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Reflections: Electronic recording media – less durable than you might think? – The Beacon Herald

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These memory sticks contain digitized versions of scrapbooks from local women’s institutes.
STRATFORD-PERTH ARCHIVES


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Shireen Sasani

Stratford-Perth Archives

The electronic migration of information happens every second of every day; the amount of digital data available at your fingertips is astronomical. Yet in the overarching history of humankind, the use of electronic recording media is a comparatively new field of data storage and management. So, from a long-term archival point of view, these types of media may not be as durable or remain as fully accessible over time as one might generally assume.

Archives typically work to maintain a documented historical account for a particular area. The Stratford-Perth Archives, for example, preserves records relating to the people, places and things of Perth County. To that same end, most of these organizations have growing collections of electronic recording media, which could include things such as audio and videotapes, floppy or compact discs, flash drives, etc. However, the majority of electronic recording media have been in use less than 100 years, so their long-term survival rates are difficult to predict, as compared to traditional print media.

According to the Canadian Conservation Institute, a leading heritage conservation resource worldwide, “The preservation of audio, video and data recording media significantly differs from more traditional recording media like print material, such as books, paper documents or photographs. For print media, preserving the paper, or the ‘information carrier,’ preserves the content. Preserving recording media involves more than simply keeping the media in good condition. It requires equipment to read them, and in some cases, software to interpret the stored information. The state of the technology of the media affects the preservation and access to their contents.”

Here’s a simple way to think about data accessibility – if both a book and an external hard drive are sitting side by side on a table, how easy would it be to retrieve the information inside? What if you accidentally dropped either one on the floor, or worse, a puddle of water? After some drying time and careful cleaning the book would likely still be readable, but would the hard drive?

None of this is to say that digital storage is necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it allows for huge amounts of information to be stored in a very small amount of space. But it would be illogical to place all faith in one type of recording medium and fail to preserve older, more stable types like paper and print media in favour of only electronic. It is important that all eggs are not placed in one basket, so to speak. In the photo seen here, for example, an array of local women’s institute scrapbooks were digitized and put on memory sticks in the archives’ collection – researchers are able to access more information at a time, and the original records will last longer due to less frequent handling.

The physical longevity of any recording media is affected by a variety of factors, such as storage conditions or the quality and composition of the original manufactured parts. Characteristics can alter over time due to differences in materials or upgradable components, and the right equipment to access the information can become more difficult to procure. Basically, the state of the data carrier dictates the access to the data itself. That’s why it is so important that the environment in the archives’ collections storage area is heavily monitored and physical access to original records be regulated in order to protect and sustain access to all types of media for as long as physically possible.

Helpful Tips for Your Personal Data Storage:

  • Backup your personal files in more than one digital location. Think about how often you need to access the files, bearing in mind that technology itself is constantly evolving. After all, when was the last time you saw a laptop with a CD-ROM drive preinstalled? Or you tried watching a movie on a VHS tape instead of using Netflix, or stuck an 8-track cassette into your car stereo instead of tuning in to Spotify or satellite radio?
  • Print out some of your favourite photos and create an actual, physical photo album. Family albums and scrapbooks are a great way to display and share cherished memories that might otherwise just sit in a virtual folder on your phone or computer.
  • When the time is right for you, please consider donating any personal or family items of Perth County significance to the Stratford-Perth Archives. In a well-controlled environment, whether it’s print or digital material, these items will survive longer than in a home where light, humidity and temperature levels fluctuate. Donations can be made by booking an appointment with our archivist. Please call 519-271-0531 ext. 259 or email archives@perthcounty.ca

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A new model leverages the power of the media to win hearts and minds for climate action – UN Environment

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Over $500 billion dollars a year is spent on paid media advertising, returning significant profit to the media industry involved in the buying and selling of advertising space. But there is ever-growing awareness of the gravity of the climate crisis, and advertisers, consumers and industry leaders increasingly want to be part of the solution.

“We are excited to see advertisers and the media industry throw their weight behind global efforts to reverse the climate crisis,” says Niklas Hagelberg, the UNEP’s Climate Change Coordinator. “The climate emergency urges us to find new ways to expand and accelerate the rising tide of public support for climate action, especially in an increasingly fragmented media and content landscape. By reaching a mainstream audience of 30 million people through this one-country pilot alone, we see huge potential in this partnership’s capacity to ensure UNEP’s message of the importance and opportunities of climate action reaches many more people worldwide. We’re very grateful to our partner Blue Life, and their implementing partners who have worked tirelessly to bring this to life.”

