April 30, 2010

Ken Auletta on eBooks and Publishing

Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, was a recent guest on the NPR program Fresh Air. He discussed how the rise in popularity of ereaders and ebooks is affecting book publishing and the book industry. He also discussed how ebooks are being marketed and priced, and what the rise of ebooks means not only for the future of book publishing, but also for the future of independent bookstores. While libraries are not mentioned specifically, this is an important trend for libraries to follow.

Go here to listen to the piece.

Fun Friday: Geocities-izer

Do you remember the epic browser war between Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer? Do you ever have a feeling of nostalgia for the way the web used to be before Twitter, before Facebook, heck, even before Google? Did you shed a tear on October 29, 2009, the day Geocities, an early website hosting and creation service, was closed by Yahoo?

Now you can bring back those glory days to any modern web page thanks to the Geocities-izer! Just go to the Geocities-izer, enter in any URL, and that webpage will be transformed to look like it was created in the mid 1990s with Geocities, complete with hit counters and cheesy MIDI music of mid-90s hits!

April 27, 2010

Win a Sony Reader from OverDrive!

Do you check out downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks through OverDrive, available from the Troy Public Library? If so, you have a chance to win a Sony Reader! All you need to do is take a short survey about your OverDrive use. The survey is available by going here, and then clicking on the "We want your feedback!" link along the right-hand side. the survey takes only 5 minutes to complete.

If you haven't tried downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks before, now is the perfect time. For more information about downloadable material available from the Troy Public Library, visit here.

April 22, 2010

OverDrive App for iPhone Available Now

OverDrive, one of the vendors that supplies downloadable audiobooks for the Troy Public Library, has released an eagerly awaited app that allows OverDrive MP3 format audiobooks to be directly downloaded to the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad. You can download the iPhone app through the Apple App Store.

With the addition of the iPhone app, OverDrive MP3 audiobooks are now available for almost all major smartphones, including BlackBerry devices, Android, and Windows Mobile devices. Go here to download the version of OverDrive Media Console for your device.
OverDrive has also released software updates for some other mobile devices, including v1.0 of OverDrive Media Console for BlackBerry. You can download this update here.

For more information about these new releases, see this press release and this blog post.

More Great Free Software

PC Magazine has released a list of the best free software for 2010. Like last year's list, it features software in a variety of categories, including finance, RSS readers, office productivity, anti-malware, graphics, and more. The list covers software for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Included in this year's list are some of my personal software favorites, such as Gmail, Speccy, Google Chrome.

Take a look here and try some software for the best price of all: free!

April 20, 2010

Career Transitions Now Available at Troy Public Library

Are you daunted with the thought of having to conduct a job search? Do you need help writing a resume? Are you interested in exploring new career options?

With Career Transitions, a new eResource provided by the Troy Public Library, you can do all of this and more. Career Transitions walks you through each step of the job search process. It features personal assessment tests to help you discover careers in which you may be interested, and shows you projected growth rates of careers by state.

Career Transitions features a self-guided resume builder that allows you to quickly create a resume that can be saved in a variety of file formats. Additionally, there are tips during each step so that you create a quality resume.

Best of all, you can look up and apply to jobs directly through Career Transitions.

To access Career Transitions you will need a Troy Public Library card. Go to the Troy Public Library website and click eResources on the left under Library Links. Click on the Job Seeker link, and then click on Career Transitions.

April 7, 2010

Cycling Sites for Spring

With the recent return of warmer weather, many people have brought their bikes out from winter storage and have started riding again. To help you enjoy cycling more this season, here are some websites that you may want to visit.
  • Google Maps has now introduced bike directions. Go here, type in your start and end points, and Google will try to determine a route that utilizes bike paths, streets with bike lanes, and others that have been recommended by cyclists. Please use common sense when using this service. Bike directions for Google Maps is still in beta, and my early searches have shown that it can route you on some busy streets. For a real world review, check out this NPR story.
  • Founded in 1880, the League of American Bicyclists is one of the oldest cycling advocacy groups in the country. This site is a fantastic resource if you are interested following legislative efforts to help improve the conditions for bicyclists throughout the US. Additionally, the League sponsors Bike Month, which is held each May. For more information about upcoming Bike Month events, including ideas to help celebrate Bike to Work Day on May 21, go here.
  • Do you enjoy riding, are want to find out more about what is happening in the ranks of pro cycling? VeloNews is a one stop source for excellent information about professional cycling. You can also catch professional cycling on Versus.
  • Complete issues of Bicycling magazine issues from 2006-2008 are able to be viewed and searched at Google Books. This is a fantastic resource, especially if you have an upcoming ride and need to find some training tips.
  • Need to fix your bike? The videos at bicycletutor.com can help you if you want to fix it yourself.
Enjoy the weather, have a great season, and may the climbs be short and you suffer no flats along the way!

April 1, 2010

Fun Thursday: April Fool's Day 2010

Happy April Fool's Day. As we mentioned last year, many companies on the web love to play pranks on April Fool's Day. As usual, some are better than others. This year's Google logo prank (changing the logo to say Topeka to capitalize on that city's bid to get Google Fiber) is rather lame, however You Tube's TEXTp format videos are fun.

For an extensive list of website pranks today, check out this list from TechCrunch.

If you find anything else good, let us know in the comments!