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1. Library-related Kindle Screensavers

I finally took some time to personalize the screensavers on my Kindle 3, thinking it would be a quick hour or less. And indeed, the process of jailbreaking a Kindle and hacking it to load your own screensavers is drop dead simple. That part really didn’t take any time at all.

The hard part is more deciding what pictures you want to see as a screensaver every day, a task that ended up taking me all afternoon. I first got caught up thumbing through the free downloads on the Kindle Wallpapers Tumblr, which is fascinating on its own.

Then I decided to add a few of my own pictures, so I found a half dozen of my favorites, converted them to black and white, and shrunk them down to 600 x 800.

When I posted on Facebook about what I was doing, someone lamented that she’d recently left her Kindle on a plane, which made me flash back to something I read several years ago. I can’t find a reference to it right now (little help?), but I remember reading about a guy who took pictures of himself and text on signs about how to return the camera if someone found it. He then kept those picture at the beginning of his camera’s memory card in case someone ever found the camera and looked through the photos.

I’ve always thought that was brilliant, so I figured I’d try it with my Kindle. I took a picture, added some text, and then loaded it as a screensaver.

Thank you" in advance for returning my Kindle (should I ever lose it)

Granted, it’s unlikely that this particular image will be displaying if I lose my Kindle, but my hope is that whoever finds it will be interested enough in the screensaver that is showing to scroll through them. I know it’s a long shot, but it was also something fun to do.

Which then got me thinking about libraries. Are there any libraries customizing the screensavers on their Kindles? As a librarian, I came across some free, library-related screensavers, so I put a few of them on my own device. If you, too, want some library-themed screensavers, here are the ones I’ve found so far:

Do you know of other images we could use to build a list for libraries and librarians?

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2. Changes to My Site

I’ve been trying to get back to blogging for the past couple of years, but so far out of all of the things I do in the 24 hours of a day, it’s the activity that’s fallen by the wayside the most. I still hope to blog more this year, but the reason I implemented the lifestreaming back in 2009 was to provide an aggregated glimpse into my overall online activity in the meantime.

Unfortunately, the wp-lifestream plugin I was using died for no apparent reason last October. I spent a couple of months trying to get it working again but to no avail. I haven’t been able to find a good replacement that lets me import my activity into my site (as opposed to just displaying something that only lives elsewhere) and publishes it as a daily blog post.

The best I’ve been able to do is hack the heck out of the complexlife plugin to display my lifestream on my home page. It’s not as comprehensive as the sites available in wp-lifestream, but it’ll do for now. Right now, it’s displaying my public Flickr pictures, my tweets, tweets I’ve favorited, my public Diigo bookmarks, things I’ve liked on FriendFeed, shared items from Google Reader, and posts I’ve made on ALA Connect.

If you want to track even more of what I’m sharing online, you’re better off looking at my FriendFeed stream until I figure out how to add more sites here in complexlife. If you want to subscribe to my online activity to get daily updates pushed to you, I’d suggest using my FriendFeed RSS feed.

So now if you visit the TSL home page, you should see a link to the latest blog post at the top, followed by 30 days of lifestream activity. If/when I get back to blogging, I’ll probably play around with the home page again to better display the blog posts, but for now subscribing to the main RSS feed will again show just the posts; in other words, not much.

You can also go directly to the blog page to view just the posts. Overall, my goal is to post shorter, tumblr-like posts going forward to try to get back in the swing of things, but we’ll see how I do.

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3. An Open Letter to Comcast/Xfinity

When we got home yesterday, we were surprised to find a weird “activate your device” message when we tried to go online. I turned on the TV, and there were no cable channels. Something was afoot.

So I called the number on the “activate” screen and had an automated message tell me that my account was delinquent, I owed hundreds of dollars, and my service had been discounted. Imagine my shock to learn this when I’d had NO PREVIOUS NOTICE. Even worse, I couldn’t get through to a customer service representative without paying my bill first (sleazy — what if it had been your mistake?).

Long story short, when my card number was stolen back in October, the bank canceled it and issued a new one. I forgot that the old one was registered for your automatic payment program, so your were unable to process payment in November and December. Fair enough, but maybe you could have mentioned that to me at some point before taking the extreme step of disconnecting my service.

Clearly you had my email address. While I received weekly “Xfinity What to Watch” spamails that I was too lazy to unsubscribe from, I never once received a “hey, there’s a problem with your payment” notice. And when I called to try to talk to a human being about the problem, the automated voice verified the last four digits of my phone number, so obviously you know how to reach me by phone. In fact, after a second call when I could finally reach a real person, I received an automated telephone survey, so calling me is proven to work. Not once, though, did I receive a “hey, we’re going to disconnect your service” call during the last two months.

