Happy Birthday SFPL!

These things just won’t die! And there’s probably a good reason, as they fill a niche that hasn’t been filled by anything else yet. Again, in no particular order:

  • Analog watches
  • Dot-matrix printers
  • Tyepwriters
  • Broadcast radio
  • Pagers
  • Reel-to-reel tape
  • Vacuum tubes
  • Fax machines
  • Mainframe computers
  • Fortran

Tech on its way in…

February 5, 2004 | Comments (0)

Technology Review lists ten technologies that are most likely to affect our lives in revolutionary ways. Their ten are, in no particular order:

  • Universal Translation
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Nanowires
  • Bayesian Machine Learning
  • T-Rays
  • Distributed Storage
  • RNA Interference
  • Power Grid Control
  • Microfluidic Optical Fibers
  • Personal Genomics

In case you’re like me, and don’t know what on earth a microfluidic optical fiber could possibly do for you, check out the article for full explanations of both the technologies and the people behind them.

There’s a PC Magazine article letting folks know of all the cool-io online resources, beyond the web in general, that libraries make available to their patrons. Nice. Hey, what does your library call its databases? Online Resources? Databases? Online Informational Sources? Research Resources? There is absolutely no agreement in the field on what to call these durn things. One would think that, by now, we would have come up with something that both described the resources and that patrons could understand. If anyone has a brilliant suggestion from on-high, please, do share.

Sounds Online

February 5, 2004 | Comments (0)

Find sound clips of musical instruments & sound effects at FindSounds. Thanks to Chris Sherman of SearchEngineWatch.com for highlighting this spiffy site.

Star Trek Next Generation‘s Captain Jean Luc Picard, the oh-so-dapper Patrick Stewart, spoke out against manned space exploration in a BBC interview, stating “I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets.” He continued, “It would take up so many resources, which I personally feel should be directed at our own planet.” Damn tootin’. When school and library budgets are being slashed, health services are being cut, and Mother Nature is screaming out in pain, it is unconscionable to be spending billions to send people out to other worlds. I’m as die-hard a space-buff as the next person…but let’s focus our attention inward first. Okay George? Thanks to Dr. Web for bringing this to my attention.

Trying to get an answer to a question?
Plan A: Google the ba-jeezus out of it.
Plan B: Uhhhhhhh……
Unless you’re a Librarian, then you have a Plan B, a Plan C, and so on. Why? Because that’s your job. The New York Times has a thoughtful article written on DC-area Librarians and life beyond Google.

A new online ad network, RSSAds (based in San Francisco), is working on simple ways to incorporate text ads into RSS feeds. No ads for me please. My RSS feeds are currently ad-free, and I like them that way. That’s one of the reasons I prefer RSS to site-surfing–I don’t have to deal with those god-awful flashing ads in the margins distracting me from the content.

Google Guide

February 4, 2004 | Comments (0)

Nancy Blachman’s Google Guide is by far the best guide to using Google, for beginners & more intermediate users, that I’ve seen so far. I see great potential here for plopping patrons down with this self-guided tutorial, instead of the 20 minute “This is Google, this is how you search” lecture. Thanks to beSpacific for the link.

I’ve seen this in a few different places now, and although it’s pretty dumb, as a mind-hack it’s pretty funny.

While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot slightly off the ground and move it in clockwise circles. Now draw the numeral “6″ in the air with your right hand. Your foot will involuntarily reverse direction.

“Whoa” (in a Keanu Reeves Bill & Ted voice).