Oh the shame, and a new toy
I am writing this using my new(ish) toy: the Performancing extension to Mozilla Firefox. It allows me to blog from any screen in my browser, and to any of my 6 blogs. I'm hooked.
In 1624, Sir Henry Wotton, citing the Roman architect Vitruvius, maintained that fine architecture exhibited "Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight." Information professionals must heed Vitruvius; build solutions that are useful, lasting and elegant.
The New York Times reports on a new survey by Jupiter Research that reveals that Internet users are more likely to cut back on their book reading than on their magazine reading. Even though magazines are more like online content, they seem to persist. Jupiter analyst David Card points out a substitution, not a channel shift effect. See article here.
For the last month, I've been drawn into the vortex that is LibraryThing. I feel compelled by the collector's need for completeness to enter all my book holdings into this devilishly accommodating application; to make sure that all entries have LC classification numbers; to electronically march through my shelves like Sherman to the sea (hey, isn't there a new Doctorow book on that? I'll have to pick it up...).
Last Wednesday, I was watching David M. Levy's presentation on DVD entitled "The Experience of Reading," a part of the Library of Congress series "The Digital Future." Levy's presentation was both thought provoking and invigorating.
Finnish scientist Dr. Hannu Kari of Helsinki University of Technology recently reiterated his prediction that the Internet would collapse by 2006. The collapse will be precipitated by increased incidences of viruses, spam, trojan horse and security breaches. The professor warns that the only effective prophylactic to these cyber-diseases is increased individual and collective vigilance and exposing of nefarious plots.
Duke University Press's recent decision to withdraw several of its journals from Project Muse raises several questions of the viability of individual publications, and of group efforts like Project Muse. From Duke's perspective, it would seem that they think they can generate more revenue outside of Project Muse than by staying within it. Of course, they will have to market their journals (individually or collectively), as well as arrange for indexing, delivery, archiving and the like. These are difficulties, but not insurmountable ones. The real question is, in the era of the "big deal," will Duke's offerings, no matter how high their quality, be viable to academic subscribers? Will it be a choice between Duke and Project Muse, given that funds are limited? If so, which one wins?
More information is emerging about Google Print, Google's "inside the book" endeavor. Google has announced that Google Print is a book marketing tool; it has no intention of linking to library holdings. [Wart] On the other hand, Library Journal and School Library Journal are publications available through Google Print [Beauty]. Check out more forensic information on Google Print at: "The Rundown on Google Print" [via librarian.net]
In a 13 page white paper entitled "Online Research Browsers", Marcus P. Zillman, Executive Director - Virtural Private Library(tm), examines a number of research oriented browsers that help the user visualize relationships between related sites. In addition to descriptions of and links to various browsers, Zillman lists about 3 pages of links to Virtual Private Library(tm)'s Subject Tracer(tm) Information Blogs, topic-specific collection points available for RSS syndication.
A refreshing view on intellectual curiosity:
"Moving between fields is the way to be creative. Keep your fingers in a lot of pies. I do it because I'm curious. I'm the only person I know who goes into a poster session [at a scientific meeting] and stops at the first poster I have no idea what it's about. Find a poster you don't know anything about and look at it for a long time, and you might learn something totally different." -- Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist Kary Mullis (from Creators on Creating.)
Many people face the constraints of their email systems when trying to send or receive large files. YouSendIt allows the sender to upload megafiles (up to 1 GB), with the service sending only a link to the intended recipient. After 7 days, the service deletes the file. The result? No email file size restrictions. Best of all, it's free. [via Robin Good]