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Google Chromebook, 6 months later

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...

Google I/O

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...

Amazon Cloud Drive & Cloud Player

On March 29th, Amazon launched two major new services, both of which seem to speak directly to my post guessing at an Amazon Tablet...as 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: The first is Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon's answer to other consumer-facing cloud...

Touch-a, touch-a, touch-a, Touch Me...

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. Using the iPad for just a few days has really brought this into focus for...

Wolfram Alpha and Libraries

After months of anticipation, a new tool emerged this past week that should be of interest to reference librarians everywhere: Wolfram¦Alpha. http://www.wolframalpha.com/ This new tool was designed by Stephen Wolfram, the wunderkind who developed Mathematica. Wolfram Alpha is assuredly not a search engine, even though it looks like one. It’s more an answer engine or a knowledge engine....

Saving Your Digital Life

Like most of us online and definitely like most libraries, I create more and more and more digital relics as I go through life. Pictures, videos, songs I've bought, ebooks I've downloaded, things I've written....you name it. If it's being created you can bet it's probably being created digitally. This all adds up, though, and the fate of any hard drive is to be filled with both really important,...

Netbooks: a new portable computing solution?

At my place of work, we are considering circulating so-called netbooks to our students. This would be done initially alongside traditional laptops, but with the possibility of moving the majority of our portable computers to netbooks. In thinking about moving this direction, I've been looking at a lot of these machines, and realizing that there may be a good number of libraries that haven't been...

A Sign from Above Eye Level

  Years ago I read somewhere that the stretch of Interstate 70 that runs across Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis is the most heavily billboarded section of interstate in the U.S.  There are thousands of them.  Most are hawking predictable things:  hotels, fast food, Lake of the Ozark resorts, souvenir shops with the inevitable walnut bowls, and fireworks emporia, each one just...

A Geek's Letter to Santa and a Farewell

There are seasons for everything. Seasons of life. Seasons of time. During this time of year, people often think about things for which they are thankful and things that they can give others to make them smile. I am thankful for the opportunity that ALA TechSource has given me. The opportunity to spread my wings, work with some wonderful people, and have fun. Sadly, I believe my season here to...

Technology: The Year in Review

In the spirit of the bazillion other  year-end lists you will see over the coming weeks, I decided to list my Top 5 Most Influential Technologies of the year. These are the technologies that I think librarians need to be aware of, examine, and find uses for in their library. Not all of these started this year, but 2008 was  the year they broke out and became necessities in many people's lives.  #...

I <3 my Kindle

In the past year or so, there has been considerable discussion here in libraryland about ebook readers. Still, the actual personal ownership of them is still reasonably low. So we don't have a lot of actual user feedback on how people like the devices, what they find useful, and what users really experience when reading on one. I thought I'd make an attempt to remedy that as much as one...