Wednesday, June 26, is Denver Bike to Work Day, and lots of Denver Public Library employees will be pedaling to their branch that day. Some of us ride to work several times a week or more! What does cycling have to do with technology? Lots of things, actually.
Denver is a fairly bike friendly city. There are great routes all over, bicycle and mixed-use trails, and roads with dedicated bike lanes. There are a few tools I use to find my way on two wheels.
The internet is chock full o' curiosities, and if you're curious like I am, a plain old Google search just ain't gonna cut it.
It's true that often, when I’m looking stuff up online, I just throw a few words into Google and see what happens. Actually, most of the time that will actually work just fine. But sometimes a search requires a little more finesse in order to dig up really good results.
Did you know you can use Google to search within a website?
Did you know using quotation marks around two or more words creates a search for those words next to one another, and in that exact order?
A simple minus sign before a word in your search prevents results containing that word.
Friends. I have seen a meme on the internet that just isn’t true. Shocking, I know. We have not yet reached the day Marty McFly went to the future in 1989’s hit Back to the Future II. That won’t happen for another 2 years. But the prevalence of this lie has made me want to examine how far we have come since 1989 and see how much technology has changed.
When I rewatched Back to the Future II and saw 1989’s vision of what the future would look like, I wanted to laugh and cry. We have made so many wonderful improvements in our technological capabilities, but there is one thing we forgot to invent. The hoverboard. I know, we have so many wonderful toys that fulfill our every whim, life is great! But I really, really wanted a hoverboard!
Last week my phone and I parted ways. I had it in my pocket as I walked around the library, and it must have fallen out, because all of a sudden I couldn’t find it anymore though I looked thoroughly. Someone must have picked it up and pocketed it, opting out of turning it into the lost and found, because soon enough they started posting to my Facebook account.
Here’s the thing-this was a brand new cutting edge phone (the Galaxy Note II) chock full of every manner of apps to amuse and enlighten me, and as they say, there’s an app for everything. One of my apps could have been a security app that would allow me to locate and retrieve my phone from the lucky thieves who happened upon it. But in all my technological wisdom, I had not activated a single app that could help me recover my phone. And so I never got it back.
In the past couple of years, many Denver Public Library Branch Locations have settled into their new digs, enjoying remodeled spaces, more public computers, and updated software. Did you know that several Branch Libraries, including the Central Library, also have improved workstations for customers with physical barriers to access?
These computer workstations have adjustable tables that move up and down to accommodate wheelchairs or customers who are unable to sit. Several types of mice and keyboards are available upon request too, including stationary trackball mice and large print, high contrast keyboards.
Browser extensions are small pieces of software you can choose to install that enhance the capability of your web browser. You may also hear them called add-ons or plug-ins, depending on the browser you use. The benefit to these small pieces of software is you can personalize your browser so you can easily access information, block annoying ads, or even increase your overall Internet security.
I have a few extensions that make it into my favorites category. Let's take a look at what they are and what they can do for you.
I guess I sort of remember what it was like to travel before the internet. I definitely remember having to buy a phone card for long road trips, and carrying around a sheet of paper with important names and numbers on it. Once when I was about 19 I landed my mom, my sister and me in a weird industrial neighborhood in a rental car in Chicago. Folding paper maps have never been my jam.
I admit it -- I'm super happy to have a smart phone, and to be able to research destinations online. It's awesome. So as mon petit ami and I prepare for a spring adventure to Paris, I am reflecting on just how heavily I rely on the web for my travel plans. There’s some great stuff out there, for sure. I do a lot of research before I go anywhere. It helps me relax and alleviate anxieties I might have about going somewhere new. I thought it might be useful for me to divulge some of the travel planning tools I use.
A few months before its eighth birthday–on July 7, 2013–Google will be shutting off its Google Reader service. Reader, for those who don’t use it, aggregates RSS feeds.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Websites use it to announce when they have a new post and users can then subscribe to those announcements (called RSS feeds) to be constantly updated. If you sign up for email announcements for a blog you like, for example, you get constantly notified. Maybe even annoyingly so. But with RSS, you can sign up and get the update when you want (or still have the notification announce itself). They run behind a lot of websites too. Almost every podcast uses RSS to deliver their new episodes.
There’s so much more to Facebook than simply where to click and who to friend. Almost since its inception, Facebook has been criticized for its lax privacy stance. Someone (Mark Zuckerberg?) must have taken the criticism to heart because the recent Facebook privacy changes have
given users more control than ever before over Who Sees What, and how users can guard themselves against unwanted Sharing.We’ve put together an entire class called Facebook: Privacy and Security, dedicated exclusively to learning about what you can do to be as protected as possible and still enjoy socializing* on the biggest social network the world has ever seen.This class will become a monthly regular in the Community Technology Center’s offerings- catch the first one on
If you use the Library's public computers, you know that we have experienced a decrease in Internet connection speed. There are a number of reasons for this, several of which have been addressed. And we have isolated the cause of what we hope is the last remaining issue. The good news is that the Library now has a dedicated segment of the City and County of Denver's Internet connection.
This means we aren't competing for bandwidth with other City agencies, and our heavy Internet traffic (we have over 1,500 computers) is not interfering with the Sheriff, Courts or other agencies. The bad news is that this shift has yet to improve the connection speeds at our public computers and this is due to the way we currently filter the Internet. What is not news is that Internet traffic is growing exponentially worldwide.