“Love Your Library” license plates

NY State is creating a new library-themed license plate, proceeds for which are going to benefit the statewide summer reading program. Vote for your favorite design! Me, I voted for the one on the right, with the heart design. While I like the globe motif of the other design better, you can barely read the word “library” on that one. If we’re going to have a library license plate, I.. Read More

$2.57 trillion & bad evaluation methodology

The Bush Administration needs a good lesson in program evaluation: President Bush today unveiled a $2.57 trillion budget that eliminates dozens of politically sensitive domestic programs… “It’s a budget that focuses on results,” Bush said today before a cabinet meeting. “The taxpayers of America don’t want us spending our money into something that’s not achieving results,” he said. “… I fully understand that sometimes it’s hard to eliminate a program.. Read More

The First Amendment, who needs it?

Freedom of what?, from CNN …when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes “too far” in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories. I wrote a big long rant about this yesterday but didn’t post it. I’ve now deleted big chunks of.. Read More

The Evil Empire vs. Don’t Be Evil

Microsoft releases Google rival, from CNN Because, as the author of this article from Technology Review, wrote: “Microsoft doesn’t innovate, they just steal other people’s ideas and turn them into mediocre products.” Though this does sound useful: One new capability that Microsoft will be introducing with Monday’s launch is the ability to create RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, feeds that allows users to track search results through an incoming data.. Read More

The rise and rise of spam

Law Barring Junk E-Mail Allows a Flood Instead, from the NY Times Since the Can Spam Act went into effect in January 2004, unsolicited junk e-mail on the Internet has come to total perhaps 80 percent or more of all e-mail sent, according to most measures. That is up from 50 percent to 60 percent of all e-mail before the law went into effect. How do you force a profitable.. Read More

E to the B

Bartender, Pour Me Another Cup, from the WaPo America’s largest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch, released its latest product last week – a beer that contains caffeine. It saddens me that this is Budweiser, and not actually a good beer. The January 2005 issue of National Geographic had an article about caffeine, and it mentioned that a popular club drink these days is Red Bull and vodka, so I suppose this is.. Read More

Human-Computer Collaboration

Tool for Thought, from the NY Times Now, strictly speaking, who is responsible for that initial idea? Was it me or the software? It sounds like a facetious question, but I mean it seriously. Obviously, the computer wasn’t conscious of the idea taking shape, and I supplied the conceptual glue that linked the London sewers to cell metabolism. But I’m not at all confident I would have made the initial.. Read More

Collapse in Australia

Cathy, this one’s for you: Study: Large fires created Australian desert, from CNN Continuing the ongoing discussion of Collapse, another example of humans fouling their nest. It doesn’t make sense, but it saddens me more to learn about indigenous cultures destroying the environment. I suppose I expect it of modern industrial humans, but have some naïve belief that indigenous cultures were more in touch with the natural world than we.. Read More

Convocation: Conclusions

These are the conclusions that we’ve come to at the Convocation on Scholarly Communication, as I hear them: We, the faculty, have a lot of power. We need to get off our asses and change how we do things. Tenured faculty have to get off their asses especially. They owe it to their untenured junior colleagues, or they’ll very soon find themselves without any junior colleagues. We have to actually.. Read More