“The U.S. Census Bureau today released Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, a new Web tool that allows business owners and entrepreneurs to easily navigate and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new business or adding to an existing one. The Census Business Builder was developed with user-centered design at its core and incorporated feedback from customers and stakeholders, including small business owners, trade associations and other government agencies.” (via Census Bureau)
“When his friend Kelly mentioned she was interviewing for a new job, Peter Brown told her there was an article she needed to read. He couldn’t remember where he’d seen it. And he couldn’t remember what company it was about. But he knew she had to read it. And, luckily, he had invented an app that could find it. Built for desktop and laptop machines, the app is called Fetching.io. It caches every single webpage you visit, creating your own personal search engine where you can search solely what you’ve seen in the past. Brown came up with the idea after trying—and failing—to find something else that did this. “I got sick and tired of losing websites I’d seen before—or spending a frustratingly long time re-finding them,” he says.” (via WIRED)
“We’ve all been there. You’re working on a project around the house, and you need that one tool to finish the job. In some cities, you could visit a tool library where you could borrow what you need and get some tips on how to use it. Boulder already has a one, and Denverites could have one early next year.
Sarah Steiner is launching Denver’s Tool Library to help people get the job done.” (via CPR)
“The U.S. Census Bureau today released an interactive, online map pinpointing the wide array of languages spoken in homes across the nation, along with a detailed report on rates of English proficiency and the growing number of speakers of other languages. The 2011 Language Mapper shows where people speaking specific languages other than English live, with dots representing how many people speak each of 15 different languages. For each language, the mapper shows the concentration of those who report that they speak English less than “very well,” a measure of English proficiency. The tool uses data collected through the American Community Survey from 2007 to 2011.” (via U.S. Census Bureau)
“The U.S. Census Bureau has released My Congressional District, the first interactive tool geared exclusively toward finding basic demographic and economic statistics for every congressional district in the U.S. This Web app uses the latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey, providing the most detailed portrait of America’s towns and neighborhoods. Users can sort through statistics in five key categories upon selection of a specific district in the application. Summary level statistics covering education, finance, jobs and housing, as well as basic demographic information, can quickly be displayed, downloaded and shared with others. A major feature of the My Congressional District app is the ability to embed a selected 113th congressional district on a user’s own webpage. The embedded district will display the latest statistics from the American Community Survey, allowing visitors to quickly view statistics for any of the 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia.” (via U.S. Census Bureau)
“Books and DVDs weren’t what Ralph Mandarino wanted when he went to the Grosse Pointe Public Library. The 75-year-old retired businessman checked out a tree lopper and a tape measure, two of the more than 100 tools available to patrons of the suburban Detroit library. In a number of communities across the U.S., it’s possible to borrow tools, musical instruments, fishing poles and much more from the local public library. The trend expands the traditional role of the library as a community resource for free knowledge. Libraries see the programs as a new way to offer residents a chance to learn – just not necessarily with a book.” (via AP)
“With financial backing from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Slice Bookshelf joins a crowded library of social reading sites Thursday. Like Shelfari, LibraryThing and GoodReads, Bookshelf promises “a fun way to discover and share books with your friends” on the Web. After several months of preliminary testing, the Web site officially went live Thursday morning. It’s the latest offering from Slice, a Palo Alto, Calif. Internet company whose flagship app helps consumers keep track of their online purchases.
via Washington Post)
“Churnalism US is a new web tool and browser extension that allows anyone to compare the news you read against existing content to uncover possible instances of plagiarism. It is a joint project with the Media Standards Trust. Simply feed in a link or block of text to the Churnalism site or let the browser extension run in the background to notify you of any matches of text from Churnalism’s cache of documents.” (via Sunlight Foundation Blog)
“Want to read more self-published ebooks, but not sure how to find the good ones? The creators of a new service called StoryBundle hope to help by offering specially-selected collections of DRM-free ebooks in specific genres at a “pay-what-you-want” price. StoryBundle founder Jason Chen — a former technology and software editor for Gizmodo and Lifehacker — said the idea for the service came from his combined interest in reading and ebooks.”
via BOOK RIOT
“LibraryThing and Bowker® have launched BookPsychic, a new concept in readers advisory — a personal recommender system for libraries. BookPsychic is a service within LibraryThing for Libraries™, distributed by Bowker®, an affiliate of ProQuest. It went live at its first site earlier this month at Maine’s Portland Public Library. BookPsychic works by inviting library patrons to rate books using an interface that early users felt was familiar and intuitive. Books to rate and recommendations are split into simple genres, like “Recent Fiction,” “History” and “Home and Garden.” As patrons rate more books, the system learns more and more about their likes and dislikes, enabling the creation of “Just for You” recommendations.”