The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Friday, June 28, 2002

Palm Springs, Not Bust!

Palm Springs or Bust?

"Ahem-- PS is WONDERFUL. Once thought of as a place for old foogies to retire-- well it isn't. PS has gotten younger and a little more hip. Yes there is a large gay and lesbian community, but it is part of what's made PS great again. It's one of my top 5 places to go hide from LA and recharge. If I could I'd move there in a heart beat. A few recommendations include...." [Mary Wehmeier's Blog Du Jour]

Thanks, Mary Lu! If you're going to Internet Librarian in November or Palm Springs in general, definitely check out her advice!

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Another Cool Bluetooth Application For Palms

Bluetooth-based PIM-ing for Palm

"Colligo Meeting, announced Monday by Colligo Networks, Inc., enables Bluetooth-equipped Palm users to wirelessly connect their Palm OS Date Books, view each attendee's schedule, secure a meeting time, and accept or decline invitations. There are two other previously announced Bluetooth applications from the company - BlueBoard, a portable whiteboard that allows users to share drawings in real-time; BlueChat, a private messaging and chat application. All work with Palm OS devices using an accessory Bluetooth card like Palm's SD Bluetooth card....

The Palm Bluetooth Card, based on the SDIO specification, can be slipped into Palm branded handhelds that have the Palm Expansion Slot, such as the Palm m125, m130, m500, m505, m515, and i705.

Colligo Meeting is currently available for purchase for $19.95 from http://www.colligo.com/...." [allNetDevices Wireless News]

This is too cool! For all intents and purposes, our fiscal year at SLS ended today, and unfortunately, FY '03 is looking lean. Not a big problem since we'd have to wait for the Sony Clie version anyway, but this is definitely going on my work wish list.

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Recognizing Great Library Web Sites

I'm a little late with this one, but check out the first ever winners of the netConnect Library Web Site Awards. Here's a rundown:

Public Libraries
Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, NV
Worthington Libraries, Worthington, OH

School Libraries
Lawrence High School, Lawrence, KS
Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield, CT

Academic Libraries
University Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Shaffer Library, Union College, Schenectady, NY

In addition to the awards, Honorable Mentions go to:
The Outernet for Young Adults site of the Multnomah County Library
SkokieNet.org, a community information network produced by the Skokie Public Library, IL
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University Libraries, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg

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And You Don't Even Have To Watch Sally Struthers

Clicks for Mammograms

"Meg sez: 'The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'Fund Free Mammograms' for free (pink window in the middle). (There is nothing to sign up for and no cost to you.) The corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising.'

I dug around on Snopes and the About.com Urban Legends database and it appears that these folks are on the up-and-up. I think it's a rotten idea to publicize this with a chain letter (the original note asks you to tell ten friends and ask them to do the same), but the principle is sound. I just went and did my clicks; if you like this idea, why don't you do it, too?" [Boing Boing]

<soapbox> And while you're at it, visit The Hunger Site and Clear Land Mines, too. I'll be adding a permanent link to each site, so please take a minute each and every day to click.</soapbox>

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This Is So True!

"Buckling finally under the intense pressure, I've added Me Talk Pretty One Day to my wishlist in the hopes of actually purchasing it some day soon. (I've noticed my wishlist isn't so much a wish for products as it is a wish for time, time to read all those books, time to watch all those movies, and time to make the money to purchase them.)" [kottke.org]

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Crosstalk-Chat: Fun For The Whole Family!

While we were instant messaging yesterday, Todd Quinn came up with a fun new IM game. Basically, the two participants each think of a topic, any topic. Don't tell the other person what it is, and then start conversing about your topic. Todd's calling it CrossTalk-Chat, or CTC. Now all it needs is a logo.  :-)

The fun thing about CTC is that you can play it deliberately (as we did), or you can identify an IM session in which you are involved that devolves into CTC when one person types too slowly or too fast!

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E-ink Announces Thinner Displays

World's Thinnest Active Matrix Display

"E-Ink says its new active matrix screen is not only shatter-proof and flexible, but only measures 1/13 of the thickness of other active matrix displays on the market.

The Cambridge, Mass. company announced recently a new active matrix screen measuring just 0.3mm thick, half the thickness of a standard credit card. Most active-matrix displays currently in use are 2mm thick and require a backlight or sidelight that makes their total thickness 4mm or more. E-Ink's displays are over thirteen times thinner.

picture of E-ink's active matrix display compared to a quarter...This provides a super-thin screen that's not only shatterproof but flexible as well. The screen should also be bi-stable, meaning that it only requires power to change the displayed pattern of pixels, rather than a continuous charge to refresh them as LCD screens do.

The high-contrast, low-power screens can be fast-tracked into production in new devices. Unlike other next-generation display technology like OLED, E-Ink's backplane technology uses readily available steel and the screens are compatible with existing semiconductor process technologies. E-Ink steel-foil screens are expected to appear in consumer devices as early as 2004.

E-Ink displayed two prototype screens, each targeted at different kinds of mobile devices. The first prototype was a 1.6 inch diagonal, 80 pixels per inch (ppi) screen designed for smart cards and cell phones. It has a display resolution of 100 x 80 pixels.

