Thursday, May 31

Slashdot | RMS Says Free Software Is Good Nowadays you see scientists act as if they're in gangs at war with other little gangs of scientists ... we're all held back." And not just scientists -- of anyone who uses computers in the workplace, Stallman said that in the absence of a broad right to modify and improve the software they use, "Their lives and jobs are going to be frustrating -- people protect themselves from frustration by deciding not to care. When this happens, it's bad for those people and for society as a whole."

Wednesday, May 30

Bibliographical management Bibliographical management and note-taking

Tuesday, May 29

The Standard: Nouveau Niche Here's how OpenCola works. Say you enjoy reading about rock climbing. You'd install an OpenCola program on your computer and feed it a couple of rock climbing articles, or simply type in some keywords, such as "flapper," "hang-dogging" and "dirt me." OpenCola will construct a software robot (sort of a single-purpose search engine) that goes onto the Net to dig up stuff that matches your criteria. It does two kinds of digging. First, it fetches files from the Web just like any other search spider. But the robot goes one step further by looking for other users' OpenCola robots looking for the same kinds of things you are. Then, your robot grabs files the other users have fetched and found worthwhile. In other words, you benefit from the decision-making of the other like-minded OpenCola users. It's like a Web-size version of (AMZN)'s "people who liked that book will like this book" service.

The guy who started this company, Cory Doctorow, is a total Disney obsessive, a feted science fiction writer, and just an all around Freak. I like it when interesting people do interesting things and aren't kicked down by The Man.



Whole Earth: Discovery One lovely aspect of discovery is that the required human talents defy rankings, formal education, and professions. This next section will tell a few discoverer tales: of tour guide Ted Parker, a man who held 4,000 bird songs in his head; of novelist Vladimir Nabokov's contribution to butterfly naturalist history; of parataxonomists changing from their lives as farmers to become sharp-eyed field collectors; of painter Audubon's tricks on the true maniac, Rafinesque. Add to these every sort of "amateur" and "professional" naturalist, as well as the academic specialist (Miriam Rothschild and her love of fleas; E.O. Wilson on ants) and you cook up quite a wonderful dialog, tinged with competition, possessiveness, ego and cross-checking, but fundamentally honoring the pursuit of mysteries in life.

I'm always interested in amateur (read: untainted by petty disciplinary politics) scholarship and people following their scholary bliss.

Friday, May 25

UNC Writing Center Handout | Writing Your Dissertation The dissertation marks the transition from student to scholar and is stressful as a result.
When you embark on this large, independent project, you may begin to ask yourself questions about your future in academia. After all, the dissertation is the beginning of the end of a graduate career. When you finish your dissertation, you have to change your life pretty dramatically —you may go on the job market, begin work as an independent scholar, develop classes, move out of a community that you have grown to love, and so on. You may also feel like your dissertation will begin to define your professional identity. You may feel like your research interests, your theoretical influences, and your skill as a writer may all be evaluated by this first piece of serious scholarship. Whether any of these points are true or not, you may find yourself questioning your commitment to your chosen profession or topic and unable to begin the dissertation.

You may start to feel like your head will explode like a bowl of hot lasagna in a microwave if you don't turn in your @#$@#$ prospectus sooooon.

Thursday, May 24

The Chronicle: Career Network: 05/18/2001 I watched my mentors in college and graduate school driven to play Ping-Pong with their academic careers and their children's lives. I haven't had to sacrifice my children for my job or my job for my children. That ease has brought me closer to my work -- just as being a parent has brought me closer to my students.
The desire to meld my work and family life is also what brought me to the community college. It is yet another reason that I can say without qualification: Both professionally and personally, teaching at a community college is the best thing that ever happened to me.

What? Teaching at a community college isn't a shameful admission of defeat? Imagine that!

Diary by Zac Unger, Firefighters' favorite diversion: wildly elaborate practical jokes.  by Zac Unger The worst thing about CPR is that it is almost never effective, yet we persist in this ritual flogging of the dead. By definition we only attempt the procedure on dead people—folks with no pulse or respiratory effort—so the rate of success is understandably low. CPR works best with people who are young and healthy to begin with and suffer some sudden offense to the heart like electrocution or drug overdose. The first time I worked somebody up was early on a Christmas morning, a 27-year-old man who had been shot point-blank in the head. I pumped on him vigorously all the way to the hospital, rode the gurney like they do on television so I could keep doing compressions right into the E.R. Out of breath, I gave my report to a bored-looking trauma surgeon who glanced at me, glanced at the clock on the wall, and said only, "Time of death: 7:23. Thank you, gentlemen." End of story.

