ranti.10centuries.org http://ranti.10centuries.org Eternally Yours on 10Centuries Tue, 23 Apr 2019 02:06:05 +0000 EN http://ranti.10centuries.org/avatars/ranti.jpg ranti.10centuries.org http://ranti.10centuries.org Clean Eternally Yours on 10Centuries hourly 1 Streams (19F260) Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side http://ranti.10centuries.org/2018/04/15/lou-reeds-walk-on-the-wild-side Sun, 15 Apr 2018 15:50:00 +0000 ranti 9363cb9b-9593-aa96-1930-142bc20fc33f If my memory serves me right, I heard about this Walk on the Wild Side song (wikipedia) sometime during my college year in the 90s. Of course, the bass and guitar reef were the one that captured my attention right away. At that time, being an international student here in the US, I was totally oblivious with the lyrics and the references on it. When I finally understood what the lyrics are about, listening to the song makes more sense.

Here's the 1973 footage of the Walk on the Wild Side song (youtube)

But what prompted me to write this was started by the version that Amanda Palmer sang for Neil Gaiman. I was listening to her CD "Several attempts to cover songs by the Velvet Underground & Lou Reed for Neil Gaiman as his birthday approaches" and one of the songs was Walk on the Wild Side.

AmandaPalmer-LouReed-CoverSongs-CDCover-sm.jpg

I like her rendition of the songs, which prompted me to find it on YouTube. Welp, that platform does not disappoint; it's a quite a nice piano rendition.

Of course, like any other platform that wants you to stay there, YouTube also listed various Walk on the Wild Side cover songs. One of them is from Alice Phoebe Lou a singer-songwriter. Her rendition using a guitar is also quite enjoyable (youtube) and now I have a new singer-songwriter to keep an eye on.

Among other videos that were listed on YouTube is the one that kinda blew my mind, Walk On The Wild Side - The story behind the classic bass intro featuring Herbie Flowers which explained that those are two basses layered on top of each other.

Man, what a nice thing to learn something new about this song. :-)

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Tao http://ranti.10centuries.org/2018/01/01/tao Mon, 01 Jan 2018 20:54:00 +0000 ranti c6178a4e-a113-e51e-eb24-cdf5986a254e There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born … for lack of a better name, i call it the tao - lao tsu

Read it from the Lazy Yogi

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on climate change http://ranti.10centuries.org/2017/01/24/on-climate-change Wed, 25 Jan 2017 02:23:00 +0000 ranti b9243099-f1c2-a1cc-40b4-2b9296284d4d No one would mind, neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn Would scarcely know that we were gone. (A poem by Teasdale)Read the whole poem

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TV News Archive from the Internet Archive http://ranti.10centuries.org/2017/01/13/tv-news-archive-from-the-internet-archive Fri, 13 Jan 2017 18:12:00 +0000 ranti cffa6ae1-00d8-5078-9894-9e68b96e54d6 I just learned about the existence of the TV News Archive (covering news from 2009 until the day before today's date) containing news shows from US TV such as PBS, CBS, ABC, FOXNews, CNN, etc.

You can search by the captions.

They also have several curated collections like news clips regarding NSA or snippets or TV around the world

I think some of you might find this useful. Quite a nice collection, IMO.

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Public Domain Day (January 1, 2017): what could have entered it in 2017 and what did get released http://ranti.10centuries.org/2017/01/01/public-domain-day-january-1-2017-what-could-have-entered-it-in-2017-and-what-did-get-released Sun, 01 Jan 2017 17:33:00 +0000 ranti 4c62a362-3bd6-1459-1635-ebe39809c3a3 Copyright law is messy, yo. We won't see a lot of notable and important works entering public domain here in the US until 2019.

Other countries, however, got to enjoy many of them first. Public Domain Reviews put a list of creators whose work are entering the public domain for Canada, European Union (EU), and many other countries (https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/class-of-2017/.) For those in EU, nice to see H.G. Wells name there (if UK do withdraw, this might end up not applicable to them. But, my knowledge about UK copyright law is zero, so, who knows.)

