Friday, September 29, 2006

Add a link to Aleph OPAC

Bill Drew at Baby Boomer Librarian posts:
I have added javascript code to our ALEPH version 16 web OPAC to create a permanent link and a link to create a link. It works in the search results, full record display, and the holdings display. ALEPH allows the creation of permanent links. That was the basis for the javascript. It was modified by Nathan Fixler at the SUNY Office of Library and Information Services. I can read and sometimes even modifiy javascripts but this particlular code was beyond my skill level.

The catalog is at if you want to try it.

Here is one example of a tag created at

Let me know what you think about this.

FSU releases "Public Libraries and the Internet"

From the press release:
TALLAHASSEE, FL—A national report released today reveals that 99 percent of all U.S. public libraries provide free public access to computers wired to the Internet, compared to 25 percent 10 years ago. Librarians overwhelmingly (71 percent) report that the most important impact of this service is providing Internet access to those who otherwise would not have it. This is the first time that impact has been quantified on a national scale.

The report also reveals that despite increased demand for library computers, libraries typically have not seen a corresponding increase in budgets and many are challenged to provide enough computers or fast-enough connection speeds to meet demand.

From the site:
The national survey provides longitudinal data regarding public library Internet connectivity and public access computing services and resources, but also explores the impacts and benefits that communities derive from public library connectivity. The case sites focused primarily on successfully networked public libraries and the issues, solutions, and approaches that these libraries faced and resolved in order to develop sustainable and high quality public access computing and Internet services.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

UC Berkeley Lectures on Google Video

Over 100 introductory lectures, campus seminars, courses and events from the University of Californis at Berkeley are now available on Google Video.

Chicago Manual of Style on-line

From TeleRead:
Effective tomorrow, American-English purists can get definitive answers from the Manual by way of subscriptions ($25 intro for individuals, permanent price $30, institutional price dependent on size of organization). Here’s the site’s home page.

NPR is hiring a blogger

A page has been posted on National Public Radio's corporate site advertising the position. From the description:
Hosts and writes for blog that serves as users’ daily guide to the events of the day and notable stories on the network and the Web; uses news judgment and a lively prose style to present a singular perspective, writing and reporting original items and drawing other NPR reporter/correspondents and listeners into analysis and discussion; may also host a podcast of the day’s top on-air stories; and may serve as a public representative of National Public Radio, Inc.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mobile web shake-up gets started

The mobile web is about to receive the biggest shake-up in years with the start of open registration for mobile phone-specific website addresses.

The general public can now register websites ending with .mobi (dotmobi) as the backers of the mobile net hope to overturn consumer apathy.

Read more here

Friday, September 22, 2006

ZOTERO, the next-generation research tool

A replacement for EndNotes and a lot more, ZOTERO works with most library catalogs, some popular dot-coms such as Amazon, and many gated databases. Among its features, ZOTERO:

* captures citation information you want from a web page automatically, without typing or cutting and pasting on your part, and saves this information directly into the correct fields (e.g., author, title, etc.) of your Zotero library

* lets you store—beyond citations—PDFs, files, images, links, and whole web pages

* allows you to easily take notes on the research materials you capture

* makes it easy to organize your research materials in multiple ways, such as folders, saved searches (smart folders), and tags

* offers fast, as-you-type search through your materials so that you can quickly find that source that you only vaguely remember

* lets you export formatted citations to your paper, article, book, or website

* has an easy-to-use, modern interface that simplifies all of your research tasks, with "where has that been?" features such as autosaving your notes as you type

* runs right in your web browser and is a platform for new forms of digital research that can be extended with other web tools and services

* is free and open source

* has a name that is loosely based on the Albanian (yes, Albanian) word zotëroj, meaning "to acquire, to master," as in learning

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quicker Than A Ray of Light Staff Day Video

