The Rock & Roll Librarian

July 21, 2007

Irony on the highway

Filed under: humor,New Jersey — Tyler Rousseau @ 1:51 pm

On my way to work today I passed a student driver vehicle.  Now while there wasn’t a student actually in the car I did catch a good glimpse of the driving instructor.

He held a cigarette in his one hand and a cell phone in the other while steering with his knee.  I shudder to think of how far and long he might have been driving in this position…

In a way, the view was strangely enlightening.  It finally provided me an answer the question I ask whenever I see a bad driver on the road… “Where the hell did he/she learn to drive like that!?”

July 13, 2007

What the RIAA can learn from They Might Be Giants

Filed under: music — Tyler Rousseau @ 5:13 pm

I just picked up They Might Be Giants new album, The Else, and got a neat surprise, a bonus CD.  The disc contained 23 songs they previously released on their podcast site, and almost all were never previously released on any of their other CDs.

And as excited as I was to receive more music than I anticipated from my favorite band, my initial reaction was “Finally, someone gets it!”

Suing fans is a bad incentive for buying the album, especially when the laws are somewhat contradictory, you can legally copy an analog tape but not on a digital CD.  It’s no wonder that many people who get their music from p2p networks don’t believe they are doing anything terribly wrong.  After all, how can copying be legal in one format and not another?

Y’know, I’ve always wondered how much money the actual artists get when the RIAA wins a lawsuit for pirating.  If anyone has information on this, I would love to know.

They Might Be Giants tried a different approach (as are other musicians)… give the fans something in exchange for their support.  A bonus CD of already recorded songs might have cost them a dollar a piece to manufacture but in doing so, they will start a buzz around the official CD and bonus tracks which will creates an interest for people to want to buy it.  And even jump their sales a bit.

On  a semi-tangent, some Nintendo products are trying the same approach.  When I bought Pokemon’s Battle Revolution for Wii (please don’t judge me) a card fell out asking me to register the game.  The reward for doing this was extra pictures, wallpapers and tips for the game.  Imagine what more powerful systems like Xbox or PS3 could do with registration; give the registrants extra levels more characters, unique weapons, etc.

July 12, 2007

Librarian 2.0- The new librarian or the responsible one?

Filed under: Internet,librarians,Libraries,Technology,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 6:27 pm

 

 

Reading the Librairan 2.0 Manifesto was both an inspiring and frustrating read.  Inspiring because it iterates goals that make me love my profession.  I love outreach, I love working online and I love sharing new web 2.0 finds with peers and patrons. But frustating too because I was left wondering how we got to a point in our profession where some of the goals needed to be written.  Take the following examples: 

  • I will not fear Google or related services, but rather will take advantage of these services to benefit users while also providing excellent library services that users need.  
  • I will let go of previous practices if there is a better way to do things now, even if these practices once seemed so great.
  • I will recognize that the universe of information culture is changing fast and that libraries need to respond positively to these changes to provide resources and services that users need and want. 

These are new goals for our profession!?  We actually had to put in goals that state we need to be open to efficiency, convenience and we need to provide resources our patrons need and want?  As public servants in information resources, it would almost seem as if these goals were a mandatory.  And yet, I can also see why we needed to specify these goals; there are quite a few among our profession that need to be reminded.

But how did we get to this stage?  Why do we have professional librarians who refuse to keep up with the professional and technological requirements?  How did we reach a point where the patrons’ needs were less important than the traditional way of doing things? All along, the job of a reference librarian has been to find the information patrons need.  We are in the business of connecting people to the information they require… so why care about the format that information is found in? 

Although traditionalists’ argue the Internet is 90% junk, it was originally built as a means to convey information and expedite the communication process between people.  Even among the copious amounts of junk found on the web, legitimate information has rooted itself firmly in cyberspace as well.  For some reason or another some in our profession dismissed this technology as non-important, despite the visibly growing applications and use among our patrons.  And because of this lackadaisical and rejective approach we are left with professionals so far behind the curve that waiting for retirement is as an easier path than training.

And so I grow frustrated when I read the goals and responsibilities of the 2.0 Librarian, it should’ve been part of our profession all along. 

 

July 9, 2007

PS3 drops its price

Filed under: Gaming — Tyler Rousseau @ 8:22 pm

In an effort to try and put a little more life into the sales of the PS3, Sony announced they are reducing the price of the machines by $100.  It is still the most expensive gaming console out there but only by $20 now.

Something needed to be done but the real question is whether this will be the much needed fix.  The dismal sales have also been linked to the poor selection of games, which Sony has guaranteed will improve by the end of the year.  Less than six months to go now… and it seems a lot of people are still waiting.

Perhaps Sony is hoping the drop in price will catch those buyers who are now shying away from the disasterous problems of the new Xbox.

Perhaps they have learned that gamers do have a breaking point, or at the very least, their bank accounts do.

July 6, 2007

Wii will allow you to make your own games

Filed under: Gaming,Technology,Wii — Tyler Rousseau @ 6:14 pm

On June 27, the powers that be from Nintendo announced a product that will let the small-time players have a chance at the next big video game.

 WiiWare is game-generator program that will allow people to download content through the Shop Channel and make their own video game.  There will be various pricing options available to the consumer.

 Any game that is created will posted online in the Wii Shop, the benefit being that small time game developers will not have to worry about the price of hardware for the creation of their games.

I’m not sure how affordable the software and content will be for the average person, but it is certainly an appealing buy for those groups of people who have big ideas and little funds.

Personally, this is one of those things that makes me love the Wii model.  They built an affordable machine with so much versatility to the games and software and simply allow creative mind to figure out how to use it.  Woo for Wii!

July 3, 2007

Baby Gamer

Filed under: Gaming,humor,Uncategorized — Tyler Rousseau @ 12:30 am

There is always a concern about children and gaming… what they are playing and who they are killing and hurting in the game.  It can be tough for parents to determine when a child is ready for playing video games.

So just how young is too young for video games?  My wife and I drew the line at 17 months.  However, that is as long as we could keep our child from wanting to try Raving Rabbids on the Wii.

Aren’t children great?

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