Thursday, September 29, 2005


In very very very beta, RSSor is a clone (seriously, look at it!) for feeds. The concept is interesting. Tag a feed and a unique page is created for the content for the feed (ie, the the "page" for Library Stuff content) You can then add blog posts to or Furl (I love that!), comment on each post post (which didn't seem to be working this morning [lots of other 404's on the site as well]).

One of the slickest aspects of RSSor is that the main site or your feed tags is an aggregator. Very neat and useful. I wonder how often the feeds update.

Again, this tool is in very early beta and needs to work out a bunch of kinks, but there are a few interesting pieces to it. Another similar to look at is Feed Maerker which has been in development for about a year. (link via Oishii)

Read more about it here

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Read on your iPod

iPodulator is a new web service that lets you convert a web page or RSS feed into the proper text format that can be transfered viewed on your iPod. The service works with 3G and 4G iPods and iPod minis.

“Enter a URL above (starting with http://) and hit ‘iPodinate.’ Some sites may not work, like It will take a moment to process. The URL can be a web page or an RSS feed. This will give you a plain text formatted version of the site you enter, perfect for reading on your iPod. Note: the page will look badly formatted on your computer. Don’t worry, it will look great on your iPod. To save it to your iPod: After hitting ‘iPodinate,’ use the ‘Save As’ command in your web browser to save this file to the ‘Notes’ folder of your iPod or save it to someplace on your computer for later copying to the ‘Notes’ folder. That’s it!”

Monday, September 26, 2005

Slawesome lets you send emails with your voice

Slawesome is voice for your email. It basically allows you to send voice mail (whether that’s love mail, hate mail, music mail or street noise - I don’t know what I’m talking about - mail) to any email address in the world. You have some vocal love that needs to be shared? Slawesome’s the tool for the job.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Top Three States in Library Circulation

Microsoft's nightmare inches closer to reality

Yet another article

In an extensive memo called "The Web is the Next Platform" that was introduced as evidence in Microsoft's antitrust trial five years ago, Microsoft engineer Ben Slivka described a "nightmare" scenario for the software giant.

"The Web...exists today as a collection of technologies that deliver some interesting solutions today, and will grow rapidly in the coming years into a full-fledged platform (underlined for emphasis in the original memo) that will rival--and even surpass--Microsoft's Windows," Slivka wrote.

Microsoft, however, didn't heed the warning. Instead, it embarked on a strategy--championed by Jim Allchin, who today heads up development of the next version of Windows--that was fanatically focused on the operating system.

Google becoming a very real threat to Microsoft

Try imagining a future where developers will write to Web platforms without thinking about an individual computer or operating system. That once was Netscape's dream. If this does come to pass, Google could build an ecosystem around itself in much the same way Microsoft did with Windows. If Microsoft's latest moves can't clear out its corporate arteries, the future could be all Google, all the time.

Link to article.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

GoogleTV is hiring

Google is laying the groundwork to enter the TV business, judging from a job posting for a GoogleTV product manager.

Google's anticipated entry into TV land has been an evolving process, which has included the debut of a prototype earlier this year to search TV programming. And on Wednesday, Google's TV efforts were a topic of discussion on several blogs that pointed to the job posting on Google's site.

According to the posting, Google is looking for someone to help get its search and advertising technologies into products that enhance viewers' TV experience. Google said it is seeking someone to "identify key market trends that are shaping user behavior when watching television."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Librarians Protected in Patriot Act Case

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A federal appeals court has ruled that the names of Connecticut librarians who had been asked to help in an FBI terrorism investigation under the Patriot Act will remain secret pending arguments from prosecutors.

The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking the identity of the librarians who received an FBI demand for records about library patrons.

On Tuesday, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York put on hold a lower court's decision that had lifted a gag order shielding the identity of librarians.

U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall in New Haven had ruled earlier this month in favor of the ACLU, which argued that the gag order prevented its client from participating in a debate over whether Congress should reauthorize the Patriot Act.

Prosecutors said the gag order prevented only the release of the client's identity, not the client's ability to speak about the Patriot Act.

Prosecutors also argued that revealing the identity of the librarians would be "an alarm bell" that could tip off suspects and jeopardize a federal investigation into terrorism.

Hall rejected many of the same FBI arguments in her ruling to lift the gag order.

"The government may intend the nondisclosure provision to serve some purpose other than the suppression of speech," Hall wrote. "Nevertheless, it has the practical effect of silencing individuals with a constitutionally protected interest in speech and whose voices are particularly important in an ongoing national debate about the intrusion of governmental authority into individual lives."

The Patriot Act, passed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion. Now, anyone's records can be obtained if the FBI considers them relevant to a terrorism or spying investigation.

Google to offer free Wi-Fi

Google, the online search leader, confirmed Tuesday it has begun a limited test of a free wireless Internet service, called Google WiFi.

The existence of the Wi-Fi service, which offers high-speed connections to the Internet over short distances, is confirmed by public pages on the company’s Web site and was first reported in a Silicon Valley newspaper in July.

Google spokesman Nate Tyler said the current test is limited to two public sites near the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters -- a pizza parlor and a gym -- located in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,” Tyler said.

“At this stage in development, we’re focused on collecting feedback from users. We’ll determine next steps as the product evolves,” he said.

Free wireless communications would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies.

Tyler said the project was started as part of a Google engineer’s “20 percent time project.”

Google encourages its engineers to spend 20 percent of their work time developing independent projects. Several of Google’s new products have grown out of such projects, including Google News, contextual advertising program AdSense and social-networking test project Orkut.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

10,000 Articles Not Found On Other Search Engines

From the site:

"FindArticles is focused on delivering the best and most essential search results. There are different kinds of searches. You can cast a wide net and see what you catch, but we believe there's a better way. Why not rely on credible, freely available information you can trust? By working with the best sources, we have assembled all the essential publications covering a wide range of subjects — and are continually adding to our collection.

Our publications and subjects are organized by major categories: Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Business & Finance, Computers & Technology, Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, News & Society, Reference & Education, and Sports.

Discover exactly what you need at FindArticles, using either browsing or searching techniques. Select a specific publication up front, or start with a general search and then include or exclude publications. Insert new search terms as needed to pinpoint the most relevant results. Then sort results by article date, length, relevance or publication name. It's all very easy to do here.

FindArticles has articles from thousands of resources, with archives dating back to 1984. That means you get to search for exactly what you need, from millions of articles not found on any other search engine. Please think of us any time you want to Find Articles."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Libravox: acoustical liberation of books in the public domain = free audiobooks

LibriVox is an open source audio-literary attempt to harness the power of the many to record and disseminate, in podcast form, books from the public domain. It works like this: a book is chosen, then volunteers read and record one or more chapters. We liberate the audio files through this webblog/podcast every week. LibriVox is a VOLUNTEER project: if you have problems with the quality of a recording, get busy and make another one; If you wish to listen, please enjoy; if you wish to record, please contact librivox.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cool New On Line Music Service

Pandora, a project of the Music Genome Project, creates a streaming radio station built personally for you and your musical preferences (sort of like Amazon's "if you like this book, try these" approach.)

They also have a blog with RSS.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina's Impact on Libraries

From the American Library Association.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's August 29 landfall on the Gulf
Coast, the fate of many of the region's libraries is still uncertain.
American Libraries will post news of any library-related damage on an
ongoing basis as we learn of it. Watch this site for updates.

Houston (Tex.) Chronicle, August 31:
Craig Nocaise, 21, a police officer, waited out the storm inside the Pass
Christian (Miss.) Public Library, a branch of the Harrison County Library
System, with 12 other town police. They noticed about a dozen of their
police cars circling the building on a current of water. Then one crashed
through the front door. Water poured in and rose quickly. When the back
glass door wouldn't open, the officers pulled their guns and fired at least
50 rounds into it before it shattered. They each then grabbed a cable line
and climbed onto the roof, where they spent the next three hours in
130-mile-an-hour winds. "We lost every patrol car," said Nocaise. "We still
haven't found some. They're probably in the Gulf somewhere." Asked more
about the experience in the library, Nocaise choked up and walked away.

Baltimore (Md.) Sun, August 31:

In Gulfport, Mississippi, Katrina chewed up such everyday items as
furniture, computers, and a piano and spat them back onto the city's
crumbling streets and beaches. In what was once the public library, wet
books formed a mound of soggy pulp.

Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, August 29:

In Gulfport, windows were blown out and the business district was partially
underwater. The damage was described by Fire Chief Pat Sullivan as
"massive." Waves were breaking across U.S. 90 and there was water standing
in the Gulfport Library.

Biloxi (Miss.) Sun-Herald, August 30:

Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis home in Biloxi: The bottom floor of the
Presidential Library and the home itself were gutted. A Confederate flag,
though, still draped over the arm of Davis's statue in the library.

Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, August 31:

The University of Southern Mississippi, Alcorn State University, and Jackson
State University, as well as private Tougaloo College, remained without
power and communication access on Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday at JSU,
students slept on makeshift beds in the student union and library, where
generators could provide light.

"I would say 90 percent of the structures between the beach and the railroad
in Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, and Pass Christian are totally destroyed,"
Gov. Haley Barbour said Tuesday. "They're not severely damaged, they're
simply not there. . . . I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima
looked like 60 years ago."

Cincinnati (Ohio) Post, August 31:

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon
because of the heavy Katrina-related rains. The order triggered
implementation of the Kentucky Emergency Management Plan, which coordinates
response and relief activities in response to the emergency. The heavy rain
exacerbated leaks at the three-year-old Boone County Justice Center in
Burlington, Kentucky. "I've never seen anything like it," said Union,
Kentucky, attorney Edwin Kagin. There was a leak in the fourth floor men's
bathroom, which deputy sheriffs closed down, he said, and a leak in the law
library. "I couldn't believe it. I was in the law library and I hear this
plunk, and there's a bucket catching water," he said.

Tyler (Tex.) Morning Telegraph, August 31:

Tyler Public Library sent its bookmobile to the hurricane shelter Tuesday
afternoon. It provided books, magazines, and other reading material to
evacuees from Louisiana.

Other sources:

Evacuees from New Orleans are also being sent to the Houston area. The
Harris County Public Library in Humble, Texas, north of Houston, has
announced that evacuees are being given full residential privileges by the

Water Damage FAQ:

The ALA Library has a fact sheet with some links to sites on the proper
steps to take in cleaning up a library after a disaster.

Posted August 31, 2005.