Saturday, June 07, 2008


My pick of the week's top five items of interest:
  1. How valuable is your old high school or college yearbook? At Purdue University, this year's yearbook will be their last. In fact there are only 80 US colleges that still produce yearbooks, down from 100 last year. Interest is declining with part of the blame on social networking sites like Facebook. What today's students don't realize is that 20 years from now, you may not have access to the memories you have now... free services like Facebook have no obligation to retain them indefinitely for you.

  2. Want to save some electricity and don't mind black? Try out Blackle. Blackle displays search results straight from Google, but because they are displaying search results on a primarily black screen, they are using considerably less power than Google which uses white. A similar search engine is called Blaxel, but I don't think the two are affiliated.

    Update 6-9-08:

    My Finnish amigo has pointed out the error in my post. Apparently only CRTs save energy by displaying black, but the newer LCD monitors which most everyone is using today actually take more energy to display black. So Blackle and Blaxel are actually wasting more energy! Thanks for the tip, Timo.

  3. The Digital Lives research project is conducting a quick survey of how individuals store personal computer files, find them in the future, and archive them. If you have 10 minutes and want to contribute to digital preservation research (and possibly win £200 in British Library gift vouchers), please take the survey.

  4. This is kinda cool: Yahoo has opened up its search results page to developers using a new platform called SearchMonkey. They've also developed a listing of numerous SearchMonkey plug-ins in their Yahoo Search Gallery. Do you want to see details of a movie when searching Yahoo? Download the IMDB presentation enhancement.

  5. I'm not totally sure what to make of this: a new search engine called RushmoreDrive tailors search results for the black community only. Apparently Google is too white; African Americans want different search results than European Americans, Asian Americans, etc. While I agree that web search that takes into account the user's profile (e.g., interests, age, gender, location, etc.) are likely to produce better search results, creating a search engine that tailors only to one racial group smacks of racism. While I'm sure this isn't RuchmoreDrive's intention, wouldn't we all agree that a search engine called that was built for the white community only was racist?