Friday, December 18, 2009

Graphics representation of a resumé

Having perused dozens, perhaps hundreds of resumes over the years I can truthfully say that most got about 20 seconds of attention, at best. Fast Company today offered an interesting take. Offer a clear representation of your education and experience in an attractive, easy to follow and grasp infographic. Short article here.

NYT Year in Ideas

NYT Magazine brings an eclectic look at the Year in Ideas. The attached image is the display ina bus shelter that changes by using face recognition software to make the point: domestic violence happens when no one is watching. It's a unexpected but clever use of that technology. Other ideas, like the fact that cows with names give more milk, development of weapons of moquito destruction and more are accessed by clicking on the appropriate A-Z letter at the top of the page

Thursday, December 17, 2009

iPhone allows local access to Gale Databases

New from Gale, a new iPhone app, AccessMyLibrary, uses your global position to point you to libraries within a 10-mile radius of your location. You can then select a library and obtain access to all its Gale electronic resources. Among the offerings are:

  • Health care - discover dependable facts

  • Environment - track the latest findings

  • Biographies - from history and today’s headlines

  • Career choices – step-by-step

  • Car repair - locate a diagram or how-to directions

  • Literature – track a bestseller or write a term paper

  • Science - Study current, credible research

  • Hundreds of sources for Home, School or Business

  • Discover dependable health care facts

  • And more

H.P. Lovecraft's complete catalog online

The complete works of H.P. Lovecraft are available online at The H. P. Lovecraft Archive.

The fragility of knowledge over time

So much of the knowledge and history generated and recorded these days is "virtual" and may prove to be quite fragile over time. We are accumulating so much information so fast that it is simply impossible to catalog it all, much less assign it merit or value.

Centuries from now when our descendants are perusing our history, will they get it right? Do we really have a clear idea of what life was like 1000 years in our past, or have we been a bit too careless with "filling in the blanks?"

Offered here is a somewhat silly, but nonetheless though-provoking little film:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Google announces camera-based Web search

Google on Monday unveiled "Goggles" software that lets people search online using pictures taken with cameras in mobile phones based on its Android operating system.

"When you take a mobile phone camera and connect it to the Internet, it becomes an eye," Google mobile search vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said while demonstrating Goggles in Mountain View, California.

"Google Goggles lets you take a picture of an item and use the picture as the query."

An experimental version of Goggles will be available for people at Google Labs website. Goggles already recognizes books, wine labels, CD covers, landmarks and more, according to Gundotra.
Story continues below...

He demonstrated by taking a picture of a wine bottle label with a smart phone and almost instantly getting reviews, pictures and other Internet data about the vintage in a Google search results Web page.

"It is our goal to visually identify any image," Gundotra said.

"It is in Google Labs because of the nascent nature of computer vision. In the future, you will be able to point (a camera phone) and we will be able to treat it as a mouse pointer for the real world."

Google on Monday also added Japanese to a voice-based search service first rolled out about a year ago.

People can now speak Google search subjects into smart phones in English, Mandarin, or Japanese.

"In addition to voice search, Google has huge investments in translation," Gundotra said. "Our goal at Google is nothing less than being able to search in all major languages of the world."

The California Internet colossus is aiming to deliver a translation service to mobile telephones some time in 2010, according to Gundotra.

People will be able to speak into a mobile telephone to have sentences translated into other languages and delivered back quickly in text and audio forms, Gundotra said while demonstrating an early version of the service.

He also showed a "near me now" feature that uses global positioning capabilities in Android-based smart phones to customize map results to show shops, attractions, restaurants or other offerings that are in easy reach.

"In the future, there will be many different ways of searching," said Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience.

"We really foresee a world where you can search and find your answer where ever it exists and whatever language it is in."

Cool Google promo:

Blatantly stolen from my friend Bill and The Raw Story

Friday, December 04, 2009

outlook problem solved

I had invited people to a meeting in Outlook and wanted a list of those who had responded to the Outlook invitation and how they had responded. After poking at Outlook for a while, I realized it was not willing to tell me this information in a very useful way. A search sent me to Jazzerup. I followed the step-by-step instructions and was rewarded with a sortable Excel output. Slick!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mplayit iPhone app directory on Facebook

Mplayit’s Facebook-based directory of iPhone and mobile apps includes all 100,000 plus iPhone apps and a few for other platforms, as well. Applications have a dedicated page displaying videos of the app, a detailed description and reviews. You can also click to buy the app from Apple’s App Store.

There is also a "Pandora-like" feature that recommends apps based on the ones you have previously viewed. The site also displays in real-time what is happening in the app stores, such as Apple’s, to show users what apps are receiving the most downloads, reviews, etc.

