Archive for the 'Second Life' Category

OPLIN 4Cast #104: MS Book Search, Broadband, 2.0, Land Lines

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

1. End of MS Book Search
It’s all up to Google now…or is it?

2. Keeping us connected
Currently, the US is ranked #15 in worldwide broadband usage. What will it take to get everyone online from wherever they are? Free Broadband? Better wireless?

3. 2.0 is good for what?
Keeping us connected. At least that’s what these articles indicate. We are all more interactive now. We talk about the latest TV episodes on Twitter, have MySpace themes that plaster our opinions of movies and music, and blog about what’s happening around us. Apparently, Web 2.0 is one big water cooler.

4. R.I.P. land lines
Half of world’s population has a mobile device. It’s important to know how to reach your users, and land lines are a dying breed. Is your web site mobile? Are you sending blog, Twitter and MySpace updates regularly?

4Cast #89: E-Books, Librarian Tools, Customer Service, More Green

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  E-Books: Point, Counterpoint

With recent advancements from Google Books Library Project, Amazon’s Kindle, and others, some are contemplating the future of the once ubiquitous, ever-humble, paper-bound book.

2.  Tools, Plug-Ins, & Apps… for Librarians

Below, a collection of select tools-of-the-trade with which you may or may not be familiar:

3.  Don’t Let the Door Hit Your Customers on Their Way Out

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer service, and libraries are no exception.  Online interactions add additional opportunities to serve your users.

4.  Want Some More Green?

Not only is going green good for the community and environment, it can also be a money-saver for libraries on a budget.

OPLIN 4cast #71

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Google Book Search: Been Pretty Busy

Google Book Search has rolled out some new features, including the ability for users to post clips from public domain works directly onto their websites, and My Library, which allows users to organize and tag their own collection of books online (a’la LibraryThing).

2. Trickle-Down Internet

The Department of Justice has come down firmly against net neutrality, instead supporting a tiered Internet that would allow ISPs to prioritize the traffic of those who can afford it.

3. Who Wants To Be America’s Next Top Librarian Blogger?

The Online Education Database recently published a list of the “Top 25 Bloggers (By the Numbers).” Reactions generally fell somewhere between elation and modesty, with a healthy dose of skepticism.

4. You’re Annoying Her Right Now

Based purely on the amount of dust kicked up in the bibliogosphere, the most popular librarian blog of the moment has to be The Annoyed Librarian. She hates everything Library 2.0, cults and manifestos in general, and “twopointopians” in particular.

OPLIN 4cast #56

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Don’t Even Think About Making a Copy

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing Congress to pass stricter copyright laws that would increase the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which is already plenty unpopular in the library world. Needless to say, the new proposals have not been well-received, nor have recent calls for eternal copyright.

2. We’ll Get You Next Time, Google

Google continues to roll out new services (like Universal Search) and features (like the new “Find this book in a library” option in Google Book Search) at a mind-numbing pace. But as their list of users continues to expand, so does their list of rivals and naysayers.

3. NPR’s Keeping Tabs on Libraries

In February and again last week, NPR aired programs discussing the evolving role of libraries in the age of digitization, and what the future may hold. You can listen to both programs at the NPR links listed below.

4. The Joost is Nearly Loose

In January it was called the Venice Project, but now it’s called Joost – a new P2PTV service aiming to freely stream television programs online with fewer commercials than regular TV. An impressive list of content partners (CBS, Viacom, CNN, the NHL, etc.) have already signed on, and beta testers are pounding away at it as it prepares to formally launch sometime before the end of the month.

OPLIN 4cast #50

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Bad Manners in the Blogosphere

Recently, a prominent technology blogger named Kathy Sierra (Creating Passionate Users) received a series of anonymous, threatening messages in the comments section of her blog, leading her to cancel speaking engagements and suspend the blog indefinitely. In response, Web 2.0 luminary Tim O’Reilly has issued a Call for a Blogging Code of Conduct, which has set off an entirely new controversy.

2. Digital Copies Collecting Dust

When Google Book Search scans a participating library’s collection, it provides a digital copy back to the library at the end of the process. So what are libraries doing with their copies?

3. The YouTube War: Another Front

First, it’s the lawsuits. And now, it’s the competition. NBC and Fox are among the partners planning to release a YouTube rival later this year.

4. Purveyors of DRM Find Way to Capitalize on Anti-DRM Sentiment

To counter the rising outcry against DRM, EMI Music (one of the world’s biggest record companies) recently struck a deal with Apple to sell DRM-free music through the iTunes music store – at a slightly more expensive price, naturally.

OPLIN 4cast #46

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Search Inside a Book (Once You’ve Figured Out Who Published It)

In an effort to defend their turf from the likes of Google Book Search and Amazon’s Search Inside!, mega-publishers Random House and HarperCollins have both unveiled book-browsing tools for their own catalogs. Some scoffing is heard.

2. Knocking the Entertainment Industry Down a Notch

Lawmakers recently introduced the Fair Use Act of 2007 (PDF), which would allow consumers to circumvent DRM technologies under certain circumstances (for example, librarians would be allowed to do so in order to update or preserve materials). However, some critics warn that the bill doesn’t go far enough to balance the perceived injustices of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

3. Ning’s the Thing

Ning is an online tool that allows users to easily create their own social networks. Some librarians are getting pretty into it.

4. Search Continues…

Search engines – of both the local and metasearch variety – just keep on getting better and better, leading some to lament the diminishing role that libraries are playing in helping people find information.

OPLIN 4cast #41

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Check the Tags

According to a recent report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more and more Internet users are using tags to describe online content, and in general, tagging is becoming increasingly integral to the organization of the Web.

2. One Librarian Laments, Others Wonder Why

A librarian recently wrote a piece for the Washington Post about how difficult it is to convince younger readers to read actual books, and fears that the library world’s increasing focus on electronic resources and information literacy is partially to blame.

3. Google’s Library Keeps Getting Bigger

Prominent libraries continue to open their collections to the Google Book Search Library Project, but not without controversy and opposition from other libraries, authors, publishers, and of course, the lawyers. Many people are wondering if Google is gearing up to jump into the e-book market.

4. The Big Screen Keeps Getting Smaller

Netflix, Blockbuster, and now Wal-Mart are all scrambling to dominate the burgeoning digital movie downloads industry. Some libraries are taking tentative steps in this area with products like MyLibraryTV.

OPLIN 4cast #34

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. It’s Time You (Teens) & I (Librarians) Had a Little Chat

The argument that libraries are failing to keep up with the kids, both culturally and technologically, just keeps getting louder. One example often pointed to is the reluctance of many libraries to use Instant Messaging. Luckily, there are an increasing number of examples of how any library can get started, and make it work well.

2. Library Breaks the Law to Protect Patrons

A library in Michigan recently noticed a “large increase” in the amount of pornography being viewed on public computers. Their solution? Shut down public access to the Internet. The problem? They’re in violation of the law. The plus side? At least they don’t have to deal with yobs.

3. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do More Conservatively

Microsoft has just released Live Search Books, a competitor to Google Book Search that will also scan thousands of books from participating libraries and make them fully searchable online. While Google has run into some hot water for including anything and everything it can get its scanners on, Microsoft hopes to avoid trouble by focusing on public domain works (at least initially).

4. Some Folks Just Plain Don’t Like Folksonomy

One of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 has been the growing reliance on folksonomy (or collaborative tagging) to organize information, as opposed to more traditional methods of classification. But is user-generated metadata its own worst enemy?