Jane Roberts writes: “Earlier in March, Hoopla—an online service that allows public library cardholders to download or stream movies for free—quietly pulled the documentary Vaxxed from its collection. The film, which peddles a repeatedly debunked theory linking vaccines to autism and claims to expose a vaccine-related coverup within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can still be found in libraries around the US. Terry Donahue, Hoopla’s communications manager, indicated that several libraries had contacted the service asking that the film be removed. ‘They didn’t want to be a source of misinformation,’ Donahue said.”
Undark Magazine, Mar. 22
The Federal Communications Commission has settled a case over its refusal to comply with a public records request, agreeing to pay $43,000 to a journalist who sued the commission. Freelance writer Jason Prechtel filed a FOIA request with the FCC in mid-2017, asking for data that would identify who made bulk comment uploads in the proceeding that led to the repeal of net neutrality rules. Prechtel was trying to research comments that were falsely attributed to people without their knowledge. A settlement agreement says the FCC agreed to pay Prechtel to cover attorneys’ fees and court costs. Chairman Ajit Pai’s FCC did not admit any wrongdoing.
Ars Technica, Mar. 22
Whitson Gordon writes: “Want to play the latest games, but aren’t sure if your PC can handle them? Graphics are a huge part of the PC gaming experience, but not every computer is built for the best games on the market. You’ll need to know what graphics card you have installed and compare that to the minimum requirements for the game you want to play. Here’s how to figure it out.”
PC Magazine, Mar. 20
Mark Hachman writes: “Now that Google Stadia and Microsoft XCloud have been unveiled at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, it’s safe to say cloud gaming has arrived, promising a future where content will be streamed to smartphones over high-speed Wi-Fi and 5G. But if these services are to flourish, something else must die: the data caps ISPs impose upon most consumer internet service plans. No one ever liked these limits except the ISPs. Now that major tech companies have some skin in the streaming game, data caps may finally have too many enemies to survive.”
PC World, Mar. 22
The Anne Arundel County (Md.) Public Library board of trustees approved 16 “possibly controversial” LGBTQ, diversity, and health programs in a packed meeting room March 21, but pushed off a vote on the policy that put the programs in limbo in the first place. After two extensions on the meeting and multiple motions to adjourn, the board at the Odenton Regional Library meeting voted to allow library staff to begin planning the “possibly controversial” programs CEO Skip Auld presented to the board in February. The library system will also participate in the Annapolis City Pride Parade.
Annapolis (Md.) Capital Gazette, Mar. 21
Welsh government officials threatened to cut National Library of Wales funding in a dispute about a Welsh-language job advertisement, emails show. The library had gone against the government’s wishes when it advertised for a Welsh-speaking chief executive. Partially redacted emails reveal government officials discussed using funding for the National Broadcast Archive as leverage against the move. The Welsh government said matters with the library had been resolved. Apparently Welsh Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport, and Tourism Dafydd Elis-Thomas was adamant there should be no Welsh language requirement in the job description.
BBC News, Mar. 21
On a typical day in the Spokane (Wash.) Public Library, a custodian could be greeted by blood in bathroom stalls, needles in the toilets, and paper towels spread everywhere. Now library leaders are trying to put a stop to it by installing blue lights in the men’s public restrooms, which are designed to make needle injections more difficult. So far it seems to be working, as evidence of drug use has decreased. The blue lights make it more difficult for drug users to find a vein. Library Director Andrew Chanse said increased drug use in the bathroom is just one symptom of a larger opioid epidemic.
Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review, Mar. 22