Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I'm not entirely sold on the idea of user-tagging for library databases, but it's a cool thing to play with. (I'm not automatically *against* the idea of user-tagging for library databases, either. I'm perched right on the fence on this one. It looks awfully cool, but I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the risks in all cases.)
Monday, December 12, 2005
According to a CNN article, the author who wrote a false entry linking Seigenthaler to the Kennedy assassinations has come forward.
Also from the article:
"Chase said he didn't know the free Internet encyclopedia called Wikipedia was used as a serious reference tool."
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Library ELF is a company based in Canada that allows you to track the books you have checked out, overdues and other things through RSS feeds.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
"Open-source software being developed at George Mason University is intended to make it easier for professors to organize and cite materials they find online. The program, called Firefox Scholar, will plug into the popular Firefox browser and automatically capture bibliographic data, researchers say.
For more about information technology, including IT news reported elsewhere online, visit our Information Technology section"
Friday, December 02, 2005
Aside, Jonathan took his first five steps a few days ago! He's brilliant for figuring out how to walk before his first birth day... :)
Thursday, December 01, 2005
It's true that the mistake was eventually corrected and I know this is the argument that people use to support open content but there are some mistakes you'd rather were never made to have to correct them.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Of course, I often need captions to understand half of Masterpiece Theater but that's just me.
The article says Domino's won't use the device because it makes it hard for the delivery guys to drive. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't these the guys that had to finally quit promising delivery in 30 minutes because too many of their delivery guys were getting into car crashes trying to make the deadline.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
The top five brands ranked by unique visitors for October 2005 were Yahoo! (101,790,000), Microsoft (95,879,000), MSN (89,769,000), Google (83,350,000) and AOL (75,355,000).And they give interesting numbers on top advertisers as well.
The top five advertisers and their estimated spending for October 2005 were Vonage Holdings Corp. ($30,444,700), DeVry Inc. ($17,201,600), LowerMyBills.com, Inc. ($13,744,100), Dell Computer Corporation ($9,230,700) and Apollo Group, Inc. ($8,819,700).Wow! Vonage spent more than $30M for advertising on the net last month! And Dell only spent a little over $9M -- those cheapskates.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Apparently someone's been playing with generating a tag cloud from Horizon and displaying it in HIP. Is this not cool?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
It brings to mind the PDA-sized gizmo I heard about not so long ago that you use to project an image of a keyboard on a flat surface in front of you. Then you type on the image and the gizmo stores your typing.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I noodled around a bit on GBase. It's kind of primitive but interesting. Google gives you a forms interface where you can add things (fields) like attributes, keywords, and notes. Merchants could enter info about what they are selling in a self-structured way. Sort of taking tagging to the next level.
Wonder what kind of stuff people will put up there?
If you aren't at JHU these days, well, we miss you. But I bet if you wrote Godmar he'd be glad to write a URL for you, too. Write him at godmarATgmail.com
My first thought is that this is pretty darn cool. The shoulder strap doubles as the power cord.
It will cost $100 and have either 500 MB or 1 G of data storage. It won't have a CD or DVD drive, but will have a flash drive and will operate on Linux.
The problem. of course, is finding a Find in A Library book record in the humongous Google database. The contents of WorldCat may seem big but they are only a teeny, teeny, tiny spec in GoogleWorld.
Here's a search that should bring up the Find in a Library link fairly close to the top:
Kpelle Bledsoe Women marriage society 'find in a library'
If you haven't looked at Open WorldCat in a while, have a look. They've added tabs for "reviews"-- be the first person to review. And the "details" tab include ToC and notes spaces open for the public to add their 2 cents.
Maybe Google will add a separate search tool for Open WorldCat... nah, not likely.
NOTE: For the young and not-terribly-interested-in-Roman-Polanski-films reader, the 'my sister, my daughter' reference is to Chinatown [use the Find function]. It's Faye Dunaway's line and it's a very useful catchphrase when you don't feel like saying 'It's a dessert topping. It's a floor wax. . . . Stop, you're both right.'
That by the way is a line from an SNL skit joking on the old Certz commercial. Oh I've got to stop the links never end.....
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
You may have heard it already, but Amazon is experimenting (the 400 lb gorilla “experimenting”) with tags, a la Flickr.
My favorite line is from near the end when a Hopkins graduate is explaining how useful he found his undergraduate degree while serving in Iraq,
"Neuroscience actually came in handy when I had to explain to my guys exactly why doing ecstasy in a tank when it's 140 degrees out on a road that's blowing up every day is a really bad idea."Call me crazy but I think guys who need to be told that should not be allowed to handle guns or heavy machinery. They should be peeling potatoes and doing laundry where they will be infinitely less dangerous.
