- a sad face
- a happy face
- "Back Off"
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Yes, you can now have a digital bumper sticker on your car. Called Driv-e-mocion, I think it actually attaches to your back window. Using a remote control, you can change the messages to:
Monday, June 26, 2006
Richard Wayne of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Library has written an article in the June 2006 issue of Computers in Libraries. (Sorry -- is not available electronically.) It is part of the series "the Helping You Buy series" and is called "June: Security-Control Software." Wayne discusses features and testing and provides a chart of fourteen products and their functionality.
Rachel Singer Gordon and Michael Stephens wrote an article for the May 2006 issue of Computers in Libraries called "Ten Tips for Technology Training." (Sorry -- there is a fee for this one.) For those of you who have been doing this for some time, there are no surprises here -- just good reminders:
- Carry multiple version of your training documents
- Use real-world examples
- Create an online community around your training
- Use A/V and hands-on tools
- Create with PowerPoint
- Promote classes using Flickr
- Keep up to date
- Rehearse, but be flexible in the class
- Play with and use Web 2.0 tools, e.g., IM, blogs, wikis, feeds
- Enjoy it
Marshall Breeding wrote a very thought-provoking article in the May 2006 issue of Computers in Libraries called "Web 2.0? Let's Get to Web 1.0 First." (Sorry -- this one isn't free online.) He makes some great points. Are we putting the cart before the horse? Have we finished Web 1.0? Have we even made good in-roads? A few of the things he mentions:
- A professional, updated web site for each library
- Valid HTML/XHTML
- DOCTYPE within HTML
Karen Coyle wrote an interesting article for First Monday about additional metadata we might want to consider for digitized materials. There is some copyright information embedded within metadata elements. Coyle is discussing the addition of metadata that would state how the material could be used or help someone find the rights holder, e.g., to determine how the material could be used. Her list of possible elements includes those that help users determine the copyright status of a work, as well as information taken from the material and any research done by the library that would help determine copyright status and rights holders. I'm not sure if this idea has been discussed any further; if you know, let me know!
Last year, I read an article in the New York Times Magazine about how we focus (or unfocus) our attention while working on computers. It's a fascinating article and I urge you to read it. Some highlights:
- A study found that employees could work on a project for 11 minutes before being interrupted; it would take approximately 25 minutes to get back to the original project.
- Another study found that employees have an average of 8 windows open at one time and spend about 20 seconds looking at one window before moving to another.
- A subsequent study looked at using a larger screen (15" vs. 42"). They found that tasks were completed between 10%-44% more quickly and they were less taxing. "The clearer the screen, the calmer your mind."
- Researchers are doing experiments, trying to figure out if a computer can determine a user's "busy state." If they are busy, the computer stores small interruptions until later. With a little artificial intelligence, software might be able to predict when you will be free, allowing others to contact you when you might be less busy and more open to interruptions.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Wouldn't you think that, by now, USB devices would be wireless? The technology, called Wireless USB (WUSB), is ready, but there are no devices on the market ready to use it. Current testing has WUSB working five feet from the hub. Apparently, manufacturers are trying to make the switch from wired to wireless USB devices very simple -- and that takes time and thought. WUSB will be a supplemental package for Windows Vista and Windows XP in 2007. [from PCMag.com]
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Opera's version 9 is now available. According to their web site, you should now be able to:
- download a large file using BitTorrent without needing a separate BitTorrent application
- add your favorite search engine
- set preferences by site
- use more advanced text editing features
- block specific types of content, e.g., images or advertisements
- see a thumbnail of a web site when you have multiple tabs open
- use Opera Widgets
Monday, June 19, 2006
In 2007, some newspapers will be providing an electronic version. Users can download the contents onto a digital screen and take it with them. Apparently, the resolution is very sharp -- "easier on the eyes than light-emitting laptop or cellphone displays" -- and it is energy efficient. The Houston Chronicle will probably be one of the first to try this on a limited basis later this year. [from PCMag.com]
Yes, Google is getting into office productivity software. There is a beta version available of its web-based Google Spreadsheet software right now, but only by invitation. PCMag.com has a preview which includes screenshots. It's very basic right now, having just a fraction of the functionality of Microsoft's Excel. However, it allows you to easily share spreadsheets with others, allow others to edit your spreadsheet, and chat while you are using the spreadsheet.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Have you noticed that some websites that includes RSS feeds include an RSS icon in the address bar? This means that the browsers has found the feed. You can help this along by adding a link element in the head of your HTML document. You can see the code and a brief explanation. [from blogwithoutalibrary]
Want to find out who is blogging? The Blogging Libraries Wiki could be the answer. It is divided by type of libraries, e.g., academic, public, school, special, internal to the library, and library associations. If your library blogs, check to see whether you're listed. [from beSpacific]
Colette Vogele and Mia Garlick, both of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, have published the Podcasting Legal Guide. Much of the information has to do with copyright and should be familiar to libraries, however, there are sections that deal with audio and trademarks. Definitely a good read if you are thinking about podcasting. [from beSpacific]
The Georgia Public Library Service has announced a beta release of its open source integrated library system software called Evergreen. Written for the PINES consortium, a Georgia public library automation and lending network for 249 libraries in 123 counties, they are providing it at no charge for libraries that would like to implement it. If you are interested, you can follow its development in the open-ils blog. [from OSS-Discuss]
The Justice Department is asking Internet providers to save detailed records of where people go on the Internet for at most two years. They are not looking at keeping the content, e.g., attachments or web sites that were found, but the data related to the search or message. Currently, this type of information is kept for 180 days if an investigation is underway. Before this change would take effect, Congress would have to authorize it. [from Mercury News.com]
Eric Lease Morgan of the University of Notre Dame has created a new discussion list -- NCG4LIB. Its purpose is to discuss Next Generation Catalogs for Libraries. Should be a lively discussion! Subscription information is available on the web page.