My latest article in Ariadne is now available: 'Search Engines: Google Still Growing', I've written about some of the new search elements that have been added to the search engine in the first half of this year, although it's already out of date - the feature listing football team fixtures and results has already been dropped. Also particularly worthy of mention (although everything in Ariadne is worth reading) is an article from my favourite librarian in black, Sarah Houghton-Jan on dealing with information overload.
The latest website causing much fury and wringing of hands and threatening of lawsuits is Mygazines which is a website that allows access to magazines. Hundreds of magazines that you might otherwise have to go out and buy. Just about every subject seems to be covered - photography, comics, knitting, computing, sports, cars, and much more besides. You can simply choose the magazine you're interested in, load it up using the browser software on the site and read through it.
The publishers are hopping mad, which you'd expect really and I can't say that I blame them. They're saying that it's simply blatant copyright abuse - there's no fair dealing here, no commentary, opinion, nothing like that. Unfortunately for them, the website is registered in Anguilla, which is a British overseas territory. So US courts can do and say what they like, but the chances of enforcing it are limited, to say the least.
Mygazines are going down the route that it's users who upload content, ostensibly for their own use, but they're allowing other people to share. I think they're trying for something along the lines of FURL or Evernote but both of these organizations are very strict on what users can do with content. Mygazines are further saying (hold your jaw in place at this point folks) that it's just like a doctors waiting room - people can read magazines there which they haven't bought, so why not? They also make the ludicrous claim that the content cannot be saved or printed. It doesn't take a genius to work out ways of getting around this without even trying.
Anyway, if you're interested - take a look. I can pretty much guarantee you'll be saying to yourself 'how can they get away with this?' in short order.
My CILIP | Q&A has been published for the month of May. It covers presentation software, Google variants on its home page, using memory sticks and my site of the month. It's a brief read, but you might like it! :)
The Britannica has long been holding out against giving away content, but the walls are finally beginning to crumble with ' Webshare.' They're making an offer to anyone who publishes on the net on a regular basis that they can have free access to all content, and that they can link to it, allowing their readers to have access to entire articles.
I've added in their widget pointing to an article on the Internet - it'll be interesting to see what happens; in my preview window it's just saying that it's loading, so we'll have to see if it does load!
If you're a blogger, and you blog on a regular basis, you can sign up from the link above - so if anyone asks you why it's worth becoming a blogger, you now have a whole new reason to give them!
Seriously though, it's about time the EB did something like this - they're being hammered by Wikipedia in terms of numbers of visits and they're very much in danger of pricing themselves entirely out of the market. Moving in this direction is a good step forward, and I'm willing to be that it's not the only one they'll take.
They also have a Twitter account so that you can keep up to date with the goings on at http://twitter.com//EBWebShare but there's not a lot there, but they do have 97 keen enthusiastic followers!