The other prototype is a 3 inch screen targested at handheld devices like PDAs, two-way pagers, etc. It's a 96ppi screen with a 240 x 160 resolution, about the size and resolution of current Palm m100 screens." [infoSync]

Having just seen Minority Report last night and seeing folks in the movie reading an E-ink newspaper, this announcement is very timely! The ebook industry had better get their butts in gear so that it's ready when devices with these screens become available.

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New Speaking Engagement

It's official - I'll be giving my Information Shifting presentation at Internet Librarian on Thursday, November 7. I believe this gives me an official excuse to buy some new toys! :-)

I've never been to Palm Springs - can anyone recommend a good hotel? Thanks!

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Automatic Cell Phone Shhhhhhhhhh

" 'Magnetic wood blocks mobile phone signals. Theatres and restaurants could use the new wood to stop people using their cellphones without resorting to signal jammers.' [New Scientist]

First of all, it's not magnetic wood, it's a sandwich of wood and a ferrite substrate. Thank's for teasing me there folks. But what is cool about this is the fact that it can be used to block cell phone signals, allowing a builder to make a signal free zone without installing the illegal signal jammers.

Possible uses mentioned in the article: Theaters, restaurants, residential for limiting access to different networks in a confined area." [Ryan Greene's Radio Weblog]

And, of course, quiet areas in libraries!

Addendum: I was going to add that if these could be made translucent then you'd have the Cone of Silence, but I guess someone's already made the CoS a reality!

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World's Smallest Mouse?

Optical Mouse Saves Space in Cellphones

Schematic of optical scrolling "Chris writes 'Researchers at Philips have integrated a space-saving optical mouse into a mobile phone for the first time. Dutch researchers at the Philips Center for Industrial Technology have developed a compact, optical interface for portable electronic equipment. The team says that its new input gadget can be easily integrated in cellphones, laptops and PDAs, providing an space-efficient alternative to a mechanical trackball or touch-pad for example. The device is made up of a low-power red laser diode and a detector placed beneath a lens. Light from the 650 nm laser is focused on an object, such as a fingertip, creating an external cavity. It is not necessary to touch the lens. A small portion of this light is then reflected back and mixes with the light within the internal laser cavity.' " [Slashdot]

If the usability is truly there, a mouse on a cell phone would be great because it would help navigate through menus more efficiently. And think what it would do for wireless gaming!

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A Step Beyond Referers!

TrackBack: P2P Blog-pinging

"Movable Type launches TrackBack, a framework to allow weblogs to ping each other when one blog references another. The idea is that when, say, a Boing Boing entry links to, say, a Scripting News entry, that Scripting News will get a ping that gives it the URL of the referencing Boing Boing post. So in addition to the Discuss link at the end of the story, Scripting could also have a link to page with all the blog entries that have picked up that link. Meta-tools like Daypop can scour these pages and build meme-charts, showing the interconnectedness of all blogs." [Boing Boing Blog]

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Flexing Our Muscles

Library Journal is having the same thoughts I am about the need for libraries to illustrate our buying clout to publishers. In an April editorial titled Inside Track: Where Are the Library Best "Sellers"?, Francine Fialkoff says:

"In LJ we've already got Prepub Best Sellers and Subject Best Sellers, which tell us what libraries are buying. But what are patrons reading? Where is the Library Best Sellers list with the impact to match the ones above? The potential is enormous, both on a grand scale and on local turf. We're missing a huge opportunity to market ourselves to the public in our libraries, on our web sites, in the local or even national press. The lists would also grab the attention of publishers and show our clout in the publishing world. What are the trends in library reading down to the subject level? What clues do circulation figures give to the backlists? How many large-print titles are circulating? What fiction is moving beyond the top 10, 20, or 50 best-selling titles on the commercial lists? While large publishers put most of their money, and marketing dollars, into brand-name authors, they still publish "midlist" titles by unknown or up-and-coming writers for whom library circulation statistics—and sales—can make a difference.

Library Best Sellers don't have to mimic the commercial lists, though they can. We can define best sellers in many ways. The Ultimate Backlist Best Sellers. Beyond the Best Sellers. Audio Best Sellers. Arts and Crafts Best Sellers. Illustrated Books for Children. Most Requested Books (which, in some systems like Bergen County Cooperative Library System, NJ, automatically excludes big-name authors, because their books can't be put on hold). The lists could go on and on....

I've already spoken with several librarians who've said they'd participate, including Robert White at the above-mentioned Bergen County system, Julie Pringle at Fairfax County Public Library, VA, and David Domkoski at Tacoma Public Library. If you're interested, contact me at fialkoff@lj.cahners.com. As White said when we spoke, 'We've failed politically to send a message to the powers that be about the clout of libraries.' We must change that. "

If you, too, think this is an obvious need, please contact Francine and participate in this project. It's a great idea (that should be easy to automate), and it's sorely needed.

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Get Variety.com Headlines In Your Aggregator

Cool - Variety.com is providing its own RSS feed! Of course, you still have to be a paying subscriber to get anything except abstracts, but it's still nice to see a BigPub magazine providing an RSS feed. If they could authenticate in the aggregator, subscribers could pass right through to the content.

Of course, someone should mention to them that the little white-on-orange graphic should appear somewhere to let folks know about this....

Side note: Variety could teach NPR a thing or two about linking policies. [via News Is Free: Recent Additions]

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