The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Monday, March 22, 2004

Raising the Bar for Toolbars

  • "Dogpile Toolbar has launched its newest toolbar, which comes with an an RSS Tool for grabbing RSS and Atom-syndicated content. The Toolbar can display feeds constructed in RSS .91, .92, and 2.0 formats. The Toolbar also supports the Atom feed format." [Lockergnomeís RSS Resource]
  • Index and Search Your Computer, RSS Feeds, and the Web With New Desktop
    From an overview article that that I've co-authored with Barbara Quint, 'Lycos has launched a free toolbar search product [IE, Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP] from HotBot, their search service,which is 'the first product to integrate traditional desktop search with Web search within the browser.' The same search tool can now reach the Internet, e-mail folders for Outlook or Outlook Express, and user documents stored on a hard drive. The free application does not even require registration. It also incorporates a blocker for pop-up ads and an RSS News Reader syndication. Searching reaches six file types: MS Office, PDF, RTF, and text. Indexes created to track e-mail and user files remain stored locally to protect user privacy.' " [Resourceshelf]

So toolbars are continuing to evolve, with library services nowhere in sight. I'm more intrigued by the Hotbot toolbar, with its ability to index my hard drive. I love the Lookout search toolbar for Outlook, so combining that functionality with searching my RSS feeds could be incredibly efficient. I'm confused as to what list of RSS subscriptions the toolbar indexes, though. Hopefully it's not a second list that needs to be maintained separately from any existing user aggregator. I'll have to find time to give it a whirl, especially to see if I can add SWAN to its list of search engines.

Oh, and an important note from Gary's article: "Indexes created to track e-mail and user files remain stored locally to protect user privacy," and it's Windows only.

11:51:38 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Could I Finally Get Bluetooth?

Cardo Bluetooth Adapter gives phones PAN

"Cardo Systems today announced at CTIA the availability of the universal adapter for the Cardo allways, a Bluetooth headset that fits over a user's ear or uniquely clips onto eyeglasses or sunglasses.

The Cardo universal adapter converts virtually any standard mobile phone into Bluetooth-capable cell phones. Once plugged into the audio jack of the phone, this compact accessory will convert standard mobile phones into Bluetooth capable devices, allowing smooth operation with the allways headset recently launched by the company.

Both the universal adapter and allways headset come factory-paired with 2.5 millimeter cell phone jacks and additional connectors for many older models. The Cardo universal adapter also comes with two velcro adhesive pads that attach to the back of any cell phone, eliminating the need for cumbersome buckle attaching. With a red & blue LED light, users can tell the charge and power on status....

The allways Bluetooth Headset is available for a suggested retail price of $99.99 USD, while the allways Headset & BT Adapter has a MSRP of $164.99 USD. Both units are available now. No word was available on compatibility of the adapter with Bluetooth headsets from other manufacturers." [infoSync World]

I'm going to have to check this out since a wire-free headset is the main reason I want Bluetooth in the Treo 600. Very nice!

11:15:49 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Follow the Copyfight

Copyfight--the Expanded Edition

"After mulling it over for a few months, I've decided to make Copyfight a group-authored weblog--and it debuts today. Copyfight has now moved to a new URL and we'll be taking advantage of MT-powered features: trackback, comments, etc. Please adjust your blogrolls accordingly!

Joining me at the new Copyfight are (drum roll, please):

...Needless to say, I'm extremely pleased--honored--to have this group aboard at Copyfight. It will be exciting to see what discussions this mix will yield. I invite you to tune in here, and, if you're so inspired, to use our new comments feature to join the conversation. Welcome, all!" [Copyfight: The Politics of IP]

Based on past experience, this site is highly recommended it. Librarians must begin paying more attention to the issues that will be raised at this (and similar) sites.

11:08:39 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Speaking of Government-based RSS Feeds....

Publications by RSS - Wisconsin Shows How

"The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) now has their publications syndicated as RSS channels. These publications are brief discussions about the Wisconsin government and the state legislature in particular, and public policy issues facing the legislature. The office also prepares the Wisconsin Blue Book, the almanac of Wisconsin government, and assists with decennial redistricting.

Steven R. Miller, Chief of the Bureau reports that at 'Subscribe to LRB News Feeds' they now have RSS channels for eleven publication series and one for each of twenty-one subject areas. So for example, if you were interested in following State and Local Government in Wisconsin, you could learn about new briefs through the category RSS feed.

What a wonderful idea! Too bad more libraries don't offer RSS feeds for new acquisitions. Publishers, too, could follow the lead of the LRB and and offer specialized category feeds to alert potential customers of new offerings in subject matters of interest...." [RSS in Government]

10:56:18 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Mad for March Madness

Bracket Tips

When in doubt, pick the team you like less. Hereís why: Letís say I pick Duke to go the Final Four. I donít like Duke; some might say that I hate Duke. Iíd be one of those people. But I digress. I donít like Duke, but if Iím having a hard time figuring out whether to put Duke or Mississippi State in the Final Four, Iíll pick Duke. That way, if those stuck-up preppies win, I can take consolation in the fact that it might end up winning me money.
This works also for teams you like. I want Wake Forest and Maryland to win. Sure, itíd be sweet if they both made Final Four runs and I predicted theyíd be there. But if Iím not sure, Iíll pick, say, Oklahoma State and Connecticut instead. Then Iíll be so happy if the Deacs and Terps make the Final Four it wonít even matter that my brackets are screwed up. But if either team loses early, then not only are my teams done, but so is my bracket. Letís call this the 'Cut Your Losses' method.

Donít pick more than one school without a state in its name to be in the Final Four. This means, if you have Stanford, Wake Forest, Gonzaga and Duke coming out of their respective regions, you better get back to work. Most years the Final Four is dominated by schools with states in their name like Michigan State, Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina. In fact, Duke, Marquette, Syracuse and Stanford are the only non-state named schools to make the Final Four since 1992. How's THAT for a statistic?..." [SportsBlog, via Marc's Outlook on Productivity]

*cough* Kansas  *cough*

10:48:34 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Schoolhouse RSS

"Wolverhampton Grammar School publishes a news feed in the RSS 2.0 format." [Scripting News]

This is exactly what I'm talking about! I want local government, park district, library, and school news in my aggregator! Let's get going on this....

Unfortunately, the School's library has almost no online presence whatsoever.

10:36:36 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

FYI for Kate

The Sopranos on Sprint Phones

"HBO ant Sprint have announced a partnership to bring ringtones, screen savers and other content from the hit televions series The Sopranos to mobile subscribers, reports Rafat Ali for Moco News." []

10:12:45 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

Game for Messaging

InfocomBot for AOL Instant Messenger

"If you have an AOL Instant Messenger account, send an IM to InfocomBot or InfocomBot2. I set up an automated bot to play classic Infocom text adventure games from your favorite IM client, T-Mobile Sidekick, or any other device that connects to AIM. It supports "save" and "restore" commands, so you don't need to lose your place.

If you've never played a text adventure game before, Brass Lantern has a great introduction to basic gameplay. There are hints for all of these games on the InvisiClues website." [, via MetaFilter]

So I can query Google via AIM, talk to SmarterChild via AIM, and now play text games via AIM, but I still can't search a library's catalog. Are there any ILS vendors working on this type of open functionality?

10:07:38 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!