Log, January 2003

(A place to accumulate links for later use) --and continued elsewhere from the end of January

2 January 2003
From an interview with Michael Schrage

at the core of innovation weren't only creative individuals, per se, but rather creative relationships. Intriguingly, the key medium for managing those creative and innovative relationships was the shared space. I found that all collaboration, without exception, requires shared space... If you don't have a shared space, you're not collaborating.


safari.oreilly.com is an effective answer to the question Skip posed about computing books. More than 1100 titles (O'Reilly, Microsoft Press, New Riders, Sams, Que, several others --but not Wrox). There's a link to a 'corporate' license possibility, but nothing about educational use except for a limited availability of chapters via a prof's own subscription (that's $14.99/month for a 10-book shelf). See also hp.safaribooksonline.com for another explanation of features


What's the HTML for 'open a new browser window' for a link?

From http://www.pageresource.com/html/newwin.htm:

To get a link to open in a new browser window, what you do is add the target="_blank" attribute
to your link tag, like this:

<A HREF="http://www.pageresource.com/linkus.htm" target="_blank">Link to us!</A>

This will give you the following link:

Link to us!

Go ahead and click on it. Your browser will open a new window with my reciprocal links page in it. You will need to close the window when you are finished. Use the "close" option rather than the "exit" option, because the "exit" option will make you exit your browser entirely!

You can try it with an image as well:

<A HREF="http://www.pageresource.com/linkus.htm" target="_blank">
<IMG SRC="http://www.pageresource.com/images/scare.jpg">

Now you have the clickable image:

There is also a way to do this using JavaScript, which gives you more options on the appearance of the new window. If you are interested, go to the section Opening a New Window with JavaScript.

(and the Javascript one is pretty cool...)

3 January
From Maryanne Simurda: Epulopiscium fishelsoni is the giant bacterium... gets 145 hits in google. But:

this from http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/microbiology/19337:

In the microbial world a record has finally been broken for the biggest bacteria in the world. The record holder for the biggest bacteria recorded on the earth is now (drum roll please): Thiomargarita namibiensis This behemoth of bacteria is round rather than rectangle like Epulopiscium fishelsoni. It averages about 180 micrometers in diameter. The largest cells have been measured at 750 micrometers. On a cell volume basis the largest Epulopiscium fishelsoni is 3,000 millimeters cubed. However, Thiomargarita namibiensis' largest cells have an enormous volume of 200,000 millimeters cubed.

Not only is Thiomargarita namibiensis a giant but it is also very unusual. It utilizes sulfates and nitrates to get its energy. This bacteria found off the coast of Namibia is in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean. Basically, Thiomargarita namibiensis gets necessary electrons from sulfates. It then uses nitrates to grab onto the electron instead of oxygen. Those electrons are eventually used to generate energy for the cell. It gets its enormous size because it stores huge amounts of nitrates to hold onto these electrons. It needs to store the nitrates because nitrate levels are very low in these waters most of the time. It isn't until a major storm stirs up the mud at the bottom of the ocean that Thiomargarita namibiensis can get the nitrates it needs.


From Science 3 Jan:

Biotechnology Risk Assessment (USDA and U. Florida)


Bryan sent me a .swf file. How to play it? This page gave me the wherewithal to answer the question: Generating HTML to play Flash


See Bookmarklets Foundations


Made and distributed a set of instructions for "Check Annie"

... and then found the means to make bookmarklets to search OED and Wikipedia, and Science

4 January
Skip came up with a means to pass selected Web page text into Pirarucu, a very big step indeed.

5 January

...a collaborative framework and environment containing a set of applications. Through Habanero you can interact with other people on the Internet using a variety of applications that share state and events. Habanero is written in Java, and will run under any operating system that supports Java v1.1.6 or greater.

The Habanero framework or API is designed to give developers the tools they need to create collaborative Java applications. The framework provides the necessary methods that make it possible to create or transition existing applications and applets into collaborative applications. Using the Habanero Wizard, developers can easily convert applets by selecting the objects and events they want to share. The Wizard then rewrites the code to take advantage of the Habanero API.


