Entries in "Computers, Software, & the Internet" ( for this category only)

Augmented Reality

It is very interesting what this technology can mean to how we live, learn, and work in the future.

Google New

Google has rolled out a Google New page to track all new Google tools and projects. I love it and was surprised the things I missed even though I read a lot of articles and blogs related to the web and information management.

How to Avoid Google

Are you worried about all the information that can be found about you on Google? Here is an option for you to explore.

Google Opt Out Feature Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village

Verdict Over Digital Music Theft

I guess I will have to watch this story and related developments with more interest. Some how I missed that a Case Western Reserve University student was being pursued by the music industry.

The story shares the verdict against a Minnesota woman. She must pay $1.92 million for 24 songs. It also points out a Case student is being sued as well.

Project Gutenberg Texts on iPhone

Project Gutenberg, actually the e-reader that had access, was originally banned from the iPhone due to access to the Kama Sutra. It is now allowed. I am guessing there is much more "porn" on the iPhone than the text of the Kama Sutra.

See full story on WIRED.

“hi-fi sci-fi library” video

From the Libraryman Blog check out the story behind this video looking to the future of technology in libraries.

It is catchy. (Does that make me a nerd?)

How Facebook Works

Ever wonder what it took to keep a large social network like FaceBook running? Technology Review in their July/August 2008 issue highlighted How Facebook Works.

Street View by Google

Google is traveling around with a 360-degree camera to add a street view to its maps. Cleveland made its debut has the first Ohio city to be visually documented by Google.

See the Plain Dealer article for some more highlights.

Go to http://maps.google.com/ and enter a Cleveland address. Hit "street" view and if the streets are highlighted in blue you can get the view as if you are driving by. Just click on the street and enjoy. Arrows direct your travel and your view.

I went with the "full screen" view and the images are very good quality and can be zoomed. Not quite good enough to read a license plate, but they show quite a bit of detail.

Wii Preparation for Surgeons

Years ago we had reports that our Desert Storm pilots were better than their former colleagues, due to being raised as children with video games. Now, we a have a study that shows surgeons that warm up or train on Wii perform better in surgeries.

Game players scored nearly 50% higher on tool control and overall performance than other trainees.
Source: 'Wii warm-up' good for surgeons from BBC News (January 17, 2008)

From the File of Where Else Did They Look

I found this video about Gmail discussed in a Walking Paper blog entry. In general the video is Gmail engineers reading emails they receive from happy users. The last one in the video was a freshman chemical engineering student who was working on a group project and the answer the group needed appeared in the targeted Gmail ads. The Google engineer said "this person was able to use gmail ads to find something she couldn’t find anywhere else".

Really? I did a similar project on photoremediation during my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and I found all the necessary information from the library.

I have two concerns with this video and the suggestions made. First, I question where else did these students look. Second, Google is doing some wonderful things but they are not the only source. It leads me to challenge are libraries doing enough to be in front of the users eyes.

Google 2008 Anita Borg Scholarship

The Google 2008 Anita Borg Scholarship is open for application until Friday, February 1, 2008.

As part of Google's ongoing commitment to furthering Anita's vision, we are pleased to announce the 2008 Google Anita Borg Scholarship, through which we hope to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders.

Google offers 411 Service

Did you know Google offers a 411 service that is totally free? It can be used by calling 1-800-GOOG-411. I tried it for a few random searches. It is not perfect as it is computer automated. If you do not speak clearly or speak too fast, it does get confused.

Web 3.0 on the Horizon

Have you learned everything about how to use web 2.0 effectively? If not, get ready to fall further behind. Articles are already starting to circulate about web 3.0 and what that will mean for Internet users.

CNNMoney.com in an article by Michael V. Copeland
shared how researchers are looking into the efficient use of the semantic web. In other words how can computers help to organize all the data, including that within documents, for the benefit of Internet searchers.

If you are looking for future employment opportunities consider this data from the article:

One estimate pegs the market for products and services stemming from semantic Web technologies at $50 billion by 2010, up from about $7 billion today.

Interface to the Virtual World

Benjamin Chodroff, a Case Western Reserve University student, recently participated in an IBM internship called "Extreme Blue" in India. He proposed an interface to connect real and virtual worlds, such as Second Life.

SPARC Video Contest

Check out this video contest!

SPARC Announces Mind Mashup:
A Video Contest to Showcase Student Views on Information Sharing

Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales and Documentary Filmmaker Peter Wintonick Among Judges Selecting $1,000 Prize Winner

Washington, DC - July 25, 2007 - SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today announced the launch of the first annual SPARC Discovery Awards, a contest to promote the open exchange of information. Mind Mashup, the theme of the 2007 contest, calls on entrants to illustrate in a short video the importance of sharing ideas and information of all kinds. Mashup is an expression referring to a song, video, Web site or software application that combines content from more than one source.

Consistent with SPARC's mission as an international alliance of academic and research libraries promoting the benefits of information sharing, the contest encourages new voices to join the public discussion of information policy in the Internet age. Designed for adoption as a college or high school class assignment, the SPARC Discovery Awards are open to anyone over the age of 15.

Contestants are asked to submit videos of two minutes or less that imaginatively show the benefits of bringing down barriers to the open exchange of information. Submissions will be judged by a panel that includes:

  • Aaron Delwiche, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas
  • José-Marie Griffiths, Professor & Dean at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Rick Johnson, communications consultant and founding director of SPARC
  • Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC
  • Karen Rustad, president of Free Culture 5C and a senior at Scripps College majoring in media studies
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
  • Peter Wintonick, award-winning documentary filmmaker and principal of Necessary Illusions Productions Inc.

"I'm very proud to be judging this contest," said Karen Rustad. "When it comes to debates over Internet information policy, students are usually subjects for study or an object for concern. I can't wait to see what my contemporaries have to say about mashup culture and open access to information once they're given the mike -- or, rather, the camera."

The contest takes as its inspiration a quote from George Bernard Shaw: "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

Submissions must be received by December 2, 2007. Winners - including a first-place winner and two runners up - will be announced in January 2008. The winner will receive $1,000 and a "Sparky Award." The runners up will each receive $500. Winning entries will be publicly screened at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in January 2008 in Philadelphia and will be prominently featured in SPARC's international advocacy and campus education activities.

For further details, please see the contest Web site at http://sparkyawards.org.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), with SPARC Europe and SPARC Japan, is an international alliance of more than 800 academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC is a founding member of the Alliance for Taxpayer Access, a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organizations that supports open public access to the results of federally funded research - including research funded by the National Institutes of Health. SPARC is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/sparc/.

Aerospace Industry is Graying & Recruits Virtually

According to the Akron Beacon Journal (Aerospace industry beckons, 5/28/07), 1 out of 4 in the aerospace industry will be eligible for retirement next year. Aerospace companies and recruiters are now using "virtual" tools to recruit, such as Facebook groups and chat rooms. These social tools are being used to educate potential future employers, peak interest in the industry, and maintain content with past interns.

Girls Ask Alice for Programming Skills

Alice is an open source program to create 3D computer animations. Due to its ease of use, it is being used to target future programmers, especially minorities and woman that make up the smaller percentages of the field.

[VIA: What's New @ IEEE for Students, April 2007 Volume 8, Number 4]

Social Computing Specialization - How Much More 2.0 Can Your Degree Be

The University of Michigan School of Information now offers a specialization in Social Computing.

Students pursuing a specialization in Social Computing learn to analyze online social interactions, both in online communities and in more diffuse social networks. They learn about features of social computing technologies so they can recognize opportunities to put them to use in new settings and make good choices about alternative implementations.

Have other schools or degree programs went beyond a single class or workshop? I have not seen any myself.

(As a person living in Ohio, I am only allowed to use the "m" word once a year, so this was it.)

Google Maps has a Sense of Humor

1. Go to Google Maps
2. Click on "get directions"
3. Type "New York" in the first box  (the "from" box)
4. Type "London"  in the second box (the "to" box) (hit get directions)
5. Scroll down  to step #23

Will your face be your next password?

Check out this CNET News.com video that demonstrates a desktop 3D face recognition camera that could be the future of computer and data security.

Continue reading "Will your face be your next password?"

Google in All Languages

According to CIO Insight, Google is building their own machine translation algorithms. Google has always offered some form of translation services through third party service, but now the ones for Arabic, Chinese and Russian are in-house creations.

