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DVDs Are On The Way Out & Moms Are Tech Wizards!

DVDs Are On The Way Out: The number of media formats seen in the last forty years boggles the mind! I can recall using 8-track tapes in cars, playing analog tapes on my Walkman and playing Star Trek laser discs in my laser disc player. And just as Betmax and VHS tapes made way for DVDs to become the most popular video format; now the digital video format is now gaining ground towards becoming the next dominant media format.  You can stream and/or download music, E-Books and videos already from a variety of devices; however, streaming TV shows and movies to that big screen TV in your living room – that is what is gaining traction now. Most new TVs and DVD players even come with built in streaming capabilities. And if you don’t want to buy a new TV you can always buy a small media streaming box like the Roku Player, Apple TV, Boxee Box or Google TV and connect it to your TV and voila! You’re streaming the next season of Downton Abbey to your TV and watching it whenever it is convenient to you!

Here’s a link to a WebProNews article on the growing popularity of streaming video:

Moms Are Tech Wizards! According to a recent Wall Street Journal Market Watch article Moms are the most tech savvy persons, on average, in any family. They tend to be the ones who keep up on all the latest and greatest gadgets and tech upgrades so they can assist their individual family members in keeping up with the new technology too. And I’m sure the new streaming options for games and video are necessary things for Moms with tech savvy kids to know all the ins and outs of!

Here’s a link to the mentioned MarketWatch article that discusses this subject in more depth:


Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

Online Education

The Internet has and continues to transform how people live across the globe as it offers us access to information and the ability to connect to other people living thousands or millions of miles away. And this increasing connectivity, that is the ability to access information put online by people in other countries and likewise to communicate with people living across the country or across the globe, via the Internet, is changing how we live in a variety of ways. And one of the ways is the way we can access education. Today, people that wish to obtain college degrees; but for whom traveling to or moving to another city where the college they wish to attend is located is out of the question, can now obtain those degrees by working on class material from anywhere they have an Internet connection. This allows students who live in rural settings or remote locations to take college classes. So that eager computer science major who lives in rural Montana can now study her chosen major online after she finishes working at her day job. And that bright young writer who lives on the coast of Mozambique can take online literature classes that he wouldn’t be able to take if he didn’t have access to the Internet.

And now a new “Open Education” movement has started; this movement has colleges including Stanford, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania offering classes to anyone on Earth who has an Internet connection— free of charge! Computer Science Professor Andrew Ng created one of the first Open Education classes for Stanford and was amazed when more than 100,000 people signed up for his class! And computer science isn’t the only subject being offered. University of Pennsylvania Professor Al Fireis teaches poetry and is currently readying classes in modern and contemporary American poetry for the Fall 2012 semester – and those classes too will be available to all interested parties free of charge!

To read more on the subject of online education, here is a link to an NPR article titled, From Silicon Valley, A New Approach To Education, which discusses the Open Education Movement:

Her is a link to an Atlantic article: Can Online Education Be Both Successful and Good For Us? which discusses online education at the college level:

And here’s a link to a Voice of America article, titled Younger Students Join Online Learning Trend, Elementary, secondary learners turn to virtual classrooms, which discusses online education at the elementary and secondary educational levels:

Linda R.

Using Apple TV For Meeting Rooms Presentations

The $99 Apple TV has a neat feature in that you can use it with an iPad to project presentations from your iPad to a screen or wall in any meeting room.

You can create presentations within a number of applications available for the iPad and then project what appears on the iPad via an Apple TV. Popular iPad applications which can be used to create presentations include Apple’s Pages (sort of a combination between Microsoft Word and Publisher), Numbers (which is similar in scope to Microsoft Excel) and Keynote (which is comparable to Microsoft PowerPoint).

Here’s a link to a PC World article, titled Apple TV Finds a Home in the Meeting Room, on the subject:

Linda R.

iPads Replacing Cash Registers

The advancing technology is continuing change the way we live. Consider the point-of-sale system that most businesses use today. If you go to a restaurant or pick out something to buy at a store then when you actually pay for the item you have to use a small touch screen to enter your credit or debit card information (by sliding the card through the machine) or even just to press the cash button to indicate that you are paying with cash – that system is considered a point-of-sale system. And many small businesses are now leaving that “old” touch-screen point-of-sale system behind and beginning to use tablets like the iPad combined with the power of cloud computing to allow them to more cheaply swipe a person’s credit card and take their payment. Our local Civic Music does this! If you go to the next Civic Music concert this weekend, the last one in the series for this year, and want to buy a subscription for the 2012-2013 Civic Music season watch how they process your transaction at the customer service desk – they’ll have their iPads handy!


Here’s a link to a Read Write Mobile article on this very subject should you like to know more about it!


Linda R.



New E-Reading Device – Barnes And Noble Noble Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight

Barnes and Noble has just announced, and is taking pre-orders for, the first dedicated E-Ink E-Reader with an accompanying backlit screen feature.

And if you’re scratching you’re head and wondering what all that means let me explain in a bit more detail! Prior to the creation of this new Barnes & Noble E-Reader there have been two types of E-Readers and tablets that you could read E-Books upon.

The first type of E-Readers feature what is known as E-Ink displays. Devices with E-Ink screens feature black text on a light grey back ground. These readers, and the entry level Kindles and Nooks fall under this category, are great to take to the beach or the lake or to use to read in any outside location because sunlight doesn’t reflect off the screen.  Additionally of note, if you use one of these E-Ink readers in your house then you’ll need to sit next to a lamp just like you would with a traditional print book.

