Happy Halloween!

So, if you want some Halloween fun, head on over to Lifehacker where they have some Halloween tips and tricks.

It’s Friday! Yahoo! So glad it is Friday. In California, we are getting the first major rain of the season which is wonderful, but makes me awful sleepy. I just want to curl up with a good book and hot chocolate! Hopefully it doesn’t rain on our trick-or-treaters.

Anyway, on to some library goodies for your digital Halloween bag of tricks!

So excited to get a feed yesterday about a Google Labs project. It is an accessible web search for the visually impaired! How great is that? As librarians, we are always trying to provide access to information without any barriers and this definitely helps. I’m always happy to see large companies making products that promote accessibility.

And, since we are on the topic of Google, here is a really cool article from Wired about how to use Google more intelligently. Some tips you might already know, but a lot of good stuff to share with people you know who use Google. (And, honestly, who goes on the Internet and doesn’t end up at Google at least once?)

Last up for the day, but definitely not least is Scott Brown’s article, Facebook Friendonomics also from Wired. The article is a very interesting look at how social networking sites are changing how we keep in contact with people we might otherwise not. Something to think about while you are simultaneously twittering away while you’re webcasting your life.

Have a great weekend!

New Visual Search Engines

Today is search engine day! Or, rather two search engines to keep your eyes peeled for their debut soon: Imprezzeo and VideoSurf and one that is already here: facesaerch. I am so excited about this and you’ll want to share this information with anyone who uses a lot of images and/or is interested in art. I know these search engines will come as a relief to those in art documentation as the access to images and non-textual material is very complicated. So what exactly makes these coming attractions so great? They don’t run exclusively off keywords, subject headings or other text interpretations of the images (still or moving). Yep, you heard that right–these search engines function beyond text capabilities.

Imprezzeo is the still image search engine. Read an article about the use of facial recognition software and other techniques used for searching in Imprezzeo. This will be an awesome search engine when up and running. Talk about a great addition to a digital art collection held at a library. How cool would it be to integrate this into a catalog search? And throw Cooliris on top of it. That would be something I would love to see.

VideoSurf is going to revolutionize searching for video like Imprezzeo will do for still images. Right now VideoSurf is in beta and you must request to be invited to set up an account to use it. I was playing with it this morning and have to say that I love the layout and the ease of refining the results. The fact that the whole video is analyzed, not just tags and other metadata, truly thrills me. Again, great for moving image archives and libraries. I’m not the only one who thinks it’s cool, check out this review of VideoSurf.

Okay, and in my quest to not just give interesting information but some technology you can use right now–I give you facesaerch! (Yes, that is spelled correctly.) This reminds me a lot of Cooliris; it has the same slick look and moving images. This search engine is designed specifically for searching for faces. Click on one of the images that you get in your results stream and it will take you to the webpage that the image is taken from. Handy tool if a patron wants an image of a person. Add to your list of specialized search engines.

Enjoy and have fun playing around with facesaerch!