Save the date: March 20, 2008 From Ed: We have space for about 100 people, up from the 40 or so that squeezed into the first Library Camp. More info and sign ups in the near future.
While I still haven’t had time to play around with Amazon’s S3 and EC2, they’ve added yet another offering with SimpleDB. Amazon SimpleDB makes it really easy and straightforward to store and to retrieve structured data. You no longer need to worry about creating, maintaining, or migrating database schemas, monitoring and tuning the performance of your queries, outgrowing the storage or processing capacity of your database server, making backups, or replicating data.
As most who probably read this blog know, it was recently talk like a pirate day. Like the pirate bay usually does, Flickr changed their logo a bit. Via Waxy I found that there were at least a few that were not amused, from those who thought the interestingness was lacking to those who thought their accounts compromised or piracy officially supported. The pirate bay usually includes an explanation, alt text or links to a search that gives a clue.
(My Violent Wife by Jesse Gardner from Flickr) Guns, I am told, are dangerous. But women are dangerous, too. I’ve always enjoyed reading K.G. Schneider’s writing (and presentations) and her essay for Nerve is no different. If you haven’t already given it a read you should. I’ve been an occasional reader of Nerve and they tend to have great writing so it’s nice to see her featured there. While there I would also suggest Trouble in Pornoland.
One of benefits of gaming that fits well with libraries, is the social aspect. The library provides a neutral place for gaming that allows for competition while remaining sane. While most seem to be focused on console games it’s nice to see places like UAH Library also do a LAN Party. As for the social aspect, there is a keynote from PAX 2007 by Wil Wheaton that appears to be worth a listen.
There’s a nice post over at LibraryTechtonics about geocaching and the problem with associating literacy with just books: Geocaching teaches problem solving skills, environmental awareness and conservation, health and exercise, treading lightly on the earth, and using the internet and gadgetry (quickly becoming an everyday fixture in people's lives). Geocaching is *information* literacy as much as it is a fun game. There’s a similar misconception with gaming, that it only provides entertainment and no educational value.
Speaking of Wesabe and their Firefox Toolbar, one of the other benefits of the add-on is that it allows you to automate the uploading of bank exports if the bank allows downloading of Money/Quicken files even if they don’t support automatic downloads. There’s a recent article on O’reilly Radar about some of the benefits of having an API to your financial information that may be useful elsewhere. A quick overview:
I’ve talked before about Wesabe and that I use it for some of my finances. They’ve added a new feature which is probably one of the most useful things I’ve used recently. It’s called Browser Snapshots and it uses a Firefox extension to let you capture images of receipt screens and upload them straight to your account and then attach them to any transaction. I’ve already used it quite a bit this month.
Its been radio silence here for awhile due to me switching jobs and getting up and running. I recently accepted the position of System Administrator at Ann Arbor District Library. It wasn’t an easy decision as I wasn’t actively looking for new employment, but sometimes you have to take opportunities when they come. I’m still impressed daily by the culture and innovation present here. Many of us in the technology area of AADL are fans of open source software and work with it every day.