Cool stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Google Books drops foreign texts

Bowing to powerful legal pressure, Google Books is dropping foreign texts from the archive. In concession to the numerous foreign governments and bodies that have been asking for changes to the deal Google pushed through the courts, Google Books will contain only texts published within the U.K., Australia, Canada, and those that fall under U.S. copyright. Named plaintiffs in the settlement now include authors in the U.K., Australia, and Canada, who'll gain representation by the Book Rights Registry Board in order to acquire their share of cash from Google. The Rights Registry is also required to actually seek out authors "who have not yet come forward" from now on--it's amazing that this wasn't the case beforehand. The modified deal even adds a legal representative for unclaimed or "orphan" books; the rep is charged with protecting author's rights. Also in the deal is more scope for authors who want their books to be available for free (rather than sold via Google's partner companies) and who wish to tag them with creative commons or other licenses.

Google's original plan effectively gave them the authority to do what ever they wished with millions of published texts. That it was a U.S.-based settlement that covered books published everywhere raised objections from authors and rights bodies outside the U.S. This "settlement" should appease those interests, but will also result in many useful and valuable foreign texts being excluded from Google Books.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 40th Anniversary Sesame Street!

Today is the 40th Anniversary Sesame Street! Enjoy this video in which the Cookie Monster visits a library. Of course libraries offer much more than books nowadays. Perhaps the Cookie Monster could even get milk and cookies with his books.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Florida Digital Newspaper Library

The Florida Digital Newspaper Library provides access to the news and history of Florida. All of the over 800,000 pages of historic through current Florida newspapers in the Florida Digital Newspaper Library are openly and freely available with zoomable page images and full text. The Florida Digital Newspaper Library builds on the work done in microfilm within the Florida Newspaper Project.

The Florida Digital Newspaper Library includes:

  • Current Florida newspapers, digitized from 2005 - present

  • Historic Florida newspapers

  • Historic News Accounts of Florida

    With the exception of the East-Florida Gazette in the 1780s and a small press at Fernandina in 1817, Florida had no colonial newspapers. Even in the immediate aftermath of cession in 1821, only a few newspapers served Florida. Historic News Accounts of Florida consists of stories and reports about Florida gathered together by the Goza and Mickler families and donated to the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History. All are from non-Florida newpapers and cover events in Florida from 1762 - 1885. The articles pre-dating the Territorial Period help to "fill in" the journalistic record at a time when there was no Florida press, while the articles from after 1821 both complement and supplement news published in Florida.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Complete Guide to Google Wave: Free downloadable eBook

Google Wave is a new web-based collaboration tool that's notoriously difficult to understand. This guide will help. Learn how to use Google Wave to get things done with your group. Because Wave is such a new product that's evolving quickly, this guidebook is a work in progress that will update in concert with Wave as it grows and changes. Read it here.

You might also like 7 things you should know about Google Wave from EDUCAUSE.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Woopra: web analytics you can use

Woopra is a comprehensive, information rich, easy to use, real-time Web tracking and analysis application. It delivers a rich library of visitor statistics through an innovative desktop application. Woopra’s revolutionary server architecture, combined with its intuitively designed client software, enables seamless tracking of visitors. Webmasters can track over 40 different statistical events and analytics on multiple websites and blogs.

Woopra breaks the Web statistics mold by allowing lightning quick search functionality along any data point in the system. What information do you need to help you manage and develop your site? Specific user names, IP addresses, geographic locations, user browsing data, visitor history, visitor paths, arrival and departure points – what do you want to know?

Here is an introductory video:

Monday, November 02, 2009

In October iPhone eBook apps outpaced even games

From Flurry
In October, one out of every five new apps launching in the iPhone has been a book. Publishers of all kinds, from small ones like Your Mobile Apps to mega-publishers like Softbank, are porting existing IP into the App Store at record rates. Flurry first evaluated the iPhone as an eBook reader in its July Pulse ("You Trying to Swindle my Kindle?") where it looked at consumer demand for eBooks. In that report, we observed that during the month of August 1% of the entire U.S. population was already reading a book on the iPhone. Now, with books shipping in droves, we are seeing the supply-side explode.

The sharp rise in eBook activity on the iPhone indicates that Apple is positioned take market share from the Amazon Kindle as it did from the Nintendo DS. Despite the smaller form factor of the display, we predict that the iPhone will be a significant player in the book category of the Media & Entertainment space. Further, with Apple working on a larger tablet form factor, running on the iPhone OS, we believe Jeff Bezos and team will face significant competition.

Feature Creep

Thanks to Tom Fishburne, The Management Cartoonist

gmail addressing tips

I found two gmail tips on Everyday Loopholes. I think they're pretty clever. I found another on Google's website.

One is that you can append things to your gmail address. An email addressed to will reach the valid google email address. Here's the link to "Gmail Address + Anything You Want" at Everyday Loopholes.

The other is called "Google Twofer" on Everyday Loopholes. It points out that signing up for gmail actually means an email address that ends in and another that ends in Both go to the same mailbox.

Lastly, dots are meaningless in Google address names so all of these emails go to the same address: = = =
Google explains it here.

