Tech Alerts


Why is Wikipedia down today? (Jan. 18, 2012)

Posted by: Hillary Corbett


Major websites such as Wikipedia and the Internet Archive are holding blackouts today, January 18, 2012, in protest of two anti-piracy bills currently before Congress. Many believe that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) go too far in their efforts to curb illegal downloading and streaming of movies and television shows.

The stated intent of these acts is to protect the intellectual property rights of copyright holders (sometimes the authors or creators but more frequently the large media corporations who own the works). However, if passed into law, they may set a dangerous precedent for permitting private companies to block access to information. Wikipedia, among other sites, has chosen to do just that today – block access to the information that millions of us seek every day – in order to highlight what they feel could happen if SOPA and PIPA are passed.

What do you think about this topic? Read more here:

Full text of SOPA and PIPA

“A Political Coming of Age for the Tech Industry” (The New York Times)

On a lighter note…

“Wikipedia Blackout: A Nation of Students Mourn” (The Guardian)
(compilation of tweets, may contain foul language)

Register your opinion on SOPA/PIPA with Congress:

PopVox: What’s Your Position on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)?

PopVox: What’s Your Position on the Protect IP Act (PIPA)?

Need that information TODAY? Visit our online collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias!

Posted in: Information and Society, Library News and Events, Research Online, Scholarly Communications, Tech Alerts


LibX Available for Firefox 5.0

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


Once again, Firefox has been updated, and Northeastern’s LibX for the library, the browser plugin that lets you drag and drop searches, right-click to log in to an ejournal, and find citations in our collections, is now compatible with it.

If you haven’t upgraded to Firefox 5, your upgrade should automatically include the new LibX edition for Northeastern. If you’ve already upgraded and you don’t have the plugin, go to our LibX page to get links and information to install the latest edition.

If you don’t know what Northeastern’s LibX plugin is, or what it can do, see our earlier post with information and examples.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Research Online, Serendipity, Tech Alerts


SimplyMap currently down

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


SimplyMap is back as of Monday, 4/25 AM.

SimplyMap is currently unavailable.  The vendor informs us their data servers have been down all day.

SimplyMap is a web site that enables users to develop interactive thematic maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business, health, crime, and marketing data variables including Mediamark and Simmons Consumer Data.

We’ll inform you when the SimplyMap site is back and functioning again.  We apologize to our users for the inconvenience.

Posted in: Tech Alerts


Tech Alert: Elsevier Ejournals, WorldCat Outages This Weekend

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


Add this to your reasons to get out of Boston and go skiing (or surfing) this weekend:

SciVerse, the Elsevier publishing platform that includes Science Direct ejournals and ebooks as well as the Scopus search engine, will be undergoing upgrades this weekend and will be unavailable Saturday, 2/26, from 8am to 8pm, or nearly all day.

In addition, WorldCat Local, which allows you to search the catalogs of most United States and some international libraries, will be unavailable Sunday, 2/27 from 1am to 6am.  That’s basically late late overnight Saturday night.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and we hope that the enforced hiatus from these two services offers you the opportunity for some rest and relaxation as we head into Spring Break!

Posted in: Research Online, Tech Alerts


Wiley Online Library Downtime Saturday A.M.

Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian


Due to essential site maintenance, access will be interrupted to Wiley Online Library on Saturday, February 5, 2011 beginning at 5am for up to 2 hours.

Posted in: Research Online, Serendipity, Tech Alerts