News

News

A New News Aggregator and its SciFi Roots

Submitted by Pete on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 16:53

More interesting than the beta launch of a news aggregator called Wavii, is the recap of of such things in Science Fiction novels and stories of the past at Technovelgy.com
"This same idea was first explored in science fiction decades ago. In his 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise. Arthur C. Clarke described the personal interest profile that could be used to gather all relevant items of information from news feeds."

Letters to the Editor; Responses To Potential Changes to the NYPL

Submitted by birdie on Mon, 04/23/2012 - 10:57

New York Times: A Reimagined Library, Are the Changes Good? in response to previous NYTimes articles.

To the Editor:

Like innumerable writers and researchers over the years, I have experienced the joy (many times) of entering the New York Public Library with a near-hopeless citation in hand only to find the very material I was looking for in just minutes. It is a euphoric moment to which many writers can attest, and it has enriched the quality and content of books beyond counting.

That which gets put off to tomorrow rarely gets done, yet the library administration, under its new plan, would move a huge chunk of its research collection off site, ostensibly available some other day, when a researcher makes a request. The splendor of the library is not only the vastness of its collection but also the immediacy of it.

If there remain any wonders of the world, the New York Public Library is one of them. Please don’t change it.

MITCH HOROWITZ
New York, April 16, 2012

The writer is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin.

To the Editor:

There’s a comfort level in keeping the status quo, yet the 21st century offers us so many new ways of doing research. Without looking at possibilities for the future, we deny ourselves those opportunities.

Popular Authors Publish New Haggadah (Passover Seder Book)

Submitted by birdie on Fri, 03/02/2012 - 12:01
Topic

NEW YORK — Authors Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander, seated together at a Brooklyn diner, would like to continue a discussion that has lasted for centuries.

They have collaborated on a text dating to Biblical times and revisited each year by millions of Jews worldwide. "New American Haggadah," just published by Little, Brown and Company, is a new edition of the Passover narrative that has been edited by Foer and translated by Englander.

They are a contrast — the earnest Foer and the expansive Englander — but they share skepticism about organized religion and anxiousness about what it means to be a Jew. Both have included Jewish themes in their fiction, whether the grandson of a Holocaust survivor seeking answers about the past in Foer's "Everything Is Illuminated" or the tug of war between religious and secular culture in Englander's "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges."

Foer, inspired by Seders (the traditional Passover gatherings) he has attended, says he thought of the project about six years ago.

Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only

Submitted by John on Tue, 02/14/2012 - 12:37

As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature).