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Thursday, April 24, 2014

3 Benefits of MOOCs in the Workplace

Source: ID and Other Reflections, 7 April 2014

I believe MOOCs, especially when referred to in the context of the workplace, are increasingly going to become a catch-all term for any online, large scale, learning intervention at the workplace. The MOOC is a dissemination model that has the three components – formal, informal and social – popularized by the Pervasive Learning model and the 70:20:10 built in. While the cMOOC or the Connectivist MOOC started out with the vision of leveraging the power of networks in learning, xMOOCs took the more conventional classroom-learning format and brought it online. From the amalgamation of these two is emerging a new breed of MOOCs—the corporate MOOCs.

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VIDEO (3:06) Inside the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria

VIDEO (4:04) Interview with Mark West about the Report on Reading in the Mobile Era

The Plot to Kill the Password - log in with fingerprints or eyescans

Source: The Verge, 15 April 2014, by Russell Brandon

Last Friday, Samsung's new Galaxy S5 arrived with an unexpected and underhyped feature. Like the iPhone 5S, it came with a fingerprint reader, but this reader plugs directly into PayPal, which in turn connects you to dozens of different payment systems. It’s a clever trick: instead of a password, all you need is a fingerprint, carrying you through the entire web. If it catches on, soon you won’t need a password at all.

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Another Post about Hashtags. No, Seriously - worth reading

Source: tressiemc, 23 April 2014

Very interesting and informative post on hashtags. This is really worth reading.

Click here to read this post

GlassLab And NASA Teach Reason And Argumentation Using Video Games

Source: Forbes, 23 April 2014

GlassLab, a project of the Institute Of Play, continues to be a leader in game based learning. By connecting experienced commercial game designers/developers with learning/assessment experts they are re-imagining the next generation of not only educational and learning games, but also learning platforms in general.

The newest tablet game from GlassLab is Mars Generation One: Argubot Academy (iOS and Android). Developed in collaboration with NASA, it features a futuristic adventure story that takes place the year 2054.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

First brain images of African infants enable research into cognitive effects of nutrition

This image shows a baby wearing the functional near infra-red spectroscopy monitor.  


Credit: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Source: Medical Xpress, 22 April 2014

Brain activity of babies in developing countries could be monitored from birth to reveal the first signs of cognitive dysfunction, using a new technique piloted by a London-based university collaboration.

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BOOK (2014) From Knowledge Abstraction to Management, by Aparajita Suman

Title: From knowledge abstraction to management: using Ranganathan's Faceted Schema to develop conceptual frameworks for digital libraries

Author: Aparajita Suman

Published: Chandos Publishing, 28 March 2014

272 pages

ISBN: 9781843347033

The role of an information manager goes beyond implementing a search and clustering system, to the ability to map and logically present the subject domain and related cross domains. This book answers that need by analyzing ontology tools and techniques, helping the reader develop a conceptual framework from the digital library perspective. Beginning with the concept of knowledge abstraction, before discussing the solecistic versus the semantic web, the book goes on to consider knowledge organization, the development of conceptual frameworks, untying conceptual tangles, and the concept of faceted knowledge representation. It is relevant to those without much coding experience who are involved in LIS, knowledge and content management, digital communication, internet and media. 

Study: Using the Internet can reduce depression among older adults by 33 percent

Source: The Raw Story, 20 April 2014, by Scott Kaufman

A new study published in The Journals of Gerontology suggests that Internet use can reduce the probability of depression among retirees who live alone by 33 percent.

The study was authored by Shelia Cotten of Michigan State University, George Ford of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies, Sherry Ford of the University of Montevallo, and Timothy Hale of Harvard Medical School. They used information gathered during the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal survey collecting data from more than 20,000 older and retired Americans.

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Children Who Visit Museums Have Higher Achievement in Reading, Math, and Science

Source: UpNext: The INLS Blog, 21 April 2014, by Deanne W Swan

“Earlier this month I had the honor of representing IMLS in Philadelphia at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners gathered to share cutting-edge research that will shape the future of education. The theme of the meeting was The Power of Education Research for Innovation in Practice and Policy.

At the meeting, I presented some of the research we have been working on examining the influence of libraries and museums on early learning. This analysis provides insight into the differences between children who visit museums and those who don’t, including academic achievement.”

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Cites & Insights (14:5) of May 2014 now available

The is now available for downloading.

It is also availabble at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i5.pdf for the 34-page print-oriented two-column version

or at http://citesandinsights.info/civ14i5on.pdf for the 65-page 6×9 online/tablet-oriented single-column version.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer’s tomb

Source: The Washington Post, 19 April 2014, by Associated Press

CAIRO — Egypt’s minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens and a bronze inkwell.

