Friday, December 28, 2007

Be very angry

Is it Scrapple? I don't know. It's the kind of thing you don't want to belive. You want to put it out of your head. But I heard this testimony on C-Span radio yesterday.

Two years and no action from the State Dept or DoJ. Who are the guys covering this up? Do they not have mothers? sisters? wives? Where is Condoleezza Rice? Where is this country's moral compass?

She has created the Jamie Leigh Foundation to help others in similar circumstances.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Right tool for the job

See the free alphabetizing service online at

I know, I know. So, what. I can paste a list into Excel and sort fine. But this thing does more. It has tons of options.

You can dump in text separate by:
  • new line
  • comma
  • tab
As it alphabetizes you can have it:
  • Strip HTML
  • Ignore Case
  • Make all lowercase
  • Capitalize first word
  • Remove Duplicates (cool)
  • Reverse List
  • Randomize
  • Ignore Indefinite Articles (haven't tried but it sounds nice)

You can have it:
  • Add your own term to the beginning of each entry
  • Add your own term to the end of each entry
  • Remove the first word from each entry before alphabetizing
  • Remove the first word from each entry after alphabetizing
It won't:
  • make coffee
  • wake you up in the morning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An open source clustering engine

This morning I ran into Carrot2 , an "Open Source Search Results Clustering Engine."

It has an interesting approach to displaying results from multiple sources. Being built in Poland. Give it a try.

And it's open source. How great is that?!

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Beyond OPAC 2.0: Library Catalog as Versatile Discovery Platform"

There's an absolutely fabulous article in The Code4Lib Journal about what NCSU is doing these days with their catalog. Since JH is in the middle of thinking about what we're going to do when we don't have Horizon to kick around anymore this article caught my eye.

If you remember NCSU folks are the one who brought us the faceted 'Endeca-based" catalog a few years ago. Of course they are up to even more creative doings.

The whole article is very interesting but if phrases like 'Application Programming Interface' and 'data modeling' make your eyes glaze over then just skip the one section called "CatalogWS."

But definitely don't miss the section on "Current Applications." I'm excited by the idea of making a version of the catalog for the mobile--you're in the stacks and can't remember what the call # is. What do you do? pull up the catalog in your phone. Cool, huh?

BTW, The Code4Lib Journal is a brand new journal and our own Jonathan Rochkind is one of the founding editors.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spacetime browser

The Spacetime browser attempts to provide a 3D search space for displaying results. Check out the flash video on their website:

I downloaded it to my pc. I wasn't too impressed with the initial google image search, however, I did like how you could star multiple images and click on compare. This bought up the images side by side for comparison.

The nice thing about the google search in spacetime is that you can click the next button, to switch directly to the keywords from your search in the next web page.

Will be interesting to see how this develops. Too bad they don't have it for the Mac :)


Hi all, been a long time since I posted.  Thought some of you might be interested in Shelfari. If you haven't tried it, it's a social networking site where people share what books they are reading. 

It is extremely easy to set up. Somebody sent me an invite, though I'm sure you could sign up on the site directly. When I signed up via the link, it asked me if I wanted to import my gmail address book friends who already were on Shelfari. Annoyingly though, it then wanted to send invites to everybody in my contacts list....and I have a lot on that list that aren't in my address book (people from listservs mostly). There wasn't an uncheck all, so after unchecking about 15, I closed the window. When I logged back on today to plow through that list, I found I didn't have to, it took me directly to my home page, where it showed my one friend and group lol. 

Adding books to your shelf is very easy also. You just search on title, author, or ISBN etc and get a list of results you can select from and with just one click, add that title to your shelf. When you log onto your shelf, you see a selection of books from your bookshelf.

I've avoided most of the social networking attempts, like twitter, face book, etc., however, we're trying this site out to see if our local friends of the library group wants to make use of it somehow.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'm in the Powerlabs Community!

Powerlabs is the playground for Powerset, a natural language search engine company. Like so many other companies, right now, they are trying to mash up huge vats of full text with some kind of linguistic knowledgebase to produce a search engine that does more than keyword searching. They opened up to beta testers recently and I applied.

They have a very interesting and extremely well done site. Members get 'karma' points for making comments, having their suggestions implemented and so on. You have to vote on the results of any search you do before you can do another search. You vote on other people's comments, etc. The point is it encourages people to participate. OK, it encourages a certain kind of person to participate. People who are so competitive that they'll go all out for something as insubstantial as extra karma points. :~)

Right now I'm ranked #8303 of 8342 community members and I have a 4 karma. I'll report more as I explore.