Information Retrieval

ChaCha Guided Searching Goes Mobile

A search that uses human guides didn't make much sense in a world of libraries with IM service, and when ChaCha debuted in 2006, the buzz died down quickly. Expect to see a revival now that they've started providing text message services. Still powered by human guides, the service will likely be a hit with folks unwilling to pay for Internet access on their phones. It's free for now, but the company plans to charge $5-10/mo. for the service in the future, which may effectively kill any interest from users without smart phones.

Before Memex

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Information Re/Evolution

The professor behind the The Machine is Us/ing Us video has produced a new one, called Information Re/Evolution. This video deals with the search for information and has some relevance for libraries and librarians.

New York Times Will Now Give Away Web Access

The NYTimes, they are a-changin'.

In this article in today's paper, the New York Times is ending payment for the 'Times Select' program. They found that readers were accessing those articles via search engines, and have chosen instead to give free online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper's archives, with a few minor exceptions.

Eight steps to thriving on information overload

Eight steps to thriving on information overload: "There is no quick fix; enhancing our skills requires effort and is an ongoing process. Implementing the following principles can make a real difference to your effectiveness in dealing with the new reality of information overload..."
1. Set information objectives.
4. Filter aggressively.
8. Sleep on it!

Full-text Searching in Books

Scott Boren has a great look at electronic searching of the full-text of books. He covers Several Book Search Web Sites, Text Archives for older materials, Proprietary Book Search sites, some Smaller Collections, Google Book Search, some Emerging Projects, and some sites for Further Reading.

A Long Look @ Service Oriented Library Systems

Be sure to check out Eric Schnell's Service Oriented Library Systems series. In Part 4: Challenges he says if we step back and look at it, we have nobody to blame for outdated library information systems or our inability to more readily adopt SOA except for ourselves. We keep licensing these products at a time when the number alternative approaches available to libraries has never been greater.

In the last posting in these services he'll provide some closing remarks and observations.
Be sure to read all 3 posts so far:
What We Have Today
Where Are We Heading?

Robots...The New Librarians

The LA Times reports: "It's not often that a librarian is warned to stay away from the bookshelves because of high voltage and that students aren't allowed to roam freely through the stacks - but it's becoming more common.

At Chicago State University only robots are allowed to browse most books and archives. Books are supplied with RFID chips, and to get a particular book, students and faculty must log onto the library's website from home or school and place an order for a title.

Once the order is received, the library's computer system directs a robotic crane - dubbed "Rover" by the librarians - to retrieve one of more than 6,300 bins. Each bin holds the equivalent of four bookshelves.

The crane then brings the bin to a workstation at the front of the warehouse, where a HUMAN BEING--a librarian--picks up the book.

Archival Environment, Part 3 The Metadata Dilemma

Archival Environment: The Metadata Dilemma: There is an apocryphal story about metadata and archive processing that illustrates the unique relationship of the two environments. It seems that once there was a government store of space exploration information. As rockets entered outer space, metrics (i.e., telemetry) were sent back to the ground and recorded. This telemetry information provided much interesting scientific information about space exploration and was of great value to the scientific community. Indeed, the government built an impressive archive of the telemetric data that had been captured. The archive had state-of-the-art archival technology. The archival storage was protected. The telemetry data was classified. The metrics were protected and stored in excruciating detail.

In order to make your archival data really useful, you need to know what the archival data means.

NYTimes Article on Video Search Engine

Paul Lewis writes "Articles discusses video site which employs speech recognition technology to posted videos to enhance keyword searching capabilities for video content. They Say Blinkx's speech-recognition technology employs neural networks and machine learning using "hidden Markov models," a method of statistical analysis in which the hidden characteristics of a thing are guessed from what is known."


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