Mohammed Ibrahim said that the writing utensils were found next to a mummy, which is well preserved, and that the discovery was made in collaboration Egyptian archeologists.

Click here to read full article

Thursday, April 17, 2014

OpenAIRE - Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe

http://www.openaire.eu/

The FP7 project OpenAIRE aimed to support the implementation of Open Access in Europe. It provides the means to promote and realize the widespread adoption of the Open Access Policy, as set out by the ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access and the Open Access pilot launched by the European Commission.

Its successor OpenAIREplus is aimed at linking the aggregated research publications to the accompanying research and project information, datasets and author information. The goal is to make through the portal www.openaire.eu, as much European funded research output as possible available to all. This research output, whether it is publications, datasets or project information is not only accessible through the OpenAIRE portal, extra functionalities are also offered, such as statistics, reporting tools and widgets – making OpenAIRE a useful support service for researchers, coordinators and project managers.

OpenAIRE relies heavily on a decentralized structure where there is a representation in all member states (the so-called NOADs or National Open Access Desks) who can give specialized advice. If you have a question about a country-specific situation, you can contact them.

Researchers working for European funded projects can participate by depositing their research output in their own repository, publish with participating journals or deposit directly in the OpenAIRE repository ZENODO– and indicating the project it belongs to in the metadata.

Dedicated pages per project are visible on the OpenAIRE portal. OpenAIRE’s three main objectives are to: a) build support structures for researchers in depositing FP7 research publications through the establishment of the European Helpdesk and the outreach to all European member states through the operation and collaboration of 27 National Open Access Liaison Offices; b) establish and operate an electronic infrastructure for handling peer-reviewed articles as well as other important forms of publications (pre-prints or conference publications). This is achieved through a portal that is the gateway to all user-level services offered by the e-Infrastructure established, including access (search and browse) to scientific publications and other value-added functionality (post authoring tools, monitoring tools through analysis of document and usage statistics); and c) work with several subject communities to explore the requirements, practices, incentives, workflows, data models, and technologies to deposit, access, and combine research datasets of various forms in combination with research publications.

Enhancing librarians’ ICT skills for research enablement in African universities: a Carnegie-funded CPD programme

Applications are now open for the first intake of the Carnegie-funded Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, which is aimed at enhancing ICT skills for research enablement in African universities. Academic librarians and LIS faculty in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda are eligible to apply for admission to this programme.

Eight four-week training sessions will take place over a period of three years. 32 participants will be selected for each intake.

This four-week residential training programme with both practical (70%) and theoretical (30%) components will cover the following topics:

1.       Setting the context: Libraries, ICTs and research 
2.       Leadership and innovation
3.       Information literacy
4.       Social media for research discoverability in an academic environment
5.       Mobile technology and mobility
6.       Managing and organising information
7.       Personal Information Management
8.       Open Scholarship and Open Science (OS/S) – Publishing
9.       Open Scholarship and Open Science - Institutional Repositories.
10.   Open Scholarship and Open Science - Understanding and using research data management
11.   Digitisation
12.   Evaluating website architecture
13.   Cloud computing and storage
14.   Virtual research environments
15.   The next generation librarian

This is a fully funded programme which will take place in Pretoria, South Africa. The funding covers books and other academic expenditures, flights, accommodation, and a daily stipend while in Pretoria. All participants are expected to reside in the accommodation provided in Pretoria for the duration of the programme.

Grant exclusions:
·         Visa applications, personal expenses (for example medicine, laundry, phone calls, etc.)
·         ICT equipment such as laptops, modems, internet access top-ups etc.
·         Travel to and from the airport in your home country

Application for the first intake of 2014 closes on 29 April 2014.  No late applications will be considered. (There will be a second intake in November 2014, as well as further intakes in 2015 and 2016.)

For additional information on the programme content, eligibility and selection criteria, application procedures, important dates, etc., please see:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Young Iraqi hopes books will stop his peers from migrating

Source: The Washington Post, 8 April 2014, by Jane Arraf

Bathed in the rainbow-colored light of an old Baghdadi window, Ali al-Makhzomy explained his plan to get technology-obsessed young Iraqis to read books — old-fashioned books, with pages.

Outside the cafe where he sat, concrete blocks protect businesses from car bombs. Eleven years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, young people who despair of a future in Iraq are still trying to emigrate. Many of those who remain hope that their country will someday emerge as a new version of ultra-modern, oil-rich Dubai.

