Information Retrieval

Scrapers Dig Deep for Data on Web

'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on Web
The market for personal data about Internet users is booming, and in the vanguard is the practice of "scraping." Firms offer to harvest online conversations and collect personal details from social-networking sites, résumé sites and online forums where people might discuss their lives.

The Guardian: Yahoo! to sell Delicious

The Guardian reports that Yahoo! is rumored to be preparing to sell Delicious to StumbleUpon. From the story:

At the same time of the December announcement the handful of engineers who were developing the Delicious system are understood to have either been sacked or redeployed inside Yahoo, leaving only support staff.

Services like Pinboard and Opera Link exist as potential replacements among other offerings online.

This Data Isn’t Dull. It Improves Lives.

The private sector can often reformat government information in ways that help consumers, workers and companies.

Full article in the NYT

Mendeley Offers $10,001 for Best New Research Tool

From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
By Ben Wieder

The developers of Mendeley, a research-management tool that has more than a million users, want to put more than 70 million academic papers, reader recommendations, and social-networking tags to new and innovative uses. The company announced Tuesday its “Binary Battle,” a contest for outside developers to build applications drawing from Mendeley’s collected information, with a $10,001 grand prize for the best new application.

“If you’ve ever thought, ‘You know, I really wish I could search the literature better’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could see how this idea evolved over time?’ or just ‘I wish I had $10,001 dollars,’ well, now’s your chance,” says the company blog.....More here...

Mendeley blog

Steven Rosenbaum and the Curation Nation

What if instead of relying on search engines to get our information, we relied on each other - friends, experts, journalists - to deliver us information by way of carefully curated websites? Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify.net and author of Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers are Creators tells Bob that our curated content future may have already arrived.

If player does not show above or you want to download MP3 or read transcript that is here.

Smarter Metadata — Aiding Discovery in Next Generation E-book and E-journal Gateways

From the Scholarly Kitchen Blog

With the recent surge in library e-book sales, serials aggregators are racing to add e-books to their platforms. ProQuest’s recent acquisition of ebrary and JSTOR’s expansion into current journals and e-books signal a shift from standalone e-book and e-journal aggregator platforms to mixed content gateways, with e-books and e-journals living cheek by jowl in the same aggregation..... Read more.

Digital Age is Slow to Arrive in Rural America

As the world embraces its digital age — two billion people now use the Internet regularly — the line delineating two Americas has become more broadly drawn. There are those who have reliable, fast access to the Internet, and those, like about half of the 27,867 people here in Clarke County, AL who do not. For many here, where the median household income is $27,388, the existing cellphone and Internet options are too expensive.

The above is from an article in the the NY Times about the lack of connectivity in most of rural America. Length piece, but this portion about the library is of particular interest:

Gina Wilson, director of the Thomasville Library, oversees 11 terminals with lightning-fast Internet access. They attract the usual array of children and the unemployed during the day, as well as college students who take classes online. At night, people stop by after work to check their e-mail or scroll through Facebook.

Mrs. Wilson noticed that after hours, people would pull into the parking lot, open their laptops and try to use the library’s wireless signal. So she started leaving it on all night, and soon will post a sign on the door with the password (which, if you are in Thomasville and need to get online, is “guest.”)

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

Despite the cowboy outlaw connotations, black-hat services are not illegal, but trafficking in them risks the wrath of Google. The company draws a pretty thick line between techniques it considers deceptive and “white hat” approaches, which are offered by hundreds of consulting firms and are legitimate ways to increase a site’s visibility. Penney’s results were derived from methods on the wrong side of that line, says Mr. Pierce. He described the optimization as the most ambitious attempt to game Google’s search results that he has ever seen.

Smartest Machine on Earth

NOVA website: Smartest Machine on Earth

Episode premiered last night. I watched it and I think librarians will find this episode interesting and thought provoking.

If you search the schedule at your local PBS website you should find other times this shows. For example Iowa Public TV shows these times:
Thu, February 10, 3:00 PM on IPTV World
Thu, February 10, 5:00 PM on IPTV World
Thu, February 10, 8:00 PM on IPTV World
Fri, February 11, 1:00 AM on IPTV World

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