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Archive for April, 2008

Open access champion John Palfrey to head Harvard Law Library

It’s official. John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center has been put in charge of the Harvard Law Library. This is great news, although John’s contribution to the Berkman Center cannot be overestimated.

To be precise, JP — with whom I’ve had the privilege of co-teaching a course this semester — has been appointed associate dean of library and information. (He was also given tenure.) That means he is in charge of the greatest law library in the land. Open access just got a champion installed at the head of one of the most important collections in the world. This is pretty damn exciting.

JP is going to stay affiliated with the Berkman Center, but not having him at the helm is going to hurt. He is both a strong leader and a selfless facilitator. Enthusiastic, kind, humble, brilliant, pragmatic, funny, articulate, instantly likable, learned, visionary, down to earth, committed, articulate, sweet … in a word, we love him. And always will.

Congratulations, John!

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Vilna Shul isn’t miscellaneous

I’m giving a talk on “Everything Is Miscellaneous” at the Vilna Shul (which is habitually prefaced with “historic”) in Boston tomorrow, Tues., starting at 6pm. If you want to go — and as of now I’m thinking I’ll give my plain ol’ “Misc” talk — please RSVP to dougat

UPDATE: I think I’m instead going to talk about knowledge in the age of the miscellaneous, and in particular as if the Internet is Jewish.

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Class trip tag cloud

David Silver on his blog reports on a four day trip to an organic farm he took with his students. At the end, there’s a tagcloud from the various posts that emerged. Snow, food, nature, and octagon all loom large. As does, rather mysteriously, Francis :)

There are pictures and links to the students’ posts. Fun to read.

Tags vs. identity politics

Ike Piggott posts about the effect of tags ‘n’ such on identity politics. Nicely done. (And, if I may say be so self-centered he seems unknowingly to be channeling Everything Is Miscellaneous.)

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P2P search

YaCy is a peer-to-peer, open source Web search engine. You can use it to create a search portal, but the officially Very Cool thing about it is that you can peer it up with other Yacy installations, creating a distributed, p2p search engine.

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Open Science Directory

Can you guess what the Open Science Directory might be a directory of? Score 0 points if you guess “open science sources,” but subtract -10 if you guessed anything else… [Tags: ] for quickly sharing stuff

I haven’t tried yet, but I like the faq. It makes it easier to share stuff than by FTP’ing it, and it adds a little value to what you share when it can: It adds thumbnails to photos, etc. You can add to a “drop” via the Web, phone, email, or fax. You can set a drop so that it’s read-only or so that others can add or delete to it. The site isn’t indexed, so it’s as private as the people you tell about a drop care to keep it. not only is free, it doesn’t require you to give your email address.

Ok, I just tried it and hit a glitch: Uploads freeze about 5% of the way in this morning. Could be them, could be the Net, either way, it’s got to be temporary…

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My Tweet cloud

A wordcloud of words I’ve used while Twittering…

Booklamp maps ‘n’ matches

Booklamp is a technology demo that analyzes the text of books along multiple lines (action, density, description, dialogue, etc.) and then uses that info to find other books with similar patterns. Right now, it’s only got a handful of sf books under its wing, so it’s purely a demo, and they’re trolling for sponsors who might be able to support their effort to gets lots of books included.

Censored metadata

Apparently, “abortion” is once again a searchable term at the Popline medical information library. It had been removed by government officials because apparently there were a couple of articles in the database that were actually pro-choice.

Censoring of search terms is the censoring of metadata which is the censoring of information. When the Chinese do it, we are scandalized. When we do it, I hope we are more scandalized.