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.


Loon: Balloon-powered Internet Access

Google is infamous for producing silly April Fool’s jokes. Treasure map mode for Google Maps and Google Nose were two of my favorites. However, Google has recently announced a project that sounds silly, but can be taken seriously. Internet access is something most of the world does not have. In order to address this Google has been researching creating a network of stratosphere level balloons which could provide affordable internet access on a global scale.  I guess this isn’t much different than launching satellites, there is just something inherently amusing about imagining hundreds of balloons providing digital access to the world. In my head I picture Pixar’s Wall-E floating Winnie the Pooh style, beaming happiness to us below. – Laksamee

Google Glass apps for enterprises coming by early 2014

As development of Google Glass technology and apps continues, there could be many uses for this in libraries.  Perhaps we could create an application that would direct patrons to the location of their book in the stacks?  – Matt M.

Pixel of Ink

Daily bargain and free books are offered on Kindle. However free does not always mean high quality. Pixel of Ink post about the bargain kindle books which it claims are worth your download time. If you are a voracious reader, or know someone who is, be sure to recommend Pixel of Ink! – Laksamee

“Facebook Finally Gets Hashtag Support”

In case you missed it, Facebook is rolling out hashtag support to its users. Though hashtags have been a mainstay in the Twitterverse and other sites for several years, Facebook users can now use hashtags, which will be both clickable and searchable.  This could be useful for individuals or institutions (including libraries) who are currently linking posts from several different social media sites, as Facebook will also recognize hashtags from other services (e.g., Twitter and Instagram). And as always, Facebook’s constant changes are popular subjects of debate;  hashtag support is no exception. – Kim

Instagram Video

Instagram has also been busy making changes, as just yesterday they unrolled Video on Instagram. Users can now record 3-15 seconds of video and apply any of thirteen different filters to their masterpiece. Of course, my initial reaction was “Wait, isn’t that what Vine (or any other short video app) is for?” Apparently I’m not the only one, with CNET and the Washington Post amongs those to respond with comparisons between apps. Could their be Video on Instagram library contests in our future? – 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!

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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.


ImpactStory

I found this website while reading an article in The Chronicle about Altmetrics and thought I’d check it out. ImpactStory allows researchers to aggregate their scholarly activity (including traditional publications, presentations, and projects) from a variety of sources and measure the impact that their scholarly output has had using altmetrics like “number of times bookmarked on CiteULike” or “number of readers in Mendeley”. ImpactStory is by no means unique in this effort. Rather, it is part of a growing interest in revisiting the qualities that define scholarly output and how its impact is measured. There is significant space for librarian involvement in this conversation. We have the opportunity to introduce faculty to web tools like ImpactStory and help shape their understanding of how altmetrics can demonstrate the value of their work as well as connect them to other researchers. – David

Instructables

DIY in the information age can seem to be more about entertaining shows on HGTV. Who doesn’t love watching those carpenter’s build something? However, a useful resource that can be fun to browse is the Instructables website. Here you can find step by step instructions on just about anything, uploaded by a community of dedicated crafters. This could be a great way to use some of the discarded books in your collection,  maybe spice up a display case or create a gift for a fellow librarian. – Laksamee

NY Times: “Remember All Those Passwords? No Need

Are you frustrated by the increasing number of usernames and passwords that you now need to lock into your memory? In this article from the NY Times, David Pogue talks about why you should check out Dashlane a password memorization program. – Shannon

“The iPad Cleverly Detects This Connected Picture Book’s Page Turns”

By now, librarians are familiar with assertions that eBooks and tablets mean the ultimate death of the print book. This article (with video) from Gizmodo highlights Bridging Book, a prototype app which attempts to marry print and digital worlds.  While many of the article’s accompanying comments express skepticism as to the viability and usefulness of this particular app in its current form, I think this an interesting example of the increasing overlap and connection between digital and physical information, as well as a step towards further exploring how the affordances of each type of information can complement one another. – 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!