Sunday, December 13, 2009

File converters

The Google docs version table has dotted lines dividing it and the bullet points are much simpler. Because the font is larger the layout is also different. I will need lots of practise with this before I am comfortable showing someone else

Specialist search engines

Blinkx is the best! It contains Youtube but also has other video sources. My search was for gentoo penguin (there is a great clip of a gentoo escaping from a pod of orca into an occupied inflatable boat) both sites featured this clip. Youtube had two versions of different lengths.
Blinkx had 'live' thumbnails and more hits matching my serch. Youtube produced clips of other penguin species and diverged into clips of other polar animals doing 'cute' stuff. Irrelevant! Both gave duration and indicated time elapsed. Blinkx showed the clips in reverse date order.

Magazines on Google book search would be good for students looking for contemporary secondary sources of an event or a person from years ago. (As long as they were american!) It is different from magazine indexes in that you choose the title first, not the topic. It is more historical, and the whole content of the magazine issue is displayed.

Google and other search engines

the wonder wheel of google would be good to refine a search and to generate new search terms. the timeline was intriguing but maybe should be used with care as interest in an event (and thus web activity) might bear little relation to when the event happened. Even limiting a search seams to bring up amany unwanted hits.
I used the search string "mile a minute" weed to compare the search engines. I belive that there may be several plants with this common name and was interested to find the proper botanical name for them. Bing produced the most hits 93,000. Bing and Google both anticipated my search and bought up alternative ending to the search string. Google and Yahoo produced 22,800 and 20,400 hits respectively and Exalead only 2,434. Google, Bing and Exalead produced Wikipedia as the first entry. All featured gov. and edu. sites and images early in the result page. They were all heavily U.S. based. Early entries informed me that Persicania perfoliata was once known as Polygonum perfoliatum, many of the entries on Exalead used only the old name indicating older sites. Only Yahoo gave me an alternative weed Mikania micantha which is troublesome on Pacific Islands. Based on this Yahoo is my prefered search engine, but I will probably still continue to use google as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

library twitters

I liked rodney libraries' twitter, a nice mix of reviews and notices of future events. They have links inc. video informal and written by 2 staff.

You can limit a search to exclude books that you've already read? Taken from your reading history... not your whole life.


NZ history online uses twitter to hook the viewer into images with a short intriging sentence.
Cookbook on twitter gives whole recipes! using understandable abbreviations, amazing!
Some of the other twitter's tweets are replies and without context are mystifying.

Open ID

Yes, I would use Vidoop as an open ID providor. I already have a plethora of passwords and PINs which I can generally remember. Any extra ones I need for signing into new websites I would do through Vidoop. P.S. I really like the whiteboard/cartoon video.

Monday, November 30, 2009

google alerts

I put on two alerts one for wolves and one for Northcross the wolves bought up mostly stuff about football teams both soccer and gridiron (I think) and about 1 article every 2nd day on the animals which is what I was thinking about. Northcross was entirely about Northcrosses elsewhere in the world so I have edited it to include 'north shore'. I now expect to get no alerts for it. I would recommend it to someone with a need to get current on-going info on a subject, that might be me one day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I used my Blogger account to get a RSS feed rather than open a Bloglines account. Bloglines is not friendly, required confirmation/verification but no hint of where or how.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Most library tweets were like bulletin boards, strictly informative and concise. King County (US) were a bit quirky, the events sounded attractive, pity they are so far away! They also included hints on getting the best from the catalogue. Through it I found the lovely

My tweet
you can choose to limit a search to books that you havn't already read! Log in 1st, then search, tick Limit to titles which aren't in my Reading History.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

creative commons

The creative commons icon for "get with it" is in the top left-hand corner of the page it said:
You are free to share, to remix
Under the following conditions: Attribution, Noncommercial
with the understanding that: Waiver, other rights

I found a lovely head and shoulders of a kokako by Matt Binns on Flickr. His creative commons statement is:
You are free to share, to remix
Under the following conditions: Attribution
with the understanding that: Waiver, other rights

Thursday, October 22, 2009

online privacy and security

What is more secure than your own mind? Yes there is the risk that you will forget one of the 27 password/username combos that you are supposed to remember but at least they aren't visable to anyone else. First they tell you not to tell anyone yopur passwords, then Keepass ask you to tell them all your passwords to keep secure. Who are they? Do they have my best interests at heart? How do they make a profit?

For Pharos I suggest short, easy to spell and remember passwords because the consequences of someone else accessing that account aren't so terrible, they might get $2 worth of printing. Other accounts need complex passwords, a different one for each. We each need to balance the need for hard-to-crack passwords with the ability to remember them!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

patron finds next book to read

After I had helped a patron to find a biography of the duchess of Shewsbury, I asked her how she chose new books to read. She said that she actively consulted book reviews in the Sunday papers. The biography that she was taking though she had seen while visiting an historic house in England, decided that it was too heavy to buy there (and carry around for the rest of her holiday), so remembered it's details and came in to borrow it from us when she returned home to the Shore.

My husband listens to National Radio and picks up on some of the reviews there, leaves me little notes with suggestions to borrow and or buy for NS libraries to buy. The spelling of the author's names can be a bit wrong but he usually gets enough title info to be able to find the book. We nearly always have the book in stock or ardered already.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce. - 2008

Liam is only twelve, but looks much older. Being a postitive and curious individual, he exploits this, taking a class-mate on father/daughter outings and having a great unsupervised time in theme parks. His real fascination is with space exploration and he cons a rather wacky space program to take him on as an trainee astronout. Brilliant descriptions of zero gravity effects and the fall-out of massive deceptions that come unstuck. All through reading this I thought, "Why wouldn't you!"