Archive for the 'Mail Googles' Category

OPLIN 4cast #69

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Your Public Library = The New Arcade?

As the audience for online games continues to diversify and grow, what steps are libraries taking to accomodate and reach this group? ALA’s Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium (blog), held last month in Chicago, has generated a lot of literature on the topic, and many of the sessions are available online.

2. The Glass is 1/4 Empty

A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll focused on American reading habits. Among other findings, it concluded that one in four adults have not read a book in the last year, and that older people generally read more than younger people. So is this good news for libraries (most adults are reading books) or cause for alarm?

3. Librarians to “Slam the Boards”

On Monday, September 10th, librarians from around the globe will attempt to inundate the many online reference sites (i.e. Yahoo! Answers, Askville, Wikipedia Reference Desk, and ChaCha) with some top-notch question-answerin’. The idea is to demonstrate for users of these sites that librarians are really the best go-to when they need reference help.

4. The Filtering Follies

The price and potential pitfalls of large-scale Internet filtering is playing out Down Under, where the Australian government has unveiled a nationwide Internet filtering initiative, which was subsequently cracked in half an hour by a Melbourne teenager.

OPLIN 4cast #33

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. AskCity Knows Your Town Better Than You Do has formally introduced AskCity, a new search service that finds local businesses and events, and simultaneously maps their locations – all in a single interface.

2. Google Answers Gets It Wrong

Google has announced that it will be discontinuing Google Answers, it’s pay-for-an-answer (and much-maligned-in-the-library-community) reference service. Is this a win for libraries? Not really – most commentators seem to now be championing Yahoo Answers, Google’s free competitor.

3. Library Books By Mail, By Gum!

The idea of libraries employing a Netflix-style delivery model has been gaining steam over the past year, and one library in Kansas is currently doing it. In Ohio, a similar Books by Mail service was discontinued in early 2006, but the Southeast Regional Library System (SERLS) is interested in relaunching the program on a statewide level. Interested libraries can contact Marion Cochran, SERLS Executive Director (cochranm AT, for more information.

4. BitTorrent Wants to Grow Up & Stay Out of Trouble

BitTorrent is a popular file-sharing method that differs from older, lawsuit-plagued models (like Napster) in that users are connected to one another directly, rather than to a central server (a central server arranges the connections, but it doesn’t actually transfer any files). It also uses the combined bandwidth of all users to distribute files, which makes transfers faster and more stable. Although this protocol still enables plenty of illegal file sharing, BitTorrent is taking steps to legitimize itself by cutting deals with some of the same mainstream Hollywood players that it arguably hurts.