You can see the results of test messages by clicking on the "show details" link in the Google mail message. As Everyday Loopholes suggests, it might be useful to use some of these alternatives when signing up for email at websites and then filtering if necessary.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Deepdyve: Like iTunes for Science Papers

DeepDyve was started by two scientists who had previously worked on the Human Genome Project and in a variety of biotech companies. Their work required extensive research and access to countless data sources, yet the tools available for finding Web-based information were frustratingly limited and time-consuming. Furthermore, much of the research materials they sought were extremely expensive and beyond their companies’ budgets.

In 2005, DeepDyve was founded to make scientific, technical and medical research more easily discoverable and accessible. DeepDyve’s online research rental service delivers on this mission. Anyone interested in published research can now gain access to over 30 million articles from thousands of authoritative journals. The site, launched today, offers full-text search of scientific articles along with 99 cent downloads and a subscription service that allows fans of Clinical Chemistry to read as many stories as they’d like.

Found at TechCrunch

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Does the brain like eBooks?

The New York Times has a very interesting collection of opinion pieces on the subject from a wide array of professional "readers".

From the skeptic:
"Right now, networked digital media do a poor job of balancing focal and peripheral attention. We swing between two kinds of bad reading. We suffer tunnel vision, as when reading a single page, paragraph, or even “keyword in context” without an organized sense of the whole. Or we suffer marginal distraction, as when feeds or blogrolls in the margin of a blog let the whole blogosphere in." - Alan Liu chairman and professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara

To the advocate:
"The tools (as usual) are neutral. It’s up to us to insist that onscreen reading enhance, not replace, traditional book reading. It’s up to us to remember that the medium is not the message; that the meaning and music of the words is what matters, not the glitzy vehicle they arrive in." - David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University

It is an excellent read and offers 5 different points of view, each eloquently presented. Worth a read.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

United States Gross National Happiness - Facebook App

Facebook has developed a new app aimed at determining "gross national happiness"--the moment-by-moment measure of glee, misery, and indifference for its 300 million daily users.
Data is collected from "public and semi-public forums" on Facebook, which is all anonymized before its analyzed. To determine if a particular status message is happy or sad (or neither), the app searches for popular phrases and words that the engineers have associated with each sentiment.

You can adjust the graph by sliding the bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also adjust the zoom by dragging the handlebars on the slider, and can actually watch happiness jump hour-to-hour, though it's a bit difficult to navigate when you're zoomed in that far. It's fun to play around with, but you aren't going to find many surprises: happiness generally hits a low on Mondays, then gradually grows up through the weekend when it drops again as the work-week begins. Peaks are all found around holidays, with Thanksgiving drawing the most happiness. Also worth nothing: this year there was an abrupt drop in happiness in late June, which is likely associated with the tragic death of Michael Jackson.

Found over at Fast Company

Academic Digital Libraries of the Future: An Environment Scan

Derek Law from the Centre for Digital Library Research at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow Scotland has written Academic Digital Libraries of the Future: An Environment Scan for the New Review of Academic Librarianship. It is available for free download for a limited time.
“Libraries are attempting to face a future in which almost every fixed point has disappeared. Users are changing; content is changing; research is taking new forms. Indeed the very need for libraries is being questioned in some quarters. This paper explores the nature of the changes and challenges facing higher education libraries and suggests key areas of strength and core activities which should be exploited to secure their future.”

Found at The Online Education Database

Monday, October 05, 2009

Gov't Printing Office drops journal prices to free and adds XML to the Federal Register

The Government Printing Office and the Office of the Federal Register just announced they're making all the "Official Journals of Government" available for free in bulk. Previous price was $17,000/year per product.

The White House, National Archives and Government Printing Office have also relaunched the online version of the Federal Register today in XML format at

Friday, October 02, 2009 A list of social sites

The explosion of the number of "social" sites has prompted the creation of, an aggregation of more than a hundred sites sorted by type and alphabetically. Handy.

Thanks Celia's

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

iPhone App Store blows past 2 billion downloads

With more than 125,000 developers having made 85,000 applications available to over 50 million-plus iPhone/iPod Touch users worldwide and the Chinese market just opening, Apple is effectively rewriting how software developers and vendors do business. The numbers announced by Apple Monday are staggering to even normally reserved analysts, who noted that after a somewhat slower summer buying rate, App Store downloads globally have exceeded more than 10 million a day in much of September. Again, 10 million each day! Launched on my birthday on July 11, 2008, it took nine months to hit 1 billion, and only six more months to hit 2 billion downloads.
The App Store’s success is due in part to the large number of devices downloading them, but the ease with which the apps can be downloaded and the usually affordable price point - often free or costing just a few bucks - encourages purchases.

Sony’s eReader division opens to self-publishers

Sony has announced a partnership with Smashwords and Author Solutions Tuesday to allow any author to upload a book to their eBook Store, giving self-published writers unprecedented access to the ubiquitous point-of-sale marketplace that is the e-reader.

To publish your own book through Smashwords, just upload the manuscript in a specified Microsoft Word format, set a price, and select affiliates: Stanza on iPhone, Aldiko on Androi, Barnes & Nobles’ website, and now the Sony eBook Store. After that, there are no editors, publishers, copyeditors or other gatekeepers to worry about — or, for that matter, to improve your work — just readers.

