Tag Archives: tools

A Simple Trick to Understand Complex Wikipedia Entries

“Like it or not, Wikipedia has evolved into a major go-to destination for those in search of knowledge. Whether it’s to swot up on the films of Laurel & Hardy, or discover what E=MC2 really means, Wikipedia has you covered on most fronts. But what about topics that go way over your head? Or what if they simply go into too much depth, or assume a little too much prior knowledge for your liking? That’s where Simple English Wikipedia comes in.”

via The Next Web

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Census Bureau Releases Its First Mobile App Providing Real-Time Statistics on U.S. Economy

“The U.S. Census Bureau today released its first-ever mobile application, “America’s Economy,” which will provide constantly updated statistics on the U.S. economy, including monthly economic indicators, trends, along with a schedule of upcoming announcements. The app, which is currently available for Android mobile device users, combines statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. America’s Economy is the first mobile app from the Census Bureau that provides smartphone and tablet users with the real-time government statistics that drive business hiring, sales and production decisions and assist economists, researchers, planners and policymakers. The economic indicators track monthly and quarterly trends in industries, such as employment, housing construction, international trade, personal income, retail sales and manufacturing.”

via U.S. Census Bureau

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OverDrive Developer Portal now open

“We’re happy to announce that the OverDrive Developer Portal is now open and accepting applications from interested developers. Our initial set of APIs gives third-party applications the ability to browse OverDrive digital media collections, search for titles, display detailed metadata for a given title, and determine the availability of a title within a given library collection. We’re excited to see the powerful new discovery tools our library, retail, and publishing partners develop to extend their digital catalogs to more readers around the globe.”

via OverDrive Blog

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Presidential Libraries Mark the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

“To commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Archives is featuring Presidential records related to disability history on a new web research page at [www.archives.gov/research/americans-with-disabilities/]. The ADA was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 and was the first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. The National Archives holds many records that relate to American citizens with disabilities. From personal letters to historic legislation, these records provide insight into efforts over the past century to establish programs and to protect the rights of people with disabilities.”

via National Archives

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Smartphone app coming for Arlington National Cemetery

“A new smartphone app, due out this fall, will be able to provide a virtual tour of Arlington National Cemetery, list events there and help visitors locate gravesites. The new application will be available to the public in October, said Maj. Nick Miller, chief information officer for the cemetery. His team is already beta testing the app, which links geospatial mapping technology to digital records and tombstone photos. The app provides a real-time schedule of burials, wreath-laying ceremonies and other events at the cemetery. Employees there have been using a similar internal application since March to help manage daily activities at the cemetery.”

via The United States Army

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Power Tools: The Libraries of the Future

“It’s in the nature of books that the vast majority of books any given person owns will not be in use at any given time. Under the circumstances, establishing vast municipal stockpiles of books for people to borrow is much more efficient than relying on a series of household stockpiles. But over time digital technology is eroding this rationale (the day has not yet come when every individual is equipped with a smartphone or tablet capable of reading e-books but it’s quite foreseeable), and it makes more sense to shift away from stockpiling of books and toward things like the Oakland Public Library’s tool lending program. I have a hammer, several scredrivers, a power drill, a hacksaw, and a bunch of other tools that I’m almost never using and households all over DC are in this very same position. The most successful libraries we be the ones who spend less time thinking “how do I extend my traditional reading-and-learning mission into the digital age” and more time thinking “what sort of club goods are being underprovided thanks to transaction costs, enforcement problems, and information issues.”

via Slate

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Goodreads Puts the Book into Facebook: Social App Now Available in Facebook’s New App Center

“This evening, Facebook is launching its new App Center to help its 901 million members discover high quality social apps for the web and mobile. Goodreads is one of the apps participating in the launch event, and the new App Center will serve as another way for people to discover our app.

What makes the Goodreads team particularly proud is that the Facebook App Center only lists high quality apps that rate well on key signals such as highest customer ratings and frequency of user shares. The Goodreads App, with an average 4.5 star rating (out of 5) is clearly winning many fans.”

via Goodreads

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Zero Dollar Books Shows You All the Best Selling Kindle Ebooks Currently Available for Free

LifeHacker – “Sorting through the Amazon store for free ebooks can be a bit of a mess. To simplify the process Zero Dollar Books is a simple webapp that aggregates all the best selling free ebooks and shows them off in a nice clean view.”

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Goodreads Catalogs 300 Millionth Book

Goodreads Blog – “Goodreads continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. Today, we had our 300 millionth book cataloged! To give this statistic some context: It took the Goodreads community three years to catalog 100 million books (including books marked as read, to-read, or currently reading). Fourteen months later, in late September 2011, we reached 200 million books. Now, just seven months after that, we’ve hit the 300 million benchmark. Take a look at how the number of books cataloged has skyrocketed.”

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Watch worldwide book sales, live

LA Times – “The Book Depository is a British-based online bookseller that ships to countries around the world, for free. To bring that point home, it has built a map that shows who bought what, where, just now. The window of the map moves to reach the most recent purchase, zooming back and forth from Germany to Singapore to the United States to Australia to Norway. In each location, the title pops up. It’s hypnotic.”

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