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Rob Casson, electronic information services librarian at Miami University, is offering RAKIM - a software package he has developed that enables live, online, chat-based reference service - for free downloading. An excerpt from his 9/21/01 posting to the DIG_REF listserv:
Here is a brief rundown of features:
*unlimited number of operators/librarians
*shared queue of patrons
*ability to refer patrons to other librarians (personal queue)
*email transcripts to patrons
*audible alert to librarian when new patron arrives
*audible alert to patron when their call is answered
*editable preferences for librarians
*browser-based - no plugins (except to play alerts, and this can be turned off)
*relational database backend . . . any relational database that PHP can connect to can be used to run the software . . .
*its Free software....Free, as in speech, and free, as in beer.
I thought people on this list might be interested in a Free alternative to the LSSI\'s of the world . . . it may not have all the features
of some of the commercial products, but its also a very young project, and the source code is available, just waiting for others to tear it apart, fix it, add to it, or ignore it and write your own . . . ;)
For more information, see the RAKIM home page.
It seems that some computer hackers have decided to wage their own war on those suspected of being involved with the WTC and Pentagon disasters. According to the NIPC, this sort of vigilante justice is un-American. Some hackers defaced Taliban related web sites with wanted posters of Osama Bin Laden, while others caused denial of service attacks on the Afghanistan government web site. more... from MSNBC.
A short and simple article on haptic technology - hardware and software that endow digital objects with tactile qualities:
Although scientists are still far from simulating the feel of corduroy or velvet on the computer screen, haptics have made mainstream inroads in the past year. In August 2000, Logitech unveiled the iFeel Mouse and the iFeel MouseMan--the first mainstream mice to transmit vibrations when a person scrolls over a hypertext link on a Web page or passes the cursor over a pull-down menu . . .\"Touch is part of the trinity of the user experience of sight, sound and touch,\" said Bruce Schena, chief technical officer of Immersion. \"Several years from now, we\'ll think of the sense of touch as integral to the computer experience--the same way we think of sight and sound now.\"
A heavily hypertexted article that argues for \"experimentation and a lack of dogmatism\" as scientific publishing undergoes a sea change:
\"The Internet is easier to invent than to predict\" is a maxim that time has proven to be a truism. Much the same might be said of scientific publishing on the Internet, the history of which is littered with failed predictions. Technological advance itself will, of course, bring dramatic changes — and it is a safe bet that bright software minds will punctually overturn any vision. But it is becoming clear that developing common standards will be critical in determining both the speed and extent of progress towards a scientific web . . .
There\'s a new version of software that will read scanned documents and convert the text into a format that you can edit. It also will recognize up to 114 languages. While it\'s doing all that, it\'ll even proof itself to make sure it captured every character from the original. Then, if you want it to, it\'ll read everything back to you, in one of 14 languages, over your computer\'s speakers. While that\'s all well and good, I\'m still waiting for the software program that will do the dishes, fix dinner, change diapers, put the laundry away, scoop out the litterbox, sort the trash, and walk the dog. more...
\"ipicturebooks, Time Warner-funded publishers of eBooks for children, have found the going is tough. Although the Company\'s \'Shrek Activity eBook\' was the #1 bestselling eBook at Amazon in June, Jim Kirchman, VP Marketing admits that the title only sold \"hundreds of copies.\" However he feels the eBook marketplace is still too embryonic to judge success by sales figures. Although ipicturebooks initially targeted the consumer marketplace, they\'ve received substantially more interest from teachers and school librarians.\" more...
For Federal Computer Week, BJ Ramos writes...
\"With more than 3 million artifacts and a mere 750,000 square feet of exhibit space, the National Museum of American History turned to the Web and partnered with an online investment site to share more of its collection with the public. The result, being unveiled today in Washington, D.C., is HistoryWired billed as a virtual tour of a few of the museum’s favorite things. The 450 initial offerings, selected by museum curators, include famous, unusual and everyday items.\" more...
Jackie Bourdelaine writes \"According to this one at the San Francisco Chronicle, \"space-hogging reference tomes are obsolete.\" Links to replace some of those useless reference books are even included, along with some reviews. \"
They say LibrarySpot is the place to go for answers.
For the Chicago Sun Times, Ian Hopper writes...
\"Travelers eager to plug their laptops into wireless Internet networks cropping up at hotels, airports and coffee shops need to be on guard: Their e-mail and Web browsing can be easily intercepted.\" more...
For ZDNet News, Lisa Bowman writes...
\"David McOwen is losing a lot of sleep these days over his decision to participate in a distributed computing project two years ago. The former computer administrator at DeKalb Technical College in Georgia found out recently that he could face up to 30 years in jail and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars because he installed some distributed computing software on the school\'s computers.\"