Friday, March 31, 2006

Google hiring TV product manager

Google wants to hire an interactive-TV product manager, according to this job posting.

"In this role, you will provide leadership on product vision and execution of projects that enable using Google's search and advertising technologies to enhance users' television-viewing experience," the posting says. "You will identify key market trends that are shaping user behavior when watching television. These include, but are not limited to, the intersection of Internet and television technologies, video-on-demand, personal video recorders and (the) emergence of next-generation set-top-boxes with IP connectivity. You will then identify areas where use of Google's search and advertising technology can enhance this user experience and define appropriate products to deliver these user benefits."

Google launches 3D movie service

Grab your 3D glasses, Google has posted several 3D movies on their video site!

A Manifesto for Networked Objects

Here is a link to a downloadable PDF by Julian Bleecker, Ph.D. Research Fellow, Annenberg Center for Communication Assistant Professor, Interactive Media Division University of Southern California. Very informative discussion of "Blogjects".

"The Internet of Things has evolved into a nascent conceptual framework for understanding how physical objects, once networked and imbued with informatic capabilities, will occupy space and occupy themselves in a world in which things were once quite passive. This paper describes the Internet of Things as more than a world of RFID tags and networked sensors. Once “Things” are connected to the Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world. “Things” in the pervasive Internet, will become first-class citizens with which we will interact and communicate. Things will have to be taken into account as they assume the role of socially relevant actors and strong-willed agents that create social capital and reconfigure the ways in which we live within and move about physical space. To distinguish the instrumental character of “things” connected to the Internet from “things” participating within the Internet of social networks, I use the neologism “Blogject” — ‘objects that blog.’"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

360 degree LCD television debuts

If you’re looking for a new centrepiece for your new entertaining area, the new 360 degree LED display from Dynascan offers exactly that – quite literally. Taiwanese-based Dynascan has been developing the 360 degree LED display for several years now and it is initially being used as an advertising medium in shopping centres and public areas, with an outdoor version just launched too. The first time you see one of the screens you’ll understand what the fuss is about – the quality, colour, contrast and definition is extraordinary and the screen is absolutely huge – the third generation of the new LED screens is being introduced at present with the largest being a 2.5 metre high, 5.46 metre circumference screen and capable of being viewed clearly from 30 metres away.

From GizMag

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oregon State University Wi-Fi Survey

This is a online survey done by researchers at Oregon State University on how people share and access open Wi-Fi networks and what matters the most when they use Wi-Fi. The latest cases in Illinois and Canada of people being fined or arrested for accessing an open Wi-Fi network show that the issue of open Wi-Fi access rules needs to be solved.

New Google interface in beta

Google is testing a new “green bars” interface to the left of search results, allowing easy linking to search results for the web, images, groups, froogle and local. The green bar is an indication of what appears to be a result count. The quick links have been moved from the top of search to the left sidebar. The green bars do communicate total results information, but that’s it. For the majority of searches, the number of results is not important to deciding whether or not to click on the link.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - downloadable sound effects

Most of us have used downloadable stock photo services in the past. Soundogs offers a similar service for sound effects. Just as stock photos are a great tool for designers and multimedia creators, sounds can be used to quickly set the mood or form transitions between disparate elements. Whether physical sound effects ( e.g. crickets, birds, gunshots, explosions, doorbells, everything under the sun), more creative effects (zips, zonks, beeps, and wooshes), and instrumental music of all kinds and emotions, Sounddogs is the perfect source for sounds of all kinds. Most effects are in the $3-$5 range, making it reasonable to collect sounds for multimedia projects, theater, and the ever so fun practical joke. The sounds themselves are delivered as CD-quality AIFF or WAV files right after you order; no shipping delays. You can browse through the entire catalog and listen to low-quality full-length previews of everything. It's truly addictive (and useful)!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Teens and Technology

Presented to Public Library Association

This is a discussion of the eight realities of technology and social experience that are shaping the world of today's teens and twenty-somethings. It looks at the growing role of technology in teens' lives, the way they use their gadgets, their expectations about how to find and use information, and the social consequences of their use of technology.

Presentation available at the Pew Internet & American Life Project site

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cosmeo turns gray matter into great matter.

