Saturday, April 22, 2006

Boing Boing: Library design from salvaged passenger jets

Monday, April 17, 2006


Steve Burbeck on multicellular computing:

Jon Udell: A conversation with Steve Burbeck: "Steve identifies four themes from biology that he thinks might usefully translate to information technology: specialization, polymorphic messaging, stigmergy, and apoptosis. At least two of these terms may be unfamiliar to you, as they were to me. Stigmergy, Wikipedia currently says, is 'a method of communication in emergent systems in which the individual parts of the system communicate with one another by modifying their local environment.' Apoptosis is cell suicide."

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Seek and Ye Shall Find: Desktop search showdown - Lifehacker

Wendy Boswell reviews desktop search applications on Lifehacker.

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Desktop search showdown - Lifehacker: "The popularity of desktop search applications - installable software that indexes your computer files instead of Web pages - is growing by leaps and bounds. A simple search in Google for the phrase desktop search returns over 700 million results!

But which offering is best? Today I’ve lined up the top five most downloaded desktop search services - Google, Yahoo, Copernic, Ask, and MSN - with a simple list of their pros and cons."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Shifted Librarian: A Liminal Follow-up

The shifted librarian posts a comment to her blog about libraries losing good people. In today's information age, I'm afraid the public sector is going to have a difficult time recruiting and retaining people. The public sector will never be a well-paid sector.

The Shifted Librarian: A Liminal Follow-up: "'I've built big things for libraries, stuff you may have used, but I found that the only way to get the sort of respect, pay, and freedom my experience deserved was to leave the library world and work with it only as a consultant. It is time the field took a good hard look at itself since those people the library world desperately needs, those who maybe aren't traditional librarians, are suddenly very valuable commodities to companies like Google and Yahoo. In this information economy they now have a very attractive alternative to working in a library. I'm not saying that libraries can compete directly with the salaries and freebies the Google campus offers, but many of these people just want a modicum of respect and an income that isn't embarrassing given their training and expertise.... I do know that nothing is more important in any organization than its employees and right now most libraries are letting some truly invaluable people slip right through the cracks.'"

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Edge: THE UNIVERSAL LIBRARY By George Dyson: "[GEORGE DYSON:] Books are strings of code. But they have mysterious properties — like strings of DNA. Somehow, the author captures a fragment of the universe, unravels it into a one-dimensional sequence, squeezes it through a keyhole, and hopes that a three-dimensional vision emerges in the reader's mind. The translation is never exact."

Searching for Dummies - New York Times

It looks like access to all informtion available at our fingertips isn't enough: we also have to know how to find what we need, and how to interpret it:

Searching for Dummies - New York Times: "In December, the National Center for Education Statistics published a report on adult literacy revealing that the number of college graduates able to interpret complex texts proficiently had dropped since 1992 from 40 percent to 31 percent. As Mark S. Schneider, the center's commissioner of education statistics, put it, 'What's disturbing is that the assessment is not designed to test your understanding of Proust, but to test your ability to read labels.'"

Libertarian Librarian Satationery!

I found this while googling "Libertarian Librarian":

Librarian Acrostic Design

Being Good Without God

Since atheists are the U.S.'s least trusted minority, maybe people should check out Daniel Dennett's take on morality. | Brazil-A Nation of Non-Readers | Brazil-A Nation of Non-Readers: "C. Miller writes ' MANY Brazilians cannot read. In 2000, a quarter of those aged 15 and older were functionally illiterate. Many simply do not want to. Only one literate adult in three reads books. The average Brazilian reads 1.8 non-academic books a year;less than half the figure in Europe and the United States. In a recent survey of reading habits, Brazilians came 27th out of 30 countries, spending 5.2 hours a week with a book. Argentines, their neighbours, ranked 18th. More here: More at'"