Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NUS historian reconstructs Charles Darwin's Beagle Library online

Source: ACCESS, 15 July 2014

For close to 180 years, Charles Darwin’s library aboard the ship HMS Beagle during his landmark expedition around the world in the 1830s remained lost. The library was dispersed at the end of the voyage. Today, the library has been electronically re-constructed in its entirety and made freely available online as part of the Darwin Online website by historian of science Dr John van Wyhe, a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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Help update the World Directory of Parliamentary Libraries

Source: IFLA, 13 July 2014

The World Directory of Parliamentary Libraries is an electronic directory containing basic data on the parliamentary libraries of sovereign states (at the moment: 192 states). Besides information on how to contact the libraries, the Directory includes data about collections, budget, services, special collections, and staffing.

Read more on this Directory and how to help update it  

Zmartframe brings touch capabilities to old monitors

Source: Gizmag, by Angus MacKenzie, 23 July 2014

While touch screens are an option when buying a new all-in-one PC or monitor, Hong Kong-based Gowin Technology is offering an alternative for those after touch capabilities who don't want to trash their existing monitor. The Zmartframe is a touch-enabled frame that attaches to a monitor to bring touchscreen capabilities to a Windows PC or transform it into a standalone Android touchscreen computer.

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BOOK (2014) Africa's Urban Revolution

Title: Africa's Urban Revolution

Editors: Susan Parnell and Edgar Pieterse

Published: Zed Books, 9 January 2014

320 pages

ISBN: 9781780325200

The facts of Africa’s rapid urbanisation are startling. By 2030 African cities will have grown by more than 350 million people and over half the continent's population will be urban. Yet in the minds of policy makers, scholars and much of the general public, Africa remains a quintessentially rural place. This lack of awareness and robust analysis means it is difficult to make a policy case for a more overtly urban agenda. As a result, there is across the continent insufficient urgency directed to responding to the challenges and opportunities associated with the world’s last major wave of urbanisation. 

Drawing on the expertise of scholars and practitioners associated with the African Centre for Cities, and utilising a diverse array of case studies, Africa's Urban Revolution provides a comprehensive insight into the key issues - demographic, cultural, political, technical, environmental and economic - surrounding African urbanisation. 

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Can you be addicted to the Internet?

Source: Medical Xpress, by Matt Terry, 23 July 2014

A McMaster researcher is trying to understand how much time people spend online – and whether their habits pose a danger to their physical or mental health.

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Wait six years to buy your next car

Source: Kurzweil, by Antiplanner, 23 July 2014

You’ll be able to buy a car that can drive itself under most conditions, with an option for override by a human driver, in 2020, according to the median estimate in a survey of 217 attendees of the 2014 Automated Vehicles Symposium. By 2030, the group estimated, you’ll be able to buy a car that is so fully automated it won’t even have the option for a human driver.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

VIDEO (1:15) Children's museum celebrating anniversary of first lunar landing

Listen to the Oldest Song in the World: A Sumerian Hymn Written 3,400 Years Ago

Source: Open Culture, 8 July 2014

In the early 1950s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the 14th century B.C.E.. Found, WFMU tells us, “in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit,” these tablets “contained cuneiform signs in the hurrian language,” which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered, a 3,400 year-old cult hymn. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, professor of Assyriology at the University of California, produced the interpretation above in 1972.

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BOOK (2013) Exploring Education for Digital Librarians: Meaning, Modes and Models

Title: Exploring Education for Digital Librarians: Meaning, Modes and Models

Authors: Sue Myburgh and Anna Maria Tamaro

Published: Chandos Publishing, 17 April 2013

334 pages

ISBN: 9781843346593

Exploring Education for Digital Librarians provides a refreshing perspective on the discipline and profession of Library and Information Science (LIS), with a focus on preparing students for careers as librarians who can deal with present and future digital information environments. A re-examination of the knowledge base of the field, combined with a proposed theoretical structure for LIS, provide the basis for this work, which also examines competencies for practice as well as some of the international changes in the nature of higher education. The authors finally suggest a model that could be used internationally to educate librarians for their new roles and social responsibilities in a digitised, networked world.

The twelve chapters of this book cover key issues in education for digital librarians, including: the necessity of regenerating the profession; current contexts; previous research on education for digital librarians; understanding the dimensions of the discipline and profession of librarianship, and the distinctions between them; the social purpose of librarianship as a profession and the theoretical framework which supports the practice of the profession; a brief analysis of curriculum design, pedagogies and teaching methods, and a glimpse of the proactive and important future role of librarianship in society. 

