Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

From today's Washington Post:

"It's odd to hear Vinton Cerf, regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, to gush over ink-on-paper books.

The electronic pioneer and computer scientist, who now works as Google's chief Internet evangelist, is also a bibliophile who has a collection of about 10,000 hard-copy volumes lining shelves at his home in McLean.

These days, Cerf is busy promoting Google's plan to marry his two passions — books and the Internet — by digitizing millions of library books."

Read the whole thing here.

Excellent article in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education by Linda Kerber, President of the American Historical Association, about the importance of preserving our nation’s historical record. In the article she discusses three recent incidents where the government has withdrawn information that was previously accessible to the public, and the impact that this will have on future generations.

The more the integrity of the national records is compromised, the more
flawed will be the history we write and the history we read. Memoirs,
personal papers, news reports — many are important sources for
historical scholarship, but they are written by individuals who,
however fair-minded, have their own perspectives that can skew the
historical narrative. None are substitutes for the archival record.

Read the whole thing here.

Scan This Book!

Court to Rule on Delaware Public Records Law 

Published: May 12, 2006

PHILADELPHIA, May 11 — A panel of federal appeals court judges will rule on the constitutionality of Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, which denies nonresidents access to public records in the state, the legal home of many major corporations.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held a hearing here on Thursday in the case.

Ten other states — including two in the Third Circuit, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have laws similar to the one in Delaware.

Courtesy of Michael Arrington’s Techcrunch:

More Microsoft news today: Live.com has announced the upcoming launch of QnA, and a few screen shots have been conveniently leaked as well (see end of post).

QnA is a question and answer service that looks like it will be a very close copy of Yahoo Answers. Google’s comparable service, Google Answers,
relies on paid experts to generate answers. Microsoft QnA and Yahoo
Answers, in contrast, allow anyone to answer questions, and the answers
are ranked by other users.

National Archives Says Records Were Wrongly Classified

WASHINGTON, April 26 — An audit by the National Archives of more
than 25,000 historical documents withdrawn from public access since
1999 found that more than a third did not contain sensitive information
justifying classification, archives officials announced Wednesday.


They said the removal of the
remaining two-thirds was technically justified, though many had already
been published or contained old secrets with little practical import.

Even
withdrawing those documents that included truly significant secrets may
have done more harm than good by calling new attention to the
sensitivity of records that researchers had read and photocopied for
years, the officials said.

“The irony is that some of these
reviews have actually exacerbated any possible damage to national
security,” said J. William Leonard, head of the archives’ Information
Security Oversight Office and the government’s overseer of
classification of records.

“You have no idea what they have here. I’m not the college-educated guy. I’m the street-educated guy. This has been my college.”

Mr.
Sabol, 49, is one of more than 63,000 entrepreneurs, investors and
small-business owners who have been trained at the business library to
search its thousands of print and electronic resources for real-life
business applications. The library is one of four specialized research
centers operated by the New York Public Library.

The $100
million library, planned with New York’s businessmen and women in mind,
opened a decade ago with a research collection of 1.2 million books,
millions of patent documents and more than 110,000 periodicals. Since
then, it has evolved into a dynamic, industry-focused learning center
that takes advantage of modern technology with databases and classes
tailored to New York industry sectors, said Kristin McDonaugh, the
director.

All You Need Is An Idea, and Good Connections“-from Sunday’s NY Times

"TALK of decline was old news in academia even in 1898, when
traditionalists blasted Harvard for ending its Greek entrance
requirement. But today there's a new twist in the story: Are search
engines making today's students dumber?"

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/26/opinion/26tenner.html

From my perspective, I don't believe that it is making them dumber, but instead gives them a degree of confidence that the information they have located is 1000% correct. When asked to verify the information with a second source, they will find another link that shows the same thing. When asked to verify the information with a non-electronic source, they are oftentimes lost.

From Bonnie Shucha’s WisBlawg-From the UW Law Library:

Artwork courtesy of UW’s Document Assistant, Margaret Booth.

“The celebration marks the evolution of a publication that began as a
two-column, 16-page gazette of the burgeoning federal bureaucracy
created by the New Deal. It has progressed from a diary of completed
rulemakings — usually about five items a day at first — to an
Internet-based reference that allowed some 208 million documents to be
downloaded in 2004.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/06/AR2006030601757.html

“Accoona Matata”?

From Bob Tedeschi’s E-Commerce Report Column in today’s NY Times:

SINCE Google reached its perch atop the Internet world, challengers have emerged from all over Silicon Valley. So why not from Jersey City?

That’s the home of Accoona.com, the latest entry on the list of would-be search engine kings. The privately held Jersey City-based company announced last week a search engine that it says uses a heavy dose of artificial intelligence to find results that Google and other search sites may miss. Accoona also announced an advertising model that, in the early going at least, has impressed some industry executives and observers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/13/technology/13ecom.html