Online Mortgages?

April 27, 2004 | Comments (0)

Consumer Reports has reviews of 6 online mortgage loan services. Issues of privacy, service levels, and cost are covered.

Thanks to BeSpacific for the link.

As a recovering English major, I found the Eats Shoots & Leaves punctuation game to be rather fun. Can you match LiB’s 100% stickler rating? (actually, it’s not that hard)

Link via

Osama Virus

April 26, 2004 | Comment (1)

I know none of my readers are this stupid, but I tell you only so you’ll tell patrons/friends/family who are, mayhaps, a little less tech savvy.

Please don’t open any attachments to a message titled “Osama Bin Laden Captured.” It purports to be from some major news organization like MSNBC, CNN, or the BBC. Obviously, it’s not. It’s a virus. And a rather prolific one at that. I’ve gotten over a dozen of these e-mails in my work account alone. Apparently it’s making the rounds rather quickly.

Found this at ResearchBuzz… The Electronics Industries Alliance has a Consumer Education Initiative site where you can find places to safely recycle your electronics (TVs, computers, etc.). There are over 1800 programs listed nationwide, and each one has a description listing hours, location, and what they will and won’t take.

I found this one via Neil Gaiman’s blog (yes, he actually has a blog, and it’s a good one too). The i-Duck is a 256 MB Flash Drive, hidden inside a little glowing duck (that only glows when it’s plugged in, naturally). The 256 MB i-Duck will run you $149.

Lori Bowen Ayre discusses a conversation that she had with the venerable Mary Minow about allowing comments on a Public Library Blog. The general idea is that doing so is asking for trouble. I would agree. Allowing postings from the general public is almost guaranteeing that inappropriate things will be posted. Then, what do you do? Do you censor a post? Based on content? Based on someone’s point of view? The person could claim that you are violating his/her 1st Amendment rights, sue you & your organization, and maybe win. Not a good thing. When I set up my library’s blog, I consciously made the decision to turn commenting off. I can’t claim to have thought of all the ins and outs that Mary & Lori discuss, but intuitively, it just seems like a bad idea.

Search for veterans’ burial places on the National Gravesite Locator. From the site: “Most of the 120 Department of Veterans Affairs’ national cemeteries may be searched for burial locations. There are four cemeteries that have not completed their records. They include: Long Island; Los Angeles; Ft. Rosecrans; and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Some interments, therefore, will not be listed.” Another place to direct persistent genealogists!

Image Censorship

April 22, 2004 | Comment (1)
A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a cargo worker whose moving photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday’s edition of The Seattle Times. I wonder….if the photo hadn’t been published in such a big name paper, would she still have been fired? It upsets me that the government censors all images of soldiers’ coffins, under the guise of protecting the rights of the dead. I think, however, that it has more to do with the emotional gravity of such images. If the American people actually realized that people are dying in our military actions ovreseas, perhaps they would not be so quick to vote for these actions, or to vote again for the men who perpetrated them.

Libraristic Links

April 22, 2004 | Comments (2)

The good folks at have compiled a list of all “X Librarian” sites. I found a couple that I had missed, though I do wish more of these would have feeds. I’ve just gotten so lazy that if it’s not in my aggregator, I don’t read it on a regular basis. Does that make me a bad person? 😉


April 21, 2004 | Comment (1)

Gnooks suggests authors and books based on what you already like. i gave it a whirl, just for giggles. I tried the “Gnod’s Suggestions,” where it tells you authors you’ll like based on 3 you currently like. Trouble is, every combination I tried resulted in the suggestion of an author I already read. *sigh* Maybe I just read too much. The suggestions were right on, however. If I put in dark sci-fi writers, it returned in kind. If I plugged in fairy-fiction, again, good suggestions. There is also a map of literature, which is way cool. Plug in an author, and you get a visual search results map with where that author fits in with other similar authors. Fairly accurate, though I question Nick Bantock’s proximity to Ray Bradbury. Somehow I can’t wrap my brain around that one. You can also explore their literature forum (chat) and their literature locator (where can I buy X). Worth taking a look at.