Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Firefox 3.5 to be released this week

This article from Slate.com gives a brief review of the new release of the Firefox browser. The 3.5 version promises to speed up the performance of Firefox, and to provide one of the first browsers to support HTML 5. The latest version of html promises some new innovations in the way the web handles video, among other new features.

Firefox 3.5 is scheduled for release sometime today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Internet Movie Car Database

The Internet Movie Car Database has the most complete list on the web of cars, bikes, trucks and other vehicles as seen in movies. It has thousands of image captures and lots of additional information about the vehicles and their starring or supporting roles. Use the search box in the top right corner of the page, or select a make from the extensive list of marques and models.

Even the LOC isn't perfect

Click to enlarge

Found at Sushiesque my new favorite blog.

Library of the future from 1962

Interesting little post over at Sushiesque from a 1962 article predicting the future of libraries:
"The reading unit may appear similar to a microfilm reader, but it must be equipped with a tape unit capable of receiving pictures from the central library, each picture representing one page. The unit must also be equipped with some means of sending signals to the central processing unit; for the sake of simplicity I shall visualize this device as a telephone dial." J.G. Kemeny, "A Library for 2000 A.D.," in Computers and the World of the Future (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)."

And there is a 10 cent fine for losing this card:

Ultimate Beatles Search

Mark Lackey has a wonderful Beatles website presenting his entire collection of nearly 7000 recordings by The Beatles and Beatle-related artists such as John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band, Paul McCartney and Wings, The Traveling Wilburys, Ringo Starr and The All-Starr Band and many, many, more. If one or more of The Beatles played or sang on it, then it is probably listed here and usually with some interesting details about the recording. While the music is not "playable" at the site, its search capabilities are extensive and are a welcome addition to my collection of on-line music resources!

MOG - music, music news, blogs and more!

MOG, with thousands of contributions from music lovers and the top 300 music blogs that make up its network, MOG generates over 6,000 music blog posts per week, all hand-curated to deliver the web's best daily music newspaper. MOG makes it easy to dig deep and find up-to-date information on your favorite artist, album, or song by searching our archive of hundreds of thousands of blog posts. If you choose to sign up for MOG, you can get personalized music recommendations chosen just for you. Subscribe to your favorite artist on MOG and get instant updates. And if you've got something to say, come say it where 5.5 million music lovers per month will hear you in their blog.

A very cool feature for me is their "Beatles rarity of the week!"

Picasso's amazing "Light Grafitti"

These are fascinating historic images by LIFE photographer Gjon Mili of Pablo Picasso drawing with a flashlight, captured with a long exposure. Amazingly, his mind could "see" and guide his actions thought he couldn’t visually see what he was doing until the entire set was done and exposures developed. Amazing stuff and more here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Research: A third of people want an iPhone - and more!

More than a third of phone owners who don’t already own an Apple iPhone are thinking about getting one. According to research from Crowd Science, 38 per cent of people who own non-Apple phone say they will "probably" or "definitely" switch to an iPhone upon their next purchase.

In comparison, only 14 per cent of non-BlackBerry users are thinking that their next phone will be a BlackBerry, reports Internet News. The Crowd Science research found that 82 per cent of the iPhone users it polled were loyal to the iPhone brand. Of the people who were questioned, one in every three owned an iPhone.

The study said that: "Virtually all iPhone owners, 97 per cent, would recommend an iPhone to someone else, and 82 per cent would buy another iPhone. Furthermore, almost six in ten iPhone users agree they would buy Apple products over other brands if given the choice."

6,014 saints, beati and venerables - all indexed

Who’s the patron of your state (political or spiritual)? Condition (physical or spiritual)? Vocation (monetary or spiritual)? Hobby? Maybe you can find out at Saints.SQPN.com.

The site has information on and profiles of those practically every saint ever anointed. Profiles have portraits, biographical information, areas of patronage, prayers, links to related sites, readings, etc. It’s heavily cross-indexed, and there are several ways to access the information. It’s not complete, there are thousands of saints not yet listed, and there’s lots of information to add, so the site will continue to grow and change.

