Sunday, December 24, 2006

Free Music to You from the Internet

I love my laptop computer. Unfortunately it is not as fast as my desktop computer. For this reason I do not download music files --take up too much storage space. But since I do love to listen to music while working, I spent some time locating good music--free--to listen to on my laptop.

Here are three free and totally different types of music sites on the web. Download the one you like the best, or all three as I have done.

Pandora allows you to play music just like you like. Start out with a song or artist that you enjoy. Pandora will play that artist, plus will mix in similar songs or artists. You indicate how you like the selection, and the music gradually is tailored to your tastes. You can create additional "stations" to fit your changing moods.

Radio Paradise is more of a conventional radio station. The music is mellow and varied. A playlist is included. You will hear a disc jockey occasionally, but otherwise there is no advertising or interruption between songs. This site is just click and go; no listener involvement necessary. If you wish, you can join as a member, chat, comment, etc. The "LRC" tab enables one to rate a song and to upload songs, though it appears not all songs played can be uploaded. makes full use of the latest technologies to bring music to the listener tailored to his or her tastes. The site makes use of "cloud tags" and monitoring techniques. You can see what is the most popular type of music, the most popular songs, tracks, artists, albums etc. Or, you can just listen to music after picking the genres you favor. Similar to Pandora, the station will gradually learn what you like best, and tailor itself to your tastes.

Best of all, these three sites are free, although you will be asked to join. So check them out, and if you decide to utilize any of them, consider the site my gift to you this Christmas.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas at the Whitehouse

Christmas is special at the Whitehouse. Today I want to take you on an internet tour of the festivities there. First we have the Christmas tour of the wonderful old home, brought to us through the colorful paintings of Pamela Carroll. Learn a little history as you tour the rooms and see what the first family has been up to this Christmas. (hint: their pretty good at decorating!) Next, I know you want to read the official Whitehouse Christmas skit. This year's main performer is Barney, the Bush family terrier. He shares the stage, however, with Ms Beazley and the family kitty, known to those who love her as Ms Kitty. After you have read the skit, just click on any picture of Barney you see, and take the picture tour of the First Pets as they prance around the Christmas tree and all about the Whitehouse. Gosh, the way they act, you'd think they owned the place!

A New Way to Post Blog Entries

Today I am utilizing new technology to write this blog entry.  A post came to my attention this week through my RSS feeder on the subject of easing the burden of blogging.  Blogging is lots of fun, and when time allows can be a mental challenge. By that I mean it can be a challenge to put together an article of real interest.  Most of what  I post I confess is thrown together, grabbed from other sites, or very short.  Only a few articles have been challenging.  One of the reasons is that it takes time to undertake the interesting stuff, such as include pictures or links to other sites.  Well, This new website I discovered has changed that.

I am writing this piece on a site called WriteToMyBlog.  When I'm done, I will click a few buttons and this post will automatically appear on the Montgomery Advertiser blog.  It will also appear on my other blog, "Library Universe".  To create the link in this paragraph, all I had to do was click a button, cut and paste the target URL, click another button, and done!

WriteToMyBlog looks like a standard Microsoft Word application, with a few additional icons to enable doing those things that bloggers like to do, like post pictures easily and add links.  Word is familiar to most people, so using this new site is second nature. Oh, and I failed to mention, it is a web-based application.  This means that one can work on any computer through WriteToMyBlog. It does not require that you be on the computer that you usually use.  So go to the beach and write a blog!

It's pretty cool! 

Sunday, December 10, 2006

NY Times Announces LIbrarians of the Year

This year's award winners are out in the New York Times annual award for Best Libarian.  The award is given to the best librarians in various categories.  To view the winners, click .

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Library Thing

1) Background

a) Launched August 29, 2005 by Tim Spalding, a computer programmer, as a means to catalog his own book collection and to foster an online community of bibliophiles.

b) As of today (2 November 2006) according to the site (see Zeitgeist tab) there are 97,412 members, 6,815,330 books cataloged, 9,260,407 tags added, 1,349,659 unique works, 81, 911 reviews, 55,177 works reviewed, and 966 user groups (“Librarians who LibraryThing” is the largest!).

2) Add books to your library very quickly

a) By any of these entry points:

i) Title

ii) Author

iii) ISBN

iv) LC Card Number

b) Just insert one item of information and hit “enter”—LibraryThing does most of the data entry for you!

3) Useful uses

a) People can use LibraryThing to catalog all of the books that they own.

b) People can use it to look up specific works using the above entry points, or to serendipitously browse books using several means, such as tags, similar works lists, or can view libraries of other members, etc.

c) Once a work is located, LibraryThing can tell you what nearby library holds the work.

d) Swap a book that you hold for another that someone else owns through third party intermediaries such as Bookmooch, which are linked to LibraryThing. Never buy another book again!!!

e) Pull up books in your collection on LibraryThing by all of these entry points: title, tag, LC call number, self-created “call number”, subject, ISBN, author, date of publication, your personal five- star rating, publisher, or date that you enter the work into your LibraryThing library.

f) Display your books visually (Your Library tab> cover view).

g) Read reviews of books—write your own reviews. Reviews are found under the “Your profile” tab. Some reviews are surprisingly well done.

h) See pictures of the authors of works. (Your Profile tab>Author Gallery).

i) Find the highest rated books and check out LibraryThing recommendations that seem to reflect your current library/interests. (All under the “Pssst! Tab)

j) Import libraries from outside sources or URLs.