As usual, Center of Study for the Public Domain from Duke University put a list of some quite well-known works that are still under the extended copyright restriction: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2017/pre-1976. Those works would have been entered the public domain if we use the law that was applicable when they were published. I'm still baffled how current copyright hinders research done and published in 1960 to be made available freely. Greedy publishers…

So, thanks to that, USA doesn't get to enjoy many published works yet. "Yet" is the operative word here because we don't know what the incoming administration would do on this topic. Considering the next POTUS is a businessman, I fear the worst. I know: gloomy first of the year thought, but it is what it is.

On a cheerful side, check the list from John Mark Ockerbloom on his Online Books Project. It's quite an amazing project he's been working on.

Of course, there are also writings made available from HathiTrust and Gutenberg Project, among other things.

Here's to the next 365 days.

xoxo

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for 2017 http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/12/31/for-2017 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 04:21:00 +0000 ranti 73a0b27a-b389-5a05-41cd-184ec890f8ec For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. and to make an end is to make a beginningread the full poem

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light http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/12/10/light Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:22:00 +0000 ranti 2bc8dc0b-db63-05a4-3629-29f5577d4f22 "Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it."― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

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dot-dot-dot http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/11/26/dot-dot-dot Sun, 27 Nov 2016 01:49:00 +0000 ranti 33a9fd2a-6e79-475e-197a-7893ec2d57e1 bertolt brecht quote: In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing about the dark times.More about Bertolt Brecht poem

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assistive technology http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/12/assistive-technology Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:35:00 +0000 ranti 73d08fd9-ab39-8c41-e054-0fca31c0dbb7 Many people would probably think assistive technology (AT) are computer software, applications, or tools that are designed to help blind or deaf people. Typically, the first thing that one might have in mind was screen readers, braille display, screen magnifier app for desktop reading, or physical objects like hearing aid, wheel chair, or crutches,

A lot of people probably won't think glasses as an AT. Perhaps because glasses can be highly personalized to fit one's fashion style.

IMG_20141123_091948-sm.jpg

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woodchuck http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/11/woodchuck Sun, 11 Sep 2016 06:01:00 +0000 ranti a4039916-2543-7db1-d349-2f26aebced02 There's a question how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. Obviously, a woodchuck would chuck wood as much wood as a woodchuck could.

shrugs

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droplets http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/10/droplets Sat, 10 Sep 2016 15:17:00 +0000 ranti 35894ea0-fb44-eafe-2f6a-e89673afd894 shiny water droplets on leaves

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The Story of the Chinese Farmer http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/08/the-story-of-the-chinese-farmer Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:49:00 +0000 ranti 9bf00692-0651-3f32-e498-a0a392d92c91 "You'll never know what would be the consequences of misfortune. Or, you'll never know what would be the consequences of good fortune." — Alan Watts

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Persistent bat is persistent http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/08/persistent-bat-is-persistent Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:14:00 +0000 ranti 90a81745-0c3e-588d-b289-3f154e77ed55 For the last couple weeks or so, there's a bat that somehow managed to sneak in and hid somewhere in the house and then flew frantically in the living room every evening around this time of the day, causing the cats to run and jump around trying to catch it. We caught this bat every time and delivered it outside, hoping it would never return again. But it kept coming back. Now I am sort of giving up trying to catch it. Even the cats are no longer paying attention to the bat and just give this "meh" face when they spotted it.

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old window #garage http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/05/old-window-garage Mon, 05 Sep 2016 19:00:00 +0000 ranti c6bd3b4c-400c-a292-812c-a0f5a6320042 old windoe

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"Thief of Time" http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/05/“thief-of-time” Mon, 05 Sep 2016 17:33:00 +0000 ranti ca23fb0c-4dec-a1de-1db9-2fe184914553

For something to exist, it has to be observed.

For something to exist, it has to have a position in time and space.

And this explains why nine-tenths of the mass of the universe is unaccounted for. Nine-tenths of the universe is the knowledge of the position and direction of everything in the other tenth. Every atom has its biography, every star its file, every chemical exchange its equivalent of the inspector with a clipboard. It is unaccounted for because it is doing the accounting for the rest of it, and you cannot see the back of your own head.*

Nine-tenths of the universe, in fact, is the paperwork.

*Except in very small universes.

— Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

(that paperwork statement feels so true in so many things…)

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Yo! http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/09/05/yo Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:13:00 +0000 ranti 1a29185a-79d1-f0e2-deb9-7c30ab1787a2 \m/

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Public Domain Day (January 1, 2016): what could have entered it in 2016 and what did get released http://ranti.10centuries.org/2016/01/01/public-domain-day-january-1-2016-what-could-have-entered-it-in-2016-and-what-did-get-released Fri, 01 Jan 2016 06:52:00 +0000 ranti ebd37a6f-419c-4870-1b5a-999ff745ed47 Every year, January 1st also marks works from around the world that would be entering the public domain thanks to the copyright laws in their respective countries. Sadly, none of them are made available in the US yet, even works from Lorraine Hansberry, T.S. Eliot, Winston Churchill, and Malcom X. Curses (and lucky you, Canadians!)

Public Domain Reviews put a list of creators whose work that are entering the public domain for Europe and Canada. (http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/class-of-2016/). Nice list (also, Bella Bartok!) Although, Canada might be required to add 20 years the copyright term next year thanks to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. \silent curses\

Center of Study for the Public Domain put a list of some quite well-known works that are still under the extended copyright restriction: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2016/pre-1976

John Mark Ockerbloom from the University of Pennsylvania pointed out that the 1959 articles from Nature, Science, and the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) can now be digitized and open for public consumption. https://everybodyslibraries.com/2016/01/01/public-domain-day-2016-freezes-and-thaws/

Three more years to go (e.g. in 2019) until we can see something that would enter public domain in the US.

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The awesome things @ Michigan State University http://ranti.10centuries.org/2015/06/12/the-awesome-things-@-michigan-state-university Sat, 13 Jun 2015 03:49:00 +0000 ranti a1756029-9fa2-7ed3-0a96-4715aa24f6af Sometime ago I read about going out and learning about your own surroundings. Sorry, I'm completely blank on the actual resource and whether I read from one of those motivational emails or tweets or websites or image meme. The point is, we should not stay inside our own bubble.

How much do we actually know the kind of awesome services or initiatives available in our own library or within other units on campus? I only know a little, to be honest. Many times I found out a cool set of collection in the library because somebody mentioned it, a local newspaper wrote about it, or from the newsletter sent to the library supporters. Kinda embarrassing, but, hey, better late than never. Same thing with many initiatives happening around campus. With so many units established on campus, I am sure I miss many of them. But I would like to highlight several of them:

First, MSU Libraries is gathering text and data aimed for digital humanities (DH) projects either through our own digital collection or collaborate with vendors. It's all started with a request from a research faculty wanting to work on a topic that would require Congressional data. This collaboration with the faculty prompted our Digital Humanities librarians to pursue other text or data collections that we could offer to our users (and, in some cases, to the public).

MSU Libraries Digital Humanities text and data collections

Another one that I'd like to highlight is Enviro-weather, a weather-based tools for Michigan Agriculture's pest, natural resources, and production management decisions. This is a collaborative project between the Michigan Climatological Resources Program and the MSU Integrated Pest Management Program. Each yellow dot on the map represents an Agriculture Station. If you highlight the dot with your cursor, you'll see the latest weather data pulled from the weather station positioned around the state. Click on the dot and you'll see a more complete information on the area. You could, of course, go further and get the raw data itself by going to their Enviro-Weather Automated Weather Station Network site.

Michigan State University Enviro-Weather tool

The Geographic Information System (GIS) unit on campus created cool and useful GIS-based applications that they developed to showcase the MSU campus. My favorite applications are these two below:

The Historical Imagery provides aerial photography of the MSU campus from 1938 to 2010 (I hope they'd add more for the later years.) While interacting with application, I, of course, couldn't resist checking the area where the current MSU Libraries is located. By moving the slider slowly, I could see the changes happened from an empty slot to its current structure. Not all images are available; sometimes you get an empty section due to image unavailability. Still, it's really cool to see the changes happened during the last 60 years or so.

Michigan State University GIS Historical Imagery

The Environmental Stewardship (requires Adobe Flash Player 11 or higher, unfortunately) allows one to check the energy consumption and/or waste reduction effort around campus. You can pick a building and generate the report based on the data for current or past fiscal year. One can see that they made the information available for the public to see and download due to MSU's status as a public and land grant university; the application allows the public to inspect and interact with the information themselves.

