Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category

4Cast #93: Passwords…IE 8…meebo/AOL…Hulu

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

1. Those crazy passwords!
We have scores of them and most likely, you will forget one. Here are some ways to recover if one is lost. Of course, others can use these same methods to discover yours, too, so attempting to make them as secure as possible is a must. Perhaps some day, we could get by with having only one username and one password…

Recover Lost Wi-Fi Passwords with WirelessKeyView (Lifehacker)

Archiver Harvesting Google Mail Passwords (Slashdot)

Bringing OpenID To The Masses: Clickpass (Techcrunch)

Check Your Passwords’ Strength at Microsoft’s Password Checker (Lifehacker)

2. IE 8…It’s coming soon
Microsoft promises that Internet Explorer 8 will default to being compliant with web standards. The beta version is set to be released during the first quarter of this year. The final version should be available by the end of 2008.

Microsoft Expands Support for Web Standards(Microsoft)

Sanity prevails: IE8 will default to standard-compliant mode (Arstechnica)

Microsoft’s Chief Software Architect Talks About A More Compliant IE8 (Mashable)

Microsoft: IE 8 to support standards from the start

3. IM Partnership
meebo and AOL are teaming up to add a few new tricks to AIM. The new collaboration is promising to bring a “bunch of cool things” to IM.

meebo and AOL – partnering up! (meebo blog)

Meebo as a Firefox add-on (Mozilla)

AOL Launches Open AIM 2.0 – The Most Important Social Platform Yet? (Mashable)

AOL Gets It Right With Open AIM 2.0 – Embraces Meebo and eBuddy (TechCrunch)

4. TV and Movies on Demand
According to Reuters, Hulu will debut today. “At launch, Hulu will offer full-length episodes of more than 250 TV series from current hits such as “The Simpsons” as well as older shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” It also will offer 100 movies including “The Big Lebowski” and “Mulholland Drive.” What does this mean for libraries? If this takes off as predicted, just think of all of the additional bandwidth that will be needed to support it…

Hulu home page (Hulu)

Hulu makes public debut, adds Warner Bros shows (Reuters)

Hulu Launches with Warner, Lionsgate (Newteevee)

Hulu: News Corp’s YouTube Rival Gets a Name (Ars Technica)

4Cast #88: Microsoft/Yahoo, New Google Views, Amazon/Audible, Going Green

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

This week’s 4cast:

1.  “Microsoft + Yahoo = ?”

Microsoft’s bold and unsolicited $44.6B bid for Yahoo shocked many and even appalled a few bloggers.  Meanwhile, the world waits for Yahoo to make its move.

2.  New Search Views in Google

For as long as we can remember, Google search results have been displayed in a vertical list of 10 results.  Now, in addition to this list, you can also view results by Map, Timeline, or Info.

3.  Amazon Buys Audible

Internet giant has announced that it will acquire a leading online provider of spoken word audio content,

4.  The Green Scene

Libraries are an obvious choice for the “green” consumer, and now they’re kicking it up a notch by introducing additional green initiatives and ideas.

OPLIN 4cast #64

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Could We Have Some Privacy, Please?

Last month, when a widely read report labeled Google as “hostile to privacy,” some of the other major search engines saw a chink in the armor. has just unveiled a tool to allow users to easily anonymize their search records, and everyone else is scrambling to promote and/or change their data retention policies.

2. Harry Potter Cannot Save Everything

Named after the now-concluded series of books, the “Harry Potter Effect” has been said to permanently turn young folks from video game junkies into voracious readers. However, a current study by the National Endowment for the Arts casts some doubts on this theory.

3. Libraries, In Your Facebook

So if teens aren’t reading, what are they doing? More and more (teens and adults) are flocking to Facebook, which is now threatening MySpace for social networking supremecy. And with the recent rush by developers to create Facebook applications (see 4cast #57), libraries are trying to find new, novel ways to meet their patrons on the pages of Facebook.

4. Reports of Dewey’s Death Being Greatly Exaggerated

The Wall Street Journal just published an already much-blogged about article regarding the Perry Branch Library in Gilbert, Arizona, which is the first public library in the country to completely ditch the Dewey Decimal System (see 4cast #58) in favor of a more natural, bookstore-like organizational approach.

OPLIN 4cast #39

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

This week’s 4cast:

1. Replace Your Old Windows with Linux?

Linux (pronounced LIN-ux) is an open-source operating system often associated with chilly server rooms and command line-spoutin’ uber-techies. However, in recent years great strides have been made in the development of Linux-based desktop applications and a friendlier user interface. Linux enthusiasts are hoping that 2007 is the year that ordinary computer users (and businesses) leave Windows behind.

2. Windows Vista: The Vista is Still Hazy

Some early reports on Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system haven’t been glowing. Microsoft is defending itself against the criticism as it prepares to roll out what could be its most disruptive upgrade in years.

3. So Long, OPAC… Hello, SOPAC

John Blyberg has integrated a number of nifty social software features into the Ann Arbor District Library‘s online catalog, like reviews, comments, and tags.

4. H0w’5 Y3r P@55w0rd?

The important information you keep at home and at work is often only as secure as the password that protects it. And according to security experts, most passwords are not very secure.

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?

OPLIN 4cast #24

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. British Library Warns of Emerging Copyright Crisis

The DRM and copyright battles are heating up on both sides of the Atlantic. The British Library has published a manifesto questioning current copyright law as it relates to digital content, and warning about the dire effect that overly zealous copyright protection will have on fair use priviledges – for education, preservation, and scholarly efforts in general.

2. Microsoft Defends Its Office

Lots of different companies have been challenging Microsoft’s supremacy in the productivity software realm by releasing MS Office-like utilities as free, online applications. With the recent release of Google Apps For Your Domain, it looks like Microsoft may finally be awaking from its slumber.

3. Surf’s Up on Cellphones

A recent report estimates that the total number of cellular connections in the world has topped 2.5 billion, and more people are using their cellphones to access the Internet. Although the “.mobi” domain extension went live last week, a more fundamental problem exists – how to make already-existing content and image-intensive websites work on a tiny, handheld device?

4. Sony Unveils Its E-book Reader

After a considerable amount of hype, the Sony Reader has finally been released… to so-so reviews from both publishers and users.

OPLIN 4cast #22

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. No Librarians at Microsoft High

Microsoft just opened a new, experimental high school in Philadelphia to see if it can design a better educational experience based on its own management practices. The part that’s caught some by surprise – there’s no library.

2. Facebook Saves Face, Then Looks for New Ones

Facebook, the popular social network website (second only to MySpace), recently fended off a PR disaster when its users protested changes to the site that stirred privacy fears. Not to be discouraged, Facebook now plans to open up registration far beyond the 18-22 demographic and bring social networking closer to the mainstream.

3. Help Your Website Help You

Is your library paying way too much for website statistics that don’t tell you very much? Or worse yet, have you forsaken web stats altogether? Understanding how your visitors use your site can only help you make it better, and Google now offers a powerful stats tool called Google Analytics, which is freely available for anyone to try.

4. Working Towards a Beta Tomorrow

Alpha, beta, gold… wha? Companies like Google that want to test new software on a mass scale often release a “beta” version, both as a wink to the user that the product is still being refined, and a license to the developer to continue making tweaks based on real-world feedback.