"It was a dark and stormy night........."

Monday, September 28, 2009

95 Theses - The Market as a Conversation

So valuable that I have lifted it from The Cluetrain Manifesto. You can read it online here.
"A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies."

"Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations."

95 Theses

1. Markets are conversations.

2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.

3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.

5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.

6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.

9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

10. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized. Participation in a networked market changes people fundamentally.

11. People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors. So much for corporate rhetoric about adding value to commoditized products.

12. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

13. What's happening to markets is also happening among employees. A metaphysical construct called "The Company" is the only thing standing between the two.

14. Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.

15. In just a few more years, the current homogenized "voice" of business—the sound of mission statements and brochures—will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.

16. Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone.

17. Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves.

18. Companies that don't realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

19. Companies can now communicate with their markets directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.

20. Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.

21. Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a sense of humor.

22. Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view.

23. Companies attempting to "position" themselves need to take a position. Optimally, it should relate to something their market actually cares about.

24. Bombastic boasts—"We are positioned to become the preeminent provider of XYZ"—do not constitute a position.

25. Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships.

26. Public Relations does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply afraid of their markets.

27. By speaking in language that is distant, uninviting, arrogant, they build walls to keep markets at bay.

28. Most marketing programs are based on the fear that the market might see what's really going on inside the company.

29. Elvis said it best: "We can't go on together with suspicious minds."

30. Brand loyalty is the corporate version of going steady, but the breakup is inevitable—and coming fast. Because they are networked, smart markets are able to renegotiate relationships with blinding speed.

31. Networked markets can change suppliers overnight. Networked knowledge workers can change employers over lunch. Your own "downsizing initiatives" taught us to ask the question: "Loyalty? What's that?"

32. Smart markets will find suppliers who speak their own language.

33. Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can't be "picked up" at some tony conference.

34. To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.

35. But first, they must belong to a community.

36. Companies must ask themselves where their corporate cultures end.

37. If their cultures end before the community begins, they will have no market.

38. Human communities are based on discourse—on human speech about human concerns.

39. The community of discourse is the market.

40. Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die.

41. Companies make a religion of security, but this is largely a red herring. Most are protecting less against competitors than against their own market and workforce.

42. As with networked markets, people are also talking to each other directly inside the company—and not just about rules and regulations, boardroom directives, bottom lines.

43. Such conversations are taking place today on corporate intranets. But only when the conditions are right.

44. Companies typically install intranets top-down to distribute HR policies and other corporate information that workers are doing their best to ignore.

45. Intranets naturally tend to route around boredom. The best are built bottom-up by engaged individuals cooperating to construct something far more valuable: an intranetworked corporate conversation.

46. A healthy intranet organizes workers in many meanings of the word. Its effect is more radical than the agenda of any union.

47. While this scares companies witless, they also depend heavily on open intranets to generate and share critical knowledge. They need to resist the urge to "improve" or control these networked conversations.

48. When corporate intranets are not constrained by fear and legalistic rules, the type of conversation they encourage sounds remarkably like the conversation of the networked marketplace.

49. Org charts worked in an older economy where plans could be fully understood from atop steep management pyramids and detailed work orders could be handed down from on high.

50. Today, the org chart is hyperlinked, not hierarchical. Respect for hands-on knowledge wins over respect for abstract authority.

51. Command-and-control management styles both derive from and reinforce bureaucracy, power tripping and an overall culture of paranoia.

52. Paranoia kills conversation. That's its point. But lack of open conversation kills companies.

53. There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.

54. In most cases, neither conversation is going very well. Almost invariably, the cause of failure can be traced to obsolete notions of command and control.

55. As policy, these notions are poisonous. As tools, they are broken. Command and control are met with hostility by intranetworked knowledge workers and generate distrust in internetworked markets.

56. These two conversations want to talk to each other. They are speaking the same language. They recognize each other's voices.

57. Smart companies will get out of the way and help the inevitable to happen sooner.

58. If willingness to get out of the way is taken as a measure of IQ, then very few companies have yet wised up.

59. However subliminally at the moment, millions of people now online perceive companies as little more than quaint legal fictions that are actively preventing these conversations from intersecting.

60. This is suicidal. Markets want to talk to companies.

61. Sadly, the part of the company a networked market wants to talk to is usually hidden behind a smokescreen of hucksterism, of language that rings false—and often is.

62. Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall.

63. De-cloaking, getting personal: We are those markets. We want to talk to you.

64. We want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your genuine knowledge. We will not settle for the 4-color brochure, for web sites chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking any substance.

65. We're also the workers who make your companies go. We want to talk to customers directly in our own voices, not in platitudes written into a script.

66. As markets, as workers, both of us are sick to death of getting our information by remote control. Why do we need faceless annual reports and third-hand market research studies to introduce us to each other?

67. As markets, as workers, we wonder why you're not listening. You seem to be speaking a different language.

68. The inflated self-important jargon you sling around—in the press, at your conferences—what's that got to do with us?

69. Maybe you're impressing your investors. Maybe you're impressing Wall Street. You're not impressing us.

70. If you don't impress us, your investors are going to take a bath. Don't they understand this? If they did, they wouldn't let you talk that way.

