Archive for February, 2006

Tough luck for Greek art!

Monday, February 27th, 2006

nudity...From John Battelle’s Searchblog:

Boing Boing has recently been added to a blacklist of “nudity” related sites run by the US-based company Secure Computing, resulting in its being banned in entire countries – like the UAE, as well as many corporate firewalls. Here’s the editor’s searing response. I think it’s well worth reading. From it:

Today, we’ve learned that Internet Qatar, the sole ISP in the State of Qatar, has also banned BoingBoing.

We’ve heard from librarians in Africa who want to watch the video of the American Register of Copyrights denouncing Congress, employees at the Australian Broadcasting Company, students, and workers around the world who can’t gain access to our work.

At fault is a US-based censorware company called Secure Computing, which makes a web-rating product called SmartFilter. But SmartFilter isn’t very smart. Secure Computing classifies any site with any nudity — even Michaelangelo’s David appearing on a single page out of thousands — as a “nudity” site, which means that customers who block “nudity” can’t get through.

Last week, Secure Computing updated their software to classify Boing Boing as a “nudity” site. Last month, we had two posts with nudity in them, out of 692 — that’s 0.29 percent of our posts, but SmartFilter blocks 100 percent of them. This month, there were four posts with nudity (including the Abu Ghraib photos), out of 618 — 0.32 percent.

In fact, out of the 25,000+ Boing Boing posts classed as “nudity” by SmartFilter, more that 99.5 percent have no nudity at all. They’re stories about Hurricane Katrina, kidnapped journalists in Iraq, book reviews, ukelele casemods, phonecam video of Bigfoot sightings (come to think of it, he doesn’t wear clothes either), or pictures of astonishing Lego constructions.

….The question of keeping your child from viewing content you don’t want them to see can be addressed more efficiently locally, with tech tools like the browser Bumpercar. As BoingBoing founder (and father of two) Mark Frauenfelder explains, “My daughter and I found a bunch of great kid-friendly sites and have added them to the ‘white list.’ As a parent, I have local control of the sites she visits instead of handing over control to a remote group of people that I don’t trust to do my job of being a parent.”

The fact is, there’s no effective way to censor the Internet in broad strokes. Only dumb CIOs and totalitarian governments like the UAE believe that adding censorware to your network will prevent the naughty stuff from slopping in.

More, better podcasts available

Monday, February 27th, 2006

William du Cassé and Jessica McCormack have produced new podcasts for colloquia by Corderius (numbers 6-9 and 13-20). Access and subscription details are available at the site for the Neo-Latin Colloquia project.
We’re learning: this batch sounds much better than our earliest attempts.

Global grid for Big Bang research reaches milestone

Monday, February 27th, 2006

A timely article (from Computer World) for those of us becoming interested in e-Science…

FEBRUARY 16, 2006 (COMPUTERWORLD) – A huge 100,000-PC grid-computing network being built to help research the origin of the universe passed the third of four major tests recently when it reached a data-transfer milestone, with up to 1GB/sec. of physics data sent over the global grid.

Francois Grey, an IT spokesman for CERN, said the latest test was part of a scheduled series of four tests that must be completed before the grid goes live next year.

“This was the first time that this model was tested with real data” at the 1GB/sec. data-transfer rate, Grey said. A previous grid test conducted last April involved seven major computer centers in the U.S. and Europe and transferred data at lower speeds — sustained rates of up to 600MB/sec.

Article about EDUCE linked from Wikipedia

Friday, February 24th, 2006

Brent Seales alerts me to the fact that the Wikipedia article on Herculaneum now links to an article on the EDUCE project (down at the bottom).  The Herculaneum Society site also has lots of good links to recent news.

CHS makes Andrew Sullivan’s blog

Friday, February 24th, 2006

I noticed the Center for Hellenic Studies in the background behind the pro-Denmark rally pictured on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish today.

Google Scholar = Worldcat?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

help people around the world find works of their interest in local libraries.”

What’s lurking behind? Google describes its support for libraries here. There are two components:

  • Library links: “On-campus users at participating schools will see additional links in Google Scholar search results which facilitate access to their library’s resources.”
  • Library search: “All users of Google Scholar will see a ‘Library Search’ link for book results. Clicking on this link will direct them to the WorldCat system which will allow them to find a list of nearby libraries that have the desired book.”