What Does Cleveland 2.0 Look Like?

Have you tried Second Life yet? I have been participating since late last year. Many libraries have built virtual offices and buildings. I personally have been using it as a tool to communicate and share ideas with other librarians. I have already attended several online conferences and poster sessions within Second Life. It has been a nice networking tool to meet with people from other libraries that do not attend the same real world meetings or conferences as me.

I am excited to see OneCleveland and that Case is leading the way. For more local information, see the following articles:

I took these photos over the weekend.

The map that greats visitors to OneCleveland.

Kelvin Smith Library in OneCleveland.

More on New Workshop

As I mentioned before, I am teaching a new workshop for the Kent State University School of Library & Information Science.

I have used a couple of the existing web 2.0 tools to share my workshop content. Check out the Squidoo page to see what readings and tools we used. On SlideShare, I posted the introductory slides I used before we moved on to our hands-on assignments.

What You Post Today Can Get You Fired Later

Here is another example of a person forgetting that the Internet is open to the world and you cannot take back you email once you hit send. In this case, it was a city worker forwarding political cartoons using a work computer. After being forwarded several times among other people, it was forwarded to the local newspaper as an example of government waste. What do you think - 6 month of investigation or weeks of secret interviews and computer filtering? No, the paper had it in less than 6 hours of the email starting its circulation.

UPDATE: Link fixed on March 5, 2007.

Rexa - Computer Science Literature

Rexa is a digital library and search engine covering the computer science research literature and the people who create it. Rexa aims to facilitate research progress and collaboration by providing efficient browsing, search, associations and analysis among papers, people, organizations, venues and research communities.

  • Keyword search on over 7 million papers (mostly in computer science)
  • Cross-linked pages for papers, authors, topics and NSF grants
  • Browsing by citations, authors, topics, co-authors, cited authors, citing authors; (find who cites you most by clicking "Citing authors" on your home page)
  • Web-2.0-style "tagging" to bookmark papers
  • Automatically-gathered contact info and photos of author's faces
  • Analysis of research topics, their impact, and how they relate
Check out the FAQ for more information.

Descriptions pulled from About Rexa and Rexa FAQ.

Rexa blog also provides more information and highlights additional resources.

100 Million Web Sites on the Internet

Netcraft reported in November of 2006 that the Internet contains over 100 million web sites. It estimated a doubling of the number of sites since May of 2004.

IEEE Spectrum - The Firefox Kid

In November of 2006, IEEE Spectrum interviewed Blake Ross, founder of Firefox. The article explores the early years of Ross (if a 20 year old has early years) and looks at his next project: Parakey - a "web operating system that can do everything an OS can do".

Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) Challenge

IBM is pleased to announce an excellent opportunity for you to put your skills to the test and allow innovation to take the lead!

You can participate in this contest whether you have little or no Cell/B.E. Processor experience, some understanding of the techology, or have mastered this subject for some time now.

What you really need is the drive and competitive spirit to expand your mind, learn about this cutting edge technology, and show off your coding prowess. With some hard work and dedication, you could win some great cash prizes!

Learn more about the contest.

[VIA: Case Daily - February 20, 2007]

Larry Page to Scientists

CNet News.com shares a image of Larry Page, co-founder of Google, speaking to the scientists at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). CNET reported that Page told the scientists to "market them (scientific studies) better and make them readily accessible to the world".

What if Academic Libraries Ceased to Exist?

Lynn Scott Cochrane, Director of Libraries at Denison University, shares several scenarios that demonstrate why "not everything is available free on the web." This is a great read for anyone that thinks the Internet holds all the answers, or if you do not know (or cannot explain) how libraries and the Internet complement each other.

[VIA: EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 1 (January/February 2007): 6–7]

User Annotation of Videos - Very Web 2.0

The other day I posted a YouTube video called Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us.

The author has went Web 2.0 to the extreme. If you watch the same video from a website called mojiti, you get to add you own comments.

Video: Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

Want to summarize Web 2.0 in under 5 minutes - this YouTube video does just that.

Even better check out the same video using a website called mojiti. It allows a user to annotate and comment within the video. The author of the original video posted it and said give me your thoughts. How Web 2.0 of him/her!

Google Snippets Still Illegal in Belgium

The Library Journal has reported that a Belgian court upheld the earlier ruling that Google "snippets" of Belgian newspapers in Google News violated Belgian copyright laws.

[VIA: Library Journal Academic Newswire, February 15, 2007]

What is Web 2.0?

This video demonstrates Web 2.0 in under 5 minutes.

What if Academic Libraries Ceased to Exist?

Lynn Scott Cochrane, Director of Libraries at Denison University, shares several scenarios that demonstrate why "not everything is available free on the web." This is a great read for anyone that thinks the Internet holds all the answers, or if you do not know (or cannot explain) how libraries and the Internet complement each other.

[VIA: EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 1 (January/February 2007): 6–7]

Do You Expect Photo Privacy on the Net

When you post pictures online, do you expect privacy or the ability to remain anonymous? I personally feel if you post online you waived all those expectations. The Internet is open to the world, so you will eventually be found by someone.

National Geographic News (January 5, 2007) reports that the ability to stay anonymous in photos is really changing in the near future. Currently, photos can only be searched by the words in the caption or filename. A company called Polar Rose plans to launch an Internet - based face recognition software that will be compatible with Flickr.

I agree that the software can be abused by the criminal element, potential employers reaching beyond traditional due diligence, or current employers monitoring the non-work activities of employers. I believe you go after the abusers and not the tools.

This tool will be powerful and very beneficial. Imagine searching for a lost child or a criminal on the run. Or, imagine being able to locate pictures others are posting of you. I think the benefits greatly outweigh the possible abuses. Besides, I will go back to my original statement - if you post on the Internet, you have already waived your rights to privacy.

Continue reading "Do You Expect Photo Privacy on the Net"

Web 2.0 Does not Mix Well with Driving

Here is an example of one negative component that has been created by the younger generations, technology, and/or the desire to always be connected.

According to the Seattle Times (December 6, 2006), a BlackBerry user caused a multiple car accident during rush hour. The article points out that all the emphasis put on phone use in cars has not been directed towards other communication devices yet.

At least the man could immediately email his insurance information to everyone.

[VIA: CNET News.com, December 6, 2006]

Google Answers Being Shut down

Google has announced the Google Answers will no longer be accepting questions. By the end of the year, new answers will no longer be accepted as well. It appears with the goal of focusing on searching and innovation, this 4+ year old research project has stopped creating new ideas.

Not Heard Often - Google Makes a Subtraction

Google has announced the Google Answers will no longer be accepting questions. By the end of the year, new answers will no longer be accepted as well. It appears with the goal of focusing on searching and innovation, this 4+ year old research project has stopped creating new ideas.

Exploding Laptop Battery Demonstration

Here is a video created by some people that wanted to demonstrate the danger of an exploding laptop battery. I would not want this occurring in my lap. Reminds up to backup our data as well.

What did you do for World Usability Day 2006

Over at my other blog, Are You 2.0 Yet?, I focus on topics related to Web 2.0 and its application in libraries.

I have posted about a local event I attended in support of World Usability Day 2006. It also allowed me a sneak peak into the Cleveland Art Museum during their big remodeling and expansion.

World Usability Day 2006

What did you do for World Usability Day on November 14, 2006?

I attended a session consisting of roundtable discussions on Web Accessibility, Web 2.0, User Research, Remote Usability Testing, Eye Tracking, Internal Usability Testing, Art and Usability, and Landing Page Usability with representatives from KeyBank, Intuit, Progressive Insurance, Ernst & Young, eMergent Marketing, Brulant, Kent State University (IAKM) and other northeast Ohio companies and universities.

It was hosted at the Cleveland Museum of Art, sponsored by KeyBank, and facilitated by the Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Usability Professionals Association (NEOUPA).

It was nice to explore what others were doing and have a combination of corporations, academics, and non-profits share in these discussions. KeyBank demonstrated their portable usability system that they use to record employee responses when using various web applications. Ernst & Young demonstrated how they use web conferencing software to allow employees from all over the world to participate in their usability studies. Someone demonstrated how using eye tracking software you can record where people look and how long they look at specific locations on your website. A speaker from Progressive discussed how Web 2.0 is changing expectations in usability and making attempts for standardization tougher. Another speaker explored designing websites with accessibility for those with disabilities. Kent State demonstrated their usability lab and related research.

