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Article about how children in different economic classes use technology. Librarians may find this paragraph interesting: The new divide is such a cause of concern for the Federal Communications Commission that it is considering a proposal to spend $200 million to create a digital literacy corps. This group of hundreds, even thousands, of trainers would fan out to schools and libraries to teach productive uses of computers for parents, students and job seekers. Full article
The Call of the Future
Now that telephones are virtually everywhere, observed The New York Times, “telephone manners are, quite naturally, becoming equally complicated.” The year was 1986 (when a few people had car phones but the mobile phone was not yet widely distributed). Strikingly, it could have been last week—or it could have been around 1900, when, the German critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin noted, the phone arrived in his Berlin household, with an “alarm signal that menaced not only my parents’ midday nap but the historical era that underwrote and enveloped this siesta.”
From The Verge,
"As the publication world is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the digital world, a lot of complex issues come up. One of the most important, especially for librarians and archivists (not to mention students of history looking to the future), is the question of preservation...The problem, says Barbara Galletly reporting for Digital Book World, is that the foundation for such a transition has not been properly laid, digital preservation is a largely chaotic, random affair right now, and the metadata itself is unstable."
Our users don’t want most of the things we think they want. Even if you’re an old hand at user-centered design, they will surprise you. (I never saw using the search box to find a database coming.) Interview a variety of different users, and ask smart questions. Use the answers you get to build composite personas of different types of users. Whenever you are stumped about how to get past a design problem, go to your persona. That will help guide you to user-centered thinking.
An Inconvenient Truth About E-books
As we rush headlong into e-books, we’re not considering how our libraries will migrate forward in time, protecting personal and institutional investments. Paper books are readable by anyone who’s literate, but e-books require a reader, and DRM ensures that there will be difficulties in the future. Worse, there are several different file formats and different DRMs used by Apple, Adobe and Amazon.
The net effect is that our collections have to be considered temporary and expendable at the whim of the retailers, and our ability to pass books on to heirs or colleagues becomes limited in a fashion that hinders human knowledge.”
Google vs. Bing - what's the difference?
And that's the biggest case against switching to Bing. If you're never really going to escape Google - and if Bing is pretty much exactly like Google - what's the point? Yes, Google and Bing are functionally identical. But Bing will need a lot more than parity with the most-popular search engine in the land if it wants people to switch en masse.
How is Google different from traditional Library OPACs & databases?
In short, the further away your library search is from these characteristics , the more difficult your users will find the search to use due to different expectations. Trained by Google, their searches are created based on the expectations such features are built-in , lacking any one of them will result in difficulties and poor quality results.
Of course implementing these features means losing control and predictability of searches, librarians don't want to be surprised and for sure they don't want to see a result they can't explain. Being able to do a precise controlled search would enable a searcher to be *sure* he has done a exhaustive search that he wants.
Considering how long Facebook dragged its feet to get into mobile in the first place, the data suggests they will be exactly as slow to change as Google was to social. Does the Instagram acquisition change that? Not really, in my view. It shows they’re really fearful of being displaced by a mobile upstart. However, why would bolting on a mobile app to a Web 2.0 platform (and a very good one at that) change any of the underlying dynamics we’re discussing here? I doubt it.
Facebook & your privacy
Who sees the data you share on the biggest social network?
To find out, we queried Facebook and interviewed some two dozen others, including security experts, privacy lawyers, app developers, and victims of security and privacy abuse. We dug into private, academic, and government research, as well as Facebook’s labyrinthian policies and controls. And we surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook, for our annual State of the Net report. We then projected those data to estimate national totals.
Copying library CDs is piracy... David Einstein from sfgate.com says: "Think of it this way: You wouldn't illegally download music, because that would make you a pirate, and you'd have to wear an eye patch and go around yelling "Aargh." Copying a CD you don't own is also piracy."