Thursday, September 11, 2008

News I'm Reading

Any librarian, particularly a public librarian, could have told U.S. airlines that as soon as they started offering in-air wi-fi, they'd have to deal with porn. I wouldn't expect American Airlines flight attendants to be any happier about it than librarians are.

Here's a great example business librarians can use on vetting information: an old story on the Sun-Sentinel website got picked up by Google News as fresh, triggering a massive sell-off of United stock. It occurs to me that a particular piece of metadata--the story's date of publication--would have prevented this, if news articles had such metadata attached and news aggregators such as Google News looked for such metadata as a matter of course. More coverage here and here. (One wonders if any canny investors realized what was happening and scooped up some of the stock on the cheap...)

Speaking of Google...microfilm is a valuable medium for storage and preservation, but using it is a total pain. Now, you might not have to: Google is digitizing newspaper archives, including those stored on microfilm. Some of the same concerns and questions are being raised here as by the Google Books project, but at first blush, this is way cool, and a boon for research involving newspapers.

Something I'd like to read: American Widow, a new graphic-novel memoir by a woman who lost her husband in 9/11. (I'd definitely prefer to read that over some of today's news coverage.)

Speaking of books, The Jewel of Medina has found a new publisher. To be honest, it took longer than I thought it would.

Reference publishers should take note of this analysis of Wikipedia entries showing up on Google search results pages, while they dither about following JSTOR's lead and at least exposing their citations to search engines. I find myself increasingly frustrated by reference publishers. They've got the good information, but it's harder to find and use than it needs to be.

Esquire will publish its 75th anniversary issue with an e-paper cover enabling moving images. Life imitates Harry Potter.

No comments: