Friday, January 20, 2006

Technology Grant News

Four times a year, Technology Grant News send grant opportunities for colleges and universities, K-12 schools, non-profits, libraries and museums, and towns and cities. From their website:
Technology Grant News provides, accurate, one-stop information on technology grants, free technology resources, technology partnerships, strategic alliances and technology advancement for your organization.
Subscription information is available.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Virus' 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago this month, the first PC virus hit. Called Brain.A, it was a boot sector virus that did little harm. Although it was just the beginning of many other viruses and worms, Brain.A itself is now extinct. [from] [from F-Secure]

More Wireless: 802.11n

Although not yet a standard, IEEE approved the first draft of 802.11n . This standard will:
. . . allow notebook users to connect to wireless access points at much faster speeds than currently available with 802.11g technology. It will use a technology called MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out), which allows the chips to use multiple antennas that can each handle more than one data signal at a time. This is expected to improve the range and throughput of 802.11n products to the point where they should be able to send video content around a house without interrupted playback. Products with 802.11n chips will be able to work with older 802.11a/b/g products at their slower speeds.
The final standard should be available in about a year, with products following that. [from] [from]

Digital Rights Management: A Guide for Librarians

ALA's Office of Information Technology Policy has prepared a policy brief on Digital Rights Management. This is an extensive review of DRM and copyright and fair use. Good article to use as a foundation. [from LJ Tech Blog]

Buying Domains for Babies

According to the New York Times, a new trend is for parents (and parents-to-be) to purchase domains and email addresses for their babies (or fetuses). Some want to use it as a virtual baby book, with friends and relatives leaving messages and parents posting pictures and videos. Others are purchasing them for the future. Instead of having a Hotmail or AOL email address, they will have their own domain name. [from]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Mission Statement for Dublin Core

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative now has a new mission statement. From the web site:
Originally, the main focus of attention of DCMI was the development of standards based on the initial vision of providing a basic approach to discovery of Web resources. In recent years, the attention has turned towards meeting the practical needs of organizations developing and deploying metadata solutions to provide services and products to their clients and customers.
The organization is moving from a focus on resource discovery to resource description. [from ResourceShelf]

Polaris Incorporates RSS

The current version of Polaris (3.2) now incorporates RSS feeds from the catalog. Feeds can check new and on order materials. [from Library Technology NOW]

RSS in Outlook/IE

Microsoft is working on integrating RSS feeds into Outlook. Some screenshots are available. Internet Explorer 7 and Windows have also adopted the Firefox RSS icon: to represent RSS "with the full support of the Mozilla team." [from beSpacific]

Windows XP Service Pack 3

Microsoft has noted that Service Pack 3 for Windows XP Professional (and Home Edition) is preliminarily planned for the second half of 2007. Service Pack 2 came out on August 9th of 2004. Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 is preliminarily planned for the second half of 2006. [from ExtremeTech]

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How Do You Say "GIF?"

There's a great web page on whether GIF is pronounced "ghif" or "jif." The GIF Pronunciation Page has lots of good background information that supports their position. Which is correct? Check the page! ;-) [from]

Book: Primer on Computer Technologies for the Low-Tech Librarian

I haven't seen a copy yet, but the title and the authors make this title worth a look -- "Technology for the Rest of Us: A Primer on Computer Technologies for the Low-Tech Librarian" by Nancy Courtney. The sections and authors include:
  • Computer networks by Robert Molyneux
  • Wireless LANs by Wilfred Drew
  • Cybertheft, network security and the library without walls by Mark Cain
  • OpenURL basics by Walt Crawford
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) by Eric H Schnell
  • Blogs & RSS by Darlene Fichter and H Frank Cervone
  • Introduction to XML by Art Rhyno
  • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting by Sarah L Shreeves
  • Institutional repositories by Charly Bauer
  • Adaptive technologies by Jerry Hensley
  • Let's get digital by Samantha K Hastings and Elise C Lewis
Good array of current technology topics that are currently in use in libraries and that are still being developed. [from LibrarianInBlack]

First Impressions

According to an article in Nature, web users form an initial impression of your web site within 500 milliseconds. These quick decisions correlate closely to the decisions made after longer study of a web site. Moral of the story -- make sure your web site is visually appealing. [from LJ Tech Blog]