Michigan State University Environmental Stewardship map

There are more great projects and initiatives around campus like the ones that I highlighted above. It would be nice if I could do a "cool stuff on campus" search on the university website instead of relying on the serendipity. But, hey, I probably should go around and ask instead. :-)

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Favourite excerpt for the time being http://ranti.10centuries.org/2015/03/14/favourite-excerpt-for-the-time-being Sat, 14 Mar 2015 21:13:00 +0000 ranti e73c99fa-a8fa-7d49-e17b-eac79072c43e [Mark]"…Codfish Islands was infested with feral cats. In other words, cats that have returned to the wild."

[Doug]"I always think that's an artificial distinction. I think all cats are wild cats. They just act tame if they think they'll get a saucer of milk out of it…"

— Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine, Last Chance to See

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Public Domain Day (January 1, 2015): what could have entered it in 2015 and what did get released http://ranti.10centuries.org/2015/01/28/public-domain-day-january-1-2015-what-could-have-entered-it-in-2015-and-what-did-get-released Wed, 28 Jan 2015 05:28:00 +0000 ranti 662b1a06-07d7-46a4-0e24-7c9bf45d7bfa Every year, January 1st also marks works from around the world that would be entering the public domain thanks to the copyright laws in theirs respective countries.

Public Domain Reviews put a list of creators whose work that are entering the public domain. http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/class-of-2015/ (Kandinsky! Whooh!)

Center of Study for the Public Domain put a list of some quite well-known works that are still under the extended copyright restriction: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2015/pre-1976

John Mark Ockerbloom from the University of Pennsylvania pointed out that EEBO is now out and, among other things, promoted several alternatives to http://everybodyslibraries.com/2015/01/01/public-domain-day-2015-ending-our-own-enclosures/

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The sound version of a Google (old) reCAPTCHA http://ranti.10centuries.org/2015/01/09/the-sound-version-of-a-google-old-recaptcha Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:02:00 +0000 ranti f77a8101-ef92-8bd3-5d71-ad5109cb7ed6 Last month, Google announced the new no-captcha reCAPTCHA that is supposedly more accurate and better at preventing spams. We'll see how this goes.

In the mean time, plenty of websites that employ Google's reCAPTCHA still use the old version like this:google old recaptcha

The problem with this reCAPTCHA is that it fundamentally doesn't work with screen readers (among other things, like forcing you crossed your eyes trying to figure out each character in the string.) Some people pointed out that reCAPTCHA offers the sound version (see that little red speaker?) that should mitigate the problem.

Here's the link to sound version of a Google reCAPTCHA: https://cdn.10centuries.org/CQgzKt/6af0705ca97aa14b2d08ed3a2f58a0f8.mp3

This example was taken from the PubMed website and happened to be set as a string of numbers.

Enjoy!

p.s. what is this a about PubMed using inaccessible reCAPTCHA? There are other ways to employ non-captcha security techniques without using that kind solution. :-/

p.p.s. In case you're curious, I could not decipher two out of the eleven (if I counted it correctly) numbers said in that recording.

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Have you ever in a place where you looked up and something just took your breath away? http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/11/24/have-you-ever-in-a-place-where-you-looked-up-and-something-just-took-your-breath-away Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:24:00 +0000 ranti 2a9f7430-67c6-6014-c7b0-0b99676bb4dd old window with a backdrop of hibiscus plant shadowTaken on November 21, 2014 morning

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The hidden meaning of "a great degree of flexibility and customization" http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/07/11/the-hidden-meaning-of-“a-great-degree-of-flexibility-and-customization” Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:08:00 +0000 ranti 5c8fee4f-96ab-f3a6-792f-d633686e1414 Code4Lib mailing list has an interesting discussion about a discovery layer for Primo. This particular discussion piqued my interest not because of the technical content, but for what's not actually being discussed. Here's the sentence that intrigued me (italic part is mine):

We use Alma/Primo here at California State University Sacramento and are finding a great degree of flexibility and customization of the local collections.