The Wiki has been Googlized

Will the Wiki go mainstream now that Google has bought JotSpot? Read more about the Google and JotSpot relationship.

Search Mash

Search Mash lets you search the internet in new ways. It is constantly evolving as they come up with ideas and figure out what works and what doesn't. Checkout the features page from time to time to see what has changed, and also to tell them which features are useful to you. They ask that you bear with them when the site is unavailable as they are limiting its use. Also, see the Terms of Service and Privacy statements.

[VIA: Journal of Search-Engines, LISNews, October 4, 2006]

Continue reading "Search Mash"

Warning - MySpace Phishing

MySpace has become the newest target of phishing attacks. Phishing is the sending out of an email that appears to be legitimate in order to steal personal or credit card information from a recipient.

No Google Snippets in Belgium

Google has lost a court case in Belgium to include "snippets" of newspaper articles in Google News. In the U.S., publishers have been asking Google to index more content in order to push subscriptions and pay-per-view purchases. I guess Google needs to walk a real interesting tight rope.

[VIA: Library Journal - Academic Newswire, September 28, 2006]

Continue reading "No Google Snippets in Belgium"

Craigslist Not For Sale

CNN.com reports that Craigslist is not for sale, even though another social networking website MySpace was just valued at over $15 million.

The founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, is a Case alumnus.

Movable Type Owner Acquires Rojo Networks

September 9, 2006 - Six Apart the company that developed and supports Movable Type, which is Case's blogging platform, has announced they have acquired Rojo Networks. Rojo runs a web-based RSS feed reader. Maybe Case will end up with a recommended feed reader as a companion to the blog system?

See the full Six Apart - Press.

The MySpace Ecosystem

Business Week (July 25, 2006) documents the amazing growth of MySpace and how 3rd party participants are investing in its future.

  • In the past year, MySpace went from 17 million unique monthly visitors to 54 million unique monthly users
  • Generates more page views than any other site on the Web, except for Yahoo!
(VIA: Slashdot, July 21, 2006)

Google Accessible Search

Accessible Search is an early Google Labs product designed to identify and prioritize search results that are more easily usable by blind and visually impaired users. Regular Google search helps you find a set of documents that is most relevant to your tasks. Accessible Search goes one step further by helping you find the most accessible pages in that result set.

(VIA: CNET News.com, July 19, 2006)

Google & ACS Trademark Case

According to CNET News.com, the Google Scholar trademark case ends with the American Chemical Society.

ACS, which was founded in 1876 and claims to be the world's largest scientific society, sued Google in 2004. The suit claimed that the free "Google Scholar" journal-search service unfairly competes with ACS' "SciFinder Scholar," which appears to be more comprehensive but charges a fee.

Google Desktop Gadget Contest

Do you have what it takes to create a great Google Desktop Gadget? Have you been waiting for some motivation to prove it? Well, good news -- the Google Desktop Gadget Contest is here to spur you into brilliant action.

The contest runs until August 14, 2006 and, while supplies last, each developer who submits an approved gadget will receive a limited edition Google Desktop Developer T-shirt and have their gadget shown to millions of Google Desktop users around the world. A panel of judges will also award three prizes based on popularity, visual appeal, use of new features and creativity. We'll award $5,000 to the first place winner, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.

E-Mail, IM & Blog Risks - From the Employer Perspective

On July 11, 2006, the American Management Association (AMA) and the ePolicy Institute have released the results of their 2006 Workplace E-Mail, Instant Messaging & Blog Survey.

Here are a few highlights to raise your interest:

  • 24% of organizations have had employee e-mail subpoenaed
  • 15% of companies have gone to court to battle lawsuits triggered by employee e-mail
  • 26% of employers have terminated employees for e-mail misuse
  • Nearly 2% have fired workers for offensive blog content

The AMA summary provides many more details, including highlighting some blogging concerns such as copyright, harassment, or security breaches.

Mapping Wireless Networks

MIT's iSPOTS project aims at describing changes in living and working at MIT by mapping the dynamics of the wireless network in real-time. Check out the various graphic representations of wireless usage at MIT. They are hoping this project would lead to analysis tools that other organizations and cities could use.

Is the Air Force Reading Your Blog?

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research recently began funding a new research area that includes a study of blogs. Blog research may provide information analysts and warfighters with invaluable help in fighting the war on terrorism. Read full announcement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

(VIA: Blogcritics.org, July 8, 2006)

ICITM 2006 - Call For Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS - International Conference of Information Technology and Management (ICITM2006)
Hong Kong, 11-13 Dec, 2006

Contact: icitm2006@comp.polyu.edu.hk
Paper Submission: csnkliu@comp.polyu.edu.hk or csronnie@comp.polyu.edu.hk
All papers should be submitted online through our conference web site.

IT and management has grown mounting influence in business, industry and education, the conference would like to consolidate most recent research results in information system, knowledge management, commercial intelligence, electronic commerce, E-education application. The area covers the concepts and theories of Information Systems, Industrial applications E-Education and Business Management. The topics varies from software, e-learning, office automation, textile and garment, automobile electronic, logistics, retails, supply chain, financial, accounting banking, lawyer, government, education to media sector. As part of the mission of the Institute of Systems Management is to facilitate the application of the information technology to industrial enterprises, we promote cross-fertilization over interdisciplinary areas of business application and information systems. Our industrial case presentation and tutorial sessions will bridge the gap between academics and practitioners.

Continue reading "ICITM 2006 - Call For Papers"

Fragile Digital Data

According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (June 7, 2006), humanity in the next 3 years will produce more data than in did in the past 1,000 years. Concerns of future data format and degradation are of great concern to many institutions, such as the Council on Library and Information Resources, the National Archives, IBM, and the Library of Congress. See full article for further discussion.

(Full Article VIA: George Mason University's History News Network)

25 Worst Tech Products

PCWorld.com (May 26, 2006) released its list of 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time. I will not give you the entire list, you can read the article for that, but number one is American Online.

Number 13 was the IBM PCjr, which I had as a kid. As a kid it was great, and I am now having flashbacks of the hours of playing Zork.

(VIA: Stephen's Lighthouse, May 29, 2006)

2007 Multi-conference in Computer Science, Engineering, & Information Technology

The 2007 Multi-conference in computer science, engineering, and information technology will be held in Orlando, FL, USA during July 9-12 2007. The multi-conference is a major professional gathering in the world and it consists of the following 4 important events:

  • International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition
  • International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems and Web Technologies
  • International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networking and Communication Systems
  • International Conference on Software Engineering Theory and Practice

(VIA: Beyond the Job, June 01, 2006)

Study Shows Corporations are Watching Your Email

A recent study reported by Wired News (June 2, 2006) shows that a third of big companies monitor email content. What surprised me was that inappropriate content and attachments were not the main corporate concerns. The companies are monitoring to prevent confidential information from being released.

Internet Tracking of Activities

The New York Times (June 2, 2006) reported that the Justice Department wants Internet companies to keep records of web-surfing activities of their customers to aid in law enforcement.

Do we really want legislation that allows the monitoring of our Internet activities? The government typically does not monitor our phone conversations or written correspondence without warrants. Is the government intimidated by new technologies or just hoping that Americans are not paying attention?

Top 100 Technology Products

PC World (July 2006 issue of PC World magazine; Online: May 31, 2006) released its annual 100 Best Products of the Year. The top two were the Intel Core Duo and the AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core. Others highlights in the top ten included Craigslist.org, iPod Nano, Google Earth, and YouTube.com.

(VIA: TVC Alert Research News, June 1, 2006)

iPod & Facebook

According to USA TODAY (June 7, 2006), a recent college survey shows iPods are more popular than beer on college campuses. Facebook.com tied with beer for college popularity. The last thing to upset beer's ranking in this survey was the Internet in 1997.

International Conference on Chemoinformatics - August 2006

National Chemical Laboratory Pune, India is planning a two-day International Conference on Chemoinformatics during 7-8 August 2006 which would be participated by eminent scientist and professors in this specialized area from both academia and industries.

Several distinguished scientists from Germany, UK, USA etc. along with Indian scientists are participating in this important meeting. The conference will bring together more than 100 participants for this scholarly event focusing on the futuristic application of cheminformatics in medicinal chemistry, material science, structure elucidation and structure activity/property/toxicity relationship studies, high performance computing, chemical data mining etc., Other participants would present oral and poster presentations of their work.

