controls works as expected. (except when it is disabled) yes
indication of focus Using a test file, can you see the control is focused? (except when it is disabled) yes
label Default method for providing an accessible name for button is via text content child of button element (there are others, whatever you use you you need to end up with an acc name exposed). You can check it using aViewer or other accessibility object inspection tool. yes
role Default role for <button> is already provided by browser (role:button). You can check it using aViewer or other accessibility object inspection tool yes
states and properties The control has any UI states and properties that it has exposed in accessibility APIs. Standard states and properties for <button> are already provided by browser (focusable, focused, unavailable [if disabled attribute used). You can check them using aViewer or other accessibility object inspection tool. yes


Obect Inspection tools such as aViewer can be used to test that your custom controls are exposing the correct information via accessibility APIs.

aVIEWER UI displaying information about a button element. It shows that the button has a correct accessible name and role and state.

Some Other Object inspection tools:

A personal opinion

Further reading


[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

Note: You might want to check out my comment policy before proceeding as this topic has provoked a lot of emotion in the past. 


A major reason we (United States) invaded Iraq in 2003 was the Bush Doctrine that insisted we had to smash a future threat. Not a clear and present danger to the United States, but because of what Iraq MIGHT do to us later. We struck out of fear of the future. Because we were afraid, we kept a 100,000 troops in the country for ten years. In the process over 5,000 American soliders were killed and tens of thousands were badly injured. Estimates of Iraqi casualties vary widely, but conservatively at least 50,000 Iraqis died as a result of our invasion and occupation over and above the number who would have died if we have left well enough alone. We also spent over a trillion dollars.

Bush’s “preventive war” was a stupid, expensive and most of all, deadly idea. What did we get after a ten year occupation with 100,000 troops? A broken country that is more closely aligned with Iran than the United States.

You’d think that this deadly and experience would make us swear off “preventive war” forever. I thought so. But I was wrong. But President Obama now embraces it, in concept if not in scale. Here’s what he said in his “four point” strategy statement on 9/10/2014 (bolding mine):

So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities.  If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States.  While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies.  Our Intelligence Community believes that thousands of foreigners -– including Europeans and some Americans –- have joined them in Syria and Iraq.  Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.

A lot of coulds and ifs. That’s the basis that we want to carry out attacks on Syria against the wishes of that country’s admittedly unsavory government and outside of UN authorization. We violate international law and go to war on another Muslim country that is not involved in attacks on American soil because of what they MIGHT do later. That was a bad idea in 2003 and it’s a terrible idea now.

I admit that ISIL does pose a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, but we shouldn’t be the ones carrying out military actions: There are a number of reasons why, including:

Although President Obama’s proposed war on ISIS/ISIL is much smaller than President Bush’s invasion of Iraq, it will grow in size because if we couldn’t secure peace and stability in Iraq with a ten year occupation with 100,000 troops, the President’s measures won’t work. Rather than cutting our losses, we will once again “Stay the Course” and pour more and more resources and people into the Iraqi/Syrian black hole. And for what, for what someone MIGHT do LATER? This is madness again. Congress should put the brakes on it. Only I’m afraid they want to punch the accelerator. Again.





Filed under: current events Tagged: iraq, syria, war
alixtii: Riley and Venom, from Season 4. (Riley/Venom 2)
[personal profile] alixtii

Title: Tiens, Voilà Dix Sous, pour la Salle-de-Bains
Author: [personal profile] alixtii
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Buffy/Darla
Summary: Taking care of one another is what this world is about.
A/N: Set in an AU season 6 where Darla was chipped instead of Spike. Spoilers for everything up to "Once More, With Feeling," say. Title from T.S. Eliot's poem "Dans le Restaurant."

Format: MP3
Length: 0:23:40
Size: 21.9 MB

Original text at AO3.
Download or stream from Google.
Temporary download from Sendspace.
alixtii: (Lockers)
[personal profile] alixtii
So, during the 20 minutes before I left for church on Sunday, I may have committed this [community profile] fic_corner treat...

To Dream a Dream (469 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alixtii
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Related Fandoms
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland), Alice Liddell, Original Female Character

Summary: The dreams haven't stopped for Alice Liddell, but she has learned to control them.