Friday, November 11, 2005
I remember when I was at Hopkins, I think somebody (maybe you Woody?) found this great website where you could upload documents? Then from another location you could download them? It wasn't the Hopkins shared space. It had no affiliation with JHU.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
That seems like really trivial uses of the technology. I'm still looking for the small pda-like object that you can load up with your books and then read them on the flexible screen.
Now, what I really want is to get Firefox added as a browser for all our public workstations... and start adding some of this truly cool functinality.
I'm going to a meeting on the Aquifer Project -- a big digization project. I'll be able to tell you more once I've been to the meeting. Also, Adam Chandler is giving a presentation on where DLF is heading with E Resource Mgmt so I'll go to that.
They won't start with text, though. Instead they say Seiko is going to produce a watch with a curved paper display. I'm wondering who's gonna wear a watch with a display that big but hey, I'm not a visionary when it comes to marketing.
They quote a Forrester Group analyst as tut-tutting the project and warning that it can't be a technology in search of a problem. Hello! Google-Print, Open Content Alliance and now Microsoft in cooperation with various British Libraries are all ready to scan the world. Not to mention all the other digitization projects out there from the likes of LoC and Virginia. I think that's plenty of text to read.
I see the main problem is -- can they make it waterproof so you can read in the bath or at the beach?
They do have a link for Higher Ed. While it's not exactly Hermes, if you scroll down you can see how they suggest tracking invoices.
Friday, November 04, 2005
The screens feature real-time visualizations of circulation statisitcs and catalog keywords that are generated by software that receives data each hour. Pretty neat project.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Boing-boing has an entry about the article that quotes the part I find the most interesting...even though I don't agree with O'Reilly.
From the article:
TIME: WHAT INNOVATION WILL MOST ALTER HOW WE LIVE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
TIM O'REILLY, publisher and technology advocate: Collective intelligence. Think of how Wikipedia works, how Amazon harnesses user annotation on its site, the way photo-sharing sites like Flickr are bleeding out into other applications. I think we're at the first stages of something that will be profoundly different from anything we have seen before, in terms of the ability of connected computers to deliver results. We're entering an era in which software learns from its users and all of the users are connected.
DON'T WE ALSO RUN THE RISK OF HARNESSING OUR COLLECTIVE IDIOCY? EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN ON THE WEB KNOWS THAT THE RATIO OF SIGNAL TO NOISE IS NOT ALWAYS OPTIMAL.
O'REILLY: Right, but remember what Google did. They basically said, let's look at what all the millions of individual users are linking to, and let's use that information to get the good stuff to float to the top. That turned out to be a very powerful idea, the ramifications of which we're exploring in other areas, such as with tagging on Flickr or blogs. People are finding more ways to have the wisdom of crowds filter that signal-to-noise.
MARK DERY, author and cultural critic: I find the fetishization of the wisdom of crowds fascinating. It has a whiff of '90s cyberhype about it. I'm fascinated by the way in which it contrasts with individual subjectivity. A lot of technologies, such as Flickr, blogging, the iPod, seem to turn the psyche inside out, to extrude the private self into the public sphere. You have people walking down the street listening to iPods, seemingly oblivious to the world, singing. More and more, we're alone in public.
I have to say that I find the current treatment of the wisdom of crowds to be a bit droll. It's like saying that we're always going to go with the audience a la Who Wants to be a Millionaire. What happened to self-determination?
I think there is distinction to be drawn between wisdom of the crowd and the effects of social power on a society. Remember that blue eye vs. brown eye experiment or the failed prison experiment?
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
For more on the digital-textbook project, see an article from The Chronicle by Andrea Foster.
--source Wired News from The Chronicle
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Look for more chicken little reports of how Reference Librarians are about to be replaced by machines. Take a deep breath. Do not be alarmed.
Play Station 2, a human designed computer system that is sold to customers on the assumption that it works. One would hope that most of the technical support questions would already be easily identifiable and aswerable. If that's what you are doing in the reference office then shame on you.
This work replicates Virginia's theory of reference service that's more than a decade old--and very misleadingly called the Brandeis Model. With the Brandeis model we use graduate students instead of a MetaFAQs to answer the easy, repetitive questions and human beings (not e-mail msgs) are passed back to the reference librarian when a question falls outside those limits.
Reference librarians in the RCO don't really answer questions. What they do is interview patrons to figure out what they need. More often than not, they can't articulate their research needs. A student might walk up to the desk and ask where the microform machines were. A half hour later we could easily be knee deep in the guide to ESTC on microfilm trying to find a pamphlet her professor mentioned in class.
My advice to people who are worried about Artificial Intelligence machines taking over human intelligence jobs is to read a bit in macro-linguistics, the philosophy of language and throw in a basic reader on the social construction of reality.
