Monday, 20 October 2008


Even though it looks as though Pipl has been around since at least late 2007 it is new to me. Pipl is a search engine that focuses on finding information about people. According to the Pipl web site, their "deep search robots continually crawls the web and extracts facts and other relevant information from general web documents, personal profiles, blogs, news articles and other publications using natural language processing and statistical analysis; this data is then automatically converted into quick, simple and interlinked people profiles."

This said Pipl also acknowledges that it "does not verify the accuracy of the facts or the relevance of the tags in each profile". They also acknowledge that they are in an experimental stage. So check out Pipl and see what you think. Does this mean that you now know that you have arrived if you have a Wikipedia entry (that you did not write or ask someone to write) and you have a Pipl profile? :-)

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Will Plastic Newspapers make eBook readers redundant?

It has been a really busy couple of weeks so as you have noticed Bibliothekia has been unusually quite. However this morning there was a fascinating news item on the ABC's news radio about the worlds first plastic newspaper. Basically this product, which is brought out by the UK's Plastic Logic, is getting a lot of interest world wide. For example, the New York Times asks: Will this eReader replace paper, while MIT's Technology Review provides the following quotes in their review titled Plastic E-Reader Debut. Sorry, I have not had a chance to convert the imperial measurements quoted in MIT to metric but you'll get the picture:

The Plastic Logic reader's screen is larger, the size of a standard sheet of paper(8.5 by 11 inches) but it doesn't weigh much more than the other readers. It weighs 13 ounces compared with 10.3 ounces for the smaller Kindle. And it has a display on a plastic substrate, unlike the glass screen used for the Kindle and Sony Reader, which means that it is rugged.... Instead of dealing with buttons, users can flip through the pages of a book, magazine, or PDF using a touch screen and a simple swiping gesture. The Plastic Logic reader includes a "sticky note" function and a soft keyboard for marking pages.

While the Plastic Logic reader is not flexible it uses plastic electronic technology. This makes it much more sturdier and robust than the traditional eReaders. As Plastic Logic is planning to produce 11 million of these readers a year it is probably safe to say that eReaders are starting to become mainstream. Is this the end of newspapers as we know it. Think of the paper and trees that will be saved!

See the following images for details.