Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Wednesday, 25 July 2007

v. cool/useful stuff
Seems like there's an awful lot of new cool stuff to try out , is it the summertime?- Pat told me about Quintura, a very interesting search engine. You type in your query and it displays a visual map/cloud of words or hints that are related to your query in different contexts; you find the context you want and go from there.- Then I got the regular Steve Bass/ PC World email with a very thumbs-up review of Jing, a new video screencapture tool. "It's smart and free and a kick to use." said the review, and I have to agree. Easy too. Jing is a by TechSmith, the same people who sell SnagIt and Camtasia, the fancy/expensive screen and video capturing tools.- Finally, PC reported on a free PDF viewer called PDF-Xchange Viewer that lets you type on and mark up (stamp, draw on, highlight, attach sticky notes...) pdf files. Once you mark up a pdf file, you can save both the "clean" copy and the marked up copy. Here's the first thing I tried it on - the law school Fall course catalog.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 14:34 0 Questions or comments?
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What was the first law blog?
There's an ongoing discussion on the blog about who was the first legal blogger. The author points out the Sabrina Pacifici created a webpage with regularly updated legal content before the term "blog" was coined.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 11:29 0 Questions or comments?
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XReferplus name changed to Credo Reference
FYI: News from the ULS that the database Xreferplus is now listed under "C" for Credo Reference in the databases A-Z list. If you haven't used it, it's a collection of reference books including a handful of law reference books, namely:Collins Dictionary of Law Dictionary of Conflict Resolution, Wiley Dictionary of Law, Peter Collin Publishing Encyclopedia of the European Union EurojargonGreat American Court Cases, Gale Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of LawWorld of Criminal Justice, Gale
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 11:14 0 Questions or comments?
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library and information science
Inside Higher Ed. reporter Scott Jaschik has podcast (it's an mp3 file) an interview with Loriene Roy, the new president of the ALA. In the 15 minute interview she talks about library schools, information science, and how academic programs have been evolving as information grows and changes. It's a very good interview, she does an excellent job of explaining what librarians and libraries do, and why we're important.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 06:55 0 Questions or comments?
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Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Seeqpod finds "playable" files on the web
Seeqpod is a new media (music, videos & podcasts) search and recommendation website that indexes uploaded media files from around the web and lets you instantly play what you find when you search. It builds its index by crawling media-related sites, blogs, social networks –anywhere that "playable" files might be found. The technology used by Seeqpod was built in the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Labs.But is it legal? According to Seeqpod, "Like most other search engines or social networks with content, SeeqPod does not stream or allow downloading of media. SeeqPod does not host media. SeeqPod indexes and links to submitted media its vertically targeted crawling system finds in the deepest quandrants of the internet. SeeqPod operates like a search engine technology company and social network combined. SeeqPod adheres to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). "Katie has been using Seeqpod and highly recommends it.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 08:43 0 Questions or comments?
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website: environment and health at the US-Mexican border
The EPA has announced a new website to provide the public with current environmental news and information on the U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 program. This is a bi-national 10-year initiative focused on making measurable improvements in environmental quality and health along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 08:19 0 Questions or comments?
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DOT and inconvenienced air travelers
The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) this morning that, for the first time in almost 30 years, the Dept. of Transportation is considering raising the amount of money airlines must pay to passengers who are bumped from flights. One possibility would fully account for inflation since 1978 and more than triple the penalties to a maximum cap of $624 from $200 and $1,248 from $400 - the amount depends upon how long you have to wait to get to your destination.They are taking comments from the public. You can read the document here , which contains an abstract: "Petition of the Air Transport Association of America, Inc. for Rulemaking, requesting the Department of Transportation to expeditiously initiate two consumer-related rulemaking proceedings, the first would reexamine the maximum level of involuntary denied boarding compensation that Part 250 of the Department's Economic Regulations establishes and the second would reexamine the method by which mishandled baggage data are collected under Part 234 for the Department's airline service quality performance reports."Submit your comments here before Sept. 10, 2007.
Posted by Barco Reference Librarian at 07:46 0 Questions or comments?
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Harry Reid: Nevermind
Yesterday Senator Harry Reid (D NV) withdrew his aforeblogged amendment S. Amend. 2328 to the Higher Education Act (S. 1642). But it's not over yet - Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) had agreed to incorporate a modified version of Reid’s amendment into S.AMDT.2381 on which Kennedy, the bill’s sponsor, will have the full Senate vote this morning. Rumor has it that the technology requirement will be removed but the increased reporting

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Governmentand technology

Two stories about government workers and technology caught my eye this morning:1. Apparently the use of hand-held portable scanners is becoming popular with government workers, especially those who do some sort of field work and can now carry scanners with them rather than having to take papers back to the office to photocopy. This has also had the salutary effect of forcing scanner manufacturers to make the scanners more user-friendly for the average layperson. 2. Web 2.0 has got all sorts of people blogging, including plenty of "public servants", and there are some cautionary suggestions on how not to get "George Allen-ed."

Textbook costs

The Chronicle of Higher Ed. has a story about a briefing that was held yesterday on Capitol Hill. Publishers were there to defend the cost of college textbooks, and Congressional staffers (many recent college graduates) questioned them about how expensive textbooks have become. No mention of law school textbooks in the article, but surely they aren't any less expensive than college textbooks.