Ok. This is the last link I post without some commentary. Because then it's not really a weblog, just glorified bookmarks.

Matchstick Rocket Website Welcome to the Matchstick Rocket Lab, one of the few matchstick rocket web sites on the Internet. On this site, find out how to make matchstick rockets for both wooden and paper matches, with tips to help you fly them.

We have Wash Your Hands! posters, we have Everyone Poops bumper stickers, we have Animal Tails posters. Send us a self addressed stamped envelope: 9 inch by 12 inch envelope with 5 oz. worth of postage for the posters; 9 inch by 4 inch envelope with 1 oz. worth of postage for a bumper sticker.
Attn: free stuff
Kane/Miller Book Publishers
PO Box 8515 La Jolla, CA 92038
(858)456-0540 phone
(858)456-9641 fax

Wednesday, May 23

Plastic | David Gelernter's New Desktop For the past year or so, I've found myself using my mail client, Eudora, as my default scratch notepad; when I need to jot down a number or sketch out a few quick ideas or take notes during a meeting -- anytime I'm doing quick, spontaneous writing -- I find myself doing it in an email message, and not a word processor or a notepad application. It took me a while to notice that I had developed this habit, but once I did, I tried to figure out what was drawing me to Eudora over more conventional tools.

Sunday, May 20

Mitsubishi Eclipse Song Answer The song is "Start the Commotion" by the Wiseguys.

Wednesday, May 16 ~ the twiddler the speed (or rather, the lack thereof) is frustrating.
every five minutes i toss the thing aside, resume my usual
breakneck pace, and only put it on when i have a very short
email to write, or have a few moments set aside to practice

JamCam hacking Hacking the JamCam

Phantom Model Sports Next, we ran the car at full speed into the wall of the shop. Smack!, and not a scratch, reversed the car and repeated it many times. Apart from paint falling off, I am impressed! We rolled the car, made jumps and ran it down a flight of stairs. Results - not a bruise. The car was taken to the bitumen and concrete carpark next door. On concrete, the standard tyres did not have much traction due to the amount of dust on the floor. At times, we had to brush and clean the mechanical speed controller to keep the car going. On bitumen, excellent grip, however, the tyres were getting chopped up pretty badly, deep scratches also started to appear under the chassis. This is due to the low ground clearance of this car.

Quit Today! Alternatives to Slashdot

Tuesday, May 15

Twiddler The Twiddler is a pocket-sized mouse pointer and keyboard that straps into the palm of one’s hand leaving the other hand free. It plugs into both keyboard and serial ports on IBM-compatible PC's and works on DOS, MS Windows, Unix, and Palm Pilot operating systems. Its special keypad incorporates "chord" keying which consists of pressing key combinations to generate a specific character. With only 12 finger keys and 6 thumb keys, the twiddler can emulate the 101keys on the standard keyboard.
Advantages for Nursing:
Could replace more archaic methods of transcription
One-handed operation leaves the other hand free
Sealed construction eliminates dust and dirt problems
Fast learning curve claimed by the manufacturer

Yahoo! Groups : dem-press Messages :Message 48 of 49 AL GORE WON FLORIDA BY 145 VOTES - GEORGE W. BUSH SHOULD RESIGN

According to statewide count of Florida's 111,261 overvotes by the Miami
Herald and USA Today, Al Gore gained 682 clear votes - more than enough to
eclipse the 537 vote lead held by George W. Bush when the U.S. Supreme
Court stopped the recount on December 12.

Had these votes been counted on Election Day - as required by Florida law -
Al Gore would have been declared the winner by 145 votes. News | California gas artificially overpriced El Paso Natural Gas Co. and its affiliates negotiated contracts with each other and boosted the cost of natural gas nearly 500 percent during the 12 months ending in February, the Energy Oversight Subcommittee says in a report to be issued Monday

Deep in the Heart, of Texas!

