A “Special Skills Draft” is being considered by the US Department of Defense, targeting geeks & linguists. The Pentagon apparently noticed that the military is lacking in staff with high-level computer and language skills (hmmm, I wonder why) and wants that to change. The answer? Not training folks already in the military. Not beefing up recruiting efforts. “Let’s do a draft! But, not just a general draft. Let’s go find smart people with computer and language skills, and force them into miltiary service.” Well, hell.
Check out the I, Robot trailer. Very Will Smith, but that’s alright. It’s still Asimov–can’t complain.
The Smithsonian Institution Library has created a searchable directory of almost three thousand online exhibitions, the Library and Archival Exhibitions on the Web. What a wonderful way to give access to all the hidden jewels on our libraries’ web pages.
Tech TV’s Call for Help’s Free File of the Day is Atmosphere Lite. Totally free, this program has sounds of nature–crickets, birds, frogs, cows populate landscapes of waterfalls, woodlands, jungles, etc. You can use the pre-sets (coast, downpour, country, fireside) or you can create your own, adding sounds of whatever you like. You can even record your creation as a .wav file. Very cool. I downloaded it this morning, have been listening for three hours, and feel rather calm, depsite the influx of e-mails about database weirdness, software glitches, and numerous vendor phone calls (oh, the humanity!). I can proudly recommend this for anyone who loves those sweet sounds of nature.
So, Fresh Goo(gle) claims that it can run searches for you that shows you “what’s new,” AKA “sites that have been added” today, yesterday, in the last week, or in the last month. This is a GREAT idea. But, it doesn’t work. For example, if I do a phrase search for “Librarians Index to the Internet” and limit to Today, I get 2,250 hits. Now, I know Karen Schneider is good, but she’s not that good. Granted, the more you expand a search (to 7 days, to 30 days, to a regular Google search), the more hits you get, but I think what it’s looking at are pages that Google recently crawled, not pages that have been newly added. Would be cool if it worked though.
The Lipstick Librarian has a nice piece on Richmond (CA) students protesting the school board’s attempt to close libraries.
Hundreds of photos of different species yawning are available at Gaping Maws. There’s something that makes me sleepy about seeing a few dozen snakes, a hundred house cats, and some lions yawning. And, something so very, very creepy at the same time.
*yawn* Thanks to Lady Crumpet’s Armoire for the site.
Six hours into the outage, Microsoft still doesn’t know what’s going on, or so they’re telling the public anyway. Darn it…one more reason to move to EudoraMail.
Pledge to be sensible when you drive, and Avis & Cingular will send you free ear buds, regardless of whether or not you are a customer with Avis or Cingular. If you read their suggestions for safe wireless driving (e.g. don’t have your hand up against your ear while you’re driving so you can talk to Aunt Martha about her Chicken Pot Pie recipe), then you fill out a little form, and get free ear buds. Nice thing for them to do, and driving safely is a good thing to promote anyway. Yay free stuff!