Happy Anniversary

A Cnet interview with a Google high muckety-muck brings some insights about Gmail to light. Appropriate, given that tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of Gmail’s debut announcement. You might remember that just about everybody (myself included) thought it was an April Fool’s joke. One gigabyte of electronic mail storage? Poppycock! That’s what I would have been thinking were I British and a fuddy duddy. I’m in a strange mood tonight, don’t mind me…

Back on topic!

Now Google is upping the ante to 2 gig! I’m guessing this is in response to Yahoo’s recent matching of Gmail’s 1gb storage limit. Not only that, but the storage limit will steadily increase beyond the two gigabyte frontier, and the sky’s the limit! The details are a little muddled at this point, but it sure sounds interesting.

It’s amazing how just a year ago even the best webmail account rarely exceeded 10 megabytes.

And in closing, a reminder: Don’t believe anything you read online tomorrow, being April first. Every year I fall for some dumb hoax, even if only for a moment, but this year I pledge to remain skeptical!

And I’ve still got tons of Gmail invites if you’d like one.

Behold… the power of Blogs!

The debate topic testerday in my management class was whether or not digitization was a good idea. Naturally, Michael Gorman’s name came up in the discussion. The points made on both sides were interesting, and this was the first topic in the class that I felt everyone in the class really engaged with. Most debates peter out with a question or two, but yesterday the prof eventually had to cut them off for time!

The really interesting part came during the break immediately afterwards. Gorman remained the topic of chit chat among the desks; the topic turned to his remarks on bloggers, which as you might remember caused quite an uproar in the LIS field and beyond. Suddenly the guy who sits next to me turns and says:

“So Chad, you were at Computers in Libraries, right?”

I was taken aback, I couldn’t recall ever mentioning this to him. It turns out that he saw my picture on TameTheWeb!

I swear, the Internet makes it a smaller world every day.



Nintendo is running what I officially dub to be the Strangest Promotion Ever.

The objective is to promote the Nintendo DS, which uses a touch screen to play games.

Nintendo will send you a disembodied mannequin hand (pictured). You take pictures of this hand in various situations, send them in, and then the best ones win prizes and/or money.

The name of the promotion? Touching is good.

I’ve signed up for my hand, I hope it actually does arrive. It’d make a great coffee table item, that’s for sure.

Flickred Out

Hoo boy. I’ve spent my free time yesterday and today uploading and sorting and tagging pictures into my new paid Flickr account. As of right now I’ve got 511 photos in there. I need a break.

At first I was uploading everything. Then I realized how ridiculous that is and started uploading only the good ones. That’s enough of a backup for me. But as a result, 1999 (the first year I took digital pictures) has more pictures than any other year. Thankfully I’ve been remembering to tag with the year so I can bring you this handy data. I’m caught up to February of this year in my uploading now and I’m pretty proud of the organizing job I’ve done so far.

If for some reason you’re interested, the sets are viewable here. Every picture I’ve put up is in one of those sets, even if just the Miscellaneous one.

I just gotta say how unbelievably awesome Flickr is. However, it would be even more unbelievably awesome if my camera had recorded the correct date on every picture.

I’m off to have a drink on my 18 inch balcony. Still 62 degrees out, woo!

I’m all Flickred up

I took the plunge and decided to spend my annual partial-tax-refund-indulgence on a Flickr pro account!

Now that I have the capability to sort things into unlimited albums instead of the three Flickr’s free version limited you to, I’ll be uploading pictures beyond my standard one a day. If you’ve been following my year in pictures project, here’s the new URL directly to it:


The old one will take you to my main Flickr page, which will henceforth have more photos than what I’ve been doing up till now. I plan on using the increased upload capacity to back up large chunks of my existing photos, as losing them is a subject of constant paranoia for me.

To see everything I upload, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiddenpeanuts/

I feel so elite!

Me = Slow

Just the other day I was thinking about the issue of annoying patrons via IM reference.

I was playing Halo 2 on Xbox live, and marveling at what anonymity can do to even the most socially responsible human. Profanity, screaming, and racism unfortunately rule the day. Judging by the voices of the offenders, they tend to be in the early teenage range. The voice chat with a nickname to hide behind gives them an outlet for stuff they’d never even dare try in real life.

However, I do take a certain amount of pleasure in the fact that someone out there is dumb enough to pay $50 a year to be known as “CaptainGonorrhea”. If they’re going to be dumb, they might as well give me something to laugh at.

Anyway, back on topic… I got to thinking about how the same thing could easily happen over IM in a library setting, since using IM for virtual reference seems to be a Big Thing right now. Young teens + real time anonymity + authority figure = fun. Of course I never got to actually typing something up on it, since I wasn’t sure if it was actually happening in practice. Now I see that The Librarian in Black beat me to it! Nuts!

She brings up many of the same questions I would have, so you’re probably better off reading that entry. Here’s the potential solutions I can think of:

1. Block the offenders immediately and save a chat log
2. Warn the offenders, block on a second or third offense.
3. Do nothing, just live with it

And here’s the most creative idea I’ve had:
Use Gaim as your IM client. It allows you to have an away message up, but still chat normally. Set your away message to some version of an abbreviated terms of service. By continuing to chat, users agree to the terms. If they still are profane, then the librarian is well within their rights to ignore entirely (denying them satisfaction) and blocking them, the same way we would eventually call the police for an abusive patron there in person.

The idea could probably be developed further. It still unfortunately doesn’t stop the first abusive comment by a user. But without some more advanced IM clients that work perhaps similar to comment spam filters on blogs, that goal may be impossible.

Greg Schwartz apparently comments on the issue in this week’s podcast, which I haven’t listened to yet. So I may be duplicating something, I’ll be checking it out on the walk to work tomorrow.

P.S. Are librarians using IM for virtual reference being made aware of spim? (SPam via Instant Messenger) Some of what are considered annoying or abusive IMs may in fact be due to this.


I returned from class today to find this on the front door of the building:


I’m going to hurt the landlords, I swear. Not only have they not completed repairs I requested last August, or replaced the dead lightbulbs in the hallways, but now this!

I called the company and their reply was “Oh. We’ll look into that.” Click. Then I called the water authority and they said it was affecting almost my entire block, which is all owned by the same company, and that they’ve been swamped with calls all day about it.

How in the world do you forget to pay $4600 in water bills?!

Does someone more familiar with lease laws than me know if I have anything I can do about their general ineptitude? Suing wouldn’t be worth it, I’m looking for something less drastic.

Save Our Bluths!

Nick passed on this link to SaveOurBluths.com

You’ve probably seen me rant before, but Arrested Development is one of the funniest shows on TV today. Intelligent humor like this is all too rare. AD even won the Emmy for best comedy series last season, yet it continues to be threatened with cancelation.

While Fox claims no decision has been made on whether or not to cancel the show, the cut from 22 to 18 episodes for this season recently does not bode well.

I’m always dubious about the power of these letter writing campaigns to save shows. While it was somewhat successful with Farscape, bringing it back for a concluding miniseries, it failed with most others that I’m aware of (Angel, Firefly, etc). I have a feeling studios make up their mind and nothing we can do will change it. But still, it can’t hurt to spread the word I suppose.

I’m also going to attempt technorati tags one last time, since I know the Arrested Development tag is an active one on there.

P.S. does anybody have any idea how to make Technorati Tags work again for me? I’m formatting the link correctly, Technorati just doesn’t pick them up for some reason.