Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 16, 2010 - 9:01pm
The 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known simply as E3, took place this past week. E3 2010 is the largest video game conference and press event in the US, and is the stage from which nearly all revolutionary new products and games are announced. So what was the major announcement this year that libraries and librarians should be aware of?
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 20, 2010 - 8:29am
I decided that this month I wanted to share a couple of very specific tools that I find invaluable for dealing with information online. These two tools make reading long form text online so much easier and more convenient that I can't recommend them enough. The two tools are the Readability bookmark from Acr90 Labs, and the Instapaper service.
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on April 9, 2010 - 8:13am
With the launch of the iPad and the development of desktops like the Lenovo c200, I'm starting to think that we need to stop thinking in terms of the size/resolution of the screen and positioning when doing web design. Instead, we need to really start thinking about digital objects, and how we physically interact with them. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on March 11, 2010 - 9:04am
Over the course of the last year, there has been a lot of discussion about the interaction between the real and the virtual via mobile phones, specifically about using barcodes as a unique identifier that can be read by a mobile phone's camera. In Japan and other countries, it is very common to see this sort of thing done via a type of code called a QR Code, a form of 2 dimensional barcode. There are lots of places online wh you can create your own QR Code, and many phones come with the ability to read them built in. For smartphones with applications stores, like the iPhone App Store or Android Market, there are many barcode reading apps to chose from.
Some libraries are playing around with QR Codes and other methods of annotating the real world via digital metadata. One tool that I just discovered is called StickyBits, and it takes a different model that I find really interesting. Instead of concentrating on linking physical objects to a single virtual place or information, StickyBits allows people to attach content to a given barcode, and have others see it. It's a form of tagging, but instead of tagging via terms, the user is tagging with any digital information they want: audio, video, photo, or text. For instance, a user could use StickyBits to tag a book with a video review. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 22, 2010 - 9:20am
Google Buzz, the Big G's newest and shiniest tool, launched last week to a huge amount of sturm und drang. What is Buzz? It's a lot of things, all shoved neatly into Gmail and leveraged with every ounce of power that Google could give it. If you've logged into your Gmail account in the last week, you've see a pop-up announcing Buzz, and asking if you were interested. Want to know what you're in for? Here's the very, very general idea.
Buzz is a combination of a few different existing ideas. The first is the concept of the "status update" or microblogging service, a la Twitter or Facebook. The second is the idea of conversation, as Buzz threads your discussions, instead of isolating replies like Twitter. This means that posts and replies are presented as a single thread, similar (very, very similar) to FriendFeed. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 1, 2010 - 8:46am
On Wednesday, the most anticipated technology product announcement of the last few years took place (video of the event here), and Apple finally showed off their tablet computer, the iPad. The iPad is going to dominate the technology discussion for the next several months, but here's a first-blush look at the tech specs and features that are going to be important for libraries and education. as well as what's missing and what we should be worried about.
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on December 21, 2009 - 10:24am
The last quarter of 2009 has seen an absolute explosion of Google features, acquisitions, and apps. Here's a summary of the developments that I think have the most significance for libraries and librarians:
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 23, 2009 - 1:57pm
This past Thursday, Google announced its next large software project, currently named Chrome OS. The announcement came in the form of a press conference and a question and answer session that included not only the lead engineers on the project, but Sergey Brinn himself. This is not to be confused with their Chrome browser, a successful project in its own right, rather it is a new operating system, designed by Google and focused around the Chrome browser. Yes, that's a little confusing. Let's see if we can lay out what Google is doing, and make some sense of it for those who didn't watch the announcement. First up, a short video produced by Google that explains Chrome OS:
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 21, 2009 - 1:46pm
The Amazon Kindle's first real competitor saw the light of day for the first time this week, and it looks very, very impressive. The Barnes & Noble Nook launched Oct 20th, and it stands toe-to-toe with the standard that has been set by the Kindle, even exceeding it in many ways.
The important bits: The Nook has the same 6-inch eInk screen as the Kindle, and is $20 cheaper (the Nook preorders for $259, while the Kindle 2 is still $279). The Nook also has a remarkable navigation system: a secondary color touchscreen display, directly under the eInk. It's a great-looking innovation, and one that gives the reader's interface flexibility that the Kindle just doesn't have. In my opinion, as you go through the specs, the comparison seems to favor the Nook over the Kindle. Here's the quick rundown of the things I get asked about the most when I talk about eReaders: Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 28, 2009 - 8:50am
I spoke this past week in San Diego, at the San Diego Law Library Association's Fall Conference, and one of the members asked me the following question (paraphrased for brevity):
How do you make decisions about what technologies to offer or support at your library? With the explosion of Web 2.0 over the last 5 years, how do you decide what to offer your patrons?
I decided to share my suggestions on how to make those decisions in your library. Read More »