Tuesday, May 31, 2005

LoC is joining Internet2

They've got a couple of projects with heavy-duty bandwidth needs coming up and want good access.

The National Digital Newspaper Program
seeks to create a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all states and U.S. territories that were published between 1836 and 1922. [way, way cool]

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
The LC, with its partners, is working to collect historically significant “born-digital” content before it is altered or lost. (http://www.digitalpreservation.gov)

Assoc of Univ Press Assn is not happy with Google Print for Libraries

You've probably heard that UPA is up in arms about Google digitizing the entire holdings of several libraries and maybe enven read summaries of their beefs. But to get the full text of their complaints (including 16 specific challenges) go to:


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Reference Extract & BiblioMancer: Focused Reference search engines

The Information Institute of Syracuse is developing a couple of tools. Both are about using the digital detritus of online reference work (i.e., logs of chat reference and PAQs and pathfinders created for digital reference services).

1. Reference Extract
"Reference Extract is a targeted web search engine. It is built from the expertise of AskA services geared to the education audience. The Virtual Reference Desk team has identified high-quality archives of FAQ's and previously asked questions. These sites were then indexed, and the result is an easy to use, quality oriented search engine: Reference Extract."
The concept is interesting but doesn't have much content yet.
There's a blog for its development if your interested.

2. BiblioMancer:
"Harvest all the URL's cited in reference answers and feed them into a search engine. The idea is not to build a general purpose search engine...like Google ...but to build a smaller search engine of "reference approved" sites and sources."

Gets URLs and builds database of sites based on frequently cited URLs. Then spidering/crawling those URLs.
David Lankes has a lecture (powepoint/podcast) on development of these products and their concept of 'reference authoring'--this process of using digital reference output to populate a focused search engine. (By the way, being able to view PowerPoints synced with the audio is pretty cool.)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

If someone asks for a good podcast site:

I've become very fond of Movie Quote of the Day. But that's just me.

The Addams Family Values quote is quite charming.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Interesting Lecture series at Welch

"Emerging Information Technologies Lecture Series"
At Welch this June
From noon to 1
In the Mountcastle Auditorium (725 N. Wolfe St.).

  1. Open Source Software: An Introduction
    June 15
    Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, MD

  2. RSS (Really Simple Syndication): Delivering Content Directly to Users Really Simply
    June 21
    J. Dale Prince, MA, MLS, AHIP

  3. Using Blogs for Information Management
    June 29
    Christina Pikas, MLS

For further details, please contact Jeffery Loo.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Automatically resolving OpenURLs -- any time, any place

Ross Singer at Georgia Tech has put up a powerpoint called WAGging Google Scholar: Localizing & Contextualizing the Web. Have a look. It gives a bit of a frame of reference for the Latent OpenURL concept.

The point is that many users won't come to resources we've licensed through the library's 'front door.' Whether it comes from an A&I service or someone's online bibliography (we're getting RefWorks, you know) or even a weblog--whatever way it comes -- we should be able to get our readers to the right copy or to our ILL form.

We need to find a way to use our OpenURL technology regardless of the source of the bibliographic citation.

This little guy

is why I've not been blogging much. Isn't he adorable (if I say so myself) :)


buckyballs batter bacteria

and they're bad for the environment too. This may be to sciency for scrapple, but I couldn't pass up a good buckyball story:



Word-Aligned Hybrid (WAH) compression method promises to speed up searching of complex and massive amounts of data.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Google Library project draws more criticism...

University-Press Group Raises Questions About Google's Library-Scanning Projecthttp://chronicle.com/free/2005/05/2005052301t.htm

The controversy just keeps going, and going, and going...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Google web clips -- yawn

If you've got GMail you can now add rss or atom feeds as a one-line windowette above your in-box. It's really kind of weird.

It isn't a feed. But then they don't claim that it is.
It isn't what Bloglines calls clips either. That's a kind of virtual verticle file of clips you want to keep.

