May 2005

Yahoo! Mindset: Intent Driven Search

The Yahoo! Mindset Search is A Yahoo! Research Labs demo that applies a new twist on search that uses machine learning technology to give you a choice: View Yahoo! Search results sorted according to whether they are more commercial or more informational (i.e., from academic, non-commercial, or research-oriented sources).

MIT’s Third World laptop as a p-book replacement

David Rothman writes “Foes of e-books have raised issues ranging from screen readability to battery power. But technical progress is happening to address such questions. And, besides, aren’t e-books on a laptop better than no books at all? In the end might there be substantial new opportunities for Net-savvy libraries, schools, e-stores and publishers able to come up with appropriate business models and pricing and sensible DRM policies?

One of the most interesting examples of the potential here is the MIT Media Lab’s $100 Third World laptop project. More details at TeleRead. Also see here and here.

Given all the promise of the Internet as a knowledge-spreader to fight poverty and improve life in other ways, I’m amazed why a certain “populist” politician is so relucant to speak out against Draconian copyright laws that will reduce the number of free books available for the users of those $100 machines. Is he hoping for more Hollywood money when he runs for President again?”

Bat worries push library land grab

Steven M. Cohen writes “From the Mansfield News Journal:

Mayor John Finley says alleged concerns about bats in the branch library here are “a cheap and pathetic excuse” by the Mansfield/Richland County Library to buy a lot across the street.

But Director Joe Palmer contends the library doesn’t want to move its Lucas branch. It bought the property, he said, “just in case.”

The (mostly) Texas Books Issue By the book

Blake writes The San Antonio Current Interviews Frates Seeligson. Seeligson insists modestly that many people read more than he does, but they think not many read as comprehensively. He visited with the Current in his pleasant, and yes, book-filled, offices near Brackenridge Park.
Since his 30s, Seeligson has followed a self-made plan to read his way chronologically through world and American history, while enjoying books on public policy, sensual topics such as shad and caviar, and fiction. “I try to average four books a month,” he told me, holding up a yellow legal pad filled with pages of titles, many scratched off. “So at the end of six months, I’ve read 24 books.”

Edinburgh: World City of Literature

kathleen writes “A map of Edinburgh featuring places connected with famous books and authors has been drawn up as part of Edinburgh’s World City of Literature status. The map features literary figures and places such as Greyfriars Bobby, Robert Louis Stevenson’s House, the statue of Sherlock Holmes on Picardy Place and one of the cafes where JK Rowling is said to have penned her first Harry Potter book.

Intended to give book lovers a chance to explore the Capital’s rich literary heritage, the map will be launched in time for the Man Booker Prize celebrations being held in Edinburgh in June.”

AskLIS: What are the differences between US librarianship and Australian librarianship?

AshtabulaGuy writes “I turn to the collective world-wide-LISNewsterz-Wisdom for some advice. What are the differences between US librarianship and Australian librarianship? That is a burning question. Although Australia utilizes AACR2r, what is different in practice there? If an American was to be on exchange for a year, what would they likely expect?

Any pointers as to starting points for seeking knowledge in this case?”

The Hardy Boys get revamped

JET writes to tell us about a story hereon the Hardy Boys.

“The series is getting a new update and a movie will be coming out also.
Fox 2000 Productions is developing a Ben Stiller-produced comedy, “The Hardy Men,” about the boys as grown-ups. “It’s going to make the Hardy Boys hot,” says Carla Hacken, executive vice president of production.”

Laura Bush, the Consumate Administration Hack & Hypocrite

Cortez writes “As Laura Bush pontificates to other nations on what they should be doing on literacy, lets look at what hubby is ACTUALLY doing:
article here
“In presenting his fiscal 2006 budget request to Congress, Bush said he wants to reduce funding for the adult education program because an analysis by the Office of Management and Budget found that it was difficult to assess the program’s effectiveness. If the cuts are approved — as state adult education officials fear — federal funding for adult education programs in Pennsylvania would drop from $19.3 million this year to $4.8 million next year.””