Just make sure you have a job that calls for creativity and human conversation and you're safe.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
The article in the World-Herald touches on intellectual property as a reason why some musicians have banned cell phones. According to the article, Bon Jovi is coming to Omaha and will allow this text messaging. Book your flights now! :)
I thought the idea of text messaging to a huge screen at a live venue was a very interesting idea. Here's a pretty cool application of this idea that happened back in August.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thanks to ultraviolent titles like Quake and Grand Theft Auto, the video-gaming industry isn't exactly known for its high-minded political insight. But Ivan Marovic, one of the founders of the influential Serbian student resistance group Otpor, is hoping to change that perception. Mr. Marovic is working to design a game -- called A Force More Powerful -- that teaches the tactics of nonviolent conflict, not the art of the shoot'em-up. (Wired News)" -- source The Chronicle
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
In the search box I started out with King Henry the eighth. Whoa. see what it spits out.
Did fine with yellow roses
But try a query with just the word scrapple.
Somebody has an awful lot of time on their hands.
Word is they are about to go live with their Google Base. They let you put anything you want up there, tag it, sell it, whatever. Three bog entries that popped up in at http://a9.com/google base
ZDNet says they got confirmation Tuesday from a Google Spokeswoman.
There entries in flickr for screenshots of the new service
ArsTechnica (Ken "Caesar" Fisher's blog) says it's almost up and goes on to speculate:
There's another level to this as well. By letting people post nearly anything, Google will get their hands on a massive database of items that have been given user-created attributes. Google then can use that data to try and generate a kind of universal tagging schema for information and items, which could then be used to classify information across the net.Ohmigod, one uniform language for describing things! These guys are pathologically hopeful.
Monday, October 24, 2005
WARNING: This is more of a rant than news and it's really only scrapple-related. I've been reading some stuff that's really, really irritating me.The wisdom of The Crowd is a very popular notion just now and I'm in agreement with the idea in many situations--but not all.
Let's remember that Nazi Germany was brought to you by The Crowd. They didn't vote for Hitler but they voted for the guy who handed the government over to him.
I, for one, do not want a free-for-all discussion in the operating room on how to proceed with my surgery. I'd like one, single, very well educated, highly trained, expert on my problem to be in charge, to be wielding the knife and to be calling the plays.
I don't want riders on the bus debating whether or not we can make it across the train tracks before the train arrives.
My point is that we don't want to take an idea that's good in some situations and try to apply it everywhere. That kind of 'Well, it worked before, it ought to work now' thinking leads to abominations like Rocky XXXIV.
There is a time and a place for expertise. And you really shouldn't depend on volunteer work to develop a body of complex knowledge or make time limited decisions.
I'm just calling for a bit of balance.
But maybe you disagree...
In some ways this guy is just another Chicken Little, but he is pointing out some of the issues we need to be thinking about. And some of them are larger than just the library world.
I'll stop here and put my ranting in a comment so that you can skip on to the next item in your overly busy day.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Think of building a chip using lots of little bitty cars. Take this molecule 5 nanometers, turn 45 degrees right, go another 150 nanometer, put the molecule down and then go back home. If you could do that you could make really small circuits.
It would require universities to re-engineer their networks so that every Net access point would send all communications not directly onto the Internet, but first to a network operations center where the data packets could be stitched together into a single package for delivery to law enforcement, university officials said.That sounds like humongous deal. Various university folk are saying they would have to redo all their access points, that we're looking at major expenses--enough to drive the cost of tuition up $450 annually.
On the other side the article quotes 'some government officials' as saying that it's not really that big a deal because they wouldn't be picking up the Intranet traffic, only the stuff that goes off campus. Basically "schools would be required to make their networks accessible to law enforcement only at the point where those networks connect to the outside world."
So which is it? Does every single switch in every single closet have to be replaced? Or could they route everything out of campus through a single line. Then, at that one point where the campus meets the world, they could pull traffic off and examine it there? Would this do anything to speed?
Or, is it something else? Or maybe both? Can you really tell from the article?
BTW, if this is an accurate quote about only caring about what goes off campus, it represents a serious lack of understanding of the nature of university work.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The posting itself is not half as good as the title. Sorta like this one.