71. Your tired notions of "the market" make our eyes glaze over. We don't recognize ourselves in your projections—perhaps because we know we're already elsewhere.

72. We like this new marketplace much better. In fact, we are creating it.

73. You're invited, but it's our world. Take your shoes off at the door. If you want to barter with us, get down off that camel!

74. We are immune to advertising. Just forget it.

75. If you want us to talk to you, tell us something. Make it something interesting for a change.

76. We've got some ideas for you too: some new tools we need, some better service. Stuff we'd be willing to pay for. Got a minute?

77. You're too busy "doing business" to answer our email? Oh gosh, sorry, gee, we'll come back later. Maybe.

78. You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.

79. We want you to drop your trip, come out of your neurotic self-involvement, join the party.

80. Don't worry, you can still make money. That is, as long as it's not the only thing on your mind.

81. Have you noticed that, in itself, money is kind of one-dimensional and boring? What else can we talk about?

82. Your product broke. Why? We'd like to ask the guy who made it. Your corporate strategy makes no sense. We'd like to have a chat with your CEO. What do you mean she's not in?

83. We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as you take one reporter from The Wall Street Journal.

84. We know some people from your company. They're pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you're hiding? Can they come out and play?

85. When we have questions we turn to each other for answers. If you didn't have such a tight rein on "your people" maybe they'd be among the people we'd turn to.

86. When we're not busy being your "target market," many of us are your people. We'd rather be talking to friends online than watching the clock. That would get your name around better than your entire million dollar web site. But you tell us speaking to the market is Marketing's job.

87. We'd like it if you got what's going on here. That'd be real nice. But it would be a big mistake to think we're holding our breath.

88. We have better things to do than worry about whether you'll change in time to get our business. Business is only a part of our lives. It seems to be all of yours. Think about it: who needs whom?

89. We have real power and we know it. If you don't quite see the light, some other outfit will come along that's more attentive, more interesting, more fun to play with.

90. Even at its worst, our newfound conversation is more interesting than most trade shows, more entertaining than any TV sitcom, and certainly more true-to-life than the corporate web sites we've been seeing.

91. Our allegiance is to ourselves—our friends, our new allies and acquaintances, even our sparring partners. Companies that have no part in this world, also have no future.

92. Companies are spending billions of dollars on Y2K. Why can't they hear this market timebomb ticking? The stakes are even higher.

93. We're both inside companies and outside them. The boundaries that separate our conversations look like the Berlin Wall today, but they're really just an annoyance. We know they're coming down. We're going to work from both sides to take them down.

94. To traditional corporations, networked conversations may appear confused, may sound confusing. But we are organizing faster than they are. We have better tools, more new ideas, no rules to slow us down.

95. We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.

Copyright © 1999 Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger - used with permission.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beautiful bookstore from a grand church

The above is a former Dominican church that was converted into a new retail location for bookseller Selexyz Dominicanen. The architecture firm was Merkx+Girod.

From Design Top News (more pics at the jump):
The store demanded 1,200 sq m of commercial area where only 750 were available.

The initial idea of the client to install a second floor within the church was rejected by the designers, because this would completely destroy the spatial qualities of the church. The solution was found in the creation of a monumental walk-in bookcase spanning several floors and situated a-symmetrically in the church. In doing so the left side of the church remained empty while on the other side customers are lead upstairs in the three- storey ‘Bookflat.’

The ground floor gives room to several different book displays, information desks, magazine-stands and cash registers, all made of standard sheet materials in different colours and surfaces.

Which sounds better: Vinyl or MP3?

John Meyer of Newform Research has computed the effective bitrates of all the major audio media, from wax cylinder to MP3. While a poorly-encoded MP3 sounds terrible, and a high-end system playing the vinyl or acetate for which it was designed sounds amazingly good, there is a broad spectrum of quality and accuracy between those two extremes. The chart below lays out the pure numbers, but there is a lot of subjectivity that goes into our personal assessment of what sounds good and what does not. Offered for enlightenment:

Click to Enlarge

Rep. Grijalva secures amendment to include ‘libraries’ in student aid bill

This is a bit of encouraging news amongst much that is not:
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-7) has introduced an amendment to pending legislation that would include “community college libraries” in the bill text of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (H.R. 3221).

Introduced by Rep. George Miller (CA-7), H.R. 3221 would establish two new competitive grant programs providing states and junior and community colleges the opportunity to apply for funds to launch initiatives to improve graduation and employment-related outcomes.

The original bill language did not explicitly include community college libraries as potential recipients of the grants, which the ALA believes is essential for highlighting the important role libraries play in preparing students to successfully obtain and retain employment and for encouraging community colleges pursuing the grants to invest in their libraries and the services and resources they offer.

