Google is apparently open to changes to Gmail, in resposne to some of the concerns raised by privacy groups. One idea being bandied about is letting users “opt-in” to the targeted advertising (and therefore, hopefully, the e-mail scanning as well).

OneWord

April 14, 2004 | Comments (0)

One Word: a very fun site. 60 seconds to write about the word of the day–a good way to start any workday! And it’s fun to read others’ entries as well…Today’s word (“legendary”) made LiB think of that blasted Tom Cruise/Tim Curry movie

Please don’t GoogleBomb LII, begs Karen Schneider.

The Disability Rights Commission has stated that most websites still do not meet the most basic needs of disabled users. From the article:

A thousand websites were tested for the survey using automated software, and detailed user testing was carried out on 100 sites, including government, business, e-commerce, leisure and web services such as search engines.
The results showed that the worst affected group were those with visual impairments.
Blind people involved in testing websites were unable to perform nearly all of the tasks required of them despite using devices such as screen readers.

The article also has a side-bar with a checklist for good, accessible web design.

duct tape I have a theory–that most problems one encounters can be solved with one of three things:
1) twist ties
2) Pez

3) duct tape
And now, there’s a transparent version of #3! Manufactured by 3M, this new transparent duct tape is definitely worth checking out. Kevin Kelly says it’s even better than the grey-standard (!)

Liz Figueroa of California has proposed a bill that would halt Gmail. As much as I personally have no interest in obtaining a Gmail account with the current privacy issues, and am telling patrons and family members to do the same, I don’t see the need for legislation. I agree with the Mad Librarian, who says: “I’m just a bit skittish that if ad hoc legislation comes out of this without a strong understanding of the issues and rights involved, 1) the cure could be worse than the disease or 2) it’ll get overturned in court so fast, Sen. Figueroa’s head would spin.”

Second Hand Songs

April 13, 2004 | Comment (1)

This is just plain cool: a database of cover songs. Second Hand Songs contains “17542 songs (5648 originals, 11222 cover songs and 672 songs with samples), 7058 albums and 10470 artists (performers and songwriters).” Everything is cross-linked, so you can jump from artist, to song, to cover artist, to another song…. Hoo-yah!

Number 2: ACT, SAT, GRE, & vocabulary tests (requires registration with the site). Looks great!

Supervocab.com: Word lists from real tests (SAT, GRE, TOEFL), vocabulary lessons, practice tests, and a cool hangman vocabulary game (which I just can’t seem to beat). This site had some pop-up ads coming at me as I clicked around, but any pop-up blocker worth its salt should catch them.

hoovers.jpg

Anacubis.com has a new demo, including visualization of data provided by business site Hoovers. You have all the regular Hoover’s search options and your data displays with various icons on the right–people, companies, etc. Right-clicking on the icons gives you tons more data-display options. If you want to get a taste for visualized data, this is a good place to start.

Note: Use IE and make sure you have java enabled.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for pointing this out!

Bookify your Blog

April 13, 2004 | Comments (0)

LJ Book turns your blog into a hard-copy book (well, a nice printable PDF which you can print, bind, and make all spiffy if you so desire). It’s a free service (so far anyway). It even provides a linked table of contents of your various postings. I’m not sure that it would work well for a blog like mine, but for blogs like the Urbana Free Library Construction News I can see it working quite nicely as a permanent record to bind and keep handy in the library.