Friday, September 30, 2005

Wiki founder Jimmy Wales

This past Sunday, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, was the featured guest on Q&A on C-SPAN [] :"Jimmy Wales discusses Wikipedia, a free online multi-language encyclopedia that anyone can edit." [ ]

The Real Player streaming audio/video of the interview as well as a full transcript is available free-of-charge[ ].

A podcast of this interview (as well as two others) is also available[ ][ ]

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.[ ]

Friday, September 23, 2005

Maybe I'm missing something...

Yahoo has been promoting it's Instant Search so I finally took a look at it and was underwhelmed.

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.

bye, bye Jeeves

Ask Jeeves is planning to get rid of Jeeves -- now they will be just Ask. We are all looking for the quick, the clean, the short and the simple.

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

CSA Provides Support for Katrina evacuees

In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, CSA is implementing a number of initiatives to aid customers affected by the disaster.

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 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
CSA requests that everyone forward this message to anyone you know displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

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

New webcast series might be interesting

Univ of Miss' LIS school is bringing up a couple of webcast series. They are supposed to be presentations by 'movers and shakers' in libraryland. I'm going to try to get in tomorrow early enough to listen/watch but they seem to archive the programs. If it looks good I'll report back -- no news is bad news. Here's the invite if you want to look for yourself.

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.

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: (For Listeners) or email me directly (
From: Siguse-l, an ASIST listserv from ASIST on Information Needs, Seeking and Use (USE)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Parallel Text Searching on a Beowulf Cluster using SRW

I haven't had a chance to read this article. It's in the September issue of D-Lib. They are trying to find a fast, cheap way to search really big databases (50 million records). It's by 3 researchers from OCLC (Ralph R. LeVan, Thomas B. Hickey, and Jenny Toves). In their abstract they say:

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.

Geaux Opportunities

For more librarians can do, onsite and offsite...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Google's wi-fi plans?

Here's a pod cast from American Public Media that suggests Google is working on providing free wi-fi access around the country. It would enable them to broadcast ads. Wasn't there a movie where people walked down the street and ads were broadcast directly at them as they passed stores?

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

The Search

For those Googlephiles among us, a new book out about Google is out:

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

Something we can do

Like many of my friends, coworkers, and acquaintances right now, I want to do something more than just write a check to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. I'm not really in a position, nor do I have appropriate skills, to take off for New Orleans and help with rescue or recovery operations, but here's something all of us can do:

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

Chronicle wants to know... people are communicating in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina:

Heresy! Google is not the best search engine?

Mary Ellen Bates advises us in eContent this month that using Google as your default search engine is "So Last Week."

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

RFID -- The magic that could be

eContent has an article about some folks are workin on using RFID technology to
"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.