Popular Cataloging Services and their URLs

1. LibraryThing

2. Chainreading

3. Librarious

4. Listal

5. GreedyMe

6. Lendmonkey

7. Dine52

8. MyProgs

9. Twofifty

10. Bookmooch

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ISBN Numbers are Changing Soon!

Beginning on January 1, 2007, the ubiquitous ISBN number found on all books will complete a radical transformation. It will no longer be comprised of only ten digits. It will instead be thirteen digits in length. For more information on this change, Click Here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Co-Founder to Launch Edited Version of Wikipedia

Pilot Project for the Citizendium to Launch This Week

MOUNT HERMON, California – October 17, 2006 – A major new encyclopedia project will soon attempt to unseat Wikipedia as the go-to destination for general information online. Like Wikipedia, the Citizendium (sit-ih-ZEN-dee-um), or "the Citizen’s Compendium," will be a wiki project open to public collaboration. But, unlike Wikipedia, the community will be guided by expert editors, and contributors will be expected to use their own names, not anonymous pseudonyms.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Wikipedia’s co-founder, Larry Sanger, who, after leaving the well-known wiki project, became one of its more vocal critics. Sanger first announced the effort on September 15 at the Wizards of OS conference in Berlin. Sanger, who holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Ohio State University, has taken a leave of absence from the Digital Universe Foundation in order to lead the new project.

This week, the fledgling Citizendium Foundation will launch a six-week pilot project open to potential contributors by invitation (see

"Not only enormous and free, but reliable"

"Wikipedia has accomplished great things, but the world can do even better," said Sanger. "By engaging expert editors, eliminating anonymous contribution, and launching a more mature community under a new charter, a much broader and more influential group of people and institutions will be able to improve upon Wikipedia’s extremely useful, but often uneven work. The result will be not only enormous and free, but reliable."

Gareth Leng, Professor of Experimental Physiology of the University of Edinburgh, has agreed to serve as one such Citizendium editor. Professor Leng said, "Public understanding of science needs scientists to help to explain, clearly and objectively, what science can do and what it can’t, its weaknesses as well as its strengths, its failures as well as its promise. At the Citizendium, our role will not be to tell readers what opinions they should hold, but to give them the means to decide, rationally, for themselves."

The Citizendium will begin by "mirroring" Wikipedia’s content, which its license, the GNU Free Documentation License, permits. Contributors will then be able to edit articles under the new system. The eventual goal will be to either improve or replace all Wikipedia-sourced content. The Citizendium’s expert editors will also be able to bless versions of articles as "approved," but without freezing further article development on the wiki. Participants hope a giant body of trustworthy free content will result.

Organizational work ramping up quickly

The Citizendium is ramping up organizational work quickly and a number of people have already put in many hours on the project. Since its initial announcement, the project has added over 340 members to its main e-mail discussion list, where discussions have focused on what policies the new project should follow. There is also an active Web-based forum and a planning wiki.

The pilot project will be invitation-only. Invitations can be applied for on the website (see During this time, editors, community managers called "constables," as well as rank-and-file authors will together develop the rules of the project. They will also actually get to work editing and creating new articles.

For the pilot project, Steadfast Networks of Chicago is providing a server and bandwidth free of charge. Three experienced system administrators, including Peter Hitchmough of the U.K. and Greg Sabino Mullane and Jason Potkanski of the U.S., are leading the Citizendium’s technical efforts. The Chief Constable for the project is Ruth Ifcher, who played early, key roles in the Citizendium’s predecessors, Nupedia and Wikipedia. The project mailing lists are being hosted by Purdue University, and the main mailing list moderator is Australian Phil Wardle.

Project leaders have launched a contributor recruitment drive to attract college students and professors, research scientists, independent scholars, and people who simply like to read books. Already, partly as a result of early news coverage of the Citizendium on, the Guardian, and in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, dozens of well-qualified people have already applied to become editors. One of these is Jaime Nubiola, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Navarra (Spain). "I was involved in Nupedia years ago," Nubiola said, "and I am excited now to take part in the Citizendium."

The project will also be reaching out to professional and academic organizations. "Such organizations usually have an educational mission, with which we will be uniquely positioned to help," said Sanger. "So we want to make a special place for representatives of these organizations in our editorial workgroups. We hope they’ll respond positively to our solicitations, which we’ll be sending out soon."

After initial work, the project will be opened up to public view, and to contribution by anyone who supplies his or her real name, a working e-mail address, and a statement of commitment to the Citizendium’s "social contract," or basic policies.

A new Citizendium Foundation looks to the future

The Citizendium Foundation has started the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status. The organization has received a firm commitment for a significant seed grant from a foundation, as well as small personal donations. Finally, discussions are under way with a major computer manufacturer about the possibility of project support.

The project will launch initially in the English language. There is some interest in similar Wikipedia branches in other languages, so some may be launched next year. Project participants are also interested in pooling their resources for related projects in the future.

CONTACT: Dr. Larry Sanger The Citizendium Foundation

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Introducing the Book

I wish I could claim this piece as my own, but I cannot. I got it from another blogger, named Treehugger. Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge:

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere, even sitting in an armchair by the fire, yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Here is how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of recyclable paper, each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of your finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by simply opening it.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting. The Browse feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an Index feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval. An optional "BOOKMARK" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session, even if the BOOK is closed. BOOKMARKS fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKMARK can be used in BOOKS by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKMARKS can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, named: "Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus"-or-"PENCILS."

Portable, durable and affordable, the BOOK is being hailed as the precursor of a huge entertainment wave. BOOK'S appeal seems so certain that thousands of content-creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking to the new phenomenon. Look for a flood of new titles soon.