The second type of E-Reading devices feature what is called a backlit display. These E-Reading devices, which include the iPad, Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Color and Nook Tablet as well as a multitude of Android tablets, feature black text on a bright white screen. The text on the bright white screen is reminiscent of what text looks like when you type it into a Microsoft Word document. And this type of E-Reading device isn’t an easy one to use outdoors because sunlight does reflect off the screen making text difficult to read. On the other hand,  these E-Reading devices are great to use indoors because you never have to worry about whether you’re sitting next to the best reading lamp in the house or not. In fact, you can even use these E-Readers with all the lights in a room turned off and you’ll still be able to easily read the text on the screen.

And now Barnes & Noble is coming out with a third type of E-Reading device. Their new E-Reader, which will be available May 1, is called “The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. This new E-Reader features an E-Ink display and an option to turn on backlighting so one can both read outdoors and also easily read an E-Book in the house without having a care as to where the best reading lamp in the room is!

If you’re interested in this new Nook B&N has a webpage devoted to it and you can access it by clicking on the following link:

Just another E-Reading device to consider should you be interested in taking the E-Reading plunge!

And if you recently purchased an E-Reader and have questions about how to use it please joins us for our next E-Reader workshop – it will be held next Thursday, April 19, 2012 starting at 6 PM.

Linda R.

New Formats Coming To The Library’s Digital Catalog & Imagine Your Future Self

The Library’s Digital Catalog: New digital content is about to be added to the Library’s Digital Catalog!

The Digital Catalog, for those not familiar with it, may be accessed via the Library’s website found at WWW.SSCLIBRARY.ORG and currently shows E-Books and E-Audio Books that may be downloaded and enjoyed on a variety of devices like PCs, smart phones and tablets.

And notably, the Digital Catalog is actually a collective effort. All the member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System may purchase content for the catalog and all patrons of all libraries in the system may check out E-Books and E-Audio Books. And later today the catalog will show two new formats –Videos and Music. The video and music holdings will be added to the Digital Catalog on a monthly basis and will offer library patrons movies to watch and music to listen in addition to the already available E-Books and E-Audio Books.

Here’s a link to the Library’s Digital Catalog where those formats will appear later today:

Imagine Your Virtual Future  Self: NPR offers a neat article today titled Your (Virtual) Future Self Wants You To Save Up. The article has a tech side and practical side as it discusses the process for taking a look at what you’ll look like in 20-30 years by having an actual photo of yourself digitally aged so you get a glimpse into the future and see what you might look like at age 70 or 80. This aging photo process is a means to an end of getting people to save more money to live on in their retirement years. It seems that younger people don’t save enough money towards retirement in large part because they can’t visualize what their older selves will be like. So in essence, young people feel as if they are being asked to save money to assist a stranger and not themselves in their future retirement years. And the aged images of people make those people better able to imagine their future selves as themselves and not as some unknown stranger and thus make them more inclined to save money to assist their future selves in their retirement years.

It is a cool article and has a short accompanying podcast.

Here’s the link:


Linda R.

Environmentally Friendly E-Books, Tablets In Every Room & Streaming Video

Environmentally Friendly E-Books: Can E-Books be environmentally friendly? The answer to that question is yes! If you buy an E-Reader read at least 14 E-Books on it before buying a new one then you’ve made your carbon footprint smaller. And that is because the energy and manufacturing costs required to make an E-Reader are then less than the costs of manufacturing 14 paper books. A recent National Geographic article, titled eBooks Help the Environment One Download at a Time, discusses that fact — that reading E-Books can reduce your carbon footprint; because the energy and manufacturing used to create printed paper books actually increases the collective carbon foot print of the human race each year by producing 1.5 metric tons of paper and 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide for each paper book printed.

Here’s a link to the National Geographic article if you’d like to read more on this subject:

Tablets In Every Room: A new Time article, titled A Tablet in Every Room: How to ‘Think Different’ About the Future, discusses how tablet usage is increasing and what people do, and can do, with tablets in every room of their house. For example, tablets are gaining in popularity as kitchen helpers since they provide recipes, cooking apps and allow cooks to access the internet for information regarding ingredients, recipes or anything else related to cooking. And people are increasingly using tablets in their living rooms to look up information and access E-Books and games via apps. So people are looking up information about things like that new TV series or movie that they’ve just heard about or to answer questions about programs they are watching like – “Who is that actress I just saw in that old episode of Hill Street Blues? And why does she look familiar?”

Here’s the link to the Time article:

Streaming Video: USA Today offers an article, titled Streaming Video Options, which discusses how you can cheaply access movies and TV shows by streaming them from the Internet to the TV in your living room. You can stream video, by a wireless or in some cases plugged in Internet connection, by utilizing a number of devices including a Roku Player (a small media streaming device) , an Apple TV (another small media streaming device), Blu-Ray and regular DVD players and new HDTVs among other devices. Here’s the link to the USA Today story:

Department of Justice vs. Apple & Publishers E-Book Update: As an addendum, It has just been reported by the New York Times that U.S. Justice Department is indeed going to see Apple and several of the largest publishers in the U.S., Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin, for violating Federal anti-trust laws by colluding to raise the price of E-Books by adopting the so called Agency Model which dictates that booksellers cannot set the price they use to sell E-Books instead they must accept the price the publishers set.

Here’s a link to that article: