Censorship, Unpublishing, and New Media

The actual reasons may never be discovered, but Boing Boing, the perennially top ten ranked blog, has “unpublished (NSFW)” stories by, about, or mentioning author and sex columnist Violet Blue (NSFW).

Much has already been said about the Orwellianism of “unpublishing” and how it conflicts with the ethics of the web, as well as the incongruence between these actions and Boing Boing’s position on web censorship, media manipulation, and revisionism. And on July 1 Boing Boing itself joined the discussion. Thad didn’t go so well.

One theory suggests that Blue’s April 2007 column slamming Amanda Congdon may have touched this off. Another theory suggests that Boing Boing was pressured by (or simply wanted to please) closely embedded Federated Media. And if you think you know how this will play out, then play the news game (above), where they suggest this all started with a lovers’ spat.

My interest in this, however, is in how new media like Boing Boing are struggling with growth from small personal sites to multi-million dollar businesses ($one million in 2006). The question now is if the site will survive the transition without alienating the community that makes such sites successful in the first place.

Large Format Scanners For Document Imaging

The market for large-format flatbed scanners is shrinking, so products turn over slowly and development is far behind my expectations. That said, the Epson GT-1500 doesn’t look like a bad choice for tight budgets. It has a relatively low maximum resolution of only 600DPI, but has the highest claimed scan speed of 30 seconds at 300DPI. Following that is the Microtek ScanMaker 9800XL, which has a much higher maximum resolution, but much slower scan speed (even at the same resolution as the Epson). The scanner sets itself apart, however, with noise-reduction technology that has made it the darling of some art archivists.

Both of these scanners are around $1,200, but neither of them is really suited to doing much volume.

Looking elsewhere, I found the Konica Minolta PS5000C, a planetary book scanner that returns scans in less than 10 seconds. Price is under $12,000 — not cheap, but low relative to other planetary scanners I’ve seen. Also from Konica MInolta is the MS6000 MK II microform scanner, and a lusty thought crosses my mind: get rid of the old microform printers our libraries have and go all-digital.