Tuesday, March 29, 2011

E-readers -- Yes, but do questions remain?

On some topics I claim some expertise and on others just interest. I have not delved into the Nook, Kindle, iPad e-reader technologies, nor have I monitored popularity trends toward these technologies. It is as an uniformed outsider that I pose the question, "What happens if the technology you buy into does not survive?"

Does anybody remember the VHS / Beta wars? VHS was declared the winner but few of them still survive today. How about the game system wars? Which did you choose: Atari, Sega, or Nintendo? How is that holding up today?

If content and format are unique to the device and the device is replaced, what do you have? I only offer questions on this topic but am intrigued by this video about technologies I have never heard of before: Nelson, Coupland and Alice. They sound like people's names but they appear to offer another alternative to traditional e-readers.

I do not doubt for a moment that the future is in digital formats. I am fairly confident that after the Christmas rush this year a large percentage of human readers in our country will own some form of digital reader. Scanning library forums, it is apparent that many libraries are buying into current technologies. I am not questioning this direction, but the path.

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?
Perhaps my questions are the irrelevant ramblings of the ignorant and if I better understood the technology they would not pass my lips. I wish this were so and beg any who read this post to correct me if my thought process is wrong. I also welcome comments of agreement and clarification if I am correct.

I promise to pay more attention and to pursue this technology in the near future. I look forward to the experience of reading my first digital book on a reader. For today though, I ask, please educate me.

Fact is stranger than fiction

Orwell's 1984 was considered science fiction in it's time. People laughed at Wilbur and Orville Wright and Glenn Curtiss until they proved flight was possible. Any of us born before 1970 knows at least someone who or whose parents thought computers were a gimmick or fad that would wane in time. And yet, look at where we are today . . .

Is it ridiculous to think that this video from Corning Glass is a realistic view into the future? (I honestly don't think so.) Whether you believe technology will seep into every aspect of our lives or not, this video proves it is possible in ways most of us could not even imagine. Even The Jetsons didn't have these technologies that are possible today!

This is must watch video for anyone responsible for teaching today's youth. It sheds new light on the phrase, "preparing students for jobs that haven't even been invented yet."

If anyone is shopping for my birthday, the technologies in this video would be a great place to start . . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Copyright is more than a concept

Reading from the Travelin' Librarian's Blog, came across a post reiterating our trite disclaimer about using copyrighted material but with an added twist. He quoted, as I also do below, from an Associated Press article posted on the KTVN Channel 2 Website:
Associated Press - February 15, 2011 7:05 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - A law firm that targets the unauthorized use of news content on the Internet has filed 32 lawsuits in federal court in Colorado seeking to stop the use of a Denver Post photograph showing an airport pat-down. . . .

Righthaven has been criticized by some for suing first, rather than asking bloggers or operators of websites to remove copyrighted content. . . . CEO Steve Gibson defended the strategy Tuesday, saying many people wrongfully assume that if something is posted on the Internet, it's in the public domain and can be used for free. . . .

In a notice to readers published Nov. 14, the Post said it would use all legal remedies to address copyright infringement. . . .

1 [sic] of those sued by Righthaven is Brian Hill, 20, of Mayodan, N.C. Hill said he found the Post picture on Google Images and posted it on his news and politics website, not knowing it was copyrighted.

Hill said an attorney from Righthaven called him Feb. 10 and said he could be liable for up to $150,000 in damages . . . . [apparently a settlement offer for $6000 is a possibility]

This, my friends, is why I try to teach our students about copyright law when we create multimedia content. Perhaps, as students they will not become the target of a lawsuit like the one described above but how many of our students might build their own businesses or work in small companies where they find themselves as Webmasters, public relations or news providers, marketing agents or social media liasons.

In education, with liberal interpretations of fair use, we feel protected but as we send our students out into a digital world, unless or until our national copyright laws are re-written, they will be held accountable by firms like Righthaven. Could you afford to pay $6000 (settlement offer) for every copyrighted image you ever used without permission? (I am sure I could not but do my best to use Creative Commons images and give credit whenever possible.)

Travelin' Librarian also identified an image search engine I had not seen before. Compfight searches Flickr and with one click on the primary search page, can limit search to Creative Commons images. In a couple quick tests, I did find images through Compfight that Google did not provide and so will definitely add it to my toolbox, but using Google's "advanced image search" and choosing "labeled for re-use" still seems to provide a broader selection of images.

NOTE: Remind students that searching creative commons does NOT assure that images are available without limitation. A copyrighted photo saved by another user to a Creative Commons license is still copyrighted. Multiple wrongs do not make a right.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Google in the kitchen

Sunday afternoon, sitting at home and looking for recipes and what did I find? Google has made it easier than ever before to find exactly the recipe you are looking for. Search recipes by ingredients, cooking time & calories.

Not only did this help me find exactly the recipe I was looking for more quickly than I ever could have on any of the recipe database sites, but now I have a new tool to share with our cooking classes. Bon appetite . . .

Check out the Google Blog introduction to this new tool "Slice and dice your recipe search results," posted on February 24."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The Last Text"

Just for a moment, on my soapbox . . .

Not sure where this fits into the library curriculum but as a parent, uncle, teacher, friend, driver, human being, and as a citizen of the world with a voice and a platform, I cannot keep this to myself.

From the AT&T page where this video originally appeared:

Watch AT&T's new 10-minute documentary titled "The Last Text," featuring stories of real individuals whose lives have been adversely affected by texting behind the wheel.

AT&T created this documentary as part of its "It Can Wait" campaign because we want consumers be safe while using our technology. We are grateful and humbled by the bravery of the people who agreed to be on camera for the documentary. We would have no story to tell without them.

Learning you can see!

Check out this great new tool! Create a video trip across a map complete with music and captions in minutes on TripLine.

In conjunction with our focus on Black History Month, check out this demo of King's march from Selma to Montgomery. Click "Full Screen" for best effect and press the play icon to start video. Click on the caption summary boxes to pause video and read an elongated caption.

It literally only takes minutes to create a project like this! Available tools allow you to select points through search or by dropping directly on map. Text and pictures are easily added as captions. Uploaded pics can create trip automatically using time stamp and geotags! A diverse selection of music is available on the site and adding is as simple as a click!

Great tool with potential uses in any subject from mapping civilizations to wars to political campaign trips. Highlight a biography, an event, a mission or even a period in history; Where were the hotbeds and turning points of the Industrial Revolution? Maps can be made with connecting lines or without for projects like this.

Would love to see a map of Homer's travels, the Iditarod sled race, and my next vacation (or my last). Maps can be made public or private with a simple click.

Registering to create your own maps on TripLine is is simple and easy but many maps are available for viewing without registering or logging in. I give this site an A++ rating!!