“This is a great bill that will help those students and communities that depend on the community college library for assistance with entering and staying in the workforce,” Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office, said.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Job Voyager

Very cool job generator, showing trends over time of reported occupations in the Unites State Labor Force and how they have changed over the years. It's interesting to see the different percentages of males and females within these occupations.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google Books on Demand

Google, through their Google Books, is partnering with Books on Demand to make available the more than two million out of copyright books they have scanned over the last seven years. In an interesting twist for the online search engine, they will now offer the scanned books back in print. Using the Expresso Book Machine patrons can have their own perfect bound paperback copy in less than ten minutes. Although the machine itself costs $100,000, the material cost for each copy is around three dollars.

In another ironic twist, the private Harvard Bookstore will begin offering this service on September 29th so that people who can not visit the Harvard Library can buy many of the same books nearby at the bookstore. Harvard partner shipped with Google in December 2004, offering their extensive holdings to Google scanners.

While people, from knitters finding lost heirloom designs to teachers helping subsistence farmers in Africa using old but still relevant techniques, are finding useful information it is unlikely that many new books will be added to the public domain. Because Congress modified the copyright law in 1999, most new books will not be available in the public domain for many decades.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet the new pres, same as the old pres.

President Obama supports extending Section 215 of the "Patriot" act, the section beloved by librarians nationwide. Section 215 undermines much of the patron privacy that librarians have protected for centuries by allowing the FBI to "request" library records and gagging the librarian from informing anyone that such a "request" was made. Section 215 was set to expire in December, but our new president is requesting that this part of the "Patriot" act be extended.

As the ALA stated when the original "Patriot" act was enacted.

Libraries provide a place to exercise intellectual freedom: a free and open exchange of knowledge and information where individuals may exercise freedom of inquiry as well as a right to privacy in regards to information sought. Privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association; and, in a library, the subject of users' interests should not be examined or scrutinized by others.

ALA considers that sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT are a present danger to the constitutional rights and privacy rights of library users.

The President promised to bring us "Change We Can Believe In" and to "revise the PATRIOT act to give law enforcement the tools it needs without jeopardizing the rights and ideas of all Americans", Section 215 must just be one of those tools.

Survery of the current state of Newspaper Media

A recent New York Review of Books artcile,, provides an excellent survery of the current state of the Newspaper Media. It maintains that, surprisingly, a main reason for the decline of print subscriptions has been the availability of free versions of newspapers on the web. The article also discusses the non-profit news sites, and the growing trend of newspapers to begin charging for online content.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

$148 for near space photos

Aerial photography using balloons has been around for decades, but probably no photographs have been taken from so high for so little. Three MIT students spent $148 to get their digital camera into near space, altitude 17.5 miles/28 km. The camera took more than 4,000 photographs, even catching the balloon popping, before the returning to earth, 20 miles from the launch site.

They plan to post step by step instructions at the "Project Icarus" website, so you to can take high altitude photos for cheap.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Free Library of Philadelphia

Chilling news from the Free Library of Philadelphia:
We deeply regret to inform you that without the necessary budgetary legislation by the State Legislature in Harrisburg, the City of Philadelphia will not have the funds to operate our neighborhood branch libraries, regional libraries, or the Parkway Central Library after October 2, 2009.

Frequently asked questions about the closings here

time waster

This post from Wondermark is about mapping a perfect route. The juxtaposition of contemporary problems and text with Victorian Era illustrations can be entertaining. Perhaps this speaks to excessive planning-to-plan instead of simply getting on with the task at hand.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How many orphans?

Personanondata has this interesting post about the number of "orphans and orphan titles" in the Google Book Search Settlement. Estimate? 580,388. The post has a detailed description of how this number was reached.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

New Tag Map for News Stories

Slate is now offering News Dots: displaying dots that represent news items on the web. The dots get larger as the news subjects are cited more often, and each dot is connected to other dots to show how the news stories are connected to one another. When you click the dot, you are given a list of articles to your right. You can access these articles by clicking on the citation.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Cushing Academy's strange idea

Ted Striphas, the author of the book and the blog The Late Age of Print reports today on Cushing Academy's decision to dispense with their printed books — more than 20,000 volumes in all — and switch over entirely to digital media resources. "To fill the void once occupied by its collection of printed books, Cushing is spending about a half-million dollars on large, flat-screen data displays, laptop hookups, Amazon Kindles, Sony Readers — oh, and a $12,000 cappuccino machine." They see books as outdated -like scrolls before books! Read the whole article and also this post about the beautiful cover for book, The Late Age of Print.

On vacation for 2 weeks

Perhaps some of my fellow bloggers will post while I am away. Returning on September 21.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

iPhone 3G and 3G S to get MMS on September 25

AT&T posted the following comments on its Facebook page:
An Update on iPhone MMS for our Mobility Customers

We know many of our iPhone customers are eager for an update on our rollout schedule for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). We’ve been working for the past several months to prepare our systems and network to ensure the best possible experience with MMS when it launches – and that launch date is: September 25 for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers. MMS will be enabled through a software update on that day.

We know that iPhone users will embrace MMS. The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone’s multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One. We appreciate your patience as we work toward that end.