The Peculiar Ruins of the New Economy Now we're at one of those pivot moments, when one fascination pales and the next object of our entrancement and contempt hasn't come into view. What will it be? Biotech? Religion? Only Madonna knows for sure

The Peculiar Ruins of the New Economy And so just like a used-bong sale in 1978 or a yellow-tie auction in 1990, scenes like this, replicated across the country, bring a psychological decade to a sobering close. What started out as the biggest revolution in communications since Gutenberg ends up as a giant yard sale. Ironists will note that the technological revolution, which was supposed to move us beyond materialism, certainly is producing a lot of junk. Schadenfreuders, on the other hand, are now getting more pleasure out of the dot-com collapse than the dot-commers ever got out of their ascent.

Monday, May 14

MIRACLES OF THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS The best way of visualizing the new world of A.D. 2000 is to introduce you to the Dobsons, who live in Tottenville, a hypothetical metropolitan suburb of 100,000. There are parks and playgrounds and green open spaces not only around detached houses but also around apartment houses. The heart of the town is the airport. Surrounding it are business houses, factories and hotels. In concentric circles beyond these lie the residential districts.
Tottenville is as clean as a whistle and quiet. It is a crime to burn raw coal and pollute air with smoke and soot. In the homes electricity is used to warm walls and to cook. Factories all burn gas, which is generated in sealed mines. The tars are removed and sold to the chemical industry for their values, and the gas thus laundered is piped to a thousand communities.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Lament for Douglas Adams He laughed at himself with equal good humour. At, for example, his epic bouts of writer's block ("I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by") when, according to legend, his publisher and book agent would lock him in a hotel room, with no telephone and nothing to do but write, releasing him only for supervised walks. If his enthusiasm ran away with him and he advanced a biological theory too eccentric for my professional scepticism to let pass, his mien at my dismissal of it would always be more humorously self-mocking than genuinely crestfallen. And he would have another go.

Richard Dawkins, on Douglas Adams.

Thursday, May 10

Wanna Be a Project Manager? Project management isn't rocket science. People have been doing it for a long time in many disciplines other than Web production, such as software and game development.

(((Meanwhile, as I was saying earlier, 2001 is
America's 1983 Redux. People who didn't believe that Al
Gore invented the Internet should be properly surprised to
see it vanish so quickly without him around. In the
corny zeitgeist of Bush II, 1989 never took place, so
we've got Cold War II, Energy Crisis II, Star Wars II, and
Stagflation Economy II, while telephone monopolies and
giant oil companies rule the Congress.

--Bruce Sterling,

Wednesday, May 9

Using the Internet to Pick up Babes and/or Hunks . I may look like a wreck myself with my sagging flesh and fluorescent tan but after watching 97,000 hours of network television, I feel entitled to a life partner who looks like Christie Brinkley.

Plastic | Reducing The Juice By Zipping The Lip -- Bush Recommends Email Cutbacks For California those damn email fairies, using up all our electricity! everyone knows when you don't give them their email they just stay asleep in their fairy cities, or "servers" whatever that means! I'm glad Bush understands email as much as me!

FEED | Digital Culture - The Taste Test I think -- and this is a subject on which reasonable people can disagree -- but I think that implicit information that's gathered about how people use information is much more valuable than explicit. The great example of that is the Nielsen ratings. It used to be that the Nielsen ratings were generated with journals. And the average American household according to Nielsen watched Masterpiece Theater and Sesame Street.

FEED | Digital Culture - The Taste Test Interestingly enough, his latest, as-of-yet-unpublished book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, documents a future where Walt Disney World is run by an elaborate collaborative filtering system. The overlap between Doctorow's day job at OpenCola and his night job writing fiction makes for a unique combination: It's almost like William Gibson launching a company that sells neural plugs and stim-sims.

Tuesday, May 8

((((( Vox Pop ))))) Perhaps my all-time favorite non-fiction radio piece was produced in 1984 by Scott Carrier. For several months he hung with the mostly homeless protesters living across from the White House in "Lafeyette Park." These two 2.5-minute segments, from this 15-minute documentary5, start with Scott's intro narration, and end with one of the wackos Scott came to call a friend: 28K | 14K (5:21 excerpts).

Radio College - Speaker Series Scott Carrier replying to Rebecca Rumsey.

