General - Systems and Technologies

Apple, netbooks and barcodes

I traveled home from the 2nd M-Libraries Conference in UBC, Vancouver, yesterday. I was interested to come across several relevant news stories in the reading materials I had bought en route: The Globe and Mail, The Economist (last week’s, as it turns out), and The Financial Times. This underlined the topicality of the conference themes. … Continue reading Apple, netbooks and barcodes

Web 2.0 and air freshener

Web 2.0 is often talked about in terms reminiscent of an advert for air freshener: spray it on and there will be a major improvement in the quality of life, or at least of your service. Add tags or an RSS feed and you will be future-ready. You will smell of roses. Now, of course, … Continue reading Web 2.0 and air freshener

Snap and go catalogue

Several things about catalogs, mobile apps, and pictures …. Just after doing the entry on the photo feature in the Amazon Blackberry app, I was looking at the catalogue at the University of Bath (where I worked for many years) and saw that they were using QR codes. From a library blog description of the … Continue reading Snap and go catalogue

Amazon remembers

I noticed this feature on the page for the Amazon Blackberry App. I haven’t yet tried the app or seen the feature working so I do not know how well it works. Perhaps we need an application which allows you to take a picture of a book cover and find it in your library … … Continue reading Amazon remembers

Reading, Starbucks and imbrication

Jim has a very interesting account of a discussion at an AAAS panel about the future of the book, publishing and libraries over at HangingToghether. (It was part of a symposium on Information technology and the public good.) One note jumped out at me. He quotes Dan Clancy, of Google, “Starbucks succeeded because it provided … Continue reading Reading, Starbucks and imbrication

Concentration and diffusion again

From the Financial Times: According to Microsoft research chief Rick Rashid, around 20 per cent of all the servers sold around the world each year are now being bought by a small handful of internet companies – he named Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Amazon. That is an amazing statistic, and certainly not one I’d heard … Continue reading Concentration and diffusion again

Decentering and recentering: the TV/PC and the network

A couple of interesting articles on how the network is changing patterns of media consumption appear back-to-back in the current issue of The Atlantic. They prompt an observation about networking and the home. Here is James Parker on the phenomenon that is Guitar Hero and Rock Band: Both franchises, however, rely on pretty much the … Continue reading Decentering and recentering: the TV/PC and the network

M-libraries in Vancouver

I am looking forward to attending the second M-Libraries Conference in Vancouver in June. The programme has now appeared and the conference is open for registration. Although mobile communications raise specific questions, more generally it represents the further diffusion of computational and networking capacity through our lives. I have quoted from the piece I wrote … Continue reading M-libraries in Vancouver

Always on: libraries in a world of permanent connectivity

The January issue of First Monday has appeared and I am pleased to have an article in it about libraries and mobile communications. Here is the abstract: Mobile communication has been more widely adopted more quickly than any other technology ever (Castells, et al., 2007). It represents a diffusion of communications and computational capacity into … Continue reading Always on: libraries in a world of permanent connectivity

The changing education experience

The Guardian published a supplement on the ‘digital student’ the other day. There is some general context and there is a range of short pieces on specific approaches or projects. This is all written for a general audience so there is no great detail and it is quite anecdotal. As context, there is an interview … Continue reading The changing education experience