Found over at: The J-Walk Blog

On this day, less than 8% knew what a "browser" is...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recalibrate your work-life balance.

Balancing work, family life, personal time, and more can be quite a tricky task compared to simply managing your time and tasks in the workplace. David Seah needed something concrete to track his life balancing goals. He created a creative-commons licensed tracking sheet designed to make tracking work/life balance goals easy. From the site:
"For my initial pass, I created a single sheet of paper to act as the focus of your day throughout the entire week. It's really just a glorified to-do list, designed around the idea of noting when you're doing the kind of things that you'd like to be doing every day. By the end of the week, you should get an idea of whether or not you were successful. Since it's a single sheet, you can keep it on a handy clip-board and carry it around with you."
You can download the form in PDF here. And, here are a few tips:

Suggested methodology:

1. Start the week by writing down what you want to do in the beginning of the week in the upper-right part of the form. There's a space for up to three critical things you'd like to get done (these are borrowed from the Emergent Task Planner) that require concentration in measured blocks of time. I'd start just by listing one, if I had to choose just one out of the dozens of things I wish were done. If there isn't anything you need to list, just leave this part blank.

2. As the week goes on, add the inevitable tasks that crop up that you haven't yet scheduled.

3. For each day of the week, write down the stuff that you got done. You can pick them from the list you're keeping in the upper-right part of the page, or you can just pencil in stuff as it happens; the list is really just for your convenience. Cross out stuff you get done from the list so you don't have to worry about it.

4. You can also schedule events for each day of the week, as needed.

5. As you get particular tasks done, fill in a block that corresponds roughly to the part of the balance grid. If a particular task happens to accomplish both, then fill two of 'em in.

6. At the end of the week, see how it went. As you revisit what you got done, this will help you remember how that day went. You can then choose to do a week review and fill out another sheet for the coming week that attempts to make corrective action.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Must watch a Capella tour de force!

I stumbled across this over at TYWKIDBI - absolutely astounding a capella version of the Toto classic "Africa", but what is even more cool is the 2 minute introduction during which the choir produces the sounds of a gentle rain in Africa escalating into a thunderstorm.

Google adds Farsi to its Google Translate service

Google announced today it has added Farsi to the list of languages Google Translate can convert automatically to English. Persian was already on the list of languages Google hoped to include on Google Translate, but political upheaval in Iran and the resulting media crackdown has made the Internet a key source of information coming into and out of that country. Facebook also rushed a beta translation of its site in Farsi into production, hoping more people will use the site to communicate current events coming out of Iran.

From The New York Times

2tor lands $10 million in VC to increase university market

Launched earlier this year, 2tor partners with universities to build, administer, and market online degree programs. Having just closed $10 million in Series A financing from Redpoint Ventures, Novak Biddle Venture Partners and City Light Capital, the company says it will use the funding to increase resources dedicated to student recruitment efforts and marketing. Currently, 2tor has partnered with the University of Southern California’s School of Education to launch MAT@USC, a graduate teaching program delivered online.

1,000+ pages on your bookshelf?

Have you always meant to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest? Did you start and get bogged down in the first several hundred pages? Here's a chance to try again with a support group. At http://infinitesummer.org you can "Join endurance bibliophiles from around the world in reading Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd. A thousand plus pages (with endnotes - a lot of them) ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week. No sweat." Four guides, a blog, twitter at #infsum, Facebook and more. It is a chance to carry around something even heavier than a laptop to improve fitness AND get to know a post-modern classic. (Of course, the improved fitness won't be available for Kindle readers -at least not from carrying the book around!)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

540,000 miles and still going!