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Integrating Into the 'Internet of Things'

Source: LiveScience, written by Kevin Curran, 22 July 2014

Within the next five years, using mobile devices simply for communication will seem outdated. The Internet of Things (IoT) will allow consumers to interact with nearly every appliance and device they own. Your refrigerator will let you know when you're running low on milk, your dishwasher will inform you when it's ready to be emptied. It's possible that you will be getting more text messages from your devices than from human beings.

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VIDEO (13:30) Information Literacy and The New Era of Enlightenment by Paul Zurkowski at LILAC2014

5 Common Data Quality Project Mistakes (and how to resolve them)

Source: The Data Roundtable, written by Dylan Jones, 18 July 2014

Dylan Jones highlights 5 common data quality mistakes and provides practical solutions in this post. Some of the issues he toutches on are connecting data priorities to business priorities, updating data resource libraries and lack of communication across the entire data landscape.

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OpenCurriculum Looks to Foster Open-Source Education by Releasing Free Online Library

Source: TechCrunch, written by Julian Chokkattu, 22 July 2014

Aimed at providing teachers with educational materials by making them open and competitive, OpenCurriculum, which launched in Pittsburgh, curates and organizes material from sites such as teacher blogs and lesson material publishers. Teachers can create lesson plans and more through

In its effort to provide high-quality learning and an openness in K-12 education, OpenCurriculum released a 5,000-document library on its website for math teachers to use as lesson materials. Anyone can use the material on the website without logging in, but to get access to tools such as the lesson plan builder, you need to create an account. The tools aren’t tailored for a particular subject matter.

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Cyberbullies Can't Be Stopped. But They Could Be Quarantined

Source: Popular Science, written by Corinne Lozzio, 14 July 2014

Bullying is a growing threat on the Web, particularly as social media and online gaming continue to grow. Take, for example, Facebook. According to a survey conducted by anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, bullying is twice as likely to happen on Facebook than on any other site. To help curb the problem, Facebook rolled out a Bullying Prevention Hub last November. There, users can learn how to deal with, report, and block bullies. Once alerted to a problem, Facebook administrators might take down offending posts and warn or even remove offenders. Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, and others have similar reporting systems in place.

Those tactics are better than nothing, but they still have a fundamental flaw: They can’t stop attacks before they happen. This spring, Microsoft took a step in that direction by introducing a reputation-tracking system in the Xbox Live community.

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BOOK (2014) Library 3.0: Intelligent Libraries and Apomediation

Title: Library 3.0: intelligent libraries and apomediation

Authors: Kwanya, Stilwell and Underwood

Imprint: Chandos Publishing

Release date: 15 September 2014

200 pages

ISBN:  9781843347187

The emerging generation of research and academic library users expect the delivery of user-centered information services. ‘Apomediation’ refers to the supporting role librarians can give users by stepping in when users need help. Library 3.0 explores the ongoing debates on the “point oh” phenomenon and its impact on service delivery in libraries. This title analyses Library 3.0 and its potential in creating intelligent libraries capable of meeting contemporary needs, and the growing role of librarians as apomediators. Library 3.0 is divided into four chapters. The first chapter introduces and places the topic in context. The second chapter considers “point oh” libraries. The third chapter covers library 3.0 librarianship, while the final chapter explores ways libraries can move towards ‘3.0'.  

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Monday, July 21, 2014

VIDEO (2:21) The Plastic Bank news review with Dawid Katz, Shaun Frankson & Mike Biddle

See also: Ethical 3D printing begins with plastic waste pickers (NewScientist, article by Paul Marks, 18 July 2014) - includes a video (1:05) 

Amazon is testing “Kindle Unlimited,” an ebook subscription service for $9.99 a month

Source: GIGAOM, written by Laura Hazard Owen, 16 July 2014

Amazon is testing an ebook and audiobook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” that offers “unlimited access to over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device for just $9.99 a month.”

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Do you still need a public library, school library, etc? 

First printed book in English sold for over £1m

Source: BBC News, 17 July 2014

A 540-year-old book, known as the first to be printed in the English language, has sold at auction for more than £1m.

The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye is a version of a French book written around 1463.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Microsoft cuts 18,000 jobs

Source: CNN, written by David Goldman, 17 July 2014

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wasn't kidding -- he really is making bold changes.

The software giant said it would cut 18,000 jobs within the next year -- about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees. That's by far the largest round of layoffs in the company's history. 

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Electronic noses sniff out cancer

Source: CNN, written by Kieron monks, 20 July 2014

It's the second most common cancer for men worldwide, but prostate cancer remains difficult to diagnose, with standard blood tests criticized for delivering a high rate of false positives.

But in a study presented in May this year, trained detection dogs were able to identify prostate cancer from a few sniffs of a urine sample with a staggering 98% accuracy, with few false positives. Although the study is by no means conclusive, it joins a growing body of research suggesting dogs could be able to smell out cancers.

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Russia to introduce universal fingerprinting of foreigners

Source: RT, 18 July 2014

Mikhail Serdyuk of the Fair Russia parliamentary caucus has prepared a bill amending the Federal Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation with a paragraph obliging all foreigners to be photographed and fingerprinted as they cross the Russian border. According to the draft, the procedure falls under the supervision of “the federal body of executive power that had been given such powers.”

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

VIDEO (19:24) Social Media ... You haven't seen anything yet by Jerry Kane at TEDxLongwood

EBSCO ebooks adds Arabic titles from the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research

According to an article posted on the No Shelf Required blog on 15 July 2014, "EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) have partnered to make ECSSR titles more accessible for academic users as well as public library users looking for Arabic and English publications covering various political, economic, social and informational fields."

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BOTSWANA - Did you know that the Okavango Delta is now a Natural World Heritage Site?

Typical region in the Okavango Delta, with free canals and lakes, swamps and islands
Image: Wikipedia
The 38th Session of the World Heritage Committee declared the Okavango Delta as a Natural Heritage Site in June 2014.

Click here for more information.

BOOK (2014) Dare we hope? Facing our past to find a new future

Source: University of the Free State, 1 July 2014

In this book, Prof Gobodo-Madikizela explores what she calls the “unfinished business,” Afrikaner rage, why apologies are not enough, and the crisis of moral leadership in politics. Yet, in the face of all this, she shows the way to healing a wounded South African nation.

Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is a Senior Research Professor in Trauma, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Studies at the UFS. Her research has made huge inroads into the reparative elements of victims-perpetrator dialogue in the aftermath of mass trauma and violence. She has served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and spent an extended period at Harvard University. 

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TED2014 VIDEO (35:17) Edward Snowden: Here's how we take back the Internet

3D-printed limbs give hope to Sudan amputees

Source: Aljazeera, 17 July 2014

Small LA based company shares technology with Sudanese medics to provide prosthetic limbs for war victims.

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Kalahari tops in online satisfaction

Source: Fin24, 18 july 2014

South African online consumers have ranked Kalahari as the online retailer providing the best customer experience, according to online research company Columinate's Online Retail SITEisfaction Survey.

In second place was Yuppiechef, third Woolworths, fourth and Groupon in fifth place.

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Dog owners over the age of 65 act 10 years younger than biological age

Source: Medical Xpress, written by Gayle Cook, 18 July 2014

Owning a dog makes older people fitter and healthier, according to new research from the University of St Andrews.

The research, published in the journal Preventative Medicine, found that dog owners over the age of 65 act 10 years younger than their biological age.

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JK Rowling plans crime book spree

Source: BBC News, 18 July 2014

JK Rowling's crime novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith will eventually outnumber her Harry Potter books, she has revealed.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

VIDEO (10:41) Ebola discover: 'This is unprecedented'

CNN's Christiane Amanpour speaks with Dr. Peter Piot about an "out of control" Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) is now available

Cites & Insights 14:8 (August 2014) is now available for downloading at:    

FBI warns driverless cars could become new 'lethal weapon' for terrorists

Self-driving two-seat prototype vehicle conceived and designed by Google
Image: AFP/Google
Source: RT, 16 July 2014

Self-driving cars are being assessed as a “game changing” vehicle and a potential “lethal weapon” according to an internal FBI report, and could be exploited by criminals or terrorists seeking to program explosive-stuffed cars to be self-driving bombs.

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Mobile Apps from the Library of Congress

Library of Congress - Thomas Jefferson Building
Image: Wikipedia

The Library of Congress has 5 mobile apps, namely:

  • U.S. Constitution: Analysis and Interpretation
  • The Congressional Record
  • BARD Mobile
  • Library of Congress - Virtual Tour
  • Aesop for Children

For more information on these apps:    

BOOK (2013) The plugged-in professor: tips and techniques for teaching with social media

Title: The plugged-in professor: tips and techniques for teaching with social media

Editors: SP Ferris and HA Wilder

Imprint: Chandos Publishing

Release date: 15 May 2013

376 pages

Print Book ISBN: 9781843346944

eBook ISBN: 9781780633428

New technologies are transforming the way students work. The Plugged in Professor provides a timely and exceptional resource for using social media and other new technologies to help college students meet both general and discipline-specific objectives. 

The title covers techniques built around well-known social networking technologies, as well as other emerging technologies such as mobile phone and tablet apps. With a practical focus and reader-friendly format, this book shows educators how to apply techniques in each technology, and includes clear student learning objectives, step-by-step directions, observations and advice, and supplemental readings and resources. 

Twenty-five chapters by leading contributors cover key aspects of new technologies in education, in four parts: Writing, research and information fluency; Communication and collaboration; Critical thinking and creativity; and Integrative learning. 

Click here for more information