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Welsh libraries and museums get £2.2m cash injection

Source: BBC News, 9 April 2014

The National Library of Wales has been awarded more than £320,000 to develop its online services as part of a £2.2m package for libraries and museums around Wales.

Reconstruction of Sarajevo Library Nearing End

Source: The Associated Press, 11 April 2014, by Aida Cerkez

Workers are rushing to finish the reconstruction of the Sarajevo Library – a landmark destroyed during the Bosnian war – in time for the June ceremonies marking the centenary of the assassination that ignited World War I. The reconstruction has taken 18 years – nine times longer than the building’s original construction 120 years ago by the Austro-Hungarian Empire that ruled over Bosnia then and built it to be the City Hall. Later it was turned into the National Library.

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VIDEO (2:39) What do the Bodleian Libraries mean to you?

"The most efficient way of getting access to whatever knowledge and information I need": Academics, students and visitors to the Bodleian Libraries share their views on the importance of our collections, digital resources, buildings and services.

OCLC Research Distinguished Seminar Series Presentation: Inside the Digital Public Library of America

In this OCLC Research Distinguished Seminar Series presentation, DPLA Founding Executive Director Dan Cohen goes behind the scenes to discuss how the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) was created, how it functions as a portal and platform, what the staff is currently working on, and what's to come for the young project and organization.

PowerPoint slides (62 pages; PDF)

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NLM and Wellcome Library Establish Agreement to Make 150 Years of Biomedical Journals Freely Available Online

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, 10 April 2014

Representatives of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), a component of the National Institutes of Health, and the Wellcome Trust recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to make thousands of complete back issues of historically-significant biomedical journals freely available online. The terms of the MOU include a donation of £750,000 ($1.2 million) to the NLM that will support coordination of the three-year project to scan original materials from NLM's collection at the article level, and Wellcome's work to secure copyright clearances and permissions for electronic deposit from publishers. NLM will undertake conservation of the original material to ensure its preservation for future generations.

NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.

Key journals charting the development of modern medicine over the last 150 years will be digitized in their entirety and made available on the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC) and its European counterpart, Europe PMC. The project builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project (2004-2010) and will contribute substantially to the current PMC archive of over 3 million articles from medical journals.

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Does a baby's name affect its chances in life? (Recent published books & studies)

Source: BBC News, 11 April 2014, by William Kremer

When parents spend hours poring over baby name books they may imagine that their choice will have a major impact on their child's life. But do names make a difference? Two recent books put this idea under the microscope.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Behavior Data vs. Patron Privacy: Productive Discomfort | Peer to Peer Review

Source: Library Journal, 10 April 2014, by Dorothea Salo

I’ve finally dumped Gmail forever.

Though the process took quite some time—moving mailing-list subscriptions, changing profiles on websites that knew me by my Gmail address, extracting the messages I needed to keep, and similar chores—the relief of a little more freedom from Google’s privacy-invasive data mining has been well worth the trouble for me. I want as little as possible to do with a company that allegedly thinks trawling and keeping behavior-profile data from college students’ school-mandated, school-purchased email accounts without notice or consent is in some way ethical.

I bring this up because of a strong tension I noticed at the recent Library Technology Conference between library notions of privacy and academic libraries’ salutary desire to use various forms of patron behavior data to improve websites and other services. How much are we willing to snoop to get better at what we do? How do we gauge potential (not actual, let us pray) harm to patrons? When we do decide that snooping is worth the risks, how do we protect our patrons from data breaches (making the news at too many higher education institutions of late) and reidentification attacks? How do we avoid participating in today’s sinister commercial and political nightmare of greedy, thoughtless, not-always-disclosed physical and digital surveillance? Does performing surveillance in our much-trusted libraries not legitimize the other surveillance regimes?

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The real promise of big data: It’s changing the whole way humans will solve problems

Source: Venture Beat, 9 February 10`4, by Zavain Dar

Current “big data” and “API-ification” trends can trace their roots to a definition Kant first coined in the 18th century. In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant drew a dichotomy between analytic and synthetic truths.

An analytic truth was one that could be derived from a logical argument, given an underlying model or axiomatization of the objects the statement referred to. Given the rules of arithmetic we can say “2+2=4” without putting two of something next to two of something else and counting a total of four.

A synthetic truth, on the other hand, was a statement whose correctness could not be determined without access to empirical evidence or external data. Without empirical data, I can’t reason that adding five inbound links to my webpage will increase the number of unique visitors 32%.

