Matthew B Hoy

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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new type of online class that allow anyone, anywhere, to participate via video lectures, computer graded tests, and discussion forums. This article will give a basic overview of what MOOCs are, how they work, and some of their inherent advantages and disadvantages. It will also explore what MOOCs mean for medical(More)
HTML5 is the newest revision of the HTML standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This new standard adds several exciting news features and capabilities to HTML. This article will briefly discuss the history of HTML standards, explore what changes are in the new HTML5 standard, and what implications it has for information professionals. A(More)
Personal activity trackers are an inexpensive and easy way for people to record their physical activity and simple biometric data. As these devices have increased in availability and sophistication, their use in daily life and in medicine has grown. This column will briefly explore what these devices are, what types of data they can track, and how that data(More)
The "Internet of Things" is a popular buzzword but a poorly understood concept. In short, it refers to everyday objects that can sense the environment around them and communicate that data to other objects and services via the Internet. This column will briefly explain what the Internet of Things is and how it might be useful for libraries. It will also(More)
3D printers are a new technology that creates physical objects from digital files. Uses for these printers include printing models, parts, and toys. 3D printers are also being developed for medical applications, including printed bone, skin, and even complete organs. Although medical printing lags behind other uses for 3D printing, it has the potential to(More)
On May 18, 2009, British computer scientist Stephen Wolfram officially launched a new search product called Wolfram|Alpha (WA). This launch was preceded by months of speculation and hype online about exactly what WA would be and how it would compare to Google and other search engines. This article will explore the basic features of WA, show some example(More)
Advances in building technologies are combining energy efficiency, networked sensors, and data recording in exciting ways. Modern facilities can adjust lighting, heating, and cooling outputs to maximize efficiency, provide better physical security, improve wayfinding for occupants, and provide detailed reports of building use. This column will briefly(More)
This article explores automated task services, a type of website that allows users to create rules that are triggered by activity on one website and perform a task on another site. The most well-known automated task service is If This Then That (IFTTT), but recently a large number of these services have sprung up. These services can be used to connect(More)
QR codes, or "Quick Response" codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned by mobile smartphone cameras. These codes can be used to provide fast access to URLs, telephone numbers, and short passages of text. With the rapid adoption of smartphones, librarians are able to use QR codes to promote services and help library users find materials(More)
Near field communication is a method for sending and receiving small amounts of data across very short distances wirelessly. This technology is already available in a number of mobile devices and has many possible uses, including electronic payment, access control, and information exchange. This article will explain the basic principles of near field(More)