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Welcome to the Benjamin Franklin web portal: a comprehensive, one-stop site that includes carefully curated educational resources, Franklin's own writings and proverbs, and tens of thousands of websites scattered throughout cyberspace. Befitting this founding father's leadership in establishing the country's first public library, this free site, in honor of his Tercentenary, is accessible to anyone with an internet onnection.
http://search-engines-web.com/ writes "When you type in a word or terms, PODZINGER not only finds the relevant podcasts, but also highlights the segment of the audio in which they occurred. By clicking anywhere on the results, the audio will begin to play just where you clicked.PODZINGER, powered by 30 years of speech recognition research from BBN Technologies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, transforms the audio into words, unlocking the information inside podcasts. Using PODZINGER you open up a previously untapped source of content via a simple web search. http://www.podzinger.com/about.jsp"
Martin writes "This article from Slashdot reviews a recent book by Peter Morville, an information architect. He defines "ambient findability" as "a realm in which we can find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime." The reviewer recommends that many people, including librarians, should read the book, saying that it will "amaze and delight you. It will give you new insight into how ubiquitous computing is affecting how we find and use information and how we, as users, can and will shape the future of how data is stored and retrieved.""
Article at Wired.com that discusses information literacy both in regards to the Internet and Wikipedia and books. The article starts this way: Let's get something straight from the get-go. The First Amendment is sacrosanct. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought, the whole ball of wax -- it's the DNA of the United States, the stuff America is made of. You don't mess with it, ever. Without it, we're North Korea with a few shopping malls.
Sign On Sandiego takes a look at the the first federal open-records legislation in Mexican history, passed in 2002. The political cost of enacting a transparency law has been high for Fox and his government. But for Mexican citizens, the law has opened the door to a once-secret world and allowed them to see the inner workings of their government.
"This is a very ancient culture of secrecy, of concealing things, so the response by the public has been limited," said JosÃ© CarreÃ±o, who heads the journalism program at Mexico City's Iberoamerican University. "Ordinary people don't know what to do with this information."
Have you ever thought about what it must be like to be a part of a huge book digitization process? search-engines-web dug up an article from the Wall Street Journal that profiles a "scanner" working for the Internet Archive, which is a part of the Open Content Alliance.
The group wants to build an online library of millions of old books and hopes to make a big batch accessible through Web searches as early as next year. For all its technical sophistication, the group needs the manual work of people like Ms. Ridolfo to make digitization a reality.
rudimyers writes ""The 30 laptops and wireless networking that make it possible were paid for through a nearly $70,000 grant the school received earlier this year from Intel Corporation.
School officials pursued the grant after they realized it could be some time before the Olympia School District would be able to afford the equipment."
This problem exists everywhere. Think of the implications of teachers writing grants. When spending time doing that, what is going by the wayside?
Story at The Olympian Online."
The British Library has struck a deal with Microsoft to digitize out-of-copyright books, journals, maps and manuscripts from its collection. The content will be available through the Library's website in conjunction with the recently announced MSN® Book Search. Microsoft plans to collaborate with organizations and libraries to develop an online archive collection to compete with the Google Print™ program.
Slashdot Pointed the way to an interesting, though light on details, Wall Street Journal column by David Wessel. He says while the public has more and better information available now than ever before, he's not sure if it's always a good thing. Most of the time, speedier, cheaper information allows the economy to produce more from less, often by eliminating mistakes, cutting wasted effort and shrinking doubt. He points to Walmart, dug companies and "the lovelorn" as an example of people capitalizing on good information. But a couple new proprietary data sets are giving him pause. A program that helps companies choose judges based on how they've ruled in the past and the ability of Congress to get reelected are his examples.
He says computers have removed the limitation on the ability of any individual to process information, and have forced society to wrestle with practical issues that seemed only theoretical a generation ago.
I can't help but think libraries, free, open and accessible libraries have a part to play in the coming years. If we (libraries) make more information available to more people are we leveling the playing field, or just making things worse?