Get Free Ebooks from Microsoft

Microsoft Office 365 book
Eric Ligman, Director, Partner Experience for Microsoft has posted two collections of free ebooks on his Microsoft SMS&P Partner Community Blog.  Subjects include Microsoft products (of course): Windows 7 and 8, Office 2012 and Office 365, SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET, Windows Azure, and more.

Browse the two collections:

Think Quarterly on the Acceleration of Everything

Think QuarterlyLast year Google started an online periodical called Think Quarterly.  Rather than looking back, Google will explore aspects of the Internet on future culture.  From Think Quarterly‘s About page:

We don’t want to review what’s happened; we want to prepare you for what happens next. For each issue, we tap our homegrown visionaries, plus heads of industry, innovators and experts, to lend their insights and outlooks on the digital future. We hope it gives a view into what drives us as a company and inspires those of you who lead the way.

Previous issues have be titled “The Innovation Issue” (July 2011) and “The People Issue” (September 2011).  The current issue is called “The Speed Issue”.  All of this is great reading for the librarian who wants to understand the digital world in which we work.

One interesting article in the current issue looks at the speeding Internet time and its disruption of just about every sector of life.  The author makes an analogy to “Gutenberg Time” when the new printed book disrupted the Church, increased information and the pace of the Reformation, allowed scientists to more easily build on the past work of others, and created new jobs and whole industries.  Read more from the article Not So Fast.

Access the current issue Think Quarterly.

Internet Companies Respond to SOPA

The US Congress is in the process of passing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which aims to stop the illegal piracy of online media like music and movies.  But the technology press and Internet firms say it will allow the government to censor the Internet and stifle innovation.  Heads of most of the major Internet companies have responded by writing “An open letter to Washington“:

An open letter to Washington

We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online.

However, we’re worried that the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act — which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online — will undermine that framework.

These two pieces of legislation threaten to:

    • Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload.  This would have a chilling effect on innovation;
    • Deny website owners the right to due process of law;
    • Give the U.S. Goverment to the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used in China, Malaysia and Iran; and
    • Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet.

We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet.  Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.

The letter is signed by seventeen founders or co-founders of the biggest Internet comapnies including Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, and the Internet Archive.

Palo Alto Library Lending Chromebooks

Google Chromebook (Acer)The Palo Alto Library will begin a service in January to lend Google Chromebooks, the basic notebook computer running Google’s Chrome OS software.  The library purchased 21 computers which will be offered for a one-week checkout period.  Besides the low price of the Chromebook, it uses no installed apps, but instead accesses many web-based services such as Gmail and Google Docs.

Read more in the Wired article Silicon Valley Library Lends Google Chromebooks.

Find out more about the Google Chromebook.

2012 Library Conference Schedule

With 2012 a month away, we are looking forward to next year’s library conferences.  The list below covers large library technology conferences as well as the major conferences where technology will be discussed.

January  
16-18 Technology Conference 2012, Los Angeles, CA
20-24 ALA Midwinter Meeting, Dallas, TX
February  
1-2 Handheld Librarian VI, Online
6-9 Code4Lib 2012, Seattle, WA
March  
13-17 PLA Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA
14-15 Library Technology Conference, St. Paul, MN
21-23 Computers in Libraries 2012, Washington, DC
June  
10-14 JCDL 2012, Washington, DC
21-26 ALA Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA
July  
15-18 SLA Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO, Chicago, IL
August  
11-17 World Library and Information Congress, Helsinki, Finland

For a comprehensive list, see Douglas Hasty’s Library Conference Planner website.