Technology Blog

What is Net Neutrality and Why Should Anyone Care?

No entry sign, courtesy of Elliot Brown on Flickr

On the 14th of this month, the US Court of Appeals for DC Circuit issued a ruling in a case brought by Verizon against the Federal Communications Commission. Verizon was challenging the FCC's attempt to "compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source," as the ruling put it - what is popularly known as "net neutrality." Verizon won. Mostly.

Back in 2010, the FCC adopted the Open Internet Order - a set of rules designed to provide a basic framework for internet service providers (ISPs). It banned content blocking (where an ISP simply blocks subscriber's access to a specific site or type of data) and charging content providers for access to their network (think Comcast charging Netflix to provide its service to Comcast internet subscribers).

Windows 7 has arrived at DPL!

windows 7

Whoo hoo! Say goodbye to Windows XP and helllllooooo to Windows 7!

As many of you have probably heard, Microsoft will no longer provide support for its XP operating system after April 8, 2014. So if you're a home user who hasn't switched to Windows 7 or newer, check out this page for more information.

DPL has already started the upgrades to all public computers. Along with the Windows 7 rollout, there are some other upgrades as well. All the browsers, including Internet Explorer, are up to date.  And now customers can download and install software, too!

MUZZY - The Language Learning Program for KIDS

Muzzy

Hey, Kids!  Want to learn a new language?  Check out our fun new Muzzy Online software.

Denver Public Library has had the popular Muzzy series of language learning videos and DVDs for years.  Now, we're expanding to include the Muzzy Online language program. 

You can find the same silly videos, games, and favorite characters you already know and love online with your library card - no more waiting!  Muzzy Online teaches French, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Italian, and Portuguese and has courses to improve English, geared toward new English speakers. 

hacking, making, and coding at the library

Creation from ideaLAB toy hack

Libraries have always been places where communities come together to learn. Most of that used to happen through print - as more and more of our lives are mediated by bits and circuits, libraries have made the shift as well, making emedia and online research tools readily available. 

A couple of our recent programs in the Community Technology Center and the ideaLAB are taking the next steps: helping people open up the tech they use everyday and see what's inside.

Why You Should Play Video Games

Video Game Avatar

Most people play video games nowadays. Whether it’s a casual session of Words with Friends or an all night binge on World of Warcraft, over half of the US plays video games, and as a species, humans play about 3 billion hours a week (about 125 million days worth, or 342,239 years).

Most kids will have played about 10,000 hours worth of video games by the time they’re 21, which is about the same amount of time they’ll spend in school.

But what do video games do for us?

Game Time

Have you ever wondered if (or hoped you could) borrow video games from the Denver Public Library?

Well, you can! In this blog, I will be showing you step by step how to order video games through the Denver Public Library.

I've made a video with commentary in order to help you in your pursuit of happiness. Also, I uploaded a fun video.

P.S. You can also order video games through prospector, the steps are the same as if you're ordering a game through Inter Library Loan. The only difference is the layout of the website and how you enter your information for requesting the item.

Too Much Tech?

computerstress

I work with technology all day, yet I still find myself on the iPad in the evenings, watching YouTube videos and checking the news. Sometimes, as I complete another sudoku game or post another Facebook comment, I wonder why I don’t have the gumption to just unplug. I’m going to give it a try. Sort of, anyway.

I don’t think I’ll go so far as attending the summer camp for adults called Camp Grounded. No digital technology allowed! I can understand its appeal, though.

Perhaps I can take the advice of New York Times writer, Nick Bilton, who blogged earlier this year about How to Take a Break from Your Technology. He lists tips such as turning off all smartphone notifications, and establishing “gadget-free zones.” Pretty good ideas, methinks.

Which Gadget is Right for You?

It’s that time of year again (Halloween! Wait... I mean Christmas!).  Time to update your gadget collection (or a loved one’s if that’s more your style). We’ve got a couple of classes coming up for those of you who are interested in brushing up on what type of tablets, smartphones, and gadgets are out there.

  • Which Gadget is Right for You? (Central Library, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 16) – Come in with questions or just listen as we talk about the pros and cons of different eReaders, tablets, and smartphones. 

Make sure to check out the "Which Gadget is Right for You?" classes at some of our branch locations:

eBook Renewals!

renew ebook

Have you ever wished you could renew eBooks and audio eBooks? Well, now you can!

Here's how it works.

If you have an eBook or audio eBook checked out -- and there is no one else on hold for that item -- you will have the option to renew it! There are a few details that you should know about:

Contribute to the ideaLAB's Indiegogo Campaign to Bring Technology to Denver Teens

panorama of the Denver Public Library's ideaLAB

In May of this year, we opened up the ideaLAB in the Central Library's Community Technology Center. It's a small room - only about 480 square feet - but it's already had a big impact.  Inside this free digital media lab for teens, we've helped young people from all over Denver learn Photoshop, record music, mod Minecraft, shoot video, and more. We've also already started running into our limits - but maybe you can help with that?

The Denver Public Library’s ideaLAB is a state-of-the-art digital media creation center where metro-area teens learn core STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) concepts through creative expression. By engaging teens in the production of digital media, the ideaLAB assists youth in developing 21st century skills that will serve them both in school and in their future careers.

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