August 2005

Most parental control software ‘ineffective and difficult to use’

Computing Which?, tested six popular packages aimed at protecting children online and found they are no substitute for parents being vigilant.
“Software can help make the internet a safer environment for children but there’s no substitute for parental involvement. Parents need to take an active role in monitoring what their children are looking at online so they don’t inadvertently put them at risk.”

WNUNet Has the excuses.

FBI library records probe hits home

The Greenwich Time has a half way interesting look at the progress of the lawsuit after disclosures that federal agents have used the Patriot Act to try to seize users’ records at a Fairfield County library.
“It’s closer to home and it makes us stop and think and see what impact this law has on local libraries,” said Gonzalez, a member of the Connecticut Library Association. “A lot of people are very concerned about it and want to know what develops out of this.”
Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., said it “boggles” him that librarians — who he said normally comply with other types of law enforcement investigations — feel the need to oppose anti-terrorism probes.
Librarians interviewed said they did not know which library FBI agents approached.

Reagan Library Finds Thousands of Additional Roberts Documents

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library said Tuesday that it had discovered thousands of previously undisclosed documents related to the work of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., adding a potential last-minute complication to the hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

The National Archives said the Reagan library contained 55 million pages and had opened more than 51,000 pages of records relating to Judge Roberts.

I do read books – Victoria Beckham

If you’re like me you lost a few nights of sleep after learning Posh had never read a book. Well rest easy tonite, The Scotsman reports Victoria Beckham has revealed that she does read books – she just does not often finish them.

“I always start them, get distracted, and never seem to get the time to finish them – I’m sure all mothers with three boys know what I mean,” she said. has more on this super important story.

Nancy Drew Gets Symposium to Celebrate 75th

The University of Maryland is throwing Nancy Drew a party in the form of an exhibit and symposium that will run until the end of the year.

Nancy Drew and Friends: Girls’ Series Books Rediscovered. This exhibit, which opens September 1 in Hornbake Library and runs through the end of the year, examines the impact that girls’ series books—from Nancy Drew to Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames and many more—have had on the life and culture of America, and showcases the Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection of more than 300 books from 33 different series published from 1917-1980.

More from this press release.

“It can be proven that most claimed research findings are false.”

A provocative essay from PLoS Medicine claims bias is present in most published research findings.

The study didn’t even need to include the Sokal Affair or random papers in its analysis, but it does discuss the so-called “file-drawer effect” (although some journals for negative results do exist).
There are also implications for the peer review process. An interesting read for those interested in the structure of scientific method.

Weather Websites Felt Internet Storm as Hurricane Approached

As Hurricane Katrina was about to make landfall, many major weather
monitoring sites slowed to a crawl under heavy server demands, with sporadic
outages reported.

Keynote Systems Inc–a website monitoring company–reports that
was largely unavailable from roughly 6 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday night. It is a contention disputes. The National Weather Service held up well, with drop offs in service speed reported on midday Monday. Major news sites such as and also reported slowdowns as countless users visited in search of news.

Taiwan CCA calls for reinventing public libraries into cultural centers

Anonymous Patron writes News From Taiwan. If the Council for Cultural Affairs has its way, the public library will soon become a lifelong center of culture and learning in townships and villages.

In a recent interview, CCA head Chen Chi-nan (陳其å?—) said that township libraries were at the bottom of the multi-tiered public library system and needed to reinvent themselves or become obsolete.”