Public Commenting on Organizational Blogs or Websites

I have been participating in a virtual workshop designed by the American Library Association (ALA) to instruct in and establish best practices in utilizing Web 2.0 technologies. ALA Library 2.0 included many components from blogging, wikis, RSS feeds, etc. My personal ALA Library 2.0 blog also includes various details and links.

One part of the virtual workshop included an interview I conducted with some of the Kelvin Smith Library Freedman Center staff.

My group just completed our final project. We explored the best practices in allowing public comments on formal organizational blogs or websites.

Here is an alternative link to the presention.

UPDATE: The ALA blogs mentioned above have since been taken down. Any entries that I was involved in were moved to this blog and the links fixed.

Inventor of Firefox to Speak in Cleveland

Blake Ross, the inventor of Firefox, will be speaking at the Cleveland City Club on June 14th. See the City Club website for more information.

The City Club posts podcasts of their speaker's addresses shortly after their presentation.

Chmoggle - Chemical Information Search Engine

Under pressure from Google, Chmoogle is now called eMolecules.

On November 18, 2005, eMolecules, Inc. announced the launch of Chmoogle.

Chmoogle wants to be the world's leading free open-access chemistry search engine. Chmoogle's mission is to discover, curate and index all of the public chemical information in the world, and make it available to the public. Chmoogle distinguishes itself by extremely fast searches, an appealing presentation of results, and high-quality chemical drawings. Chmoogle discovers sources of chemical data by searching the internet, and receives submissions from data providers such as chemical suppliers and academic researchers.

Chmoogle searches chemical information by drawn chemical structures, IUPAC name, or by entering SMILES nomenclature (Simplified Molecular Input Line Entry Specification).

The Chmoogle web site also includes Cheminformatics 101 - An introduction to the Computer Science and Chemistry of Chemical Information Systems.

How Today's Web Has Changed Technical Writing

The IEEE Professional Communication Society Newsletter (IEEE PCS, Volume 50, Number 5, May 2006) has two articles that address web development and how technical writers must adapt to "web 2.0" technologies and users.

Web Development…How Do You Define Web Development?
by Elizabeth Weise Moeller

The problem is that “web development” is such a broad term, unlike so long ago when the web was first getting started. In the end, I decided to talk about the past, the present, the future, and, in the process, highlight some trends you can watch to help keep visitors returning to your website.
What is Web 2.0 and How Will Technical Writers be Impacted?
by Amy Diehl
Web 2.0 is a movement away from understanding content as housed in websites, but instead views content as “granular.” In this way, the content can be syndicated and distributed in decentralized ways and without relying on the user visiting a site or page in order to find the information or content. With the advent of Web 2.0, or the web as platform, not place, technical writers and designers will need to rethink many of their strategies regarding how their writing works in relation to “place”.

TechXtra (Formerly EEVL Xtra)

In October of 2005, I shared information on EEVL Xtra. It appears the new name is TechXtra.

From the press release:

TechXtra suite of free services simplifies access to technology information

TechXtra is a suite of ten freely available services which simplify access to a multitude of different types of technology information from a host of different sources.

TechXtra facilitates immediate access to the freely available full-text content of hundreds of thousands of eprints, technical reports, theses, articles, news items, job announcements and more. In cases where the full-text is not freely available, TechXtra provides links to vendors for pay-per-view options. TechXtra searches a combination of digital repositories, journal databases, technical reports servers, web information, news sources and more, all with a focus on technology information.

Anyone looking for information in technology will find TechXtra useful, especially researchers, academics, students and practitioners.

The suite of services includes:
Database Cross-Search - This searches over 4 million items from 25 different databases. Use this to find articles, key websites, theses and dissertations, books, industry news, new job announcements, technical reports, eprints, learning & teaching resources and the latest research in engineering, mathematics and computing. Sources include: Australian Research Repositories Online to the World, arXive (eprint archive in computer science, maths and related subjects), CiteSeer (research articles in computer science), Directory of Open Access Journals, ePrints UK (selected open archives in the UK), Copac (union catalogue from the Consortium of University Research Libraries), National Engineering Education Delivery System (digital library of learning resources), NASA Technical Reports (12 different NASA technical report series)... plus 18 other databases. More will be added in the near future.

The Very Latest Job Announcements - OneStep Jobs brings together the very latest job announcements from more than 35 top sources, and presents them in an easily accessible and searchable format in one place. The content is updated many times each day. Sources include: Jobs.ac.uk, ICErecruit, The Engineer, Redgoldfish, Jobsite, Engineeringjobs.co.uk, 4engineers.co.uk, Matchtech, TipTopJobs and more.

The Very Latest Industry News - OneStep Industry News brings together news feeds from over 80 top sources, and presents them in an easily accessible and searchable format. The content is updated many times each day. Sources include: The Engineer Online, Engineeringtalk, New Scientist, scenta, Moreover, Yenra, Control Engineering News, Design News, EurekAlert, Slashdot, PC Magazine, BBC Tech News and more.

Free Trade Magazine Subscriptions & Technical Document Downloads - Hundreds of trade publications and their advertisers want to give qualifying individuals their publications. It's worth it to them to give you the magazine free because you need the information and products described, and their advertisers need a vehicle to deliver their message which justifies the cost of giving you subscriptions for free. In addition, this service now includes free Webcasts, live Webinars, informative eBooks, interactive CD-ROMs, and numerous whitepapers.

On-Line Bookstore - TechXtra users save up to 35% on any title from this bookstore from Pearson Education - books on everything from Computer Graphics & Design, to Programming, Software, Careers and Personal Development titles. Postage is free within the UK and Europe.

Offshore Engineering Information Service - This service gives information about publications and meetings dealing with: oil and gas exploration and production; offshore health, safety and environmental protection; resources of the seabed and renewable energy; and marine technology.

Discovery Guides - Free indepth reports on topical engineering, mathematical and technology issues.

Information about Validated Engineering Design Data - This subset of ESDU contains over 1,300 abstracts of data item design guides. Access to the full text is via subscription only.

Recent Advances in Manufacturing - A database of bibliographic information for manufacturing and related areas, covering items in over 500 niche and mainstream journals and magazines, plus details of books, videos and conference proceedings.

Selected links to top sources of technology information - Internet tutorials, newsletters and gateways.

TechXtra harvests data from external sources using standard protocols such as Z39.50 and OAI-PMH.

TechXtra is an initiative of the ICBL and the Library, at Heriot-Watt University. The ICBL is also the base of the PerX Project, which has produced a Pilot to help scope future developments in cross-searching. Feedback on the Pilot would be much appreciated. A 60 second survey is available, and those providing feedback will be entered into a draw to win £100 of Amazon vouchers.

For more information about TechXtra, contact:
Roddy MacLeod
Senior Subject Librarian
Heriot-Watt University Library
0131 451 3576

(VIA: STLQ, May 9, 2006, TechXtra - A New Resource for Searching in Engineering, Mathematics, and Computing)

Skype - Free Calls to Landlines in US & Canada

Skype Introduces Free Calls to Traditional Landlines and Mobile Phones in the US and Canada
San Jose, CA, May 15, 2006

Skype, the global Internet communications company, today announced that all US and Canadian-based Skype customers can now make free SkypeOut™ calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the US and Canada. Previously, Skype users in both countries were required to pay for Skype calls from their PCs to traditional telephones. Free SkypeOut calls to the US or Canada will be available to US and Canadian-based Skype users until the end of the year.

See the rest of the press announcement for more information.

Decrease in Computer Science Students?

From The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog (April 3, 2006) comes information on the potential closing of the computer science department at Seattle Pacific University.

From The Seattle Times (SPU might shut down computer curriculum, April 3, 2006):

Enrollment in computer-science programs has dropped around the country since the dot-com bubble burst. But the U.S. Department of Labor predicts information technology will be among the biggest employment drivers over the next decade, and many colleges are anticipating an enrollment rebound.

Google's "First Rule of the Internet"

The CNET News.com daily podcast on May 10, 2006, highlighted Google CEO Eric Schmidt's "First Rule of the Internet".

People have a lot to say...There will be a transition from learned information to learning information...Curiosity will be how you establish your expertise.

Sounds like Web 2.0 to me.


FreePatentsOnline.com provides fast, free access to all U.S. patents and patent applications, partial European data, free PDF downloading, free account features, and more. In addition, a user can can establish a free account that allows for saving searches, creating portfolios of documents, saving comments on documents, and getting notified when new patents of interest are published.

FreePatentsOnline.com is a great alternative to the single page Tiff downloads at the USPTO web site.

Michigan Requires Online Instruction for High School Students

On April 20, 2006, The Chronicle of Higher Education - The Wired Campus Blog highlighted a new initiative for Michigan high school students. The recently signed bill will require high school students to take at least one online class before graduating to better prepare students for college and the work environment.

If you read the attached comments, people do have many questions and concerns, such as availability of techology and training of educators. I do think this is good step in the right direction, especially for preparing college prep students. I do have concerns it increases the digital divide for disadvantaged families if funding for technology or supplemental instruction is not made available.

Blogs: Fad or Trend?

Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing shares data on the State of the Blogosphere. The highlights for me were that a new weblog is created every second of every day, and that 55% of bloggers still post after 3 months. See the full article for more statistics and a graph.

(Via: Free Range Librarian & Stephen's Lighthouse)

F-Shaped Pattern for Web Browsing

Jakob Nielsen reported on April 17, 2006, that web pages are read in a "F" pattern. Make sure to check out the full article to see the images generated by the eyetracking software. Pretty neat!

The article also reminds web developers of important guidelines to take advantage of the F-shaped reading pattern.

  • People will not read text word-by-word.
  • First 2 paragraphs must state the most important information.
  • Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words.

Information Systems Wiki

Wiki for IS Scholarship was established for summarizing and discussing articles in and related to the field of Information Systems. The site is hosted by the Information Systems Department at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

(Via: Jeremy Smith's blog, April 11, 2006)

Top 10 Sources

Top 10 Sources is a directory of sites developed to highlight the most relevant content on the Web as distributed by RSS feeds. The editors of Top 10 Sources search blogs, podcasts, wikis, news sites, and every kind of syndicated sources online for the best material. The lists are updated frequently and organized my subject categories. Several categories exist in science and technology, such as science news, controversial science, and thinkers of the web.

(Via: Librarian In Black, April 9, 2006)

Wiki as a Presentation Format

Here is an example of using a wiki to give a presentation, as an alternative to PowerPoint.

I think PowerPoint is quickly losing its hold on the presentation format, especially as reliability on Internet resources increase and discussions continue long afer the actual, physical presentation. Blog and wiki presentations promote discussion and collaboration into the future.

(Via: Library Stuff, October 20, 2005)

They Are Blogging At Blackboard

Educate Innovate is the Blackboard blog about the convergence of education and technology.

They aim to use this forum to generate discussion about the topics, news, and latest trends impacting e-Learning and campus service offerings; and hope to provide insight about how technology can enable educational innovations for both.

They invite people to visit frequently to hear from their blogging team, guest bloggers, Q&A interviews with education industry thought leaders, movers and shakers, the people who work at Blackboard, and just plain interesting, cool people.

(Via: The Kept-Up Academic Librarian, February 23, 2006)

America's Best Jobs

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus highlighted a Money Magazine and Salary.com ranking of "best jobs in america".

Some highlights:

  • #1 was Software Engineer
  • #2 was College Professor
  • #7 was Computer/IT Analyst
  • #15 was Medical Scientist
  • #16 was Physical Scientist
  • #17 was Engineer

OhioLINK Joins Google's Summer of Code

OhioLINK logo.png Google Logo.gif

From the OhioLINK announcement:

Are you a coder? Then check out Google's Summer of Code, a program designed to inspire young developers and provide students in computer science and related fields the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits during the summer, and to support existing open source projects and organizations. OhioLINK is pleased to participate in the Summer of Code program again this year as a mentoring organization.

If your application for the Summer of Code is accepted, you will receive a $4500 award ($500 to get started and $4000 once the project is completed). In addition, the mentoring organization will receive $500 for each student developer that completes a project.

OhioLINK has a page on the Digital Resource Commons development site which describes our participation and projects; take a look, augment or add your own (feel free to read the project documentation through the Wiki link above and suggest other ideas), and apply to participate beginning May 1st. Questions about the program? Take a look at Google's participant FAQ.

Google Search Tips

Here are various Google tips to assist in your research:

To put more emphasis on one of the words in your search results, repeat the word in the search.

Two periods between two numbers is like typing all the numbers into the search box. This would be very helpful when searching for entries in a range of years.

Google will provide a definition by using the search "define:word". For example, "define: nanotechnology" will result in various definitions. Of course, the results must be analyzed by the user to determine accuracy.

The Google search box is a calculator--try typing 2+2. Even better, it's a converter--try 10kg in lbs. It does monetary conversions, too (with a disclaimer).

A tilde (~) in front of a word in your search tells Google that you also want to search for synonyms. For example, "tire" brings up 104 million entries, but "~tire" increases the results to 414 million. The results now include words such as "tyre" (the British spelling). Becareful and update your search as needed, because "rubber" was also included which might have nothing to do with your information need.

(Collected from Melissa Belvadi via Wanderings of a Student Librarian, March 23, 2006)

FreeMind - Free Mind Mapping Software

SourceForge.net highlighted FreeMind as its February 2006 Project of the Month. FreeMind is mind-mapping software, or a tree editor. With it, you can create foldable trees of plain text notes, enriched with colors, icons, cloud-shapes, and other graphics. Folding and breadth-width search make it valuable as a knowledge base tool.

[About SourceForge.net]

SourceForge.net is the world's largest Open Source software development web site, hosting more than 100,000 projects and over 1,000,000 registered users with a centralized resource for managing projects, issues, communications, and code. SourceForge.net has the largest repository of Open Source code and applications available on the Internet, and hosts more Open Source development products than any other site or network worldwide. SourceForge.net provides a wide variety of services to projects we host, and to the Open Source community. See more here...

Government Investigation of Internet Search Engines - Poll Results

A recent poll on Government Investigation of Internet Search Engines by the University of Connecticut has some interesting results. The numbers that stood out the most included that 60% oppose companies permanently storing the search behaviors of their users, and 80% reported searching for web sites they would not want others to know about. See the press release for more information.

(Originally shared on SearchEngineWatch, Feb. 23, 2006.)

Is Open Source Increasing?

Steve Hardin in The Open Source Movement Gains Ground (Bulletin, February/March 2006, American Society for Information Science and Technology) highlighted the opening plenary session of the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology conducted by Matthew J. Szulik, chair, CEO and president of Red Hat.

People who work for Red Hat are doing so because they have the opportunity to see their work improve society. They’ve challenged the notion of “product.” They view software as a service.
(Originally shared on ResourceShelf, March 1, 2006)

Scientific Publishing, the Internet, & Copyright

Andrew Kantor (USA Today, 3/23/2006) highlighted the major issues facing scientific publishing and the role the Internet has played.

Lets look further at the state of scientific publishing...

First, the procedure of traditional publishing is flawed from the eyes of libraries. An author freely gives their article to a publisher, and the publishers sells it at a profit. The author's library than purchases the content that was originally available within the organization. The author may have signed over full rights of the article to the publisher, thus the library has to pay for something that should have been available internally for free.

What advantages are provided by traditional publications? Basically, you are looking at name recognition and a system of distribution. I think it is fairly obvious how the Internet is changing those systems.

Kantor looks at several changes that are developing already. For example, the open access publishing movement, as demonstrated by the Public Library of Science.

Coming across this article was perfect timing. Kenneth Crews, Director of the Copyright Management Center just spoke at the Kelvin Smith Library on Tuesday, April 4th. He expressed how copyright laws are driven by international pressures, money, and many other factors. He pushed hard for authors to manage their copyright rights in order to meet the needs of their organizations and themselves well into the future. It is the one time, during author to publisher negotiations, that publishers can be convinced to change their ways.

(Originally shared on Open Access News, March 23, 2006)

Web 2.0 Mashup Matrix

If you are looking to develop some new web applications or are looking to take advantage of some current mashups, you have to check out the Web 2.0 Mashup Matrix or the Web 2.0 Mashup Center (database) on Programmable Web.

(Originally shared on Snarkmarket, March 24, 2006)

Technical Illustrations 3D - How To

The Make Blog shared a link to Kevin Hulsey's Technical Illustrations How To Demonstration. It walks someone through the process of creating 3D illustrations in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop with only a simple blueprint to reference. From basically just floorplans, Hulsey created an amazing 3D illustration used in the initial marketing push for a cruise ship that was still being manufactured.