Google Pack

Google continues to change how we view them. If you think you have them categorized, just wait and they'll release something that doesn't fit. This is one that "doesn't fit" -- which means I have to re-categorize them . . . again. Google Pack is a collection of software you can install at all once. Google Updater is part of the package and will help you keep the software up-to-date. The collection includes: During installation, you can decide which of these packages to install and which to skip. Except for Norton, all of this software is available at no cost. You can download and install it yourself. However, for some it might be nice to have a single installation process and also help in keeping it all up to date. [from Google Blog]

Google Talk Works with Other Clients

The Google Talk service now allows you to use clients other than its native Google Talk client. The Google Talk service is based on the XMPP protocol. Any client using the same protocol can be used with the Google Talk service. The list of clients includes GAIM, iChat, and Trillian Pro (as well as others). [from Google Blog]

Instant Messaging Quiz

Microsoft has a short quiz on instant messaging safety -- only 7 questions. Well worth your time. [from Recent Security at Home Information]

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Corpus Christi and Intel's Digital Communities Initiative

Intel's program, Digital Communities Initiative, "is helping progressive cities, regions, and communities worldwide enhance quality of life for their citizens with advanced government services based on broadband connectivity." Corpus Christi is one of three cities used as models. Corpus Christi will initially install an 18.5 square mile mesh network. City vehicles will be tracked via the network, police cars have the ability to monitor and control real-time streaming video, building inspection data can be updated while in the field, and utility meters can be read via Wi-Fi devices without going to the locations. [from Save Muni Wireless]

AIM Presence Information on Your Web Site

One of the frustrating things about providing instant messaging service through your library is that it is difficult to determine whether the library is "online" or "away." Within these services, you can provide an away message that lets others know whether your offline or will be back soon. Chris DeWeese has provided an easy way to provide AIM presence information on your web site. This lets patrons know whether you're online or offline. It's an easy change to the HTML -- definintely something to look into! [from The Shifted Librarian]

NCSU's New Look

Update: Andrew Pace, Head of Systems at NCSU, has posted information on their implementation of Endeca. ******************************** The North Carolina State University Libraries has given all of us something more to think about. They've taken a traditional online catalog interface -- in this case, SIRSI -- used Endeca on top of it and came up with an interface that includes many functions that we see across the Internet. A press release is available, as is a quick guide to the new features. [from Stephen's Lighthouse]

Wallet-Type USB

In a post by Stephen Abram, he discusses a USB drive that is more like a credit card than the stick-type drives you normally see. This one, produced by Walletex, will fit easily into your wallet. Although I use normal USB drives, I really like Wallet Flash because it will more easily fit into my life . . . and my purse. The drives cost between $28 and $280 and have between 64mb and 2gb of memory.

SANS Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities

SANS has put out their 2005 version of the top 20 most critical Internet security vulnerabilities. From the web page:
Hence, the Top-20 2005 is a consensus list of vulnerabilities that require immediate remediation. It is the result of a process that brought together dozens of leading security experts. They come from the most security-conscious government agencies in the UK, US, and Singapore; the leading security software vendors and consulting firms; the top university-based security programs; many other user organizations; and the SANS Institute.
For the first time, they have includes categories for Cross-Platform Applications and Networking Products. Categories include: Windows Systems:
  • Windows services
  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows libraries
  • Microsoft Office and Outlook Express
  • Windows configuration weaknesses
Cross-Platform Applications:
  • Backup software
  • Anti-virus software
  • PHP-based applications
  • Database software
  • File sharing applications
  • DNS software
  • Media players
  • Instant messaging applications
  • Mozilla and Firefox browsers
  • Other cross-platform applications
UNIX Systems:
  • UNIX configuration weaknesses
  • Mac OS X
Networking Products
  • Cisco IOS and non-ISO products
  • Juniper, CheckPoint and Symantec products
  • Cisco devices configuration weaknesses
If you have not updated your systems in over a year, they suggest looking at their 2004 list and remedying those issues before starting on this 2005 list. [from beSpecific]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Internet Explorer for Mac Support Ends

Microsoft has officially ended support for the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer. If you will be looking for another browser, I've seen recommendations for Apple's Safari browser. [from Cafe con Leche News]

Firefox - Rediscover the Web

If you didn't see the announcement, Firefox has a new version -- version 1.5. It includes many of the most popular extensions. If you are a Firefox user, this is definitely worth your time. [from Firefox]