Never underestimate the power of a good headline
-- it can draw readers into almost any material.
nrs [not really scrapple]
Thursday, October 20, 2005
A Slashdot item this morning read "Microsoft Thinks Africa Doesn't Need Free Software." My immediate reaction was what kind of lunacy is this? And, since it was about Africa (which by the way is an entire continent, not a country) I had to pop over and read it on ZDNet. The tag line above the article reads,
"You can give people free software, but they won't have the expertise to use it, says Microsoft Nigeria's manager."Well, duh. OK, that makes sense and I expect that MS is in fact supporting training. (After all, Gates is big into support for conquering malaria). Then the lead paragraph flips back to the sound bite,
"Microsoft has claimed the cost of software is not an important issue in the developing world."Back to the lunacy. But read on. The next paragraph begins
"In response to a question on the role of open source software in Africa, Gerald Ilukwe, the general manager of Microsoft Nigeria,..."Key points are
- They are focusing on Open Source so the discussion appears to not be so much about the ability of peoples in developing economies to afford it as it is a response to the notion that Open Source is a good thing there. So that explains why MS is saying this.
- The quote is from an office in Nigeria. Nigeria is a much, much richer country than its neighbors. Oil profits make it unlike any of its neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa. What I'm saying here is that a person working out of an office in Nigeria is not the best person to look to for an economic analysis of the financial worth of the vast majority of people living on the continent.
Don't get too comfortable because the final paragraph is all about organizations that are offering Open Source software training. In that page there are a number of links to those organizations and those links draw your eyes to that part of the page.
So, if you read the whole article you get a subtler understanding of the players, the context and the details of their arguments. But the thinking in journalism is that as people skim through the news they often only read the first and maybe last paragraph. If you'd done that here you'd have only picked up the 'sound bite' version and as a result gotten a very skewed understanding.
This is the print equivalent of those talking heads whose idea of a political debate is to name call the opposition and it drives me crazy. I don't care which side of the fence you are on--commercial or Open Source--this is just lousy reporting.
At the bottom of the page are links to two other articles.
|Microsoft 'lends security expertise' to Nigeria||Emerging markets a priority for new Microsoft head|
Did I follow the links? Naw, they looked like puff pieces -- minimally re-writen versions of PR releases. [insert grin face icon here]
And, BTW, I'm always irritated when I see people write about Africa as if it were a single country. It's a hugh place! Three times the size of the US at least. Thinking all Africans are alike makes about as much sense as saying that all North Americans are alike. Try telling an Alberta cowboy that he's just like a Mayan Indian in Guatemala. Arghhh.[flame off]
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Cool. Who knew they let 8 year olds name worms.
This technology, combined with The British Library's "Turning the Pages" project and you've got a good start on finally mastering print.
"The Copyright Permissions Building Block...will allow professors at the 1,200 colleges that use Blackboard's course management system, to automatically tap into the copyright center's authorization process...to make it easier for faculty...to get permission to use the materials they chose."
Forgive all the ... but I just wanted to put in the necessary to text to convey the author's meaning. Seems like he is saying that Blackboard will have a component that will let users tap into the Copyright Clearance Center's approval process for copyrighted material.
Anybody looking into this at Hopkins? Seems like it would be useful to allow faculty to post articles directly in Blackboard. Are there any cons to it I wonder?
May be a smart move; might not. I sure wouldn't want to be the manager of a McD's where kids could come to hang out and play games.
Ray Crock, the original owner of McD's had some very strict ideas about what's allowed and what isn't in a McD. Vending machines were out of the question because he didn't want any of his stores selling cigarettes. Something tells me he wouldn't have been thrilled with this development.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see if it flies. McDonald's Hamburger & Internet Cafe?
BBC's related stories include:
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
It will be along the lines of the American business project rather than a French academic site but what the hey. We blend when we enter new markets.
Don't they sell rice instead of french fries at the MacDonald's in Japan? I know I remember that T.R. Reid once said that the Japanese celebrate Christmas by going to Kentucky Fried Chicken -- sit down tables with linen and everything. Apparently you have to make reservations well in advance.
Susan, what do they serve at Mikey D's in Indonesia?
Google defends themselves on two points:
- the maps aren't all that current
- they are all from publically available information
"At the moment you can get around it by appending -site:blogspot.com -site:info to your searches on those search engines that will allow it. Which unfortunately isn't all of them, but cleans up Feedster and Google Blog Search at least."
For those of you tracking tech lexicon she tells us that blogs that are essentially spam as splogs. And, although she refers to BlogSpot as SplogSpot, there is actually a site http://splogspot.com that you can use to filter splog.
Monday, October 17, 2005
The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright Analysis
by Jonathan Band
This guy is a lawyer who "does not represent any entity with respect to the Google Print project. He may be contacted via his Web site http://www.policybandwidth.com/."
He argues that what Google is doing is absolutely legitimate and that Pat S & her group are over reacting. He cites a number of different legal cases and I have to admit I lost interest before he got too far into that stuff but what I read of the article was persuasive.
Friday, October 14, 2005
A very useful tool. Especially if you want to compare your library to peer institutions...
If NBC signs a deal to license the Apprentice (the Trump version), I'm so there.