Podcasts - Current State Of

On Designtechnica Talk Backs (March 23, 2006), Colin Dixon and Michael Greeson looked at the current status of podcasting.

First, they established a standard definition of podcasting:

  • file-based (download not streaming),
  • subscription-based and "pushed" to user,
  • & consumed on portable devices.
They further discussed the results of a survey that demonstrated that 80% of podcast downloads were never transferred to a portable device. Was the definition established with too tight of parameters or is podcasting not as hot as everyone wants us to believe?

Personally, I find myself downloading and listening to more and more podcasts, but I have yet to use a portable device. I find it more convenient to use my laptop for listening to podcasts, and I listen to music on my portable device while walking, running, or driving.

EPIC 2015 - Future of Media

EPIC 2014 has been circulating on the web for some time now. This flash movie really forces someone to think about media and communication well into the future.

Notice there is the old 2014 version that was actually pretty close on some of its early predictions and a newer, improved 2015 version.

Remote Labs Operated by MIT

Inside Higher Ed had an article on March 24, 2006, called Mi Lab Es Su Lab that described MIT's iLabs. Using software developed by MIT's electrical engineering & computer science department and the civil & environmental engineering department, academic researchers from around the world have access to MIT equipment, such as a "shake table" to simulate earthquakes.

(Thank you to John Dupuis on Confessions of a Science Librarian for highlighting this article.)

Contest for Tech-Oriented Articles

The University of Michigan Library and the University of Michigan Press has put out a call for tech-oriented articles, essays, and blog posts from the previous year.

The competition is open to any and every technology topic--biotech, information technology, gadgetry, tech policy, Silicon Valley, and software engineering are all fair game. But the pieces that have the best chances of inclusion in the anthology will conform to these three simple guidelines:
  • They'll be engagingly written for a mass audience; if the article requires a doctorate to appreciate, it's probably not up our alley. Preference will be given to narrative features and profiles, "Big Think" op-eds that make sense, investigative journalism, sharp art and design criticism, intelligent policy analysis, and heartfelt personal essays.
  • They'll be no longer than 5,000 words.
  • They'll explore how technological progress is reshaping our world.
The nominations must have been published in 2005 and be submitted by the deadline of March 31, 2006. See Best of Technology Writing 2006 for more information.

(Originally shared by the LJ Tech Blog on March, 24, 2006)


startcaseedu.bmp A new Web site - http://start.case.edu/ - has been created to serve as a starting point for finding information on Case’s network and the Web. It is customizable to display up-to-date headlines and links from various Case and Internet sources. It is provided by Student Internet Services, a group of students and staff who provide various Internet services to the Case community.

Photos Representing the History of Computing

CNET News.com has shared various photos documenting some important events in the computing timeline. One of the most curious items might be the first Google server that consisted of several hard drives enclosed by Legos. Talk about keeping things simple.

The images are from a larger collection of computer history exhibits contained within Gates Hall at Stanford.


HigherEdBlogCon 2006

From April 3-28, 2006, make sure you participate in the HigherEd BlogCon. This brand-new, all-online event aims to bring together in a single Web space many of the leading players who are transforming academe with their use of the new tools of the Social Web. Higher Ed BlogCon 2006 will focus on the use of blogs, wikis, RSS, audio and video podcasts, and other digital tools in a range of areas in academe.

The program tracks appear to have something for everyone interested in using today's newest tools in education:

  • Teaching - April 3-7, 2006
  • Library & info resources - April 10-14, 2006
  • Admissions, alumni relations, and communications & marketing - April 17-21, 2006
  • Websites & web development - April 24-28, 2006.

The Internet Society

The Internet Society is just one of several professional societies with the goal of addressing future issues of the Internet. The web site provides a variety of resources. One key area might be the All About the Internet section that contains information on Internet law, history of the Internet, information about the infracture, Internet standards, and Internet statistics. A user can also explore information about the Internet Code of Conduct.

[All About the Internet Society]

The Internet SOCiety (ISOC) is a professional membership society with more than 100 organization and over 20,000 individual members in over 180 countries. It provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet, and is the organization home for the groups responsible for Internet infrastructure standards, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).

(Originally shared on The Scout Report, February 3, 2006 - Volume 12, Number 5)

Do You Need an Electronic Lab Notebook?

The Scientist (March 1, 2006) explores the reasons why electronic lab notebooks are finding their way into academia and why they are becoming more of a necessity than an option.

English Wikipedia Publishes Millionth Article

On March 1, 2006, the English version of Wikipedia published its one millionth article. Now, over 3.3 million articles exists in more than 125 languages of Wikipedia. Wikipedia was originally created with a goal to create 100,000 articles, but shattered that goal on January 23, 2003!

RIAA Avoids College Students Again

The Chronicle of Higher Education on the Wired Campus Blog (February 28, 2006) reported that the recording industry filed another group of 750 lawsuits, but still avoided campus-network users.

Creating Book from a Blog

Watch a 4-minute video about a company called Blurb that provides a free computer application that takes content from a blog and creates a book. The company makes its money when you decide to physically publish.

Wikimania 2006

Wikimania is an annual international conference devoted to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation projects. Wikimania is both a scientific conference and a community event, bringing together the various Wikimedia projects. It's an opportunity for Wikipedians to meet each other, exchange ideas, and report on research and projects, as well as a chance for Wikipedians and the general public to meet and interact. Wikimania will also provide an opportunity to meet and talk with people at the forefront of the Wikimedia communities and wiki software development.

As well as being a forum for research and ideas about the Wikimedia Foundation projects, Wikimania will bring together those interested in free and open source software, free knowledge initiatives, and other wiki projects worldwide. Wikimania will serve as a venue for people across fields, including software and hardware development, library and information science, knowledge management, journalism, law, policy, and education to share ideas about the future of free knowledge and open-source content projects.

Wikimania 2006 will be held from August 4-6th in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the Harvard Law School campus.

Wikimania is currently accepting submissions for papers, posters, presentations, workshops, discussion groups and speaker panels, as well as suggestions for other activities. More information can be found on the Call for Participation page. Contributions from both members of the Wikimedia community and from those outside it are welcome.

Chemistry Information Software

The EngLib blog shared an announcement of some new software for chemistry information.

  • Elsevier MDL and TEMIS launched the Chemical Entity Relationship Skill Cartridge, a software application that "identifies and extracts chemical information from text documents."
  • ChemAxon announced the lauch of a free cheminfomatics toolkit, a "FreeWeb" package to "provide its chemical editing, viewing, search, property calculation and database management toolkits at no cost to freely accessible web resources being operated for non-commercial purposes".

Ben Franklin Web Portal - Powered by Clusty

Thanks to the recent Research Newsletter (January 19, 2005) of the CASE Office of Student Projects, we get word of a new Ben Franklin web portal.

Ben Franklin Web Portal Brings the Man to the Masses (NSF Press Release 06-006, January 9, 2006)

In time for the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth, a Web portal (http://ben.clusty.com) based on clustering technology is offering a new method to separate useful Franklin facts from the normal flood of online information.
Franklin was an important figure not only in U.S. history, but also for science and engineering. From studies of electricity, weather and ocean currents to his development of the lightning rod, double spectacles (bifocals) and the odometer, many of his innovations and discoveries were groundbreaking.
The NSF release talks about the web portal's development with information on Vivisimo, Clusty, and the related NSF grant.

Trends from the Entertainment Industry -Translate to Libraries?

Aaron Shaffer brought my attention to a very interesting article, called The Long Tail (Wired Magazine, Issue 12.10, October 2004). Most of us believe that the entertainment industry is driven only by the hits, probably due to all the award shows, rankings, etc. The "long tail" is all of the other albums, songs, movies, and books that account for a super large volume of sales if provided to the public. Examples like Amazon, Rhapsody, NetFlix, and eBay show that people are interested in and will buy the non-#1 materials if the resources are available to see reviews, get recommendations, and have easy access.

I think this article has long reaching consequences on libraries. First, what role does copyright have in the development of future library resources and services? I believe the intentions of copyright, that "Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries" (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8), is very important. As copyright protection limits are continually increased in length, are will still protecting "progress" or just monetary interests? Someone would argue that economic numbers demonstrate progress, but are we using this measure at the death of future educational, cultural, and scientific discoveries? Just look at the article I shared on the KSL Reference Weblog for an example.

