Monday, November 30, 2009

Netlibrary ebook for December

December 2009
NetLibrary eBook of the Month
A monthly showcase of new and notable eBooks
The Modern Baker: Time-Saving Techniques for Breads, Tarts, Pies, Cakes and Cookies
By Nick Malgieri DK Publishing, 2008 Product ID: 279478

With the right teacher, simplified techniques, and step-by-step photo tutorials to guide the way, everyone can make freshly baked loaves, crisp flatbreads, savory tarts, and rich desserts – in record time.
Written by baking Hall of Famer Nick Malgieri, this collection of 150 straightforward recipes with gourmet appeal, strives to bring success to even the busiest of bakers, with the bulk of the preparation taking under one hour. Malgieri distills years of teaching and experience into these detailed recipes for baking everything from bread to biscotti to puff pastry to old-fashioned layer cakes. Recipes are thorough and include descriptions of how batters and doughs are supposed to appear at each stage of preparation. The Modern Baker is as necessary and essential as a good oven; Nick Malgieri leads cooks through the simple art of creating an international assortment of delicious sweet and savory baked goods, interweaving techniques and helpful sidebars.
Designed to increase awareness of online resources and highlight the value of your eBook collection, the December eBook of the Month is provided through the generous support of DK Publishing. Don’t miss the opportunity to share this comprehensive collection of recipes and time-saving techniques.
The Modern Baker will be provided with free, unlimited access December 1-31, 2009.

posted by Tina Lau, North County Libraian

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping (article from Kiplinger's)

by Cameron Huddleston

November 17, 2009

Shopping online is a great way to find deals (as I wrote recently). But, if you're not careful, you could be putting your personal information at risk of being stolen by identity thieves.

Michael Gregg, a cyber security consultant for Fortune 500 companies and the federal government, says the volume of attacks that target Internet users has been on the rise this year. However, he says there are several steps you can take to protect yourself while shopping -- or doing anything -- online.

1. Never shop online from a public Wi-Fi connection. Hackers can tap into Wi-Fi connections at hotspots, such as coffee shops, airports and hotels, to capture your personal information. If you must use public Wi-Fi, you can download for free the AnchorFree HotSpot Shield to hide your IP address while you're online and protect your computer from snoopers. Also, never use a public computer to shop or check accounts online.

2. Don't use your smartphone to shop. Hackers can use the same tactics for tapping into your smartphone as they use for your laptop or PC.

3. Don't use your debit card for online shopping. If hackers steal your debit-card information and raid your bank account, you must report any misuse within two days to get the same $50 limited liability as you would with a credit card. Miss that deadline but report your loss within 60 days and you could be liable for up to $500. After 60 days, your liability is unlimited. If you don't like using credit cards, though, consider using EBillme to make secure cash payments when shopping online (see Shop Online ... With Cash).

4. Shop online only at known retailers. Don't let a search engine pick a site for you because it could be bogus, Gregg says. Even if you're using a site that you think is legitiamte, look for security labels, such as VeriSign and Cybertrust, and for https:// to appear in the url on pages that prompt you to enter personal information. Also consider downloading McAfee's free SiteAdvisor, which tests sites for dangerous downloads, spamming and more.

5. Don't click on pop-up ads. Hackers recently have posted bogus ads with malicious software on legitimate sites (, for example). Online retailers will be susceptible to these attacks, Gregg says.

posted by Tina Lau, North County Librarian

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tax credit for textbook purchases

Receive a Tax Credit for Hitting the Books!
Course Materials Now Qualify for Tax Credit
Attention Students and Parents!
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's (ARRA) newly created American Opportunity Tax Credit, textbook and other course material expenses – along with tuition and fees incurred in 2009 and 2010 not covered by scholarships or grants – may be claimed as a tax credit on that year's tax return!
You must keep a record of your expenses to be eligible!!

