Staying Safe While Online

Librarian and blogger David Lee King had his e-identity hacked into over the weekend. It seems he received a strange text message that included a link and while operating on cruise control he clicked the link without really thinking about it. And in short order the hacker who hacked into his account was posting on Twitter via King’s Twitter account. Fortunately, since King was online as this series of events was unfolding he was quickly contacted by friends and associates who saw the out of character Twitter postings from Lee’s account and figured quite correctly that his account had been hacked. King was able to log into his account and change his password which seemed to stop the hacker in his tracks. However King’s experience illustrates several key points regarding online safety namely don’t open any message that is from someone you don’t know and don’t click on any weird links!

King relays his experience in his most recent blog post titled simply I Was Hacked!

Here’s the link:

http://www.davidleeking.com/

And while we’re on the subject of online safety I did some research and came across a great section on the WashingtonState site that offers helpful tips for staying safe online.

There are even online safety categories which include:

Communicating Online

Socializing Online

Sharing Images Online

Gaming Online

Spending & Saving Online

Identity Theft

Computing on the Go

Bullying Online

Fraud

Defensive Computing

Defending Your Computer

Here’s the link to the category page on the WS website:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety/Adults.aspx

And if you only have time to read one of the online safety sections I’d recommend browsing through the Communicating Online section which discusses the benefits and possible pitfalls of sharing personal information (i.e. name, address, phone number, resume etc.) online.

Here’s the link:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/InternetSafety/CommunicatingOnline.aspx

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

King, David Lee. (2013, January 29). I Was Hacked! davidleeking.com. Online.

WashingtonState Office of the Attorney General. Web Wise Washington: Internet Safety: Adults. Online. January 30, 2013. 

New E-Books, Audio Books, Music & Videos Available In The STLS Digital Catalog Later Today

Hi everyone, just as an FYI for all the consumers of digital content out there! There will be a multitude of new items appearing in the STLS Digital Catalog this evening. The new items include audio books in the swashbuckling Horatio Hornblower series, albums by Pink Floyd and videos on a variety of subjects including non-fiction titles on genealogy and gardening, children’s videos including Thomas The Tank Engine, All About Cowboys, All About Dinosaurs & Mr. Sherman & Peabody, Season 1. Other new video titles include: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, Budokon For Beginners, Night Train – Pociag, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Derailed and American in World War II.

You can access the entire Digital Catalog by going to the library’s home page (SSCLIBRARY.ORG) or clicking on the following link:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/5654A588-8683-4527-A797-407FB5E8710C/10/536/en/default.htm

And if you’d rather check out e-books, music, videos or audio books categories directly please click on anyone of the following links:

All E-Books:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/5654A588-8683-4527-A797-407FB5E8710C/10/536/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=7457576s&SortBy=CollDate

All Music:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/5654A588-8683-4527-A797-407FB5E8710C/10/536/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=7457568s&SortBy=CollDate

All Videos:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/5654A588-8683-4527-A797-407FB5E8710C/10/536/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=7457555s&SortBy=CollDate

New Audio Book Editions:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/5654A588-8683-4527-A797-407FB5E8710C/10/536/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=31706431&SortBy=CollDate

Note: To check on format compatibility with your device click on the following link which will take you to the OverDriveDeviceResourceCenter page:

http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/

Also of note, as of January 2013 you can download all OverDrive Content to a PC and OverDrive E-Books to most e-readers and tablets. A/V materials can be downloaded to PCs and a handful of portable devices from Creative Zen and Colby. Reportedly OverDrive (that is the name of the STLS Digital Catalog platform vendor) will be ushering a new streaming system for all e-books, audio books, music and videos in the catalog which will mean that you’ll be able to stream content to most smart phones, tablets and PCs in the near future. We’ll update our website, Facebook page and the SSCL Tech Talk blog site with that information as soon as that update occurs.

And if you have any questions about the items in the Digital Catalog and how you can access them please ask the staff; we are here to help!

Have a great afternoon!

Linda R.

Apple 4th Generation iPad with 128 Gigabyte Storage To Debut February 5th & Microsoft Office 2013

Apple 4th Generation iPad with 128 Gigabytes Storage To Debut February 5th:  Earlier today Apple announced it will begin selling at 4th Generation iPad (that is the current edition) that offers double the maximum amount of storage space available on the highest end iPad right now. The new model will offer 128 gigabytes of storage and will make its sales debut on February 5. The Wi-Fi only version will cost $799 and the Wi-Fi and cellular version will sell for $929.