Flexibility and customization! I do like this. However, something else nagged me as well. Admit it, most of us are tinkerer. We like the idea that we can customize anything to make sure the relevant information will be displayed properly, with additional bells and whistles if needed. We cherish the idea of "freedom" in this area, where we can basically create a "perfect" user interface without being constrained by the vendor's product. After all, each library is different and cookie-cutter templates could never satisfy us.

Here lies the hidden meaning of the freedom that we are so wanted: we better know what we're doing. There will be a time we have to devote a lot of our time for the panning and designing, and making careful considerations we have to work on to make the product work effectively. Anybody whose work deals with information architecture and/or user experience knows this. Design decision should be based on usability study, data analysis, and users research –understanding how our users would interact with our web presence. Most of us already have data from our web logs; our face-to-face or virtual interactions with users who are attempting to use our web presence gave us indications the pain points of our website; and, if we're lucky, we already did one or two usability studies of our web presence.

However, when it comes to working on a totally new service with new web presence, do those data and the analysis we did apply to this new design? How do we exactly go about designing a totally new user interface? There is no easy answer to that. It is always a good thing to involve our user from the beginning, getting their input and and trust their opinion. Or create stories of personas (stake holders) and use them at least as a starting point. And this is probably where the paradox are happening. We know our services and collections, and we know our systems. So we design how we present our collections and services based on our previous understandings about our past users, who might or might not still relevant.

[lost my thought here. it might come back later. someday.]

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On information seeking report http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/07/11/on-information-seeking-report Fri, 11 Jul 2014 05:19:00 +0000 ranti 11b6b750-3056-df21-6970-669465494154 The Project Information Literacy released their research report titled "Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age" in 2009. The PDF report can be found at http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2009_Year1Report_12_2009.pdf.

What makes this report interesting is that the group also try to dig deeper on how students developed their strategy in their information needs both for their course-related works and everyday life. In general, the students use course readings, library resources, and things like Google and Wikipedia when conducting course-related research. They tend to use Google, Wikipedia, and friends when it came to everyday life research.

One of the findings is that students tend use the course readings first for their course-related research. This seems a no brainer to me. After all, the faculty is their "first contact" in the courses they take.

The report also suggests the differences between the guides that librarians provided and the strategy employed by the students. "All in all, the librarian approach is one based by thoroughness, while the student approach is based on efficiency." (page 20.) This seems to line up nicely with what Roy Tennant wrote many years ago that "only librarians like to search; everyone else like to find." (Digital Libraries – Avoiding Unintended Consequences, http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA156524.html)

As a side note, I'm curious about the time and effort on researches being done in learning students information seeking behavior. Public Services librarians seem to understand this already based on their interaction with the students. Interestingly enough, most of library collection decisions are based on faculty research needs. So, I wonder how the familiarity of the resources affects the faculty's decision in constructing their course readings and whether it might also affect the student behavior in their information seeking.

All in all, this is their ultimate conclusion:

This is our ultimate conclusion: Todayʼs students are not naïve about sources, systems, and services. They have developed sophisticated information problem-solving strategies that help them to meet their school and everyday needs, as they arise.

The report came up with several recommendations and one of them gave me a pause:

We have come to believe that many students see instructors—not librarians—as coaches on how to consult research. This situation seems to occur whether the faculty may qualify as expert researchers in the area of student research methods, or not. Librarians and faculty should see the librarian-student disconnect as a timely opportunity, especially when it comes to transferring information competencies to students.

We recommend librarians take an active role and initiate the dialogue with faculty to close a divide that may be growing between them and faculty and between them and students—each campus is likely to be different. There are, of course, many ways to initiate this conversation that some libraries may already have in use, such as librarian-faculty roundtables, faculty visits, faculty liaison programs, and customized pathfinders to curriculum, to name but a few. And there is always room for creating new ways to facilitate conversation between faculty and librarians, too. No matter what the means of communication may be, however, librarians need to actively identify opportunities for training faculty as conduits for reaching students with sound and current information-seeking strategies, as it applies to their organizational settings.

Personally, I have no objection with the recommendation above. After all, that's why we (the librarians) are here for. However, the recommendation above basically takes for granted that narrowing or closing the librarian-student disconnect would actually improve the outcome of the students research. Or, in other words, nowhere in the report indicated that this disconnect bring "harms" to the students outcome. It would be nice to see some kind of assessments on this.

