Kindle Fire

November 22, 2011

Kindle Fire has hit the streets; for 200 bucks, will it put a dent in Apple’s bottom line? Perhaps it competes with the Nook?

Regardless, good for consumers to have more choices going into the Holidays…


Digital Fingerprints: everywhere you don’t want them to be

December 2, 2010

Everyone knows, or at least should know, that our actions online are tracked. Online privacy is a myth. An old story, right?

Not so much. “Device fingerprinting” is the “next generation of online advertising.”

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal published an article about a company called BlueCava Inc., which to quote the Journal, “is building a credit bureau for devices” in which every computer or cellphone will have a reputation based on its user’s online behavior, shopping habits and demographics.” The owner of BlueCava plans to “sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people’s interests and activities.”

Jump to this useful summary put out by International Business Times.


A must-read blog

October 7, 2010

Ok, I’m biased. Katie Nolan has just joined Plymouth Rocket, Inc. as a Product Specialist. When not working at her library or with us, she works on this very cool blog. If you like books, reading, and lists, its a must read.

Libraries are busy, busy

August 31, 2010

When jobs go away, Americans turn to their libraries to find information about future employment or educational opportunities. This library usage trend and others are detailed in the 2010 State of America’s Libraries report, released today by the American Library Association. The report shows that Americans have turned to their libraries in larger numbers in recent years.

Since the recession took hold in December 2007, the local library, a traditional source of free access to books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, has become a lifeline, offering technology training and workshops on topics that ranged from résumé-writing to job-interview skills.

The report shows the value of libraries in helping Americans combat the recession. It includes data from a January 2010 Harris Interactive poll that provides compelling evidence that a decade-long trend of increasing library use is continuing—and even accelerating during economic hard times. This national survey indicates that some 219 million Americans feel the public library improves the quality of life in their community. More than 223 million Americans feel that because it provides free access to materials and resources, the public library plays an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed.

Read the ALA Summary press release here.

iTunes U stats are remarkable

August 26, 2010

You can find this piece in its entirety at Paul Thurrot’s SuperSite for Windows.

In just over three years, iTunes U downloads have topped 300 million and it has become one of the world’s most popular online educational catalogs. Over 800 universities throughout the world have active iTunes U sites, and nearly half of these institutions distribute their content publicly on the iTunes Store. New content has just been added from universities in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and Singapore, and iTunes users now have access to over 350,000 audio and video files from educational institutions around the globe.

“iTunes U makes it easy for people to discover and learn with content from many of the world’s top institutions,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “With such a wide selection of educational material, we’re providing iTunes users with an incredible way to learn on their computer, iPhone, iPod or iPad.”

Created in collaboration with colleges and universities, iTunes U makes it easy to extend learning, explore interests or learn more about a school. A dedicated area within the iTunes Store, iTunes U offers users public access to content from world class institutions such as Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal. iTunes U gives anyone the chance to experience university courses, lab demonstrations, sports highlights, campus tours and special lectures. All iTunes U content is free and can be enjoyed on a Mac or PC, or wirelessly downloaded directly onto an iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

It’s very slick. Recently checked out several Civil War programs produced by PBS/Virginia, and they were just great. For free.

Tour the Library of Congress at home

August 6, 2010

The App Store at iTunes has a new Library of Congress Tour for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A nice app that makes you want to hop on a plane and see the real thing. From the iTunes description:

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library and the largest body of knowledge under a single roof. Whether you’re onsite, at home, in a classroom or elsewhere, this app will give you a virtual tour that mirrors the Library of Congress Experience, an award-winning group of exhibitions and features that has drawn record numbers of visitors.

Librarians take on the iPad

July 24, 2010

Since its much-hyped introduction a few months ago, Apple has sold just over 3 million of the touch screen devices, with several more countries seeing them for the first time just today. Rumors abound regarding the form factor/pricing/features of the waiting-in-the wings competition. The game’s afoot!

Meanwhile, what do librarians think of the usefulness of said device? Check here for a few thoughts from some clever librarians.

My rule of thumb concerning Apple products is to hold off until the second generation: more features and refinements, fewer issues, more 3rd party software choices, and lower cost. But these things are tempting, very tempting. We’ll see.