While there are now high levels of awareness of climate change, there remains confusion and misinformation about what actions are necessary and wide misapprehension that climate action will have a negative impact on peoples’ lives.

Paid advertising media space offers the thoughtful targeting necessary to efficiently reach mainstream audiences and address these misconceptions. However, paid media space is usually prohibitively expensive. To solve this, at the core of the partnership’s concept is the idea that as media space is bought and sold, instead of creating profits margins with each trade, could some of the space be retained for climate positive messages, and therefore transform UNEP’s ability to reach widespread mainstream audiences with climate positive messages.  

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Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers – The Battlefords News-Optimist

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TORONTO — Friends of Canadian Broadcasting is calling on Parliament to restrain social media platforms from distributing harmful or hateful content by applying the same laws that publishers and broadcasters already face.

The lobby group’s executive director says courts should be penalizing social media platforms that knowingly spread harmful content.

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Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper that argues social media platforms aren’t passive or neutral when it comes to content distribution.

The report says platforms like Facebook and YouTube routinely exercise editorial control by promoting content that users have never asked to see or sometimes conceal content without consulting users.

The report says traditional publishers can be held partly liable under Canadian law for harmful content but the same standard hasn’t been applied to internet platforms.

The report was released as members of Parliament return to Ottawa this week and the Trudeau government prepares to lay out its plans for the coming session.

Among other things, Bernhard said that social media tell regulators and advertisers that they have very detailed knowledge of what’s being posted on their platforms and exercise control over what is made available to the public.

“(Facebook CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has claimed under oath that Facebook takes down 99 per cent of terrorist content before a human user ever sees it (and) 89 per cent of hate speech supposedly comes down before a human ever sees it,” Bernhard said.

He said that means Facebook in particular, and social media in general, should have the same responsibility to abide by Canadian laws as conventional publishers and broadcasters.

“If a judge finds that the content is illegal and that a platform has amplified it, the platform should be held responsible. And not only that, but that the penalty should be commensurate to their revenue and size so it hurts accordingly,” Bernhard said.

Facebook has said internet platforms are recognized as intermediaries, not publishers, under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.

But Zuckerberg has also said Facebook has a responsibility to keep people safe and suggested new regulations could provide a standardized approach.

“These are complex issues and we are always open to discussing these important topics with the government,” a Facebook statement said Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

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Pegatron plans to invest $1 billion in Vietnam plant: state media – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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HANOI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Pegatron 4938.TW> is seeking to invest $1 billion in three phases in production facilities in areas such as computing, communication and consumer electronics in Vietnam, state-media reported on Tuesday.

Pegatron, which is a manufacturing partner of Apple , Microsoft and Sony 6758.T>, had received licenses to initially invest $19 million in the city of Haiphong, the Hanoitimes and Tuoi Tre newspapers reported, citing a report by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Pegatron was also seeking licences for a $481-million second phase and $500 million in 2026-2027, the papers said, adding these were expected to create 22,500 jobs and contribute around 100 billion dong ($4.31 million) to the state budget per year.

Reuters was unable to obtain a copy of the report and calls to the ministry were not answered.

Pegatron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under the plans, Pegatron would join Apple’s two other iPhone assemblers, Wistron Corp 3231.TW> and Foxconn 2317.TW>, in developing more capacity in Vietnam.

Apple has been producing its wireless earbuds AirPods Pro in Vietnam since May.

Su Chih-Yen, acting director of the Investment Commission of Taiwan’s Economics Ministry, told Reuters it had not yet approved such an investment, but declined to comment on whether they had received an application.

In a bid to skirt U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, Taiwanese companies have been particularly active in either moving production back home or elsewhere in Asia.

Another Taiwanese company, Universal Global Technology, which produces smartphone and earbuds parts for Lenovo 0992.HK> and Sony, was also looking to set up a plant in Vietnam, Hanoitimes cited the report as saying.

ASE Technology Holding, parent company of Universal Global Technology, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Additional reporting by Khanh Vu and Jeanny Kao in Taipei; Editing by Ed Davies)

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