Introduction to Small Scale Scrum |

Small Scale Scrum can be best described as “a people-first framework defined by and for small teams (a maximum of three people) and supporting planning, developing, and delivering production-quality software solutions.” The proposed framework centers around the concept of team members occupying multiple roles on any project.

Introduction to Small Scale Scrum |

TOME Initiative Looks to Create OA System for Peer Reviewed Academic Monographs

Peter Potter, director of publishing strategy for the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, was appointed by the Association of Research Libraries as visiting program officer to advance TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem).

LJ: How does the TOME model work?

Peter Potter: TOME is an initiative to create a system whereby academic books can be made available open access. It’s an attempt to create, from the bottom up, a group of institutions and presses working together to ensure that payment is made on the front end of publication, rather than publishers having to rely on sales income. At the moment we have over 70 participating university presses, [and] 13 participating universities.

The press gets the up-front money. If a press is participating, they’re agreeing to publish this book in an open access format. That doesn’t prevent them from turning around and selling the book, which they can do. If there are print sales or ebook sales that they can generate, they should continue doing that.

Contribution from a university is a minimum of $15,000 per monograph. We figured that after this five-year pilot we would come back and revisit that amount to find out if that is actually enough to make this worthwhile for presses. We understand the $15,000 is less than what it typically costs to produce a monograph—Mellon did a study a few years ago in which they said it’s actually well over $20,000. But the idea is by making a book open access you’re not cutting off sale possibilities. The $15,000 jump-starts the book’s availability, it enables the press to go ahead and publish the book [in print format], and then they will see sales that will supplement that.

One of the things that’s important is that these are university press peer-reviewed books. We want it to be clear to provosts and department heads and deans that these are not second class books—they are books that a university press would have published anyway on the basis of quality. We didn’t want the sales potential of the book to get in the way of that. Sometimes decisions get made for a monograph based upon “we don’t think we can sell enough copies,” and this is a way to try to address that problem on the front end.

Source: Peter Potter on Funding OA Monographs

This approach of essentially paying upfront for the book has worked quite successfully for nearly a decade for CALI eLangdell Press. eLangdell Press books are distributed freely with a Creative Commons license that allows faculty to remix the work to tailor it to their course needs. CALI eLangdell currently offers over 30 casebooks and  supplements in over a dozen areas of the law. DUring the Fall 2018 semester eLangdell titles were downloaded over 12,000 times, providing law students with over $1,500,000.00 in value.

New Paper From Indiana U Law Faculty Shows Significant Law Student Satisfaction With Online Classes

This is the first article to provide empirical data on the effectiveness of distance education in law schools since the ABA this summer approved increasing the total number of credits that law students could earn through online classes from 15 to 30. Our data, composed of law student surveys and focus groups, reveal not only the success of distance education in their experience, but also the methods that are most effective for them.

— Dutton, Yvonne and Ryznar, Margaret and Long, Kayleigh, Assessing Online Learning in Law Schools: Students Say Online Classes Deliver (October 1, 2018). Denver University Law Review, Forthcoming; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Research Paper 2018-13. Available at SSRN:

This article is important for 2 reasons. First, it provides an excellent survey of the state of online education in American law schools including information on what schools are providing online courses (hint: lots) and how those courses are being taught. Second, it provides solid empirical evidence of the success of online classes in an ABA accredited law school with the course being taught within the scope of the accreditation rules.

This is a must read for law school Deans, faculty, librarians, and technologists.

Just a little hiccup in upgrading from Debian 8 to 9

How about a little tale of upgrades for a Friday?
On my dev machine here at the house I was running Debian 8. A few weeks ago, hoping to get more coherent support for things I needed like MySQL 5.7 and PHP 7, I did an in place upgrade to Debian 9. The upgrade proceeded without any issues even, through a couple of reboots and some tests. Finally, with a flourish, there was a final reboot that should have brought the machine back online as a Debian 9 PC.
It crashed.
I was watching a console full of errors of all sorts scroll by. All I could get was an emergency failure prompt. That means something had gone horribly wrong during the boot process. I was quickly able to determine that the issue was in the RAID1 array. I was able to manually mount the RAID volumes and see that the data was still intact. But, something was wrong. I shut it down and let it sitting there.
Since Comcast was up and down today I figured this was a good time to get it that box back up and running. With root access from the emergency prompt I was able to comment out the broken mounts for the RAID volumes. This allowed me to get it to boot but it was unhappy about missing the /var and /home mounts from the RAID.
I quickly discovered the I could use mdadm /dev/md1 -manage to get the RAID device up and then I was able to do the mounts for /var and /home. Using Webmin I checked the status of the RAID noted that both RAID volumes were flagged as degraded and each one only showed a single physical device attached. I readded the necessary physical disks to the RAID and waited for it to resync. Then I put the mounts back in fstab and rebooted. It fired right up and all is well with the world.
It appears that during the upgrade process from Debian 8 to 9 the system chose to only recognize one partition on each physical drive as part of the RAID1 setup. That broke the RAID and disrupted the boot process. I doubt I’ll ever see this sort of thing again.

Let’s Encrypt releases ACME v2 with Support for Wildcard Certificates

Wildcard certificates allow you to secure all subdomains of a domain with a single certificate. Wildcard certificates can make certificate management easier in some cases, and we want to address those cases in order to help get the Web to 100% HTTPS. We still recommend non-wildcard certificates for most use cases.

Source: ACME v2 and Wildcard Certificate Support is Live

This is something we’ve been waiting for at CALI so we can move Classcaster to HTTPS. I think it’s also going to be great for folks like me who like having a domain for everything. With wildcard support we should be able to encrypt all the web pages.

Give Your WordPress Blog a Voice With Our New Amazon Polly Plugin | AWS News Blog

Today we are launching a WordPress plugin that uses Polly to create high-quality audio versions of your blog posts. You can access the audio from within the post or in podcast form using a feature that we call Amazon Pollycast! Both options make your content more accessible and can help you to reach a wider audience. This plugin was a joint effort between the AWS team our friends at AWS Advanced Technology Partner WP Engine.

Give Your WordPress Blog a Voice With Our New Amazon Polly Plugin | AWS News Blog