Again, something posted just because I can: This is an unusual love story involving an 89-year-old woman and her beloved Chariot - a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente. The two have been together for 46 years and have traveled more than 540,000 miles across this nation's highways and side streets - most recently a 3225 mile excursion to attend her 70th high school reunion. She also carries a handgun and is trained and licensed to use it! Go girl!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amazon releases some Kindle code, but not the source

The Twitter world is today filled with rumors that Amazon has released the source code for the Kindle and Kindle DX. It isn't true. What was released in 2007 and was just recently released for the Kindle DX is the General Public License (GPL) libraries used to power the Kindle software, along with some of the pipes Amazon uses to access those libraries. The code Amazon has released has to do with the low level drivers for the device, while the higher level code that actually does the interesting stuff is a function of e technologies software and that remains proprietary.

Amazon also issues this statement of agreement prior to any download:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Biblio for used, rare and out-of-print books

Biblio.com, now in its fifth year of operation, is the largest independent book marketplace for buying used, rare, and out-of-print books and textbooks. They bring together over 5500 professional, independent booksellers from around the world, to offer over 50 million high quality used books to choose from. In addition to the mundane, Biblio offers millions of select and high end rare, antiquarian, old, and antique books from the 14th through the 21st century - all from the finest book dealers in the world, including specialists in old childrens' books, rare photography books, modern first editions, and signed books.

Amazon eBooks to spread beyond Kindle

Speaking at Wired Magazine’s Disruptive by Design Conference, Jeff Bezos - Amazon CEO confirmed that, at the same $9.99 price, electronic books purchased from Amazon will be formatted to function on other e-readers and computing devices, opening Amazon’s 300,000-title store to a host of new customers. He also hinted that the Kindle reader would support other formats. The move makes sense; Amazon can grow an e-reader business separate from its e-book business. And, if Amazon has the best e-reader on the market as it seems to think it does, then the move toward an open platform has the potential to launch the Kindle into the same or similar presence as enjoyed by the iPod.

Found at: Fast Company.

Bill Gates (1994): "It's a long ways before you have a flat screen as small and light as that book"

From an interview with Tom Brokow in 1994 captioned "It's something called the internet".

Bollywood for Beginners

From Mother Jones:
"Hindi cinema, long dismissed by the West as melodrama with a soundtrack, is the largest film industry (by volume and global popularity) in the world. Those so inclined can laugh, cry, and swoon their way through three hours of lush scenery, arch comedy, and catchy music in theaters across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the former Soviet Bloc, not to mention Canada, the UK, and the borough of Queens."

"So why have so few Americans ever seen a Bollywood movie? If you're daunted by the prospect of sorting through 900 films per annum, consider this your beginner's guide to Bollywood."
A wonderful post complete with clips from ten must-see Bollywood movies along with commentary.

Here is a clip from Chak De! India (2007): Chak De is Punjabi for "go for it," and this 2007 movie about the Indian National women's hockey team certainly has that spirit.

Synopsis: Once-great men's field hockey coach Gabbir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is determined to turn a rag-tag group of girls from all over India into a World Cup winning team. But language, class and communities divide them, and besides, who cares about a women's league? As feminist a film as you're likely to find, and a lot of fun.

Bonus: Nothing beats girls beating boys, except possibly the movie's title song. Chak De! was, for awhile, literally the catchiest tune in the world.

We are the olive in the Martini - Fitzovia presents radio mystery!

Fitzrovia presents classic mystery, science fiction and drama radio plays of the 40's and 50's performed and recorded with style in front of a live studio audience, with live sound effects, then broadcast via Podcasts on The World Wide Web. Enjoy the simpler pleasures in life with cut-glass received pronunciation in a speakeasy bar. Fitzrovia refutes the notion that the well-crafted written word is dead, it's alive and well, living in Fitzrovia and wearing a tuxedo. Come to Bourne And Hollingsworth, Rathbone Place, London W1 on the first Monday of the month. They have a Facebook page too, join up for more information and to keep up with all our goings on. And, all the episodes are available via RSS (copy link to your aggregator) and on iTunes!

Found at: BoingBoing

Happy Bloomsday!