Tim O'Reilly on "Inventing the future"

The alpha geeks are often a few years ahead of their time. They see the potential in existing technology, and push the envelope to get a little (or a lot) more out of it than its original creators intended. They are comfortable with new tools, and good at combining them to get unexpected results.
--see also O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference

Cluetrain Manifesto, the entire text

"The clue train stopped there four times a day for ten years and they never took delivery." (anon.)

from 95 theses:
7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
9. ...networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge

From the Introduction:
What if the real attraction of the Internet is not its cutting-edge bells and whistles, its jazzy interface or any of the advanced technology that underlies its pipes and wires? What if, instead, the attraction is an atavistic throwback to the prehistoric human fascination with telling tales?

From the last chapter:

Before any Old Order of Things can be given the final heave-ho coup de grâce, it's necessary to create a parallel infrastructure controlled by people acting in cooperation for their own benefit and mutual support. One thing any such effort requires is an extraordinarily efficient means of communication. We didn't used to have one. Telephones just didn't cut it.

Then, irony of ironies, along comes the Internet. It was as if we'd ordered it from Amazon: "Hello, U.S. Federal Government? Yes, we'd like one totally open, high-speed data backbone. Uh-huh, and charge that to the Department of Defense, why don't you? What's that? What do we want it for? Oh, just chatting about stuff. You know, this and that…"

Invisibility is freedom. At first it feels awful that no one can see you, that nobody's paying attention. Darn! But you get used to it. We've had two hundred years to get used to it. Then one day you find yourself on a network, networking, and it dawns on you that it's like walking through walls. Wow! Like some comic-book-mystic Ninja warrior! That's pretty cool. You can get away with saying things you could never say if anyone took you seriously. Dilbert is just a comic strip. Hah-hah. Beavis and Butthead is just a cartoon. Heh-heh. And if anyone comes sniffing around and wonders if this Internet stuff could be maybe dangerous, culturally subversive, it's oh, hey, never mind us. We're just goofing off over here on the Web. No threat. Carry on. As you were.

But we aren't just goofing off. We're organizing: building and extending the Net itself, crafting tools and communities, new ways of speaking, new ways of working, new ways of having fun. And all this is happening, has happened so far, without rules and laws, without managers and managed. It's self-organizing. People by the millions are discovering how to negotiate, cooperate, collaborate -- to create, to explore, to enjoy themselves.

...we do have a vision of what life could be like if we ever make it through the current transition. It's hard for some to imagine the Era of Total Cluelessness coming to a close. But try. Try hard. Because only imagination can finally bring the curtain down.

Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting than what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday. Imagine a world in which the business of business was to imagine worlds people might actually want to live in someday. Imagine a world created by the people, for the people not perishing from the earth forever.

Yeah. Imagine that.

More, from here and there:
From hopelessly romantic meditations on favorite cats, to screeds so funny you'll blow coffee out your nose, to collective code for alternative operating systems: we're all expressing ourselves in a new way online — a way that was never possible before, never before permitted. And make no mistake, speech once freed is a powerful drug. Get used to it; it ain't going back in the box.

...We are so desperate to have our voices back that we are willing to leap into the void. We embrace the Web not knowing what it is, but hoping that it will burn the org chart -- if not the organization -- down to the ground. Released from the gray-flannel handcuffs, we say anything, curse like sailors, rhyme like bad poets, flame against our own values, just for the pure delight of having a voice.

And when the thrill of hearing ourselves speak again wears off, we will begin to build a new world.

That is what the Web is for.

And this from Ron Scheer's Cluetrain in Plain English:
They're against PowerPoint?
Well, yes. "Destroy Your PowerPoints" is a Cluetrain rallying cry. And anyone who has had to sit through hours of these things in darkened halls and conference rooms has to agree that they are mind-numbing. They are a perfect symbol for the one-way, one-size-fits-all way that corporations still try to communicate with restless employees and bored customers.

What else are they against?
A number of things. Secrets, mission statements, deadlines, casual Fridays, sports metaphors, boilerplate, red tape, office politics, speech writers, focus groups, cost controls, and voice mail. To make sense of this, consider that all of these in one way or another can be obstacles to direct and honest communication.


Empowerment, Marginalization and Public Participation GIS Report of Varenius Workshop October 15-17, 1998 Santa Barbara (95 pages...)

