Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Visual search engines

Silvia Tolisano's (Langwitches) review of kids Quintura caught my curiosity (thanks Bloglines & RSS). As my only experience of a visual search engine has been Pagebull (which I still love for its superbare search box screen and visual results), I thought I'd see whether there have been any significant developments in visual search engines (as in visual presentation of results of regular textual search rather than engines to find images).

Not with Quintura. Silvia's review: looking cool, and embeddable, with dubious results. MMM, I guess embedability is a desirable feature. But for a supposedly a visual search engine - What is visual about it? Aside from the overly cutesy picture background?

A cloud of words. Hm.

But google's top result (on: visual search engine) was KartOO.

KartOO uses Flashplayer to present the gathered and compiled results in a series of interactive maps - like concept maps. Stronger results (not necessarily most relevant) appear slightly larger. Mouse hovering over results displays lines to, I guess other pages to which it is linked, at the same time displaying more information about the site in the sidebar. Hovering over underlying association terms (eg 'lessons') gives different lines, and changes the sidebar list of associated topics with which you might like to refine your search. Icons you've perused are marked with a "/".

I still love Pagebull (Google's second result).
I like getting a preview of the top 12 results. It allows the resulting pages to speak for themselves - particularly helpful to people who absorb information visually rather than textually (ie people who register logos or icons more quickly than the point in words, or who recognise a word more quickly when in its familiar font/shape/colour)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

From wood to joy

First the path:
Sandra Dodd's Wood thinking-stick (my first thought? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? which I think is harder to type fast than say fast. second: mum's old camphor wood chest. third: I want to make a bookshelf for my paperbacks.)
--> Stephanie's post on her son's woodworking (at which I studiously avoid reflecting once again on gunplay)
--> her earlier post about late nights & trying to go to bed earlier (where I commented in sympathy: our nights are late, and I'd like them to be earlier - breathe out regret over the long-term visitors who destroyed our better habit a couple of years ago)
--> subscription to Stephanie's blog, and mildly curious about another post: The #1 song the day you were born discovered from
-->Josh Hosler that on the day I was born Judy in disguise (with glasses) was #1 in the US.
-->But what was #1 here in Australia? According to Oz Net Music Chart it was Sadie the cleaning lady by John Farnham. Lovely voice. Vivid character description - superficial characterisation. Ugh makes me cringe.
-->I did find a video at YouTube of the original performance but I hesitated to embed it here because it pre-dates sympathetic music-video and the dancers made me cringe worse than the lyrics - what a dreadful juxtaposition to the song's theme - so lacking in congruence.

<-- however Joy's birthday #1 was "Joy to the world" and that I've added to my happy songs playlist.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cataloguing ... Derrida

I'm puzzled. A week ago I was to shelve Derrida (the movie) at MPOW, the call number: 801.95092.

Hm, I wondered, isn't 801 something to do with philosophy of literature? But the cover seems to suggest this Derrida (whose name I've only ever seen on a work in the area of art criticism) is a philosopher about everything. DDC: 801.95 'theory, technique, history of literary criticism'. (& I know 092 is persons standard subdivision).

Clearly I don't know enough so I borrowed it to watch for myself. I'm still puzzled. The DVD really seemed to be about the philosopher - a partial biography of sorts, with snippets of explanation about the area of philosophy that he spawned: deconstruction.

So... google 'deconstruction':
wisegeek "Deconstruction is a philosophy applied to literary criticism, as well as to criticism of the other arts"
... okay so maybe deconstruction is principally a philosophy of literary criticism?... No:

Wikipedia says: "Deconstruction is a term in contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, denoting a process by which the texts and languages of Western philosophy (in particular) appear to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumptions and absences they reveal within themselves."
... which rather suggests, as do the movie and its cover, that this process applies to more than criticism of literature.

I'd be classifying it at 194 (persons treatment in modern philosophy, France) or 149 (deconstruction, modern philosophies).

Maybe the work was obtained (in this TAFE library) for use in the context of literary criticism?

Maybe I'll ask the cataloguers, they've not minded me asking in the past, but I don't want to be a pest.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Search fun at LibraryThing

HUZZAH! I have finally discovered how to search ALL fields of my LibraryThing including comments and review.


Yes using "" even for one word searches.

There is a WikiThing FAQ/help page that, although it doesn't make the method precisely clear, probably contains enough that I ought to have been able to make the logical extension.

It has been so frustrating: Stuck without a summary or contents field (why?) I could (though it feels icky) use the comment (or review - but that is way too icky because reviews are shared) fields to add information or keywords (not tags) that would enhance some items' findability, particularly summaries or notes from broad works' contents.

BUT for so long I couldn't work out how to get LibraryThing to actually search those fields.

YAY I know how to 'all search'.


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