Bloomsday is a commemoration observed annually on 16 June in Dublin Ireland and around the world to celebrate the life of Irish writer James Joyce and relive the events in his novel Ulysses, all of which took place on the same day in Dublin in 1904. The name derives from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses. 16 June was the date of Joyce's first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, when they walked to the Dublin village of Ringsend.

Here is an MP3 clip of Joyce reading his work. His voice certainly seems to fit his characters - most of whom were based on the common folk he knew personally and were just common folk.

The history of The Beatles in 2 minutes

Posted here because I can....the opening segment from the soon-to-be-released Beatles Rock Band does a pretty good job of capturing the era. Good stuff!

Improv Everywhere's latest

Improv Everywhere
just posted its 6th MP3 Experiment where 2,000 people all got together and listened to the same instructional MP3. Once again they take the general populace by surprise and hilarity ensues.

View their other pranks, such as Frozen Grand Central and the No Pants Subway Ride at the links. Posted here as further proof that information sharing can be fun! Imagine what is going to happen when someone decides to harness this for problem solving or brainstorming!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do Teens Tweet? And Other Social Media FAQs - Search Engine Watch (SEW)

Fascinating article about where teens are spending their social networking time. Interesting fact from the article, ..."the fastest growing segment on Facebook is females age 55 to 65" Who whould have thought!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A student's view of scholarly research

From: Admissions of Another Sort by Mary W. George,senior reference librarian at Princeton University Library. She is author of the new bookThe Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know(Princeton University Press).

"When professors assign a library project to undergraduates, just what do they expect students to learn from the research part of the experience? What do professors think students are doing to come up with the sources in their papers? If there is a discrepancy between pedagogical intent and actual student research behavior, how do faculty members address it? Or do they care, especially since they may not spot a student’s research problem until the end of a course and may well not see that student again? Does the end of a well-written, well-supported argument justify whatever means a student uses to acquire sources?

These are issues I often fret about, both in private and aloud when I compare notes with other academic librarians. My concern arises not from a general suspicion that students are engaging in what I call WIGWAM research (Wikipedia – Internet – Google – Without Anything More), but from what students themselves have been telling me for decades. It is clear from e-mail, reference encounters, research consultations in my office, and questions that arise in library instruction sessions, that most students simply do not retain the concepts and logic involved in discovering information sources — never mind the principles for evaluating the sources they do turn up. Even students whom I’ve counseled extensively in the past, and whose projects turned out well, seem clueless the very next semester when they face a research assignment in a different course.

Here are the most persistent and troubling confessions I’ve heard from students over the years, with my speculation on their cause and cure. Some of these statements have been blurted out, others are responses to a question I’ve asked."
More detail for each item at the article:
1. "I have no idea [about the dates or details of my topic]."

2. I’m wondering why I can’t I find this periodical article in the library’s catalog.

3. This magazine isn’t digitized, so I guess we don’t have it and I can’t get it.

4. I need to change my topic because there’s not enough stuff [sic] about it.

5. I’m not clear about what makes an article scholarly or a book a monograph.

6. I can’t find books about [an event that occurred last month].

7. I’m confused about the difference between a primary and a secondary source.

8. I’m afraid I’ll be cheating if I take references from someone else’s bibliography.

Clever e-mailable forms for everyday situations

Magnetism Studios is offering fiendishly mischievous interactive forms, addressing the gamut of everyday situations such as apologies, invitations, unsolicited feedback, grievances, etc.)

From the Bureau of Communications website:

"Every day there are millions of thoughts that go unspoken. To promote better understanding between the peoples of the world, the Bureau of Communication is pleased to present a selection of fill-in-the-blank stationery for everyday correspondence....

What is your "browser of choice"?

Lifehacker is running an informal survey to determine its readers "browser of choice". There have been almost 20,000 responses and the results are astounding to me. Firefox is the overwhelming winner with 59% of the vote , followed by the relatively recent to-the-party Chrome (21%). Most amazing is the fall that IE (3%) has taken - now even surpassed by Safari (11%) and even Opera! (6%)

Wizehive: Share files, manage projects, track activity and collaborate

Wizehive is a group messaging and task management application similar to Yammer, Producteev and Present.ly, and sorta resembling Basecamp and Central Desktop. However, Wizehive adds a few features of its own.

