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Archive for August, 2007

The Tiny Limits of Storage

Just a month after a science fiction writer speculated on storage devices the size of a grain of sand comes news from the magazine Science of developments in magnetic anisotropy that could eventually be used to store information in individual atoms, paving the way to pack as much as 150 trillion bits of data per square inch, 1,000 times more than current data storage densities. In other words, the ability to store data in individual atoms could lead to devices capable of storing the equivalent of 30,000 movies in a device the size of an iPod.

The first paper describes . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Save the Reading Room

Today’s Guardian Blog”Guardian Blog contains an impassioned plea to keep the world’s most famous reading room as just that.

The Reading Room was Karl Marx’s office. It was used by a large number of famous figures, including notably Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Mahatma Gandhi, Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, George Bernard Shaw, V. I. Lenin (under the name of Jacob Richter), Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells. It was according to Norman Lebrecht, a “Room [which] was neither loved by users, nor conducive to creative thought”. Still…what a space.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

Earlier this week on Slaw Evan Van Dyk asked about podcasts and got a number of good suggestions. Must be the Zeitgeist, because at roughly the same time Alex Iskold of Read/WriteWeb reported how podcasting is on the decline, losing steam to video, among other things — and I’d teed up a sound file as today’s fillip.

My offering this Friday is Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood read (not acted — audio, remember?) by that other son of the red dragon, Richard Burton. And in case you don’t want to close your eyes and let the sonorous sloe syrinx of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Canadian Kyoto Report Released

This is the report that the federal government would probably prefer you didn’t find:

A Climate Change Plan for the Purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act 2007.

Under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act 2007, the government was required to release a plan for climate change by Tuesday, August 21, 2007, according to a report from the CBC. Later that week, news sources said that the report had been released, but where? No news release on the main Canadian government website. No news release on the Environment Canada website. And surprisingly nothing on the Environment Canada climate . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous Under Attack

Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, is coming under increasing attack from a talented group of spammers, according to a report today on the BBC.

Gogle’s Blogger site is being used by malicious hackers who are posting fake entries to some blogs. The fake entries contain weblinks that lead to booby-trapped downloads that could infect a Windows PC.

Infected computers are being hijacked by the gang behind the attacks and either mined for saleable data or used for other attacks.

The Blogger attack is the latest in a series by a gang that has managed to hijack hundreds of thousands of PCs…

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Rage Pages on Wikipedia

Seems that digging into Wikipedia’s online community is all the rage these days (bad pun intended). Following up on Connie’s post last week on Wikiscanner, we now have Wikirage. This time, we get a tool that tracks the entries with the largest number of edits over a certain period of time – 1 hr, 6 hrs, 3 days, past week, or past month.

And to give this a Canadian spin, one of today’s rage pages is the entry for the Vancouver Canucks, who changed their logo yesterday. We even get a fun graph on the number of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Making the Most of Blogs and Wikis

The McKinsey Quarterly’s August 2007 article “How companies can make the most of user-generated content” highlights strategies executives can employ when promoting the use of blogs and wikis within their own companies. Some examples:

  • Find out what inspires or motivates people to participate in online collaborative technologies
  • Identify thought leaders or well-connected people in your company and promote their participation
  • Make collaboration fun (e.g., online betting, rotation program)
  • Build tools within the blogs and wikis that let users share content easily
  • Develop clear and enforceable guidelines to prohibit unethical or illegal behavior
  • Note: FREE registration is required to . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Buying a Condo? Law Library Now a Selling Feature

    Slaw readers with the recollection of Funes the Memorious may recall a posting about a hotel in Chandigarh which advertised a law library as one of its guest features.

    Today’s Costar news bulletin features the sale of a floor of a building at 36 W. 44th St. in the Grand Central District, which features tenant-controlled HVAC in most suites, a law library, and a restored entrance, lobby and elevator cabs. . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Paterva’s Evolution

    A company called Paterva (which might be South African) is offering Evolution, a search engine that focuses on people and organizations (and associated data such as phone numbers, email addresses etc.), purporting to reveal connections between people that are significant. It seems aimed at security firms, investigators and the like (opening tagline: “Your new enemy is virtual”). There’s a web-based search tool that you can try, and a Java-based tool to download that’s in beta but that offers to display relationships graphically (screenshot).

    I haven’t tried the download but I have searched for myself on the browser-based . . . [more]

    Posted in: Miscellaneous

    Small Arms Survey 2007 – Americans Own Most of the Guns

    This week, the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies released its Small Arms Survey 2007.

    The Survey is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and receives contributions from the governments of Belgium, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

    The survey covers issues such as firearms production, international small arms transfers, international transfer control initiatives, the impact of urbanization on armed violence, and the economics of small arms.

    According to this year’s report:

    • U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms. This comes out to 90 guns for every
    . . . [more]
    Posted in: Miscellaneous