Out in the Open

This impressive compilation from GOOD (the data issue) documents the impressive growth of Application Programming Interfaces that provide third party software developers with access to, and the ability to repurpose, large and very useful data sets. This growth is driven both by altruism and self-interest and represents a dramatic refutation of the skepticism towards the open data movement of merely a decade ago.

Hat tip David Kreda



Take two aspirin and an algorithm and call me in the morning.

This note from the American Medical Association nicely summarizes the recent approval of certification in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Medical Specialties. It represent the closest encounter between clinical training and librarianship to date. We'll see what it portends for relative compensation.


Augmenting library reality

Much has been written about the importance (or lack of it ) of happenstance in browsing through books on shelves and what we have lost with web-borne search. Thanks to Juliane Schneider, we are exploring how to augment the moment of serendipity using QR codes that students armed with a common "smart phone" can scan and thereby scoop up more information at a glance. Check out our 3rd floor for these codes printed on cards inserted in shelves. Paper chase now has web hints.



Weighty searches

Billions of Google searches may seem to be evanescent, ephemeral, electronic abstractions but this article suggests that they leave a weighty, grimy residue. The company’s electrical consumption (mostly the data centers) is said to create a carbon footprint of one million five hundred thousand tons in a single year. That is possibly much less than the footprint left by the car/bus trips and phone calls that have been made unnecessary by web searches. But it does suggest that search engines that will be better (i.e provide the sought for answer in fewer searches) will also be greener, even without more efficient computational hardware.