We’re riding the leading edge of smartphone growth that’s resulted in an explosion of traffic over the AT&T network. Wireless use on our network has grown an average of 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and is projected to continue at a rapid pace in 2009 and beyond. The volume of smartphone data traffic the AT&T network is handling is unmatched in the wireless industry. We want you to know that we’re working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to stay ahead of the anticipated growth in data demand, new devices and applications for years to come.

A better moustrap - or in this case, a better bookmark.

Cool concept and allegedly produced by Propaganda, though I see no mention of it on their very annoying site.

Found at OhGizmo. More pics at the jump.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fascinating photos of cell tower "trees"

I remember the first time I saw one of these. It was from a boat in the middle of Lake Burton in north Georgia and I remember it seeming at once oddly out of place and comfortingly familiar. Now I look for them all over and find them in the most conspicuously inconspicuous places. Offered not in judgment, just interest. Here is a link to a gallery so you can learn to see them, too.

idthis: Human powered identification of anything or anyone.

See something (or someone?!) you don't recognize? Wouldn't it be cool to upload a pic and have a team of experts examine your find, and post the best answer to your query? Well, that is what you get with idthis.

From the site:
Just snap a photo of something you’d like identified (like a breed of dog, a type of car, that weird gelatinous blob sitting on your plate, or even that celebrity sitting next to you that you can’t remember their name, etc…) and then send it to be identified.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Teens Do Tweet - but it's still lame, sorta.

At long last there appears to be a definitive examination of teens' opinions and use of Twitter. In several mainstream articles published recently (like this one) and in at least one post here (like this one) we have all been, apparently, much too quick to write off the teen Twitter market based on either flawed data or misinterpreted anecdotes.

Geoff Cook, co-founder and CEO of MyYearbook has an article over at TechCrunch that presents the results of a survey of more than 10,000 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 with an eye toward adding something new to the answer. It turns out the questions asked were flawed. Says Cook:
"To date, reasons given for the alleged aversion of teens to Twitter have ranged from the condescending “Because they have nothing to say,” to the responsible “Because it doesn’t feel safe,” to the Letterman-like “Because they can’t afford it” — at least without a mobile data plan."

"Of course, all of these reasons are predicated on the widely accepted notion that “Teens Don’t Tweet” — that there is a phenomenon that needs to be explained. As recently as last week even, the New York Times cited the fact that only 11% of Twitter is teen as evidence of Twitter’s unpopularity to that group."
"As it turns out, teens actually tweet more than the general population, prompting Silicon Valley Insider to say yesterday, “Kids Don’t Hate Twitter Anymore.” According to comScore, Twitter’s unique visitor composition index in the 12 – 17 age group is 118 (a value over 100 represents a higher concentration of unique visitors from that age group as compared to the age group’s concentration across the entire web). More interestingly, Twitter’s 12 – 17 composition index of 118 is higher than its composition index in the 25 – 34 and 35 – 44 age groups. The bottom line: Twitter actually skews more teen than the average site, and much more teen than Facebook."
Much more and some cool charts at the article.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Free eBook Library software for Mac or PC.

Just like you don't need an iPod to listen to music on iTunes, you don't need a new Sony eReader to read books. Use this free download to read any of millions of available books on your Mac or PC.

With the software you can:
  • Shop thousands of eBook titles including New York Times Bestsellers.

  • Take your library with you by transferring to your Sony Reader.

  • Read eBooks on your PC or Mac with adjustable text and two-page view.

  • Search inside your collection of eBooks.

  • Borrow books from your library (library card required).

Google Docs integrates Google Translator

Google has integrated Google Translate into its popular Google Docs on-line office suite and now allows almost instantaneous translation of a document into any of 42 different languages. I am not sure how accurate it is but I checked with two multi-lingual co-workers and the French, German and even Arabic translations are at least intelligible if not perfect. So, if you need a down and dirty version of your business plan in Norwegian you are good to go!

MPro 120 Pocket Projector. Want!!

Complete with iPhone connectivity, I seriously want this!

Learn Something Every Day

Obscure, but generally interesting facts posted everyday in the form of clever and cute Sharpie sketches. You can also follow on Twitter or via RSS. Check it out!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chart of Mythical Creatures. Handy!

Click to Enlarge

Social media and brand evangelism

I recenetly attended a webinar on Social Media Marketing sponsored by Razorfish, and while the webinar was less than enthralling - another Powerpoint sales presentation - it set me to thinking about the subject and how it might help us market our information discovery products better to our target audience, college students. Couple that with a recent interest in “competetive intelligence” and you have the makings of this post.

In a former corporate life long before Facebook, Twitter or even servicable chat rooms, it occured to us that the best thing we could do to foster interest in our products was to take existing clients - including those that didn’t like us, especially - involve them in product development, use them as beta testers, give them our latest products to bang on and send them into the world as evangelists to trade shows, client meetings, conferences and such, all at our expense. It worked amazingly well – so well, in fact, that several clients eventually became employees of the company. This is all fairly common today, but we really did think that up on our own more than ten years ago. Brilliant!

