A9

April 15, 2004 | Comments Off on A9

Once upon a time there was a tiny little company named Amazon.com. Well, this little company took Google results, Amazon results, and Alexa results and smushed them all together and called it A9….

You are welcomed with a nice basic search box. The results screen defaults to web results. A cool feature is if you hover over each result’s “Site Info” button, you get a pop-up with some basic info about the site. If you actually click on the button, you get this information plus a screen shot.

There are vertical tabs on the right for Book Search results (from Amazon, go figure) and a Search History tab, which is kind of nice. I think the layout is rather simple and easy to use. There are other nifty features you might want to check out, such as the ability to run a query right from your Address bar (try http://www.a9.com/pet shop boys) and a generic version of the site that doesn’t cookie you (http://generic.a9.com). Go play!

Computer Privacy Conference

April 14, 2004 | Comments Off on Computer Privacy Conference

If you live near Berkeley, check out the Computer Privacy Conference, and listen to the head of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse and Jackie Griffin from the Berkeley Public Library speak on “RFID and Privacy” next week.

Google Open to Changes

April 14, 2004 | Comments Off on Google Open to Changes

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 Off on OneWord

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.