Tech Roundup

We’re back with a new “Tech Roundup!”

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.

Carnegie Mellon U. Students Use Fingerprint Scans, Not ID Cards, for Payment

Are student ID cards a thing of the past?  This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education describes students at Carnegie Mellon University developing a system which maintains fingerprints,  personal and financial  information so there is no need to carry a card of any kind. What kinds of privacy concerns might we need to address, and how could this play out in academic libraries? – Shannon

Thin Reads

Add yet another name to the growing list of digital content types, e-book single. If you’re looking for something a bit more in depth to read, but don’t have time to get through a whole book (A situation I find myself in frequently when taking a plane somewhere) then an e-book single could be just right. Making the search simpler, Thin Reads is a website which features and reviews the newest e-book singles! Check it out and find even more things to add to your to-read list. – Laksamee


Sometimes I wonder how many more “must have” devices I am going to acquire before I say enough is enough. Once I got my iPad I was extremely happy I could stop lugging my laptop around while at a conference. However, I still had my Kindle, iPhone, headphones, wallet, badge, keys, camera. The list goes on depending on the situation.  It’s also why I am envious of someone who’s been smart enough to invest in a ScotteVest product. Clothing designed to hold the technology of today, I desperately want the Woman’s Trench Coat. The reviews for this geeky product are very positive, and if you are someone who lugs around a little or a lot of technology (like many librarians are known to do!), sometimes it’s nice to be hands free with the perfect pocket to hold whatever needs tucking away. Check out the xray view on the product pages to get a glimpse of what can fit inside. Then put it on your gift list so someone else can pick up the tab. – Laksamee

Before its release, West Virginia may regulate Google Glass while driving

This recent article from Ars Technica describes pending legislation in West Virginia aimed at banning the use of Google Glass while driving. Essentially, legislators are concerned that current laws regulating other driving distractions (e.g., texting and driving) will not apply to potential distractions brought about by Google Glass. While this legislation does not directly impact our work in libraries, it is an interesting case to watch regarding how law makers are reacting to the development of new technologies. – Kim

Two Alternative Inputs Coming Soon: How Will You Use Them?

An interesting article from Jason Griffey over at ALA Tech Source about two gesture-based input techniques that may be coming to a computer near you. The first, Leap Motion, uses a camera connected to your computer to sense movement, which is then uses as an input for controlling the computer. The second, Myo armband, is a physical armband you wear on your forearm, which then uses the movement it senses in your arm to control your devices. Can you imagine users interacting with your library resources via this type of gesture-based computing? – Kim

Google Reader Alternatives

Of course, big news in the library community last month came when Google announced it will be closing its Reader as of July 1st. The Internet promptly responded with a multitude of options – here is a quick rundown of some articles about Google Reader alternatives. (Flipboard, a Google Reader alternative previously featured on Library Tech Talk also recently came out with some new features.)  How are you replacing Google Reader? – Kim

What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!


2 Responses

  1. […] Glass continues to be one of the most common topics for writers on the web. Last time, we shared an article about West Virginia’s attempt to regulate Google Glass. But how could […]

  2. […] out there for alternative RSS reader products (we provided some alternative for you back in April), and here is another article with alternatives and how to deal with the shutdown. Now that Google […]

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