Odyssey Online

Entries from February 2010

Friday Blogging, Country Life

February 26th, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Country Life

…Odyssey Online’s editorial team (me) is having a day devoted to shot transmissions, pulled teeth (literally), and stranded spring break college students. Amidst the chaos, there is the blustery just- slightly-evocative-of-spring day all around us, which, in an effort to calm myself, brings me to the thought of books about country life in cold places, places like St. Lawrence County. Spring nearby?

Tags: Recommended Book

Why Not To Put iTablets in Schools

February 25th, 2010 · Comments Off on Why Not To Put iTablets in Schools

Daniel Indiviglio makes the case at Atlantic.com, note in particular reason number two.  For years people with a vested interest in networked information technology have made the case that not providing students with digital technologies will mean they are left out or left behind (or suffer both fates).  The case has also been made that extensive use of digital technologies can mean less costly education as it will mean you need fewer people to teach.  The problem is networked information technology requires an infrastructure and this infrastructure costs money.  The problem is, networked information technology has a short shelf life (or cycle as technologists would say), and expensive computers must be replaced.  While Sergey Brin may opine that books are as transient as the rising tide, the fact of the matter is even paperback books last longer than e-book readers of any ilk.  Digital technology has a built in obsolescence which manifests in upgrades–in short, Indiviglio is right that an education immersed in digital technologies is going to be considerably more expensive than one that has at least one foot firmly on the print, one hand holding a piece of chalk…

…I know, I know, I’m blogging this…

Tags: Books · Essay on Technology · The Academic Internet

Chrome and Firefox in February

February 24th, 2010 · Comments Off on Chrome and Firefox in February

…while this article from PC World is largely about Microsoft, it does give current browser share numbers. In a word, more good news for Firefox and Chrome.

One of the real joys of Firefox are the add-ons. Recent news on new Youtube add-ons for Firefox has just come down the pipe…for an overview of Firefox add-ons see the notes for a presentation back a year or two ago, but still current in terms of the add-ons as concept, and the add-ons it covers.

For information on what Chrome is and how Google is positioning it to be a web-based operating system, see these powerpoint notes for a presentation I did last December. Even though it’s a powerpoint it will still provide commentary on what Google is up to (warning, some sardonic comments about Google along the way…)

Tags: Essay on Technology · Google · Research How-To · Uncategorized

Friday Blogging, Bad Day for Google

February 19th, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Bad Day for Google

…they might be going straight to the Bloody Mary’s in Mountain View.  Firstly there is the continued negative reaction and bad press surrounding Google Buzz (this is CNN’s version of the poison), and the Washington Post is reporting that the Google book settlement, amidst criticism from just about everyone, is back in limbo

Karen Coyle has insightful commentary on the DOJ’s latest assessment of the Google Book Settlement…

Tags: Books · Google

Facebook Usage

February 17th, 2010 · Comments Off on Facebook Usage

Ben Parr at the blog Mashable reports that “user[s] spends more time on Facebook than on Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Microsoft, Wikipedia and Amazon combined.” Wow.  He’s got the numbers to make his case…I was wondering the other day if Facebook doesn’t take the place of postcards. That the sort of stuff we might have dashed off on a postcard is now the stuff of a Facebook post. That’s a lot of postcards. Of course, you can’t collect Facebook posts, whereas you could collect postcards. I can remember one of my mother’s neighbors who had a collection of Manchester New Hampshire postcards that numbered into the hundreds. I can remember some of the cards and I can remember him but I usually don’t remember what I do on Facebook…

Tags: Facebooked · Information Studies

Google Buzz

February 16th, 2010 · Comments Off on Google Buzz

…Google Buzz is certainly proving to be an interesting bee. It is Google’s social networking software that is built right into G-mail. This merging has been called Simple Genius and a Facebook killer (more on the killer stuff here).  However, no sooner did buzz leave the hive that it was discovered to have serious privacy problems, serious vulnerability to hackers…these issues chronicled here, here, and here.  My advice? Leave Google buzz until spring and read instead:

Tags: Computer Security · Google · Recommended Book

Lincoln Papers at SLU

February 15th, 2010 · Comments Off on Lincoln Papers at SLU

The Chronicle of Higher Education ran a piece over the weekend, on a signed Abraham Lincoln document here in the SLU Libraries Archives, and it’s new “place” in a national digital collection of Lincoln’s papers…they are literally looking to scan anything he signed or touched!  Our Curator of Special Collections Mark McMurry has some interesting commentary on this document, and the ultimate “place” of the document now that it has a digital doppelganger…

Tags: Essay on Technology · SLU Library Event

Friday Blogging, Love Poetry

February 12th, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Love Poetry

…with Valentine’s Day Sunday you had to see this one coming from Odyssey Online.  Without further ado, and like a box of chocolates, here is an assortment of collections and volumes of love poetry:

Tags: Recommended Book

Youth Services Librarians

February 9th, 2010 · Comments Off on Youth Services Librarians

…a well written and challenging piece in the Boston Globe by Lawrence Harmon on youth services in the library in Mattapan Massachusetts. Challenging in that it challenges the notion of if-you-build-it-they-will-read, and eloquently details what the Youth Services Librarian (and presumably Youth Services Librarians anywhere) actually have to do.  Challenges the notion that given the realities of staffing, they can function as working bibliographers.  It’s a lucid piece, and if you are interested in libraries, one to mull.

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography

E-Book Prices

February 8th, 2010 · Comments Off on E-Book Prices

…Virginia Postrel has an interesting piece in Atlantic Online about e-book prices, arguing that “E-books aren’t really cheap.” Frankly, I can’t get past the faint cold fear that e-books are going to all about control, and that we are going to find the purveyors of e-books putting all kind of stipulations and restrictions on e-book content that simply don’t (can’t) exist with print books.  I can’t get by the faint cold fear that the companies like Google, Amazon, etc., treat all text as information and that in this scenario Catcher in the Rye is treated as being identical to an advertisement that the opportunity to possess the e-version of this text won’t exist in any meaningful way.  I ccccoooouuuulllldddd be wrong…

Tags: Books · Essay on Bibliography · Essay on Technology

St. Lawrence University