WizeHive lets you set up workgroups and displays messages to everyone in a Twitter-like stream, but unlike Twitter the conversations are threaded. WizeHive is optimized for the iPhone and other mobile browsers (Blackberry and Android optimizations are coming soon), and you can get it as a desktop Adobe Air client or receive alerts in your email.

In its task management module, you can create a task, set a due date, and assign it to yourself or to someone else. Each task can be marked as “open,” “completed,” or “in progress.” You can also upload files, and everyone can view them in a browser. You can also attach Images and files to specific messages.

Unique to WizeHive is its ability to create a small database for each workspace, complete with customizable data fields. This can be used to manage contacts or events. For-fee services are planned and the first two due out in January will be a simple Opprtunity Tracking app for CRM purposes and one for TimeSheets. WizeHive already has an API and is encouraging developers to build their own enhancements.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"I am a human being!.....No, Mr. Wordsworth , you are a librarian"

Thanks to The Lonewolf Librarian via Library Attack for reminding me of this most excellent episode of "The Twilight Zone" from 1961.

In a future totalitarian state, Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) is a man put on trial for the crime of being "obsolete." Publicly, he's a carpenter. Secretly, he is a librarian (a profession punishable by death, as the State has eliminated literacy). He is prosecuted by the chancellor (Fritz Weaver), who expresses in front of the assembled court that Wordsworth, in not being an asset to the State, shall be liquidated.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

AOL + Sears = barf.

Just when you can't think of anything more pitiable than the totally irrelevant and pathetically mundane AOL, they join forces with Sears and create GNN (The Good News Network). To quote TechCrunch:
"There you will find feel-good stories such as “Senior Couple Ties the Knot,” “Lucky Boy Discovers Seven-Leaf Clover,” and “Tourist Survives Dangerous Train Ride.” Topics you can explore further include “Heroes, Winners,” “Upbeat News,” and “More Good News.” You can barf now."
I just did in my mouth a little.

Snooth - a social network for wine lovers

Snooth is a search engine and social network for wine lovers. It offers everything from wine reviews and rankings to vineyard and varietal information.

At Snooth you can search for wines by price, location, vintage, and more. You can build a personal cellar of wines you've enjoyed or would like to sample. It will also recommend wines based on your preferences and the recommendations of millions of other Snooth users. There is even an iPhone friendly site available. Just access it via Safari over your device.

Here is a video demo:

Found at Lifehacker

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Apple's pulsating wall of iPhone apps

At yesterday's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco there was a little bit of eye candy in the lobby. On the wall was a 5x4 matrix of Apple cinema monitors displaying all of the 50,000 icons representing iPhone applications available for download. The cool factor? Each icon pulsated as it was selected for download on iTunes. Way cool. (Over a billion downloads to date, BTW.)

Footopedia - Wikipedia for photos

Fotopedia is breathing new life into photos by building a photo encyclopedia that lets photographers and photo enthusiasts collaborate and enrich images to be useful for the whole world wide web.

A few words from the founder:
“After traveling the world, I wanted to share my photos with others. Flickr and other photo sites give you exposure for only a brief window in time, and adding photos to wikipedia proved too complicated for the average user. This sparked the idea for a ‘wikipedia of photos’ – that combines the permanence and community collaboration of wikipedia with the ease of use of consumer desktop applications.” - Jean-Marie Hullot, founder of Fotonauts, former CTO of NeXT Software and Apple’s Application Division.

Fotopedia is a cross between Flickr and Wikipedia, serving as an archive of “images for humanity.” You can turn any photo album from your Fotopedia desktop client into a Web page entry on Fotopedia, complete with tags, associated Wikipedia entry, and Google Map information where available.And you can post your album on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook.

