Rebuilding Iraqi Science

Lee Hadden writes: "The Scientist has an interesting story about the fate of science in Iraq.
"Rebuilding Iraqi Science" by Sam Jaffe is found in the July 14, 2003,
issue, beginning on page 22.
At the Natural History Museum, "The looting and destruction
continued. Then the looters became arsonists. Someone tried to light papers
in the library, and Rahab followed them in. After the fire started raging
and the firesetters fled, Rahab poured what little water he could find on
the flames, and then stamped out the rest with his shoes. At one point he
fell to the floor and used his hands to extinguish the flames.


Library students test Internet freeware

Great news from SUNY Buffalo, where The School of Informatics is testing Koha, the revolutionary freeware integrated library-automation system that can be used to automate all of the daily functions of libraries, from recording the purchase of materials and helping patrons to find them, to billing them for overdue books or rentals.
According to Christopher Brown-Syed, assistant professor in the school's Department of Library and Information Studies, the system not only will be a tremendous boon to not-for-profit and under-funded libraries in information-poor nations, but the testing provides UB library and information studies students with training, knowledge and experience rarely available in library schools.
You can download it yourself RIght Here.


Shredded paper can be reconstituted

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Librarians should know that governments around the world have been able to rebuild shredded paper, if it is reduced to confetti. The
Story From The NYTimes. "

It says advanced scanning technology makes it possible to reconstruct documents previously thought safe from prying eyes, sometimes even pages that have been ripped into confetti-size pieces. And although a great deal of sensitive information is stored digitally these days, recent corporate scandals have shown that the paper shredder is still very much in use.


Yahoo to buy Overture for $1.63 billion

"Yahoo announced Monday that it plans to buy search firm Overture Services in a $1.63 billion deal, in a move squarely aimed at taking on competitors in the search engine market."

"The deal calls for each share of Overture stock to be exchanged for 0.6108 share of Yahoo and $4.75 in cash, valuing each share of Overture at $24.63, roughly a 15 percent premium over Overture's closing price on Friday."

"Yahoo said the deal will allow it to expand its pay-for-performance search business and expand contextual advertising throughout its network. Overture specializes in selling advertising links that accompany search results on sites like Yahoo and MSN. It's a market where search rival Google has been making inroads." (from CNET)


Will Microsoft control our information access?

/usr/lib/info has a neat little Opinion Piece on Digital Restrictions Management Technology (DRM).
The author paints a fairly scary picture of how this technology might easily expand to cover all formats and all electronic information, and how it might do so with the blessing of John Q. Public.
Microsoft has started building DRM into most of its content tools and Microsoft could incorporate DRM into its office suite, which could kill fair use. As if all of this isn\'t scary enough, look at Microsoft\'s plans for IE.
Full Story, and discussion.


The Serpent Beguiled Me

I ask that the readers of this service beg my pardon for a digression from the usual line of library topics in order to assist me with a personal difficulty. Today, while I was minding my own business a disaster befell my household.


New tool organizes vast collections of e-mail

SomeOne writes \"The USC News Service Has This One on a new tool created by USC researchers organizes vast collections of e-mail. Designed for the information age, it offers interesting applications for archivists and others. Called \"eArchivarius,\" the new system uses sophisticated search software developed for Internet search engines such as Google to detect important relationships between messages and people by taking advantage of inherent clues that exist in e-mail collections. \"


U.N. Wants Poor Nations to Use Wireless Internet

We've all been bamboozled with WiFi hype. Many people gave their vitriolic responses to a story I posted in March. Now here's an article advocating WiFi as a solution to the worlds problems!

"It is precisely in places where no infrastructure exists that Wi-Fi can be particularly effective, helping countries to leapfrog generations of telecommunications technology and infrastructure and empower their people," Kofi Annan said.

Does he have a point? Is this just U.S. corporations trying to get into a new market?
Here's the full story


Predicting The Future

Lee Hadden writes " There is an interesting article in the American Scientist that
discusses predictions made in 1986 about the future of science, and what
became true and what did not over the next 17 years. There is some
interesting speculation about publishing and libraries- it is seldom done
when some one makes predictions that they re-visit their ideas and show
what came true and what did not.
See: American Scientist, Volume 91, May-June 2003, pages 250-253.
"Science in 2006, Revisited: From grid computing to genomics, the science
fiction of 1986 is fast becoming science fact. There remains equal reward
in the signal and in the noise." By Lewis M. Branscomb
"On one point I was actually too pessimistic (although literally
accurate) in predicting that by 2006 automatic language translation would
"remain incompletely solved." Finally, I correctly predicted the confusion
that would engulf tenure and promotion committees in their attempt to
define publication so they could decide who should perish. Even in 1986 it
was clear that authors would become publishers, and scientists would not
wait to learn the latest research advances until the print materials
arrived in the snail mail."

Read more about it at:
And the original 1986 American Scientist article



Taking computer technology to the extreme

Steve Fesenmaier writes "GPS, satellite phones, and wearable computers have allowed explorers from the poles to transmit images of each step. Great picts and websites for extreme explorers.

NYTimes Has The Story "



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