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Biweekly links for 07/10/2009

by Michael Nielsen on July 10, 2009
  • ArchivePress
    • “ArchivePress is a blog-archiving project being undertaken by the University of London Computer Centre and the British Library Digital Preservation department, funded by the JISC Information Environment Programme under its Rapid Innovation Grants Call (03/09).

      The project will explore practical issues around the archiving of weblog content, focusing on blogs as records of institutional activity and corporate memory. As an alternative to the web crawling/harvesting approach of the Internet Archive and the UK Web Archive, ArchivePress will test the viability of using RSS feeds and blog APIs to harvest blog content (including comments, embedded content and metadata). The archived content will be stored and managed using instances of WordPress, thereby maintaining the blogs’ native data structures, formats and relationships.”

  • Speed Matters
    • Data on how changing the speed with which Google serves search results changes user satisfaction.
  • David Byrne Journal: Salt Lake City — Religion is the Best Science Fiction
    • Utah is like a country within a country.
  • …My heart’s in Accra » Activist media and selective amplifiers
    • Ethan Zuckerman on the use of social media in connection with Iran, the Honduras, and many other situations. A big strength of the post is all the concrete details and links, leading up to his conclusion: “I’m thrilled that citizen media is letting more voices into the dialog. I worry that we often amplify only a few of them. And I worry a great deal that we forget that all amplifiers are selective and have biases. But the contrast between Honduras and Urumqi is a reminder that we benefit when we can hear a variety of voices and do the hard work of sorting through them… and that governments that silence voices to get their stories across will look less believable over time.”
  • Investigative journalism by amateurs
    • “Will bloggers ever go to the same lengths that professional journalists do to get a good story? I mean, without a payroll? Newspapers claim it will never happen.

      Sometimes it will. The following is a wonderful case where very passionate fans did their own amazing science and investigative research worthy of any national newspaper or world-class magazine. The story is about whether vegan resturants in LA are truly vegan, but the larger story is how deep and thorough their investigation was. I’d be curious to know where they learned their skills. “

  • Country Music in a Far Country : NPR Music
    • Kenny Rogers is apparently the number one singer in Kenya.
  • Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto: Stewart Brand
    • Stewart Brand’s new book, due out October 15. Brand helped create the Whole Earth Catalogue, the Long Now Foundation, the Well, and many other interesting things; his book “How Buildings Learn” is one of my favourites.
  • The Technium: The Choice of Cities
    • Stimulating essay about cities by Kevin Kelly: “Cities are technological artifacts, the largest technology we make. Their impact is out of proportion to the number of humans living in them…

      Is the recent large-scale relocation to cities a choice or a necessity? Are people pulled by the lure of opportunities, or are they pushed against their will by desperation? Why would anyone willingly choose to leave the balm of a village and squat in a smelly, leaky hut in a city slum unless they were forced to? “

  • State of Innovation Summit : Common Knowledge
    • “On top of this, there is the assumption that because the web works for culture, it works for science. But the Web is a system built for documents – it’s infrastructure for documents. Science innovation depends on data. This conference had a great panel on data, with Ben Fry, who’s a data visualization wizard. Yet no conversation that the infrastructure we have for the Web completely fails at data. Infrastructure for making the web function on data is woeful – format standards, annotation, and so on are always underfunded and first to cut in crisis.

      Infrastructure for data integration, data federation, and so forth should be encoded directly into the open standards of the web and internet. Full stop. And we should talk about this problem more often. Otherwise people look at their iPhones, check for a latte, and assume this level of functionality scales from coffee to the bench. It doesn’t.”

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