Well, I’m not sure how this one managed to get by me, but a big thanks to a certain librarian in Fairfax, CA who pointed out an article, “The InfoDiet: How Libraries Can Offer an Appetizing Alternative to Google,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (02/20/04) that highlights this lovely resource.
RLG, RedLightGreen, is a search engine that searches over 120 million books. It offers a single search box (like Google) and a five star relevancy ranking system, but the interesting part is the results screen, which offers you suggestions on how to refine your search by subject, authors, and languages related to your search. Inside each item record, you can get citation information in four styles, and also link to see if your local library has the book. I love this idea. I want metasearch engines (like WebFeat) to take a page from RLG’s book, and include this kind of automated search-coaching into their products.
You can find out more about the project at RLG’s homepage.
Back in January, I posted about a free 32MB flash drive. FreeAfterRebate.com now lists a free 64MB flash drive through Office Max. I love this website.
Kendall Clark, faculty research associate in the University of Maryland’s semantic web lab, is writing a new column for XML.com entitled “Hacking the Library.” The column will be devoted to “shar[ing] some of the library science tricks I’ve picked up in my own efforts to manage my dijalog lifestyle,” using code, ontologies, and theory. I’ll definitely be watching this one!
Thomas Register has launched ThomasNet.com. The database combines material from Thomas Register & Thomas Regional. Does this mean, just maybe, that we can get rid of all those darn green books? Maybe? Thanks to Gary Price for the link.
The Bush administration has secretly ceased closed captioning for 200 television shows. No warning or reasoning, they just decided to stop. Some of the shows that are no longer being closed captioned are “The Simpsons,” “Law and Order,” “X-Men Evolution,” and “A&E Investigative Reports.” A lot of the shows on the dropped-list are cartoons, leading me to believe that the young hearing-impaired (and those who are young at heart) will be most directly affected.
The National Council on Disabilities is charging the administration with censorship, in that they are “telling the nation’s deaf what they can and can’t watch.” The Bush Administration has long been known to further its political agenda through government censorship (no freaking surprise). In 2002 they directed federal government organizations to censor their web content based on the current administration’s values and goals. This included a CDC page explaining how to use a condom to prevent the spread of STDs, and various Department of Education pages that conflicted with Bush’s worldview. The Orwellian-age continues…
Steve Bass has made a chapter about e-mail freakishness from his book, PC Annoyances, available for free download. He explains the fixes for various problems in several different e-mail programs, such as Outlook, Eudora, & Netscape. This is good–very good. Thanks Steve!
Francis Ford Coppola is bottling wine made of grapes grown on George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. At $30 a bottle for the Chardonnay, I don’t know how well it’s going to do. I mean, damn, you can get a $2 bottle of Chardonnay at Trader Joe’s. Long live Two-Buck-Chuck!
…they have a fight, Flat-Panel-Man wins, Flat-Panel Man… (sung to the tune of They Might Be Giants’ “Particle Man”). So, yeah. For the first time, global shipments of liquid crystal displays in 2004 will surpass those of cathode ray tube (CRT) units, market research firm IDC said Thursday. It’s about time. See the story here.
For my California readers, the state launched a new site today helping voters figure out what’s what. The California Online Voter Guide gives ballot information, where to register to vote, where to vote (for me, the place seems to change from one election to the next), and links to other voter info sites.