Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This American Life #441: When Patents Attack

Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries. (Transcript)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Drexel iSchool Open Notebook Science Talk

This talk covers Open Notebook Science from an information technology perspective. It was presented by Jean-Claude Bradley at the Drexel iSchool on November 11, 2008. Although solubility measurements and chemical reactions are mentioned the focus is more on how information is stored, retrieved and used using free and hosted services such as Blogger, GoogleDocs, Wikispaces, ChemSpider, CDD and others. The UsefulChem project and the Open Notebook Science Challenge are highlighted.

audio (mp3)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Semantic Future for Libraries – Martin Malmsten Talks with Talis

Originally posted on August 19, 2008 in the Talis Panlibus blog.

Martin Malmsten is from the LIBRIS department of the Royal Library of Sweden – LIBRIS being the discovery interface for the library.

Since joining as a software developer has been absorbed in to the world of library search and discovery. He played a major part in the build and launch of the latest LIBRIS search interface which has introduced under the surface some Semantic Web and Linked Data features.

We discuss his career, the use of User Centered Design & Iterative Development methodologies, the Semantic Web techniques and technologies he used, and their future applicability to the library domain.

Items discussed in our conversation:

Jonathan Gorman Talks with Talis

Originally posted on July 18, 2008 in the Talis Panlibus blog.

In this Talking with Talis podcast I am in conversation with Jonathan Gorman from the University of Illinois.

Jon can often be found on the code4lib IRC channel discussing many aspects of innovation with the community of library software developers and enthusiasts.

In our conversation we discuss his career and some of the tasks and projects he is involved with. Mentioned in our discussion is Jon’s article for Code4lib Journal about using Authority data in VuFind.

Ed Summers Talks with Talis

Originally posted on June 30, 2008 on the Talis Panlibus blog.

Ed Summers has recently been active in exposing Library of Congress Subject Heading data as Linked Data using Semantic Web technologies and RDF, through his experimental service at

In this conversation we find out how Ed’s career, not always on a traditional library path, has led him to his work in the Library of Congress, his pragmatic interest in things Semantic Web, and why he has needed to experiment outside of the LoC.

In this conversation we reference:

Michele Kimpton and Sandy Payette Talk with Talis about DSpace, Fedora, and collaboration

Originally posted on October 10, 2008 in the Talis Xiphos blog.

In our latest podcast I talk with Michele Kimpton and Sandy Payette. Michele is Executive Director of the DSpace Foundation, and Sandy the Executive Director of Fedora Commons. We discuss the repository software solutions offered by each community, before exploring the implications of their recent announcement of a collaboration between the two organisations.

During the conversation, we refer to the following resources;

Talis talks with Herbert van de Sompel about SFX, OAI, and Repositories

Originally posted on September 6, 2008 in the Talis Xiphos blog.

In our latest podcast I talk with Herbert van de Sompel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. We discuss Herbert’s pivotal role in the development of SFX and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI), before turning to a broader discussion of issues related to the use of repositories in preserving and providing access to scholarly literature and data.

During the conversation, we refer to the following resources;

Talis talks with Pete Johnston and Andy Powell about the changing face of Repositories

Originally posted on August 8, 2008 in the Talis Xiphos blog.

In our latest podcast, I talk with Pete Johnston and Andy Powell of the Eduserv Foundation. We build upon themes that they have been discussing elsewhere, and explore their views on the current state of (institutional and other) Repositories.

During the conversation, we refer to the following resources;

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Library 2.0 Gang 10/08: Financial Crisis or an opportunity?

Originally posted on 10th October 2008 on the Talis Library 2.0 Gang Podcast.

Unless you have been living under a stone for the last few months, the turmoil in the world financial markets can not have escaped your notice, but how will this, and the inevitable recession that we are heading in towards, influence libraries and their suppliers?

Is the library world insulated from it? Does it mean that open source become more popular because it is perceived to be cheaper, or less because there will be less funding for those involved? Does it mean that pressure to purchase add-on components as against full systems will increase? What pressures will there be on the vendors both traditional and open source? Does this mean that libraries will become more or less significant in their communities? Is this an opportunity or a crisis or both?

Joining gang members Marshall Breeding and Carl Grant to discuss this, our guest this month is Talis CEO and avid Bloomberg watcher, Dave Errington.

The conclusion seems to be that it is definitely a crisis for the world economies, but this first recession in an online world could be an opportunity for libraries if they are willing to grasp it. Take a listen and see if you agree.

During the conversation Carl references a Chronicle of Higher Education, Tech Therapy, podcast about the culture clash between librarians and IT in the academic environment. You can listen to that podcast by following this link.

Library 2.0 Gang 09/08: System Procurement

Originally posted on 9th September 2008 on the Talis Library 2.0 Gang Podcast.

All are agreed that the purchasing of a library system is not an insignificant undertaking, but in these times of rapidly changing 2.0 technology and open source systems, are the current procurement processes still fit for purpose?

To help with the discussion we are joined by two guests this month who are both veterans of many tender processes:

Gang members Carl Grant and Marshall Breeding join in the discussion about the frustrations of the procurement process and how it may or may not be applicable. There again, the process does lead to contractual rigor, but is it at the expense of stifled innovation.?

To help the discussion along Rob McGee has provided a couple of his white papers on the subject:

  • Request for Proposals for Integrated Library Systems [pdf]
  • Information Technology Strategic Planning for Libraries [pdf]

Although coming from differing points of view, the gang and our guests agreed on one piece of advice for libraries – make friends with your purchasing department, involving them fully in preparing requirements with vision.