At the Ref Desk (5/22/18): Got an IM request explaining in great detail (several sentences in fact) what kind of article the person was looking for. Only thing missing -- the topic. Oh well... [more...]
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Gored For Women Dot Org?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/12/07 (3:42am)

Gored For Women Dot Com?: Seen on Oak St. in Chicago.

Probably not the intended message but we put spaces in between words for a reason. 'CamelCase' might have helped.

In any case, as seen on the Marquee of the now closed Esquire Theater on Oak St. in Chicago.

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Props to the Chicago Public Schools

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 3/8/07 (7:53pm)

From the Chicago Tribune:

After-school tutoring, better-trained teachers and new classroom assessments in Chicago public schools helped drive an "extraordinary" increase in state scores that improved the fortunes of nearly every city elementary school last year, district officials said.

This is just one year's results and from year to year there are enough changes in the way the test is given to make drawing longer-term conclusions problematic. That said, anyone familiar with our school system knows how hard everyone works -- particularly the teachers!

These results are a great credit to their efforts.

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Silence on Deck: New Project Up Ahead!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/5/07 (11:48am)

I'm working on a neat new utility which will be ready to unleash on the world in a couple of days.

It's a combination of a couple of things that I hope people will find useful. All I can say at the moment is that it's library-related and that it came to me as I was thinking about the next 'Website of the Month' piece.

Being the neurotic perfectionist I am, I repeatedly go over the thing, thinking about how to improve it. That adds extra to the amount of time it's taking me.

In any case, I'll try to have it finished either this week or next.

Bill in U.S. Congress on Fair Use Called "Watered-Down"

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 2/28/07 (9:45am)

Ken Fisher of Ars Technica isn't impressed by a Bill on Fair Use that was recently introduced by Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA) and John Doolittle (R-CA).

Calling it "watered down", Fisher comments:

Yet again, the bill does not appear to deliver on what most observers want: clear protection for making personal use copies of encrypted materials. There is no allowance for consumers to make backups of DVDs, to strip encryption from music purchased online so that it can be played anywhere, or to generally do any of the things that the DMCA made illegal in one fell swoop."

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Current Cites for February 2007

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/27/07 (10:47am)

Current Cites Logo

Current Cites for February 2007 is out! You can find the issue here...

'Ape with a Termite Stick': Jon Udell on Screencasts

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/25/07 (12:11pm)

Learn by seeing other people doing things. We used to call it 'monkey see, monkey do'. Jon Udell calls it "ape with a termite stick".

In any case, that's what a screencast does and Udell, who's done a number of them, has a nice write-up, "Screencasting Tips" that's full of observations like the following:

Given all the network connectivity that we have nowadays, it’s perhaps surprising — but nevertheless true — that we have few opportunities to directly observe how other people, who are proficient users of software tools, do what they do. Screencasts are the best way I've found to make such tool use observable, and thus learnable.

I'd only add that as the variety and importance of these software tools grow, so too does the need for good examples.

84 Steps to Getting Square Corners in CSS

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 2/24/07 (1:17pm)

This one was funny. It comes from a spoof site called 'Drivl.com' which accepts user-submitted posts.

Step 4 for Getting Square Corners in CSS:

Squeeze the drippings from an uncooked 12 oz porterhouse steak onto the butcher paper, smear the steak around until a greasy sheen is clearly visible.

Leo Klein at Benedictine University

Leo Klein at Benedictine University: I'd like to thank all of the librarians who came to my talk on Web 2.0 at Benedictine University yesterday.

We had a good group with representation from National Louis, Benedictine and the College of DuPage. Everyone was completely engaged and asked great questions -- even though I ran half an hour longer than scheduled (sorry).

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Captcha for Humanists

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 2/21/07 (12:36pm)

Submission for the redesign of 'captcha' according to humanistic principles (patent pending):

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Enough with Overweight Podcasts!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/18/07 (2:32am)

I love podcasts. For me, podcasts are the New Radio. They're a welcomed and increasingly critical source of information.

But please -- please! -- I'd love them even more if the person putting them together respected bandwidth constraints.

I'm ready to admit that I grew up in the days of 14.4 modems. My first attempt at dealing with media was trying to make pictures look good using only 256 colors. "Crackly" doesn't begin to describe the quality of audio I had to churn out due to low bandwidth.

But even in this great age of DSL, there still are a couple of conventions that content providers need to observe. One of them is never, ever use more bandwidth than you actually need.

(more after the jump...)

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