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Posts by Jason Griffey

Libraries and User Interfaces

Submitted by Jason Griffey on April 30, 2012 - 11:07am

During the past few months, I’ve been lucky enough to give a handful of presentations with a similar theme: What does the Post-PC world mean for libraries? In the talks, I cover a lot of ground, ranging from why we should care about shifts in information consumption on devices, how we should determine where to focus our attention when we have limited resources (and we always have limited resources in libraries), and what we can expect from the next 3-5 years when it comes to delivering information to our patrons. Read More »


Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 27, 2012 - 11:41am

Way back at the first of February I posted a short blog entry about Storybundle, a new ebook distribution platform/model being spearheaded by Jason Chen (formerly of Gizmodo and Lifehacker). Over the next couple of weeks we traded a few emails, resulting in the following interview about his thoughts on how Storybundle will work and whether or not it might be something that Libraries should watch. Here’s the interview, reconstructed from the emails (italics are me):


I clearly see the benefit for readers here…DRM free + name your price. But what is the draw for authors, given that Amazon will give them 70% + it’s clearly the 800 pound gorilla of eyeballs on books. Why would an author choose to list their book with StoryBundle? Read More »

Apple's Textbook Strategy

Submitted by Jason Griffey on January 26, 2012 - 10:20pm

Apple has decided to attempt yet another media disruption, this time focusing on reinventing the textbook market. This move was foretold in the biography of Steve Jobs, where Walter Isaacson wrote about Jobs:

“He wanted to disrupt the textbook industry, and save the spines of spavined students bearing backpacks by creating electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad." Read More »

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Social Media Archiving with ThinkUp

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2011 - 9:01am

Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence.

ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues. Read More »

Kindle Format 8 is On the Way

Submitted by Jason Griffey on October 25, 2011 - 7:21am

With the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn’t just launching another new LCD-based tablet into the marketplace. It’s also giving us yet another ebook filetype, Kindle Format 8. This is the first departure from the longstanding Mobi filetype that Amazon has been using for its Kindle books thus far, and it looks like KF8 is being designed and implemented specifically to compete with the functionality found in the ePub format. Read More »

Ready, Aim....Fire!

Submitted by Jason Griffey on September 28, 2011 - 9:36pm

That explosion you heard today? That was the sound of a thousand heads hitting a thousand desks over at Barnes & Noble HQ today as Amazon pulled the rug out of B&N’s temporary lead in eBook technology. For the last year Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color has stood alone on the tablet eReader front, and their more-recently announced Nook Touch was at the top of the technological heap of eInk devices. Amazon has always had the better ecosystem for eBooks, as well as a better catalog of books.  Read More »

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Slow News Month

Submitted by Jason Griffey on August 30, 2011 - 7:27am

August is traditionally a slow month for technology news. It’s too early to begin the announcements for the 4th quarter holiday season, but too late for the back-to-school announcements. Generally speaking, there’s just not a lot to talk about in technology in August.

Well, this year shot that theory out of the sky. This has been one of the strangest months for technology news in recent memory, and in case you don’t keep up with it like I do, here’s the three things you should know that happened in the last 3 weeks. Read More »

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Apple Thinks Different Part 2

Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 27, 2011 - 9:45am

Hello dear readers! I’m trying a bit of an experiment this month, brought about by the reflections in my recent post over on my blog about writing and ownership. I started writing a post about Apple and the way they seem to be trying to change the basic metaphors of computing that we’ve become accustomed to over the last 30 years. That start turned into something over 1500 words, which is a bit more than I thought would fit comfortably into a single blog post. So I decided to split the post between my blog and Techsource. You can head over to my personal blog, Pattern Recognition, to read the first half, which is more technical and theoretical, and then below is the second half, which is more directly about libraries.

I’m aware of the somewhat arbitrary nature of the split, but thought this was worth experimenting with as a model: very technical or theoretical discussion on my blog, more direct library-talk here on Techsource. I hope you excuse this bit of meta-commentary here, and enjoy the article. Thanks.

What do the changes in Apple’s new OS (OSX Lion), iCloud, and iOS5 mean for libraries, and why did I say earlier that I think this might “introduce a ton of problems for IT administrators”? Because like its iOS devices, Apple means for iCloud and Lion to be tied to an individual, and assumes that a computer is used by a single person. In looking at the way they’ve set up Lion, iCloud, and iOS5, I’m not at all clear how shared systems (aka, public use computers) might be able to benefit from the advances that Apple is putting in front of users. Read More »

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Google Chromebook, 6 months later

Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 20, 2011 - 7:40am

Almost exactly 6 months ago, I wrote up my first impressions of the Google CR-48 Chromebook, the first dedicated hardware device to use the Google Chrome operating system. In the intervening time there have been tons of software upgrades to ChromeOS, and true to their word Google launched the first commercially available Chromebooks in cooperation with Samsung and Acer. 

Last week I received a tweet asking me what I thought: 

@griffey What was your final verdict on the Chromebook? Wondering if it might be useful to have for workforce development in libraries...less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

So it seemed worth revisiting, especially as I think one part of the Chromebook is particularly interesting for libraries. I’ll get to that in a second. Read More »

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Google I/O

Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 10, 2011 - 2:56pm

Today was the start of the Google I/O conference, the developer conference that Google holds every year where they make major announcements, primarily about their Android operating system. During the keynote today, they offered several updates and new products that could potentially be interesting for libraries. Here's the ones that I think are the most interesting:

The Android Market was updated to include movie rentals. This allows for one-click rentals via either the web or an Android device, streaming from the web or available to be "pinned" to a portable device and watched offline. The selection isn't huge, but one can only imagine that it's going to grow rapidly if the service becomes more popular. The model is similar to the iTunes rental model, where you can purchase the rental and then you have 30 days to start watching, and 24 hours to finish watching once you do. Read More »