Death plus 70

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Elizabeth Townsend Gard writes:

January 1, 2006 brought a fresh new crop of unpublished works into the public domain.  Now, the unpublished works of anyone dead since 1935  are in the public domain.  17 USC 303(a).

Here a a few of the most noteable: Jane Addams, Alfred Dreyfus, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., T. E. Lawrence, Huey Long, Will Rogers, and Henri Barbusse.

More can be found at these websites:  NNDB who died in 1935, Wikipedia’s death list of 1935, Who2, politicians who died in 1935, and baseball players who died in 1935.

We need more of these kinds of lists, couple with where the archival papers are kept.  This is how to build upon the new unpublished public domain.

Also, we should also be looking to the coming years, as scholars, to see who else’s unpublished works soon enter the unpublished public domain.  In 2007 (death date during 1936),this will include Rudyard Kipling, King George V of the United Kingdom, Maxim Gorky, John Heisman, Federico García Lorca, and Luigi Pirandello.  In 2008 (death deat during 1937) this will include John D. Rockefeller,Edith Wharton, George Gershwin,and Elihu Root.

But we should also be looking towards spaces that will help us uncover the less well-known deceased for these years.  For instance, Winifred Holtby (author; friend of Vera Brittain) died in 1935.  How are we to know what other treasures are out there?

On sending OA spatial data to Google Earth

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Declan Butler, Virtual globes: The web-wide world, Nature, February 15, 2006. Google Earth is becoming a platform for OA geospatial data. Butler explores how scientists are using GE and how –because GE is free, fun, and spectacular– this science is reaching the public.

(Thanks to Peter Suber)

“lawful until we change our mind”

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Electronic Frontier Foundation has an amusing post today, in the finger-in-the-dike category:

RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use

Guide to Podcast Directories

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

MediaShift offers a guided tour through the various major podcast directories.

DRM and academic publishing (GROKLAW)

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Roy Bixler, Digital Copyright Issues in Academic Publishing

Bruce Barton, The tension between DRM and academic publishing

(hat tip: Peter Gainsford)

Getting going with Fedora

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Writing to the JISC-Repositories list, Richard Green (manager of the RepoMMan Project at the University of Hull) announces “an early draft of a project deliverable that describes [their] work getting going with Fedora”: D-D4 Iterative Development of Fedora materials. Sorry, I can’t give you a direct link because they use some kind of indirection from the document title link to the current version … you’ll have to hunt it on their documents page yourself if you want the most recent version.

Authority vs. popularity

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Recent new features on technorati have provoked Steve Rubel to ask — in the context of link counting and blog rankings — “What is authority?” People are answering …

Tech-oriented Latin teacher needed for TV studio

Friday, February 10th, 2006

From: Joan Jahnige
Date: February 10, 2006 9:07:45 AM EST

KET is actively seeking a Latin teacher. I am planning to retire after 15 fascinating years of teaching and learning. KET is looking for someone with a minimum of 5 years of classroom experience, an interest in technology and a love of teaching Latin. The teacher must have certification that can be transferred to Kentucky and be able to teach from the television studios in Lexington. Please visit my websites for more information and contact me via email or telephone if you are interested. It is an exciting challenge…time consuming but so rewarding. If you are concerned that you will not know your students I can assure you that those who want to connect do so and continue to do so long after they leave high school. KET is very supportive to its teachers and a wonderful environment in which to work. Please pass the word along to anyone you know who does not read Latinteach daily.

Gratias omnibus.


Joan Jahnige, Latin teacher
KY Educational Television
600 Cooper Dr. Lexington, KY 40502

859-258-7133 /800-333-9764 – phone
859-258-7390 – fax

Folksonomy critique

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Under the rubric of “Semantic Web for the Masses, by the Masses,” a discussion on the xml-dev list is exploring the possibilities and pitfalls of asynchronous/collaborative tagging of web-based content.

Google Print Collaborators: ‘Defending the future of books’

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Google’s University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, defending book digitization as “protecting the written word for all time.”