Karma applies to interviewing in that I think you
immediately get back what you give out, and it applies to
production or the finished piece in that I am responsible
and accountable for the validity of my work.

As far as Bowden is concerned, I like his work because he
doesn't write like anyone else. I like all those things
you mentioned about him. He writes what he wants to write,
and doesn't worry about the critics. Maybe someday he'll
get the attention that he deserves. Right now, hardly
anyone reads him.

As far as your other questions, I just don't understand
them. Sorry. Maybe if you could say them in another,
simpler, way. It seems like you're asking, How do I know
I'm doing the right thing? And the answer to that is I
don't. I just try to do the best thing I can think of at
the time. It's entirely possible I'm completely f***ed up,
most of the time.

Reply to Nick:

I really like that sentence, "Monday morning I call a big
drum woman at the Mole Lake Chippewa." I bet it was a good
piece of tape.

Radio College - Speaker Series Reply to Phil Easley's question about hearing good tape.

Phil, if you can be moved emotionally by other people's
stories, then you are capable of being moved by tape that
you gather yourself. If you have some tape that doesn't
seem to be doing anything, then go get some more, either by
re-interviewing the same people and asking the questions
that you really want answers to, or by finding somebody
new. "If the wine is no good then throw it
out"--Charleston Heston in "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (I
think). The process is usually painful. Another piece of
advice, from the writer Charles Bowden--"Do what you want
to do", meaning, first figure out who you are, and then
don't be swayed by other people's opinions and rules. Ask
yourself, What do I have to lose? In radio, the answer is
usually, not much.

Scott Carrier

Wonder if this works for research.

Linux Magazine | February 2001 | FEATURES | Double Agents Of course, Linux is good for a lot more than just serving up Web pages -- a Linux box running SAMBA makes a better SMB-based file and print server for Windows clients than native Windows servers do. We've all heard stories of system administrators who snuck a Linux server running SAMBA into a Windows network, and the only thing users noticed was that the file server seemed to be faster and never crashed any more. Health -- The Nun Study So he and Mortimer, along with University of Kansas psychologist Susan Kemper, began analyzing the autobiographies for evidence of such extra capacity. Kemper, an expert on the effects of aging on language usage, had earlier shown that "idea density" — the number of discrete ideas per 10 written words — was a good marker of educational level, vocabulary and general knowledge. Grammatical complexity, meanwhile, was an indicator of how well memory was functioning. Health -- The Nun Study Because the records were relatively standardized, Snowdon could extend his study of aging far beyond the few years in late life that such studies traditionally cover. Most precious of all were the autobiographies written by each sister on her entry into the order. They were full of basic information about where the sisters were born, who their parents and siblings were, and why each one decided to join the order. With these documents, moreover, Snowdon now had an objective measure of the sisters' cognitive abilities while they were still young and in their prime. An epidemiologist could not have designed a better way to evaluate them across time. "For many years," says the National Institute's Suzman, "we had an inadequate sense of how connected late-life health, function and cognition were to early life. But in the past decade, spurred by the Nun Study, there is a growing appreciation for that connectedness."

Monday, May 7

William Gibson Globe and Mail Story "I'm owning Rydell's awareness of its banality. It probably had something to do with being southern. For some reason, I've been much more conscious of that over the last few years. It's probably because my friend Jack Womak has a thesis that he and I write the way we do because we're southern and we experienced the very tail end of the premeditated south, in a culture that violence had always been a part of. It wasn't an aberration, though I realise that in retrospect, it was. I grew up in the part of the U.S. where all of Cormack McCarthy's novels are set -- that's a pretty violent place. There's violence in my culture. It's an American thing, but it's particularly a southern thing, and its romanticization is hyper-southern. And it's still irresistible to me, even in middle age. There's something that pulls me to that, but at the same time, I have this increasing awareness of how banal it really is -- that evil is inherently banal."

William Gibson, on the banality of Southern Violence.