How much will I pay to download each episode? They might as well make seasons available for download at a slightly discounted price. I think they said it's $2.99 per episode without the commercials. Will be interesting to see how advertisers react.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
" OCLC will first offer this service through Open WorldCat and later expand it into the WorldCat database in FirstSearch."
Friday, October 07, 2005
This is a completely new thing for me, and since I know some of you Scrapple folks have done more of this than I have, can you point me to some good resources on developing library-related web-usability surveys? Right now, it looks like most of our data is being gathered in the form of free-text entry fields, and I'm thinking we'll want to phrase more questions as yes/no or multiple choice in order to give us data that's easier to analyze. Any other suggestions?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Philadelphia plans to offer free Internet access in public spaces such as parks, covering about 10 percent of the city, but outside of these areas, monthly subscriptions will cost from $10 to $20.
Monday, October 03, 2005
My favorite? Pickled herringg. In Slovak and Czech one calls the @ sign a pickeled herring. Thus my e-mail would be:
woodson pickeled herring jhu dot edu
I'm still not sure what I think about these tools. They don't do anything for me but maybe it's just my unfamiliarity with them.
Someone writes in something wrong, I look at the site, it's corrected a few minutes later...I still got wrong info and more importantly, I don't know I have wrong info.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I'm just wondering how you know whether a particular answer is one of the 80% or one of the 20%.
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Salt Lake City
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that leach from glues, paints, vinyls and plastics in the passenger compartment. The fumes can trigger headaches, sore throats, nausea and drowsiness.
Friday, September 30, 2005
The Real Player streaming audio/video of the interview as well as a full transcript is available free-of-charge[ http://www.q-and-a.org/ ].
A podcast of this interview (as well as two others) is also available[ http://www.c-span.org/podcast/qa_feed.xml ][ http://www.c-span.org/podcast/ ]
Wales will be a keynote speaker at WikiSym 2005 WikiSym 2005:the 2005 International Symposium on Wikis, Oct 16-18, 2005, San Diego, California, U.S.A.[ http://www.wikisym.org/ws2005 ]
Friday, September 23, 2005
It's basically a single box where you can do 'shortcut' searches. Start typing and it finds what it thinks you want. Try typing your area code. I think you have to know a lot more about 'shortcut' searching than I do.
Also, seems many people were confused by the name--apparently unaware of the Wodehouse series of books entitled Jeeves. Too bad, the world would likely be a better place if more people had read some Jeeves.
Monday, September 19, 2005
To support users displaced by Hurricane Katrina, CSA will provide continuing database subscriptions for students, faculty, librarians, and researchers not able to access via traditional methods. Database users should go to http://info.csa.com/katrina/reg.shtml to register.
CSA is also working with its publishing partners to extend this program. Subscribers affected by Hurricane Katrina will access databases through the CSA Illumina platform from the following publishing partners:
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- Rapra Technology, Limited
- American Economic Association
- Plexus Publishing, Inc.
- Modern Language Association
Other hurricane relief initiatives by CSA include:
- Extending affected customer subscriptions for up to 6 months to cover the period of time where their services would be affected.
- Encouraging our publishing partners to incorporate these relief efforts and/or help them implement their efforts
- Working with the American Library Association (ALA) to create a fund used to help rebuild the affected library infrastructure
- Reviewing internal equipment for items that can be donated to the affected area
Additional information about CSA's Hurricane Katrina relief activities can be found at http://info.csa.com/katrina/.
Please join us next Tuesday (September 20, 2005) from 8:00-8:30 PM Central Time for a first live webcast about topics in human information behavior research.From: Siguse-l, an ASIST listserv from ASIST on Information Needs, Seeking and Use (USE)
Host: Sanda Erdelez, University of Missouri
Guest: Karen Fisher, U. of Washington, Chair SIG USE
Karen will talk about the Theories of Information Behavior, a book in ASIS&T monograph series that was published this summer by Information Today.
The webcast is an experimental programming initiative of SIG USE in cooperation with the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Information Science and Learning Technologies. This will be a live, interactive webcast with studio audience and live call ins (toll free in the U.S.). For more information visit: http://lisradio.missouri.edu/ (For Listeners) or email me directly (email@example.com).
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The article should be of interest to anyone seeking an inexpensive, open source, text-searching framework that scales to extremely large databases. The technology described uses the SRW (Search/Retrieve Web) service in a manner nearly identical to federated searching in the metasearch community and should be of interest to anyone doing federated searching.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
I still like the idea that Brewster K told us about last spring -- multi-hop networks where people put antennae on their roofs and create network access from many using a single IPS connection.
