Michael Gorman, Judith Miller

US library leader questions Patriot Act, from Reuters Gorman said he would be reluctant to go to jail to defend the implicit trusted relationship between librarians and readers. “To be perfectly honest, I’m a 64-year-old academic librarian,” he said. “I’m not going to go to prison over that kind of stuff.” Now, I certainly don’t want to suggest that I think Gorman should go to jail, or even that he.. Read More

Mooers’ Law

That’s Mooers, like cows. (Oh come on, don’t say you don’t get it: cows moo, they’re moo-ers, as opposed to humans who hear the moos, making us moo-ees.) Not to be confused with Moore’s Law. Anyhoo… I don’t even remember how, but I came across a reference to Mooers’ Law recently, so I found the paper that proposes it: Mooers, C. N. (1960). Mooers’ Law; or why some retrieval systems.. Read More


Can You Predict Justice O’Connor’s Replacement? Kevin McGuire of the Poli Sci department here at Carolina is running a futures market with play money to predict who will replace Justice O’Connor. I’ve heard about these mock markets & I understand they’re almost alarmingly accurate in predicting political proceedings (a lot of alliteration from anxious anchors placed in powerful posts!). I’m totally going to participate in this one. And I’ll indulge.. Read More

$100 Laptops for Poor Nations

Group Puts $100 Laptops in Poor Countries, from AP If you believe that it’s important to bridge the digital divide in the Third World, then this is an incredibly cool idea. Me, I tend to believe that in the Third World food on tables & stable governments are just a bit more important than internet access. Though on the other hand, the Grameen Bank‘s Village Phone Program makes microloans so.. Read More

DARPA cuts CS research funding

A Blow to Computer Science Research, from the NY Times As if it wasn’t difficult enough for CS research to get funded: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Pentagon – which has long underwritten open-ended “blue sky” research by the nation’s best computer scientists – is sharply cutting such spending at universities, researchers say, in favor of financing more classified work and narrowly defined projects that promise a.. Read More

MGM v. Grokster

Oral arguments for MGM v. Grokster start tomorrow before the Supreme Court, according to this article from CNN. Docket from the Supreme Court. Compiled documents from the EFF. (Note the brief from Greg Newby!) Press releases & related news from Grokster. Tellingly, I can’t find a thing about this on MGM’s site.

ALA 2004 Most Challenged Book List

The ALA has released their list of 2004 most challenged books of 2004. Here’s the list: The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier Fallen Angels, Walter Dean Myers Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, Michael A. Bellesiles Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky What My Mother Doesn’t Know, Sonya Sones In the Night Kitchen, Maurice Sendak King & King, Linda de Haan.. 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 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