Sunday, October 30, 2005
The article in the World-Herald touches on intellectual property as a reason why some musicians have banned cell phones. According to the article, Bon Jovi is coming to Omaha and will allow this text messaging. Book your flights now! :)
I thought the idea of text messaging to a huge screen at a live venue was a very interesting idea. Here's a pretty cool application of this idea that happened back in August.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thanks to ultraviolent titles like Quake and Grand Theft Auto, the video-gaming industry isn't exactly known for its high-minded political insight. But Ivan Marovic, one of the founders of the influential Serbian student resistance group Otpor, is hoping to change that perception. Mr. Marovic is working to design a game -- called A Force More Powerful -- that teaches the tactics of nonviolent conflict, not the art of the shoot'em-up. (Wired News)" -- source The Chronicle
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
In the search box I started out with King Henry the eighth. Whoa. see what it spits out.
Did fine with yellow roses
But try a query with just the word scrapple.
Somebody has an awful lot of time on their hands.
Word is they are about to go live with their Google Base. They let you put anything you want up there, tag it, sell it, whatever. Three bog entries that popped up in at http://a9.com/google base
ZDNet says they got confirmation Tuesday from a Google Spokeswoman.
There entries in flickr for screenshots of the new service
ArsTechnica (Ken "Caesar" Fisher's blog) says it's almost up and goes on to speculate:
There's another level to this as well. By letting people post nearly anything, Google will get their hands on a massive database of items that have been given user-created attributes. Google then can use that data to try and generate a kind of universal tagging schema for information and items, which could then be used to classify information across the net.Ohmigod, one uniform language for describing things! These guys are pathologically hopeful.
Monday, October 24, 2005
WARNING: This is more of a rant than news and it's really only scrapple-related. I've been reading some stuff that's really, really irritating me.The wisdom of The Crowd is a very popular notion just now and I'm in agreement with the idea in many situations--but not all.
Let's remember that Nazi Germany was brought to you by The Crowd. They didn't vote for Hitler but they voted for the guy who handed the government over to him.
I, for one, do not want a free-for-all discussion in the operating room on how to proceed with my surgery. I'd like one, single, very well educated, highly trained, expert on my problem to be in charge, to be wielding the knife and to be calling the plays.
I don't want riders on the bus debating whether or not we can make it across the train tracks before the train arrives.
My point is that we don't want to take an idea that's good in some situations and try to apply it everywhere. That kind of 'Well, it worked before, it ought to work now' thinking leads to abominations like Rocky XXXIV.
There is a time and a place for expertise. And you really shouldn't depend on volunteer work to develop a body of complex knowledge or make time limited decisions.
I'm just calling for a bit of balance.
But maybe you disagree...
In some ways this guy is just another Chicken Little, but he is pointing out some of the issues we need to be thinking about. And some of them are larger than just the library world.
I'll stop here and put my ranting in a comment so that you can skip on to the next item in your overly busy day.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Think of building a chip using lots of little bitty cars. Take this molecule 5 nanometers, turn 45 degrees right, go another 150 nanometer, put the molecule down and then go back home. If you could do that you could make really small circuits.
It would require universities to re-engineer their networks so that every Net access point would send all communications not directly onto the Internet, but first to a network operations center where the data packets could be stitched together into a single package for delivery to law enforcement, university officials said.That sounds like humongous deal. Various university folk are saying they would have to redo all their access points, that we're looking at major expenses--enough to drive the cost of tuition up $450 annually.
On the other side the article quotes 'some government officials' as saying that it's not really that big a deal because they wouldn't be picking up the Intranet traffic, only the stuff that goes off campus. Basically "schools would be required to make their networks accessible to law enforcement only at the point where those networks connect to the outside world."
So which is it? Does every single switch in every single closet have to be replaced? Or could they route everything out of campus through a single line. Then, at that one point where the campus meets the world, they could pull traffic off and examine it there? Would this do anything to speed?
Or, is it something else? Or maybe both? Can you really tell from the article?
BTW, if this is an accurate quote about only caring about what goes off campus, it represents a serious lack of understanding of the nature of university work.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
The posting itself is not half as good as the title. Sorta like this one.
Never underestimate the power of a good headline
-- it can draw readers into almost any material.
nrs [not really scrapple]
Thursday, October 20, 2005
A Slashdot item this morning read "Microsoft Thinks Africa Doesn't Need Free Software." My immediate reaction was what kind of lunacy is this? And, since it was about Africa (which by the way is an entire continent, not a country) I had to pop over and read it on ZDNet. The tag line above the article reads,
"You can give people free software, but they won't have the expertise to use it, says Microsoft Nigeria's manager."Well, duh. OK, that makes sense and I expect that MS is in fact supporting training. (After all, Gates is big into support for conquering malaria). Then the lead paragraph flips back to the sound bite,
"Microsoft has claimed the cost of software is not an important issue in the developing world."Back to the lunacy. But read on. The next paragraph begins
"In response to a question on the role of open source software in Africa, Gerald Ilukwe, the general manager of Microsoft Nigeria,..."Key points are
- They are focusing on Open Source so the discussion appears to not be so much about the ability of peoples in developing economies to afford it as it is a response to the notion that Open Source is a good thing there. So that explains why MS is saying this.
- The quote is from an office in Nigeria. Nigeria is a much, much richer country than its neighbors. Oil profits make it unlike any of its neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa. What I'm saying here is that a person working out of an office in Nigeria is not the best person to look to for an economic analysis of the financial worth of the vast majority of people living on the continent.