Monday, September 12, 2005
According to an article in CNN (link above), the author:
"manages to keep things compelling, adding his own trenchant analysis about what Google's rapid evolution and powerful technology might mean for the company and our society as a whole. He views Google and other major search engines as invaluable windows into the world's interests and desires, a "database of intentions" destined to become the hub of 21st-century capitalism.
It doesn't drop any bombshells. But "The Search" excavates some intriguing new details about Google, culled from interviews with more than 350 people including Google's controlling triumvirate -- Chief Executive Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin."
Friday, September 09, 2005
The Geaux Library Project is working to provide reference and other library services to Katrina survivors. See this excellent description over at Catalogablog.
Friday, September 02, 2005
She touts several other search engines that have other features...Clustering, answering instead of searching and suggesting sites that are likely good guides to the topic you are searching.
Teoma -- They find and present "locate communities on the Web within their specific subject areas," Try a search for Wharton Texas or try new york restaurants.
Yahoo Mindset once you have your search results it gives you a slider bar to sort your hits as more about shopping or research.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
"measure the readership of not only individual issues of printed publications, but also the individual pages of those publications."They claim that in 10 years these will be as ubiquitous as barcodes are now.
Seems pretty wild to get it to the page level. And they'll have to get the price down lots lower. I mean lots lower.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
I found this page when looking at this entry:
"Recently, Mark Cuban of Icerocket made the accusation that Blogger is by far the worst offender when it comes to Spam Blogs. Now Google Blogger is introducing Word Verification for user comments to prevent comment spam and another feature called Flag As Objectionable where users can report blogs with questionable content. Google appears to be listening."
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
"People with very solid training in the physical sciences, in informatics and computer science, who also have a sophisticated understanding of biology of medicine are going to be in very short supply."
- OK if you are doing 'casual' research (e.g., your freshman writing paper)"It's a powerful and convenient tool, if you need a representative sample of research."
- If you are doing serious research it should be your last resort.
Nothing new to most Scrapple readers but it's a concise statement of the obvious, it provides a close look at GS search/sort capabilities and he makes some educated guesses about what, exactly, is in GS.
Friday, August 12, 2005
It's a tiny memory card -- "smaller than a postage stamp" -- that plugs right into your computer's USB port. So you can download pictures to your computer without a USB cable and witout draining the power of your laptop.
AAP posts their response, 'Yeah, right-- now we have to explicitly list every book we want protected? Like that's going to make us any happier.'
I'm I the only one who thinks it's just a tiny bit funny that the guy in charge of GoogleScan is Adam Smith? I keep thinking that there ought to be a book entitled "An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of Google"
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I haven't used the bus in Baltimore because, the couple of times I tried, it was difficult to figure out where the lines went and how often the buses came by. When I thought I knew the bus didn't come on time.
Now there is Next Bus that combines satellite technology and advanced computer modeling to track vehicles on their routes and predict when the bus will arrive at your stop. The shelters are equipped with signs that tell you when the next bus will arrive. Sort of like those great signs in the DC subway.
OK, I have to take back everything I said about Konfabulator (literally, I erased it.) I was just being a dunderhead. All is fine now.
I love having the phase of the moon show up on the screen. And I've got the analog clock because I really prefer that. The only other thing I have is the memory monitor.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
A technical query.
We were getting a lot of spam to an unpublished e-mail address. The only instance we could find of it online is in a form. When you look at the source code, you can clearly see the group e-mail (such as firstname.lastname@example.org). Some one told me that there was no way this type of form could generate spam because the e-mail info is all server side (Cold Fusion). But if I can see it in the source code, can't the spiders too?
We've since changed the e-mail and the form, but it did get me wondering about it. Can you set up a form to that it displays the Library as the recipient, but hides the address so its not visible in the source code?
I converted Scrapple to PDF. Kindof nifty. You can select to include images or exclude them (although I never got them to show with blogs that had images). The PDF displayed postings from the top page, not older posts.
Next time you want to take a blog feed to a departmental meeting...here you go!
Update: I must amend my post. I couldn't get images to appear on RSS to PDF because I just entered the URL directly. It worked when I put in this feed: http://rss2pdf.com/?img=1&url=http://susans411.info/wp-rss2.php
Thanks to Tom, the creator of this service, to e-mailing me this nifty tip. :)
Monday, August 08, 2005
I think I like the fact that it's more interactive. I'm not sure it's any better or worse than other search engines. Maybe just more interesting to use.
What do you think?
I tested it by searching for William Welmers (a linguist who worked in popular languages like Kpelle and Fanti). In Google's Open WorldCat I got 9 hits. I thought that was reasonable. (I have OCLC via Google as a search engine in my firefox search box.)
Next I did the search in a9.com (their book search looks in Amazon) and got "about 170"--like the computer really can't tell exactly how many?
