barland1's blog

New York City's 311 Online

New York City's 311 has been deployed online. Rather than using the phone, New Yorkers can now jump online to report problems, submit complaints, check the status of previously-filed complaints and request city services. The initiative promises that users can get exactly where they need to go on the Web site using a keyword search.
The city also announced it's operating Skype and Twitter accounts exclusively for accessing 311 service. Tweets will report information like street parking status, school closures and information about citywide events.
Mayor Bloomberg said the city would use Google search patterns to better understand how citizens use, the city's Web portal. By analyzing trends for New York City-related searches made by Google users, the city will tailor its content to user preferences.

A Solar Powered Library

Taiwan has begun construction on a solar-powered library in the
Taiwanese capital of Taipei and could benefit from new incentives designed to offer solar energy providers above-market prices for the energy they generate. Rooftop solar panels will provide electricity to the two-story building. Construction started last week and is expected to be finished by June 2010. The library is a donation by Cheng Fu-tien, the late chairman of Taiwanese solar cell maker Motech Industries." - BusinessGreen

Facebook is Getting an Update

Facebook announced up coming changes. Soon, as with Twitter, you’ll have the option to make them public—but not just to everyone on the world’s most popular social network, but everyone around the world. Facebook also gave an in-depth explanation of each level of access:

* Everyone: Anyone, on or off, of Facebook can see it.
* Friends and Networks: People you have confirmed as friends and people in any school or work networks that you’ve joined can see it.
* Friends of Friends: Anyone who is friends with a friend of yours can see it.
* Friends: Only people you have confirmed as friends can see it.
* Custom: Choose any friend or Friend List to include or exclude from seeing that piece of content.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg promised more granular privacy controls recently, and this may have been exactly what he meant.

As of now, this feature is being tested with users who have chosen to set their profile and status updates to “Everyone,” but for everyone else, the Publisher settings will remain the same.

Web 3.0

As web 2.0 begins to fade there is much anticipation about web 3.0
What will it be like?
Web 3.0 is something called the Semantic Web. Semantic Web is a place where machines can read Web pages much as we humans read them. with web 3.0 it may be possible to create the so-called 3D Web, a Web you can walk through. An extension of the "virtual worlds" popping up on today's Internet. It has been speculated that the Web will be one big alternate universe reminiscent of Second Life and Other say they see the 3D Web not as an alternate universe but as a re-creation of our existing world.

A New Type Of Identity Theft in 2009

Today in 2009 a new bunch of identity thieves will soon come after your web profiles. Aladdin a security firm has produced their security report.. According to their report, if you don't own and control your online persona, it's relatively easy for a anyone to aggregate the known public information about you in order to create a fake one.
Those Without Social Network Profiles Could Have Online Identities Stolen
This new type of identity theft was listed among other predictions for 2009 in the firm's annual report and was based on previous trends which included a rise in attacks distributed through social networking channels.
According to the report this new type of identity theft will be "devastating, both on the personal level by creating difficulties in employment, damaging social and professional connections, ruining reputations; as well as on a financial level, such as stealing customers, corporate data,"
The team at Aladdin was able to set up fake online identities which ended up connecting to the real network of friends and acquaintances easily.
What began as a harmless "fun" way to socialize, grew into a professional way to maintain someone's network and make new connections, the report notes. Unfortunately, this new type of identity theft, aka "identity hijacking," will become more of an issue in 2009 unless social networking sites create ideas that will incorporate better, more trustworthy ways of connecting an online persona to a real person. -- Read More

Gradual Shifts In The Libraries

We are seeing a gradual shift from desktop applications towards web hosted clones that run in browsers. For instance , microsoft office live, google docs, zoho & think free. We will see a shift from organizing information spatially (directories, folders,desktops) to organizing information temporally (feeds live streams, & microblogs. The biggest ultimatum is not retrieving information but keeping up with it.
Desktops will be more concerned with helping users manage information overload. The interface will be created to help the user understand what the trends are instead of how things are organized. Users will shift from acting as librarians to acting as day traders.
Information creation and distribution continues to precipitate. The capabilities of the human brain are limited, we will rely on tools that help us manage our attention more productively. Librarians are currently struggling to cope with the problem of filtering what is truly pertinent or what is relevent now or in the near future. Librarians have to be cautious in what they are looking for. Such is the mindset of the day trader. A wrong bet could cost you to end up wasting valuable time and resources.
Addtionally there will be a shift in the role of IT in libraries. Librarians will play an active role in IT governance in their institution. Library & Information Science educators will have to address the changing needs of IT/Library hybrid and enhance the skill sets of future grads. Toss out the notion that getting a MLS degree means you sit in a room all day full of dusty books

The Google Generation & the Digital Transition

An interesting study was commissioned by the British library and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) identify how specialist researchers of the future, currently in their school years and preschool years are likely to access and interact with digital resources in 5-10 years time. Additionally, the study is to assist library and information services to anticipate and react to any new or emerging behaviors in the most effective way.
The report defines the "Google Generation" as those born after 1993.
The study was to establish whether or not as a result of digital transition, the "Google" generation are searching for and researching content in new ways; and whether it is likely to mold their future behaviors as mature researchers. Additionally, whether or not,new ways of searching content will be any different from the way researchers & scholars carry out their work.
Moreover,research libraries face a great deal of challenges today in the digital marketplace. Today, they're adjusting to facebook.
Additionally,the study found the the "Google" generation and information literacy of young people,has not improved even with more access to technology. Young people spend little time evaluating information. Young people have poor understanding of their information needs. As a result, they exhibit a strong performance for expressing themselves in natural language rather than analyzing which key words might be more effective/
Finally the study suggests that print sales will diminish drastically as blogs, RSS,media players, and podcasting devices become established. -- Read More

The Future of Public Libraries

Years ago the tech society predicted an end of the public library. Thomas Frey, Senior Futurist (Da Vinci Institute) notes that critics failed to predict the library's ability to reinvent themselves. Thus, libraries thrive well in our information environment. Cities across the continents are investing heavily in public libraries. These libraries contain opulent multistory structures, equipped with cutting edge technology.
Libraries have evolved into interactive research and leisure centers.
Frey further suggests that libraries can reinvent the information experience that could be added to a library.
Frey further prognosticates that library activities will be diverified and varied on a global scale. Frey further suggests that memories of a community should not disappear throughout time.
Further reading can be found at

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