November 25, 2005
Is your OPAC taggytastic?
A while back I posted about tagging-enabled plugins for database tagging and thought, wouldn't it be great if we could implement something like this for use with our OPACs? We can always dream, right?
Posted by Sherri at 3:06 PM
November 21, 2005
Why does MSN look like this?
This is just too funny. If you're using a Mac, head on over to the MSN site and you'll encounter a curious little message that looks goes a little something like this:
In case you can't read that, the bottom line says:
No problem, Microsoft. Given that there haven't been any major updates since 2000, and that, for all intents and purposes, it has been 'discontinued' for Mac OS, we've kinda moved on to bigger and much better things anyway : ) But to see this message on your own pages, is, well, pretty hilarious.
Posted by Sherri at 2:40 PM
November 18, 2005
C|Net News: Taking Back the Web
I looooooove maps and all things navigational. So as you can probably imagine, I was tickled pink when when Google Maps made its way to the scene, or, more importantly, when the mashups started to appear. C|Net has posted a great series called Taking Back the Web that is all about the,*gasp*, dare I utter the phrase, '2.0' or 'social software' phenomenon that is sweeping the web. The series spans five days and topics: entertainment, wikis, tagging, maps, and youth.
Mike Pegg is the Canadian blogger who runs Google Maps Mania. He tracks map mashups, and I've found some jems there such as TTC subway map using Google Maps and Google Maps Beer Hunter (hey whaddya know! there's a Beer Store right across the street from my place!)
Definitely worth a read.
Posted by Sherri at 10:34 AM
November 16, 2005
I want my long tail
I can see that I'm going to have to start a new category called 'misc rants.' I've just read that Fox, in all of its infinite wisdom, has cancelled Arrested Development, one of the funniest (and one of my favourite) shows on the air. Yes, an Emmy Award-winning show is getting the axe in its third season after much critical acclaim due to poor ratings (i.e. not making enough money for FOX). Of course this is to be expected in an industry built upon pure profit and not necessarily what its viewers (at least some of them) want. Then to top it off, I discover that LUSH has cut the three products (1, 2, 3) that I buy regularly. Grrrrrrrrr . . .
Maybe this is one of the reasons why I love libraries so much: they facilitate access to the 'good stuff': things that don't necessarily rise to the top of popularity ratings which are fuelled by profit margins, majority rule and Oprah. I'm not being naive, and I realize that there are huge problems and pitfalls involved in the way that library collections are built. But there is definitely more of the tail to be discovered and enjoyed in libraries.
Posted by Sherri at 1:07 PM
New AJAX-driven slideshow application
It's great that there are options out there other than powerpoint. Maybe I'm being persnickety, but the "powerpoint=bad" and "everything else=good" line that's been circulating at conferences and via blogworld doesn't make sense to me, and is somewhat irritating. It's not the software that should be blamed (afterall, it's only a tool!), it's how you use it, right? S5 and AJAX-S can used just as badly as powerpoint. Kathy Sierra illustrates this point oh-so eloquently in her post Stop your presentation before it kills again!
Posted by Sherri at 10:39 AM
AIM launches IM Robots
This is interesting . . . when I logged in this morning, I was immediately (and perhaps prematurely) annoyed to find that 2 bots had been added to my contact list by AIM:
It seems that they've launched IM Robots today, which are "24/7 Buddies Always Online to Have Fun With You." I was sceptical (maybe it's the whole bots thing?) but tried the shopping one. After an initial message is sent to the robot (any character will suffice), it brings back a welcome screen:
After typing the 'menu' command I get the following:
After selecting a few more options and selecting holiday favourites, I end up with:
You get the idea . . . It's kinda like the telemenu voice prompting system that you hear when you call your cable or telephone company. This could be a really cool self-serve information service for libraries, if we could make our own bots, that is. The 24/7 model for online or virtual reference service is not feasible for many (most?) libraries. Something like an IM librarybot could supplement and help fill the gap when we're either offline or the person doesn't need to actually chat with us for quick access to information like hours, etc. Oh, and not to mention the benefits for mobile users.
Posted by Sherri at 9:21 AM
November 9, 2005
University of Michigan Library launches pilot IM service
Posted by Sherri at 11:51 PM
November 5, 2005
What pre-1985 video character are you?
I was in fact an avid Pac-man player back in the day, and had a super cool (at least I thought so) mini Ms. Pac-man midway. Space Invaders (Atari) and Bruce Lee (Commodore 64) were my other favourites. Thank goodness for emulators! Now I can play classic games on our Xbox.
Posted by Sherri at 9:21 PM
November 4, 2005
Google Print :: recipe jackpot!
So Google Print has gone prime time after some down time. I remain relatively unaffected by the news, as I've never had a real affinity for reading online (and live in a city with a wonderful public library system where I can get the real deal), nor would I rely on Google Print as my first 'resource discovery' tool. However, I've always found GP to be a recipe goldmine. Given that many if not most recipes fit on one printed page, you can usually get what you need.
After logging in:
Et violà! I have a recipe for vegan gravy!
Posted by Sherri at 1:20 PM
Are Mac users smarter?
Could it be true? According to C|Net's story which reports on some findings from Nielsen/NetRatings circa 2002, it just might be:
"Those who surf the Web using a Mac tend to be better educated and make more money than their PC-using counterparts . . . The study also said Mac users tend to be more Web savvy, with more than half having been online for at least five years. And the Mac faithful are 58 percent more likely than the overall online population to build their own Web page and also slightly more likely to buy goods online, according to the report."
I'm a pretty
smug ardent mac user myself (oh boy, it's Friday and I'm feelin' feisty!) and this is music to my ears. Though, there is a pretty huge (comparatively speaking) number of Mac users here at FIS, and I've noticed *a lot* of students walking around with new iBooks (wireless availability is abound on the University of Toronto campus). I think the campus bookstore did some heavy sales at the beginning of the semester with the free iPod offer, and I can tell that a lot of these folks are new or recent converts: they tend to double-click a lot : )
Pictured at right is my modified iBook.
Posted by Sherri at 10:28 AM
November 1, 2005
Librarians make the best . . . subject trees!
"I attached word-bearing leaves (written on index cards -what else- and stapled to green felt shapes) to myself, draped my limbs in ivy, and safety-pinned a bird's nest to one shoulder. Presto!"
I wasn't at work yesterday to participate in the festivities, but Nalini's getup beats the pants off my 'cross-border dresser' costume idea from last year!
Posted by Sherri at 7:49 PM