In this vein, the rise of big data and the proliferation of programmatic interfaces to new fields and industries have shifted the manner in which we solve problems. Fundamentally, we’ve gone from creating novel analytic models and deducing new findings, to creating the infrastructure and capabilities to solve the same problems through synthetic means.

Until recently, we used analytical reasoning to drive scientific and technological advancements. Our emphasis was either 1) to create new axioms and models, or 2) to use pre-existing models to derive new statements and outcomes.

BOOK (2014) STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds

Authors: Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt

Published: ALA Editions, 2014, 256 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1222-5

Story Time Effective Practice (STEP), developed by the authors, is an approach that articulates the link between child development theory and storytimes. This important resource shows how presenters can use STEP to craft a storytime that is effective for mixed-age groups and adheres to best practices for emotional, social, physical, and cognitive support. In this book, Ghoting and Klatt, both early literacy experts,

  • Offer more than 30 complete ready-to-use storytimes appropriate for newborns to children age 5, along with extension activities
  • Show how STEP relates to emotional, social, cognitive, and physical development
  • Explain how storytime materials and activities directly connect to language and literacy development
  • Include preparation, planning, and performance tips, plus guidance for interacting with parents and caregivers
  • Provide lists of recommended additional resources, including organizations, websites, and sources for storytime time activity ideas

</>This book is a must-have guide for storytime presenters, preschool teachers, child care providers, and parents of young children.

National Museum's Viking Ireland video series

Source: The History Blog, 9 April 2014

The National Museum of Ireland has put together a wonderful video series based on their Viking Ireland exhibit. It's a tour of Viking history in Ireland as seen through some of the artifacts on display. Each of the eight videos is short and eminently digestible, a sort of capsule history on topics like Viking swords and trade. It also makes you want to go to the museum something fierce, which is obviously the entire point, so job well done, National Museum of Ireland!

Read full article and watch videos 

Impac Literary Prize: Authors vie for lucrative award

Source: BBC News, 10 April 2014

The shortlist for the world's most lucrative book award, the Impac Dublin Literary Prize, pits debut Irish author Donal Ryan against international starts such as Colombian Juan Gabriel Vasquez.

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The winner of the 2014 international prize - run by Dublin City Libraries - will be announced on 12 June.

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Digitising cave art will prevent it being lost forever

Source: New Scientist, 11 April 2014, by Aviva Rutkin

Virtual records of fragile archaeological sites will preserve them for future generations when it's not possible to defend them from the elements.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Amazon already designing eighth generation of delivery drones, says Jeff Bezos

Source: The Verge, 10 April 2014, by Adi Robertson

Amazon has plenty of issues to resolve before its Prime Air delivery drones stand a chance of getting in the air, but CEO Jeff Bezos says the company is rapidly testing more prototypes. In a letter to shareholders published with the SEC, Bezos said that the Prime Air team is "already flight testing our fifth and sixth generation aerial vehicles, and we are in the design phase on generations seven and eight." We don't know how much innovation is actually happening between these generations, but the team will have to solve the problem of making a craft with enough power and battery life to travel 10 miles with up to 5 pounds of cargo, something that's currently no easy task. From there, they'll have to find solutions for more complicated problems, and some of Bezos' plans — like having his octocopters land right on someone's front lawn — may not be feasible right now. He's previously said that Prime Air could be four to five years away, and he certainly didn't contradict that in the letter.

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BOOK (Oct 2013) Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning: Policy Issues, the Workplace, Health and Public Libraries

Title: Information literacy and lifelong learning: policy issues, the workplace, health and public libraries

Authors: John Crawford and Christine Irving

Imprint: Chandos Publishing, 15 October 2013, 1st edition

Print ISBN: 9781843346821

eBook ISBN: 9781780633480

320 pages

Available from Elsevier Store

This book reviews the role of information literacy (IL) in developing employability skills, personal health management and informal learning from a variety of areas including information policy issues, information usage and training needs and skills development. Early years education, lifelong learning and the role of IL in relevant organizations, including government departments, skills agencies, and professional bodies is also considered.

With a U.K. focus, this book also looks at the leading role of the U.S. in the development of information literacy policy. Case studies and examples of good practice are included and discussed, drawn primarily from Europe, North America and Australasia; it also identifies examples from other countries. The book looks at value and impact, and discusses policymaking and issues for the future. It is aimed at LIS practitioners and students, information professionals, and those concerned with information policy issues.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Open Educational Resources Research Hub (OER Research Hub)

Source: http://oerresearchhub.org/

The Open Educational Resources Research Hub (OER Research Hub) provides a focus for research, designed to give answers to the overall question ‘What is the impact of OER on learning and teaching practices?’ and identify the particular influence of openness. We do this by working in collaboration with projects across four education sectors (K12, college, higher education and informal) extending a network of research with shared methods and shared results. By the end of this research we will have evidence for what works and when, but also established methods and instruments for broader engagement in researching the impact of openness on learning.

