Letter From Monterey

Dear World,

Yes, I’m in Monterey, attending the Internet Librarian conference. I’m having a great time. I intended to blog about it more than I have so far, but the wifi access at the conference has been abysmal. My roommate and I are paying for hi-speed cable access in our hotel room, so I’m taking advantage of that to write this letter. There will be more blogging in the future.

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I’m Not Worried About My Stapler

I don’t usually post the results I get from these internet quizzes, but I rather like this one (which was found on a coworker’s blog):

I’m a Talent!

You’re a risk-taker, and you follow your passions. You’re determined to take on the world and succeed on your own terms. Whether in the arts, science, engineering, business, or politics, you fearlessly express your own vision of the world. You’re not afraid of a fight, and you’re not afraid to bet your future on your own abilities. If you find a job boring or stifling, you’re already preparing your resume. You believe in doing what you love, and you’re not willing to settle for an ordinary life.

Talent: 64%
Lifer: 21%
Mandarin: 59%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

The sum of the equation is this: I love my profession, I love my current job, and I have to admit, if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t quit my job.

Getting the Library Out of the Library

My teammate Amy is a wizard. Today, she added a line of code to our Library homepage so that when you go there, you can add our Library catalog to your IE7 or Firefox search box. Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait here.

Back? Good, because there’s more. She also created a widget for your iGoogle page which also allows you to search our catalog. There are now two ways to search our catalog without having to go to our site at all. Pretty nifty, eh?

Web X

Jennifer Graham and I were talking about Web 2.0 and how neither of us really understands what the “Semantic Web” that is supposedly Web 3.0 could be. I mean, I went to college, I was an English major, I’m not a complete idiot…but no explanation of the “Semantic Web” has given me much of an idea of how it would work and what “Semantic Web” means. (Anyone who can explain the concept to me in a way that leads me to understanding gets a prize.)

At any rate, here’s my idea for further Web “upgrades”:

Web 4.0: the Holographic Web. The Web will be all around us, in 3 glorious dimensions and full color.

Web 5.0: the Ecological Web. The fully immersive Holographic Web leads to 3-dimensional ecosystems of information, growing and interacting all around us.

Web 6.0: the Cyberweb. Artificial intelligence, or the closest thing to it, spreads throughout the Web. All Web-connected machines (computers, media devices, toasters, refrigerators, etc) become independently-thinking machines, existing equally with flesh-based life.

Web 7.0: the Broken Web. A plague of solar flares disrupts all electronic information-communication systems on the planet, leading to huge crashes in the strands of the World Wide Web. Informational ecosystems become isolated and inbred. Meanwhile, solar flares and massive climate change lead to startling mutations in flesh-based life.

Web 8.0: the Changing Web. Mutant humans, animals, and cybernetic lifeforms rise up and seize control of the planet from non-mutated lifeforms. The World Wide Web becomes a system of ever-mutating language and information, like Second Life on ‘shrooms.

Web 9.0: the Cosmic Web. Radio waves and mutant psychic forces beam the Web out into space, across the galaxies. Files are stored in the hearts of stars. Social networking is routed through wormholes. Everything in the cosmos is miscellaneous.

After that…well, I leave that to you to imagine.

EDIT: My wife noticed that I had “Web 7.0” twice. I’ve fixed it, so now the Cosmic Web is Web 9.0.

IL07’s a’comin’

One week from today, I’ll be winging it to Monterey for my second time to attend the Internet Librarian conference. Last time, I went alone. This year, I’ll be traveling with six of my coworkers. I’m really looking forward to attending the conference, hanging out with my Johnson County Library comrades in Monterey, and seeing the library pals I usually only get to interact with online. I’ve posted my schedule on the IL wiki, and I’m organizing a meet-up of the Library Society of the World. This year at IL will be a real shindig!

Getting Gutsy

Right in schedule, the latest version of Ubuntu Linux, called “Gutsy Gibbon,” was released on Thursday. I upgraded last night, and it went more smoothly than any past upgrade has. So far I haven’t noticed any huge differences between this version and the last, but it’s running at least as well as the previous version did. And best of all, it was both free (like beer) and easy (not like kittens) to upgrade!

New Jack City

I popped over to my local Borders this afternoon to burn a couple of coupons and was surprised to find they had done some redecorating, including a new multimedia center where you can burn music tracks to your own CD or download them directly to your MP3 player. I had a few questions, so I tracked a clerk down and politely interrogated her.

Me: Can you download tracks to any MP3 player?

Clerk: We’re not compatible with iPods or Zunes, but any other MP3 player should work. If you bring your MP3 player in, we can hook it up to our computer and check its compatibility.

Me: Once I’ve downloaded tracks to my MP3 player, is there a limit to how many times I can copy the tracks to other computers or MP3 players.

Clerk: No, there’s no limit.

Me: So, no DRM?

Clerk: No.

I didn’t check to see if there’s a “user agreement” to downloading music that violates fair use as Amazon’s DRM-free MP3 store apparently does, and it’s not good that you can’t download music to iPods or Zunes (although considering those are Apple and Microsoft products, I’m betting that’s the decision of Apple and Microsoft, not Borders, because of the lack of DRM), but so far, Border’s music download system looks promising.