BBC News reports that the British Museums, Libraries and Archives Council is awarding £60,000 to 10 rural libraries throughout the country to enable them to install wireless equipment in their buildings. This is in an effort to “increase the contribution they make to the community.” Seems to me that libraries have been doing this digital divide bridging for quite some time now. Wireless is merely the next step.
Our library system is in the process of installing our first WAP in one of our branches — Corte Madera, CA. I’m curious to see how it goes. The public has been asking for it for a while now, and our technical support folks are working hard to get it up and running. There are all sorts of issues, though, that a library has to consider when installing a WAP–limiting the bandwidth allottment for wireless users, requiring them to agree to a click-through policy before logging in, ensuring that access to the staff part of the network is prevented, and so on. We’ve had a lot of Joe Patrons saying “I have wireless in my house. It only cost $80 for the router. Why can’t the library do that?” Umm, that’s why.
Wired News reports that the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame will open in Seattle in June. Pretty darn cool. I now have two destinations for the next time I’m in Seattle: The SF Museum & the new Library. Oooooh, innovation…
So now Bush is publicly joking about not finding WMDs. Yes, very funny Mr. Bush. So funny that the families of the hundreds of American and international soldiers who died during this falsely-prefaced campaign are not laughing with you. I am disgusted.
Comcast has purchased TechTV, my favorite network. And, they’re merging TechTV with their own game network, G4, even though TechTV has a hell of a lot more to do with professional and personal technologies than it has to do with gaming. And, Comcast might try to move the TechTV folks from San Francisco (where they’ve always been) down to Los Angeles. What’s worse is that Leo Laporte (pictured above), and I do not exaggerate, backbone of TechTV will no longer do The Screen Savers, my favorite show on TechTV (but will continue to do Call for Help). Luckily I think Patrick Norton and Kevin Rose, the two co-hosts of future episodes, do a great job too. Piece of dren corporate takeovers ruin everything. *sigh*
So, yes, if you weren’t getting enough tunnel vision from sitting in front of a monitor 8 hours a day (or more if you blog, or game, or surf, or…..), you can now force tunnel vision on yourself with Sumacke. This pair of glasses “Limits your field of vision to the computer screen area, cuts out the VISUAL NOISE, and allows you to control your Visual Environment.” Right. This is a great idea. Please, can I damage my eyes some more?
link via Lockergnome
Ever wonder what to do with discarded microfiche? Make a snazzy looking wallet!
link via Tangognat
A King County Public Library patron wrote a wonderful article for the Seattle Times highlighting the real value of the library’s online databases. Sometimes I think this is the only way people are going to find out about the wealth of information we offer them online. Traditional publicity tactics just aren’t working…
Need an excuse to call in sick? Check out the Sick Call Excuse Generator. Some are better not used unless you want your co-workers hauling you to an intervention. Case in point: “The voices told me to clean all the guns today.” The site also includes a soundtrack of “sick noises” to play at your desk the day before, mentally prepping your co-workers for your call-in the next day. The wonders of the Internet never cease.
link via Librarian Rocks
The Google “What’s New” page lists some coolio new stuff, the best of which (imho) is Google’s Personalized Search, in Beta. You first create a profile, telling Google what you want to search (say, Movies). Then you click on “Start Searching.” When the results come back, you can move this little slidey bar to see the effects that personalization have on the search. Very similar to a Yahoo-directory-based browse, except it’s a search. Pretty nifty, needs some usability tweaking (please make the steps more intuitive), but overall, a great Google beta.
Sweet mother of all that is Scots! Dundee University launched an online Scots language dictionary that uses as its sources the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary. It’s fully-searchable, and an invaluable resource for those of us who read books in Scots (e.g. Irvine Welsh), but have to guess what the “feck” they’re talking about sometimes…
Link via ResearchBuzz