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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Combating Email Overload

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Combat Boots

When I got my first email account in 1996 (I’m a late bloomer to some and and an early adopter to others), I emailed everyone I knew.  One of the first things I would ask you was “What is your email address?” I thought it was one of the most useful things that I had ever encountered.  15 years later, I’m not sure if I feel the same way.  No, I’m sure I don’t feel the same way.  Not only do I have an email account for work, but I have a personal one (actually three), I get email sent to me through Facebook Messages, through LinkedIn, through Flickr – wow.  Talk about overload. Not to mention the 60+ listservs I am subscribed to (many due to my responsibilities at the NN/LM GMR and other outside interests).  I was reading a few of the books in the GMR Lending Library and came away with some useful information.


Using Your Smartphone to Lose Weight (and other interesting things you can do with a smartphone)

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Today in Chicago, it is currently 48 degrees at 10:00 am.  Not exactly beach weather.  However, it will be soon time to take off those winter jackets and replace it with t-shirts and suntan lotion.  So, did you know you can use your smartphone to help you lose weight? (Not saying you need it! You look marvelous!) Duke University researchers are using Android smartphones and wireless weight scales for a weight loss study.  It’s not just that you connect with a scale wirelessly and it adds your weight to a chart on your phone; the app on your smartphone will keep track of your weight and depending how it is trending, send you messages.  Hopefully they aren’t messages like “lay off the cookies, Max!” Because I love cookies too much.  Anyway.  This article came out a few days ago and you may find it interesting:


Congratulations to GMR Sponsored Webcast Sites

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The GMR is sponsoring nineteen sites for the April 20, 2011, MLA Webcast: Shifting Skills to Navigate the Changing Horizon: Finding Our Way in New Biomedical Research and Health Care Environments.
Congratulations to all and have an excellent and informative event.

For a list of the GMR sponsored and other sites around the country, and how to register for this powerful event, visit:

For a complete list of the recipients of GMR sponsored site funding, visit:

National Library of Medicine Video Contest: “NLM & You: The Video”

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The U.S. National Library of Medicine® (NLM®), the world’s largest library of the health sciences and a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services, is conducting a video contest.

The contest supports the NLM mission of publicizing the availability of its information products and services, including but not limited to MEDLINE®/PubMed®, MedlinePlus®, GenBank®, PubMed Central®,, Bookshelf, AIDSinfo®, and Profiles in Science®. NLM invites the public to create original short videos which promote awareness of these products and services.

What to enter

Video entries should promote an NLM information product or service, such as one of the examples listed above, by telling a story of how the product or service has made a difference. For example, how has an NLM product or service helped you:

* Solve a health problem or enabled you to help a loved one?
* Carry out research or make a new discovery?
* Make a difference in clinical treatment or help a client or patient?
* Write a report?

Videos must:

* Be 30-60 seconds in length.
* Not contain violence, profanity, sex, attacks on individuals or organizations, or other inappropriate messages.
* Comply with all laws where the video was filmed.
* Not infringe on any third party rights.
* Be your original creation. Copyrighted music, video, or images may be used in your video if the owner of the copyright has granted permission for this use.
* Not have been previously produced for compensation. Videos already posted on the NLM Web pages are not eligible.
* End with this text: “Visit”
* Be posted to YouTube ( If you don’t have a YouTube account, it’s easy and only takes a few minutes to set one up. The use of to accept contest entries does not imply an endorsement of the site or its parent company by the US Government. For further assistance, see uploading instructions at:

For more information, see the Technical Bulletin: – and GOOD LUCK!!

Community Connect Grants Now Available

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has announced it is accepting applications for grants to provide broadband access in rural communities currently without broadband service. Making broadband service available to rural communities can help make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. Funding is provided through the Community Connect Grant program. Grants are available to communities in the most rural, economically challenged areas where loans would not be sustainable. Funds may be used to construct, acquire or lease facilities to deploy broadband to residents, businesses and essential community facilities such as police and fire stations, libraries, schools, and health care clinics.

Applications for the 2011 Fiscal Year are currently being accepted. All applications must be submitted to RUS by May 3, 2011.

To apply:

NTCC Classes in Chicago: PubMed, TOXNET and Gateway

Monday, January 31st, 2011

National Training Center and Clearinghouse (NTCC) classes are coming to Chicago April 13-15, 2011. Attend these FREE hands-on classes on PubMed® (April 13), TOXNET® (April 14) and Gateway (April 15) offered through the National Library of Medicine. The University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences will host these sessions taught by the staff of the NTCC. They will be held in Room 303 of the Library of the Health Sciences at 1750 W. Polk St., Chicago, IL. Register here or read on for details. (more…)

Would You Like That in Mobile or Regular?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

To the fair readers of The Cornflower: you now have the option to read our blog in a traditional web browser on a desktop computer (as you are undoubtedly doing right now) or on your smartphone using a mobile browser.  The blogs of the NN/LM were built with WordPress, an open-source content management system that is often used as a blog publishing tool.  The architecture allows for plug-ins (little add-on programs to hopefully enhance functionality) and custom templates (the design).  The blog editor turned on a plug-in called WPtouch.  WPtouch “…formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.”  Some members have told us that our blog is blocked in their hospitals even though it comes from a .gov domain.  It will be interesting to see if this still happens when viewed on a mobile device.


The New Browser Wars – Updated

Friday, November 19th, 2010

What’s your favorite web browser? If you work in a hospital library, most likely it is Internet Explorer 6.  Oh wait – I said FAVORITE web browser.  According to Net Applications, Internet Explorer is still the top dog at 59.26% of market share as of October 2010.  Firefox came in second with 22.82% and Chrome is third with 8.47%.


NCBI Discovery Worshops – December 15-16 in Chicago

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) Discovery Workshops focusing on biomedical and genomic databases this December. This free two-day series of workshops on NCBI tools will be held at UIC on December 15-16, 2010.  Register at:

Program Overview
The Discovery Workshops consist of four 2.5-hour hands-on sessions emphasizing a different set of NCBI resources. Each session uses specific examples to highlight important features of the resources and tools under study and to demonstrate how to accomplish common tasks.

The four sessions of the Discovery Workshop will focus on the following areas:
1. Sequences, Genomes and Maps
2. Proteins, Domains and Structures
3. NCBI BLAST Services
4. Human Variation and Disease Genes


Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Gartner Research, a world leading information technology research and advisory company, comes out with annual predictions on strategic technologies that will have an impact on organizations in the coming year.  Gartner defines a strategic technology as “one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.”