It appears that the "long tail" examples also counteracts the statements by book and journal publishers that open access materials would mean death to their sales. The article showed that increased access, free or very cheap, only boosted sales drastically. As people gained access, they always wanted more and more.

I think in libraries we are seeing a similar fate with Google and other Internet resources. While people are going to Google first for their questions, it results in only more questions and curiosity. The type of questions I see in the library are becoming more complicated in nature and more inquisitive on the user's part.

I think the academic libraries in Ohio have been very lucky with OhioLINK. It has allowed individual libraries more freedom (i.e. money) to maybe focus on what could be considered items that fall into the "long tail." In addition to consortia, libraries need to find the other processes that allow users access to everything and anything. It appears CASE is headed in the right direction with the increasing amount of electronic resources and collections, such as Digital Case.

Online Socializing can have Unintended Consequences

Think Before You Share - Students' online socializing can have unintended consequences By BROCK READ
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Volume 52, Issue 20, Page A38

Brock Read shares the details of several incidents where student information was found freely on the internet and used against them. For example, Penn State football fans arrested after running on to the field after a victory over Ohio State based on pictures in Facebook. Facebook is one of several social networks that is rapidly growing on the internet.

As blogs, web sites, and social networks continue to grow with various forms of personal data available for all to see, students and other users must be aware of the related dangers: cyberstalking, criminal prosecution, discrimination, etc.

The Case community can access the full article from the E-Journal Portal. Several of the sources have a one month embargo before the article is available.

Wikipedia's co-founder eyes a Digital Universe

CNET News reported that Wikipedia's co-founder eyes a Digital Universe. Larry Sanger, who is no longer involved with Wikipedia, has been brought on to work with the Digital Universe project. Sanger described the Digital Universe as the "PBS of the Web" and it will be the "largest reliable information source on the Web", due to the experts it will employ.

[What is the Digital Universe?]

The Digital Universe is an intuitively organized, multimedia Web that will inform, educate, engage and involve people worldwide. The mission is to realize the Internet’s potential as an open, non-commercial medium that inspires creativity, communication, collaboration and education.

Instant Messaging, Literacies, & Social Identities

In Reading Research Quarterly (v.40, no.4, Oct/Nov/Dec 2005, pp.470-501), Cynthia Lewis and Bettina Fabos explored Instant Messaging, Literacies, and Social Identities. The fulltext is available.

Podcast Search Engine Launched - Driven by Speech Recognition Software

The next generation of a podcast search engines was shared on LISNews.org. PODZINGER allows a user to search a podcast for the exact occurrence of a word or phrase. The user can than play the entire podcast or can click on any of the words in the transcript to start replay at that point.

For example, I searched for "chemical engineering" and sorted the results by relevancy. I was able to jump right into a Science Friday show from National Public Radio (NPR) and hear a chemical engineering professor from MIT get introduced; or listen to a podcast created during the National Chemistry Week of the American Chemical Society.

Once a user conducts a search, they can subscribe to the search parameters by RSS and get new results as they arrive. Users can subscribe to the podcast web site's xml feed, download the entire contents of the single podcast, or subscribe in iTunes or Yahoo.

If you create podcasts, you can add the search functionality to your web site, and also register your podcast feeds for others to see.


PODZINGER is a podcast search engine that lets you search the full audio of podcasts just like you search for any other information on the web.

What is the difference between PODZINGER and other podcast search sites?
Most podcast search sites provide directories of podcasts by subject, category, or they search only the metadata provided by the creator of the podcast. PODZINGER takes search a step further by searching the spoken words inside the podcast in order to find more specific and relevant results. The text-based search results include snippets from the audio to help you figure out if the result is relevant. You can even click on the words to listen to the audio from that point.

How does PODZINGER work?

PODZINGER creates a text index of the audio data, using the industry's leading speech-to-text technology from BBN Technologies, to enable search within a podcast, not just within the metadata.

What formats and languages are supported by PODZINGER?

PODZINGER will index, search and reference podcasts in English (language tag in RSS file must begin with "en"), formatted as MP3 or WAV files.

Trust & the Internet

Consumer Reports WebWatch has issued the results of a poll called Leap of Faith: Using the Internet Despite the Dangers.

Among the latest findings from the Consumer Reports Web Watch poll:

  • Four in five Internet users are at least somewhat concerned someone could steal their identity from personal information on the Internet.
  • Nearly nine out of ten users have made at least one change in their behavior because of this fear.

The full report is available for your viewing pleasure, and includes findings of how people have changed their Internet usage.

From a librarian's perspective, I found the section on search engines quite interesting.

More people today (44%) have heard or read about search engines being paid fees to list some sites more prominently in their search results, compared with 39 percent in 2002. However, the majority (56%) still has not heard of this common practice.

Science in the Web Age

Thanks to Bob Michaelson on the CHMINF-L listserv for sharing that Nature published several article about "science in the web age." The initial commentary was on the Crooked River blog.

The articles published by Nature on December 1, 2005, focused on science research and how it driven or assisted by search engines, book digitization efforts, and blogs & wikis.

NASA's Ames Research Center & Google Partnership

FCW.com reported on October 17, 2005, that Google will be partnering with NASA's Ames Research Center in order to share computer scientists and office space for information technology research and development projects. It is expected NASA will provide physical space and the data, while Google will provide searching expertise and money. The deal should be finalized in February 2006.

Teen Content Creators and Consumers

The Virtual Chase shared a summary of a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey. The press release from Pew Internet discussed the full report titled Teen Content Creators and Consumers.
Some of the findings that might peak your interest include:

  • 87% of 12-17 year olds use the Internet
  • 33% share their own creatinve works
  • 32% have worked on or created web pages or blogs for others
  • 22% have their own web pages

Check out the full report for more information.

Gartner 2006 Technology Foresight

The Science Library Pad pulled together various resources that discuss Gartner's technology predictions and suggestions for the future.

Some topics covered include availability of service-oriented software, grid computing, desktop search tools, and instant messaging.

See the Science Library Pad's entry for links to the various predictions and suggestions.

E-Mail Is So Five Minutes Ago

Evidence that demonstrates that email usage will decrease as collaboration becomes the key for success is presented in a November 28th, 2005, Business Week article, called E-Mail Is So Five Minutes Ago. It gives some examples of business usage of wikis, blogs, instant messaging, RSS, and groupware.

I particularly enjoyed some of the words or thoughts introduced, such as "e-waste" for all that junk email and email CC meaning "cover your ass".

Of great concern was the statistic that next year only 8% of all emails will be legitimate. I think this will just further drive alternative technologies such as RSS even harder into everyday usage.

Persistent Identification of Electronic Documents

Susan Lyons in Persistent Identification of Electronic Documents and the Future of Footnotes (Law Library Journal, Volume 97, Number 4, Fall 2005) discusses link rot and a possible solution.

She highlighted several studies that showed various dangerous ramifications of URL links vanishing very quickly, including:

  • Law review articles only included 4 web citations in 1994, but had grown to 96,000+ by 2003
  • A study in 1994 by Wallace Koehler, showed ~32% of web pages vanish after one year
  • In 2000, a study of URL citations in academic journals showed that half of the links had died after 3 years

Checking for Broken Links in Your Blog or Web Site

I recommend Link Sleuth to check for bad links in your online creations. I have used it for several years now, and have been pleased with the results. I can check all the links in my blog by just inserting the web address in its search form.

Computer Security Day

Richard Akerman on the Science Library Pad shared information on Computer Security Day, which is TODAY (November 30th).

Computer Security Day is an annual event that is observed worldwide. It was started in 1988 to help raise awareness of computer related security issues. The goal of Computer Security Day is to remind people to protect their computers and information. Officially, Computer Security Day is November 30th. However, some some organizations choose to have functions on the next business day or week if CSD falls on a weekend.

Students Desire a Balance of Technological and Human Contact

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Volume 52, Issue 14, Page A41
Students Desire a Balance of Technological and Human Contact, Survey Suggests By VINCENT KIERNAN

Highlights include:

  • 41% of students preferred moderate use of information technology by professors
  • 96% owned at least one computer
  • 75% used a computer to download or listen to music

CASE faculty, staff, and students have several methods to access the full article by electronic means. View all of CASE's electronic journal access on the E-Journal Portal.

Google Base Beta - Updated

Google Base is a place where you can add all types of information that Google will host and make searchable online.