And while we’re at it, we’re on the verge of 2011 and you’re my cable and internet provider. Don’t you have the technology to pop up a message on a screen saying, “hope you’re enjoying this, we’d like you to keep enjoying this, but can we talk about the problem with your card number? please call.” On the TV or on my computer screen — your choice. Or go old school because you know what else still works? Postal mail, a channel you and I will be returning to using.

Honestly — in 2010, you couldn’t find *some* way to contact me to let me know there was a problem? On top of that, I now have to go anti-green and re-activate paper bills if I want to be sure I see problem notices, because the only billing-related emails I received from you during the last two months looked exactly like the one below. Which looks exactly like every other “your statement is ready for viewing” message I get each month.

Comcast thinks this message equals "we're going to disconnect your service

That message is the only billing-related one I received from you for the entire month of December. If you saw that message every month from your electric company, would you think there was a problem? Would you expect a little something more from them that they’re turning off your service? I expected more from you.

Yes, I could have logged in during those two months and seen a notice on the screen, but I also think you could have added a notice to that email or sent a separate notice to make sure I knew there was a problem. Good customer service this ain’t.

And now you want to charge reconnection fees because you disconnected my service without any heads up that there was a problem. Seriously?

Now that I’ve calmed down, I’m submitting the following requests so that others don’t have to spend a frustrating evening the way I did.

  • Change your procedures so that customers using your e-bill service receive separate notifications that there’s a problem with payment. Or add a notice to the standard te

    8 Comments on An Open Letter to Comcast/Xfinity, last added: 12/29/2010
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4. October 20th Stream

generic (feed #10)
diigo (feed #20)

Like a half-billion people before him, Simonetti joined Facebook and began typing in his status updates. But in this case, Simonetti’s only friends were a hand-picked roster of more than two dozen volunteers who agreed to sift through their news feeds for the duration of our experiment, dutifully recording any Phil sightings.

As our volunteers checked in with their reports, some remarkable findings began to emerge:

generic (feed #10)
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@lukelibrarian definitely under consideration but will have to marshal the resources for it. thanks for the suggestion. [shifted]
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5. October 19th Stream

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for a presentation I’m giving: what mobile (or other new) services would you like to see vendors offer on the exhibit floor? [shifted]
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@lukelibrarian thanks! we’re already working on most of that ( http://ow.ly/2VSx6 ) & will be looking at qr codes. other ideas for exhibits? [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
@loidagarciafebo well, that’s a separate discussion :-p I’m looking for new ways you want to interact with vendors on the exhibit floor. [shifted]
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6. October 18th Stream

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Shared 17 photos.
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@dcbcd I stocked up on vitamin c on the way in to work and am lighting a candle to the health gods.… [shifted]
diigo (feed #20)

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7. October 17th Stream

flickr (feed #5)
flickr (feed #5)
Shared joy.
joy
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8. October 16th Stream

generic (feed #10)
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9. October 15th Stream

twitter (feed #3)
@HiddenPeanuts this will change my behavior — was clipping everything of interest; now have to be more careful :-( http://ow.ly/2TOlJ [shifted]
flickr (feed #5)
Shared 7 photos.
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10. October 14th Stream

flickr (feed #5)
twitter (feed #3)
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OH: “our goal is nightmare reduction.” #livingininterestingtimes [shifted]
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RT @oitp: Does your library do any digital literacy programs? We want to know about it. Tag your tweets with #diglitlib #transliteracy [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
flickr (fee
</p>
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11. October 13th Stream

flickr (feed #5)
Shared 5 photos.
twitter (feed #3)
@itsjustkate @jaimebc you know ALA Annual is in #vegas in 2014, right? what happens in #vegas stays online forever #ala14 [shifted]
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RT @efilgo: This is one of the most amazing things I’ve heard in a long time: http://inbflat.net/ [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
“we behave in the boring ways that make life livable”- http://ow.ly/2SOC9 #cerealforbreakfast [shifted]
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12. October 12th Stream

generic (feed #11)
Epic Librarian Photo
flickr (feed #5)
Shared 25 photos.
generic (feed #10) <

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13. October 11th Stream

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14. October 10th Stream

flickr (feed #5)
Shared 2 photos.
twitter (feed #3)
I’ve always said net skills have nothing to do with age. Glad studies help prove that. http://amzn.com/k/IE0LTIW15T6B #Kindle [shifted]
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@librarianbyday yw! I’ve sold 3 copies of that book just by sharing highlights. have to check to see if affiliate program includes ebooks! [shifted]
diigo (feed #20)

Want to ditch the heavy backpack full of books and join the digital book revolution? Here’s out guide to creating a digital copy of just about any book — whether it’s your own masterpiece or an old paper copy of Cervantes — into a digital book.

twitter (feed #3)
“We laughed at every new technology because we are grounded in the perspective of the media we use today.” http://ow.ly/2Rr6p [shifted]
diigo (feed #20)
twitter (feed #3)
Simlar to @OCLC’s funding survey, but it’s a much higher number than the 236 they came up with. http://amzn.com/k/717BZCSL9V4W #Kindle [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
Love the terms “controlled serendipity” and “metacuration” http://amzn.com/k/2PDWCYK6SXHJY #Kindle [shifted]
flickr (feed #5)
Shared Milkweed.
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15. October 8th Stream

diigo (feed #20)