[information from]

Tina Lau, North County Librarian

Friday, February 27, 2009

Netlibrary book for March

March 2009

NetLibrary eBook of the Month

A monthly showcase of new and notable eBooks

Two Billion Cars:
Driving Toward Sustainability

Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon
Foreword by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Oxford University Press, 2009
Product ID: 259499

At present, there are roughly a billion motor vehicles in the world. Within twenty years, the number will double to 2 billion, largely a consequence of China's and India's explosive growth. Given that greenhouse gases are already creating havoc with our climate and that violent conflict in oil-rich nations is on the rise, does this mean that matters will only get worse? Or are there hopeful signs that effective, realistic solutions can be found?

In Two Billion Cars, transportation experts Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon provide a concise history of America's love affair with cars and an overview of the global oil and auto industries. They zero in on reforming our gas-guzzling culture, expanding the search for low-carbon fuels, environment-friendly innovations in transportation planning, and more. Promising advances in both transportation technology and fuel efficiency together with shifts in travel behavior, they suggest, offer us a realistic way out of our predicament.

If you are on campus, go to to access the book. Off-campus, login to your myCuesta account, link to NetLibrary from the library channel on the Resource ta.

Tina Lau

North County Librarian

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Financial aid tips for your FAFSA

I just found some good tips for filling out your FAFSA from the Kiplinger's blog:

Tips included things like not waiting until you've filled out your income tax return.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Friday, November 14, 2008

Front groups

Ever wonder about those so-called public interest groups that are actually backed by the industry they claim to be exposing? There is a group called SourceWatch that keeps track of where information (and misinformation) comes from, and they have a spot on their website that is devoted to just front groups at

Check out the US examples, one of which is the Greening Earth Society. It's funded by an association of coal-burning utility companies.

Tina Lau, North County Librarian

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google flu

(CNN) -- If you have a fever, headache and runny nose, you might go to Google and type the words "flu symptoms" to see whether you've come down with influenza.

Google knows that you might do something like that, and it also knows which U.S. state you're in. Now, it's putting that information together in a tool that Google says could detect flu outbreaks faster than traditional systems currently in use.

Google's new public health initiative, Google Flu Trends, looks at the relative popularity of a slew of flu-related search terms to determine where in the U.S. flu outbreaks may be occurring.

"What's exciting about Flu Trends is that it lets anybody -- epidemiologists, health officials, moms with sick children -- learn about the current flu activity level in their own state based on data that's coming in this week," said Jeremy Ginsberg, the lead engineer who developed the site.

The tool, which launched Tuesday, operates on the idea that there's likely to be a flu outbreak in states where flu-related search terms are currently popular.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated with Google on the project, helping validate and refine the model, and has provided flu tracking data over a five-year period, said Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC's influenza division.

Although it doesn't replace the need for real viral surveillance data, Flu Trends is a good model, and the CDC looks forward to testing it this flu season, Bresee said.

"We really are excited about the future of using different technologies, including technology like this, in trying to figure out if there's better ways to do surveillance for outbreaks of influenza or any other diseases in the United States," he said. "In theory at least, this idea can be used for any disease and any health problem."

Researchers found a tight correlation between the relative popularity of flu-related search terms and CDC's surveillance data, Ginsberg said.

posted by Tina Lau, North County Librarian

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jack-o-lantern etymology from OED

You can get an RSS feed or email feed for word of the day from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). I use Bloglines ( to read RSS feeds every day.

Today's word is jack-o'-lantern:

{dag}1. A man with a lantern; a night watchman.

1663 STAPLETON Slighted Maid III. 48, I am an Evening dark as Night, Jack-with-the-Lantern, bring a Light. 1698-1700 E. WARD Lond. Spy II. (1709) 32 Each Parochial Jack-a-Lanthorn was Croaking about Streets the Hour of Eleven. a1704 T. BROWN Lett. fr. Dead Wks. 1760 II. 195 Who should come by before I could get up again, but the constable going his rounds, who quickly made me centre of a circle of jack of lanthorns.

