Sunday, July 30, 2006

Of course that's a pretty vague timeframe...

According to ExtremeTech Samsung says they are developing a 4Gb soli-state drive that can act as cache for data and code. Put it on your motherboard and you get fast-- no, really fast-- action on your computer. It's designed to work with MS's Vista as part of the ReadyBoost technology that will be part of Vista. It should be ready "in time for the Microsoft Vista timeframe."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The new internet

YouTube video of a Canadian news report on Internet. I don't know the date but the haircutss, the command line entry and interviewees saying that in these bulletin boards people discuss football in a polite manner suggests that it is not a recent report :~)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Don't blink!

Wired reports on a project from Columbia Univ that connects the scanning power of the human brain with the iterative power of the computer to do some fancy relevancy ranking with images. The idea is to use the technology for security folks who have to view bunches and bunches of images. Your brain recognizes images much faster than you can consciously identify them. As you scan bunches and bunches of images the computer takes note of which images your brain reacts to and brings those images to the top of the list.

Rice U Press resurrected as e-only

Rice University in Houston is resurrecting it's ten-years dead Press. They are going to be publishing as they did in the past with a twist -- they will be fully digital. You'll be able to read for free online or buy a copy of the work as a downloaded file or as a print copy. They are working with the open source system Connextions for publishing and QOOP for printing. From the website QOOP appears to be a very young company.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Open WorldCat -- getting warmer

Open WorldCat was a great idea--huge database of library catalogs searchable for free in Google and Yahoo. But it had two flaws:
  1. You had no real idea of what you were searching because OCLC was vague about what records they exposed to Google and Yahoo
  2. You had to know a search trick to get WorldCat records
And a picky irritant -- you got different results when you searched Yahoo and Google.

In August OCLC will launch a specific website where you can search all the WorldCat records for free. It will be And OCLC says they are putting all of their records in this service.

I wonder what search and display engines they will use. Perhaps this is something they got from absorbing RLG. The RLG free service RedLightGreen has a next-gen catalog look and feel.

So in August we will know where we can easily search all of WorldCat for free. I'm adding it to my resources for graduate students who are working from afar.

That leaves the question: will anyone outside the library community know or care? I say put their free search box everywhere. Spread the word.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Library 2.0?

Wondering what Scrapplers think of the term "Library 2.0?" Buzz, hype, or is there something to it?

Recently, I came across this posting on Library Stuff and it reminded me of some conference talks I've heard recently.

Personally, some of the concept I connecting patrons to library services with a give 'em what they want attitude. But I still remember the first time I heard this term I was turned off by equating this--in my mind--to Netscape 1.0, and subsequent versions.

Library services and our relationship with patrons are more complicated than 1.0, 2.0 aren't they?

Or are people who are 2.0 the ones who can work outside the "library" box and look at new possibilities?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rules in a knife fight*

Interesting piece in Wired Campus about a professor who has given his students written directions for when they can cite Wikipedia.

[A] Wikipedia citation can be an appropriate convenience when the point being supported is minor, noncontroversial, or also supported by other evidence. In addition, Wikipedia is an appropriate source for some extremely recent topics (especially in popular culture or technology) for which it provides the sole or best available synthetic, analytical, or historical discussion.
He goes on to say it's unacceptable to use Wikipedia for any argument that is controversial or complex. And, of course, any citation absolutely must include the date/time when the quote was taken.

Pedagogy at its finest -- take a problem and turn it into a teaching moment. What are we looking for in a source to cite? (HINT: How would I use my Uncle Henry's analysis of the Vietnam War in a paper?) Why do we include citations? (HINT: try finding the 'government report' you saw mentioned in Newsweek)....

*From "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid." The full line is something like 'Rules! Everybody knows there's no rules in a knife fight.' Sadly, this was not one of AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotes

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Publisher makes $1M donation to Katrina Libraries

Scott Carlson reports in the Wired Chronicle News that Springer has made a $1M to 7 libraries affected by Katrina. A for-profit publisher does some good....Here's the story:

"A major academic publisher has donated more than $1-million in electronic books to seven university libraries in New Orleans damaged by Hurricane Katrina. With the gift, from Springer, seven Louisiana libraries will get free, permanent access to more than 10,000 electronic books, mainly in the sciences, technology, and medicine."

Bye-bye APA Index in print

This December will be the last print issue of APA's index to psychological lit.

Is this the first one to go e-only? I can't remember others.