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snowy tree http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/04/26/snowy-tree Sun, 27 Apr 2014 04:17:00 +0000 ranti b93019ce-79eb-e8c3-9ee4-8193713f72a7 snowy_tree.jpg

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URL shorterner's life http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/04/10/url-shorterner’s-life Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:30:00 +0000 ranti 20a10b75-9a6d-b281-7fae-8eda3797a611 I was perusing some emails that came from a mailing list, old blog posts that I bookmarked, and old tweets that I favorited. Many of them contains somekind of link shorterners like tinyurl, bitly, and t.co.

While the URL shorterners are still functioning just fine, the actual URL themselves are not always so and sometimes I get a 404 error message from the target website. I know link rot happens, but somehow this irked me.

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Web Services related terms http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/04/10/web-services-related-terms Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:34:00 +0000 ranti 10fc1006-d02a-f66a-999f-75e2b3ef3484 (just pulling out stuff from what my brain can come up with at the moment)

API – CSS – DTD – EDI – ElasticSearch – HTML – JSON – Linked Data – Mashup – Metadata – Microformats – OAI – OASIS – openURL – OSS – PURL – REST – SaaS – Semantic Web – SOAP – Solr – SRU – SRW – URN – W3C – WAI – WSDL – XML – XPath – XQuery – XSLT – YAZ

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text comparison tool http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/02/03/text-comparison-tool Tue, 04 Feb 2014 04:32:00 +0000 ranti 32c97538-c41a-a1db-6cd7-914df674c829 Bookmarking:

Pretty Diff: http://prettydiff.com/Text Comparion: http://www.textdiff.com/

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Tools I use when performing accessibility assessment http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/02/02/tools-i-use-when-performing-accessibility-assessment Mon, 03 Feb 2014 04:40:00 +0000 ranti 56738ac9-2351-1f98-baaa-e0c5fec3468a Below are list of variety of tools I use when doing an accessibility assessment for our web precense. I don't use all those tools all at once, though. :-) The tool I used the most are WAVE and WebAnywhere for a quick test. WAVE is most useful to inform the web developers if they're missing anything, and WebAnywhere is most useful to show how a screen reader would operate on the site. For a thorough test, I collaborate with my blind student where I can observe her interactions with the e-resource's user interface (in a way, doing a mini usability study) and note the "pain points" when she encountered difficulties in understanding the structure of the web pages on any given time, such as interacting with the search box, finding the relevant article from within the search results, finding the way to save and send the article citation to herself, read the article within the page, etc.

WAVE from WebAIM

http://wave.webaim.orgTheir web-based tool works fine for websites that won't need some kind of authentication such as open access e-resources like PubMed, etc. For subscription-based resources, especially if you append a proxy link on the e-resource, download and install their Chrome extension.

Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) from UIUC

http://fae.cita.uiuc.edu/This tool uses Illinois' Web Accessibility requirements as their evaluation procedure, which tend to be more restrictive than other states. But it's still a good tool. The explanation of the report is quite useful especially for website designer & developer.

Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar (Firefox extension)

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/juicy-studio-accessibility-too/I use this primarily for analysing color contrast. Many "modern" websites user grey font and sometimes with grey background, which makes reading the text is quite difficult for those with visual disability. Useful for checking the ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Application) markups as well.

The three tools above would point out the coding problems, especially in the area of using proper tags, labels, etc. The rest of the tools below are useful to point out some user interaction challenges due to design decisions (information architecture, content structure within a page, etc.)

Keyboard manual operation

This is the simplest test. You just use the TAB and arrow keys on your keyboard to move around the page. Useful to check if the website has a "Skip to Main Content" option, especially if the site consist a lot of navigation links. It can be quite tedious if the site has a lot of links. But then you'd know the pain. ;-)

Fangs Screen Reader Emulator (Firefox extension)

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/fangs-screen-reader-emulator/This is probably the easiest tool to view how a screen reader might read the content of a website from top to bottom without user's interaction. You'll see them as a text rather than a voice over. If you do use this tool, please consider a donation to the developer.

SATOGO

http://www.satogo.comSATOGO is a web-based screen reader. Pretty straightforward. You need to use IE and Windows OS, and download & install their file first. Create an account if you plan to use this service often.

