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UK Blog: Libraries in the Age of Google

What's the point of a library or a librarian in the digital era? Who needs a physical space for books and archives, and librarians to police their use, when all that material will soon be available to anyone with a decent internet connection at the click of a mouse?

Rhetorical though they may be, blogger Rory Cellan-Jones makes an effort to find answers to these questions and more with the assistance of the director of the National Library of Wales, Andrew Green.

Google Gives Its Search Results a Facelift

Google is making some very noticeable changes to its familiar search results pages, rolling out the changes gradually on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The search giant is adding a new left-handed navigation panel to most results pages, adding some visual clutter at the expense of offering users tools to help focus their query. What will show up on this new left panel depends what a person is looking for.

Search for a type of media — say the latest episode of “Gossip Girl” — and you will get the option to choose between different content types, like images, videos and books. Search for an event or news topic, like “Times Square bomb,” and the search engine will intuit that this is a news-related query and offer options to look at blogs, real time updates from sources like Twitter and Facebook, and links to news articles.

Full article at NYT.com

Google to Muscle into E-book Store Biz

Google to Muscle into E-book Store Biz
Google is months away from launching Google Editions, an e-book store that will compete with Amazon, Apple's iBookstore, and Barnes & Noble. Google Editions will launch in June or July, said Google's manager for strategic partner development Chris Palma. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Palma announced the timeline at a book industry event, on a panel entitled, "The Book on Google: Is the Future of Publishing in the Cloud?"

The Perils of Automatic Copyright Protection

A cautionary tale about copyright, and the automated systems that enforce it.

If you post a video on YouTube, using one of their very own video creation tools, don't you expect it to go up and be viewable without any problems? Because of YouTube's Content ID system, it might not be so easy ...

Read the full story here.

Google Tool Reveals Government Hunger For Data

Durst passed this on to me to post.

In a move toward greater transparency, Google on Tuesday introduced a new tool that shows the number of requests for data and for data removal that Google has received from governments around the world.

Google's Government Requests tool does not provide detail about the nature of the requests and it is updated only every six months. Nonetheless, it represents an unprecedented degree of disclosure.

Full article

Visual Artists to Sue Google Over Vast Library Project

Visual Artists to Sue Google Over Vast Library Project As Google awaits approval of a controversial settlement with authors and book publishers, the company’s plan to create an immense digital library and bookstore may face yet another hurdle.
THanks to Bruce for the link!

‘Suicide’ Query Prompts Google to Offer Hotline

As with any omniscient being, you can ask Google anything. You just don’t know what the answer is going to be.

That changed slightly last week when the Google search engine started automatically giving a suggestion of where to call after receiving a search seemingly focused on suicide.

Among the searches that result in an icon of a red phone and the toll-free number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are “ways to commit suicide” and “suicidal thoughts.” The information takes precedence over the linked results and is different and more prominent than an advertisement. Guidance on suicide prevention was suggested internally and was put in place on Wednesday.

Full article here.

Google to produce internet guide in a leaflet

Google to print a leaflet as part of push to get all Britons online by the end of 2012
Google, one of the world's most prominent evangelists for all things digital, has turned to one of the most traditional of old media routes to try to persuade more British people to go online: it is printing a leaflet.

The Simple Guide to the Internet is part of the search engine group's commitment to Race Online 2012, an initiative started by the UK government's digital inclusion champion, Martha Lane Fox.

Can't Quote This

This week a federal judge heard arguments to determine whether to approve the settlement between Google and two major arms of the publishing industry over Google Books. Many groups used this week's hearings to air grievances with the project. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig argues an unintended consequence of the settlement could alter print culture as we know it.




Transcript and MP3 file here

New from Google Labs: An Experimental Data Visualization Tool for Public Data

New from Google Labs: An Experimental Data Visualization Tool for Public Data
Something neat via The Resourceshelf.... ?The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings.

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