Saturday, December 22, 2007


My pick of the week's top 5 items of interest:
  1. Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, researchers using Zotero, a Firefox plug-in, can archive their research notes and data at the Internet Archive. My guess is very few researchers will actually make use of this service... although in an ideal world everyone would use such a tool to "further science", people are lazy and will usually do the minimum to get the job done (i.e., publish their findings). Putting your notes and data out there for public consumption means being forever responsible for it, defending it, answering questions about it, etc. Speaking from personal experience, most of my notes are thought exercises which often are scattered and ultimately useless to anyone but me, and putting them in an archive wouldn't do anyone any good.

  2. China Yahoo was successfully sued in Beijing for linking to websites that contain pirated material. Although steps should be taken to reign-in the pirating beast that is China, it troubles me that under newer copyright laws in China, a search engine can be held legally liable for the misdeeds of someone it indexes.

  3. 64% of Internet users between 12 and 17 are now creating some type of online content. According to one researcher, "New technology increases the overall intensity and frequency of their communication with friends, with e-mail being the one glaringly uncool exception in their eyes." Uncool email. Ouch.

  4. European researchers are doing some interesting work on acoustic interfaces for computers.

  5. "All the published literature of humankind in the next generation will be in digital form." -- Brewster Kahle