The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Order Yours Today!

Librarian Pick-up Lines T-Shirts

"Get'm While They're Hot! The Reasons to be a Librarian t-shirt and Librarian Pick-up lines t-shirt.
Help support Kent's ALA/ALSSO student chapter while dressing in style! Download an order form in HTML or PDF form. Be sure to mail by April 19." []

Okay, but let's spell "desirable" correctly first, okay?  ;-)

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Give Me Cell Phone Number Portability NOW!

Telcos' Last-ditch Fight Against Number-portability

"The telcos and cellular carriers are going to court in a last-ditch effort to fight the November 24th deadline for number-portability. If they lose, we'll be able to take our phone numbers (even land-line numbers!) with us when we change carriers. Let's pray that they lose: the only reason the telcos get away with acting as shitty as they do is that losing your number when you change providers is such a hardship, so you stick around in these abusive relationships.

The telcos, of course, say that their business is already suffering so much that they couldn't survive if their customers could switch carriers when the telcos act so badly. Somehow, I can't work up a lot of sympathy for that position." [via Gizmodo, via Boing Boing Blog]

Me, either. It's crazy that the music and cellular service industries expect our government to legislate their status quo in order to protect their businesses. I'm sure that today's budget announcements by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich mean lots of budget cuts for schools and libraries, but yet we're supposed to protect a cell carrier's profits by preventing me from taking my phone number to a better competitor??

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Talking about Wireless and PDAs in Higher Education

No Strings Attached 2003

"A National and Virtual Conference and Showcase on the Application of Wireless Technology and Personal Digital Assistants in Higher Education.

April 9–11, 2003
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio

In April, CWRU will be hosting the second annual conference, No Strings Attached—dedicated to an exploration and the application of wireless technology and personal digital assistants (PDAs) in higher education.

Proceedings, panels, and keynote addresses from No Strings Attached will
be streamed over the Internet." [Wi-Fi Networking News]

It doesn't look like the streams are archived yet, but a lot of these presentations sound quite interesting.

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Unintended DRM Consequences

DRM Makes It Damned Hard on the Disabled

"Joe Clark has written a very good white-paper on the accessibility implications of Digital Rights Management technology. Summary: DRM makes it damned hard on the disabled.

For all accessibility "tracks" (captions or subtitles, or dubbing or audio-description recordings), DRM may prevent you from doing the following:

* Scanning or monitoring the tracks.
* Downloading them.
* Posting or publishing them, including doing so in online fora like the Web, mailing lists, or newsgroups.
* Rewriting, redoing, or re-creating them" [Boing Boing Blog]

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1-Megapixel Cameraphones

Not Enough Lenses

If you read the mobile news recently, you may have seen the news that DoCoMo is set to launch six new iMode phones with 1 megapixel cameras - as good as low-end digital cameras. This is great! I can't wait for more manufacturers to do this - I'd love being able to stop carrying around both a digital camera AND a picture phone when I go on trips or to some other camera-worthy event.

The catch is that there may not be enough lenses to meet the demand! According to this story in North East Asia Online, digital camera lenses are in short supply...."[Mobitopia]

I can't wait to get one of these... someday. After an adventure yesterday debating whether or not we could retrieve discarded plants out of the dumpster belonging to the building next door to SLS, I told Kate that I don't know how much longer I can hold out waiting for my ideal camera-phone because there's just so much I want to capture. Between the bizarre things I see, the kids, and freak Chicago weather, I could start a totally separate photoblog! I just never have a camera on me, so this solution is ideal.

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RSS Aggregators Galore

Haiko Hebig is maintaining a wonderful RSS Feed Reader / News Aggregators Directory that is organized by operating system and includes annotations. Very handy!

"It is suprising to see how many different, yet similar looking Windows feed readers exist - has become writing a .NET feed reader the modern hello world application?"

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Tom Lehrer Sing-A-Long

If you remember Tom Lehrer, you'll love this Flash version of The Elements! [via More Like This WebLog]

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RSS a Hit at GILS Conference!

I spent today attending the 5th Annual Government Information Locator Service (GILS) Conference currently in progress here in Illinois. Wow - what a great group of people! Andy's inspired and motivated again, and I completely understand why. I wish I'd been able to attend the whole thing, but I was there today specifically to give a presentation with Ray Matthews about RSS.

I'm happy to say that it went even better than I had hoped! I think I saw a light bulb go on for almost everyone in the room, so hopefully at least a few folks will follow Ray's example and we'll gain some traction at the state library level.

And following the Utah State Library's example would be an excellent strategy, given what I heard today. I've been trying to keep up with their RSS advocacy, but even I was unaware of just how successful they've been. Other State agencies in Utah are sitting up and taking notice (and more!) and the USL is working with a whole new range of folks thanks to their efforts in this area. So much so that Ray had to leave the conference early today in order to head back to Utah to accept the Governor's CIO Award for 2003!!! Way to go Utah State Library!!!

It was great finally meeting Ray, and our presentations actually worked quite well together, especially given the fact that we hadn't coordinated ahead of time! Both of our presentations will be available from the GILS conference site soon, but until then you can grab my Powerpoint file. It's really just an expanded version of what I've been doing for the past year in regards to RSS, so I'll point to Ray's file when it's online since I personally found it so interesting to hear what he had to say.

The only sad thing about today was being in a room full of people who are devoutly dedicated to providing permanent public access to government information (current and historical) and worrying that so many government officials are working against them to hide and remove it.

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