Odyssey Online

Entries from October 2009

Friday Blogging, Shakespeare

October 29th, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Shakespeare

…with actors from the American Shakespeare Center offering performances here on campus through the weekend, it seemed like a good moment to do a little early Friday Blogging, and suggest some of the most recent titles we have on Shakespeare:

…the play’s the thing with which we’ll catch the conscious of a king…

Tags: Recommended Book

Information Appliances, Donald Norman

October 28th, 2009 · Comments Off on Information Appliances, Donald Norman

…recently Derek Thompson put up an interesting post at Atlantic.com titled Where is the E-Reader Revolution Leading Us? which argues that e-readers are pushing technologies toward a Swiss Army Knife model: a mobile technology that can do many things.  It actually seems to me that the e-reader (with all thy faults I love thee still…) is more akin to Donald Norman’s idea of an information appliance, well articulated in his book The Invisible Computer: Why Good Products can Fail, the Personal Computer is so Complex, and Information Appliances are the Solution. Norman makes a convincing case for what an information appliance could be and could do…

…his book The Psychology of Everyday Things (subsequent editions are titled Design of Everyday Things) is essential reading on the day-to-day implications of design…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies · Recommended Book

National Potato Day

October 27th, 2009 · Comments Off on National Potato Day

…this being National Potato Day we can direct the SLU community to the wonderfully named John Reader’s wonderfully titled book Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent.

…also, on the broader topic of our relationship to information (if not potatoes) Jessica Hagy on her blog Indexed has a really very simple and very striking visualization of the relationship between confusion and information

Tags: Information Studies · Recommended Book

Network Neutrality, Again

October 26th, 2009 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality, Again

…since the Obama Administration’s ruling on supporting network neutrality (reported on here at Odyssey Online), the debate has come more into public focus, the politics of said have become a little sharper.  The Washington Post reported that the FCC is drafting the specific rules that will keep ” Internet providers as acting like gatekeeprs,” and also reported that CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, favors network neutrality but thought it would be “a terrible idea for the government to involve itself as a regulator of the broader Internet.” Atlantic Magazine provides ran a useful Political Primer on network neutrality, identifying the players and what they are after.

Tags: Essay on Technology · Google · Information Studies

SLU Profs as Writers, Welcome Dr. Fox!

October 22nd, 2009 · Comments Off on SLU Profs as Writers, Welcome Dr. Fox!

…with Bill Fox’s inauguration at hand and the air of celebration much about the autumnal scenes here at St. Lawrence, I thought it would be in the spirit of things to point to books written by our faculty that are home here in the St. Lawrence University Library Collections.  These folks are great teachers, they’re fine writers.  This is not a comprehensive list, but, rather, a sampling for an inauguration weekend:

Tags: Books · SLU Library Event

Waiting on Facebook Friends

October 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on Waiting on Facebook Friends

…today’s Boston Globe has an interesting piece on Facebook, friends, and guilt.  It gets gently to the heart of the matter, is Facebook really about friends.  I suppose that is one positive associated with Facebook: it encourages people to think about what friendship really is.  Can you sustain a friendship over Facebook with photographs and wall posts.  Try an experiment–take someone whom you regularly Facebook (is this a verb like google too?) and write them a letter. You know, stamps, envelope, the whole nine yards. If your immediate response is “But, I’m too busy to write a letter…” you can consider that the results of the experiment.

…and while it’s been promoted here before the best thing ever written about Facebook is by Michael Gerson…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Facebooked

Friday Blogging, Essential Cookbooks

October 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Essential Cookbooks

…this just in, Atlantic Magazine has posted it’s list of the five essential cookbooks for anyone/everyone.  I’d add to the list several by the Frugal Gourmet

Tags: Books

Friday Blogging, New York State Budget

October 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, New York State Budget

…this from today’s edition of the New York Times on proposed cuts announced yesterday by Governor Paterson:

Hundreds of programs face cuts — libraries stand to lose $3.3 million, summer programs for special education students face a $10.4 million cut, and more than $14 million would be cut from Child Health Plus, a public insurance program. At least 31 H.I.V./AIDS programs also face cuts.

Tough situation. On a happier Friday note,  here are two new uplifting titles about libraries:

Optimistic reading for reading days…

Tags: Information Studies · Recommended Book · Yikes!

No Tweets, Off Facebook

October 15th, 2009 · Comments Off on No Tweets, Off Facebook

…from the Washington Post, a well written article about twenty-somethings who do not social network. While it is not Civil Disobedience there are some interesting comments made about social networking platforms–what they are and what they result in–by “ordinary folks,” not professional commentators.  A very useful article in terms of how people define genuine experience…

Tags: Facebooked · Information Studies · The Academic Internet

Network Neutrality, Anon

October 14th, 2009 · Comments Off on Network Neutrality, Anon

…back to blogging, and with October break here plenty of blogging time. Network Neutrality is back in the news…a few weeks back we mentioned Network Neutrality here and linked to Edward Felten’s fine guide to what it is.  Network Neutrality is back in the news with a number of prominent Republican Senators asking FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s decision to create new network neutral rules, note here and here. Which perhaps caused the appearance of a few interesting commentaries on the whole thing–Preston Gralla details how Network Neutrality issues are playing out between Google and AT & T, and  interesting commentary in the Wall Street Journal by Holman Jenkins Jr. on how hand held digital technologies may turn the whole issue on its head.

Tags: Essay on Technology · Google · The Academic Internet