Archive for November, 2004


Not So Fast?

Akin to file sharing? Please.
Telecoms lobby against public wireless networks


Salinas PL Closing?

Beleaguered Salinas plans to close its libraries and The Californian tries to draw attention to the issue. Meanwhile, ALA has a site that anti-tax voters should have checked out before turning down library funding initatives on recent ballots.
Sure, big cuts will be made, but some sort of reduced library service will remain. Meanwhile the politicians will hope that the “well at least we didn’t loose all of our library services” feeling sticks and prevents voters from being too upset. Of course, once a library closes, odds are its gone for good.
It has been my experience that, just like Minnesota (which you?ll remember lost its state library a short while back), California has some of the countries best librarians and libraries. Look at Info People for goodness sake! So why the massive cuts in this library system? Well, it?s not just Salinas (see above link to ALA funding site), though certainly their current debacle is especially troubling.
To keep this from happening more and more, libraries need to spearhead community building programs, quality training programs and voters need to educate themselves before they cut money to something that provides such improved quality of life. Surely Salinas is full of community oriented folks and has a decent quality of life, but when I see news like this that sure isn’t my initial thought.
DVDs of the Day: Pee Wee’s Playhouse, just out on DVD!


Go Bill!

You’ve gotta love it when the lead story on CNN is “Clinton Dedicates Presidential Library“.
Clinton Presidential Center
Links to all Presidential Libraries


Searching and Buying

Been wanting to post a list of links for the last couple of days and the A9 Search site was at the top. Then, interestingly enough while in the process of purchasing some M*A*S*H DVDs, Space Ghost DVDs and a new copy of a Technology Training book I get this message:
?Michael Porter, since you’ve been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping?). You don’t need to do anything to get this discount except keep using as your regular search engine.
We don’t advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they’ll find out. All they have to do is use as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.
While the π/2% discount is a good additional reason to use it isn’t the best reason. licenses its web search results from the industry leader Google, and then supplements those results with Amazon’s Search Inside the Book? results. The coolest feature is that keeps track of your search history for you on the server side. To see how this works, do some A9 searches from your computer at work and then sign in to from your computer at home.
How can we afford this additional π/2% discount?
Sponsored links revenue -from the small text-based ads on and search results pages -will help offset costs we incur through the Rewards promotion. With our automatic π/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.
Please use and tell your friends.
Thank you?

Interesting, eh? A novel motivation for some folks to use a specific search tool. A motivator to use the service maybe, but they had better do everything they can to make their services more practical and useful than the next (more established) guy. Google, Yahoo, Ask, etc have been going nuts with new things like this lately too. Gimmicks can actually be a great thing with a great product. For our benefit and yours, good luck with that A9.

Some other search articles I’ve been looking at this week.


10 X 10 = Cool

Is it just me or do many buzz words or phrases come across as simply trendy, annoying and/or confusing? Not ?Information Visualization?. Now there?s a hip phrase you library folks can really wrap your heads around.

Catch Information Visualization in action here with a novel way to see news on the web. Hot off the press! Click a pic and see links to more info on the picture?s story. Updated with new RSS feeds hourly then sorted and selected using some magical phrase and pixie sticks. No, wait, it?s not wizardry at all, it?s ?an elaborate process of weighted linguistic analysis on the text?. Definitely not a theatrical description, but the results are fairly dramatic. Be sure to notice and swipe over the numeric listing on the right side of the screen (cool!) and have fun all you visual learners!
Found the link here.

Song of the day: ?Kalamazoo? by Ben Folds