2. An ignis fatuus or will-o'-the-wisp; = friar's lantern (FRIAR n. 9b); fig. something misleading or elusive.

1673 RAY Journ. Low C. 410 Those reputed Meteors..known in England by the conceited names of Jack with a Lanthorn, and Will with a Wisp. 1749 FIELDING Tom Jones XII. xii, Partridge..firmly believed..that this light was a Jack with a lantern, or somewhat more mischievous. 1750 S. HALES Earthquakes 10 Plenty of inflammable sulphureous Matter in the Air, such as Ignes fatui, or Jack-a-Lanterns. 1775 SHERIDAN Rivals III. iv, I have followed Cupid's Jack-a-lantern, and find myself in a quagmire. 1862 H. MARRYAT Year in Sweden II. 67 As a mist rises, Jack-o'-lantern flits his pale light over the swamp. 1870 LOWELL Study Wind. 5 Supplying so many more jack-o'-lanterns to the future historian.
attrib. 1750-1 Student II. 352 a mere Jack~lanthorn nature, neither here nor there. 1817 COLERIDGE Biog. Lit. 293 The characters in this act frisk about, here, there, and everywhere, as teasingly as the Jack o'Lantern lights which mischievous boys..throw with a looking-glass on the faces of their opposite neighbours.

3. A lantern made of the rind of a large turnip or a pumpkin, in which holes are cut to represent eyes, nose, and mouth; a turnip- or (in U.S.) pumpkin-lantern. North Eng., Sc., and U.S.

1837 HAWTHORNE Twice-Told Tales 222 Hide it [sc. the great carbuncle] under thy cloak, say'st thou? Why, it will gleam through the holes, and make thee look like a jack-o'lantern! 1959 I. & P. OPIE Lore & Lang. Schoolch. xii. 269 As soon as it is dark on Hallowe'en they take the lighted ‘Jack-o-lanterns’ and put them on their gateposts.

Hence jack-o'-lantern v. intr. (nonce-wd.), to play or move erratically like a will-o'-the-wisp.

1891 G. MEREDITH One of our Conq. I. iv. 52 His Puckish fancy jack-o'-lanterning over it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Election-year Mudslinging

If you are wondering about negative stories concerning any of the presidential or vice presidential candidates, a great way to check it out is by going to It's a nonpartisan site that debunks lies in politics.

A more general site that's good for rumors, urban legends, and virus scares in general is at I try to always check those emails that get circulated about free money from Microsoft, Sarah Palin's list of banned books, etc.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LibraryThing meme

This is a list of the top 106 books most often marked “unread” by LibraryThing users. The rules: bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary

The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace

Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha

Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo

A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables

The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island

David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Digital textbooks for half the price of printI

This posting has been moved to

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Access to congressional reports

Check out OpenCRS at, a new website that collects and makes freely available reports from the Congressional Research Service. (This is the research used by congressmen, and is very current. Latest reports are about the financial market crisis.) They have an RSS feed if you'd like to be alerted when new reports are posted.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Summer schedule is now online

Cuesta's new summer schedule is now online at, or click on Find Classes from the Cuesta homepage. The schedule won't be in print for a few weeks.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rumor about $600 rebate from government

I checked it out at,,id=179181,00.html and an individual who has earned more than $3000 in 2007 will get $300 back in May. You must file your 2007 income tax return to be eligible.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Textbook Rental Service

I just found out about a textbook rental service called Chegg (for "chicken and egg"). There's a good article about it in Business Week Online at

Prices seem to be about 50% of retail for textbooks. Check it out at!

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Free online courses from Yale

Yale University announced that they are allowing free and open access to 7 introductory graduate classes. Check it out at

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Friday, November 30, 2007

Invitation to a Party

Hello Tina and Cuesta College Library Bloggers:

Mark your calendars for Thurs. Dec. 6, 2- p.m. We will be holding an Open House reception to celebrate the retirement of our Library Director, Dave Dowell. The party will be held in the SLO campus library staff area, with snacks and beverages, and tours of our newly remodeled facilty. Hope to see you there.

