Information Retrieval

What Are We Searching For? Google Suggests

Google Suggest Reveals What We're Searching For
The answers to today's crossword, Jewish baseball players, testicular comfort, and the right way to pronounce "Reuters." Google is collecting and storing what we write. Once you start looking for them, unexpected suggestions start popping up everywhere.
See Also:
Awkward Suggestions and Contrasts in How Google Suggests Searches

Turning Topics Into Searches

The Pegasus Librarian spent time with a couple of different freshman writing seminars getting them ready to tackle the research component of their classes. Both times she tried a technique that she'd done once last year when she co-taught with a colleague of mine. It’s kind of like concept mapping… but with an eye toward building searches.

An added benefit of this technique is that it gets the whole class up and moving near the beginning. She says this changes the atmosphere of a morning class full of sceptical freshmen.

Cell Phone Fact Checking

I really need to have conversations with people where cell phones are OFF. People check facts, and miss the truth. Cell phones make people answer rhetorical questions.

Penn Says: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZdSNSphnZU

Dialing for Answers Where Web Can’t Reach

KAMPALA, Uganda — The caller was frustrated. A new pest was eating away at his just-planted coffee crop, and he wanted to know what to do. Tyssa Muhima jotted down notes as the caller spoke, and promised to call back in 10 minutes with an answer.

Each day, Ms. Muhima and two other young women at this small call center on the outskirts of Uganda’s capital city answer about 40 such calls. They are operators for Question Box, a free, nonprofit telephone hot line that is meant to get information to people in remote areas who lack access to computers.

Full article in the NYT

A Writer’s Plea: Figure Out How to Preserve Google Books

Author Alexis Madrigal posts this plea for Google Books on Wired's Epicenter blog and issues a challenge to libraries:

"The dispute over Google Books continues to rage in the courts and op-ed pages of the country. There are legitimate questions about Google, profit sharing and privacy. But let’s not let the litigation obscure that Google Books provides an unprecedented and irreproducible service to its users.

Libraries have been important for millennia because they could control access to valuable information. Now, that’s a strategy that leads straight to irrelevance.

A lot of smart librarians recognize the imperative of digitization but their institutions rarely give them money for such “low-priority” tasks."

What Facebook Quizzes Know About You: Take Action FB Users

What Facebook Quizzes Know About You - NYTimes.com advises facebook users that even if they themselves don't use a particular app, that the app. can access their personal information if a friend uses it.

Links for adjusting your privacy settings are included in the article. At the present time, the ACLU of Northern California is taking action to raise awareness of privacy issues surrounding Facebook applications, in particular quizzes.

Advice from a colleague: DELETE your FB apps NOW: At the top of the FB page, click on Settings, then Application Settings. At top right, it says Show: & a drop down menu. Select Authorized. This will bring up a list of all the APPS you have authorized to have access to y...our information. Use the X on the right side of each one you want to delete. If there is no X, that means it is a Facebook created app you cannot delete.

New Bedfellows: Sony ebook Reader and Overdrive

OverDrive, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, announced today a joint marketing agreement with Sony Electronics, Inc., developer of the Sony Reader Digital Book (www.sony.com/reader). OverDrive and Sony will cross-market OverDrive's library network and the Reader, the leading eBook device that is compatible with industry standard eBook formats offered by libraries.

More from Overdrive.

Back Up Your Data On... Paper?

CDs, tapes, external drives, off site back up through Amazon S3; all of these are viable options for backing up precious data.

But what about paper?

Crazy? Well, not really. A programme called PaperBack will take files and render them as code on standard paper. Simply print and file. To recover files, scan the paper. Still, what's the advantage?

Well, one big one is that technology comes and goes. We had ZIP drives, tape drives, and all kinds of stuff before now that aren't used anymore. Meanwhile TWAIN, the standard protocol for scanners, has been around for almost two decades and isn't likely to go anywhere soon.

Sure, you wouldn't want to back up, say, your ILS database like this. But how about important circulation data? Passwords for those days when an act of god wipes your data centre from the face of the earth? You could send updates to rural areas with limited internet access. And in the end, it uses a medium that's been with us for thousands of years.

Chickens in Seattle? Ask a Librarian

The question is not 'why do they cross the road', but how many you're allowed to have in your Seattle domicile.

They know where to find it out...Seattle PI blog.

This is a neat feature. Does your local paper have regular news of the library?

Libraries are a path to future -

In hard times, they have become centers of access to information, communities, and jobs.

By Amy Dougherty

"A recently released report by the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, "Help Wanted: Knowledge Workers Needed," included a stunning statistic: Almost 50 percent of the citizens of Philadelphia lack the basic skills needed to perform in a knowledge-based economy. Given that, our state and city leaders have shown a remarkable lack of vision in threatening to reduce library services.

We need to enlarge our workforce by teaching workers the skills that will enable them and the city to make the transition to the new economy. And the infrastructure to do so already exists in our libraries.

Recent data show that Americans are flocking to local libraries, often waiting in long lines for help and computer time. They are searching for employment, job-training information, and, if they are able, rewriting their resumes. Librarians are the new career counselors, sometimes taking the brunt of patrons' frustrations and fears in these turbulent times."

Read the full Commentary from the Philadelphia Inquirer at:

Libraries are a path to future

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