Saturday, March 31, 2007

NING has a community for Library 2.0!

Since Social Networking is so much a part of Web 2.0 I decided to take a look at this company that provided software for creating social networks. The cool part is it's free!

In searching through the networks there I stumbled on one dedicated to Library 2.0. I found a reference to the Wired article on our Learning 2.0 project and how it is taking the world by storm. No wonder Helene was named a Mover and Shaker this year.

Next I found a link to a blog called Other Librarian and an article on non-tech Library 2.0 things you can do. Since not all staff are naturally tech savvy, I thought these might be interesting ways to approach Library 2.0 for some of our staff.

But to help bring people up to speed, what about creating online courses with Moodle, an open source e-learning software? I hadn't heard of it but it seems someone has developed Sloodle, a mashup of Moodle and Second Life. How virtual can we get!

Okay, I'm running out of time today so I'll explore more tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight Savings is a rip-off!

You know Daylight savings only works if you sleep late. If you are one of the people who gets up early because of having to be at work early (my husband) or just does it because you like to do stuff before going to work, there is no savings, you just get up that much before the sun comes up. I just checked and since I get up at 5 a.m., I save - - nothing and never did! What I get is to have reduced sleep all summer because I have a harder time getting to sleep with the sun is still up or has just set. If I get up at 5:30 I would save a measly 19 hours and at 6 only 79 under either daylight savings scheme, to gain from the new system I have to get up at 6:30 and then I only save 2 hours more! Does anyone really think 2 hours of daylight will make a speck of difference? What I've lost is an hour of sleep everyday it exists. My husband has to be at work at 7 and has a half hour drive so we get up at 5 to shower, eat, make the bed, and update his podcasts before he has to be on the road (in the dark I might add at 6:30 now).

Chronic late sleepers will figure out how to adjust their work schedule to allow them to not gain anyway. So really it's all a waste of time and energy. So if you are a late sleeper who gets up at the last minute to squeak into work at 8 or 9 then yes the time change will force you to save some daylight. But for the rest we just lose sleep.

If you are interesting in finding out is you actually do save anything in this check out this website. You will need your latitude and longitude and what the difference is between you and UTC is:

Friday, March 09, 2007

DRM blues

Steve Jobs has added his voice to the "get rid of DRM" crowd. Of course, lots of people are pointing out that he's holding out with an all or nothing stand. There are plenty of small labels that want their music DRM free.

We deal with this issue all the time with NetLibrary and OverDrive. Both of these are shackled to Windows Media DRM 2.0. Those files won't play on Mac OS or iPods. and just to keep things annoying, Microsoft opened their new store exclusively for their new Zune player. Guess what files from the Zune store won't play on Creative, iRivier, or SanDisk. They might manage NetLibrary and OverDrive but not Zune.

Actually there are quite a few music stores that don't work with many portable players. Some are for streaming only, though at least most of those are free. It's facinating that the iPod has such a large market share but it can only accept DRM-Free MP3's, ripped from CD, and iTunes Music. According to the Steve Jobs letter mentioned earlier 90% of the content on iPods comes from ripped Cd's. If you don't already know, ripped music is music that has been converted to MP3 some other digital format froma CD. Record Labels really don't like to hear this and have threatened to put DRM on CD's so If you plan to use the music on a portable you have to buy another copy for the portable device. What this will mean is that if you have an iPod, your son has a Sandisk MP3, your daughter has a CD player, and your husband has a PocketPC, you might have to buy 4 copies of the music for each player. Actually the son and husband might be able to share but not anyone else. What is the standard today is to get the CD, make a copy for the daughter to use and rip it to mp3 for everyone else. Then the CD may just sit on the shelf somewhere. Now the copy under current law is legal, that is considered FairUse. though multiple copies wouldn't be. Ripping to MP3 is a bit questionable and Windows Media Player is now applying DRM in that process so you can't share the MP3 with many players, I'm not sure of the limit but I think it's 5. Each time you move the file you must connect to the web to get the license for the new player. So far I don't think iTunes does that but it could be just a matter of time.

Although, I agree that all this would be simpler with only one DRM scheme, I suspect the record labels love it. They now have an excuse to make people buy multiple copies of music for each player they own. I suspect they would love tying even CD's to just one player. So if you and your whole family love a particular CD, you can't share it unless you trade CD players too.