Ab’s Blog Archive

Perils of Plagiarism

This is an absolutely fascinating story about plagiarism in the online world. The comments are revealing too. Why would you bother with plagiarism, asks one reader, “In a world with the ‘net, google, and Wikipedia? Why? A half-hour of searching and you have the basics of a researched paper.” From the Daypop Top 40

CIL Roundup

IM replacing VR … wikis … podcasting … converged devices … federated search … text messaging (chat, SMS) … iPods … RSS/blogs (duh!) … collaboration

Favorite phrase: “the read/write web” from Will Richardson in his presentation about wikis

Update 3/26: alesiamc asks “what are converged devices?” Think PDA + MP3 + phone + wireless + …

Firefox for Library Patrons

Ever since I discovered Mycroft I’ve been meaning to work on Mycroft search plugins for library resources. I’ve made a few but have shared them with only a few people. What other plug-ins, extensions, etc., can we develop for our patrons who use Firefox? The Google Scholar/SFX extension is an obvious one; some Canadians have developed an experimental CISTI sidebar and there’s a nice one-click RedLightGreen Mycroft plugin available from RLG. What about bookmarklets? What else can we offer people?

iPods and Course Reserves

This post over at Tame the Web got me thinking about iPods and reserves. The ideas are really interesting. I don’t know how much reserve activity there currently is with music or images, but something like this could really increase it! Even if we didn’t circulate iPods, could we set things up so that students with their own could download files to them? What would it take to do this? What are the legal implications?

Acceptable Use of RFID in Libraries

RFID has gotten a bad reputation, mostly due to privacy concerns, but I think there are some items in our library that could really use RFID tags:

Travel Mugs: Track down your mug next time it gets stolen or lost. No more excuses for bringing paper cups in.

Food: Figure out who’s always “borrowing” your sandwiches. Or, have Sodexho put tags on food sold at the coffee kiosk, so we can tell when people are sneaking it in.

Office items such as staplers and tape dispensers. This needs no explanation. At the Circulation Desk, put tags on pens. Not only could we track down our pens, but a graduate student in need of a research project could study the distribution of library pens and whether more pens end up in, say, the Engineering building than the upper floors of the Library Tower.

Have you used Opera lately?

I’ve had Opera on my computer for a while, but I don’t use it very often. Today I was reminded of why it’s so nice to have around: it’s the only one of the Big Four (big four IE alternatives, that is) to include a page zoom feature, and it can deliver a pretty good approximation of what your site looks like in a text-only browser (see below). Other style options include an accessibility layout, which is aimed at the visually-impaired and people with reading disabilities.