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Internet vs book reading | Google 40-language web browser

Internet browsing vs book reading
Lahore, Sep 04, 2008: The tradition of going to library and borrowing books from there has been declining, as people, especially the youth, now prefer surfacing material of their choice through internet on computer instead of visiting this house of knowledge.

Various educationists and officials attached with libraries said that the number of people, who used library services, was not so encouraging in the country as compared to other parts of the world, especially the developed countries, adding, however, this meagre number of library visitors was also decreasing because of modern computer technology and many other constraints.

They were of the view that unlike public libraries, the situation was comparatively better regarding library usage at academic institutions like universities and institutions of higher learning. They believed that the least response in connection with library usage was witnessed at school level especially which were operating in the public sector, saying not only there was lack of libraries but students were also not encouraged nor the teachers took interest in this connection.

Commenting over the issue, a number of students said since the latest computer technology had provided them opportunities to surf the entire universe through internet service, they were least interested in going to library on regular basis to explore the world of books.

"For me, my computer is library", said student Shahid Salman, adding with the help of internet, it was easier to search a book than searching it manually in the library.

He was of the view that the latest computer technology had, in fact, changed the very concept of a library, saying today internet facility in the libraries was one of the priorities and basic needs. Another student, Ahsan, said students of government schools seldom developed habit of going to library, provided, the schools had played their role in highlighting the importance of book reading and library visit, the situation would have been altogether different. He said it was unfortunate that most of the teachers never made realize their students the importance of book reading and regular library usage during the school life and even afterwards owing to which students did not take it enthusiastically. He was of the view that in order to develop reading-culture among the youth, proper guidance from their teachers, a conducive and comfortable environment and interesting books were the most importance things.

Commenting on the issue, Systems Librarian of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Ashraf Sharif said there was dire need of introducing importance of library and book reading in the curriculum to develop the habit of library usage and book reading among the school students.

He was of the view that the situation of academic libraries was better than those of public libraries, adding provision of comfortable environment and collection of books added to the quality and standard of a library which played a role in attracting maximum number of readers. He said one of the ways to make familiar students to the library culture was to force them to use library in seeking references for preparation of different assignments at colleges.

Director General (DG) Public Libraries Punjab Imran Ghani said dish-culture and internet badly damaged the library culture, adding these innovations confined us to information only "while the book provides you knowledge". He said it was also unfortunate that the book reading trend was not being developed among the school and college students. The News

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40-language web browser launched by Google
Washington: Google on Tuesday launched its own internet browser, opening up a new challenge in cyberspace to Microsoft and its dominant Internet Explorer.

The California-based Web search leader said the new browser called Google Chrome would "add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web."

"We realised ... we needed to completely rethink the browser," Google's Sundar Pichai said in a blog post.

The test or 'beta' version can be downloaded for free in more than 100 countries and its code will be open- source so no rights will have to be paid by anyone using or adapting the software.

Chrome is Google's latest weapon in its bid to become the leader in all internet areas. The last major browser war was won by Microsoft when it won the battle for dominance in the 1990s against Netscape Navigator.

Google scheduled a briefing on the new broswer, which will be available in more than 40 languages.

The move comes amid growth in browser market share by Firefox, a project of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, which ironically gets a large portion of its funding from Google.

According to estimates by the research firm Net Applications, Internet Explorer is used by 74 per cent of computer users worldwide compared with 18 per cent for Firefox.

According to Google, the new browser will have several advantages including being "multi-threaded" to help avoid freeze-ups.

The announcement comes as Microsoft released a beta version of IE8, the eighth major version of its Explorer.

"This (Chrome) is a straight shot over the bow of Microsoft, which has tightly integrated its Live Search offering into its dominant Internet Explorer browser (and which, surprise, is in turn tightly integrated into Windows)," said Mark Hendrickson in a posting on the technology website TechCrunch.

"It also makes for an awkward relationship with Mozilla, whose Firefox browser Google basically funds."

Henry Blodget of Silicon Valley Insider said: "Microsoft has seen this movie before. This time, it won't like the ending." Blodget said Google is attempting to drive more people to Google search and other applications and away from Microsoft.

"If you're thinking about Chrome as just another Web browser, you're missing the larger point," he said.

"In a couple of years, you won't be downloading Google's 'browser.' You'll be downloading Google's software -- or, rather, you'll be clicking on a series of Google icons that come pre-installed. Specifically, you'll be working within a Google software environment that works sort of like Windows." AFP

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