The Indian Institute of Science is creating a huge digital library. “The process of digitisation began six years ago. So far, the IISc has digitised 2,500 books and as many theses. Now, 10,000 bound volume journals and more than 5,500 titles are available online. … The library has more than 8,000 theses and at least two lakh books, according to Puttabasavaiah, deputy librarian at the IISc.” (A lakh is 100,000.)
Florida State University has launched a new digital library and research repository. “University Libraries are proud to announce the launch of DigiNole, Florida State University’s unified platform for FSU-created and maintained digital resources. DigiNole will enable users’ seamless access to a range of materials through two portals including the Digital Library and the Research Repository.”
The EcoData Retriever has gotten a new release. “We are very exited to announce the newest release of the EcoData Retriever, our software for automating the downloading, cleaning, and installing of ecological and environmental data. Instead of hours or days trying to get complicated datasets like the Breeding Bird Survey ready for analysis, the Retriever lets you simply click a button or run a single command from R or the command line, and your computer does the rest.”
The state of Kentucky has launched a new online portal where citizens can apply for benefits. “The online service, called benefind, is the access point for Kentuckians to apply for programs like Medicaid, the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food benefits, and Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP), or cash assistance.”
The city of San Diego is preparing to release a large list of data sets. “The city of San Diego is taking a step toward publishing more than 100 sets of data online, ranging from all of the places fire hydrants have been knocked over to how much revenue comes from each parking meter to the number of seals at the La Jolla Children’s Pool.”
Bing is making election predictions. I try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible, but if I didn’t boy would I have some snark for you… “Bing Predicts has crunched the data, and forecasts Donald Trump winning all but one of the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, and Hillary Clinton seizing the momentum from her recent victory in South Carolina to winning all but one of the of Democratic primaries.”
The Daring Librarian has some excellent (and snarky) tips for building a better Twitter profile.
Now available: the Raspberry Pi 3. “The big news here really comes from the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the Raspberry Pi 3. Previously, you needed to shell out around $10 for a USB Wi-Fi adapter and waste precious USB space on Bluetooth dongles. Now, all that’s built in, which means you not only get to save a little money, you also get access to more USB ports.” Faster chip, too.
From Defense One: Military-Funded Study Predicts When You’ll Protest on Twitter. “Whether the tweet is part of a violent movement, a peaceful action, or simply a response to a debate, military and national security types have an interest in predicting how big any given protest movement might become. A new study by researchers at Arizona State University, Texas A&M, and Yahoo, funded in part by the Office of Naval Research, can predict with 70 percent accuracy the likelihood that your next tweet will be part of a protest.”
New-to-me: An old psychedelic magazine called OZ has been scanned and put online. “The University of Wollongong has kindly scanned every gorgeous issue of OZ, a psychedelic magazine from the UK, which ran from 1967 to 1973.” Note the collection does have a disclaimer: “Please be advised: This collection has been made available due to its historical and research importance. It contains explicit language and images that reflect attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published, and that some viewers may find confronting.”
Wondering how your library might best use Snapchat to target teenage users? Renee Ting has a very thoughtful blog post. “The mission of the Snapchat program is to create a community for teens that welcomes them to participate both on the platform and in the physical library. Through two-way communication, we want to create human connections that may be the starting point for teens to learn about and take advantage of library resources.”
Have you tried the new stick-sized computers yet? Lifehacker has a smackdown between Intel’s Compute Stick and Google’s Chromebit. I have never tried the Intel Compute Stick, but I have a Chromebit and it works great. If you’re looking for a Windows-based stick computer, I’ve set up a couple of the Azulle Quantum Access Mini PC Sticks and they work well, too. I even upgraded one from Windows 8.1 to 10 and it upgraded like a champ. If you’re not interested in a stick, but want a small PC, I also like the Azulle Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC. These things are for basic Web browsing and such, not doing resource-intensive stuff, but they work great for that. (These opinions are my own and nobody paid me for anything and this post is not sponsored.)
Information comes in an almost infinite variety of types. Including beer recipes. A beer brewer in the UK has released its collection of over 200 beer recipes. “Scottish brewer BrewDog has agreeably released its entire recipe back catalogue, encompassing the 215 beers developed during its almost 10-year history.”
AT&T really does not want Google Fiber in Louisville, Kentucky. In fact, they’re suing over it. “The telecoms giant filed a complaint [PDF] in federal court on Thursday seeking to prevent the Kentucky’s largest city, and Jefferson County, from allowing Google’s contractors to access utility poles in order to string fiber lines.”
Earlier this week I mentioned a new search engine called Kiddle and expressed doubt that it was run by Google despite what the news story had said. Well, it turns out Kiddle is not run by Google. It’s just using Google Custom Search. And like most children’s search engines, the story indicates it has problems. Unless you’re searching a handpicked directory of URLs, in my experience kid-friendly search engines aren’t. There’s just too much margin for error to try to filter out URLs.