Larry Lohmann's review of Charles Zerner, ed., Culture and the Question of Rights: Forests, Coasts, and Seas in Southeast Asia, Duke University Press, 2001

Community Participation and Geographic Information Systems

...and also "counter-mapping". See

Pramono abstract from AAAG and Flanagan ditto

Dilemmas of Counter-Mapping Community Resources in Tanzania (Dorothy Hodgeson)

What Space for a Politics of Mapping? (Jeremy Crampton)

Indigenous Geography Sessions 99th Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers New Orleans, Louisiana: March 4-8, 2003

We do have Boundaries of home : mapping for local empowerment / edited by Doug Aberley Publisher Gabriola Island, B.C. : New Society Publishers, c1993 Science Library GF23.C35 B68 1993

(plenty more to look through at google)

6 January
The Corner House offers "a wide range of briefings and documents on topical environmental and social justice issues"

And one to remember for GlobStew:

TITLE Ecological resistance movements : the global emergence of radical and popular environmentalism / Bron Raymond Taylor, editor.
Albany : State University of New York Press, c1995.
GE140 .E26 1995.


Federated searching:

Here's a useful google search including the term MARIAN (NLM/NSF digital library mediation middleware) --see also NETWORKED DIGITAL LIBRARY OF THESES AND DISSERTATIONS


Jon Udell on the upshot.... ...anybody who has followed the bookmarklet saga with interest will find this article fascinating and provocative:

The vendor of the library lookup system that our bookmarklets were invoking [Innovative, folks...], never having imagined or intended this disruptive outcome, hastily yanked its listing of the 900 libraries. The following day, the listing was just a ghost in the machine, manifesting itself in Google's cache and the Wayback Machine. What seemed to be an informational Web page turned out, to the vendor's surprise, to be a Web services directory. Moreover, the software that made it easy for people to tap into those services had a special property. Hyperlinks are the currency of the blog network. Packaged as hyperlinks, these scripts merged seamlessly into that currency flow. The medium for the exchange of ideas and the medium for the exchange of software became one.


I happened across 27 and 28 February Summary and was surprised at its clarity and appositeness... and the stillborn proposal is what it evolved into. This should go somewhere...

7 January
??Wonder if there's any way to mine the Search History...??

Backlinking Through Blogspace With Bookmarklets (Robert J. Seymour)

...a larger conversation, the collective thread of other webloggers who commented on the same stories (parallel links) or pointed to the post you're reading (backlinks). ...The backlinking bookmarklet just tells your browser to open up a new [page] that brings up a search page highlighting backlinks for the page you are currently viewing. ...To use the backlink bookmarklet, right click on Blogdex Backlinks


A trip to blogdex.media.mit.edu led me to William Gibson's new blog


Talked with Holt Merchant about the Civil War project, and got his enthusiastic assent to an RE Lee project.


Trying out Safari... this from Introducing Microsoft® .NET, Second Edition :

Platt's Second Law states that the amount of crap in the universe is conserved. If someone has less crap to deal with, it's because he's managed to dump his ration on someone else's head, but there's no such thing as making it disappear. If hardware and bandwidth are so much easier and cheaper to get, that means writing the software to run that environment must, by the laws of the universe, be harder and more expensive by a corresponding amount. And so indeed it has proved, as anyone who's tried lately will confirm.


Resource Description Framework explained, and FAQ, and Semantic Web, all from w3.org


Got the oook blog up, with Skip's help.

9 January
Some difficulties with Frontier/Manila --set up on bloggery and blogtest (laptop and desk machine respectively), but no dice with login for new creations.

Tried to use Blackboard to get an authoritative classlist, but it's NOT dynamically updated with information from the Registrar's list of add/drop. That's a major defect...