Cosmeo is a unique homework help tool brought to you by Discovery Channel. It is designed to help students master challenging concepts and inspires students to say, "I can."

Cosmeo can:
  • Facilitate learning with a constantly updated video library, including more than 30,000 video clips across all age and grade levels

  • Match videos to your state's curriculum standards

  • Make learning fun with a wide variety of interactive games, and homework help tools

  • Help students succeed with 15,000+ images and a library of teacher-selected websites for students to use for school projects and presentations

  • Make student's work stand out with an online encyclopedia of 27,000 full-text articles

  • Give teachers the ability to monitor usage and learn alongside your students

Thursday, March 16, 2006

AllPeers for media sharing via Firefox

AllPeers is almost ready to launch! This exciting new technology will allow you to share your media files via Firefox by utilizing BitTorrent technology.

With AllPeers, you just drag-and-drop your files right into the program. They're available for sharing instantly! Then decide exactly who you want to share which files with. No uploading, no waiting. Want to browse your existing library? Click on an album and you see the thumbnails immediately. And since your files are stored directly on your computer, it's all completely free.

Files are received instantly and are displayed in beautifully laid out albums of convenient thumbnail images. Browsing through new files, or finding old ones, is a breeze.

Go to the website and register to be notified when the download is available.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blogjects in the world of interconnected things

On February 1st, a day before the LIFT06 conference, a workshop about ‘Blogjects and the new ecology of things’ has been held in Geneva. The purpose of this event was to discuss usage scenarios of Blogjects, the design issues they raises as well as their significance in various contexts. The description of the scenarios helped refine what would be the Blogjects features and capabilities.

This report (.pdf, 18.6Mb) summarizes all the topics discussed by presenting the main characteristics of Blogjects and four potential scenarios elaborated by the groups formed during the workshop.
As the Internet pervades more physical space and more social space it is likely that objects in the world will become able to connect to the network and participate in the web by disseminating and receiving data communications. As “things” participate within the Internet and once the Internet soaks through physical, geographic space a differentiated kind of Internet may arise. The Internet of Things sets up a different set of relations to social practice (we will be “in” a pervasive network) and a different set of relations to space (the Internet will be co-occupied by both social beings and things.) This shift generates new possibilities for integrating networked things into the Internet. This workshop addresses this shift by considering its characteristics in relation to an existing, prevalent set of practices and technologies currently in existence variously referred to as “the social web” and “Web 2.0.” We then proceeded into four groups to conduct design scenarios in order to further explicate our understanding of a world in which things are connected, networked participants within a pervasive, wireless, mobile Internet. We conclude that there is a significant opportunity for designing compelling usage scenarios for such a near-future Internet of Things world and recommend a follow on, intensive, multi-day workshop/retreat to continue contributing to this important topic.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google partners with book publishers | 03/13/2006 | Google to offer books online
Google is expanding its role in the publishing world from a search engine for books to a distributor making entire books available to read online. (Not the books they are scanning from libraries. This is a separate program directed at publishers and authors)

More info at Search Engine Watch

Item tagging in UPenn OPAC

The University of Pennsylvania library allows users to create their own personalized classification systems by enabling item tagging in their catalog.
Read all about it:
Library Stuff

ALA 2006 New Orleans Wiki

From Librarian in Black

The goal of this wiki is to develop a guide to the conference that reflects the knowledge of our diverse membership. Anyone with knowledge about New Orleans, the ALA Conference and participating in ALA is encouraged to contribute to the wiki.

The conference will take place from June 22-28, 2006.

Bruce Sterling on "The Internet of Things"

Here is the complete text of Bruce Sterling's inspiring, cranky, visionary talk at last week's O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference. Bruce's talk made admirable sense out of what's going on with technology in the twenty-first century, what Web 2.0 and the rest all mean, and how they can be positioned against the history of other innovations. Fascinating stuff!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Compaq founder pushes for academic library online

From CNET News

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Ever wonder where Compaq founder Rod Canion is? He's with Questia Media, which wants to bring a university-class library to a high school near you.

The Houston-based company is gathering academic and textbook publishers like John Wiley and Sons and putting their works on the Web. For $20 a month, or $100 for a full-year subscription, individuals can get full access to peer-review articles, textbooks and other academic publications online. High schools can access the database too, for about 85 percent of the cost, said CEO Troy Williams.