Saturday, May 5

P2PTracker - Opinion | 7 Questions with Cory Doctorow Give us a brief history of OpenCola and tell us how it works.
OpenCola was the brainchild, initially at least, of Grad Conn, John Henson, and me -- the three founders of OpenCola. We set out to build a technology that we could use to stay abreast of some Web sites, finding new stuff that interested us and suggesting it to our attention. Feature-creep and fertile imaginations set in and before long, we were talking about building a gargantuan, generalized, realtime collaborative filter -- whew! -- that is, a piece of software that you could throw any kind of file at, and it would nearly instantaneously put that file in front of everyone who'd likely be interested in it.
In the real world, this turns out to be something very like a "TiVo for the Internet" -- a piece of software that figures out what your about by looking at some explicit information (dropping files you like into your Folder, telling your TiVo to record your favorite program), and thereafter devotes itself to tirelessly scouring the Internet for two things: Free to Be Mezines
While online content plays continue to struggle for profits, a growing group of writers are finding personal publishing may also make for good business.

Friday, May 4

Plastic | Never Let Them See You Sweat -- Harvard Sit-In, Day 16 I think it's great to see ultra-smart people doing something positive for the community, rather than building doomsday devices to hold the Super Bowl hostage, or devising giant lasers that would blow up the earth unless a hefty ransom is paid.

Someday these kids are going to be sitting in a giant office, smoking cigars that they lit with hundred dollar bills and deciding which small town factory to shut down. But for now, they're giving something back. And that's really something.

AskTog: Internet Perspective The day of endless free stuff on the web is coming to a close. It may be replaced with a foolish economic model requiring endless and expensive subscriptions to services most people would rarely use. It may be built on a model that allows a whole lot of people to pay a tiny price for accessing those tiny pieces of information they actually need, either through micropayments or some sort of collective purchase system, a la AOL. If it is the former, the Web will grow slowly. If it is the latter, it will grow vigorously. Either way, it will grow.

Handheld Library Handheld Library
Resources for handheld devices.

This page contains all of the LDS stuff for your palm pilot. It requires you to download *their* specialized reader, which is pretty good but also proprietary. Ugh. You can get conference talks, sunday school reading schedules, the priesthood/relief society manuals, etc. Home Free Download
Palm OS v1.0.2 English--palm reader

This is the palm doc reader put out by Peanut Press. It's got more features than Cspotrun, but may only use proprietary doc formats.

Visor Village: Text Editors: DocInOut DocInOut 2.41

This is a great program for converting plain text to palm pilot docs.

Thursday, May 3

Avantgo Blogger A Blogger client for Avantgo

No Gadget Safe From Home-Style Hacks No Gadget Safe From Home-Style Hacks

gladwell dot com-- The Pitchman If Ron had been the one to introduce the VCR, in other words,
he would not simply have sold it in an infomercial. He would also
have changed the VCR itself, so that it made sense in an infomercial.
The clock, for example, wouldn't be digital. (The haplessly blinking
unset clock has, of course, become a symbol of frustration.) The
tape wouldn't be inserted behind a hidden door--it would be out
in plain view, just like the chicken in the rotisserie, so that
if it was recording you could see the spools turn. The controls
wouldn't be discreet buttons; they would be large, and they would
make a reassuring click as they were pushed up and down, and each
step of the taping process would be identified with a big, obvious
numeral so that you could set it and forget it.

Wednesday, May 2

O'Reilly Network: JavaScript: How Did We Get Here? [Apr. 06, 2001] JavaScript has conquered the Web. So why don't you know more about it? What is there to know? How should you begin to address your long-standing neglect of this powerful and mature language? We'll address these issues and more in our next article.

Tuesday, May 1

Novice vs. Expert Users (Alertbox Feb. 2000) It is time to take expert user performance more seriously on the Web.

Boston Globe Online / Living | Arts / Obsession with writing is a world unto itself Writers - and engineers and scholars and scientists and inventors and lawyers and detectives - who are fortunate to find a problem that cannot be contained in a course or a semester look up one day and find a lifetime has passed and an itch has become a career.

Pearson Techonology Group - Literacy Acquisition and Social Context Literacy Acquisition and Social Context 1/e

Delivery Action research points in the direction of a Copernican revolution in professional development and school improvement by placing teacher learning, rather than teacher training, in a prominent position in the teacher-education sky. - Conquering the interview: An special report "No one is better qualified to cover the subject of interviews," he confesses. "I job-hopped my way through life making every interview mistake in the book, short of hurling obnoxious interviewers out windows. I speak from experience."

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