From: Tame the Web via The Shifted Librarian

Quoting Michael Stephens of SJPCL:
For your viewing enjoyment, in light of the recent Warner Brothers/You Tube alliance, is "Ray of Light" from SJCPL Staff Day 2003. It's taken three years, but now I feel much more comfortable posting this and I did get permission from SJCPL administration. This video was borne out of a time that we wanted to show the staff how important every single person is to the mission of the library. Ity's not books, or snazzy technology, or a beautiful building, folks, it's people that make the library go round in my book.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google

From:Boing Boing
Bruce Sterling's uproariously funny story "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google" has just been published in the New Scientists -- it's a short short story about the life of a teenager when today's tools of ubiquitous computer control and surveillance are perfected. Like all great science fiction, this doesn't so much predict the future as it predicts the present:

I tried hard to buy us another spray can. I'm a street poet, so really, I tried. I walked up to the mall-store register, disguised in my Dad's business jacket, with cash in hand. They're cheap, aerosol spray cans. Beautiful colours of paint, just screaming to get sprayed someplace public where everybody has to see what's on our minds. The store wouldn't sell me the can. The e-commerce system simply would not allow that transaction. The screen just went gray and stayed gray.

That creepy "differential permissioning" sure saves a lot of trouble for grown-ups. Increasing chunks of the world are just... magically off limits. It's a weird new regime where every mall and every school and every bus and train and jet is tagged and tracked and ambient and pervasive and ubiquitous and geolocative... Jesus, I love those words... Where was I?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

re-charge your batteries almost anywhere

Simple re-useable Energy

Yesterday, USBCELL launched the premier product for the company: the AA USB-rechargable battery.

This rechargeable battery can charge from any USB port without the need for any recharging devices, cradles or cables. Simply pop the lid to reveal a built in connector and charger, plug into any powered USB port on your desktop, laptop, keyboard or games console, to charge the battery.

USBCELL can be used exactly like a normal battery meaning there is now no need to purchase huge packs of alkaline batteries, or invest in or carry a clunky charger. Read more at their site...

Sadly, this UK-based company doesn't appear to be processing orders from outside areas. But, according to their site, they will be soon.

USBCELL is a product of Moixa Energy Ltd., which is a spin out of Moixa Energy Holdings founded, by Simon Daniel and Chris Wright. Their mission is to invent and deliver technologies that provide consumers with better solutions for their mobile or home power requirements that are more usable, economic and environmentally friendly.

Extensive Arab Stock Photo Library

JumpImages responds to the need for high-quality Arab-related imagery by unveiling, the premier Arab imagery source. The website contains a massive collection of high-quality, rights-managed and royalty-free imagery focusing on the diversity of modern Arab life.

Featured in this collection is a mix of talent including UAE Emiratis, other GCC nationals, and international models. The site showcases the diversity of modern Arab life by depicting business, leisure, and family lifestyles and emphasizing the growing prosperity of the GCC region.

Not-so-local lunar library

From: New Scientist

There's one place you may not have thought to store your valuable computer information. Just look up.

Hollow lava tubes on the Moon could be used as a giant digital library. That's one commercial possibility for the Moon put forth in a white paper by a NASA scientist.

In addition to being able to relay information to Earth like geosynchronous satellites, a lunar-based system could also process and store information, says David McKay.

The lunar computers could be buried in lunar soil, put at the bottom of craters or set into lava tubes, which are subsurface caves in which lava used to flow. Previously, scientists have suggested using lava tubes for human habitation.

Commercial data stored on Earth can be destroyed by natural disasters, wars or fires. In 500 BC, the Royal Library of Alexandria in Egypt housed records of the ancient world, and the entire library or at least some collections were ruined in a fire. The benefits of lunar storage are that there is no oxygen to erode the material, constant sub-freezing temperature and the Moon is currently free of all of the havoc wreaked by humankind.

Astronauts on lunar missions could set up the data communication and storage system if they return to the Moon.

