Saturday, 29 September 2007

Tax Credit TakeUp Resource Pack

This pack was originally developed for Citizen's Advice but now, funded by HMRC, has been made available to all advisers.

It is available from Citizen's Advice or from RightsNet

Sunday, 23 September 2007

How to do just about everything

This is, in my opinion, one of the most useful websites I have come across. It's not an "ask a question" service which some might find a bit limiting but it is free (with lots of, fairly discrete, ads) and in my use of it I have never been let down. Wonderful to browse although I provide a word of warning: "this could turn into a stupendous time-waster".
Menu approach includes items in different places. Choose from any of the following.

Do not blame me for your wasted time!!

Wikis in plain English

via LibrarianInBlack by Sarah Houghton-Jan on 19 June
I have no idea why I kept this in draft for so long but ...
This has been posted about to death, but being late to the game, I figure better late than never. So, if you haven't seen the Wikis in Plain English video yet, go do so. It's from Common Craft, the same people who did RSS in Plain English, which I just used today in a library staff class about Library 2.0. Whoopee!

View details of a potential employer in academia has, according to news, launched a new service whereby job applicants have an opportunity to visualise what life might be like working for a potential employer through videos of employers. This service will
help job seekers determine what it would feel like to work for the employer, whether they would fit in and what the people and atmosphere are like. Viewers can picture themselves in the job, mixing with colleagues and working in that environment. With an increasing number of employers using new technology including search engines to vet candidates, employer videos will add a new dimension for job seekers who want to research their employer of choice.
The University of Warwick is leading the way as the first employer to use the new service, which features staff from across the University describing working life there. The video provides information on working at the University including staff and students, its location, leisure and cultural attractions. already has videos for other universities in production including Nottingham University and Keele University.
My opinion: a user-friendly site, easy to navigate, accessible and a wide range of jobs from the higher education arena. But I couldn't find the videos on University of Warwick jobs!

GW Micro's Voice Sense: PDA for the blind

Indiana-based company GW Micro has developed a new type of PDA designed specifically for the blind and sight-impaired, called the Voice Sense. The assistant runs a modified version of Windows CE and features a vocal guidance system, a full function PIM, web browser, MP3 player, Daisy talking book player, FM radio tuner and MSN Messenger -- all accessible through its Perkins-style Braille keyboard. The device has a 540MHz PXA270 processor, 1GB of RAM, and also boasts 802.11b/g, USB 2.0, audio in and out jacks, SD and CF card support, and runs 12 hours on a full charge.

Information about this "gadget" first appeared in July but it's taken me a bit while to find a link to the product rather than a review of it. I read about it originally on Engadget but I didn't want to expose you to the comments. Yes, I know you're a discerning audience etc etc but I don't want to provide links to things which really aren't "politically correct" in my opinion such as querying why blind people would want a PDA in the first place. That comment received a robust rebuttal from a blind person who said: "I suppose you think I shouldn't be using the web either?" but there were other comments that were "vocabulary challenged". (If you can't find any better words to use than obscenities then you shouldn't be writing on the web -- again my opinion!)

It isn't cheap at $1,895 but it looks really good and would replace a large number of other gadgets thereby saving space and wight whilst moving around.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Jobs in the not-for-profit sector

I made a conscious decision a while back that all the jobs sites would go into shared items so that you could decide for yourself whether this or that resource would be useful to you. My, probably quite cursory, glance at it would only look at technical aspects such as the interface and not at the usefulness of the content.
I find it interesting that we will all endure a less than perfect technical experience if it leads to appropriate information.
I've reversed my decision about shared items in the case of NFP JOBS since there is no blog to share with you.
Please access the latest newsletter from Michael Webb, NFP JOBS editor. Subscription (which is free) is at

Monday, 17 September 2007

Visa predicts cash's downfall -- Echo Boomers don't use cash

Well, Visa would say that -- there's no profit to a credit card company if we start using cash again!
It wasn't that which caught my eye, however. It was the use of the phrase "Echo Boomers". So I emailed Dawn and said:
OK so I understand "baby boomers" (although as defined I'm a couple of years too old to be one) but "echo boomers" have no resonance in my brain!!

Dawn to me a week later:
It’s a new one on me too, Boss. According to World Wide Words Echo Boomers are children born between the late 1970s and early 1990s. They’re mostly the children of baby boomers – hence the name – and have been stereotyped as “ethnically diverse children of the computer age”. They are “the first generation to claim the computer as birthright”. You live and learn.
Me to all readers:
If children of Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1956) had children in the 1980s (plus a few years either side) then there's something a bit weird in the population statistics but so be it. At least we now what the phrase means (I think).

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Ariadne Summer 2007 issue

Includes articles on repositories, Open Access, web archiving, and more.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

No apologies ...

... for putting two Sheldon Comic strips into the shared items on this blog. I know that humour is a very personal thing and you may not find these funny at all but for the first time in a long time I sat at the computer and laughed!
If you're reading this through a feed reader (most people do) then I suggest that you sign up to the feed for the shared items as well since this contains items that I don't feel moved to write about or comment on such as:
  • Sheldon Comic -- but only when something really grabs me
  • 3QuarksDaily which is a real "thinker" of a blog with an extremely eclectic list of topics
  • OnRec providing information about recruitment / vacancy sites. Many of these I personally find a bit "hypey" but if you're in job finding agencies then you could find them useful so I'll continue to share as appropriate.
  • Storm warnings -- as in malware and other immediacy things which are not going to wait until I get around to making a comment (and besides which if CNet or Heise Security News says it's so then I have no need to comment).

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Phishing tool constructs new sites in two seconds

It is frightening, not to say terrifying -- particularly when you put this together with reports that nearly half of all people using email are not certain that they would recognise a "phishing" email. This annoys me since every bank makes it clear that asking for personal information via email is something that is never done.
Easy-peasy-sleazy: a new piece of PHP code making the malware rounds can install
a phishing site on a compromised server in about two minutes.

Read the full story at Computer World