Saturday, March 29, 2008
User comments are eagerly solicited all over the web, and are an expression of the "participatory architecture" that defines web2.0. It would be hard to deny that the wealth of informative and insightful commentary one finds on the web is valuable; and equally hard to deny that the vast quantities of astonishingly moronic, hateful and misinformed commentary dumb the web down to a lowest common denominator. Comments and thumbs up/thumbs down ratings attached to controversial stories on news sites often strike me as a particularly mindless use of comments, and it's depressing to think that this kind of feedback will impact what editors decide is newsworthy. About a year ago, Google News implemented comments, but with a twist; only those mentioned in the news story, or affiliated with organizations in the story, are entitled to comment. This strikes me as a new and constructive use of comments, and if it catches on could raise the quality of news on the net and be a useful corrective to irresponsible journalism. Here's an example. You can see all the Google News comments by clicking on the "Comments by people in the news" link at the bottom of the "Edit this personalized page" section in the upper right part of the screen. You can also search for comments on particular topics using the "source:google_news searchword" syntax.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Comprehensive | Candidate Matching | Candidate Web Sites and Comparison
Debates | Endorsements | Michigan Presidential Primary | Primaries | Primary Results
Michigan Candidates/Proposals | Michigan Presidential Primary | State Candidates/Proposals
Advertising | Campaign Finances | Campaign Schedules | Candidate Resources | Conventions | Debates
Fact Checkers | Gaming | Humor | Internet Use | Legal Issues | Lobby Groups
Lobby Group Ratings | Media Coverage | Platforms | Political Parties | Public Opinion Polls
Energy | Federal Budget and Debt | Gay Marriage | Global Warming | Health Insurance Coverage
Immigration | Iran | Iraq | Medicare Prescription Drugs | Mortgage Crisis | Presidential Primary Competition
State Children's Health Insurance Program | Social Security | Stem Cell Research | Terrorism
General Election Results - 2008 | Presidential Primaries | Pres Primary Results | State Primaries
Election Laws | Electoral College | Voter Registration & Participation
Saturday, March 22, 2008
(if the audio plays back at very high "chipmunk" frequency, you need to download the newest vision of Flash Player)
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
80 Online Resources for Book Lovers...
Zigmas Bigelis creates a mega-list of 80 tools and applications sure to be of interest to librarians and other book lovers. I knew quite a few of these, but was pleased to find some that were new to me such as Paperback Swap and Free Tech Books. The list is categorized into the following sections:
- Social Networking for Book Lovers
- Online Bookstores
- Find the Best Prices for Books
- Study Guides and Summaries
- Library Resources
- Bibliography and Research
- Book Exchanges/Swapping
- Online Documents
- What to Read
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
When I was issued a shiny new PDA a few years ago, I was saddened to realize I didn't have any to-do items to enter into the gadget - and no completed tasks either. My life is evidently too unimportant and lacking in note-down worthy contacts, appointments, and events to populate even the most basic Palm Pilot; the occasional post-it note will do. A second disappointment was that a good electronic encyclopedia/dictionary for a PDA was much harder to find than I had anticipated. There were plenty of basic student dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries, but none that contained the more obscure words that one really needs a dictionary for. And for me, it's essential to look up an unfamiliar word immediately when I come across it, reading on the train, for example, otherwise I forget about it. So, after a few failed attempts to find some use for it, I put the PDA in a drawer where it has languished ever since. Two years ago I was at Marks and Spencer in London and discovered - with a great cry of "Eureka" - the Seiko ER8000 electronic Concise Britannica and Oxford Concise Dictionary. Just £99, and I've carried it with me ever since, and have had the definitions and facts I need at hand. Rarely do I look up a word without finding it - though I admit, today I looked in vain for "rudas" (The Unspeakable Skipton), but I did find "peridot" (same book). The ER8000 runs (for years) on two AAA batteris, and is decidedly low-tech. With portable gadgets nowadays boasting gigs of memory and internet connectivity - the ER8000 is fast becoming an obsolete artifact, like an electronic typewriter. But for someone as easily distracted as me, having the internet with me at all times would be completely debilitating. In addition to the dictionary and encyclopedia, the ER8000 has synonyms, phrases, and 9000 quotations. And even some edifying games - last summer in Florence, I contentedly sat on a bench and played jumble while my wife and daughter went shopping. Buy your ER8000 today, it will soon be a thing of the past!
