WSJ.com – “Google Inc. is giving its tried-and-true Web-search formula a makeover as it tries to fix the shortcomings of today’s technology and maintain its dominant market share. Over the next few months, Google’s search engine will begin spitting out more than a list of blue Web links. It will also present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. The changes to search are among the biggest in the company’s history and could affect millions of websites that rely on Google’s current page-ranking results. At the same time, they could give Google more ways to serve up advertisements.”
Press Release – “ebrary®, a ProQuest business and leading provider of ebooks and research technology, today announced that the social media data of its 2011 Global Student E-book Survey is now publicly available…Among other key findings, the addendum revealed the following…35% students indicated they would “likely” to “very likely” pose a question to a librarian using social media, compared to 45% who would “likely” to “very likely” use social media to pose a question to faculty.”
NYT – “The new version of Wolfram Alpha arrives Wednesday afternoon. Its formal name is Wolfram Alpha Pro, and Dr. Wolfram calls “Step 2, the next step of what can be done with this approach,” which he describes as a “computational knowledge engine.” This is a premium version of the search engine: $4.99 a month, or $2.99 for students. The new version handles data and images. In a recent demonstration, Dr. Wolfram, using his computer mouse, dragged in a table of the gross domestic product figures for France for 1961 to 2010, and Wolfram Alpha produced on the Web page a color-coded bar chart, which could be downloaded in different document formats. He put in a table of campaign contributions to politicians over several years, and Wolfram Alpha generated a chart and brief summary, saying that House members received less on average than senators.”
Bev Butula – “We have all heard that the only thing constant is change. Technology and website functionality, prime examples of this point, continue to evolve – particularly with Google. Many Google changes are so seamless that the researcher may not even notice new or different features when they happen. For example, many people cannot remember when Google Instant launched. However, it’s second nature now, and people now expect the answer they seek before they finish typing the question.”
Time – “Annie Platoff, a librarian at UC Santa Barbara, is on a mission to find out what happened to the American flags that astronauts planted on the moon during the six lunar landings. Platoff’s research pinpointed four of them, including the one from Apollo 17, the final lunar mission. At the very least, the nylon national symbols are “tattered” and have “darkened” over the years. She speculates that the other two, planted during Apollo 11 and Apollo 12, fell victim to the ignition gases emitted from the lunar module during blast-off.”
USA Today – “David J. Loehr, a playwright who lives in southern Indiana, was taking his car to the dealership when a story on the radio caught his attention. A short science piece about “an obscure subject” gave him an idea for a new play. Ordinarily, Loehr would have had to make do with jotting down some notes or trying to remember his inspiration. But since he had his iPad with him, he bought a few books on the subject and downloaded them as soon as he got to the dealership. He started his research for the play right there, while his car was being serviced. “I can have all that research on a single tablet instead of carrying around 40 books,” Loehr said. Welcome to the future of books, where your entire library is as portable as a cellphone.
dailypress.com – “Type in “cancer” and you'll get about 20 million hits on Google. So where do you start, and how do you know whether the information's reliable? Enter Ruth Smith. Smith is the outreach services coordinator for the Edward E. Brickell Medical Sciences Library at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.”
Risa Sacks – “Every year or so, bq lets me hop on my soapbox and remind you all to consider phone research as part of your research arsenal.