The Moon could be used like Noah's ark, hosting a collection of plant and animal material, proposes McKay, who made headlines a decade ago when he and others announced that Martian meteorite ALH 84001 had rod-like structures that appeared to be fossilised microbes.

Families could even pay a fee to preserve photographs in the lunar library for future civilizations. McKay calls it the "ultimate time capsule."

Kelly Young

Monday, September 18, 2006

33 ways RFID has infiltrated your life

From:RFID Lowdown

Imagine this... robbing a bank is no longer a lucrative option, because every dollar in the bank has an embedded RFID chip that can be tracked anywhere on the globe... or, the RFID chip embedded in your hand interacts with and leads you to the right smart shelves in the supermarket that have your size jeans and clothes (the chip in your hand records your weight and waist-size in real time)...

Sound like science fiction to you? Maybe not; RFID has already settled comfortably in our midst, and is creeping onward every day...

More at the link.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Google Books features Banned Books during "Banned Books Week"

Google Book Search and the American Library Association have teamed up to offer searchable indices and library links to banned books, in celebration of Banned Books Week (Sept 23-30). Included in the catalog are 1984, Lolita, Lord of the Flies, the Great Gatsby, The Color Purple, Brave New World, Naked Lunch, Invisible Man, Cats Cradle, and many other titles.

Friday, September 08, 2006

NY Times launches phone/pda friendly site.

“Providing a similar navigation to the Web site, the mobile site provides a version of that is easily read and navigated on mobile phones. The site is not dependent on carriers. Any consumer who has a Web-enabled phone and pays for a Web data plan will be able to access the mobile site.”

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Amazon Movie Downloads to launched today.
After plenty of rumorings, it doesn't look like Amazon will be able to keep mum on the subject for long, since they're expected to launch "Unbox" today. The word on prices isn't exactly wonderful: rentals should go for about 4 bucks, while permanent downloads are hovering at $15. TV shows are matching the $2 iTunes pricepoint, and should be available the day after they air. As for studios, Amazon is purported to have Warner Bros., Fox, Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate, Sony and Universal all signed up, but Disney is said to be holding out for iTunes at this point. Picture quality is supposed to be DVD-ish, and videos will be playable in Amazon's Windows-only Unbox player (pictured), or on your TV or portable device. So far the URL is redirecting to a plain-vanilla DVD page, but if all this word on the street proves true we should be seeing it up in the next few hours.

Google Launches News Archive Search

Google has announced a new service, "Google News Archive Search", which enables users to scour through archives of more than 200 years old historical content from newspapers, magazines, and other publications.

According to Google, the service is aimed at allowing users to explore history 'as it unfolded.' With this service, users can see how viewpoints/ideas/events changed over time. The archive search presents stories on particular subjects in the order in which they happened, so that users can go back to particular dates and understand how things changed or evolved over time. There is also a facility for users to search archives of particular publications.

An addition to Google News, the archival search is available as a link on the News page - as an alternative to searching the wider Web. Initially, the service is available only in US English. However, the company plans to introduce other languages eventually.

The databases included in this service are part of what some might call the "dark Web" as they cannot be indexed by standard search engines. The archival service is geared to provide users with content from both free as well as subscription-based news services.

Reportedly, Google has partnered with a number of sources for its new service, and the list reads thus: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Guardian Unlimited, Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, HighBeam Research, Thomson Gale, and

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beginning Sept. 7, check out a Museum Adventure Pass at your local library for free admission at participating museums and other organizations

The Museum Adventure Pass gives library users free admission for up to 4 people at participating museums and other organizations. Click here for more information.

Free Wiki Textbook Project

From: TeleRead

The Wiki-based Global Textbook Project’s goal is 1,000 wiki-created textbooks on “topics typically encountered in the first two years of a university’s undergraduate programs.” May the drive-by concept kick in and work out!

The new project’s organizers promise “several innovations to improve the quality of the books” and already enjoys international participation. Rick Watson (photo), the Georgia professor initiating the effort, has already masterminded XML: Managing Data Exchange.