Then I went straight to the horse's mouth and tried the same two-word search in Amazon and got 158.
1. For Precision choose Google. All the responses were good, solid ciations and they gave information about libraries where you could find it. But they only gave a few items.
2. Comprehensive award goes to A9.com and Amazon because they came up with lots, lots more. Where possible they 'Search within the book.' So you get more recent works that cite Welmers. But of course, there were many, many were false hits like Bobby Knight's biography and a book about Danielle Steele.
3. Ranking matters though. a9.com and Amazon apparently use different ranking algorhythms and I liked the a9.com one better. More of the titles I wanted up front.
4. Finally there is robustness of the engine. When I added the word Africa to the search in a9.com I got 119. Still some false hits but it got rid of some of the junk. I tried adding Africa to the Amazon search and it just pooped out and said, nope, nothing like that here. I cut and pasted the search into the a9.com box at the top of the Amazon page and got 'about 122.'
BOTTOM LINE-- we got no idea what's going on when we search these guys. OK if you're just looking for a nice read but useless if you're a grad student trying to build a bibliography for a comprehensive exam.
Oh yeah, and the last paragraph of the article is very interesting:
"OCLC member libraries and individual members of the Users Council were contacted for this story. Some were aware of experiments and projects with Amazon; others were not. Attempts to acquire details from OCLC were limited due to a non-disclosure agreement. Attempts to contact Amazon to discuss OCLC records and their inclusion and use were equally unsuccessful."
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
Butch, maybe there should be some rules in a knife fight.
I just ran across an alternative to whatismyip.com:
I can't get the find in a library search to work well at all. But I've added these extensions and it's faster than logging in to WorldCat. It just becomes another item drop down in your search engine list.
These have been out a while but I wanted to post them here so I could find the page to download them later on.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
One nice thing about it is that you can opt to have your IE bookmarks integrated into it. When you start the software, it looks pretty much like your IE browser, but with a pluck menu to the left (where your history usually is). I've added this site as a feed, so this is a test to see if I managed to do it right.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
BBC reports "a decrease in the ratio of spam to legitimate e-mail from 83% in January to 67% in June."
Unfortunately, they also tell us that, "the January average of one in every 52 e-mails infected with some sort of malicious security threat has risen to one in every 28 by June."
Top three targets of attacks:
- United States
- New Zealand
I know, New Zealand. Go figure.
And when they do start doing that surely someone will figure out how to get around it.
- This could be a good thing for those virtual keyboard folks
- Maybe we need to go back to thinking about a mobile interface for the catalog. While II'm in the stacks I can look up a call number with my Blackberry, or verify that we should have a particular issue of a journal that's missing.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Earlier this month Google (Nasdaq: GOOG - news), Goldman Sachs and Hearst invested in Broadband over Power Line (BPL) provider Current Communications. IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) and CenterPoint announced a big partnership to promote the technology.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Get your girlfriend to download an RSS reader, get her to subscribe to your very special feed only for her. Post some items you would normally write to her via email. Do this for a couple of weeks, then drop the bad news. Expect the subscription circluation to drop off at this point.
It's a wiki so you can add your own ideas.
... on research articles from publishers participating in the CrossRef project and several collections of online preprints and other major scholarly sites, ... (although its original coverage was stronger in science and technology than in the social sciences)....
It also includes
...links to individual documents, ... [and] citation references extracted from other documents using special algorithms developed at Google.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Officials say the technology will make it much easier for them to take inventory of the articles, which students rent every year. But some privacy advocates argue that the RFID tags could broadcast personal information to snoops or government officials.
Wonder what the penalty will be for removing, disabling, or tampering with a tag?
I've looked at moving to another template but didn't like the ones that are up there now enough to change over (this one has disappeared or I would have reloaded it.) It's readable--irritating but readable.
Anyway, the guys who brought you Latent OpenURLs have announced a name change; it's now COinS. It's a better name--an acronym that helps explain what it is/does. (BTW: It's both singular and plural. They don't want you to say COinSes--and really, who can blame them.) Here's a one sentence description.
"COinS (ContextObjects in Spans) is a simple, ad hoc community specification for publishing OpenURL references in HTML."
Why do we care? By establishing a standard for embedding OpenURLs in standard HTML, COinS enables the delivery of web services--specifically the user-appropriate resolution of OpenURLs. That means that anyone (not just big vendors) can take advantage of the OpenURL resolver systems in any page they write.
Here's how it works. I publish a citation in my blog using COinS format. You have a browser with a COinS extension that you've configured to point to your own OpenURL resolver (e.g., SFX.) Then, when you look at my blog you see the citation with a link that produces your OpenURL resolver menu.