You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.

See About Google Base for more information.

Are we seeing the next evolution of the internet? People that do not money to participate in pay services to enhance web rankings or have knowledge of the operation of internet search engines can now tailor their listing.

Search Engines & Directories

About.com maintains a Search Engines & Directories A to Z list that includes internet search engines and web directory news, information, commentary, opinions, profiles, how to's, and analyses.

Adopt & Deploy: The Myths (Technology & Education)

Vijay Kumar, assistant provost and director of academic computing at MIT, provided his Top 10 List - Adopt & Deploy: The Myths in the October 1st issue of Campus Technology.

See full article for more information.
10. Myth: Technology is the reason educators adopt technology.
9. Myth: Technology plans should be driven by IT needs and dreams.
8. Myth: We need whole new technologies specifically for education.
7. Myth: Available technologies, with no changes, can be used for education.
6. Myth: Infrastructure is key, so it

Amazon to Sell Individual Pages

In a new twist, Amazon has announced they are working with copyright holders to offer individual book pages for sale or a complete electronic edition with purchase of a print copy.

For more information see Amazon.com to Sell Individual Book Pages (Associated Press, Friday, November 4, 2005 - Updated: 07:35 AM EST).

Microsoft to Start Digitizing Books

David A. Vise wrote that Microsoft is going to start digitizing books similar to efforts by Google. In Microsoft to Offer 100,000 Books Free Online (Washington Post, Saturday, November 5, 2005; Page D01), he reports that Microsoft, in cooperation with the British Library, will spend $2.5 million to digitize books no longer protected by copyright.

Google Print Controversy: A Webliography

Charles W. Bailey, Jr., on his weblog DigitalKoans, has created a bibliography that tracks electronic publications that address Google Print and related legal issues.

Yahoo! Site Explorer

Yahoo! Site Explorer Beta allows the user to enter a web address, and all links that have been indexed from that site by Yahoo! will be listed. This feature works great if you cannot find the site map of a web site or the site map is inadequate. It also allows a user to see what web sites linked back to the original. Very neat, especially of you are trying to judge the reach of your own web site.

Technology - Progress or Interruption to Education?

The U.S. News & World Report (October 17, 2005) in Teaching with Tech introduces several of the new technologies used in today's college classrooms and libraries. It also addresses the advantages and disadvantages of this push to utilize technology in education.

Q&A with the Founder of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, was interviewed on C-SPAN's interview series called Q&A. The original interview was from Sunday, September 25, 2005. Watch the program with Real Player, read the transcript, or listen to the podcast.

Hiding Personal Information from Google

Wired News on October 3rd published an article describing how some people have avoided having their personal information indexed by Google. The article gives various hints in order to reduce the opportunities for identify theft to occur in the future.

Searching the "Deep Web"

Many Internet search engines do not have access to documents stored in databases, because in order to gain access, it requires online forms to be completed. Google or Yahoo only index a very small percentage of the web.

A company called Glenbrook has developed a search engine that uses artificial intelligence to complete online forms in order to gain access to "deep web" documents. See the Seattle Times article on September 5th called Safecrackers open up the "deep Web" for more information.

As applications are developed comparable to this, I expect we will see more copyright lawsuits and potentially more information would be accessible only by subscription to protect from this deep collection of data.

Thinking Outside the Search Box

In SearchEngineWatch, Mary Ellen Bates wrote an article about how to find things on the internet without relying solely on search engines. Using her example of finding information on the trends in the U.K. market for Internet phones, otherwise known as VOIP (voice over Internet protocol), she walks you through her entire search process. By following her search process, you can learn a lot about developing an effective search process of your own.

Some keys search skills or resources she addressed included:

Google versus Libraries

In the August 15th issue of Forbes, Stephen Manes discusses the resources that libraries offer which Google cannot match. He touches on examples of several resources, include full-text materials that are usually exclusive to library users.

Just viewing this article can show a user why libraries can be superior to the Internet in locating resources. Forbes.com has made the article available, but a person must register first to see it. The Kelvin Smith Library has several methods to access this article for free for faculty and students, which becomes obvious when you search the E-Journal Portal.

Google Keyword Searching

Thomas Mann, a Reference Librarian in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, provided a nice summary of why Google's keyword searching will never replace the Library of Congress and other library-related classification schemes in scholastic research.

Icons in Browser Bar

If you would like to add an icon for your blog in the shortcut bar of your internet browser or in the Favorites menu, check out FavIcon.

FavIcon allows you to download an image and than provides easy instructions to implement. You should see "e3" in the shortcut bar when browsing my blog.

Google Scholar and OhioLINK

OhioLINK Library Resources are now linked to Google Scholar. See the announcement on the KSL Reference Weblog.

Looking up File Extensions

The File Extensions web site is a good resource for researching which software application is needed to utilize a file.

Google Sightseeing

Related to Google Earth is Google Sightseeing. Google Sightseeing is a place for people to post items they view while searching Google Maps and Google Earth. Popular postings include aircraft, image errors, and unusual geological formations.

Google Earth

Google has a developed an application that uses satellite imagery, aerial images, and maps to provide a highly user-driven view of the world.

Google Earth provides the typical Internet-based mapping functions, such as locating a single address, mapping a course of travel between sites, or locating nearby businesses. In addition, Google Earth allows the user to "fly" to new locations, see 3D representations of buildings, and a variety of other enhancements.

Kelvin Smith Library (Notice Freiberger Library is still in this image):

Downtown Cleveland in 3D:

Seven Myths about Voice over IP

Since Case is using Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, I thought this article would be of interest. The article, Seven Myths about Voice over IP, was published in the March 2005 IEEE Spectrum.

Custom EndNote Filters

EndNote, a citation manager available to the Case Community at a great discount through the Software Center, may experience trouble when importing citations from some databases.

The Chemical Information Sources Discussion List (CHMINF-L) recently had a post from Andrea Twiss-Brooks (Bibliographer for Chemistry, Physics, & Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago) about some custom filters that have been created for MDL CrossFire Beilstein, Business Source Premier (EBSCO), GeoRef, and MathSciNet. The filters are freely available for anyone to download and use.

Tool Kit for the Expert Web Searcher

Pat Ensor and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA) have created a web site that tracks developments in search engines and recommends the best tools to utilize. The Tool Kit for the Expert Web Searcher looks at several categories, including subject guides, search engines, news searches, metasearch engines, multimedia searching, and the invisible web.

Blogging in Science Libraries

Randy Reichardt and Geoffrey Harder have written a piece that briefly describes the history and applications of blogging, including examples of application in science and technology libraries. Weblogs: Their Use and Application in Science and Technology Libraries (Published in Science & Technology Libraries v.25:3, 2005) has been archived and shared in PDF by one of the authors.

Printable Graph or Grid Paper by PDF

The MAKE: BLOG points out several websites that allow a user to create graph paper utilizing PDF. The main entry highlighted free graph paper available from incompetech.com. The graph paper utility allows the user to set various criteria such as grid size, color of lines, borders, etc. Several readers of the MAKE: BLOG have added their favorite graph paper sites as well.

MAKE is a hybrid magazine/book from the computer book publisher O'Reilly. [About MAKE]

Food Safety & Applied Nutrition Spell Checker

The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed the CFSAN Technical Lexicon. It is a downloadable spelling dictionary that can be incorporated into a user's Microsoft Office dictionaries or other software applications.

The Lexicon contains approximately fifteen thousand technical and scientific terms commonly used in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in correspondence and regulatory documents. Names of chemicals, pathogenic species, toxic substances, and food additives are examples of the type of vocabulary included.

Scirus Toolbar for Scientific Information

The search engine Scirus (designed specifically for scientific information) has released a tool bar interface.

Scirus is the most comprehensive science-specific search engine on the Internet. Driven by the latest search engine technology, Scirus searches over 200 million science-specific Web pages...About Scirus.

New search engines for free scientific e-journals

EEVL has announced the release of 4 new search engines that index freely available e-journals in engineering, mathematics, and computing. The EEVL search engines search over 250 free titles.

[Source: About EEVL]
EEVL is the Internet Guide to Engineering, Mathematics and Computing. EEVL's mission is to provide access to quality networked engineering, mathematics and computing resources, and be the national focal point for online access to information in these subjects. It is an award-winning free service, created and run by a team of information specialists from a number of universities and institutions in the UK.