( To Dream a Dream )

Facing the Music

Sep. 12th, 2014 04:19 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
There are, on any given day, many new picture books about children making their way, as well as picture books about music. But today I want to highlight two new ones that are about both. One is fiction—Chieri Uegaki’s Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, illustrated by Qin Leng. And the other is a picture book biography, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner Frank Morrison.
[personal profile] yendi
Everyone (rightly) assails Electronic Arts for their Free-to-Play model and how it undercut Dungeon Keeper, Madden, Ultima, and other franchises on mobile devices.

But everyone also throws Plants vs Zombies 2 into that listing.

And that's fucking wrong.

PVZ 2 was a solid game on release, and has gotten better and better with each update. There are no timers (the bane of FTP games), and the game is entirely playable and winnable without paying a cent. The stuff you can buy are new plants and coins that allow power-ups. Or, to put it another way, you can basically pay for the equivalent of cheat codes.

That's a fine model by me.

There are more levels in the game now than in the original paid game. They've added Vasebreaker, the second-best of the minigames, and I hope they'll add "I, Zombie," which was the best one. But as it stands, it's a damned fine game, and really deserves not to be lumped in with the rest of those creative failures.
[syndicated profile] paciello_a11y_feed

Posted by Steve Faulkner

The Extensible Web Summit happened in Berlin yesterday. This prompted written words from some big thinkers and doers. Jeremy Keith wrote a piece on Web Components followed up by a uncomfortably excited response from Alex Russell.

On Piffle and Tosh and feasting upon Fetid code

While I am as excited as the next nerd by the potential of web components. Their development and marketing appear to follow the same depressing pattern of ship first, oh yeah we better tack on some ARIA to cover up the cracks.

Alex stated yesterday:

Jeremy’s argument, if I can paraphrase, is that people will build Web Components and this might be bad [for accessibility].

Piffle and tosh.

I cannot but agree with Alex piffle wise. Jeremy’s argument does not go far enough.  Web components are being built in the same development culture that web stuff is usually built in, and this is bad for accessibility. This is not to say that web components are by definition bad. It is the same story for any implementation of accessibility support on the web, in browsers and in UI libraries: it usually comes after, often way after a product has been shipped and distributed to millions upon millions of people and 100s of thousands of developers have gorged on and regurgitated the code in their own projects.


Some tweets I wrote in June (in usual diplomatic style) upon initial release of Polymer Paper web components which may well be fantastic examples of what can be achieved with this new technology, but were sadly lacking in even the most basic accessibility considerations (this situation has improved but they are still riddled with issues):


Alex stated yesterday:

Luckily we’ve been thinking very hard about this at Google and have invested heavily in Polymer and high-quality Material Design components that are, as I write this, undergoing review and enhancement for accessibility.

The economics of the new situation that Web Components introduce are (intentionally) tilted in a direction that provides ability for cream to rise to the top — and for the community to quickly judge if it smell off and do something about it.

As Alex stated “Google … have invested heavily in Polymer” and also invest in accessibility (see references). What I can’t comprehend is why that investment of big smarts and big bucks by Google did not include the integration of accessibility and usability into the core development cycle? Why is it considered the community’s job to polish the turds?

Further reading/watching

[personal profile] yendi
The headline was great news. Comedian Michael Che will be added as a new anchor for Weekend Update. Che was wonderful on The Daily Show, and given how utterly awful Colin Jost was, replacing him (and with the first ever person of color behind the desk) is a great move.

But no.

Che is replacing Cecily Strong. Who was fucking wonderful.

Pull quote from the article:

"Mr. Michaels said that Mr. Che, who has had a career as a stand-up comedian in New York, formed a close relationship last year in the writers’ room with Mr. Jost, one of the show’s two head writers." So after a year in which the show was hamstrung by the brotastic idiocy of making the cast even more male than ever, they're going with two men behind the desk. And basically kowtowing to Jost because he's the head writer, even though he's been awkward and awful at telling jokes in front of the camera.

The argument about Strong wanting to be in more skits sounds great until you remember that she was in as many skits as any of the female cast members last season (more than most) while doing hosting duties. This is all about Jost, folks. Yes, he's a talented writer, but that's not a reason to make this decision.

Look. There are only a handful of really strong performers at the show right now, and the majority of them are women (only Bobby Moynahan and Jay Pharaoh stand out amongst the males, while the women, now that Noël Wells is gone, are as strong a group as they've ever had).

On the plus side, we might see the return of The Girl You Wish You Had Never Started a Conversation With. As silver linings go, it's a small one, but I'll take what I can get.

