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Jason Griffey's Posts

Social Media Archiving with ThinkUp

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2011 - 10:01am

Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence.

ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues. Read More »

Kindle Format 8 is On the Way

Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 25, 2011 - 8:21am

With the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn’t just launching another new LCD-based tablet into the marketplace. It’s also giving us yet another ebook filetype, Kindle Format 8. This is the first departure from the longstanding Mobi filetype that Amazon has been using for its Kindle books thus far, and it looks like KF8 is being designed and implemented specifically to compete with the functionality found in the ePub format. Read More »

Ready, Aim....Fire!

Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 28, 2011 - 10:36pm

That explosion you heard today? That was the sound of a thousand heads hitting a thousand desks over at Barnes & Noble HQ today as Amazon pulled the rug out of B&N’s temporary lead in eBook technology. For the last year Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color has stood alone on the tablet eReader front, and their more-recently announced Nook Touch was at the top of the technological heap of eInk devices. Amazon has always had the better ecosystem for eBooks, as well as a better catalog of books.  Read More »

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Slow News Month

Submitted by Jason Griffey on August 30, 2011 - 8:27am

August is traditionally a slow month for technology news. It’s too early to begin the announcements for the 4th quarter holiday season, but too late for the back-to-school announcements. Generally speaking, there’s just not a lot to talk about in technology in August.

Well, this year shot that theory out of the sky. This has been one of the strangest months for technology news in recent memory, and in case you don’t keep up with it like I do, here’s the three things you should know that happened in the last 3 weeks. Read More »

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Apple Thinks Different Part 2

Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 27, 2011 - 10:45am

Hello dear readers! I’m trying a bit of an experiment this month, brought about by the reflections in my recent post over on my blog about writing and ownership. I started writing a post about Apple and the way they seem to be trying to change the basic metaphors of computing that we’ve become accustomed to over the last 30 years. That start turned into something over 1500 words, which is a bit more than I thought would fit comfortably into a single blog post. So I decided to split the post between my blog and Techsource. You can head over to my personal blog, Pattern Recognition, to read the first half, which is more technical and theoretical, and then below is the second half, which is more directly about libraries.

I’m aware of the somewhat arbitrary nature of the split, but thought this was worth experimenting with as a model: very technical or theoretical discussion on my blog, more direct library-talk here on Techsource. I hope you excuse this bit of meta-commentary here, and enjoy the article. Thanks.

What do the changes in Apple’s new OS (OSX Lion), iCloud, and iOS5 mean for libraries, and why did I say earlier that I think this might “introduce a ton of problems for IT administrators”? Because like its iOS devices, Apple means for iCloud and Lion to be tied to an individual, and assumes that a computer is used by a single person. In looking at the way they’ve set up Lion, iCloud, and iOS5, I’m not at all clear how shared systems (aka, public use computers) might be able to benefit from the advances that Apple is putting in front of users. Read More »

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Google Chromebook, 6 months later

Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 20, 2011 - 8:40am

Almost exactly 6 months ago, I wrote up my first impressions of the Google CR-48 Chromebook, the first dedicated hardware device to use the Google Chrome operating system. In the intervening time there have been tons of software upgrades to ChromeOS, and true to their word Google launched the first commercially available Chromebooks in cooperation with Samsung and Acer. 

Last week I received a tweet asking me what I thought: 

@griffey What was your final verdict on the Chromebook? Wondering if it might be useful to have for workforce development in libraries...less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

So it seemed worth revisiting, especially as I think one part of the Chromebook is particularly interesting for libraries. I’ll get to that in a second. Read More »

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Google I/O

Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 10, 2011 - 3:56pm

Today was the start of the Google I/O conference, the developer conference that Google holds every year where they make major announcements, primarily about their Android operating system. During the keynote today, they offered several updates and new products that could potentially be interesting for libraries. Here's the ones that I think are the most interesting:

The Android Market was updated to include movie rentals. This allows for one-click rentals via either the web or an Android device, streaming from the web or available to be "pinned" to a portable device and watched offline. The selection isn't huge, but one can only imagine that it's going to grow rapidly if the service becomes more popular. The model is similar to the iTunes rental model, where you can purchase the rental and then you have 30 days to start watching, and 24 hours to finish watching once you do. Read More »

Amazon Cloud Drive & Cloud Player

Submitted by Jason Griffey on March 30, 2011 - 3:04pm

On March 29th, Amazon launched two major new services, both of which seem to speak directly to my post guessing at an Amazon well as being shots across the bow of both Apple and the music industry. The two services are connected, but distinct in capabilities and effects, so let's look at them separately:

Amazon Cloud Drive Read More »

3D Printing & Fabrication

Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 14, 2011 - 10:04am

One of the most exciting new realms in personal technology is the emergence of affordable 3D fabrication or printing technologies (or, my personal favorite nickname for the tech: fabbing). If you aren’t familiar with 3D printing, it’s the use of a hardware device to go directly from a computer file to 3 dimensional object, skipping any molding/carving/modeling or other sorts of manufacturing. It’s been available for a number of years for commercial use, and is used heavily by industry to prototype consumer devices, but the cost has always been prohibitive for individuals.
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Predictions for 2011

Submitted by Jason Griffey on December 29, 2010 - 10:40am

Since my November post was all about what was going to be hot for the holiday season, I thought it only fitting that the last post of 2010 for me would be looking forward to 2011. Here’s a short list of my guesses for the technology world in 2011, particularly the eBook and eReader realm. In no particular order:

1. 2011 is the year that eReaders enter the realm of commodity. I’ve been saying for the last couple of years that they were on the way, but I think that this is the year we’ll see the traditional eInk eReader like the Kindle drop to the $50 range. Read More »

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