Monday, 27 April 2009

ArXiv on iPhone

Yvonne pointed me to this.

The arXiv preprint server gives you access to over a half million articles on physics, mathematics, computer science, and more. ArXiview is your portal on the iPhone to this wealth of information.

* Browsing arXiv categories by date. Keep up to date not just on the latest days posting, but postings from the last week or any date you wish. The first iPhone arxiv browser to offer full date browsing.
* Search the arXiv by author, title, full text, with and without restrictions to specific categories of the arXiv.
* Save preprints to your iPhone for later, offline browsing. Organize your offline readings in self-named folders.
* Email yourself or others preprint information for later reference.
* Read PDFs in both landscape and portrait mode.
* Arrange arXiv categories and subcategories in an order of your preference, for quick access.

I've downloaded it (at a cost of 59p!) and installed on my iPod Touch. Will report on what it's like to use when I have a chance.

The content area is fascinating but pretty specialised. But it's made me think that a really nice Arcadia project would be to develop a more general iPhone App that would do something useful for the Science Portal. Or perhaps there's a neat App for medical information?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

New 'sixth sense' interface initative

This BBC article describes MIT's prottype user interface, projecting web information and interface elements onto everyday objects.

In an environment where digital and physical resources share space, such technology could be very useful.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

"What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age"
"What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age"

A report of preliminary findings and analysis from student discussion groups held
on 7 U.S. campuses in Fall 2008, as part of Project Information Literacy. Qualitative data from
discussions with higher education students across the country suggest that conducting research is particularly challenging. Students’ greatest challenges are related to their perceived inability to find desired materials. Students seek “contexts” as part of the research process. A preliminary typology of the research contexts is developed and introduced. Finding contexts for “backgrounding” topics and for figuring out how to traverse complex information landscapes may be the most difficult part of the research process. Our findings also suggest that students create effective methods for conducting research by using traditional methods, such as libraries, and self-taught, creativeworkarounds, such as “presearch” and Wikipedia, in different ways.

FaceBook reaches 200 million users. Growing at 500,000 a day

From | Tech Blog | techfile 9.04.09.

Facebook registered its 200 millionth active user, continuing its stunning growth. Just in January the site claimed it had 150m users. That amounts to an additional 50m users in the past three months, or about 500,000 new users per day. Much of this new growth is coming internationally, however, where internet traffic is harder to monetise.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

"Where Do You Learn?": Tweeting to Inform Learning Space Development

Thanks to Lorcan Dempsey's tweet for this.

"We recruited 15 students to take part in a two-week study. During this time — in exchange for a token payment of Amazon vouchers — we asked each participant to:
  • Register for a Twitter account and tweet an average of three times per day about their learning activities and the spaces they were using;
  • Provide three longer summaries per week offering additional information on points of interest selected by us (for example, "You mention working in x location — what is it about this space that works for you?"); and
  • Take part in a final reflective interview at the end of the fortnight."

Monday, 6 April 2009

Secrets from science librarians that can save you hours of work.

The Scientist confirms what we already knew....... (though there's one or 2 points I might take issue with)

Sunday, 5 April 2009

The social life of networks

I gave the opening Keynote to the JANET Networkshop 2009 conference last Tuesday.

For anyone suffering from insomnia, the mp3 is here.

The future of (Dutch) libraries

Andrew keen spoke at Bibliotheekplaza in Amsterdam last week and had this to say about it:

Last week, I was lucky enough to find myself in the fair city of Amsterdam in the company of several hundred Dutch librarians. I was addressing Bibliotheekplaza 2009, an annual convention of Dutch librarians focused on using the tools of the Web revolution to modernize libraries. Borrowing the wisdom of my Twitter buddies, I argued in my speech that while most libraries today do represent the most crusty and dusty of the ancien media regime, they also have a great opportunity to become the next-generation curators of digital information.

My audience of Dutch librarians agreed with my argument that, in the midst of today’s chaotic digital revolution, we need reliably curatorial libraries and libraries more than ever now. Like in Britain, librarians in Holland are under tremendous pressure to reform. Unlike in Britain or America, however, the Dutch, with their trademark foresight, are actively investing in libraries of the future. The two most innovatively interactive libraries in Holland are the central public libraries in Amsterdam and Delft both of which have both radically reinvented themselves for the new digital age.

At Bibliotheekplaza, I chatted with Rob Visser, the guy who has been driving the remarkable digital revolution at the Amsterdam public library. Instead of the dustiness and crustiness of the typical 20th century library, visitors to Amsterdam’s central public library will find not only books, but a restaurant as well as a children’s theatre and a public radio and television studio. The library, which is open every day from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm, also holds a series of cultural festivals – such as the upcoming week of poetry – which it then broadcasts on the Internet.