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.