Odyssey Online

Entries from April 2009

Swine Flu Information

April 28th, 2009 · Comments Off on Swine Flu Information

…the Center for Disease Control has published and highlighted information on Swine Flu, and on the current outbreak in North America and Mexico…

Tags: Uncategorized

Friday Blogging: Why I Hate the BlackBerry

April 24th, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging: Why I Hate the BlackBerry

…from the Boston Globe, all the reasons to dislike blackberries…a wonderful rant…reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon where a priest is looking out at his congregation saying,”We will now pause for a moment of silent texting…”

…lots of ranting about various things digital,  I realize. Summer hiatus from that coming up (but don’t worry, we’ll be blogging on this summer!)

Tags: Essay on Technology · Facebooked · Yikes!

Postcards as Twitter

April 22nd, 2009 · Comments Off on Postcards as Twitter

…a nice story on CNN.com about postcards.  Gently makes the case for them as an analog twitter/texting…a print twitter/texting. Of course, postcards also came complete with handwriting so that a person’s penmanship with the emoticon that came with the message. The person came with the message–in a Paris Review “Art of Poetry” interview, the English Poet Ted Hughes remarked, “Handwriting is drawing.”

Tags: Essay on Bibliography · Facebooked

Organize with Firefox

April 22nd, 2009 · Comments Off on Organize with Firefox

…while it is maybe a little late in the semester day to think about changing how one organizes, there are Firefox add-ons built to help one organize one’s online work, anyway.  Add-ons are little applications developers have created to work in Firefox, and a nice sampling of these can be found on the Fashion Your Firefox page.  These break down popular add-ons by type, and you’ll note at the bottom of the list Executive Assistant.  This links through to Reminder Fox, Glue, and Sxipper, each of which helps with one little part of organizing one’s day.  Firefox rules…

Tags: Research How-To

Back and Forth, Kindle V. Book

April 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on Back and Forth, Kindle V. Book

…in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Steven Johnson says all things bibliographical will be possible with a Kindle and coming Kindles (while acknowledging that sustained linear reading might not be likley when reading by a Kindled fire…) and in todays New York Times Noam Cohen describes web content translated to paper. The result is an “opt out:”

In fact, the xkcd story previews the much more likely future of books in which they are prized as               artifacts, not as mechanisms for delivering written material to readers. This is print book as vinyl record — admired for its look and feel, its cover art, and relative permanence — but not so much for convenience.

…of course, one can make the case that ituned music listeners today don’t understanding what listening to an album meant…

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography

A Thought on Firefox

April 20th, 2009 · Comments Off on A Thought on Firefox

…not that I make it a practice to engage in shameless self-promotion, but if you are looking for information on the who/what/how of Firefox, and suggestions for effective and useful Firefox add-ons, I’ve had a word or two to say about that

Tags: Research How-To

Friday Blogging, Used Book Stores

April 17th, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Used Book Stores

…a couple of days ago the Boston Globe published a photo essay on used book stores in Boston. Glory.  With summer inching closer and closer the thought of old books a beach day reading is, well, enthralling.  Thoughts of Kindles and commentary on Kindles brings to mind, among other things, going to the bookstore. The experience of browsing in a bookstore, the mood, the drowsy anticipation, as one fingers books and decides how to spend an upcoming portion of one’s life as a reader.   Books out for sale across the north country soon, and from a card table on a lawn to one’s hands by the beach, used books are a great summer time thing.  Updike spoke on books and bookstores, lucidly, (of course), not too long ago…

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography

Organized Hacking

April 16th, 2009 · Comments Off on Organized Hacking

…one of the great things about blogging is it gives you a venue to pass along news articles that give one the willies (and we do think about computer security here at Odyssey Online)…this from the Washingtonpost, organized crime taking an active interest in hacking. Quote that really gives one pause, ” responded to roughly 100 confirmed data breaches last year involving roughly 285 million consumer records. That staggering number — nearly one breached record for every American — exceeds the combined total breached from break-ins the company investigated from 2004 to 2007.”

Tags: Computer Security · Yikes!

Facebook’s Future, more on the Google Opt Out

April 13th, 2009 · Comments Off on Facebook’s Future, more on the Google Opt Out

…an interesting (if long) piece on Facebook by Vanessa Grigoriadis on Facebook which comments on, among other things, how people use and misuse it, what it really sells, where it is going as a business, what it sells, how it might fail. Also some interesting commentary on how web 2.0 has conquered the “old web” and what that means.   For interesting commentary on that see Jonathan Zittrain’s wonderfully titled book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It (ODY TK5105 875 I57 Z53 2008).

Quite a bit of editorializing on Google last time out, and I will stop to return to more properly bibliographic posts, but one more shot at Google and the idea of “opting out.” What Google has done, most importantly, is turned copyright responsibility on its head. Rather than asking permission of authors, they ask the author whose book is in Google Books or the home owner whose house is in Google Street View to tell them “no” and then they’ll comply. While Google would invoke necessity (we can’t possibly ask everybody), the fact they don’t ask, that they feel inclusion is a right, a normalcy, makes the hairs on the back of the neck tingle.  It’s rude, for starters. Secondly, there seems to be a serious case of overreach here. While there is precident, I realize, with things like the phone book or census, Google’s approach relies on a self-generated and self-venerated sense of their innate goodness (the whole Don’t Be Evil, after all), but, can’t one think about “opt out” has being the same as my neighbor helping themselves to my vegatables in my vegatable garden because I haven’t asked them not to and then only stopping when I catch them red-handed with a beet.  It’s cooperation by self-justification…and well, it’s rude.

Google is rude, this is what we’ve learned…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Facebooked · Google

Friday Blogging, One More Thing

April 3rd, 2009 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, One More Thing

…last year the OCLC, the company that constructs Worldcat and is our major cataloging utility, announced a change in policy which, by every objective measure, seemed to be an attempt to grab every catalog record for any library that catalogued using OCLC and claim it for their own. Caused an uproar.  The Smithsonian Libraries blog has a useful overview of what was and should be done…

Tags: Information Studies

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