14 January
too long... but very busy with the NITLE News piece

Self-Organization, Autopoiesis, and Enterprises (Randall Whitaker)

15 January
Google search for 'keyphind'

Browsing accounts for much of people's interaction with digital libraries, but it is poorly supported by standard search engines. Conventional systems often operate at the wrong level, indexing words when people think in terms of topics, and returning documents when people want a broader view. As a result, users cannot easily determine what is in a collection, how well a particular topic is covered, or what kinds of queries will provide useful results. We have built a new kind of search engine, Keyphind, that is explicitly designed to support browsing. Automatically extracted keyphrases form the basic unit of both indexing and presentation, allowing users to interact with the collection at the level of topics and subjects rather than words and documents. The keyphrase index also provides a simple mechanism for clustering documents, refining queries, and previewing results. We compared Keyphind to a traditional query engine in a small usability study. Users reported that certain kinds of browsing tasks were much easier with the new interface, indicating that a keyphrase index would be a useful supplement to existing search tools. (abstract from Improving browsing in digital libraries with keyphrase indexes (Carl Gutwin et al., Decision Support Systems Volume 27, Issues 1-2, November 1999, Pages 81-104))
A version seems to be available via CiteSeer, too big to grab as a pdf, so I've printed it...

also found: Exploiting Structure for Intelligent Web Search (2001) Udo Kruschwitz

16 January
Two reference questions:

stuff on pre-Celtic stature and Hallowe'en

'wishful thinking' for Winston Davis

17 January
from last night's Klezmatics concert, lines from a Holly Near song:

The ones who say they know it
Are the ones who will impose it on you

from Bruce Sterling's Tomorrow Now:

Cyberpunk involved a lyrical statement of the unthinkable (in the mid-1980s): that someday there would be a world rather like the late 1990s... Cyberpunks valorized things that earned a shrug for their corniness fifteen years later. The sense of wonder has a short shelf life. (xvii)

Virtual Technical Reports Center from UMd

Institutions listed here provide either full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web. This site contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds. Some metasites are listed by subject categories, as well as by institution. This site will be updated monthly.

Made a page of Neuroscience Resources pointers after a request from Jeanine Stewart to help a couple of students

19 January
Some extracts from Tomorrow Now and a weblet on blobjects

20 January
gatheration on Information Ecology, beginnings

grabbed Global City Lights 3.3MB from http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02991 (it's on vol4/public_html/mypdfs)

23 January
Extreme busyness, no tracking thereof... but including Skip's creation and refinement of SnipIt, and Bryan's implementation from afar. Some progress with RE Lee proposal, participation in the ACS History sharing thing, beginnings of an Access database, now reposing on my desktop, for Civil War stuff and to make into an alpha prototype for the summer...

24 January
on Sterling's Zeitgeist

I got the map, image, and diary layers into an ArcGIS project (in C:\civilwar), but I'm not sure where to go next.

26 January
Thanks to Skip's connivance, a protoprototype is afloat for the Civil War project, at mapa.wlu.edu. Many flies in the ointment, but I did change its name (editing top.htm) and I understand the process of making an ArcIMS map service a bit better.

I collected a bunch of NPS GIS layers (shp files), now cached in H:/civilwar/. THe histroad.shp and monument.shp seem to be more or less at the coordinates of Chickamauga.

Got nightworld.zip from http://gis.ednet.ns.ca/nightworld/nightworld.htm (h:/global/nightworld.apr) --pretty remarkable Nova Scotia schools GIS stuff at http://gis.ednet.ns.ca/gis_tutorials.htm

I used http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/ to generate data for %slave for NC and SC counties, but ran afoul of the CAPS NotCaps convention when I tried to join the tables to build a map... been here before...

/civilwar/ringgold.ppt grabbed from http://www.civilwar.gatech.edu/ as an example (34.9 -85.2 evidently)

The Battle of Ringgold Gap by Larry Worthy

Report filed by First Lieut. Richard Goldthwaite, Ringgold Gap Battle and Commander's Report: Ringgold Gap HEADQUARTERS 149TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, and BATTLE REPORT OF RINGGOLD GAP, GEORGIA November 27, 1863 BY CAPT. JONATHAN R. KENNARD, CO. A, 10TH TEXAS INFANTRY

see also

Battles for Chattanooga

Civil War Battle Summaries by State (NPS)

28 January
Looking for Gazetteers:

1990 US Census gives highly detailed (like 5 decimal places) DD locations but doesn't have 'Missionary Ridge/\'
USGS is in DMS, but has things like 'Missionary Ridge'
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names has both DD and DMS, and has 'Missionary Ridge'

I seem to have Ben Hicks and Jit Shrestha lined up for the RE Lee project!

31 January
OpenGIS Implementation Specifications

Continued in Feb03 log