I just did a bit of experimenting with AOL IM’s new beta version, “Triton”.
How is it? Let’s just say its already off my computer.
I’ll keep in mind that this software is still an early beta, but a number of fundamental design elements just really bug me.
First of all, the banner ads. Using deadAIM and now Gaim has made a lack of ads in IM seem normal – there’s no way I’d go back. The ones that play audio are particularly bad.
Second, I got a popup ad from Triton. I haven’t seen a popup ad in who knows how long thanks to Firefox and previously the Google Toolbar. But 3 minutes after logging in, there one was.
Third, it installed other software along with Triton. I have no idea what it did. There was an AOL icon in my taskbar, which gave me the option to ‘Sign in to the AOL network’. This functionality seems to be completely unrelated to using Triton. I could be signed into one of the two and not the other. Very confusing.
Fourth, the interface seems to have been rearranged with no logic whatsoever. It took me close to a minute of poking around to figure out how to set an away message.
In summary, I’m not impressed. While gaim admittedly still has a few bugs (my buddy list tends to disappear into the system tray at random), it remains a superior product to Triton. AOL has some serious work to do in bringing Triton out of beta, if they want to recapture their own network’s power user software market.
I’m officially registered for the ALA conference next month!
I likely won’t be there the whole time due to class schedules, but the student registration rate and similarly dirt cheap airfare (Southwest is just setting up shop in Pittsburgh and has deep discounts) made it too good of an opportunity to pass up.
Anyone have any recommendations on hotels? That’s my one missing piece of the puzzle. ALA’s website has some tips up, but I’d like an insider’s perspective.
Edit: I just discovered the ALA Chicago Wiki, which looks to be a big help!
There’s been a number of cool movie trailer hitting the net recently. As is my duty, I’m passing them on:
Serenity – Most anticipated movie of the year for me, based off the prematurely cancelled TV series Firefly.
Batman Begins – My high hopes for this one continue.
Land of the Dead – I’m on a zombie kick recently for some reason, so this is perfect timing!
Thanks to Greg’s most recent podcast, I learned about the existence of MusicBrainz. Essentially its an autotagging program for your mp3s! I’d been halfheartedly looking for such a program for a couple years now. It searches a collaboratively maintained database of ID3 tag info and picks the best match whenever possible. Sometimes you have to pick one from a list when the software can’t quite narrow it down.
While the program did crash on me quite a few times (until I learned not to tag songs while it was still searching for matches on other files), overall I liked it. I tagged my more than 1,000 files in just a couple hours of on and off effort! It’d be even simpler tagging a few files at a time as I find them.
Just wanted to make people aware.
OCLC has a mini-feature up on gaming in libraries. I’m glad to see this area getting some attention, but have a few things to add:
- Gaming is not just for teenagers. I’m 22, play video games routinely, and know many older than myself who do the same. We grew up with the medium and aren’t likely to give it up anytime soon. So, isolating all gaming materials in the Teen section may not be the best idea.
- OCLC mentions adding video game strategy guides and hint books to your collection. While this is a good idea, one thing to remember is that they need to be constantly weeded. Long ago the library I used to work at started adding these types of books, although in small amounts. Those same old books are still on the shelves, often for video game systems now multiple generations out of date. They look extremely worn and are not a sign of a library being in sync with the culture of gaming.
In fact, I’d ditch the broader ‘hint books’ entirely, and focus on volumes specific to in depth coverage of one game. Video game cheats and codes can be found in abundance, and fresher, on the Internet for free. Why duplicate? Strategy guides for one specific game will have a longer shelf life and fill a ‘not for free’ niche.
- I’d be interested in hearing more about the administrative issues in building a gaming collection and holding LAN parties. Are ‘M’ rated games (17 and up) used at the LAN parties? Are younger gamers allowed in? Similar issues exist in collection development, I’m sure. Given all the superfluous hoopla about the ‘video games make children violent’ issue lately, I have a feeling parents are more likely to raise issues about the content of video games in libraries than other media types.
I’ve never lived in a household that had an extraordinarily inclusive cable package. No problem there really, I rarely felt like I was missing anything. Most shows I watch are on the major networks and a sparse handful of other basic cable stations. While I lamented not having the SciFi channel in middle school, well soon after it showed up on our ‘regular’ cable.
The one channel I always wished we got, and never had fulfilled, was TechTV. Sadly, it no longer exists. G4 ‘merged’ with it, in reality renaming the station to G4 and replacing much of the quality content. G4 is very much a video game channel and very little a generic tech channel. A friend has the new G4, and it rarely equals the heights of programming I glimpsed on the old TechTV now and again.
The few times I did get to watch a program, more often than not it was The Screen Savers. I’m pretty sure that show was wiped off the schedule at the merger. But thankfully, the original hosts of the show have started a podcast!
“Revenge of The Screen Savers” had its inaugeral this last week, and plans on posting a new show every Sunday. I’m psyched! Finally I can get in on the fun.
Plus, its a great example of one potential of the ever-emerging internet: alternative methods of content distribution.
John Cleese (and Michael Dorn for a bit) star in this rather amusing ad for LiveVault:
And remember, whatever you do don’t push the third button!
You might remember that I was very excited about playing Urban Challenge Online this spring.
Tonight I received an e-mail stating that the event has been cancelled! My registration fee will be refunded. No explanation as to why, and the site for the event no longer exists. Very odd.
I’m disappointed really – I probably wouldn’t have won but the format of the challenge is something I’m naturally good at.
Regular updates will resume soon, the semester is almost done!
For some reason Bloglines has stopped reading new entries from my feed. Anyone have any idea how to fix it? The last entry it shows is this one from about a week ago.
Word on the street is Flickr is announcing some changes. I haven’t gotten my official e-mail yet, but a friend has:
-Paid accounts now have 2gb of uploads per month
-Paid accounts now cost just $24.95 a year
-Free accounts now hold 200 pictures, not 100 anymore
-Best of all: Early adopters such as myself get a free extra year!
Flickr blog entry on the topic
edit: Got my e-mail! Also forgot to mention that Flickr generously gave me two one-year paid accounts to give to friends! I’d expect dozens to show up on Ebay shortly if you want an account cheap…