Charlie Huston has a new hardboiled vampire novel set in Manhattan, Every Last Drop. it is the fourth in the series featuring Joe Pitt, the hardboiled vampire p.i.. I look forward to reading it.
I rejoined the Society of Midnight Wanderers and put their logo up. I think I may send over some book reviews for them. They have asked me to.
I also am reading the latest issue of Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2008. I get it as part of my membership in the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association. One of the articles is Best Free Websites Tenth Annual List. Two of the websites that I have used are http://www.factcheck.org/ and http://www.indeed.com/ Factcheck is a site which checks political statements for accuracy by candidates. It can be quite interesting.
Indeed is a job search enging aggregator. It pulls together job listings from all over the internet in one place. In the search engine industry this is called scraping. It is a place to find huge amounts of searchable job listing.
On the lighter side, Sinfest had a really good comic on 10-5-2008. It has some swearing in it, but it is still entertaining. http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2952 . I like the style. Another web comic whch I really enjoy is Schlock Mercenary Howard Taylor's Space Opera. http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
Mashable has a short announcement on Hakia, a semantic search engine supported by librarians.
This article actually makes me rather angry. Hakia has a club which librarians can join to voluntarily give peer reviewed websites to Hakia. The only benefit is a social one. The thing that bothers me about this is that Hakia is a for profit company. We would not be giving peer reviewed information to an academic source, and it is still not necessarily a credible place to send information. The site is in beta.
Also, when websites are rated for search engines, quite a bit of the time, this activity is paid for. Google pays quality raters $14 to $20 an hour to rate the quality of their search results. Yahoo pays onsite web analysts to rate the quality of their search engine results. The Yahoo position is an in house position. Lionbridge also pays people to check the quality of search results.
Hakia is asking people who have a masters degree to work for free for social recognition. They are asking them to not just rate the quality of the sites but provide peer review on the sites which is a specialty function of academia. Peer reviewed journals generally give a certain amount of cachet to the writer of the material.
I found reference to the Medical Library Association providing a list of unbiased sites. There is a certain amount of cachet in this. The list is quite short.
I also looked at the list of directors of the site, there is a Director of Business Intelligence
Stacy Schinder. But, there is no indication of any ties with any library school, any library oriented magazine, or any library association other then the Medical Library Association. If it is true, SCIP Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals which is what a Director of Business Intelligence would most likely belong to. There are no librarians hired by the company.
There are most likely some members of ASIS, American Society of Information Science because there are numerous software engineers involved in developing the search engine.
This is an article on the technology:
Here is the general press release from their website to CNBC:
What happens when a private company approaches librarians in an academic setting or a public setting. Because they are not generally considered the public, private companies are charged on a per hour basis for research. For example, NYPL offers Express Information Services. I, personally would not join this service.