Don't get too comfortable because the final paragraph is all about organizations that are offering Open Source software training. In that page there are a number of links to those organizations and those links draw your eyes to that part of the page.
So, if you read the whole article you get a subtler understanding of the players, the context and the details of their arguments. But the thinking in journalism is that as people skim through the news they often only read the first and maybe last paragraph. If you'd done that here you'd have only picked up the 'sound bite' version and as a result gotten a very skewed understanding.
This is the print equivalent of those talking heads whose idea of a political debate is to name call the opposition and it drives me crazy. I don't care which side of the fence you are on--commercial or Open Source--this is just lousy reporting.
At the bottom of the page are links to two other articles.
|Microsoft 'lends security expertise' to Nigeria||Emerging markets a priority for new Microsoft head|
Did I follow the links? Naw, they looked like puff pieces -- minimally re-writen versions of PR releases. [insert grin face icon here]
And, BTW, I'm always irritated when I see people write about Africa as if it were a single country. It's a hugh place! Three times the size of the US at least. Thinking all Africans are alike makes about as much sense as saying that all North Americans are alike. Try telling an Alberta cowboy that he's just like a Mayan Indian in Guatemala. Arghhh.[flame off]
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Cool. Who knew they let 8 year olds name worms.
This technology, combined with The British Library's "Turning the Pages" project and you've got a good start on finally mastering print.
"The Copyright Permissions Building Block...will allow professors at the 1,200 colleges that use Blackboard's course management system, to automatically tap into the copyright center's authorization process...to make it easier for faculty...to get permission to use the materials they chose."
Forgive all the ... but I just wanted to put in the necessary to text to convey the author's meaning. Seems like he is saying that Blackboard will have a component that will let users tap into the Copyright Clearance Center's approval process for copyrighted material.
Anybody looking into this at Hopkins? Seems like it would be useful to allow faculty to post articles directly in Blackboard. Are there any cons to it I wonder?
May be a smart move; might not. I sure wouldn't want to be the manager of a McD's where kids could come to hang out and play games.
Ray Crock, the original owner of McD's had some very strict ideas about what's allowed and what isn't in a McD. Vending machines were out of the question because he didn't want any of his stores selling cigarettes. Something tells me he wouldn't have been thrilled with this development.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see if it flies. McDonald's Hamburger & Internet Cafe?
BBC's related stories include:
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
It will be along the lines of the American business project rather than a French academic site but what the hey. We blend when we enter new markets.
Don't they sell rice instead of french fries at the MacDonald's in Japan? I know I remember that T.R. Reid once said that the Japanese celebrate Christmas by going to Kentucky Fried Chicken -- sit down tables with linen and everything. Apparently you have to make reservations well in advance.
Susan, what do they serve at Mikey D's in Indonesia?
Google defends themselves on two points:
- the maps aren't all that current
- they are all from publically available information
"At the moment you can get around it by appending -site:blogspot.com -site:info to your searches on those search engines that will allow it. Which unfortunately isn't all of them, but cleans up Feedster and Google Blog Search at least."
For those of you tracking tech lexicon she tells us that blogs that are essentially spam as splogs. And, although she refers to BlogSpot as SplogSpot, there is actually a site http://splogspot.com that you can use to filter splog.
Monday, October 17, 2005
The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright Analysis
by Jonathan Band
This guy is a lawyer who "does not represent any entity with respect to the Google Print project. He may be contacted via his Web site http://www.policybandwidth.com/."
He argues that what Google is doing is absolutely legitimate and that Pat S & her group are over reacting. He cites a number of different legal cases and I have to admit I lost interest before he got too far into that stuff but what I read of the article was persuasive.
Friday, October 14, 2005
A very useful tool. Especially if you want to compare your library to peer institutions...
If NBC signs a deal to license the Apprentice (the Trump version), I'm so there.
How much will I pay to download each episode? They might as well make seasons available for download at a slightly discounted price. I think they said it's $2.99 per episode without the commercials. Will be interesting to see how advertisers react.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
" OCLC will first offer this service through Open WorldCat and later expand it into the WorldCat database in FirstSearch."
Friday, October 07, 2005
This is a completely new thing for me, and since I know some of you Scrapple folks have done more of this than I have, can you point me to some good resources on developing library-related web-usability surveys? Right now, it looks like most of our data is being gathered in the form of free-text entry fields, and I'm thinking we'll want to phrase more questions as yes/no or multiple choice in order to give us data that's easier to analyze. Any other suggestions?
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Philadelphia plans to offer free Internet access in public spaces such as parks, covering about 10 percent of the city, but outside of these areas, monthly subscriptions will cost from $10 to $20.
Monday, October 03, 2005
My favorite? Pickled herringg. In Slovak and Czech one calls the @ sign a pickeled herring. Thus my e-mail would be:
woodson pickeled herring jhu dot edu
I'm still not sure what I think about these tools. They don't do anything for me but maybe it's just my unfamiliarity with them.
Someone writes in something wrong, I look at the site, it's corrected a few minutes later...I still got wrong info and more importantly, I don't know I have wrong info.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I'm just wondering how you know whether a particular answer is one of the 80% or one of the 20%.
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
Salt Lake City
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that leach from glues, paints, vinyls and plastics in the passenger compartment. The fumes can trigger headaches, sore throats, nausea and drowsiness.