MIT Media Lab does it again…

Now you all know that I have a very special place in my heart for Cyborgs, Neo-Humans and TransHumans, being one myself. Most of you out there are cyborgs too, only you don’t know it. Do you use a cell phone? Watch television? Use computers? Drive automobiles? You are the very machine that plugs into these other machines, a meta-machine, if you will. And these things we plug ourselves into are very helpful indeed, but there seems to be a limit, a techno-glass ceiling for just how intuitive these machines are. Well, rest assured that this is all changing. At MIT, they do some amazing work helping us be the cyborgs that we want to be, and this video is no exception. It is touted as a ‘6th-sense’ device, and no amount of explanation will do it justice. So watch the video. Now.

See?! I WANT ONE NOW!

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It coulda been us (I’m just sayin’)…

…that we, as Librarians, who work in Libraries, could have seen this one coming, and maybe, just maybe , done something about it. Like buy stock in Google.

I am trying to keep up on the Google Digital Library case, and the arguments are flowing outta this one like Swine Flu

introducing the Swine Flu Dancers!

introducing the Swine Flu Dancers!

across the Rio Grande. Orphan books, copyright holders, authors, publishers, censorship, this case has got it ALL!

 

As many of us already know, in 2005 Google was sued by the Author’s Guild (of Calamitous Intent), because they were showing snippets of texts online, which then led to the 2007 settlement (SETTLEMENT!) that ended up covering book holders, so no harm, no foul. Google was able to scan, index, display and even sell all books in print online (sure makes research a heckuva lot faster). Now this sets up Google as the world’s largest digital Library, which, by the way, looks nothing like you might imagine. Or this image, as a matter of fact.

Digital Library screenshot

NOT the Google Digital Library

Officially, ALA, ARL and ACRL do NOT oppose this settlement, but are more worried about it than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. The Department of Justice is already investigating the matter, as it stinks to high heaven like an anti-trust matter. Is it? Who knows? I’m not the DoJ, or the AG, for that matter. Who is? You’ll have to TORTURE it out of me.

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DVDs are Tired. Move over for the new Holographic Discs!

We all knew that our information storage artifacts have life cycles, a birth and a death. Everything has an expiration date, and some things surprised us with their tiny lives, so ephemeral. Like Laser Discs, the Mayflies of digital storage discs, these LP-sized coasters are severely obsolete, although I can even remember a time when I was watching the Mortal Combat film on one. Like 8-tracks, cassette tapes, mini-discs, CDs and even DVDs, we are witnessing an end to these limiting formats.
As a regular DVD can store 4 (single layer) to 8 (dual-layer) gigabytes of information, and a Blu-Ray can store 25 (single) to 50 (dual) gigs worth of info, what might be the next leap in storage capacity? Would you believe 500 gigabytes? Yup, it’s true, according to GE. Don’t take my word for it, watch the video.

How’s THAT for a slice of fried gold?! Well fellow Librarians, we have our work cut out for us. Time to make some CD and DVD windchimes, eh? You’re welcome, Summer Craft Programs.

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Robot legs for you to wear!

Now, for all of you Neo-Humans, CyBoys, CyGals and Transhumans out there, a little mechanical augmentation for your frail, flimsy, human frame of meat is available, fresh from Japan!

Honda Walk Assist Device

Honda Walk Assist Device


Remember, Japan is an aging society. Here is a pretty picture for your edification (you’re welcome, Visual Learners):
Japanese population change 1960-2006

Japanese population change 1960-2006


And for those of you who need a little Quantitative Analysis before lunch:
Japan population forecast

Japan population forecast

In an article by Reuters on this very phenomenon, it is predicted that “by 2020, about 14 percent of the population of greater Tokyo – around 4.9 million people of a predicted population of 35 million – will be aged 75 or older. Currently only around 7 percent of the greater Tokyo area are in this age bracket.”

And according to the CDC, stateside, we will see a marked increase in elderly folks as well.
“By 2030, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will more than double to 71 million older Americans, comprising roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population. In some states, fully a quarter of the population will be aged 65 and older….The cost of providing health care for an older American is three to five times greater than the cost for someone younger than 65. By 2030, the nation’s health care spending is projected to increase by 25% due to demographic shifts unless improving and preserving the health of older adults is more actively addressed.”

Why not invest in technologies that can level the playing field for all of those whose bodies aren’t as spry as they used to be? Why not have an adorable RoboButler who will serve you iced prune juice smoothies, laced with Glucosamine Chondroitin? I mean, stairs are evil and unnatural, granted, and they are difficult to navigate drunk, so why not have some Robo legs to power your husk on up there? I think these are super-neat, and I want. NOW.

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Ah yes, Library Thing.

Well, I had tried out Library Thing a while ago in Library School, and it bored me. So here, may it now bore you. Forever.

My Library at LibraryThing

It’s not a bad idea, really, its’ simply tedious searching and loading each book into the account, when I have soooooo many books. Seriously, I don’t have an accurate count anymore, but I *did* just get a new shipment of manga in, and that was 89 new books, and I am now awaiting another shipment of around 250 or so. We’ll see how many I can get into my new OPAC before I go CRAZY. Crazy for MANGA!

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Library Humour

Yes, that is correct; I am a Librarian, I work in a Library, and I find inside jokes about my profession amusing.

the-new-book-technology1

This should go well when discussing eBook Readers, dontcha think?

Anyway, Wyoming stirred up a bit of controversy with their new Libraries Logo:
library_mudflap
Truthfully, I don’t really mind it, but that’s because I am a misogynist at heart (although I AM a male working in a female-dominated profession, but my past two careers were the same, School Teacher and Stage Manager. So there).
Hey, anything for Libraries to remain relevant, right? I mean, we don’t want to force people into our buildings and make them read at gunpoint, but I certainly don’t want to live in a world where I can’t get access to anything and everything I want (although sometimes it seems like we’re already there).

We really do need more Militant Librarians.
librarywarsfile

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WEEK FOUR: SOME OTHA THING!

Okie,

so Technology rocks, right? I mean, if you’re reading this, apparently you are indulging in some rather sophisticated tech, amirite? So, how ’bout ROBOTS? Like Honda’s ASIMO, pretty futuristic.

asimo

Japan is quickly leading the charge with so much, including rules for schoolgirl skirt lengths, incredible animation and manga, and adorable little hunting dogs. But robots take the cake.
Waaa! Shockwave!
480_robot

Especially cute dogs that are also robots; i.e. ROBOFIDO. My FEED has been pushing news items across my eyeballs all last month with these freaky robots who are Substitute teachers, salespeople, receptionists, and lovers and even catwalk models. They were working on faces and expressions for a while, because people empathize with a humanoid face and how it expresses emotion, and now with Asimo, stairs are a cinch too. Although, maybe we should stick with riding bicycles instead.

That little Asimo dude is really making the rounds (even running around!), but why settle for a remote control when you have a perfectly good brain in your skullcase?
Although, I am sure many of you out there cannot speak Japanese (hey, I could be wrong) so here we go in English this time.

Didn’t I tell you ROBOTS were neato? Remember when…?

robot_main

Until they rise up and kill us all, then we’re royally SCREWED.
terminator

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