27 February 2008

Library architecture

Slate magazine has an interesting slide show on library architecture, asking the question, 'How do you design a public library in the age of Google?'

15 February 2008

Howard Rheingold

Howard Rheingold of Smart Mobs and The Virtual Community fame has a presentation on the TED site. The programme notes say:
Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media and collective action -- and how Wikipedia is really an outgrowth of our natural human instinct to work as a group. As he points out, humans have been banding together to work collectively since our days of hunting mastodons.

Well worth viewing, as usual with the TED presentations

11 February 2008

New issue of Journal of Electronic Publishing

The latest issue contains the following papers:
William Y. Arms - Cyberscholarship: High Performance Computing Meets Digital Libraries
Jeremy Birnholtz - When Authorship Isn’t Enough: Lessons from CERN on the Implications of Formal and Informal Credit Attribution Mechanisms in Collaborative Research
G. Sayeed Choudhury - The Virtual Observatory Meets the Library
Amy Friedlander - The Triple Helix: Cyberinfrastructure, Scholarly Communication, and Trust
Karla L. Hahn - Talk About Talking About New Models of Scholarly Communication
Charles Henry - Can Universities Dream of Electric Sheepskin?: Systemic Transformations in Higher Education Organizational Models
Ronald L. Larsen - On the Threshold of Cyberscholarship
Stephen G. Nichols - "Born Medieval": MSS. in the Digital Scriptorium
Kathlin Smith - Institutional Repositories and E-Journal Archiving: What Are We Learning?
Peter Suber - Open Access in 2007
Judith A. Turner - Editor's Note
Donald Waters - Open Access Publishing and the Emerging Infrastructure for 21st-Century Scholarship

09 February 2008

Curious notion of a digital library

"A new digital library, covering 80,000 square meters, is being built to add 2,900 seats to the current 5,000-seat library." So says a report on China's National Library on China View I love the idea of increasing the number of seats in a 'digital' library - watching the signals whizzing by: Whoops! There goes Darwin's origin of the species! Boing! Einstein's first paper on relativity speeds on its way! Crunch! There goes Bush's state of the nation speech! Seats in a digital library must have a grandstand view of cyberspace!

06 February 2008

More on Firefox

The news site, Ars Technica reports on a study by a French Web survey firm, XiTi Monitor, to the effect that across Europe, Firefox now has more than 25% market share. The country differences are interesting: Firefox has 45.4% of the market in Finland, but only 14.7% in the Netherlands. The UK is also low down on use of Firefox, with 17.2% - who knows why?

05 February 2008

Firefox 3.0 beta 2

For the past couple of weeks I've been using the latest beta of Firefox 3.0 and, for a beta, it has been pretty well trouble-free. Firefox 3.0 is built on a new version of the Gecko engine and the changes that are likely to affect the average user are listed as:
* Star button: quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.
* Tags: associate keywords with your bookmarks to sort them by topic.
* Location bar & auto-complete: type the title or tag of a page in the location bar to quickly find the site you were looking for in your history; favicons, bookmark, and tag indicators help you see where results are coming from.
* Smart Places Folder: quickly access your recently bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as your more frequently visited pages with the new smart places folder on your bookmark toolbar.
* Bookmarks and History Organizer: advanced search of your history and bookmarks with multiple views and smart folders to store your frequent searches.
* Web-based protocol handlers: web applications, such as your favorite webmail provider, can now be used instead of desktop applications for handling mailto: links from other sites. Similar support is available for other protocols (Web applications will have to first enable this by registering as handlers with Firefox).
* Easy to use Download Actions: a new Applications preferences pane provides a better UI for configuring handlers for various file types and protocol schemes.

The production version is due some time soon, so watch out for announcements.

01 February 2008

Microsoft makes a bid for Yahoo

After playing footsie for 18 months, Microsoft has come out with an offer of $31 a share for Yahoo in a letter to the Yahoo Board, according to ZDNet.
Clearly, things could get interesting on the search front as a result of this, but I suspect that MSoft is after Yahoo's visibility in the consumer market. If ZDNet is right, then going after Google, in search terms, isn't the primary motive:
Specifically, Microsoft says the combined companies can target the following areas:
* Scale economics driven by audience critical mass and increased value for advertisers;
* Combined engineering talent to accelerate innovation;
* Operational efficiencies through elimination of redundant cost;
* And the ability to innovate in emerging user experiences such as video and mobile.

Note that Blogger doesn't let me use Yahoo's exclamation mark :-)

Search behaviour

There's an interesting article on the Boxes and Arrows site: Search Behavior Patterns, by John Ferrara. The article drew my attention to a new(ish) search engine called "Easy Search Live", which offers a 'live view' feature. Click on "live view" beside any item and a window opens to show you the site. Quite a neat feature for finding useful sites within the search output, rather than clicking and opening a new tab or window for the site.