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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore & iRobot

I am a super huge fan of the library blog Will Unwound which is hosted by the retired librarian and Booklist columnist Will Manley, and is found online at http://willmanley.com/

And in relation, this week Will’s weekend post highlights a really cool video that anyone who loves books and libraries will find fun! It is called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and is located at the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjtZ5V4P-c

And if you’re thinking to yourself what on earth does that have to do with technology…My answer is not much! It is one of those I-thought-I’d-share-this-cool-info that is widely off the tech topic of this blog things. Feel free to do the same! Conversations and feedback are always welcome in library land!

And on to a tech note! Do you remember Rosie the Robot maid in the Jetsons cartoons?

Well the technology is catching up with that futuristic vision!  A company named iRobot, which puts out circular robotic vacuum cleaners that do indeed clean your floors on their own, has just developed a new robot called Ava that uses a tablet computer for a brain and could potentially be an office or house hold assistant. The New York Times website has a neat article about the iRobot company and the Ava. The article is found at the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/03/technology/for-irobot-the-future-is-getting-closer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=technology

Enjoy your weekend!

Linda R.

New Apple TV?

The tech rumor mill as abuzz this week with rumors that Apple may unveil not only the third generation iPad at its special press event next Wednesday, March 7 but also a new Apple TV! And that the new Apple TV will be more integrated with the iPad.

And for those of you who are not familiar with the Apple TV, here is just a little bit of background info! The Apple TV is one of those small, about the size of a hockey puck, media streaming devices that allows users to easily watch Internet accessed video content on the large TV in their living rooms as compared to on a small computer screen. (So you can watch your Netflix or Hulu TV shows on your HDTV instead of on your laptop!)

The Apple TV is one of the two popular most popular media streaming devices at the moment, the other is the Roku player, so this is an exciting idea.

Perhaps the new Apple TV will incorporate the SIRSI assistant and allow you to vocally tell your TV which shows you want to watch! We’ll have to wait until next Wednesday to find out!

In the meantime here’s a link to one of the tech blog stories speculating on what features a new Apple TV might have:

http://gigaom.com/apple/new-apple-tv-ipad/

And as a post script I actually own both an Apple TV and a Roku player, as do several of my co-workers, so if you’re interested in knowing more about media streaming players please feel free to ask us about them!

Linda R.

Google’s Online Privacy Policy is Changing

The issue on online privacy is a hot one. And Google, who has to say the lease a large online presence, is changing its privacy policies as of tomorrow, March 1, 2012.

Google is eliminating many of its privacy and polices paring down them down to one privacy policy to cover everything.

And in relation, if you’re logged into your Google account while you are online Google does keep track of where you go and what you look at while you are online.

This is something of a complicated issue!

And to try and make the issue more accessible here’s a link to an NPR story titled How To Adjust Your Privacy Settings Before Google’s Big Shift that discusses Google’s new privacy policy in reasonably simple terms:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/02/29/147596859/how-to-adjust-your-privacy-settings-before-googles-big-shift

Thinking of Buying an iPad? Wait until March 7!

If you’re thinking of buying an iPad I’d suggest you wait until after March 7; because Apple has sent out invitations to the press for a March 7 event to be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. And that is the same location where they’ve held all previous new model iPad introductory events – so it is certain that Apple will be introducing a new version of the iPad on March 7.

Here is a link to a New York Times Bits article that briefly discusses the upcoming event and some of the improved features that the next iPad is expected to have:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/apple-confirms-march-7-event-for-new-ipad/

I can’t wait for the new iPad!

Linda R.

The First of Many Postings Regarding E-Books & Public Libraries

E-book are going to a be a subject frequently discussed in the pages of this blog because they are an increasingly popular format and because unlike printed books that public libraries can buy from many vendors while also being able to buy all works put out by all publishers; e-books are a format that publishers are blocking public libraries from owning.

To be more precise, our library purchases e-books via OverDrive the vendor that serves most public libraries in the United States; and we can only purchase e-books from OverDrive that OverDrive has a license to sell us or in some cases a license to license to us and that is the crux of that matter licensing versus owning. When the library buys printed books we own them and can loan them to patrons through out the Southern Tier Library System and keep them in our collections indefinitely but when we buy e-books from OverDrive they can only be downloaded to certain ereading devices and in a certain way required by the publishers and some publishers won’t sell us e-books they will only license e-books to us for a certain period of time and then they expect public libraries to purchase those e-book titles again.  And the great majority of large publishers won’t sell e-books to public libraries at all which is why if you’re looking for a hot and popular new title put out by Simon and Schuster or MacMillan you won’t find it in the library’s Digital Catalog because those publishers, among others, won’t sell e-books to public libraries.

If it sounds confusing that is probably because it is!

Here is link to a Guardian article, titled Ebooks The Great Disruption, that discusses many of the issues regarding this new format of e-books:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/feb/27/ebooks-giant-disruption-publishing?newsfeed=true

And here is a link to the OverDrive website which offers news about the Harry Potter series becoming available for school and public libraries to “purchase” for their patrons. And you’ll notice I have the world purchase in quotation marks…And that is because libraries will not be allowed to actually buy the e-books but instead will be able to license them and will have to renew that license periodically to keep the Harry Potter books in their digital catalogs:

http://www.overdrive.com/News/getarticle.aspx?newsArticleID=20120227

And if you have any questions about the availability of e-books in public libraries ask the staff at SSCL or simply post a comment!

Linda R.

Onlive Desktop App Brings Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint to iPad!

If you have an iPad and would like to create files in Microsoft Word, Access & PowerPoint and/or surf the web with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer than this is the app for you!

There is a free version of the app and  a paid version of the app that has more bells and whistles; but either version of the app will let you create files in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

And the paid version, called Onlive Desktop Plus costs $4.99 a month, and comes with access to a very fast Internet Explorer browser which will allow you to actually watch flash videos and open PDFs on your iPad, through the app, which is not something you can do via the Safari Browser.

Here is a link to a New York Times tech article by David Pogue that praises the app:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/technology/personaltech/onlive-desktop-plus-puts-windows-7-on-the-ipad-in-blazing-speed-state-of-the-art.html?_r=1&ref=technology

And here is a link to the Onlive Desktop website which offers even more information about the app:

http://desktop.onlive.com/

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

Futuristic Terminator Style Eye Glasses Coming Soon!

Remember those glasses that the time traveling characters wore in the science fiction film The Terminator?

And for those of you who perhaps missed that movie, the eye glasses worn by time traveling characters in that futuristic film displayed information regarding anything those characters were looking at and this included information about people, animals, machines and geographic locations.

And insert drum roll here…. Display glasses, also know as Augmented Reality Glasses, are going on the market! Google will begin offering display glasses that according to the New York Times Bit blog: “will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby.” These high tech glasses should be available for purchase by the end of the year and cost somewhere in the ball park range of $250 – $600:

And here’s the link to the full Bits article that discusses this cool new glasses:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/google-to-sell-terminator-style-glasses-by-years-end/?hp

Linda R.