Category Archives: Technology

The Sound of History

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Podcast: Play in new window | Download A few months ago the American Radio Works posted a very interesting podcast on the art of making radio documentaries.  The podcast included a live presentation given by Stephen Smith and John Biewen about a new book Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound.  While the whole discussion is very interesting, the second… Read more »

Sharing History Through Used Books and the Internet

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In honour of both the September crunch and ActiveHistory.ca‘s own expanding book review section — be sure to check out Mitch Primeau’s review of The Second Greatest Disappointment (1999) — I’ll be devoting this month’s post to some of my favourite used book websites. History tends to involve a few more books than other disciplines — okay, a lot more…. Read more »

The e-Book Revolution

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I bought an iPad. Before you cheer or frown, let me tell you, I’m filled with an immense surge of guilt—not because my purchase left a hefty dent in my wallet, but because I have needlessly contributed to the e-Book revolution. As Thomas Hager explains, Bottom line is stark: paper and ink books are on the way out. There, I… Read more »

Time Machine Being Built South of the Border

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The first steps towards building a historical time machine are underway south of the border. A group of American history educators have founded an ambitious plan to create the “Civil War Augmented Reality Project.” This first time machine will be a literal window into the past. By taking advantage of smart phone and tablet computer technology, as well as their… Read more »

Can We Redeem File-Sharing After the Download Decade?

The term “download decade” is an effective description of the first ten years of this infant century and the first rising chapter of the so-called Information Age. It accurately distills the blind conspiracy between the exponential availability of high-speed Internet, the gradual decrease in the cost of personal computers, the rise of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and websites like Napster and… Read more »

An environmental 9/11

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by Jeff Slack Public outrage mounts with every successive failure to mend the gaping wound in the Gulf of Mexico seabed. Struggling to affirm his leadership in the spill’s wake, President Obama recently described the disaster as “an environmental 9/11,” underscoring the need for a bold new energy-environment policy. Through reference to the still-poignant memory of 9/11, the president seems… Read more »

The possibilities of digital media and print publication

The use of new digital media in conjunction with conventional print publication is one of the many important contributions that Joy Parr’s recent Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003 (2010, UBC Press) makes to our understanding of the past.  The book examines how Canadians living in environments affected by megaprojects built after the Second World War responded to… Read more »

What the Copyright Modernization Act Means for Historians

Sean Kheraj Last week the federal government tabled its long anticipated copyright reform legislation for first reading in the House of Commons. The Copyright Modernization Act or Bill C-32 attempts to overhaul many of the out-dated provisions of Canada’s copyright law that have fallen far behind major technological changes of the last thirty years. For instance, under the proposed legislation,… Read more »

Heli-skiing and cultural heritage in contested landscapes

by Jeff Slack A recent BBC news report highlights some of the key issues in a decades-long debate over heli-skiing in the European Alps. First experimented with in British Columbia’s interior mountain ranges in the 1960s, heli-skiing entails using helicopters in lieu of chairlifts to shuttle small, guided groups of skiers to the top of otherwise difficult-to-access, and thus untracked… Read more »

Should We Embrace the Short URL?

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The increasing number of primary and secondary sources made available by various online archives and databases continue to aid researchers and enrich the historical community as a whole. But they have also created challenges for more conventional forms of resource sharing in a community where print arguably remains the standard. While websites have generally made a more concerted effort to… Read more »