Photographers can add photos of specific places and on specific topics, all tagged and organized by Fotonauts. You may choose if you want your album be presented for consideration for the Fotopedia photo encyclopedia, under the corresponding index or title which you file it under.

There are over 150,000 high-quality photos already, organized into 4,501 “articles”, and anyone can access albums for a variety of topics, places, people and more. Each article is a Web slide show, along with the associated Wikipedia entry and Google Map. Photos contain metadata making them easily searchable.

Monday, June 08, 2009

World map of social networks

From: Vincenzo Cosenza

Click to enlarge

Pecha Kucha makes Powerpoint tolerable again (sorta)

Originating in Tokyo and started by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture, Pecha Kucha (usually pronounced in three syllables like "pe-chak-cha") was designed to give young designers a venue to meet, network, and show their work and to attract people to their experimental event space in Roppongi. It has blossomed into the latest and greatest presentation format - one that might actually make PowerPoint tolerable again. The rules are quite simple: presenters get exactly 20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each. That's it. Say what you need to say in six minutes and 40 seconds and then sit the hell down. About time! Here is a short video explaining the concept and an actual Pecha Kucha presentation:

The Awesome Potential of Behavioral Disorders

'Nuff said. From despair.com

Google your own library!

Most of us know you can search books scanned by Google using Google Book Search, but did you know you can enter your own books using the My Library feature to create a personal library that is also searchable (assuming Google has scanned your collection, and it probably has!)?

You can use a simple barcode scanner, or in my case the built-in webcam on my iMac, to enter the ISBN. Alternately, you can also enter the title or type in the ISBN. To get started, simply follow the My library link (above) when browsing on Google Books, then click on the Import Books link. Rather than type in the ISBNs by hand, you can use a barcode scanner to read and import the ISBN from the barcode on the back of each hard copy book in your collection.

Once imported, you can rate them and view these titles in My Library on Google Books. The real power of this tip? You can then use Google Books-powered search to browse just the books in you own home library. Check out the details in this video!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Internet Mapping Project

Kevin Kelly handed out sheets of paper at the TED conference and asked people to draw a map of the Internet, indicating their "home" on the map. So far he's collected over 60 hand drawn maps. There is a slideshow here.

From the site:
The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It's expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders.

And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there.

Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.

I've become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I've been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That's all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.

Found at: BoingBoing

Friday Fun!

Just for fun this Friday, take a look at Jimmy Fallon's take on the "Dave Matthews GPS"!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

BookGlutton: 1600 books online to read, annotate and discuss.

Launched in 2006 and, I think, mentioned here for the first time, BookGlutton has put 1,660 books online and created tools that let readers form groups to discuss their favorite titles. From the site:
"We believe firmly that people want to read, annotate and discuss, right there, immersed in the text. That’s the best time to talk about a book. We also respect the solitary side to reading: people should have the chance to tune out the community. We wanted it to be attractive, too; to be an experience. It was designed for the laptops people carry to their coffee shops, and meant for the network, not the desktop. Finally, it had to be something we’d want to use. Naturally we’ve got a list of improvements. Like any creative endeavor, we’re always seeing new ways to tweak it. And we’re open to suggestions! You can suggest features or give us general feedback."

YouTube launches TV-optimized service

YouTube today launched a new service designed to take Hulu head-on. YouTube XL presents video optimized for your television - even big screens. The menu is optimized for TV format and some programming is available in High Definition. While it loses some of the features of the "regular" YouTube like viewer comments (not necessarily a bad thing) and social network sharing, the service is polished and a welcome addition to the ever-burgeoning offering of net media services. Check it out here.

Orange County Library launches iPhone-optimized website

The Orange County (FL) Library System has launched a pretty impressive iPhone-optimized website that allows access to many of their library services and features. Use your iPhone or iPod Touch to search the catalog, access your account, find Library locations and driving directions, learn about upcoming events, watch videos, and more. It is available here. And here is a brief video demonstrating its function:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

David Lynch's Interview Project

Covering 20,0000 miles in 70 days, David Lynch’s “Interview Project” seeks to discover interesting people and their stories on the roadside, in bars - wherever they can be found. Lynch will post to the site a new interview every 3 days. It promises to be a fascinating tour.

