AnyDesk is totally new to me, so I thought I'd make note of Gizmodo's post on 3 Simple, Free Apps for Accessing Your Home Computer From Anywhere. I use Chrome Remote Desktop at least weekly, and have used TeamViewer to good effect in the past, so can vouch for each of those. The commenters overwhelmingly choose TeamViewer. I'll certainly explore AnyDesk and likely add it to my arsenal.
Good tools to know about for sure!
Thanks to a tip from my colleague Dani I learned that Factiva has recently added a filter for fake news. Like many things with Factiva (IMHO), it's not terribly intuitive to find, so here are the steps. You can either add this as a filter to a search you've already run, or just use it to see what all is out (in) there.
From the main search page choose Subject, then Political/General News, and finally, Fake News Phenomenon. If you simply click on the blue arrow to the right and then run the search you'll see all there is on the subject within Factiva. According to the scope note, it looks like this category was added on March 14, 2017.
I spent a couple hours today helping a student look for a shape file of the First People's Language Map of B. C. (or anything even close to it). No luck, but feel free to chime in if you know of something we missed! Finally while Inspecting and Viewing Source, I tripped across an embedded (or linked, I can't even remember now) .kml file that included the coordinates for all the polygons. Yay!
I thought this would've been information that was much easier to find, so in the interests of saving the time of anyone else who might be looking for that same info, here you go:
Language_Boundaries .kml file for Google Earth
Contemporary Languages Boundaries shape file for ArcGIS etc. (.zip)
The student had emailed the owner of the site and got no response. Obviously I'll take this down if asked...
Oh, and while I was able to convert the .kml to the shape file within ArcGIS, I had a cleaner experience using the MyGeodata Converter.
Hope this is helpful to someone else!
Last month I railed on the new Wayback Machine plugin for Chrome. Well they've been busy, and the current version solves many of my nitpicks on the initial version. Archive.org has a post detailing 6 ways you can save pages to the Wayback Machine, and that Chrome plugin makes the list because it now allows you to SAVE existing pages and not just retrieve missing ones. The other 5 options in the post are also well worth knowing about - please do use one or more, and let's make sure important stuff never disappears!
Over the weekend Ed Summers released a tool called diffengine that monitors an RSS feed and then posts captures of any changed text to Twitter. It's meant for monitoring news sites, but could be used for anything that has an RSS feed. Useful for monitoring your news site of choice for disappearing news, but also reports that change on the fly, here's what it looks like in action, from a CBC article:
Probably a really neat tool for journalism students too! Right now there are a handful of mainstream or influential sites publicly posted, such as The Washington Post, Breitbart and the Toronto Star. Not sure if there will be a logical directory of these things once people start running their own instances?
Mita Williams has an excellent blog post titled Why Libraries Should Maintain the Open Data of Their Communities. It's a long (for a blog post), but important read, and includes an excellent history of how Canadian government data has evolved, and how it compares (poorly) to US government data .
I've been making the same case for Libraries and Open Data myself this year, but in a much less eloquent and scholarly way :-) While Mita's post is based on slightly older research (2014), the bibliography is still a great place to learn pretty much all you need to know on the subject. Having similarly researched over the course of this year, I sadly don't think much has come out in the interim, except maybe Brian Jackson's 2015 article, The State of Canadian Library Data.
If you're at all interested in the role libraries can or should play when it comes to Open Data, you owe it to yourself to carve out some time to give Mita's post a read.
Tara Calishain at ResearchBuzz has posted part 2 of her 3 part series on creating and working with information traps, Setting up and sharing Google alerts. In this post I learned how to automatically create and populate columns in a Google Sheet using IFTTT. Off the top of my head I can think of at least two projects where this is going to immediately come in handy!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Tara's work is worth supporting financially! C'mon, go create an account at Patreon and become part of the sharing economy - it really will give you the warm fuzzies. :-0
Last week the Government of Canada released the latest draft of the new plan on Open Government, and I thought it was pretty good reading! Here are some of the things I learned, or highlighted as particularly interesting:
Update (6/21/16): Please also look at David Eaves' thoughts on this draft - he has a lot more background on the process and is able to be more thoughtful and critical than I was.
Earlier this month I happened across a blog post from a company called OpenDataSoft (ODS) in which they described how they put together and mapped a list of over 1,600 Open Data portals around the world. I thought that was pretty cool, and did a little exploration of their web-based platform and decided to try my hand at some data enrichment and publishing. I trolled the City of Calgary Open Data website for something I thought might work well and settled upon their List of City Amenities (dog parks, EMS stations, arenas and such). While they offer all the data as a .csv file, the geographic / mapping file was completely separate, and I wanted to try to put it all together into one nifty application.
For my purposes, the .csv provided by the city was juuuust short; it didn't include any postal codes with the addresses, so I couldn't automatically generate a map with ODS. I ended up throwing the addresses at http://geocoder.ca/ which allowed me to grab the postal codes. Then I realized that at this time, ODS only maps postal codes in France (they're based in Paris). SO I grabbed an API key from Google Maps (linked to from within ODS) and THEN I was able to generate the desired map. There were a few outliers that I had to manually correct, but here's the result. Note the filters on the left - that was added with an option with ODS, and then there's the separate map tab, which again is an enhancement over what the City provided. I did take a look at the City's .kml file in Google Earth - it wasn't very useful, or accurate, IMHO.
There are a number of share/embed options, including the ability to download / share only filtered results. Here's a map of Calgary's Outdoor Pools (we're not a big outdoor pool city, as you might imagine):
Anyhoo, do take a look at OpenDataSoft - all this was done for free, though if you're planning to work with lots of data sets you'll have to pay, I think.
I first heard about this on BoingBoing, and followed up with several other articles:
As BoingBoing summarizes:
Ted Dawe's Into the River won the 2013 New Zealand Post Children's Book prize; businesses that sell, lend or gift it face fines of up to NZD10,000.
The book is aimed at teen boys -- a relative rarity in YA literature -- and features sex scenes, a slang term for genitals, and drug use. The group Family First got the NZ Film and Literature Board of Review to ban the book. It is being pulled from stores, libraries, and schools across the country.
Sounds like a pretty good read to me, so I ordered a copy from Amazon. I'll read it, then see if my 13-year-old son is interested, after which I'd be pleased to donate it to a reader from New Zealand. If you want it, please let me know!
My colleague Rob sent a link out about this new 2-page brief from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL): Identifying and avoiding predatory publishers: a primer for researchers (pdf).
So-called predatory publishers are those that lack discernible scholarship, academic rigour or credibility. They use aggressive practices to recruit authors and editors. Predatory publishers’ opaque operations and editorial processes are suggestive of an intention to deceive both authors and readers (Butler, 2013).
One of the links in the document points out that Jeffrey Beall maintains a list of Potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers. I was surprised at how long it was! :-(
A few days ago TechSmith released a new Labs tool called AppShow which is intended to allow developers to record demos of their iOS apps to include in the App Store. Just about the same time, Amit at Digital Inspiration posted how to do the same thing using QuickTime player. I finally carved out a few minutes to see how this all worked.
AppShow provides quite a few options to guide the user in creating an intro and various scenes; I found them to be overkill for what I was trying to do, but someone really trying to make something polished for the App Store might find these options useful.
First a note that you must have the latest version of OSX installed, Yosemite. Second, you can edit recordings made via either method via Camtasia Studio, or probably any other video editing software, but other than adding a quick title slide, I didn't do any other editing or processing using CS. I also chose to use a game instead of a library-specific app because I wanted to see how well the recordings did with motion and audio. The recordings were done with an iPhone5 and a mid-2009 MacBook Pro.
And finally, it took me quite some time to figure out how to export from AppShow to Camtasia Studio; couldn't find anything in the documentation or the File menu item, so here's your hint:
Here are four videos I posted to YouTube so you can compare the quality.
tl;dr Quality of all is quite good, and for quick and dirty QuickTime Player is the way to go - throw the recording into Camtasia Studio if you need to polish it up after the fact.
QuickTime (Title added via Camtasia Studio)
QuickTime (Direct export):
AppShow (Title added via Camtasia Studio)
AppShow (Direct export):
The latest issue of Library Hi Tech News has the following article, which contains a pretty good list of free and freemium tools that may be new to you as many were to me.
Christine Palma Forbes , (2014),"Free Web-based Tools for Information Literacy Instruction", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 31 Iss 10
Yesterday evening instead of attending the prologue of the 2014 Tour of Alberta as I had planned, I found myself at the Calgary stop of Richard Pietro's Open Government Tour. I totally made the right choice!
Over the past year I've found myself increasingly interested in both linked data and civic affairs, and this 3-hour event brought them together in a wonderful way, though it was much more about open data than linked data. I'm not going to attempt to recreate the discussion here, but as much for myself as for anyone else who's interested, I'm going to list the participants along with some of the sites and tools that were discussed.
Sameer Vasta – Data Catalyst, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto (via Skype)
DJ Kelly – Strategy Lead, Cultural Transformation, The City of Calgary
Bill Ptacek - CEO of Calgary Public Library
Grant Neufeld – Calgary Democracy, member Calgary eGovernment Strategy Advisory Comm.
Lori Stewart – Co-founder Hopper Dev, member Calgary eGovernment Strategy Advisory Comm.
Walter Simbirski – Open Data Strategist, The City of Calgary
Mark Gayler – Technology Strategist, Microsoft Canada
Paul Fairie – Political Science, University of Calgary
Sites of interest: