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Comment Re:This makes no sense (Score 1) 424

Old library catalogs and databases, which are still around, work this way. The problem is that unless you've been trained to do non-intuitive things like omit initial articles from titles ("Old Man and the Sea" instead of "The Old Man and the Sea"), they don't work. This causes far more problems than an expert searcher grousing about having to occasionally add back in +/- operators to search for a known it

Comment Another AOL example, phone booth (Score 1) 406

Here's a similar gem, made by Steve Case in 1997, in response to gripes from people unable to connect to swamped AOL servers after their switch to unlimited hours:

Just as you would be sensitive about using a public phone booth if others were waiting in line to use it . . . try to show some restraint at night during the next few months when we're in this transitional mode.

In other words, it's your fault for trying to use what you've paid for.

Comment Re:Low estimate (Score 1) 70

Yes, point taken... "My entire profession" should be "Libraries" above.

As a reference librarian, my main goal is to be Bablyon 5. I'd love it if we succeeded in creating a powerful enough search and retrieval tool with an intuitive interface that negated the need for library user instruction. My career mission is to work towards this ideal. It would, just as how B5 succeeded in its mission so much so that it was no longer necessary, make a large part of what librarians now do obsolete.

Books

Submission + - [Ponies!] Vatican to Digitize Prohibited Archives-> 2

tiltowait writes: [in case you want to queue up something for tomorrow... :o] Hot on the heels of their successful iPhone app and drive-through confessional, the BBC News reports that the Vatican has announced plans to digitize their pornography collection and make it available online to paying subscribers. Given what the church has planned for the project's profits, here's hoping they learn lessons from the the New York Times paywall loopholes. Is anyone in on the Indulgentia beta?
Link to Original Source

Comment Dancing with vacuum cleaners... (Score 3, Insightful) 296

Remember all the outrage over colorizing Casablanca in the 1980s? There were even congressional hearings that warned of the dire consequences of unmitigated technology (someone even imagined at the time dead actors being re-inserted in new movies, unthinkable at the time). Sounds crazy....

Mars

Mars Rover's Epic Trek For the Crater Endeavor 145

Smivs writes "The BBC reports that NASA is to send its Mars rover Opportunity on a two-year trek to try to reach a crater called Endeavour. The robot will have to move about 11km to get to its new target — a distance that would double what it has already achieved on the planet. Endeavour is much bigger than anything investigated to date, and will allow a broader range of rocks to be studied. Detailed satellite imagery from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will help pick out the best route ahead; and new software recently uploaded to Opportunity will enable the rover to make its own decisions about how best to negotiate large rocks in its path. Opportunity has just emerged from the 800m-wide Victoria Crater. Endeavour, by comparison, is 22km across."
Mars

Mars Polar Cap Mystery Solved 77

Matt_dk writes "Scientists are now able to explain why Mars' residual southern ice cap is misplaced, thanks to data from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft (the same probe running the 'Mars Webcam'). It turns out the martian weather system is to blame. And so is the largest impact crater on Mars — even though it is nowhere near the south pole. Like Earth, Mars has frozen polar caps, but unlike Earth, these caps are made of carbon dioxide ice as well as water ice. During the southern hemisphere's summer, much of the ice cap sublimates, a process in which the ice turns straight back into gas, leaving behind what is known as the residual polar cap. The mystery was that while the winter cap is symmetrical about the south pole, the residual cap was offset, and scientists couldn't figure out why."

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year

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