WebAnywhere

http://webanywhere.cs.washington.edu/Another web-based tool that would emulate a screen reader. Works pretty well, but cannot be used for resources that requires you to authenticate first (using the proxy link, etc.) or if the e-resource uses your IP address for authorization.

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access)

http://www.nvaccess.org/Free screen reader, now it's quite comparable to JAWS screen reader without the added $$$$. Works on Windows OS only. If you use this tool, please consider donating to the developer.

VoiceOver

For Mac/OSX users, the VoiceOver feature is quite useful. Follow their documentation on how to operate VoiceOver http://www.apple.com/voiceover/info/guide/

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ER&L 2014 workshop: Influencing and improving products: structured interface reviews http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/02/02/erl-2014-workshop-influencing-and-improving-products-structured-interface-reviews Mon, 03 Feb 2014 04:36:00 +0000 ranti 7812a3df-c78d-f552-a96d-dd391f7006ac I will collaborate with several fine fellow librarians from Cornell and Columbia University libraries doing a workshop titled "Influencing and improving products: structured interface reviews" at the upcoming Electronic Resources & Libraries conference, March 16-19, 2014 at AT&T Conference Center, Austin, Texas. The workshop will be held on March 19th, 1-5pm CST.

This workshop will analyse library electronic resource platform from usability and accessibility perspectives. Most of our assessment tend to be from either usability or accessibility perspective. Rarely we perform both type of assessments together when evaluating a library electronic resource. Hopefully this workshop would provide some basic understanding on how to conduct the assessments, document the findings, and communicate them with the vendor/provider.

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On diversifying our conference experience http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/01/19/on-diversifying-our-conference-experience Sun, 19 Jan 2014 05:01:00 +0000 ranti 59392190-97f5-a9d8-b846-903896d717c8 e.g. starts expanding your territory. ;-)

John Dupuis (Confessions of a Science Librarian) posted "From the Archives: My theory of conferences" in January 2010 and "A stealth librarianship manifesto" in February 2011.

Good readings.

I'm in agreement with his "theory of conference" post. I'm a systems librarian for electronic resources, so my focus is about technology as well as access to library resources (be that resources we bought or subscribe to, or the ones we produced in house, digital collections and stuff). I'm also doing library web presence assessments, so usability study, accessibility evaluations, and usage statistics also fall under my work area. In additional to that, I'm the subject librarian for Library & Information Science and the library liaison for the Museum Studies program.

So, when I had to choose conferences I need to (or want to or, many times, wished to) go to, there are tons of choices. My suggestion for those who can only afford go to the same conference(s), try to go to at least one session with topic that really has nothing to do with your area of work. It's amazing to learn something new from those sessions and the topic might actually end up relevant to your area of work. Even if it was not relevant to your work, you'll learn something new anyway that might inspire some type of collaboration.

Should you choose to go to a non-library conference, you'll meet with amazing people who also care a lot about their profession and the discipline. You'll either expanding your network or at least learn more about issues and trends in those area. Also a chance to promote your amazing library skills. :-) You don't have to go to those non-library conferences all the time, of course, but at least you'll understand how other people in different disciplines would interact, talk about issues and trends, and start a conversation with them. I have had luck going to museum related conferences (state [1] and national [2] [3] [4] level) and THATCamp events due to my liaison responsibilities.

For those who are curious which library-related conferences I usually go to:

I also attended Michigan Library Association, LITA Forum (ALA), and Computers in Libraries (Information Today, Inc.) conferences. I went to ACM SIGCHI conference once; it was awesome. Then there are C2E2 and Penguicon, which have had several programs related to libraries. Last but not the least, MSU Comics Forum.

[1] Michigan Museum Association[2] American Alliance of Museums[3] Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)[4] Museums and the Web

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linux man pages http://ranti.10centuries.org/2014/01/19/linux-man-pages Sun, 19 Jan 2014 05:00:05 +0000 ranti dd3719cd-0b6d-3745-1ec9-a0e606819911 I need a linux man page system that show me what command(s) to use if I want to achieve something. Current man pages are not really helpful: you have to know the name of the command before you can even figure out what that command would do for you.

Anyway, I'm listing these as my bookmarks:

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