Steve Cisler, the quintessential "digital librarian," died last week of cancer. Steve was a pioneer in the kinds of information retrieval, virtual communities, and global knowledge sharing that have become the platforms of today's Web. My colleague Michael Liebhold
at Institute for the Future
worked with Steve for years at Apple, where Steve ran the Library of Tomorrow program. Mike writes of his friend:
Many people's lives were touched by Steve; Steve is widely known and beloved across many communities around the world for his years of work worldwide, initially as leader of Apple's Library of Tomorrow, and later leading programs worldwide for a broad network of international groups helping people in developing communities understand and do practical and interesting things with computers, networks and the web.
We worked together during the 1980s and 1990s, and then over the last decade he and I traveled widely over different paths, but e-mailed or talked almost daily, and celebrated often in person with our families or friends whenever we could. For me he was simply a kind, generous friend, a fascinating character, a wonderful conversationalist, a great cook and a great gardener. We shared many wonderful times together talking about books, music, culture, over meals including wine, tortillas, and fresh foods he made himself. Even up until the very difficult end, Steve was always cheerful and intently interested in talking about the world. His passing leaves a great void in my life, that leaves me almost speechless.
Others on the web, have written more eloquent retrospectives than I could, including these:
• Steve Cisler - first Internet librarian
• Steve Cisler is gone
• Steve Cisler RIP
• Steve Cisler Passes
And this e-mail posted to the Nettime list by Ted Byfield, one of Steve's many dear friends around the globe. Link
A site has been established for Steve's friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and family to post their remembrances. There is also information on the site about an upcoming memorial service and where to send donations in memory of Steve. Link
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]