"Jess was our first interview. We found him sitting on the side of the road during the middle of the day. He told us he was waiting for his trailer to be repaired so he could go live alone in the desert. Although hesitant at first, Jess agreed to spare a bit of his time and talk to us. His rugged delivery and appearance soon gave way to a gentle man who was just looking for some peace in his life. After leaving Jess we headed further easy into Arizona to look for our next interview."

Newspaper ad sales drop 28% first quarter

Newspaper ad sales dropped by an 28.28% in the first quarter of 2009, a deep plunge that represents a loss of more than $2.6 billion in ad revenue compared year-over-year and the sharpest decline in history. This equates to a loss of more than $4.5 billion in ad sales in just three years if you only take into account the first quarter - the rest of the year promises to be even worse.

Classified advertising represents the largest loss. Compared to the first quarter of last year, revenue from all types of classified ads fell 42,32% to less than $1.5 billion. Considering the fact that total classifieds ad sales topped $4 billion back in 2001 and were still at almost $3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2007, that has got to hurt. The biggest losers in classifieds: Recruitment (-67.39%), Real Estate (-45.55%) and Automotive (-43.42%).

E-ink and Prime View merge for color Kindle

Prime View International (PVI) the primary partner of E-ink who makes the displays for Amazon's Kindle, Sony's E-Reader, and Plastic Logic's electronic books has bought out its partner for an estimate $215 million. The move was specifically noted by E-ink's vice President Sriram Peruvemba as a way to simplify operations, and it will give E-ink the cash and manpower to push development of color electronic paper displays. Kindles are currently limited to black and white or grayscale imagery and in a recent interview Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said color on the Kindle was “multiple years” away.

The a newly-restructured E-Ink and PVI should accelerate development. Peruvemba pointed to the end of 2010 for when mass production will begin. That means a color Kindle may be just 18 months or so in the future.

Obsolete Skills - library and other

OK, using a dial phone may not really be an obsolete skill. I have a friend who still uses this kind of phone. It was there when she bought the house and she's not about to change something that works just fine!

Nonetheless, here are two lists of things we just don't need to do anymore. Obsolete Academic Librarian Skills can be found on the ACRL blog. Other obsolete skills you may remember like setting the timer on the VCR or Formatting a floppy disc and other skills you never had like Using a halberd or Loading a musket can be found at Obsoleteskills.com

Web 3.0 in plain English

Click to enlarge

Digital Inspiration explains the difference between web iterations in a clear and concise manner. There are six video presentations that lay it all out in simple and easily understood language. From the site:

Web 1.0 - That Geocities & Hotmail era was all about read-only content and static HTML websites. People preferred navigating the web through link directories of Yahoo! and dmoz.

Web 2.0 - This is about user-generated content and the read-write web. People are consuming as well as contributing information through blogs or sites like Flickr, YouTube, Digg, etc. The line dividing a consumer and content publisher is increasingly getting blurred in the Web 2.0 era.

Web 3.0 - This will be about semantic web (or the meaning of data), personalization (e.g. iGoogle), intelligent search and behavioral advertising among other things.

Found at iLibrarian

Monday, June 01, 2009

70 great non-fiction authors to follow on Twitter

From Mashable:
"There are thousands of authors on Twitter across numerous genres. In a recent post we featured 100, focusing for the most part on fiction. From writers focused on business to those devoted to history, hobbies, and more, here are over 70 great nonfiction authors to follow on Twitter.

The authors featured here use Twitter (Twitter reviews) actively, updating regularly, engaging with their followers, and providing content that is useful and interesting. It’s important to note that this list is not based on the authors’ written work or literary achievements. Additionally, we recognize that this list represents just a fraction of talented authors who tweet and welcome you to add to it by sharing your own favorite nonfiction authors on Twitter in the comments."

List here.