Tuesday, August 26, 2008

EFTPOS Terminal for Printing and Copying

The Library now has an EFTPOS terminal for printing and copying.

Add value to your ID card for printing and photocopying by transferring money directly from your debit card to your student ID card.

The EFTPOS terminal is located beside the autoloader. It's like those at any retail outlet, but you will not be able to get cash out.

The minimum amount you can transfer is $4.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Google Knol, not grassy knoll

Google appears to be challenging Wikipedia with its Knol, a peer-reviewed encyclopedia, which is a collection of knols.

And what's a knol? As defined by Google, "an authoritative article about a specific topic".

The big difference between this and Wikipedia seems to be a declaration of authorship. Articles will not be written by an anoymous crowd, as "we value and promote authorship", authors will sign their own names to their knol. It's unclear how this makes the knol authoritative.

It's "your knol, your voice", so you can be a solo author or partner with other experts in your field if you prefer.

Many of the articles are medical in nature, so one hopes they are authoritative. and some are more whimsical:

Barbecue sauce recipes : a taxonomy by Craig Goldwyn

Japanese whisky by Chris Bunting

Browsing is difficult as alphabetical arrangement is eschewed for a search box which delivers unrelated results.

It's still in beta, so it will hopefully get better.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Is it cool?

Cuil (pronounced cool), a new search engine has appeared. Its stated goal is "to solve the two great problems of search: how to index the whole Internet—not just part of it—and how to analyze and sort out its pages so you get relevant results".

Cuil claims to crawl more pages than Google and the developers (two of whom are ex-Google employees) insist that "popularity is useful, but has dominated search results so heavily that it gets harder and harder to find the page you want, especially if your search is a complex one." This is a second jibe at Google, as its page ranking is based on total links to sites.

Judge the claims for yourself by comparing results from identical searches on both Cuil and Google.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Out of the Box - Slow TV and ABC iView

The Monthly Magazine has introduced Slow TV, a “free internet TV channel delivering interviews, debates, conversations and public lectures about Australia’s key political, social and cultural issues”.

Some highlights -

Clive Hamilton on “Consumerism, Self-Creation and Prospects for a New Ecological Consciousness”

David Malouf “Australian Culture and Writing"

Sport: a panel discussion with William McInnes, Gideon Haigh and John Harms

Also, ABC TV content is now “out of the box” and available on line at ABC iView