Denise Fourie
Instructor, Library /Information Technology
Cuesta College

Monday, November 19, 2007

Amazon e-book reader Unveils New e-Book Reader

By Calvin Reid -- Publishers Weekly, 11/19/2007 9:09:00 AM CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled Kindle, its much anticipated e-book reading device at a packed press conference in Manhattan this morning. Intended to compete with the now discounted ($299) Sony Reader, Kindle is priced at $399 and offers wireless access to more than 90,000 downloadable titles at a uniform price of $9.99.

The Kindle weighs in at 10.3 ounces with a black & white electronic ink screen that can be read in bright sunlight. It’s thin as a pencil and will hold about 200 books, which are also stored in online user accounts and can be redownloaded at any time. But most impressive is the title selection and pricing as well as its wireless functionality. Unlike most digital reading devices, Kindle does not require a personal computer. Through an agreement with mobile carrier Sprint, Amazon has built its own network on the back of Sprint’s EVDO wireless cellphone network. There is no separate fee or monthly billing for use of Kindle’s wireless access and all titles and services for Kindle can be purchased through the wireless access provided through the device.

Online connection to the Kindle online store was very quick and downloads of even the largest books take less than a minute. The device also downloads newspapers and magazines and provides full-text access (not RSS Feeds) to more than 300 blogs that can be updated continuously. Each device comes with a pre-assigned email account that allows the user to email themselves personal documents (Word, plus gifs and jpegs) that can be read on the device.

Using a giant overhead screen, Bezos demonstrated the device (which worked flawlessly) to the assembled press corps. He said that they were trying to create a device so easy to use that it “disappears when you use it.” He said Amazon’s designers believed, “you can’t outbook, the traditional book. You have to have a device that can do things that the print book can’t do.”

From the looks of Kindle, Amazon may have made good on that claim. New media professionals at the event seemed impressed by the device, although not necessarily by its price. To seal the deal, Bezos unveiled a video presentation with such authors as Michael Lewis, Toni Morrison, Neil Gaiman and James Patterson, all lavishing praise on the new device. And then Bezos ended the press conference by handing out free devices to the assembled press corps. Now that’s the way to get the buzz started.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another money-saving coupon code

Save with eCampus Coupon Code

By BookOpinion on Books

From Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2008, is offering BookOpinion users two different coupon codes to save on your next purchase. Offer: Save 5% off of Purchase of $75 or More Expires: Jan. 31, 2008 Code: HIGHFIVE Offer: Save $10 off of $200 Purchase Expires: Jan. 31, 2008 Code: HIGHTEN Use this link to go to eCampus and save!

[taken from the BookOpinion blog]

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Spring schedule is online

Cuesta's Spring class schedule is now online at, click on "Find Classes". Get the jump on planning next semester.

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Friday, November 02, 2007

Coupon codes for buying books online

These are coupon codes good for the month of November, taken from the blog BookOpinion:

Save with BiggerBooks Coupon Code

By BookOpinion on Books

From Nov. 1 to Jan. 1, 2008, BiggerBooks is offering BookOpinion users two different coupon codes to save on your next purchase. Offer: Save $5 off of first Purchase Expires: Jan. 1, 2008 Code: FIVEOFF Offer: Save $10 off of $200 Purchase Expires: Jan. 1, 2008 Code: TENOFF Use this link to go to BiggerBooks and save!

Save at Alibris with Coupon Code

By BookOpinion on Books

Alibris has sent us a coupon code for BookOpinion users for the month of November. This offers expire at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007. Save $3 off a purchase of $30 or more using Coupon Code: GARCIAMARQUEZ Click here to go!

Tina Lau
North County Librarian

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Save some money on books

There is a blog called BookOpinion that I sometimes read, which has discount codes for online bookstores sometimes. Here are a couple that I just found:

Save at Alibris With Coupon Code

Alibris coupon til Oct 25

Save with Coupon Codes

eCampus coupon til Oct 31

Hope someone can use them!

Tina Lau

North County Librarian