My (new ) New York Times

New  York Times LogoNew York Times Logo

The New York Times is offering a new service called "My Times" (http://my.nytimes.com) (currently still in beta phase). It's basically a customizable news page composed of various widgets that draw news from the New York Times or various RSS feed sources. If you're into this sort of thing, you should probably check it out.

Of special interest is the "Journalists' Pics" section. Here you'll find a variety of New York Times writers (neatly categorized by their areas of expertise) who will share with you their suggested sources. Blogging and the like is influencing traditional journalism more and more, so it's pretty interesting to see what sort of blogs traditional journalists read.

If you're not into this sort of thing (or don't even know what I'm talking about) but would like to learn more, then the library can help. We offer a variety of computer classes. In particular, there's a class on blogging on Feb 4th and RSS on Feb 20th.

Perfect Storm of Decimated Words Go Under the Bus

tasetase

It's time once again for Lake Superior State University's 2008 Banished Words List and it is what it is. A varied list this year reflecting the surge in Post 9/11 authored wordsmithing. How many words can you put in one sentence?

An Economist holiday

Economist 12/22/2007 coverEconomist 12/22/2007 cover

If you've never read the annual holiday edition of The Economist, you're missing a rare treat. In addition to the magazine's typical insightful reporting and commentary, this edition includes several special reports on as sundry topics as professional poker to Mao Zedong's management style. Here are just a few articles that I enjoyed from this year's issue:

* Why humans' hunter-gatherer era wasn't quite as idyllic as we think
* The political sensitivity and power that comes from the Census
* China's attempts to encourage panda sex, and why we should care
* The political implications of electing a Mormon president.

Has your interest been piqued? Want to check out this issue of The Economist in its full-text glory? You're in luck! You can access it online in General OneFile, one of our great research databases. After you get into the database, just click the "Publication Search" link and search for The Economist. You will need to login to your aadl.org account to follow the database link.

Media consolidation: Coming soon to a city near you

Today, the Federal Communications Commission has given media companies a bit more freedom. On party lines, the Commission voted to allow businesses to own both newspapers and television or radio stations in the same city. So what does this mean? It means that MediaNews Group, owners of the The Detroit News could start buying up Detroit television stations, if they so choose.

BitTorrent > Scholastic

Now that the potterdammerung surrounding the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has subsided, its publisher, Scholastic, has some debriefing to do. Despite some pretty extensive security, a bonafide copy of the book was released on the peer-to-peer file sharing network BitTorrent several days before the book.

The leaked copy consisted of a digital photograph of every page of the much sought-after volume, a fact that may help Scholastic track down the culprit. Nonetheless, the event is making book publishers wonder if they, like the music recording industry, should worry about internet piracy. Their concerns may grow as the market for ebooks increases, as they may prove just as easy to copy as digital music files.

What do you think? As books are increasingly being digitized, should book publishers be worried about pirates?

Climate Change Report

worldworld

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a summary of the Climate Change 2007 report. The report details how climate change will affect every region of the earth. The full 1,572-page report will be available on the IPCC web site.

Neal Shine Dies

shineshine

One of the greats in Michigan journalism died today. Neal Shine started at the Detroit Free Press "as a copyboy in 1950 and by 1995 had carried the titles of reporter, city editor, managing editor, senior managing editor, columnist and publisher." In his 45 years, Mr. Shine stood up for the common man and stood up to those who would take advantage of the common man. His leadership in covering the Detroit riots of 1967 earned the Freep a Pulitzer. Hail to the Irish poet-scribe.

Multi-tasking Can Be Dangerous

Recently I watched a young driver smash her van at about 30 mph into the back of a truck on South Main Street – while chatting happily on her cell phone. So I’m glad to see the New York Times article “Slow Down, Brave Multitasker, and Don’t Read This in Traffic.” The article quotes David Meyer at U-M saying: “Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes. Disruptions and interruptions are a bad deal from the standpoint of our ability to process information.” Today I see there is a correction to the article: “A front-page article yesterday about the limits of multitasking misspelled the surname of a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan, who said that "'Multitasking is going to slow you down, increasing the chances of mistakes.'" It is David E. Meyer, not Mayer.” I hope that when this name was misspelled, it wasn't because someone was multi-tasking.

Up-to-the-Minute Government Documents

gonzalezgonzalez

In the days of yore, libraries waited months, years and sometimes forever for newsworthy documents to arrive from federal and state governments. Now, the Internet has made access almost instantaneous. Late last night, the Bush Administration released thousand of additional pages of emails regarding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. By 9:00 a.m.today, most of those are available for public review at the U.S. House Judiciary web site. For real-time government in action, watch committee hearings and speeches live on C-Span web site.

Trust in your children

Janusz KorczakJanusz Korczak

Parenting advices comes from many sources, but when was the last time that you read advice from a Holocaust hero? Polish author Janusz Korczak wrote parenting guides and children's books before his death in a concentration camp in 1939. A new collection of his writings advocates taking children seriously. This article in NPR has an excerpt from the book, and the library has one of the stories he wrote for children: King Matt the First.

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