Entries in "Internet Tools" ( for this category only)

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.

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.

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.

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".

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]

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]

Google and NASA Partnership

Google has signed an agreement with NASA. The Space Agreement Act will put "the most useful of NASA's information on the internet". Detailed 3D images of the Moon and Mars will soon be just a click away for web users.

Read the full article for more on Google Moon and Google Mars.

[VIA: BBC NEWS | Technology | Nasa and Google form cosmic union]

Continue reading "Google and NASA Partnership"

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.

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"

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.

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.

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)

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)

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.

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.


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)

Who Needs 1000's of Results?

A recent survey confirms that users will give up on search engine results by the 3rd page. 41% of users will switch search terms or search engines if acceptable results do not appear on the FIRST page.

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)

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)

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)

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.

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)

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.

How does Google Rank

Explore how Google collects and ranks results as described by Matt Cutts, Google quality engineer. He gives some great examples that can easily be shared with library patrons, students, or anyone else that is interested.

It was shared in the new Google Librarian Center newsletter.

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.

Microsoft Announces MSN Book Search

On October 25, 2005, MSN Search announced its intention to launch MSN Book Search, which will support MSN Search’s efforts to help people find exactly what they’re looking for on the Web, including the content from books, academic materials, periodicals and other print resources. MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this offering in 2006. MSN also intends to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA) and work with the organization to scan and digitize publicly available print materials, as well as work with copyright owners to legally scan protected materials.

[What is the Open Content Alliance?]

The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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]

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.