Tamar Weinberg has an excellent short article over at with several timely and on-point suggestions about how to spot opportunities for brand evangelism and word-of-mouth marketing by following the on-line conversation your customers are having about you. A good read and food for thought for those of us delivering services to a frequently underwhelmed customer base.

Color Scheme Designer. Brilliant!

Color Scheme Designer combines the features of many other less capable generators into a unique, easy-to-use palette creator with all the best features.

The site is capable of generating single monochromatic, complimentary, triad, tetrad, analogic, and accented analogic color palettes. It can even simulate color-based vision disorders to see how your design colors will look—they even list the percentage of people suffering from the disorders. The preview function builds a dummy web page with the color scheme you choose so you can see how your selected colors look together off the palette.

Cool stuff and for designers, a godsend!

Kindergartners own as many smart phones as their teachers!

As smart phone usage rises it is becoming more and more important that educators recognize both the imperative and the opportunity that the devices bring. In 2006, data showed that smart phone usage among middle and high school students to be at 9 percent. In 2008 that had risen to 24 percent and 2009 data will far exceed that.

The most recent data referenced below shows that:
  • Teachers report less smart phone ownership than both high school and middle school students.

  • Smart phone ownership among students in kindergarten through second grade is equal to that of their teachers. Astounding!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Four Tips for Building Accountability

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, has an excellently short and to the point article over at the Harvard Business Blog about accountability and why it is important, how we are ignoring it and what to do about that.

Says she:
"The tools of accountability - data, details, metrics, measurement, analyses, charts, tests, assessments, performance evaluations - are neutral. What matters is their interpretation, the manner of their use, and the culture that surrounds them. In declining organizations, use of these tools signals that people are watched too closely, not trusted, about to be punished. In successful organizations, they are vital tools that high achievers use to understand and improve performance regularly and rapidly."
She suggests that one frequently look into the mirror to evaluate oneself and the performance of one's teams, and she offers some "classic keys" to ensuring that the mirror is not broken. Much more at the link.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Free eBooks from your library for your eReader.

In its press release touting its new eReader, Sony Corporation also announced a new service that will allow owners of the new device to access eBooks owned by their public library..... sometimes.

The eBook store will now have a Library Finder page. Sony, working with OverDrive (, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and to libraries, will now offer visitors to the eBook Store by Sony easy access to their local library's collection of eBooks. Thousands of libraries in the OverDrive network offer eBooks optimized for the Sony Reader, and visitors can now find these libraries by typing their zip code into the Library Finder. Through the selected library's download website, visitors can check out eBooks with a valid library card, download them to a PC and transfer to their Reader. At the end of the library's lending period, eBooks simply expire, so there are never any late fees.

The process is much more complicated than the Kindles 60 second wireless downloads and we need to wait and see what the selection and availability is like before getting too excited about this, but it could have promise.

Read more!


Real estate sales: Newspaper vs. Internet

Obvious...thanks, Teefy.

Five celebrities most likely to give you someting you can't wash off.

Hackers use pop culture trends to spread viruses and malicious software and clicking on a link found while searching for the latest scoop on your favorite celebrity could ruin your day and your computer.

According to McAfee, the anti-computer virus folks, one in five Internet searches for terms related to "Jessica Biel" leads to a Web page, photo, video or piece of spam that contains a cyber-security threat. So, in the interest of cleanliness and hygiene, here are the top five you need to watch out for:

5. Jessica Simpson
4. Tom Brady
3. Jennifer Anniston
2. Beyoncé
1. Jessica Biel - a one in five chance. Go for it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

You are judged by your musical tastes.

As a part of their on-going series Cambridge Ideas, the University of Cambridge has published a study that suggests that people are quick to jump to conclusions about each other on the basis of their musical taste. Frankly, there should be no surprise there (if you like rap music you are dumber than me....just kidding), but Cambridge has at least scientifically validated the phenomenon and has broadened the conversation into such areas as "why" it happens and "how" we as individuals use our musical taste as both a means of expressing our own identity, mood, ethnicity, values, etc.

The results show that music is a powerful form of social expression that can reinforce stereotypes and, potentially, social prejudices. By stating a preference for a musical style, many of us appear to use music as a "badge" to tell people about our personality and values. Interesting stuff!

There is more here, and a short film below:

The Music In Me from Cambridge University on Vimeo.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mickey Rooney finds Twitter not "wholesome".

How many minutes to earn the price of a Big Mac?

From The Economist

How to Manage Your Online Life When You're Dead

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linkedin, Blogs, eMail... we are all building quite an online presence and one that might be of particular interest to those we may one day leave behind.

TIME Magazine suggests you make a plan for your online accounts-especially if you don't want your inbox contents or that embarrassing Craigslist personal you posted revealed to the shock of your survivors.

There are even online services that will take care of it for you.

Every movie title screen ever! Well, almost.

Steven Hill's Movie Title Screens has stills from almost every movie you can think of, all categorized by name and year of release. Great fun for a Friday! Enjoy!