Read more

Twitter Gives a New Look to User Profiles

Source: The New York Times, 8 April 2014, by Vindu Goel

Twitter began the rollout Tuesday of a new look for its profile pages that is meant to highlight each user's best tweets.

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BOOK (2014) The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

Author: Jeremy Rifkin

Published: Palgrave Macmillan, 1 April 2014, 368 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1137278463

In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces.

Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods.

The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and “exchange value” in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by “sharable value” on the Collaborative Commons.

Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.

BOOK (2014) Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Author: Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Published: Random House, 8 April 2014, 368 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0812993011

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.” 

For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, and WALL-E, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable. Read more

BOOK (2014) The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (by Robert Dawson)

Author: Robert Dawson

Published: Princeton Architectural Press, 8 April 2014, 192 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1616892173

Many of us have vivid recollections of childhood visits to a public library: the unmistakable musty scent, the excitement of checking out a stack of newly discovered books. Today, the more than 17,000 libraries in America also function as de facto community centers offering free access to the internet, job-hunting assistance, or a warm place to take shelter. And yet, across the country, cities large and small are closing public libraries or curtailing their hours of operation. Over the last eighteen years, photographer Robert Dawson has crisscrossed the country documenting hundreds of these endangered institutions. The Public Library presents a wide selection of Dawson's photographs— from the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library to Allensworth, California's one-room Tulare County Free Library built by former slaves. Accompanying Dawson's revealing photographs are essays, letters, and poetry by some of America's most celebrated writers. A foreword by Bill Moyers and an afterword by Ann Patchett bookend this important survey of a treasured American institution.

TED TALK video (7:54) You don't need an app for that (by Toby Shapshak)

Are the simplest phones the smartest? While the rest of the world is updating statuses and playing games on smartphones, Africa is developing useful SMS-based solutions to everyday needs, says journalist Toby Shapshak. In this eye-opening talk, Shapshak explores the frontiers of mobile invention in Africa as asks us to reconsider our preconceived notions of innovation.

TED TALK video (4:41) A 12-year-old app developer (by Thomas Suarez)

ARTICLE (2014) Open access monographs and the role of the library

Title: Open access monographs and the role of the library

Authors: Ellen Collins and Graham Stone

Published: Insight, the UKSG Journal, volume 27, Supplement 1 / 2014

Abstract: If open access (OA) books are to succeed, they need to operate in a way that works for academic libraries. Humanities researchers rely upon libraries to help them find and access many of the books they need for their research. Furthermore, many business models require direct input from librarians in the form of funding for first-copy costs or alternative formats. This article uses interviews with librarians and repository managers at four UK universities to consider some key issues for OA monographs from the point of view of librarians, and concludes with a reflection on these findings from the point of view of the University of Huddersfield’s Library.

Read full-text article (PDF; 6 pages)

Some New Technology To Take Note Of

Some new technology to take note of:

1) Land Rover unveils 'invisible' car concept 

Source: Huffington Post, UK, 9 April 2014

Your next car might be transparent.

Land Rover has unveiled a stunning concept of a car which uses cameras and augmented reality to turn the bonnet 'see through', from the driver's perspective.

Read full article



2) Solar Impulse unveils fuel-free plane for round-the-world flight

Source: NBC News, 9 April 2014, by Alan Boyle

The Swiss team that flew a solar-powered airplane across America has unveiled the even bigger plane that they plan to take around the world a year from now.

Read full article



3) Can robots have social intelligence?

Source: Phys.org, 9 April 2014

Visiting Eric Horvitz at Microsoft Research headquarters in Redmond, Wash., is a full-service experience.

At the building's first-floor bank of elevators, situated on a busy corridor, a "smart elevator" opens its doors, sensing that you need a ride.

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4) Meet your unborn child - before it's even conceived

Source: New Scientist, 9 April 2014

A service that creates digital embryos by virtually mixing two people's DNA will allow parents to screen out genetic disorders - and perhaps much more.

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5) StoreDot has plans for 30-second battery charge

Source: Phys.org, 8 April 2014, by Nancy Owano

Small wonder an Israeli company StoreDot attracted so much same-day press on Monday with its announcement of a battery technology capable of charging smartphones and other devices in 30 seconds, or, as StoreDot put it, "in less time than StoreDot needs to explain how this cutting-edge technology works."

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