Currently Apple sells the iPad (that is the larger iPad and not the iPad Mini) with three storage options:

16 GB versions cost $499 for the Wi-Fi only model and $629 for the Wi-Fi and cellular version

32 GB versions cost $599 for Wi-Fi only model and $729 for the Wi-Fi and cellular version

And the current highest storage capacity model (until next week!) is the 64 GB model which also comes in a Wi-Fi only version for $699 and a Wi-Fi and cellular version for $829.

On a related note it is also widely expected that Apple will introduce a new 5th Generation iPad sometime this year.

Here’s a link to a CNET article which offers a bit more info on the new larger capacity iPad that is due next week – the article is titled Apple iPad Jumps to 128GB Starting At $799:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57566376-37/apple-ipad-jumps-to-128gb-starting-at-$799/

Microsoft Office 2013 (AKA Office 365): Microsoft’s Office 2013 suite goes on sale today. And the suite is known both as “Office 2013” (the stand alone version) and as “Office 365” (the subscription version). The reviews I’ve read of the new suite so far have been positive and the CNET reviewer really likes the functionality of the new suite. It is notable that the biggest change to Office is that there are now two versions one that you can purchase as a standalone version or a subscription version (which I found it in the Amazon Software Download Store titled “Office 365”). The benefit of the latter is that you’ll get continuous updates to software contained in the suite and you should be able to access the software from any computer with an Internet connection since the online suite is stored in the cloud – so you should be able to access your documents from any device that has an Internet connection.

And here’s a link an in-depth CNET review of the new software suite:

http://reviews.cnet.com/microsoft-office-2013/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Cheng, Roger. (2013, January 29). Apple iPad jumps to 128GB, starting at $799: It’s still the fourth-generation device, but beefier. A cellular-enabled version of the higher-capacity iPad costs $929. CNET. Online.

CNET Editors. (2013, January 29.) Microsoft Office 2013 review: Designed for tablets, but great for everyone. CNET. Online.

 

The High Cost of E-Books, iOS 6.1 Release & Tech Programs @ The Library This Week

The High Cost of E-Books: I came across a fun article (with a long title) in the online edition of the Christian Science Monitor. The article is titled Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future.

And wow what a long title! The article discusses the reasons why e-books often more expensive than their paperback counterparts. And in a nutshell what is going is that our quickly advancing technology is transforming the world of publishing and books and in an era when self published authors can keep 70% of the gross profits of their works most publishers are operating on an outdated business model. And that outdated model has them keeping 60-70% of the money coming in from each e-book sold just as they would with a printed book. The publishers expect to receive that amount of money from each e-book sale because in the print book business, traditionally publishing companies have been responsible for having books printed, stored and sold.

Additionally, in the past publishers were used to keeping control of the books they published and promoting them through established distribution channels and they could pretty much dictation to authors what they could publish and how much they could receive for the books they publish via those big publishers. And today we’re at the dawn of the e-book era and all that is changing. If you’re an author you can self publisher your works through online book vendors like Amazon, price your new e-book at $2.99 per e-book and keep 70% of the proceeds of each sale. Now $2.99 may not sound like a lot of money; however, consider the fact that 70% of $2.99 is $2.09 and if you multiply that by 50,000 e-book sales you get $104, 500 dollars! And with that in mind you can see why self published authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke (both of whom have sold more than 1 million books via Amazon’s Kindle Store) can indeed make money without going through print publishers and why, inevitably, those same publishers must change they way the do business and the amount they charge for e-books if they want to stay in the e-book selling game for the long haul.

The author Stacy Johnson’s response to publishers saying they need to keep 60-70% of the profits of e-book sales because e-books cost them as much to produce as hardcover books is summed up in one colorful word and fun word: “Hogwash.” And I don’t think I can improve upon that statement! (Although I could get up on my soap box and talk all day about the lack of ownership of digital content issue but I’ll spare everyone today and refrain!)

Johnson also notes of the tremendous changes going on in the book and publishing industry – how fast the new e-book world has emerged by noting that three years ago the old publishing industry business model was the norm and if you wanted to get a book published you really had to work with publishers via the previously mentioned traditional business model used for selling print books – and today all that is changing. She specifically says:  “A short three years later, however, the landscape has changed. The publishing industry – the gatekeeper between writers and readers – is collapsing under its own weight. I no longer need to surrender up to 90 percent of the price of a book to the publisher. Today I can self-publish an e-book, put it on Amazon, spread the word on the Web, and price it however I like.”

You can read the full article by clicking on the following link:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2013/0112/Why-do-e-books-cost-so-much

iOS 6.1 Released: Today Apple has released iOS 6.1 the latest software upgrade for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. The upgrade features a few new bells and whistles including the ability to use Siri to buy movie tickets, the ability of Match subscribers to download single songs from the cloud and greater LTE coverage for those with 4 G devices.

Here’s a link to a Gigaom article on the subject aptly titled Apple Updates iOS 6 With New Siri, iTunes Match and LTE Coverage

http://gigaom.com/2013/01/28/apple-updates-ios-6-with-new-siri-itunes-match-features-and-more-lte-coverage/

Tech Programs @ The Library This Week: This week we are offering a “Photos & Computers” program on Wednesday. This program is part of our weekly Wednesday One Hour Tech series and offers a basic introduction to getting photos from your digital camera to your computer, modifying those photos and saving them.

Photos & Computers is being held Wednesday from 2 – 3 PM. Registration is required. To register please call us at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502.

And of course this week as always – we offer free one-on-one tech assistance sessions by appointment. So if you just purchased a new PC, Mac, iPad, Kindle Fire or e-reader and have questions about how to use it – please feel free to call us and make an appointment for a one-on-one session! Just call the Reference Desk at 936-3713 ext. 502.

Have a great day!

Linda R.          

 

References

Johnson, Stacy. (2013, January 12). Why do e-books cost so much? E-books don’t involve costs like paper, labor, and shipping, so why do they often cost more than their paperback counterparts? Here’s the answer, and why e-book prices may be falling in the future. Christian Science Monitor. Online.

Ong, Erica. (2013, January 28). Apple updates iOS 6 with new Siri, iTunes Match features and more LTE coverage. Gigaom. Online. 

It’s Coming! The Ability to Stream Content Through The SSCL Website!

Right now you can check out digital content in the form of e-books, downloadable audio books, downloadable videos and downloadable music titles from the STLS Digital Catalog to a variety of tablets, PCs, smart phones, e-readers and Macs.

And also right now the content you can check out to specific devices varies as does the process you use to check out those items.

For example, you can read library e-books on almost any e-reader, tablet, Smartphone, PC or Mac.  

However, you can only watch videos on PCs and a handful of less-than-well-known portable devices but not on your iPad, Smartphone or Android tablet.

And you can download free library audio books to your Smartphone or tablet directly but only the ones that are in the MP3 format. OverDrive audio books that are WMA formatted have to be downloaded to a computer first and then you can transfer them to you Smartphone or tablet – but you can’t download them to a Mac because the “WMA” stands for Windows Media Audio and it is a Microsoft software which won’t open on an Apple computer – but you can transfer a WMA audio book to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch if you first download it to a PC.

Did I mention all of this can be very confusing!

However, if you are interested in checking out digital content and have questions please ask the library staff! A member of our tech team will even be happy to sit down with you and go over the entire process step by step.

But I digress; back to the subject of streaming content!

If you’re streaming content, and the word streaming is fancy tech speak that simply means you open a web browser of your choice (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc.) and the e-book or other e-formatted item you open is sent from the server on which it is stored to your device so you can read the book, watch the movie or listen to the audio book or album. And with this new streaming process you won’t actually be downloading anything so there won’t be a cumbersome registration and set up process, you won’t have to authorize your device before you can check out content nor will the process for accessing the content be different by device – you’ll be able to read your library e-book, watch your library e-videos or listen to library e-audios by opening the web browser on your tablet, PC, Mac, Smartphone and even XBOX and Wii!

So the fact that this new second generation library e-content software, officially called the Next Generation Library Platform (managed by the library e-content vendor OverDrive) is coming is very exciting because it will make the process of accessing digital content from the STLS Digital Catalog a very easy and user friendly one!

And as soon as the updated platform is available we’ll loudly proclaim that fact via this blog, the library’s website and our Facebook page.

Have a great day!

Linda R

And here are links to two cool, and short, news stories offered by OverDrive regarding the new cool features coming to the Library Digital Content vendor’s platform soon!

The first story relays the fact that you’ll soon be able to read e-books, watch library e-videos and listen to library e-audios on your TV via your gaming console and the second offers information on the platform upgrade which will allow you stream content instead of having to download it:

Library E-Books Coming to Gaming Consoles:

http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2013/01/24/library-ebooks-are-coming-to-game-consoles/

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/News/News-Item/OverDrive-Announces-Streaming-Video-and-Audio-Services-for-Libraries-and-Schools–87321.htm

OverDrive The Next Generation Digital Library Platform

http://www.overdrive.com/Next-Gen/

How Technology Is Changing Our Lives – Faster Than We Think!

I came across two articles in the last two days that appeal to me as the duo-history and tech fan that I am!

The first article is from Forbes and is titled The Apple iPhone at Age 6: My, How Things Have Changed. And I like that article because is illustrates the point that the iPhone, which was the first popular smart phone and offered a truly innovative and intuitive design, has only been on the market for six years! And six years ago people used cell phones to be sure but most of them weren’t smart and you didn’t see them in peoples hand on every street corner, bus stop and supermarket. Today smart phones like the iPhone are ubiquitous. We see cell phones in the hands of children, seniors, teens and everyone else in between. And as the articles’ author Danny Turnbull notes having smart phones has changed the way we live in a number by essentially allowing us the ability to access information and communicate with others at any time.