The Road to Recovery

Sep. 11th, 2014 06:35 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Until recently, 15-year-old Joy had lived her entire life in a small trailer with her mother. She mostly stayed in her room to avoid unwanted attention from her mother’s friends and various live-in boyfriends—hiding didn’t always work, but it was her best option—only coming out at night or when her mother was at work in order to eat, use the bathroom, just to breathe. As her mother rarely let her outside, she’d never been to school, though the movie Matilda inspired her to enroll in her district’s homeschooling program.
[syndicated profile] library_tech_jester_feed

Posted by Peter Murray

Receive DLTJ Thursday Threads:

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Welcome to the latest edition of Thursday Threads. This week’s post has a continuation of the commentary about the Kuali Board’s decisions from last month. Next, news of a fundraising campaign by the Ada Initiative in support of women in technology fields. Lastly, an article that looks at the relative bulk bandwidth costs around the world.

Feel free to send this to others you think might be interested in the topics. If you find these threads interesting and useful, you might want to add the Thursday Threads RSS Feed to your feed reader or subscribe to e-mail delivery using the form to the right. If you would like a more raw and immediate version of these types of stories, watch my Pinboard bookmarks (or subscribe to its feed in your feed reader). Items posted to are also sent out as tweets; you can follow me on Twitter. Comments and tips, as always, are welcome.

Discussion about Sakai’s Shift Continues

The Kuali mission continues into its second decade. Technology is evolving to favor cloud-scale software platforms in an era of greater network bandwidth via fast Internet2 connections and shifting economics for higher education. The addition of a Professional Open Source organization that is funded with patient capital from university interests is again an innovation that blends elements to help create options for the success of colleges and universities.

Yet many of the true believers in higher education’s Open Source Community, which seeks to reduce software costs and provide better e-Learning and administrative IT applications for colleges and universities, may feel that they have little reason to celebrate the tenth anniversaries of Sakai, an Open Source Learning Management System and Kuali, a suite of mission critical, Open Source, administrative applications, both of which launched in 2004.  Indeed, for some Open Source evangelists and purists, this was probably a summer marked by major “disturbances in the force” of Open Source

- Kuali Goes For Profits by Kenneth C. Green, 9-Sep-2014, Digital Tweed blog at Inside Higher Ed

The reverberations from the decision by the Kuali Foundation Board to fork the Kuali code to a different open source license and to use Kuali capital reserves to form a for-profit corporation continue to reverberate. (This was covered in last week’s DLTJ Thursday Threads and earlier in a separate DLTJ post.) In addition to the two articles above, I would encourage readers to look at Charles Severance’s “How to Achieve Vendor Lock-in with a Legit Open Source License – Affero GPL”. Kuali is forking its code from using the Educational Community License to the Affero GPL license, which it has the right to do. It also comes with some significant changes, as Kenneth Green points out. There is still more to this story, so expect it to be covered in additional Thursday Threads posts.

Ada Initiative, Supporting Women in Open Technology and Culture, Focuses Library Attention with a Fundraising Campaign

The Ada Initiative has my back. In the past several years they have been a transformative force in the open source software community and in the lives of women I know and care about. To show our support, Andromeda Yelton, Chris Bourg, Mark Matienzo and I have pledged to match up to $5120 of donations to the Ada Initiative made through this link before Tuesday September 16. That seems like a lot of money, right? Well, here’s my story about how the Ada Initiative helped me when I needed it most.

- The Ada Initiative Has My Back, by Bess Sadler, Solvitur Ambulando blog, 9-Sep-2014

The Ada Initiative does a lot to support women in open technology and culture communities; in the library technology community alone, many women have been affected by physical and emotional violence. (See the bottom of the campaign update blog post from Ada Initiative for links to the stories.) I believe it is only decent to enable anyone to participate in our communities without fear for their physical and psychic space, and that our communities are only as strong as they can be when the barriers to participation are low. The Ada Initiative is making a difference, and I’m proud to have supported them with a financial contribution as well as being an ally and a amplifier for the voice of women in technology.

The Relative Cost of Bandwidth Around the World

The chart above shows the relative cost of bandwidth assuming a benchmark transit cost of $10/Megabits per second (Mbps) per month (which we know is higher than actual pricing, it’s just a benchmark) in North America and Europe. From CloudFlare

Over the last few months, there’s been increased attention on networks and how they interconnect. CloudFlare runs a large network that interconnects with many others around the world. From our vantage point, we have incredible visibility into global network operations. Given our unique situation, we thought it might be useful to explain how networks operate, and the relative costs of Internet connectivity in different parts of the world.