Monday, March 17, 2008
p.s - here's another one, this one of Clapton and Santana going bonkers
Seems to be a new genre, called "shred"
for comparison, here's the original...
"The Christian Science Monitor announced the launch of Patchwork Nation (www.csmonitor.com/patchworknation) , a new election 2008 site that says it offers a fresh approach to covering politics. Funded by the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization, the new website replaces the conventional red-state/blue-state maps with one that examines the election through the lens of 11 different types of communities around the country. Bloggers from the 11 designated locales are writing about key issues in their communities, how the issues affect residents’ votes, and how the candidates tailor their messages to a particular audience."
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Porn vs. Prostitution Why is it legal to pay someone for sex on camera?
Michelle Tsai March 14, 2008
March 14, 2008
Legally Blind? How bad is David Paterson's vision?
Alex Joseph March 13, 2008
Deadly Sins 101 Is stem-cell research worse than sloth?
Samantha Henig March 12, 2008
How To Prosecute Eliot Spitzer Which federal laws might the governor have broken?
Harlan J. Protass March 11, 2008
Can't Touch This Why Italians grab their crotches to ward off bad luck.
Juliet Lapidos March 4, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
This post is 2 years old, but the Newspaper Clipping Generator is still there, and still fun, so here it comes again..
The Newspaper Clipping Generator is a fun tool that bears some resemblance to the Einstein blackboard tool, reviewed above. Just type in a text, and the Newspaper Clipping Generator will produce an authentic-looking newspaper article containing your text. With the help of this little tool, it is truly amazing what you can find in ProQuest's Historical Newspapers database!
This reminds me of an even more impressive tool, CiteBite, which I posted about a year ago at ircworld. It does essentially the same thing as awesomehighlighter, but it creates a within-page anchor directly to the highlighted segment, so the recipient doesn't need to scroll to find it. And best of all, there's a Firefox extension that allows you to add this useful tool to your right mouse button menu. Just highlight text on any page, right click, and CiteBite creates the url for you. Really awesome!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The top 10 are
Sunday, March 9, 2008
- Generates high-quality, accessible investigative reports, databases and contextual analysis on issues of public importance.
- Disseminates work to journalists, policymakers, scholars and citizens using a combination of digital, electronic and print media.
- Educates, engages and empowers citizens with tools and skills they need to hold governments and other institutions accountable.
- Organizes and supports investigative journalists around the world who apply the Center's goals and standards to cross-border projects.
- Remains independent by building a strong and sustainable financial base of support, including a community of committed individuals and foundations.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
This month: March 2008
Special Issue! Critical Perspectives on Web 2.0
This special issue, edited by Michael Zimmer of the Information Society Project at the Yale Law School, exposes, explores, and explains the ideological meanings as well as the social, political, and ethical implications of Web 2.0.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
One of my very favorite reference books is Denys Parsons' The Directory of Tunes (1975). Identifying a tune is essentially a reverse lookup process, since what you have in your head is the concept and what you want to look up is its designation. The challenge is to devise some sort of lookup table for those concepts; obviously alphabet, subject or chronology will not work, and even if you read music, how would you look up your piece among thousands of samples of musical notation? Parson's ingenious system is based on the relationships of the 12 first notes of a melody to one another. He designates the first note with an asterisk, then indicates whether each subsequent note moves up, down or repeats the pitch of the preceding note. Using the letters D(down) R(repeat) , and U(up), the opening of the Toreador's song from Bizet's Carmen would be rendered thus: *UDDRR DUUDU DUDDD. The entries - some 17,000 of them, mostly classical but also popular songs pre-1947 - are arranged alphabetically. Parson's book has been out of print for many years, and has become something of a collectors item...I was lucky enough to get a copy years ago through a book search agent. Now, however, the wonderful Musipedia has scanned Parson's entries and recorded them in a database...just select the "Melodic Contour" option and enter the Parson notation, and you can lookup the tune online. Musipedia also provides rhythm search, keyboard search, and even a recorder that allows you to hum or whistle your tune for identification. A wonderful site to explore if you're interested in music.