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Technology is merging with every aspect of our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a decade ago. Special emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is sweeping the country in an effort to prepare students for jobs of the future. However, the jobs of the future are not only building roads and bridges. Even artists and fashion designers will need knowledge in these areas.
If you regularly watch the library’s website, you know that we now have Google glass and many patrons are making appointments to see them and try them out. For those who haven’t seen them, the Glass we have is worn like a pair of eyeglasses and has a tiny camera/screen that the wearer can view in the upper right side of their vision. They can be controlled by touching the arm of the glass or with verbal commands.
If you are a huge sports fan and want to keep up to date with all the games and breaking news, there is an app for you: NBC Sports Live Extra. This free app is available to download on all Apple devices. Live Extra offers many features that keep you informed with all the day's sporting events that are aired on NBC and NBCSN. It gives you live updates on scores and highlights from the NFL to the NHL. If you miss a game, you can catch up with highlights or sometimes even catch a full replay.
Recently the daily news has been covering the controversy over government surveillance, but private companies collect information about us, too. A new device has been in the news recently, the Hitachi Business Microscope. It looks like an employee badge but contains "infrared sensors, an accelerometer, a microphone sensor and a wireless communication device." It is capable of recording your conversations, your location, who you are speaking with and your activity level when you wear it. (Are you staring blindly out the window or actively participating in a group meeting?)
If you want to learn another language for free, there is an amazing app called Duolingo. Rated as Apple’s iPhone App of 2013, it allows users to learn another language by a variety of lessons that incorporate vocabulary and dictation. The languages available are Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian. There is also American English available for Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Turkish, and Hungarian speakers.
Libraries have historically been vanguards in fights against censorship and the wearing down of 1st Amendment Rights. We like to think of libraries as a place where people can view any information and discuss topics, without fear of repercussions. We even have a whole week dedicated to promoting books people try to keep us from putting on the shelves.
One of the coolest parts of working in IT, even cooler than watching the technology change right in front of my eyes, is to see how that new technology is being used.
I’ve been following 3D printing since its earliest days. I remember when the only two choices were buying an industrial 3D printer that could cost upwards of $100,000, or to have the high level of technical knowledge to build your own from scavenged parts. Then the MakerBot was created, which was easy and cheap enough for an entry-level hobbyist to set up and use.
39 minutes. It may not seem like a lot, and obviously compared to the computer you’re reading this on, working for 39 minutes sounds kinda lousy. But in terms of quantum computing, it’s a big, big, big deal. That’s how long scientists were able to hold a qubit’s memory state for, which is way longer than anyone had previously been able to accomplish.
Traveling to Venice, Italy has been on my bucket list for a while now, but I'll need to save up for a few more years to be able to afford it on a library employee's salary. In the meantime, Google has made it all accessible via their Street View. Explore Venice via gondola, vaporetto, or on foot, from anywhere in the world.