This is just a one line above the in-box. It shows one feed entry at a time.
You get to other entries using the arrow keys to the right. With those you 'scroll' through through your list of feeds one entry at a time. And they don't even show all the entries for each feed together. First you see an entry for feed1, then an entry for feed 2 and so on. Arghh.

To my mind this misses one of the best features of feeds. With this you can't see a whole bunch of entries for a feed at one time. A drop-down like live book marks would be much better.

Back to the drawing board, boys and girls.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

evil twins

No, not some cheesy USA movie...I heard about this a while back, but was reminded about it again on CNN Headlines last night:


Friday, May 13, 2005

From the "You've gotta be kidding" column

Microsoft is going to offer an anti-virus software service. Think they'll use the revenues to make their operating system more secure against viruses?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton in the UK has developed a tool that attempts to combine the best of the features of the iTunes interface with the best of the features of the Google interface. The result is mSpace http://mspace.fm/.

Another Google story

More Than 100 Colleges Work With Google to Speed Campus Users to Library Resources


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

More info from govt

Most popular baby names. Thanks to Social Security Administration.

It's amazing, sometimes, just how much of what we know comes from gov't reports and documents.

Not that there's anything wrong with it...

RedLigthGreen now has ads. The page I saw had an ad for The Gap.

It's odd how RLG always approaches things more like a public library than a research library.

AutoOpenURL resolver

Openly Informatics has come up with this very cool Firefox extension. It can call up your OpenURL resolver from any web page (i.e., ciatation coming from somewhere that isn't an sfx source!) as long as the citation follows the LatentOpenURL format, a proposal for this standard is being discussed on the GCS-PCS Listserv.

  • Read about the extension here.

  • Download it here.
    You'll need our SFX address info. It's something like http://sfx.library.jhu.edu:8000/jhu_sfx [I'm sending this posting to Nathan in the hope that he will post a comment with the correct address.]
    Give the link a name you'll recognize (like 'What does this button do?')

  • Try it out here
    This is an open access journal whose references have been re-written as LatentOpenURLs. Here's what you do.

    1. Find an article in this journal
    2. Go to the reference page of that article
    3. Click on any article cited in the references

    All references in this journal have been Latent OpenURL-enabled. So you should see a link below the citation. The link will have the name you gave it -- Like 'What does this button do?'


Making links

MakingLinks is very interesting blog with lots of stuff about SFX, linking, and using Refworks. For example there's a piece with links to info on how to make SFX link directly to dissertations.

(I'm told JH has licensed RefWorks for the institution and is just waiting to announce until they have it working with JHED).

Sunday, May 08, 2005


It's one of the rare moments these days when Jonathan is sound asleep and I'm still awake...

Anyway, I was reading this interesting online article about Xen and the idea of virtualization. I think it's a pretty interesting & good idea.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Putting the Hyper back in HTML

Check out Liquid Information. They are committed to makomg online texts more interactive. Right now they have a way to make a menu pop-up when you pass the cursor over a word. You can highlight, search for the word or phrase elsewhere in the doc or look up the meaning of a word.

This is exactly what I've always wanted for reading history books. There are countless Dukes of Cornwall. When you're reading you can lose track of which one the author is referring to. You could also use it to bring up maps or census data or genealogies, hear the word spoken.

Finding GooglePrint books

In Search Engine Watch Gary Price explains explains how to finnegle Google to search only for GooglePrint books
  1. Manipulate the results after a search
    • Run a search from any Google web search form using the word "books" before your search term. For example, books california
    • A OneBox near the top of the results page will offer up to three book choices. Pick any one of the three results, and click on it, such as this example.
    • At the bottom of the page, you'll see a search box allowing you to search "all books."
  2. Use this as your search URL http://print.google.com/print?q= and then add your search terms

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Search the catalog with a Firefox extension

Those folks at Waubonsee Community College's Todd Library are doing some very cool work in their catalog.
  • They have a Firefox extension that does a Z39.50 search of their catalog.
  • Catalog entries have a Map button that takes you to a map of the floor where the item should be.
  • And, oh yeah, some of the entries include cover images.
But wait, there's more. They have several RSS feeds available via the RSS icon in the lower right hand corner.

At first I figured that it was a wealthy city but the census says the median income for 2000 is $83,332. Just interesting people doing nifty work. Go figure.

See the Shifted Librarian for more stuff like this

Prestige economy V money economy

In another salvo of the digital culture wars, six EU countries have developed a plan to create a Euroepan digital library a la Google digitization project. Their goal is to make 4.5M works available electronically lest important European literature be lost to future generations (and yes, I see the irony in digitzation for preservation.)

Of course this will cost many Euros.
"Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker warned the Comedie Francaise meeting that such a massive project would only be possible if sufficient funding was made available."
Before going too far they might want to talk to Hopkins' David Bell about how much of that European literature is going to be part of Google's digitization project. They could probably save significant costs by only digitizing titles not already in the Google project. Of course, then, Google & the Anglo-American libraries would hold the only digital copies and I guess that wouldn't be acceptable either.

In WHAT THE INTERNET IS DOING TO SCHOLARSHIP: The Bookless Future Bell makes the point that the Google project has tons of non Anglo-American content. I've seen it in .pdf and it's very thoughtful. Unfortunately I can't find a real link to an online version because it's from The New Republic Online and we don't seem to subscribe. sigh

Not Scrapple but...

I just want to say that it's truly sad that the the BBC site lists the top American stories as:

Wireless as a city service? -- can you say TVA?

Another article on city-wide wireless access. Some cities don't want to wait for the for-profit providers to get around to doing this. In some cases they see lack of ubiquitous wireless as a block on economic progress. Businesses might not stay in your city if you can't provide access.
"We look at this as another utility just like water, sewer, parks and recreation, that our communities should have," said St. Cloud, Florida, Mayor Glen Sangiovanni, who hopes to provide free wireless service to the entire city by the fall.
Needless to say the commercial providers are not happy. Some states have passed laws banning cities from doing this.

Apparently the feds are making this easier by providing funds for cities to upgrade emergency communication systems (homeland security) and the jump to wireless for the people is not that expensive from there.

Once again we find that intentions don't always match up with intended consequences. Think National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 and the critical role that the Interstate Highway plays in the national economy now. (oh yeah, and think of the role that standards have played in making possible. plus que ca change)

**I can't seem to get a link in the title so ... See wikipedia on TVA

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A New World of Wireless at Dartmouth

Copy and pasted from the Chronicle's wired newsletter:

A New World of Wireless: By this fall, Dartmouth College may have the most advanced wireless network of any institution in the country. The college is completing a four-year project that combines its Internet, telephone, and cable systems in one wireless network -- a move that campus officials say will cut maintenance and hardware costs. (The New York Times)Read more about the switch by Dartmouth and other colleges to Internet-based telephones in an article from The Chronicle, by Dan Carnevale.

Personal Info Mgmt -- after bookmarks

Google is great for the huge collection of web pages on the Internetweb but it's not for people to manage their own info.

Net Snippets isn't for scholars but it's another interesting tool for going beyond bookmarks to collect resources on the web. Seems like there is more and more of this sort of thing out there.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Thanks for all the fish

OK, it's not really scrapple-worthy but I really like this book, couldn't do my collection development without Babelfish and worry a bit about how its verbal humor will translate to the screen.

Municiple Broad Band Initiative Map

CNET's map of Government-sponsored projects to provide fiber-optic or wireless networks and efforts to legislate the issue in state capital. Check out Montana & South Dakota. North Dakota at least has Fargo.

Google news patents credibility ranking system

A great idea? Slippery slope? More difficult than it might seem?

Google will give a credibility index to news reports based on
  • number of stories from all news sources
  • average story length in that article's source
  • number with bylines
  • number of the bureaux cited (sic)
  • long they have been in business
  • number of staff
  • volume of internet traffic to its website
  • number of countries accessing the site
OK, so now the question is: Which source gets a higher score--NPR, Fox, NBC, ABC, C-SPAN, Al Jazeera, BBC, San Jose Mercury, Slashdot?

And they could also rank "sales and services could in the future be listed on the basis of price and the reputation of the company involved."