At the moment, the roughly 150,000 Questia subscribers can download 65,000 books accessible through the site, he said.

A substantial portion of the material available through Questia is copyright and published with permission of the copyright holders. Still, the company must negotiate through a variety of contingencies with publishers. Giving high school libraries discount subscriptions, which all students at the school can access, is easy: Academic publishers generally want students to be interested in research, and the students wouldn't subscribe to most of the publications (or buy the textbooks) offered through Questia anyway, Williams said. The hope is that high schoolers who used the service through their school library will become individual subscribers eventually.

Selling subscriptions to college libraries is different. Many academic publishers rely on selling subscriptions to fellow institutions. Those deals, however, are being hammered out. Google, for example, has cut deals to publish the works in the libraries of a few select universities but the plan has run into controversy because of protests from authors, who claim that the university libraries do not have the legal right to let the search giant republish copyright material.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Google Reference" - a Wikipedia partnership?

From ZDNet

From the article
Last February (2005) Google offered to host Wikimedia projects on their servers, but just as quickly as that news surfaced it seemed to disappear. This "partnership" may be on the verge of getting more attention.

It's not news that is registered to Google and just over a year ago they offered to host some of Wikimedia's projects. This page on Wikimedia even confirms they are in talks with Google but denounces rumors that hosting might include advertisements.

My curiosity was rekindled today when I noticed Google registered and two days ago on March 6th. There are only a couple things I can guess would make sense being called "Google Reference" — one of them is an encyclopedia. What better reference is there than Wikipedia — the project Google offered to host last February?

Another possibility would be a repository strictly for manuals and reference guides. Companies that produce reference manuals could upload their information to a Google hosted repository so users can locate them easily. They could then be converted to a consistent searchable format — just like Google Video converts content to Flash.

RSS to your phone

Rasasa will keep you in touch with your favorite news sources. You probably know by now that RSS feeds are really handy and keep you up to date on all sorts of things. Rasasa helps you to keep track of all this news. It delivers the news to your messenger if you're online and to your mobile phone if you're offline... Or to your email box if you're in a 'quiet time'.

We Sing the News So You Don't Have To

The Aural Times: A great fun site that sings current news clips so you don't have to!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Flickrleech allows you to pull up massive screenfuls of thumnails across interestingness, username, user ID, photoset, group pool, search, etc. You can keep it loaded in the background while you click through on great shots and view, fav, comment etc.

Tips on building a (Library) Community

There is
I have long been a fan of Guy Kawasaki - one of the original Mac evangelists. He has become a premier authority on marketing and business development. He has a post on his blog outlining a method to develop a "kick ass" community for your product or service. He outlines eight principles that are essential in community building, all of which are applicable to libraries.

There is also a PodCast on the sublect.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Amazon adds ProductWiki feature

Amazon has added the ability to create and edit a wiki for each of their product offerings. Customers can rate, comment on, or slam offerings as well as make recommendations. It also offers to notify you of any changes to the wiki.

From the description:
Wiki provides a way for you to share your knowledge about a topic. Wikis are written and edited by groups of people. When you contribute to a Wiki you join a community of other people knowledgeable in the topic. Unlike reviews where each person's opinion appears separately, a Wiki is a single file that is edited by many people.

You can create Wikis about a many different things on Amazon. For example, you might create a Wiki to describe a particular opera recording. Within that Wiki you could create links to Wiki entries defining words such as "soprano" and "coloratura". (See instructions that follow.)

You can view how a particular Wiki entry has changed over time, to see who has contributed what and when, and you can subscribe to be notified by email of any future updates to Wikis you are interested in.

Think of a Wiki as an encyclopedia entry that everyone who comes to the page will read. You should put in relevant factual information that you believe will be of value to others who visit the page. A Wiki is not the place to express your opinion; that's what Customer Reviews and Customer Discussions are for. As always, please treat the Amazon community with respect by not writing inappropriate or off-topic comments.

U. of Michigan Offers Free Blogs for Students, Employees

Recognizing the popularity—and potential—of blogs, the University of Michigan has launched
mblog, a program offering free blogs to UM students and employees...Link