Technology

For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity

Lynne O’Brien, director of academic technology and instructional services at Duke University, said the “rapid uptake” of MOOCs had taken many people by surprise. As she put it, “These courses don’t seem to fit anything of the model that we have for how to do online education well.” She’s been hearing from instructors that “the process of preparing courses for this environment made them rethink” how they teach their on-campus courses. “Faculty have said it’s a huge amount of work but that it’s also a wonderful opportunity,” she said.

Massive Fiber-Optic Installation Lights Up Library Queries

Getting a glimpse into the curious minds of others has never been so beautiful – or so bright.

Designers Brian W. Brush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York created an extensive fiber-optic installation for the Teton County Library grand opening in Wyoming that visualizes library searches in flashes of colored light. Dubbed Filament Mind, the installation, which opened at the end of January, uses over five miles of fiber-optic cables and 44 LED illuminators to collect, categorize, and render searches from libraries all across the state of Wyoming into glowing bursts of color.

See and read more from Wired.

From Wikipedia to our libraries

"Looked at the right way, Wikipedia can be a big help in making online readers aware of their library’s offerings. One of the things we spend a lot of time on in libraries is organizing information into distinct, conceptual categories. That’s what Wikipedia does too: so far, their English edition has over 4 million concepts identified, described, and often populated with reference links. And Wikipedia has encouraged people to add links to relevant digital library collections on various topics, through programs like Wikipedia Loves Libraries and Wikipedian in Residence programs. But while these programs help bring some library resources online, and direct people to those selected resources, there’s still a lot of other relevant library material that users can’t get to via Wikipedia, but can via the libraries that are near them."

Librarian Of Congress Shoots Back At White House Over Phone Unlocking: We're Just Doing Our Job

Following the White House officially coming out and saying that mobile phone unlocking should be legal, the Librarian of Congress has issued what feels like a passive aggressive response, basically saying that their job is not to consider the public policy, but just to follow the specific rules under the DMCA.

How to Delete Accounts from Any Website

Deleting accounts you've created on Facebook, MySpace, AOL, and elsewhere on the Web isn't always easy. Here are the details on leaving 23 services behind.

What was the first novel ever written on a word processor?

Would best-selling novelist Len Deighton care to take a walk? It was 1968, and the IBM technician who serviced Deighton’s typewriters had just heard from Deighton’s personal assistant, Ms. Ellenor Handley, that she had been retyping chapter drafts for his book in progress dozens of times over. IBM had a machine that could help, the technician mentioned. They were being used in the new ultramodern Shell Centre on the south bank of the Thames, not far from his Merrick Square home.

The Trouble With Finding Books Online - And A Few Solutions

With the glut of self-published books on the market, the biggest obstacle for authors is discoverability – to rise above the noise and clutter and distinguish one’s work. A Rotten Tomatoes sort of rating system seems inevitable.

What the Library of Congress Plans to Do With All Your Tweets

While you can’t yet make a trip to Washington D.C. and have casual perusal of all the world’s tweets, the technology to do exactly that is readily available—for a cost. Gnip, the organization feeding the tweets to the Library, is a social media data company that has exclusive access to the Twitter “firehose,” the never-ending, comprehensive stream of all of our tweets. Companies such as IBM pay for Gnip’s services, which also include access to posts from other social networks like Facebook and Tumblr. The company also works with academics and public policy experts, the type of people likely to make use of a free, government-sponsored Twitter archive when it comes to fruition.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2013/02/25/what-the-library-of-congress-plans-to-do-with-all-your-t...

In India, phone-based information service targets rural consumers

Rural Indian consumers need only dial 58080 from their mobile phone to be connected with Apna Chaupal. From there they can browse various subscription packs focusing on categories including agriculture, health, education, employment, entertainment and religion. The service is available in all local languages, with highlights including Mandi crop rates, love advice, astrology, English lessons, visa information, music and more. Subscription pricing begins at INR 10 for 10 days. It is also possible to request expert advice for solutions to specific problems.

Smartphones and books are now inseparable

About nine months ago, the founders of Readmill noticed a trend was crystallizing. The makers of the popular book-reading iPad app kept receiving requests for an iPhone version. It was the most common request among Readmill users, and it just kept reappearing. Demand never slowed down; it only increased.
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So while the practice of reading is breaking out of its traditional confines – first bounded pages, then Kindles and Nooks, and now even away from tablets – its economics will, at least for now, continue to very much be dominated by the Internet-era’s traditional overlords. Sadly, even the snazziest iPhone app in the world isn’t going to change that.

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