Monday, February 27, 2006

A wireless experiment in Bath

CNN reports a wireless experiment in Bath...the city, not the tub. Seems like an effort to blend tourism and technology. For example, they will test have a server that stores photographs of building in Bath. People could take a picture and if a match occurs with a picture on the server, information about the building and local points of interest will be returned to a wireless phone or other device. Another application will consist of users uploading information and pictures to a Web site that then charts their route.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I want my M-TV -- cool and costly

Check out QUOSA! Run through a couple of demos (yes, I know the guy is a slooooow talker) QUOSA s a hacked-browser/portal??? that does lots of stuff including:
  • Post-Search Automated Full-Article Retrieval -- search, click and you got the full text
  • Article Organizing -- slect things you've retrieved and then click to dump citations into EndNote, Reference Manager, Procite. In addition to all the bibliographic info you'd expect, each entry will include link back to where you got it from (i.e., PubMed) as well as a link to your own copy on your hard drive
  • Full-Text Searching -- but it's not just full text searching; you've got the stuff on your computer so searching ought to be no big deal. what they add is a something sort of like a cross between a cluster analysis and a ictionary of frequently used words. Have QUOSA build one from the articles on your disk or go grab one from, for instance, a dictionary of terms from PubMed Entrez for gene research.
They only show QUOSA working with PubMed and Ovid. Of course, that makes sense since it's aimed at high-end STM types more than Soc Sci or Humanities. Also, they aren't bashful about pricing. One year's subscription is $499.95.

I saw this mentioned on Web4Lib and there was a lot of concern about systematic downloading and licenses. I can see that as an issue to be worked out but really, how cool is this tool?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Google, the Khmer Rouge, and the Public Good,

That's the title of a talk by Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan's, to the scholarly publishing section of AAUP. I'm not sure where the Khmer Rouge comes in but she was defending U Mich participation in the Google Book Library Project as legal and morally justified -- for the public good. Needless to say, Pat Schroeder who was also present for the meeting did not agree.

Did you know that Google's Larry Page is a UMich alum? From InfoToday

Library School webcasts

has a number of different webcast series and an archive. Of particular interest are the ones on human information behavior.

Feb 16 cast is about a project to establish a research agenda for the field of online info seeking behavior. These are people from SIG-USE group in ASIST.

I know, I'm a geek...

...but I'm really impressed with the Scientific American podcasts. Something to listen to while I'm eating my lunch at my desk. tsk, tsk. Here's summaries of first two 'casts.

FEBRUARY 15, 2006
SciAm Podcast: 02-15-06
In this episode, Scientific American staff editor Christine Soares talks about avian flu; Bruce Mirken discusses marijuana policy in the U.S. and England; and paleontologist Gregory Erickson describes the newfound long-lost cousin of T. rex. Also: test your science smarts with our quiz and hear how yesterday's comics might have handled today's news.

FEBRUARY 08, 2006
SciAm Podcast: 02-08-06
In this episode, Scientific American editor-in-chief John Rennie reflects on the Korean stem cell debacle; the National Inventors Hall of Fame announces this year's inductees; and evolution defender Eugenie Scott discusses the importance of the decision in the recent Dover evolution trial. Also: hear outtakes from the CSI show you're never going to see on TV.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Flaming on stealing

As a follow up to the last entry's complaint about stealing....

Last week I was in Mexico with Austin Smiles and I got a chance to chat with Roberto, the guy who was making a video of the mission for AS. He used to have a cool job as a photographer (videographer?) for Sony Corp in Spain. He worked on music videos for artists like Ricky Martin and really loved his job. Then Sony cut way back on staffing for videos because there was such a huge problem with piracy. Roberto says you can buy copies of music videos on the street in Mexico for twenty-five cents.

He lost his job with Sony and went back home to Mexico where he is now making videos of things like this mission and kids birthday parties. He said, 'If you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be doing this I'd have thought you were crazy.'

I know there are people who'll justify pirating by saying the the rich artists can afford it but

  1. it's still stealing &
  2. those rich folks aren't the ones who suffer -- it's people like Roberto.

WARNING: Check your proxies

Got word today that there's a blog offering info on how to poach journal articles by giving out open proxy information. Hopkins was listed but we've shut down the proxy.

I'm really creeped out by the number of people who seem to believe it's ok to steal.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Funny Wikipedia Story

Wikipedia bans congressional hill IP addresses. They've been editing entries about them. I heard about it on NPR. Here's some information from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Colleges Fight FCC's New Online Wiretapping Rules

A group of colleges, libraries, and technology companies has asked a federal court to overturn a ruling, issued by the Federal Communications Commission, that facilitates Internet wiretapping. The 71-page brief, filed by organizations such as Sun Microsystems,, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of American Universities, and the American Library Association, has been sent to the US Court of Appeals arguing that the FCC has overstepped its bounds.

The ruling these groups want overturned could require ISPs and colleges to rewire their networks so that federal investigators can more easily track individuals' Web browsing and e-mail use. College and library officials argued that the rewiring would prove prohibitively expensive, and that it would inevitably lead to violations of their network users' privacy. (Sources: CNET News & Wired Campus)