Here’s the link to the Forbes article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gyro/2013/01/23/the-apple-iphone-at-age-6-my-how-things-have-changed/

And the second article is from USA Today and discusses how Netflix shares grew at a much larger rate than anyone, even Netflix, expected in the last quarter of 2012. And I like that article because the reason they give for this great growth in Netflix usage is streaming. And by streaming I mean the number of people who have subscriptions to Netflix who watch videos streamed from the Internet on their Smartphones, tablets and televisions; and that point is cool because just as the iPhone kicked off the era of being able to be connected to the Internet 24/7/365 via your smart phone – the growth in people who stream Netflix videos instead of using the service to obtain and watch DVDs shows how the technology and the instant access to video content we gain from having a 24/7/365 Internet connection in our homes is beginning to transform the way we watch television shows and movies – we can now watch them when and where we want instead of  having to wait for those shows to air on TV and that too is cool!

The USA Today article is titled Netflix eked out a profit of $8 million as growing sales tablets and smartphones prompted new customers to try its service and can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/01/23/netflix-reports-4q-profit/1859185/

Have a great day!

Linda R.

References

Turnbull, Danny. (2013, January 23). The Apple iPhone at Age 6: My, How Things Have Changed. Forbes. Online.

Yu, Roger. (2013, January 23). Netflix eked out a profit of $8 million as growing sales tablets and smartphones prompted new customers to try its service. USA Today. Online. 

The Rising Popularity of Public Libraries As Places to Access The Internet & Obtain Tech Assistance – All For Free

The PEW Research Group has just released some new survey findings as part of their Pew Internet & American Life Project that show that public libraries are key places people go to use the Internet for free. Of course those of us who have worked in public libraries for a while know that well! When I first started working at the old Corning Public Library in 1984 patrons coming in would not have found a computer in sight! By 1987 though the library had a digital “card” catalog that allowed patrons to search for books that were available both in our library and in all the other member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System. And by the late nineteen eighties the library also had an internal DOS like email system, portable CD players for patrons to use in the library, CDs and video cassettes for patrons to check and a number of Macs for staff use.

And since the library re-opened as the Southeast Steuben County Library in 2000 we have added new tech offers for patrons which include Internet connected computers, Wi-Fi and tech usage assistance from staff – all for free – and patrons have shown they loves these new services.

Where else can you go to use the Internet for free, to scan documents, photos or slides for free, to ask for staff assistance in putting e-books on your new e-reader or tablet – or in checking out library e-books all for free?

And one of our most popular services today is indeed free tech assistance.

And you might well wonder what I mean by that…

And what I mean is patrons can call the library and make an appointment to sit down with a member of the library’s tech staff and go over any tech usage questions they might have. So if you wonder how to use your new Windows 8 laptop, your new Kindle, Nook, iPad or Mac, how to create a resume using Microsoft Word, how to fill out a job application online or set up a free email account you have access to assistance for free! Just call us at: 607-936-3713 ext. 502 to make an appointment.

And today our new digital offerings, all of which can be accessible through the library’s website 24/7/365, include credible news, research, health and art databases*, e-books, e-audio books and a growing number of music titles and videos accessed via the STLS Digital Catalog link on the library’s homepage.

The library’s home page is found at: 

http://ssclibrary.org/

You can access the STLS Digital Catalog (the place where you can find e-books, e-audio books, digital music and video titles online) by either going to our homepage and clicking on the STLS Digital Catalog link or clicking on the following link:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/01E2684D-2EA9-4F70-9752-3C9D716A313B/10/536/en/Default.htm

 The New York Times article that offers a brief overview of the new PEW survey results is titled Pew Survey Finds Reliance On Libraries For Computers and Internet and may be accessed via the following link:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/pew-survey-finds-reliance-on-libraries-for-computers-and-internet/?ref=technology

And PEW offers a more in-depth explanation in an article on their website that has a really long title: Library Services in the Digital Age

Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place:

http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/01/22/library-services/

Have a great day! (or evening depending upon when you take a look at the library tech blog or Facebook page)

Linda R.

References:

Kaufman, Leslie. (2013, January 22). Survey Finds Rising Reliance on Libraries as a Gateway to the Web. New York Times Bits Blog. Online.

Zickuhr, Kathryn., Rainie, Lee., Purcell, Kristin. (2013, January 22). Library Services in the Digital Age: Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place. PEW Internet. Online.

*And very shortly we will add the Mango Languages database too so if you’d like to learn a new language that will be the database for you!