Useful review of OS software today

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Open-Source Users Break Free From Commercial Software

Robot explores ancient Greek shipwreck

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

Seen in this week:

Robot explores ancient Greek shipwreck

David Pescovitz: Last summer, a team researchers dispatched an autonomous undersea robot to explore a Greek merchant ship that sank in the eastern Aegean Sea in the fourth century BC. The scientists from MIT, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, are just now releasing images from the photometric survey. From the MIT News Office:

 Newsoffice 2006 Arch-Strip-Detail-EnlargedThe AUV scanned the scattered cargo and created a topographical sonar map while collecting thousands of high-resolution digital images, without ever physically touching the shipwreck. In all, 7,650 images were collected on four dives. WHOI archaeologists and engineers are assembling those images into mosaics that depict the minute features of the shipwreck with unmatched clarity and detail…

Much of the true value in cargo ships such as the Chios wreck is the information they provide about the networks that existed among the ancient Greeks and their trading partners. The wreck is “like a buried UPS truck. It provides a wealth of information that helps us figure out networks based on the contents of the truck,” said (MIT professor David) Mindell.


Keeping up with the Googleses

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

“We already knew that Yahoo! collaborates enthusiastically with the Chinese regime in questions of censorship, and now we know it is a Chinese police informant as well,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
More from John Battelle.


Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Patacriticism has just released Juxta 1.0:

Juxta is an open-source cross-platform tool for comparing and collating multiple witnesses to a single textual work. The software allows users to set any of the witnesses as the base text, to add or remove witness texts, to switch the base text at will, and to annotate Juxta-revealed comparisons and save the results.

Juxta comes with several kinds of analytic visualizations. The primary collation gives a split frame comparison of a base text with a witness text, along with a display of the digital images from which the base text is derived. Juxta displays a heat map of all textual variants and allows the user to locate — at the level of any textual unit — all witness variations from the base text. A histogram of Juxta collations is particularly useful for long documents. This visualization displays the density of all variation from the base text and serves as a useful finding aid for specific variants. Juxta can also output a lemmatized schedule (in HTML format) of the textual variants in any set of comparisons.

… The document comparison algorithm implemented in Juxta is a modified version of the Java port of Diff by Ian F. Darwin.

(Hat tip Geoff Rockwell)

Thesaurus Linguae Latinae CD Rom reviewed

Monday, February 6th, 2006

A review at Bryn Mawr Classical Review of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, Third electronic edition, published by K. G. Saur.

Peter Heslin at Durham has some interesting things to say about the value of this work and of such Greek and Latin textual search tools in general. There are points that would be well raised in discussion either here or in the Digitalclassicist list if people want to share thoughts…

The future of technology in higher education?

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

“The 2006 Horizon Report  is now available. The 2006 edition is a collaboration between The New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE program.

The 2006 Horizon Report, just as has been the case with previous editions of the report, highlights six technologies that the underlying research suggests will become very important to higher education over the next one to five years.

A central focus of the discussion of each technology is its relevance for teaching, learning, and creative expression. Live weblinks to example applications are provided in each section, as well as to additional readings.”

Appropriate venues

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Peter Suber has done a useful service (again) in writing “Six things that researchers need to know about open access.”

What?  Can’t find a journal that meets your needs?  Perhaps Scholarly Exchange can be brought into the picture.

The Journal of Maps

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

From the Journal of Maps website:

The Journal of Maps [(ISSN 1744-5647)] is a new inter-disciplinary online, electronic, journal that aims to provide a forum for researchers to publish their maps. Using full peer review and a reverse publishing method (where the author pays for the review process), all published maps will be freely distributed to anyone wishing to view them.

JoM’s mission is to provide a mechanism for publishing (at low cost) the original fieldwork and observational phenomena that form the underpinning for the results and conclusions that are now normally the only published output from geographic research efforts (costs for outsize printing and color being prohibitive).

JoM requires prospective contributors to assent to a licensing agreement (more…)

Fellowship for digital art students

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Linden Lab Fellowship in the Visual and Performing Arts For Creative Innovation in the Online World of Second Life

This fellowship is made possible by Linden Lab®, the creators of Second Life®, to provide a young artist with a chance to be free for a semester or summer to explore the use of the digital world of Second Life as an artistic medium. In doing so, we hope that we will see Second Life used to even greater potential in the expressive arts to the benefit of both the Second Life culture and the broader world of art.

The fellowship will be made available to an undergraduate or graduate student in the visual and performing arts (including music, film, video, new media arts, and architecture) who has shown through his or her work a commitment and talent in innovating using digital media. The fellowship is not intended to support study, but to allow a student the free time to fully explore the potential of Second Life as a creative medium.

All projects must be completed within a semester and/or summer, make use of Second Life tools and capabilities, and be available for view or exhibit within Second Life.

Details and application form at