Great presentation from Tim O’Reilly: Open Source and Open Data in the Age of the Cloud.
A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project: Teens and Mobile Phones.
The survey, done in late 2009, concluded that text messaging among teens is becoming increasingly popular, with the number of teens who ext daily going up from 38% to 54% in the last 18 months. And there are more messages too. Over half of teens send >50 texts a day (which works out to 1500 a month), and one third of teens send >100 texts a day (3000 a month). 14-17 year old girls lead the charge, with 13-14 year old boys trailing (I’ll resist the urge to crack a joke about boys and their social development).
The Future of Libraries in Finland from Aaron Schmidt
Think your computer is spyware free? That your magical Norton antivirus (*short*) sheds unicorn tears and shoots out rainbows of safe goodness? Wrong! According to Symantec, only 51% of malware in 2009 was even detected, much less quarantined successfully or fixed. Malware is all the bad stuff that happens to your computer: spyware, viruses, trojan horses, adware, on and on.
This is only one company’s report, but it sounds credible to me…in which case may I pause a moment, turn away, and scream into my fist (!!!). I’m back. But seriously. If you have a home computer, smart phone, or wifi networks, which you likely do, please follow this advice. It’s worth making yourself secure. The first time you get infected or bot-ed (look it up), you’ll be wishing you had listened to me. I promise.
Computer Security Software
- Put an antivirus system on (Microsoft Security Essentials is free for Windows users, and good / otherwise use MalwareBytes or Avast Home Edition–both free)
- Install a Firewall, like PC Tools Firewall Plus (free)
- Install AdAware (free)
- Install Anti-Spyware stuff like SpyBot Search & Destroy, SpywareGuard, SpywareBlaster (all free, use all three; they do different things)
- Make sure you’re doing regular back-up too — it’s easy, just sign up with an online auto-back-up company like Carbonite ($) or buy an external hard drive and make yourself do weekly back-ups religiously.
Security on Your Wireless Network
If you have wifi set up at home, take a few extra moments to make it safe.
- Change the Admin Password. Wireless access points come with a default password, which is usually non-secure & easy to guess, like “password” or “wireless.” Make sure you change that default password, then write it down because you’ll need it later to access the router.
- Enable WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption, instead of the default WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy).
- Turn off SSID broadcasting. Most wifi routers broadcast the network name (which is called the SSID). This would make your wifi network visible to anyone within range (e.g. neighbors too cheap to buy their own wifi and smart enough to hack yours). Turn off SSID broadcasting.
- Disable remote administration unless you are absolutely going to need it (e.g. administering the router remotely through the internet, e.g. while not right next to the machine).
Smart Phone Security Software
If you have a smart phone, you sure as monkeys better have some anti-virus and back-up on there too. Here are some recommendations:
- For Android, try Lookout Mobile Security (100% free, does anti-virus, back-up, and offers a missing/stolen device service) or AntiVirus Free (free of course) for just plain anti-virus
- For the iPhone, try Virus Barrier (free trial, then $$) and/or Smart Surfing from TrendMicro (which isn’t antivirus but rather a secure browser, 100% free)
- For Windows Mobile first try prayer, then when that doesn’t work go with Symantec Mobile AntiVirus for Windows Mobile (free trial, then $$) or TrendMicro Mobile Security (free trial, then $$)
Greetings fellow battlers in the libraryverse! I’m rather busy for the next few months presenting, writing, and oh yes, working my regular job too. Below is a list of my upcoming presentations. If you are going to be at one of these events, drop me a line!
And please contact me if you are interested in having me speak for your group or event (either in person or via webinar [I'll supply the technology]). If you’re not quite convinced that I’m right for your library’s needs, check out my past presentations and speaking topics.
Where You Can See/Hear Sarah Speak
- May 4, 2010 – “Best Free Web & Technology Services for Libraries” webinar for the California Library Association
- May 11, 2010 – “Quick and Easy Library Mobile Services” for the Bay Area Special Library Association
- May 12, 2010 – “Coordinating a Social Media Presence for the Library” webinar for the Innovation for Libraries in the 21st Century Online Conference
- June 8, 2010 – “The Future of Libraries and Technology: The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes” for ALS/TAP Information Services Futures for Libraries conference
- June-July, 2010 – “Advanced Web Searching” (four-week online class for Infopeople)
- July 22, 2010 – “The Future of Libraries and Technology: The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes” – Keynote for the SEFLIN Annual Conference
- August 4, 2010 – “Battling Information Overload: Information Professional Skills to Help You Through” – SLA Webinar
- August 25, 2010 – “Battling Information Overload: Key Techniques for Different Technologies” – SLA Webinar
The San Jose Public Library‘s main location, the King Library, is counting down to our 100 millionth checked-out item! Can you believe it? That many check-outs since August, 2003. Wow!
We have our very own live web cam & contest to guess when the 100 millionth check-out will occur. The web cam is aimed at an art installation created by Mel Chin that sits above our our check-out desk that shows the live count of circulation. It’s been there since the opening.
There is a contest for staff (I’m going to win, just watch!) and another contest for SJPL customers. The contest ends April 30th, and we expect the turnover will happen sometime soon after that.
Sarah’s award for #1 best mobile web browser (killer features & super fast): Opera Mini. I’ve been using it for a while now, and I’m loving it. You can get Opera for iPhone, Android, or Blackberry.
Opera loads pages 5 times faster than the internal browser on my Android phone, about 3 times faster than Dolphin or Steel (two other alternative browsers). It has a wonderful navigation bar, a small Google search toolbar *sweet*, offers a nice start page, great bookmark management & syncing (waaaaaaaa!), good download management, and even a suggest-as-you-type feature in the address bar (nowhere else can you get that, baby). Go Opera!
Also, if you don’t have a flat bandwidth rate (e.g. you’re paying by the megabyte on your data plan), then you actually need Opera because it will save you money. From their website:
Opera Mini uses only a tenth of the bandwidth of other browsers, compressing Web pages by up to 90%. On Opera Mobile, turning on Opera Turbo compresses data up to 80% or leave Opera Turbo off to get full Web site data, as you would on a PC.
Try Opera Mini out if you haven’t yet. Just give it a chance for a week, and then you can yell at me if I’m wrong. After trying 3 other browsers, I thought it couldn’t be that different. But Opera was different, and I’m glad I found it
“20 Essential Social Media Resources You May Have Missed” from Mashable. It’s actually more than 20, since it’s a list of 20 lists of resources! Find stuff for mobile, tech, social media, and business. My favorites are “Why Banning Social Media Often Backfires” and “How to Boost Your SEO with a YouTube Channel.”
I have become an Android-addicted junkie. I love the Android operating system, love the apps available, and install them like a rabid monkey! So I was thrilled to see AppBrain, an app you can install on your device that lets you then install & manage apps directly from a web browser, sync apps from the web browser interface to your mobile device, get app suggestions based on what you already like, and easy share links to app installations with friends.
AppBrain has a nice website interface for browsing Android apps. There are a lot of competitors in that arena already, but they’re mostly ad-laden and have kinda crappy interfaces. This is much better. It’s a great way to introduce people to the apps you love. Instead of saying “Now go to the Marketplace, and search for “Hoccer” and install it” you can now just throw them a direct link. The syncing is also a huge boon. Yay AppBrain!