Technology

Sample pages at Amazon

Jenny Levine writes: \"Amazon has made some changes to the books section of their Web site that
allow you to view sample pages of titles. The home page highlights the new
\"Look Inside\" feature that is available for \"thousands of books\", including
childrens titles. For example, if you go to
Olivia Saves the Circus, you can view the back cover, an excerpt from
the book, the front & back flaps, and the intro pages (8 sample pages
total). Other titles let you view the table of contents, the index, and
more. The title \"Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World\'s Wildlife\" includes 112 sample pages, and
this item hasn\'t even been published yet.
From a precursory glance, it looks like they are scanning in each page
and displaying them as standard images in the browser, which essentially
means they have their own digitizing project. At the top of each image is
the phrase \"Copyrighted material\", which is just another version of the
signs we put on our photocopy machines.


Looks like they scooped libraries again and are offering another service
that we should be integrating into our catalogs. How would we pull this
off?\"

Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Approved

Bethesda, Md., USA – (October 5, 2001) NISO, the National Information
Standards Organization and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
announce the approval by ANSI of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set
(Z39.85-2001). DCMI began in 1995 with an invitational workshop in Dublin,
Ohio that brought together librarians, digital library researchers, content
providers, and text-markup experts to improve discovery standards for
information resources. The original Dublin Core emerged as a small set of
descriptors that quickly drew global interest from a wide variety of
information providers in the arts, sciences, education, business, and
government sectors.


This standard is available for free downloading or hardcopy purchase at:
techstreet.com -- Read More

eMail Turns 30

Props to Slashdot for telling us eMail is now 30 years old!

Yahoo News has a nice Little Story, and Pretext.com has Another One. Check out w3history.org for a history of the Web or dejavu.org for another look at some interesting web history. Hobbes\' Internet Timeline covers the entire Internet, not just the webbie side of things.

Viruses Blast Library Computers

The Main State Library\'s computers, along with other state agencies were recently brought down as a resut of the Nimda and World Trade Cneter viruses. Both viruses are being described as \"pretty nasty.\" more... from Maine Today.

World Trade Center Virus Update

Last week I reported on the WTC virus that was spreading. There\'s been an update posted. The good news is that it spreads slowly. The bad news is that it will attempt to delete your Windows directory files and reformat your hard drive. More information is available Here. The original LISNews posting is Here.

Open Source VRD Software Available

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
*librarian-patron chat
*page-push
*shared queue of patrons
*ability to refer patrons to other librarians (personal queue)
*shared/personal bookmarks
*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)
*needs frames/javascript/css; right now, this means Netscape 4.X and IE, but support for Mozilla (and its offspring) . . .
*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.

Patriots Hack Overseas Web Sites - WTC Virus May Be On the Loose

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.

Feeling the Web

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.\"

More from CNET, with thanks to Slashdot.

The Future of Digital Scientific Literature

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 . . .

More from Nature, with thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.

It Scans, It Formats, It Translates, but Can It Do This...?

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...

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