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Showing posts from November, 2013

Link Smorgasbord, November 18 - 24

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes
Gorgeous and intricate Star Wars themed snow flakes.  I'm trying to convince the youth services librarians that they would make for a great craft.

24 Tickets Every IT Person Is Sick Of Getting
ALL OF THIS.  Much giggling was inspired by this collection, perhaps it leans towards hyperbole and snark, but it is also pretty spot on.

"Douglas County Model" gives libraries new e-book leverage
I've mentioned the Douglas County ebook platform/model before, as well as Jamie LaRue.  This article gives a pretty good idea of what libraries are looking into on their own since we cannot get what we were looking for from publishers, and how what we are looking to do is expanding because we had to strike out on our own.

The Absence Of Serendipity, Or, Why I Hate Shopping At Amazon
The concepts here go beyond just shopping at Amazon.  This is why I turn off as much personalization as I possibly can on just about any service I use.  I don't want just the new…

Shoes, a Simile for Employment

A new job is a lot like a new pair of shoes.

It may be worth noting right now that I abhor shoe shopping and have difficulty finding shoes that fit well.  This may color how I view the process.

It doesn't matter how careful you are, the shoes never fit quite like they did in the store once you've purchased them and brought them home.  You have to wear them around, get used to how they feel.  Discover how they pinch or rub, let the leather stretch and mold.  Sometimes they are almost immediately a disaster, and if you have my luck, you end up never wanting to go to a business again after the owner accuses you of cutting in front of other customers and screaming when all you did was wait off to the side until they walked over to give you a chance to talk quietly to see if the shoes could be returned (but I digress).  Other times you have to decided if the pinches and rubs are bearable until the shoe breaks in and hope that fixes the problem, or if you need to get a different pai…

Link Smorgasbord, November 11 - 17

Why “Magic: The Gathering” Matters
On how Magic: The Gathering (and by extension other games) is more than an amusing diversion for the socially maladjusted.  Rather, MtG helps develop critical thinking, imagination, vocabulary, social skills, and more.

Amazon e-book offer riles independent bookshop owners
So what seemed to be a prank to many booksellers when initially contacted turns out to be an actual program by Amazon.  Amazon is trying to reach out to independent booksellers asking them to sell Kindles, similar to the partnerships between some indie bookshops and Kobo.  Booksellers seem generally less than amused by the program so far.

Google Books ruling is a huge victory for online innovation 
I'm torn between utter shock that this was ruled in favor of the scanning project, and not surprise since we know how much money Google has to throw at the project.  Check out the summary judgement for full details.

Some more on the ruling from other bloggers:
A win for Google? Yes. A w…

[Book Review] The Other Boleyn Girl

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The Other Boleyn Girl / Phillipa Gregory

"Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king.

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the king's interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart." THANK GOD THIS BOOK IS DONE.

I read this for a book club pick. I would not have likel…

Statewide eBook Pilot

Late August of last year I received a rather exciting email:
Congratulations!  You have been identified by your librarian peers as having what it takes to be one of our five “Alphas,”  for our upcoming statewide e-book project trial. The MBLC sponsored, Resource Sharing Committee is excited about this undertaking.  The scope of the project is listed below:

SCOPE:

The goal of the Massachusetts e-books. proof of concept is to identify, implement, and test a solution for providing e-book borrowing to users throughout the Commonwealth via a single user-friendly discovery platform offering a broad selection of titles.  This solution will also have the goal of connecting users directly with authors, booksellers, and publishers.  The results of the proof of concept will be evaluated to determine its feasibility as a long-term statewide solution.

The first phase of the proof of concept will include fifty libraries of various types and sizes – twenty-five public, ten academic, ten s…

Link Smorgasbord, November 4 - 10

A Manifesto for the Truth
It should be obvious by now that I'm for privacy.

We’re About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It
FFS.  I know these efforts are anything but new, but I also have a huge problem understanding how anyone but ISPs think this is a good idea.

An exclusive interview with Bill Gates
I've got some respect for this man.  "Bill Gates describes himself as a technocrat. But he does not believe that technology will save the world. Or, to be more precise, he does not believe it can solve a tangle of entrenched and interrelated problems that afflict humanity's most vulnerable: the spread of diseases in the developing world and the poverty, lack of opportunity and despair they engender. "I certainly love the IT thing," he says. "But when we want to improve lives, you've got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition.""

Battle of Orland Park library’s Internet porn policy heats …

[Book Review] Vintage Beer

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Vintage Beer : A Taster's Guide to Brews that Improve over Time / Patrick Dawson
A great book for lovers of quality beer and its complexities.  The book also provided some very good and easily digestible information on evaluating and defining beer flavors and composition.
As someone who brews and who enjoys craft beer I found this book interesting.  It does change how I think about some things.  I never thought to deeply about aging beer or its freshness.  Generally 'aged' beers are marked as a feature of specialty craft beers, regardless of if they actually taste good.  Cheap beer I'm generally not buying for it's taste.  Now I understand a bit more why sometimes 'aged' is not always better.  This is a nice addition to my knowledge base.

[Book Review] Deep in Crimson

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Deep in Crimson / Sarah Gilman
Book two inthe Sanctuary series.  I still think some of the base components of the seeing are cool, and the first book was cute in a simple romance novel way.
This book had a bit to much of tortured past and anguished true love.  I'm not big on that.  I feel like these were used as crutches in place of actually developing plot our characters.  That being said, this is often a failing in romance novels, and the author refrained from using utterly ridiculous descriptors.  So on that basis the novel is an enjoyable action romance, it just wasn't for me.

[Book Review] Oryx and Crake

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Oryx and Crake / Margaret Atwood



I was asked while mid novel to describe what this book is about.  Now that I'm finished there still isn't really a good way to describe this book.

Atwood doesn't write simple novels. If this was a simple novel I would say it is about the folly and greed of man bringing about humankind's downfall.  Or maybe I would say it was about the fallout of a zealot's hubris.  Oryx and Crake could be a love story, could be about an I am Legend struggle to retain humanity, a debate over what makes us human, an environmentalist metaphor, all of these in one, or something else altogether.

Our narrator, Snowman/Jimmy, is not particularly special or even likeable.  Born into the corporate cultivated intellectual middle class, raised amid genetic tinkering and tampering, he largely meanders along through life with little actual effort or achievement.  Jimmy's biggest distinguishing feature is his friendship with Oryx, possibly the only person w…

Link Smorgasbord, October 28 - November 3

UVU professor plans first deaf culture digital library
Awesome project, I really hope it prospers.

Goodbye Sticky. Hello Ara.
This is pretty awesome.  I already was into Phonebloks, and it looks like Motorola (*cough*Google*cough*) is teaming up with Phonebloks to make this happen on a large scale.  I'm very intrigued.

Apple Blocks Lawrence Lessig's Comment On iOS 7 Wi-Fi Glitch
The story is more than just Lawrence Lessig vs. Apple, it just happens to focus on Lessig.

Announcing the Web Literacy Standard (specification)
Mozilla has this great resource, webmaker.org, which has tools for teaching, learning, and general web development skills.  They've gone a little bit further and started developing outlined skills sets that are key to web literacy:

"The Web Literacy Standard is a map of competencies and skills that Mozilla and our community of stakeholders believe are important to pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web.&q…