Bandwidth is cheapest in Europe and highest in Australia? Who knew? CloudFlare published this piece showing their costs on most of the world’s continents with some interesting thoughts about the role competition has on the cost of bandwidth.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

Sep. 9th, 2014 09:28 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

I’ve been doing a little cleaning tonight while Sang is at work teaching. The method I’m using is, “Step through the front door and see what first strikes you as messy.” Which turned out to be the stacks of books and papers and mail on the barstools. And one of the books was Ambelin Kwaymullina’s The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, which I want to tell you about before I put it back on the shelf. Ambelin Kwaymullina is an Indigenous author from Western Australia, and this book is the first in her four-book series of YA dystopian novels.

YA dystopia can go either way for me. Sometimes I open a book and see all those capitalized general nouns (the Illegals, the Citizens, the Balance) and just can’t get into it. But this one got me past that with a badass protagonist and her crew, kids with superpowers basically. Ashala’s tagline: “I walk among my enemies. But I carry my friends with me.” And the friends are varied and imperfect.

But what really set it apart for me is the structure of flashbacks and reveals. The flashbacks are in a different typeface, and flipping through, it looks like maybe a third of the book is flashback. I would come to a flashback section and kind of set my teeth to get through it. You know what I mean? I was willing to do it to fill in the information I needed, but I was anticipating an extra effort and less momentum because we were out of the main storyline. But every time, I would get completely sucked in and wasn’t on that secondary track in my head at all, plus I was reinterpreting what I’d already read.

I don’t follow the genre that closely, but it kinda seems like this one should be getting more attention. It’s the first of a four-book series, but didn’t end on a cliffhanger. The second book has been published in Australia. I hope Candlewick does the US edition of all four.

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

alixtii: Riley and Venom, from the end of season 3. (Riley/Venom)
[personal profile] alixtii
Here's the story I wrote for [community profile] fic_corner:

Punk and Circumstance (3607 words) by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alixtii
Fandom: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Relationship: Nick O'Leary/Norah Silverberg
Characters: Nick O'Leary, Norah Silverberg, Caroline (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist), Tris (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist), Ira Silverberg

Summary: Nick attends the Sacred Heart graduation ceremonies--and the surprisingly intimate afterparty.

( Punk and Circumstance )

When the refresh comes

Sep. 9th, 2014 01:25 pm
[syndicated profile] paciello_a11y_feed

Posted by Steve Faulkner

The Section 508 Refresh contains a provision that places responsibility on assistive technology vendors to make use of accessibility information made available via platform accessibility APIs. I suggest this is a very good thing.

Level playing field

In our shared quest to provide user interfaces that are usable by all, accessibility practitioners (such as myself) have an expectation that developers (those who build the web) and browser vendors (those that provide access to the content of the web) will build their products according to agreed standards and guidelines. If they do not then their products will be unusable by some. None of the current standards relating to accessibility appear to place any responsibility on assistive technology vendors to ensure that their products use the agreed and implemented standards, I suggest that this is a very bad thing and does not serve users well. The Section 508 refresh includes a provision to remedy this imbalance of responsibility. We cannot continue to ask much of developers and browser vendors without assistive technology vendors doing their part.

503.3 Alternative User Interfaces.

Where an application provides an alternative user interface that functions as assistive technology, the application shall use platform and other industry standard accessibility services to provide the alternate user interface.

An example

Developers code a control and label it, using a method initially defined  in HTML 4.1 (1999). i.e. it has been a conforming standard method for 15 years. They have done the right thing.

<label>email <input type="text"></label>

Browsers have implemented accessibility support for this method. The accessible name for the input element in the example is exposed by browsers via platform accessibility APIs. In testing conducted in 2012, all browsers that implemented accessibility support exposed the information correctly. They have done the right thing.

All of the assistive technology tested announced the correct label text. They have done the right thing.

Buggy is buggy regardless of source – no free pass

Browser vendors who do not implement standardized accessibility support and developers who do not code for accessibility are called out (regularly). Assistive technology vendors whose products do not convey information to users, provided using standardized coding patterns and exposed via standardized accessibility interfaces, are broken and must be fixed. They are doing the wrong thing.

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