I hear people rave about Instapaper all the time, but I rarely see them expound on their affection in any detail. This post is pretty much the most thorough thought dump of how Instapaper works for me in 5 categories:

1. Uses for Instapaper folders
2. Instapaper search
3. Getting information into Instapaper
4. Miscellaneous Instapaper extras online
5. iOS Instapaper app options and tips

twitter (feed #3)
@thearystocrat so glad you’re representing #ALA at #NYCC. thanks for all of the exhausting work! (please tell everyone about #ngd10 :-p ) [shifted]
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been using @instapaper on my phone. didn’t realize could send articles to #kindle. on the fence abt it. http://ping.fm/BObQ0 h/t @steverubel [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
Must resist temptation to use #kindlefeeder. Love the idea but find I’m reading more books w/o internet distractions http://kindlefeeder.com [shifted]
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16. October 7th Stream

twitter (feed #3)
RT @AtYourLibrary: “Librarians:they’re like superheroes in that they save you during finals and have secret lairs.” http://huff.to/cZYAAH [shifted]
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Libraries as information «anchors» in their communities? http://amzn.com/k/2DEPES29UEJGB #Kindle [shifted]
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17. October 6th Stream

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RT @ALALibrary: Q. Who were the founders of ALA on October 6, 1876? A. http://ow.ly/2PmqT #olderthantheIRS [shifted]
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Vinge is in for Saturday at 1:30! Interview and Q&A format is fine with him. :-D [shifted]
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This is a test. It is only a test. Had this been an actual tweet, there would have been actual content. #yam [shifted]
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18. October 5th Stream

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19. September 28th Stream

twitter (feed #3)
This is 1 of the things changing — the communities around stories are becoming visible & accessible. http://amzn.com/k/17AXWOLY5SRE1 #Kindle [shifted]
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Libraries ned to make the communities around their various types of stories visible & accessible. Can your patrons join in your stories? [shifted]
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RT @tkoltzen: Race for Mayor of Chicago Starts with Foursquare http://t.co/6GK6GEQ via @mashsocialmedia @mashable [shifted]
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love this — can’t come tonight but definitely in our future RT @LemonTreeGrocer: Introducing Our Neighborhood Menu http://conta.cc/d3ORlv [shifted]
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does this mean libs can embed chapters in OPACs? RT @steverubel: Kindle for the Web. Preview books in your browser. http://j.mp/dj7WoA [shifted]
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20. September 29th Stream

twitter (feed #3)
@BillDrew4 I use twitter because it tells me what I don’t know and didn’t know I need to know. the people are pretty awesome, too. [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
@pollyalida yes, I am def loving sharing highlights & notes from Kindle, altho I don’t know how AT&T phone users stand the network problems [shifted]
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@digiphile @anildash @digiphile @dens @katies the jumpstart to 4sq democracy badges is the long-requested library badge http://ow.ly/2LF29 [shifted]
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context for that last tweet RT @digiphile: Good question! #w2e #gov20 RT @cmdln: Could Location Data Improve Civic Engagement?… [shifted]
twitter (feed #3)
one more reason I <3 MPOW — http://ow.ly/2LFKb [shifted]
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21. October 4th Stream

twitter (feed #3)
@libsmatter “choose your own augmented-reality (holodeck) adventure”? [shifted]
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RT @ALA_Graphics: Today’s Harry Potter trivia question goes on FB in 15 mins. Check in for ur chance to win free posters! http://ow.ly/2O3E6 [shifted]
diigo (feed #20)

There are 8 key sources of value creation in this borderless news system:
Timeliness — Speed of access
Novelty — Being new, being news
Relevance — Meaningful to the individual
Filtering — Selecting from infinite information
Insight — Perspective on news and information
Community — Our social news experience
Reputation — Indicators of trust and value
Design — Bringing together beauty and functionality

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RT

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22. October 3rd Stream

twitter (feed #3)
What will the movie adaptation of a book look like 5–10 years from now? http://amzn.com/k/1BJ1B0RDI0CQL #Kindle [shifted]
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23. October 2nd Stream

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24. October 1st Stream

flickr (feed #5)
Shared autumn light.
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QR codes at the beginning of every chapter _ interesting. http://amzn.com/k/2Z2CZR1PHVTMP #Kindle [shifted]
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RT @ngday: That big news? Win a *$5000* gaming gear shopping spree from DEMCO for your library! Details at http://ow.ly/2N0vL #ngd10 [shifted]
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25. September 30th Stream

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Shared 20 photos.
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RT @snicholson: Hey Gaming Librarians! What non-traditional board or card games currently get the most play in your library? #libgaming [shifted]
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