Two places to look for more info:
- Dan Chudnov's blog entry for 21 July http://curtis.med.yale.edu/dchud/log/project/groupware/introducing-coins
- Eric Hellman's article on COinS at his Openly Informatics site
Friday, July 29, 2005
He also gave an interesting talk full of his thoughts on future technology. Even mentioned
GoogleZon. His presentations are online at http://www.sirsi.com/Resources/abram_articles.html
If you haven't heard about it, Sirsi is now focusing on a portal. From their webiste: "Create a one-stop interface to your library or consortim catalog, databases, digital archives, RSS feeds, ILL, calendars, and other library resources and services..." Basically, you can by an add-on package that will give you a portal as your library website. From the portal page, you have a search screen that allows you to search the catalog and any Z39.50 database you identify for it to search. In the demo they bought up books and journal articles.
I have another interesting scrapple tidbit, but will have to e-mail it to you Sue.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
OpenURL and Metasearch:
New Standards, Current Innovations, and Future Directions A NISO
educational workshop to be held:
September 19-21, 2005, Washington DC
Don't miss this opportunity to get the latest information on OpenURL and
Metasearch, two standards supporting technologies that continue to
transform the information landscape. The three-day program includes a
training day for technical staff from all types of content providers
(publishers, vendors, and libraries). Training will cover the basics of
implementation, available tools, and requirements for standards
conformance. In this highly networked world, the key to success is
"learning to play well with others" -- the training day will tell you
In addition: The program includes opportunities for dialog with experts
and informal networking during breaks, meals, and a special conference
reception. Sponsoring vendors will highlight the features of their
products in Vendor Showcases and in Exhibits. The workshops will be held
at the spacious state-of-the-art conference facility at the Academy for
Educational Development near DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C.
Visit the NISO website for details on the agenda, speakers, exhibitor
and sponsorship opportunities, and to register: www.niso.org Or, contact
NISO Headquarters for further information: T: 301-654-2512.
As part of a deal announced earlier this month, the University of Washington at Seattle will fork over $24,000 to Napster, the online music service, to provide students living on campus with eight-month subscriptions.
The money will come from royalties generated by the university's own technology licenses. The price tag isn't cheap, but it's not terrible for a university with almost 6,000 residential students: According to most estimates, colleges can expect to pay $2 or $3 a month for each student who signs up.
Washington's $24,000 check will only cover subscriptions for 1,500 students, but the university is getting a helping hand from Dell, the PC manufacturer. Dell will chip in $24,000 for an additional 1,500 licenses -- which, campus officials figure, ought to be enough, since many student s will be disinclined (or, if they use Macs, unable) to use Napster. Of course, Dell's getting plenty of free advertising out of the deal: Washington officials have pledged to let Dell representatives sell products on campus, and to promote the Digital Jukebox, Dell's portable MP3 player. (The Daily) from Wired News
The repository, to be called the Texas Digital Library, will not resemble the California Digital Library -- not initially, at least. That repository, which provides books, journals, and databases to California libraries, provided an inspiration for the Texas effort, said Fred M. Heath, vice provost of the University of Texas Libraries, but 'this would be closer to the DSpace collaborative at MIT.' "
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
And there's a contest "To encourage interest in the project, the BBC announced a competition to coincide with its launch. Running until 5 September 2005, the most promising API-utilising ideas will win the official backing of the corporation, which will help with further development."
(Remember, these are the people who have TV game shows and give away prizes like toasters.)
See also Backstage BBC http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/ and
Open Source BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/opensource/
Monday, July 25, 2005
cannot be identified -- have led to an array of problems in
publishing, digitizing projects, preservation efforts, and
the filming of documentaries. Tomorrow and Wednesday, the
U.S. Copyright Office is holding a series of hearings to
determine whether copyright law should change to allow for
more liberal use of orphan works. Scholars and artists are at
odds over proposed changes.
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v51/i47/47a03301.htm
Monday, July 18, 2005
This story is appearing everywhere today...
- Parker, Kimberly.
- E-Terminology: Why Do I Need to Know What You Mean?
It's in Portal and is of use to both public and technical services folks.
This is great article proposing some definitions that can help us clarify and unifiy the language we use when we talk about electronic journals, databases, etc. The authors begin with a couple of all too familiar conversations about whether we do or don't subscribe to a journal.
In some ways it's just common sense. But they've actually nailed down those illusive beasts like Ingenta and Highwire. They coined the category: 'E-Printers.'
This is why we love Kim Parker--she can articluate common sense in an uncommon way.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Well, maybe any URL near us.
OK, these are blogs that claim to be nearby. You tell them what your address is. You can tell them anything you want. Click on the button and try this link from the page
Baltimore (3.6 km SE) Near Latrobe Homes