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Comment: Not so - plus a suggestion (Score 2) 188

by JeffTL (#38594848) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tech For Small Library Automation?
You're making several inaccurate presumptions. First, non-academic library users do come from all generations. Second, electronic systems are not more complicated than card catalogs from the user perspective -- most libraries find that general use of the library goes up when an electronic catalog is established, due to their making it easier to find materials. As for the topic at hand, if the group is familiar with library automation, I presume that some of them may also be familiar with cataloging enough to be able to make good use of something like Evergreen -- it scales down to small libraries quite well. Delicious Library sounds like a good idea but it can't handle MARC records like you can download from the Library of Congress for many books (or using the Z39.50 protocol, from many other institutions including research libraries), and I've found it to be rather weak on authority control. Evergreen and similar will allow for proper copy cataloguing from LC or other major libraries instead of just Amazon, which Delicious seems to use.

Comment: One more reason to ride public transportation (Score 1) 317

by JeffTL (#36720750) Attached to: 25% of Car Accidents Linked to Gadget Use
On the bus, train, or streetcar, or an airplane if you're going between cities, you can use any device you want except a music player without headphones (which is against the rules on probably most systems). I take the Chicago Transit Authority's buses and trains all the time, plus Metra trains on occasion, and loads of people are always using newspapers, books, Kindles, smartphones, iPods, iPads, you name it. They had to crack down on the drivers using phones a while back, but for everyone else it's not a problem.
GUI

Game CEO Sees "Gamification" of Work and Military 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the browsing-slashdot-gives-you-rested-xp dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The CEO of Unity discusses 'gamification' — applying game design and technology to real-world applications beyond 'gamespace.' The military is using game design theory for some training programs — not just 'the 3-D, realistic, virtual world experiences, but also the built-in use of frustration and reward.' (And similar training packages were adopted by Unilever, the giant corporation which owns Ben & Jerry's ice cream.) Medical professionals have licensed a 'Google Earth for the human body,' and game design is also being used to build tax software. ('It has to be the most boring field, but I mean that's the point. You can make it slightly challenging and give people little reasons to play these tax tools — beyond, you know, not going to prison!') While some companies conduct team-building exercises using Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, others use game technology to standardize their in-house employee training programs. The interviewer adds, 'I know I'd feel better about job training if it felt more like killing zombies.'"

Comment: Folks, what they're describing... (Score 2, Interesting) 826

by JeffTL (#31593978) Attached to: US Lawmakers Eyeing National ID Card

...is a Passport Card -- basically a secure national ID issued by the Department of State ($45 new, $35 renew for non-passport holders, $20 for passport holders, lasts 10 years). Over a million Americans, including myself, carry one -- that's more than the population of the Omaha metro area. It's for car, train, bus, and boat travel within North America, but can also be used as a single identification for getting a job (along with, if I recall, the standard ICAO-compliant passport and the green card), and is recognized by the TSA (for domestic air travel), liquor store, and just about anyone else who needs ID. The RFID chip just has a database pointer, which differs from the card number if memory serves, but it comes with a tin foil hat just in case.

What this idea amounts to is transferring or cloning the passport card program into Social Security or Homeland Security.

Comment: Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

by JeffTL (#31469386) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?
She has great luck with it ... especially since her ear with the hearing aid often isn't as good with high frequencies as the implant is. She had it done at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha. Effectively recovers that ear, after adapting to it, from profound to moderate hearing loss, and she can hear a lot better with it. No ill effects from the unilateral CI that I can tell...since the other ear is stronger, and can get by alright with the hearing aid, no sense implanting it.

Comment: Re:Voc Rehab (Score 1) 727

by JeffTL (#31466662) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?
My fiancée got hers when she was 17 or so, in the worse of her two ears (profound in that ear, severe in the other, if memory serves). Gave her a marked improvement in both hearing and speaking. As with any surgery it carries some risks, but these are generally held to be remote by the most recent studies. For most people, the fact that getting to and from the clinic usually involves riding in a car is probably the biggest associated risk.

Comment: Voc Rehab (Score 5, Informative) 727

by JeffTL (#31465854) Attached to: Why Are Digital Hearing Aids So Expensive?
I'd suggest that you contact your state's vocational rehabilitation office, which specializes in equipping people with assistive technology so they can be productive members of society (i.e., get and keep a decent job). My fiancée is deaf, and she got a nice Phonak digital aid, a Naida V if memory serves, from the State of Nebraska last year (she uses a cochlear implant in the other ear and only needed one, but two can be arranged as well).

Comment: At that price, why not a plane? (Score 1) 303

by JeffTL (#31423614) Attached to: The World's First Commercially Available Jetpack
About $80K? Give me a break. I don't know how the learning curve differs, but you can get a small airplane for quite a bit less than that...plenty of general aviation airports out there, I know that much. It's an interesting idea and something might yet come of it, but when you can buy a used plane for so much less, I don't think it's anywhere near commercially viable yet.

Comment: 16 not too young (Score 1) 425

by JeffTL (#31191754) Attached to: New Plan Lets Top HS Students Graduate 2 Years Early

I know someone who started college at 16, first at the community college and then on to a 4-year institution. She now holds a Ph. D. and is dean for graduate studies at a public university in a major Midwestern city.

And two people who started at 14. One is the director of the allergy clinic at a research hospital, and a damn good doctor to boot, and the other is me. I'm 21 now and had a perfectly normal college experience -- graduated summa cum laude in 5 years, and am now just about done with my master's degree. None of the above seem any worse for the wear.

How can you work when the system's so crowded?

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